When this move is used the game will attempt to remove 1/4 (by integer division) of the using pokemon’s total HP. If the pokemon does not have that much HP left, the move will automatically fail.
After the HP has been taken from the using pokemon, it will stand in for the using pokemon when any attacks are directed at it. This HP block will absorb the damage from any damaging attack directed at the using pokemon. After the HP comprising this block has been depleted by attacks that cause damage, it will disappear. Any damage in excess of what is needed to deplete the HP that is done to it will still be absorbed by it, protecting the using pokemon for that turn.
The HP block will have HP equivalent to what was used to create it. All of its other attributes (stats and types) start equivalent to the pokemon that created it at the time that it was created. If the HP block is given to another pokemon via Baton Pass it will retain its HP, but all other attributes are changed to that of the new pokemon (including any bonuses given to it by Baton Pass).
The only ways to get rid of a Substitute is by damage, One-Hit KOs, and by the switching out of a pokemon that has it for another one (except when Baton Pass is utilized).
Not all moves will affect the Substitute the same way as it does a pokemon.
How it affects various moves is noted below. Any move not directly or indirectly mentioned (as in falling under an effect category or what has been previously mentioned under the basic description) is not blocked or affected by a Substitute.
Moves that cause status conditions – These are moves that cause the infliction of status condition. Under the list of Status conditions is: Sleep, Poison, Burn, Freeze, Paralysis, and the one which is not part of the condition monitor, Confusion. Moves that an opposing pokemon uses to cause these conditions will affect neither the Substitute, nor the pokemon using the substitute. Moves that do damage and inflict these conditions will only do damage to the substitute, nothing else. Moves that inflict any of these conditions on the user of the move (such as Outrage inflicting Confusion) will not be affected by Substitute.
Stat-reduction moves – These are moves that negatively impact an opponent’s stats (i.e. Attack, Defense, Speed, Special Attack, Special Defense, Accuracy, and Evade). Moves that have this as their sole effect will fail completely. Moves that cause damage in addition to stat reduction will only cause damage to the substitute.
Life draining moves – These are moves that deal damage to an opponent and add to the user’s HP some amount based on the damage dealt. These include moves like Absorb, Mega Drain, Giga Drain, Leech Life, Dream Eater, and Pain Split. These moves will fail against the Substitute. They will not even deal damage to the Substitute or the pokemon behind it.
Partial trapping moves – These are moves which deal damage and, as a secondary effect, prevent an opponent from switching while doing damage for a limited time. These include Wrap, Bind, Fire Spin, etc. These moves will deal damage to a Substitute, but the secondary effect will not occur. If a Substitute is put up after a pokemon has been hit with one of these moves, the secondary effects of the move on that pokemon will end immediately. These effects do not apply to Full trapping moves.
Recoil moves – These are moves which cause the user damage equivalent to a fraction of what is dealt to the opponent (such as Take Down and Double-Edge). The pokemon attacking a pokemon which has a Substitute up will take 1 point of damage for each attack that inflicts damage on the Substitute, regardless of the amount of damage it deals to the Substitute.
Reversal moves – These include Bide, Counter, and Mirror Coat. Like Endurance moves, a pokemon that currently has a Substitute up and attempts to use one of these moves will have the reversal move automatically fail.
Flinching moves – These are moves that cause flinching as a secondary effect (i.e. Bite, Headbutt, etc.). These moves will do damage as normal, but the Substitute will prevent the Flinching side effect.
False Swipe and Super Fang – Both of these moves normally do their damage based upon the HP of the opponent. This remains true when a Substitute is used by a pokemon. However, the damage is still done to the Substitute. This means that damage is dealt based upon the HP of the pokemon, not the Substitute. The result is that both of these moves can destroy a Substitute. As an example, if a pokemon uses Substitute when they are at full HP, they will be reduced to 75% HP. If Super Fang is then used against that pokemon, it will do damage equivalent to 1/2 of the user’s current HP, or 37% of the full HP of the pokemon with the Substitute. Since the total HP of the Substitute is equal to 25% of the full HP of the pokemon, it will take more than sufficient damage to destroy it.
Pursuit – The Substitute does stay out to absorb the hit from Pursuit if a normal switch is attempted.
Sandstorm – Sandstorm will not damage the Substitute, but will cause damage to the pokemon behind it.
Swagger – Although this is partially covered by the information on moves that cause status conditions, the rest may not be entirely clear. When this move is used on a pokemon that has a Substitute up, it will not inflict Confusion on that pokemon. It will confer the Attack bonus as normal, however.
Thief – When used on a pokemon that has a Substitute up it will cause damage to the sub, but will not be able to steal the item from the pokemon behind it.
|New York City Pokemon Center|
|Pineco||Forretress (By Previous Evolution)||Sudowoodo|
|All Pokémon from R/B/Y, except for Ditto, Magikarp, Caterpie, Metapod, Weedle, and Kakuna, can learn this attack by TM.|
|Crobat (from Previous Game)||Bellossom (from Previous Game)||Politoed (from Previous Game)|
|Espeon (from Previous Game)||Umbreon (from Previous Game)||Slowking (from Previous Game)|
|Steelix (from Previous Game)||Scizor (from Previous Game)||Kingdra (from Previous Game)|
|Porygon2 (from Previous Game)||Blissey (from Previous Game)|