I'm level 22 and went to a gym for the first time today. My cadre of Vaporeon / Scyther / SeaKing / Flareon / Tentacruel / Jolteon, each with upwards of 1200cp, could not defeat a Snorlax. I tried 8 times, and was slaughtered each time.

Almost all that Snorlax did was jump up / down. Sometimes he did a "slime" move that almost completely destroyed one of my 1200cp pokemon.

I couldn't figure it out...

I was fighting an algorithm, right? The Snorlax algorithm was to jump in an infinite loop? Then, when I moved, attacked, dodged, etc. it re-acted. I was driving the engagement, and Snorlax was always reacting?

OR, was there (by chance) the trainer of the Snorlax close to the gym. He controlled his Snorlax, and I controlled each of my Pokemon in a head-to-head engagement? He was probably laughing his ass-off as he watched me flail around with my phone.

SO, if I am fighting an algorithm, battles are won / lost pre-game. You need to study who you are attacking. You need to know the weakness of the defending Pokemon, and choose your attacking Pokemon appropriately. The battle skills themselves are not that important at all.

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    It is automatic, it attacks twice at the start then every 1.5 seconds. I'm not 100% sure on the special move, as a guess i'd say it waits until it's maxed out the first time then uses it as much as it can. – Aequitas Aug 4 '16 at 3:12
  • @Aequitas excellent! Then it is just like American football. Each team is pretty much physically equal. The games are really won and lost pre-game. – Just Someone Aug 4 '16 at 3:19
  • what do you mean physically equal? Not even pokemon of the same species are equal some have higher cp, stronger moves etc. and during the fight you can dodge, choose when to use your specials etc. which all have huge impacts – Aequitas Aug 4 '16 at 3:28
  • @Aequitas You are correct. I guess my understanding and interest goes as far as leveling-up, hoarding stardust (97,000 so far!), and hatching eggs. Grooming Pokemon to be good fighters is beyond me. Anyway, I've no more potions left so no more gym fighting for awhile. – Just Someone Aug 4 '16 at 3:39
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    Algorithm. You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means. – 0x0000eWan Aug 4 '16 at 12:29

You are fighting a computer, but the battles are not won automatically at the start. The defending pokemon are set to attack every 1.5 seconds until they can use a special attack, at which point they use that special attack. The trainer for the defending pokemon is not involved at all. And yes, some of the animations are bad and do not look like attacks. Do not fear, no matter what you do in the battle you are being hit... A LOT.

The trick to the battles is learning the timing to get in your attacks while dodging the opponent's attacks. There is a yellow flash on the screen which shows the window to dodge, if you swipe at that moment you should be able to dodge the attack. This does not negate the damage, it only reduces it.

In between dodges, you must tap the screen to attack. Normal attacks take about 0.5 seconds, so you can usually get 2-3 attacks in between dodges, although the exact timing changes based on the two pokemon involved, the moves they have, and your connection speed/lag. When using a special attack, I usually accept that I will not be able to dodge an attack or two from the opponent, merely because special attacks take too long.

Finally, this is pokemon, so pokemon types and move types are all very important. You can just brute force it and use a pokemon with way more CP, but using type advantages makes things easier. Use those advantages whenever you can, an unused advantage is no advantage at all.

  • I fought a Flareon with a Scyther, Venamoth, and SeaKing today. To get a baseline, I did nothing but swipe right as fast as possible for each Pokemon. No attacking, just dodging with swipe right. And I kept getting hit, and then roasted by Flareon's dragon breath. There is something more to dodging than swiping? – Just Someone Aug 5 '16 at 0:29
  • @khaeson Like I said, a dodge does not negate all damage, it merely reduces how much of it you take. And it's rather picky about timing it with that yellow flash, and if you dodge properly it will show a bubble over your pokemon saying "Dodged!" much like it says "Super effective!" or "Not very effective...". – Kadima Aug 5 '16 at 13:00

The enemy pokemon in gyms are ALWAYS computers, never player controlled, even if the owner of the pokemon you're facing is currently training.

I'm pretty proficient in dodging by now.

I discovered how to dodge on my own without outside help, but I can confirm what the creator of this video is talking about.

So when every enemy pokemon attacks, you'll see a flash of yellow light around the edges of the screen, and then you'll get the actual attack like a second later. In order to dodge and receive a fraction of the original damage, swipe sometime after you see the flash, but always before the pokemon completes the attack.

If you face a vaporeon, dodge between the flash and the water that hits you. I can't really tell you when, but its like halfway between these 2 events. Some pokemon have different events. Nidoking/queen, and Dragonite have atleast 2 different quick attacks. One you have to dodge before you get hit by a blast, and the other you have to dodge immediately before it fully swings its arm at you. Keep in mind to always dodge sometime in between the flash and the attack for QUICK attacks.

For the special attacks, I think you get the flash a little sooner, so dodge after the flash and immediately before you see the enemy pokemon move for its special.

In order to practice this, I recommend fighting weak pokemon in gyms. You can challenge a gym normally, but it will be awkward at first and you'll likely sustain a lot of damage in the learning process. OR you can boot out a rival gym, place one of your pokemon that isn't super strong, and train it with one of your strongest that is battle resistant to it. This way, you are already receiving less damage, and won't have to worry about healing as much.

NOTE: Some pokemon have different motions. Many physical cutting or hitting attacks require the enemy to swing something at you. Dodge right before it completes the swing, but after it begins the swing motion.

Also, you will be told you have successfully dodged by a caption by your pokemon that says Dodged! If there is no such caption, or it displays the Not/Super effective caption, then you did not time it correctly.

AND sometimes its been reported that pokemon battles don't give a flash when using its special move. If that is the case, then take notice of the pokemon's quick attack pattern (It attacks about every 2 seconds), and when you feel the pokemon has remained still for an unusual amount of time, it will use its move. If this is the case, dodge right when you see the special attack animation. This is only an error, so only expect this on rare occasions, and when you battle Vaporeons. Vaporeons are very common

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