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If you were to invent a new battle format...

Gone batty.
Sep 12, 2018
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By now we had many battle formats. Just in the main series there are regular, double, tag, triple, rotary, inverted and sky battles, as well as battle royale. Anime brings even more to the table with contest and full battles, as well as minor, unnamed formats (the original series for example had a relatively popular ruleset for unofficial battles where you had to switch after KOing the enemy, couldn't switch at any other time and couldn't use the same Pokemon twice - essentialy it was more of a series of 1vs1 duels between both sides' Pokemon rather than one full, continuous battle).
But have you ever thought that there might be some other, new battle format? One with unique rules unlike anything we saw up to this point? Well, then this is the place to share these ideas!
Now, all three formats I'm about to talk about are more or less variations on the rotation battle format from gen V, which I found wastly underused.

The first and simplest is a switcheroo battle. It's essentialy a rotation battle with just two Pokemon on each side instead of three. Other than that - rules are the same: you have two Pokemon, one in front an one in back, only the one in front can attack or be attacked, and swapping them around is a free action.

A support battle, which came from a quick dream/daydream I had yesterday evening while trying to fall asleep, is what inspired me to write this thread. It's like rotation battle - but the two Pokemon in the back can still use support moves (that is, ones that can affect the one in the front, eg. Wide Guard). With how it would require specialised teams with multiple support moves on multiple Pokemon, it'd bring a new layer of strategy and breathe some fresh air into the Pokemon metagame (read: make all the immensely annoying stalling strategies even more impossibly evil by making two of the enemy Pokemon invincible at all times.)

Finally, triple switcheroo is the closest actually playable thing I can think of to everyone's favourite pipe dream that are sixtuple battles (well, okay, I'm not actually sure if there's that much people who'd love to see them, but even then you gotta admit: with how slow even triple battles can get due to the time both sides need to strategise and the lenght of six attack animations playing one after another, sixtuples would be basically unplayable). In a triple switcheroo, both sides send all six Pokemon at once - but only three on each side fight, with the others standing back and waiting for their turn. Just like in a rotation battle or regular switcheroo battle, only the three Pokemon in front can fight or be fought, but switching them around is a free action and the ones in the back still take poison/burn damage each turn if they're poisoned/burned and don't have their confusion/stat changes healed. One thing 'm not sure is whether the Pokemon would act as a "row" (if you chose to switch, then all in the back go to the front and all in front fall back) or individualy (you can only switch one each turn, but it can be any for any).
Aug 3, 2017
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An idea I had years ago, like around the time XY came out, was what I call squad battles. Basically, it was my attempt to combine singles, doubles, and triples:

You get your standard team of six, but you get to divide them into squads of 1, 2, or 3. For example, a standard singles match would be six squads of 1 Pokemon, but you'd also have the option of three squads of 2 Pokemon each, or two squads of 3, etc.

All species of Pokemon would be divided into one of three classes, determined by base stat total, legendary status, evolution stage, weight, etc. A Class A Pokemon can only be in a squad of 1, while a Class B can be in a squad size of 2 or 1, and Class C could be in squads of 1, 2, or 3.

Class A would be made up of powerful third-stage Pokemon, most legendaries, high BST Pokemon, large/heavy Pokemon like Wailord.

Class B would be your Lucarios and Scythers, etc. A lot of middle-stages. These monsters can act alone (squad of 1) or engage in the equivalent of doubles (squad size 2).

Class C would be first stages, babies, etc. These are the only Pokemon that can engage in "triples," essentially-- but they can also be in squads of 2 or even 1. So they are more versatile and you're incentivized to max out their stats/level, find the best combination of moves, etc.

Part of this was my desire to make every Pokemon, even (especially) unevolved Pokemon viable in some way, and to make it so you could have two-on-one and three-on-one battles (rather than every doubles being doubles on both sides, same for triples) and to make legendaries viable by giving them a disadvantage.

In-universe reasoning is that a trainer can only control one very powerful Pokemon at a time, but three small Pokemon is more manageable, also only so much space is allotted to each trainer's side of the field in league matches.

So for example:

My team is

Squad 1: Togepi/Cleffa/Igglybuff
Squad 2: Lucario/Charmeleon
Squad 3: Kyogre

That's six Pokemon, but encompasses all three battle styles (singles, doubles, triples).

My opponent has

Squad 1: Groudon
Squad 2: Blastoise
Squad 3: Scyther/Dragonair
Squad 4: Pachirisu/Metang

My opponent decided to mix it up and not include a triples team. Pachirisu would probably be considered a Class C, and can fit any format (squad size), but it's paired with Metang, which I'm supposing would probably be Class B (I don't know Metang's BST or how it compares to Pokemon as a whole, I'm just guessing most middle-stages are falling into a Class B range unless they're Metapod or something), and could not be on a squad of 3.

So when we fight, we could have the titans duke it out like a normal singles match (Kyogre vs Groudon) or I could send out my squad of babies and try to overwhelm that Groudon (in my mind it's a strength in numbers thing like a group of Pikmin swarming a Bulborb), since I would have three moves every turn to their one.

Only Pokemon that are in a squad of 1 even have the option to Mega Evolve, so for example, my Lucario would not be able to unless I rearranged my team outside of battle to place Lucario by itself. In which case it would behoove me to evolve my Charmeleon or switch it out for something from my PC.

I also imagine boss battles (evil team leaders, the champion, etc) that have a set up similar to mine (3-2-1) so that the number of Pokemon decreases as the individual Pokemon become more powerful-- if I'm the champion, a challenger has to take out my squad of babies, followed by my squad of 2, and then my Kyogre is essentially the final boss of the game-- not that I'd have to go in that order or that I couldn't switch squads mid-match, just that the AI might do that order for dramatic effect.