Have you ever seen your opponent use a Lucario that uses Swords Dance? If you watch, the text states that Lucario's Attack is Sharply raised. What does this mean? It doesn't damage, status or put down hazards, so it must be useless right? No it isn't. This is a stat boost, and when used well, they can raise a stat by 1.5x or more. (ex: 100 becomes 150, 200 becomes 300. Basicly one and a half times), or double it. That's pretty cool.
So tell me more
Stat boosts come in 6 stages, which most people call +1, +2, +3, ect. But what the hell does this do? Depending on what number you go up to, you can multiply your stat, as stated in the paragraph above. of course, for boosts, the higher the stat boost, the better for you. (In most cases) Here's what number reaches what boost.
+6 = 4x
+5 = 3.5x
+4 = 3x
+3 = 2.5x
+1 = 1.5x
0 = 1x
-1 = .667x (2/3)
-2 = .5x
-3 = 0.4x
-4 = 0.333x (1/3)
-5 = 0.285x
-6 = 0.25x
Wait, did I just put down NEGATIVES? Yes, I did. Those negatives are stat drops, which bring down a stat. While moves that cause drops are very rare, some are used. The most common ones, such as Draco Meteor cause these drops on the user. That sucks, right? Not exactly. The high base power is usually worth it to get a great hit and run.
Why should I use boosts? What about Choice items?
This is a huge descision for battling. Choice Items make you stick to that one move, but they do not take up a move slot. Stat boosting moves take up a move slot, but don't restrict you. They are stackable with something such as Life Orb too. But, they require you to use up a turn to set up. That's really a big difference.
How can I tell what they go up by?
The easiest way to understand is to look at what the text says. If it mentions a drop/ boost, it's -1 or+1. If it says SHARPLY RAISED/DROPPED, it raises/ drops by 2 stages. If the Belly uses Belly Drum, their attack stat goes to +6 automaticly. There are no moves that currently raise a stat by +3, +4 or +5.
Do multipliers stack up? (2 +2= x4?)
No. Multipliers do not stack up. (Swords Dance(=x2) + Swords Dance(=x2) does not give you 4x) the boosts are basicly done in stages, and those stages dictate the multiplier. The only way a boost may be stacked is if the booster has the ability Simple.
Common moves that boost/ drop stats:
Swords Dance +2 Att
Dragon Dance +1 Att, +1 Spd
Nasty Plot +2 Spatt
Calm Mind +1 Spatt, +1 Spdef
Bulk Up +1 Att, +1 Def
Agility +2 Spd
Cosmic Power + 1 Def, +1 Spdef
Screech -2 Def
Metal Sound -2 Spdef
Charm -2 Att
Most common Pokemon in OU that boost stats:
What is the TRUE power of this?
so sure, stat boosts raise my stats a bit. so what? well, lets take Suicune for example. Our example suicune has this moveset:
(Suicune) @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP/252 Def
Bold nature (+Def, -Atk)
- Calm Mind
- Sleep Talk
so, this Suicune starts out with a whopping 404 hp, and 361 Defense. On the other side, Suicune only has 266 Special Defense, which is an ok value to begin with. Say, your opponent has out a Heatran, and you switch in this trusty Suicune. Most Heatran won't be able to do much to this Suicune, so you could predict that the Heatran will switch out. This is your chance to use Calm Mind. After the use of one Calm Mind, your Special defense is now a jaw-dropping 399, not to mention your Special attack is now 322, which is a respectable value. Now, say your opponent switches in a Jolteon. Now, you know that a Jolteon's Thunderbolt will do about 50% to you. This means that if you put in another Calm Mind now, you will survive the next hit, and your Special Defense will be raised to an even more impressive 532. With sky high defenses on both sides of the spectrum, along with very high special attack, you can now rest off any damage, and proceed to sweep your enemy. Say that the opponent is now helpless, and you want to have some fun. Or maybe you just want to play as safe as possible. You could raise your Suicune's stats further, ending up with 1064 Special Defense and 840 Special Attack. You could get all of this, while still being able to control all of your moves. This is why stat boosters are utilized so much in today's metagame, and why stat boosters are so often feared.
Bolded area credit to Dragonknight
Honchkrow used Night Slash!
Togepi lost 100% of its health!
Foe Togepi Fainted!
Did you see that? That Togepi just lost got OHKO'd. But why? Did that Critical Hit factor whether it was Ko'd or not? Yes. Critical Hits are luck based events that may occur in battle. Like a miss or a burn from Flamethrower, Critical Hits are based on luck, and that probability is based on the move, item and ability. Critical Hits cause a move's Power to double in most cases, so 95 becomes 190, 80 is 160, 50 is 100, ect. Unless the Pokemon has Sniper as an Ability, which triples damage done. Critical Hits are basicly like stats for your moves, like Base Power and Accuracy. Unlike Base power and Accuracy, Critical Hit Ratios are invisible in number, but present in description. Moves such as Night Slash and Stone Edge have descriptions that say "High Critical Hit Ratio", which means that those moves have a higher ratio than others. There is also a move, called Focus Energy, that boosts the Critical Hit Ratio. The stages however, are different from normal stats. They go as:
0= Normal moves and no boosts= 6.25%
Also unlike normal stats, Critical Hit Ratios can't go down into negatives, and are only lost when you switch out.
You might have noticed that before I said that Ability and items play a part. The Ability Super Luck, boosts the Critical hit Ratio by a stage. Items, such as Razor Claw and Scope Lens, also boost by a stage. Two items for specific Pokemon, raise the ratio by 2 stages. They are the Stick and Lucky Punch, for Farfetch'd and Chansey, respectively. However, they only work on those Pokemon.
Pics may be coming soon