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わるあがき Vain Struggle
General Information
Type: Type Normal.gif
Generation: I
Battle Data
Category Physical
Power: 50
Accuracy: -%
Effects: Selected Target
Secondary Effect: None
Priority: 0
Contact: Yes
Affected by
Magic Coat: No
Bright Powder: No
Protect/Detect: Yes
Snatch: No
King's Rock: Yes
Contest data
Pokémon Contests RSE
Type: Cool
Appeal: 4 ♥♥♥♥
Jam: 0
Super Contests DPPt
Type: Cool
Appeal: 3 ♥♥♥

Struggle (わるあがき Vain Struggle) is a Physical Normal-type move that cannot be learned naturally by any Pokémon. It can only be used if a Pokémon cannot use any moves, most commonly due to a lack of PP.


Generation I

Struggle deals damage to the opponent and the user receives recoil damage. The user takes recoil damage equal to 50% of the damage the attack did to the opponent. Struggle will automatically be used by a Pokémon that has no usable moves but is ordered to attack, and has infinite PP in such a situation.

If the user of Struggle attacks first and faints itself due to recoil damage, the opponent will not attack or be subjected to recurrent damage during that round. If Struggle breaks a Substitute, the user will take no recoil damage.

Struggle has 10 base PP, though no PP would ever be deducted from it. Self-inflicted recoil damage from Struggle from the previous turn can be countered if the opponent did not make a move on the following turn.

In Stadium, no recoil damage is taken if Struggle knocks out an opponent.

Generation II

Same as before, but with a maximum of 1 PP instead of 10-16. Struggle now inflicts normal damage to Rock and Steel-type Pokémon, and hits Ghost-type Pokémon even if the user has not previously used Foresight.

Generation III

Pokémon with the ability Rock Head will not take recoil damage. Hits Ghost-type Pokémon without the effects of Foresight and Odor Sleuth. Pokémon with the Wonder Guard ability are not immune to Struggle.

Generation IV

Same as Generations II and III; however, the user takes ¼ of its maximum HP as recoil damage instead.


  • Even though Struggle can only be accessed by the loss of all PP, it is able to have contest stats. This is most likely to prevent the game from crashing if it is hacked in since, through normal gameplay, it would be impossible to use Struggle within normal contest rounds. The contest stats seem to be the defaults. These stats can be seen when Struggle is learned artificially, usually with help of a hack or a modifier.
  • Struggle is one of two moves that cannot be Sketched by Smeargle. The other is Chatter.
  • Struggle takes "typeless damage" - no Pokémon can gain "same type attack bonus" from it and it is unaffected by type matchups. This also makes Struggle the only Normal-type move which can hit a Ghost-type opponent without the aid of Odor Sleuth, Foresight, or Scrappy.