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Top 10 Stat-Raising Moves in "Pokémon"

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

What Are Stat-Increasing Moves in Pokémon?

Players can adopt a variety of tactics in Pokémon battles. You can play aggressively with offensive maneuvers, but sometimes it's best to shoot for the long haul by building up your Pokémon's stats.

Stat moves can affect attack, defense, special attack, special defense, and (more rarely) accuracy and evasion. For years, even the best stat moves could only raise two stats (or one two stages), but recent techniques have broken this limitation—which reign supreme? These are the ten best stat-raising moves in the Pokémon video games!

Psyduck using Amnesia

Psyduck using Amnesia

10. Amnesia

Stats: Special Defense (Two Stages)

Amnesia's a prime force for special tanks, sharply raising the user's special defense. It's a widespread technique available to dozens of Pokémon, further improving the resistances of walls like Venusaur and Snorlax.

But Amnesia was truly lethal back in generation one, where special attack and special defense were combined into the special stat—so Amnesia essentially rose both by two stages, an incredible surge of both offense and defense.

Azumarill using Belly Drum

Azumarill using Belly Drum

9. Belly Drum

Stats: Attack (Max)

Belly Drum's a high-risk high-reward maneuver; using it sacrifices half a unit's HP! However, that creature sets their attack to its maximum value, increasing it by six stages (assuming no other modifications had been made).

You can offset the HP loss with healing moves like Rest, healing items like berries, or by simply defeating foes with increased-priority attacks (like Aqua Jet) before they counterattack.

Clefairy using Minimize

Clefairy using Minimize

8. Minimize

Stats: Evasion (Two Stages)

Like Belly Drum, Minimize adopts a risky but rewarding strategy. It's one of few moves that raise your evasion, and the only one (as of this writing) that increases it twice, offering two "Double Teams" in one.

However, against foes who have Minimized, some attacks bypass the evasion gain to auto-hit and deal double damage. The exact list changes with each generation, but currently includes moves like Stomp, Dragon Rush, and Heat Crash, so stay alert for potential threats.

Xerneas using Geomancy

Xerneas using Geomancy

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7. Geomancy

Stats: Special Attack, Special Defense, Speed (Two Stages)

Geomancy offers a whopping total of six positive stat changes, but there's a catch. First, only Xerneas can learn it, and he's banned in tournaments that restrict legendaries. More than that, the move takes a turn to charge, so if you're outspent by foes, you can potentially be attacked twice before receiving your bonuses.

But once you've got them, you'll probably hit first and hit hard, shrugging off indirect attacks along the way.

Magearna using Shift Gear

Magearna using Shift Gear

6. Shift Gear

Stats: Attack (One Stage), Speed (Two Stages)

Shift Gear is our first move to raise three stats with no gimmicks or drawbacks. More precisely, it increases speed twice and attack once, offering a superior version of Dragon Dance. Only a few Pokémon families can learn the move, and it's a welcome addition for Klinklang, sculpting him into a respectable physical sweeper.

Venomoth using Quiver Dance

Venomoth using Quiver Dance

5. Quiver Dance

Stats: Special Attack, Special Defense, Speed (One Stage)

Quiver Dance grants a small boost in special attack, special defense, and speed—the perfect blend for indirect tanks and sweepers. You're basically getting Calm Mind with an added speed boost. Several Bug Pokémon learn the move, including Ultra Beast Pheromosa, and it's especially useful for Grass-type Lilligant, giving her just enough speed to outmaneuver most foes.

Arbok using Coil

Arbok using Coil

4. Coil

Stats: Attack, Defense, Accuracy (One Stage)

Coil provides the same attack and defense pairing of Bulk Up, but offers an additional dose of accuracy. Not only is this a bargain deal (three increases in one), it's one of only two standard attacks (the other being Hone Claws) that permanently raise accuracy. Use your boosts to help land powerful but unreliable physical attacks, like Eelektross's Iron Tail.

Slurpuff using Cotton Guard

Slurpuff using Cotton Guard

3. Cotton Guard

Stats: Defense (Three Stages)

Cotton Guard is one of just two moves to raise a stat thrice with no charge time or gimmicks. In this case, you'll drastically boost defense, turning creatures like Ampharos and Altaria into sturdy physical tanks.

Manaphy using Tail Glow

Manaphy using Tail Glow

2. Tail Glow

Stats: Special Attack (Three Stages)

Like Cotton Guard, Tail Glow skyrockets a single stat three stages, this time vamping the user's special attack. Not many Pokémon can learn the move, but it's a powerful tool for Ultra Beast Xurkitree, who already wields a devastating special attack—after a dose of this, he'll one-shot nearly anything.

Eevee using Extreme Evoboost

Eevee using Extreme Evoboost

1. Extreme Evoboost

Stats: Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, Speed (Two Stages)

When turned into Z-moves, many attribute-increasing abilities simply reset your lowered stats. But Eevee's Last Resort attack (which deals damage without affecting stats) oddly morphs into this exclusive non-damaging Z-attack.

Evoboost won't harm foes, but by borrowing energy from his Eeveelutions, Eevee raises his five core stats two stages each! You're getting ten boosts at once with no downside (other than spending your Z-move), making this the best stat-increasing technique available.

Other Stat-Affecting Moves in Pokémon

In addition to today's list, moves like Guard Split and Power Split average your defensive/offensive scores with your target—great for boosting the power of weak combatants like Shuckle. Some damaging attacks (like Ancient Power and Ominous Wind) can potentially increase your five base stats, but the chance is only 10%.

Beware techniques that punish stat changes (like Psych Up), but for now, as we await Nintendo's next batch of status-altering moves, vote for your favorite attack and I'll see you at our next Pokémon countdown!

Questions & Answers

Question: What about Clangorous Soulblaze in Pokémon?

Answer: True, that's a strong one, but I only included non Z-moves for the list. Plus, Soulblaze's base form (Clanging Scales) actually lowers your own defense.

© 2019 Jeremy Gill

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