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nightblitz42

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Energy Efficiency in BBP

Pokemon battling is just as intense as any other sport -- even for a highly-trained Pokemon, fighting can be both physically and mentally exhausting. On cartridge, this exhaustion is represented through a move's PP, but in Smogon Battle-By-Post we instead use a resource called Energy (or EN for short). A Pokemon will always start each battle with 100 EN. Attacking consumes varying amounts of EN depending on the strength of the attack (more powerful attacks are generally associated with high EN costs). If a Pokemon runs out of EN it faints of exhaustion. There are also factors that can increase or decrease the Energy cost of a move; for example, repeating the same attack over and over will cost massive amounts of EN, while using a move that matches the Type of your Pokemon costs slightly less.

Because repeating attacks consecutively will quickly wear out your Pokemon, a common strategy is to alternate between your two most useful attacks in battle. For example, let's say you determine that your Pokemon's strongest attack is Dark Pulse and its second strongest is Night Slash. If you were to just order Dark Pulse three times in a row, it would consume 30 EN in total (or 27 for a Dark-Type Pokemon). If you instead choose to order Dark Pulse, then Shadow Ball, then Dark Pulse again, you would only consume 17 EN (14 EN for a Dark-Type). The reduction in damage output from using this strategy is generally very small, but the difference in EN cost certainly isn't! Use this strategy of alternating attacks and you'll definitely see an improvement in your Pokemon's performance.

Of course, it's always a great happenstance when your opponent's Pokemon runs out of energy. Once your team starts falling behind on HP, sometimes all you can do is hope to knock out your opponent through sheer exhaustion. The most obvious way to achieve this is by stalling out your opponent, but you can also speed up the process by using Pressure or Spite to increase the EN cost of the opponent's moves. After that, make sure the opponent's Pokemon doesn't get an opportunity to chill by using a move like Taunt or Encore to rile it up. Even if you don't manage to score a complete KO, leaving your opponent with very little EN will force them to rely on weak, low-cost moves until they get the chance to Chill and regain their EN.

Typically the damage moves deal exceeds their Energy costs by a wide margin, so don't expect to see Pokemon run out of Energy very often. It usually only happens when either: the match drags on exceptionally long, or a player accidentally ordered their Pokemon to use a lot of high-cost attacks without thinking. In either case, do your best to make sure you're the one who comes out on top in these kinds of situations!
 
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nightblitz42

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Subject: Energy Costs
Difference:
Serves same thematic function as PP (which doesn't exist in BBP). Pokemon have 100 EN to spend on attacks and faint when they run out. Consecutive attacking is expensive.
Strategy: Alternate between your two strongest attacks to maximize Damage/EN ratio. Also, use Spite, Gravity, Taunt, and Encore to whittle away at your opponent's EN.
Strengths: Having more EN than your opponent gives you more freedom / more options than your opponent has. Even when you're low on HP your opponent might have difficulty finishing you off if they don't have enough EN to use the moves they want to.
Weaknesses: Damage output usually dwarfs EN expenditure (and also Chill exists), so ENKO's are typically rare under ordinary circumstances.
 
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Just some unsolicited notes, do what you want with them. Energy seems like a good article concept to help attract interest in potential new players.

You could probably expand upon your discussion of ENKOs a little bit. Obviously it’s true that most ENKOs happen due to player error. It’s worth highlighting that this happens most often from the player ordering second forcing poorly-worded substitutions to activate. You can probably word that better than I just did. Secondly, using Taunt to prevent an opponent from using Chill can help nab an ENKO.

Might also be worth mentioning Pressure (and to a much lesser degree, Spite). Some Pokemon have sig items that increase the potency of Pressure. And Pressure helps tanky mons like Dusknoir and Deoxys-D win battles of attrition.

Lastly, you very quickly mention that some attacks cost more energy than others. For newer users, it might be good to expand on this just a little bit to describe how this helps game balance (powerful support moves like Encore and Taunt cost a lot of energy, same for recovery moves, etc).
 

nightblitz42

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Good thoughts! I like the suggestions of talking about Taunt and how Energy Costs balance moves. I thought about mentioning Pressure but decided it was too niche to warrant inclusion. Similarly, as for Substitution trickery I chose not to discuss it because I worried the article would lose focus and become too bloated. I'd rather that subject get its own separate article (if need be).
 

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