Pokemon Sword and Shield - Double Battles Tier List (First Edition)

A rating list of the strength of Pokémon in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield's Double Battles. This includes a list of best moves, abilities, held items, and best teammates.

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Double Battles Tier List (Battle Stadium and VGC)UPDATE: 12/13/2019 – Added Hydreigon, Hitmontop, and Mandibuzz in the Tier List.
UPDATE: 12/17/2019 – Added Recommended Teammates.

Tier List for Double Battles First Edition (Battle Stadium and VGC)

Currently, the list shown below sums up the Pokemon that are viable in Doubles, particularly in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield’s Battle Stadium. The tier list also serves as a guideline for the template in the upcoming VGC 2020 format which is scheduled to appear on January 4, 2020.

Below are the criteria used to evaluate each of the Pokemon:

  • Usage – Given the lack of resources for the new format, the usage is loosely based on vgcstats‘ top team stats that was posted on December 9, 2019.
  • Tools – Simply put, these consist of the combination of types, moves, abilities, possible held items, and recommended teammates. The combination of tools are based on pikalytics.

If you want to read our latest double battles tier list, visit this page below:

Double Battles Tier List

Tier SS

Pokemon Best Moves Best Abilities Held Item Description
Pokemon Sword and Shield - ExcadrillExcadrill Earthquake, Iron Head, Rock Slide Mold Breaker, Sand Rush Focus Sash A lethal ground/steel type Pokemon that can revenge kill opponents quickly due to its high speed stat and boosted STAB (Same-type attack bonus) moves such as Earthquake and Iron Head.
Excadrill has many tools at its disposal to work in teams that rely on sandstorm. With dynamax, it has moved from being weather reliant to becoming a standalone powerhouse. Boasting two impressive abilities and its great use of Focus Sash, Excadrill is a force to be reckoned with. It learns powerful moves like Rock Slide and Earthquake, which hits most Pokemon for neutral damage. With a speed boost from Sand Rush or an ally’s Tailwind, it can poke holes through unprepared teams. With sand running left and right, Excadrill’s dominance in the format is not to be overlooked.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Arcanine (Fire), Sylveon (Fairy), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), Gyarados (Water/Flying), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), and Rotom-Heat (Electric/Fire)

Tier S

Pokemon Best Moves Best Abilities Held Item Description
Pokemon Sword and Shield - CorviknightCorviknight Iron Head, Tailwind, Roost Mirror Armor Leftovers, Sitrus Berry A bulky and defense-based flying/steel type that can also overwhelm opponents with high HP.
In a format teeming with physical attackers, Corviknight shines as a defense booster after dynamaxing. It often runs Max Steelspike, which deals damage and boosts the party’s defense to withstand attacks. While it does not boost special defense, its great typing and immunity to ground moves gives more than enough time to have the party start poking holes on the opposing nukers. Corviknight is akin to Braviary with its flying typing and access to Tailwind. However, unlike Braviary, Corviknight trades raw power for bulk using steel type max moves in place of fighting. Its base stats speak for themselves in helping it safely collect boosts while healing damage taken from foes’ attacks.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Arcanine (Fire), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Indeedee-F (Psychic/Normal), Sylveon (Fairy), Conkeldurr (Fighting), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), and Hydreigon (Dark/Dragon)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - DragapultDragapult Phantom Force, Dragon Dance Clear Body Choice Band, Life Orb A highly offensive dragon/ghost type Pokemon with an incredible speed stat and disabling enemy move at 30% chance using its Cursed Body ability.
A Pokemon that occupies the upper echelon, Dragapult has a truckload of tools to undermine foes. With Phantom Force to break through protect and stellar speed, it can pivot out of harm’s way to come in safely later on. Having a base stat total that rivals Tyranitar, Dragapult comes close to becoming one of the most popular new Pokemon around. Its ability helps it stop Intimidates cold. Coupled with its type, it can easily sit on fake out pressure and retaliate with a powerful dragon or ghost type attack.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Arcanine (Fire), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Sylveon (Fairy), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), Indeedee-F (Psychic/Normal), and Gyarados (Water/Flying)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - DuralodonDuraludon Flash Cannon, Draco Meteor Stalwart Assault Vest A tanky steel/dragon type Pokemon that can potentially withstand opposing dynamaxed moves.
Despite Duraludon’s abysmal special defense stat, its typing, defense, and ability give it enough reasons to serve as a great counterplay to most teams notably ones that rely on redirection. Recently gaining popularity, Duraludon has been consistently showing in team preview as a prime check against Trick Room setters. Having the ability Stalwart, it can pick off leads by ignoring their ally’s redirection.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Arcanine (Fire), Whimsicott (Grass/Fairy), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Conkeldurr (Fighting), Rotom-Mow (Electric/Grass), and Gyarados (Water/Flying)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - RhyperiorRhyperior Earthquake, Rock Slide Solid Rock Weakness Policy A bulky ground/rock type Pokemon that has a strong offensive presence due to its STAB (Same-type attack bonus) moves and great resistances from Fire, Flying, and Rock type moves.
Currently, Rhyperior is one of the best Trick Room sweepers around. Having Solid Rock makes it suitable for carrying a Weakness Policy especially against physical moves which are quite common in the format. When given the chance, Rhyperior shines as a solid Trick Room Sweeper owing to its whopping base attack stat. In conjunction with a Weakness Policy, it boosts Rhyperior’s firepower to overwhelming levels. Its great defense and ability allows it to survive some attacks to ensure that its held item procs. In fact, it’s built to withstand an ally’s attack to force its item to activate.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Torkoal (Fire), Hatterene (Psychic/Fairy), Indeedee-F (Psychic/Normal), Gastrodon (Water/Ground), Scrafty (Dark/Fighting), Mimikyu (Ghost/Fairy), Arcanine (Fire), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), and Dusclop (Ghost)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - WhimsicottWhimsicott Tailwind, Beat Up Prankster Focus Sash A wallbreaking grass/fairy type Pokemon that has solid special moves covering multiple types.
Whimsicott has plenty of tools to justify its usage. For starters, it can use a Prankster boosted Tailwind, and with the recent speed mechanic changes, makes an ally immediately go first afterward. In tandem with Focus Sash, Whimsicott can steal one more turn to disrupt foes. With its natural immunity to dragon type attacks and fantastic ability, Whimsicott is a great choice for most teams. Whimsicott is often sent out as one of the team’s leads in order to help its allies pick up the pace. After blowing a Tailwind, its ally can freely fire off an attack of choice.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Arcanine (Fire), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Duralodon (Steel/Dragon), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Sylveon (Fairy), Grimmsnarl (Dark/Fairy), and Tyranitar (Rock/Dark)

Tier A+

Pokemon Best Moves Best Abilities Held Item Description
Pokemon Sword and Shield - ArcanineArcanine Extreme Speed, Flare Blitz Intimidate, Justified Assault Vest, Sitrus Berry A prominent pure fire type Pokemon that has strong overall stats, movepool and very viable abilities such as Intimidate and Justified.
With Incineroar currently benched in the format, Arcanine takes back its spot as the go-to Pokemon for cycling Intimidates. It has Extreme Speed to pick off foes that are in a pinch if they stay in, or burn them with Will-o-Wisp. While sand-based teams run rampant, Arcanine’s tools and potential when dynamaxed helps it live against moves that it previously struggles against. It gains access to two fantastic abilities. With great positioning, Arcanine’s Intimidate ability can effectively weaken foes that rely on physical attacks. Meanwhile, it can also run Justified and boost its attack after taking dark type moves no matter where the damage’s source comes from. Arcanine has reputable base stats and learns a mixture of offensive and support moves. It has access to fighting type moves which bolster attack stats when dynamaxed. It can also opt for a defensive variant with Will-o-Wisp. That being said, despite the format being plagued with types that go against fire, Arcanine remains as a versatile ally in many ways when played to its strengths.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), Sylveon (Fairy), Whimsicott (Grass/Fairy), and Mimikyu (Ghost/Fairy)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - BraviaryBraviary Close Combat, Brave Bird Defiant Sitrus Berry A bulky normal/flying Pokemon that has a strong STAB (Same-type attack bonus) moves especially when boosted with dynamaxing.
While some Pokemon already have good enough speed to move from the get-go, Braviary contributes more to that after dynamaxing. After getting its Tailwind off, Braviary can fight the speed war by gradually building the team’s attack or speed to either knock out or continue to outspeed foes even after the winds have petered out. When faced with fellow fast foes, Braviary acts similar to Whimsicott with its reliance on Tailwind. However, Braviary’s access to fighting and flying moves help it boost its allies’ attack and speed stats respectively when it uses these max moves.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Arcanine (Fire), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Sylveon (Fairy), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), Mimikyu (Ghost/Fairy), Rotom-Heat (Electric/Fire), and Whimsicott (Grass/Fairy)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - DracovishDracovish Fishious Rend Strong Jaw Choice Scarf, Choice Band A wallbreaker water/dragon type Pokemon with incredible raw power that can break through defensives teams quickly using Fishious Rend.
Dracovish started off strong when the format unveiled on release. Having a great ability and movepool, it is one of the prime candidates for one of the choice items to boost attack or speed. However, the growing popularity of Gastrodon forces Dracovish to play around it, which often limits its potential. Popularized by Japanese teams in the early stages, Dracovish’s ability works as a makeshift Choice Band which sharply boosts its attack to insane levels. While it’s raining, Dracovish can freely pierce through fellow water type Pokemon that are not immune to it using its signature attack Fishious Rend.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Arcanine (Fire), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Whimsicott (Grass/Fairy), Mimikyu (Ghost/Fairy), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Rotom-Heat (Electric/Fire), Grimmsnarl (Dark/Fairy), and Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Galarian DarmanitanGalarian Darmanitan Flare Blitz Gorilla Tactics Choice Scarf A bulky and offense-based pure ice type Pokemon that has a strong attack stat and a reliable speed stat.
Darmanitan’s typing is quite unique since there are no ice types mentioned in the format lately. However, Darmanitan not only retains its regular form’s tools but also gets a powerful ability that forms great synergy with its held item of choice. Darmanitan in Galar possess the Gorilla Tactics ability which allow them to raise their attack for free at the expense of being locked into a selected move. Having this trade-off gives Darmanitan the firepower it needs to knock out foes clean. Since it already locks itself into a move, giving it a Choice Scarf can help it get a chance to go first.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Arcanine (Fire), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Conkeldurr (Fighting), Sylveon (Fairy), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), and Hatterene (Psychic/Fairy)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Galarian GastrodonGastrodon Scald, Earth Power Storm Drain Rindo Berry A reliable defense-oriented water/ground type Pokemon that can cripple and capitalize on water type moves to its advantage using Storm Drain.
Despite some absence from the release of the format, players have identified Dracovish as a menace and have since ran Gastrodon. Without proper tools on Dracovish’s side, Gastrodon is becoming a staple and has been pulling teams on its shoulders. At first glance Gastrodon might seem an odd choice due to its somewhat lackluster base stats and typing. Despite these weaknesses, Gastrodon’s presence deters foes that rely on strong water type attacks such as Dracovish or sandstorm users. Give it a Rindo Berry and train its Special Defense to help it withstand some of the surprise Grass type attacks.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Arcanine (Fire), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Mimikyu (Ghost/Fairy), Hatterene (Psychic/Fairy), Indeedee-F (Psychic/Normal), Rhyperior (Ground/Rock), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Torkoal (Fire), and Excadrill (Ground/Steel)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - GrimmsnarlGrimmsnarl Thunder Wave Prankster Light Clay A solid dark/fairy type Pokemon that can be used either a support screener and sweeper of enemies aided by its Frisk, Pickpocket or Prankster abilities.
Coming close to Whimsicott is Grimmsnarl. While it does have immunity to opposing Prankster, its Thunder Wave fails to touch opposing ground types like Excadrill and Gastrodon which have since been performing well on the current phase. However, with Thunder Wave and dual screens, it tries to stick around by juggling speed control and defense boosts, roles which are often done by two Pokemon. Like other Prankster users, Grimmsnarl has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. It learns Thunder Wave to cripple opponents which goes well with its access to dual screens. Having a priority-boosted Reflect and Light Screen, Grimmsnarl paves the way for allies to collect boosts and go for a sweep. Unlike Whimsicott, its dark typing gives it immunity to opposing Prankster boosted moves which make it quite a contender.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Arcanine (Fire), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Whimsicott (Grass/Fairy), Duralodon (Steel/Dragon), and Gyarados (Water/Flying)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - HattereneHatterene Mystical Fire, Trick Room Magic Bounce Babiri Berry An offense-based psychic/fairy type Pokemon that can also block and reflect certain status moves back to opponents.
Trick Room offers an alternative form of speed control and Hatterene’s tools are more than enough to give it a time to shine as its prime setters. After setting up, Hatterene can also move under Trick Room, outspeeding hyper offensive teams that normally threaten it with their STAB dark or steel type attacks. Often paired with Indeedee-F, Hatterene is one of the go-to leads for Trick Room teams. Its main use is to safely set up Trick Room for its allies at the back while Indeedee-F distracts foes with Follow Me. This combo works well against some teams since Indeedee-F’s Psychic Terrain not only prevents Fake Outs, but also boosts the entire party’s Psychic type moves. When Trick Room goes up, Hatterene is free to nuke some opponents with its powerful STAB boosted special moves.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Torkoal (Fire), Indeedee-F (Psychic/Normal), Rhyperior (Ground/Rock), Conkeldurr (Fighting), Gastrodon (Water/Ground), Scrafty (Dark/Fighting), Mimikyu (Ghost/Fairy), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), and Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - MimikyuMimikyu Play Rough, Shadow Claw, Trick Room Disguise Life Orb A sturdy ghost/fairy type Pokemon that can mostly outspeed and punish offense-based opponents while soaking up their dynamaxed moves through its Disguised ability.
Mimikyu appears to be a jack-of-all trades with both an above average base speed stat and Trick Room. However, it doesn’t mind taking a powerful hit with its ability intact. Its unique typing allows it to come in for free and start burning foes after shrugging off certain attacks. While weak to the two common threats in the format, it can come in safely as a lead if it doesn’t get doubled and do as it pleases. Being part ghost type, it blocks normal moves and Fake Outs which gives it a free turn to move as one of the leads. Thanks to Disguise, it has a makeshift Focus Sash while still having access to another held item of choice. Despite its access to Trick Room, it requires some prediction and is often outclassed by other setters because of its high base speed stat.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Braviary (Normal/Flying), Arcanine (Fire), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Rotom-Heat (Electric/Fire), Gastrodon (Water/Ground), and Indeedee-F (Psychic/Normal)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - TyranitarTyranitar Crunch, Rock Slide Sand Stream Chople Berry, Weakness Policy A bulky and highly offensive rock/dark type Pokemon that can also cripple its opponents by dealing residual damage through its Sand Stream ability.
Tyranitar has been a consistent contender across many formats in the past due to its ability, type, and stats. Playing a passive role, it often sets up the sandstorm for it’s ally Excadrill. Tyranitar also doubles as an attacker by pouring the foe’s side with STAB Rock Slides in tandem with its allies. Tyranitar is on-par with Dragapult by having the highest base stat total among the popular Pokemon. While it can be easily overshadowed due to its middling speed and attack, it can hit hard after earning some boosts. With a proper set up, it can endure some attacks especially when its special defense is boosted by the sandstorm. After withstanding the hit, Tyranitar can fight back with a powerful Rock Slide or even Earthquake.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Arcanine (Fire), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Excadrill (Groud/Steel), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Duralodon (Steel/Dragon), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Sylveon (Fairy), Grimmsnarl (Dark/Fairy), and Tyranitar (Rock/Dark)

Tier A

Pokemon Best Moves Best Abilities Held Item Description
Pokemon Sword and Shield - GyaradosGyarados Power Whip, Waterfall Intimidate, Moxie Choice Band A solid offense-based pure water/flying type Pokemon that can snowball against enemies especially when reinforced with its Moxie ability and dynamaxed form.
Similar to its popularity in past formats such as 2017, Gyarados continues to shine with one of its abilities. Having dynamax and new moves like Power Whip, Gyarados can threaten even more types than ever before. When paired with Choice Band, it can snowball teams after some Moxie boosts, which is quite an upgrade to its Dragon Dance sets. While it doesn’t have the best type combination, Gyarados more than makes up for it with attacks that hit hard. Its primary form of damage is Waterfall, and has gained some new tools to handle foes. With Power Whip, Gyarados can punish fellow water types that stand on its way. When combined with dynamax, Gyarados can trade some of Choice Band’s firepower in order to select another move it wants to use. Similar to Arcanine, it gets Intimidate which forces foes to deal less damage or switch out. Its other ability, Moxie, blesses it with an attack boost each time it knocks out a foe which can make it favorable to sweep with.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Sylveon (Fairy), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Arcanine (Fire), Rotom-Mow (Electric/Grass), Rotom-Heat (Electric/Fire), Braviary (Normal/Flying), and Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Indeedee FemaleIndeedee-F Follow Me Psychic Surge Sitrus Berry A support-oriented psychic/normal type Pokemon that can work on status conditions as well as setup its allies in battle.
With the absence of Tapu Lele, Indeedee-F appears as its spiritual successor with its Hidden Ability, Psychic Terrain. On top of that, Indeedee-F shines as one of the prime candidates for supporting the team which follows the footsteps of Togekiss during the format’s fresh start. It learns Follow Me to draw attacks to itself which can pave the way for an ally to set up. With Psychic Surge, it deters foes from using Fake Outs on all grounded allies, forcing them to rethink their leads or use other moves. In spite of its tendency to run a full support set, its special attack is not to be overlooked. It can come with Psychic which is often boosted with the terrain’s ability to punish foes that tend to ignore its presence.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Torkoal (Fire), Hatterene (Psychic/Fairy), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), and Rhyperior (Ground/Rock)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - LucarioLucario Meteor Mash Inner Focus, Justified Life Orb, Shuca Berry A strong-willed fighting/steel type Pokemon that is immune to status conditions as well as capitalize on them to its advantages like its Inner Focus and Justified abilities.
Slowly rising in the format, Lucario gets the a couple of buffs to pull off an offensive pressure. Having Inner Focus to ignore Intimidate, Lucario gets to keep its attack intact to fire off strong steel and fighting moves that provide decent coverage. It also enjoys having Justified to collect even more boosts when given the chance at the expense of losing Intimidate immunity. Lucario’s great typing, abilities and access to both support and offensive moves can force foes to play some mind games in the first few turns. With a generous amount of health and great speed, it can also run a suicide set that consists of a Choice Scarf and Final Gambit to trade knock outs to get an ally’s Trick Room up. With Justified, it can play the role of a lead that takes boosts from an ally’s Beat Up to fire off powerful steel and fighting moves. Ideally, Lucario can carry a Life Orb to get some big damage in. Depending on how the Pokemon are trained, Lucario can also survive ground type hits if it holds a Shuca Berry.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Whimsicott (Grass/Fairy), Arcanine (Fire), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Hydreigon (Dark/Dragon), Torkoal (Fire), and Gyarados (Water/Flying)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - LudicoloLudicolo Fake Out, Scald Swift Swim Assault Vest, Life Orb A bulky and formidable water/grass type Pokemon that can overwrite its opponent’s terrain setup in battle.
While the format’s current state is bombarded with Pokemon that move under Trick Room, Sandstorm, or often denying Fake Outs,  Ludicolo can still find some use on a formidable rain team. When played to its strengths, Ludicolo can launch a volley of powerful max moves to keep overwriting the weather or summon a grassy terrain to weaken ground type moves. Having access to Fake Out, good speed, and unique typing, Ludicolo appreciates teams that can make it rain or remove its threats. Ludicolo is often paired with Pelipper which it can assist with a Fake Out on the first turn to guarantee a Tailwind. While it does give way for foes to overwrite the weather next turn, having Tailwind up to make up for the speed lost could be enough for it to fire off a max move of its own to bring the rain back in. Suitable items for Ludicolo will depend on how it is trained. Bulky variants appreciate Assault Vest for longevity, while others can trade bulk for offense with Life Orb.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Pelipper (Water/Flying), Ferrothorn (Grass/Steel), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), Toxtricity (Electric/Poison), Rotom-Heat (Electric/Fire), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Conkeldurr (Fighting)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Rotom HeatRotom-Heat Overheat Levitate Choice Scarf An offensive electric/fire type Pokemon that can help break its enemies offensive momentum due to its above-average speed stat.
With the growing dominance of Excadrill, Rotom-Heat sits in the middle of the tier because its ability is often ignored. Despite its fantastic ability, it has to play around Excadrill, especially ones that carry Mold Breaker if it needs to be preserved. Rotom-Heat fits on a team that needs a fire type that is, to some extent, not grounded. While a fire type, it learns Volt Switch which allows it to pivot out of battle while scoring some chip damage off to whittle down some foes. Rotom forms are quite versatile since their ability makes them immune to ground type moves not boosted by Mold Breaker. That being said, it can afford to hold a recovery berry for longevity or use a Choice Scarf to safely exit out of the battle unscathed.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Mimikyu (Ghost/Fairy), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Ferrothorn (Grass/Steel), Gyarados (Water/Flying), and Scrafty (Dark/Fighting)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Rotom WashRotom-Wash Hydro Pump Levitate Choice Scarf Another offensive eletric/water type Pokemon that can better match terrain-based teams such as sand and rain.
Unlike its fire type cousin, Rotom-Wash fares better against Excadrill owing to its type. Although the Rotom forms could be used interchangeably, Rotom-Wash has a better matchup against sand-based teams thanks to its typing. The combination of water and electric type gives a quadruple resistance to steel type moves which is fairly common. Though it shares the same weakness to ground moves, it performs better overall even against the rain teams, Rhyperior, Arcanine, and even Gyarados. When given a Choice Scarf, Rotom-Wash can inflict burns on opposing leads and in turn wouldn’t mind taking a couple of hits.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Arcanine (Fire), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Sylveon (Fairy), Mimikyu (Ghost/Fairy), Conkeldurr (Fighting), Hydreigon (Dark/Dragon)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - SylveonSylveon Hyper Voice Pixilate Pixie Plate, Throat Spray A hard-hitting pure fairy type Pokemon that can strong check on strong dragon type and fighting type opponents especially with its Pixilate ability.
While fairy types put dragons and fighting types on awkward spots, its middling speed and weakness to popular steel types leaves it open to common threats like Excadrill, Duraludon, and Corviknight. At first glance it seems counterproductive that it relies on normal type moves to deal damage but its ability changes it altogether. Sylveon can hit hard with STAB boosted Hyper Voice to bring down opposing dragons and fighting types. Sylveon can also choose between two items for extra firepower. To bolster its special attack up a notch, it can pick between Pixie Plate or Throat Spray.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Arcanine (Fire), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Hydreigon (Dark/Dragon), Gyarados (Water/Flying), and Ferrothorn (Grass/Steel)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - TorkoalTorkoal Eruption, Heat Wave Drought Charcoal A defensive pure fire type Pokemon that can also set weather conditions and deal residual damage to enemies.
Having an abysmal base speed stat, Torkoal requires a bit more set up than other Pokemon that use the weather as an opportunity to plow through opposing teams. When given the chance, Torkoal can have a field day with boosted fire type moves of its choice thanks to its Drought ability. Often paired with Oranguru for Trick Room, its mainstay companion is also usually taught Instruct to give Torkoal one more turn to fire off hard-hitting fire type moves to all that don’t resist it. On top of that, its moves gives it a few more tries to fish for burns on the foes’ side of the field. With any remaining foes burnt, Torkoal can take a beating from their physical attacks with its unrivaled base defense stat of 140.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Indeedee-F (Psychic/Normal), Hatterene (Psychic/Fairy), Rhyperior (Ground/Rock), Dusclops (Ghost), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Conkeldurr (Fighting), Snorlax (Normal), Gastrodon (Water/Ground), and Mimikyu (Ghost/Fairy)

Tier A-

Pokemon Best Moves Best Abilities Held Item Description
Pokemon Sword and Shield - HydreigonHydreigon Dark Pulse, Flamethrower Levitate Choice Scarf A great offensive dark/dragon type Pokemon that excels in firing off special attacks for some massive damage.
Formerly a popular addition in the early formats like 2013, Hydreigon shares a similar fate with Scrafty and the reason being their glaring weakness to fairy moves. Unlike Scrafty which depends on Snarl and Fake Outs, Hydreigon relies on getting big damage with high base power moves. Its main form of damage are STAB dark and dragon, which usually comes with Flamethrower in order to punish steel types that try to soak its other attacks. With dynamax, it can use max darkness to swing the balance to its team’s favor. However, to overcome fast threats, it requires allies to gain the speed control. Having a few turns to go first helps it give way to allies to fire off strong attacks when the foes’ special defenses are down. The downside to using Hydreigon is that many of the common threats can easily knock it out like Whimsicott, Dragapult, Grimmsnarl, and Mimikyu.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Arcanine (Fire), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Sylveon (Fairy), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Conkeldurr (Fighting), Whimsicott (Grass/Fairy), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), and Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - ScraftyScrafty Drain Punch, Fake Out Intimidate Assault Vest A defense-oriented dark/fighting Pokemon that can help set up its partner on the battlefield while lowering their opponent’s Attack value using Intimidate.
It shares the role of a Fake Out user albeit has a slow start because of its speed and moveset. While it shrugs off psychic type moves, it relies on its allies to shine due to its glaring fairy and flying type weaknesses which are pretty common in the current format. Scrafty often shines in Trick Room teams due to its defensive stats and below-average speed. It learns Fake Out which stops a foe of its choosing for one turn provided that they don’t dynamax or outspeed its Fake Out with theirs. To complement its defense, it relies on Intimidate to give it a chance to survive a couple of non fairy type attacks. Having some tools to support its defensive bulk, it is often trained in special defense and given an Assault Vest to withstand special flying or fairy type moves.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Hatteren (Psychic/Fairy), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Ferrothorn (Grass/Steel), Torkoal (Fire), Sylveon (Fairy), Rotom-Heat (Electric/Fire), and Mimikyu (Ghost/Fairy)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - TogekissTogekiss Dazzling Gleam, Follow Me Serene Grace Sitrus Berry A solid fairy/flying Pokemon that has a very high Special Attack and Special Defense allowing it to handle offense-oriented and defense-oriented opponents through its dynamaxing.
In the format’s debut, Togekiss has gained a following owing to players’ familiarity to its tools and main role as a support Pokemon. However, with Excadrill’s recognition and Tyranitar’s growing dominance, Togekiss has, to some extent, fallen from grace. Togekiss appears as a support version of Sylveon with access to tools like Follow Me and Helping Hand to draw in moves or exert offensive pressure respectively. Having ground type immunity, Togekiss can continue to buy a few turns for an ally before it gets sacrificed for another Pokemon at the back. It makes great use of Sitrus Berry to stay longer on the field which pairs well with Togekiss’ above average defense and special defense stats.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Arcanine (Fire), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Gyarados (Water/Flying), Scrafty (Dark/Fighting), Rotom-Heat (Electric/Fire), Duralodon (Steel/Dragon), and Rotom-Mow (Electric/Grass)

Tier B+

Pokemon Best Moves Best Abilities Held Item Description
Pokemon Sword and Shield - DusclopsDusclops Trick Room Frisk Eviolite A highly defensive pure ghost type Pokemon that can help identify the held items of opponents by using its Frisk ability.
It faces stiff competition with Hatterene and to some extent Oranguru as the prime Trick Room setter of the team. While it does get Frisk and Ally Switch to scout opponents, it is currently being tested in the format and has thus been grouped with the some of the uncommon Pokemon. Despite having less base stat total than others, Dusclops gets some bulk out of Eviolite. Dusclops is often sent out as a lead to Trick Room like Hatterene. What sets it apart is its ability and movepool. It has Frisk which reveals its foes’ held items and to some extent, helps identify what the opponent’s possible tactics are. It also leans more on defense rather than offense with access to Will-o-Wisp and Pain Split.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Torkoal (Fire), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Indeedee-F (Psychic/Normal), Snorlax (Normal), Mandibuzz (Dark/Flying), Sylveon (Fairy), Gastrodon (Water/Ground), Arcanine (Fire), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), and Rhyperior (Ground/Rock)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - FerrothornFerrothorn Gyro Ball Iron Barbs Leftovers, Occa Berry A reliable grass/steel type Pokemon with high defensive values and is capable of hitting opponents with residual damage.
While Ferrothorn’s type lures in fire types, it has been a staple grass type across many formats in the past. Despite its decent role in a sandstorm team, Ferrothorn has to compete with other more viable Pokemon to fill in the gaps. Many of its threats have also risen after the first few weeks into the format such as physical types running Max Knuckle, fairy types getting Mystical Fire, and the growing popularity of Will-o-Wisp which could all contribute to Ferrothorn’s decreasing popularity. Ferrothorn punishes foes with strong STAB attacks like Gyro Ball and Power Whip. Its ability also punishes opponents that deal contact-based moves. When paired with Leftovers, Ferrothorn works to stall out opponents with Protect while it takes some time off to heal itself. Ferrothorn can also replace it with an Occa Berry to survive fire type moves although it is situational.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Arcanine (Fire), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Rotom-Heat (Electric/Fire), Rotom-Heat (Electric/Fire), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Sylveon (Fairy), Braviary (Normal/Flying), and Scrafty (Dark/Fighting)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Galarian WeezingGalarian Weezing Strange Steam Neutralizing Gas Assault Vest, Sitrus Berry A solid poison/fairy type Pokemon with a wide coverage of moves and an ability to nullify the effects of abilities on the battlefield by having Neutralizing Gas.
Sharing a role with the rest of the B tier Pokemon, Galarian Weezing is one of the more passive yet quite useful support types. Since ground and steel types are common, it can struggle to get an attack off. However, Galarian Weezing makes up for it with its signature ability, Neutralizing Gas, which alters the dynamics among Pokemon while it’s active. The presence of Galarian Weezing denies all abilities present on the field to manipulate the dynamics. While it comes off as a shock to foes, it might also backfire when played incorrectly. Galarian Weezing can juggle between playing passively and aggressively to get some mind games going. One of its suggested items, the Assault Vest, prevents it from using Protect at the cost of helping it survive against special type moves.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Conkeldurr (Fighting), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Hydreigon (Dark/Dragon), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Arcanine (Fire), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), Ferrothorn (Grass/Steel), Whimsicott (Grass/Fairy), and Duralodon (Steel/Dragon)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - HitmontopHitmontop Fake Out, Wide Guard Intimidate Eject Button A utility fighting type Pokemon that relies on cycling Intimidates and stops foes from gaining momentum.
One of the premier Fake Out users in previous formats for its utility. Hitmontop is known for support moves and is often used to cycle Intimidates and Fake Outs to buy some time for an ally or two to secure a favorable spot. It can carry some allies with Wide Guard to prevent spread moves from occurring. Owing to its typing, it can come in relatively safe on threats like Excadrill and Tyranitar and drop their attacks with Intimidate. However, Hitmontop has its fair share of flaws. With the popularity of single target moves and Trick Room teams that often consist of hard hitting fairy and psychic moves, Hitmontop is often benched in favor of a better matchup. On top of that, Hitmontop is forced to play mind games with foes that carry both spread moves and with dynamax, single target moves. It’s also overshadowed by other Fake Out users like Scrafty which can be brought against physical and special oriented foes.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Hatterene (Psychic/Fairy), Galarian Darmanitan (Ice), Sylveon (Fairy), Rotom-Heat (Electric/Fire), and Arcanine (Fire)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Rotom MowRotom-Mow Leaf Storm, Thunderbolt Levitate Sitrus Berry, Wiki Berry A stable offensive-oriented electric/grass type Pokemon which also has strong support moves.
While not largely outclassed by its cousins, Rotom-Mow, like other grass types, have not had much spotlight in the current format. Despite the dominance of sand-based teams which Rotom-Mow doesn’t mind at all, it fares poorly against most Trick Room teams that have a penchant for using fire type moves. Rotom-Mow learns a unique combination of Leaf Storm and Thunderbolt which allows it to handle ground and flying types simultaneously. Unlike its other forms, it often sticks around the field using a Sitrus Berry or a pinch Berry.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Arcanine (Fire), Arcanine (Fire), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), Sylveon (Fairy), and Braviary (Normal/Flying)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - ToxtricityToxtricity (Amped Form) Overdrive Punk Rock Choice Specs, Throat Spray A unique electric/poison type Pokemon that has strong sound-based moves due to its Punk Rock ability and is capable of inflicting residual damage to bulkier opponents.
Toxtricity gets its fair share of highs and lows in the current format. While Toxtricity threatens the Tailwind setters, its average speed leaves it open to sand-based teams’ ground type attacks. On top of that, the rising usage of Gastrodon and its reliance on Max Quake denies Toxtricity from putting a good show on the field. With an underwhelming speed, Toxtricity requires support in the form of speed control to get it going. Its signature move, Overdrive helps it deal with both foes staring down on it, which helps it strike down the common flying types and water types. Similar to Sylveon, Toxtricity relies on sound-based moves to deal damage. That being said, it can commit to using Choice Specs to sharply raise its special attack or Throat Spray for a quick boost.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Pelipper (Water/Flying), Ferrothorn (Grass/Steel), Arcanine (Fire), Dracovish (Water/Dragon), Ludicolo (Water/Grass), Gyarados (Water/Flying), Braviary (Normal/Flying), and Excadrill (Ground/Steel)

Tier B

Pokemon Best Moves Best Abilities Held Item Description
Pokemon Sword and Shield - CinderaceCinderace Court Change, Pyro Ball Blaze Focus Sash An offense-oriented pure fire type Pokemon that is capable of reversing screen moves using Court Change.
Cinderace is overshadowed by other fire types due to the absence of its unreleased ability, Libero. While it gets some signature moves through Court Change and Pyro Ball, its missing ability limits the number of actions it can do to climb up the list. Cinderace has some decent tools in the form of Pyro Ball and comes with a surprise with Court Change to swap effects with opponents. With average defenses, it appreciates having a Focus Sash intact to pull off some moves to take out a foe or two.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Grimmsnarl (Dark/Fairy), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Duralodon (Steel/Dragon), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Whimsicott (Grass/Fairy), and Corviknight (Flying/Steel)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - DhelmiseDhelmise Anchor Shot, Power Whip Steelworker Assault Vest A bulky and utility-oriented ghost/grass type Pokemon that excels in recovery and nullifying leech and bind moves.
While Dhelmise has tools enough to make it work on Trick Room teams, those are not enough to put it on the driver’s seat. Having to face faster ghost types and dark types in the current phase and not to mention fire types and Intimidate, Dhelmise has to surpass plenty of obstacles to get in safely. Quite unique for being one of the ghost and grass types that can operate well under Trick Room. Its ability Steelworker acts like a way to give it another STAB move in the form of Anchor Shot. That being said, Dhelmise offers some move combinations that are likely unheard of. After firing an Anchor Shot, Dhelmise punishes a foe and locks it on the field. It also gets Power Whip which often knock outs foes weak to it at max investment. In addition to its defense being boosted by a Max Steelspike, Dhelmise appreciates having an Assault Vest to boost its special defense.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Hatterene (Psychic/Fairy), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Rotom-Wash (Electric/Water), Arcanine (Fire), Galarian Darmanitan (Ice), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), and Dracovish (Water/Dragon)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - MandibuzzMandibuzz Foul Play, Tailwind Overcoat Psychic Seed A bulky dark/flying type Pokemon that aims to double speed and punish foes that have high offense.
Often trained to live Moonblasts, Mandibuzz earned its spotlight as one of the bulkier Tailwind users. Similar to the now more popular Grimmsnarl, Mandibuzz’s type shrugs off Prankster boosted moves. Similar to its 2017 set, it is often given a Psychic Seed and paired with Indeedee-F to take super effective moves. The problem with Mandibuzz is that despite its bulk, it often preyed upon by opposing Rock Slides when matching Tailwinds. If the team can deny the opposition from getting their Tailwind, its form of attacks like Snarl or Foul Play can come in handy.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Indeedee-F (Psychic/Normal), Dusclops (Ghost), Torkoal (Fire), Snorlax (Normal), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Arcanine (Fire), Toxtricity (Electric/Poison), Gyarados (Water/Flying), and Ferrothorn (Grass/Steel)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - MiloticMilotic Icy Wind, Scald Competitive Choice Scarf, Leftovers A stable defensive-oriented pure water type Pokemon that can match up against bulky offensive teams and capitalize on status condition effects.
Despite its dominance alongside in previous formats, Milotic struggles to pull off some attacks due to its average speed. Without getting the Competitive boost, Milotic tends to be ignored due to its tendency to have a passive role. In addition, constant weather wars against sandstorm teams limits its longevity and undermines its special attack power. Milotic can commit to Icy Wind for a few turns until the debuffs are enough for its allies to move first. Its ability, which is nearly identical to Braviary’s, acts as a makeshift Weakness Policy to boost its above-average special attack stat. One of the better options is to have it equip a Choice Scarf to guarantee an attack off against foes to make way for allies to start scoring knock outs.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Arcanine (Fire), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Corviknight (Flying/Steel), Excadrill (Ground/Steel), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Ferrothorn (Grass/Steel), Braviary (Normal/Flying), Rotom-Heat (Electric/Fire), Mimikyu (Ghost/Fairy), and Galarian Darmanitan (Ice)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - PelipperPelipper Hurricane, Scald, Tailwind Drizzle Focus Sash A bulky and weather setter water/flying type Pokemon that can be paired to multiple partners in battle while using its ability, Drizzle.
Pelipper relies on having its Focus Sash intact to pick up the pace on later turns. However, the growing usage of sand-based teams often denies that. While it does have Tailwind to find its way out of a speedy foe, Pelipper starts off slow and requires careful attention which is tough in a format laden with hyper offensive teams, slow teams, and dynamaxed Pokemon. Despite rivaling sand-based teams, Pelipper strives to deliver rainfall on the field with its ability. When the rain goes up, it can hit hard with Scald to fish for burns. In the same way, it can fish for confusion with Hurricane to hopefully buy a turn or two for its team to set up or make certain threats faint. Pelipper needs to stand up against sand and while it can get tricky to play against, having the proper set up can help save its item for crucial turns.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Ludicolo (Water/Grass), Ferrothorn (Grass/Steel), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Arcanine (Fire), Toxtricity (Electric/Poison), Sylveon (Fairy), and Scrafty (Dark/Fighting)

Pokemon Sword and Shield - ReuniclusReuniclus Trick Room Regenerator Sitrus Berry A bulky and offensive-oriented pure psychic type Pokemon that is difficult to take down and can guard itself against non-direct attacks using its Magic Guard ability.
Another Trick Room user that is a psychic type. Reuniclus struggles to leave a lasting impression on teams since it is often outclassed by other slower Pokemon such as Dusclops and Hatterene. Currently a niche Trick Room setter, Reuniclus’ biggest obstacle is finding a way to set up safely. While Regenerator gives Reuniclus some means to swap back and forth while taking hits, there are only a couple of times that it can stay in on a fast-paced format. It can make great use of Sitrus or Pinch Berries to cover any lost health. Unlike Hatterene, its best attacks are psychic types which can be quite underwhelming with dark types and steel types being fairly common.

Recommended Teammates (via Pikalytics): Sylveon (Fairy), Scrafty (Dark/Fighting), Dragapult (Dragon/Ghost), Tyranitar (Rock/Dark), Mimikyu (Ghost/Fairy)

Let Us Know What You Think!

Do you agree with our list? If not, let us know which areas you disagree on in the comments below. Also, let us know if you want us to give placements and inputs to other Pokemon in the game.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Recommended Article List

▼Pokemon Sword and Shield Recommended Articles
Expansion Pass All Diglett Locations Gen 8 Starters
Galar Dex Pokemon Battles Walkthroughs
Beginner Guides Strategy Guides Game Database
Strategy Guides Post-Game TM Locations
TR List Evolution Stones Evolution Methods

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