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The Pokémon metagame has a wide range of fanmade terminology for various aspects of the games. These are colloquial terms originating from unofficial sources, and are not found within the games themselves.
A team building and battling strategy that does not focus heavily on offense or defense. Balance teams usually have one or two sweepers, backed up by walls. Balance teams are often built around a specific threat, with Pokémon that synergize well with it.
Baton Pass chain
An abbreviation for base stat total.
When properties of a Pokémon's stats, movepool, or Ability are changed between games to become more viable. For instance, in Generation VII, Pelipper and Torkoal gained access to the Abilities Drizzle and Drought, respectively.
Bulky Offense (BO)
Refers to offensive teams with a defensive backbone. The typical strategy is to overwhelm the opponent by forcing switches and occasionally getting a strong hit. Such teams usually make use of Volt-Turn cores and Pivots.
Refers to an often unreliable playstyle that wins or loses at team preview and is sometimes considered "cheap" by other players. Common targets include Hyper Offense, Veil Offense, Webs, Trick Room, and Stall.
Refers to how the held items Choice Band, Choice Scarf, and Choice Specs limit a Pokémon to use only one of its moves. A Pokémon is said to be "Choice locked" into a specific move if forced to use it by a Choice item.
Clauses refer to the various rules that are applied to battles, such as restrictions on which Pokémon, moves, and items may be used. Many of these rules are found in the games, applied in settings such as battle facilities and multiplayer features.
Baton Pass clause
Refers to measures taken to limit the abuse of Baton Pass. This potentially includes limiting a team to only one Pokémon with the move, preventing boosts in Speed from being passed alongside boosts in other stats, or banning the move altogether.
Endless battle clause
Refers to a ban on sets such as Funbro that have the capability of causing a battle with no possible ending. Typically prevents Pokémon that know Recycle or have the Ability Harvest from holding a Leppa Berry. Found in some unofficial formats such as Smogon and Pokémon Online.
Refers to a ban on moves that raise evasion (such as Double Team). Does not necessarily put a ban on moves that reduce accuracy (such as Sand Attack), moves/Abilities that merely have a possibility of raising evasion (such as Acupressure/Moody), or Z-moves that provide a one-time evasion boost (such as Z-Magnet Rise or Z-Detect).
Refers to technical measures to prevent a Pokémon from flinching twice in a row. Found in Pokémon Conquest and some battle simulators.
Refers to technical measures taken in order to prevent multiple Pokémon on the same team from being frozen at the same time. Found in games like Pokémon Stadium and battle simulators like Pokémon Online.
Refers to a ban on multiple Pokémon of the same team holding the same item. Found in battle facilities and officially organized tournaments, but widely ignored in many fan communities.
Mega Rayquaza clause
Refers to technical measures taken to prevent Rayquaza from Mega Evolving during battle, even if it has the move Dragon Ascent. Often implemented in unofficial battle simulators due to Mega Rayquaza being considered broken even in formats where regular Rayquaza is allowed. In official tournaments where Rayquaza is permitted but Mega Rayquaza is not, Rayquaza is simply not permitted to know the move Dragon Ascent.
Refers to a ban on the Ability Moody. Common in battle simulators.
Refers to a ban on the same Pokémon species or National Pokédex number. Widely accepted in the official tournaments and many fan communities.
Refers to a ban on the usage of sleep-inducing moves when one of the opponent's Pokémon has already been put to sleep by one of the user's Pokémon. As such, the move Rest and the Ability Effect Spore do not violate this ban. Found in Pokémon Battle Revolution and battle simulators like Pokémon Showdown and Pokémon Online.
Refers to the two or three most important Pokémon in a set, which possess great synergy. The rest of the team is usually suited to supporting the core and dealing with its checks.
Refers to a team-building and battling strategy that involves the natural offensive and defensive synergy between certain types, usually requires 3 Pokémon with different types. Examples include Fire/Water/Grass core, Steel/Fairy/Dragon core, and Fighting/Psychic/Dark core.
Using the move Baton Pass despite not having any stat boosts. Used to scout out the opponent's switches.
- Main article: List of moves that cause entry hazards
An entry hazard is any battlefield effect that affects the opposing Pokémon as they are sent into battle.
Four moveslot syndrome
A trait a Pokémon possesses if it needs more than four moves to fully function in the metagame. Also referred to as "4MSS".
A common form of cheating during tournaments when a player gives another player advice behind the scenes, such as what moves to use and when to switch. Players caught engaging in this behavior are typically banned from unofficial tournaments for a period of time.
Refers to outcomes that are perceived as unlikely to the point of being unfair. Common targets are critical hits, moves missing, flinching, being frozen, the success of additional effects, and full paralysis. Can also refer to reliance on uncertain outcomes, such as the use of one-hit knockout moves or held items like Quick Claw, Focus Band, Bright Powder, or King's Rock. Hax is often associated with the moves Double Team, Minimize, and Swagger, as well as the Abilities Moody and Serene Grace.
An abbreviation for <number>-hit knockout (2HKO, 3HKO, etc.), referring to the number of hits a Pokémon managed to faint/survive. 1HKO (one-hit knockout) is often associated with the one-hit knockout moves (OHKO moves).
Starting in VGC 2017, players are required to note their Pokémon's Hidden Power move as "HP (<type>)" on team sheets.
Hyper Offense (HO)
A team-building and battling strategy intended to overwhelm the opponent with offensive pressure. Unlike Bulky Offense, these teams typically switch as little as possible. Often makes use of suicide leads. Also referred to as "Heavy Offense".
Refers to a battle held solely for the purpose of observing the stats of one or more Pokémon as they appear when set to a higher level for the duration of the battle, thus making it easier to estimate the Pokémon's individual values.
Refers to unsportsmanlike behavior during a tournament, including not scheduling/showing up for matches with your opponent, bad sportsmanship, and timer stalling. This term originated in the Super Smash Bros. community, after an infamous player named John who would blame the controller whenever he lost.
Refers to either: 1. Pokémon that exist in the code, but haven't been officially released yet. Unofficial battle simiulators are divided as to whether or not these should be allowed in unofficial formats, with Smogon generally disallowing them. 2. A state a Pokémon is in when it is found to be too powerful for the tier it's in and banned from it, but is completely unviable in the tier above it. A famous example of this is Normal Forme Deoxys, as it is completely outclassed by the Attack Forme in Ubers, as the latter has slightly more power, but its high attacking stats and Speed make it too overwhelming in OU.
Master of None
Refers to the amount of competitively viable moves a Pokémon has, depending on the situation in the battle. May also refer to the entire list of moves a Pokémon has access to, regardless of their relative usefulness.
When properties of a Pokémon, move, or Ability are changed between games to become weaker. For instance, Thunderbolt, Flamethrower, Surf, and Ice Beam were all nerfed from 95 to 90 base power in the transition from Gen V to Gen VI.
An abbreviation of "overpowered".
Refers to the Liechi, Ganlon, Salac, Petaya, Apicot, Lansat, and Starf Berries, which all raise a stat when the holding Pokémon's HP drops below 25% (referred to as being in a pinch in the games). The Micle and Custap Berries may also be considered Pinch Berries.
Refers to the general trend of each generation introducing consecutively stronger Pokémon, often causing older Pokémon to be less viable over time.
- Main article: Pseudo-legendary Pokémon
Damage taken by a Pokémon without having been attacked, whether by recoil (via Life Orb or moves that have recoil), contact (via Rocky Helmet, Iron Barbs, Rough Skin, or Spiky Shield), weather (hail or sandstorm), status conditions (poison, burn, or Leech Seed), and/or entry hazards. Also referred to as "passive/indirect damage".
Refers to a tactic in Double Battle that uses moves or Abilities to force opponents to target a specific Pokémon, usually via Follow Me or Rage Powder, but also includes the moves Spotlight and Z-Destiny Bond or the Abilities Lightning Rod or Storm Drain.
Refers to a Pokémon's ability to perform multiple roles for its team. For example, a Pokémon that is a hazard setter, wallbreaker, and blanket check would provide good role compression. A valued trait due to the limited number of teamslots. Pokémon that provide good role compression typically have high splashability.
Refers to a battle strategy that uses the protection moves to ease prediction and retain momentum for a team. Also used for various battle strategies via Protect/Detect, such as a Pokémon with the held item Toxic Orb/Flame Orb to activate its Guts Ability and a Pokémon with the Ability Speed Boost or Moody.
Refers to a Pokémon that can establish field effects that affect specific Pokémon in the battle, such as entry hazards, weather, terrain, Trick Room, or Gravity. "Auto Setter" refers to a Pokémon with an Ability that changes the weather or terrain as soon as a Pokémon with the said Ability enters the battle, without wasting a turn.
Refers to the position of a Pokémon on the team.
A Hyper Offense strategy that involves building around two wallbreakers/sweepers of the same type and having them overwhelm each other's checks.
- Main article: Special Pokémon
Refers to a group of Pokémon that usually restricted or banned from certain official tournaments, battle facilities, and link battle formats. These Pokémon include Mewtwo, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, Xerneas, Yveltal, Zygarde, Cosmog, Cosmoem, Solgaleo, Lunala, and Necrozma.
Refers to a tactic in Double Battle that uses moves or Abilities to increase the player's Pokémon's Speed or decrease their opponent's Speed in order to move first. This strategy is usually achieved via Tailwind, Icy Wind, or Electroweb. Trick Room is also occasionally referred to as Speed control, making Trick Room and/or Tailwind strategy also referred to as "TR Team" or "TailRoom".
When two opposing Pokémon have the same Speed stat, and the RNG decides which one goes first.
Refers to an analysis comparing each eligible Pokémon's potential Speed stat.
Refers to a Pokémon's ability to viably fit on many different teams. A Pokémon with high splashability could fit on many different playstyles, while a Pokémon with low splashability might only do well with very specific team support.
An abbreviation for same-type attack bonus.
A team building strategy that uses defensive pressure to create a standstill, while slowly damaging the opponent with status and other residual damage. Pokémon on such teams either have reliable recovery and good bulk in one area or check a certain threat that the team would otherwise fall to. Stall teams are reliant on hazard removers and blockers to remove entry hazards, which can heavily damage the team due to the large amount of switching that is required. See also Staller.
A Pokémon with great walling ability, but average or below average Attack or Special Attack. Examples include Umbreon, Cresselia and Blissey.
Refers to the Pokémon which is being attacked by a specific move.
A pre-battle phase in which all players get to see each of the 6 Pokémon each player can choose their Pokémon from. Officially introduced in Generation V.
- Main article: Tier
The general guidelines that are used to determine which Pokémon, moves, Abilities, and items should be allowed in competitive play.
Something that is absurdly powerful compared to the rest of the metagame. Something that is broken may warp teambuilding around it so much that one would be at a considerable disadvantage by not using it, such as with Mega Rayquaza in Ubers, or requires gimmicky and unreliable counters just for the opponent to have a chance against it, such as with full Baton Pass chains. This is one of the three reasons for why something can be banned from the metagame.
Metagame elements that render skillful play completely irrelevant. Includes strategies that are incredibly luck-based, such as boosting evasion or OHKO moves, as well as strategies that rely on external factors, such as endless battle strategies where the winner is not the one who is more skilled but rather the one who has more time on their hands. A separate concept from something being broken, though the two can often overlap. This is one of the three reasons why something can be banned from the metagame.
Something that isn't necessarily broken or uncompetitive, but is still considered undesirable for the metagame. This is most often invoked when the metagame is too centralized around a certain threat that requires specific counters to be run on most teams, and banning it would greatly increase teambuilding diversity, or when there are too many powerful threats in the metagame, and while none are broken on their own, trying to deal with all of them on one team can become very difficult. This is one of the three reasons why something can be banned, although it is not used as often as broken or uncompetitive.
Refers to a formal vote that is held to determine whether a potentially problematic aspect of the metagame, usually a Pokémon, should be banned or reintroduced in a tier. These are open to the community, but there are requirements that must be achieved in order to vote (usually by winning enough battles on the suspect ladder). They are generally held by secret ballot to discourage groupthink.
When a tiering council decides to ban a Pokémon without the use of a suspect test. These are usually only done when an obviously problematic Pokémon gets introduced to a tier or at the beginning of a tier's lifespan.
When any potentially problematic Pokémon are quickbanned early in a tier's lifespan in order to get a stable tier as quickly as possible, and the banned Pokémon are then reintroduced one by one via suspect testing. Named after former UU tier leader Kokoloko, who popularized this tiering method among lower tiers.
When a Pokémon, move, Ability, etc. is banned but only under certain circumstances. For example, banning Blaziken with Speed Boost, rather than only banning all Blaziken or Speed Boost on any Pokémon. These kinds of bans are generally frowned upon in the competitive community.
Refers to deliberately taking a long time to choose what move to use in an attempt to coerce the opponent into forfeiting.
Discussing the metagame hypothetically. Includes discussions such as Pokémon having access to certain moves or Abilities they do not officially have.
Refers to how the types of damage-dealing moves known by a Pokémon match up against all 18 types and their many combinations in terms of effectiveness.
Refers to Pokémon that, whether by being outclassed by better options, too inconsistent to be practical, or just plain ineffective, are considered completely unviable in certain metagames and are never to be used on serious teams. Terms such as "shitmon" and "digimon" are used synonymously.
Similar to unmon, but for a specific set rather than the whole Pokémon. For example, Kartana is considered to be effective in Gen VII OU, but "Timid Kartana", a set which arranges the EVs so that Beast Boost boosts Speed rather than Attack, is considered unviable and thus an unset.
Refer to a set of widely employed rules for unofficial multiplayer battles, such as 6 VS 6 Single Battle (as opposed to 3 VS 3 Single Battle in the official format). A 6 VS 6 Single Battle, with the species, sleep, evasion, and endless battle clauses, as well as bans on hacks, one-hit knockout moves, Moody, and Pokémon in the (abided) Uber tier.
Other Metagame (OM)
Refers to a format in which changed mechanics or teambuilding restrictions are put in place. Some popular OMs include Monotype, where each Pokémon must share a type, Balanced Hackmons, where Pokémon can have illegal movesets and Abilities, and Mix and Mega, which allows any Pokémon to Mega Evolve based on the stat changes provided by official Mega Stones.
Refers to an unofficial fan-made format. While OMs typically change one aspect or mechanic of the game, Pet Mods can change every aspect of the game, often even adding new Pokémon and changing the very way the game is played.
An 11-week unofficial tournament held annually in which players are placed into teams of ten, generally specializing in different formats. Different teams battle each other throughout the competition. By week ten, the competition is narrowed down to the four highest scoring teams, which compete in the semifinals and finals. The most famous of these tournaments is the Smogon Premier League (SPL), known as the hardest unofficial tournament to get into.
World Cup of Pokémon (WCOP)
A tournament held annually on unofficial formats such as Pokémon Online and Smogon. Countries or regions have teams of ten that specialize in different generational formats, with more in the current generation. The teams are matched up against each other in a single elimination tournament. Considered the second hardest unofficial tournament to get into, after SPL.
An abbreviation for Video Game Championships/World Championships, an official national/international video game competition held by The Pokémon Company. The competitors were required to use the specific game from core series. The battles were conducted through Double Battle format.
The term "VGC <year>" commonly refers to the rule of official competition in the said year, which includes the prohibition of duplicate items, Special and Mythical Pokémon, as well as using Pokémon included in either regional or National Pokédex. Additional rule known by community as GS Rule or "Generation Showdown" also allowed to use maximum of 2 Special Pokémon in a team. Starting in VGC 2014, all Pokémon with the specific origin mark are required to participate in the competitions.
An abbreviation for win condition, which is an optimal way to win in a battle consistently.
Within competitive battling, there are a number of categories that are used to describe the intended role of a Pokémon set.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the move Acrobatics and holding Flying Gem, a popular strategy used in Generation V. The consumed Flying Gem powers up Acrobatics by 50% and then doubles Acrobatics's base power. This set became non-existent since Generation VI because all Gems except Normal Gem are unobtainable in those games.
Refers to a Pokémon whose Ability is either Hyper Cutter, Clear Body, Defiant, or Competitive with the intended effect of preventing or exploiting the Attack drop from a Pokémon with the Intimidate Ability. Pokémon with the Defiant Ability raises Attack to +1 and Pokémon with the Competitive Ability raises Sp. Atk to +2 when Intimidate is affecting those Pokémon. Adrenaline Orb is sometimes used on the Pokémon with the aforementioned Ability to further raise its Speed by 1 stage.
Refers to a Pokémon that is added to the team to check a lot of threats and metagame trends at once.
Refers to the moves Thunderbolt and Ice Beam being present in a Pokémon set, and the resulting offensive type synergy. "Pseudo BoltBeam" refers to a damage-dealing Electric-type move and a damage-dealing Ice-type move being present in a Pokémon set, when these are not the exact combination of Thunderbolt and Ice Beam (usually an Electric-type Pokémon with an Ice-type Hidden Power).
Refers to a Pokémon set that has an advantage over another Pokémon set such that it can easily defeat that other Pokémon or force it to switch out. A check differs from a counter in that a check cannot switch in and then threaten the Pokémon without timing or manipulating its switch so as to take no or next to no damage.
Refers to a Pokémon set holding the item Choice Band, Choice Scarf, or Choice Specs. Branched into numerous terms such as "Choiced", "Banded", "Scarfed", "Specced", "Choice", "Band", "Scarf", "Specs", "CB" <Pokémon>.
Refers to a Pokémon set holding the item Choice Band, Choice Scarf, or Choice Specs and the move Trick or Switcheroo, intended to Choice lock the opponent's Pokémon by swapping the items. Branched into numerous terms such as "TrickBander", "TrickSpecs", "Scarf Trick".
Refers to a Pokémon that is used late-game to sweep the opponent's team after it has been weakened.
Refers to a Pokémon with Sleep Talk, the Ability Comatose, and one or more phazing moves. Since Comatose treats the Pokémon with the Ability as being asleep, it allows the user to use the phazing moves without the decreased priority bracket by calling them with Sleep Talk, which is typically done when several layers of entry hazards are set. Since no current Pokémon has access to such a combination, this is only obtainable by cheating or in some unofficial OMs such as Balanced Hackmons.
Refers to a Pokémon set that has an advantage over another Pokémon set such that it can switch into an attack from that other Pokémon and easily defeat it or force it to switch out. A counter differs from a check in that a counter can switch into an attack and still threaten the Pokémon. A "hard check" is similar, but often lacks reliable recovery, so it can be worn down throughout a match.
Refers to a Pokémon that is knocked out as part of the course of action chosen by its Trainer in the given battle situation. Also referred to as "Death Fodder" or "sacrifice fodder".
Refers to the Double Battle combination of one or more Flying/Levitating ("airborne") Electric-type Pokémon sets that include Discharge with one or more Ground-type Pokémon sets that include Earthquake, and the resulting defensive and offensive type synergy, with only certain opposing Grass-type resisting both moves. Currently, the only airborne Discharge users are Electric-type.
Refers to a Setup sweeper with two stat-boosting moves, one boosting Speed to deal with offensive teams, and the other boosting an offensive stat to deal with bulkier teams. Originally referred to a Haxorus with Swords Dance and Dragon Dance, but it has since expanded to refer to other Pokémon and setup moves.
Refers to a Pokémon set with two priority moves, one of them usually being Fake Out
Refers to the moves Stone Edge and Earthquake being present in a Pokémon set, and the resulting offensive type synergy. "Pseudo EdgeQuake" refers to a damage-dealing Rock-type move and a damage-dealing Ground-type move being present in a Pokémon set, when these are not the exact combination of Stone Edge and Earthquake (such as Earth Power and Power Gem).
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the moves Endure and Reversal or Flail. May be assisted through the use of a Focus Sash, Salac Berry, or Liechi Berry. There are many similar strategies, including F.E.A.R.
- Main article: Appendix:F.E.A.R.
Refers to a Pokémon set with a comparatively low HP stat, holding a Focus Sash, with the move Endeavor and a damage-dealing move with increased priority. Some variations use the Ability Sturdy instead of Focus Sash.
Refers to a Pokémon that is placed on a team to limit the effectiveness of the opponent's entry hazards.
Refers to a Pokémon set that is specifically used to remove entry hazards on the user's battlefield, usually by using Rapid Spin (often referred to as a "Spinner") or Defog (often referred to as a "Defogger"). Defog's ability to remove entry hazards from the user's side was introduced in Generation VI.
Refers to a Pokémon set that is sent out first, or one of the Pokémon sets that is commonly sent out first.
Refers to a Pokémon set that is sent out first, intended to foil the Pokémon sets that are commonly sent out first.
Refers to a Pokémon set that is sent out first, intended to foil the Pokémon sets that are commonly sent out first through the use of damage-dealing moves supported by a high Attack or Special Attack stat.
Refers to a Pokémon set that is sent out first, including a comparatively high Speed stat, one or more moves that cause entry hazards, and the held item Focus Sash or the Ability Sturdy. A Pokémon with Sturdy Ability and holding a Custap Berry is sometimes referred to as "Custap Lead".
Refers to a Pokémon with high stats in everything except Speed.
Short for "Offensive Trick Room", refers to a Pokémon that can set Trick Room and act as a sweeper.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the moves Perish Song and a trapping move or trapping Ability such as Mean Look or Shadow Tag. This is intended to trap the opponent and use Perish Song, keeping them trapped until they faint from Perish Song.
Refers to a Pokémon set that is intended to eliminate an opponent's Pokémon's positive stat changes and/or other beneficial effects without using Haze. One approach is to force the opponent's Pokémon to be sent back, by using Roar, Whirlwind, Circle Throw, or Dragon Tail. Another approach is to pressure the opponent to call back their Pokémon, by using status moves with disadvantageous effects that can be removed through switching (such as Leech Seed, Perish Song, or Yawn).
Originally referred to as a pseudo-hazer, it has since been shortened to PHazer, and now commonly formatted simply phazer. Is similar to shuffler.
Refers to a Pokémon that is generally only used for switching due to its solid defensive stats and typing. Often makes use of VoltTurn.
Refers to a Pokémon species that, due to its stats, type(s), Ability, and movepool, merits usage without much regard to the team it is put on, being capable of doing good on most teams as a stand-alone Pokémon.
Refers to a Pokémon set that is intended to aid its allies directly through the use of status moves with beneficial effects (such as Wish, Light Screen, or Reflect), but without using Baton Pass. Often referred to as a "Wish Passer".
Refers to a Pokémon set that is intended to knock out opposing Pokémon without preparation by timing the free switch-in that is granted when an ally is knocked out. It is typically tailored torwards getting to move first, by having damage-dealing moves with increased priority and/or a high Speed stat (achieved with or without the held item Choice Scarf). This aspect of Pokémon battling is highlighted in the games in the form of the move Retaliate.
Refers to a Pokémon that is switched in to be knocked out for the benefit of the party. Can be used in a wide range of applications, which include from using a disadvantaged Pokémon to indirectly damage an opponent through recoil or Life Orb damage (which will be higher if the Pokémon sacrificed has more HP than the main attacker), stall for a turn against a badly poisoned opponent, switch into battle to allow a Choiced ally to switch moves, or use their Ability such as Intimidate to lower the opponent's Attack which would otherwise sweep the party.
Refers to a Pokémon set that is intended to break the opponent's protection behind Focus Sash, substitute, Sturdy, or Disguise, usually by using multi-strike moves, Fake Out, or Pokémon with an Ability such as Mold Breaker or Parental Bond.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the move Leech Seed.
Refers to a Pokémon set that is intended to force the opponent's Pokémon to be sent back, by using Roar, Whirlwind, Circle Throw, or Dragon Tail. "Status shuffler" refers to a Pokémon set that is intended to inflict status conditions on multiple opposing Pokémon, and cause multiple switches from the opponent in order to achieve this end. Is similar to phazer.
A variant of Disquake that refers to the Double Battle combination of one or more airborne (Flying/Levitating) Pokémon sets that include Sludge Wave, paired with one or more Steel-type Pokémon sets that include Earthquake. Currently, the only airborne Pokémon that can learn Sludge Wave are the Forces of Nature.
A Pokémon that immediately threatens stall, not by breaking down walls, but by preventing the Pokémon found on those teams from executing their standard strategies, thus hindering or entirely shutting down the defensive team. Typically includes the move Taunt and a type combination that results in one or more immunities to the status conditions frequently employed by stall teams.
Refers to a Pokémon set that is intended to force a standstill in order to enjoy its advantages, which may include recurring effect damage to opposing Pokémon (such as from certain status conditions or types of weather). This may be achieved through the use of moves/held items/Abilities that restore HP and/or moves like Protect, usually combined with stats and type(s) that minimize the percentage of damage taken from damage-dealing moves. Used in Stall teams.
Refers to a low-level Pokémon set that includes the Ability Sturdy and the held item Berry Juice, with the Pokémon usually having maximum HP of 21 or less. A common and popular strategy in Little Cup competitions.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the move Substitute.
Refers to the moves Substitute and Calm Mind being present in a Pokémon set.
Refers to the moves Substitute and Coil being present in a Pokémon set.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the moves Substitute and Disable.
Refers to a Pokémon set that is intended to create a substitute by using Substitute and pass it on to an ally by using Baton Pass.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the moves Substitute and Focus Punch.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the moves Substitute and Roost.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the moves Substitute and Leech Seed.
Refers to a Pokémon, typically with a low HP stat, whose set that includes the moves Substitute and Pain Split. After creating a substitute, the Pokémon regains their HP by using Pain Split on the opponent.
Refers to a Pokémon set that typically includes the move Substitute and three attacking moves.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes one or more moves that cause entry hazards and the move Explosion.
Refers to a Pokémon set who uses non-offensive moves which benefit the team.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the moves Swagger and Foul Play. It capitalized on using the move Swagger to sharply boost the opponent's Attack, then taking advantage of the increased damage from Foul Play. The luck-based nature of the set (as it depended on the opponent to not hit the SwagPlay user after the Swagger boost) made it very controversial among competitive players.
In Generation VII, the chance for a confused Pokémon to hit itself was reduced from 50% to 33%. Players speculate that this was changed to make this strategy less unfair and infuriating.
Refers to a Pokémon set that is intended to knock out opposing Pokémon in succession, usually through the assistance of positive stat changes. Commonly branched into the categories physical sweeper, special sweeper, and mixed sweeper, depending on its stats and damage-dealing moves.
Refers to a Pokémon set that, due to its combination of HP and Defense and/or Special Defense, takes a comparatively low percentage of damage from physical moves, special moves, or both, while at the same time posing a threat in the form of damage-dealing moves backed by a comparatively high Attack or Special Attack stat. Is similar to a wall.
Refers to a Pokémon set that is intended to prevent opposing Pokémon from switching out, through the effects of various status moves, damage-dealing moves, or Abilities, and take advantage of the situation, usually by knocking out them due to their inability to counter.
Refers to a Pokémon set that, due to its combination of HP and Defense and/or Special Defense, takes a comparatively low percentage of damage from physical moves, special moves, or both. Commonly branched into the categories physical wall, special wall, and mixed wall, depending on its stats. Is similar to a tank and a staller.
Prior to Generation VI, refers to a Pokémon that can counter Wondereye and Wondertomb. Usually includes a type-changing move and a move that is super effective against it (e.g. a Lanturn with Soak and Thunderbolt).
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the move Fly/Bounce and held item Flyinium Z, allowing it to perform the Z-Move Supersonic Skystrike in a turn. This set is typically used by offensive Flying-type Pokémon that lack reliable and powerful Flying-type attacks.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the move Solar Beam and held item Grassium Z, allowing it to perform the Z-Move Bloom Doom in a turn. This set is typically used by offensive Fire-type Pokémon to knock out the opposing Water-type Pokémon, and countering Ground and Rock-type Pokémon.
Refers to a Charizard set that includes the move Belly Drum, the Ability Blaze, and an HP stat that is divisible by 4. It is commonly assisted by a Salac Berry and/or the move Substitute. It has fallen out of favor since Generation IV due to Stealth Rock.
Refers to a Azumarill set that includes the move Belly Drum and Aqua Jet. Due to a change in Egg Move mechanics, it first became possible in Generation VI (although both moves were individually available for Azumarill in previous generations).
Refers to a defensive Talonflame set that includes the move Brave Bird, Roost, Tailwind, and the Ability Gale Wings, intended for use in Generation VI as a sweeper or supporter. This set allows Talonflame to move first due to its priority Flying-type moves backed by its naturally high Speed, which caused the downfall of many Pokémon that are weak to Fire/Flying-type coverage. It has fallen out of favor since Generation VII, as the Gale Wings Ability can be only activated when the user's HP is full.
Refers to a Porygon-Z set that includes the move Conversion and held item Normalium Z, which enables Porygon-Z to boost all stats via Z-Conversion and change its type to match the type of the first move slot, which allows Porygon-Z to gain STAB to one of its special moves such as Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Dark Pulse, or Shadow Ball.
This setup requires Riolu to use the move Copycat with +1 priority after using Roar in the previous turn, which calls a move Roar that force the opponent's Pokémon to be sent back. Repeating this process, it wears down the opposing team due to the entry hazards.
Starting in Generation VI, Copycat can no longer call the move Roar. Players speculate that this was changed to specifically prevent this strategy.
Refers to a Kingdra set that includes the Ability Sniper, the move Focus Energy, and the held item Scope Lens. Due to the change of increased critical hit rate in Generation VI, the combination of Scope Lens and Focus Energy results in a guaranteed critical hit, which also further boosts the power due to the Ability Sniper.
Refers to Shiny Raikou, Entei, and Suicune from Generation IV events that knows the event-exclusive move Extreme Speed and the other 3 respective special moves (Zap Cannon, Aura Sphere, Weather Ball for Raikou, Flare Blitz, Howl, Crush Claw for Entei, and Sheer Cold, Air Slash, Aqua Ring for Suicune), as well as having a fixed nature (Rash for Raikou, Adamant for Entei, and Relaxed for Suicune).
They were prohibited in VGC since Generation VI due to the lack of origin mark. Shiny Suicune with Sheer Cold was the most popular one and quite frequently used in online tournaments. However, Suicune can learn Sheer Cold by leveling up starting in Generation VII.
Refers to a Snorlax set that includes the moves Curse and Rest, which was commonly used in the Generation II metagame and Kanto Classic online competition. Also referred to as "the queen" in the context of GSC OU, as like the queen on a chess board, Snorlax is the most important and centralizing member of a team.
Dream World Chandelure
Refers to a Ninetales set that includes the Ability Drought. Has fallen out of favor in Generation VII due to Torkoal gaining Drought along with the rules of VGC17 not allowing the original variant of Alolan Pokémon.
Refers to a Snorlax set that includes the Ability Gluttony, the move Belly Drum, and holding a pinch berry such as the Aguav Berry. Intended to use Belly Drum to max out its attack stat, followed by using a combination of the pinch berry and Gluttony so it uses the berry earlier at 50% HP instead of 25% to restore back its previously lost HP.
Refers to a Heatran set that includes the special move Eruption. This Heatran always has a Quiet nature (+Sp. Atk/-Speed) and can be only obtained by transferring a special Heatran from Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs. Commonly paired with Trick Room Cresselia in Generation IV and V VGC, but was prohibited in VGC since Generation VI due to the lack of origin mark.
Refers to a non-fully evolved Pokémon set that are compatible to the held item Eviolite, which raises the holder's Defense and Special Defense by 50%. Commonly used by Clefairy, Magneton, Rhydon, Chansey, Murkrow, Misdreavus, Porygon2, Dusclops, Galarian Corsola, and Doublade.
Refers to an Arceus with the moves Extreme Speed, Swords Dance, and two other attacking moves (typically Earthquake and Shadow Claw), as well as holding either Life Orb or Silk Scarf. This bulky offensive Arceus set serves as a very powerful revenge killer, due to its nearly unstoppable STAB Extreme Speed.
Refers to an Arceus in Generation IV that was obtained at level 100 and thus couldn't have more than 100 EVs on any single stat. An Arceus that was obtained at level 80 via the use of a glitch and can be fully EV trained is referred to as "Fullceus".
Refers to a Slowbro with the moves Block, Heal Pulse, Recycle, and Slack Off, holding a Leppa Berry. It switches in on a Pokémon that cannot 2HKO it, traps it with Block and heals itself with Slack Off, using Recycle to regenerate the Leppa Berry as necessary. When the opponent runs out of PP, it uses Heal Pulse to recover Struggle damage. This combination allows it to extend a non-timed battle indefinitely, leaving the opponent no recourse except to disconnect. Since all link battles have Time Limit in Generation VI, this is only relevant in simulator battles and Generation V.
Refers to a Xerneas holding Power Herb and knows the moves Geomancy, Moonblast, and two other attacking moves (typically Thunder/Focus Blast for Single Battle, or Dazzling Gleam for Double Battle). This offensive Xerneas set serves as a very powerful sweeper, as Power Herb allows Xerneas to set up Geomancy in a single turn. Its STAB Moonblast/Dazzling Gleam is further boosted thanks to its Ability Fairy Aura along with its +2 Sp. Atk boosted by Geomancy.
Refers to a Lugia or Giratina Altered Forme with the move Whirlwind/Roar/Dragon Tail and holding Leftovers. This bulky phazer set also abuses the Ability Pressure, which is used to reduce the opponent's PP significantly.
Refers to an Avalugg set with Sturdy Ability that knows Recover and holding Leftovers, intended to be used in a Inverse Battle, as Ice-type in Inverse Battle is great defensively with only a weakness to Ice itself. Commonly used along with Chansey, which forms a formidable defensive core.
Refers to a Black Kyurem that includes both physical and special moves such as Fusion Bolt, Earth Power, and Ice Beam, backed by comparatively high Attack and Special Attack, which serves as a mixed wallbreaker. Due to its very limited physical movepool, Black Kyurem was placed in Smogon's OU tier despite being a Legendary Pokémon with above 670 base stats total. This set is no longer used since Generation VIII because Black Kyurem got Icicle Spear and Dragon Dance and is now placed in Smogon's Ubers tier.
Refers to a Gengar set that includes the moves Ice Punch, Focus Punch, and Substitute, intended for use in Generation III. This set is no longer used since Generation IV, as physical and special moves are determined by the move itself rather than the type.
Refers to an Alakazam set that includes the moves Fire Punch, Thunder Punch, and/or Ice Punch, intended for use in Generation III. This set is no longer used since Generation IV, as physical and special moves are determined by the move itself rather than the type.
Refers to a Mewtwo set that includes the moves Amnesia (which boosts both Special stats instead of Special Defense), STAB Psychic, and two other moves (typically Blizzard/Ice Beam and Recover/Rest), intended for use in Generation I due to its very high base stats total and previously unrivaled bulky sweeper.
Refers to a Tauros set that includes the moves Hyper Beam, Body Slam, Earthquake, and Blizzard, intended for use in Generation I due to its previously perfect coverage and having a high chance of critical hit, thanks to its high Speed stat influencing the critical hit rate.
Refers to a Garchomp set that includes the held item Choice Scarf. It is featured in several battle facilities found in the games. It has fallen out of favor by Generation VII, as the large amount of powerful Fairy-type Pokémon means that locking itself into a move is risky.
Refers to a Kyogre set that includes the held item Choice Scarf and the move Water Spout, which is boosted by rain activated by its Ability Drizzle. It has fallen out of favor since Generation VI due to the introduction of Primal Groudon and its Desolate Land Ability in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
Refers to a defensive Pachirisu set with the moves Nuzzle, Follow Me, Super Fang, and Protect, and holding Sitrus Berry, intended to be used in Double Battle. This set is popularized by Se Jun Park, the winner of 2014 World Championships in VGC Master Division.
A prefix used to refer to extremely common Pokémon in the metagame, usually OU, that are considered to be broken or requiring little skill, and are apparently copied and pasted from Smogon pages. Examples include Smogonbird, referring to a Talonflame with Gale Wings; Smogonfrog, which refers to a Greninja with Protean; and Smogonsword, referring to King's Shield Aegislash in either Shield and Blade Forme.
Refers to a Snorlax set that includes the Ability Gluttony, the move Recycle and holding a pinch berry such as the Aguav Berry. Intended to use a combination of the pinch berry and Gluttony so it uses the berry earlier at 50% HP instead of 25% to restore back its previously lost HP whenever its HP drops to 50%. It then uses Recycle to restore its berry back in order to be able to use it again.
Refers to a Shedinja with the Ability Sturdy. Due to Sturdy only activating upon the Pokémon having 1 HP left on a move that usually knocks it out, when holding Safety Goggles, it cannot be killed by any means except for poison or burn damage. Usually set up in Double or Triple Battles by using Pokémon with Skill Swap such as Carbink with the Ability Sturdy to a Pokémon that knows Entrainment, then having the Carbink switch out for Shedinja and have Entrainment used on it.
Refers to a Kingdra set that includes the Ability Swift Swim, the moves Muddy Water/Hydro Pump and Draco Meteor, and the held item Choice Specs/Dragon Gem, intended to be used in the rain weather. It has fallen out of favor since Generation VI, as the rain summoned by Drizzle Ability lasts only for five turns instead of the whole battle.
Refers to a Toxapex with Regenerator Ability and the moves Scald, Toxic, Recover, and Haze, holding a Black Sludge or Shed Shell. Popular on stall and balance teams. Occasionally one of the moves is substituted for Toxic Spikes.
Refers to Breloom/Gliscor with the Ability Poison Heal and holding a Toxic Orb. When Toxic Orb activates (usually supported via Protect) and badly poisons the Pokémon, the Ability Poison Heal gradually heals the Pokémon each turn instead of damages them (which is more effective than Leftovers). It also prevents being affected by major status conditions due to being badly poisoned.
Refers to Durant set includes the Ability Truant and the move Entrainment. As the opponent in several battle facilities switches only under very specific circumstances, this strategy allows the player to switch another Pokémon, use Protect when being attacked, and attack/set up when the opponent's Pokémon is loafing due to the Ability Truant transferred via Entrainment.
Refers to a Pokémon with the Ability Unaware (such as Clefable, Quagsire, and Pyukumuku) and typically holding a Leftovers, as well as knowing a self-recovery move such as Recover and Soft-Boiled, intended to wall the setup sweepers.
Refers to the leading Pokémon set that knows Sticky Web, an entry hazard move that intended to slow down the opponent's team. Examples include Sturdy Shuckle with Mental Herb or a Smeargle, Ribombee or Araquanid holding a Focus Sash.
Refers to a Spiritomb or Sableye that has been hacked to have the Ability Wonder Guard, making it immune to essentially all direct damage. This term is essentially obsolete as of Generation VI as the Dark/Ghost type combination no longer has zero weaknesses with the introduction of the Fairy type.
Minor variants that swap out a single member (usually Talonflame) are referred to as Big X, where X depends on the Pokémon not part of the Big 6 that is on the team (usually the first letter of its name). One common variant is Big B, where Bronzong replaces Talonflame.
Bird Spam/Fly Spam
Refers to an offensive core consisting of Talonflame and Staraptor or Mega Pinsir. This team would make use of priority Flying attacks, as well as powerful Fire and Fighting-type coverage to gain immediate momentum and have them wear down each other's checks.
Refers to a defensive core of Celesteela and Thapex, typically with one investing in Defense and the other in Special Defense. This is extremely common on balance teams since very few Pokémon can offensively pressure both Celesteela and Toxapex. Many variants exist, typically by adding a third Pokémon (e.g. CeleClefPex with Clefable, CeleTangPex with Tangrowth, etc.).
Refers to a set of Cresselia, Heatran, Amoonguss, Landorus Therian Forme, and Mega Kangaskhan in VGC 2015. This team was used by the Japanese players in Top 8 Master Division of 2015 World Championships.
Refers to a Deoxys Defense Forme with Spikes/Stealth Rock holding a Red Card and a Defiant Bisharp being present in a team in a Single Battle. This team is used to punish the opposing hazard remover, especially a Defogger, by using the opponent's Defog on Bisharp, which activates Bisharp's Defiant Ability and raises its Attack by 2 stages. A team of a Klefki and Bisharp being used in this way is known as "poor man's DeoSharp", intended for use in formats where Deoxys-Defense is banned.
A team in Generation V which features Prankster Liepard and/or Purrloin that know Assist and are holding a Lagging Tail or Full Incense, with the only moves known by other Pokémon being moves with a semi-invulnerable turn or moves that cannot be called by Assist. (If both Liepard and Purrloin are being used, they also cannot know any moves other than moves with a semi-invulnerable turn or moves that cannot be called by Assist.) Typically, Dive and Shadow Force are used (Shadow Force for being unable to be hit by any move, Dive to hit Normal types).
This setup means that Purrloin/Liepard will use the move Assist with +1 priority, which calls a move with a semi-invulnerable turn. The next turn, they move at 0 priority (since they are now using a physical move, so Prankster doesn't apply), and move last due to the held Lagging Tail/Full Incense. Repeating this process, they wear down the opposing team and are very difficult to hit.
Starting in Generation VI, Assist can no longer call moves with a semi-invulnerable turn. Players speculate that this was changed to specifically prevent this strategy.
Double Defog Stall
Refers to a set of Arena Trap Dugtrio, Zapdos, and Skarmory, as well as some stallers such as Chansey, Clefable, and Alomomola. This team differs from SPL Stall in that it relies on Defog to keep hazards off the field instead of Mega Sableye. Also known as Ciele Stall, after its creator.
Refers to the core of Dragon-type sweeper (such as Latios, Garchomp, Hydreigon, and Salamence) and Magnet Pull Magnezone with Fire-type Hidden Power being used together as an offensive core in a Single Battle, which allows a Dragon-type Pokémon to spam the powerful Dragon-type attacks such as Outrage and Draco Meteor without being countered by Steel-type Pokémon. Has fallen out of favor in Generation VI due to the introduction of the Fairy type.
Refers to a pair of Pokémon with Abilities with effects on weather conditions (Drought and Sand Stream, etc.) being used together as an offensive core. These teams are also designed to defeat a Pokémon with the specific type and counter the other weather-based teams. Examples include Mega Charizard Y and Hippowdon/Tyranitar core (Sun-Sand Offense) in Single Battle and Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre team (Dual Primal) in VGC 2016.
Refers to a pair of Belly Drum Snorlax and Shadow Tag Gothitelle in a Double Battle. Gothitelle sets Trick Room, allowing Snorlax to move first, and supports Snorlax with Heal Pulse. Its ability is used to trap a Pokémon that can't do much damage to Snorlax (often as a result of having its stats lowered by Intimidate or Snarl) while Snorlax attacks the more dangerous opposing Pokémon. More common in Generation VII as a result of the buffs to the Berries that may cause confusion making Gluttony and Recycle reliable recovery for Snorlax.
Refers to Gyarados and Electivire being used together as an offensive core in Generation IV. Electivire switches into Gyarados's Electric-type weakness to boost its Speed by one due to the Ability Motor Drive. Gyarados switches into Ground-type attacks aimed at the switched out Electivire.
Refers to Landorus Therian Forme and Mega Manectric being used together as an offensive core in Single and Double Battles, due to their natural type synergy and devastating combination of Intimidate Ability and U-turn/Volt Switch.
Refers to Tyranitar with Choice Scarf and Excadrill with Focus Sash being used together as an offensive core. Tyranitar's Ability Sand Stream summons sandstorm, which doubles Excadrill's Speed due to its Ability Sand Rush activated during sandstorm. Common in Generation V and VI VGC (2011-2013, 2015).
Refers to Mega Kangaskhan and Smeargle as the leads in a Double Battle. Typically, Smeargle knows Dark Void and Kangaskhan knows Fake Out, allowing significant first-turn disruption by putting both of the opponent's Pokémon to sleep. Common in Generation VI VGC (2014, 2015, 2016).
Refers to Tapu Koko and Garchomp being present in a team in VGC 2017. Due to the presence of guardian deities in this format, Garchomp's Dragon Claw is often replaced with another coverage move such as Poison Jab or Fire Fang.
Refers to a team with a Tapu Koko and a Unburden Hawlucha holding an Electric Seed. This allows Tapu Koko to wallbreak while Hawlucha cleans late-game due to its Unburden Ability activated when Electric Seed is consumed in the Electric Terrain. Frequently found on rain teams due to their powerful synergy.
Refers to Tapu Lele and Unburden Drifblim that knows Tailwind and holding Psychic Seed being present in a team in VGC 2017. Drifblim is able set up Tailwind faster than any other Pokémon due to its Unburden Ability activated when Psychic Seed is consumed in the Psychic Terrain.
Refers to Tapu Lele and Mega Metagross being present in a team in VGC 2018. As Psychic-type attacks are boosted by 50% in the Psychic Terrain, this allows Tapu Lele and Mega Metagross to wallbreak with Psychic and Zen Headbutt, respectively.
Refers to Torkoal with the Ability Drought and Lilligant with the Ability Chlorophyll as the leads in a team in VGC 2017. Due to being the slowest weather setter, Torkoal's Ability Drought causes intense sunlight with very little interruption, which doubles Lilligant's Speed due to its Ability Chlorophyll activated during the sunny weather. Lilligant can also use After You to make Torkoal's Eruption attack faster after Lilligant.
Refers to a Pokémon with the Ability Drizzle (such as Kyogre, Politoed, or Pelipper) and a Pokémon with the Ability Swift Swim (such as Ludicolo, Kingdra, Kabutops, Omastar, Poliwrath, Golduck, or Mega Swampert) being used together as an offensive core. These teams are also quite used in Double Battle, which includes Politoed/Ludicolo ("Policolo") in VGC 2012-2014 and Pelipper/Golduck ("Double Duck") in VGC 2017.
Refers to the core of several Pokémon with Regenerator Ability (such as Alomomola, Reuniclus, Slowbro, Slowking, Tangrowth, and Tornadus Therian Forme) being present in a team in a Single Battle, which requires numerous switches to restore the team's HP by using the Ability Regenerator.
Refers to a core of Tyranitar/Hippowdon, Sand Rush Excadrill, and a bulky Water or Grass-type Pokémon in a single battle. Keldeo and Mega Charizard were also popular on these teams. This strategy was most effective during Generation VI.
Refers to a Skarmory set and a Blissey set being present in a team in a Single Battle, and the resulting defensive synergy by switching to the appropriate Pokémon to take physical or special hits, respectively. Both Skarmory and Blissey usually hold Leftovers in the unofficial formats. Starting in Generation V, Chansey is commonly used instead of Blissey due to the introduction of Eviolite.
Also known as "standard stall", this is the most common defensive team in a Single Battle, and the one most often considered when stall is being discussed. The team contains Mega Sableye, Arena Trap Dugtrio, Eviolite Chansey, Shed Shell Skarmory, Unaware Clefable, and Regenerator Toxapex. The term was first used by the players of Smogon in SPL 2017.
Refers to Terrakion and Whimsicott with the move Beat Up as the leads in a Double Battle. Typically, Whimsicott uses Beat Up on Terrakion, activating Terrakion's Justified Ability and raising its Attack by 4 stages. Common in Generation V and VI VGC (2011-2013, 2015).
Refers to a Liepard/male Meowstic with Prankster Ability with Assist and a Smeargle knowing Dark Void either as an ally or within the active party. All the other Pokémon on the team have moves such as Focus Punch which cannot be called upon via Assist so the Liepard/Meowstic is able to use a +1 priority Dark Void at the opponents causing both to fall asleep. Although rarely seen, it was seen in Generation VI VGC (2014-2016).
Refers to a team with a Webber, at least one Spinblocker such as Mimikyu, at least one Defog punisher such as Defiant Bisharp or Contrary Serperior, and other offensive Pokémon that take advantage of the opponent's lowered Speed.
Refers to Mega Sableye, Shedinja with Baton Pass, and Arena Trap Dugtrio sets being present in a team in a Single Battle, which is used to punish the opposing entry hazard users by using Mega Sableye's Magic Bounce and trap potential stall and stallbreakers by using the momentum of Shedinja's Baton Pass and Dugtrio's Arena Trap.
These teams are also accompanied with popular walls and/or stallers, which includes Shed Shell Skarmory, Eviolite Chansey, Unaware Clefable/Quagsire, Shadow Tag Gothitelle, and/or Regenerator Toxapex.