Pokémon Duel just appeared out of nowhere to add a fresh dose of pocket monster battling off the back of the runaway success experienced by 2016’s Pokémon GO. If you’re getting into the game but want to lock down some smart strategies to take with you into battle, read on.
Picking your team
A fundamental part of Duel comes with assembling your own team of battle hardened beasties, but there are a number of aspects to consider when putting a squad of six together.
Check their stats
Unlike many other Pokémon titles, typing is less important than usual, serving as a secondary consideration after things like Move Points or MP (how many spaces a figure can move each turn) and the ratio of attacks to misses on their data disks. Even if a powerful Pokémon has a strong primary set of attacks, it’s a high risk to play if a third of its disk is red (which translates to a 1 in 3 chance of missing each time it battles).
As you progress you’ll collect more figures with better move sets and abilities, but you can bolster all of that further by fusing rare metals and even other Pokémon to increase the probability of a successful attack. To do this head to the Fusion menu in the game.
Always evolve – If you have two Pokémon in the same chain of evolution (Bulbasaur and Ivysaur for example), always evolve the earlier stage monsters into their more advanced forms. It’s a surefire way to get more punch out of each attack.
Gems, coins and rare metals are all essential to do pretty much anything outside of an actual duel: buy boosters, strengthen your Pokémon and so on. You pick these up by default every time you face off against an opponent, but the game actually gives you multiple opportunities to fill up that bank balance.
In the early game, make sure to play your way through all of the training missions. Not only do they better equip you for the main campaign, each one comes with an first time attempt bonus and depending on how well you pass each of the ten training stages (they’re graded from one to three stars each) governs the payout. If you don’t land the full three stars on a mission, you can replay it and nab yourself better loot.
You’re rewarded with gems every time you log in (at least once every 24 hours), so even if you don’t plan on playing on a particular day, fire Pokémon Duel up anyway to grab some extra dough.
In addition, the game sets daily missions with varying criteria, such as ‘play three league games.’ Meet the requirements and you can expect to pick up even more loot, just remember, completing a mission does not automatically bank your reward, you need to check your messages to retrieve any items you acquire and each message only lasts for 30 days, so not forget about them, otherwise you could be mugging yourself.
Attack colour priority
Here’s a handy table to better show which attacks trump which in battle:
|Red (Miss)||Draw||White wins||Purple wins||Gold wins||Draw|
|White||White wins||Strongest attack wins. Equal attack = draw||Purple wins||Strongest attack wins. Equal attack = draw||Blue wins|
|Purple||Purple wins||Purple wins||Most stars wins||Gold wins||Blue wins|
|Gold||Gold wins||Strongest attack wins. Equal attack = draw||Gold wins||Strongest attack wins. Equal attack = draw||Blue wins|
|Blue||Draw||Blue wins||Blue wins||Blue wins||Draw|
Like a chess game, Pokémon Duel’s turn-based gameplay is best served when the players can plan a few moves ahead. You could try and build a balanced team for an even coverage of offensive and defensive capabilities, or create a deck for pulling off more specialised strategies. Here are a few other points to consider when battling.
It’s mentioned as part of the game’s tutorial, but don’t forget that a painless way to take one of your opponent’s monsters off the board is to surround it on all sides with your own. Just don’t try and pull this move off at the cost of leaving yourself base vulnerable.
A wait win
Whilst the ultimate aim of Duel is to place one of your figures on your opponent’s home space before they do the same to yours, but it’s not the only way to win a game. Aside from timing out (taking to long to make a move when it’s their turn) you can also force what the game calls a ‘wait win’ in which you block off the two entry points for your opponent’s figures and take out any remaining opposing figures on the board. If the game detects that your opponent can’t make any more moves, it’ll award you the victory.
Powerful pokémon pairings
Whilst western audiences are still getting to grips with intricacies of the game, players over in the east have had a little longer to hone their battle strategies, with some going so far as to share a few tips with the rest of us.
A strategy sourced from Reddit user EpicMew2 (via Heavy.com), relies on Weavile’s Team Play ability, which adds 20 damage to attacks based on how many other Weaviles are in play, compounded with Yveltal’s two-star purple move, which adds 10 damage to attacks from any dark type Pokémon in play.
Another smart double team is Salamence and Rayquaza (highlighted by Reddit user suprjohn) as both Pokémon have the ability to jump over their opponents.
Pokémon centre juggling
Sometimes your Pokémon will get surrounded or lose a battle and wind up in the Pokémon Centre. Remember that you need more than two figures in the Pokémon Centre before the first can return to battle, so planning ahead with your moves might ensure that the Pokémon you need return to play at just the right time, depending on how you move your remaining figures in and out of harm’s way.
You can move your Pokémon Duel account from device to device but bear in mind that moving it from iOS to Android or vice versa doesn’t include any money or gems in the transfer. So spend, spend, spend before you commit to such a transfer.
If you want to know anything we haven’t covered here, why not drop it in the comments below.