Pokkén Tournament features a mechanic called the Attack Triangle that balances out the main types of attacking in the game. The main types of attacks are Normal Attacks, Grab Attacks, and Counter Attacks. Each one can beat and is weak to another type of attacking.
Under this mechanic, Normal Attacks beat Grab Attacks, which beat Counter Attacks, which beats Normal Attacks. Winning a move on this triangle scores the attacker a Critical Hit.
Despite as initially presented as a "rock-paper-scissors" mechanic by the game, there are multiple ways to circumvent this system, leading to the complexity of the game.
Normal Attacks Edit
This is the mostly used type of attack. Normal Attacks come in a variety of forms, and each fighter has a set of these attacks. These are usually activated by pressing the Y, X or A button, or additionally with a directional input when applicable.
Standard Moves Edit
Standard moves are attacks that are available to all the fighters, albeit with some minor differences. These moves are activated with the X or Y button. The behavior of each move differ between Field and Duel Phase. Not all standard moves can damage a blocking opponent, however.
Pokémon Moves Edit
Pokémon moves are attacks that are unique to each fighter, and are activated by pressing the A button. Unlike standard moves, all Normal Pokémon moves can slightly damage a blocking opponent.
Grab Attacks Edit
Main article: Grab Attack
Grab Attacks are signified by a green glow around a fighter. Primarily, they are used for catching a blocking or counterattacking opponent. A Grab Attack will automatically cause a Phase Shift upon hit. While weak against Normal Attacks, grabbing an opponent early usually stops them from attacking.
Command Grabs Edit
Command Grabs are mostly Pokémon moves that function as a grab attack. These exhibit unique properties such as not causing a Phase Shift upon hit, having a longer range, or having an additional effect upon contact. Some Burst Attacks function as grabs, making them unblockable.
Counter Attacks Edit
Main article: Counter Attack
A two-part attacking mechanic that initially absorbs any incoming Normal Attacks, indicated by a blue glow, then quickly strikes back at the attacker. While weak to grabs, Counter Attacks can timed to strike first and prevent being caught in a grab.
Command Counters Edit
Command Counters are mostly Pokémon moves with counter properties. Some command counters stop projectiles, activate more quickly, or exhibit additional effects upon hit. Some Burst Attacks act as counter attacks as well.
- The Attack Triangle can be thought of as the alternative to the typing system found in the main Pokémon games.
- The colors of the different attack types parallel the strengths and weaknesses of Fire-type, Grass-type and Water-type Pokémon.