THE POWER IS ON!
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 3:29 am
Location: Purple Ranger
We've had a lot of "What is [competitive battling term/acronym]?" threads since the release of DP... and I think it's about time this forum had a glossary of terms as well as an official thread to ask what something means.
404 Subs - A Substitute created by a Pokemon with 404 HP. Because the Substitute receives 25% of the user's max HP, it receives 101 HP, and therefore cannot be broken by Seismic Toss or Night Shade. This is a fairly common strategy to be able to use Subpunch on Blissey in Generation III.
Borderline (BL) - Borderline is, quite simply, a ban list for the Underused tier. Their power is roughly equal to Overused Pokemon on average, but they do not have the usage required to be classified as Overused, usually due to another Overused Pokemon filling the Borderline Pokemon's role better. Borderline is generally not its own metagame and is unbalanced by definition because it is to UU what Ubers is to OU.
Bulky Waters - This term came into use in Generation III and simply describes Water Pokemon who are basically designed as tanks. Suicune, Swampert and Milotic were the three most common "Bulky Waters" in Generation III OU, but Bulky Waters were also found in UU (Blastoise, Slowking) and NU (Dewgong). Bulky Waters are still around in Generation IV but took a hit in the transition due to the higher standard of attacking power, physical Electric/Grass moves, Choice Lens and particularly the move Grass Knot (as Bulky Waters also tend to be pretty heavy!).
Choice ___ - There are three items with the word "Choice" in the title: Choice Band, which was introduced in Generation III, and Choice Lens and Choice Scarf, which were introduced in Generation IV. All three of these items boost one of the following stats by 50%: Attack (Band), Special Attack (Lens) and Speed (Scarf). The catch is that the Pokemon is locked into using the first move it performs after switching into the battle. Choice Pokemon almost universally have a set of four attacking moves, but Trickbanding is an exception to this rule. Sometimes, one of a Choiced Pokemon's four move runs off the other attack stat in order strike Pokemon who can survive hits from the Choiced stat. Example: Choice Banded Pokemon sometimes have Fire Blast or Overheat to deal with Skarmory.
Deter Values (DVs) - In the Generation I and Generation II games, Deter Values are built-in "genes" that help determine a Pokemon's stats and Hidden Power information. There are four main DVs - Attack, Defense, Special and Speed. The HP DV is determined by the other four; the type and base power of Hidden Power are also determined by these four values. There are sixteen possible DVs per stat, ranging from zero to fifteen. Stats with a 15 DV will let the Pokemon's stat reach their highest possible value when it acquires maximum Stat Exp.; 0 DV stats will be thirty points below maximum with full Stat Exp. The values in between add 2 max stat points for each DVs value, i.e. a 14 DV is two points below maximum, a 13 DV is four points below maximum, etcetera. Breeding is the fastest way to get better DVs, but you should not feel compelled to aim for perfect DVs in every stat; Attack, Defense and Special can usually be a few points lower than maximum without a huge effect on your Pokemon, though it should be noted that both Special stats run off the same DV. Speed and HP are slightly more important because striking first can often determine the winner of a battle, and HP affects both physical and special survivability. Compare with Individual Values (IVs) from the Generation III and Generation IV games.
Effort Values (EVs) - In the Generation III and Generation IV games, Effort Values are hidden numbers that are one of many factors that determine a Pokemon's stats. When a Pokemon is defeated in-game, it gives one-to-three points of Effort Values to the winning Pokemon. For every four of these values, the Pokemon's overall stat is increased by one point. A Pokemon can have up to 255 EVs in one stat (though the norm is go up to 252 competitively because three EVs would be wasted otherwise; up to 100 EVs per stat can be added from Vitamins, which add 10 EVs a pop) and 510 EVs total. Macho Brace (Generation III and IV) and the Power items (Weight - HP, Bracer - Attack, Belt - Defense, Lens - Special Attack, Band - Special Defense, Anklet - Speed, Generation IV) add additional EVs to your Pokemon after they win a battle. EV training is viewed as notoriously tedious by many and online traders will often offer valuable Pokemon for EV trained Pokemon. Compare with Stat Exp. from the Generation I and Generation II games.
Entry hazards - Spikes from Generation II onward and Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes from Generation IV onward. Essentially, support moves that need to be added to the field to inflict passive damage on the opponents' Pokemon. These are mainly removed with the move Rapid Spin.
Glass cannon - A Pokemon that has astonishingly high offensive stats but horrible defensive stats. In the Pokemon world, glass cannons may or may not be fast, and therefore many of them many require using Choice Scarf as their hold item. The most obvious glass cannons in Pokemon include Generation III's Deoxys-Attack, Generation IV's Rampardos and Generation V's Archeops, although Light Ball Pikachu is a glass cannon in the lower tiers as well.
Individual Values (IVs) - In the Generation III and Generation IV games, Individual Values are built-in "genes" that help determine a Pokemon's stats and Hidden Power information. There are six main IVs - HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense and Speed. The type and base power of Hidden Power are also determined by these six values. There are thirty-two possible IVs per stat, ranging from zero to thirty-one. Stats with a 31 IV will reach their highest possible value when it acquires maximum Effort Values; 0 IV stats will be thirty-one points below maximum, even with 252 EVs. The values in between add one max stat point for each IV, i.e. a 30 IV is one point below maximum, a 29 IV is two points below maximum, etcetera. In Generation IV, a Pokemon's characteristic will reveal your Pokemon's highest IV. Breeding is the best way to good IVs, but you should not feel compelled to get perfect IVs in every stat; besides being next to impossible without cheating, some stats are useless for certain Pokemon (Blissey doesn't really care if her Attack IV is 0) and anything above a 20 IV in Attack, Defense, Special Attack and Special Defense will not give the Pokemon in question too much of a disadvantage. However, Speed and HP are a bit more important, as hitting first via the Speed stat can sometimes determine the winner of the match, and HP affects both physical and special survivability. Compare with Deter Values (DVs) from the Generation I and Generation II games.
Liechi - Liechi Berry, introduced in Generation III, is a held berry that activates if a Pokemon hits 25% of its max HP or less. (Pokemon who have the Gluttony ability activate their berries at 50%.) When activated, it boosts the holder's Attack by one stage.
Limbo - Limbo is a faux-tier on Smogon used to hold suspects from the Underused metagame. If these suspects are determined to be too good for UU, they will move up to Borderline; otherwise they will move back down to UU.
Mixed Sweeper - A Pokemon who has attacks from both sides of the spectrum in order to take on both types of defensive Pokemon: physical and special. Typically, a mixed sweeper leans more toward one direction, usually Physical, and has a powerful move of the opposing direction, such as Overheat. Special-oriented mixed sweepers tend to have Focus Punch to take on Blissey.
Nature - In Generation III and Generation IV, another factor that determines a Pokemon's stat is its nature. Due to most natures, one of the Pokemon's stats will boosted by 10% while another will be dropped by 10%. There are also five natures that do not affect stats at all (Bashful, Docile, Hardy, Quirky, Serious), but you should never use these under any circumstances! Generally, the most common natures are Modest (+SA, -Atk), Adamant (+Atk, -SA), Timid (+Speed, -Atk) and Jolly (+Speed, -SA) because less Pokemon on average are mixed attackers and the dropped stats in these four natures often matter little to their Pokemon. However, bulky Pokemon often have Bold (+Def, -Atk), Calm (+SD, -Atk), Impish (+Def, -SA) or Careful (+SD, -SA) to boost their defenses under the same reasoning. Because speed tends to be important in competitive battles, Brave (+Atk, -Spd), Relaxed (+Def, -Spd), Quiet (+SA, -Spd) and Sassy (+SD, -Spd) are less commonly seen but are perfectly viable if your Pokemon doesn't care about Speed. Natures that boost Speed, Attack or Special Attack at the expense of Defense or Special Defense (respectively: Hasty, Naive, Lonely, Naughty, Mild, and Rash) are generally avoided unless you're using a mixed attacker; Lax (+Def, -SD) and Gentle (+SD, -Def) should always be avoided.
Neverused (NU) - Neverused is a tier with the least commonly seen Pokemon, and its members are determined solely by usage. Generally, the weakest and most outclassed Pokemon are found in this tier.
Overused (OU) - Overused is the tier with the most commonly seen Pokemon. Smogon classifies Pokemon as OU if they have the "top 75% of usages" for the past month. Generally, the most powerful Pokemon are OU, but there can be certain niche OU Pokemon who, in fact, would not overcentralize UU if they were part of it. Tentacruel is the most notable case of this in Diamond and Pearl; it would not be powerful enough to be considered Borderline, but it still has enough usage to be considered Overused.
Petaya - Petaya Berry, introduced in Generation III, is a held berry that activates if a Pokemon hits 25% of its max HP or less. (Pokemon who have the Gluttony ability activate their berries at 50%.) When activated, it boosts the holder's Special Attack by one stage.
Perishtrapping - A strategy made popular by Misdreavus in Generation II; to perishtrap, a Pokemon must have a trapping move, such as Mean Look or Spider Web, and the move Perish Song. After trapping its target, the Pokemon can use Perish Song and attempt to stall until their Perish count reaches one; at this point, the Perish Song user can switch out while the trapped Pokemon cannot and, as a result, faints.
Power creep - Sometimes used while discussing the tendency for newer Pokemon to have increasingly outrageous statistics compared to older Pokemon. Other times used when describing how more recent Generations have faster, more powerful metagames due to new moves like Dragon Dance and new items like Choice Band/Lens/Scarf.
Pyroshuffling - A somewhat uncommon strategy that began in Generation III with the addition of the move Will-o-Wisp, which burns the target. After crippling an opponent with a burn, a pyroshuffler can use Roar or Whirlwind to force in another Pokemon onto the field to burn as well. In Generation III, Ninetales is the most common pyroshuffler as it is one of the only Pokemon who learns both Will-o-Wisp and Roar or Whirlwind.
Pseudohazing - A strategy that primarily started in Generation II. Because switching out causes a Pokemon to lose its stat changes (an effect that is caused by the somewhat eponymous move, Haze), pseudohazing is the process of forcing the opponent to switch. It is commonly used in conjunction with the move Spikes (as well Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes in Generation IV). Encore, Roar, Trickbanding, Whirlwind and Yawn are all common moves to force switches.
Pseudopassing - A term that originated in Generation II, when Reflect and Light Screen's mechanics were reworked. Psuedopassing is the process of using moves that affect the user's entire field for multiple turns and then switching out. The replacement Pokemon benefits from the effects, sort of as if they had been Baton Passed. Reflect, Light Screen and Tailwind are three of the most notable pseudopassing moves.
Revenge kill - A revenge kill occurs when one Pokemon KOs another, and then the player sends a fast, powerful Pokemon in to finish off the weakened opponent. For example, Dugtrio was a top-tier revenge killer in Generation III because, after an opponent KOed one of its teammates, Dugtrio could come into the field, trap the weakened opponent with Arena Trap, and finish it off thanks to Choice Band and its great Speed. Revenge killing does not require trapping the weakened opponent, however.
Salac - Salac Berry, introduced in Generation III, is a held berry that activates if a Pokemon hits 25% of its max HP or less. (Pokemon who have the Gluttony ability activate their berries at 50%.) When activated, it boosts the holder's Speed by one stage.
Skarmbliss - The combination Skarmory and Blissey, the premier physical and special defenders in Generation II (in which they both debuted) and Generation III. Tends to be an incredibly polarizing duo, as well as one that many people complain about. Skarmory, due to decent HP, sky-high Defense and one of the most beneficial typings in the game, is/was one of the best Physical defenders in the game. Blissey, due to her unmatched HP and great Special Defense (as well as a lack of Special weaknesses), was the same on the Special side. In Generation IV, both Pokemon took a bit of a hit due to the move split and the increased standard of attacking abilities, although Blissey still remains unrivaled as a Special defender and Skarmory is still one of the better physical ones.
Spin Blocker - A Ghost-type Pokemon who prevents the use of Rapid Spin. Rapid Spin is a weak Normal-type attack that removes entry hazards, but only if it causes damage. Because Ghost-types are immune to Normal-type attacks, they "block" Rapid Spin and prevent its removal of entry hazards. Major spin blockers include the Appliance Rotom forms and Dusknoir in Generation IV.
Stat Exp. - In the Generation I and Generation II games, Stat Exp. is made up of hidden numbers and is one of the two main factors that determines a Pokemon's stats. When a Pokemon is defeated in-game, it gives Stat Exp. to the winning Pokemon; all six stats receive Stat Exp. based on the defeated Pokemon's base stat totals. Unlike EVs, there is no overall cap on Stat Exp., which allows the player to max all of a Pokemon's stats (if it has perfect DVs, anyway), but each individual stat has a cap of 65536 Stat Exp. (up to half of this can be filled in by Vitamins, which added 2560 Stat Exp. a pop). Compare with Effort Values (EVs) from the Generation III and Generation IV games.
Subpunching - The strategy of setting a Substitute and then using the mechanics of the move to fire off a Focus Punch during the next turn. In order for the Substitute to not break before Focus Punch can be used, it is usually better for the Subbing Pokemon to be slower than its opponent; thus, it will set up iafter an attack rather than before it, otherwise risking a broken Sub before it gets the chance to punch. Also works well with 404 Subs.
Suspect - When a Pokemon is considered potentially Uber on Smogon, it is tagged as a suspect and a separate test environment is created in order to examine most closely whether or not the Suspect should go up to Uber or remain in OU.
Tank - Commonly confused with wall. Look at the name: tank. Implicitly, this term tells you that this Pokemon serves a role in which it can take some hits but can deal some damage of its own. Also intuitive is that tanks tend to be slow. Since the creation of EVs, it is very rare for a Pokemon to tank on both sides of the Physical/Special spectrum. Rather, the norm seems to be that a special tank has good Special Defense and usable Special Attack; a physical tank has good Defense and usable Attack. Recovery moves, Leftovers and stat boosters such as Curse, Calm Mind and Bulk Up are very commonly seen on tanks.
Tobybro - One of the most famous movesets in Generation I, Tobybro is a Slowbro with the moveset Thunder Wave, Amnesia, Surf and a fourth move such as Rest, Psychic or Blizzard; it was primarily used as one of the few ways to combat Mewtwo in the days of RBY. The idea was to paralyze Mewtwo, Amnesia up and use Surf to win and Rest to heal. Obviously, due to the Special split, this strategy fell out of use by Generation II.
Toxishuffling - An uncommon strategy that began in Generation III with the changed mechanics for the move Toxic, preventing it from reverting to normal poison after a switch. After poisoning a target with Toxic, a toxishuffler can use Roar or Whirlwind to force in another Pokemon onto the field to burn as well. In general, toxishuffling is less common than pyroshuffling because it Toxic does not halve a Pokemon's Attack like burn does.
Toxitrapping - A strategy that began in Generation II with the invention of trapping moves such as Mean Look. A toxitrapper generally traps a target, uses Toxic on it, and then stalls with moves such Protect/Detect and/or Fly so that Toxic can deal damage. While toxitrapping seems like a great idea to more inexperienced players, it is actually fairly easy to counter due to the abundance of pseudohazing techniques and, after Generation II, the ability of the move Taunt to shut down a toxitrapper's moveset before it gets a chance to work.
Trickband - A strategy that entails a Pokemon with the move Trick (or, in Generation IV, Switcheroo) and a Choice held item (named after Choice Band, because both the item and the strategy originated before Choice Lens or Scarf). The Pokemon uses Trick or Switcheroo to exchange items with its target, potentially locking them into a bad move or otherwise forcing a switch or an advantage for the Trickband player.
Tyraniboah - A specialized moveset of Tyranitar that was created in Generation III to combat the Skarmbliss tandem. With a moveset that included Substitute, Focus Punch (Subpunching to combat Blissey), Thunderbolt (to combat Skarmory) and Crunch (for a solid STAB move to combat Psychics, particularly Celebi and Claydol), Tyraniboah is a prime mixed attacker. Apparently, according to rumor, the name came from somebody saying "boah" after seeing the set in action.
Ubers - Ubers is an unbalanced tier where all available Pokemon can be used. Pokemon are deemed Uber if they would overcentralize the OU metagame. Not all (pseudo-/)Legendaries are Uber, and not all Ubers are (psuedo-/)Legendary. As of this writing, all twelve members of the legendary trios, Dragonite, Tyranitar, Metagross, Celebi, Jirachi, Speed Deoxys, Phione, Heatran, Cresselia, Regigigas and (Land Forme) Shaymin are non-Uber Legendaries or Pseudo Legendaries in Generation IV. Latias without Soul Dew was brought down from Uber to OU in early 2009, but went back to Uber a few months; Latios always has been considered Uber with or without Soul Dew, and Manaphy received Suspect testing in 2009 but remained Uber. Garchomp and Salamence were banned later in 2009 and 2010. Wynaut and Wobbuffet are the only non-Legendary Ubers due to the ridiculousness of their ability Shadow Tag.
Underused - Underused is another tier determined by usage. Pokemon that do not make the cut for Overused are grouped in the Underused tier. From there, the Pokemon who overcentralize UU are banned to Borderline while the least common members of UU are split into Neverused. Underused Pokemon are generally inferior to BL/OU/Uber Pokemon and superior to NU Pokemon.
Wall - Commonly confused with tank. Look at the name: wall. Implicitly, this term tells you that this Pokemon serves a role in which it can endure a lot of abuse but cannot dish out much of its own. Typically, walls have very high HP, Defense and/or Special Defense stats but below average Attack, Special Attack and Speed stats. Moves such as Seismic Toss are particularly useful on walls because of this. Additionally, people commonly use the expression "[Pokemon] will wall you" to describe when the Pokemon in question can easily survive any of the attacks for your Pokemon. Example: "Oh, a Recover/Ice Beam/Thunderbolt/Psychic Porygon2 @ Leftovers? Blissey will wall you!"
Wallbreaker - A Pokemon who can hit hard with either Physical OR Special moves. Archeops before its Ability triggers is a perfect example, as it has base 140 Attack, base 112 Special Attack and base 110 Speed. Typically these Pokemon can be used as mixed sweepers.