From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
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.
Baton Pass chain
Refers to continuous use of the move Baton Pass and the accumulated stat changes.
The general concept of a boss in video games may refer to special, strong opponents who must be defeated to obtain an important reward or advance past a particular point in the game. In the Pokemon games, there are various figures who may fit this description:
- Core games
- Gym Leaders: these are characters the player explicitly has to defeat if they wish to reach the Elite Four. Oftentimes, defeating a particular Gym Leader is also required for the player to advance past certain obstacles, especially those that require the use of an HM.
- Elite Four: the "point" of the core series games is generally to beat the Elite Four, who will be stronger than any other Trainers the player has faced previously.
- Champion: after beating the Elite Four, the player must also defeat the region's Champion in order to be allowed to enter the Hall of Fame.
- Rivals: the player will often cross paths with a rival character, and usually they must face off with this character one last time before being able to face the Elite Four.
- Team leaders: the core games (and many spin-offs) include villainous teams who the player will frequently cross paths with. In the course of the game, the player will eventually have to defeat various high-ranking members of these teams and ultimately their leader.
- Tower Tycoons, Frontier Brains, Subway Bosses, Boss Trainers, and Battle Chatelaines: these are the leaders of certain special battle areas presented as an optional challenge once the player has beaten the Champion. Defeating them usually grants the player a special achievement.
- Side games
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.
Endless battle clause
Refers to a ban on sets such as Funbro that have the capability of causing a battle with no possible ending. 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) or moves/Abilities that merely have a possibility of raising evasion (such as Acupressure/Moody).
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 large 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.
Using the move Baton Pass despite not having any stat boosts. Used to scout out the opponent's switches.
Refers to outcomes that are perceived as unlikely to the point of being unfair. Common targets are critical hits, moves missing, being frozen, the success of secondary 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, or BrightPowder. Hax is, somewhat paradoxically, often associated with the Ability Serene Grace.
Refers to hyper offense, or heavy offense, which is a team-building and battling strategy intended to overwhelm the opponent with offensive pressure.
Refers to the move Hidden Power and its type (e.g. HP Ice, HP Fire).
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 a team with homogeneity in a certain area such as type, color, or generation.
When properties of a Pokémon or move 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.
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 ¼ (referred to as being in a pinch in the games). The Micle and Custap Berries may also be considered Pinch Berries.
- Main article: Pseudo-legendary Pokémon
Refers to the Pokémon Dragonite, Tyranitar, Salamence, Metagross, Garchomp, Hydreigon, Goodra and Kommo-o.
Refers to repeated use of the same move or Pokémon.
Refers to how a Pokémon's EVs are spread across its stats.
Refer to a set of widely employed rules for unofficial multiplayer battles. A Single Battle, with the species, sleep, and evasion clauses, as well as bans on hacks, one-hit knockout moves, and Pokémon in the (abided) Uber tier.
- Main article: Tier
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.
Refer to Pokémon not only by species, but also by their stats, moves, Ability, and held item.
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 is intended to prevent the opponent from progressing with their strategy, commonly through the use of status moves and status conditions.
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 intended to use the move Baton Pass in order to pass on positive stat changes and/or volatile battle statuses, which it may or may not have contributed to itself.
Refers to the moves Thunderbolt and Ice Beam being present in a Pokémon set, and the resulting offensive type synergy. "Pseudo Bolt Beam" refers to a damage-dealing Electric-type move and a damage-dealing Ice-type move being present in a Pokémon set, when these aren't the exact combination of Thunderbolt and Ice Beam. Bolt Beam is amply featured in the games.
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.
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 then threaten the Pokémon.
Also referred to as RestoChesto. Refers to the move Rest and the held item Chesto Berry being present in a Pokémon set. In the games, many NPCs employ this tactic.
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 that is intended to restore the HP and/or cure the status conditions of its allies, through the use of status moves like Wish and Aromatherapy.
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.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the move Dragon Dance.
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".
Refers to the Double Battle combination of one or more (Flying/Levitating 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.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the moves Light Screen and Reflect.
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 aren't the exact combination of Stone Edge and Earthquake (such as Earth Power and Rock Slide). Edgequake is amply featured in the games.
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. It is amply featured in the games. 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.
A Pokémon meant to prevent F.E.A.R. from working properly. Common F.E.A.R. counters are Ghost-type Pokémon and Pokémon with Sand Stream or Snow Warning.
Refers to a Pokémon set with comparatively high Attack and/or Special Attack that, due to its combination of HP and Defense/Special Defense, takes a comparatively high percentage of damage from damage-dealing moves.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the move Haze.
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.
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, including a comparatively high Speed stat, one or more moves that cause entry hazards, and the held item Focus Sash or the Ability Sturdy.
Refers to a Pokémon with comparatively high stats in everything except Speed.
Refers to a Pokémon set that is capable of inducing paralysis and causing flinching. Often combined with Serene Grace to increase the likelihood of flinching.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the moves Perish Song and a trapping move or Ability. This is intended to trap the opponent and use Perish Song, keeping them trapped until they faint from Perish Song.
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 or Reflect), but without using Baton Pass.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the moves Rest and Sleep Talk. It is amply featured in the games. Also referred to as a "Sleep Talker" or a "STalker".
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. Is typically tailored torwards getting to move first, by including one or more damage-dealing moves with increased priority and/or a comparatively 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.
A lead that uses U-Turn or Volt Switch to send in a Pokemon without missing a chance to inflict damage. Scout leads often work well with Choice items.
Refers to the held item Focus Sash being present in a Pokémon set.
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.
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.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the move Rapid Spin.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the move Spikes.
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. It is amply featured in the games.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes one or more moves that cause entry hazards and the move Explosion.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the move Leech Seed. A "Subseeder" refers to a Pokémon set that includes the moves Substitute and Leech Seed.
Refers to the stat changes caused by Shell Smash being passed on to an ally via Baton Pass.
Refers to a Ghost-type Pokémon that is intended to prevent opposing Pokémon from successfully using Rapid Spin.
Refers to the moves Substitute and Calm Mind being present in a Pokémon set.
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. It is amply featured in the games.
Refers to a seeder Pokémon set that includes the move Substitute.
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 is intended to use Solar Beam under harsh sunlight.
Refers to a Pokémon set that includes the moves Swagger and Foul Play.
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 or 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 includes the moves Thunder and Rain Dance.
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.
Refers to the combination of one or more Pokémon sets that include Volt Switch with one or more Pokémon sets that include U-turn.
Also known as a sponge, this term 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 or 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.
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 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 Suicune set that includes the move Calm Mind, commonly assisted by Rest.
Refers to a Celebi set and a Heatran set being present in a team, and the resulting defensive synergy.
Refers to a Garchomp set that includes special moves backed by high Special Attack and Speed stats.
Refers to a Suicune set that includes the moves Calm Mind, Rest, Sleep Talk, and a special move, crediting a perceived inventor by Internet handle.
Refers to a Snorlax set that includes the moves Curse and Rest.
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 Divecats.
Refers to a Politoed set that includes the Ability Drizzle.
Refers to a Ninetales set that includes the Ability Drought.
Refers to a Slowbro with the moves Block, Heal Pulse, Recycle, and Slack Off, holding a Leppa Berry. This combination allows it to extend a non-timed battle indefinitely, leaving the opponent no recourse except to disconnect. Since all link battles are timed in Generation VI, this is only relevant in simulator battles and Generation V.
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. Common in Generation VI VGC (2014 and 2015).
Refers to an Infernape set that is sent out first, commonly including both physical and special moves, Fake Out, Stealth Rock, and the held item Focus Sash.
Refers to a Gengar set that includes the moves Ice Punch, Focus Punch, and Substitute, intended for use in Generation III.
Refers to an Infernape set that includes both physical and special moves, backed by comparatively high Attack, Special Attack, and Speed stats.
Refers to a Salamence set that includes both physical and special moves, backed by comparatively high Attack, Special Attack, and Speed stats.
Refers to a Garchomp set that includes the held item Choice Scarf. It is featured in several battle facilities found in the games.
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. Common in Generation IV.
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 (although it is currently banned from Smogon's OU tier); and Smogon Wash, referring to Wash Rotom (commonly called Rotom Wash in competitive circles).
Refers to a Salamence set that includes the held item Choice Specs.
Refers to a Walrein set that includes Protect, Substitute, Leftovers, and Ice Body, intended for stalling during a hailstorm.
Refers to a Shedinja with the Ability Sturdy. Usually set up in Double or Triple Battles by using Ability switching moves.
Refers to a Breloom set that includes the Ability Technician and one or more moves with base powers of 60 or less.
Refers to Terrakion (with the Ability Justified) 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 six times and raising its Attack stages. Common in Generation V and Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire VGC (2011-2013, 2015).
Refers to a Tyranitar set that includes both physical and special moves, including the moves Substitute and Focus Punch.
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.