PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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i always thought base power was simply the damage an attack does, but know I know thats not it... how is it calculated? And why is giga drain better than solar beam? Why is cut in everyones moveset?

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Who told you that solar beam or cut are good? Did they say these moves are good for battling other people, in-game trainers, or something else?
whoops i messed up lemme edit it
I don't really understand what you want; how BP is calculated, like some Pokémon with the same move do less damage than some other Pokémon using the same move and doing more damage? You want the reason to that, or something else?

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Best answer

Ok so...

Base power is how powerful the move is. For example, in theory Earthquake will do more damage than Flash Cannon. It can be modified by weather, type effectiveness, STAB, certain moves, terrain, certain items, abilities, format (like Earthquake in double battles), and specific circumstances. However, base power does not guarantee a certain amount of damage inflicted on the target. That’s a combination of the stats of both Pokémon. For example, if you were to use Earthquake with a Modest nature Heatran with 0 Attack EVs, it wouldn’t do very much damage to, let’s say, a 252 HP and 252 Defense Bold Amoonguss. Heatran has low base Attack and it has an Attack lowering nature, while Amoonguss is fully invested in Defense and has a Defense boosting nature.

As for Giga Drain > Solar Beam, the only time Solar Beam is more viable is on sun teams, where it doesn’t have to charge. Giga Drain is much more practical because it doesn’t need to charge and it heals the user.

No one uses Cut except for an HM slave.

Note that there are some moves, like Dragon Rage (40 HP) that take a set amount of HP from the target.

Hope this helps! :)

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2 votes

This is how the game calculates damage for most attack moves.

source
Power is above the fraction bar, which means that moves with more power usually do more damage.

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Probably should mention about other modifiers like stab, weather and wahtever else since you mentioned how the damage is calculated