Difference between revisions of "Appendix:Metagame terminology"

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The starting Pokémon of a team.<br />
The starting [[Pokémon]] of a team. In general, these pokemon do at least one of two things, set up hazards or prevent your opponent from setting up hazards. Examples of pokemon that do both are {{p|Aerodactyl}} ({{m|Taunt}}, {{m|Stealth Rock}}), {{P|Forretress}} ({{m|Rapid Spin}}, {{m|Spikes}}, {{m|Stealth Rock}}, {{m|Toxic Spikes}}) and {{p|Tentacruel}} ({{m|Rapid Spin}}, {{m|Toxic Spikes}}). An example of pokemon that only set up hazards is {{p|Heatran}} ({{m|Stealth Rock}}). An example of a lead that only prevents hazards is {{p|Weavile}} ({{m|Taunt}}).
In general, these pokemon do at least one of two things, set up hazards or prevent your opponent from setting up hazards. Examples of pokemon that do both are aerodactyl(taunt, stealth rock), forretress(rapid spin, spikes, stealth rock, toxic spikes) and tentacruel(rapid spin, toxic spikes). An example of pokemon that only set up hazards is heatran(Stealth Roxk). An example of a lead that only prevents hazards is weavile(taunt).

Revision as of 19:28, 4 March 2010

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Broad Terms

General terms that can apply to a number of different Pokémon.


A Pokémon designed with the sole purpose of annoying the opponent and making it difficult for him/her to use a move. Moves for this purpose include Confuse Ray, Thunder Wave, Protect, and Attract. It should be noted that the use of Annoyers has fallen since the start of Generation III, mostly due to the fact that they rely too much on luck. Though two relatively common annoyers in 4th gen are jirachi(serene grace iron head, thunder wave) and togekiss (serene grace air slash, thunder wave) these pokemon are also known as paraflinchers

Baton Passer

A moveset with Baton Pass and at least one stat-boosting move or Psych Up, Mean Look or Substitute. Designed to raise one or more stats and/or activate one or more of the above moves, then Baton Pass the effects to another Pokémon. Stat boosts are countered by a Hazer or Pseudo-Hazer. A good example of a Baton Passer is Ninjask, who gains one level of Speed after each turn due to its ability Speed Boost. It often abuses the move Protect and may use Swords Dance and/or Substitute too. Ninjask commonly carry substitute and leichi berry so that it can baton pass 4 speed boosts, a leichi berry boost, and possibly a few swords dances or a substitute. Baton Passers can counter Pseudo-Hazers by passing Ingrain, but that can only be done by a Smeargle. Though this only affects Pseudo-Hazers who use roar or whirlwind, other pseudo hazers, such as pokemon who use perish song are unaffected, though baton passing to a Mr.Mime who is not affected because of soundproof is not affected by this.

Baton Pass Chain

Continuous use of the move Baton Pass on various Pokémon in order to accumulate stat boosts, often used to boost and pass a variety of different stats that one Pokémon couldn't pass itself.

Choice Bander/CBer

A moveset with physical attacks, and the hold item Choice Band. Requires good prediction to use and counter.


Akin to House Rules, Clauses are various rules that fans apply to their battles. Since most player battles are free-for-alls, players usually agree on restrictions for moves, items and tiers. There also exist several official clauses that are usually applied to Stadium/Colosseum battles in the console connectivity games and Battle Tower challenges. Pokémon Battle Revolution is currently the only official way for players to battle with these clauses enforced by the game.


A Pokémon that is able to successfully switch into the opposing Pokémon and is subsequently able to defeat it after switching in. For example, Gliscor is a counter to Heracross, since it resists Heracross's strongest attacks, Megahorn and Close Combat, and can defeat it easily with the Flying-type attack, Aerial Ace.


Any Pokémon that is 'sacrificed' against a strong opponent. The aim is to weaken the opponent's Pokémon before the sacrificial Pokémon is knocked out, then switch to a stronger Pokémon, preferably one whose moveset has an advantage over the opponent. A Decoy is often used to switch to a different Pokémon without causing damage to the Pokémon one wants to battle by sacrificing the Decoy.


Any Pokémon that makes use of Dragon Dance. Usually fast physical sweepers like Kingdra or Salamence.

Dual Screens

The combination of Light Screen and Reflect, improving the team's defences. Brick Break can be used to break dual screens.


A moveset designed to Endure down to one HP, then Reversal or Flail for massive damage, since Reversal and Flail have 200 base power at 1%-4% HP. The item held is often a Salac Berry or a Liechi Berry, tying in with the previous strategy.

Evasion clause

The use of evasion boosting moves like Double Team, or Minimize, is forbidden under the Evasion Clause. Similar moves which instead decrease the opposing Pokémon's accuracy, such as Sand-Attack, Mud-Slap, Mirror Shot, Mud Bomb, and Acupressure, are more widely accepted.

Glass Cannon

A Pokémon that has extremely high offensive stats, which are contrasted with its appalling defensive stats and often insufficient Speed (e.g. Sharpedo or Rampardos). A Choice Scarf is often employed on such Pokemon to make up for their lack of good Speed, but other Choice items also see use.


Something that relies more on chance than reliability or strategy. Hax can be manipulated in many different ways, including the use of items such as Quick Claw, Focus Band, or Brightpowder, the use of moves such as Fissure or Sheer Cold. Critical hits and extra effects of attacks, such as Flamethrower burning the foe, are often considered hax. though with an attack that is specifically used for its chance to do something (I.E. discharge/lava plume for 30% status) also if an ability is used to increase the chance of something (I.E. super luck for critical hits, serene grace) are also generally not considered hax because with those abilities, many of times, it is more likely to hit a crit(super luck) or get the status(serene grace) than not.


A moveset with Haze in it. Much like a Spiker, it can have any combination of moves along with Haze. Fast Pokémon and those with high defenses, such as Altaria and Articuno, make good Hazers.

HM slave

Main article: HM Slave

An HM slave is a Pokémon mostly untrained for battle which is used for basic case of learning HMs and being the one to use them out of battle when needed. It is mostly kept in a PC box and not part of a general team. It is used as an extra Pokémon that learns HMs, so a trainer doesn't have to teach HMs to his or her main battlers. It is generally only brought out of a PC box when the use of HMs are needed. Due to Bibarel being capable of learning 6 HMs, it is often (if not always) classified as the authentically perfect HM slave. Tropius is also regarded as a good HM slave as it can learn 5 HMs, including Fly.


Usually used as an abbreviation for "Hit Points", but often refers to the move Hidden Power. For example, "HP Water" refers to a Hidden Power that is of the Template:Type2.

IV Battle

A level 100 Wi-Fi battle where the purpose is not actually to battle, but to observe what the Pokémon's stats will look like at level 100, which is the most optimal way to calculate what the Pokémon's IVs are. This is typically done with freshly hatched Pokémon, as EVs don't have to be included in such calculations.


The starting Pokémon of a team. In general, these pokemon do at least one of two things, set up hazards or prevent your opponent from setting up hazards. Examples of pokemon that do both are Aerodactyl (Taunt, Stealth Rock), Forretress (Rapid Spin, Spikes, Stealth Rock, Toxic Spikes) and Tentacruel (Rapid Spin, Toxic Spikes). An example of pokemon that only set up hazards is Heatran (Stealth Rock). An example of a lead that only prevents hazards is Weavile (Taunt).


A shortened form of legitimate, refers to Pokémon that haven't been cheated or hacked in any way. This includes acquiring or modifying Pokémon via a GameShark, Action Replay, Pokésav, etc. It is commonly used among players who are trading rare Event Pokémon.

Level Clause

All Pokémon used by both trainers should be close to the same level, which is usually 50 or 100. With the advent of Diamond and Pearl, WiFi battles are capable of setting Pokémon levels to 50 or 100 (rounding them up or down as necessary), so a Level Clause really only applies to local battles.

Masuda method

A technique used to hatch Template:Shiny2 eggs involving Pokémon originating from games of different languages.


A Pokémon team that is entirely of one certain type, or even one species. These are more common on Random PBR matches than in serious matches. This is often countered since they can bring in something that has an unadultered type advantage. For example, one may have a team consisting only of Ghost-type Pokémon, while the opponent may have a Honchkrow with above-average Attack stats and an above-average Speed stat that knows moves such as Dark Pulse or Night Slash, used to easily and quickly defeat the all-Ghost team.

OHKO moves

These are moves that cause a one-hit knock out when they hit; their accuracy is accordingly low (30%). Namely:

In Standard rules, OHKO moves are forbidden, so these are rarely seen.

Pinch Berry

Any one of the following: Liechi, Ganlon, Salac, Petaya, Apicot, Lansat, and Starf. These berries raise a specific stat when the holder's HP falls below 1/3 (or in a pinch, hence the name). Petaya, Salac and Liechi are the most commonly used, as extra defense typically isn't very useful when health is that low. Though usually found on Enduring, Substituting or Belly Drumming Pokémon, Drifblim does well with Petaya Berry in combination with the Unburden ability.

Pseudo Passer

A moveset with Wish, Safeguard, Light Screen and/or Reflect in it. Reflect and Light Screen are countered by Brick Break.

Pseudo Hazer (PHazer)

A moveset with either Whirlwind or Roar, which is intended to force a stat-boosted Pokémon out of the ring. A Shuffler can also be a PHazer. A moveset with a move like Yawn, Leech Seed, Perish Song or Charm can also be considered a PHazer. If the opponent decides not to switch out after being hit with one of these moves, he/she will have a hard time continuing the battle with their current Pokémon.

Priority Move

A move that allows the user to attack first despite having a lower Speed stat. The priority moves are Quick Attack, Mach Punch, Vacuum Wave, ExtremeSpeed, Aqua Jet, Bullet Punch, Ice Shard, and Sucker Punch.


A Pokémon that is holding a Focus Sash, usually a very frail one such as Dugtrio or Weavile, so it can survive a hit.

Shuffler (Parashuffler/Pyroshuffler/Toxishuffler)

A moveset with either Roar or Whirlwind and Toxic as well as Thunder Wave or Will-O-Wisp. Works by inflicting a status condition, then PHazing and repeating. Often used in tandem with a Spiker for best results. Countered by a Cleric, or simply by attacking each time they try to PHaze.

Sleep clause

A rule whereby the use of a sleep inducing move is forbidden if a Pokémon on the opponent's team has already been put to sleep by one of the user's Pokémon. Sleep induced by moves such as by Rest or abilities like Effect Spore are exempted. Pokémon Battle Revolution supports the Sleep Clause, and custom rule sets can choose to enforce it or not.

Sleep talker (Restalker/STalker)

A moveset with Rest and Sleep Talk. It is used to maintain a Pokémon's (usually with good defenses) health with Rest, but allow it to attack in the meantime with Sleep Talk. It's not a perfect strategy, as there is the chance Sleep Talk will call Rest again, but it works often enough to see use. Milotic is an excellent example of a sleeptalker due to Marvel Scale.

Species clause

A rule whereby the use of more than one of the same Pokémon, or Pokémon in the same evolution chain, is forbidden. Pokémon that evolve from the same Pokémon but are not an evolution of each other are exempted. For example, the use of Gorebyss and Huntail is allowed, but the use of Gorebyss and Clamperl or Clamperl and Clamperl in one team - is not. An official clause, the various Battle Towers and Console connectivity games enforce this.


A moveset that includes the move Spikes. Since that is the only requirement, there are many variations to spiker movesets. Effective ones utilize Roar/Whirlwind, Toxic Spikes, Stealth Rock, and/or Rapid Spin.


A Pokémon with a very high defensive stat. Used to block attacks of that kind (e.g. Special Sponge). Synonymous with Wall.


Same-type attack bonus. Refers to the 1.5x multiplier a Pokémon gets when using an attack that matches its own type. If a Pokémon is a dual-type Pokémon, it gets a 1.5x multiplier for attacks of both of its types (e.g. a Garchomp gets STAB for Dragon-type as well as Ground-type attacks). The ability Adaptability increases STAB's multiplier to 2x.


Much like the Tank, this moveset lives to build up passive damage (such as Poison, Burn, Leech Seed, and weather conditions) while stalling with Protect, recovery moves or (rarely) with Fly, Dive, or Dig. Toxic is most commonly used due to its increasing amount of damage caused. Some counters include a Cleric, the move Taunt and Clefable (due to the ability Magic Guard).

Standard rules

It refers to the rules used in Wi-Fi battles by most Competitive Battlers. The rules include: No Ubers, no hacks, no OHKO Moves, no Hax Items and also the Sleep. Evasion and Species Clauses are optional now, as smogon is thinking about removing them completely from the standard rule list. Standard rules do NOT include these any more, to include these, they must be mentioned.


A moveset designed with the object of quickly knocking out, or "sweeping," an opponent's team. Specializes in mostly direct attacks with stat-boosting moves also common. It is characterized by high Speed and offensive stats while very often having poor defensive stats and HP. Comes in three variations - Physical, Special, and Mixed. (Physical sweepers use physical moves, Special sweepers use special moves, and Mixed sweepers use both.) mixed sweepers can also be used as wall breakers which are mixed sweepers whose attacks are specifically chosen to take down common walls, like close combat for blissey or fire blast for skarmory. Common counters are bulky Pokémon and priority moves.


A Pokémon that can take hits and still fight back. Often functions as a Wall/Sponge but different because while being hard to KO, it can still threaten the opponent offensively. Some common tanks are Bronzong and Suicune.


A set designed with the purpose of trapping a Pokémon for one reason or another. Moves such as Mean Look and Spider Web are standard trapping moves but moves such as Wrap and Fire Spin are also used sometimes. Might be used in tandem with Toxic or Curse (Ghost variety) to sap the opponent's health or Perish Song for a guaranteed knockout. Certain abilities, such as Shadow Tag, Magnet Pull and Arena Trap, trap automatically.


A moveset that employs Trick and the held item Choice Band to incapacitate any opponent that doesn't use Physical attacks (most likely a Tank, Annoyer or Special Sweeper). Trick switches items with the opponent, so that they lose their valuable held item and get a restrictive one. In Generation IV, with the introduction of Choice Specs and Choice Scarf, the more common item to switch onto the opponent is Choice Scarf because the receiver gains no offensive boost and the user makes use of the speed boost to Trick before the opponent makes their move.


Similar to the Trickbander, a Trickbracer gives the opponent the Macho Brace instead - an item that reduces Speed. It will stop most Sweepers in their tracks due to the reduction of their Speed that is so crucial. In Generation IV, the Iron Ball and Lagging Tail hold items exist almost solely to be used in this way, while the Klutz ability seems to exist so that the Pokémon using Trick doesn't have to suffer the effects of the item they are Tricking to the opponent.

Type Coverage

Type coverage referrs to combinations of attacks that are unresisted. Common combinations for coverage are boltbeam (only resisted by lanturn and magnezone) which is thunder bolt and ice beam, and ghost+fighting has perfect coverage, though this is not favourable because of the lack of reliable physical ghost attacks, or reliable fighting special attacks(though this can be solved somewhat by hidden power).


Often abbreviated as UT, it refers to Pokémon that haven't gained any EXP since they were captured, received, or hatched. It is commonly used among players who are trading specially bred or Event Pokémon.


A Pokémon with a very high defensive stat. Used to block attacks of that kind (e.g. Physical Wall). Synonymous with Sponge.

Specific Sets

Sets that are only seen on one to several Pokémon or are best known on a single Pokémon.


A Suicune moveset from Generation II, which has Curse, Rest, Return and Roar. Not usable in Generation III or IV because Curse is no longer available in Suicune's movelist due to losing TM status.


A moveset created specifically for the Charizard evolution family. The moveset contains Belly Drum, Substitute, Fire Punch/Flare Blitz and any other move. Held item is a Salac Berry. Belly Drum followed by Substitute maximizes the attack stat and lowers HP enough to activate Blaze and the Salac Berry as long as Charizard's HP is divisible by 4. The power of Charizard's Template:Type2 moves is increased, attack power is maximized and Speed is raised enough to possibly attack first. This results in an incredibly powerful physical Fire attack.


A combination of Thunderbolt and Ice Beam on the same set that is resisted only by Magnezone, Volt Absorb Lanturn, and Shedinja. May also be used for any combination of Electric and Ice moves, such as Thunderbolt and HP Ice.


A Suicune with Calm Mind. Often it uses Rest also. A very powerful and over-used Pokémon due to Suicune's two weaknesses being special types, and as a result its effectiveness has been reduced with the Gen IV Attack/Special split. Some counters include a Hazer or PHazer, a strong physical Electric or Grass attack and the move Encore.


Garchomp that is designed as a Mixed Sweeper with the moves Draco Meteor and Fire Blast. The intention of this Pokémon is catching the opponent off guard as they send in a standard physical wall by taking advantage of most physical walls lacking a good Special Defense stat. A variation of this set can also be used with Salamence.


A moveset that includes either Heal Bell or Aromatherapy. A good example of a Cleric is Blissey.


A moveset that uses Curse and Rest on an already slow Pokémon to ignore the Speed drop. Although Snorlax is the most common user (hence the name), it can also appear on other Pokémon (provided they aren't Ghosts). Especially useful in a team using Trick Room as the Speed drops become Speed boosts instead.


Main article: F.E.A.R

A last resort strategy involving a low-level Rattata holding a Focus Sash with the moves Endeavor and Quick Attack. It aims to catch the opponent off-guard when he/she sees the low-level Rattata and attacks. The Focus Sash will activate and Rattata will use Endeavor to attack, lowering the opponent's HP to 1. Then the Rattata will use Quick Attack to finish off the opponent. There are many variations of this set that can be used by any Pokémon with Endeavor and a priority move. For instance, it has been used by a Dodrio in Pokémon Battle Revolution.


A moveset with a paralysis-inducing move to negate speed, and a flinch move such as Air Slash, Bite, Headbutt, Iron Head, Rock Slide, Snore, Stomp, Zen Headbutt, or Extrasensory. It relies on chance to repeatedly flinch the foe until it faints. As an added bonus, the paralysis will kick in 25% of the time, giving the foe only a 52% chance to use their attack. Dunsparce was the most feared flinchaxor in Generation III, because its Serene Grace increases the flinch chance to 60% until the appearance of Togekiss in Generation IV. Jirachi can also do this with Zen Headbutt or Iron Head, the latter only through a move tutor in Platinum.


A moveset for Gengar with many variations. Usually used to describe the Subpunching Gengar with Thunderbolt and Ice Punch, but moves such as Psychic, Shadow Ball and Sludge Bomb are sometimes included. As of Generation IV, Ice Punch is no longer a reliable option for McIceGar since it has become Physical, and so it must use Hidden Power instead.


A commonly used mixed sweeper moveset for Infernape that is extremely useful for wall-breaking, especially Skarmbliss. The set consists of a combination of the moves Flamethrower/Fire Blast, Close Combat, Grass Knot, ThunderPunch, HP Ice and Nasty Plot. It usually holds the item Life Orb.


Any of the following Pokémon: Dragonite, Tyranitar, Salamence, Metagross, and Garchomp. These Pokémon have noticeably astounding stats and diverse movepools.


An abbreviation for Random Number Generator. Players often manipulate the RNG to gain increased chances of catching shiny Pokémon.


A Garchomp holding the item Choice Scarf, whose speed is multiplied by 1.5.


Seeders are Pokémon that use Leech Seed to force switches, drain HP to heal themselves, or wear down defensive Pokémon. They are often used with Substitute known as Subseeders. Subseeders are often fast Pokémon that repeatedly use substitute while the opponent is afflicted with leech seed. The healing of leech seed allows them to gain back the health they lost from substitute while the opponent's health is slowly worn down. Examples of Subseeders are Jumpluff and Sceptile.


A combination of Skarmory and Blissey used in the same team, which is designed to abuse Skarmory's high Defense stat and numerous resistances, as well as Blissey's high Special Defense stat and extraordinary HP stat. It is very difficult to beat if one is not prepared, so most teams carry a SkarmBliss counter.


A Salamence holding Choice Specs (or Wise Glasses in some cases), with the moves Draco Meteor, Fire Blast or Flamethrower, Hydro Pump, and Dragon Pulse.

Suicide Spiker/Rocker

A Forretress with the moveset consisting of Stealth Rock, Spikes, Toxic Spikes and Explosion. Set up all the traps then use explosion so the next Pokémon has to deal with the brunt of the attacks of the spikes taking up to 50% of their HP and being badly poisoned. Works well with a roarer to make all of the opponent's Pokémon suffer.

Suicide Lead

A moveset in which the user is equipped with a Focus Sash. The purpose of this moveset is to set up Stealth Rock, while anticipating an attack that could OHKO the user, but survives with the Focus Sash. This is a very common moveset for leading Azelf and Aerodactyl.


A moveset with Substitute and Baton Pass. Although any Pokémon that can learn Baton Pass can pass Substitutes, Pokémon with high HP are preferred so that the Substitute passed will also have a high HP. Subpassing is beneficial as it allows for a Pokémon to have a Substitute with a much higher HP than it could make itself. If such a Substitute is passed to a Wall or Tank, the opponent will have a hard time breaking the Substitute right away, allowing the target to reap the benefits of the Substitute, such as immunity to status effects. Subpasses can also pass defense boosts to make the Substitutes even harder to break, but then that only leaves them one move for attacking, making them very vulnerable to Taunt.


A moveset with Substitute and Focus Punch to avoid the flinch chance from Focus Punch. Works best with slower Pokémon as the Substitute may end up being broken the turn it's made if the Subpuncher goes first. Slightly harder to use in Double Battles where the two Pokémon could gang up on the Subpuncher to break the Substitute and hit the Pokémon. Countered by Thick Club Marowak whose Bonemerang usually does enough damage to break the Substitute on the first hit, allowing the second hit to attack the Subpuncher directly. It's also is countered by Technician Ambipom who might break the Substitute on the first hit of Double Hit.


A moveset with Sunny Day and SolarBeam to avoid the one turn charge up from SolarBeam. Often used on Pokémon with the Chlorophyll ability, Template:Type2 Pokémon, or Pokémon with the moves Synthesis, Morning Sun, or Moonlight, for increased HP recovery


A moveset with Rain Dance and Thunder to give Thunder 100% accuracy. Pokémon with the Volt Absorb or Water Absorb ability are preferred, due to their immunity to enemy Surfs and Thunders.


A moveset specifically for Tyranitar (but also viable on others) with the Subpuncher combo and the Boltbeam (or in Tyranitar's case, BoltCrunch) combo. It is also an example of very advanced battling techniques on both sides, as it requires you to predict that your opponent will predict your next attack and switch to something resistant to it. An example of this would be if your opponent has a Salamence in play and expects you to use Ice Beam and thus switches to a Starmie. Predicting the switch, you actually select Thunderbolt or Crunch and beat the Starmie on the switch-in.


A hacked Spiritomb or Sableye with the ability Wonder Guard. Since Spiritomb and Sableye have no weaknesses, they can only be damaged by weather conditions, status problems, entry hazards such as Spikes or Stealth Rock, recoil moves and, curiously, the move Fire Fang. Note that the ability Mold Breaker will cancel out the Wonder Guard ability. Also, If the opponent has Scrappy, or uses Odor Sleuth or Foresight a Wondereye or Wondertomb can be hit with a super effective Fighting-type attack. Gastro Acid is a move that will cancel this ability as well. Also, Future Sight and Doom Desire will strike through Wonder Guard as well, and do not take type into account so Future Sight will still damage the partial dark type Spiritomb and Sableye. These instances prove that Wondereyes and Wondertombs are not invincible.


Main article: Tiers

A tier is a list of Pokémon in the metagame selected based on numerous traits, such as how the Pokémon's stats are distributed, its type and moves, and overall ability in battle.


A tier of the metagame, currently the highest there is. It is mostly consisted of legendaries, although not all of them are in the Uber tier.


Borderline. A tier of the metagame. It is the third highest tier, in between OU and UU.


Over-Used. A tier of the metagame. It is the second highest tier, only surpassed by Uber.


Under-Used. A tier of the metagame that is the second lowest, not counting NFE.


Never-Used. A tier of the metagame. It is currently the lowest tier to date, not counting NFE. This tier first appeared in Generation III.


Not an actual tier, but a term used to describe Pokémon that are not fully evolved, and thus should not be used competitively until they evolve. There are some NFEs that can viably be used competitively, namely:

Some NFEs do exactly the same as their evolution. These may also be used competitively, but only in lower tiers than their evolution. For example, Chansey can be used in UU because its evolution Blissey is in OU, which makes it banned from UU. Another example of this is Munchlax in NU.

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