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What is the difference between a physical attack and a special attack?

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I have always thought a special attack was any any move that was the same type as the pokemon but then I found that the elemental punches were always special attack no matter what pokemon they're on so now I'm confused as to what is special and what is physical…

asked Jun 14, 2012 by Chimcharizard
Why was this down voted? It's a good question...

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A special move is one in which the user does not necessarily have to make contact with its opponent in order to deal damage. - Bulbapedia

A physical move is one in which the user uses its physical strength or solid projectiles in order to damage its foes. - Bulbapedia

A special move is a move like Flamethrower, where the user does not make contact with the target. A physical move is a move like Hammer Arm, where the user does make contact with the target.


Also, a move that is the same type as the pokemon using it is called a S.T.A.B. (Same Type Attack Bonus) move.

answered Jun 14, 2012 by |SentByRavens|
selected Jun 14, 2012 by Chimcharizard
Just as a side-note STAB bonus is 1.5x, for example, with a Charizard(non-Dragon) Dragon Puse has a base power of 90, with Dragonite(Dragon type) its base power is 90x1.5, or 135