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Normal Attacks
Analysis & Advice

Normal attacks are far more numerous and varied than any other type in the game. The most powerful of all attacks belong to this type, helping to make Normal Pokémon (who most certainly do get the the 50% type-matching damage bonus) a force to be reckoned with.

The variety and power of Normal attacks is somewhat offset by the fact that they are not super effective against any other type. Furthermore, they are weak against Rock Pokémon, and completely ineffective against Ghosts. You should therefore be wary of relying entirely on Normal attacks, in case you find yourself pitted against a trainer who uses Gengar.

Note that, for the sake of our sanity, only the damage-inflicting Normal attacks are discussed here.

High Power Attacks
Attack Type Base PP Pow Acc Avg Effects TM HM
Explosion NOR Phys 5 340 99.6 338.7 attacker faints 47 -
Selfdestruct NOR Phys 5 260 99.6 258.0 attacker faints 36 -
Hyper Beam NOR Phys 5 150 89.5 67.1 attack, then lose a turn 15 -
Skull Bash NOR Phys 15 100 99.6 49.8 lose a turn, then attack 40 -
Mega Kick NOR Phys 5 120 74.6 89.5 - 05 -
Double-Edge NOR Phys 15 100 99.6 99.6 25% recoil damage 10 -
Egg Bomb NOR Phys 10 100 74.6 74.6 - 37 -

Explosion vs. Selfdestruct

These attacks have highest Power ratings in the game, but all that damage potential comes at a heavy price: your Pokémon automatically faints upon using them! An exception to this rule (at least in the RBY games) occurs when Explosion or Selfdestruct is used against a Pokémon that has deployed a Substitute: this is explained in greater detail on the relevent individual attack pages.

Despite the massive power of these moves, many Pokémon who can learn them do not have a high enough Attack to KO a tough opponent in a single hit. Be aware that you may need to weaken the opponent first, lest your sacrifice be in vain.

Given a choice between the two, there is no disadvantage to Explosion. Note that no Normal Pokémon can learn Explosion. However, when the type-matching bonus is factored in, a Normal using Selfdestruct is more deadly than a non-Normal using Explosion.

Hyper Beam vs. Skull Bash

Hyper Beam has the highest Power rating of any Physical or Special attack that doesn't cause the user to faint. It's an unusual two-turn attack in that it causes damage on the first turn and requires recharging on the following turn. In the Red, Blue, and Yellow games, no recharge is required if the attack misses or if the enemy faints (making it especially useful as a finishing move). Neither situation is the case in Pokémon Stadium, however, where a recharge is always required, unless the Hyper Beam strike ends the entire battle.

Note that two Body Slams are stronger than a single Hyper Beam, so this attack should only be used when a large amount of damage has to be delivered in a single turn.

Skull Bash's greater PP and Accuracy are not sufficient reason to choose this two-turn attack over Hyper Beam (or much else, for that matter). Unlike Hyper Beam, Skull Bash charges before the strike, giving your opponent time to switch in a Ghost or Rock Pokémon. Additionally, for a two-turn attack, it's not very powerful. Any number of Medium Power Normal attacks are a better choice than this one.

Mega Kick, Double-Edge, and Egg Bomb

Mega Kick is Normal's answer to top-rank elemental attacks like Blizzard and Thunder: high Power, low PP, mediocre Accuracy. As with those other attacks, you'll have to decide for yourself whether you prefer reliability or maximum damage potential.

Double-Edge is powerful, accurate, and can be used once per turn. Due to Mega Kick's poor Accuracy and low PP, Double-Edge is actually a more effective way of dishing out Normal damage, however it has one major drawback: a considerable recoil. Though it can be taught to nearly any Pokémon, it seems ideal for Snorlax, who is of the same type, has a massive Attack, and has enough HP to absorb the recoil.

Egg Bomb can only be taught to four Pokémon: Chansey, who shouldn't bother with Physical attacks; Mew, who has better things to do with her time; and the Exeggcute series, who should probably choose the more accurate Double-Edge.

Medium Power Attacks
Attack Type Base PP Pow Acc Avg Effects TM HM
Thrash NOR Phys 20 90 99.6 89.6 attacker goes nuts - -
Take Down NOR Phys 20 90 84.4 75.9 25% recoil damage 09 -
Body Slam NOR Phys 15 85 99.6 84.7 paralyze (30% chance) 08 -
Strength NOR Phys 15 80 99.6 79.7 move boulders - 04
Tri Attack NOR Phys 10 80 99.6 79.7 - 49 -
Hyper Fang NOR Phys 15 80 89.5 71.6 flinch (10% chance) - -
Mega Punch NOR Phys 20 80 84.4 67.5 - 01 -
Razor Wind NOR Phys 10 80 74.6 29.8 lose a turn, then attack 02 -
Slam NOR Phys 20 80 74.6 59.7 - - -
Slash NOR Phys 20 70 99.6 69.7 high CH chance - -
Headbutt NOR Phys 15 70 99.6 69.7 flinch (30% chance) - -
Dizzy Punch NOR Phys 10 70 99.6 69.7 - - -
Stomp NOR Phys 20 65 99.6 64.7 flinch (30% chance) - -
Horn Attack NOR Phys 25 65 99.6 64.7 - - -
Bite NOR Phys 25 60 99.6 59.8 flinch (10% chance) - -
Swift NOR Phys 20 60 99.6 59.8 constant 99.6% hit rate - -
Vicegrip NOR Phys 30 55 99.6 54.8 - - -
Karate Chop NOR Phys 25 50 99.6 49.8 high CH chance - -
Cut NOR Phys 30 50 94.5 47.3 slash thru shrubbery - 01

Thrash, Take Down, and Body Slam

Thrash is accurate and powerful, but renders your Pokémon uncontrollable for several rounds, and then leaves it confused. Nidoking and the Cubone series should stick with Earthquake (or Body Slam, against Flying enemies), while the Mankey series is probably better off with Karate Chop or the ever-popular Body Slam.

Take Down TMs are easy to obtain from the Celadon Dept. Store and can be taught to nearly any Pokémon, but it suffers from mediocre Accuracy and a nasty recoil. Just about anyone who can learn Take Down can learn something better, such as Body Slam.

Body Slam is accurate and powerful, and also has a very good chance of paralyzing the victim. This is one of the best attacks in the game, particularly for Normal Pokémon. It should be considered for any Pokémon that learns it and needs a Physical attack. The only possible drawback is that paralyzed Pokémon cannot be frozen, put to sleep, etc., so if that's part of your game plan, you might use Strength or Tri Attack instead.

In fact, Body Slam is such a good attack that it devalues nearly every other Normal attack (and, as you can see, there are a lot of them). It can be taught to a wide variety of Pokémon, and odds are that your Pokémon should know it, even if Dizzy Punch, Headbutt, and Vicegrip sound more interesting. It's even better for standard use than the powerful Hyper Beam.

A great attack, with a somewhat disappointing effect on the game.

Strength, Tri Attack, Hyper Fang, Mega Punch, Razor Wind, and Slam

At least one of your Pokémon will need to be taught Strength at some point, for its important out-of-battle function, but typically Body Slam is better. Body Slam should be selected over all these attacks, in fact.

Of the relatively few Pokémon that cannot learn Body Slam, however, several can learn Tri Attack (or Double-Edge), which is the next best thing for them.

Strength and Tri Attack are essentially the same attack, except that Strength has more PP, and, since it is an HM, cannot be removed from your Pokémon without the use of a cheating device.

Hyper Fang is a decent move that adds character to your Raticate, but, like so many Normal attacks, it is less damaging and has a less useful side effect than Body Slam. The Rat isn't the slowest Pokémon there is, so the flinch chance isn't totally unreasonable, but it's nothing to base a game plan on.

Mega Punch and Slam are just plain mediocre.

Razor Wind is only notable for being in the running for Worst TM Available. It has the same problems as the also-krappy Skull Bash, and it's less than half as powerful. Just look at that Average Damage score. Pitiful.

Slash, Headbutt, and Dizzy Punch

Although its Power is only 70, Slash is a superb move that matches up well against any of the High Power attacks. Its high Critical Hit rate means that when used by a Pokémon with good base Speed, its Average Damage is close to 140, the highest of any non-suicidal Physical attack. Plus, it slices through stat-modifications on both the attacker and the defender. A great attack, certainly better than Body Slam, and totally brutal when used by a Persian.

Headbutt is a reliable move with a good chance to make the enemy flinch. Unfortunately, flinching will only occur if the victim is slower than the attacker, and no Pokémon that learn this move are very fast. Teamwork can help here: try having one of your Pokémon paralyze the enemy, and then switch to a Snorlax armed with Headbutt. Or, Hell, just give the damn thing Body Slam...see if we care! Just trying to keep things interesting.

The only reason to keep Dizzy Punch on your Kangaskhan is for the sake of originality (and those cute little birdies). 'Khan can be taught a number of superior Normal attacks.

Stomp, Horn Attack, Bite, and Swift

Stomp is nearly as powerful as Headbutt, and unlike that move it is learned by some very fast Pokémon: Tauros and the Ponyta series. However, all of these Pokémon can fill their attack slots with better, more powerful moves.

Horn Attack and Bite are classic examples of solid attacks that can nevertheless be replaced with something better. The Goldeen series doesn't have a wide selection of Physical attacks, but even for them, Take Down and Double-Edge offer much more power than Horn Attack. It's likely that you can cheer up any opponent by using Horn Attack against their Pokémon, instead of something actually intimidating.

Swift is indispensable against Evade-boosting opponents. While it is one of the weakest Normal attacks that might still be appropriate for tournament movesets, Double Team fetishists may find themselves cured of their habit after being repeatedly bashed by this move, particularly if it is augmented by Swords Dance.

Vicegrip, Karate Chop, and Cut

Vicegrip has some novelty value, being learned by only three Pokémon. However, all of these can be taught a number of better attacks. It's not a bad attack at lower Levels, but it has no place in a final moveset.

Karate Chop is an excellent attack with the same advantage as Slash: a high Critical Hit rate that bumps Average Damage to nearly 100. It will serve your Mankey or Machop well during your adventure, and might even find its way into your final moveset, to deal with opponents who like to use Reflect or Barrier. Too bad no Normal Pokémon learn this attack.

The main reason to teach a Pokémon Cut is for the useful out-of-battle effect, but it's not so terrible that your Farfetch'd won't be able to slice up some wild Pokémon and game trainers, especially if it also knows Swords Dance. It doesn't belong in tournament play, however.

Low Power Attacks
Attack Type Base PP Pow Acc Avg Effects TM HM
Pay Day NOR Phys 20 40 99.6 39.8 attacker earns coins 16 -
Quick Attack NOR Phys 30 40 99.6 39.8 attacker goes first - -
Gust NOR Phys 35 40 99.6 39.8 - - -
Pound NOR Phys 35 40 99.6 39.8 - - -
Scratch NOR Phys 35 40 99.6 39.8 - - -
Tackle NOR Phys 35 35 94.5 33.1 - - -
Rage NOR Phys 20 20 99.6 19.9 attacker goes nuts/ raise Attack when hit 20 -
Constrict NOR Phys 35 10 99.6 10.0 lower victim Speed (10% chance) - -

Pay Day and Quick Attack

Pay Day can be a nice source of revenue while you level up your Meowth, but it should nevertheless be replaced by something stronger once you're no longer scrimping to buy the next Pokéball.

Quick Attack should replace Gust or Tackle on your Pidgey or Rattata, and it may be worth keeping around longer than its low Power would suggest, particularly if you're having trouble filling that last Attack slot. A guaranteed first strike, even a weak one, is sometimes just the thing when you're fighting a fast opponent that has only a few remaining HP.

If two Pokémon use Quick Attack on the same round, the faster Pokémon will attack first.

Gust, Pound, Scratch, and Tackle

Many Pokémon are first caught knowing only one of these 4 moves. Other than generous PP, the best thing about these attacks is that you can look forward to replacing them with something more powerful.

Rage and Constrict

Two of the all-time worst attacks, of any type.

Rage is extremely stingy on PP, but it's worth spending a little PP to have a chance of actually winning the fight. Actually, some have claimed to have found a workable moveset using Rage, which involves putting up very strong defenses, Double Teaming to the max, and then just letting Snorlax drain the enemy's PP in a grumpy Rage. This is a terribly annoying way to fight, although possibly warranted, if your opponent enjoys Defense Curling your time away with his Chansey...but if that's the case, the Azure Heights staff recommends punching your rival in the nose and finding a better opponent.

Constrict's slight chance to slow the opponent doesn't excuse its hilariously bad Power level.

Multi-Hit Attacks
Attack Type Base PP Pow Acc Avg Effects TM HM
Spike Cannon NOR Phys 15 20 99.6 69.7 hit 2 to 5 times - -
Comet Punch NOR Phys 15 18 84.4 53.2 hit 2 to 5 times - -
Fury Swipes NOR Phys 15 18 79.7 50.2 hit 2 to 5 times - -
Barrage NOR Phys 20 15 84.4 44.3 hit 2 to 5 times - -
Fury Attack NOR Phys 20 15 84.4 44.3 hit 2 to 5 times - -
Double Slap NOR Phys 10 15 84.4 44.3 hit 2 to 5 times - -

All Multi-Hit Attacks

The most powerful and accurate multi-hit Normal attack, Spike Cannon, is not even good enough to use. Cloyster will do greater Average Damage with Tri Attack, while Omastar (who shouldn't really bother with Physical attacks anyway) can be taught Body Slam.

For the others, it's true that if all five strikes hit the opponent, a worthwhile amount of damage will have been done. However, that will only occur about one in five times that the attack is used (even less for Fury Swipes).

Double Slap deserves mention for being one of the most humiliating attacks in the game.

Multi-Turn Attacks
Attack Type Base PP Pow Acc Avg Effects TM HM
Wrap NOR Phys 20 15 84.4 44.3 multi-turn attack/ immobilize victim - -
Bind NOR Phys 20 15 74.6 39.2 multi-turn attack/ immobilize victim - -

Wrap and Bind

At first glance it may seem great to be able to immobilize your opponent for 2 to 5 rounds, but the mediocre Accuracy and underwhelming Average Damage of these moves mean that they're really only good for two things:

  1. Allowing cheap CPU-controlled Pokémon to drive you insane while playing Stadium.

  2. The Toxic/Wrap combo. If you can Bind, or preferably, Wrap an opponent that has been afflicted with Toxic, the combined damage may add up sufficiently that you won't have completely wasted your time. Note that this will really only work against wild Pokémon and dull-witted game trainers. In link battles your opponent will probably switch the Toxic/Wrapped Pokémon away, breaking the Wrap and rendering Toxic non-cumulative.

One-hit KOs
Attack Type Base PP Pow Acc Avg Effects TM HM
Guillotine NOR Calc 5 - 29.7 faint victim faints - -
Horn Drill NOR Calc 5 - 29.7 faint victim faints 07 -

Guillotine and Horn Drill

These are for players who like to take risks. You might end the battle very quickly, or you might watch your Pokémon faint, having done absolutely no damage to the enemy. Guidelines for the use of these attacks can be found on the One-hit KOs page.

Miscellaneous Attacks
Attack Type Base PP Pow Acc Avg Effects TM HM
Bide NOR Calc 10 - 99.6 - lose 2 to 3 turns/ inflict twice damage taken - -
Sonicboom NOR Calc 20 - 89.5 18 HP inflict exactly 20 HP - -
Splash NOR NDA 40 0 99.6 0 It's fun! - -
Struggle NOR Phys Unlimited 50 99.6 49.8 25% recoil damage - -
Super Fang NOR Calc 10 - 89.5 50% HP inflict 50% current victim HP - -


Before you even consider teaching your Pokémon this attack, ask yourself if it can survive being abused for several turns at a time, without fighting back. If it meets this condition...go and choose a better attack anyway.

Between opponents of approximately equal statistics, Bide has greater one-hit damage potential than any other move in the game. However, it is really only viable against wild Pokémon, game trainers, and clueless human trainers. It is far too easy to completely neutralize Bide by simply waiting it out: the time can be spent using stat-modifiers or status-changers, or, if necessary, switching from one Pokémon to another.


Like the other fixed-damage attack, Dragon Rage, this is a worthwhile attack only at very low Levels. By the time your Voltorb or Magnemite learns it, you should already be looking for something more powerful to replace it. On top of it all, it's slightly inaccurate.


Nobody's got moves like the King of the Karp.


There's not much to say about Struggle. You can't choose to use it, so there can be no information about whether it's a good choice. It is slightly interesting to note that it does more damage than Pound, Tackle, and the like.

Also mildly interesting is that if your last Pokémon is down to using Struggle, and your opponent is using a Gengar, you're totally screwed, unless the Gengar manages to commit suicide, perhaps by Struggling itself.

In theory, a Struggling Gengar Battle would go on infinitely.

Super Fang

A Raticate facing a Gengar cannot expect to get very far with Special attacks and will probably not live long enough to use Bide. It is therefore left with exactly three offensive options. It can attempt to Mimic Night Shade or Hypnosis, but in link battles this is a crap shoot: the copied move is determined randomly. The other two choices are Dig and Super Fang. Because Gengar is part Poison and therefore weak to Ground attacks, Dig will actually do about as much damage as the first use of Super Fang, and after that it becomes no contest. Super Fang will do a diminishing amount of damage with each use, while Dig will keep hammering away. It's true that because Dig is a two-turn attack, Raticate will be able to use Super Fang twice in the same amount of time, reducing Gengar's HP by 75%. However, what matters more than time is vulnerability: by the time that Raticate has used Dig twice (in all likelihood fainting Gengar), the ghost will only have had two chances to put our hero to sleep and suck his dreams out of his twitching head.

Another advantage of Dig is that it is doubly effective against Rock Pokémon, Raticate's other type weakness. Because many Rock types are part Ground, some might choose Bubblebeam for their rat, to obtain a 4x damage bonus. However, because of Raticate's lousy Special (and very respectable Attack), Bubblebeam will only do about 20% more damage to, say, a Rhydon than will Dig. Couple that with the fact that there are four Rock/Water Pokémon to worry about, and Dig is looking like the clear winner. Of course, a Ghost or Rock Pokémon can always switch away to a Flying Pokémon before Dig connects, but that's a danger of any two-turn attack. Your rat can proceed to smack around the chirping annoyance with Body Slam or Thunderbolt.

There are two remaining uses for Super Fang, both of which apply only to game battles. First, it can be a real equalizer against an opponent who is much higher in level than any of your Pokémon. Second, it offers a precise means of paring down the HP of a Pokémon that you are trying to catch with something other than a Master Ball.

[Props to Wintermute for the most detailed exploration of a mediocre attack for a mediocre Pokémon on the site! -JT]

Ongoing Research


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