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Generation VI: What's New for Pokémon Battles

Recover Decoration
Oct 10, 2013
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Generation 6 of the Pokémon games, X and Y, shows the Pokémon adventure transition into three-dimensional gameplay. This new world also offers new Pokémon, new items, new ways to battle, and a brand new type! Presented below are changes and additions to the games that pertain to its competitive aspect.

The Fairy Type
One of the biggest changes that XY has brought us is the introduction of the Fairy type, giving us a total of 18 elemental types. It keeps powerful offensive types in check, boasting an immunity to Dragon and resistances to Fighting, Dark, and Bug. They can also hit back against those threats as Fairy-type moves are effective against Dragon, Fighting, and Dark types. Fairy-type Pokémon do have weaknesses as they take double the damage from Poison and Steel attacks, and Fairy-type attacks are resisted by Poison, Steel, and Fire types. Similar to the introduction of Dark and Steel types during GSC some Pokémon have had their primary or secondary types changed to Fairy.

Mega Evolution
Another new mechanic added to Pokémon is the introduction of Mega Evolutions, which allow some Pokémon to transform during battle and increase their stats and gain new abilities. Mega Evolving a Pokémon requires them to be holding the appropriate Mega Stone (Venusaur holding the Venusaurite) and activating it before it attacks. Except for HP, Mega-Evolved Pokémon have different base stats from their non-evolved form (their base stat totals are increased by 90-100 points) and some even receive new abilities and typing.

Here are some battling mechanics with regards to Mega Evolution:

- While you may have your entire team hold their appropriate Mega Stone, you are only allowed to Mega Evolve one Pokémon.
- The Pokémon's new Speed or Ability will not affect movement order on the turn that it Mega Evolves, i.e. although Mega Banette gains Prankster status moves will not have increased priority on the turn it Mega Evolves.
- Mega Stones cannot be switched or removed from the holder. Moves/abilities such as Fling, Trick, and Pickpocket will fail and Knock Off will not receive its damage bonus nor remove the Mega Stone.

New Mechanics for Types
Along with the introduction of the Fairy type new mechanics for some of the current types have been added to the game.
- Steel loses its resistance to Dark- and Ghost-type attacks and they are now hit for 1.0x damage.
- Ghost types are now immune to all semi-trapping and trapping moves and abilities such as Fire Spin, Mean Look, and Shadow Tag.
- Grass-type Pokémon are now immune to powder and spore moves such as Spore, Sleep Powder, etc.
- Electric-type Pokémon are now immune to paralysis.

New Abilities
Along with new additions to the Pokédex, new abilities are also introduced in XY so players can try out various team combinations and strategies.
AerilateNormal-type moves become Flying-type and receive a 30% boost.
Aroma VeilProtects the Pokémon and its allies from the effects of Taunt, Torment, Encore, Disable, Heal Block, and Attract.
Aura BreakReverses the effects of Fairy Aura and Dark Aura.
BulletproofPokémon with this ability are immune to ball and bomb moves, as well as some cannon-based attacks. [link]
Cheek PouchRestores 33% of the Pokémon's maximum HP when consuming a Berry.
CompetitiveRaises the user's Special Attack by two stages when any stat is lowered by the opponent.
Dark AuraIncreases damage dealt by Dark-type attacks by 33%.
Fairy AuraIncreases damage dealt by Fairy-type attacks by 33%.
Flower VeilPrevents ally Grass-type Pokémon from having their stats lowered and being affected by non-volatile status.
Fur CoatHalves damage from physical moves, Psyshock, Psystrike, and Secret Sword.
Gale WingsIncreases the priority of Flying-type moves by one.
GooeyAttackers that make contact with the Pokémon have their Speed lowered by one stage.
Grass PeltIncreases Defense by 50% when Grassy Terrain is active or battling on grass.
MagicianIf the Pokémon is not holding an item when it hits another Pokémon the user steals the target's held item.
Mega LauncherBoosts the power of aura and pulse moves by 50%.
Parental BondDamaging moves used by the Pokémon is followed by a second attack that is half as strong as the first. Moves that strike multiple targets will not hit twice in Double, Triple, or Horde Battles.
PixilateNormal-type moves become Fairy-type and receive a 30% boost.
ProteanChanges the Pokémon's type to the type of the move it is using. The ability activates before the move is executed so STAB is applied on damaging moves.
RefrigerateNormal-type moves become Ice-type and receive a 30% boost.
Stance ChangeAllows Aegislash to switch between its Shield Forme and Blade Forme. Exclusive to Aegislash.
Strong JawIncreases the power of biting moves by 50%.
Sweet VeilPrevents the Pokémon and its allies from falling asleep.
SymbiosisPasses along the user's item to an ally after the ally's item is consumed.
Tough ClawsBoosts the power of contact moves by 33%.

New Items
There are also new held items introduced this generation, giving players more options to try out various tactics for their teams.
  • Assault Vest raises the holder's Special Defense by 50% but also prevents the holder from using status moves.
  • Kee Berry raises the holder's Defense stat by one stage when hit by a physical attack. It disappears after consumption.
  • Luminous Moss raises the holder's Special Defense by one stage when hit by a Water-type attack. It disappears after activation.
  • Maranga Berry raises the holder's Special Defense stat by one stage when hit by a special attack. It disappears after consumption.
  • Roseli Berry halves the damage from a super effective Fairy-type attack. It disappears after consumption.
  • Safety Goggles protects the holder from weather-related damage and spore/powder moves.
  • Snowball raises the holder's Attack by one stage when hit by an Ice-type attack. It disappears after activation.
  • Weakness Policy raises the holder's Attack and Special Attack by 2 stages when hit by a super-effective move. It disappears after activation.

New battle types
We are also introduced to new types of Pokémon battles as you go about your Pokémon adventure in the game: Sky Battles, Horde Encounters, and Inverse Battles.

Sky Battles are held between two Pokémon and are limited to Flying types and certain Pokémon with Levitate. Upon encountering a Sky Trainer in the game they will request the player for a Sky Battle and they can accept or decline; if you have eligible Pokémon in your team the Sky Battle will begin. The player is limited to using only their eligible Pokémon for the battle, if they all faint it is considered a loss and the player blacks out even if other non-eligible Pokémon are healthy. There are certain Flying-type Pokémon and Pokémon with Levitate that are not eligible for Sky Battles, as well as moves that are prohibited during these battles. (a Pokémon will use Struggle if it attacks while only knowing prohibited moves)

Horde Encounters occur in encounters against wild Pokémon where a player faces against five wild Pokémon simultaneously. Pokémon in a horde usually feature the same species but there are some instances of a single different Pokémon included in the horde, such as a Minun in a horde of Plusle or a Seviper in a horde of Zangoose. Sometimes Pokémon with Hidden Abilities can be found in hordes and some Pokémon can only be found in a horde. It is possible to specify targets for attacks but moves that target multiple Pokémon simultaneously can hit all five Pokémon.

Inverse Battles are a special battle type only available against Psychic Inver, who is found in a house on Route 18 and can be battled once a day. Inverse Battles have type matchups reversed: any type that resists or is immune to another type is instead weak to it and any type weak to another type is now resistant to it. Abilities that provide a type resistance or immunity (Thick Fat, Motor Drive, Wonder Guard) still function normally and Flying types are still immune to Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and Sticky Web (though are now weak against Ground-type attacks).

Super Training
Trainers also receive a new feature for EV training through Super Training. Super Training allows trainers to train their Pokémon's EVs without having to battle through the Super Training window on the bottom screen of the 3DS. Players can run their Pokémon through Super Training Regimens where they are awarded EVs on a particular stat as well as punching bags that also award EVs. Most importantly the Super Training window shows the progress of your EV training through a graph that keep track of a Pokémon's EV distribution as well as a bar that indicates how far along it is on filling up its EVs. Another helpful change is the change on the EV cap for a single stat from 255 down to 252, making sure that maxing out EVs on a stat does not result in unused EVs.

While Super Training is a helpful mechanic its speed pales when compared to EV training against hordes. Attaching a Power item to your Pokémon, compounded with Pokérus, Pokémon can gain up to 50 EVs from a single battle. Along with the new mechanic of experience being equally given through the Exp. Share it is often more efficient to use horde battles for EV training multiple Pokémon. However Super Training helps out by keeping track of your EV training through the Effort-o-Meter, as well as sometimes producing Reset Bags that allow you to erase all of a Pokémon's acquired EVs so you can start over.

Breeding Mechanics
There are also some breeding mechanics added to the game that will surely help players breed for their teams. One of these additions is the mechanic of passing down Hidden Abilities and egg moves. Previously egg moves could only be passed down from a male parent to its offspring and Hidden Abilities were passed down through a female parent. This generation allows Hidden Abilities and egg moves to be inherited from either parent and allow for new combinations of movesets for your Pokémon.

Along with greater visibility of EVs through Super Training the new generation of Pokémon games have also made it easier to get perfect IVs to help breed for optimal IV spreads.

One of the ways to encounter Pokémon with perfect IVs is through the new Friend Safari located in Kiloude City. There players can encounter Pokémon of different types, the amount of which is based on the number of friends on their 3DS. Each friend gives access to an individual Friend Safari that contains up to 3 different Pokémon of a particular type, based on their friend code. Pokémon found in the Friend Safari are guaranteed to have at least 2 perfect IVs and, once the player has been online at the same time as their friend, will have a chance of having their Hidden Ability.

Apart from Pokémon encountered in the Friend Safari, Legendary Pokémon and baby Pokémon (those designated to the Undiscovered egg group) that are found in the wild are guaranteed to have at least 3 perfect IVs.

Tying this all together is the new breeding mechanic added onto the Destiny Knot. When held by a parent while in the Day Care, the Destiny Knot results in offspring that have inherited five random IVs from its parents. Combined with the certainty of passing down Natures through the Everstone players now have an easier time breeding for their teams!

Base Stat Changes
Some Pokémon have gotten changes made to their base stats, the table below lists what they changed.

Base stats are listed as HP/Attack/Defense/Special Attack/Special Defense/Speed.
PokémonGeneration VGeneration VI

Modified Moves
Moving onto the next generation of Pokémon some moves have had their accuracies and base power changed. Most notable of these changes is that Hidden Power now has a set base power of 60. Below are some tables to help you keep track of what else has changed since Generation V.

Accuracy Changes

MoveGeneration VGeneration VI
Gunk Shot70%80%
Meteor Mash85%90%
Pin Missile85%95%
Poison Gas80%90%
Psycho Shift90%100%
Rock Tomb80%95%
Base Power Changes
MoveGeneration VGeneration VI
Air Cutter5560
Aura Sphere9080
Draco Meteor140130
Dragon Pulse9085
Energy Ball8090
Fire Blast120110
Fire Pledge5080
Frost Breath4060
Fury Cutter2040
Future Sight100120
Grass Pledge5080
Heat Wave10095
Hidden PowerVaries60
Hydro Pump120110
Ice Beam9590
Knock Off2065
Leaf Storm140130
Low Sweep6065
Magma Storm120100
Meteor Mash10090
Muddy Water9590
Pin Missile1425
Power Gem7080
Rock Tomb5060
Skull Bash100130
Smelling Salts6070
Storm Throw4060
Struggle Bug3050
Techno Blast85120
Vine Whip3545
Wake-Up Slap6070
Water Pledge5080

Most players may be familiar with these changes by now but we thought to have everything handy on one location to help you out, as well as those who are fairly new to competitive battling. (I learned a thing or two myself!) We'll be updating this post when ORAS rolls around so stay tuned. Also please let me know if there's any information that I've missed or needs to be corrected, thanks!

Update History:
7/30/14 - first version