Newly introduced in Pokémon X and Y, these unique battles offer new ways of fighting or catching Pokémon.
In certain Routes, there’s a chance you’ll encounter a horde of Pokémon when moving through grass. When this occurs, you’ll be beset by not one, not two, but five wild Pokémon at once - typically of the same species. These Pokémon will be weaker than usual, so no worries about getting overwhelmed.
To make Horde battles a breeze, be sure your Pokémon has wide-area moves like Surf or Earthquake. If you want to catch a Pokémon from its horde, you’ll want a fairly durable Pokémon too who can withstand up to 5 (albeit weak) attacks or ailments per turn.
You can force a Horde battle by using the Sweet Scent move (learned by certain Grass-type Pokémon) or Honey item provided you can encounter Hordes in that location in the first place (and it’s not raining). The benefit(s) of Horde battles may not be obvious at first, but here are some reasons to like them:
- Pokémon in Hordes are more likely to have a Hidden Ability (previously possessed by Dream World Pokémon in Black and White).
- Since you encounter 5 Pokémon for the price of 1, you can earn 5 times the EVs (Effort Values) per battle, vastly speeding up EV training.
- For the same reason, your rate of finding a Shiny Pokémon is multiplied by 5 too. The rate will still be very low, but it’s better than nothing, right?
Across Kalos there are a select few Sky Trainers who you can challenge in death-defying Sky Battles - these are a new type of trainer battle using Flying-type Pokémon or Pokémon with the Levitate ability only. Since it’s entirely possible that you have no eligible Pokémon in your team, these battles are optional and not forced like normal trainer battles.
Should you accept the Sky Trainer’s challenge, you’ll obviously want some strong Flying/Levitate Pokémon so your ego doesn’t go plummeting to the ground. Otherwise, besides the restriction on Pokémon (and the breathtaking backdrop), Sky Battles behave exactly the same as your regular Single Battles.