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It's like Pokémon Trozei, but different.
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Pokémon Shuffle (ポケとる, PokéToru in Japan) is a free to play spin-off of the Pokémon Trozei! puzzle game series, known as Pokémon Link! in Europe, developed by Genius Sonority. It was first released on the Nintendo 3DS on February 2015. Its gameplay is similar to the Trozei! games, but based more on using a limited number of moves and building combos than on clearing the board.

This game incorporates the Mega Evolution mechanic introduced in the main series games Pokémon X and Y. After obtaining its Mega Stone and placing it at the head of your team, matching enough of a Mega-capable Pokémon's icons will trigger its Mega Evolution, giving it a new ability, which includes clearing tiles in various patterns and clearing opponent disruptions.

Like the Pokémon Trozei! games, the opponent Pokémon attack by causing disruptions in the puzzle area. In this game, there are more disruptions that the opponents can use against you. In addition to changing icons to other Pokémon types, the opponent disruptions are:

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  • Wood blocks (AKA Rocks): Brownish blocks that can be cleared by making adjacent matches and certain Pokémon skills such as Rock Break. Affected by gravity.
  • Metal blocks (AKA Blocks): Dark blocks that cannot be cleared by adjacent matches and disappear on their own after 5 turns or 5 seconds in timed stages. Pokémon skills can clear these blocks as well. Affected by gravity.
  • Ice barriers: Freezes anything (Pokémon icons, wood, metal) in a block of ice, rendering them unaffected by gravity. This disruption can become annoying when the top rows are frozen, putting the columns below the frozen spots out of commission. Can be cleared by matching the frozen Pokémon, but does not clear the Pokémon themselves.
  • Black clouds: Obscures the view (but not completely) of the tiles they occupy. They cannot be cleared by regular matches, only by certain Pokémon skills and Mega Evolution effects.
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The game being free to play, it comes with a hearts system that regenerates one every thirty minutes and microtransactions similar to many mobile phone games.

Speaking of mobile phone games, Shuffle finally did get an iOS and Android port in August of 2015.


Tropes used in Pokémon Shuffle:

  • Achievement System: In a certain update on the 3DS version, the title screen changed and there is now a "Trainer Rank" system. The more Pokemon you catch, the more your gauge fills, and when it fills up, you can get a cool reward, like Jewels, event-exclusive(usually) Mega Stones like Pidgeotite, Gardevoirite, and Charizardite X, Coins, and Enhancements.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The third Safari event includes stages that yield high amounts of coins (Staryu) and EXP (Starmie). They aren't encountered frequently enough to be used for regular grinding, but they do make the hunt for the others (especially Garchomp and Phione) feel like less of a waste of time and Hearts.
    • As of version 1.3.0 (3DS version), the Safari stage keeps track of what Pokémon you've caught in that Safari event, allowing some convenience instead of having to check your Pokémon list for what's missing.
    • When the first Ultra Beast stage Nihilego was introduced, the entrance fee was 20,000 Coinsnote . This was counteracted by the base catch rate being 70%.
    • Daily Pokémon stages may drop Coins. Helped even more in the version 1.5.0 update (3DS) where the rewards info can be checked before you can start the stage.
    • From a certain point in time, Escalation Battles started to drop Personalized Skill Boosters for that Pokémon.
    • Version 1.5.0 (3DS) finally added a feature that allows the player to set their team to the one last used in a stage, reducing the effort one has to go through picking new Mons just to restore said previous team.
  • Anti-Grinding: Skilled players may get to the point where they can blaze through the new levels, so the game puts in measures to either stall them, or make some money out of them. For example, once you advance far enough, even some Com Mons have extremely low capture rates, leaving the player with the option to forge ahead without catching it, or using up turns to repeat the level and catch it. Normally, forging ahead is fine...until you hit levels where a Pokemon is nigh impossible to capture without having one particular Pokemon on your support team. For example, the Spewpa level, with only three turns, is nearly impossible without the Scatterbug on the level preceding it. Players must either cross their fingers and hope that their team can do it without Scatterbug, burn through hearts repeating the Scatterbug level, or spend Coins on boosts to even the odds. And then there's S-Ranking, the only way to unlock the Expert stages.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Some stages only allow you to carry up to three support Pokémon instead of the usual four. In this case, it's often a positive, since the fewer kinds of Pokémon there are, the easier it is to match them up and create big combos.
    • An example of an Arbitrary Type Limit: The Shiny Mega Gyarados competition introduced Type-restricted Stages, wherein you can only take certain types of Pokemon. In this case you can only take in Electric or Normal-type Pokemon. And even then you can't take Manectric or Winking Audino in as your Mega Pokemon. Taking non-allowed Pokemon just gives you a message stating that you can't take them in.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • In terms of Megas:
      • Mega Rayquaza's ability removes up to 10 Pokémon icons that aren't Dragon-types. Sounds cool... but without a Mega Start, it'll take a long time to experience said Mega effect as Rayquaza requires 33 icons of itself to Mega Evolve. Max-candied? 13, which means you have to feed it 20 Mega Speedups to fully optimize it. Also, its base attack power at level 1 being 70 pretty much causes it to get overshadowed by the more powerful Dragon-types like Latios and Latias. Not only that, Dragon-types are only super-effective against other Dragon-types, which aren't common opponents. However, when fed 20 Mega Speedups, it goes to being awesome yet practical, as its ability is good enough to offset its lack of super effectiveness, and is often used on 90% of stages for this very reason. And the Mega Speedups aren't even a necessity if you have Zygarde 10% on your side, because what it lacks in power, it make up for in sheer usefulness.
      • Mega Tyranitar suffers the same issue as Mega Rayquaza, having a very useful Mega Effect (removes icons depending on which spots in the puzzle area you tap, up to 3 spots), but is hampered by high icon count for Mega Evolving. At least it has more types to rape due to its Rock typing. And just like Mega Rayquaza, it becomes awesome, yet practical when fully candied.
      • Shiny Mega Gyarados. It has the same effect as the almighty Mega Gengar, but it takes much longer to mega evolve starting out. It is faster then Mega Gengar, believe it or not, but SMG takes 10 Mega Speedups to get down to 9 icons, while Gengar only takes 1 to get down to 10. Due to the reduced presence of Mega Speedups, it's highly unlikely for someone who just started to get enough for them to make it viable, considering Mega Rayquaza is considered the second best thing to use the speedups on. And in the case of type effectiveness, it's generally considered unimportant due to the fact that Mega Gengar/Shiny Gyarados' purpose is to not be on the board.
    • In terms of Ultra Challenge Pokémon:
      • Kyurem-White. It's one of the few 'Mons that has a massive base power of 90, has a fantastic support ability in Eject++, and is the first Pokemon to get five medals under its icon in the special stages! However...it's Dragon-type, which means it will be outdamaged by anything with 50 or more base power so long as it's super effective.
      • Kyurem-Black. Swap++ is a useful ability on stages with lots of disruptions like Rocks and Blocks, and can chain itself pretty well if it lets off. Still, it's a Dragon-type and is pretty unreliable on 3 and 4-matches until you raise it a few Skill Levels.
      • Zygarde 100% has an ability that is much less stage-reliant than the either Kyurem-White or Kyurem-Black, Power of 5+, but it is still considered mediocre (though a Skill Swapper gives it the more useful, but also stage-reliant, Block Smash+). It has use on some stages, but those are so few and far in between that it might as well be worthless.
    • In terms of abilities:
      • Mega Boost++. While it sounds awesome by giving what amounts to 9 icons to whichever Mega you have that's the same type, there's one problem with it: its activation rate is utter garbage. The activation chance is a pitiful 10/20/60 for a three, four, and five match, respectively. Compared to Mega Boost+'s 50/100/100, there's no reason to bring anything that has it unless you lack powerful Pokemon. Even at Skill Level 5, its chances of going off are only 50%/60%/100%, compare to Mega Boost (90%/100%/100%) and Mega Boost+ (80%/100%/100%) at Skill Level 5. Even at Skill Level 1, they are 100% at 4 and 5 matches, meaning they might be weaker overall, but are always consistent in those respects.
      • Quirky++. Erasing 5 extra Pokemon on the field in one match sounds pretty nice doesn't it? Sadly, at a 10%/25%/100% spread starting out, and with a pool of Pokemon whose base attack ranges from 30 to 60, it's a bit of a tough sell. Even if you raise it to Skill Level 5 (with the fairly good spread of 85%/100%/100%), and level up the Pokémon after giving them Raise Max Levels, you'll usually have a better pool of Pokémon and abilities to pick from in most scenarios.
      • Eliminate. Finally, a Skill that removes ALL on-screen non-Supports! ...But its activation rate leaves much to be desired (even with a match-five, it'll only trigger 65%-78% of the time, depending on the Skill Level).
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game:
    • Sometimes the best way to beat or S-Rank a stage that has a fifth support (or a fourth support in a three-Pokémon stage) and/or spawns them in is to bring in that same Pokemon. Keep in mind that this strategy doesn't work with stages that feature added Non-Support Pokemon, as taking one in will replace it with another in the Default Pokemon list, and if you bring that one they'll replace it with another, up to all four slots. So be aware when planning to use this strategy.
    • Shot Out utilizes this. It erases any two Pokémon not in your party on the board to increase damage.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Most of the zone names utilize other languages in their names depending on the country. This can result in meaningful names if the zone's content is taken into context. In zone order:
    • Puerto Blanco means "white harbor" in Spanish (its Japanese name outright calls it Blanco Harbor). The zone takes place at a harbor, and the Boss Battle involves Mega Audino, which is primarily colored white. Its Normal typing is also often associated with the white color.
    • The English version doesn't have this for the second zone, but the Japanese does: Biij Bazaar (Sandy Bazaar for English speakers). Its name means "beige bazaar" (biij being Arabic for "beige"), following the color theme established in this game's early zone naming. The beige color refers to the sandy environment, and the zone takes place at a bazaar. The Boss Battle in this zone is against Mega Kangaskhan, which is primarily brown, a color that beige is often grouped with.
    • The Japanese version keeps continuing the color theme with the third zone: Sumi Festival (Night Festival in English version). Its name means "violet festival" (in Japanese, the sumi part can either mean "ink" or derived from sumire which means "violet"; the festival part is from English). This zone takes place at a typical Japanese festival at night, which results in dark coloring in its environment almost resembling dark violet. Not only that, but the Boss Battle is against Mega Sableye, a purple/dark violet mon.
    • Isla Asul means "blue island" (isla being Spanish for "island", asul being Filipino for "blue"). The zone takes place at a beach or near the (blue) sea, hence the "island" theme, and its the first zone to give you more Water-type (often associated with the color blue) choices other than Squirtle (the theme is even more fitting when one takes account of the Japanese name, Azul Beach ("blue beach", azul being Spanish for "blue")).
    • Unlike English version's (outright-called) Rainbow Park, the Japanese version calls this zone Iris Park, which means the same as the English version (iris being Greek for "rainbow"). This zone takes place at a colorful amusement park, and there are various types of Pokémon running around (though it's "dominated" more by Normal and Water Pokémon, both tied at 3 species each).
    • Galerie Rouge (Rouge Gallery in Japanese) means "red gallery" in French. The zone takes place inside a gallery.
    • Sweet Strasse (formerly Bonbon Boulevardnote ) means "sweet street" (strasse being German for "street"). The zone consists of a path littered with various desserts. It's implied to be located in a gigantic house of desserts, as its Japanese name is called Bonbon House ("sweets house", see the note on Bonbon Boulevard for details).
    • Zilver/Silbern Museum means "silver museum" (the Japanese version uses the Dutch wording for "silver", while the English version uses the German wording). This zone takes place at a gray/silver-colored museum.
    • Mt. Vinter means "mount winter" (vinter being Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish for "winter"). It takes place at a snowy mountain zone (as shown by its rocky formations), and it contains some Ice-type Pokémon, including Mega Glalie as a boss.
    • Castle Noapte means "night castle" (noapte being Romanian for "night"). This zone takes place at a dark castle, and it contains some Ghost-type Pokémon, with Mega Gengar as the zone boss.
    • Jungle Verde means "green jungle" (verde being Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese for "green"). This zone takes place at a primarily-green jungle.
    • Once again, the Japanese has what the English version doesn't: Jouet Factory (Wacky Workshop for English speakers). Its name means "toy factory" (jouet being French for "toy"), which describes its colorful, toy-manufacturing factory environment.
    • Pedra Valley means "stone valley" (pedra being Portuguese for "stone"). This zone takes place at a dry rocky valley.
    • Albus/Albens Town means "white town" (albus/albens being Latin for "white"). Similar to Puerto Blanco (which also contains "white" in its name), it takes place at a town near a harbor.
    • Roseus Center means "pink center" (roseus being Latin for "pink").
    • In the Japanese version, Desert Umbra is known as Pullus Desert, which means "dusky desert" (pullus being Latin for either "dark-colored" or "dusky"). Both names imply that the zone takes place at night or is obscured by clouds to result in "dusky" environment, but being a copy-pasted environment of Sandy Bazaar, there's no way to see the sky to indicate if it's the case. Though the presence of Mega Mewtwo X can be considered a "dark" situation if one knows Mewtwo's destructive power.
    • Violet(t)a Palace means, well, "violet palace" (the Japanese version uses the Italian spelling, while the English version uses the Spanish and Portuguese spelling). This zone takes place inside a palace/castle (similar to Castle Noapte), whose inside is violet/purple in color.
    • Blau Salon means "blue salon" (blau being German for "blue"). This Galerie Rouge-inspired zone has shades of blue. To make things clear, "salon" here refers to its definition of an "art hall/gallery", which explains it being a copy-pasted environment of Galerie Rouge, a gallery-based zone.
    • Ravus/Graucus Hall means "gray hall" (both Latin words ravus and graucus/glaucus have something to do with "gray"). Like Silbern Museum (whose map design is copied by this zone), the zone consists of a museum hall in a silver/gray color scheme. The boss of this zone, Mega Metagross, is a Steel-type, which is often associated with the color gray.
    • Nacht Carnival means "night carnival" (nacht being German for "night"). Not to be confused with the English version's Night Festival, not helped by the fact that it reuses the same theme as said early zone (a festival taking place at night).
    • Prasino Woods means "green woods" ("prasino" actually taken from prásinos, Greek for green), which describes its environment well (being a copy-pasted environment of Jungle Verde, it takes place at a primarily green forest/jungle setting). Meanwhile, its Japanese name actually means "yellow-green woods" (Chlorón Woods, chlorón being Greek for "yellow-green"), which also fits its theme.
    • Zaffiro Coast means "sapphire coast" ("zaffiro" being Italian for "sapphire"). Sapphires are associated with the color blue, which makes its naming theme similar to the zone it's copy-pasted from, Isla Asul (see that zone's section above).
    • Marron/Bruno Trail means "(dark) brown trail" ("marron" being French for "brown", while the Japanese version's "bruno" is Italian for "dark brown"). Brown is the zone's color scheme, as it shares the same environment as Pedra Valley.
  • Bonus Boss: The EX Stages, where you get the chance to fight Legendary Pokémon, fully-evolved starter Pokémon, or otherwise powerful or popular Pokémon. The difficulty between stages can vary (Swampert won't give a seasoned player much trouble, Blaziken can be pure hell), and you may need to get adjusted to the different rules—you can make any move within a time limit, instead of only being able to make matches within a move limit.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing:
    • Milotic, full stop. All outside tiles and the four tiles in the middle are frozen with Feebas you start the stage, giving you very little room to move. Using the absurdly weak and ineffective Feebas instead of another pokemon who's strong against Water types is almost the only way to actually beat it without buying more moves with gems. Good luck.
    • Deoxys (Normal and Defense Formes) and Rayquaza are currently normal stage Pokémon, neither of them being fought at the end of their zone. While Rayquaza was originally an event and its Mega Evolution serves as a "boss" later, the two Deoxys Formes remain a perfect example.
    • Ampharos. This thing has so much HP that you are given 50 moves to pummel it into oblivion and catch it. AND the board is checkered with Barriers. It turns out to be Worth It though, as Ampharos has a Mega Stone you just obtained 2 zones earlier, has high base Attack Power, and has a Mega Power that erases 12 random Pokemon.
    • Jigglypuff and Dodrio. The former's annoying insertion of The Load (itself) can clot up your board fast, and the latter has a lot of HP for 15 moves and disrupts in whole rows of blocks. Mega Aerodactyl plus Winking Carbink may help with that, but it won't help with the HP problem.
    • Tentacruel in the late stages might take the cake on the hardest non-boss main stage. With astronomically high HP, disrupting of 2 non-supports and tons of obstacles and a low catch rate, even item runs can easily fail.
    • Whiscash on Stage 699, the semi-final normal stage. With over 75,000 HP, it has more health than any other Pokémon outside of the Special Stages and UX Stages, including Primal Kyogre or any of the Megas. Granted, it's a three-icon stage, but it has only 8 moves.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Many of the event-based Pokémon and stones are not actually better than the others, and are more valued by completionists. One notable example is Manectric. It's a rare encounter in a Safari event that lasted for a few weeks, followed by a competition where a limited number of top scores earned its Mega Stone. However, anyone who was able to get it and its stone should have no trouble getting Ampharos and its Mega Stone in the main stages, you can only use one Mega Evolution at a time, and Ampharos is a stronger Electric-type.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Downplayed. The game is free to play, but via Microtransactions, you can purchase Gems from the shop to use in game. Gems can be spent on more Hearts, or can be traded in for a payload of Coins, which in turn, can be used to purchase helpful items. However, the Coins used to buy help items are generally easy to come by, and you can earn a large amount once per week by tuning in on Sunday and battling Event Meowth. Additionally, the game is truly free to play, in that there's nothing in the game that can't be accessed without paying for it.
    • True for Victini/Magearna EXP, Skill Booster Eevee and Month Start/Middle stages, where you can spend jewels to play the stage again, netting you more of those rare prizes.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Escalation Battles are this, for those insistent on getting all the prizes. They start out easy enough, and it's not too hard to get the prizes before the last Mega Speedup, but, true to their name, they gradually get harder each time you play, and around level 50 (Giratina) or 161 (Cresselia), moving forward without items becomes a pipe dream. The fact that you have to go through 40-50 more of these levels to get the final Mega Speedup renders the task completely impossible without Microtransactions or serious poop-socking (especially in Cresselia's case); as such, most players don't even bother. And then there is the Latias Escalation Battle, where the only way to obtain a Latiasite is to beat Stage 50, which is not an easy task.
  • Cap:
    • The maximum amount of Coins you can have is 99,999.
    • When it comes to gaining Coins per stage, the mobile version can only allow you to obtain up to 1,000 per stage. Doesn't matter if you've matched a lot of Coins (except from the weekend Meowth stage (and other non-Main/Expert stages), but even then you can only obtain up to 10,000 (both 3DS and mobile), an amount that very few players can reach) to "try" to break the cap, you'll still only get 1,000 Coins, period. Thankfully, the cap has been raised in a later Log In, so the maximum number of Coins that can be obtained in regular stages is now 3,000.
    • The maximum number of Hearts a player can store is 99.
    • Similar to the above, a player can only hold up to 99 of an Enhancement type. This can be easily reached if an event is generous enough to give a player lots of Enhancements (like a Safari rewarding Exp. Boosters).
    • Damage appears to be capped at 99,999. Meanwhile, obtained score per stage can reach up to 9,999,999.
  • Character Select Forcing: A new variant of Competitive Stage involves limiting what Pokémon types a player can bring. This pretty much forces all players to break their old habit of using their normally effective team builds (often involving Pokémon not of those types, including non-super effective ones) and go with whatever themed team best used in this situation.
    • The very first competition with this format, the first Shiny Mega Gyarados competition, only allows Electric and Normal Pokémon. Want to use a Grass-type? Nope. Electric-types are the only super-effective Mons allowednote . Oh, the usable Megas are limited too, though this works on the newbies' favor by only not allowing event-exclusive Megas (Mega Manectric due to both the Pokémon and its Mega Stone being event-only, Winking Mega Audino due to the base Pokémon being event-only even though her Mega Stone is obtainable in the Main stages). However, this makes the veterans unable to experience the Arceus+Winking Mega Audino combo because of thisnote .
    • The second time this format is applied, it's on a Mega Alakazam competition that opened in September 12, 2017 (closed the next week after) where you're only allowed types that deal neutral damage against the Psychic-type. Yup, no Mega Gengar use for you. However, there are still many usable Pokémon regardless (at least if you care about catchin' 'em all), and event-only Pokémon (including event-only Megas) are allowed as long as they're neither strong against the Psychic type nor resisted by it (then again, who would think about the latter?). The same restriction (only neutral types allowed) is also applied on a Mega Manectric competition that opened in November 7, 2017 (closed the next week after).
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • As with all Trozei! installments beyond the first, Lucy Fleetfoot does not appear.
    • Amelia the reporter serves as a Justified Tutorial for the first ten stages. After those levels, she does not show up again in the game. After a lengthy absence since the game's launch in March 2015, a November 2015 update to the mobile edition brought Amelia back to explain a new game feature, her "recommendations" for certain Pokémon denoted by a number of icons, with more icons on a Pokémon on the map screen, the more sought-after it is. She later reappears for the same purpose in the 3DS version in a much later update.
  • Critical Hit: Several Pokemon abilities, such as Unity Power and Super Bolt, essentially serve as this — potentially adding a large multiplier to the damage they deal, but with a low chance of activation.
    • There's a chance "Super Catch Power" will occur if you initially fail to capture a Pokémon, but have enough money to afford a Great Ball. Whereas a Great Ball normally doubles your capture rate, a Super Catch Power increases the final percentage by an additional 30-50% on top of that.
  • Crutch Character:
    • Mega Kangaskhan. It is available early on, easy to catch, and sees a lot of use in the beginning-to-mid stages for its nifty effect that clears large chunks of tiles, but is eventually left in the dust by other Megas, owing to its Normal-type (meaning no super effective hits), its slow power creep (struggles to get past 60 attack power when other Pokémon with 70-80+ are available at level 1), and the conditions that its effect requires to work properly (it removes tiles in five columns to either side, which is only effective if matched in a vertical line - otherwise, a horizontal match only removes one line instead of 3+, which doesn't help much with getting rid of disruptions).
    • Also Mega Sableye. Its O-pattern Mega power helps clear out otherwise unbreakable obstacles and builds up a fair bit of damage from the large number of tiles it clears out. Besides that, it has a tendency to set up very large chains quite easily, especially with Complexity -1 selected.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: The later expansion zones are this, possibly due to design and music limitations.
    • Albens Town in the v1.2.12 update (in 3DS version; the mobile version introduced it in v1.4.2) re-uses the background from the first zone, Puerto Blanco.
    • Roseus Center (introduced in 1.2.24 in 3DS, 1.4.2 in mobile) is the hell mode version of Rainbow Park, which is the fifth zone, having the only boss with the highest Pika-Difficulty to date, at 5.
    • Desert Umbra (first became available on February 15, 2016) is the hard mode version of Sandy Bazaar.
    • Violeta Palace (first became available on April 26, 2016) is the hard mode version of Castle Noapte.
    • Blau Salon (first became available on July 26, 2016) is the hard mode version of Galerie Rouge.
    • Graucus Hall (introduced in 1.3.21 in 3DS, 1.8.5 in mobile) is the hard mode version of Silbern Museum.
    • The formerly unnamed Nacht Carnival is the hard mode of Night Festival.
    • Prasino Woods (first became available on April 25, 2017) is the hard mode version of Jungle Verde.
    • Zaffiro Coast (first became available on August 8, 2017) is the hard mode version of Isla Asul.
    • Marron Trail is the hard mode version of Pedra Valley.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: For those not relying on the Optimize button for team-building (especially long-time players), one might forget that a target Mon's typing isn't based on its primary typing if it happens to be a dual-type in the main games (that is, if one doesn't pay attention to its elemental type on its stage preview window or the arrows denoting which Pokémon are super-effective), resulting in a wrong team build. For example, both Raichu and its Alolan variant have Electric as their primary type (the latter mon being dual-type) in the main games, but in this game, Alolan Raichu takes its secondary typing instead (Psychic) to differentiate between each other.
  • Degraded Boss: Cresselia and Shiny Diancie have the dubious honor of being the only Pokémon to be introduced as Escalation Battles and later removed from the Escalation lineup to become mere Great Challenges afterward. (Darkrai and regular Diancie, meanwhile, retain their Escalation Battles.)
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Arceus is this. While its raw power (base power of 90) exceeds that of any other Pokémon, it's unable to deal super-effective damage to anything due to its Normal typing. Even its ability, which more than doubles all damage dealt by Normal-types in the combo in which it's activated, is far from the best option in turn-based stages. In timed stages, however, a sufficiently skilled player can start one combo at the start of the level and make it last the length of the stage, so a team of Normal-types led by Arceus can outdo a full team of super-effective Pokémon against anything that doesn't resist Normal-types. (For the most part. Certain other Pokémon have abilities that double the power of all Pokémon of their type, so against a type that's also weak to one of those types, they can outdo Arceus). As such, Arceus teams have occasionally dominated the leaderboards for timed competitive events.
    • The pause button trick for timed stages. Before that, there was the more unfair "Home" button trick (3DS only; fortunately, this was patched out), which allowed you to decide on your next move, allowing you to gain an insane score (this was notable in Mega Banette's competition). For this one, it involves using one hand to reach the pause button, while the other makes quick matches when the pause menu begins to show up or disappear, and you have to keep doing this repeatedly, very quickly, and in near-perfect timing for best results. This is as difficult as it sounds, and not many people can master it, but once you do, get ready to rocket up through the ranks (for the first-time competitions, at least, as the repeated ones are move-limited). This strategy is usually combined with a (mostly) single-type team that involves damage boost from same-type mons during a combo (including Arceus+Normal-types as mentioned above), with most cases having a not-so "disorienting" Mega like Mega Blaziken or Mega Gengar.
    • Basically any Mega Effect that requires manual activation by the player (like Mega Tyranitar). Cleaning up disruptions using this kind of ability is easy enough, but if one wants to keep up combos on a clean board, the player has to cleverly place their taps so that multiple combos can happen or continue. All done in the span of very few seconds per activation. Think too long without making any taps, and the Mega Effect will only remove the matched Megas, rendering it useless. If you're good at utilizing this kind of Mega Effect, however, get ready to clear many stages with ease or rocket up in competition ranks.
  • Difficulty Spike:
    • Mega Ampharos. The stage is 90% frozen tiles, and they're refrozen as quickly as you can thaw them.
    • Mega Gengar as well. While it copies the primary mechanic that the standard Gengar stage before it used (keeping the middle two columns frozen nearly at all times), in this stage there is also a 5th ineffective support added in the form of Eevee, and Mega Sableye is the only Mega Pokemon at this point who's super-effective against Gengar. His mega ability is unable to touch the middle 8 barriers of the board.
    • When it comes to Safari events, Safari #5 is marked as this. Unlike previous Safari events, you go with a full team of 4. Despite the recommended type to usenote , the wild Pokémon can throw casual Safari hunters off like including extra Pokémon that can only be removed by Complexity-1 (and thanks to how the Safari system work, using said item may not be Worth It). Notable offenders include Boldore (has Normal-type Meowth as an extra) and Camerupt (has Poison-type Zubat as an extra).
    • The EX stages in general. For the first few, up to Yveltal, you only need like 5 S ranks to unlock the next one. However, starting at Mewtwo, you need a fluctuating amount of S-Ranks to advance. And they're all HUGE. And some aren't even worth it! What do you get for perfecting all 600 stages? Serperior, the supposed worst of the Gen V starters, Dugtrio, a 60 BP mon, and Shiny Genesect, which is still, you know, SHINY, which are incredibly rare normally, but it has Last-Ditch Effort, a nerfed version of Swarm..
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Players who started during the 5 Million Downloads event could essentially snag a free Mewtwonote  at the start of the game, giving them a high-power Legendary that can chew through early content quickly.
    • By Checking In/Logging In to the game during December 20, 2016, players will be given Rayquaza for free (if they don't have it already). Quite literally, as the game just outright gave it to them, unlike Mewtwo's case above.
    • Shiny Tyranitar was a free giveaway for players who Checked/Logged In between July 25, 2017 and August 22, 2017. New players can take advantage of it better than the veterans due to Shiny Tyranitar having a base attack power of 80, something that can carry new players through early stages faster (it helps that it carries Barrier Shot, which is useful for stages that feature Barriers, at least during early-game), despite its Mega Stone being obtainable far later in the Main campaign (though one can try their luck in getting one via a limited-time competition that rewards Tyranitarite if that player wants it early).
    • In general, basically any free Pokémon giveaway means this if they're powerful enough for the new players. Aside from the examples mentioned above, special mentions go to Shiny Gardevoir (can clear many disruptions with its Stabilize++, though its Mega Stone either requires reaching a high enough Trainer Rank (3DS only as of this writing) or placing on a high enough ranking to obtain its Mega Stone during its competition) and Shiny Ho-Oh (has the powerful Cross Attack+, a pattern-based damage-boosting skill).
  • Dummied Out:
    • Pretty much every unreleased Pokémon, Mega Stone, Skill and Mega Effect are this until they're released in a later update. They can be found in the game's code but are unusable. However, if one manages to hack the unreleased (at the time) Pokémon in, they'll possess an index number of 999 and non-final typing/Skill/attack power/all of them. As for the latter's case, most of the time the "yet-to-be-released" Pokémon ended up possessing stock base power and/or Skill not matching with the Pokémon at all (like, hilariously, a 50 BP Kyurem with Vitality Drain(?!)). If a Pokémon can Mega Evolve but the Mega Stone is yet to be implemented, the Mega Evolution will still work but it can only function like Mega Audino (erasing all icons within one space of a match) and even shares Mega Audino's type after Mega Evolution (Normal).
    • Like the regular Genesect, the Shiny Genesect has sprites that can be assembled into its full, "big" animated graphic like with certain Pokémon (Kanto starters, most Mega Evolutions, certain legendaries, etc.). Despite this, the battle still uses its puzzle icon unlike regular Genesect, making the battle graphics this.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Many of the standard Pokemon Main Stages are fairly simplistic, being mildly challenging at worst. The Mega Evolved Pokémon, on the other hand, tend to be magnitudes more difficult than most of the other levelsnote , with a particular few, like Mega Mawile and Mega Glalie, being a mix of Nintendo Hard and Luck-Based Mission with a dash of Character Select Forcing. After Mega Glalie comes Mega Gengar, who combines the worst of all the above-mentioned tropes. See Difficulty Spike above. Much later after Gengar comes Mega Aerodactyl, where Mega Mawile is most likely your only option of using if you weren't able to get a limited edition Lucarionite or Venusaurite.
    • Averted later on in the main stages; some can eventually seem as brutal as boss stages, if not even more so.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Utilized, though to a lesser extent than the main games in that you just have to remember the basic type matchups.
  • Epic Fail: Meta example from Genius Sonority themselves. At February 2018, during the tenth Check In/Log In, that month's Celebration Pikachu had landed... with Dummied Out infonote . How satisfying. It was later fixed, but this incident has become another reason for players to ridicule GS.
  • Evolving Title Screen: Though not due to player progress and more like game updates (due to the Check-In system, which players are less than likely to ignorenote ), the game's title screen changes to reflect certain versions. Version 1.3.x (3DS)/1.6.x (mobile) have a green color scheme, but the most notable change is the version 1.4.x (3DS) title screen, which now depicts Alolan starters alongside Pikachu instead of the usual Audino, Espurr, and Eevee, plus another color scheme change. Even the upper screen on the 3DS main menu when the game is selected applies the same change, switching the Riolu, Hawlucha, and Espurr with the Alolan starters.
    • For the player progress-induced example, the title screen, if left idle, will show a rain of various Pokémon icons. The variety increases the more post-Puerto Blanco Pokémon are caught. The mobile version lacks this, however, still sticking with the Puerto Blanco mons until the Alola update, which now features a rain of mostly Alolan Mons, including those that are yet to be caught by the player.
  • Experience Booster: A powerup can be purchased to increase the experience gained on the next stage by 50%.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Meta example from Genius Sonority themselves. In the update that introduces Prasino Woods (and Alolan Pokémon), they mistakenly labeled East Sea Shellos as the same type as its evolved form, East Sea Gastrodon (Ground-type, unlike its West Sea counterpart)note , even though Shellos is a pure Water-type in the main games until it evolves. A quick patch was issued to fix this, which results in different recommended teams to use due to Water-type's different weaknesses and resistances compared to Ground-type's.
  • Final Boss: The powered up Hoenn Weather Trio each qualify as this in their own way.
    • For the normal stages: Primal Kyogre, on the game's 700th and final stage before the UX Stages.
    • For the Expert stages: Primal Groudon, requiring 700 S-ranks to appear.
    • And for survival mode: Mega Rayquaza, in the mode's 60th and final round.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • There's one instance which only affects the very first competitive event and doesn't actually horribly break the game itself. A glitch caused the high score obtained to be 9,999,999 and rendered score submission impossible (and thus, no way of earning a prize from that event). Fortunately, this was patched two days after the event was opened.
    • A glitch that was introduced in version 1.3.3 (3DS version) affects stages where the target Pokémon is supposed to disrupt before you make your first move and said disruption involves replacing your Pokémon with another depending on the target Pokémon (like Donphan using its own icons, Mismagius with Misdreavus icons). If the first match is caused by the replaced Pokémon and then triggers a Skill that freezes the disruption countdown (Astonish, Quake, etc.) before you can make your first move, as long as the target Pokémon isn't defeated, the stage pretty much softlocks as you're unable to interact with anything on the puzzle area. The only way out of this is by quitting the stage, as the pause button can still work.
    • Mega Beedrill's (first) competitive event has a bug involving a Mega Slowbro combo and disruptions that causes the game to be stuck in an infinite loop. Literally, as there's no way to break it once the bug starts happening. Thankfully, because of that, the bug can't be used as an exploit to get an extremely high score. See it on its buggy glory.
    • One that is exclusive to Survival Mode. It is possible to encounter the same Pokémon again within a small stage gap only to be greeted by this message when you try to play it. This only affects stages that decide wild Pokémon randomly, meaning if this instance involves one Pokémon encountered in a randomly-decided stage and a fixed one (like encountering Heracross in stage 25 (said Pokémon is a fixed encounter in that stage, at least in the mode's "2.0" version) and then encountering Heracross again in, say, stage 27), this bug won't apply. Once many players discovered this bug, they're pretty much discouraged from using any items in any Survival Mode run until it's fixed since getting this bug means several Coins down the drain.
    • One bug exclusive to the European version of the 3DS game: Trying to play an Escalation Battle event in its last day while the language is set to any provided language but English will crash the game.
    • Another one exclusive to the European version of the 3DS game: For some reason, Diancie is bugged when the game is set to any provided language but English, causing the game to crash whenever the player does anything to it (though using it via Optimize, as long as the player doesn't bother with its icon, is still fine).
    • Exclusive to the 3DS version: When Mewtwo's Level MAX Challenge made its debut, for some reason 3DS players ended up crashing their game by just doing anything to that particular event stage (even by simply viewing the stage's info will trigger the bug). Apparently, switching to certain languages can bypass this problem, but that doesn't change the fact that 3DS players were basically screwed over that day until the bug was fixed in the next Check In.
  • Game Plays Itself: See Beat Them at Their Own Game above. Sometimes the enemy spawns in icons in such a way that you start off a battle with a combo. Infamously, you can beat Spewpa battle with no moves if you bring in a Scatterbug because of Scatterbugs heavy presence on the stage.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Or rather, Trozei them all. They're Pokémon games, of course.
    • Defeating a Pokémon gives you a chance to capture it, then use it against other Pokémon.
    • Encouraged even more so, but at the same time downplayed in the version 1.5.0 update (3DS). A Trainer Rank system has been added to the game, where it judges your rank based on the number of Pokémon caught. For every certain number of species caught, you'll get rewards ranging from in-game currency to Mega Stones. It's only downplayed due to the fact that the system only takes account of what Pokédex numbers you've filled, thus it won't count alternate forms (emoticon-based, Shiny, etc.) if you've already caught their basic form, rendering the former optional.
  • Guide Dang It!: A notable example can be seen in the sixth (not counting repeats) Safari event, where two of the stages (Oddish and Kadabra) have a single Coin sitting at the lower right corner of the puzzle area. Unless one looks up about their disruption data somewhere on the web, players can be left clueless on how to make the additional Coins appear.Hint 
  • Halloween Episode: October events tend to invoke this, with plenty of Ghost-type event Pokémon covering most of the event types. Notably, Halloween 2017 even affects the title screen. Instead of Pikachu appearing alongside the Alolan starters in the brief splash before the game's logo, Mimikyu takes its spot. Also, the rain of icons consists of Ghost-types (plus a Spooky Pikachu, of course).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Disruptions that cause icons to transform into Pokémon icons can cause this. Depending on the disruption pattern and which Pokémon are disrupted, the transformed tiles may result in a match and may possibly start a combo on their own without any player input. This is particularly prone to happening on later competition stages, where at least one particular Pokemon is prominent among the disruptions and it's always one that is super-effective against the opponent, encouraging the player to include it in their team to increase the chance that the disruption will cause matches. It can also happen on some non-competition stages; most often against opponents of a type that is super-effective against itself, like Ghost or Dragon.
  • Hour of Power: You can buy different kinds of these at the Special Shop with Jewels. They range from having unlimited hearts for 15 minutes (free, but only available once per week in very limited quantities), as well as a 1-hour mode for 1 Jewel and a 24-hour mode with 10. In addition you can spend 1 Jewel for your Hearts to replenish every 15 mins for 8 hours, raise your heart limit to 10, and get 6 Hearts too. Mobile players get more options with this, such as the ability to purchase a period of increased item drops from stages, or increased odds of receiving a Super Catch Power.
  • Incredibly Durable Enemies: Oh boy. The farther you go in the game the more this becomes true. Especially if you're going for S-Ranks.
  • Interface Screw: Some of the expert stages such as Blaziken include puffs of black smoke hiding certain tiles from view. You can still just see the edges of the Pokémon beneath the cloud, and touching the tile will reveal what it is because you "pick up" that Pokémon.
    • The player can induce this him/herself (intentionally or not) by bringing a team consisting of two or more Pokémon whose color or appearance is nearly similar to one another (like the Treecko family, the Unown forms, etc.). Double the screw if this happens on a timed stage where you have to make haste in dealing with the target Pokémon. Certain stages also take advantage of the "similar-looking" icons problem to confuse the player, especially on the so-called "puzzle" stages.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Mega Boost+ isn't as good as Mega Boost++, but it can mega evolve those pesky high icon count megas like Tyranitar, Rayquaza, Aggron, and Camerupt really fast. PLUS, it gets a 100% activation rate at Skill Level 1.
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • To unlock Mewtwo, getting an S rank on 150 stages is required. It is one of the final Pokemon unlocked in the Expert stages. You'll obtain Mewtwonite Y long before you fight Mewtwo himself. Fortunately rectified with the commemorative special stage for 5 million downloads - not only is Mewtwo easier to beat, all power-ups are free and his catch rate is set to max.
    • During a Safari event, this takes effect once you've managed to capture around 80% of the featured Pokémon. See the Luck-Based Mission entry for why.
  • Late Character Syndrome: Quite a few Pokemon in the latter rungs of the Main Stages and the Expert Stages.
  • Level Ate: The "Sweet Strasse" zone is this , with chocolate floor tiles and decorations consisting of cakes, donuts, and piles of jellybeans.
  • The Load: Some stages give you a "bonus" party member who is not very effective against the target Pokemon. This increases the total individual Pokemon on the board to five, which makes it much harder to get combos off, and matching that Pokemon is generally a waste of a turn due to its negligible effect on the opponent. Naturally, many players counter these gimmicks by bringing that same Pokemon to that stage.
    • Genesect's Expert Stage is the worst at this, by being the first and so far only stage that throws in two Non-Support Pokemon (itself and Surskit), for a total of 6 Pokemon on the field. While some other non-puzzle stages have a permanent fifth support, and spawn in a sixth, that you can get around with Disruption Delay; Genesect is the only one that has both in skyfall. And yes, it has plenty of disruptions like Barriers, Blocks, and Clouds. And yes, Genesect is one of those stages that, if you bring the Non-Support Pokemon in on your team to lighten the load, it just spawns in more Pokemon from further down in the line.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Up to Eleven. Being a Mon-collecting game, this is expected, but consider the other individual Pokémon varieties that are treated as a separate, individual Pokémon of its own (has its own level and Skill). Yes, this game takes account of alternate Formes, mons with distinct appearance between genders (the Meowstic duo) and other unique varieties (Rotom and its appliance-based forms, Deerling and Sawsbuck that are season-based, Ash-Greninja, etc.). And this is before taking account of "alternate expression" varieties (like Angry Pikachu), as well as Pokémon that weren't present in Pokémon Battle Trozei (Diancie, Hoopa, Volcanion, Gen VII Pokémon).
  • Lost in Translation: There is a skill named Non Stop+, yet no skill named just "Non Stop" appears anywhere in the game. However, in the original Japanese version, the skill Damage Streak is known as "Non Stop" and Non Stop+ retains its name to signify being an upgraded version of Damage Streak, but while the former skill was given a Dub Name Change, Non Stop+ was left out and therefore mistranslated.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Ultimately, the entire game comes down to this. While things like abilities and base power affect how well you do, many easy levels could be failed because the skyfall didn't give you anything, whereas hard levels could be easily S-ranked because you got a massive combo. Timed stages typically avert this, but there is a small degree of luck involved there. Even then, some Pokemon have such low odds of being caught that even if you were to defeat their stages in a single move, you may still need multiple victories before your capture is successful.
    • The Safari events count, at least during the early times until Safari #4. Each such event contains 5 (7 in the third and fourth of said event) Pokémon species to be captured, but which Pokémon that will appear per access is randomized. Also, because of this, the "Optimize" button doesn't show up whenever you try to play a Safari event, forcing you to try to use your strongest Pokémon at that point and switch between types once you get to learn the featured Pokémon types. However, once you've figured out all featured Pokémon by yourself (or by looking at a guide) you might notice their in-common weakness due to having types that are weak to a certain type (except for one, usually)note , allowing you to stick with a fixed team of Pokémon of a certain type to take care of them.
    • However this trope still applies to that event because more often than not, Last Lousy Point begins to take effect when you've captured around 80% of the featured Pokémon, and you've seen the already-captured ones so many times it's not even funny. It's even worse when the only Pokémon left that you're going to capture is the one capable of Mega Evolution. The third Safari event makes the Luck-Based Mission a lot worse as there are actually 7 Pokémon in total (this is before later Safaris featuring more than 7), lessening the appearance rate for each monnote . If you really want that Garchomp, prepare to waste your Hearts and time a lot, thanks to the regenerating Heart system.
    • There's also Victini, who can only be fought ONCE (thrice if you replay its stage with Jewels) every Sunday-Wednesday (used to be Saturday only). Win or lose, you obtain significant amounts of XP afterward. Even without a 1.5 exp boost, you can expect your pokemon to gain 2-3 levels per attempt. The battle itself isn't terribly difficult, but Victini's capture rate starts at about 2% and doesn't increase very much. Even with a Critical Capture when using Great Balls, your chances are still around 20-25% at best.
      • Magearna's gimmick is similar to Victini's, and it's still just as hard to catch. Hope you're lucky when this Mon is around and not Victini during the EXP-farming event if you want to catch it.
    • Speaking of Pokémon that can be fought once per day, the "One chance a day!" events can be this. So, you want that Pinsir (capable of Mega Evolution) and that Jirachi (a mythical Steel-type Pokémon with 70 base power at level 1)... but you can only fight them in their respective event once a day, and it usually goes on for 4 days, meaning 4 tries. And... remember the fact that capturing the Pokémon itself is a Luck-Based Mission as well, unless the capture rate is at maximum (which it can't be for Pinsir). Not to mention that if you're not really good at the game or if the Random Number God hates you, you'll simply waste an opportunity anyway by failing the stage.
    • Missions (introduced in version 1.3.0 for 3DS) that require you to score a combo of a certain exact amount. The first instance of this is in the second Mission Card, but even that reeks of this trope. Even if you go with a not-very-effective team, whether you'll hit that exact amount of combo or not is fully determined by luck. Skyfalls not helping you? You can't reach the required combo. Skyfalls get combo-happy? You end up overshooting the required combo. And speaking of combos, multiple high-level mission requires a 100+ combo. Complexity -1 and some Mega Effects can help, if you think it's worth it, but still... Yeah, have fun.
    • Similarly, missions that require you to have one mon being used the most in a stage (said mon will be marked by a crown and a boost in EXP gain). A long combo streak can end up with other mons stealing the crown away from the mission-required mon. You can cheat the system somewhat by bringing only that particular Pokémon on your team (ensuring it gets the crown if you win), but this will mean that the game will substitute various ineffective Pokémon in their place, which can make it challenging just to win.
    • Of all things, Money Grinding in Meowth's stage (Stage 37) in the mobile version. Why? Unlike the 3DS version, Shuffle Mobile's Meowth stage has a chance of spawning Rocks instead of Coins, often ruining a player's usual Coin grinding session. Obviously, the 3DS version still has this element, but only limited to icon placement and where the Coins will spawn instead of such rocky inconvenience. Additionally, the disruption can occur anywhere on the board in Mobile, as opposed to being limited to the middle 16 tiles on 3DS. If the game is feeling particularly vengeful, it can and will disrupt over one of your coins (even on the rightmost column of the board where you are likely trying to accumulate them) with a rock.
  • Magikarp Power: Some Pokemon, if fed enough Raise Max Levels, Skill Boosters, and a Skill Swap, can go from okay or useless to incredibly useful once maxed out. The main problem is, of course, raising them up there, as there are very few boosting items to go around, and investing in these Pokemon also requires quite a lot of experience points for level ups. Somewhat ironically, and fittingly, Magikarp itself doesn't count. With no evolutions in this game, it can't become Gyarados, and even fully raised up to level 20 and Skill Swapped to Risk-Taker, it lags behind other Pokemon with similar niches.
    • Risk-Taker has an unappealing description mentioning it has a chance to increase or decrease damage. However, when levelling up Risk Taker, it linearly increases the damage. At max level, Risk Taker will deal overwhelmingly amounts of damage and will never deal decreased damage.
  • Match-Three Game: Three Pokémon are required to make a match.
  • Metal Slime: Every Safari has one, sometimes two, really rare Pokemon in it. Most of the time it's the final form of a Pokemon line, a Pokemon with a Mega-Evolution, a Shiny, a Legendary, a Winker, a Pikachu-variant, or some combination of the above. The encounter rate can reach as low as 1% (as Phione, Shiny Rayquaza, Shiny Magikarp, and Shiny Gyarados all had on their first safari's). Thankfully the rarest Pokemon usually have a higher catchrate then their much more common Safari brethren, so that if you beat them you have a decent chance at getting them and not have to waste more hearts trying to find them again.
    • The third run of the 10th Safari (June 20th, 2017 to July 4), turn this trope up to 11 by not only having Shiny Magikarp and Shiny Gyarados from before (with mercifully boosted encounter rates), but by also throwing throwing in Pikachu (Magikarp Costume) and Pikachu (Gyarados Costume) into the mix. Shiny Gyarados and both Cosplay Pikachu have a 2.85% chance of appearing, while Shiny Magikarp has a 1.42% chance of appearing.
  • Microtransactions: This game operates using this business model.
  • Money Grinding: You pretty much have to resort to this if you want more coins without spending your jewels. Both regular Meowth stage (Stage 37) and weekend Meowth event stage ("Meowth's Coin Mania") are perfect stages to gain more than just two-digit Coins.
    • Daily Pokémon are also an option to coin grind, as defeating them might net prizes containing Coins, sometimes up to 2,000. The most notable one is Holiday Snover, which guarantees at least 600 Coins every win if you drag the starting coin to a certain spot, more useful than Meowth's main stage.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: Survival Mode.
  • Mythology Gag: This trope is in effect, referencing the main games in some way.
    • Milotic's grid is completely frozen except for a 2x2 square of Feebas. This is a reference to the main series games, where Feebas is only ever available in four tiles in one body of water.
    • Stages EX14, EX15, and EX16 feature the Johto Legendaries Entei, Suicune, and Raikou respectively. All of these stages give you only fifteen seconds to fight them in timed battles, by far the tightest time limits of all the time-based stages to date. This is in reference to the Johto games, where these "roaming" Legendaries began the trend of fleeing from battle as soon as it was their turn (whenever possible).
    • Some of Skills have this, either referencing the main games or the Pokémon species themselves:
      • The main games have the ability Swarm, which increases Bug-type moves' power if the Pokémon with this ability is nearing or in critical situation. This game's Swarm Skill works exactly the same. Scyther and Scizor are the only known Pokémon so far whose one of their Skills share the same name as one of their Abilities.
      • It should be obvious why Psychic-type Wobbuffet, the punching bag Pokémon, has Counterattack as its Skill...
      • The Astonish Skill is based on the main games' move of the same name, specifically its added effect of causing a flinch. Of all Pokémon that have this Skill, however, only the Ghost-types Litwick, Misdreavus and Mismagius can learn said move in the main games.
      • Darkrai, being associated with sleeping and nightmares, has Sleep Charm, which puts the target Pokémon to sleep if the Skill is activated. Also, sleeping Pokémon end up taking more damage.
      • Amusingly enough, while the Jigglypuff family is known for their Sing move (having them possess the Sleep Charm skill being more likely), only Igglybuff has Sleep Charm. Not Wigglytuff, not even Jigglypuff, but Igglybuff.
      • Why does Electric-type Ampharos have Dancing Dragons as its default Skill despite its typing being not very effective against Dragon-types? Aside from referencing the main-game typing of its Mega form, consider its Japanese name, Denryu, which has two meanings, with one of them being "electric dragon" (which its Mega form's typing is based from). Nevertheless, it is admittedly one of the most useless abilities Ampharos can have in this game and it has since gained Skill Swap options to give it something more practical, such as Mega Boost.
      • Some Skills reference a Pokémon's other type if it is dual-typed in the main games. Examples include Ground-type Numel with Burn and Garchomp (which is also a Ground-type in this game) with Dragon Talon.
      • Whirlpool (English name-wisenote ) may be based on the main games' move of the same name. However, this Whirlpool is In Name Only when compared to those games, unless one interprets "unable to escape/switch out" in the main games as "having its action delayed" in Shuffle. All Pokémon that have this Skill except Oshawott can learn Whirlpool in the main games (in Kingdra's case, only possible in the Generation II games and their remakes, while Seaking and Palkia can only legitimately learn it in the latter; Wailmer can learn it via level-up). Bonus points in Kingdra's case for referencing its Pokédex entries that often mention its capability of generating whirlpools.
      • The same can be said for Constrictnote , as it's basically a trapping move adapted into a disruption-delaying Skill in Shuffle. Unlike the above case, the default Pokémon that have this Skill can't learn the move of the same name in the main games (Skill Swapped Tangela, however, fits this trope, as it can legitimately learn Constrict in the main games).
      • Starting in the v1.4.15 Update, Hitmonchan can be Skill Swapped to get the abilities Burn, Freeze, and Paralyze, referencing his longstanding ability to learn Fire Punch, Ice Punch, and Thunder Punch.
      • All three fully-evolved forms of the Alolan starters come with Skills that start with "Super" followed with a trait associated with them (Super Arrow for Decidueye, Super Tackle for Incineroar, Super Voice for Primarina). These names are merely aesthetic, however, as they all function the same (inflict x8 damage if activated during a match-four, have incredibly low activation rate).
      • Absorb (named after a Grass-type move in the main games) is a Skill in this game. However, it's In Name Only due to the fact that it works as a weaker version of Vitality Drainnote  (which also has several clones of its own) and it's currently only available on Pokémon that can't learn Absorb in the main games legitimately (Snivy of all Grass-types).
      • Ditto having Transform as its only Skill. The only other Pokémon with this skill is Smeargle (via Skill Swapper), which in the main games can use the move Sketch to learn Transform.
      • Chansey can have Super Cheer (guarantees the next match's Skill is triggered if possible) via Skill Swapper. Fits her name well (Lucky/Chansey)...
      • Nihilego's default Skill is called Possession. Considering what it did in Pokémon Sun and Moon...
      • Beast Power is basically this game's equivalent of Beast Boost (main games). Naturally, only Ultra Beasts can have it.
    • A Pokémon Safari event that features Psychic-types and Ghost-types (debuted in mid-May 2016) has Mesprit among the random mons you can encounter. It possesses 2% encounter rate, the lowest compared to other Pokémon in that Safari event, which is justified due to it being a legendary. It may be a reference to Mesprit's status as a roaming Pokémon in the Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum games, as being a roaming Pokémon, it can hide among the regular wild Pokémon in a random route until you're lucky/unlucky enough to encounter it.
    • Another Mesprit case. One "single chance a day"-type event happens to star Mesprit. Due to how said event works, Mesprit won't reappear until the next day after you battle against it, win or lose. Considering its infamous status in the main games mentioned above, this type of event is just fitting for Pokémon like it, which is more likely to escape after getting encountered.
    • A few status problems from the main games are included in this game (along with several new ones exclusive to this game). Certain types also retain their resistance against a specific status problem, like Electric-types being unable to get Paralyzed (though keep in mind that a status problem can be resisted by many types in this game, and the resistances aren't always intuitive).
    • The item Skill Swapper may be based on the move Skill Swap (in name) and the item Ability Capsule, as both have something to do with changing Skills/Abilities (though the move Skill Swap requires a target Pokémon for it to work).
    • Attack Forme Deoxys has double helix shaped disruptions in its stage, referencing its name (Deoxyribonucleic acid).
    • Almost all Shiny Pokémon (Shiny Tyranitar, Shiny Mewtwo, Shiny Ho-Oh, Shiny Gengar, and Shiny Gardevoir are limited-time gifts, Shiny Genesect is an Expert stage Mon, Shiny Yveltal and Shiny Xerneas are late-game Main stage encounters) have incredibly low encounter rates in the Safari events they appear in (often the lowest compared to other featured Pokémon in that Safari pool), referencing the also-notoriously low encounter rate of wild Shiny Pokémon in the main games. At least Shuffle's Shinies have more mercy in their encounter rates compared to the main games.
    • The ability Unity Power grants its user a massive damage boost with a relatively low activation rate, but there are no Pokémon that have it initially, requiring Skill Swappers to unlock it. The first Pokémon to receive it? Ash-Greninja. Later recipients include Rowlet, Goodra, Rockruff, Charizard and Pikachu, establishing a clear pattern among its recipients: Pokémon that belonged to Ash Ketchum. And Unity Power is synonymous with "the power of one"...
    • Another reference to the anime: The debut of a Great Challenge stage, Mareanie, is slated for release on the same week as the Japan airing of a Pokémon Sun and Moon episode featuring Team Rocket and their Pokémon. Also helps that the board layout looks like this.
  • Nerf:
    • Since versions 1.3.0 for 3DS and 1.6.0 for mobile were released, several Skills were given a buff or a nerf. This lists the nerfed ones.
      • Last-Ditch Effort's clones' (Swarm and Steely Resolve) activation rate has become 80% if you try to activate them via a match of four, when prior to the nerf you were guaranteed to score more damage from those Skills using the same amount of icons. It was probably intentional in order to match the mobile version's activation rate (also 80% from 4-icon match).
      • Crowd Control is the most noticeable, since players often rely on it to score big using mons like Genesect. Prior to the nerf, any match consisting of four or five icons guarantee this Skill activating. 1.3.0 update pretty much nerfed it by reducing its activation rate to 60% (match four) and 80% (match five), reducing its effectiveness. Similar to Swarm and Steely Resolve, such nerf was done to match the mobile version.
      • Its clone's (Crowd Power) activation rate was also nerfed, with the only difference that it was nerfed into 70% (match four) and 90% (match five), thus differentiating Crowd Power from Crowd Control by activation rate and the kinds of Pokémon that can use it.
      • A minor one: Poisonous Mist (does more damage when the opponent has more HP left, similar to Vitality Drain and Downpour) had its activation rate lowered from 15% to 10% if a 3-icon match occurs. (3DS version only)
      • In both versions, Flap's activation rate has been toned down to 20% (match three) and 30% (match four) when it used to be 50% and 100% respectively. On the other hand, however, this Skill was made to work exactly like Astonish (which should be a buff in itselfnote ).
    • For non-Skill examples, certain stages have gotten their well-deserved Nerf after an update that introduces the Blau Salon zone. Notable stages affected include the notoriously-difficult boss battles against Mega Glalie, Mega Gengar and Mega Mewtwo Y, as well as the also-difficult regular stage mons including Gothorita, Vivillon, Gothitelle, Gardevoir, Aromatisse and Roserade. Now those mons (plus a few others not mentioned above) can be defeated more easily than before.
      • Another stage Nerf has been applied in the April 5, 2017 update. Some of the stages mentioned above are hit again by this nerf.
    • A later update nerfed Mega Tyranitar and Mega Beedrill (first instance of Mega Pokémon being affected by a patch) so that they no longer freeze disruption countdown every time the Mega Effect is activated, specifically right after applying a status problem. This significantly downgrades their use back to their basic purpose: manually clearing unwanted icons.
    • Speaking of freezing disruption countdowns, non-debilitating Standard Status Effects-inducing Skills like Spookify and Burn no longer delay the disruption countdown upon activation in the same patch as the above.
    • Starting with version 1.4.0 (3DS), the Skills Mind Zap and Prank no longer work on Pokémon with a status problem (this includes the effect from the Disruption Delay item). This Nerf makes them the same level as the status problems and badly affects teams that utilize a combo of either Skill plus debilitating status problems like Shaymin (Land Forme) + Bellossom (Sleep Charm + Mind Zap), forcing players to find alternate teams that work as effectively as the old setup or, if they prefer the old setup anyway, play smart with whether to activate the disruption countdown-affecting Skills or the status problem-inducing ones first.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: The Gen I-VI Pokémon icons (minus Mega Evolutions, Diancie, both Hoopa forms, Volcanion, non-50% Zygarde forms, Ash-Greninja, and "different variety" versions of older Mons) are reused from Pokémon Battle Trozei albeit with a "shiny" filter. To go even further back, most Gen I-III Pokémon (as some are given new sprites starting in Battle Trozei) are the "vectorized" version of the old Pokémon Trozei in-game sprites (which are actually based on the icons' official art (albeit animated), which becomes the basis for the Battle Trozei design).
  • No Fair Cheating:
    • For Shuffle Mobile, if the device the game is installed on had been modified in such a way (ex. rooting/jailbreaking), the game blocks you from accessing certain features, including competitive events. Seeing that the purpose is to maintain "fairness" among players, disabling access to competitive events can prevent blatantly-cheating players.
    • In general, if a player is detected cheating in competitive events, the score submitted will be immediately removed. It is also possible that such player can end up being unable to participate anymore, especially if it's caused by repeat offenders.
    • The above isn't simply limited to restricting cheaters to competitions. Genius Sonority has stated that they'll check their play data and how the game has been played as well. If illegitimate activity is confirmed, such players' accounts will end up being suspended without any prior notice whatsoever. This can also potentially render the modded .apk/.ipa of this game obsolete.
    • Those who try to exploit via changing the console's time can end up being unable to access Special stages until they Check In again.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Gengar's "Spooky" Halloween variant is a Poison-type, making it less spooky than the original Ghost.
  • Not Completely Useless:
    • Many of the Pokémon from Wacky Workshop are already outclassed by the fully-evolved Pokémon from earlier zones. Feebas in particular is extremely weak, as is to be expected from a Magikarp Expy. Now scroll back up to the entry on Boss in Mook Clothing. That's Feebas's evolved form and the ALL of those frozen spots are filled with Feebas. While Water-types resisting themselves further weakens the already pitiful damage Feebas can do, bringing Feebas to open up the level is the easiest way to handle Milotic without having to shell out coins for either Complexity -1 or Mega Start.
    • Starly and Scatterbug are both obtainable in Albens Town, one of the game's several "expansion" zones. Both also possess the lowest possible base power comparable to the likes of Pidgey, Pichu, Togepi, etc. However, they have similar cases to Feebas. Doing an "itemless" run on the Staravia and Spewpa stages (both of these stages are 3-Pokémon stages, and each has the respective Pokémon as obstacles encased in ice) becomes much easier when you have Starly in the former and Scatterbug on the latter as your Support. Especially Spewpa's stage, where it's possible to win by doing nothing at all.
    • The otherwise often-abandoned mons (often having base power of around 50 or lower) end up being required in later events. For example, Omastar's stage requires you to bring Pikachu due to the latter mon being part of Omastar's disruptions. Genius Sonority wasn't kidding when they said that they recommended bringing Pikachu to Omastar's stage.
    • Mega Sableye found itself to be very useful in the brutally hard Attack Forme Deoxys Ultra Challenge. The starting board consists of a ring of barriers, with blocks inside the right half of the ring, and blocks surrounding the left half. Also there's 7 Deoxys-A icons in the center, who immediately clear themselves, get rid of the rocks, and leave you with a few areas in the left half of the screen to move. Also the stage has a fifth support Pokemon, and constant double helix shaped disruptions. Full items runs are recommended even with Sableye.
  • No Item Use for You:
    • You can't use Complexity-1 in 3-Pokemon stages. Justified as otherwise those stages would have only two Pokemon, and basically never stop comboing. Also some Competitions exclude you from picking certain items, but not all of them.
    • You also can't buy Complexity-1 in Survival Mode, so even if you expect that a given stage contains forced non-Supports, you can't do anything about it (unless your team already consists of something with Eject/Shot Out).
    • The Ultra Beast Special Stages take this Up to Eleven by outright disabling all items, meaning it's all up to your skill and luck when it comes to beating them.
  • Overly Nervous Flop Sweat: The visual cue that indicates when Super Catch Power activates, giving a defeated Pokémon a higher chance than normal to be caught in a Great Ball.
  • Palette Swap: The Shiny Pokémon are also featured in this game. Naturally, these are hard to find in Safaris (if the event happens to feature them) and catch (often having low catch rate, but at least higher then the rest of the Safari fare). The difference between these mons and the regular ones, aside from color, includes different Skill (and Mega Effect for the ones capable of Mega Evolution), base attack power (like Shiny Rayquaza having 80 BP compared to Rayquaza's 70), or even typing (for example, again, Shiny Rayquaza, which is Flying-type instead of Dragon-type, Rayquaza's primary type).
    • Though curiously, the clearly red Shiny Genesect isn't referred to as such in-game (other Shiny Pokémon featured have the "Shiny" label on the top right corner of their profile).
  • Play Every Day: Encouraged with its "Check In" feature ("Log In" in Shuffle Mobile), which allows the game to connect to the internet to look for any extra data. Checking In also grants the player 500 bonus Coins once per day, with another extra 500 Coin bonus per 10 Check Ins/Log Ins.
    • Since its introduction, the "play every month" variant encourages the playerbase to regularly Check In/Log In to the game even if they're not a daily player, as each start of a month there's a 3-day period, Safari-esque event that can be attempted once for free (additional (but still limited) attempts cost Jewels) but is fairly easy to complete with the strongest team a player can possibly have that time and has varying rewards depending on what Mon the player encounters.
    • Encouraged even more so with the Celebration Challenge, as this requires the player to Check In/Log In enough times to claim rewards in a later date. The rewards depend on how many times you've Checked In/Logged In during the period. Like the above, it's a monthly variant. Those who want to get all the Celebration Pikachu (differ by month) have to Check In/Log In a lot every month.
    • The version 1.5.0 update (3DS) added daily rewards, encouraging players even more to keep coming back to the game to Check In/Log In. Rewards include in-game currency, items, and enhancements.
  • Power-Up Food: All Enhancements present in this game are in the form of sweets (and capsules for Skill Swappers).
  • Power Up Let Down: Some abilities of the Pokémon are fairly useless.
    • Ampharos has Dancing Dragons, which powers up all Dragon-types in a combo, but since Dragons are only super-effective against other Dragons, why would you use the Electric-type Ampharos alongside one? With the introduction of Skill Swapper, it's possible to swap its skill to either Mega Boost or Paralyze Combo.
    • The alternate formes of Rotom all have Mega Boost, which increases the Mega Gauge for a Pokémon of the same type. However, for quite some time, no Flying-type Mega Stone had been released yet for Fan Rotom to possibly work with. As of October 2016 though, Pidgeot finally has had its Mega Stone released. Salamence, Shiny Charizard and Shiny Rayquaza have since joined it in the Flying ranks.
    • An event allows you to catch Arceus, who happens to have the highest base power in the game at 90. Unfortunately, it's also Normal-type, and in this game where STAB and your Pokémon's defense don't matter and you are only ever facing one Pokémon at a time aside from Safari randomness, a type that never has type advantage is almost completely useless. Its ability allows for other Normal-types to do more damage, but you're still better off choosing a type that's strong against your opponent, and anything with a base attack of 60 or higher will do better than a max-leveled Arceus. However, as demonstrated by the Blazikenite competition (the top player in that event uses Arceus), Arceus can be more useful in timed stages, that is if you're swift enough with timed stages to start a combo and never let it drop, and have the perfect team of high base power Normal-types for it, and all of them are high-leveled enough.
    • Some Skill Swappers give Pokemon some more... questionable abilities, despite their very high value. While some of them go from having one useless ability to another useless one (Celebi, for example, goes from Stabilize to Cheer, which gives a very mediocre 5% increase to other skills activating), one stands out in particular: Zoroark. It goes from the very useful Sinister Power (boosts Dark-type damage in a combo) to...Hitting Streak. A skill so useless that it's just barely better than not having one at all.(Though, to be fair, that sort of IS the niche Opportunist fills, so it just BARELY misses that low point.) A later update did the same thing with both genders of Meowstic, changing it from Mega Boost (which has incredibly synergy with Mega Mewtwo Y on weekend Meowth) to, once again, Hitting Streak.
    • Shiny Gengar appears to be one as well, as it's a nigh-worthless Mon with a mega effect in the Disrupt Buster class sharing its subclass, Power Pop(erases 12 icons in the center of the board), with Mega Medicham, not the Combo Charge class like the almighty Mega Gengar, Shiny Mega Mewtwo X, and Shiny Mega Gyarados. One would think it would at least be a Precision subclass (erases icons around 1, 2, or 3 spots you tap) or a Psyworms subclass(erases one pokemon of its own type off the board), but no. And everyone was so hyped up for its release for Halloween(as Shinies are only given out on the 3rd week of the month, and this one happens to fall near Halloween) too. Its ACTUAL ability, Blindside, is pretty good though, being a better variant of Quirky+ and whatnot.
  • Power Creep: In terms of enemy difficulty. You start the game and the Pokemon in the first zone are about what you'd expect for early in a Pokemon game, and they have HP in the hundreds, with only Mega Audino having more than a thousand. By the time you're several hundred levels into the main stages you're still fighting Pokemon like Silcoon with 33,062 HP. The far later levels divide between a minority of actually good Pokemon that have an excuse to be difficult, and a large majority that are exceptionally difficult to beat despite being weak in the main canon and being nigh-worthless in this game.
  • Pun: One that's sadly Lost in Translation in any other language but Japanese. The Cheer Skill, in Japanese, can also mean "chrome yellow", matching Shiny Magikarp's (the first mon with this Skill) color scheme. It's not really a big deal, though, considering that non-yellow mons like Poliwag have Cheer as well.
  • Optional Party Member: Almost every Pokemon in the game. Some are more recommended then others, but to proceed in the game you only need to beat the Main Stage Pokemon, you don't have to catch all of them if you don't want to. That being said, skipping the various Pokemon available is not recommended, but you can still get by with only getting the essentials and skipping the weaker and less useful Pokémon.
  • Piñata Enemy:
    • Meowth in Main Stage 37, as well as the weekly Meowth and Alolan Meowth in the Special Stages. They spawn Coins, and are the only consistent way of getting a decent amount of in-game currency without buying it. For reference, each time you beat a Pokemon they typically drop either 100 Coins for Main Stages, 200 Coins for Special Stages, and 300 Coins for Expert Stages. Clearing a Main Stage again will reward you 30 (if you're playing 3DS) or 20 (if you're playing Mobile) Coins. For regular Meowth you can match coins and get 100, 300, or 500 depending on if you give 3, 4, or 5 Coin matches (plus the additional pittance of 30 or 20 Coins you get for beating Meowth past the first time). For Weekend Meowth you can get potentially thousands of Coins depending on how good your run and team are.
    • All of the Escalation Battles. Their whole gimmick is that: (a) They get easier to catch as they level up (and you do that by pounding them into oblivion) and (b) They give you goodies upon beating certain levels, such as Mega Speedups, Raise Max Levels, Skill and EXP Boosters S, M and L, the incredibly rare Skill Swappers, and sometimes Mega Stones like Diancite or Lati@site.
  • Rank Inflation: Unlike Battle Trozei!, Shuffle cuts out the D and only uses C, B, A, and S, and grades based on moves/time remaining.
  • Rare Candy: An enhancement introduced in 1.3.0 for 3DS and 1.6.0 for mobile raises a Mon's level by one. It's aptly-named Level Up.
  • The Runt at the End: In terms of Pokémon with canon mythos or connections, and how they perform here gameplaywise:
    • Hitmontop can't take any Raise Max Levels, or be Skill Swapped, something his counterparts Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee can do.
    • Among the Hoenn Starters, Treecko has it bad. While Torchic naturally has Pyre and Mudkip can be Skill Swapped to get Big Wave, both skills that boost the attack of a certain type of Pokemon in a combo, Treecko doesn't have Leaf Combo. While all three can take 10 RML, there's little if any reason to raise Treecko up given the two lackluster abilities it has.
    • Downplayed with Regirock. It the same stats and number of Raise Max Levels it can take with the other two Regis. However,Regice can be Skill Swapped to have Swap++, and Registeel can be Skill Swapped to have Block Smash++, while Regirock only gets Rock Break+ for its troubles, not Rock Break++.
    • Also played straight with Kyogre. While Groudon has the ability Quake (allowing it to stun various types of Pokémon, and do a little extra damage), and both regular and Shiny Rayquaza can Mega Evolve, Kyogre has... Rock Break. Just regular Rock Break. Not even Rock Break + or ++. Compared to the other Pokémon in the Weather trio, its ability is rather lacking.
    • Giratina, both Origin and Altered Forme. Dialga and Palkia both can take 5 Raise Max Levels, while neither forme of Giratina can.
    • Inverted with Emboar. While Samurott and Serperior are locked away deep in the Expert stages (requiring 550 and 600 S-ranks, respectively), Emboar is available to anyone in the Special Stages while in rotation. Emboar can also take 5 Raise Max Levels, which the other two cannot, and can be Skill Swapped to have the amazing Risk Taker, while neither Samurott nor Serperior can be Skill Swapped.
    • Inverted with Landorus. Both the Therian and Incarnate forms start off with 80 Base Power, compared to the 70 Tornadus and Thundurus have. Fitting as he is the Trio Master of the Forces of Nature, and is stronger than them both statistically in the main games.
    • Zig-zagged with the Kalos trio of Xerneas, Yveltal and Zygarde. Xerneas is the only one who can take up to 10 Raise Max Levels, Yveltal and Zygarde 10% Forme can take 5, but neither Zygarde 50% Forme nor Zygarde 100% Forme can take any. Also, Zygarde 10% Forme only has 50 base power, while Xerneas, Yveltal, and Zygarde 50% Forme have 80, and Zygarde 100% Forme has 90. Finally, Zygarde 10% Forme and Zygarde 50% Forme cannot be Skill Swapped, while the other three can (Zygarde 100% Forme even getting a third ability after an update). Also, the Zygarde are all Dragon-type, which greatly limits their desirability, meanwhile Xerneas (as a Fairy-type) and Yveltal (as a Dark-type) have far more mileage because of their types.
    • Mild inversion with Pom-Pom Style Oricorio. It can take 3 Raise Max Levels, while her counterparts can't. All share the same 60 Base Power, and the Three Force ability.
  • Scoring Points: The amount of damage you inflict on a Pokémon, plus 500 points for each remaining turn or every interval of three seconds remaining at the end of a battle, is your score. The game keeps track of the highest score you reached in any one Main Stage or Expert Stage level. Some Mission Cards require you to exceed a certain amount of damage to clear them. Competitions take this to another degree, with their whole point being about scoring as much as you can to get into a tier and get more items. The currently mobile-only Score Challenge also works like this, albeit focusing on topping your very own high score instead of competing against other players.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge:
    • Believe it or not, there's one by the Shuffle community. It involves scoring as low as possible in a "repeat" competition (the move-based ones) for the players who had already gotten the Mega Stone associated with the repeated competition. It's done for fun, obviously.
    • Others include trying to get all S-ranks itemless, and getting the Expert Stage Pokémon S-ranked. (Keep in mind that S-ranks in the Main Stages unlock Pokémon in the Expert Stages. Getting S-ranks in the Expert Stages and Special Stages does nothing for unlocking more content, it's just for one's own self-satisfaction).
  • Shout-Out: Prior to its name change, the seventh zone in the Main campaign was called Bonbon Boulevard, which is also the name of an area in Candy Crush Saga, another colorful, tile-based matching puzzle game.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Mega Gengar. Comes relatively early in the game, is useful all throughout, and it only needs one Mega Speedup to be maxed out, ability erases itself from the board (basically functioning as a limited Complexity-1). In general it can be recommended for a lot of stages, even ones where it is neutral or not very effective. 3-Pokémon Stages almost universally work with this Mega, as it leaves just 2 Pokémon to wrack up massive combos until disruptions or Mega Gengar get in the way.
  • Standard Status Effects: Target Pokémon can be afflicted with these. The status problems wear off after a few moves.
    • Burn: The target Pokémon will take 50% more damage from Fire-types. Fire (obviously), Dragon, Ghost, Ground, Poison, Rock and Water Pokémon can't be Burned.
    • Spookify: Same as above, but with Ghost-types and the additional effect of not being able to cause disruptions as long as this status problem is in effect. Bug, Dark, Dragon, Fighting, Grass, Ground, Ice, Poison, Rock and Steel Pokémon can't be Spooked.
    • Frozen: Works similarly like Spookify, albeit with extra 20% damage from Ice-type Pokémon instead of 50%. Ice (obviously), Electric, Fairy, Fighting, Fire, Ghost, Poison, Psychic and Steel Pokémon can't be Frozen.
    • Asleep: Same as being Frozen, but all attacks (not just a specific type) do 20% more damage. Dark, Dragon, Fighting, Ghost, Grass, Ice, Rock and Steel Pokémon can't be put to sleep.
    • Paralysis: The target Pokémon simply can't cause any disruptions as long as this status problem is in effect. Electric (obviously), Dragon, Fairy, Flying, Ghost, Poison, Psychic and Steel Pokémon can't be Paralyzed.
    • Poison: Same as Burn, albeit from Poison-types. Unlike other status problems listed here, however, this lasts up to around 7 moves, the longest duration for a status problem in this game, possibly to make up for the fact that Poison-types tend to be underused. Obviously, Steel and Poison Pokémon resist this status problem, but, being Pokémon Shuffle, there are other types that also resist Poison, like Ground, Rock, and Ghost.
  • Super-Deformed: Like the Trozei! games, all the Pokémon are represented as chibi face icons.
  • That One Player: In the competitive events, starting from the Blazikenite one, pretty much anyone at the near-top (or outright number one) ranks whose Pokémon consist of simply a Gengar (a common Pokémon capable of Mega Evolution used to score lots of points), Arceus, and two strong Normal-type mons. This combination is considered Difficult, but Awesome because you need to think fast (especially getting Double Normal to work without breaking your combo), but once you've mastered it, you'll soon become this type of player and the "Optimize" button means nothing anymore (that is, unless the target Pokémon is resistant against Normal-type). For a somewhat specific example, one Japanese player used this exact strategy and managed to score around 150,000 points! Assuming that Attack Power ↑ is used (making the base score around a still-whopping 75,000), such score is near-impossible to achieve (even if the Random Number God is friendly towards you) unless you're using a "Home" button exploit that no longer works in later versions.
    • For the America region, there's zonextreme, who is (mostly) always on the top 5 in the competitive events. It also helps that since the Arceus event, he/she took advantage of the strategy mentioned above.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: One that plays every time you Mega Evolve...and is very annoying.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman:
    • Mega Aerodactyl's ability to clear Rocks and Blocks unfortunately makes it completely useless against enemies who don't use those disruptions, as opposed to other Megas whose abilities affect their own tiles (Gengar, Slowbro, Heracross, Sharpedo) or the entire field (everyone else). In the stages that do use Rock and Block disruptions and can't be beaten or S-Ranked without it, however, you will end up using it. The same goes to Mega Alakazam and Shiny Mega Diancie which share the same Mega Effect as Mega Aerodactyl's.
    • Mega Steelix's effect involves clearing Blocks, while Mega Diancie clears up to 10 Barriers. They're only much more useful in stages that abuse Block/Barrier disruptions. Winking Mega Glalie (Mega Steelix clone), Mega Houndoom, and Shiny Mega Tyranitar (the latter two are Mega Diancie clones) also suffer from this.
    • The ability Rockify “[o]ccasionally turns one non-Support Pokémon into a rock”. This was only available on Graveler for the longest time, all the way on main stage 415, until the Alolan update which brought in Rockruff and Alolan Geodude in the Special Stages. On its own it's useless, as turning a single non-support Pokémon into a rock is a turn that could normally be better spent on other ways to get rid of them. Its one shining use, however, is for the Throh mission on Mission Card 3, where you need to destroy 50 rocks. Normally Throh (on his first appearance in stage 98) only spawns 36 rocks via disruptions, 48 if you use a Moves + 5. You could wager with Prank in order to speed up his disruptions... or you could leave your fourth slot open, which will automatically place Pidgey in as the first default Pokémon. Pidgey can be turned into a rock by Rockify and destroyed by a nearby match. As a bonus, Pidgey even does super-effective damage on its own matches against Throh.
    • In general, weaker Pokemon who are spawned into a stage automatically as a non-Support Pokémon. There's times when bringing them in on your team makes the stage far easier than trying to tough it out by having them as an extra annoyance in addition to your other four Pokémon.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • In celebration of the Mobile version reaching 5 million downloads, the 3DS version included a special 3-day offer to capture Mewtwo with completely free powerups. No money spent on extra moves, attack power, complexity, or disruption delay. With a strong enough team, you can win in only a couple moves and have a guaranteed 100% catch rate.
    • The addition of Rayquaza to the Main stages (to be specific, Roseus Center) can be considered this for players who missed out on previous Rayquaza events or managed to try out the event but never managed to capture Rayquaza itself. Sure the impact isn't as big as the free Mewtwo eventnote , but considering that Roseus Center contains Mega Rayquaza as the zone boss, players no longer need to worry about not being able to make use of the Meteorite due to not having Rayquaza itself.
      • Even better, those who Checked In/Logged In to the game during December 20, 2016 can receive a free Rayquaza, no strings attached, no battling needed. This also makes Rayquaza a Disc-One Nuke for new players.
    • Lucarionite being a Mission reward (specifically, Mission #2) for players who can't get it from competitions (players who already have one will get a Jewel instead). It takes more effort due to how Mission Cards work, but players are relieved to be able to unlock Mega Lucario much more easily without having to bother with competitions, especially considering that the only Fighting-type Mega available in Main stages is Mega Medicham, which is much further away for players who began the game when the Mission system was introduced.
    • Similar to the above case, Charizardite Y being a Mission reward (from Mission #8). Sure it's much later, but at least players who have yet to obtain a Fire-type Mega can finally get one without bothering with competitions (before, all Fire-type Mega Stones released so far were exclusively competition rewards). You simply have to gain enough stars in Mission Card #8 to obtain Charizardite Y.
    • Applied again for Absolite. Those who are sick of Mega Sableye yet don't want to get involved in competitions can simply earn enough stars in Mission Card #10 to obtain the aforementioned Mega Stone. It's likely that the previously-competition-exclusive Mega Stones will be available this way as well.
    • The addition of previously Safari-only mons like Duskull and Dusclops to the Main stages (in their case, in a much later zone, Graucus Hall) is this for the players who missed their events or outright failed capturing them when the events were still on. It is possible that other Safari-only mons will be added in the Main stages as well, lessening the frustration for the not-so-lucky Safari hunters.
    • Alolan Vulpix is given away for free to all players that Checked/Logged In during one update featuring such event (lasts until May 30, 2017). It's one of the few mons with the useful Flash Mob Skill.
    • There are certain time periods when Genius Sonority would give away a free item per day (done via Check/Log In) until the end of said time period.
    • With yet another free Pokémon giveaway event in the form of Original Cap Pikachu (one of several cap-wearing Pikachu released as a tie-in to the twentieth movie), it's safe to say that pretty much every limited-time event involving free Pokémon giveaway (no battling, no luck-oriented capture needed) can be seen as this.
    • After a long drought, a very easy Mission card was added on May 9th, 2017. This allowed anyone who missed the Blaziken Competition to get the Mega Stone. Blaziken was also heavily pushed as the main Pokémon to use in the Decidueye Competition at the same time. A mission card for Swampertite was made available May 16th, and the Sceptilite card followed two weeks later after that.
    • The October 2017 update gave a number of Ghost Pokémon the ability to use Raise Max Levels and Skill Swappers. This was the first update to buff any Ghosts in over a year, and only four of them (Dusknoir, Gengar, Chandelure and Cofagrigus) had been able to use anything prior to that point.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Downplayed with Complexity -1. Complexity -1 is easily the strongest item in the game, removing a Pokemon on the board altogether and making it vastly easier to string together combos, which can turn many stages into a joke due to combos flying all over the place. Understandably, this item is very sparingly handed out as a free gift, and it's also the most expensive, which tends to make many players save their free ones or save up a ton of Coins when they encounter That One Level and just want it to be over with quickly.
  • Tutorial Failure: After a stage (whether you successfully beat it or not), you'll sometimes get a hint to use such-and-such Pokémon because it's super-effective against the one you're battling — which may be true, but the suggested Pokémon is often very weak, meaning that it's still useless for a stage in which you need your absolute strongest Pokémon just to have a chance of beating the stage.
  • Underground Monkey:
    • The Winking variants of Pokémon. They're like the regular Pokémon...but one of their eyes wink. They share the same base attack power, but differ in ability, and may differ in what abilities can be Skill Swapped, how many Raise Max Levels they can take, and (if they have a Mega Form) what their Mega ability is and the amount of Mega Speedups they can take. Also special Holiday variants like "Spooky Gengar" and "Holiday Delibird". They are functionally another variant of the Winking Pokémon. Uniquely, Spooky Gengar is a Poison-type, while regular Gengar is a Ghost-type.
    • Shuffle also feature the series signature Shinies (who are fittingly low in quantity and very rare). Not to mention the various alternate Pikachu, including Winking, Angry, Holiday, Spooky, various states of Costume, and more. Ironically enough, there is no Shiny Pikachu despite all the other variants it has.
    • The May 2017 update saw the introduction of Alolan variant Pokémon, all of whom use a different in-game type than their original counterparts (except for Alolan Exeggutor). Oddly, Alolan Dugtrio was released, when normal Dugtrio has had its sprite programmed into the game, but not released when the former made its debut.
  • Unique Enemy: Unique may be stretching it, but Pidgeotto (which is found as early as Stage 44), is the only Pokémon in the game that at one point could take a maximum of 2 Raise Max Levels. Almost every other Pokémon in the game can take either none or some multiple of 5 (with a few oddballs only being able to take 3). This has since been addressed and Pidgeotto can now take 5, but some of the oddballs that can only take 3 still remain — notable examples being Zoroark and Landorus Therian Forme.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Prior to version 1.3.0 (3DS), Eject and Eject+ couldn't remove a Non-Support Pokémon (for example, Eevee in Mega Mawile's stage) despite what its description claims, as it could only remove non-Supports that are either caused by disruptions, part of a preset board, or part of a preset skyfall. It took several updates for players to actually consider mons like Tyranitar and Lugia to be useful in stages with a forced fifth Support.
    • Prior to the same update, Flap was rarely or outright never utilized by many players. Why? It was essentially an Astonishnote  clone but only affects Ground-types, which Flying-types (the only Pokémon type to possess this Skill prior to the updatenote ) are neutral against. Even worse? Chill functions basically the same as plain Astonish, albeit possessed by Ice-types, which are super-effective against the target type. Only after the update occurred that Flap ended up being a pure Astonish clone without any restrictions whatsoever.

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