In battle, switching is one of the more important aspects. If you're faced against a Pokémon which will likely defeat your Pokémon, a retreat is the best strategy. However, there are many moves, abilities and items which can both aid or hinder the ability to escape.
Switching in battles is a very simple thing to do. In it, you can switch the Pokémon with any Pokémon within your team. in Single & Double Battles, this is done easily but in Triple Battles, there is the factor of positioning that needs to be taken into consideration. Switching will take the turn completely and occur before all moves are implemented. As such, it does leave you open for attack on the new Pokémon. There are numerous Entry Hazards which can be employed in order to damage Pokémon when they switch in. The Shed Shell item will always allow the Pokémon to switch, even if abilities and moves would normally prevent it.
If you target a Pokémon that is about to switch out with the move Pursuit, the move Pursuit will occur before the switching occurs and will inflict double the damage it would normally do. This is very handy if you've just switched in a Pokémon which would do severe damage to the opponent. This move is not usable in Pokémon Sword & Shield
|Pursuit||20||40||100||An attack move that inflicts double damage if used on a target that is switching out of battle.|
Baton Pass is a rather unique move. Normally, when you switch from battle, all stat raises and various conditions such as Confusion or Attract will be removed. However, Baton Pass is a move which allows you to keep these effects when you exit battle. The effects that it retains are as follows;
- All stat increases/decreases
- The user's Substitute
- Ongoing effects of the following moves; Aqua Ring, Curse, Embargo, Focus Energy, Gastro Acid, Ingrain, Leech Seed, Lock On, Mind Reader, Magnet Rise, Perish Song, Power Trick
|Baton Pass||40||--||--||The user switches places with a party Pokémon in waiting, passing along any stat changes.|
In addition to Baton Pass, there are a few other ways to switch in battle without using the entire turn of the Pokémon. There are two different methods. First is through the item; Eject Button. This item, when the user is attacked, will disappear and cause the Pokémon to return its ball, giving you a choice of Pokémon to replace it. Unlike Baton Pass, you don't keep any of the stat changes.
|Eject Button||If the holder is hit by an attack, it will switch with another Pokémon in your party.|
In addition to the Eject Button, there are two moves which will do damage to the opponent and then send the Pokémon back into the party. As these moves do damage, the turn isn't wasted and if your Pokémon is faster than the opponent, you'll have the ability to switch in a Pokémon to handle the attack the opponent will throw at you.
|Parting Shot||20||--||100||With a parting threat, the user lowers the target's Attack and Sp. Atk stats. Then it switches with a party Pokémon.|
|U-turn||20||70||100||After making its attack, the user rushes back to switch places with a party Pokémon in waiting.|
|Volt Switch||20||70||100||After making its attack, the user rushes back to switch places with a party Pokémon in waiting.|
There are numerous moves which will also prevent the opponent or user from switching. The move that prevents the user switching is Ingrain, which will cause the Pokémon to be embedded into the ground and irremovable. However, it can remove itself with the move, U-Turn and Baton Pass. The other moves will prevent the target from escaping battle, doing damage every turn. The moves which trap Pokémon and do damage each turn can be negated if the opponent has the move Rapid Spin.
|Anchor Shot||20||80||100||The user entangles the target with its anchor chain while attacking. The target becomes unable to flee.|
|Bind||20||15||85||Things such as long bodies or tentacles are used to bind and squeeze the target for four to five turns.|
|Block||5||--||--||The user blocks the target's way with arms spread wide to prevent escape.|
|Clamp||15||35||85||The target is clamped and squeezed by the user's very thick and sturdy shell for four to five turns.|
|Fairy Lock||10||--||--||By locking down the battlefield, the user keeps all Pokémon from fleeing during the next turn.|
|Fire Spin||15||35||85||The target becomes trapped within a fierce vortex of fire that rages for four to five turns.|
|G-Max Sandblast||10||--||101||A Ground-type attack that Gigantamax Sandaconda use. Opponents are trapped in a raging sandstorm for four to five turns.|
|G-Max Terror||10||--||101||A Ghost-type attack that Gigantamax Gengar use. This Pokémon steps on the opposing Pokémon's shadow to prevent them from escaping.|
|Infestation||20||20||100||The target is infested and attacked for four to five turns. The target can't flee during this time.|
|Jaw Lock||10||80||100||This move prevents the user and the target from switching out until either of them faints. The effect goes away if either of the Pokémon leaves the field.|
|Magma Storm||5||120||75||The target becomes trapped within a maelstrom of fire that rages for four to five turns.|
|Mean Look||5||--||--||The user pins the target with a dark, arresting look. The target becomes unable to flee.|
|Octolock||15||--||100||The user locks the target in and prevents it from fleeing. This move also lowers the target's Defense and Sp. Def every turn.|
|Sand Tomb||15||35||85||The user traps the target inside a harshly raging sandstorm for four to five turns.|
|Snap Trap||15||35||100||The user snares the target in a snap trap for four to five turns.|
|Spider Web||10||--||--||The user ensnares the target with thin, gooey silk so it can't flee from battle.|
|Whirlpool||15||35||85||Traps foes in a violent swirling whirlpool for four to five turns.|
|Wrap||20||15||90||A long body or vines are used to wrap and squeeze the target for four to five turns.|
In addition to that, there are a few moves and items which will force the opponent out of battle. First is the item the Red Card. With the Red Card, whenever the holder has been damaged by an opponent, the opponent is forced out of battle. The opponent does not get to choose the Pokémon to replace the Pokémon being removed. It is a one-use only item.
|Red Card||A card with a mysterious power. When the holder is struck by a foe, the attacker is removed from battle.|
With the moves, there are a variety. Some will do damage and knock the Pokémon out, while others will just force the opponent to leave. These moves all have a very low Speed Priority so generally occur at the end of each turn.
|Circle Throw||10||60||90||The user throws the target and drags out another Pokémon in its party. In the wild, the battle ends.|
|Dragon Tail||10||60||90||The user knocks away the target and drags out another Pokémon in its party. In the wild, the battle ends.|
|Roar||20||--||100||The target is scared off and replaced by another Pokémon in its party. In the wild, the battle ends.|
|Whirlwind||20||--||100||The target is blown away, to be replaced by another Pokémon in its party. In the wild, the battle ends.|
If the opponent is of the Steel-type, Pokémon with the Magnet Pull ability prevent them from exiting battle
If the opponent isn't of the Flying-type or doesn't have the Levitate ability, Pokémon with the Arena Trap ability prevent them from exiting battle
If the opponent doesn't also have this ability and isn't a Ghost-type, Pokémon with the Shadow Tag ability prevent all opposing Pokémon from exiting battle
If the Pokémon has the Suction Cups ability, the Pokémon cannot be forced from battle
When switched out of battle, Pokémon with the Regenerator ability will heal up to 33.3% of their maximum Hit Points
When switched out of battle, Pokémon with the Natural Cure ability will heal all status problems
As you will often get wild Pokémon when you don't really want them, the need to escape is strong. All the moves and abilities listed above will work in a similar manner to in trainer battles, but if they would force the opponent to switch then they will end the wild battle. Here though, there is the ability to just run from the battle. The calculation to run is based upon the speed of the currently active Pokémon and the speed of the opponent. This formula is as follows
Probability = (((UserSpeed * 32)/ (OpponentSpeed / 4))+ 30 * AttemptNumber) / 256
If you're unable to escape, then you will unfortunately be vulnerable to attack for a turn. However, there are numerous ways in order to force the wild battles to end. First, if your Pokémon has the Run Away ability, then providing it's not affected by any moves or abilities, escape from battle will be guaranteed.
There are numerous items which will also aid in the escape from wild battles. One, the Smoke Ball, can only be used as a hold item. If the Pokémon in play has it, you'll be able to escape with ease. The other three items are to be used in battle and will disappear after use. They are the PokéDoll, PokéToy and Fluffy Tail. Once the item is used, the wild battle will end
|Fluffy Tail||An item that attracts Pokémon. Use it to flee from any battle with a wild Pokémon.|
|Poké Doll||A doll that attracts Pokémon. Use it to flee from any battle with a wild Pokémon.|
|Poké Toy||An item that attracts Pokémon. Use it to flee from any battle with a wild Pokémon.|
|Smoke Ball||An item to be held by a Pokémon. It enables the holder to flee from any wild Pokémon without fail.|
There are also instances in which the opponent Pokémon will flee from battle. This was commonplace in Gold, Silver & Crystal but very rare now. Typically, it only happens with Roaming Legendaries, which will try it every turn unless you trap them with the moves or abilities detailed above. Pokémon in the Safari Zone will also flee. If the opponent has moves which would force you from battle, it doesn't make you have to switch, but rather will end the battle.