From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Substitute (Japanese: みがわり Scapegoat) is a non-damaging Normal-type move introduced in Generation I. It was TM50 in Generation I before losing its TM status in Generation II. It regained its TM status as TM90 from Generation IV, until Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, where it was TM08. It is TR20 in Generation VIII. It was Mr. Mime's signature move in Generation II.
By decreasing its HP by 25% (rounded down) of its maximum HP, the user creates a substitute with 1 HP more than the amount of HP lost by the user. If the user's current HP is less than 25% (rounded down) of its maximum HP, Substitute fails. If the user's current HP is exactly equal to 25% (rounded down) of its maximum HP, it will faint upon creating the substitute. If the user's maximum HP is 3 or less, it will not lose any HP when the substitute is made. The substitute always has the same type and stats as the Pokémon that created it currently has.
If a Pokémon has a substitute, any damage the Pokémon would take from an opponent's moves, except Super Fang and binding moves, is taken by the substitute instead. If the substitute runs out of HP or is hit by a one-hit KO move, it breaks. Other damage (except self-inflicted confusion damage), such as recoil damage or damage from status conditions, is not affected by a substitute.
Due to a glitch, if a Pokémon behind a substitute takes self-inflicted confusion damage, the damage is applied to the opponent's substitute instead. If the opponent does not have a substitute, no Pokémon or substitute takes damage.
While behind a substitute, its opponent's moves cannot lower its stat stages, poison it, freeze it, burn it, or cause it to flinch. A Pokémon behind a substitute can be inflicted with paralysis or sleep by status moves (such as Thunder Wave and Hypnosis), but not by damaging moves (such as Thunderbolt). Conversely, a Pokémon behind a substitute cannot be confused by status moves (such as Confuse Ray), but can be confused by damaging moves (such as Confusion) as long as they do not break the substitute. Even if a move breaks a substitute, it cannot inflict any effects it would not be able to inflict to a Pokémon behind a substitute.
Additionally, substitute does not affect the opponent's Disable, Leech Seed, Super Fang, Transform, or binding moves; the user's Bide, Counter, or Rage; nor either Pokémon's Haze.
In the Japanese games, draining moves always miss if the target is behind a substitute. In the Western games, they can hit and drain HP, but will not drain any HP if they break the substitute.
If a Pokémon breaks a substitute with Hyper Beam, it will not need to recharge. If a Pokémon breaks a substitute with Explosion or Selfdestruct, it will not faint, although its sprite will still disappear until it switches out (or uses Substitute). If a Pokémon breaks a substitute with a recoil move, it will not take any recoil damage. If a Pokémon breaks a substitute with Pay Day, that use of Pay Day will not count toward the money its Trainer picks up at the end of the battle. If a Pokémon attacks a substitute with a multi-strike move, the hits will automatically end if the substitute breaks.
In Stadium, several oddities and glitches listed above were fixed:
- If the user's current HP is exactly equal to 25% (rounded down) of its maximum HP, it will be too weak to create a substitute.
- A Pokémon behind a substitute cannot be inflicted with any status condition or confusion by an opponent's move.
- If a Pokémon breaks a substitute with Explosion or Selfdestruct, it will faint as usual.
- Draining moves always miss if used on a Pokémon behind a substitute.
In general, the fixed effects from Stadium in Generation I are retained. For example:
- If the user's current HP is equal to or lower than 25% (rounded down) of its maximum HP, it will be too weak to create a substitute.
- A Pokémon behind a substitute cannot be inflicted with any status condition or caused to flinch by an opponent's move.
- Super Fang affects the substitute rather than the Pokémon behind it.
- Rage works as normal.
- Draining moves always miss if used on a Pokémon behind a substitute.
- If a Pokémon breaks a substitute with Explosion or Selfdestruct, it will faint as usual.
Mechanics changed between Stadium and Generation II include:
- The substitute's HP is now exactly equal to the HP lost to create the substitute, instead of being 1 + the HP lost.
- Leech Seed now fails if the target is behind a substitute.
- If a Pokémon behind a substitute hurts itself in confusion, it takes the damage itself.
- Bide can be successfully used by a Pokémon behind a substitute, but damage dealt to a substitute is not considered for the damage Bide deals.
- Because recoil damage is calculated from how much HP the target has actually lost, if a Pokémon hits a substitute with a recoil move, that attacker will only take 1 HP of recoil damage. (Jump Kick and Hi Jump Kick crash damage is calculated normally.) Breaking a substitute with a recoil move no longer prevents recoil damage.
- A multi-strike move can now continue hitting even after a substitute has been broken, then dealing damage directly to the targeted Pokémon. (Twineedle can poison a target with the second strike if the first strike broke the substitute.)
- Pay Day now works as normal.
Mechanics newly introduced in Generation II include:
- A substitute can be passed by Baton Pass, and it will keep whatever HP it has remaining.
- The moves Counter, Mirror Coat, Protect, Detect, and Endure will fail if used by a Pokémon behind a substitute.
- The moves Lock-On, Mind Reader, Nightmare, Ghost-type Curse, and Sketch cannot affect a Pokémon behind a substitute. (If a Pokémon affected by one of these moves later gains a substitute, their effects remain.)
- A substitute takes the damage from Future Sight.
- A substitute takes the damage from Pursuit as the user switches out.
- Binding moves will not trap the target if it is behind a substitute. In addition, creating a substitute will cause the user to escape a binding move.
- If a Pokémon behind a substitute is targeted by Swagger, its Attack is sharply increased as normal, but it does not become confused.
- Thief cannot steal an item from a Pokémon behind a substitute.
- Pain Split fails if the target is behind a substitute.
The following effects are carried over/expanded from Generation II:
- A Pokémon behind a substitute cannot have its stat stages lowered by an opponent's Intimidate.
- A Pokémon behind a substitute cannot have its item stolen by Covet or knocked off by Knock Off. Trick fails if its target is behind a substitute.
- A substitute takes the damage from Doom Desire.
- Yawn is blocked by the substitute, but if a Pokémon behind a substitute is already drowsy due to Yawn it can still fall asleep.
The following effects are changed between Generations II and III:
- Rage's effect will now no longer activate if its user's substitute is hit.
- Swagger and Flatter will now fail if used on a Pokémon behind a substitute.
- Pay Day now does not cause its Trainer to gain money if it hits a substitute.
- Protect, Detect, and Endure now behave as normal.
- Damaging draining moves (except Dream Eater) can now hit a substitute as normal, and the user of the move will gain HP depending on the HP the substitute lost. (Leech Seed is still blocked by the substitute.)
- Recoil moves now inflict recoil damage to the user depending on the damage dealt to the substitute.
- Trapping moves are now blocked by the substitute.
- Mimic is now blocked by the substitute.
The following effects are newly introduced in Generation III:
- Shedinja, having a maximum of only 1 HP, cannot make a substitute.
- Substitute can be stolen by Snatch.
- SmellingSalt will not have any of its additional effects applied if it hits a substitute, even if the Pokémon behind it is paralyzed.
The following effects are carried over/expanded from Generation III:
- A Pokémon behind a substitute cannot have its item eaten by Pluck or Bug Bite. Switcheroo fails if its target is behind a substitute.
- Like Counter and Mirror Coat, Metal Burst also does not count damage taken by its user's substitute.
- Similar to SmellingSalt, Wake-Up Slap will not have any of its additional effects applied if it hits a substitute, even if the Pokémon behind it is asleep.
The following effects changed between Generations III and IV:
The following effects are newly introduced in Generation IV:
- The Enigma Berry will not activate if the substitute takes the move, nor will damage-reducing Berries (such as the Occa Berry).
- If an opponent's U-turn breaks the user's substitute, and the opponent then switches in a Pokémon with Intimidate, the substitute will not fade until after it has successfully blocked the new Intimidate.
- If a Pokémon behind a substitute uses Baton Pass, the Pokémon switched in cannot be poisoned by Toxic Spikes, but if it is a grounded Poison-type Pokémon it will still remove the Toxic Spikes.
- A Pokémon behind a substitute is unaffected by the effects of items thrown by Fling if the substitute takes the move.
- An opponent's Defog will not lower the evasiveness of a Pokémon behind a substitute, but it will still remove fog as well as team effects (Reflect, Mist, etc.) and entry hazards on the target's side of the field.
- A substitute blocks Copycat, Embargo, Gastro Acid, Heal Block, Psycho Shift, and Worry Seed. A substitute blocks Acupressure regardless of whether it was used by an ally or the user itself.
A Pokémon behind a substitute cannot have its item destroyed by Incinerate or be given an item by Bestow. The Ability Pickpocket and the Item Drop from Wonder Launcher can steal or remove a Pokémon's held item, respectively.
If Smack Down, Clear Smog, Circle Throw, or Dragon Tail target a substitute, their secondary effects will not trigger. The move Sky Drop will fail if the target is behind a substitute.
Acupressure can now successfully be used by a Pokémon behind a substitute on itself, but it will still fail if it targets an ally behind a substitute.
Substitute now blocks Transform and Imposter.
Another Pokémon's Dream Eater can now affect a Pokémon's substitute and acts the same way as other damaging draining moves. Pain Split can now affect a Pokémon's substitute.
Generations VI and VII
Substitute no longer blocks sound-based moves (such as Metal Sound) or any moves used by Pokémon with the Ability Infiltrator, except Transform and Sky Drop. The moves Hyperspace Hole, Hyperspace Fury, Play Nice, and Spectral Thief can also bypass a substitute. Aromatherapy can still heal the user's status conditions if it is behind a substitute, but will now fail to affect an ally behind a substitute. Substitute will prevent Knock Off from discarding a removable held item, however Knock Off's power will still be increased.
If powered up by a Normalium Z into Z-Substitute, all of the user's lowered stats are reset.
Dynamax Pokémon cannot have a substitute. If a Pokémon Dynamaxes while it has a substitute, the substitute disappears.
|| This move effect may be in need of research. |
Reason: Which moves are unaffected in Generation VIII?
You can discuss this on the talk page.
Different moves are able to bypass Substitute in each generation. These moves are marked with a ✓ in the following table. Note that Generation I effects are not included.
|| Uses 1/4 of the user's maximum HP to create a substitute that takes the opponent's attacks.
|| Makes a decoy with 1/4 user's max HP.
|| Creates a decoy using 1/4 of the user's maximum HP.
|| The user creates a decoy using one-quarter of its full HP.
| The user makes a copy of itself using some of its HP. The copy serves as the user's decoy.
|| The user creates a substitute for itself using some of its HP. The substitute serves as the user's decoy.
In other games
Greninja using Substitute
In Red Rescue Team, Blue Rescue Team, Explorers of Time, Explorers of Darkness and Explorers of Sky, Substitute is a move with 7PP. The user targets Pokémon in front of them, ally or enemy, and inflicts Decoy status condition on them for 21-50 turns, making them more likely to be targeted by the AI. This move is affected by Snatch and Taunt.
From Gates to Infinity, Substitute instead causes the Substitute status by cutting the user's HP in half. The user will not be targeted by enemies, but the user cannot use moves or items, and cannot restore its HP naturally. If the user is attacked by a move (such as Earthquake which affects the whole room), Substitute will not protect the user from damage. The status lasts 11 turns.
Substitute is Greninja's down special. The substitute doll it summons resembles those from the main games, though it can also summon a log. The move functions as a counter, attacking opponents who hit Greninja while it is posing.
There is a trophy of the substitute doll in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
If it looks like a Pokémon and it gets attacked like a Pokémon, it's probably a- Oh, no, it could also be a Substitute Doll. This cute plush figure appears out of nowhere when a Pokémon uses the move Substitute. Is that a smile on its face or a grimace of determination? Only the doll knows, and it's not telling.
|| This article is incomplete.|
Please feel free to edit this article to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: More thorough description of what sort of attacks are or are not blocked by Substitute..
Substitute is the move used by Whimsicott when called as a Support Pokémon. It conjures up a set of three dolls that rotate around the Battle Pokémon, blocking incoming ranged attacks. It also restores a little of the Battle Pokémon's HP.
|| The target gains the Decoy status, making it the target of its fellow Pokémon.
|| Afflicts the targeted enemy with a Decoy status condition. A Pokémon with the Decoy status becomes a decoy that is seen as an enemy by its allies and can draw their attacks.
| Afflicts the targeted Pokémon with a Decoy status condition. A Pokémon with the Decoy status is viewed as a foe by its allies. It also becomes likely to draw the attention of foes.
|| ポケモンを みがわりじょうたいにかえる みがわりじょうたいになると ねらわれやすくなったり なかまから こうげきされたりする
|| You will get the Substitute status, but every time you use this move, your HP decreases. With the Substitute status, you won't be targeted by enemies, but you can't use moves or items, nor restore your HP naturally.
|| You create a decoy using your HP. You won't be targeted, but you can't use moves or items.*|
You'll create a substitute, but every time you use this move, your HP decreases. When you create a substitute, you won't be targeted by enemies, but you can't use moves or items, nor can you restore your HP naturally.*
| Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U
|| Deceive with a substitute, and then counter an attack.*
| Pokkén Tournament
|| Temporarily protects against some long-range attacks.|
Also recovers a small amount of HP.
|| This section is incomplete.|
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Missing the substitute images from Generations VI, VII and VIII.
In the anime
In the manga
In the Phantom Thief Pokémon 7 manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
| The user creates a substitute that resembles it. The substitute fades away soon after.
|| First Chapter Used In
|| Pikachu creates a see-through after image of itself by cutting a quarter of its health. Pikachu can form the substitute to any form it wants. Once the after image gets hit, however, it disappears.
| Red's Pika
|| Meanwhile... Vileplume!
In the Pokémon Battle Frontier manga
In other generations
Core series games
Side series games
Spin-off series games
A substitute "levitating"
A substitute in place of Masahiro Sakurai
A Substitute doll in the anime
- In most games, the decoy and the Pokémon will switch places when the Pokémon executes a move. The only exception is in Pokémon Battle Revolution, where the battle animations play out as if the substitute was the one performing the move. It generally remains stationary, except when using moves like Fly or Bounce.
- In the Generation I and II games, the substitute resembles Rhydon.
- Shedinja can learn Substitute despite being incapable of using it, as its HP is too low to create a substitute.
- Substitutes are interpreted differently throughout all forms of Pokémon canon. In the games, a substitute is seen as an inanimate decoy which simply stands in for the Pokémon. In the anime, substitutes are seen to be clones of the user. In the Pokémon Adventures manga, substitutes are like the anime representation, but more spectral and transparent, as shown by Red's Pikachu in Peace of Mime.
- In the Mystery Dungeon series, if the player eats an X-Eye Seed, all other Pokémon appear as substitutes.
- The Plush Toy enemy in the Mystery Doors of the Magical Land Series in Pokéstar Studios in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 is similar to a substitute.
- In Pokémon Stadium, glitch Pokémon will appear as the substitutes. The color will vary, however, due to the player's ID and the glitch Pokémon's name. This is because the game treats the glitch Pokémon's name as a nickname, which cause Pokémon to change colors in the Stadium series.
- In Generation VI, the size of the substitute depends on the size of the Pokémon using it. For example, a substitute made by a Kyurem will be bigger than that of a Flabébé.
- During Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Direct on April 8, 2014, a substitute plushie is seen in place of Masahiro Sakurai as he goes to showcase some of the Pokémon available from the Poké Ball and Master Ball items.
- Substitute dolls have been featured in several episodes of the anime:
- A Substitute doll appeared in Omega Alpha Adventure 21 as one the many items that Hoopa pulled out of its ring while searching for a Diancite for Ruby.
- This move plays its animation even if the battle animations are turned off.
- In Generation I games, if the player used Substitute, then looked at the stats of a Pokémon in their party and then exited the menu, the opponent's Pokémon sprite would change to a glitchy version of the Pokémon that was just viewed.
- The substitute doll appears in the Japanese merchandise line, the FuniFuni Mascot Collection Part 2 (a gacha set). Because it is a secret rare, it is labelled as "???" in promotional material.
- In Generation VII, Substitute is the only TM that can be learned by all Pokémon that can learn TMs, except Pokémon that can only learn moves via TM that they can also learn by other means.
In other languages