What does STAB mean and how to utilize it in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

The STAB mechanic has been a part of the series since its inception (Imags vua the Pokemon Company)
The STAB mechanic has been a part of the Pokemon series since its inception (Image via The Pokemon Company)

The Pokemon series is renowned for its addictive turn-based battle system that utilizes elemental weaknesses as the base foundation. However, there's more to it than meets the eye.

Many underlying mechanisms help add depth to the combat. These include IVs, EVs, and many other terms that the average casual Pokemon player may be unfamiliar with. One such element is STAB. It stands for Same Type Attack Bonus and is a crucial part of the combat design. Here's how it works and how it can be effectively utilized.


Take advantage of STAB moves to knock out opponents quickly in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

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In a nutshell, STAB powers up moves that are of the same type as the Pokemon using them. To be more specific, the move's power is boosted by 1.5x. For example, the Grass-type move Razor Leaf would be more effective when used by the Grass-type Bulbasaur than it would by the pure Fairy-type Flabebe because the former gains STAB.

There are Pokemon with dual-typing too, and as such, the STAB scales to both the elements of the user. For example, the Water/Ground-type Swampert will have STAB applied to both its Water-type attack Water Gun and the Ground-type attack Mud Shot.

However, it should be noted that STAB does not apply to moves with fixed damage. This means that moves that inflict proportional damage will not get the benefits of STAB even if they are of the same type as the user. Examples of such moves include Counter, Super Fang, and Dragon Rage. The latter, in particular, always takes down 40 HP of the opponent, and STAB does not affect this in any way.

Overall, there is no reason not to use moves that belong to the same type as the Pokemon. On the other hand, it’s usually best to avoid having moves that don't gain STAB unless they buff the user or serve another supportive/defensive purpose. This includes moves like Reflect, Protect, and Screech.

Various creatures also have different abilities that affect types and STAB factors. To be specific, users with the ability Protean are able to change their type to the move they use. This means they will receive STAB on virtually every move regardless of the original type of the Pokemon. Only the Keclon and Froakie line have this ability, and it is a hidden ability in the case of the latter. The Scorbunny evolution line has the ability Libero, which is identical to Protean in functionality.

Additionally, there is one ability in Scarlet and Violet that directly affects STAB. Known as Adapatibility, it boosts STAB effectiveness to 2x instead of 1.5x. Only Eevee and Basculin can naturally have this ability, and it is hidden for the Skrelp and Yungoos line.

Players may also be wondering how Terastalization affects STAB. This new mechanic in Scarlet and Violet essentially adds a hidden third type to a Pokemon after Terastalizing. It turns the creature shiny and bright, with the new element reflected on its head.

This means that the Electric/Ghost Rotom could potentially have a Dark Tera type. What's great is that Tera types also gain STAB so any Dark-type moves that the Rotom has in its moveset (such as Thief or Dark Pulse) will also be boosted while the Terastalization is active. Of course, this is true for opponents too, so players must keep that in mind during battle.

The Scarlet and Violet games can be played exclusively on the Nintendo Switch platform.

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Edited by Siddharth Satish
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