Mechanics Sword & Shield Battle Mechanics Research

Marty

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From my perspective, this move is extremely smart. It seems to be using Galarian Slowbro's highest attacking stat, whether it's from its Attack or Special Attack stats, and translates that higher stat number to either physical or special damage depending on which defensive stat from the opponent is the lesser of the two. It's like a much better version of Photon Geyser that adapts to the situation at hand. I'd also like to see more people test this out to see what they think about all this.
A wild level 60 Chansey with a Defense IV of 3 or less always has a chance of being OHKOed by any Shell Side Arm coming off 110 or more Attack. If you have no way of verifying what stats the Chansey has (such as by catching it after hitting it), then the test doesn't mean much. The Wooper I saved in front of to do my several dozen tests happened to have a Defense IV of 0 or 1, so it's not unheard of. Anyway, said tests that I posted on the last page already prove it only ever calculates Attack with Defense or Special Attack with Special Defense; there's no mixing or Wooper would be taking over 100 damage every hit in the 168 Attack, 141 Special Attack series of tests (which, if mixed would calculate Attack into Special Defense).

More Shell Side Arm stuff:
Additional testing shows Reflect does nothing to Shell Side Arm's decision-making. A 106 Defense, 126 Sp. Def opponent continues taking physical Shell Side Arms (from the 141/141 Slowbro) every turn after Reflect goes up. So, the only explanation that makes sense for the Reflect Gardevoir video from earlier in the thread is that its Defense and Special Defense were somehow the perfect combination to take identical damage rolls from both categories.

Since Choice Band doesn't affect this move's category, I strongly doubt any item or Ability does (in the same way that Photon Geyser doesn't care about non-stat stage boosts). I don't have anything with Ice Scales at the moment so someone can feel free to test that. In my opinion, the only plausible thing other than stat stages that might affect it is Sandstorm's Special Defense boost for Rock types, which I will check at some point soon.
Edit: Nope, 158 Defense, 157 Special Defense Tyranitar in Sandstorm keeps taking special damage from the 141/141 Slowbro.

Rising Voltage stuff:
Level 60 Jolteon 123 SpAtk Rising Voltage VS level 100 Togedemaru 153 SpDef
57 damage on Electric Terrain, then 27 damage after Togedemaru used Magnet Rise

This makes Rising Voltage 140 power on Electric Terrain if the target is grounded, which is then further boosted by Electric Terrain assuming the user is also grounded. If the target is airborne or there's no Electric Terrain it's just 70 power.
 
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Theorymon

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I didn't notice this anywhere in the thread, it's sorta a minor mechanic on the surface, but it might have an... interesting impact on Pokemon Showdown.

Both Urshifu formes share the same mini sprite. Thus, this means you can't tell which forme your foe is using in team preview!

I'm not sure how Showdown would implement this since they use models instead of sprites on cart. Maybe using Urshifu's out of battle model? That one you see in the overworld when Urshifu is following you, which is also shared between both formes.


Photos are below as proof!



 
Does Terrain Pulse, Misty Explosion, Rising Voltage, Grassy Glide, and Expanding Force require the user to be grounded for their additional effects, or does terrain just have to be active?
All of my tests were done in the double battle with the Motostoke Cafe Master, reseting after each test:

Terrain Pulse - I repeated my in-game experiment with the same Clawitzer and Indeedee-F as before, but this time giving Clawitzer an Air Balloon. Targeting Indeedee with Terrain Pulse, I did 24 and 25 damage, but did not get a "It's not very effective..." message. After popping the balloon with my own Mystical Fire, I did 20 damage after the Sp. Atk drop, and did receive a "It's not very effective...".

I then battled again and targeted the opponent. I got the normal type animation with the balloon, and the Psychic animation without it. So, Terrain Pulse requires the used to be grounded to get the changed type and doubled power.

Misty Explosion - I had a level 39 Aromatisee with 87 Sp. Atk hold an Air Balloon, and had it use Misty Explosion beside a level 56 Misty Surge G-Weezing with 90 Sp. Def. It crit for 27 damage, using the non-boosted animation. This damage roll means the attack was not boosted.

Rising Voltage - I had a level 55 Raichu with 105 Sp. Atk hold an Air Balloon, and had it use Rising Voltage on my level 50 Electric Surge Pincurchin with 97 Sp. Def. It did 47 damage, which is only possible if it is still boosted. I then repeated the battle, but with Pincurchin holding the Air Balloon instead of Raichu, so Raichu had the 30% boost. It did 31 damage, which means that the damage was not boosted. Furthermore, the animation for targeting an opponent that was holding an Air Balloon was noticeably weaker than attacking a grounded opponent.

Grassy Glide - I gave the level 5 gift HA Grookey an Air Balloon. It was not able to use Grassy Glide before my level 100 Zacian hit it with Sacred Sword.

Expanding Force - I gave my Psychic Surge Indeedee-F an Air Balloon. Expanding Force was single target.

Conclusion: Terrain Pulse, Misty Explosion, Grassy Glide, and Expanding Force all require the user to be grounded to get the boost. However, Rising Voltage instead only requires the target to be grounded, even if the user is not grounded.
 
Haha damn I feel bad for all the non-grounded stuff that gets Expanding Force then. Seems to be only Rowlet and Dartrix have Grassy Glide and nothing ungrounded gets Misty Explosion or Terrain Pulse.

Is Shell Side Arm a "ballistic" move (eg: blocked by Bulletproof) in either of its two versions?
 
From my perspective, this move is extremely smart. It seems to be using Galarian Slowbro's highest attacking stat, whether it's from its Attack or Special Attack stats, and translates that higher stat number to either physical or special damage depending on which defensive stat from the opponent is the lesser of the two. It's like a much better version of Photon Geyser that adapts to the situation at hand. I'd also like to see more people test this out to see what they think about all this.
So it seems that Shell Side Arm works by using the user's highest attacking stat, and then picks the target's lowest defensive stat (which determines whether it uses the physical, contact attack, or if it's special), or random if both defensive stats are equal.

I guess the only thing that could modify the outcome is stat boosts for the target's Defense and Special Defense, and drops to the user's Attack and Special Attack. Given how the likes of Body Press and Foul Play work, we can be confident items like Choice Band, Choice Specs, or Eviolite, which claim to increase attacking or defensive stats but actually merely change damage dealt or taken (as they don't affect the aforementioned moves in an intuitive way), don't have any effect on Shell Side Arm.

EDIT: Oh, and there's Wonder Room as well.
 
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a question i saw raised in the ss ou metagame thread: given that silvally's drives are (i believe) the only non-removable items in the game, do they have any special interaction with the move poltergeist, or does it function as normal?
 

Anubis

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Got a Shuckle with higher SpA than Att vs a Wobbuffet with equal Def/SpD to test Shell Side Arm. Shuckle gets different SSA animations for physical/special.

Shuckle using SSA without Power Trick (special). [link]
Power Trick changes Shuckle's Shell Side Arm to physical. [Shuckle using Power Trick, then SSA]
And not surprising, but Counter/Mirror Coat only work on the appropriate category of SSA. [Counter vs physical, Mirror Coat vs physical]
 
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Marty

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At long last, this crazy move can be implemented properly.

Shell Side Arm doesn't care about Wonder Room.

So something with 70 Defense, 89 Special Defense taking hits from the 141/141 Slowbro:
takes Physical damage normally
takes Special damage at +2 Defense
takes Physical damage in Wonder Room
takes Physical damage in Wonder Room at +2 Defense

This is also how Download determines which attacking stat to boost (i.e. it ignores Wonder Room but stat stage changes are still swapped with the other defensive stat).
_____________

It was still bothering me that two of my Wooper tests had the same max damage roll, but the game could somehow differentiate between them. Like, what, are they checking full damage spreads against each other, changing the category once it finds a greater physical roll among them? That didn't make much sense.

So, back to basics. After discussing with Anubis, we found that calculating with the base damage formula (((2 * level / 5 + 2) * power * attack) / defense) / 50 instead of the full thing allows easy differentiation between the two Wooper tests. This also agrees with every other test I've done, every test Anubis has done, and hopefully every test you have done.

The move description I've written up: "Has a 20% chance to poison the target. This move becomes a physical attack that makes contact if the value of ((((2 * the user's level / 5 + 2) * 90 * X) / Y) / 50), where X is the user's Attack stat and Y is the target's Defense stat, is greater than the same value where X is the user's Special Attack stat and Y is the target's Special Defense stat. No stat modifiers other than stat stage changes are considered for this purpose. If the two values are equal, this move chooses a damage category at random."

Note that Power Trick isn't a stat modifier. Power Trick changes raw stats prior to stat stage calculations, just like Power Split, Guard Split, and Speed Swap.

After all that, this is how Shell Side Arm works (until proven otherwise)! I've implemented this on the sim, and added a hint when the move hits to inform both players which animation the game uses. It would be an information leak to actually animate them differently since PS also animates moves that miss or hit Protect.
 
So, back to basics. After discussing with Anubis, we found that calculating with the base damage formula (((2 * level / 5 + 2) * power * attack) / defense) / 50 instead of the full thing allows easy differentiation between the two Wooper tests. This also agrees with every other test I've done, every test Anubis has done, and hopefully every test you have done.

The move description I've written up: "Has a 20% chance to poison the target. This move becomes a physical attack that makes contact if the value of ((((2 * the user's level / 5 + 2) * 90 * X) / Y) / 50), where X is the user's Attack stat and Y is the target's Defense stat, is greater than the same value where X is the user's Special Attack stat and Y is the target's Special Defense stat. No stat modifiers other than stat stage changes are considered for this purpose. If the two values are equal, this move chooses a damage category at random."
Out of curiosity, could you elaborate on how this is different from just X / Y? Every other element is the same for both physical and special, and that part can easily be factored out if you rearrange the expression unless there's a reason to keep it.
What you have appears to be equivalent to (X / Y) * (power * (2 * level / 5 + 2) / 50). If there's no difference, I think cutting out the excessive calculations would make this simpler for most players to understand.
I might just be missing something, though! If those are relevant to the calculation, what makes them so?
 
So now that Illusion is a legal ability again, I thought I'd test to see if its interactions with Dynamax and Neutralizing Gas were fixed. Short answer: they were.

Dynamax - My Zoroark was able to Dynamax without breaking its Illusion. I had it disguise itself as my G-Max Charizard, and it became a Dynamax Charizard, meaning that like Ditto, it doesn't copy Gigantamax forms. Also, it copied Charizard's ball in the Dynamax animation, as expected. Since all Max Moves obfuscate the base move, this can help Zoroark maintain its ruse a bit longer. But because it copies the last Pokemon's Dynamax form, it was not able to Dynamax while disguised as my Zacian.

Neutralizing Gas - If Weezing and Zoroark come out together, Zoroark's Illusion works as normal, but it will immediately wear off right after the Neutralizing Gas message. The same occurs if Zoroark is already on the field and Weezing switches in. However, if Weezing is already on the field, and Zoroark switches in, Illusion is already worn off and it comes in as Zoroark.

P.S. While not relevant to Showdown, I did figure out that Zoroark also copies the last Pokemon's selected mark, as it disguised itself as Eternatus the Galar Champion despite not having that ribbon itself.

Edit:
Corrosive Gas gets blocked by Protect. Since Corrosive gas doesnt affect the user, you can combine Max Gaurd and Corrosive Gas together to remove both sides items while keeping your own.
I tested a bit with Corrosive Gas, and found that it is also blocked by Crafty Shield and Substitute. I also found that Coaching still works, even with Crafty Shield and Substitute both up.
 
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Out of curiosity, could you elaborate on how this is different from just X / Y?
this is how it is in the dmg calcs were when mined in older gens
i do agree that it would be a bit harder to understand. Also "where x is atk, y is defense, compared to x is spa, y is spd" is a bit complex and/or verbose, so here's a diffferent description

"Has a 20% chance to poison the target. This move becomes physical or special if the damage dealt, calculated by (X / Y) * ((2 * level / 5 + 2) * 90/50, is greater for X is the user's respective attack stat and Y is the target's respective defense stat. If the move is physical, it is contact. No stat modifiers other than stat stage changes are considered for this purpose. If the two values are equal, this move chooses a damage category at random."
 

DaWoblefet

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Do protective pads nullify unseen fist?
Neither Urshifu holding Protective Pads nor the target will prevent Urshifu's contact moves from bypassing protecting effects. Speaking of which, Unseen Fist also bypasses these effects:
  • Quick Guard
  • Wide Guard
  • Mat Block
And it doesn't bypass things like Psychic Terrain (which is to be expected, even though it says "protected" in the move failure text).

this is how it is in the dmg calcs were when mined in older gens
i do agree that it would be a bit harder to understand. Also "where x is atk, y is defense, compared to x is spa, y is spd" is a bit complex and/or verbose, so here's a diffferent description

"Has a 20% chance to poison the target. This move becomes physical or special if the damage dealt, calculated by (X / Y) * ((2 * level / 5 + 2) * 90/50, is greater for X is the user's respective attack stat and Y is the target's respective defense stat. If the move is physical, it is contact. No stat modifiers other than stat stage changes are considered for this purpose. If the two values are equal, this move chooses a damage category at random."
Out of curiosity, could you elaborate on how this is different from just X / Y? Every other element is the same for both physical and special, and that part can easily be factored out if you rearrange the expression unless there's a reason to keep it.
What you have appears to be equivalent to (X / Y) * (power * (2 * level / 5 + 2) / 50). If there's no difference, I think cutting out the excessive calculations would make this simpler for most players to understand.
I might just be missing something, though! If those are relevant to the calculation, what makes them so?
Because the damage formula includes 3 instances of rounding in the base damage. This is not as clear from how Marty listed the base damage, so perhaps a visual representation would help:

If you ignore the rounding, you'll end up with different values than what the game would actually generate. I'm also very confident the damage formula is the same as previous generations with respect to the base damage. If SSA is using a base damage calculation to determine physical/special, this would be the formula it'd be using.
 

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