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A normal match is a one on one battle between two Pokemon. Unless otherwise stated, a trainer is not limited in the number of Pokemon he can use during the course of the match and the Pokemon may use as many attacks as they know. Standard Battles can vary widely depending on the agreed upon conditions.
When battling Pokémon in the wild, there is nothing stopping a trainer from using and carrying any number of monsters (besides the general difficulty of controlling a small mob). In an actual sanctioned match, such as those within a gym or competition, things change dramatically.
- Unless otherwise specified, each trainer is only allowed to use one monster at any given time. A trainer must recall the Pokémon they are currently using in order to send out another one.
- Unless otherwise specified, each trainer starts the match with only 6 (or fewer) Pokémon to choose from. Once all of his Pokémon have been defeated, the trainer has lost the match.
- Sanctioned matches are always nonlethal battles. The match only goes until the opposing Pokémon has fainted (reached 0 hp) or the trainer or monster surrenders.
- A battle must be contained within a certain area agreed upon by the combatants and any judges present. Usually this will be a battle court or gym. In less official matches, such as between trainers in the field, the area could be nearly anything, from a particular clearing or lake, to a small patch of grass.
- Unless otherwise specified, each Pokemon may only use four of its attacks over the course of a match, though it may use those attacks as often as needed. These four moves must be chosen before the battle begins.
A double match follows the same rules as Standard or Sanctioned match except that it is a two vs two battle. This changes some situations:
- Pokemon are more difficult to command, adding a +2 to their Control DC.
- If a Pokemon is Confused, it has a 25% chance to strike itself, its target, its ally, or the other foe.
- If a Pokemon is uncontrolled, it is just as likely to attack an ally as a foe, unless it is friendly with that ally.
- Hostile affects that target an area or radius can also affect allies.
These matches tend to be more "anything goes" and can involve Pokemon on the sidelines, or "Bench", assisting the combatants. Trainers should be careful about placing uncontrolled Pokemon on the Bench. If they are called to participate in an attack, it may instigate a free-for-all.