From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Recalling (Japanese: ポケモンチェンジ Pokémon change) a Pokémon is taking it out of battle. It is also referred to as withdrawing, switching out, and retreating.
In the games
There are several methods of recalling Pokémon in the games.
A Pokémon is automatically recalled if it faints or is otherwise unable to battle. Trainers can voluntarily recall their Pokémon by selecting another in their party to take its place. Moves such as Whirlwind and Roar cause the user's opponent to be forcibly recalled, and U-turn, Volt Switch and Baton Pass let the user return to the party. Unless the Pokémon has been fainted, it will be eligible to return to battle later.
Just as moves exist that can cause a Pokémon to be recalled, there exist those prevent recall. Mean Look, Spider Web, and Block (among others) prevent a Pokémon from leaving battle, as do the abilities Shadow Tag and Arena Trap. These traps can be countered by moves that allow escape, or alternatively an ability such as Run Away.
Electing to recall a Pokémon has a priority of +6. This means it will come before all moves, except Pursuit and Helping Hand when used by a faster Pokémon with the ability Prankster. If a Trainer recalls his Pokémon during the middle of a battle, the new one will "lose" a turn; this is because switching is the Trainer's move for that round of battle. However, if a Pokémon faints, no turn will be lost when the new Pokémon is sent out.
By use of Baton Pass, a Pokémon can pass all of its stat changes, such as raised Defense, to another. It is the only way to escape some trapping moves and abilities in a Trainer battle without knocking out the trapper; some trapping moves can be neutralized by using Rapid Spin. The newly sent out Pokémon still loses a turn and is affected by the trap. This method is used mostly in competitive battling.
In the TCG
- Main article: Retreat cost
This is a list of cards in the TCG related to switching.
In the anime
In the anime, if the Trainer does not send out a replacement Pokémon, he must forfeit the match (although running from battles is illegal in the games).
In the Pokémon Anime, it appears as though a Pokémon can actually dodge a trainer's recall command.