Meta Battle Subway PokeBase - Pokemon Q&A

Why are they called "Attack" and "Defense" but not "Physical Attack" and "Physical Defense"?

0 votes

If Special stats determine the damage of Special moves, why isn't this the case with Physical moves?

asked by
And why isn't there a "Status Attack" and "Status Defense"? :P
Well, status moves don't do damage (unless its a % decrease like Sandstorm) so a Status Atk/Def would serve no purpose.

3 Answers

3 votes
Best answer

Most likely due to the origins of the Special stats. In Gens 1 and 2, Special Defence and Special Attack were combined as one stat, called "Special". In Gen 3, however, to remain consistent with the already existing Attack and Defence, they were split into two separate stats, very similar to the existing Attack and Defence stats. To be able to tell them apart, "Special" was added to their names, creating "Speical Attack" and "Special Defence". The original stats weren't called "Physical Attack" or "Physical Defence" in those earlier generations, since they didn't need to be differentiated from another set of similar stats like Speical Attack and Special Defence do now.

And as explained by Flaf, any damage a status move does is percentage based, so there is no need for dedicated stats for them.

answered by
selected by
Good answer, but you already have a lot of points. I'm sticking to SeP's answer.
It's not for points, it's for the best answer
FIIIIIIIIIIIINE...I'll take 20 points from you. You asked for it.
Defense is spelled with an S, not a C
1 vote

It may be called "attack" and "Defense" instead of "Psychical Attack" and "Psychical Defense" because it is probably supposed to be inferred that it is Psychical.
Take for example real life, you're not gonna attack your brother with a Focus Blast, because it's impossible, you have to make contact in some way to hurt him.
As for "Status Attack" and "Status Defense,"Status moves lower/raise a stage by a certain amount, level doesn't affect how much stages are lowered. (As far as I know)
Take for example a Lv. 1 Eevee VS a Lv. 100 Hoothoot, both of them use Growl, both of their Attack stats would be lowered by one stage, no more, no less, level doesn't matter.
But this part was just a theory, only GameFreak knows for sure.

Hope I helped!

answered by
Yet I was taught not to just assume stuff...
Sometimes it's good, sometimes bad...
1 vote

Summary: Character Length, Evolution of stats, English language tendencies, because.


  1. Pretty sure it started as length thing. The first few generations (even to today) had character limits on everything. The length of a Pokemon's name, the length of the player and trainers names, the move names, etc. "Physical Attack" is rather long and didn't fit in the game in the first generation.

  2. Also In generation one the stats were Attack, Defense, Special, Speed. Notice the 8 character length limit. In Gen 2 forward Special was divided into special attack and special Defense leaving the "physical" portion of attack and defense to be assumed.

  3. It is also natural in the english language to leave off adjectives for default values "physical" being a default and "special" as the name implies is different. Humans have Physical attributes but we do not have the special attributes like Pokemon have. We call the shiny things in the sky "star" if it moves we call it "shooting star". We don't say "normal star" and "shooting star".

  4. Not that this is a good reason but frankly someone responsible for translating the game decided it should be this way. Just like you decide to eat cheerios or weaties for breakfast. Asking why is like asking why you named your cat felix (after a cartoon cat) instead of garfield (after a different cartoon cat). You just did.

answered by
But my mom said I'm special...
"But my mom said I'm special..." LOL! That's consistent it means your not the default human being. Of course nobody is normal once you get to know them.