Fundamental Tactic: The Double Switch

The double switch is on of the fundamental techniques you can perform in the game. The concept is deceivingly simple, but requires a fair amount of guts and prediction to pull off. A double switch is simply predicting when your opponent will switch in, who they will switch in, and then outswitching their switching.

There are a few key examples inside this warstory, so I hope that beginner-level and intermediate-level players can see this documented use of double-switching. I'd estimate that about ~1600 to ~1700 on the Pokemon Showdown ladder will find this useful. If you're having trouble breaking through that barrier, try this basic move to gain the upper hand in momentum.

Standard OU (Beta) Ladder. (No-Pokebank)

NoApplePie4u's team: Tyranitar / Aegislash / Rotom-Wash / Excadrill / Alakazam / Magnezone
dragontamer5788's team: Skarmory / Mamoswine / Chandelure / Hydreigon / Medicham / Chansey



My team is... quite adhoc. I'm messing around, trying to understand Mega Medicham's niche. Unfortunately, he plays little-to-no role in this battle. Instead, the focus of today's story is to understand the "Double Switch".

Go! Rotom-Wash!
dragontamer5788 sent out Hydreigon!

Personally speaking, I think this is a bad matchup for Rotom-W. I know that Hydreigon has a Scarf, so Trick-Rotom can't do much against me. Rotom is slower, so I know I can get a Draco Meteor off. Burn is negligible on a Special Attacker. So, I expect him to switch out. I use U-Turn to predict the switchout.

Turn 1
The opposing Hydreigon used U-turn!
Rotom-Wash lost 21.9% of its health!
The opposing Hydreigon went back to dragontamer5788!
Well... that sucks. Seems like he decided to stay in. I'm assuming he's doing a Volt-Switch so I switch to Chansey to absorb the blow.

dragontamer5788 sent out Chansey!
Rotom-Wash used Trick!
Rotom-Wash switched items with its target!
The opposing Chansey obtained one Choice Scarf.
Rotom-Wash obtained one Eviolite.
(Crippled with Choice Scarf, lost Eviolite)

Even worse, Chansey is horribly crippled now. I'll use a Seismic toss to deal some damage.

Turn 2
Rotom-Wash used Will-O-Wisp!
The opposing Chansey was burned!
The opposing Chansey used Seismic Toss!
Rotom-Wash lost 41.3% of its health!
The opposing Chansey was hurt by its burn!
(Tricked into Choice Scarf + Burned)

Chansey still has natural cure, and its good to know that his Rotom-W has WoW. I'll need to play carefully with this Rotom. Nevertheless, Chansey is now choice-locked into Seismic Toss. It is obvious what my opponent's best move is: switch to Aegislash.

Knowing that my opponent is most likely going to switch to Aegislash, I now can perform a double-switch. My best matchup is Hydreigon, who resists the Shadow Sneak and can put him in a world of hurt with Dark Pulse.

Turn 3
Rotom-Wash, come back!
Go! Aegislash!
dragontamer5788 withdrew Chansey!
dragontamer5788 sent out Hydreigon!

Hey, look at that ma, I have a favorable matchup! Lets see what he does.

Turn 4
Aegislash used King's Shield!
Aegislash protected itself!
The opposing Hydreigon used Dark Pulse!
Aegislash protected itself!
(King's Shield) vs

He probably doesn't want to take a Dark Pulse for real. At this point, I perform the 2nd "Double Switch" of the game. He is clearly going to go to a Sp. Def tank who can take the dark pulse (probably TTar). I switch out to Mamoswine in an attempt to retain momentum.

Turn 5
dragontamer5788 withdrew Hydreigon!
dragontamer5788 sent out Mamoswine!
Aegislash, come back!
Go! Magnezone!
Magnezone floats in the air with its Air Balloon!

I'm not entirely sure what he was doing here, but the Air Balloon Magnezone definitely winsagainst my Mamoswine. I was not so keen on sacrificing Mamoswine's Focus Sash to only break the opponent's balloon... so I'd rather switch to Chansey.

Turn 6
dragontamer5788 withdrew Mamoswine!
dragontamer5788 sent out Chansey!
Magnezone used Flash Cannon!
The opposing Chansey lost 23.1% of its health!
(65%, Choice Scarf)

Choice Scarf is very crippling on Chansey. I'm hoping he switches to Aegislash, so I can T-Wave him.

Turn 7
The opposing Chansey used Thunder Wave!
But it failed!
Magnezone used Flash Cannon!
The opposing Chansey lost 24.5% of its health!
(41%, Choice Scarf)

But i guess NoApplePie here was willing to risk his Air Balloon. There is only one more `mon who would seem willing to take a powerful Flash Cannon, and that is Chandelure.

Turn 8
dragontamer5788: lol
dragontamer5788 withdrew Chansey!
dragontamer5788 sent out Chandelure!
Magnezone used Flash Cannon!
It's not very effective... The opposing Chandelure lost 45.4% of its health!

Well, time to blow something up with Overheat. I don't want to risk anything funny, and besides, his Rotom is probably going to die to Overheat even if it is resisted. I still have full HP Skarmory for TTar as well. Long story short, I miss the blow on Turn 9, and the battle goes on.


The last double-switch of the game is pretty important. Eventually, I get Skarmory out vs his Excadrill.

Turn 14
dragontamer5788: So many balloons
dragontamer5788 withdrew Chansey!
dragontamer5788 sent out Skarmory!
Excadrill used Rock Slide!
The opposing Skarmory lost 16.5% of its health!
The opposing Skarmory restored HP using its Leftovers!
Turn 15
Excadrill, come back!
Go! Tyranitar!
A sandstorm kicked up!
The opposing Skarmory used Spikes!
Spikes were scattered all around the feet of your team!
The sandstorm rages.
The opposing Skarmory restored HP using its Leftovers!
(Spikes x1)

Gotta love spikes. Tyranitar is a strange switchin, I'm concerned that this is a BOAH with Thunderbolt (why else would TTar switch INTO a full HP Skarmory??). But I'm willing to see what he's thinking for one more turn. Maybe he's trying to keep up with Stealth Rocks.

Turn 16
The opposing Skarmory used Spikes!
Spikes were scattered all around the feet of your team!
Tyranitar used Stealth Rock!
Pointed stones float in the air around the opposing team!
The sandstorm rages.
The opposing Skarmory restored HP using its Leftovers!
(Stealth Rocks) VS
(Spikes x2)

Yup. Its definitely Stealth Rocks. TTar probably is walled by Skarmory by this point, so I make an important double-switch of the game.

Turn 17
dragontamer5788 withdrew Skarmory!
dragontamer5788 sent out Chansey!
Pointed stones dug into the opposing Chansey!
Tyranitar, come back!
Go! Magnezone!
Magnezone is hurt by the spikes!
The sandstorm rages.
The opposing Chansey is buffeted by the sandstorm!
7% HP left

I use Chansey as a sac-outlet, to ensure that Magnezone cannot trap Skarmory. That could have been the last turn that Skarmory lived...

The rest of the match was okay. I'm not too proud of my mistakes, or this team quite yet. Nonetheless, I think this match served as a great example of how double-switches work. A brief summary:

* Turn 3: I have a choice-locked Chansey on Seismic Toss. I predict my opponent's switch to Aegislash, and gain momentum by switching in Hydreigon.

* Turn 5: I attempted to perform double-switch by bluffing the Dark Pulse into Aegislash King's Shield. The opponent could have used Sacred Sword if he pretended that I'd double-switch, but instead he played (Air Balloon) Magnezone while I switched to Mamoswine.

* Turn 17: I correctly predicted when the opponent would switch Magnezone into my Skarmory, and I double-switched to sac Chansey, because Skarmory was still needed to wall his Excadrill.
Well, I get how you are doing a tutorial type thing, but I think this could be a pretty entertaining warstory if you showed every turn and put in commentary. While your opponant miss-played with the hydreigon and killed off half his team, the end was pretty exciting, it really looked like you were screwed.

I have to agree with the tutorial, I tend not to double switch unless my opponent has made a switch from the same match-up before, I'm not very good at taking risks lol.
I too would like to see the whole match & not just snippets. You can still make your point about double switching, but not everybody knows what happened in this match.
Ha! I try to double switch all the time when battling my friend, and he ALWAYS guesses correctly and either triple switches correct, or doesn't switch. Correctly, of course. By pure luck, of course. Not even by thinking about it that much, just purely by luck. Then again, the only thing in pretty much the entire earth that I've found my luck to be good at is catching legendary mons. Seems weird that I get super luck for that, and terrible luck for everything else. I mean EVERYTHING else. Anyway, nice story, but I as well would like to hear the whole story, not just bits and pieces.

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