Detect/Protect can protect a pokemon from being hit by an attack for one move. But why is this helpful? You use the move, they fail to attack you, and then it's just normal again.

The only reason I could think of is to perhaps let a pokemon die from poison (or similar statuses), but even then, detect can fail if used repeatedly and it has a very low PP amount.

Is there any good use for the move? Or any other uses?

  • Have you tried it against multi-turn moves (like Solar Beam or Fly)?
    – Batophobia
    Sep 1, 2013 at 0:41
  • @Batophobia Nope, but wouldn't it just do nothing?
    – TerryA
    Sep 1, 2013 at 0:53
  • If you're faster, the turn order will look like this: TerryA used <someMove>. Opponent is gathering sunlight. TerryA used Protect. Opponent used Solar Beam. TerryA was protected.
    – scenia
    Aug 18, 2016 at 14:09

5 Answers 5


Protect/Detect are essentially a "blank turn", but end-of-turn actions still occur. Here are several reasons Protect/Detect may be used:

  • Recovering HP if you are holding Leftovers (or similar set-ups like the move Ingrain).
  • Ability gains such as from Speed Boost.
  • Opponent taking damage from a burn or poison.
  • Opponent taking damage from a weather condition.
  • If the opponent is confused, there is an extra chance they could hurt themselves in confusion.
  • Protecting against two turn attacks like Dig or Fly. Because those moves attack on the second turn you know they are coming and Protect will work every time.
  • In double/triple battles, you can avoid damage from teammates using moves such as Earthquake or Surf.
  • Wasting the opponent's PP. For moves like Hydro Pump that only has 5 PP (or max 8) it could be vital.
  • "Scoping out" the opponent's moves - in other words, checking what moves your opponent has.

If one or more non-protect moves are used between each use of Protect/Detect (for example on alternate turns), they are guaranteed to work.

  • Because the OP changed the intent of the question, I highly suggest said OP accepts this answer; it's a lot more in-depth when it comes to the move Protect.
    – childe
    Sep 15, 2013 at 17:08
  • @Retrosaur Agreed. I will accept this.
    – TerryA
    Sep 20, 2013 at 2:54
  • Doesn't it block all moves hitting that Pokemon in Doubles/Triples, meaning you can actually protect against up to 3 attacks in Doubles, assuming every other Pokemon would be hitting the one using Protect/Detect?
    – scenia
    Aug 18, 2016 at 14:13
  • 1
    Another thing to add is it's useful if you predict that your Opponent will use a move that will lower their stats. For example, if you predict that they will use Draco Meteor on you to KO you, you can Protect to take no damage, but the -2 to Sp. Atk still applies to the attacking Pokemon. Now, they may not be able to KO you next turn and you can force them to switch or waste a turn or more attacking you.
    – SGR
    Aug 18, 2016 at 14:44
  • @SGR I don't think that is the case. If the move is not actually used, the stat drop doesn't occur. Aug 23, 2016 at 15:02

From Smogon:

Competitive Use

Detect is a stalling and more defensively inclined move. Like Protect, it should be used on defensive Pokemon, as a scouting move or for a free turn to gather Leftovers recovery. You will never see it in standard singles play, as it is totally outclassed by Protect, which has a superior distribution (every Pokemon that learns Detect also learns Protect) and much higher PP. However, in doubles play, Detect is far less likely to be affected by Imprison due to its lesser distribution, and is often used instead of Protect if the Pokemon has access to it.

The key idea is that it's a lesser used "Protect". It's essentially a lot worse than Protect, because more Pokemon can learn Protect over Detect (hence superior distribution). It also has less PP, meaning less uses for it.


Another use comes for Pokémon like Gliscor, Walrein, and Breloom that have abilities that let them recover 1/8 of their health per turn. Now suppose you use substitute on turn one and protect on turn two. You've now recovered 1/4 of your health: the same amount as it cost to make the substitute. This allows for up to 32 turns of stall. If you use toxic the first turn, you can just stall until they faint, then repeat until you run out of PP.


I've not tested out this theory but I think with X/Y a new use for Detect/Protect comes for Absol. Absol can MegaEvolve into MegaAbsol which has excellent attack and very usable speed, so it now no longer needs to rely on Sucker Punch to do any damage. However, on the turn that a pokémon MegaEvolves it briefly retains the speed stat it had before it MegaEvolved. This means that for one turn, MegaAbsol retains the lackluster speed of Absol and leaves itself open to attacks which may defeat it. I figured a way around this by MegaEvolving and using Detect or Protect in the same turn; this means that Absol can become MegaAbsol and can use its priority move to protect itself from any attacks, allowing it to take on its newly boosted speed on the next turn.

Another use for Protect comes with pokémon that have the ability Speed Boost, such as Ninjask and Blaziken. With each passing turn, Speed Boost activates and that pokémon's speed will increase by one stage. Incorporating Protect is basically a guaranteed Speed Boost. This not only ensures that you will be faster than your opponent, it also allows you to invest less EVs into your pokémon's Speed stat than you normally would as that stat will be increased anyway, allowing you to focus on more offensive or defensive stats.


for stalling if your opponent has a damage inflicting status condition like poison you can stall to deal a little damage at a time or for pokemon with stat powering abilities such as speed boost you can stall for no damage and an extra speed boost so u can baton pass and make your new pokemon stronger or keep stalling so you can have a annoying fast pokemon.

ps: your opponent can still hurt himself with confusion.

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