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Normal as a typing is supposed to be a "baseline" type of sorts; Normal-type moves do not hit for super effective damage, and the Normal-type has but one immunity to its name. This makes it a below average typing for a Pokemon to have. However, most Normal-types compensate for this by having massive and diverse movepools that other types can only dream of packing. As a Normal typing doesn't give a Pokemon much to work with, the presence of Normal-types in Standard is relatively low, meaning Normal-typess are more common in lower tiers.
Normal's offensive Pokemon are few and far between in OU due to terrible typing, but a few Pokemon cling to Standard thanks to good movepools and stat distribution. Snorlax is perhaps the best offensive Normal-type in the game. 110 base Attack combined with massive HP and Special Defense stats make it an ideal user of the move Curse. That same bulk makes Snorlax a decently effective Choice Band user, where Snorlax can use its diverse physical movepool to do heavy damage to anything. STAB Selfdestruct is perhaps Snorlax's greatest weapon, nearly guaranteeing an opposing Pokemon is knocked out.
The other OU Normal offensive threat is Porygon-Z. While rather frail, 135 base Special Attack combined with 90 base Speed, Nasty Plot, and Adaptability makes single hits from Porygon-Z devastating to teams. If seen in OU, it usually holds a Choice Scarf to make up for its average Speed, Choice Specs to do extreme damage, or Nasty Plot with a Life Orb to attempt a sweep.
Normal isn't much of a defensive type, lacking any resistances and featuring only one immunity. Defensive Normal Pokemon have to bring something more than decent stats to the table in order to be useful over Pokemon that feature actual resistances.
Porygon-Z is not the only member of the Porygon line with an OU niche. Porygon2's well rounded stats and large movepool, including Recover, Thunder Wave, and Toxic, make it a decent supporter. Add in the unique Trace ability, and Porygon2 gains the ability to bounce back Intimidates against Salamence and Gyarados, gain immunity to Heatran and Vaporeon's STAB, and many other cool tricks in the OU metagame.
The game's best special defender, hands down, is Blissey. With a mind boggling 255 base HP and 135 base Special Defense, there is a very short list of special attackers that can 2HKO a healthy Blissey even with maximized Special Attack. Blissey's excellent support moves like Wish and Heal Bell, combined with an array of elemental and status attacks, make Blissey one of the most versatile and useful defenders in OU.
Snorlax may not have the ludicrous stats of Blissey, but its high HP and Special Defense do allow it to take hits from many prominent special attackers. Snorlax can use this bulk to get more opportunities to boost its Attack and Defense stats with Curse, or simply serve as a defensive Choice Band user.
The Normal-type is full of quirky, interesting, and, ironically enough, abnormal Pokemon. These Pokemon don't always have the best stats, but always make battles interesting, easily finding a home in UU. Ambipom is an excellent Normal attacker in UU, fully utilizing STAB Technician Fake Outs and Returns to do heavy, quick damage coming off of a 100 base Attack stat. U-turn coming off of 115 Speed is nothing to sneeze at either, allowing Ambipom to occupy a somewhat Scizor-like niche in UU.
Swellow is another frail Normal attacker, exchanging a chunk of attacking power for a ridiculous 125 base Speed stat and a Flying secondary type, buying it another immunity. STAB Guts-boosted Facades and Brave Birds do plenty of damage even from an 85 base Attack stat. Like many of its type, Swellow is held back by its lack of any way to damage Steel- and Rock-types. Similarly to Ambipom, Swellow gets a priority attack in Quick Attack as well as access to U-Turn.
While technically NU, Kangaskhan's good all around stats and unique ability make it an often underrated UU threat. Scrappy eliminates the Ghost-type immunity to Normal, allowing Kangaskhan to fire off Choice Band Returns and Focus Punches without having to worry about predicting Ghost-types. Kangaskhan's good movepool even among Normal-types gives it Sucker Punch, Fake Out, Hammer Arm, Counter, Earthquake, and Focus Punch to play with as well.
Chansey is Blissey's pre-evolution. While its utter lack of Special Attack makes it less amazing than Blissey, it still has access to a comparable movepool and a whole host of support options. Often seen helping out teams with Wish, Heal Bell, or Stealth Rock, Chansey still has 250 base HP and 105 base Special Defense to sponge hits with, allowing her to remain a useful asset.
Clefable has possibly the best ability in the game. Magic Guard prevents Clefable from taking any indirect damage whatsoever, greatly increasing its staying power. In addition to this, Clefable possibly has the best movepool of all Normal-types and a balanced stat distribution, allowing Clefable to do almost anything. Wish support, Encore support, Belly Drum sweeper, Facade abuser, mixed attacker, Trick user... there is nothing that Clefable can't do.
Miltank is unusual among defensive Normal-types in that it has rather high physical bulk instead of special bulk. While it's no Chansey, Miltank has access to Milk Drink, Body Slam, Heal Bell, and the choice of Thick Fat to buy resistances or Scrappy to paralyze and counter Ghosts. Miltank also makes a decent Curser in UU, as well as a bulky Choice Band user in a manner similar to Snorlax.
Return – 102 effective Base Power – 100% Accuracy
The most basic of attacks. With 102 Base Power (at max Happiness), it's roughly as powerful as Earthquake and is a great move for Normal-type Pokemon looking to do damage with no drawbacks. Return is commonly seen on almost every physical Normal Pokemon. Every once in awhile, it is seen on a physical Water Pokemon, such as Gyarados or Azumarill, as the Water/Normal-type combination is unresisted barring Empoleon.
Double-Edge – 120 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – 1/3 recoil
Double-Edge has an increased Base Power of 120, with the drawback of recoil. It's seen on select Choice Band users to do more damage per hit, most notably Snorlax.
Body Slam – 85 Base Power -– 100% Accuracy – 30% chance to paralyze target
Body Slam exchanges about 20% of Return's power for a 30% chance of causing paralysis. Unlike most paralysis moves, Ground-types are not immune to Body Slam, so the move is used by many Pokemon like to paralyze fast Ground-types. The most notable user is Serene Grace Jirachi, although defensive Snorlax often run the move as well.
Facade – 70 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – Base Power doubles if user is paralyzed, poisoned, or burned.
Facade is a move commonly seen on Pokemon that have some method of status abuse. The 140 Base Power hit provides a welcome power boost over Return to Swellow and Ursaring, and can provide Heracross and Breloom with a unique move to hit Pokemon that resist its STAB attacks.
ExtremeSpeed – 80 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – Increased priority
ExtremeSpeed is the most powerful priority attack in the game, and unlike Sucker Punch, has no drawbacks, so it is used by nearly every Pokemon that can learn it. Poor distribution limits its potential, although you'd be hard pressed to find a Lucario, Arcanine, or Dragonite not running the attack. In UU, Belly Drum ExtremeSpeed is a threat from Linoone.
Fake Out – 40 Base Power – 100% Accuracy - Increased priority, always flinches, fails if used after first turn Pokemon is in play.
Fake Out is a somewhat useful opening move to get "free" damage on a Pokemon. Infernape and Ambipom are among its top users, occasionally using it to disrupt lead Pokemon using a Focus Sash.
Flail – Up to 200 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – Base Power dependent on remaining HP of user.
Flail is a unique move due to its varying, yet potentially high Base Power. As Flail users have to approach 5% HP to do heavy damage with the attack, it is not very commonly seen in OU due to the abundance of priority attacks.
Selfdestruct – 400 Effective Base Power – 100% Accuracy – Knocks out the user
Explosion – 500 Effective Base Power – 100% Accuracy – Knocks out the user
Selfdestruct and Explosion are the most unique of the physical Normal moves and have power not seen in any other attacking type. Selfdestruct has 200 Base Power and Explosion 250, but both moves halve the opponent's Defense stat before doing damage, resulting in an effective 400 and 500 Base Power. The drawback is that the user is KOed immediately after its use; due to the Ghost-type's immunity to the attack's damage, this makes Selfdestruct and Explosion rather risky. Notable users of Selfdestruct include Snorlax, which gets STAB on the move, resulting in one of the most powerful physical attacks in the game. Explosion is used extensively among Pokemon despite a lack of STAB, including Metagross, Gengar, Heatran, and Azelf. While very uncommon, Lickilicky gets STAB on Explosion, resulting in THE most powerful physical attack, before boosts, in Pokemon, although Lickilicky is much less effective than Snorlax.
Rapid Spin – 20 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – Removes Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and Stealth Rock from user's field.
While technically a damaging attack, Rapid Spin is never used as such; the damage merely exists competitively as a work-around to Taunt. Its secondary effect nullifies the efforts of opposing stall teams and other chip damage users. If the damage is prevented by a Ghost-type, it does not clear the user's side of residual damage, which is why every stall team features Rotom. The main reasons Rapid Spin isn't on every team to combat suicide leads and stall teams alike is due to its rather low distribution; in OU, only Starmie, Forretress, and Tentacruel learn it. It is also set-up fodder for nearly any Pokemon.
Super Fang – 90% Accuracy – Halves target's HP.
Super Fang is obviously preferable when the opponent is at a high HP and is useful for breaking walls that do not posses recovery moves, as the damage dealt is not dependent on the user's Attack stat. Super Fang is only given to a handful of Pokemon, mainly Bibarel and Raticate.
Tri Attack – 80 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – 20% chance to burn, paralyze, or freeze
Tri Attack is the only remotely common special Normal attack. Porygon-Z and Togekiss use it extensively in OU, Togekiss in particular taking advantage of the increased chance for status.
Hidden Power – 70 Effective Base Power – 100% Accuracy – Type and Base Power dependent on user's IVs.
While Normal-type Pokemon never get STAB on the attack, the special Hidden Power is one of the most popular and useful attacks in all of Pokemon. The type and Base Power of the attack varies with the IVs of the Pokemon using it, though for all competitive purposes the Base Power of Hidden Power is 70. Nearly every special attacker uses Hidden Power to gain super effective type coverage on specific threats; for example, Latias and Gengar use Hidden Power Fire in lieu of Flamethrower to deal with Scizor. Listing all of the notable Pokemon that use Hidden Power would take ages; almost any special attacker can work with it.
Protect – --% Accuracy – Grants full immunity to all moves used against the user for one turn.
The abundance of Choice items makes Protect somewhat useful on certain defensive Pokemon, allowing the user to know what attack is coming next. It also allows the user to gain one turn of post-attack effects, such as sandstorm damage or Leftovers recovery. Protect is sometimes used in tandem with Wish to grant a Wish user guaranteed 50% recovery without forcing it to endure two hits. The odds of its success cut in half if used in succession. The most common users of Protect are Wish Blissey, Wish Jirachi, and some Swampert.
Endeavor – --% Accuracy – Lowers target's HP to match user.
The center of many gimmick movesets, Endeavor's requirement of a low HP stat makes its use rather limited. Level 2 Clefable uses Endeavor in tandem with Focus Sash to give it a near-guaranteed single KO assuming damaging weather is present.
Pain Split – --% Accuracy – User and target's HP become average of both Pokemon's remaining HP
Pain Split allows Pokemon with lower HP stats to simultaneously heal HP and do some damage. However, since it requires the opponent to have more life than the user and is easy to block through Taunt or Substitute, it's generally unreliable at best, and used extremely sparingly. It is most likely to be seen on Spiritomb or Mismagius.
Recover – --% Accuracy – Recovers 50% of user's HP
Softboiled – --% Accuracy – Recovers 50% of user's HP
Slack Off – --% Accuracy – Recovers 50% of user's HP
Recover, Softboiled, and Slack Off are the most reliable healing moves in the game. Between their 16 maximum PP, flat 50% healing, and decent distribution, Pokemon with these moves are more often than not likely to use them as long as they've got the defensive stats to back it up. Recover is most commonly found on Psychic-type Pokemon, as many Psychic-type Pokemon such as Starmie learn it at a low level. Softboiled provides healing for Chansey/Blissey and Clefable, while Slack Off is generally found on slower Pokemon such as Hippowdon and Slowbro.
Substitute – --% Accuracy – Takes 25% of user's max HP to create a Substitute that blocks attack effects and takes damage.
Substitute is perhaps the most powerful move in Pokemon. The "Sub" receives the effects of most of the opponent's attacks, rather than the Pokemon itself, until the Substitute runs out of HP. The consequences of this are greater than one might initially realize. The possibilities for Substitute are endless. Combine it with Baton Pass to give sweepers with common immunities free turns to sweep. Use it on a Pokemon that augments its defenses, such as Calm Mind Jirachi, to buy more Leftovers recovery and ensure critical hits don't stop you. Run enough HP EVs to ensure 101 HP Substitutes to beat Seismic Toss users one on one. Predict a status move and use a faster Substitute to block it while simultaneously gaining a free turn to stat up or do whatever you'd like without damage. There's no end to the potential uses for Substitute.
Swords Dance – --% Accuracy – +2 boost to user's Attack
Swords Dance is the classic, penultimate boosting move. It has been used to set up for sweeps since RBY; it is now commonly seen on Scizor, Gliscor, and Infernape in OU.
Belly Drum – --% Accuracy – Maximizes Attack stat at cost of 50% of user's HP.
Belly Drum is perhaps the most unique boosting move. The high risk and low distribution makes it uncommon to see in OU; in UU, the most common Belly Drummers are Linoone and Charizard.
Wish – --% Accuracy – Heals user's active Pokemon 50% at the end of next turn.
One of the most unique and handy moves for defensive teams in Pokemon, Wish is a neat little attack which allows any Pokemon on your team to potentially recover health. This makes more Pokemon viable in defensive or stall situations. Latias, Blissey, and Jirachi are the main Wish users in OU, while Clefable uses it extensively in UU.
Yawn – --% Accuracy – Opponent's current Pokemon falls asleep at the end of the next turn.
Yawn is one of only two 100% accurate sleep moves in the game. While Yawn will never miss, it takes two turns to set up, the actual attack and at the end of the second turn the target will fall asleep. This can be easily prevented by switching, so Yawn users try to capitalize on this by running Spikes or Stealth Rock. Though Yawn is a sleep move, it plays as a "psdo-Haze" move. Yawn isn't very common in OU, but Togekiss and Empoleon can learn it.
Baton Pass – --% Accuracy – User switches out, new Pokemon preserves user's stat boosts.
Baton Pass is a rather useful attack to allow Pokemon that don't otherwise have access to boosting moves to reap their benefits. Baton Pass is also useful for passing large Substitutes to Pokemon in order to buy them free turns. Baton Pass, being powerful, doesn't enjoy high distribution; the most notorious Baton Passers are Smeargle, Ninjask, Zapdos, Jolteon, and Gliscor.
Heal Bell – --% Accuracy – Cures user's team of status
Heal Bell is a fairly handy move sometimes seen on defensive teams to remove crippling status such as Toxic-esque poison, burn, or Rest-induced sleep. Heal Bell has been less popular in DP due to the fast, high-offense nature of the metagame. The most common Heal Bell users are Celebi and Blissey.
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