Top 10 Flinch Moves in "Pokémon"

Updated on October 10, 2019
Jeremy Gill profile image

In between Pokémon journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.

Flinching in Pokémon

Several Pokémon moves have a chance to make your target flinch, a temporary status that prevents them from attacking. Flinching only lasts one turn, but you gain a big advantage by negating your opponent's move.

To flinch a target, you have to hit them before they act; a flinching move that attacks last is "wasted" and the potential flinch won't carry over to the next turn. So for this strategy, you'll want speedy Pokémon plus strong flinch moves—which reign supreme? These are the ten best flinch attacks in Pokémon!

Avalugg using Ice Fang
Avalugg using Ice Fang

10. Ice Fang

Type: Ice
Power/Accuracy: 65/95
Finch Chance: 10%

Ice Fang only has decent power and a low flinch chance, so why use it? Well, it's pretty accurate and has a 10% chance to freeze your target, providing two potential ways to shut down their turn.

You'll also find similar attacks in Fire Fang and Thunder Fang, but Ice Fang's superior offensive element and status condition make it the best of the bunch.

Darkrai using Dark Pulse
Darkrai using Dark Pulse

9. Dark Pulse

Type: Dark
Power/Accuracy: 80/100
Finch Chance: 20%

Dark Pulse offers a well-balanced move with full accuracy, decent power, and solid flinch chance. Plus, Pokémon with the Mega Launcher ability (like Mega Blastoise) gain a 50% boost to pulse moves, skillfully increasing the move's damage.

Dwebble using Rock Slide
Dwebble using Rock Slide

8. Rock Slide

Type: Rock
Power/Accuracy: 75/90
Finch Chance: 30%

Compared to Dark Pulse, Rock Slide has worse accuracy and power but slightly better flinch chance. But it really gains the edge with its Rock type, another of the game's best offensive elements.

Zing Zap
Zing Zap

7. Zing Zap/Iron Head

Type: Electric/Steel
Power/Accuracy: 80/100
Finch Chance: 30%

Both of these moves carry the stats of Dark Pulse while increasing the flinch ratio to 30%. Generally, I'd take Zing Zap over Iron Head since Steel isn't great on offense, but remember to keep in mind STAB (same-type attack bonus) when choosing moves.

Icicle Crash
Icicle Crash

6. Icicle Crash

Type: Ice
Power/Accuracy: 85/90
Finch Chance: 30%

A variant on Ice Fang, Crash doesn't have a freeze chance and is slightly less accurate, but ups the flinch to 30% and has 15 more power, generally making it the superior technique.

Snorlax in Pokémon GO
Snorlax in Pokémon GO

5. Snore

Type: Normal
Power/Accuracy: 50/100
Finch Chance: 30%

While its power is meager, Snore's gimmick is that it can only be used by a sleeping Pokémon. This forms a powerful combo with Rest, letting you heal without completely wasting the following two turns of recovery.

When used by slowpokes like Snorlax, you'll have a hard time striking first for the flinch, but with stat boosts or Trick Room speed-swaps, there's always a chance.

Skarmory using Sky Attack
Skarmory using Sky Attack

4. Sky Attack

Type: Flying
Power/Accuracy: 200/90
Finch Chance: 30%

Sky Attack has gradually improved throughout the years, seeing its latest boost in the Let's Go! games. While it takes a turn to charge and has questionable accuracy, Sky Attack scores a massive 200 damage with a high flinch chance and increased critical hit ratio!

Plus, since most Flying Pokémon are fast, users generally outspeed foes and capitalize on the potential flinch.

Partner Pikachu using Floaty Fall
Partner Pikachu using Floaty Fall

3. Floaty Fall

Type: Flying
Power/Accuracy: 90/100
Finch Chance: 30%

One of Partner Pikachu's signature moves, Floaty Fall has even better stats than Zing Zap, scoring 90 damage with 30% flinch chance and 100 accuracy. It won't trigger Pikachu's STAB, but it's a nice move for coverage, especially against Grass foes (who resist Electric but are weak to Flying).

Melmetal using Double Iron Bash
Melmetal using Double Iron Bash

2. Double Iron Bash

Type: Steel
Power/Accuracy: 60/100
Finch Chance: 30%

Melmetal's signature move hits twice, meaning you're hitting for a total of 120 damage with full accuracy! That by itself warrants usage, and you'll gain STAB to help compensate for Steel's poor offensive power. Plus, each hit has a 30% flinch chance, although this only adds to about a 51% rate (which is still incredible) rather than the 60% you might expect.

Admittedly, Melmetal is so slow he'll rarely have the chance to flinch anyone, but again, it's possible alongside Trick Room and other speed-altering strategies.

Persian using Fake Out
Persian using Fake Out

1. Fake Out

Type: Normal
Power/Accuracy: 40/100
Finch Chance: 100%

A longtime competitive staple, you'll see Fake Out on many world tournament teams. Sure, it's weak and can only be used the first turn a Pokémon enters battle, but it lets you attack with increased priority and guarantees a flinch! Basically, you get a free bit of damage.

And if you swap out a Pokémon after using Fake Out (moves like Parting Shot help), they'll be able to reuse it when they next arrive, meaning you can potentially activate it multiple times in battle.

Which move do you prefer?

See results

Flinching Held Items in Pokémon

In addition to today's moves, held items like the King's Rock give attacks a chance of flinching foes, as does the Stench ability. However, note that flinch chances don't usually stack, so giving Muk a King's Rock won't improve his Stench bonus.

Some abilities (like Inner Focus) guard against flinching, but it remains a powerful temporary status you can pile on to traditional conditions. But for now, as we await Nintendo's next set of turn-losing flinches, vote for your favorite attack and I'll see you at our next Pokémon countdown!

© 2019 Jeremy Gill


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    • profile image

      Ozzie Bennett 

      3 weeks ago

      The thing that I hate about Fake Out is that it's a normal type so I wish it could be maybe a dark type but that 100% on flinching hurts alot.

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      9 months ago from Louisiana


      Thank you, and I certainly am! I would have preferred more mega evolutions over dynamaxing, but I'm sure it'll be a great addition to the Switch regardless.

    • poppyr profile image


      9 months ago from Enoshima, Japan

      Great article, Jeremy! Flinching can be devastating in a battle. Are you excited for Sword and Shield?


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