Here, we share some tips for Pokémon battling.
Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB)
Commonly abbreviated to STAB, when a Pokémon uses a move whose Type matches one of the Pokémon’s Types, that move will deal 50% more damage. Hence the term.
The point of STAB is to encourage Pokémon to use moves of their Type. Otherwise, you could have, say, a Dragon-type Pokémon and a Fire-type Pokémon using Fire type moves that deal the same damage. But the Dragon-type has a lot more Type resistances, making it a lot more attractive.
If a Pokémon has two Types, it gains STAB from both Types. As a general rule of thumb, Pokémon should always carry at least one move with STAB; one from each Type if they’re dual-type. Although that’s not to say they shouldn’t carry other moves, as we’ll explain next…
Try to Keep Your Team Varied!
For an easier time, you should aim to make your Pokémon party as diverse as possible. Even if you love Fire-types, for instance, it’s not a good idea to fill your party with Fire-types only, as you’ll struggle against Water, Rock and Ground-types and potentially others that resist Fire.
Since you can field up to 6 Pokémon and Pokémon can have up to two Types, you can represent 12 of the 18 Types with just your Pokémon alone. For the missing types, you can teach your Pokémon moves of that Type, via TMs or other means.
Although your Pokémon won’t gain STAB from moves not of their Type, if you’re facing a Pokémon that’s weak to those moves, you’ll still inflict 2 times damage (or 4 times if they’re double-weak), which is better than neutral damage with STAB.
Give Your Pokémon a Hold Item
Each Pokémon in your party can hold onto one item and you should ideally give them something useful to hold onto, rather than nothing. This could be a berry that automatically cures an status condition or something like a Silk Scarf that boosts the power of a particular Type of move.
You can give Pokémon items to hold onto via the Pokémon menu or Bag menu. Be sure to select the “Held Item” option for the former and “Give to Pokémon” option for the latter. Berries are consumed when used, but most other items will remain unless you use a move like Fling to chuck it away.
You may notice some moves claim they “go first in battle”. What this means is that when this move is used, it will go first regardless of any Pokémon’s Speed stat. These moves are known as “Priority Moves”. For example, Quick Attack.
Priority Moves normally inflict less damage compared to other moves learned later on, but they can be immensely useful–and also should not be overlooked if an opponent may have one.
Here’s a common scenario. Your Pokémon is faster than their opponent and both Pokémon are at critical health. You may think it’s safe to take out the opposing Pokémon before healing or switching out, but suddenly the opposing Pokémon uses a Priority Move to go first and score a surprise KO. Oops.
When both Pokémon use a Priority Move, the Pokémon with the higher Speed stat goes first like normal. Also, some moves have a higher priority than others. At the high end of the spectrum are moves like Protect and Endure, which normally always go first. Moves can even have negative priority, making the user go last.
Sometimes, Sacrificing a Pokémon is OK
We don’t want to jinx it, but sometimes things happen. Perhaps you were fooled into a bad match up or the opposing Pokémon is tougher than you imagined. During situations like these, you may wish to consider sacrificing your current Pokémon for the cause.
For instance, perhaps your Pokémon is at critical health and the opposing Pokémon is faster. Or your Pokémon isn’t going to do much damage anyway. If your Pokémon’s going to faint regardless, rather than waste a turn attacking, you could do something else and let your Pokémon faint.
Maybe you could heal or revive another Pokémon that’s got a better chance. If your Pokémon is able to inflict a status condition, you could try that. Better yet, there are moves that literally sacrifice your Pokémon, like Self-Destruct and Explosion.
Obviously, switching out your low HP Pokémon is another option, but it comes with risks. Namely, unless the Pokémon that replaces it is bulky and/or resists the foe, there’s a chance it’ll take substantial damage and become useless on the next turn. Besides that, you need to find a free turn to heal up the Pokémon you switched out.