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Which hold items are more effective during the battle phase? I've seen "duplicate" items throughout the game, such as the Zap Plate and the Magnet which both increase electric type moves. But which one gives you a greater increase to damage? I know there are others, such as the Flame Plate and Charcoal to increase fire moves, so how many different variances are there of these items and what does each do?

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Zap plate and Magnet are the same boost. Any two items that read with the same effect generally have identical effects; the reason they differ are because they have different effects on different Pokemon, usually one is an evolution item for a specific pokemon. In the case of the elemental Plates, they are actually items for Arceus to hold, they change his form and typing due to his Ability, Multitype. The Plates are probably included because there's so many it wouldn't be practical to give them all out when they eventually distribute Arceus in a gen 6 event.

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  • The plates also work with Genesect, right? If I remember right it affects his move Techno Blast.
    – C-dizzle
    Oct 28 '13 at 13:36
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    @C-dizzle Genesect uses Drives, not Plates, so giving him a Plate will not affect his Techno Blast move.
    – Yuuki
    Oct 28 '13 at 13:59
  • Yep, that's drives: bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Drive#Burn_Drive and unlike Plates Drives appear to have no effect for anyone but Genesect
    – Ben Brocka
    Oct 28 '13 at 14:06
  • @BenBrocka thanks for the clarification. I have Genesect sitting in my box in White2 but haven't used him in forever.
    – C-dizzle
    Oct 28 '13 at 17:11
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If you are talking about competitive battling, neither the Zap Plate nor the Magnet are used since they boost the power of moves by too little.

Zap plate boost the power of electric type moves by 20%, which is the same as the Magnet.

In 5th generation, if you wanted to boost moves in Competitive play, you will most often see the gems, in this case the Electric Gem which boost the move by 1.5 times (or 150%!). Unfortunately, the gems aren't available in 6th generation with the exception of Normal Gem, which only gives a 1.3 times boost.

The downside is that the Gems are a one time use, so it's not really practical to use it ingame as you'll be losing the item fairly quickly.

If you like to 'spam' the same moves in succession, I suggest the Metronome which starts at 10% boost to a maximum of 100% boost, and the item isn't consumed. This isn't used in competitive battling either though.

EDIT: If you want to increase the damage output of Pikachu specifically, you can use a Light Ball, which doubles the Attack and Special Attack of Pikachu :)

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    There's a Normal gem in the game, forget where. There are probably the others in some "get an item daily" thing or something. I think the question was just about plates/other elemental boosting items which appear to have the same effect, though
    – Ben Brocka
    Oct 28 '13 at 13:36
  • @BenBrocka Oh yea, in Terminus Cave, there's one there.
    – Jerry
    Oct 28 '13 at 14:49
  • Only the Normal gem was present in 6th generation (and subsequent generations), and it only gave a 1.3* boost. The gems were common in 5th generation, but not in 6th gen and later including the normal gem. I agree that the Zap plate or Magnet were used, but not just because of the power but also because they only boost Electric-type attacks, as opposed to say Life Orb which provides a larger boost to all attacks. Metronome was practically never seen in competitive battling, even less than Magnet. Light Ball doubles Pikachu's Attack and Special Attack, not just a 1.5* boost.
    – MBorg
    May 6 '20 at 6:12

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