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Introduction to Status Moves in GSC

Discussion in 'Uploaded Analyses' started by Moo, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. Moo

    Moo Professor
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    [title]
    Introduction to Status Moves in GSC
    [head]
    <meta name="description" content="An introduction to the status afflictions Sleep, Paralysis and Poison in GSC, courtesy of Oglemi and havoc." />
    [page]
    <div class="author">By <a href="/forums/member.php?u=40358">Oglemi</a> and <a href="/forums/member.php?u=40358">havoc</a>.</div>
    
    <ol class="toc">
    <li><a href="#intro">Introduction</a></li>
    <li><a href="#direct">Direct Status</a></li>
    <ul><a href="#directmoves">Direct Status moves</a></ul>
    <li><a href="#indirect">Indirect Status</a></li>
    <ul><a href="#indirectmoves">Indirect Status moves</a></ul>
    <li><a href="#sleep">Sleep</a></li>
    <li><a href="#paralysis">Paralysis</a></li>
    <li><a href="#poison">Poison</a></li>
    <ul><a href="#toxic">Toxic Poison</a></ul>
    </ol>
    
    
    <h2><a name="intro">Introduction</a></h2>
    
    <p>Status afflictions constitute a very key component of GSC play, a role larger than I think the "average" (that is, new) GSC player takes into consideration. First, a brief overview of each status affliction, both direct and indirect, and then a deeper look into the three main status afflictions—sleep, paralysis, and poison—and the strategic uses for each. The overviews of each status should not be new to experienced Pokemon players, but they will be included for the sake of completeness, in addition to perhaps informing players unfamiliar with some of the GSC generation's battling mechanics, which do differ a bit from both RSE and the DPP. Finally, Heal Bell and its use will be briefly examined.</p>
    
    <p>I tend to classify both status afflictions and the moves that cause them (henceforth referred to as "status" and "status moves," respectively) as either "direct" or "indirect." This can be a bit confusing, so I will define these terms here for ease of comprehension.</p>
    
    <h2><a name="direct">Direct Status</a></h2>
    
    <p>A status affliction that is NOT cured upon switching out the afflicted Pokemon. These include poison, paralysis, sleep, burn, and freeze. A Pokemon can only have one direct status affliction at a time, and it remains unless action is taken to cure the status, which will be discussed later.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="directmoves">Direct Status Moves</a></h3>
    
    <p>A move that inflicts status on the opponent if it hits. NOTE: the status affliction can be either direct or indirect, so a direct status move can inflict an indirect status. These moves are not "attacks" that cause actual damage upon contact (examples: Spore, Confuse Ray, Leech Seed) with the exception of the moves Zap Cannon and Dynamicpunch; since both of them are guaranteed to inflict status upon a successful hit, they are also classified as direct status moves. There are also three moves that somewhat fit into this category--Outrage, Petal Dance, and Thrash--but since they are generally never used competitively in GSC, they will not be discussed.</p>
    
    <h2><a name="indirect">Indirect Status</a></h2>
    
    <p>A status affliction that IS cured upon switching out the afflicted Pokemon. These include confusion and the effects of the following moves: Attract, Leech Seed, Curse (when used by a Ghost-type Pokemon), Nightmare (assuming the afflicted Pokemon is asleep), Encore, and Perish Song. Also included is the "Toxic" aspect of poison via the move Toxic. That is, in GSC, if a Pokemon is hit with Toxic and then switches out, upon switching back in the status downgrades to normal poisoning, ie a constant loss of 12.5% of the afflicted Pokemon's maximum HP. A Pokemon can simultaneously suffer from multiple indirect status afflictions at once, as many as possible actually; for example, a Pokemon can be confused and under the effect of Leech Seed at the same time.</p>
    
    <p>There are two status that do not quite fall into either category: the effects of the moves Mean Look/Spider Web and Spikes. Spikes will have its own discussion, but for this article, the reader is assumed to know what Spikes does, especially in the Poison section.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="indirectmoves">Indirect Status Moves</a></h3>
    
    <p>A move that can cause status affliction as a side effect upon hitting. All worthwhile indirect status moves are attacks that cause damage upon hitting. The probability of status as an additional side effect depends on the move being used, but never exceeds 30%, so there is a bit of luck involved in using them.</p>
    
    <p>A basic understanding of probability helps in understanding indirect status moves, as sometimes the numbers given can be deceiving. Note that Body Slam's accuracy is 100% with a 30% chance of paralysis on contact, so the chance of paralysis is indeed 30% every time Body Slam is used. However, in the case of Thunder it carries a 30% chance to paralyze the opponent upon hitting, but taking into account Thunder's 70% accuracy, we utilize simple probability rules and observe that there is actually only a 21% chance of paralyzing the opponent every time Thunder is used.</p>
    
    <p>Another note on probability and indirect status moves: the probability of a status affliction occurring is independent of what happened the previous times the move may have been used. It doesn't matter whether it is the 15th time Articuno used Ice Beam or the 1st, the probability of freezing that Snorlax on that turn is 10%. On any given turn, the probability will be the same, so if you're banking on that freeze on the 15th Ice Beam because the first 14 did not, you will most likely be very disappointed.</p>
    
    <p>Note that most of this article will be steered more toward direct status moves rather than indirect status moves. Though indirect status moves certainly will be discussed and are important in competitive battles, they are, as noted, a bit luck-based. This reference will try to focus on the parts of the game that a player CAN change (his strategy and methods) rather than the parts he cannot (luck).</p>
    
    <p>Now, armed with our prerequisite knowledge, let's take an in-depth look at the direct status types.</p>
    
    <h2><a name="sleep">Sleep</a></h2>
    
    <p>Completely incapacitates a Pokemon for 1-6 turns.</p>
    
    <p><strong>Common Direct Moves (accuracy):</strong> Spore (100%), Sleep Powder (75%), Lovely Kiss (75%), Hypnosis (60%), Sing (55%)</p>
    
    <p><strong>Indirect Moves:</strong> none</p>
    
    <p><strong>Common Sleep Inducers:</strong> Gengar (Hypnosis), Exeggutor (Sleep Powder), Nidoking (Lovely Kiss), Jynx (Lovely Kiss), Snorlax (Lovely Kiss)</p>
    
    <p>Sleep was probably the most important status in RBY: the ability to have an opposing Pokemon completely incapacitated for a number of turns, plus the fact that the opponent could do nothing on the turn it woke up, would in many ways make the average RBY match a 5v5 affair. With the advent of Sleep Talk and Heal Bell, GSC's defensive lean, and the fact that a Pokemon can attack on the turn it wakes up, sleep lost some of its significance from GSC onward.</p>
    
    <p>That is not to say that sleep is worthless; far from it, actually. However, one must be wary as to when to use the sleep-inducing move, lest one "waste" it on a Sleep Talk user, as Sleep Talk is the biggest counter for sleep-inducing moves in GSC. This applies a bit more to GSC than to later generations since, in GSC, if a Pokemon with Rest and Sleep Talk uses Sleep Talk while asleep and it chooses Rest, Rest is used successfully. In later generations, this is not the case. An example:</p>
    
    <p><strong>GSC:</strong><br />
    Heracross: 82% health (Slp)<br />
    Snorlax: 63% health</p>
    
    <p><strong>Begin turn:</strong><br />
    Heracross is fast asleep.<br />
    Heracross used Sleep Talk!<br />
    Heracross used Rest!<br />
    Heracross went to sleep!<br />
    Heracross regained health!</p>
    
    <p>Snorlax used Curse!<br />
    Snorlax's Attack rose!<br />
    Snorlax's Defense rose!<br />
    Snorlax's Speed fell!</p>
    
    <p>Snorlax's Leftovers restored its HP a little!<br />
    Heracross: 100% health (Slp)<br />
    Snorlax: 69% health</p>
    
    <p>In later generations, had this happened, Rest would have failed since "Heracross is already asleep!" and the turn would have continued as if Heracross had done nothing.</p>
    
    <p>The common Sleep Talk users are pretty well known by most GSC veterans, but for those who may be new to the game, here are a few standards to be well aware of:</p>
    
    <ul class="toc">
    <li><strong>Heracross:</strong> (Sleep Talk / Rest / Megahorn / Earthquake)</li>
    <li><strong>Zapdos:</strong> (Sleep Talk / Rest / Drill Peck / Thunderbolt)</li>
    <li><strong>Marowak:</strong> (Sleep Talk / Rest / Earthquake / Rock Slide)</li>
    <li><strong>Raikou</strong> (Sleep Talk / Rest / Thunderbolt / Crunch)</li>
    <li><strong>Snorlax:</strong> (Sleep Talk / Rest / Curse / Double-Edge)</li>
    </ul>
    
    <p>A few things to note: Sleep Talk is just about always paired with Rest in GSC to promote longevity. The sets listed for each Pokemon are common, but not always the standard--the main idea is to know what Pokemon to avoid putting to sleep. The Snorlax set is also used by a few Normal-type Pokemon with decently rounded stats, namely Kangaskhan and Ursaring. And finally, one of the unique aspects of GSC is that there are a vast number of Pokemon that can utilize Sleep Talk effectively with multiple sets. A good rule of thumb to use when choosing a potential Sleep Talk user is just noting that if the Pokemon is fairly sturdy defensively, then it can probably use Sleep Talk at least moderately well.</p>
    
    <p>The trick, then, to using sleep-inducing moves is perhaps to hold it over the opponent's head to try and force his hand: many times, when a common sleep inducer is seen, the opponent will automatically switch to his Sleep Talk user to avoid having one of his other Pokemon incapacitated—the aggressor can use that opportunity to perhaps attack or make a switch of her own to put her at an even bigger advantage. The element of surprise is important, and utilizing it well can break open a match. While sleeping anything that isn't a Sleep Talk user is useful, try to lure out a Pokemon that stands out as either the biggest offensive threat to your team or the biggest defensive counter to your offensive strategy.</p>
    
    <h2><a name="paralysis">Paralysis</a></h2>
    
    <p>Lowers a Pokemon's Speed by 75%; 25% probability of complete incapacitation every turn</p>
    
    <p><strong>Direct Moves (accuracy):</strong> Thunder Wave (100%), Stun Spore (75%), Zap Cannon (50%--also a 100 Base Power Electric attack)</p>
    
    <p><strong>Common Indirect Moves (accuracy/chance of paralysis given hit/chance of paralysis per use):</strong> Body Slam (100%/30%/30%), Thunderbolt (100%/10%/10%), Thunder (70%/30%/21%), ThunderPunch (100%/10%/10%)</p>
    
    <p>Though the number of common moves that can cause paralysis is not very high, these moves are very common and utilized effectively by a number of Pokemon. Though the 25% chance of complete incapacitation can certainly be wonderful for lopsided sponges such as Skarmory, the bigger (yet seemingly more underrated) aspect of paralysis is the 75% drop in Speed.</p>
    
    <p>This is incredibly helpful for countering fast attackers who also tend to lack good defensive stats, but it is just as useful for other fast Pokemon. GSC may be associated with slow, defensive tanks, but in reality, some of the best GSC defensive Pokemon are fast and rely heavily on their Speed to be effective. Examples include Starmie (328 Speed), often carrying the almost indomitable Reflect/Light Screen, Raikou (also 328 Speed) who often carries Reflect and is a brilliant special defender, and the 298 Speed Growl Miltank (bane of almost all Cursers). Any of these Pokemon getting paralyzed usually exposes an often-surprising weakness in the opponent's defense. Should the opponent have Heal Bell, he will most likely have to use it immediately; if he does not have Heal Bell, the difficulty of the match for him escalates steeply.</p>
    
    <p>In some instances, paralyzing a defensive counter can be as simple as sticking an indirect paralysis move (that is, Body Slam or Thunder) on an attacker and using it when the counter appears; for example, forgoing the power of Double-Edge on Snorlax for Body Slam to help cripple Skarmory helps other sweepers such as Marowak come in and clean up. However, remember that there is a bit of luck involved here, and as mentioned, power is often sacrificed in the process.</p>
    
    <p>For the direct status moves, there are a few obstacles preventing our preferred scenario from happening. First, experienced GSC players already know to avoid getting their Pokemon paralyzed. Second, there are a few Pokemon that handle paralysis fairly well, namely the already-slow Snorlax and RestTalk users. However, paralysis is probably the best option to status the latter, so we are actually left with one Pokemon: Snorlax. Which leads us to our third and final problem: most common paralysis inducers can't do very much to Snorlax, making Snorlax an easily repeatable switch-in to them. Indeed, if a team is not planned properly, Snorlax can counter its entire strategy based on the sole fact that it shrugs off paralysis fairly easily. Even when afflicted with a 25% chance of incapacitation every turn, Snorlax is still the most dangerous Pokemon in GSC.</p>
    
    <p>So what is needed is a strategy that coerces the opponent into bringing in the Pokemon that need to be paralyzed, instead of something like Snorlax. To do this, it's desired that whatever is chosen as a paralysis inducer can do something notable to Snorlax (and other status sponges) other than just paralyze it, thus reducing the likelihood of a Snorlax switchin.</p>
    
    <p>Ideally, this "something notable" would be to hit Snorlax directly when it switches in for a good bit of damage, which means hitting with at least a moderately strong physical attack. There are a few options as to how to go about doing this, but many involve either a big risk (the threat of Explosion from Exeggutor) or a dependence on luck (using DynamicPunch); with one notable exception (Porygon2), there just aren't any Pokemon who can damage Snorlax both dependably and repeatedly since most direct paralysis inducers are not strong physical attackers. And since Snorlax takes paralysis so well, it would be ideal to skip the paralysis here and hit it with a status that it doesn't take so well—poison or sleep (for non-Sleep Talk variants).</p>
    
    <p>So how does one go about surmounting this difficulty? Frankly, it depends on the Pokemon in question as well as the team surrounding it, but there are a few general ideas to keep in mind. If Snorlax is an inevitable switch-in, our sleep-inducing move strategy can work here as well—that is, use the fact that Snorlax will undoubtedly switch in to do something that would give you an advantage.</p>
    
    <p>There are indeed options, whether it be switching to something that CAN do something to Snorlax, or trying out something that handicaps Snorlax a bit more. Put Toxic on Slowbro instead of Thunder Wave and leave the paralysis to other team members. Maybe put both Toxic AND Thunder Wave on Slowbro, and wait until the opponent thinks he can safely bring in his Starmie; it may Recover or Reflect—at the cost of getting paralyzed. Slowbro's team ultimately benefits from that exchange. Keep in mind that some ideas may seem strange or unorthodox, but as many GSC players can attest, it often only takes one simple surprise move or exchange to dismantle an entire team.</p>
    
    <p>Paralysis is generally more beneficial to a team that plans to sweep the opponent with hard-hitting (and usually slow) sweepers such as Belly Drum Snorlax or Swords Dance Marowak; as dangerous as these types of Pokemon are already, the negation of an opponent's Speed advantage opens the door to either a clean sweep of an entire team, or the opportunity to take out one or two of your opponent's Pokemon, Rest, and then do it all over again. Doing this effectively involves identifying which of the opponent's Pokemon need to be paralyzed, luring them out for the paralysis, and then enacting your setup/sweep plan as soon as possible before either Heal Bell is used or before the paralyzed opponents can Rest off the status.</p>
    
    <h2><a name="poison">Poison</a></h2>
    
    <p>Deducts 12.5% of the afflicted Pokemon's maximum HP every turn.</p>
    
    <h2><a name="toxic">Toxic Poison</a></h2>
    
    <p>Caused by the move Toxic, poison starts by deducting 6.25% of the afflicted Pokemon's maximum HP every turn, and doubles for each subsequent turn</p>
    
    <p><strong>Common Direct Moves:</strong> Toxic</p>
    
    <p><strong>Common Indirect Moves (accuracy/probability of poison given hit/probability of poison per use):</strong> Sludge Bomb (100%/30%/30%)</p>
    
    <p>Toxic is probably one of GSC's defining moves. It helped sustain an era in the GSC metagame that forever put the generation in a negative light as a stalling contest. Many people don't understand why it was ever popular to begin with; after all, unlike later generations, Toxic poisoning reverts to normal poisoning after switching out. Poison may have helped with the now-archaic stall teams that lacked any kind of real offense, but that was in the past; why even consider using it now? The answer is perhaps a bit more detailed than one may think, but to summarize: poison takes away Leftovers recovery, and poison works well with Spikes.</p>
    
    <p>The Leftovers item is perhaps the most glossed-over aspect of why GSC has the defensive lean that it does, and it is difficult to explain to players raised on later generation why it is so important. This is because EVERY Pokemon in GSC is defensive in some way. Unlike the later generations, there are no attacks that 2HKO everything that doesn't resist them. The ability for every stat to be maximized lowers the ability of Pokemon with high attack scores to make the impact that they do in later generations. There is also no infinite weather around (particularly sandstorm) to nullify Leftovers recovery. There just aren't that many offensive options, when it comes to attacks and Pokemon. All of these factors augment Leftovers' ability to keep a Pokemon alive.</p>
    
    <p>Enter Spikes, which also chips away at the survivability of a Pokemon. When used in tandem, poison and Spikes can soften up an opponent to put it in a favorable KO range. The mechanics of this will be addressed in the Spikes discussion, but keep in mind that poison and Spikes are an effective strategy to wear down the opposition.</p>
    
    <p>Does this mean poison should ONLY be used with Spikes? Not necessarily; as I said earlier, I believe it is much better to poison Snorlax than to paralyze it, and when the GSC metagame revolves around Snorlax, it certainly makes poison an important status to consider. However, I do think that while poison doesn't NEED to be used with Spikes, it is probably BEST when used with Spikes, and for the most part, it will almost be assumed that Spikes are being used in conjunction with poison.</p>
    
    <p>Now, with that in mind, if one decides to use poison as her main status strategy, it's important to build a team around taking advantage of poison, which will probably include Spikes and things that cause a lot of switches (to take advantage of the multiple sources of indirect damage). In addition, when deciding what Pokemon to use as the status users (ie., what to give Toxic to), exactly like in the case of paralysis, it is important to think of what usually switches into that Pokemon. The goal is to put Toxic on things without a definitive switch-in or to put Toxic on a few things that tempt different switch-ins. For example, if both Starmie and Raikou are on a team, putting Toxic on both is not extremely wise; since Snorlax easily switches in on both, one or the other Toxic becomes a wasted moveslot that could be used for much better things—Roar on Raikou, for example, could take advantage of the telegraphed switch-in and help stack up residual poison and Spikes damage.</p>
    
    <p>One of the unique things about Toxic is that everything learns it, thus everything can potentially be a player on a poison/Spikes team. This means that even though these types of teams can indeed be slow and stalling in nature, they can also be offensive and pressuring. If poison sounds intriguing, feel free to experiment around and tweak different Pokemon to fit specific needs; since everything can learn Toxic, it should not be hard to effectively spread the status around an opponent's entire team. The main way to take advantage here is to bolster the team with things that force as many switches as possible, whether through using things with few clear switch-ins (Nidoking and Exeggutor come to mind) or even perhaps forcing the switch-ins with multiple Roar/Whirlwind users (both Raikou and Zapdos utilize this strategy very well).</p>
    Original Thread here.
    Way shorter than the last one
  2. NixHex

    NixHex No excuses
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    In the author part, make sure to put a space here ..>By <a href....>Oglemi</a>
    or it'll just be ByOglemi.
  3. Moo

    Moo Professor
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    Thank you kindly.
    The article was so long I didn't even notice lol
  4. Oglemi

    Oglemi We broke it. Yes, we were naughty. Completely naughty.
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    you need to credit havoc as well
  5. Moo

    Moo Professor
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    ok I added his name
  6. NixHex

    NixHex No excuses
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    Make sure to only have one 'and' before havoc's name.
  7. Oglemi

    Oglemi We broke it. Yes, we were naughty. Completely naughty.
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    havoc isn't capitalized
  8. Earthworm

    Earthworm
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    GSC sleep duration is 1-6 turns and the chance of waking up each turn is not 25% (I have no idea where that came from). Someone also reported this error in havoc's thread but it was not corrected.
  9. Moo

    Moo Professor
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    Stupid Oglemi
  10. Oglemi

    Oglemi We broke it. Yes, we were naughty. Completely naughty.
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    I resent that
  11. Oglemi

    Oglemi We broke it. Yes, we were naughty. Completely naughty.
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    this was uploaded, moving

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