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It deals Physical damage but it's a special, so does the damage rely on your Sp.Atk stat or Atk?

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Psyshock relies on the user's Special Attack stat. But it uses the target's Defence stat. Look at it this way:

  • Offensive variables (STAB, held items, etc.) use the user's SpA
  • Defensive variables (held items like Assault Vest, stat boosts, etc.) use the target's Defence

Source: Experience

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An interesting note is that it's reflected by mirror coat and not counter. Did you know that?
Wouldn't that be due to Mirror Coat/Counter looking at Psyshock's classification as Special, rather than looking at the defense type it happened to impact?
I didn't know that, actually.
It should be said that all of the above applies to other moves like Psystrike and Secret Sword as well.