Originally I intended to do a Top 5 list but if any type could pull off a longer list that could remain interesting and appealing it was Psychic who could do it.
I’ve considered pretty much everything to make the list: distribution, general utility and the sheer capability of creating new niches and strategies. Many of these moves are not damage dealing ones but I strived so they remained and felt Psychic moves at the core (unlike Agility, which is fairly powerful but it’s essentially the same move as Rock Polish and Automatize). It goes without saying that these come from my opinion and are not meant to be objective at any point (I’ll still explain my reasoning).
Honorable Mentions: Psystrike, Psycho Boost, Ally Switch and Gravity. The former two have really poor distirbution, but remain too powerful to ignore (Psystrike might be the best offensive move in the game, Psycho Boost wasn’t nerfed on Gen VI like Leaf Storm and Overheat). Ally Switch is a neat tool for Doubles/Triples tool that shouldn’t be overlooked and is very fun to use. Gravity is the second strongest Room effect and good enough to make a break into official tournaments as it’s Groudon’s best friend.
10 – Psychic: The quintessential high end offensive move, very reliable, with great power and able to cause stat drops to keep pressure into an opponent that could otherwise stall it entirely. With great distribution and carrying a long history of success (it was one of the go to move in Red/Blue) Psychic carries it’s name with dignity.
9 – Reflect: The bigger one of the “Dual Screens”, Reflect improves the overall durability of your team by reducing Physical damage. As Psychic types are bulkier on the special side Reflect patched up their defenses where it mattered most, allowing the user to set it up several times in a single battle. The original team strategy remains a rather decent one and one of the moves that can fill properly any fourth slot in your Psychic pokemon of choice.
8 – Stored Power: The concept is simple, the more you stack status boosts, the stronger Stored Power gets. As such, it’s all a matter of combining the right ingredients to unleash a fearsome power, making it the kill-move of choice of a number of set up heavy strategies such as Baton Pass chains and Minimize/Cosmic Power abuse. By it’s lonesome it allows the user to overcome the ability Unaware, that ignores status boosts and can halt the attack of a set up attacker with no effort.
7 – Rest: It’s a classic and powerful healing move on it’s own right, but most people will remember it as the last ditch attempt of building a defensive moveset on Pokemon without instant recovery. Arguably the less “psychic feeling” of the pokemon moves in this list, most Pokemon in the game can learn this move and abuse it in different ways. I needed to mention it as it bred strategies such as Rest/Talk and is of great use for Natural Cure users that want to fill their health bars at top speed. Of course, Chesto/Rest is still a trick that gets used even in Doubles, a testament of the power of the move.
6- Calm Mind: Mostly an inferior version of Quiver Dance (unless you dare to run it with Trick Room!), Calm Mind is one of the original boosting moves that made Bulky offense a problem for the most offensive teams. By boosting special offense and defense at once you can build survivability and plow through the opposition without depending on quick hits. It has amazing distribution and can single handledly turn battles around, definitively a power to be reckoned.
5- Cosmic Power: With worse distribution than Calm Mind we can argue that Cosmic Power is more of a stall tool and overall much more niche. By boosting both physical and special defense you can take a shortcut into making an impregnable wall that can solo unprepared teams. It’s a simple yet effective move, some pokemon occasionally opt to use Stockpile an inferior version of Cosmic Power, which is by itself, testament of its power.
4- Roleplay : The ability of trading abilities between the user and a target is the kind of power that only becomes more and more powerful as time passes. In multibattles the targets are abound, letting you set up with the abilities within your own team. Nothing is as pleasant as using your opponent’s abilities to destroy them!
3. Healing Pulse: The best healing support move in the game only works in multibattles, but it makes the most of it. By simply healing your team mate you can give a longer lease in life to your most dangerous team-mate while allowing them to attack and defend at the same time, even after receiving damage. Unlike Wish whose ability to heal your team depends on the Hp status Healing Pulse is essentially a targeted Recover allowing you to use it to great effect even in the most offensive sets. Bottomline: instant healing is among the most powerful effects in the game.
2. Trick Room: Just like Roleplay, you use your opponents better traits against them, transforming quick opponents into (non literal) slowpokes. By itself, Trick Room opens up the viability of pokes that in other setting would be receiving too many hits before moving, now they can invest in bulk (instead of speed) and use their powerful status more effectively. Trick Room is more powerful in multibattles to the point it can turn a match around, in singles battle it’s much less of a bomb, but it still works as an Agility of sorts, effectively working as a set up speed control. The fact that many trainers breed explicitly to fully abuse Trick Room should be a testament to its overall power.
1. Psyshock: When you damage through defense instead of special defense you arrive to a setting where a Pokemon that should be tanking you eats much more damage than originally intended. This is a great place to be and you get there without any particular set up: Psyshock is a very powerful effect. It’s slightly less powerful than Psychic as far as Base Power, but since Psychic moves are barely noticeable for coverage, you’re likely using Psyshock as STAB. It also makes special sweepers all the more scary as Calm Mind boosts your offense against two separate defenses, letting you win boosting wars more easily against opponents that can only Calm Mind with regular special moves.
Quick recap on the list:
- Trick Room
- Healing Pulse
- Cosmic Power
- Calm Mind
- Stored Power