Since Gen 7, the Pokedex has been getting more liberal in talking about predator/prey relationships between Pokemon. However, they’ve stopped making sure these relationships are reflected in type effectiveness. Before, you had Heatmor being 4x effective against Durant, and Zangoose with its two poison-related abilities. But now, we’ve got Talonflame preying on Wingull, both Gabite and Sableye chasing wild Carbink, and the Poison-type Mareanie devouring the Rock-type Corsola. Idk, how do you explain that?
I’d imagine that – much like predators in the real world – predatory Pokémon go out of their way to make sure that any fights they get into with prey are deeply unfair. Just like Pokémon with a type disadvantage against their prey, a lot of real predators are genuinely kinda fµ¢£ed if their target manages to fight back. Think of, for example, big cats, who go for the throat at the first opportunity, preferably from ambush, and usually back down pretty quickly if that fails because they can’t afford to expend the energy, or sharks, who famously tend to retreat if you give them a good punch in the snout or gills, because they’re just so stunned at the concept of food that tries to hurt them. You want to stack the deck.
I think if you’re a predatory Pokémon out looking for prey, then you’ve got two things in mind. One: you go for targets that are a much lower level than you, if you can (and you probably train a lot to make sure this is always an option). Level 5 and level 50 are very different in battle, but their calories burn just the same; you don’t need to attack a Pokémon that knows how to fight back, and ideally you get good at picking the right targets. Two: you probably have one particular prey species that you prefer to take aim at, and you probably have a very specific plan for how you want that fight to go. For a Pokémon like Talonflame, that might be a devastating alpha strike that leaves the target with no chance to counterattack; for a Pokémon like Mareanie, it might mean inflicting poison and then breaking off your attack so you can wait until your target is weaker (and here you’re probably relying on the fact that not all wild Corsola have Natural Cure or Refresh). You may have some combo or ambush tactic that negates some of the target’s specific defences or exploits a blind spot. If it looks like that plan isn’t going the way it’s supposed to, you write it off and try again later.
Or, if you’re a Sableye, maybe you just start biting into a Carbink and hope that you can eat a good chunk of it before it notices you.