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Can someone explain to me what priority means in simple words?

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I know what it is,sort of,but I'm having trouble still of underxstanding it so could you help please and if you do can you give me some examples?

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"Priority is a move that is guaranteed to go first before any other move in a lower priority bracket.

This is why moves like Aqua Jet and Baby-Doll Eyes have descriptions that say how they'll always go before another attack, which is true, for the most part. They can still be outsped by a move with a higher priority, or if a faster Pokémon uses a move with the same priority (e.g. a Talonflame's Brave Bird would go before Breloom's Mach Punch).

  • The majority of moves, like Ember, Hydro Pump, Thunder Wave, and Iron Tail have a priority of +0. This means that the faster Pokémon moves first, no questions asked.

  • The next priority bracket is for moves like Sucker Punch, Aqua Jet, Bullet Punch, Vaccum Wave and Mach Punch, at +1. These moves will always move before +0 moves, regardless of speed. Note how the abilites Prankster and Gale Wings increase the priority of status moves and Flying moves, respectively. This means that, when used by Pokémon like Thundurus and Meowstic, status moves like Light Screen, Toxic, and Swagger all bump up to +1 priority. If Talonflame uses a Flying-move like Roost or Acrobatics, its ability bumps their priority up to +1 as well.

  • There are only a few moves with +2 priority, them being redirection moves, Extreme Speed, and Feint. These moves will activiate before any move with a priority of +1 or below. This is why you are able to Rage Powder a Prankster Taunt away from another Pokémon.

  • Moves like Wide Guard, Quick Guard and Fake Out have a priority of +3. Quick Guard is interesting because it stops offensive priority moves that are in the lower brackets, or in the +3 bracket coming from a slower Pokémon. This means that Quick Guard will not block Fake Out if the Fake Out user is faster.

  • Protecting moves like Spiky Shield and Detect are all +4 priority, making them have higher priority than any damaging move. Note that, while Feint is of a lower priority, it will still hit through all of the +4 priority protecting moves.

  • The only move with +5 priority is Helping Hand.

  • The last attack that has priority is Pursuit, at +7, but it only does this when targeting a switching Pokémon (switching is +6 priority). If used on a non-switch its priority is +0.

Oh, there's more!

There are also moves with negative priority. These moves always move after +0 and higher priority brackets. These include strategy moves like Trick Room and Whirlwind, as well as attack moves like Avalanche, which happen to double in strength if you get hit that turn — useful for a low priority move.

  • Vital Throw is the only move at -1 priority. It doesn't really benefit from doing this, but the animation is okay.

  • There are no moves with -2 priority, which doesn't make a lot of sense, but never mind.

  • The move Focus Punch is the sole resident of the -3 priority bracket, making it difficult to pull off because it fails if you take any damage.

  • Avalanche and Revenge are moves with -4 priority Their power doubles if the take any damage from a move with higher priority.

  • The moves with -5 priority are Counter and Mirror Coat, which deal back double the damage taken from a physical or special attack, respectively.

  • "Phasing" moves like Dragon Tail and Roar are all -5 priority. This prevents them from being able to swap out your Pokémon at will, and have to take damage first.

  • Finally, with a priority of -7, we have Trick Room. Trick Room will always be the last move used, no matter what. This is why using phasing moves is a tech way of removing Trick Room, since items like Metal Herb prevent you from Taunting it.

There's the complete beginner's guide to priority! I hope this helps, and I'm sorry if it's not simple enough :)

I want to give a huge shout-out to Bulbapedia for helpfully informing me what moves were in some more obscure priority brackets.

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edited by
thanks this really helped
No problem :)
Great answer!
Wait...about the +2 priority....redirection moves? WHAT'RE THOSE!?
But seriously, what are redirection moves? Never heard that term before.
Follow Me, Rage Powder, etc...
Oh yeeeaahhhh right I forgot those moves even existed
1 vote

Priority essentially means the ability of a move to go first in a turn. In a turn, usually it is the faster Pokemon (with higher speed stat) that moves first. However, when a move with priority is used, say for example Quick Attack, then that move will go first regardless of which Pokemon is faster.

For example: A Breloom and Metagross are about to duke it out. By stats, Metagross is faster. If both use moves of normal priority (0 that is) then Metagross would move first. But if Breloom uses Mach Punch, which has +1 priority, then it moves before Metagross does.

Priority can be positive, 0 and even negative by value.

  • 0 priority is the normal priority every move has. Eg.- Body Slam, Thunderbolt etc.

  • Positive priority (+1, +2 and so on) always goes before moves with 0 and negative priority. Also, a move with a priority of +2 goes before that with +1.
    Eg.- Mach Punch (+1), Extreme Speed (+2), Fake Out (+3)

  • Negative priority (-1, -2 and so on) always goes after moves with 0 and positive priority. Also, a move with priority -2 goes after that with -1.
    Eg.- Vital Throw (-1), Focus Punch (-3), Trick Room (-7)

Basically, moves with higher priority go before moves with lower priority. When two moves have the same priority, they are tied and the Pokemon with the higher speed stat goes first, like usual.

Hope I helped!

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