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Strategies: Move Combos

Pokemon X Walkthrough and Guide by Paul (vhayste)
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Strategies: Move Combos

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This page will list some move combinations that you can consider when creating your team or selecting the move sets for your Pokemon. Please take note that there's a ton of competitive combos out there so if you have some suggestions, please do add the comments below.

A - Ability
M - Move
I - Item


  1. Stat Changes + Baton Pass (M)
    This is a combo that should be used with careful planning. Aside from the stat boosts or drops, some effects including negative ones can be carried over as well. (Follow the link for more details) A good example of this combo is by having Huntail or Gorebyss use Shell Smash then Baton Pass it to a sweeper/ main hitter.

    One good Pokemon in using this combo is Ninjask. A Baton Passer Ninjask should have the Speed Boost ability, must have invested in HP and Def EVs and should have Substitute and Protect in its Move Set. Those two will safely allow Ninjask to take turns and build up its Speed Boost stacks. It can also add another boost move in its set, like Swords Dance before finally using Baton Pass to a main sweeper.

  2. Beat Up (M) + Justified (A)
    Justified is an ability that allows the user to increase its attack stat when hit by a damaging Dark-type move. Beat Up in the other hand is a weak, multi-hit Dark-type move that goes perfectly with this combo. Use Beat Up to an allied Pokemon with Justified and let it lay waste to the opposing party with the help of STAB damage, Helping Hand (m) and held items.

  3. Drizzle (A) / Rain Dance (M) + Swift Swim (A) / Thunder or Hurricane (M)
    Once Drizzle/ Rain Dance has been activated, Pokemon with Swift Swim will double their speed. The best choices for this combo are Kabutops and Kingdra. Thunder and Hurricane will have 100% accuracy enabling users to hit targets, even those who used Fly or Bounce.

  4. Drizzle (A) / Rain Dance (M) + Dry Skin (A) / Hydration (A)
    Pokemon with Dry Skin will enjoy natural HP regeneration while the weather effect is active. Since the rain also powers up Water-type moves, using Surf will deal more damage to foes while recovering some HP to the Dry Skin Pokemon at the same time. Pokemon with Hydration will recover any status ailments at the end of the turn if its raining, making this weather condition the best way to use Rest without being vulnerable.

  5. Light Screen / Reflect + Light Clay (I)
    Light Screen lasts for 5 turns, affects your whole team and halves the damage taken from Sp Attacks. Reflect does the same except that it helps lessen the damage from physical attacks. Light Clay is a rare held item that you can farm from Golettes and Golurks that extends these moves' duration to up to 8 turns.

    This strategy is useful for protecting your team while you're setting up. It will also tremendously help if the dual screen setter can also use a different buff then pass it to the team's main sweeper. Take note that Brick Break can bypass and remove the effects of these screens while a Pokemon with Infiltrator ability will ignore their effects.

  6. Fire Pledge (M) + Water Pledge (M)
    Pledge moves can be learned by your fully-evolved starters from the Move Tutor in Lavarre City. When used together, the moves will make a rainbow appear, increasing your Pokemons' chances of triggering secondary effects.

  7. Grass Pledge (M) + Fire Pledge (M)

    Pledge moves can be learned by your fully-evolved starters from the Move Tutor in Lavarre City. When used together, the moves will turn the area into a fiery battlefield, damaging the enemy Pokemon each turn.

  8. Sand Stream (A) / Sand Storm (M) + Sand Veil (A) / Sand Rush (A) / Sand Force (A)
    When Sand Stream/ Sand Storm is activated, Pokemon with Sand Veil will gain 20% increased evasion Rate. Sand Rush Pokemon's speed will double and Sand Force Pokemon will get a 30% boost to Rock, Ground and Steel damage.

  9. Drought (A) / Sunny Day (M) + Chlorophyll (A) / Growth
    Once the effects of Drought/ Sunny Day has been activated, Pokemon will Chlorophyll ability doubles its speed. The best candidates for the latter are Tangrowth, Victreebel and Venusaur. Growth's effect is also doubled, allowing the user to raise its attack and sp attack by two stages instead of one. Fire-type attacks are strengthened while water-type moves are weakened. Thunder and Hurricanes' accuracies are dropped by 50% as well.

    With this weather effect active, your fire-type Pokemon can deal more damage and will be able to survive water attacks that will usually OHKOs (one-hit-KO) them.

  10. Drought (A) / Sunny Day (M) + Solar Beam (M)
    Once the effects of Drought/ Sunny Day has been activated, Solar Beam can be used without charging. This allows users to exploit its heavy damage potential. If used by a Grass-type or sub-type Pokemon, the STAB damage will be increased further.

  11. Discharge (M) + Lightning Rod (A)/ Volt Absorb (A) / Motor Drive (A)
    Lightning Rod diverts all single-target moves including Thunder Wave to the ability user. The user doesn't take any electric damage but its Sp. Attack is raised instead by one stage. This is particularly effective if the Lightning Rod Pokemon relies on its Sp Attack stat to deal damage. Seaking is the only Water-type Pokemon that can have this ability. This can save it from electric attacks but because of its limited moveset and mediocre stats, it's not really a good choice to use in competitive battles.

    Discharge in the other hand deals electric damage to Pokemon around the user. If you have Jolteon (Volt Absorb) and Electrivire (Motor Drive) together, you can use Discharge so both of them can enjoy the benefits thanks to their abilities.

  12. Leech Seed (M) + Ingrain (M) + Leftovers (I)
    Leech Seed will enable you to steal HP from the inflicted Pokemon until it switches or Rapid Spin is used. Ingrain and Leftovers will ensure that you'll have constant HP recovery. This is especially useful for walls / stallers like Ferrothorn.

  13. Mean Look (M) + Perish Song (M)
    Perish Song will instantly KO the target after three turns. Though the effects are not immediate, it should be noted that an opponent will most likely switch out the affected Pokemon to remove the counter. To prevent this, a Pokemon should use Mean Look first to prevent any escape. This is also another good way in breaking Baton Pass chains since the counter for Perish Song will be passed over to the next Pokemon.

  14. Phasing Moves + Traps (Entry hazard) moves.
    Phasing moves are the moves that forcibly removes an opposing Pokemon out of the battle, dragging out a non-fainted Pokemon from the enemy team. Phasing Moves include Roar, Whirlwind, Dragon Tail and Circle Throw. Forcing an Pokemon to switch out is very helpful in stopping enemy sweepers, breaking stat boost chains (such as those inherited from Baton Pass) or generally messing up with your opponent's play. Though useful on their right, phasing moves can be combined with traps like Stealth Rock or Spikes, which will cause damage to the Pokemon entering the battlefield.

    Phasing moves shouldn't be used on enemies that used Ingrain, has the Suction Cups, Magic Coat or Magic Bounce abilities. Among the four phasing moves mentioned, Roar has some additional limitations you should be aware of. First, in addition to Magic Coat and Magic Bounce, Pokemon with Soundproof ability is immune to this move. Next, Roar can be disabled by taunt and does not deal any damage. In the other hand, it can bypass an opponent's Substitute. Whirlwind has the same limitations as Roar except that it can bypass the immunity of Pokemon with Soundproof ability. However, most trainers prefer Dragon Tail or Circle Throw since they can deal decent damage while forcing an enemy out of the battle. The minor downside is that these moves can't bypass a Substitute.

  15. Rest + Lum Berry (I) / Chesto Berry (I) / Natural Cure (A) / Hydration (A)
    This is yet another simple but good combo. Rest fully recovers a Pokemon's HP and cures all status ailments. Lum Berry or Chesto Berry will cure the "sleep" status automatically, giving you a full restore effect once in a battle.

    If Pokemon has Natural Cure ability, the Sleep status will be cured after the Pokemon is switched out. Hydration in another hand will recover any status ailments if it is raining.

  16. Rock Head (A) + Any powerful recoil moves
    The best example for this ability x move combo is Aggron. Most of this Steel / Rock Pokemon's attacks have recoil damage. It's Head Smash has a base power of 150 which can be further increased by STAB. Having this ability will allow Aggron to deal monstrous damage without suffering recoil damage.

  17. Safeguard (M) / Own Tempo (A) + Thrash/ Outrage / Petal Dance
    Thrash, Outrage and Petal Dance has 100% accuracy and has a base power of 120. They are very powerful moves on their own right, and will become even more devastating if you factor in STAB, items or stat boosts. The only downside is the confusion side effect. Safeguard will prevent this from happening though Own Tempo is preferred for Pokemon using these moves since supporting Pokemon don't need to waste a turn activating Safeguard in time.

  18. Sheer Force (A) + Life Orb (I)
    When the Pokemon with this ability uses a move that has a secondary effect (for example Thunderbolt that has the chance to paralyze the target or Flamethrower that can cause burns), the move's power is increased in exchange of not being able to inflict the secondary effect. For moves with recoil and secondary effect like Flare Blitz, the power boost caused by Sheer Force will still take effect, the user will still suffer recoil damage but the move will never cause a burn on the target.

    Life Orb is a held item that will boost the power of the user at a cost of some HP per hit. If you equip this item to a Pokemon with Sheer Force, its attack power will be increased further while negating the damage due to Life Orb's effect - as long as the user is using a move with secondary effects.

  19. Sleep Talk + Rest
    A basic yet useful combo. This is perfect for walls (Pokemon with high HP and defenses) to recover their HP while keeping on the offensive while sleeping.

  20. Snow Warning/ Hail (M) + Snow Cloak (A) / Ice Body (A)
    Once this weather effect becomes active, Pokemon with Snow Cloak will have a 20% increased evasion rate and those with Ice Body will gradually recover their HP. Blizzard will have 100% accuracy.

  21. Subsitute (M) + Flail (M) / Reversal (M)
    Users of Substitute trade off a portion of their HP to place a substitute to take damage in their behalf. Since Flail and Reversal increases their damage as the user's HP becomes lower, a Pokemon with critical HP will be able to deal devastating damage using the two aforementioned moves. You have to be wary of damaging weather conditions like Sand Storm or Hail and status ailments as these will take out your Pokemon before even being able to deal damage.

  22. Surf (M) + Water Absorb (A) / Dry Skin (A)
    This is useful in double or triple battles. In triple battles, if Surf is used by the Pokemon in the middle, it hits every Pokemon around it. This will allow allied Pokemon to recover a bit of their HP while the user damages the enemies.

  23. Toxic Orb (I) + Poison Heal (A)
    Toxic Orb badly poisons the Pokemon holding it. When held by a Pokemon with Poison Heal ability, this item becomes an HP-regenerating asset. The best example for this is Breloom.

  24. Wide Guard (M) + Surf (M) / Earthquake (M) etc
    Basically, this combo will protect your team from multi-target moves like Earthquake or Surf. This will allow you to utilize these moves for that turn without causing friendly damage to your team. This move will also protect your team from multi-target enemy moves such as Rock Slide or Muddy Water. You can't use this move consecutively since its accuracy drops to 50% if used consecutively.

  25. Water Pledge (M) + Grass Pledge (M)
    Pledge moves can be learned by your fully-evolved starters from the Move Tutor in Lavarre City. When used together, the moves will turn the battlefield into a swamp, reducing the enemy Pokemon's speed.

  26. Weather Effects (A/M) + Weather Ball
    Weather Ball is a normal move with 50 base power but will double in power depending on the weather. This move is very effective in weather teams, especially when utilized by Pokemon like Castform which changes to the same type as the weather in effect - giving additional STAB damage.

  27. Other Useful Moves/ Abilities

    1. Tailwind
      Not exactly a combo but a good setter nonetheless. Tailwind doubles the Speed stat of your party for five turns. This will allow your slower and powerful sweepers to move first and deliver the pain to your opponent's Pokemon. You can also use this move to set up your intended play. There are many good natural Tailwind to choose from and even more so by Breeding the move.

    2. Trick Room
      For five turns, Pokemon will move from the slowest to fastest. While this is active, your heavy but powerful sweepers can act first and deliver damage. Trick Room is the lowest priority move so expect it to be used last regardless of how fast the user is. Trick Room users have usually tank-like characteristics like high hp and defenses to be able to set this up.

    3. Spore
      This is the only 100% accurate sleep-inducing move in the game. Since it is a Grass-type move, most Grass-type Pokemon in the competitive scene has this in their move sets. Putting your opponent to sleep can effectively stop their tracks especially when they're setting up their play while buying you time to set up your own. Breloom is a primary choice for this setup since it can land a devastating Focus Punch without the risk of getting interrupted.

    4. Leech Seed
      This is practically effective on defensive Pokemon though some offensive Pokemon can use it as well. Its sapping ability isn't a threat on its own but if used with Substitute or other stalling moves, it can be annoying as well. When using this, watch out for other grass-types and Pokemon withMagic Guard, Magic Coat and Magic Bounce abilities.

    5. Stealth Rock
      Out of the trap moves available in the game, this is the best and most used. Toxic Spikes and Spikes are the other trap options but they can't hit flying, levitating or those immune to Ground-type attacks. Steel-types and other ground-based Poison-Types can pretty ignore the effects of Toxic Spikes.

      Stealth Rock deals damage directly to the entering Pokemon's HP, depending on its susceptibility against Rock-type. That means a Pokemon that's weak against Rock-type will lose 25% of its HP upon entering, while dual-types that are both weak to Rock-type moves (Like Charizard, Butterfree, Moltres, Yanmega, Volcarona) will lose 50% of their HP upon entering. Rapid Spin is necessary to remove the hazard.

    6. Helping Hand
      This is an excellent support priority move that is very useful in double and even more potent in triple battles. Helping Hand is a priority move that boosts the adjacent Pokemon's next move by 50%. This effect is also stackable so it is possible to for a main sweeper in the middle to receive the effects from party members on both sides in a triple battle. This will raise the Pokemon's next move by 100%. This is better used with multi-target moves like Surf, Earthquake, Rock Slide, Muddy Water, etc.

      For multi-target moves that also cause collateral damage like Surf and Earthquake, you can use Pokemon with the Telepathy ability to avoid unnecessary damage. Earthquake users can be partnered with Levitating or Flying pokemon while Surf users will enjoy having Pokemon with Water Absorb or Dry Skin beside them.

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Comments for Strategies: Move Combos

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3 comments, latest first.
Jul 19th 2015 Guest
Thanks so much, now I can be a more competitive battler
ID #586532
Oct 15th 2014 Guest
ID #459010
Jul 4th 2014 Guest
very useful;smart combos and over half of these i wouldnt ve thought of in years
ID #412025
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