This is the full, written version of the reffing scale I typically use in animé-style battling leagues. It uses the exact same calculations as the calculator on this page and is presented here to serve as a supplement to it; if you intend to use my calculator then I would suggest reading this at least once, as it will help you make better sense of the numbers it spits out and show you where you may need to make occasional adjustments. It also explains several other things that the calculator cannot handle, like energy and damage costs for special situations, the details of status effects, etc.. Be sure to double-check with rules your ASBL might have pertaining to these things, however—if they specify anything, assume it overrules what I say here.

You should use this scale, as well as its accompanying calculator, with the understanding that you aren't required to follow everything exactly. As long as your ASBL is one that allows refs to use whatever sensible rubric they like, well, then you can come up with whatever rubric you like: use mine, use mine as a baseline for your own, or come up with your own entirely if you'd prefer to follow a different line of logic. (This scale itself is partially based on that of Negrek, TCoDASB's former head ref; it has changed several times over the years, however.) Of course, if you do come up with your own scale then you obviously won't be able to get accurate results with my calculator.

You can start off by reading only the Damage Calculation and Energy Calculation sections; those are the parts that go hand-in-hand with the calculator itself. The Status Conditions section is probably a good thing to read early on as well. The other sections and subsections are good to keep in mind and should also be read at some point, but are more situational and will not apply in every round of every battle. You can give those parts a more in-depth look when you encounter a situation not covered by basic calculations.

Lastly, be aware that this scale is technically subject to change. By and large I try to hammer out everything I can at once so I can keep my reffings consistent, but I may make occasional edits to a calculation or ruling here or there.

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Damage Calculation

  1. Find the ingame base power of the move in question. Aerial Ace, for example, has a base power of 60.
  2. If the attacker shares a type with the move it is using, multiply the base power by 1.25. If they do not share a type, do nothing.
  3. Divide this number by 10. If its power ends in a number other than 0, round it down to the nearest ten (95 becomes 90, 18 becomes 10, etc.) before dividing.
  4. Determine the attacker's stage of evolution. If the attacker is:
    • the first member of a three-stage evolution line (Charmander) or a baby Pokémon (Riolu), subtract 1 from the attack's damage.
    • the second member of a three-stage line (Charmeleon) or the first member of a two-stage line (Barboach), do nothing.
    • a final-stage Pokémon (Charizard, Lucario, Whiscash) or a Pokémon that does not evolve at all (Absol), add 1 to the attack's damage.
  5. Determine the effectiveness of the attack's type against the opponent's type. If the opponent is:
    • doubly-weak to the attack's type, multiply by 2.
    • weak to the attack's type, multiply by 1.5.
    • neutral to the attack's type, do nothing.
    • resistant to the attack's type, multiply by 0.67.
    • doubly-resistant to the attack's type, multiply by 0.5.
    • immune to the attack's type, multiply by 0 and stop calculations here. The attack does no damage.
  6. If the attacker's relevant attack stat has been modified, multiply the modifier by 2 and add it to the attack's damage. An attacker with +1 attack does 2 additional damage; an attacker with -2 attack does 4 less damage.
  7. If the target's relevant defense stat has been modified, multiply the modifier by 2 and subtract it from the attack's damage. A target with +1 defense takes 2 less damage; a target with -2 defense takes 4 more damage.
  8. Determine whether the attack is a critical hit. If it is, add the attack's base power divided by 10 to the damage (e.g., add 6 if Aerial Ace scores a critical hit). If the attack's base power is 80 or higher, add 7 to the damage instead. If the attack is not a critical hit, do nothing.
  9. This is the damage dealt by the attack. Round it down to the nearest integer if need be. If the number is 0 or negative and the target is not immune to the attack's type, increase the damage to 1; no attack should do less than 1 damage unless an immunity is involved.

This result may not be the final damage, however—there are other factors that may influence the number, and they may come into play during different steps. If the attacker is using Facade while suffering from paralysis, for example, you should double its base power before doing anything else (70 to 140). If a weather condition, such as rain, would affect the damage dealt by the attack, the relevant multiplier is applied after all other calculations. See your ASBL's guides and the Additional Rulings section below for more information on some of these details. There may be a few others that aren't covered anywhere; use your own discretion when dealing with said factors.

Energy Calculation

  1. Find the attack's PP and choose the corresponding base energy cost:
    • 40-35PP = 1
    • 30PP = 2
    • 25-20PP = 3
    • 15PP = 4
    • 10PP = 5
    • 5PP = 6
  2. Find the attack's base power (all damaging moves have an effective base power, even if none or "1" is listed in a pokédex; this means its power is situational and will require a bit of searching on your part). If the base power is:
    • 0-50 (this includes non-damaging/status-class moves), do nothing.
    • 51-75, add 1.
    • 76-100, add 2.
    • 101-125, add 3.
    • 126-150, add 4.
    • 151-200, add 5.
    • 201+, add 6.
  3. If the attacker shares a type with the move that it is using, subtract 1 from the cost. If not, do nothing.
  4. Determine the attacker's stage of evolution. If the attacker is:
    • the first member of a three-stage evolution line (Charmander) or a baby Pokémon (Riolu), add 1 to the cost.
    • the second member of a three-stage line (Charmeleon) or the first member of a two-stage line (Barboach), do nothing.
    • a final-stage Pokémon (Charizard, Lucario, Whiscash) or a Pokémon that does not evolve at all (Absol), subtract 1 from the cost.
  5. If the attacker is using a damage-dealing attack and its relevant attack stat has been modified, add the value of the modifier to the cost. If the attacker is using Shadow Ball with +3 special attack, add 3. If it's using Quick Attack with -1 attack, subtract 1. If the attack is non-damaging, do nothing.
  6. This is the energy cost of the move. If the number is 0 or negative and the attack was actually used (note that misses and botched attacks still count as a use of that attack and should still cost energy for the effort expended), increase the cost to 1; no attack should cost less than 1 energy unless it was never used in the first place.

As with damage, there may be other factors that contribute to the final energy cost. A paralyzed Pokémon attempting to use a strenous physical attack may need more energy to force its muscles to cooperate, for example. Costs not explained in this scale or by your ASBL's rules should be dealt with using your own judgment.

Special Cases

This section contains a list of moves with energy costs that vary, have special conditions or are otherwise irregular. The basic scale cannot handle these moves, at least not without some additional effort on your part. When one of your battlers uses such a move, refer to this list or use your own judgment instead. If a move is not listed here, however, assume that the scale is capable of giving the correct "final" energy cost on its own.

Assist, Copycat, Metronome, Mirror Move, Sleep Talk + Resulting Move: Find the energy cost of the move that is called or copied using the scale and add 2%.

Chilling: Restores 10% energy. This amount can be reduced if the chilling Pokémon is interrupted, though usually not by more than 5% unless the chill is prevented altogether.

Counter, Metal Burst, Mirror Coat: Cost energy equal to the damage dealt by the attack that is to be countered.

Double Team: Costs 1% energy per clone created plus an additional 1% for Pokémon with a base speed of 80-99, an additional 2% for Pokémon with a base speed of 50-79 and an additional 3% for Pokémon with a base speed of 49 or less.

Direct-Healing Moves (Heal Order, Rest, Slack Off, Synthesis, etc.): Cost energy equal to 1/2 the amount of health restored on that action, rounded up.

Light Screen, Reflect, Safeguard: Cost 3% base. The user of the move pays a 1% energy upkeep cost per barrier for each action that the barrier is in effect.

Moves with Variable Base Power (Magnitude, Psywave, etc.): Determine the base power of the current instance of the move and calculate as normal using that base power.

Protect: Costs 4% base, with the following modifiers applied depending on the base power of the attack used against it:

  • 0-50 (this includes non-damaging/status-class moves), or no attack used at all: do nothing
  • 51-75: add 1%
  • 76-100: add 2%
  • 101-125: add 3%
  • 126-150: add 4%
  • 151-200: add 5%
  • 201+: add 6%

Substitute: Costs energy equal to 1/2 the amount of health put into the substitute, rounded up.

Status Conditions

The following section details how I handle the various major and minor status conditions where no strict rules are specified by the ASBL in question (e.g., Leech Seed usually does have specific rules, so I don't need to come up with my own interpretation).

A Note on Status Condition Severity: Most ASBLs use status conditions that are not static. There can be acute or mild cases of affliction, and the severity of the condition can change over time. The full scale of condition severity can vary between refs, but I generally stick to four degrees: light, mild, moderate and severe (toxic poisoning has a special fifth severity, "very severe"; see the Poisoned section for details). The meaning of each degree changes for each condition and so is further clarified in that condition's section. A status condition can begin at any stage, and the initial degree of affliction varies depending on what caused it. Generally speaking, however, "mild" and "moderate" are the most common initial severities in my reffings; a condition starting off "light" is usually indicative of a botched attempt to inflict that condition, and one that starts off "severe" is indicative of a very drastic case. Most moves that are guaranteed to cause a status condition as their only effect (e.g., Thunder Wave, Confuse Ray, Attract) will start the target off at moderate if they are successful. Conditions caused by attacks that also deal damage vary in their severity, usually in accordance with the strength of the attack in question.

Asleep

The Pokémon is asleep and unable to act unless it is given a command like Sleep Talk or Snore; sleeping Pokémon can still chill to recover energy. Sleep severity drops by one stage at the end of every other action; the Pokémon awakens after two actions of being in the "light" severity stage. Every attack that causes 10% damage or more to the sleeper causes the condition to drop one severity stage; the sleeper will awaken if it takes 15% damage or more in the "light" stage. (The decreases stack for every multiple of ten. Therefore, an attack that does 1-9% damage does nothing; an attack that does 10-19% decreases severity by one stage; an attack that does 20-29% decreases it by two. The damage does not stack between attacks, however, so one attack that does 16% damage and a second that does 4% damage will only decrease severity by one stage.) Sleep induced by the move Rest is classed and treated as severe sleep, but is automatically removed at the end of the second action after Rest is used. Pokémon with Early Bird awaken twice as fast as other Pokémon, with the sleep severity dropping every action; if they use Rest, they awaken at the end of the first action after Rest was used.

Attracted

The Pokémon is in love and there is a high likelihood that it will be unwilling to attack the object of its affections. The Pokémon must undergo an attraction check every action while it is afflicted. If it fails this check (chance depends on severity; see below), it will not act. Attraction severity drops by one stage at the end of every other action; the Pokémon snaps out of it after two actions of being in the "light" severity stage. Every attack made by the user of Attract and that causes 10% damage or more to the attracted Pokémon causes the condition to drop one severity stage; the attracted Pokémon will recover if it takes 15% damage or more in the "light" stage. (The decreases stack for every multiple of ten. Therefore, an attack that does 1-9% damage does nothing; an attack that does 10-19% decreases severity by one stage; an attack that does 20-29% decreases it by two. The damage does not stack between attacks, however, so one attack that does 16% damage and a second that does 4% damage will only decrease severity by one stage.) Damage caused by sources other than the Pokémon that used Attract generally will not cause a severity drop. If trainers can word their attacks so that they sound convincing enough, the condition can be temporarily countered—so, for example, the trainer might be able to convince a lovesick Pokémon that using Confuse Ray on the object of its affections won't cause any harm but will instead put on a pretty light show. Attacks that do not directly target the object of the attacker's affections are no less likely to fail; the Pokémon will simply be too distracted to do anything else if it fails its attraction check.

The chance of an attracted Pokémon failing to obey orders is as follows:

  • Light: 6% chance
  • Mild: 12% chance
  • Moderate: 25% chance
  • Severe: 50% chance

Burned

The Pokémon is suffering constant pain from a burn. The deeper the burn or the larger the area it covers, the worse the burn’s severity. The area will be painful to the touch; this might affect damage dealt and energy spent, and attacks to the burned area will cause more damage (determined on a situational basis but never exceeding 3%). Burn damage is applied at the end of the round. Burns also cause the burned Pokémon’s attack to drop by one level (in addition to the usual six levels of stat increase/decrease; a burned Pokémon with -6 attack effectively has -7 attack). The severity of a burn will not change on its own, but it can be affected by further burning attacks, cool water and other things at the ref's discretion.

The burn damage dealt per round is as follows:

  • Light: 1%
  • Mild: 2%
  • Moderate: 3%
  • Severe: 4%

Confused

The Pokémon is unable to think straight; it can misinterpret the commands its trainer gives it (and thus attack the wrong target or possibly use the wrong move) and lose its sense of direction (and, again, misdirect an attack or cause itself harm in some way). The Pokémon must undergo a confusion check every action while it is afflicted. If it fails this check (chance depends on severity; see below), it will not act. Confusion severity decreases one stage at the end of every other action; the Pokémon recovers after two actions of being in the "light" severity stage. Any damage the Pokémon causes itself while confused is determined on a situational basis but generally should not exceed 5%. What the Pokémon does when it is fully confused is determined randomly, usually as follows: 50% chance of harming itself, 50% chance of messing up (in whatever way is considered appropriate; get creative).

The chance of full confusion is as follows:

  • Light: 6% chance
  • Mild: 12% chance
  • Moderate: 25% chance
  • Severe: 50% chance

Frozen

The Pokémon is at least partially encased or encrusted in ice. Depending on the amount of ice and its location, this can affect the Pokémon’s movement. Frozen Pokémon thaw slightly (and thus the condition's severity drops by one stage) at the end of every third action, although the arena environment can affect this. Certain attacks can help to melt or shatter the ice, notably fire/heat-based attacks and hard-hitting physical attacks. Attacks and actions involving the affected parts cost extra energy; frozen body parts can also weigh enough to lower the afflicted Pokémon's speed. In some cases the Pokémon may be unable to use the affected part at all (e.g. mouth frozen shut). The speed decrease is in addition to the usual six levels of stat increase/decrease; a moderately frozen Pokémon with -6 speed effectively has -8 speed. Severely frozen Pokémon are completely (or almost completely) encased in ice, generally cannot act and take little or no damage from attacks to the frozen area depending on the situation. Flame Wheel, Flare Blitz, Fusion Flare, Sacred Fire and Scald can still be used by a frozen Pokémon and will thaw it completely before the Pokémon attacks.

The effects of freezing are as follows:

  • Light: a few body parts covered in a very thin layer of ice. Movement costs 1% more energy.
  • Mild: up to 25% of the body covered in at least half an inch of ice, though nothing should be completely immobile. Movement costs 2% more energy and the Pokémon's speed is reduced by 1 stage.
  • Moderate: 25-75% of the body covered in at least half an inch of ice. Certain body parts may be completely immobile. If this doesn't prevent movement entirely, movement costs 3% more energy and the Pokémon's speed is reduced by 2 stages.
  • Severe: over 75% of the body covered in an inch of ice or more, effectively rendering the Pokémon immobile. Chances are the frozen Pokémon is unable to act at all; if it can act, all actions cost 4% more energy. Attacks to the frozen body part(s), unless those attacks can actually break through, will deal reduced damage; if weak enough, they will not deal damage at all. If the Pokémon is covered in ice that is two inches thick or more, it will begin to take damage from the weight of the ice and the intense cold (usually around 1-2% per action in that condition).

Paralyzed

The Pokémon’s muscle coordination and movement have been compromised in one way or another. It might not be able to perform its action and will move slowly, its speed reduced for as long as it is paralyzed. Attacks and actions involving movement cost extra energy. The speed decrease is in addition to the usual six levels of stat increase/decrease; a severely paralyzed Pokémon with -6 speed effectively has -9 speed. The Pokémon must undergo a paralysis check every action while it is afflicted. If it fails this check (chance depends on severity; see below), it will not act. Paralysis severity decreases at the end of every sixth action; light paralysis fades after being in effect for nine actions.

The effects of paralysis are as follows:

  • Light: 6% chance of full paralysis. Speed is reduced by 1 stage and actions involving movement cost 1% more energy.
  • Mild: 12% chance of full paralysis. Speed is reduced by 1 stage and actions involving movement cost 1% more energy.
  • Moderate: 18% chance of full paralysis. Speed is reduced by 2 stages and actions involving movement cost 2% more energy.
  • Severe: 25% chance of full paralysis. Speed is reduced by 3 stages and actions involving movement cost 3% more energy.

Poisoned

The Pokémon is sick and gets weaker and weaker as poison moves through its body. Poison damage is dealt at the end of the round. The severity of normal poisoning will not change on its own, but it can be affected by further poisoning attacks and other things at the ref's discretion.

The poison damage dealt per round is as follows:

  • Light: 1%
  • Mild: 2%
  • Moderate: 3%
  • Severe: 4%

Poisoning caused by the moves Toxic and Poison Fang, as well as by repeated injury from Toxic Spikes, is toxic poisoning and is classed as "very severe"; the damage dealt by very severe poisoning starts at 1% at the end of the first round and increases by 1% on every subsequent round, capping at 10%/round. Light injury from Toxic Spikes usually causes moderate poisoning.

Additional Rulings

This section covers any special moves or other calculation rules. It doesn't touch on everything—there are some rulings I haven't made a decision about, for example, and others that are simply too situational to define clearly—but it's a start and it does explain most of the common stuff I run into fairly often. I will update this section as I find things that need clarification.

Pokémon Speed Order: Note the base speed stat of all Pokémon in play and have them act in order from highest base speed to lowest, keeping in mind anything that would modify this (Trick Room, the ability Stall, etc.). If two or more Pokémon share the same base speed, use a randomizer to decide the order in which those Pokémon will act. This order lasts for an entire round and is re-randomized at the beginning of the next.

Modifications to the speed stat (e.g., though Agility or Icy Wind) alter the Pokémon's base speed by 10 points per stage. A Weavile with -3 speed has an effective base speed of 95. A Pokémon's base speed can never fall below 1.

Accuracy and Evasion Modifications: All moves, save for those that are foolproof or self-/arena-targeting (e.g. Aerial Ace, Bulk Up, Sunny Day), that are used by an attacker with modified accuracy have their accuracy increased or decreased by 10% per stage of modification. An attacker with -1 accuracy that tries to use Flamethrower, for example, is using Flamethrower with an effective accuracy of 90%. An attacker with +2 accuracy that tries to use Sheer Cold is doing so with an effective accuracy of 50%. Evasion modifications are similar: using an attack against a foe with +1 evasion would also give Flamethrower an accuracy of 90%. Accuracy and evasion modifiers may not be permanent. The blinding effect of Flash may wear off after a round or two depending on how bad the target's exposure was; it might be possible to wipe the grit from Sand-Attack out of the target's eyes.

Special conditions apply to the use of Double Team and Minimize, noted below.

Double Team: Double Team does not give its user a normal evasion increase. Instead, an attack's chance to hit a user of Double Team is 1 in X where X is the number of clones plus the user of Double Team (a 1 in 4 chance to hit a Pokémon with three clones, for example). If the attacker is able to distinguish clones from the user (for example, if a light rain can be seen passing through three Garchomp but running off of the fourth), it will automatically know where to direct its attacks. Foolproof moves like Aerial Ace and Swift will destroy all clones automatically as well as strike the real Pokémon.

Minimize: Minimize gives its user the usual evasion modifier, but it carries with it the added effect of reducing the user's size by 1/2 for each use. Repeated use of Minimize may run the risk of making the user too small to battle effectively, and so most Pokémon cannot use Minimize more than twice without increasing in size again first. The user can still gain evasion boosts through other means, however. A particularly large Pokémon that uses Minimize (e.g., a Snorlax that uses it via Metronome) will still present a decent-sized target and so may only gain a partial evasion boost at your discretion.

Weather Conditions: Weather conditions, save for those caused by weather-inducing abilities or those that are affected by arena rulings, last for nine actions/three rounds.

Rest: Where the ASBL leaves its effect up to individual referees, I do not ref Rest as restoring health and draining energy gradually over the move's duration. Instead, I ref it as it works in the games (and therefore similar to other direct healers): the Pokémon restores all health on the first action, bringing it back up to 100%. It is so drained by that act that it must remain asleep for two actions to recover. If the Pokémon does not have enough energy to bring itself back up to 100% and still have at least 1% remaining, it will knock itself out with the move.

Accounting for Base Stats

It is not necessary to take base stats into account in any way while reffing; ASBLs do not use them by default, with the possible exception of base speed in certain leagues. Taking them into consideration requires unnecessary extra effort on your part, and no one will fault you for simply using this scale/calculator as-is without worrying about them.

That said, base stats are indicative of a Pokémon's innate strengths and weaknesses in a given area, and Pokémon can be portrayed more "accurately" and with greater variation if they are accounted for. Shuckle, for example, is a defensive Pokémon by nature, and it should not be doing anywhere near as much damage as an Infernape that uses the same attack; on the other side of the coin, Infernape should not be able to take hits as well as Shuckle can. This requires care, however: ASB is supposed to keep all Pokémon on an even footing with one another, and trying to compare a Pokémon's ingame base stats with those of others often results in one looking significantly weaker. Mightyena and Ursaring have relatively similar stat distributions, for example, but Mightyena's attack pales in comparison to Ursaring's. This marks Mightyena as "bad" when placed next to the "good" Ursaring, and so such a system would probably discourage people from playing with Mightyena if given the chance to use Ursaring instead.

In an effort to avoid this and make things fair for all Pokémon, then, I use a system that compares a Pokémon to itself rather than to other Pokémon. A Pokémon incurs certain bonuses and penalties to its stats based on how its base stats relate to one another, for example increasing Shuckle's defenses at the expense of its offenses. These bonuses and penalties are small enough to keep something like Blissey or Rampardos from becoming massively overpowered while still relevant enough to have an effect on the outcome, so you can have Pokémon behave more realistically without skewing things too far in any one specie's favor.

I don't keep a list of the base stat bonuses/penalties for every single Pokémon; I usually just work them out as I go using the method described below, and I keep track of them in my reffing document. If I ref a battle involving a Pokémon I've determined bonuses/penalties for before, I just go back to the older battle and pull from there. Your values don't have to be exactly the same as mine, though they'll probably be similar anyway.

Before the battle begins, find the attack, defense, special attack and special defense of each Pokémon involved (ignore HP, as that should always start at a flat 100%). Compare those numbers to one another. If:

  • all stats are equal (e.g., Glalie — 80/80/80/80), do nothing. Every stat gets +0.
  • there are two pairs of stats that are reasonably close to one another (e.g., Azumarill — 50/80/50/80), give the two highest stats +1 and the two lowest stats -1.
  • all stats are different, relatively evenly spaced and show a clear progression from high to low (e.g., Gliscor — 95/125/45/75), give +2 to the highest stat, +1 to the second highest, -1 to the second lowest and -2 to the lowest.
  • there is a large bias toward or against one stat (e.g., Rampardos — 165/60/65/50), give +/-3 to the highest/lowest and +/-1 to all others.
  • the stat distribution doesn't match any of the above, make adjustments to the next closest set of bonuses/penalties.

Stats that differ only by a matter of a few points (like Rampardos's non-attack stats) can safely be given the same bonus or penalty—Charmander (52/43/60/50), for example, has enough distinction between its stats to give it some bonuses/penalties, but perhaps it might do better with a distribution like +1 special attack, +0 attack and special defense and -1 defense than with a spread like Gliscor's +1/+2/-2/-1. Just keep tweaking things until they make sense. Keep in mind, however, that the sum of all bonuses and penalties should always be 0. Additionally, try not to give any stats a bonus/penalty with an absolute value greater than 5; an absolute value of 3 is more than enough in most cases and is as high as I usually go.

These bonuses and penalties should be applied between steps four and five of the damage calculation, after applying the modifications for evolution and before determining type effectiveness.

The calculator on the page linked to at the beginning of this article obviously wasn't designed to handle base stats; I did, however, write another version for myself that does. That is the calculator I actually use in my reffings. If you decide that you want to use the above method for base stat application, you are also welcome to use it. Click here for the advanced calculator. It works the same way as the basic calculator and the same overall instructions apply; you just select the relevant base stat bonus/penalties for attacker and target after the evolution modifier, as explained above. The energy calculations are exactly the same.