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Bluffing in Pokemon guide.

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  1. Bluffing
  2.  
  3. I’m sure some of you have heard the term ‘bluffing’ tossed back and forth in the main chat of PS or perhaps  on a Smogon analysis page. What does it mean exactly? How do you bluff effectively? What are some Pokemon you should suspect to be bluffs? This guide will explain everything you need to know about bluffing in Pokemon.
  4. Before we get started, we need to first understand what bluffing actually is? Bluffing is basically leading on your opponent into thinking you’re running a set, when in fact, you are running a completely different set. It offers a great surprise factor and can nab you a few free KOs. It can also get you out of sticky situations, but I will explain more about that later.
  5.  
  6. Here’s an example of a free KO with just a bluff. (Expert Belt Latios)
  7.  
  8. There’s no weather on the field and Tentecruel has just Protected on your ‘Choiced’ Psyshock. Your opponent then makes the obvious play and goes out into his healthy Scizor, as you again, Psyshock. Your opponent sees no LO recoil or Leftovers recovery and he assumes you are choiced and that you will switch, so Scizor will either Pursuit or U-turn on to your incoming switch-in, and then BAM! HP fire to the face. You’ve just earned yourself a free kill of a huge threat.
  9.  
  10.  
  11. Here’s an example of a bluff saving your ass in a tight situation. (Expert Belt Genesect)
  12.  
  13. Dragonite has a +1 attack and speed boost. You have just sacrificed your Politoad to bring in Genesect for free. Now, Gensect is in fact E-belt, but because you have played Genesect as it is a Choice Scarf set, your opponent will likely switch out, depending on the situation and skill level. This can save you from being swept by a Dragonite.
  14.  
  15. Playing aggressive
  16.  
  17. Playing aggressive is essential in making your opponent believe your bluff. If you hesitate to bring in Genesect into a +1 Dragonite, or bring in something else before Genesect, chances are your opponent will figure out that’s it isn't Scarfed. Playing too aggressive however can lead to your Genesect (or any bluff Pokemon for that matter) being killed off easily. The amount of aggressiveness you should use depends on the situation, and your opponents skill level.
  18.  
  19.  
  20. Items
  21.  
  22. Items are key in making someone believe that you are choiced. The most popular items seen on Pokemon are either Leftovers, or Life Orb. If you don’t see any of these two in play, it’s very easy to assume that they are choiced, but don’t be fooled! If you can scout to see if they are choiced, that’s usually the best option. The best way to do this is smart switching, or using the move Protect.  Here are some common items that are used to bluff a choice item.
  23.  
  24. Expert Belt – Perhaps the most common. When this item is held, if the holder uses an attack on the opponent that is super effective, its power is increased by 20%. Commonly seen on Latios and Genesect.
  25.  
  26. Lum Berry –  When the holder is afflicted with poison, Toxic poison, paralysis, burn, sleep, confusion, or is frozen while holding this item, they will immediately consume their Lum Berry to cure themselves of that status condition. Often seen on Dragonite and Salamence.
  27.  
  28. Super effective reduction berries -  When this Pokemon is hit by a super effective ‘x’-type move, the damage is reduced by 50%. This item is consumed after use. Commonly seen on Tyranitar and Garchomp.
  29.  
  30. Gems –  If the holder uses a damage-dealing ‘x’-type move, then the holder consumes this item and the power of that move is increased by 50%. One-time use. Commonly seen on Terrakion and Breloom.
  31.  
  32. Pinch berries – If the holder's HP hits or falls below 25%, this Berry will raise the holder's ‘x stat’ by one stage. Commonly seen on Terrakion.
  33.  
  34.  
  35. Skill level of opponent
  36.  
  37. You have to be cautious when just starting the match. Your player could be amazing and might be able to spot a bluff Pokemon straight from the Team Preview. However, you could also face a new comer, who doesn’t know that Scarf Terrakion out speeds LO Latios (even if Latios is Timid! Who woulda thought?). This could make you lose your bluff, even though your actions were considered the ‘right’ play. A good way to estimate your opponent’s skill level is to view their ranking. This is very easy to do, and can be very informative. Just type “/rank” and then their username on Showdown. It will tell you how many battles they have had, how many they have won, how many they have lost, and what their rating is. You can judge you opponent’s skill level from this information. You can also judge your opponents rating by seeing how they play in early game. You should act accordingly depending on how they play.
  38.  
  39.  
  40. Common ‘bluff’ Pokemon
  41.  
  42. Genesect @ Expert Belt
  43. Trait: Download
  44. EVs: 252 Spd / 252 SAtk / 4 Atk
  45. Hasty Nature
  46. - U-turn
  47. - Flamethrower
  48. - Ice Beam
  49. - Thunderbolt
  50.  
  51. Ah, Genesect. Some love you, and some hate you and want you banned to Ubers. Whether you think Genesect is broken as hell or not, you have to admit Genesect is a great bluff Pokemon, as most sets are usually Choice Scarfed. This means Genesect has a massive surprise factor, and with its coverage and Download boost, it will hit anything not named Chansey or Heatran hard.
  52.  
  53. Terrakion @ Salac Berry
  54. Trait: Justified
  55. EVs: 252 Spd / 252 Atk / 4 SDef
  56. Jolly Nature
  57. - Substitute
  58. - Swords Dance
  59. - Close Combat
  60. - Stone Edge
  61.  
  62. Terrakion, you were once considered the biggest threat in OU. BW2 emerged, and Terrakion still remains a beast in this metagame. Terrakion has un-resisted STAB in OU, and with Sub to block status, and a Salac Berry to boost its speed, you can be sure to see Terrakion sweeping teams left right and centre if you give it the chance.
  63.  
  64. Latios (M) @ Expert Belt
  65. Trait: Levitate
  66. EVs: 252 Spd / 252 SAtk / 4 HP
  67. Timid Nature
  68. - Draco Meteor
  69. - Psyshock
  70. - Surf
  71. - Hidden Power [Fire] / Roost
  72.  
  73. Latios has excellent speed, tremendous special attack, and great coverage. Latios is commonly seen holding a Choice Scarf / Specs, meaning Expert Belt is a great item for Latios to abuse. It has enough power to hit nearly anything hard, and has great coverage to hit nearly everything for super effective damage.
  74.  
  75. Garchomp @ Yache Berry
  76. Trait: Rough Skin
  77. EVs: 252 Spd / 252 Atk / 4 HP
  78. Jolly Nature
  79. - Substitute
  80. - Swords Dance
  81. - Dragon Claw
  82. - Earthquake
  83.  
  84. Chompy chomp chomp. The land shark of OU. Garchomp has a blistering base 102 speed and a great base 130 attack. Here’s the idea behind this set. Force something out, as you bluff the Scarf, set up an SD, take a super effective Ice type attack and sweep. Its STABs offer amazing coverage in OU, which is only resisted by Skarmory and Bronzong.
  85.  
  86. Disadvantages and playing against bluffs.
  87.  
  88. If you are a ladder player, chances are you are going to face the same person again every once in a while. Sure you beat them last time, because of the awesome bluff, but now they know that your Terrakion isn’t Scarfed, and they will be prepared, allowing them a big advantage over you before turn 1. Another problem is that your bluff is too obvious, but hopefully this guide will help you make them un-noticeable. The best way to face bluffs is scouting. The move Protect can be both life saver and sealing your doom when it comes to bluffs. Just make sure you’re abusing Protect, whether its to stop bluffs, or increase their surprise factor.
  89.  
  90. Conclusion
  91.  
  92. Hopefully this guide has entertained you and maybe giving you a few tips to battling and using bluffs. The best way to experiment with bluffs is to use them! Go out there, onto the ladder, and use them until your heart’s content. Thanks for reading!