Protection

A protected Pokémon is unaffected by moves of a certain class during that turn. Many protection moves protect against all damaging moves.

This effect may be described as "evades all attacks" or "negates all damage".

List of protection moves

Moves that protect only the user

All of these moves protect the user from damaging moves, and some also protect it from status moves. With the sole exception of the Max Move Max Guard, they're all variations of Protect.

They (plus Endure) have a growing chance of failure if used consecutively. This applies across moves: if a Pokémon uses Obstruct and then Endure, Endure may fail.

Baneful Bunker Poison Status +4 —% VII All moves Contact moves confer poison on the attacker
Burning Bulwark Fire Status +4 —% IX All moves Contact moves confer burn on the attacker
Detect Fighting Status +4[a] —% II All moves
King's Shield Steel Status +4 —% VI Physical and special moves Contact moves lower the attacker's Attack stat by 1 stage[b]
Max Guard Normal Status +4 —% VIII All moves Fully protects from Max Moves and from Block, Flower Shield, Gear Up, Magnetic Flux, Phantom Force, Psych Up, Teatime, and Transform
Obstruct Dark Status +4 —% VIII Physical and special moves Contact moves lower the attacker's Defense stat by 2 stages
Protect Normal Status +4[a] —% II All moves
Silk Trap Bug Status +4 —% IX Physical and special moves Contact moves lower the attacker's Speed stat by 1 stage
Spiky Shield Grass Status +4 —% VI All moves Contact moves damage the attacker for 1/8 of its maximum HP

Moves that protect the user's side of the field

These moves protect the user as well as its allies, either only from non-damaging moves or with restrictive conditions.

Since Generation VI, the success of these moves is not tied to any other move—a notable distinction from the moves that protect only the user. However, Quick Guard and Wide Guard do affect the failure chances of the moves listed in the section above. In Generation V only, Quick Guard and Wide Guard also had to pass the same failure check as protection moves that protect only the user.

Crafty Shield Fairy Status +3 —% VI Status moves Does not protect from entry hazard moves, Perish Song, Rototiller, Flower Shield
Mat Block Fighting Status 0 —% VI Physical and special moves Only works on first turn
Quick Guard Fighting Status +3 —% V Priority moves
Wide Guard Rock Status +3 —% V All moves that target multiple Pokémon[c]

Mechanics

Protection fundamentally grants a turn of invulnerability from moves used directly by other Pokémon. It does not affect damage done at the end of a turn, such as poison, burn, Nightmare, Curse, seeding, binding, sandstorm, hail, Future Sight, or Doom Desire; or the countdown of Perish Song or Perish Body.

Some moves deal damage to Pokémon through protection. Hyper Drill, Mighty Cleave, G-Max One Blow, and G-Max Rapid Flow deal full damage through protection. All other damaging Z-Moves, Max Moves, and G-Max Moves are partially protected and deal 1/4 of their original damage. Moves that break protection, like Feint, will deal full damage and remove the effects of protection.

The Ability Unseen Fist allows all contact moves to bypass protection moves.

The Max Move Max Guard behaves differently than other protection moves. Only Feint, G-Max One Blow, and G-Max Rapid Flow will deal damage through Max Guard, but no move will remove its protection effect. Max Guard also protects the user from some other moves that regular protection does not.

In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl only, due to a bug, if an attack is given perfect accuracy through the effect of a move (such as Lock-On), the weather (such as Blizzard under hail), or an Ability (like No Guard), it ignores protection with inverted accuracy. One-hit knockout moves are unaffected by this bug and will not hit through protection. This bug was fixed in Pokémon Platinum.

In Generation VI, protection would not activate for moves that the user was immune to. Primarily, this meant that King's Shield and Spiky Shield's negative effects would not activate.

Unprotectable moves

The moves marked with a ✔ below are not affected by most protection moves.

Mat Block and Crafty Shield are not affected by this list. Mat Block has no exceptions aside from moves that do damage through protection, and Crafty Shield protects against all status moves except those the user uses on itself, moves that target the user's side of the field, moves that target all Pokémon, and entry hazards.

Max Guard also protects against a few moves below that other protection moves do not: Block, Flower Shield, Gear Up, Magnetic Flux, Phantom Force, Psych Up, Shadow Force, Teatime, and Transform.

  This table contains old or outdated information, or has not been updated in a while.
Please check the content of this table and update it as required.
Move Type Category Generations
II III IV V VI VII VIII IX
Acupressure  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Aromatic Mist  Fairy  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Bestow  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Block  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Confide  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Conversion 2  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Curse  Ghost  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Decorate  Fairy  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Doom Desire  Steel  Special {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Feint  Normal  Physical {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Flower Shield  Fairy  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Future Sight  Psychic  Special {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Hold Hands  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Hyper Drill  Normal  Physical {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Hyperspace Fury  Dark  Physical {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Hyperspace Hole  Psychic  Special {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Mean Look  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Mighty Cleave  Rock  Physical {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Nightmare  Ghost  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Perish Song  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Phantom Force  Ghost  Physical {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Play Nice  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Psych Up  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Roar  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Role Play  Psychic  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Rototiller  Ground  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Shadow Force  Ghost  Physical {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Sketch  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Spider Web  Bug  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Tearful Look  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Teatime  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Transform  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}
Whirlwind  Normal  Status {{{3}}} {{{4}}} {{{5}}} {{{6}}}

Moves that break protection

These moves will deal damage through any protection move and will lift their protection, with the sole exception of Max Guard. Even if one of these moves makes contact, it will not suffer the negative effect of moves like King's Shield.

Feint Normal Physical +2 100% IV In Generation IV, Feint will fail if the target did not use a protection move
Does damage through Max Guard, but does not lift its effects
Hyperspace Fury Dark Physical 0 —% VI Lowers user's Defense
Hyperspace Hole Psychic Special 0 —% VI
Phantom Force Ghost Physical 0 100% VI Two-turn move
Shadow Force Ghost Physical 0 100% IV Two-turn move

Failure chances

Each time a move in the first column in the table below is successfully used without other moves used in between, the subsequent success rate for any of the moves in the second column drops.

Moves that decrease success rate Moves that check success rate
Endure
Moves that protect the user
Quick Guard
Wide Guard
Endure
Moves that protect the user
Generation V only:
Quick Guard
Wide Guard

From Generation II to Generation V, the success rate halves each time. Since Generation VI, the success rate is modified by thirds each time[1] (so after two successful uses, the success rate is 1/9).

In Generation IV only, the success rate will never drop below 12.5%; Generation III was intended to behave the same, but a bug causes the rate to follow an erratic sequence after the fourth successful use.

Generation II

In Generation II, the failure check is implemented by comparing a threshold value to a random number (0 to 254), and if the random number is greater than the threshold, the move fails.[2] The threshold starts at 255 and is halved (with the remainder discarded) once for each time a protection move has been used consecutively (so halved once if they've been used twice). This means that the first use will always succeed (the random number cannot be greater than 255), while the ninth and later uses will always have a 1/255 chance to succeed (the threshold will be 0, so the only way to succeed is if the random number is also 0).

Successful turns Threshold Success rate
0 255 100%
1 127 50.2%
2 63 25.1%
3 31 12.5%
4 15 6.3%
5 7 3.1%
6 3 1.6%
7 1 0.8%
8 0 0.4%

Generation III–IV

In Generations III and IV, the failure check is implemented by comparing a threshold value to a random number (0 to 65535), and if the random number is greater than the threshold, the move fails. The threshold value is taken from an explicitly defined table which starts with 65535, and subsequent values are equal to the previous value halved (with the remainder ignored). The table only has four values, meaning the success rate is meant to have a lower bound.

Two bugs affect the failure check prior to Generation IV. In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire only, the wrong comparison is made, so protection moves also fail if the threshold value equals the random value,[3] meaning a protection move has a 1/65536 chance (0.001%) of failing on the first use (and the chance of failing in subsequent turns is also greater); this was fixed in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen.[4] In all Generation III games, the number of protection uses is incremented with no regard for the limits of the table,[5][6][7] resulting in erratic values being retrieved after four successful turns; in Generation IV, this was fixed to prevent the counter from incrementing beyond the table's size.[8]

Successful turns Threshold Success rate
0 65535 100%
1 32767 50%
2 16383 25%
3+ 8191 12.5%
4+III Erratic values

Generation V

In Generation V, the failure check is implemented by rolling a 32 bit value, and if the result is less than or equal to the threshold, it would pass. If the move is used in succession, (or with other protective moves), the success rate is halved until the 8th success. At 9+ successive turns, rather than the chance of success being halved, it only succeeds if the value rolled is 0x00000000, making all attempts above turn 9 effectively a   (1/4294967295) chance of success.[9][10]

Successful turns Threshold Success rate
1 0xFFFFFFFF 100%
2 0x7FFFFFFF 50%
3 0x3FFFFFFF 25%
4 0x1FFFFFFF 12.5%
5 0x0FFFFFFF 6.25%
6 0x07FFFFFF 3.125%
7 0x03FFFFFF 1.5625%
8 0x01FFFFFF 0.78125%
9+ 0x00000000 0.000000023283064%

Generation VI

In Generation VI, the failure check is implemented by picking a random number with a range of X (so that there are X values: 0 to X-1) and if the random number is 0, the move succeeds. X is taken from an explicitly defined table which starts with 1, and subsequent values are equal to the previous value multiplied by 3.[11] The table only has seven values, giving the success rate a lower bound of approximately 0.1%. In general, the success rate is  , where T is the number of successful turns a protection move has been used.

Successful turns Range Success rate
0 1 100%
1 3 33.3%
2 9 11.1%
3 27 3.7%
4 81 1.2%
5 243 0.4%
6 729 0.1%

In the anime

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Has +2 priority in Generation II. Has +3 priority in Generations III and IV.
  2. In Generations VI and VII, the attacker's Attack is lowered by 2 stages
  3. In Generations V and VI, it only protects against damaging moves that target multiple Pokémon

References

  This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.