A Z-Move (Japanese: Ｚワザ Z-Move) is a special type of move introduced in Generation VII in which a Trainer and their Pokémon's wishes combine to unleash an attack comprising the full power of both. These moves are very powerful, but they can only be used once per battle.
The origins of Z-Power are largely shrouded in mystery. However, information by Professor Kukui indicates that Z-Power may be related to the energy produced by Ultra Wormholes. Wicke also speculates that Lusamine's losing consciousness after fusing with Nihilego in Ultra Space may have been due to the Z-Power surrounding her. Alolan legends found in the Malie Library also indicate that SolgaleoSUS/LunalaMUM gifted the Tapunium Z to the guardian deities after fighting against them. In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the Ultra Recon Squad reveal that the Z-Power that surrounds the user and their Pokémon when using a Z-Move as well as the aura surrounding Totem Pokémon are a result of Necrozma's light shining down on Alola long ago.
There are three different kinds of Z-Moves: Z-Moves which can be used by any Pokémon, with one Z-Move for each of the 18 types; status moves that have been turned into Z-Moves by one of the 18 type-specific Z-Crystals; and Z-Moves that can only be used by specific Pokémon. The Z-Move that a Pokémon can perform depends on the Z-Crystal it holds. There are 18 different Z-Crystals that correspond to each of the 18 types, and several others that correspond to specific Pokémon. Z-Moves work by powering up one of the Pokémon's normal moves, so the Pokémon must also know an appropriate move. For the type-related Z-Crystals, the Pokémon must know a move of the same type as the Z-Crystal it is holding. For the Pokémon-specific Z-Crystals, the move required differs for each Pokémon.
A Z-Ring or Z-Power Ring is also required in order to perform Z-Moves. A Pokémon can only use a Z-Move if its Trainer is wearing a Z-Ring or Z-Power Ring and has the same Z-Crystal the Pokémon is holding. Mega Evolved and Primal Pokémon cannot use Z-Moves, even when holding an appropriate Z-Crystal (such as after Transform).
When using a Z-Move in the games, a special cutscene plays, first showing the Trainer performing a certain pose, before shifting to the Pokémon surrounding itself with its Z-Power and executing the Z-Move. This cutscene cannot be deactivated, even if battle animations are turned off.
Z-Moves draw upon the PP of the Pokémon's original moves in order to execute, requiring and consuming PP upon use. When the Z-Move option is chosen in battle, a list of Z-Moves overlays the Pokémon's original list of moves, with each compatible move of the Pokémon's original moves overlain by a Z-Move option that draws upon that move.
Damaging Z-Moves derive their category (physical or special) and power from the original move. For example, a Gigavolt Havoc based on Nuzzle (with a power of 20) will have a power of 100 and be a physical move, while one based on Thunderbolt (with a power of 90) will have a power of 175 and be a special move. If the Pokémon knows more than one compatible move, it will be able to choose among different versions of the Z-Move with different stats, with the instance that has the highest power sparkling. Damaging Z-Moves do not inherit any other properties from the original move, so have neutral priority and do not have the additional effects of the base move.
Z-Moves based on status moves are enhanced versions of the original moves, having a Z- prefixed to the start of the status move's name. While they have the effects of the original status move, the user also receives a Z-Power effect (Japanese: Ｚパワーこうか Z-Power effect), which is executed before the move itself. For example, Z-Splash also boosts the user's Attack by 3 stages, while Z-Parting Shot also restores the switch-in ally's HP by 100%. These effects are not affected by Contrary, Simple, or Heal Block.
Exclusive Z-Moves can be used only by specific Pokémon, and require a specific move to be upgraded. They have a fixed category and power. Exclusive Z-Moves can be used by a Pokémon transformed into an appropriate species regardless of its original species, if it holds the corresponding Z-Crystal; however, if the Pokémon who the move is exclusive to is transformed, it cannot use its own species' exclusive Z-Move unless it is transformed into another Pokémon of the same species.
Damaging Z-Moves cannot be fully protected against by protection moves (such as Protect and Spiky Shield), instead dealing 25% of the original damage. Status Z-Moves can be blocked by protection moves, but will apply their Z-Power effects regardless. Like any other move, Z-Moves can be redirected by effects such as Follow Me and Storm Drain.
Z-Moves may be used without regard to the effects of Taunt, Torment, Disable, Encore, Imprison, and Heal Block; however, the Pokémon never has an opportunity to select a Z-Move if it is forced to use Struggle (e.g. if it is affected by Taunt and only knows status moves). Even if the target of Z-Heal Pulse or Z-Floral Healing is affected by Heal Block, that Pokémon's HP is restored. Status Z-Moves can be used without regard to the effects of Gravity, but Gravity will still cause them to fail after applying their Z-Power effect (e.g. Z-Magnet Rise will raise the user's evasion but then fail).
Even if a status Z-Move fails, it still applies its Z-Power effect. Z-Moves are affected normally by Powder and weather. Weather-changing moves turned into Z-Moves (except Defog) will disappear as usual during heavy rain, extremely harsh sunlight, and a mysterious air current, but will apply their Z-Power effects regardless.
The types of damaging Z-Moves are unaffected by type-modifying Abilities (although status Z-Moves' types are). However, their types are affected by Ion Deluge (if the Z-Move would be Normal-type) and Electrify.
If a Pokémon uses a damaging Z-Move on a Pokémon with Cursed Body, that damaging Z-Move can be disabled (with no effect on the base move). However, if Cursed Body would disable a status Z-Move (such as Z-Nature Power), the base status move will be disabled.
With the exceptions of Mega Drain (120), Weather Ball (160), Hex (160), Gear Grind (180), V-create (220), Flying Press (170), and Core Enforcer (140), the powers of the type-specific damaging Z-Moves follow the following conversion table for base moves that have fixed powers. Struggle has a power of 1 as a Z-Move in the game data, which does not follow this table, but it is not possible to turn Struggle into a Z-Move.
|Base move power||Z-Move power|
List of Z-Moves
For each type
For specific Pokémon
Z-Power effects of status moves
When a status move is upgraded into a Z-Move, it may also gain a Z-Power effect in addition to its regular effect. Additionally, when used as a Z-Move, all moves that call other moves convert the called move into its corresponding Z-Move, although status moves called this way do not get their Z-Power effect. Moves stolen by Z-Snatch, reflected by Z-Magic Coat, or instructed by Z-Instruct are not turned into Z-Moves.
In the TCG
In the Pokémon Trading Card Game, a mechanic similar to Z-Moves, introduced in the Sun & Moon expansion, is a type of attack called attacks. Known exclusively by Pokémon, they are distinguished by a "" suffix following the attack's name, such as in "Pulverizing Pancake".
Like Z-Moves, attacks have very powerful effects compared to those of other attacks. However, each player may use no more than one attack per game. markers are used to denote whether a player has used his or her attack yet. When a player uses a attack, his or her marker is flipped over to expose its reverse side.
In the anime
Similar to the games, Z-Moves are powerful moves that can be executed by a Pokémon that knows an appropriate move which corresponds to the type of Z-Crystal on the Trainer's Z-Ring. According to Professor Kukui in Alola to New Adventure!, only Trainers who are successful in the island challenge can use Z-Moves. As seen with Ash's Rowlet in Young Kiawe Had a Farm!, Z-Moves drain a lot of the Pokémon's energy, but with adequate training, the Pokémon can reduce the amount of energy necessary to execute a Z-Move. Due to their vast blast radius and power, they can usually be used to wipe out many targets at once, like in a Battle Royal.
Z-Moves were first featured in the Sun & Moon series in episode Alola to New Adventure!, where Kiawe and his Turtonator used Inferno Overdrive with the help of Kiawe's Z-Ring and Firium Z which he used to defeat Zipp's Yungoos, Tupp's Salandit, and Rapp's Zubat.
Ash first performed a Z-Move in The Guardian's Challenge!, with his Pikachu using Gigavolt Havoc thanks to the Z-Ring and Electrium Z Ash had received from Tapu Koko. After using the attack, however, the Electrium Z shattered, preventing Ash from using the move again.
In Trial and Tribulation!, Hala and his Hariyama cornered Ash and Pikachu during their Melemele grand trial with a fully-powered All-Out Pummeling strengthened by Belly Drum. Ash and Pikachu, however, were able to immobilize Hariyama and counter with Breakneck Blitz, earning them victory and the Electrium Z.
In Trials and Determinations!, Ash had Rowlet perform Bloom Doom for the first time, allowing it to defeat Olivia's Probopass. In the same episode, Olivia also performed Continental Crush with her Lycanroc.
In SM054, Ash's Electrium Z temporarily transformed into an Pikashunium Z, allowing Pikachu to use 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt to defeat the Nihilego possessing Lusamine. The Z-Crystal then transformed back into an Electrium Z after the attack.
Typically in the anime, bipedal or semi-bipedal Pokémon with arm-like forelimbs tend to mimic the poses of their trainer during the activation. On the other hand, quadrupeds and the like, whose forelimbs show no manual dexterity, tend to stay still and wait until the activation is completed before acting.
In the Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, and Thai versions, when a Z-Move is used, the name of the specific move is shown, like in the games; however, the names are removed in other dubs.
In the manga
In the movie adaptations
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
Z-Moves first appeared in the Sun & Moon chapter. Olivia had her Lycanroc use Continental Crush while Nanu had his Alolan Persian use Black Hole Eclipse during an exhibition match against each other. Hala stepped in to stop both Pokémon before either could successfully use their moves.
During his battle against Gladion in an Iki Town festival tournament, Sun inadvertently used a Z-Move with his En, allowing it to defeat Gladion's Type: Null with an incomplete version of Inferno Overdrive. Due to not knowing how to use Z-Moves at the time, Sun received Z-Power from a nearby Ultra Wormhole instead of building it up with a pose. Later, he was taught how to properly perform Z-Moves by Kiawe in order to battle Gladion a second time. With his newly-obtained Z-Ring, Sun and En successfully used Inferno Overdrive properly.
- According to a book in Malie Library, the Z in Z-Move is short for zenith (Japanese: ゼンリョク/全力, zenryoku "full power/force").
- Internal data in the games also refer to Z-Move as ZenryokuWaza, which literally means "full-powered move".
- Some cutscenes when using a Z-Move bear similarities to the cutscenes used in Pokémon Contest Spectaculars from Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
In other languages
|This article is part of Project Moves and Abilities, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on two related aspects of the Pokémon games.|