Single Battling Strategies
If you've been playing Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, you've got be blind to not notice a few changes with the moves. In Pokemon Diamond and Pearl things have been made more realistic. Have you've ever thought that it's funny that Thunderpunch is a Special Attack even though a part of the Pokemon's body actually makes contact with the opponent? Now this has changed. This page will explain all the changes and give some examples of Pokemon's moves.
In the past, Physical and Special based moves were determined over type. Now in the 4th generation, Physical and Special Attacks are not determined on what type they are. Physical Attacks are determined whether you actually make physical contact with your opponent. Like Thunderpunch, it was a Special Attack in the past because of its type, but now because the attack actually makes physical contact with your opponent, it is classified as a Physical Attack. Another change is Hyper Beam.
If you can't tell whether a move is Physical or Special, watching the Pokemon anime helps! If you don't watch the anime, there is another way to tell whether the move is Physical or Special. Look at your Pokemon's moves and beside them should be a little symbol. That little symbol will tell you what the attack is classified as. A star means the attack is Physical and 2 circles means the attack is Special.
Now if you see another symbol, the gray circle with something inside, then the attack is classified as Other. This simply means that the attack doesn't do any damage. These attacks raise or decrease stats, restore health, change the weather and so on. An example is Leer. This attack doesn't do any damage health wise, but it affects your opponent's health so this means it's classified as Other.
Now you might be wondering if this changes a lot battle wise and yes it does. These changes means that some Pokemon like Sceptile get weaker, while Pokemon like Gardevoir get stronger. What do I mean by this? Well imagine a classical 3rd generation move set for Sceptile: Leaf Blade, Crunch, Dragon Claw and Leech Seed. As you can see here, most of Sceptile's moves are Physical which don't support Sceptile at all. Now if you look at Gardevoir, a classical set for it would be: Calm Mind, Psychic, Thunderbolt and Destiny Bond/Will-O-Wisp/Elemental Punch. Now Gardevoir might lose the punch, but it gains a better move set, Shadow Ball, Focus Blast and Energy Ball. This all benefits Gardevoir, but not really Sceptile.
Now, some other Pokemon that will suffer because of these changes are Weezing, Sceptile and Alakazam. Suggested move lists are below.
Item: White Herb/ Leftovers
Leaf Storm/Giga Drain/Energy Ball
Hidden Power (Ghost)
Item: Lum Berry
Now some Pokemon that will get benefits are Gengar, Salamence and Flygon. Below are some move sets for them.
Item: Brightpowder/Lum Berry
Item: Lum Berry/Brightpowder
Aerial Ace/Brick Break/Stone Edge/Double Edge/Zen Headbutt/Roost
Item: Lum Berry
I hope now you get the basics of these new changes. Remember, they don't completely change Pokemon battling so just keep to your normal strategy or create new ones and you'll become a pro in no time!