Speed Priority

Normally, when you think about what order moves go in when battling, you just think it is dependant on your Pokémon and your opponent Pokémon's speed. This is true, however there are several attacks which alter the progression of the attacks. Each attack has a specific hidden value called the Speed Priority. Almost all of the attacks in the game have got a Speed Priority of 0, however there are over a dozen attacks that manipulate this value in order to utilise it going first or maybe even last.

There are 13 different stages within the speed priority area from +5 all the way down to -7. Logically, as you would expect, the attacks with the highest value go first. If the two Pokémon both use an attack with say a speed priority value of 4, then the speed stat of each Pokémon comes back into play and the order is determined from there. There's also the fact that several attacks will allow use of another attack such as Assist, Metronome and so on, these will remain with a speed priority of 0. So if you were to use Metronome and you get the attack Aqua Jet while your opponent uses Fake Out, both of which have a priority of 1, Fake Out will still go first, regardless of the speed.

Switching pretty much always happens first, before any attacks. However, there is one attack that has a varying speed priority value; Pursuit. Normally it has a value of 0, but if your opponent switches just as you have selected Pursuit, Pursuit will always hit before the Pokémon switches out. Moves which utilise switching out such as Baton Pass or U-Turn however keep their priority value of 0 and so can still be hit before. In Rotation Battles however, the rotation occurs straight away at the start of the turn and bypasses any and all moves.

There are also several items that mess with the speed priority. Quick Claw is the most common one you will see. It has a 3/16 chance of boosting your Pokémon's priority and attacking first. However, this is not utilised in skipping priority stages. So if you have a Quick Claw attached and it activates while you use Flamethrower, but your opponent uses Quick Attack, you will still attack second. There are items such as Full Incense and the Lagging Tail which do the complete inverse of this and make you last within that Speed Priorit, but as with the Quick Claw, if you use Flamethrower but your opponent uses Avalanche, you will move first. These items also completely ignore the effect of Trick Room.

Trick Room is a unique attack in that it inverses the speed of the users so the faster Pokémon go last, while the slower Pokémon will go first. The speed priority stages still remain the same however so Quick Attack will still hit before Flamethrower. The aforementioned items are exempt from this however.

In Pokémon Black & White, a new ability, Prankster, is introduced. This ability increases the Speed Priority of all non-attacking moves by 1 stage for the Pokémon with the ability. This means that all standard moves, normally within the Stage 0 band, will act as if they were in the Stage 1 band and so forth. Pokémon X & Y went further with the new abilities and introduced the ability Gale Wings, which increases the Speed Priority of all Flying-type moves known by the Pokémon with that ability by one.

Mega Evolution has a Speed Priority beyond Stage 5, and will always occur at the start of battle before anyone attacks or switches. However, due to this, any changes in the Speed Priority brought by a new ability, such as Banette mega evolving and gaining the ability Prankster, are not factored in within the turn of Mega Evolution but will be in all subsequent turns.

Below is a list of the stage as well as the attacks within them:

Stage 5

Name Type Cat. PP Att. Acc. Effect
Helping Hand 20 -- -- A move that boosts the power of the ally's attack in a Double Battle.
Stage 4

Name Type Cat. PP Att. Acc. Effect
Detect 5 -- -- It enables the user to evade all attacks. Its chance of failing rises if it is used in succession.
Endure 10 -- -- The user endures any attack with at least 1 HP. Its chance of failing rises if it is used in succession.
King's Shield 10 -- -- The user takes a defensive stance while it protects itself from damage. It also harshly lowers the Attack stat of any attacker who makes direct contact.
Magic Coat 15 -- -- A barrier reflects back to the foe moves like Leech Seed and moves that damage status.
Protect 10 -- -- It enables the user to evade all attacks. Its chance of failing rises if it is used in succession.
Snatch 10 -- -- The user steals the effects of any healing or stat- changing move the foe attempts to use.
Spiky Shield 10 -- -- In addition to protecting the user from attacks, this move also damages any attacker who makes direct contact.
Stage 3

Name Type Cat. PP Att. Acc. Effect
Crafty Shield 10 -- -- The user protects itself and its allies from status moves with a mysterious power. This does not stop moves that do damage.
Fake Out 10 40 100 An attack that hits first and makes the target flinch. It only works the first turn the user is in battle.
Follow Me
Pre-XY
20 -- -- The user draws attention to itself, making all foes take aim only at the user.
Rage Powder
Pre-XY
20 -- -- It sprinkles itself with a powder that causes frustration to call attention to itself. All the opponent’s attacks aim towards it.
Quick Guard 15 -- -- It protects itself and its team mates from the opponent’s priority moves. May fail if used in succession.
Wide Guard 10 -- -- It protects all its teammates from attacks for one turn. May fail if used in succession.
Stage 2

Name Type Cat. PP Att. Acc. Effect
Extremespeed 5 80 100 The user charges the foe at blinding speed. This attack always goes before any other move.
Feint 10 30 100 An attack that hits a foe using Protect or Detect. It also lifts the effects of those moves.
Follow Me
Post-XY
20 -- -- The user draws attention to itself, making all foes take aim only at the user.
Rage Powder
Post-XY
20 -- -- It sprinkles itself with a powder that causes frustration to call attention to itself. All the opponent’s attacks aim towards it.
Stage 1

Name Type Cat. PP Att. Acc. Effect
Ally Switch 15 -- -- With a strange power it teleports and switches places with one of its teammates.
Aqua Jet 20 40 100 The user lunges at the foe at a speed that makes it almost invisible. It is sure to strike first.
Baby-Doll Eyes 30 -- 100 The user stares at the target with its baby-doll eyes, which lowers its Attack stat. This move always goes first.
Bide 10 -- -- The user endures attacks for two turns, then strikes back to cause double the damage taken.
Bullet Punch 30 40 100 The user strikes with a tough punch as fast as a bullet. This move always goes first.
Ice Shard 30 40 100 The user flash freezes chunks of ice and hurls them. This move always goes first.
Ion Deluge 25 -- -- The user disperses electrically charged particles, which changes Normal-type moves to Electric-type moves.
Mach Punch 30 40 100 The user throws a punch at blinding speed. It is certain to strike first.
Powder 20 -- 100 The user covers the target in a powder that explodes and damages the target if it uses a Fire-type move.
Quick Attack 30 40 100 The user lunges at the foe at a speed that makes it almost invisible. It is sure to strike first.
Shadow Sneak 30 40 100 The user extends its shadow and attacks the foe from behind. This move always goes first.
Sucker Punch 5 80 100 This move enables the user to attack first. It fails if the foe is not readying an attack, however.
Vacuum Wave 30 40 100 The user whirls its fists to send a wave of pure vacuum at the foe. This move always goes first.
Water Shuriken 20 15 100 The user hits the target with throwing stars two to five times in a row. This move always goes first.
Stage 0

All other moves are within Stage 0
Stage -1

Name Type Cat. PP Att. Acc. Effect
Vital Throw 10 70 -- The user allows the foe to attack first. In return, this throw move is guaranteed not to miss.
Stage -2

There are no moves in Stage -2
Stage -3

Name Type Cat. PP Att. Acc. Effect
Focus Punch 20 150 100 The user focuses its mind before launching a punch. It will fail if the user is hit before it is used.
Stage -4

Name Type Cat. PP Att. Acc. Effect
Avalanche 10 60 100 An attack move that inflicts double the damage if the user has been hurt by the foe in the same turn.
Revenge 10 60 100 An attack move that inflicts double the damage if the user has been hurt by the foe in the same turn.
Stage -5

Name Type Cat. PP Att. Acc. Effect
Counter 20 -- 100 A retaliation move that counters any physical attack, inflicting double the damage taken.
Mirror Coat 20 -- 100 A retaliation move that counters any special attack, inflicting double the damage taken.
Stage -6

Name Type Cat. PP Att. Acc. Effect
Circle Throw 10 60 90 It throws the opponent in the air and drags out the next Pokémon. In case of a wild battle, the battle ends.
Dragon Tail 10 60 90 It sends the opponent flying and causes the opponent to switch out. In a wild battle, the battle ends.
Roar 20 -- 100 The foe is scared off, to be replaced by another Pokémon in its party. In the wild, the battle ends.
Whirlwind 20 -- 100 The foe is blown away, to be replaced by another Pokémon in its party. In the wild, the battle ends.
Stage -7

Name Type Cat. PP Att. Acc. Effect
Magic Room
Only -7 before XY. 0 after
10 -- -- It creates a strange atmosphere. No Pokémon’s items have an effect for 5 turns.
Trick Room 5 -- -- The user creates a bizarre area in which slower Pokémon get to move first for five turns.
Wonder Room
Only -7 before XY. 0 after
10 -- -- It creates a mysterious atmosphere. All Pokémon have their defence and special defence switched for 5 Turns.
 
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