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Switch-Out Move

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Vearn: I see. A castling maneuver.
Kill-Vearn: Castling?
Vearn: In the game of chess, there is a move where the king and rook can be rearranged.

During a fight between two characters A and B, this move allows the character A to switch with their partner. Sometimes leads to the partner tagging in with a Dynamic Entry. Alternatively, the move may force character B to switch with their partner.

See also Tag Team, where an entire match revolves around characters fighting one-on-one, with them tagging in/out with their partners as needed. Compare Ninja Log, where a character switches places with an inanimate object. Contrast Stand Your Ground, where a character cannot be forced to switch out. See also Swap Fighter.

A possible use for Swap Teleportation.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yugi Mutou switches consciousnesses with Yami Yugi in this way, at least after little Yugi finds out about Yami. Whoever's soul is not using the body stays in the holding place in the brain. They tag in and out to switch. Their ability to do this comes in handy when fighting an opponent who can read their thoughts.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Goreinu's abilities can do this with Swap Teleportation. He can summon two gorillas, a black one and a white one, both of whom can move about on their own. Goreinu can instantly switch locations with the black gorilla; he can cause someone else to switch locations with the white one.
  • One Piece:
    • Luffy attempts this with Zoro, who is holding off Arlong. Unfortunately for the swordsman, Luffy's idea of an example of this trope involves sending Zoro (who, mind you, is heavily wounded by this point) flying backwards about 100 feet in the air.
    • Also when Luffy switches with Buggy in his battle with Mihawk.
  • Birdy the Mighty: Given that Tsutomu and Birdy share the same body, they can switch with each other whenever needed.
  • Sword Art Online: Switching is heavily used technique where the player switches with their partner after attacking the enemy, offsetting it, and the partner does a follow-up attack so the former can recuperate.
  • Today's Cerberus has a cerberus's human disguise work like this: only one of her heads is "out" at once, and their shared body changes to suit it. This isn't an especially convenient instance: she has little to no conscious control over the process, it can easily be triggered against her will, and only the two heads presently in "storage" can communicate with each other, though they know what's going on. But as her heads have differing personalities and aptitudes (despite obviously getting along well enough to share a body), it narratively functions as this trope.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: Aoi Todo's Cursed Technique, Boogie Woogie, allows him to switch positions with any entity with sufficient cursed energy whenever he claps his hands, which he uses in his and Yuji's fight with Hanami to repeatedly change his and Yuji's positions to confuse Hanami.
  • Pokémon: The Series: During Ash's battle with Leon, Leon's Dragapult uses Dragon Tail to damage and switch out Ash's Pokémon, which is also the first time Dragon Tail has this effect as all of its other appearances simply have it doing damage without switching in a Trainer Battle. Despite this, the Dragon/Ghost-type is only able to use this to beat Mega Lucario.

    Board Games 
  • Castling in Chess swaps the player's king with one of his rooks.
  • The number 11 card in the game Sorry has two options, like several other cards in the game. If you draw a number 11, you can a) move eleven spaces, or b) swap places with an opponent.

    Card Games 
  • Some cards in Magic: The Gathering allow you to do so, such as the "Ninjutsu" mechanic, which allows you to trade one attacking creature for another in the middle of combat.
  • The Gladiator Beast monsters in the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game have the ability to tag-out by returning to the deck in exchange for a different Gladiator Beast. The second one that comes in ends up with a special ability it wouldn't have otherwise.
  • The Pokémon Trading Card Game allows Pokémon to switch back to the Bench [a reserve area] after it attacks. The most infamous card to do so among players is Dunsparce, which, for minimal Energy costs, inflicted Confusion and would retreat back, making it near impossible to defeat. Most subsequent cards based on Dunsparce have had an attack-and-retreat move since.

    Comic Books 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Combining with Calling Your Attacks in Part 2 of "What's My Line?", Buffy is fighting the human assassin Patrice, while fellow vampire slayer Kendra is fighting vampire Spike. Buffy just shouts "Switch!" and bends over; Kendra rolls over Buffy's back to face Patrice, immediately landing a punch and knocking her into the wall. Buffy faces Spike.
    Spike: I'd rather be fighting you anyway.
    Buffy: Mutual.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Through the use of Swap Teleportation spells:
    • 3.5 Edition has the spells benign transposition, which causes two willing creatures nearby to swap locations, and baleful transposition, which works on non-willing creatures as well. Since the exchange is instantaneous, it has the extra benefit of not exposing them to attack from nearby enemies, as usually happens when someone moves away from a threat.
    • In 5th Edition, wizards specializing in Conjuration gain the Benign Transposition ability, which is a short-range teleport that can also be used to swap places with a willing creature. For example, if the Squishy Wizard gets threatened in melee and trades places with a well-armored Close-Range Combatant teammate.

    Video Games 
  • A staple in Sonic the Hedgehog games' multiplayer races is a Monitor that, when struck will cause the players to switch places. This began in Sonic 2 and returned in Sonic Colors and Sonic Mania.
  • Some items and events in the Mario Party games allow you to switch spaces with other players. Some do so with one specific character (such as the Warp Pipe), while others will shuffle everybody around (such as a number of Bowser events).
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash!!: The game's main mechanic involves two characters in one Kart. The two characters can be swapped mid-race between the driver and the character in the back that uses items. This is very useful when you want to hold on to an item you want to use later.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages had a Teleport Gun that worked through Swap Teleportation, called the Switch Hook (a Hookshot variant) that acted like this, causing Link and the target to switch places.
  • Pokémon: While combat in this series mostly revolves around one-on-one Tag Team matches, there are various moves that cause a Pokémon to be switched out. These provide additional effects over a normal tag-out, and/or may be used in situations where normal switches are not possible:
    • Baton Pass passes on any of the user's stat changes (e.g. attack/defense boosts or drops) to the next Pokémon switched in. The same applies for all adverse volatile status effects, like binding, infatuation, confusion, and the like.
    • U-Turn, Volt Switch, and Flip Turn attack the opponent and then immediately switch the user out, all during the same turn.
    • Ally Switch switches position with the partner in a Double or Triple Battle.
    • Moves like Roar or Whirlwind force the opponent to switch out, while Dragon Tail and Circle Throw inflict damage and force the opponent to switch out (during the same turn). These moves have decreased priority, allowing the opponent to strike first before it hits. Use of these moves forces the opponent's stats to reset; this no doubt infuriates a player using Baton Pass to power up his would-be sweeper.
    • Eject Button, an item introduced in Generation V, causes the user to switch out after being hit by an opponent's attack; this can allow the user to strike first and be switched out on the same turn, but the item is consumed after one use. Another item from same generation, Red Card, causes whoever hits the holder to switch out.
    • A few sacrificial moves (like Healing Wish) cause the user to faint, but in return grant effects (such as restored HP) on the next Pokémon sent out.
    • Parting Shot switches the user out after lowering the opponent's Attack and Special Attack stats.
    • Wimpod's Wimp Out and Golisopod's Emergency Exit abilities switch them with a partner Pokémon if their HP falls below 50%.
    • Despite being a move since the first generation, Teleport was given this effect in generation eight when used on a team, but it has major negative priority, allowing it to nearly always go last. Useful for a Pokemon that can take a hit to bring in another who can't.
    • Shed Tail creates a Substitute with 50% of user's total HP, then switches out and gives it to the Pokémon that switches in after it.
    • Chilly Reception, a move exclusive Slowking where the user tells a chillingly bad joke, causing the weather to change to Snow and switching the user out.
  • Capcom vs.:
    • Several entries in the series, particularly Marvel vs. Capcom and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, apply these to super moves, allowing your partner to jump in as long as you have the meter to cancel into their super move (called "Delayed Hyper Cancels" or "DHC").
    • Starting with X-Men vs. Street Fighter, a blocking character could sacrifice a bar of meter to call in their standby partner, who would then attack mid-blockstring and interrupt the opposing player's offensive. This is known as a "Variable Counter" and would be featured in every single Marvel game up to Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (where it's instead called "Crossover Counter") as well as Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
    • Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and 3 also have the "Snapback" command that, at the cost of a bar of meter, forces your opponent to tag out (if possible) to another teammate of your choosing. A frequent application of this technique in high-level play involves attacking at the right moment while an Assist is being called, forcing the active character out of battle with a Snapback, and then juggling the helpless Assist(s) until either they're down or the combo is dropped.
    • Tatsunoko vs. Capcom lets you switch characters during an aerial juggle, known as a "Variable Aerial Rave." note  It requires a bar of super meter to perform.
    • Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has a similar mechanic known as "Aerial Exchange": during an air combo, pressing one of the four directional inputs + Special will cause the attacking character to blow their airborne opponent either higher up, back down to the ground, or against the wall of the stage before tagging out to their partner, who then continues the air combo. Not only are Aerial Exchanges meter-free and able to be performed twice in a row, they also award a set percentage of meter upon connecting and/or provide damage bonuses for the ensuing air combo depending on the direction of the exchange. The catch is that the helpless party can counter this and immediately end the air combo on the spot if they can correctly guess which directional input is used to tag out and press S during a very small window of opportunity.
    • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite has a much more liberal switching system, allowing you to basically swap freely but removing the DHC system from previous games.
  • Gwent: The Witcher Card Game: The Decoy card invokes this idea to swap a unit on the board with the top unit in your deck, but doesn't count as a unit itself. Emhyr's leader ability returns a Nilfgaardian unit to the hand before playing any card in his hand, allowing a unit to swap the place in hand of any other card. Call of the Forest allows you to cycle a unit from the field to the deck and swap it with another unit with the same primary category.
  • Skullgirls takes inspiration from the Capcom vs. series in its switch-out moves, and adds its own take on it with several characters coming in in unique ways: Valentine comes in a straight path along the ground, Cerebella drops in from directly overhead, and Squigly busts out of her grave wherever on the stage it may be, just to name a few examples.
  • Tekken:
    • Tekken Tag Tournament lets everyone have one tag grapple to trade off with their partner with a generic stomp, along with coming in after a launcher for a nastier tag juggle (as it killed your ability to recover its lost health). Characters would also get specific partner maneuvers, such as King Irish Whipping an opponent to Armor King for a power slam.
    • In the sequel, not only is the number of Tag Assaults (tag combos) and Tag Throws upped significantly from its predecessor, but if one character is downed and their partner is in Rage Mode (indicated by the border of their health gauge flashing red), said partner can sacrifice their Rage and perform a Diving Save maneuver known as a Tag Crash to bail out their teammate.
    • Also in Tag 2, Unknown gains a new move called Mizuchi Claw, wherein she summons a portal beneath her foe to hold them in place before conjuring up a giant hand of slime that crushes the targeted character flat and drags them away. Against Solo characters, this "merely" shaves off half their lifebar exactly, but when used against a Tag Team, the active character is reduced to a pixel of health (though it's provisional damage they can recover while on standby) and their partner is forced into battle.
  • Atelier:
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has a card called the Alarm-o-Bot, whose entire purpose is to be cast cheaply and then, at the beginning of your next turn, trade places with a random card in your hand. The intended purpose is to empty your hand of everything except some Awesome, but Impractical badass beater and sneak it into play without actually paying its casting cost.
  • Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate introduced "Force Out" attacks for Tag Mode. Hitting an opponent with one of these would both switch the character they were using out, as well as change the character you were using.
  • In the One Piece fighting game Burning Blood, Bartholomew Kuma is able to do this to a fighter by using the powers of his Paw-Paw Fruit to warp them away temporarily, switching them out and preventing them from being used for a time. However, it differs from most moves of this nature in that the character in question is considered to be knocked out while they're unavailable, meaning that disabling all of a team's fighters will result in a win for you regardless of how much health they have remaining.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • In Melee, Zelda and Sheik are two fighters who have their own unique playstyles, but they share a down special that allows them to transform into each other. This also applies in Brawl, with Zelda's design based on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Sheik's based on concept art from the same game. However, this is averted in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (again, using the Twilight Princess designs) and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Zelda based on The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Sheik on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild), where they are instead separate characters.
    • Brawl introduces the Pokémon Trainer. While they don't directly fight, they send out three Pokémon in a vein to their origin series. These Pokémon are Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard, who play differently from each other, but the Trainer can switch them out using their Down Special, again like in their franchise. All three Pokémon have different weight classes, allowing players to make good use of combo moves utilizing their switch mechanic. Inverted in Smash 4, where only Charizard is playable, but the other two alongside the Trainer made their return in Ultimate. While Brawl has a stamina mechanic that forces players to switch Pokémon, Ultimate removes the mechanic, meaning there is no penalty for choosing a main. Another part of their origin also implemented in Smash is that when the current Pokémon gets defeated, the Trainer will send out the next one.
    • Also in Brawl, veteran fighter Samus Aran gains an alternate form: her Zero Suit self. While the armored version is slower and projectile-heavy, the Zero Suit version is faster and more melee-oriented. Samus can switch between armored and Zero Suit forms via Final Smash (although, while it's hard, armored Samus can also rapidly taunt to shed her armor). However, starting with Smash 4, both armored and Zero Suit forms are separate, with the Zero Suit's Final Smash modified to accommodate this.
    • Ultimate introduces Pyra and Mythra. Unlike other duos, they mostly play identically, but Pyra is stronger but slower while Mythra is faster but weaker, and they have different special moves and properties among their normal attacks. They can switch between each other with their Down Special.
  • In Jump Force, stage-transitioning attacks will also take your opponent's current character out of action and force them to use another character on their team.
  • Ghoul Grind: Night of the Necromancer: Pressing left on the D-Pad lets you switch to playing as Veronica, and pressing right on the D-Pad lets you switch to playing as Nox.
  • In Fate/Grand Order, two Mystic Codes grant Master Skills that allow the player to exchange one active Servant for one in the back row. Additionally, Miss Crane's Noble Phantasm moves her to the back row, bringing to the front whoever was in the left-most position in the back row.
  • In Dragon Ball Fighter Z, every character can kick away the opponent after executing a Dragon Rush, forcing a new character to step in. Master Roshi's Evil Containment Wave also traps the target in a jar and sends it away, forcing the opponent to switch to another character; if the opponent has no other characters left, then the jar will explode instead, inflicting extra damage