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I'm asking this because before the physical-special split, all moves of one type were deemed Physical or Special. This means:

  • Special Blaze Kick
  • Special Crabhammer
  • Special Absol (With Dark Moves)
  • Special Outrage

And a bunch of other things like Physical Sludge Bomb. How different was this?

Ah, the days of Fire Punch Alakazam. :D
Extremely different for that reason, and for other reasons as well.
Well put it this way Wynaut was an Uber in Gen III and it's in LC in Gen V :P
I believe the answer is "very very differeny"

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Generation 3 was a bit of a tipping point in the metagame - it was between Gen 2 and 4, the former being very defensively-based, and the latter being the start of the "power creep". The Physical/Special split had yet to happen, and that split punished some Pokémon, and absolutely bolstered others.

While it's true that Gyarados was weaker as a result of a lower Special Attack, it still packed Intimidate and Dragon dance, which was pretty much a guaranteed spot in OU. Keep in mind that no Pokémon during this time was absolutely beyond powerful - having a base stat over 120 was considered a hugerarity, so by comparison, Gyarados was still incredibly powerful.

Salamence wrecked everything back in the day, as well. Packing Gyarados' same Intimidate + Dragon Dance combo on top of great Special Attack for Dragon Claw, Fire Blast, and Hydro Pump made for devastating sets. I believe Salamence was one of few OU standards eventually banned to Ubers for a time in gen 3, but was eventually sent back once Jirachi was released.

For people coming into the scene after Gen 3, there were a lot of fundamental differences in the nature of the game that should be noted:

  • Stealth Rock didn't exist. Instead, Spikes was the main hazard to lay down. Claydol, Smeargle, and Forretress were the main Spikers since they could Spin and lay Spikes down at the same time - another rare gift that is now pretty much mediocre to Spinning and Stealth Rock.

  • Unless you played Ubers, there was no instant weather. Welcome back to the pioneering days in Generation 6! Where you need to pack Damp Rocks and related items to make your weather team function.

  • Priority moves and boosting moves were few and far between simply because they didn't exist much. The only regular priority attacks were Quick Attack and Mach Punch, really. No Aqua Jet, no Sucker Punch, and no Bullet Punch. Boosting moves were also a bit rarer and easier to predict, mainly because of there being no Swords Dance TM and fewer Pokémon. It was usually fairly easy to tell which Pokémon were going to boost and which were just going to go for the sweep.

  • The huge kicker that messes with people when trying to go back and play Gen 3 is that there are way fewer items. No Choice Specs, no Life Orb, no Expert Belt, no Focus Sash, and the worst offender to modern metagamers, no Choice Scarf!

Gen 3 in general left many sets to be pretty open-ended and creative, since you couldn't depend on the strength of a hold item and/or ability to carry your weight (Looking at you, Talonflame). The existence of the Choice Band, however, made a lot of the metagame leaning toward physical-based attacks, on top of the expansion of Ghost, Rock, and Steel-types offsetting that trend. Double powder Butterfree was usable in OU, and SubPunch Alakazam was totally viable, I'm not kidding.

Hoenn was very much a beast of its own - it wasn't about Curse boosts and ResTalk sets like the Johto games were, and it wasn't flat-out broken like Red and Blue. It the first and last of its kind: a classic-era metagame that looks a little bit like the modern era's, but is still very different.

Hope I helped to some degree - sorry for the long answer!

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2 votes

Yes, it is very different. In Gen 3, where there was no physical or special the types were categorised into set physical or special.

The list showing the types and their type is here .


In Gen 3, there were many problems. Like take Gyarados for example. Water was counted as special in those games prior to gen 4. Water was special so the damages given by his water moves would not be counted as physical. And Gyarados' special is weak, so the power would be weaker.

Some Pokemon, though take advantage of this situation. Like what 'Fizz' said. Fire punch Alakazam made it have a bit of a wider movepool. Still, shadow, which removes one of his weakness is physical. So in all, the movepool of many Pokemon are topsy-turvy.

The competitive in Gen 3 would be harder or easier depending on your situation.

Dragon types were a bit bad in those times. Mind you, it was before those power mega-evolution and more. Dragon move being all special made it harder for all those physical overpowering special dragon types.

So in all the gen 3 could be harder or easier depending all on your own situation.

Sorry if you dont get it. It is hard to explain it.
He knows the special physical split.