Pokémon Movepool Oddities & Explanations

Afaik Smart Strike is not strictly linked to "horns" but rather to perforating ability (which well... you'd perform with a horn). It's why certain Pokemon that can't learn megahorn can learn it, like Cloyster, Togetic or Tapu Fini.
Kartana being based on sharp paper definitely has the pointy appendages to perforate something.
The localization for the move's name also reference sharpness, and "Smart Strike" despite being a weird name could also be implying the idea of a precise stab.

Basically Megahorn would assume the user rams itself with all its force using the horn as focal point for the attack, while Smart Strike is rather a precise stab with a pointy edge (generally but not necessarly a horn).

As stated above, feels like Aggron lacking Megahorn may just be a oversight, as other pokemon with relatively small horns like Seaking are able to learn the move.
They're pretty clearly taking liberties with what constitutes a horn when assigning the move to Pokémon but the Japanese name really is "Smart Horn" in katakana.

It's a bit of an odd move in general; not sure why piercing attack with a horn that always hits is Steel-type. Maybe it's using the horn as a radar to home in on opponents?
 
It's a bit of an odd move in general; not sure why piercing attack with a horn that always hits is Steel-type. Maybe it's using the horn as a radar to home in on opponents?
It's likely steel type purely because the only types that would have possibly made sense for it would have been steel, ice or rock.
In order to be able to perforate properly, said extremity has to be pretty smooth, resistant and obviously pointy.
Rocks tend to be rough, ice tends to lack the resistance, steel on other hand can have all the above qualities.

Ice also already had a similar BP widely distributed accurate phisical attack (ice punch) so having another attack that's basically a worse ice punch felt redundant.

Wild assumption is that they went for steel specifically because on top of the above, since they wanted to have a 100% accurate move, it would have been a bit antithetical with rock type which usually sports higher power inaccurate moves with strong secondary effects, while steel type attacks tend to have lower BP but make up for it via utility.

Also, for what matters, the way less complicate approach is that (sawing) needles are made of steel and they are used to perforate with precision, which is exactly what this move does.
 
It seems like no one in this thread remembers smart has multiple meanings :eeveehide:

"(of a wound or part of the body) feel or cause a sharp stinging pain."

In the sense that if you get something like a splinter, you might say "ow that smarts". So the "smart" part of the name specifically refers to the perforation already, since it would usually only be used in that context. If you get blunt trauma, you would usually default to "hurts" over "smarts". That's what differentiates it from something like Horn Attack, since horns are likelier to inflict blunt trauma than an actual stabwound, if you've ever watched nature documentaries.

As for why it's Steel-Type, I think Worldie probably has it correct in #2,827. It's partially just for game design for sure, but it would only ever really be Steel- or Normal-Type, and there are loads of attacks that possibly make more sense as Normal-Type attacks than whatever type they currently are. It could also be Bug-Type, but we didn't need a weaker version of Megahorn lol.

Wait I hit post and then realised why it's probably Steel-Type, and it could just be down to the type chart. Steel-Type is super effective on Ice- and Rock-Type Pokémon, whose type matchups are defined by having armour of some description (rock is just much better armour than ice). Piercing that armour should land a super effective hit, and the only two types that could do that are Steel-Type and Fighting-Type. But then Steel-Type is resisted by Water-Type (how are you gonna perforate a liquid?), Fire-Type (how are you gonna perforate a... gas? what's fire?), and Electric-Type (how are you gonna perforate plasma, is that what electricity is lmao?). Where the specific act of perforation is relevant to the type chart, Steel-Type actually appears to encompass those interactions the best. Steel-Type resisting Steel-Type is probably where this fits the clumsiest, and Fairy-Type Pokémon don't have a particular weakness to stabbing I think, but it's fine since it fits everything else so well. Might be nice if it were also SE on Ground-Type though, could have been a fun Freeze-Dry situation.
 
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It seems like no one in this thread remembers smart has multiple meanings :eeveehide:

"(of a wound or part of the body) feel or cause a sharp stinging pain."

In the sense that if you get something like a splinter, you might say "ow that smarts". So the "smart" part of the name specifically refers to the perforation already, since it would usually only be used in that context. If you get blunt trauma, you would usually default to "hurts" over "smarts". That's what differentiates it from something like Horn Attack, since horns are likelier to inflict blunt trauma than an actual stabwound, if you've ever watched nature documentaries.
You're not necessarily wrong but I have to ask how much the usage of "ow, that smarts" would be used in japan, and then specifically used in the sense of "Smart Horn/Strike" -> "This horn/strike, will smart"

I also don't really..think "smart" is specifically something like pointed trauma? I've definitely had "smarts" said in my region(s) as, like, anything that hurts but you want to be jokey about it. A strong slap, a stubbed toe, hitting the corner with your elbow, just taking pain in general.
 
Reminds me that Smart Strike is the only physical Steel move Kartana gets, since in Gen VII the only other Steel move it could get was the non-damaging move Iron Defense in Ultra and in Gen VIII they only added Steel Beam, a special move that EVERY Steel type can learn like with Draco Meteor and Dragon types.
 
It's been a while since I griped about how Kartana should have learned Steel Wing instead of Smart Strike.
  • Both are 70 power Steel TMs, so Kartana's level-up movepool wouldn't need to be touched
  • Kartana is specifically known for cutting, not stabbing
  • Steel Wing would reference the two most iconic papercraft objects: airplanes and origami swans
 
I knew I should have added that caveat :facepalm: A more generic, widely distributed Steel-type slashing move is what I meant
:psysly: I imagined you were referring to a generic one, but still felt like being annoying

It's probably because there'd be too much overlap.
There's already like a million "slash" moves (Slash, Night Slash, Psycho Cut, Cut, Fury Cutter, X-Scissor come to mind). Adding a "steel type slash" probably felt redundant, expecially when a relatively widely distributed steel type attack already exists (Iron Head)
 
There's Metal Claw, which isn't good, but fills the niche from a flavor perspective. From a usable STAB perspective, Steel is just SOL in general, and I don't think calling out a specific sort of move matters as much as the general lack of options in the 80-120 bp range. If something doesn't get Iron Head or a signature move, welp, good luck.
 
There's Metal Claw, which isn't good, but fills the niche from a flavor perspective. From a usable STAB perspective, Steel is just SOL in general, and I don't think calling out a specific sort of move matters as much as the general lack of options in the 80-120 bp range. If something doesn't get Iron Head or a signature move, welp, good luck.
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Forretress has Heavy Slam and Gyro Ball, Klefki is a support Pokemon, and Klinklang has Gear Grind. Really the only losers are Empoleon (who is still a fine special attacker, and while Steel Wing isn't ideal it's still usable) and Stunfisk (who's just fucked).
 
Poltergeist: "The user attacks the target by controlling the target's item. The move fails if the target doesn't have an item."

Despite the fact the move involves the user hitting the target with its own item, something that could be done via telekinesis, the only non-Ghost-type, Psychic-type Pokémon that can learn the move is Mew.
 
Despite the move description, I feel like there has to be more to Poltergeist than just bashing the target with its item using telekinesis, otherwise you'd think it'd function like Fling and have variable power depending on the item.

Also, when you use Poltergeist, the in-battle description is "[target] is about to be attacked by its [item]!" The use of the word "by" instead of "with" suggests to me that there's something extra ghost-y and otherworldly going on, i.e. that the item is being animated or possessed rather than just physically manipulated.

You could argue that it's an arbitrary distinction, but I think those arbitrary distinctions are important to maintain the uniqueness of individual Pokemon and types (and generally I'm just leery of the idea that meeting the physical requirements of a move should in itself entitle a Pokemon to being able to learn that move).
 
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:ss/timburr::ss/gurdurr::ss/conkeldurr:

I find it odd that none of these guys learn moves based on their material of choice. Timburr doesn't learn Wood Hammer, Conkeldurr doesn't learn Sand Tomb, Gurdurr doesn't learn... I dunno fuckin' Metal Burst or some shit. It seems like such a no-brainer for a family themed around fighting with various construction materials, especially before Gen 8 when prevo-exclusive moves were a thing.
 
:ss/timburr::ss/gurdurr::ss/conkeldurr:

I find it odd that none of these guys learn moves based on their material of choice. Timburr doesn't learn Wood Hammer, Conkeldurr doesn't learn Sand Tomb, Gurdurr doesn't learn... I dunno fuckin' Metal Burst or some shit. It seems like such a no-brainer for a family themed around fighting with various construction materials, especially before Gen 8 when prevo-exclusive moves were a thing.
Tbh it's probably to prevent the exact opposite and avoid replicating the Ice Punch Wooper/Ghastly scenario.

After the first generations they have been significantly more careful in avoiding giving pre-evo moves that wouldnt make sense when evolved, and other way around. I am moderately confident that the only cases where this happens is with very old pokemon from back when movesets weren't really thought out.
 

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:ss/timburr::ss/gurdurr::ss/conkeldurr:

I find it odd that none of these guys learn moves based on their material of choice. Timburr doesn't learn Wood Hammer, Conkeldurr doesn't learn Sand Tomb, Gurdurr doesn't learn... I dunno fuckin' Metal Burst or some shit. It seems like such a no-brainer for a family themed around fighting with various construction materials, especially before Gen 8 when prevo-exclusive moves were a thing.
My understanding is that Wood Hammer is not 'using a piece of wood as a hammer'. It's supposed to involve charging into the target with a hard, plant body and hitting it downward like a hammer (the wood is probably chosen as it is plant-related and strong).
 
My understanding is that Wood Hammer is not 'using a piece of wood as a hammer'. It's supposed to involve charging into the target with a hard, plant body and hitting it downward like a hammer (the wood is probably chosen as it is plant-related and strong).
My understanding is that Wood Hammer is not 'using a piece of wood as a hammer'. It's supposed to involve charging into the target with a hard, plant body and hitting it downward like a hammer (the wood is probably chosen as it is plant-related and strong).
Well bulbapedia is pretty clear on this
https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Wood_Hammer_(move)

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The anime usage of the move does show that they do indeed use literal logs for this move but it has to be a part of their body. Which makes sense as they are mostly grass types and they actually have log-resembling parts or turn one of their parts into a rugged, harder log piece. And well Sudowoodoo is not grass type but it's pretending to be a tree so...

There are two exceptions, Komala who uses a literal log for it, and Mimikyu who uuuh... I'm unsure how Mimikyu uses Wood Hammer, probably something about ghost powers or whatever.
Based off the fact Komala can use its actual log for it, one would assume that so would Timburr. But as I wrote above, it's very likely they didn't add it because then it wouldn't make sense for its evolutions.
 
Well bulbapedia is pretty clear on this
https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Wood_Hammer_(move)

View attachment 424785

The anime usage of the move does show that they do indeed use literal logs for this move but it has to be a part of their body. Which makes sense as they are mostly grass types and they actually have log-resembling parts or turn one of their parts into a rugged, harder log piece. And well Sudowoodoo is not grass type but it's pretending to be a tree so...

There are two exceptions, Komala who uses a literal log for it, and Mimikyu who uuuh... I'm unsure how Mimikyu uses Wood Hammer, probably something about ghost powers or whatever.
Based off the fact Komala can use its actual log for it, one would assume that so would Timburr. But as I wrote above, it's very likely they didn't add it because then it wouldn't make sense for its evolutions.
It uses Wood Hammer with its "tail", which is a chunk of wood
 

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I find it odd that none of these guys learn moves based on their material of choice. Timburr doesn't learn Wood Hammer, Conkeldurr doesn't learn Sand Tomb, Gurdurr doesn't learn... I dunno fuckin' Metal Burst or some shit.
My understanding is that Wood Hammer is not 'using a piece of wood as a hammer'. It's supposed to involve charging into the target with a hard, plant body and hitting it downward like a hammer (the wood is probably chosen as it is plant-related and strong).
Guys we're overlooking the more obvious choice for Timburr to learn: Branch Poke. :psysly:

Steel Beam, duh.

(Yeah, I know, I know ...)
Actually a Steel-type move they can all reasonably learn would be Heavy Slam. Though honestly they'd probably do better with Gyro Ball.

But yeah, as Worldie noted, they're probably just avoiding giving it an elemental move that wouldn't make sense for its evolutions (unlike Komala and Mimikyu who always have their log/stick so get Wood Hammer). So no Grass at least. As I said Heavy Slam or Gyro Ball I think is reasonable. And with Conkeldurr being the final evo maybe they could give it specifically a Rock-type move like... well actually it already gets Stone Edge and Rock Slide, so does it need another Rock-type move?

If the issue is that they don't get a move where they swing their object of choice, honestly that sounds more like something that could be made into a Signature Move for it. Make it Fighting-type but, just for fun, depending on stage its at it gets a different secondary effect: Timburr does super effect damage against Water & Ground-types; Gurdurr ignores resistances & immunities, and Conkeludurr ignores all Abilities and breaks through Protect & all its variants (& maybe to have also have another secondary effect that's consistent between all of them like a chance to flinch).

Despite the fact the move involves the user hitting the target with its own item, something that could be done via telekinesis, the only non-Ghost-type, Psychic-type Pokémon that can learn the move is Mew.
In addition to what has been said justifying the inclusive nature of the move, this got me curious: Mew is the only non-Ghost Type that learns it (cause Mews gimmick is it can learn every TM & Tutor), but are there any Ghost-types in SwSh that doesn't learn it?

Turns out, there 11, or 6 families if you wanted to group them up: Drifloon family, Mimikyu, Honedge family, Blacephalon, Dreepy family, & Spectrier. Not sure why they were excluded, it's very odd in some of their cases as the Drifloon family and Honedge family are already possessed objects. Mimikyu may not be possessing something but its obviously manipulating its disguise which included a stick that its using as a tail.

There's already like a million "slash" moves (Slash, Night Slash, Psycho Cut, Cut, Fury Cutter, X-Scissor come to mind). Adding a "steel type slash" probably felt redundant, expecially when a relatively widely distributed steel type attack already exists (Iron Head)
Eh, if it still looks like there would be some Pokemon who has metal blades part of their design that they use for attacking (Scyther family, Kabutops, Skarmory, Empoleon, Excadrill, Escavalie, Pawniard family, Durant, Cobalion, Honedge family, Alolan Sandshrew family, Kartana, Corviknight, Galarian Meowth family, Zacian) I don't see what's the foul of making a Steel-type version of Leaf Blade and call it a day. Like, there's a lot of punching moves, there's even an Ability that works with it, yet no one is saying there's too many of those.

Or they could get creative, like maybe have a Steel-type version of Thrash which implies rapid slashing (Slicing Storm) or copy of Triple Kick that implies a succession of strong sword swings (Slice Dice).

They're pretty clearly taking liberties with what constitutes a horn when assigning the move to Pokémon but the Japanese name really is "Smart Horn" in katakana.

It's a bit of an odd move in general; not sure why piercing attack with a horn that always hits is Steel-type. Maybe it's using the horn as a radar to home in on opponents?
Honestly I'm not even sure why they made Smart Strike in the first place (or why the English translators changed it from "Smart Horn"). And it doesn't make sense Kartana learns it. It feels like it may have started out as a Steel-type cutting move wanting to give something to Kartana (it's essentially a Steel-type Aerial Ace which in Japan is named after a sword technique), but out of the blue someone went "hey, if we made it a horn attack we can spread it to a wider range of Pokemon!", and did that but kept it on Kartana anyway without much justification besides it was originally designed for it.
 
Turns out, there 11, or 6 families if you wanted to group them up: Drifloon family, Mimikyu, Honedge family, Blacephalon, Dreepy family, & Spectrier. Not sure why they were excluded, it's very odd in some of their cases as the Drifloon family and Honedge family are already possessed objects. Mimikyu may not be possessing something but its obviously manipulating its disguise which included a stick that its using as a tail.
I'd say them already being possessed objects is itself why they can't learn the move - they probably can't possess multiple objects at once. The honedge line in particular seems to be bound to swords after being killed by them (insert suicide squad reference here). Mimikyu might not want to take it's spirit out from under the rag to possess the item? Although this one might just be for balancing reasons tbh, same with dragapult. In fact dragapult I'm just going to say was probably 100% due to balancing, it was tearing up VGC with phantom force.
 

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