Ditto takes the stats and moves of the pokemon it transforms into, so it can "be" anything. Does this make ditto a good choice in a multiplayer battle? If so, what are some good strategies with ditto?

I'm specifically interested in Ditto's strategy for Pokémon X/Y.

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    Please clarify which generation you're referring to, as Ditto's mechanics have changed over the years. – Yuuki Oct 23 '13 at 20:28
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    @Yuki: Looking over the edits, qwertyk31 added a Pokémon XY gen (before someone else changed it to say 6th gen), so s/he took your advice. – Kevin Oct 24 '13 at 2:07
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    @Kevin I changed it to sixth-gen. The community consensus is to tag mechanics questions with [pokemon-sixth-gen], and game-specific things (like locations of NPCs/story sequences etc) with [pokemon-xy]. – Robotnik Oct 24 '13 at 2:25
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    @qwertyk31 - The community wants to future-proof the tags - i.e. when Nintendo eventually releases Pokemon Z or Pokemon Ruby 2/ Saphire 2, most of the mechanics questions will relate to all of those games. having a generation tag helps stop duplicate questions for every game. (Would your question about ditto be any different if it were about pokemon Z?) – Robotnik Oct 24 '13 at 2:32
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    @Robotnik: I just wanted to point out that qwertk31 did edit the post him/herself in response to Yuki. :) – Kevin Oct 24 '13 at 3:13

Ditto excels at one thing in particular: scouting. Ditto allows its user to know exactly what moveset an opponent has without having to do any guesswork. This can be extremely valuable because several Pokemon can run multiple varied move sets and different roles. Determining a moveset is crucial to discovering what role a Pokemon plays in its team, and therefore how to defeat said team.

Ditto also does marginally well in countering sweepers by using their own stats and movesets against them. Dragon-types are particularly susceptible because they are weak to their own STAB attacks. If Ditto can get the jump on a Dragon-type sweeper, it can often take it out in short order even if you take boosting moves into account as Ditto copies stat boosts as well.

The problem with Ditto is that it spends one turn as itself because it needs to use Transform to adopt another Pokemon's stats. This means that any Pokemon that can outspeed it (which is several) can hit it with a super-effective Fighting move before it can Transform and possibly faint it before it gets started.

To use Ditto in competitive battles, you need support. This can come in the form of Wish, which can heal it in case it survives the initial hit; Reflect, which halves all physical damage; Light Screen, which halves all special damage; or any combination of the above or more.

Barring any support, leading with Ditto almost inevitably requires that you have its Hidden Ability, Imposter. Imposter allows Ditto to Transform as soon as it's sent out, without having to wait for you to spend a turn. This is crucial if you want to run Ditto as a lead or without support because that one turn is absolutely vital.

Also, note that while Ditto will copy stats including temporary stat boosts, Ditto will not copy base HP nor will it copy HP EVs. So, you will want to put at least 252 HP EVs if you're fielding a Ditto.

  • This explains very well how one can make use of Ditto, but it doesn't exactly explain why someone would want to use it in the first place. – Nolonar Oct 23 '13 at 20:44
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    how do you get imposter? – Qwertie Oct 23 '13 at 20:54
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    @qwertyk31 It is a hidden ability, meaning it can only be found on a Ditto caught in the Friend Safari. – dlras2 Oct 23 '13 at 21:02
  • @Nolonar Added info on Ditto's role. – Yuuki Oct 23 '13 at 21:10
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    OMG! The horrors of a ditto horde, if it existed!!! – Samyam Dec 2 '13 at 13:12

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