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Substitute PE.png
みがわり Scapegoat
Generation: I
Battle Data
Type: Type Normal.gif
Category Status
Accuracy: —%
PP: 10*
Affects: User
Secondary Effect: None
Priority: 0
Contact: No
Contest Data
Contests (RSE)
Type: Smart
Appeal: 2 ♥♥
Jam: 0
Super Contests (DPPt)
Type: Smart
Appeal: 1
Contest Spectaculars (ORAS)
Type: Smart

Substitute (みがわり Scapegoat) is a Normal-type move introduced in Generation I that, when used, will make a decoy of/for the user. It was TM50 in Generation I until it lost its TM status in Generation II. It is TM90 since Generation IV. In Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, it is available as TM08.


Games Description
RBYSTADSTA2 Uses 1/4 of the user's maximum HP to create a substitute that takes the opponent's attacks.
GSC Makes a decoy with 1/4 user's max HP.
RSECOLXD Creates a decoy using 1/4 of the user's maximum HP.
FRLG The user creates a decoy using one-quarter of its full HP.
The user makes a copy of itself using some of its HP. The copy serves as the user's decoy.
SWSH The user creates a copy of itself using some of its HP. The copy serves as the user's decoy.


The substitute is created at the cost of 25% of the user's HP and will take all or most of the incoming damage from the opposing Pokémon until it breaks. A substitute cannot be created if your Pokémon's health is less than 25% of its maximum HP. A one-hit KO attack will always break a substitute if it hits.


With the release of Generation VI, sound based moves such as Hyper Voice and Growl can bypass a Substitute and affect the user directly. As well, Generation VI made it so that a Pokemon with the ability Infiltrator can hit a target using Substitute.

Moves that can bypass a substitute and damage the user:

Further, there are moves that do not damage the user but bypass their substitute and affect them in other ways:

Plus, any move used by a Pokemon with the ability infiltrator will bypass the substitute and affect the target directly, opening the door for a wider range of attacks not listed here.


In Generations I and II, the Substitute takes the appearance of a Rhydon. In all subsequent games it is a plush toy that is said to resemble a Larvitar. However, some contend that it resembles the being inside Kangaskhan's pouch. When the move is used, the user appears to jump back to the sidelines leaving a puff of smoke in its wake. From this the Substitute appears. When a user attacks while it is active, the substitute will move out of the way while the user comes back onto the battlefield. Once the user's move is complete they return to their location off-screen and the substitute takes its place once more.


Main games
Side games

Main series

Pokémon Adventures

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