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Competitive Trainer School ep.4: Terminology

Last episode.

Hi guys, girls and everything in-between! I know, I should have done this earlier, but I wasn’t excepting needing so much of the competitive terminology last time. And again, I haven’t talked as much about team structure as I wanted because of this. Open your books folks, school is on.

I am not a professional competitive trainer. I do not pretends to hold the holy sacred Truth and in no mean replace experts and experienced players. I simply think I have strong enough bases to share my knowledge with less experienced players.


These ones are those I’ve seen the most confusion. For the challenge, let’s do that in alphabetical order.

  • Bulk

Bulk is the capacity of the Pokémon to take hits reliably. It is a combination of HP, Defence and Special Defence.

  • Core

A core is a combinason of two or more Pokémon who have great synergy together, offensively of defensively.

Example of each core:
Mega Gardevoir and Talonflame are a great offensive core because they put heavy pressure on each other’s checks. Talonflame can use Priority Brave Bird/Accrobatics to deal with Gengar and other frailer offensive Pokémon while Gardevoir dominate every slow Bulky Pokémon in the game, like Tyranitar.
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Gliscor and Toxapex each cover all of the other’s weakness (except for psychic), they also works well as a Hazard Controll core. Gliscor use Defog while Toxapex have Toxic Spikes.
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  • Coverage

Attacks that are made to widen the number of Pokémon the user can hit for supper effective damage. Fire and Ground are very popular coverage because they hits most Steel types supper effectively. Ice is also very strong when used with Electric, the reason later.

  • Cleric

Clerics are Pokémon using Heal Bell, Aromatherapy or other moves that heal status for all party member. They are most commonly found is Stall Teams.

  • Clean

Pulling a sweeper witout being boosted, like from Choice Scarf Keldeo or Choice Scarf Landorus-T.

  • Check

A Pokémon that can handle the opponent for X reasons and force it to switch. A check can be an offensive check or a defence check.

Let’s take a Mega Scizor for example.

Defensive check, Pokémon that can handle it defensively, includes bulky water types types because they resists Bullet Punch, ofter Scizor’s main attacking move. Furthermore, since Scizor tends tu use Superpower and U-Turn/Bug Bite as its other attacking move, Toxapex is perfect to resist all of this and maybe burn Scizor.

Offensively, Talonflame menace Scizor to K.O. it with Flare Blitz.

  • Choke

Chocking mean you could have won, but you did a mistake that made you loose. A good example of chocking was when I fought Jojoboss in the simulator. I was with my Rotom-Wash against its Talonflame. Since I missed 3 Hydro Pump in a row against its Talonflame, who was at + 4 in attack, I choked and used Volt Switch instead of insisting on Hydro Pump. I didn’t do enough damages and ended up loosing.

  • Counter

Counters are Pokémon that can switch into ANY attack of ANY variants of a given Pokémon and force it to switch. A Pokémon can have no counter. Greninja, Mewtwo (to some level) and Salamence are known to have di direct counter, only set dependant checks.

  • Defogger

A Pokémon using defog to clear away hazards. Duh.

  • Double Switch

Sending a Pokémon on the field and then immediately switching it back without attacking. if often happens with pivot.

  • Entry Hazards

Entry hazards are the moves that inflict damages or debuff upon entering the field. These includes Stealth Rocks, Spikes, Toxic Spikes, Steelspikes, Toxic Spikes and Sticky Webs. In Insurgence, Steelspikes does not exist but Permafrost and Livewire are added.

  • EV spread

The way all 510 EV are distributed on a given Pokémon. More on the EV and IVs in a next article.

  • Haxx

Haxx mean the randomness of the game. It ranges from critical hits to miss and also sleep turns. A common excuse of loosing is " I lOsT bY hAxX! Yu SoKk! "

  • Hazer

A Pokémon using Haze to clear out stat boost from a Pokémon. Extremely useful to prevent a sweep.

  • Lead

The first Pokémon you send in the game. On Hyper Offense, it is often a Suicide Lead, who’s role is to setup hazards and sometimes more, and then faint.

  • Lure

A Pokémon using an unusual move to get rid of a counter. Example, Landorus-T using Sludge Wave to get rid of Tangrowth or Tapu Bulu.
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  • Metagame

In competitive Pokémon, the regroupment of commonly used Pokémon in a given tier. You don’t know how hard it was for me to summarize that into one sentence!

  • Missplay

Making a mistake and acting a way you shouldn’t. Extremely frequent during low level play, more often then not my lack of matchup or gameplay knowledge.

  • Mixed Attacker

A Pokémon using both Special and Physical attack. They are most of the time a physically offensive with a special attack or vice versa. Infernape is the best mixed attacker example, with a set of Overheat, Close Combat, Stone Edge and U-Turn.

  • Momentum

Have an advantage on the opponent, often by having a Pokémon that can handle the opposing Pokémon. Most of the time, momentum is acquired by anticipation, double switch or pivoting with U-Turn, Flip Turn or Volt Switch. It sometimes feel like you are a turn ahead of the opponent.

  • Moveset

A moveset consist of the 4 attacks the Pokémon knows at the moment. Taking back our last infernape, it is Overheat, Close Combat, Stone Edge and U-Turn.

  • Movepool

Every attack a Pokémon can learn via event, levelling up, TM, HM, Breeding or any other way possible. We talk about shallow movepool when a Pokémon learn very few useful moves.

  • Para-Prankster

A Pokémon having the Prankster ability and that have Thunder Wave or other paralyzing status moves in its moveset. The most annoying one is Klefki.

  • Phazer

A Pokémon having a move that force opponent switch, like Dragon Tail or Roar. Phaze stands for Pseudo-Haze since switching remove stats boosts or drops.

  • Pivot

A Pokémon who’s role is to switch back and forth and bring in other, often frailer, Pokémon. Pivot typically have U-Turn, Volt Switch or Flip Turn and sometimes Regenerator. Scizor is my favorite pivot.

  • Redirector

In double battle, a Pokémon that use Rage Power or Follow Me to draw the attack on itself so it can protect its partner.

  • Revenge Killer

A Pokémon who’s task is to “revenge” a teammate who fainted by making the opposing Pokémon to faint. 90%+ of the revenge killer either have a Choice Starf or a priority move. Landorus-T and Talonflame are notable ones.
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  • Safe play

An action that has minimum risks.

  • Set

Combination of Item, EVs spread, IVs, Nature, Moveset and Ability of a given Pokémon.

  • Set-up

Using a Boosting move.

  • Snowball effect

Like in cartoons where you make a snowball grab bigger by making it roll on a snowy mountain, snowball is a sweep that become more and more difficult to stop thanks to Moxie or Hubris.

  • Speed Creep

Sacrificing Bulk by removing some defensive EVs and put them into speed so you can outspeed and check some Pokémon. Best example is Rotom-W who put 56 Speed EV to outspeed Adamant Tyranitar.
(sorry, the Pokémon Shuffle image is too big.)

  • (Speed) Tie

When 2 pokémon have exactly the same speed, the game lunch a speed tie and decide randomly who attack first.

  • Spinner

Pokémon using Rapid Spin.

  • Spinblocker

Ghost Type who prevent Rapid Spin and, as such, prevent the removal of hazards.

  • STAB

Same Type Attack Bonus. STAB manifest itself by powering up move of the same type of the user by 50%, or 1,5x. So, a 90 BP attack become 1,5x stronger, so 90 * 1,5 = 135 BP.

  • Stallbreaker

Pokémon who beak walls by blocking their recovery and make them faint via alternative ways than brute force. Taunt Gliscor is the best example I can find.

  • Supporter

A Support Pokémon is a Pokémon who’s goal is to support its teammate by carrying a lot of support moves. Support could be by Wishpass, Para-Prank, Hazard setting, Tailwind, and so on. Clefable is typically the support Pokémon you think of if you play modern OU.
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  • Sweeper

A Pokémon who’s role is to set up late game and knock out weakened opposing Pokémon. We think of Gyarados, Volcaronna and Swords Dance Landorus-T.
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  • Synergy

How two Pokémon goes well with each other. Could be defensively or offensively. Pokémon who has a good synergy makes a core.

  • Tank

Ok, this one annoy me sometimes. Nearly everyone always mix Tank and Wall, but they are COMPLETELY different. A Tank is a slow but Bulky offensive Pokémon. Tanks are rarely Sweepers or Cleaners but most of the time, they are Wallbreakers. Tank frequently runs Choice Specs, Choice Scarf and due to their low speed, can afford to run Adamant or Modest nature. The very best Tank example are Machamp and Tyranitar.

  • Tilt

When you are so angry that you don’t think strait and starts making misplays. The first one who says an homophobic joke is flagged right away.

  • Volt-Turn

Special core and team style made of multiple Pokémon carrying U-Turn, Volt Switch or Flip Turn. The most classic one being Scizor + Rotom-W.

  • Wall

Totally different from a Tank, a wall is a sturdy and very passive defensive Pokémon found in Stall and Balanced teams. That GODDAM CHANSEY and Skarmory are two notoriously unbreakable wall. They also form the Scarm-Bliss core consisting of these two.

  • Wallbreaker

A Pokémon who’s purpose is like a popular Spider-Man enemy: Rhino.

Rhino, Earth 616
I’m Rhino. I knock things down. That’s what I do. That’s who I am.

Wallbreakers use brute force to destroy anything on their way. Doe to their explosive power, they often find themselves in lower speed tiers. Except for Mega Gardevoir, who 100 speed is high for a Wallbreaker using Pixilate + STAB boosted Hyper Voice coming from 165 special attack :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:. Funfact, with Taunt, Gardevoir is both a Stallbreaker and a Wallbreaker.

  • Win condition

Very complex terms that even i have difficulty to explain. A win condition is what you need in order to win. Seems simple when abridged like that, but identify it is a WHOLE other level. Require its own article.

  • Wishpass

Passing a wish to a teammate and make it recover HP. Players who plays Gen 8 will immediately think of the ubiquitous Wish Clefable.


Those are important to know at higher level as many player will starts to use them. That one will be faster.

  • 2HKO

2 Hit K.O. Making a Pokémon faint in 2 hit.

  • Band

Choice Band user.

  • Bolt-Beam

Thunderbolt + Ice beam. Very few Pokémon does resists both at the time. Notable one being Magnezone and Rotom-Heat while common users are Rotom-Frost, Electric Types using Hidden Power Ice or Delta Gardevoir/Gallade.

  • BP

Depending on the sens of the sentence, could mean Bullet Punch, Baton Pass or Base Power.

  • BS

Base Stats. Eventually, bullshit

  • BO


  • CC

Close Combat.

  • CM

Calm Mind.

  • Crit

Critical Hit. Duh.

  • DD

Dragon Dance.

  • EdgeQuake / QuakeSlide

A combo of both Stone Edge/Rock Slide and Earthquake. These have very good coverage.

  • EH

Entry Hazards.

  • EQ


  • FSD

Fairy-Steel-Dragon. Common core that have great synergy.

  • FWG

Fire-Water-Grass. The first core most player instinctively make on their team dur to its very great synergy.

  • HO

Hyper Offense


  • Lando-T / Landorus-T


Life Orb.

  • Meta


  • OHKO

One Hit K.O.

  • RK

Revenge Kill.

  • RP

Rock Pollish.

  • Sack

Sacrifice, intentionally making a Pokémon faint to progress further into the game.

  • Scarf

Choice Scarf user.

  • Specs

Choice Specs user. You get the picture.

  • SR

Steal Rock.

  • Sub


  • Torna


  • TSpikes

Toxic Spikes.

  • TTar


  • TWave

Thunder Wave.

  • Webs

Sticky Webs

  • WoW

Will-o-Wisp. Not World of Warcraft.


Why is this soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo big???

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Shut up and open your book.


A win is a win, no matter what. And please don’t use me as your example.

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Removing that line…


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Battling is disabled in insurgence so, in 1.3 will it comeback or it never will?

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It won’t come back


It’s simple enough. Just look at your opponent’s team and your team and look at what can check most of your opponent’s team and vice versa.

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Does d.bisharp count as a defog blocker, since it just absorbs flying moves(and by extension defog)

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Tho I’m not quite sure how it works so I might need to test that out

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Ok, this is so much. I’m gonna rewrite this on my notebook
Hey who took my pen…?

Oh, I see it. Thank you for putting the link to last episode!


yes it’s a defog blocker. not a spin blocker though

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So, if you manage to skill swap wind force to a ghost type, technically it becomes impossible to remove hazards, right?


Assuming the other Mon is ghost type


Still, it would only works reliably in Double where Hazards are unviable.

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True, tho it could work in gen 8 since wandering spirit is a thing


except maybe tspikes, and if insurgence for double permafrost and livewire

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Still, there are way less switches in Double than singles so it is generally better to just double focus or punch both opponent than attempting the long game.

So stall is unviable in doubles? Kinda hope so

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