Battle Jargon


Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
is a Community Leader Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
Battle jargon thread – looking for input for adding new terms, and improving existing ones and their descriptions.

4MSS – 4 Move Slot Syndrome. The problem of a Pokémon having more than 4 moves with great ability to benefit it as a threat (having high efficacy), but the game enforcing a maximum of 4 moves on each Pokémon.

Autopilot – To play a battle with minimal attention, just run through your threatlist and make the same plays you've done time and time again against similar teams.

Aggression – A manner of play which seeks to pursue a win scenario by constantly trying to keep momentum, often at a risk, by anticipating the opponent's plays. Many teams tend to adopt this manner of play in order to be strategically accurate.

Bluff – To give the impression your Pokémon has a stronger (or weaker) matchup than it actually has, by trying to make out you have (or lack) a certain move, item or ability that wins the matchup.

Calculation – "Calcing" usually refers to using a damage calculator to calculate the damage done to a Pokémon, from inputting the attacker and defender's stats, and move, item, ability data. Other types of calculation include working out stats based on IVs, EVs and binomial theorem-style calculations. Calculation aids the player with evaluating the best play and team-building decisions to make.

Chain-switch – A sequence of two or more consecutive switches. Chain-switches are carried out in order to bring one of your threats in on a favourable matchup, or to abuse type resistances or immunities, and minimise damage dealt by an opposing threat.

Check – A Pokémon that is designated to stop a threat, but cannot reliably counter one, being unable to withstand repeated attacks from it, such as switching into the threat repeatedly. Checks can use high damaging attacks or other category moves that seek to impair functioning, to scare off their respective threats.

Cheese – High risk/reward tactics that rely on the opponent being unable to counterplay effectively, with little skill involved. As a consequence, it can refer to a player's attempt to rely too heavily on luck to successfully defeat an opponent. It also tends to exploit unconventional game mechanics.

Choke – To squander a lead, usually from unproductive thoughts, triggered by the pressure of trying to convert an advantage into a win, e.g. by playing too passively in the endgame.

Clutch – Making great plays at crucial moments, i.e. predicting well (choosing the right yomi layers) on decisive turns, and performing well under pressure.

Core – A combination of Pokémon that work well together, partner each other and give teams synergy, especially one that works as a unit to counter a large variety of threats.

Counter – A Pokémon that consistently stops a threat throughout the battle. Generally, a counter can withstand repeated attacks from the threat and also possibly pose an additional attacking/impairing threat against it, that helps with recovering health. Hard counters wall all movesets, while soft counters only wall some movesets.

Counterplay – The choices for countering a threat, tactic or strategy trying to be executed by the opponent.

Ditto – A matchup where opposing players use the same Pokémon or team.

Endgame – The end of a battle where few Pokémon are left and accuracy is crucial if there's still an even playing field.

Evaluation – The process of drawing conclusions from assessing a multitude of scenarios, with assistance from damage and additional probability-focused calculations, e.g. deciding your win condition and win scenario in the endgame.

Flipside – In situations with only 2 yomi layers, where layer 2 loops back to layer 0, the flipside is layer 1, the aggressive move, if playing passive, and layer 0, the passive move, if playing aggressive.

Gimmick – A highly unorthodox strategy that may sometimes be effective, but is generally too unreliable to be commonplace.

Hax – Excessive luck in favour of one player over another. One haxes, if they are on the benefitting end, and gets haxed, if they are on the detrimenting end.

Ladder Addiction – An obsession with achieving certain point thresholds on ladders, with one of the symptoms being the receival of a thrill when clicking the find battle button in the hope to be rewarded with more enjoyment, points and success at the risk of experiencing dissatisfaction, less points and more failure. Tilt is the main side-effect of laddering for several hours on end. For most, ladder addiction is not a long-term wasting of potential, but is nevertheless a massive temptation for players who have not marathon battled recently.

Lead – A Pokémon that is sent out first by the player, which ideally fits the lead role, to try to seize an early advantage.

Lure – A Pokémon that baits the opponent to make a move that plays into your hands, such as allowing you to switch-in a threat easily or do damage to an important check to your win condition.

Matchup – An outline of how a Pokémon or a team fares against another.

Midgame – The middle part of a battle, between the opening and the endgame, usually the bulk of the battle.

Mind game – An attempt at psychological manipulating an opponent, by mixing up yomi layers, in order to confuse them.

Misdirection – The process of trying to confuse the opponent with 2 or more threats, using chain-switches, in order to give leeway to one of them or another, as a result of the opponent choosing the wrong move.

Momentum – To have momentum is to dictate the course of play, forcing the opponent to devote their efforts to prevent you from winning , at the expense of pursuing their own win scenario, i.e. if you have momentum, your opponent will be reacting to your plays rather than forcing you to respond to their's.

Opening – The first set of moves in a battle, featuring leads versus each other, and subsequent related moves, involving pseudo-leads.

Out(s) – Additional counterplays that are available should one fail.

Partner – A Pokémon that works well with another, as part of a core, in order to give a team synergy.

Passivity – A manner of play which seeks to pursue a win scenario by forgoing most anticipatory moves and switching, in order to seek to eliminate poor outcomes, but not necessarily to maintain momentum, and Pokémon used in such a manner, which are incapable of posing an offensive threat in most matchups.

Play(s) – Put simply, the choice of a move or a switch to another Pokémon. When someone is said to make plays, it usually refers to taking intelligent risks in order to squeeze an advantage against the opponent, which is deemed necessary to win the battle.

Played – Fell victim to a great play, especially one that involves misdirection.

Playstyle – A combination of aggression/passivity, how much one cheeses, and the team styles that a player uses.

Prediction – A major element concerned with guessing the moves/plays the opponent will make. Predicting correctly is about choosing the right yomi layer to counteract the opponent's play. Playing safe is ignoring prediction when your win is guaranteed or likely enough.

Pseudo-lead – A Pokémon that could be a lead, due to having lead characteristics or being presented first in team preview, but isn't chosen to be.

Risk Management – The identification, assessment and prioritization of risks (threats).

Role – A stereotypical niche, carried out by Pokémon with specificly catered movesets and stats. For example, walls tend to have recovery moves and good defenses. Some roles may be similar versions of others, using a pseudo- prefix, for example phazers (pseudo-hazers), or be more specific, such as special walls (walling special attacks).

Sacrifice (also fodder) – The act of allowing one of your Pokemon to be KO'd in order to bring something else in without taking damage. This may be done to minimise damage from an opposing threat or to bring your own threat into play.

Scout – The utilization of tactics to intentionally reveal the opponent's Pokémon (or movesets), in the cases it's either previously not revealed to you, or you want to learn your opponent's chosen counterplay to your current threat. Both cases better help you evaluate your options later on.

Strategy – A plan of action intended to achieve a specifical goal, e.g. a plan of action that leads to a win scenario, or set of win scenarios for the player.

Strategic Accuracy – The degree to which players make the "correct" plays, to extend their game winning advantage, i.e. reduce the odds the opponent can extend their advantage or get back into the game. Games can often have multiple good paths, that become less good due to how the opponent behaves and luck, so strategic accuracy can be very debatable in Pokémon.

Synergy – Benefits resulting from the combination of Pokémon in a team.

Tactic – An action calculated to achieve something useful, e.g. a play to gain an advantage over the opponent. In comparison to a strategy, tactics are smaller in scale.

Team style – The degree of how offensive/defensive a team is, often listed in order from the most offensive to the most defensive styles.

Threat – A Pokemon (and its moves) that is capable of advancing the game towards a win scenario for a player, i.e. one that does damage to the opposing team or limits it.

Threatlist – A checklist of threats and the reactions to them for a team. Players mentally construct these lists while testing out teams, or by scrupulous theory, and sometimes write them down in order to educate other people or recall them in the future.

Tilt – Losing points and damaging your ranking on a ladder, as a result of playing too long on the ladder and not recovering your psychological wellbeing. Players suffering tilt are likely to get angry over the battles they lose narrowly and think of how things could have gone differently, meanwhile not resting and going onto the next battle in the hope they can recover their points, but generally gambling their points away, due to poorer decision making. Tilt tends to subdue its victims for a period of time. It can also be used to describe other poor series of battles, such as in a tournament.

– A Pokémon, tactic or strategy that limits the game from being played in a fair and skilful manner, i.e. the odds of successfully countering something uncompetitive with the average team are too low (luck reliant counter play).

Win condition
– A threat or tactic that can win the game (or battle) with a win scenario.

Win scenario – A sequence of events that will win a game for a player, due to insufficient counterplay available.

Yomi layer – A layer of prediction. Yomi layer 0 is acting or reacting based on what the logical move would be if there was no prediction from the opponent; yomi layer 1 is recognising your opponent will think you will choose layer 0 and creating a counterplay to your opponent. Higher yomi layers, if available, will recognise the opponent's yomi layer below and try to counterplay the corresponding play.

Thanks to Ortheore, Disaster Area & Arcticblast for helping with a term or few.
Last edited:

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)