Once you’ve thrashed every single Gym Leader in Pokemon Sword and Shield, taken down the Champion, and also captured the relevant Legendary, well, what else is there to do? Lucky for us this time, the answer is, well, a pretty comprehensive end-game. The Gym Leaders were easy pickings when you consider the fact that you can basically ranked battle anyone online afterwards, and the scene is quickly heating up. If you’re curious about what goes into a kickass team, here’s who we reckon are some of the best competitive Pokemon in Pokemon Sword and Shield.
Best Competitive Pokemon in Pokemon Sword and Shield
We’re going to list off a bunch of the Pokemon in Sword and Shield that we reckon hold their own against the wide variety of options that will be kicking around in ranked battle. We’ll also give a brief rundown of why we think they’re so good, so hopefully our picks give you something to chew on.
Best Competitive Pokemon in Pokemon Sword and Shield – Barraskewda
Barraskewda, in case the name and design didn’t already give it away, is meant to rip through your opposition in the right weather conditions. It’s one hell of an offensive tactic, and to make the most of it, you’re going to want to make sure that it’s got access to moves like Close Combat and Psychic Fangs so that Dynamaxing will allow it to protect itself a little. This is a real speedy fish, so your goal will be to get in quick and to hit hard before your enemy can counter.
Best Competitive Pokemon in Pokemon Sword and Shield – Corviknight
We love this little bugger. Well, actually, it’s a huge bird, but, the sentiment stands. Corviknight is Flying-Steel which is a great combo, and you can make sure that it lives up to its namesake by making it the tank to defeat all tanks. Corviknight can benefit from moves like Brave Bird which hit incredibly bloody hard, and can be offset by having a hearty Defense stat or by things like Iron Defense and Roost. You can stall decently effectively with a tank like this on your team.
Best Competitive Pokemon in Pokemon Sword and Shield – Dracovish
So Dracovish has a move that is 85 base power that doubles if he moves first
His ability gives him what is effectively a choice band boost
And he can hold an item (ie choice band)
Most Z moves were between 170-180 bp and this is effectively a 573 bp move with choice band b4 STAB https://t.co/vQYmC6xcCF
— PG | Wolfey (@WolfeyGlick) November 30, 2019
Dracovish is an up and comer which has been touted by the likes of Wolfe Glick, arguably the top VGC player, as being a more than viable strategy in the current meta. Glick’s strategy as outlined in his tweet below involves strapping a Choice Band onto this bad boy. The move Fishious Rend doubles in power if your Pokemon strikes first, but giving it Choice Band will let it bump its attack up even more, making sure that this speedy Dragon absolutely decimates the competition so long as they don’t get to it first.
Best Competitive Pokemon in Pokemon Sword and Shield – Dragapult
This little boi is definitely popular in the ranked battle scene, only because it has a number of answers to common strategies. It’s quick and can have a deep pool of moves when it comes to Type, so it’s definitely one of the more highly adaptable picks for end-game trainers. Dragapult trainers will want moves like Shadow Ball to take care of the Steel Pokemon that you’re going to see, and something like Expert Belt will give you even more options when it comes to thinking on the fly with your move variety.
Best Competitive Pokemon in Pokemon Sword and Shield – Excadrill
Excadrill is a pain in the butt, but well, it’s got Earthquake which is pretty damn devastating. However, where having things like Earthquake and Iron Head make sense is when you consider the Dynamax versions of those two particular additions to your mole’s moveset: you’ll be able to pump up your Defense and SP Def. If you’re also wanting to make sure that you can’t have your tricks used against you, pick up an Air Balloon to be extra annoying to your foes.
Best Competitive Pokemon in Pokemon Sword and Shield – Galarian Darmanitan
Galarian Darmanitan is an interesting one because of its Typing – Fire and Ice. That being said, this bloke is pretty damn slow, but you can easily take care of this by giving it something like a Choice Scarf. The point of Darmanitan is Type coverage, as it can learn anything from Flare Blitz to Earthquake to round out your team. It’s got a natural boost to its attack from Gorilla Tactics, so all you really have to do is make sure that this Pokemon hits first if you want to obliterate the opposition.
Now that you’ve got our takes on what we reckon are some of the best competitive Pokemon in Pokemon Sword and Shield, here are some other guides that we’ve been working on in the meantime to help out aspiring Galarian explorers: