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

Tier List for Double Battles (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 made its official debut 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 25, 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 many sources such as the VR invitational, vgcstats, and pikalytics.

Changes From the First List

Removal of Tier SS

  • With the advent of new tools which include redirection and Gigantamax, it led to the gradual drop of Excadrill to Tier S when players found many tricks to play around it. Despite some setbacks, Excadrill finds a spot on Tier S along with the other high-performing Pokemon due to its defense boosting max moves and hits most Pokemon with Mold Breaker. While the Gigantamax is surely gaining some usage, we thought of putting them on tiers below S as we wait for the format to run its course. Rising stars such as Togekiss and Arcanine have gone up in usage due to their valuable support roles to weaken or draw in attacks from their allies.

Gigantamax Forms

  • The release of the VGC 2020 rules made Gigantamax Pokemon usable in the updated format. While the G-max Pokemon have demonstrated some usage for the past few weeks since release, many of the teams that have been in the format since the beginning continue to thrive. That being said, we’ll monitor how these Pokemon fare against the staple dynamax ones that have been out since the start of battle stadium doubles as well as how they shape the meta.

Removed Pokemon

  • Some of the Pokemon from our previous list were removed for the time being. These consist of Mimikyu, Lucario, Rotom-Heat, Scrafty, Galarian Weezing, Hitmontop, Toxtricity (Amped Form), Cinderace, Mandibuzz, and Reuniclus. While the listed Pokemon are by no means unusable in the format, many of these have started to dwindle in numbers. Similar to the added Gigantamax Pokemon, we’ll also keep track of the removed Pokemon and depending on their performance, might end up back on future revisions.

Tier S

Pokemon Best Moves Best Abilities Held Item Description
Pokemon Sword and Shield - ArcanineArcanine  Will-o-Wisp Intimidate, Justified Sitrus Berry, Pinch / Fiwam Berry A prominent pure fire type Pokemon that has strong overall stats, movepool and very viable abilities such as Intimidate and Justified.
There are not many fire types that can continue to pivot in and out of battle like Arcanine does. While it isn’t as hard hitting as Charizard under the sun, it suffers less from unboosted Rock type attacks when given some defense investment alongside Intimidate. It has good speed to outspeed some physical threats and burn them to help its allies. Arcanine’s bulk also helps against physical and special moves even when those deal super effective damage.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - DragapultDragapult  Shadow Ball  Clear Body  Focus Sash A highly offensive dragon/ghost type Pokemon with an incredible speed stat and disabling enemy move at 30% chance using its Cursed Body ability.
Dragapult retains a spot in the high tier due to its immunity and offense. It can also make use of a special-oriented set to bypass the attack decrease after getting burned. In turn, Dragapult can continue to fire off strong STAB attacks like Draco Meteor and Shadow Ball and their corresponding max move variants.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - DuralodonDuraludon Draco Meteor, Flash Cannon Stalwart Assault Vest A tanky steel/dragon type Pokemon that can potentially withstand opposing dynamaxed moves.
Duraludon benefits from having a solid type combination which gives it many resistances. Its signature ability is a solid check against some Trick Room setters since it ignores redirection. However, Duraludon still needs support due to its low base special defense. You can opt to give it an Assault Vest to bolster it, or focus on offense with items like Life Orb. With the latter, Duraludon can prevent taking attacks if it can afford to move first. For example, an ally with Icy Wind, Thunder Wave, or Tailwind can help Duraludon move faster to get the knock out before it takes a special attack.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - ExcadrillExcadrill High-Horsepower, Rock Slide Mold Breaker  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.
Even in face of new Pokemon like Gigantamax and others that carry fire type moves, Excadrill remains a great option due to its tools. When dynamaxed, it can choose between Max Steelspike or Max Quake to land big damage while raising an ally’s defensive stat by one stage. When paired with Sand Rush, it can get some chip damage with fast Rock Slides while the sandstorm is up.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - TogekissTogekiss Follow Me, Yawn Serene Grace Babiri Berry, Weakness Policy 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.
Due to Excadrill’s dominating presence, Togekiss can commit to using either a Babiri Berry to ensure that it survives a steel type attack and use status moves like Yawn to lull them to sleep. With the right investment, it can also choose to run Weakness Policy to punish foes with by taking a hit and then firing back with a boosted fairy, flying, or fire type attack of its choice. Having Follow me to accompany its bulk allows Togekiss to draw away attacks from its partner which forces foes to rethink their move choices on the succeeding turns.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - WhimsicottWhimsicott Energy Ball, Tailwind Prankster Focus Sash A wallbreaking grass/fairy type Pokemon that has solid special moves covering multiple types.
The premier Tailwind setter in the format due to its ability, Whimsicott can easily get an ally on the frontline to start dishing out damage after doubling their speed. After moving away from the more dominant Beat Up tricks, trainers have started to explore its other moves like Energy Ball, Taunt and Trick Room. It also learns Fake Tears which drops one opponent’s special defense to help teammates pick up knock outs quickly especially in crucial turns. Give it a Focus Sash to help Whimsicott stay on the field for another turn or two.

Tier A+

Pokemon Best Moves Best Abilities Held Item Description
Butterfree Sleep Powder Compound Eyes Focus Sash After moving to VGC2020, the bug and flying type earned a spot as one of the G-max capable Pokemon.
Regardless if it carries Gigantamax or not, Butterfree has been gaining popularity due to its ability-boosted Sleep Powder. Having a move that can render a foe or two almost helpless, allows Butterfree’s allies to set up for later turns. Another option is to focus on knocking out a certain threat to ensure that some teammates hiding at the back can come in almost freely. While it isn’t the one doing the most damage, with G-Max Befuddle, Butterfree can help an ally catch up on foes by spreading random status conditions. After putting foes to sleep, Butterfree becomes expendable to give room for slow allies to smite foes.
Conkeldurr Drain Punch Guts, Iron Fist Assault Vest This fighting type Pokemon might seem to have a slow start, but it tools and stats are enough to help it excel despite the constant speed wars.
With steel and rock types continuing to dominate the format and the advent of Gigantamax Snorlax, many players have sought for a Pokemon that not only trades consistent damage but can also operate under Trick Room. Between the two abilities, trainers can opt to have either Guts to shrug off burns and hit harder, or Iron Fist to power up many of the punch moves that it has at its disposal. Having the STAB Drain Punch gives Conkeldurr a form of solid damage alongside survivability. Pair that with Mach Punch, and Conkeldurr can resume landing damage and potential knock outs even after Trick Room expires.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - DracovishDracovish Crunch, Fishious Rend Strong Jaw Choice Scarf, Choice Band A wallbreaker water/dragon type Pokemon with incredible raw power that can break through defensive teams quickly using Fishious Rend.
Dracovish has access to tools to help it hit hard when given the support it needs. Allies with Tailwind can help Dracovish outspeed opponents with Will-o-Wisp to keep its attack stat intact. With most teams building around Dracovish, it needs to be wary of foes like Jellicent and Gastrodon since they are immune to its water type attack. Dracovish appreciates teammates with grass type moves like Whimsicott or Ferrothorn to scare those Pokemon away.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Galarian DarmanitanGalarian Darmanitan Icicle Crash, Rock Slide Gorilla Tactics Choice Scarf A bulky and offense-based pure ice type Pokemon that has a strong attack stat and a reliable speed stat.
Galarian Darmanitan shares a similar role to Dracovish due to its default kit. Darmanitan’s ability which is likely paired with a Choice Scarf ensures that it hits foes hard with a STAB attack like Rock Slide or Icicle Crash. However, when given an unfavorable matchup, Galarian Darmanitan might be forced to use an ineffective attack in hopes of staying in to protect those at the back. Without protect, Galarian Darmanitan can’t cover some type combinations when there’s a perfectly orchestrated revolving door of Pokemon. On top of that, the choice of which move it should lock into is often crucial when the team can no longer switch out.
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.
Often used to drive away Dracovish which relies on the water type move Fishous Rend, Gastrodon remains a great switch in to take Water type attacks from either slots with redirection. However, with the rise of grass types and many Whimsicott starting to run Energy Ball, Gastrodon can’t afford to have as much freedom as it had back in the early stages of the format. That being said, it STAB Earth Power when transformed to Max Quake gives it some longevity against incoming grass moves. Having a Rindo Berry to cushion many special grass attacks, Gastrodon can afford to live one or two which should buy some time to pass a defensive boost to an ally before its time runs out.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - GrimmsnarlGrimmsnarl Reflect, 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.
Prominent for putting up dual screens, Grimmsnarl is often lead to ensure that its ally can set up. Almost any Pokemon pairs well with Grimmsnarl but the better choices include ones that cover its weakness like Steel types. Grimmsnarl often occupies a passive role after getting screens up since it usually relies on its ally to deal damage. However, there are situations where some players opt to run Grimmsnarl for its offensive potential.
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.
Hatterene continues to shine as a Trick Room sweeper with its special attack and low speed stats. Unlike Snorlax which capitalizes on attacks, Hatterene does not mind facing against Pokemon with Intimidate if it can keep its special stat up. Although it shares the same type with Indeedee-F, both Pokemon can take advantage of the former’s Psychic Terrain to nuke foes that neither resist nor are immune to psychic type moves. On top of that, Hatterene can also handle dark types like Hydreigon thanks to its fairy type moves.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Rotom WashRotom-Wash Hydro Pump, Will-o-Wisp Levitate Sitrus Berry Another offensive eletric/water type Pokemon that can better match terrain-based teams such as sand and rain.
Even though Mold Breaker Excadrill is common and grass types have been pouring in, there’s no stopping Rotom-Wash from putting a good show. It can opt to run Nasty Plot to raise its special attacks more or carry Will-o-Wisp to punish physical types that ignore its presence. While it certainly can’t touch Gastrodon, it fares decently against other ground types like Mudsdale. Rotom-Wash also threatens many common Pokemon like Gyarados and Corviknight with STAB electric type moves and can shrug off most of their STAB attacks barring Power Whip.
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.
A solid Trick Room sweeper due to its ability, stats, and great use of Weakness Policy. With the growing popularity of even more diverse Trick Room team compositions, Rhyperior can help allies with its STAB Rock Slide and Earthquake. Even outside of Trick Room, Rhyperior can still put some offensive pressure against Sand Teams due to its Defense to withstand some physical ground or steel type moves. In addition, since it’s not the slowest Pokemon out there, it can continue to threaten opposing Trick Room sweepers in the early turns by outspeeding them and potentially flinching them.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - TyranitarTyranitar Crunch, Rock Slide Sand Stream 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.
Normally led together with Excadrill, Tyranitar’s ability comes as a form of speed control for those that have Sand Rush. With the sand up, its boosted special defense helps it soak a super effective special move in hopes of procing Weakness Policy. Tyranitar operates similar to Rhyperior and Coalossal which benefit from an ally with low offense investment to ensure that it does not faint when struck by their super effective attacks. Pair its boosts with Dynamax and you end up with a Pokemon that hits hard and can potentially knock out most Pokemon that lack bulk or don’t resist its attacks.

Tier A

Pokemon Best Moves Best Abilities Held Item Description
Charizard Heat Wave, Solar Beam Solar Power Life Orb Despite already been quite popular in the early format’s debut, the fire and flying type Pokemon earned yet another option in Gigantamax. With its G-max move, trades its ability for extra damage by punishing foes in the aftermath.
Often paired with Torkoal or Whimsicott depending on whether firepower or speed is needed. With Solar Power, Charizard hits hard even if its attacks are resisted especially when the sun is up. If Solar Power is worth trading for Gigantamax, Charizard also gets added damage after unleashing a G-Max Wildfire for some extra damage.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - CorviknightCorviknight Body Press, Brave Bird Mirror Armor Figy Berry A bulky and defense-based flying/steel type that can also overwhelm opponents with high HP.
Corviknight didn’t change much after the first season. It can still put in some work with Iron Defense which works well with its great typing. While it does fear some moves that ignore Defense boosts like Darkness Lariat, it can withstand attacks from other foes after their dynamax wears off. Like Dragapult, it gets to preserve its attack stat even when its adversary often cycles Intimidates. Corviknight gets STAB from moves like Brave Bird for some chip damage or commit to boosted Body Press after its defenses are high enough.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - GyaradosGyarados Power Whip, Waterfall Intimidate Sitrus Berry A solid offense-based pure water/flying type Pokemon that can snowball against enemies especially when reinforced with its Moxie ability and dynamaxed form.
While Gyarados shares a similar role to Arcanine, what sets it apart is its type, and immunity to ground moves. Some may opt to give it some form of speed control with access to Thunder Wave, which can help postpone opposing Pokemon’s moves in future turns. In tandem with Waterfall, Gyarados can also abuse the Paraflinch combo. With the rising usage of Gastrodon, Gyarados needs to be wary of using water type moves to prevent wasting a turn. One work around is to have it carry Power Whip to punish Gastrodon and other opposing water types. When chosen to Dynamax, Gyarados can knock out foes with its high attack stat or opt to lend a speed boost to an ally with Max Airstream, a trait that is often accomplished by fellow flying types.
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.
A popular support type Pokemon that gets Follow Me. Indeedee-F can easily take Ghost type attacks due to its immunity and can also prevent opposing Fake Outs from connecting when its terrain goes up. Indeedee-F appreciates teammates that focus on attacking such as Snorlax. It can redirect moves from most foes to help its ally boost its stats safely. In addition, Indeedee-F can also double on the offense with strong psychic moves to finish off foes that survive from its ally’s attack.
Jellicent Strength Sap, Trick Room Water Absorb Colbur Berry A fantastic water and ghost type Pokemon that serves as a great Trick Room setter. Jellicent’s ability helps it shrug off many water type attacks like the popular Fishious Rend. While its type is vulnerable to ghost and dark, its bulk allows it to take max moves if it can get away with being doubled.
Slowly rising in the format is Jellicent. It has many tools at its disposal to work as a Trick Room setter. With an immunity to Fake Out, good type and decent ability, Jellicent can go up against foes like Dracovish. Jellicent gets access to Strength Sap, a move that while doesn’t deal damage, it lowers a foe’s attack to help the team take some hits. In fact, Jellicent can even fish for burns to ensure that the foes attacks barely do enough damage and, with some adjustment, heal back up with Strength Sap to stall them out.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Rotom MowRotom-Mow Leaf Storm, Thunderbolt Levitate Sitrus Berry A stable offensive-oriented electric/grass type Pokemon which also has strong support moves.
Catching up with its other forms, Rotom Mow is slowly climbing to the top of the list as one of the great grass types. Having Levitate, neutral resistance to Excadrill’s ground moves, and unique typing, Rotom Mow fills a spot to go up against most threats like flying, rock, ground, and water types. While most of these carry Weakness Policy, Rotom can hit hard with its high special attack and benefits from STAB to take them out after its allies wear them out.
Snorlax Belly Drum, Double-Edge Gluttony Fiwam Berry Having well-rounded defense stats allows the normal type Pokemon, Snorlax, require a handful of support in order to turn from one passive Pokemon to an almost unstoppable powerhouse.
Snorlax enjoyed some use in the previous format due to its bulk and options to raise its attack. With the advent of G-max, Snorlax earned its signature move G-Max Replenish which is a STAB max move that can help the team acquire another Berry for future use. Following its slower Curse variant in the previous format, Snorlax moved to a more offensive Belly Drum set. When given enough support, Snorlax turns into a giant powerhouse that can potentially sweep a full team within a few minutes.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - SylveonSylveon Hyper Voice, Mystical Fire 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.
Despite Excadrill’s continuous dominance, Sylveon occupies slots that require a more bulky yet offensive Fairy type Pokemon. Powered with Pixilate, Sylveon can fire off fairy type Hyper Voices to finish off most opposing Pokemon that don’t resist it. While it doesn’t have the best speed nor Defense, it can be trained to survive a non-max steel type attack and retaliate with its fire type move. It is often given a Pixie Plate to power up its Fairy type attacks and can also opt to run a fairy-type Quick Attack to deny fast threats from moving further after they hung on with Focus Sash.
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.
Many Trick Room teams appreciate Torkoal due to its fire typing. Usually placed at the back, Torkoal is often assigned to overwrite opposing weather such as Tyranitar’s Sand Stream or Pelipper’s Drizzle after the Trick Room has been activated by its allies in front. Meanwhile, some trainers place it in front to set up the Sun for its ally Charizard when they suspect that an opponent struggles to change the weather on the first turn. The item of choice is Charcoal which does not sap its health unlike Life Orb does and gives Torkoal the extra damage boost it needs to faint foes before Trick Room wears off.

Tier A-

Pokemon Best Moves Best Abilities Held Item Description
Chandelure Heat Wave, Shadow Ball Flash Fire Focus Sash An exceptional ghost and fire type lead that has decent speed to go on either forms of speed control.
Chandelure is often paired with the support Pokemon Indeedee-F since the latter can soak Ghost type moves aimed at it. While protected for a few turns, Chandelure can opt to use Trick Room to help benched allies shine, or nuke opposing leads with its STAB Heat Waves. In addition, its high special attack helps it put pressure with its other coverage moves like Energy Ball. It has a relatively favorable match up against opposing Trick Room teams since it has access to Imprison to block them. When faced against opposing Trick Room leads that lack redirection, Chandelure can hit them hard with its combination of ghost and fire type attacks.
Dracozolt Bolt Beak Hustle Life Orb A high-risk, high-reward dragon and electric type Pokemon that can swing battles into one’s favor when played to its strengths. Its ability makes it a great candidate for dynamax.
A Pokemon that was seen in the VR invitational and was used by the 2014 World Champion Sejun Park. Dracozolt might not have the most consistent performance in the format unlike Dracovish, however it showed some potential after picking up a knock out against a Bronzong using a turn one Bolt Beak. With support from Tailwind and other forms of speed control, Dracozolt works similar to Dracovish with its own signature move to score knock outs even against foes that resist it. After dynamaxing, Dracozolt can continue using its max moves boosted by Hustle without minding the accuracy drop. For three turns, Dracozolt can tear through teams unprepared with Max Lightning which powers up the team’s electric attacks for a couple more turns.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - DusclopsDusclops Night Shade, 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.
Dusclops is a fantastic Trick Room setter which is able to stare down on most leads thanks to its high defenses. It comes with Frisk which allows Dusclops to detect its foes’ held items. Frisk comes in handy since it allows the team to come up with a game plan going forward, and to some extent help the team identify the options that the opponent is carrying. Similar to Porygon 2 from previous formats, Dusclops is given an Eviolite to hold since it promotes its defensive stats to help it stay longer to support its allies. It has many tricks up its sleeve to support allies, it can run Ally Switch to force mind games, use Night Shade to weaken most opponents, or use a recovery move like Pain Split to even out the damage or even burn foes with Will-o-Wisp.
Durant Iron Head, X-Scissor Hustle Lum Berry A bug and steel type Pokemon that spends most turns playing risky due to its optimal ability and great offensive stats.
Similar to Dracozolt, Durant garnered some usage with its Hustle ability. It excels as a great Dynamax user provided that fire types or fire type moves are off the field. With a Lum Berry, Durant’s teammate can opt to use Swagger to boost its already high attack. In return, Durant can choose to focus on defense boosting moves like Max Steelspike or Max Quake to stay longer on the field. Alternatively, Durant can even opt to use Max Flutterby over Max Quake if it decides to cover the team’s weakness to special moves.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - FerrothornFerrothorn Leech Seed, Power Whip Iron Barbs Leftovers, Occa Berry A reliable grass/steel type Pokemon with high defensive values and is capable of hitting opponents with residual damage.
Ferrothorn is quite the opposite of Whimsicott when it comes to its role on the team. Instead of being a special grass type that doubles a team’s speed, it occupies the role of a physically -oriented Pokemon under Trick Room. When Trick Room goes up, Ferrothorn can come in and punish speedy foes with Gyro Ball or punish popular water types with STAB Power Whip. Its typing helps it stand against the popular Sand and even Rain teams. When taking chip damage, it can recover some health while forcing switches with Leech Seed. On top of that, Ferrothorn doesn’t mind Trick Room mirrors provided that the team can answer opposing fire types. Without the threat of fire type moves, Ferrothorn can knock out staple Trick Room-oriented Pokemon like Mudsdale, Rhyperior and Gastrodon. It can equally weaken other slow Pokemon like Dusclops and Snorlax by stealing their HP which can push them to rethink their move choices.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - HydreigonHydreigon Dark Pulse, Draco Meteor Levitate Choice Scarf, Life Orb A great offensive dark/dragon type Pokemon that excels in firing off special attacks for some massive damage.
Hydreigon pairs well with fairy types like Whimsicott. Both of them take advantage of the latter’s Tailwind, and Hydreigon can also aid Whimsicott with Max Darkness to help it hit hard. When Hydreigon’s dynamax subsides, you can outperform foes if you can determine which of the foe’s leads will use Protect next turn. The trick is to double up on the slot that won’t protect with a combination of Fake Tears and a strong special attack. Having not moved from its previous spot, the dark and dragon type Pokemon struggles to make an impression due to the vast amount of others that it has to compete with. While it has many strong special attacks, its glaring fairy type weakness also puts it in an awkward spot against staple fairy types that are often brought against it.
Mudsdale Body Press, High Horsepower Stamina, Own Tempo Assault Vest, Fiwam Berry Takes the role of a ground type physical sponge that can withstand many attacks that it isn’t weak against.
A Pokemon that can take hits and resists electric type attacks. Mudsdale is often put in a team that can capitalize on Trick Room due to its low speed. While some foes like Rhyperior and Snorlax commit to attack, Mudsdale’s main asset is its defense. With stamina, it can take physical attacks well all the while benefiting from boosted Body Press. Usually, it serves as the team’s dynamaxed Pokemon, as it’s able to raise defense with Max Steelspike or strengthen its other moves with Max Knuckle. When it comes to its other options, there are many ways to take advantage of either. Some trainers opt to activate Stamina themselves using an ally with Beat Up to proc Stamina. Others might want to try having it run Own Tempo so that it can take an ally’s Swagger to boost its other coverage moves. Despite which ability it commits to, Mudsdale can throw punches against many opponents like the popular Sand-based leads and fellow physical Trick Room sweepers to name a few.

Tier B+

Pokemon Best Moves Best Abilities Held Item Description
Pokemon Sword and Shield - BraviaryBraviary 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.
In a format plagued with speed control and boosts, Braviary serves as a great option owing to its tools. With Defiant, it can deter foes from sending out Intimidate on the first few turns. Since Braviary forces opponents to play around it, this potentially buys time for the team to collect boosts. Since battles take place with dynamax, a well-supported Braviary can grab this opportunity to earn boosts for free if its opponent decides to use Max Moves that inflict stat drops.
Gothitelle Trick Room Shadow Tag Wiki Berry Slow and quite bulky, the psychic type Pokemon can serve to trap opponents to aid allies to set up.
With the fall of mega evolutions, the role of a trapper which was primarily done by Mega Gengar, became more of Gothitelle’s niche. In tandem with other support Pokemon, Gothitelle prevents foes from switching out which minimizes some mind games from most enemies barring fellow Shadow Tag users and Ghost types. Having trapped foes, Gothitelle can fire off a STAB attack to weaken threats or use Trick Room to reverse the order of Pokemon’s moves. Other options for Gothitelle include having Heal Pulse or running Fake Out to help the team gain some momentum.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - LudicoloLudicolo Ice Beam Swift Swim Assault Vest A bulky and formidable water/grass type Pokemon that can overwrite its opponent’s terrain setup in battle
A grass and water type rain sweeper that has many coverage moves to choose from. Ludicolo shines when there is rain on the field due to the amount of boosts it gives. With rain, Ludicolo receives a boost to its water type attacks as well as its speed stat. Since Ludicolo is often used to pivot, it can forego having Protect and opt to have as much coverage moves as possible. At the cost of not having Protect, Ludicolo can put Assault Vest to good use to boost its Special Defense up a notch.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - PelipperPelipper Hurricane 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
While Pelipper struggles to get rain safely, it can potentially pave the way for allies to counter opposing weather when given the chance. It learns Tailwind to double the team’s speed and can fish for burn or confusion with Scald and Hurricane respectively. While these moves aren’t the most optimal due to their base power, Pelipper reaps many of its benefits while the rain is up. Its Scald earns a boost in damage, while its Hurricane attains an accuracy boost. However, the downside to using Pelipper is that it’s quite frail. In addition, it relies heavily on the weather it summons in the early turns and can’t afford to make mistakes unlike other setters.

Tier B

Pokemon Best Moves Best Abilities Held Item Description
Vanilluxe Blizzard Snow Warning Focus Sash An ice type hail setter that has access to dual screens. Similar to Pelipper, it can commit to attacking while the weather is activated with its STAB special attacks.
Vanilluxe might seem like an odd choice due to its STAB Blizzard’s shaky accuracy and Aurora Veil being primarily dependent on the weather it summons. Since it is quite frail, it shares a role with fellow weather setter Pelipper. If Vanilluxe can overwrite the weather with its own, it can swing the battle to the team’s favor. Its special attack is quite high and its speed stat is decent enough to run alongside speed control moves like Tailwind. Coupled with Whimsicott, the pair can commit to sacrificing themselves to usher in sweepers. If it manages to stay in, Vanilluxe can nuke foes that are weak to its ice type attacks. You can opt to teach it Ice Shard to pick up some surprise knock outs provided that Psychic Terrain is turned off. In the recent Galar Weekly tournament, it was showcased by a number of solid teams including vgc player Tutpup who finished first place.
Pokemon Sword and Shield - DhelmiseDhelmise Anchor Shot, Power Whip Steelworker Assault Vest A bulky and utility-oriented ghost/grass type Pokemon that excels under Trick Room.
Its type, moves, and roles often clash with other grass types like Ferrothorn which can be a tough call in teambuilding. Unlike Ferrothorn, Dhelmise isn’t often seen around teams and its appearance could offer some interesting dynamics. It gets Steelworker which counts as a make-shift Same-Type-Attack-Bonus to its steel moves. When Trick Room goes up, Dhelmise can unleash one of its three popular coverage moves to weaken opponents. One of its niche roles was also seen in the recent VR Invitational, where former world champion Ryota Otsubo used it to force mind games with Ally Switch.
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.
Milotic may appear play quite passively due to its stats being mostly average, but what it accomplishes after a couple of turns is quite different from other water types like Gastrodon and Gyarados. One noticeable difference is that Milotic does not possess a secondary type which means it can potentially survive some electric and grass moves aimed at it. Its stats are geared to support allies and some teams opt to pair it with Pokemon that boost garner boosts with moves like Max Quake and Max Steelspike. In addition, it finds a spot among teams that struggle against stat drops since having its stats lowered counts as an incentive for it to raise its special attack.

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.

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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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