The Most Forgotten Pokémon Moves, RankedThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
As of the release of Sword and Shield, there are 826 moves that Pokémon can use.
Avid Pokémon fans could spend countless hours studying that huge range of options and building the ideal movesets based on the way they prefer to battle. After all, creating the right foundation of winning attacks is the key to conquering Victory Road.
But it’s no surprise that some of the best underdog attacks out there are woefully ignored – especially when you consider that each team can only have a total of 24 moves to take you all the way into the post-game.
That means most battle-ready teams are loaded up with the same old obvious choices that circulate online to help build top-tier movesets.
In some battles, though, the element of surprise can lead to decisive victories.
Here are some forgotten, but super powerful, moves that can give you an advantage.
Description: The user suppresses the target and makes its move go last.
Often, the best Pokémon moves don’t do damage at all.
Instead they create circumstances that can save you from seriously sticky situations.
Quash does just that.
When the targeted ‘Mon who has not made their move yet, Quash bumps them down to last in the turn order.
This is especially useful in doubles situations. If your first Pokémon uses Quash, it can allow your second Pokémon to score a debilitating move or KO before taking damage from the target.
If either of your team is low on health, it can be a real lifesaver, buying you precious time to pull out a victory.
9. Pain Split
Description: The user adds its HP to the target’s HP, then equally shares the combined HP with the target.
In Heart Gold & Soul Silver, Pain Split was the signature move for Misdreavus.
Since then its user base has expanded quite a bit, giving trainers even more options for adding this excellent status-enhancing attack to their moveset.
When a target is affected by Pain Split, the total current HP of the attacking Pokémon and the target is added together, then half is given to each.
For example, if your level 100 Mimikyu has 30 HP left and it uses Pain Split on a level 100 Wobbuffet with 500 HP, each one would be left with 265 – essentially draining nearly half of your target’s HP and leaving you with a big boost to your health.
Description: The user’s body grows all at once, raising the Attack and Special Attack Status.
As far as stat moves go, you can’t go wrong with Growth.
It’s fine enough on its own, raising the user’s Attack and Special attack stats by one stage.
And while that seems like a pretty standard status move, strategy-minded trainers know that there’s a way to make Growth even more powerful.
Trainers who want to stack the deck in their favor should add a Pokémon that knows Sunny Day to their team.
When used during Harsh Sunlight, the effect of Growth is doubled – raising the stats by two stages each!
7. Leech Seed
Description: A seed is planted on the target. It steals some HP from the target every turn.
Like Pain Swap, Leech Seed hurts your opponent while it heals you.
After being hit with this move, the target loses 1/8th of their HP at the end of each turn, funneling back to you.
While it can’t be used on Grass-types, it makes up for that small disadvantage by continuing to transfer the drained HP to your active Pokémon – even after it swaps out with the original user.
For an even more devastating strategy, have your Leech Seed-wielding Pokémon hold a Big Root.
Then each turn the target will still lose an eighth of their HP, but you’ll net an extra 30%.
Description: The user compels the target to keep using the move it encored for three turns.
Imagine how frustrating it would be getting stuck using a move like Constrict over and over (with its laughable 10 base power), or an unnecessary status move over and over until you get KO’d.
With Encore you can force your opponents to spend the next three turns helplessly battling against you with whatever move they used last – all while you deal blow after blow of damage.
It’s powerful and annoying!
Description: The user scatters bursts of spores that induce sleep.
Tell your opponents to put on their pajamas and say their prayers, because they’re about to take a little nap.
And while they’re getting some shut-eye you can use their status condition to put the smackdown on them with moves designed to give targets a rude awakening, like Nightmare, Dream Eater, and Wake Up Slap.
Description: This attack move’s power is doubled if the user has been hurt by the opponent in the same turn.
Revenge is one of a small set of moves that you actually want to go last.
That’s because it deals a more deadly blow if the user has been hurt by their opponent prior to unleashing the attack in the same turn.
By allowing your target to hit first, Revenge’s power doubles from 60 to 120.
And with its 100% chance to hit, it’s a powerful tactic if you’re positive that your Pokémon can survive a little damage before unleashing its move.
3. Venom Drench
Description: Opposing Pokémon are drenched in an odd poisonous liquid. This lowers the Attack, Sp. Atk, and Speed stats of a poisoned target.
Venom Drench is the kind of move that can really ruin someone’s day – especially in situations where there are multiple foes.
By lowering the Attack, Special Attack, and Speed of all adjacent foes who are currently poisoned by one stage, you can cripple opposing teams that depend on those stats for their movesets.
2. Skill Swap
Description: The user employs its psychic power to exchange Abilities with the target.
This one’s pretty simple, but it still gets the job done.
When a Pokémon with Skill Swap hits its target, they exchange Abilities, opening up a huge library of 300 different options for the user.
Most folks think of it as a way to temporarily score a powerful Ability.
But it’s also a great defense against Abilities that could impede your success in battle.
1. Metal Burst
Description: The user retaliates with much greater force against the opponent that last inflicted damage on it.
This move is pretty similar to Revenge, but offers a little more flexibility.
Instead of having a static maximum, it varies based on the amount of damage dealt by the last Pokémon attacked you.
If you take 120 damage, for example, Metal Burst will retaliate with 180.
Maybe pair it with a Focus Sash, which prevents holders from fainting in one hit (one of the better held items in Pokémon) and then watch as foes who attempt a one-hit KO get a taste of their own medicine – and then some.