PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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if a Pokemon lost something like a ring target, could recycle get it back?

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Yes, but there is only one method in which this would work.

If a Pokemon is holding a ring target and uses the move Fling, and then uses Recycle on the following turn, then it would regain its ring target. This is also true for all non-consumable held items other than ring target.

A non-consumable held item cannot be restored if:

  • it was lost through Knock Off
  • it was stolen by the move Thief or the ability Pickpocket
  • the item was an air balloon

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Hope this answers your question!

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could pickpocket be a trigger for recycle?
No, because pickpocket has the same effect as Thief. In order for Recycle to work, the Pokemon with Recycle has to use up an item (even an item that it obtained from another Pokemon, such as through Thief or Trick). If the Pokemon has its item stolen before it can use or Fling it, Recycle will not restore the item. Remember: something has to be Used in order to be Reused :)