Pokemon: Moves That Guarantee You Attack First
Anyone who plays Pokemon knows that the goal of the games is to get your team into battles, train them up, and become the very best like no one ever was. However, the game features an in-depth stat system for each Pokemon, including (but not limited to) its speed.
While speed is normally what dictates which monster gets to attack first, there are a handful of moves that have a higher priority and will always move first. If both moves have the same priority, it boils down to speed stats, but using one of the moves in this list all but guarantees you get the jump on your opponent.
Of course, someone calling back their Pokemon will always take precedence – if that’s your move, it’s happening first without question. However, if you’re attacking on this turn, there are a few moves that assure you’ll be the first to go.
13 Feint Should Make Them Faint
The opposing Pokemon might think they’re safe, having hidden behind a move with protective abilities, but they’ll be thinking again once you use Feint.
A priority +2 move, Feint deals physical damage to your enemies, even if they’re actively defending. In some generations, it can even completely remove that protective status at the same time. Your opponents are no match for a Pokemon that can move this fast.
12 Fake Out Your Foes
If you’ve just sent a Pokemon that knows Fake Out into battle, be sure to use it on your first turn to sneak out some impressive damage early.
Fake Out is a priority +3 move, meaning it moves before anything else on our list. The only caveat is that it won’t work unless it’s the first move your Pokemon uses when they go out to battle. Start the fight with this to ensure a fast victory every time.
11 Make A Lasting First Impression
They say you never forget a first impression, so make it count with this fast-paced move.
First Impression deals physical Dark-type damage with a power of 70, but only if you’re using it the first turn your Pokemon is in battle. Additionally, your opponent needs to be using a physical or special attack move against you on this turn for it to work. However, when it lands, it means serious business.
10 Pull A Sucker Punch
In the real world, a sucker punch is quite a cheap shot — but in Pokemon, anything goes.
This Dark-type move deals physical damage on the first move, but only as long as you use it during a turn in which your opponent uses a physical or special attack move. Any Pokemon using status moves can’t be hit by Sucker Punch, but if they’re about to hit you, use this priority +1 move to sneak out in front.
9 Bide Your Time
Our next move does have its uses in single battles, but it shines brightest in doubles. Bide makes an opposing Pokemon idle for two turns, and at the end of those two turns, it absorbs double the damage dealt.
You can use it effectively in a singles match if you want a move to hit a little harder in the next turn, but it’s best used in team matches. Have one Pokemon set up this attack, and you’ll get three moves off on your opponent for some major damage.
8 Move Quick With Extreme Speed
That’s what this list is all about, right?
This Normal-type move deals physical damage to your opponent, and used to be Arcanine’s signature move before the release of the Gen 3 games. Now, it’s available to a handful of other Pokemon as well – mostly the legendaries – but remains just as effective in whipping out a fast move before your foe.
7 Sneak Out In Front Using Quick Attack
Arguably the move you’ll encounter most on this list, Quick Attack has a priority of +1 and can be used by dozens of different Pokemon.
If both of you try to use it on the same move, the game will default to the speed stat for each Pokemon. However, if your foe goes for another move, the first attack is all yours.
6 Go With The Aqua Jet Flow
Water is one of the most common elemental types in the game, so it makes sense that there’s an extra-speedy Water move for your aquatic aggressors.
With a priority of +1, a good handful of your Water-types can learn this move. It hits with a power of 40, so it’s not a bad idea to keep it in your pocket for a fast, reliable chip off your opponents’ HP.
5 Stay Frosty With Ice Shard
Fighting a notedly-powerful Ice-type isn’t going to be an easy fight, but if you’re fighting with one instead of against, Ice Shard will slide you out in first.
Ice does have a handful of type weaknesses — fire is the obvious one — but watch out for Rock, Steel, and Fighting as well. You can use this priority +1 move to sneak out early, keep a cool head in your fight, and take the opportunity if you’ve got it.
4 Keep Opponents In The Dark Using Shadow Sneak
The concept of this move is kind of creepy when you think about it: your Ghost-types can use their shadows to sneak up behind their opponent and attack them from behind.
This move has a priority of +1, putting you ahead of the vast majority of oppositional moves. It lets you get the jump on most of your foes, so keep your plans in the dark and your enemies literally won't see you coming.
3 What’s The Matter With Vacuum Wave?
Vacuums are spaces where there is no matter, and your opponent won’t matter for long either if you come at them with Vacuum Punch.
This Fighting-type move, like most moves of the type, deals physical damage with a pretty solid power of 40 and 100% accuracy. This ensures you’ll get a quick, meaningful move in before the fight even really gets underway.
2 Mach Punch At The Speed Of Sound
Another move that used to be exclusive to one Pokemon specifically — Hitmonchan, before Gen 2 — that's now more universal. Mach Punch means business, and is sure to stun your opponents.
The descriptions of the move across all generations describe it as being fast, with some calling that speed “blinding” or “wicked”. Another Fighting-type, priority +1 move that hits with a power of 40, you can’t go wrong with these fists of fury.
1 Fight Fast With Bullet Punch
Steel-types are known for their solid defense, but they’re nothing to sneeze at offensively either, especially not with a move like Bullet Punch.
This move has a priority of +1, and given Steel has a number of types against which it’s naturally excellent, tell your metal monster to use this move on a foe that’s weak to Steel and you’re all but guaranteed a one-hit KO.
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