Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Moves in the Dungeons

By Darknesscrusher. Art by Bummer.
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In the city, where trainers battle, moves with power and force ram into opposing Pokémon, and Earthquakes and U-turns all are rather common, but what about the deep caves and sky-high towers? In Mystery Dungeon, moves sometimes change so much that a totally rubbish move in the main series becomes an OP move. Other moves become far worse than their main series counterpart and just plain suck when exploring dungeons. Because PMD is so different, it's interesting to see what moves are good that are bad in the main series, and vice versa.

Good Moves in the Dungeons

Now, what exactly is good in said dungeons? Well, we all now that dungeons are a harsh place to be, so you might want to take a look at what moves are good.

Mirror Move

Mirror Move... ever used that in the main series? I guess not, because it's rather crappy; by copying the last used move in the battle, it's random and not worth the effort. But in the dungeons... oh man Mirror Move absolutely shines there. Mirror Move gives you, for 3 turns, full protection against the enemies moves—other than their standard slam, that is—and when they attack you, they will get attacked by the same move instead. So, for example, you are getting attacked by a vicious Dragon-type spamming Dragon Claw? Fear not, for with the power of Mirror Move, every one of those Dragon Claws (well, for 3 turns) get instantly rebounded towards the Dragon... for super effective damage. This gives Mirror Move one of the best uses in the game and makes it a great move to have in every Pokémon's arsenal.

Roar of Time

Dialga's signature in the main series is... bad, just plain bad. As with all moves that require a turn of charge up or cool down, it isn't worth the turn, and allows a free turn for the opponent, which is never good. In PMD, you still have this turn of waiting, but compared to its effects, it's well worth it. Roar of Time hits the whole room for extreme loads of damage. Seeing that Monster Houses are almost stronger than bosses, this is huge. With Dialga's signature move, you can severely dent most Pokémon in said Monster Houses, if not outright KO them. Suddenly, the room isn't full of pesky Sandshrew anymore, and you can continue on your path of wrecking whatever boss is at the end. The main downfall to this move is its distribution, as only Dialga gets it. Dialga isn't a bad thing to use, of course, and Roar of Time makes it even better.

Quick Attack

Ah, Quick Attack... most people would have seen this move in the main series and often used it, but it isn't really good. The priority is nice and all, but for so few damage, it isn't really useful. But deep underground, in caves where the almighty Graveler dwell, Quick Attack is really good, as it allows a teammate to damage an enemy, even when there is another Pokémon in between the two. This makes Quick Attack a great option for your mates, because there won't always be space for them to walk straight at your enemies. Quick Attack also deals pretty good damage in PMD, making it even more viable. Another good thing about Quick Attack is that almost every Pokémon gets it, especially those early on.


Moveslots are precious in PMD, and combining two moves in one, a boosting and damaging move like AncientPower, is really good. AncientPower can also give the single best stat in PMD, Speed. Although there is no real Speed stat, getting a Speed boost means you can move twice in one turn. Combine this with a pretty good damaging move and the extra stat upgrades, and you got yourself a move with a lot of power under its belt.


Agility isn't completely trash in the main series, at least not as much as the other moves listed here. It's not the best move either; in PMD however, there is no arguing about Agility being the best move there is, what with Speed boosts being so crucial as I explained earlier. It even got a buff, as where in the main series it only ups your own Speed, all your teammembers get the boost in PMD, making everyone move twice each turn, and that is with just one boost. Given the fact that grabbing turns in PMD isn't hard, you can easily make that four times in one turn, making you an (almost) unbeatable monster.

Annoying Moves Used by Enemies

These moves have such an annoying effect that you want to smack your DS straight at the wall or in the bin. Why are they this annoying? Because they are full of bullshit, of course.

Confuse Ray

Granted, it isn't as frequent as in the main series, where every cave is full of Zubats carrying it, but Confuse Ray is a lot more annoying in PMD. It always seems to hit, and you can't just switch around or flee to escape the confusion. In addition to that, confusion is a hell of a lot more annoying, as you can't switch spots with your partners and you can barely attack. This can lead to some very tricky situations, as you are basically helpless although you can still use items. The increased duration, 7 to 12 turns, doesn't make it less annoying, either; Confuse Ray is one of the most annoying moves in the game.


For no real reason, the people that designed PMD decided that they needed a very annoying move. Endure is exactly that, as it lasts SO LONG. For 4-5 turns, the user of this move just cannot die. It just won't. See that? IT WON'T DIE! Luckily, the AI of PMD isn't too great, and the users of the move most likely won't use it directly after the effect wears off, but if they do, it will add even more turns of invulnerability. Common Endure users aren't exactly strong, either, but regardless of this fact, Endure is very annoying.

Fury Swipes

Imagine seeing this: "Scyther used Fury Swipes, 21 damage!" You think to yourself that it's just 21 damage, and you can easily overcome this Scyther, but then the attack hits two more times, and you realize you're in a tough situation, so you want to grab yourself an Oran Berry. You spam B, but nothing happens as the Scyther continues to hit you, and poof, you're dead. Fury Swipes is so powerful and so random in the PMD series, as you can never see it coming. Dealing 100 or more damage in one turn is something one cannot really prepare for, so if you see a user of this move, try to hit and kill it the first turn.

Perish Song

Perish Song does have a niche in the main series, but is it good? Not really, no. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, however, there is no such thing as "switching", making Perish Song a heck lot more annoying. Also, the effect doesn't cancel when you kill your enemy, so if you don't have a Heal, Reviver or Pure Seed, or you can't reach the stairs in 4 steps, you are pretty much dead. In dungeons you cannot bring items into, this is especially annoying, as you can't prepare for the wrath that is Perish Song. So ladies and gentleman, watch out whenever you see a Misdreavus, as you never know when it will sing its song of doom.

Ominous Wind

You figured AncientPower was annoying? Watch out for this bad boy, as Ominous Wind will crush any hopes of beating the great Drifblim. The great Blimp will kill all your Pokémon with this wind of doom and raise its stats in the process. As I explained previously, Speed is huge to have increased, and if it comes with a room-wide move... Yeah, you get the picture. This move is guaranteed to cause at least one rage quit per game (just like most of the other moves listed) and will make your dungeon rescuing a lot less "fun" and a lot more rage. Ominous Wind can even cause a disease in real life, this so-called "Disease of the Wind of Doom" causes the patient to keep shouting out a group of words. Words that commonly make up this group are: Drifblim, die, suicide, almost there, kill, break, burn, and dungeon. The patient might also try to smack the doors in, rage when he or she sees a balloon, especially purple ones, and climb the same stair over and over again. When you see someone with this disease, take them to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.

Moves that Are Good in the Main Series, But Not So in the Dungeons

Are there moves that don't fare as well in the PMD series as they do in the main series? Yes, of course there are! These moves are just not worth using even though they are useful in the main series—to some extent, that is.


Earthquake is the best Ground move in the main series; the move is used on nearly all Ground Pokémon, and with 100 Base Power it's no pushover. Underground, where the dungeons are, however, Earthquake isn't good to use—it's harmful. When used in PMD, Earthquake deals damage to your whole party, just like in Double Battles. While in Double Battles the power makes up for it and the battle is over quickly anyway, in PMD you still need to go through the whole dungeon, and with just a little bit of HP left, this is no easy feat.

Baton Pass

Whole teams are designed around this move just because of its effects. By giving stat boosts to another Pokémon, Baton Pass gives you an advantage; whether used by Speed Boost Pokémon or a Shell Pass Smeargle, Baton Pass can come in handy. In PMD, however... not so much. It just switches around places with another Pokémon on the field, randomly. The randomness and the not-too-useful effect of switching around makes Baton Pass a poor move to use.

Stealth Rock

The deciding move in a lot of battles, Stealth Rock cripples a lot of good Pokémon on the switch, with nothing they can do to stop it (bar spinning, that is, of course), and is thus a mainstay on most teams. The Rocks are just... not good in PMD though, as they create a mere trap that is easily evaded and doesn't deal as much damage. Getting the enemy Pokémon on the tile is another thing that isn't as easy and can get tiresome. Overall, Stealth Rock is just not worth it at all.

Rapid Spin

Much like Stealth Rock being worthless, Rapid Spin goes in the same boat. Not only do enemy Pokémon never use hazards, they are also extremely easily evaded. Combine it with the worthless Base Power of Rapid Spin, and you have the perfect move that is great in the main series, but sucks in PMD. One thing that this move has, though, is a pretty nifty animation, showing some sort of tornado on your screen, that makes you realize how 'rapid' Rapid Spin really is. Good players, however, shouldn't see this come up a lot (unless used by enemies, of course)...


This describes the most awesome, annoying, and awful moves that one can come across on the evil floors of the Mystery Dungeons. The Dungeons, however, are filled with more than moves alone, and you will need skill to overcome the danger that hides beneath the Surrounded Sea or best the wonders of the Zero Isle. Getting the good moves will help you move in the right direction though, and that is a start.

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