This is the best competitive Pokemon play I've ever seen

Pokemon Stadium Charizard
(Image credit: Nintendo)

We've seen what might be the smartest play ever in the competitive Pokemon scene.

As the YouTube Short from WolfeyVGC below outlines, one pro Pokemon player found themselves in a bad way. Despite being up by three Pokemon over his opponent's two remaining creatures, Tommy Cooleen is on the cusp of losing, because his opponent's Pokemon, a Charizard and Snorlax, can immediate knock out his three Pokemon and take the victory.

What's worse, Cooleen's opponent gets to move first, all but guaranteeing his victory with a quick succession of one-hit knockout attacks. One of Cooleen's Pokemon is knocked out, and so he switches it out with Incineroar, which can technically knock out the Charizard in one hit with Fake Out, but as Pokemon veterans will know, this move only works the first time.

Here comes the genius play. Instead of attacking, Cooleen switches out his Incineroar for Stakataka, and while both his opponent's Pokemon use Protect, shielding them from damage for one turn, Cooleen destroys his own Stakataka with Kartana. This gives Kartana an attack boost, and also immediately switches out Stakataka with Incineroar without wasting a turn.

Incineroar now swiftly takes out Charizard with Fake Out, as it couldn't use Protect to shield itself again, and Kartana deals the finishing blow to Snorlax with its boosted attack. As WolfeyVGC attests to above, this is being called one of the greatest plays in the history of competitive Pokemon, and that prestigious title might actually be justified. 

Just earlier this year, an adorable 11-year-old Pokemon champion was winning competitions all over the world, setting the competitive scene ablaze.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.