We’ve discussed the basics of battles and a lot of nitty-gritty details too, but to truly understand Pokémon battles you need to get out there and experience all kinds of exciting battles! Until you get to that stage or if you just need a gentle reminder, here are some important tips from the Pokémon veterans over here.

Same-Type Attack Bonus

When traversing the wilderness of the Internet or hanging around with hardcore Pokémon fans, you may hear comments like “Milotic’s Surf has STAB” and then ponder to yourself “whatever does that mean?”

Aurorus (Rock/Ice) has STAB with all three attack moves; sweet!

The point of STAB is to encourage and reward Pokémon for using moves of its type. For instance, a lot of Water-type Pokémon can learn Ice-type moves, so what’s the point in using Ice-type Pokémon? Well, Ice-type Pokémon will do extra damage with those same Ice-type moves.

If a Pokémon is dual-typed, it will have STAB with both types of moves, making it a very versatile Pokémon. As a general rule of thumb, having moves with STAB is preferable. However, it’s also recommended to have moves without STAB for reasons we’ll explain next…

Variation Is Good

At some point you must have thought to yourself “Hmm, these Gym Leaders sure are easy, since they all use one type of Pokémon”.

Since you can field six Pokémon and Pokémon can have two types at most, you can represent 12 of the 18 Pokémon types with Pokémon alone. For the missing types, you can give your Pokémon moves from that type, via TMs or other means.

Although this means not getting STAB, if you encounter a Pokémon weak to or double-weak to that type, you can still do double or quadruple damage. For the main quest, you don’t actually need to cover all your bases, but the more variety the better!

Physical/Special Split

Physical moves have a red Star icon, while Special moves have a blue Spiral icon.

Introduced in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, as well as being aligned to 1 of 18 types, all attack moves are either Physical-based or Special-based . The move’s designation affects which of your Pokémon’s stat it runs off and which of the opposing Pokémon’s stats it targets.

On your side, if your Pokémon has much better Attack than Special Attack, you should focus on using Physical-based moves. However if the opponent is a massive Defence tank, you may want to switch to Special-based moves.

The EV Difference

STAB and the Physical/Special Split may not be obvious at first, but EVs are completely hidden from your eyes… sort of. EV stands for Effort Value ; your Pokémon gain EVs for each of the six stats (HP to Speed) when they defeat other Pokémon - the type of EV depending on the Pokémon species.

In the main quest, sticking with Pokémon found early-ish is generally a good idea, as they’ve had more time to gain EVs and thus typically have superior stats. But if you’re smart with your strategy, even later Pokémon you catch (with no or less EVs) can still hold their ground. If you do need to boost your EVs fast, you can use the new Super Training mode.

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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Pokemon Company International
  • Platforms,
    3DS
  • Genre
    RPG
  • Guide Release
    1 November 2013
  • Last Updated
    11 July 2022
  • Guide Author
    Daniel Chaviers

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Become the ultimate Pokémon champion with our greatest Pokémon strategy guide yet. Inside we cover:

  • Everything that’s new to Pokémon X & Y.
  • 5 amazing tips to get your Pokémon collecting off to a blistering start.
  • Every single route, trainer battle and hidden shortcuts are covered.
  • What Pokémon can be found on what routes (both versions).
  • How to beat every single gym leader without breaking a sweat.
  • Where to find all those hidden items.
  • The locations of every single legendary Pokémon!
  • Where to find all of the amazing Mega Stones.
  • Pokémon-Amie, Super Training, Battle Chateau etc all covered!
  • Accompanied by over 240 super high-quality screenshots!
  • Additional details on the elusive event Pokemon distributions.
  • Encounter rates for finding wild Pokemon.
  • Videos for all the Gym Leader and Elite Four battles, plus legendary and shiny Pokemon.
  • Dozens of additional tips and reminders throughout the main walkthrough.
  • How to solve crime with the Looker Bureau in the post-game.
  • Full breakdown on how to breed the perfect Pokémon of your dreams!
  • How to catch those insanely rare Shiny Pokémon!
  • List of all the really helpful (and free) O-Powers.

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