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Why is Iron Fist so weak?

  • 67
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    Most abilities that boost the power of a subset of moves boost those moves by 50%, like Strong Jaw and Sharpness. Iron Fist boosts punching moves by 20%. Yes, that's not a typo, 20%; not 30%, which is what intuitively makes much more sense to me for a "lesser" boost, 20%. Am I the only one who thinks this is really weird? Is there a reason for it?

    I could go on about what I think this is weird, but I think that the best single thing I can point out is this: Tough Claws, which affects a very wide category of moves that contains the set of moves affected by Iron Fist, boosts its moves by 50%.

    Part of why this bothers me so much has to do with a Pokemon in the fangame I'm working on. It has two forms, one of which has Iron Fist as one of its possible abilities, and the other has Sharpness. The fact that Iron Fist boosts moves by 20% and Sharpness by 50% made balancing these two forms a huge headache, and I eventually decided to operate under the assumption that in this game, I would just buff Iron Fist to boost punching moves by 50%. So with that in mind, one way of parsing my question is: Does it make sense (does it in fact make A LOT of sense) for me to buff Iron Fist this way, or am I missing something?? Does this fall into the category of "Things that GameFreak probably ought to have changed long ago, but haven't for some reason?"

    To be clear, I'm not asking this just because of this one Pokemon in my game; I'm just using that to illustrate my point.
     

    Explorer of Time

    Advocate of Ideals
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    Iron Fist affects more moves than most of those other abilities, except Tough Claws, which is intentionally limited to a handful of Pokemon in the vanilla games. (Also, Tough Claws boosts the moves by roughly 30%, not 50%)

    Of note, Iron Fist affects Drain Punch, Focus Punch, and all the Elemental Punches, which are stronger than the Elemental Fangs boosted by Strong Jaw. Focus Punch in particular would end up being much more imbalanced if Iron Fist was buffed, since it's base power is already very, very high and it gets boosted proportionately further than low-power moves do.

    Drain Punch would also be very strong because its base power would go up a lot more and most Pokemon with Iron Fist would be able to heal themselves with it much better than they otherwise would. Buffing Iron Fist would turn it from a draining move with the power of Flamethrower (already strong) to one with the power of Fire Blast.
     
  • 67
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    Iron Fist affects more moves than most of those other abilities, except Tough Claws, which is intentionally limited to a handful of Pokemon in the vanilla games. (Also, Tough Claws boosts the moves by roughly 30%, not 50%)

    Of note, Iron Fist affects Drain Punch, Focus Punch, and all the Elemental Punches, which are stronger than the Elemental Fangs boosted by Strong Jaw.

    Okay, so I was straight up wrong about Tough Claws, mea culpa there.

    I don't think I agree about Focus Punch, as I consider that move's drawback to be pretty severe; I'd put it on par with having 50% accuracy if not lower. I will grant though that Drain Punch could become a problem.

    I will also grant that most of the moves boosted by Strong Jaw are weaker than a lot of the moves boosted by Iron Fist. The only exceptions seem to be Crunch and Psychic Fangs; and I'm inclined to not count the latter, as I feel like I never actually see that move while Crunch feels like a very relevant move, despite only being learned by a few more Pokemon that can have Strong Jaw (11 vs 8).

    (I'm also not counting Fishous Rend, as (1) it's a signature move, and (2) I believe that Dracovish is considered very OP for precisely this reason, so I feel like it's not an example to be emulated.)



    Sharpness, however, is another matter, and is the greater reason why I feel like Iron Fist falls short. In addition to being the ability that Iron Fist must be directly compared with on my new Pokemon, it covers several moves that are much stronger than those covered by Strong Jaw. Sharpness covers Air Slash, Razor Shell, Sacred Sword, X-Scissor, and almost all of the 70 power high crit rate moves (Slash, Night Slash, Cross Poison, Psycho Cut, and Aqua Cutter, though not Shadow Claw); all of which I would consider to be on par with Crunch and the Elemental Punches, if not significantly stronger. (There's also Leaf Blade, but I consider that an anomaly. It USED TO have 70 power in Gen 3 but was buffed to 90 in Gen 4, and I attribute this to the Grass type being considered weak in Gen 3 and in need of a boost.)

    My new Pokemon that the Iron Fist / Sharpness comparison gives me trouble with is a Water/Fighting type, so the moves of relevance are Razor Shell and Aqua Cutter. The form of this Pokemon that can have Iron Fist has a signature move that deals damage in an interesting way, but at the end of the day it basically just deals damage and doesn't really have a significant secondary effect. So with that in mind, let me put the question to you this way:

    If Iron Fist boosts moves by 20% and Sharpness by 50%, then for a move boosted by Iron Fist that just deals damage, how high of a base power does that move need to have in order to be on par with a Sharpness-boosted Razor Shell or Aqua Cutter?

    Without going into the math of why, I would consider Razor Shell and Aqua Cutter to both be the equivalent of a pure damage move with a base power of about 90 or 95. Taking the lower end of that range, with Sharpness this makes them have an effective power of 135. Multiplying that by 5/6, this means that by my reckoning, in order to be just as strong, a move boosted by Iron Fist would need to have a base power of 112.5 with no drawbacks, which seems ridiculous. If 95 is the reference point instead, then it's 118.75.
     
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    Some possibilities of why only 20% for Iron Fist:
    • Boosts two (technically three) priority attacks with Iron Fist. Finds zero priority attacks among Sharpness and Strong Jaw. May have been afraid of making them too strong. Like, imagine Conkeldurr tossing out a Mach Punch with a 50% boost without using Guts. Stacks an item on top of that (say, a Choice Band) instead of the usual Flame Orb.
    • Powercreep. Designed Iron Fist in Generation 4, as a Hitmonchan-exclusive ability. Released Strong Jaw + Mega Launcher in Generation 6 and Sharpness in Generation 9. Cannot deny how ridiculously good some new abilities are in Generation 9.
     
  • 67
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    Some possibilities of why only 20% for Iron Fist:
    • Boosts two (technically three) priority attacks with Iron Fist. Finds zero priority attacks among Sharpness and Strong Jaw. May have been afraid of making them too strong. Like, imagine Conkeldurr tossing out a Mach Punch with a 50% boost without using Guts. Stacks an item on top of that (say, a Choice Band) instead of the usual Flame Orb.
    Scizor already gets 60 power Bullet Punch with Technician. I believe this is considered good, but not OP.

    • Powercreep. Designed Iron Fist in Generation 4, as a Hitmonchan-exclusive ability. Released Strong Jaw + Mega Launcher in Generation 6 and Sharpness in Generation 9. Cannot deny how ridiculously good some new abilities are in Generation 9.
    This is what I meant when I asked if GameFreak maybe should have buffed Iron Fist by now.

    Note that Strong Jaw was also originally a signature ability, for Tyrantrum, which gets no STAB biting moves. Also, again the Elemental Fangs aren't that good. It was Sharpness that really blew my mind, and makes Iron Fist look pathetic by comparison. If Gallade can get a 50% boosted Psycho Cut and Sacred Sword, and Hisuian Samurott can get a 50% boosted Night Slash, Aqua Cutter, and Razor Shell, then why can't (for example) Infernape get a 50% boosted Fire Punch and Mach Punch?

    I'll again acknowledge that Drain Punch might be a step too far. However, this could theoretically be addressed by removing the Drain Punch TM, which would remove the move from every Iron Fist Pokemon except Hitmonchan.
     
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  • 25,154
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    Scizor already gets 60 power Bullet Punch with Technician. I believe this is considered good, but not OP.
    Eh. More-or-less defined Scizor, though. Hardly considers Steel to be a strong offensive type either. Maybe Palafin too? (Bolstered the latter with all-around amazing stats, to be fair.) Could charge up Jet Punch further with rain, unlike Bullet Punch and Mach Punch. Will not claim to be too knowledgeable about competitive, though.

    This is what I meant when I asked if GameFreak maybe should have buffed Iron Fist by now.

    Note that Strong Jaw was also originally a signature ability, for Tyrantrum, which gets no STAB biting moves. Also, again the Elemental Fangs aren't that good. It was Sharpness that really blew my mind, and makes Iron Fist look pathetic by comparison. If Gallade can get a 50% boosted Psycho Cut, and Hisuian Samurott can get a 50% boosted Night Slash, Aqua Cutter, and Razor Shell, then why can't (for example) Infernape get a 50% boosted Fire Punch and Mach Punch?

    I'll again acknowledge that Drain Punch might be a step too far. However, this could theoretically be addressed by removing the Drain Punch TM, which would remove the move from every Iron Fist Pokemon except Hitmonchan.
    Out of curiosity, how fast is your Pokemon? May play a role in their decisions for these things too. Largely gave abilities like this to base 80-ish Speed and slower.
    • Sharpness: Veluza (70), Gallade (80), Samurott (85), Kleavor (85)
    • Mega Launcher: Clawitzer (59), Mega Blastoise (78)
    • Strong Jaw: Hisuian Avalugg (38), Gumshoos (45), Tyrantrum (71), Drednaw (74), Dracovish (75), Bruxish (92), Mega Sharpedo (105), Boltund (121)
    • Iron Fist: Melmetal (34), Crabominable (43), Conkeldurr (45), Golurk (56), Pangoro (58), Hitmonchan (76), Ledian (85), Pawmot (105), Infernape (108)

    Notes the outliers in the other abilities a Mega and Boltund. Gave the latter a weaker attacking stat (base 90). Allowed Pawmot and Infernape better Attack with their Speed (115 and 104, respectively). Admittedly adds more outliers with Tough Claws and maybe Adaptability in, although more examples of slow Pokemon with Pure/Huge Power.

    Makes Double Iron Bash super terrifying, also. May not be too much of an issue for you, though.

    Edit: Might hesitate to go all the way to 50% for Iron Fist. Possibly splits the difference and picks 35%. Depends on how accessible the elemental punches are too.

    Edit2: As an alternative buff, add Sucker Punch to Iron Fist. Belongs on the list.
     
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  • 67
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    Out of curiosity, how fast is your Pokemon? May play a role in their decisions for these things too. Largely gave abilities like this to base 80-ish Speed and slower.
    • Sharpness: Veluza (70), Gallade (80), Samurott (85), Kleavor (85)
    • Mega Launcher: Clawitzer (59), Mega Blastoise (78)
    • Strong Jaw: Hisuian Avalugg (38), Gumshoos (45), Tyrantrum (71), Drednaw (74), Dracovish (75), Bruxish (92), Mega Sharpedo (105), Boltund (121)
    • Iron Fist: Melmetal (34), Crabominable (43), Conkeldurr (45), Golurk (56), Pangoro (58), Hitmonchan (76), Ledian (85), Pawmot (105), Infernape (108)
    Notes the outliers in the other abilities a Mega and Boltund. Gave the latter a weaker attacking stat (base 90). Allowed Pawmot and Infernape better Attack with their Speed (115 and 104, respectively). Admittedly adds more outliers with Tough Claws and maybe Adaptability in, although more examples of slow Pokemon with Pure/Huge Power.
    I don't have my laptop right now, but I think I gave it a Speed somewhere between 80 and 100, and an Attack of 120. I don't claim to be any good at balancing Pokemon's stats, though. Just about every stay spread I came up with for my game comes with the caveat that, if I were to actually try to make this game (it's currently just notes), said stats should probably be reviewed by someone who actually knows about balancing.

    However strong or fast it is, though, the same would apply to the version with Sharpness. I'm much less concerned with how strong the version with Iron Fist is in a vacuum, than I am with the prospect of it being objectively weaker than the Sharpness version. To wit, I repeat the question above: How much base power does a move boosted by Iron Fist need to have in order to be on par with a Sharpness-boosted Aqua Cutter or Razor Shell? If the answer is more than 100, which I think it very much is, then I would consider that to be a strong indication that Iron Fist is in need of a buff in a world in which Sharpness is considered an acceptable ability.

    Depends on how accessible the elemental punches are too.
    Oh, they're definitely accessible. It doesn't learn them by level up, and I don't know through what means they'd be accessible (TM? Breeding? Tutors? Move Reminder?), but I definitely want it to have access to the Elemental Punches, as well as Shadow Punch for coverage against Psychic types and Meteor Mash for coverage against Fairy types.

    Again, though, a non-STAB Elemental Punch is much less powerful than a STAB Razor Shell or Aqua Cutter.

    Edit2: As an alternative buff, add Sucker Punch to Iron Fist. Belongs on the list.
    That really doesn't solve my problem at all, because it doesn't change how much damage a Fighting type punching move does compared to a STAB move boosted by Sharpness.

    Also, I don't think Sucker Punch is that strong of a move with its drawback taken into account. Going by the kinds of levels it's learned at, it appears to be more of a mid-level move, certainly weaker than the Element Punches.
     
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    If done properly, Sucker Punch can be life saver, especially against those who are riding on Choice.

    Do you remember Calyrex-Shadow ? Back then Astral Barrage was massively terrorizing attack which completely wipes the entire team if not prepared, and its gets boosted by Grim Neigh. At that time effective answer was Yveltal with Sucker Punch, to either force switch or revenge kill.

    And in newer generation, we got Thunderclap on Raging Bolt which does same thing.





    According to me, most viable fighting nowadays have better ability, and some like Conkeldurr who has also got iron fist, has also access to Sheer Force, which is better than previous and boosts damage for all moves.

    And the punch moves are not that good excluding Drain Punch or elemental ones on right type.

    Plus I had not seen Fighting types using punch moves that much(which are used regularly). Personally speaking, I will more likely to use Choice Band or Life Orb Boosted Close Combat than getting 1.2x boost on punch moves.





    And Sucker Punch is not considered Punch based move, as it's literal meaning is Surprise Attack.
     
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    50% is too much. I wouldn't take Sharpness as an example of properly balanced Ability, and honestly wouldn't be surprised if it gets nerfed in the next gen.

    Strong Jaw is more understandable, because it's 50% but the "fang" move pool is easily outclassed by punch/slash moves on average, so it's somehow compensated.

    And Tough Claws (30%) has very limited availability. I mean, what gets it? Half of its users are Megas (Charizard X, Metagross, Aerodactyl) which are essentially extinct, the other half is Perrserker (low BST for a fully evolved Pokémon), one specific form of Lycanroc, and the only "mundane" Pokémon that gets it is Barbaracle.

    Iron Fist is only 20% probably because it's the oldest of these kind of Abilities, 30% would be probably fine, but 50% is excessive. Let's not forget we're talking about a boost for some already awesome moves like Drain Punch, Mach Punch, and even Melmetal's Double Iron Bash.

    We have to take into account the different variables besides how good the Ability is compared to other similar ones, like how many and which Pokémon have access to it, and how are the moves it will boost.
     
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    I don't have my laptop right now, but I think I gave it a Speed somewhere between 80 and 100, and an Attack of 120. I don't claim to be any good at balancing Pokemon's stats, though. Just about every stay spread I came up with for my game comes with the caveat that, if I were to actually try to make this game (it's currently just notes), said stats should probably be reviewed by someone who actually knows about balancing.

    However strong or fast it is, though, the same would apply to the version with Sharpness. I'm much less concerned with how strong the version with Iron Fist is in a vacuum, than I am with the prospect of it being objectively weaker than the Sharpness version. To wit, I repeat the question above: How much base power does a move boosted by Iron Fist need to have in order to be on par with a Sharpness-boosted Aqua Cutter or Razor Shell? If the answer is more than 100, which I think it very much is, then I would consider that to be a strong indication that Iron Fist is in need of a buff in a world in which Sharpness is considered an acceptable ability.
    A simplified damage formula, assuming a level 100 Pokemon with 200 Attack versus 100 Defense. Will also multiply it by accuracy, to give an average damage. Did not factor in secondary effects.
    (((42 * move power * 2) / 50) + 2) * accuracy * STAB

    Sharpness Razor Shell: (((42 * 75 * 1.5 * 2) / 50) + 2) * .95 * 1.5 = 272.175 damage

    Unbuffed Iron Fist Drain Punch: (((42 * 75 * 1.2 * 2) / 50) + 2) * 1 * 1.5 = 229.8 damage
    Unbuffed Iron Fist Hammer Arm: (((42 * 100 * 1.2 * 2) / 50) + 2) * .9 * 1.5 = 274.86 damage

    Equilibrium for Drain Punch and Razor Shell:
    272.175 = (((42 * 75 * x * 2) / 50) + 2) * 1 * 1.5
    272.175 / 1.5 = (((42 * 75 * x * 2) / 50) + 2)
    (272.175 / 1.5) - 2 = 42 * 75 * x * 2 / 50
    (272.175 / 1.5) - 2 = 126 * x
    ((272.175 / 1.5) - 2) / 126 = x
    x = 1.42421

    So, about 42.4% for new Iron Fist.

    What would that make Hammer Arm? (((42 * 100 * 1.424 * 2) / 50) + 2) * .9 * 1.5 = 325.66 damage. About 20% more damage, on average, than Razor Shell, at the cost of secondary effects.

    Oh, right. Asked about the base power of the move, not how much to buff Iron Fist. (Will keep the above, as it is still useful.) Assuming 100% accuracy, and skipping ahead a little:
    (272.175 / 1.5) - 2 = 42 * x * 1.2 * 2 / 50
    (272.175 / 1.5) - 2 = 2.016 * x
    ((272.175 / 1.5) - 2) / 2.016 = x
    89.013 = x

    Needs an 89 base power move with 100% accuracy for parity with Razor Shell, accounting for accuracy.


    Oh, they're definitely accessible. It doesn't learn them by level up, and I don't know through what means they'd be accessible (TM? Breeding? Tutors? Move Reminder?), but I definitely want it to have access to the Elemental Punches, as well as Shadow Punch for coverage against Psychic types and Meteor Mash for coverage against Fairy types.

    Again, though, a non-STAB Elemental Punch is much less powerful than a STAB Razor Shell or Aqua Cutter.
    Sure, but not after adding in weakness and resistance. Mainly asked in case they were not available. Varies on value depending on the depth of access (say, 1 Sharpness move versus 5 possible Iron Fist moves). Would have been more okay with a stronger buff than 35% with poor access.

    That really doesn't solve my problem at all, because it doesn't change how much damage a Fighting type punching move does compared to a STAB move boosted by Sharpness.

    Also, I don't think Sucker Punch is that strong of a move with its drawback taken into account. Going by the kinds of levels it's learned at, it appears to be more of a mid-level move, certainly weaker than the Element Punches.
    Disagrees on both statements.
    A. Makes Sharpness versus Iron Fist a choice between regular damage and priority damage (and some regular damage). Seems kind of redundant to give a Pokemon both otherwise. Admittedly also matters what the Pokemon's stats are, plus damage boosting options (like Swords Dance). Would not care as much about priority on a super-quick Pokemon, for instance.

    B. Looked around Pokemon sets on Smogon. Chooses Sucker Punch for quite a few Dark types. Finds Kingambit with Sucker Punch and Kowtow Cleave on sets. Lists it on Hisuian Samurott's set as an option (with Aqua Jet as the other choice), despite having Ceaseless Edge too. Makes it a pretty good choice for Fighting types in particular, to hit Ghosts super-effectively. Sees Knock Off more commonly on non-Dark types, though, perhaps to predict the switch to a Ghost type (or anything else).

    Personally finds priority not that great in a normal playthrough. Typically holds a Speed advantage with EVs and sometimes nature. Cannot reliably guess what move an AI will pick for Sucker Punch. Became easier as non-attacking moves became rarer on enemy Pokemon, however.
     
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    Oh, right. Asked about the base power of the move, not how much to buff Iron Fist. (Will keep the above, as it is still useful.) Assuming 100% accuracy, and skipping ahead a little:
    (272.175 / 1.5) - 2 = 42 * x * 1.2 * 2 / 50
    (272.175 / 1.5) - 2 = 2.016 * x
    ((272.175 / 1.5) - 2) / 2.016 = x
    89.013 = x

    Needs an 89 base power move with 100% accuracy for parity with Razor Shell, accounting for accuracy.

    I don't follow your math.

    Putting the question more simply. With all other things being equal (STAB, type effectiveness, ability boosts or lack thereof), how much base power does a pure damage move need to be on par with Aqua Cutter or Razor Shell? Whatever that number is, the answer to my previous question is that number times 1.25. (1.5/1.2 = 1.25)

    Here's my take on that.

    Almost every move with a high crit rate and 100% accuracy has a base power of 70 or lower.* From this I conclude that the 70 power high crit rate moves are on par with stronger high level moves, if perhaps not the absolute strongest; which would make them the equivalent of 90 or 95 base power. If we consider Cross Chop and Stone Edge to be peak move strength, making them the equivalent of a 100 base power move with no drawbacks (Earthquake, Gear Grind), and assume that 100 power with 80% accuracy is the same as 80 power with 100% accuracy, then the 70 power high crit rate moves are 10 power lower than that, which makes them the equivalent of a 90 power pure damage move. So 90*1.25 = 112.5 for Aqua Cutter.

    As to Razor Shell. I go by the rule of thumb that a secondary effect is worth about 5 points of base power per 10% chance of the effect occurring. I'm much less sure of this for a high probability like 50%, and I'm more confident that this applies to a chance of inflicting a status condition than to a chance of lowering a stat; but my best guess is still that Razor Shell's effect is worth about 25 points of base power. Taking into account Razor Shell's 95% accuracy, that would make it on par with about a 95 power pure damage move, similar to Aqua Cutter. 95*1.25 = 118.75.

    *(The only exception is Leaf Blade, but as I said, I consider that an anomaly stemming from Grass being considered weak in Gen 3. There's also the fact that Cross Poison also gets a 10% chance of poisoning, but similar to Leaf Blade, I think that's ignoreable on account of Poison being a weak attacking type when Cross Poison was introduced, before the addition of the Fairy type.)



    Sure, but not after adding in weakness and resistance.
    My point was that however big a deal it is for the Iron Fist version to have the Elemental Punches, the Sharpness version having Aqua Cutter and Razor Shell is a bigger deal than that; both because they get STAB, and because I'm pretty sure they're stronger to begin with.

    Varies on value depending on the depth of access (say, 1 Sharpness move versus 5 possible Iron Fist moves).
    You're saying that it would be okay for the Sharpness version to be better in terms of pure power - because Aqua Cutter and Razor Shell are stronger than the Iron Fist version's strongest STAB punching move - but for the Iron Fist version to have better coverage? I could get behind that.

    A. Makes Sharpness versus Iron Fist a choice between regular damage and priority damage (and some regular damage).
    I don't want Sucker Punch to be the only reason why the Iron Fist version is good enough, and not outclassed by the Sharpness version. I wouldn't be satisfied with that. Also, I agree with DCS that Sucker Punch shouldn't actually be reclassified as a punching move. It's called that in English because "sucker punch" is an English figure of speech, but punching is not part of the original flavor of the move. It's Japanese name is just "Surprise Attack."

    Seems kind of redundant to give a Pokemon both otherwise.
    The punching version gets Mach Punch. I think that both versions get Aqua Jet, but I'm not completely certain that I didn't give it to just the punching version; in any case, Mach Punch would be better because it gets boosted. This could be another reason why it's okay to have the slicing version be better in terms of raw strength. (I also gave the punching version Jet Punch as the very last move it learns, in the 50s or 60s, but I'm not averse to removing that if it's overkill.)

    Admittedly also matters what the Pokemon's stats are, plus damage boosting options (like Swords Dance).
    Both versions get Hone Claws. Neither version learns Swords Dance by level up. The slicing version MIGHT get Swords Dance via breeding or something now that you mention it, but it doesn't have to.



    I wouldn't take Sharpness as an example of properly balanced Ability, and honestly wouldn't be surprised if it gets nerfed in the next gen.
    If you think Sharpness is in fact too powerful, then I'd say the solution is to knock Sharpness down to 30%, and buff Iron Fist up to 30% because of power creep. In that case, I'd be okay with leaving Strong Jaw with a larger boost; since, yeah, the biting moves are weaker than the punching moves, and definitely weaker than the slicing moves.
     
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    I don't follow your math.

    Putting the question more simply. With all other things being equal (STAB, type effectiveness, ability boosts or lack thereof), how much base power does a pure damage move need to be on par with Aqua Cutter or Razor Shell? Whatever that number is, the answer to my previous question is that number times 1.25. (1.5/1.2 = 1.25)

    Here's my take on that.

    Almost every move with a high crit rate and 100% accuracy has a base power of 70 or lower.* From this I conclude that the 70 power high crit rate moves are on par with stronger high level moves, if perhaps not the absolute strongest; which would make them the equivalent of 90 or 95 base power. If we consider Cross Chop and Stone Edge to be peak move strength, making them the equivalent of a 100 base power move with no drawbacks (Earthquake, Gear Grind), and assume that 100 power with 80% accuracy is the same as 80 power with 100% accuracy, then the 70 power high crit rate moves are 10 power lower than that, which makes them the equivalent of a 90 power pure damage move. So 90*1.25 = 112.5 for Aqua Cutter.

    As to Razor Shell. I go by the rule of thumb that a secondary effect is worth about 5 points of base power per 10% chance of the effect occurring. I'm much less sure of this for a high probability like 50%, and I'm more confident that this applies to a chance of inflicting a status condition than to a chance of lowering a stat; but my best guess is still that Razor Shell's effect is worth about 25 points of base power. Taking into account Razor Shell's 95% accuracy, that would make it on par with about a 95 power pure damage move, similar to Aqua Cutter. 95*1.25 = 118.75.

    *(The only exception is Leaf Blade, but as I said, I consider that an anomaly stemming from Grass being considered weak in Gen 3. There's also the fact that Cross Poison also gets a 10% chance of poisoning, but similar to Leaf Blade, I think that's ignoreable on account of Poison being a weak attacking type when Cross Poison was introduced, before the addition of the Fairy type.)
    Will take the math a little slower (and in Latex, which hopefully formats correctly for you. Give it a moment, if it does not format immediately.) Apologies if this is too slow. Feel free to scroll to everything past the math. Will factor in the critical this time too. Begins with the full damage formula:
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {\text{Damage}}=\left({\frac {\left({\frac {2\times {\text{Level}}}{5}}+2\right)\times {\text{Power}}\times {\frac {A}{D}}}{50}}+2\right)\times {\text{Targets}}\times {\text{PB}}\times {\text{Weather}}\times {\text{GlaiveRush}}\times {\text{Critical}}\times {\text{random}}\times {\text{STAB}}\times {\text{Type}}\times {\text{Burn}}\times {\text{other}}\times {\text{ZMove}}\times {\text{TeraShield}}}\]

    Ignores Targets, PB (Parental Bond), Weather, Glaive Rush, random (variation), type (effectiveness), other (mainly special cases), Z-Move, and Tera Shield. Will also remove critical for now. Reintroduces that at the end. Pares the formula down to:
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {\text{Damage}}=\left({\frac {\left({\frac {2\times {\text{Level}}}{5}}+2\right)\times {\text{Power}}\times {\frac {A}{D}}}{50}}+2\right)\times {\text{STAB}}}\]
    Starts with Aqua Cutter this time.

    Level = 100 for this, because why not?
    A = Effective Attack. Will set this to 200.
    D = Effective Defense. Will also make this 200. Leads to fewer terms to worry about.
    Power = The move's effective power here. Sticks the Sharpness and Iron Fist boost in here too. Becomes 70 * 1.5 for Aqua Cutter and Sharpness.
    STAB = Same-type attack bonus. Equals 1.5.

    Plugs all those numbers in.
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {\text{Damage}}=\left({\frac {\left({\frac {2\times {{100}}}{5}}+2\right)\times {{70} \times {1.5} }\times {\frac {200}{200}}}{50}}+2\right)\times {\text{1.5}}}\]

    Simplifies this a little, in case of plugging in later moves. 42 * 200 / 200 / 50 = 0.84.
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {\text{Damage}}=(({0.84}\times {70} \times {1.5})+{2})\times {\text{1.5}}}\]

    Runs that through a calculator. Damage = 135.3 for a non-critical Aqua Cutter.

    Adds the critical back in now.
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {\text{Critical Damage}}=(({0.84}\times {70} \times {1.5})+{2})\times {\text{1.5}} \times {\text{1.5}}}\]
    Technically could have just multiplied the previous number by 1.5. Went the longer route. Equals 202.95 damage on an Aqua Cutter critical.

    Deals with one last calculation: average damage. Will not land criticals every time. Scores one 12.5% of the time at +1 critical. Deals regular damage the remaining 87.5% of the time.
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {\text{Average Damage}}=({.125}\times {202.95})+({.875}\times {135.3})}\]
    Equals 143.76 damage for the average Aqua Cutter hit.

    Works backwards a little now. Begins with a formula similar to the one right above. Must figure out the damage of a different move, with a standard critical rate. Deals a critical hit 4.17% of the time, roughly. Fails to crit 95.83% of the time.
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {143.76}=({.0417}\times {\text{Critical Damage}})+({0.9583}\times {\text{Regular Damage}})}\]

    Knows Critical Damage = 1.5 * Regular Damage. Substitutes that in. (1/24) * (3/2) = 3/48 = 1/16 = 0.0625.

    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {143.76}=({.0625}\times {\text{Regular Damage}})+({0.9583}\times {\text{Regular Damage}})}\]

    Created a formula with Regular Damage in both parentheses. Factors that out.

    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {143.76}={\text{Regular Damage}}\times ({.0625}+{0.9583})}\]

    Adds the stuff in the parentheses. Divides both sides by that amount to get Regular Damage by itself.

    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {\frac {143.76}{0.0625+0.9583}}={\text{Regular Damage}}}\]

    Regular damage = 140.8307. Must deal that much damage, non-critical to reach parity with Aqua Cutter.

    Okay, then. Returns to an earlier formula. Replaced Sharpness's 1.5 multiplier with Iron Fist's 1.2. Removed Aqua Cutter's 70 base power with the "Base Move Power". Sticks the newly obtained 140.8307 number in for Damage.
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {140.8307}=(({0.84}\times {\text{Base Move Power}} \times {1.2})+{2})\times {\text{1.5}}}\]

    Solves for Base Move Power. Divides by 1.5 (STAB), subtracts 2, then divides again by (0.84 * 1.2). Turns into this:
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle \frac{\left(\frac {140.8307}{1.5}-{2}\right)}{0.84 \times {1.2}}={\text{Base Move Power}}}\]

    Base move power = 91.158.

    Math complete

    The result: Aqua Cutter with Sharpness = a 91.158 power move affected by Iron Fist and no other effects, on average.

    Feel free to point out any mistakes. Could have easily made one or two.

    Edit: Missed the "without ability boosts" part. Uh...one second. Will edit that in shortly.

    Edit2: No Latex this time. Takes a while to format.

    Math Resume
    Dropped Iron Fist and Sharpness. Kept STAB in. Assumed the same level 100, Attack = 200, and Defense = 200 Pokemon. Sped this up a lot. Used some heavy shortcuts, thanks to the formulas above.

    Simplifies some of the damage formula the same way. 42 * 200 / 200 / 50 = 0.84.

    Regular Aqua Cutter damage = ((0.84 * 70) + 2) * 1.5 = 91.2
    Critical Aqua Cutter damage = 91.2 * 1.5 = 136.8
    Average Aqua Cutter damage = (.125 * 136.8) + (.875 * 91.2) = 96.9

    Piggybacks off of the prior formulas.
    96.9 = (.0417 * Critical Damage) + (.9583 * Regular Damage)
    Critical Damage = 1.5 * Regular Damage, of course. Factors out Regular Damage now.
    96.9 = Regular Damage * ((1.5 * 0.0417) + 0.9583)
    Regular damage = 94.921. Must hit this hard, non-critical.

    Returns to the simplified damage formula, now with damage equal to 94.921.
    94.921 = ((0.84 * Base Move Power) + 2) * 1.5

    Solve for Base Move Power.
    Base move power = ((94.921 / 1.5) - 2) / 0.84 = 72.953 power

    Math over again

    Aqua Cutter with no abilities = 72.953 base power move with no abilities and a standard critical rate, on average. Only adds an extra ~8.3% critical chance (at x1.5 damage), if you think about it. Hits for the standard amount 87.5% of the time still. Keeps the average much closer to the non-critical amount.

    Edit3: Fixed an error. Again, feel free to point out any mistakes. Already made and corrected one.
     
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    I only have time for a quick reply right now, so I'll just respond to this part and read the math later:

    Aqua Cutter with no abilities = 72.953 base power move with no abilities and a standard critical rate, on average. Only adds an extra ~8.3% critical chance (at x1.5 damage), if you think about it. Hits for the standard amount 87.5% of the time still. Keeps the average much closer to the non-critical amount.
    I believe you, but in that case, why is 70 such a popular power for high crit rate moves, including new moves like Aqua Cutter? Why aren't there more on the level of Leaf Blade? Apart from moves with drawbacks (Sky Attack, Cross Chop) and signature moves, Leaf Blade is the only one I can think of with a power greater than 70. (Edit - Also Crabhammer, but it's learned by a very narrow set of Pokemon compared to Leaf Blade, so I'm.guessing that's why it's allowed to get away with being so strong.)

    Also, what effective power do you think Razor Shell is?
     
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    I only have time for a quick reply right now, so I'll just respond to this part and read the math later:


    I believe you, but in that case, why is 70 such a popular power for high crit rate moves, including new moves like Aqua Cutter? Why aren't there more on the level of Leaf Blade? Apart from moves with drawbacks (Sky Attack, Cross Chop) and signature moves, Leaf Blade is the only one I can think of with a power greater than 70. (Edit - Also Crabhammer, but it's learned by a very narrow set of Pokemon compared to Leaf Blade, so I'm.guessing that's why it's allowed to get away with being so strong.)

    Probably bumped up Leaf Blade because of the new physical/special split. Left Sceptile out in the cold otherwise, despite being its (formerly) signature move. Kept Blaziken's Blaze Kick as-is (85 power, 90% accuracy) because of having a better Attack stat already.

    Possibly released Aqua Cutter with Sharpness in mind. Gave it 3 of the 4 Sharpness Pokemon, Quaxly line, and Cramorant. Might act as a upper-mid tier physical Water move going forward too. Lacked many physical Water moves in the upper-mid power ranges. Like, what sub-80 power physical Water moves are there? Flip Turn (60), Clamp (35), Aqua Jet (40), Jet Punch (60), and Razor Shell (75). Ran into similar problems when using Seaking recently. Possessed only one level-up physical Water move: Waterfall. Cannot give that out at a low level. And all the levels before that? Suffering.

    Oh, and some other non-signature +critical moves without bad accuracy: Air Cutter (60 power, 95% accuracy), Drill Run (80 power, 95% accuracy), Karate Chop (50 power, 100 accuracy), Poison Tail (50 power, 100 accuracy), and Razor Leaf (55 power, 95 accuracy).

    Also, what effective power do you think Razor Shell is?

    Mathing ahead

    Explores Razor Shell now. Starts here.
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {\text{Damage}}=\left({\frac {\left({\frac {2\times {\text{Level}}}{5}}+2\right)\times {\text{Power}}\times {\frac {A}{D}}}{50}}+2\right)\times {\text{STAB}}\times {\text{Accuracy}}}\]

    Level = 100
    Attack = 200
    Defense = 200 (for ease)
    Power = 75. No Sharpness for this calculation.
    STAB = 1.5
    Accuracy = .95. A new addition not in the standard formula. Makes a difference in average damage.

    Simplifies some of this.
    (2 * 100 / 5) + 2 = 42
    42 / 50 = 0.84
    A/D = 1
    STAB * Accuracy = 1.425

    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {\text{Damage}}= (({0.84}\times {75}}) + 2) \times {1.425}\]
    Equals 92.625 for a non-critical hit.

    Determines the average damage with the critical chance factored in.
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {\text{Average Damage}}= ({.0417}\times {1.5}\times {92.625}) + ({0.9583}\times {92.625})}\]
    Average damage = 94.556

    Works backwards to figure out a generic move with 100% accuracy. Expedites this with an equation from the prior post.

    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle \frac{94.556}{0.0625 + 0.9583}={\text {Regular Damage}}}\]
    Regular damage = 92.629

    Plugs this back into the original equation. Solved for Base Move Power previously. (Does not include the 1.2 multiplier from Iron Fist from the previous equation in Latex.) Skips some steps to arrive at:
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle \frac{\left(\frac {92.629}{1.5}-{2}\right)}{0.84}={\text{Base Move Power}}}\]

    Base move power = 71.134.

    Equals a generic 71.134 base power move 100% accuracy. Comes in a little lower than Aqua Cutter. Undoubtedly improves with Sharpness, of course.

    Would be remiss to not mention the Defense drop, however, particularly with the stellar 50% effect rate. Calculated a single hit in a vacuum. What happens if you attack three times in a row? Potentially racks up two Defense drops...or none.

    First: Calculate the average damage for a -1 Defense opponent.
    D = 200 * (66/100) = 132. Will not reduce A/D to 1 any longer.
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {\text{Damage}}= (({0.84}\times {75}\times \frac{200}{132}}) + 2) \times {1.425}\]

    Damage = 138.873 on a non-critical.

    Spares the Latex for this. Average damage = (0.0417 * 1.5 * 138.873) + (0.9583 * 138.873) = 141.769 at -1 Defense.

    Do the same for -2 Defense. Drops D down to 100. Reduces A/D to a convenient 2 now.
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle {\text{Damage}}= (({0.84}\times {75}\times {2}}) + 2) \times {1.425}\]

    Damage = 182.4 for a non-critical.
    Average damage = (0.0417 * 1.5 * 182.4) + (0.9583 * 182.4) = 186.203 at -2 Defense.

    Okay. Sets up the probabilities of every outcome now. Guarantees +0 Defense on the first hit. Stands a 50/50 chance of having -1 Defense on the second hit. Has a 25% chance of 0 drops, 50% of one drops, and a 25% of two drops for the third hit. Creates...a pretty long equation. Chooses to split it up a little.

    To put the main average calculations in the same spot: 94.556 for +0 Defense, 141.769 for -1 Defense, and 186.203 for -2 Defense

    Attack #1: 94.556 damage. No probability here.
    Attack #2: (0.5 * 94.556) + (0.5 * 141.769) = 118.163 damage
    Attack #3: (0.25 * 94.556) + (0.5 * 141.769) + (0.25 * 186.203) = 141.074 damage

    Averages those three averages. Helps to figure out the comparable generic move.
    (94.556 + 118.163 + 141.074) / 3 = 117.931 average damage from three attacks

    Substitutes that information to the old equation.
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle \frac{117.931}{0.0625 + 0.9583}={\text {Regular Damage}}}\]

    Regular damage = 115.528

    Last main step: Put that into the normal damage formula and solve for base move power.
    LaTeX:
    \[{\displaystyle \frac{\left(\frac {115.528}{1.5}-{2}\right)}{0.84}={\text{Base Move Power}}}\]

    Base move power = 89.308.

    Math over

    Calculates Razor Shell to be equal to a generic 71.134 power move with 100% accuracy, on average, assuming a single hit and no Sharpness. Comes in a little lower than Aqua Cutter, unsurprisingly, but comparable.

    Did not factor the defense drop effect into that, however. Becomes mightier over a three-turn average. Jumps to a generic 89.308 power move with 100% accuracy (still no Sharpness involved).
     
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    Oh, and some other non-signature +critical moves without bad accuracy: Air Cutter (60 power, 95% accuracy), Drill Run (80 power, 95% accuracy), Karate Chop (50 power, 100 accuracy), Poison Tail (50 power, 100 accuracy), and Razor Leaf (55 power, 95 accuracy).
    I knew that there were a bunch with less power than 70; I meant I couldn't think of ones besides Leaf Blade and Crabhammer that had more power. I had forgotten how strong Drill Run was.


    Becomes mightier over a three-turn average. Jumps to a generic 89.308 power move with 100% accuracy (still no Sharpness involved).
    That's about what I thought.

    Okay, so, with the 70 power high crit rate moves not being as strong as I believed, Sharpness isn't as outrageous as I thought it was. Discounting these moves, and discounting Air Slash on the basis that none of the Pokemon with Sharpness also get STAB for it, that leaves only Sacred Sword, Razor Shell and X-Scissor as the really scary moves; on Gallade, Hisuian Samurott and Kleavor respectively. My new Pokemon also gets Razor Shell.

    I still suspect that Iron Fist could stand to be bumped up to a 30% boost on account of power creep. However the difference between a 20% and a 30% boost is a lot smaller than the difference between 20% and 50%, so that doesn't bother me nearly as much now. It could still skew my new Pokemon, but not by nearly as much.

    I going to dive into issues specific to my new Pokemon now.



    By my reckoning right now, this (mainly the fact that Aqua Cutter isn't nearly as strong as I thought) eases a lot of the balancing problems between the two forms of my new Pokemon, but still leaves one: balancing the two forms' signature moves with eachother. If I want these two moves to be equally strong, I run into the problem that whether or not the Pokemon has Sharpness vs its other ability is much more "swingy" than for Iron Fist; so I feel that it's very difficult if not impossible to avoid the slashing version's signature move being either too strong with Sharpness, too weak without it, or both.

    I now have my laptop, so I can provide specific information about this Pokemon. Here is the relevant information as I last left its design.


    In its evolved form it has an Attack of 120 and a Speed of 95. PLEASE take these stats with a grain of salt however; I don't claim to be any good at balancing Pokemon, and these stats can be rectified as needed with input from somebody who actually know what they're doing.

    It has two forms, one of which can have Iron Fist and the other can have Sharpness. Both forms have Compound Eyes as their second ability.
    (Both also have hidden abilities, but they aren't relevant to this discussion. I really only mention Compound Eyes to illustrate that it is possible to NOT get the boost from Iron Fist and Sharpness.)

    It is a Water/Fighting type, meaning that it gets STAB for all of the moves I'm going to talk about here.

    Upon evolving at level 34, the punching form learns its signature move Cavitation Punch, and the slashing form learns Razor Shell.

    At level 45, the punching form learns Crabhammer, and the slashing form learns Aqua Cutter.

    At level 49, the punching form learns Dynamic Punch, and the slashing form learns its signature move Skewer Claw.


    (Note that while I said above that I thought Razor Shell had an effective power of about 95, I didn't consider it to be that strong until writing this thread and really thinking about how good its effect was, and I believed Aqua Cutter to be the stronger of the two; hence my putting Aqua Cutter at a higher level than Razor Shell.)

    Now realizing that Aqua Cutter is weaker than I thought it was but Razor Shell is stronger, Aqua Cutter can continue being learned at the same level as Crabhammer (since these moves are still similar to eachother assuming Sharpness), but I can swap the positions of Razor Shell and Skewer Claw, making the two signature moves learned at the same level. I can then make Skewer Claw less strong than I was assuming it would be, making Cavitation Punch and Skewer Claw comparable in strength. Here is where I run into the problem mentioned above.

    So, what do these moves do?

    Cavitation Punch is a physical, Fighting type, two-strike move, with base power currently set at 45, for a total effective power of 90. The first hit has its damage calculated as normal. The second hit uses the user's physical Attack but the target's Sp. Def (like an inverse of Psyshock), and the second hit also cannot miss even if the first hit does.

    Skewer Claw is a physical Water type move, has a now-unspecified base power, and its special effect is that it ignores Defence stat stage boosts, damage reduction from Reflect, and Substitute. (It doesn't remove Reflect like Brick Break does, it merely ignores it.)


    Both moves are currently assumed to be 100% accurate.

    So then, the burning question is: If Cavitation Punch can be boosted by Iron Fist and Skewer Claw can be boosted by Sharpness, what should Skewer Claw's base power be to make the two moves equally strong?


    A few notes:
    • Considering that these moves are learned at level 34, Cavitation Punch's base power should perhaps instead be 40 for a total of 80; however, again my main concern is making the two moves on par with eachother, so this is a bit besides the point.
    • Now that it's learned at a lower level than I previously thought, Skewer Claw could perhaps lose the ability to bypass Reflect. I would like to keep the ability to bypass Substitute, as I feel that's interesting and unique.
    • I'm not sure whether Skewer Claw should ignore a substitute entirely, dealing all of its damage to the Pokemon itself and rendering the substitute useless; or if it should merely, in MTG parlance, "trample" over the substitute, dealing excess damage to the Pokemon behind it.
     
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    On a side note, I'm curious whether anyone can figure out what animal this Pokemon is based on, knowing the following things I've revealed:
    • It is a Water/Fighting type.
    • It comes in two varieties, one of which "punches" and the other has "sharp" claws.
    • It can have Compound Eyes.
    • It learns Crabhammer and Razor Shell.
    • The signature move of the punching version is called "Cavitation Punch" and hits twice, first with a physical hit and then a second time with something that functions as a Special attack.
     
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    There's also Leaf Blade, but I consider that an anomaly. It USED TO have 70 power in Gen 3 but was buffed to 90 in Gen 4, and I attribute this to the Grass type being considered weak in Gen 3 and in need of a boost.
    Leaf Blade boost might have something to do with the Physical/Special split. It was created as Sceptile's signature move, the thing is Sceptile has better Sp. Attack than Attack (20 points more) and Leaf Blade was a Special attack in Gen 3 but then became Physical in Gen 4, so this helped its signature move to remain viable and helped this Pokémon that has a much better physical move pool to go physical even though its stats point in a different direction.

    If you think Sharpness is in fact too powerful, then I'd say the solution is to knock Sharpness down to 30%, and buff Iron Fist up to 30% because of power creep. In that case, I'd be okay with leaving Strong Jaw with a larger boost; since, yeah, the biting moves are weaker than the punching moves, and definitely weaker than the slicing moves.
    Yeah, that's what I would do. 30% for both is the most reasonable choice to me. And leave 50% on Strong Jaw because biting moves are mostly pretty weak, the only issue I'd say it's Dracovish, that's pretty absurd. But only relevant if you actually intend to include Dracovish in your game.
     
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    Cavitation Punch is a physical, Fighting type, two-strike move, with base power currently set at 45, for a total effective power of 90. The first hit has its damage calculated as normal. The second hit uses the user's physical Attack but the target's Sp. Def (like an inverse of Psyshock), and the second hit also cannot miss even if the first hit does.

    Skewer Claw is a physical Water type move, has a now-unspecified base power, and its special effect is that it ignores Defence stat stage boosts, damage reduction from Reflect, and Substitute. (It doesn't remove Reflect like Brick Break does, it merely ignores it.)


    Both moves are currently assumed to be 100% accurate.

    So then, the burning question is: If Cavitation Punch can be boosted by Iron Fist and Skewer Claw can be boosted by Sharpness, what should Skewer Claw's base power be to make the two moves equally strong?
    More Math
    Skips some of the formulas this time. Uses the same method as before. But, for the record:
    Level = 100
    Attack = 200. Does not overly care what this is set to, despite knowing the proposed Pokemon's Attack stat.
    Defense = 200
    Power = 45 * 1.2. Suspects a slight damage difference by calculating one hit and doubling it over doubling the move power. Added Iron Fist in.
    STAB = 1.5

    Another note: Cannot really calculate how strong the secondary effects are.

    Damage = ((0.84 * 45 * 1.2) + 2) * 1.5
    Damage = 71.04 for a non-critical, single hit.

    Average damage = (0.0417 * 71.04 * 1.5) + (0.9583 * 71.04)
    Average damage = 72.521

    Doubles that now to 145.042 average damage.

    Begins converting it to a different move with Sharpness.

    145.042 / (0.0625 + 0.9583) = Regular Damage

    Regular Damage = 142.087.

    ((142.087 / 1.5) - 2) / (0.84 * 1.5) = Base Move Power.

    Base Move Power = 73.591.

    73.591 power for a Sharpness-boosted move. Looks pretty familiar.

    What happens if you boost Iron Fist to 30%?

    Damage = ((0.84 * 45 * 1.3) + 2) * 1.5
    Damage = 76.71 for a non-critical, single hit.

    Average damage = (0.0417 * 76.71 * 1.5) + (0.9583 * 76.71)
    Average damage = 78.309

    Doubles that now to 156.618 average damage.

    Now to a Sharpness move...

    156.618 / (0.0625 + 0.9583) = Regular Damage

    Regular Damage = 153.427.

    ((153.427 / 1.5) - 2) / (0.84 * 1.5) = Base Move Power.

    Base move power = 79.591 for a Sharpness move with Iron Fist at 30%

    And because why not, what if you make Sharpness 30% also?

    ((153.427 / 1.5) - 2) / (0.84 * 1.3) = Base Move Power.

    Base move power = 91.836 for a 30% Sharpness move with Iron Fist at 30%

    Math complete

    • With standard Iron Fist and Sharpness: 73.591 power. Not far off from Aqua Cutter, albeit with more effects.
    • With 30% Iron Fist and standard Sharpness: 79.591 power.
    • With 30% Iron Fist and 30% Sharpness: 91.836 power. A hair higher than 45 * 2.

    Cannot really calculate how strong the secondary effects are. Assumed the same effective Defense for Cavitation Punch's two hits. Runs into Pokemon with lopsided defenses in your favor and against.

    Sidenote on the stat spread: Comes relatively close to Gallade. Has base 125 Attack and 80 Speed with Sharpness, not to mention Sacred Sword. May be a good guideline.

    May have heard of the animal. Is it the Pistol Shrimp?
     
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    Yeah, that's what I would do. 30% for both is the most reasonable choice to me.
    In light of what was established above about the 70 power high crit rate moves not being that strong (worth less than a 75 power pure damage move according to Devalue), do you still think Sharpness is too strong?

    Assuming Devalue's math is correct, I'm thinking I might actually have this backwards; instead of Sharpness being OP because the slashing moves are strong, maybe Sharpness gives such a large boost because a lot of slashing moves are weak, similar to Strong Jaw making the Elemental Fangs more viable. Maybe instead of introducing stronger versions of Slash, Night Slash, Cross Poison, Psycho Cut, and Shadow Claw that are on the level of Leaf Blade, they introduced Sharpness to buff all of those except Shadow Claw, and then made Aqua Cutter on the same level knowing that Veluza and H. Samurott would get STAB for it.


    • With standard Iron Fist and Sharpness: 73.591 power. Not far off from Aqua Cutter, albeit with more effects.
    • With 30% Iron Fist and standard Sharpness: 79.591 power.
    I appreciate you doing all of that work, but to be honest, how moves of different base powers compare to eachother in light of the game's exact damage formula isn't what I wanted to know. I could get close approximations of those numbers with the simple calculations of 90*1.2/1.5=72 and 90*1.3/1.5=78. What I want to figure out is:
    • How much to decrease Skewer Claw's power to account for its effect. (I don't think Cavitation Punch is much different from a simple 90 power move.) I don't need an irrefutable mathematical "proof" of what is the objectively correct power - that is likely impossible - just a rough number.
    • How deal with the fact that, if the Pokemon has Compound Eyes instead of Iron Fist and Sharpness, Skewer Claw is weakened by a wider margin than Cavitation Punch.
    Buffing Iron Fist up to 30% definitely helps with the latter problem. Another way to help the latter problem that didn't occur to me until just now, is to decrease Skewer Claw's accuracy while increasing its power - or perhaps rather, balance its effect by decreasing it accuracy instead of its power - allowing it to get some benefit from Compound Eyes while Cavitation Punch does not. (Assuming the opponent isn't using Sand Attack or Double Team or whatnot.)

    So if Iron Fist boosts by 30% (meaning that the equivalent power to match Cavitation Punch ignoring its effect is a bit short of 80), and guessing that Skewer Claw's effect is worth somewhere between 5 and 10 points (and I'm not sure of that at all), I'm thinking it can have 80 power and 90% accuracy. Agree/disagree? Does anyone think that makes it too strong compared to Cavitation Punch? Too weak?

    May have heard of the animal. Is it the Pistol Shrimp?
    That's what Clawitzer is based on (asymmetrical claws, large claw is a "gun"). I didn't previously know they used cavitation to attack.

    I was speaking of the Mantis Shrimp. They come in two varieties, "spearing" which use long thin claws with barbs to snag and impale prey, and "smashing" which use club-like claws to bludgeon prey. Both move their claws incredibly fast, and the strike of the smashing variety can create cavitation bubbles which collapse dealing additional damage even if the initial hit didn't actually land. They also have extremely advanced eyes which are the reason for the "mantis" part of their name, hence Compound Eyes.
     
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    Agrees on Cavitation Punch's effect being kind of neutral. Mainly makes the damage more consistent from Pokemon to Pokemon. Probably gains more than it loses, given the number of Rock and Steel types with high Defense.

    Could probably do 85 power, 90% accuracy for Skewer Claw. Loses a decent amount of average damage from the accuracy drop (~8.5%, as an off-the-cuff estimate). Already created Sacred Sword, a 90 power STAB Sharpness move on Gallade, that is not affected by the target's stat changes. Prefers to keep it a little lower power because of Speed differences. Should still be a pretty good move. Does not jive with Razor Shell, but oh well. How often do you want two Water moves on a Pokemon?

    Adds a little more value for the Substitute effect (whether pierce or trample), but when was the last time you saw an enemy AI Pokemon use Substitute? Checked the trainers for Moon, base game Sword/Shield, and base game Scarlet/Violet. Zero trainers with Substitution or Shed Tail. Found two in Indigo Disk (a Scrafty and a Meganium) and a surprising five in Brilliant Diamond / Shining Pearl (two normal trainers, two post-game gym leaders, and post-game Lucas/Dawn). Likens it to getting the Stomp double damage + guaranteed hit on a target with Minimize up. Happens maybe once a playthrough, unless a lot of Pokemon know the move.
     
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