So there are a lot of different types of strategies for battle out there. There’s the Hail/Blizzard combo to make a super powerful ice attack. There’s the Thunder/Rain combo to create a really effective electrical attack. There are even methods of powering up your move set by giving yourself a status aliment, but there is no move quite like Baton Pass in it’s ability to ‘hand off’ a set of stats...
Baton Pass can do what no other move can, pass on any stat boosts or status conditions to another Pokemon in your party. This includes nearly ALL effects, poison, burn, sleep, accuracy, speed, special def... and so on. It can also pass on battle effects too. For instance, if you were to use a substitute and then switch out with baton pass to another team member, even if that other Pokemon wasn’t able to learn substitute, it would still have it up as a defense. Literally almost anything will be passed, but you can also use it as a defensive measure. So if a opponent had Pursuit or Shadow Tag, or other moves like that you’d even be able to escape it without harm with a baton pass.
When in competitive battle you may hear a description of a Pokemon as a ‘Baton Pass ------’, this is because there are SO many strategies that can be played with this move there are entire move sets based around this one move. Here’s an example of a move set that can be made with Baton Pass:
Let’s say you have a Zapdos on your team. I personally don’t like legendaries, but I do see Zapdos on teams from time to time. Zapdos, based on how fast it is and it’s ability to use Substitute, makes it one of the best choices out of the 25 that can actually learn baton pass to teach it to and to have on your team. If you had the move set of Agility, Substitute, Thunderbolt, and Baton Pass, you’d be able to use Baton Pass most effectively. You have Agility to boost your base speed even more, Substitute to set up a wall of defense, and Thunderbolt as a ‘just in case’ before you switch it out. Now whoever you pass your stats to are going to be insanely fast, and even if they do attack they won’t be able to do much damage based on that you’ll have a wall up with substitute taking a serious amount of the damage.
Now there are better Pokemon to pass to than other’s, kind of feeding off of weaknesses and strengths at the same time. An excellent example of this would be Lucario. He’s an extremely powerful and popular choice already, and with the addition of speed and a substitute, a boosted Lucario would be able to take down almost anything. With a boost in speed it’s faster than almost anything you could come up against, so you’re nearly guaranteed first hit, and even if they do hit you the chances of anything actually hurting that much at all are very slim, especially with all of Lucario’s resistances combined with a substitute, which Lucario can’t even learn in the first place. Pretty sweet, huh?
There are only a couple Pokemon, like I mentioned before, that can actually learn Baton Pass, and some are better than other’s. However, I find that being the best isn’t always a good reason to have a Pokemon on your team, so take it as you will, but here’s the list:
Mr. Mime, Eevee and it’s eeveelotions, Mew, Sentret, Furret, Ledyba, Ledian, Togepi, Togetic, Aipom, Girafarig, Celebi, Surskit, Ninjask, Mawile, Plulse, Minun, Huntail, Gorebyss, Ambipom, Drifloon, Drifblim, Buneary, Lopunny Mime Jr., Venonat, Scyther, Spinarak, Gligar, Torchic, Skitty, Meditite, Volbeat, Illumise, Spinda, Absol, Buizel and Zapdos.
The sweet thing about Baton Pass is, is that it can be chained. If you have a Baton Pass going you can do Baton Pass again, and since those effects are in place as your normal move set, Baton Pass will treat it as so and pass it on. There are ways to stop Baton Pass though and, actually a decent amount of ways to do so. Anything as far as a Roar, Whirlwind, Taunt, Encore, Haze, Perish Song, any exploding moves are dangerous because of OHKO’s (one hit knock outs), Toxic Spikes will pass on through Baton Pass, or priority style moves can be harmful based on that they can negate any speed attribute you’re passing down.
There’s something there for you to chew on. There is an insane amount of strategy behind Baton Pass and I just sort of skimmed the surface as to what it can do. A lot of people have different ways to use it effectively, and Smogon University actually has a really in-depth article about it and how it can be used. I would take what they say with a grain of salt always though, because they’re extremely competition based and are just breading to win, not to fit into YOUR team.
Like always you can send your comments/questions/insults/whatever to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below to start disscusion on different methods you’ve used Baton Pass, how I might be right or totally wrong, let the people’s know!
-It’s Super Effective