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Hypothetical scenario: Opposing Pokémon moves first and faints due to self-sacrificing move/recoil/life orb/abilities. Normally any attack that your Pokémon try to use would fail due to lack of a target. What moves, when used in this scenario, would still work?

Definitely most moves that don't target opponents (though protect-like moves will still fail), as well as maybe self-destruct, explosion, and final gambit.

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In addition to that,

  • Spikes
  • Toxic Spikes
  • Stealth Rock
  • Sticky Web
  • Aromatheraphy
  • Aurora Veil
  • Heal Bell
  • Light Screen
  • Lucky Chant
  • Mist
  • Reflect
  • Safe Guard
  • Tail Wind
  • Explosion
  • Selfdestruct
  • Healing Wish
  • Lunar Dance
  • Perish Song


  • Wish
  • Acupressure

The logic here is that if it affects the field or allies as opposed to a singular target, it should still activate.

Note: Not sure about Memento and Final Gambit

The above is based on logic as opposed to individual testing, meaning there might be a specific case where it doesn't apply. Should such an instance be found, let me know and I'll edit that in.

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What about wish and moves that target the user?
ocrap i knew i was forgetting some, wish of all. funnily enough i did think of wish before writing the answer :/

any other?
What about moves like roost and swords dance?
I wasn't sure about stat-boosting moves, presumably some would work. And what about moves that take a turn to charge like Solar Beam or Sky Attack?
Those would work if the Pokemon fainted on the charging turn, but not if it fainted on the damage-dealing turn.