How to Ace the Academy Ace Tournament in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Imagine being beaten by your 15 year old student in front of the whole school

Now that you’re Champion, you might be wondering what else Pokemon Scarlet and Violet has to offer. For trainers that love pitting themselves against the strongest trainers, Paldea has to offer the answer is clear – join the Academy Ace Tournament!

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This will be your hardest challenge in the game yet, but it’s also a fantastic way to see what your current team is made of while grinding out items and levels. Here’s what you can expect.

How to Beat the Academy Ace Tournament

You can compete in the Academy Ace Tournament as many times as you want (and it’s my preferred way to level up Pokemon I’m trying to evolve). The goal of the tournament is to fight your way through the brackets, defeating four “random” trainers.

Unfortunately, the first time you compete in the Academy Ace Tournament, your fights will not be random. Though every other time after will be.

Instead, you can expect to fight, in order, Arven, Instructor Jacq, Instructor Dendra, and finally Top Champion Geeta. You’ll need to defeat all four to be crowned Academy Ace. Feel free to terastallize in each match and don’t worry if your Pokemon faint. You’ll be fully healed by the time the next match starts. None of these trainers are slouches, so it’s better to come into it prepared.

How to Defeat Arven

Arven’s gotten a lot stronger since we fought him in front of the lighthouse. His team remains the same (suspiciously food-based) but much higher level. Five of his Pokemon will be Level 67 and his all-star, Mabosstiff, will be level 68. For Arven, the best thing you can do is aggressively counter his Pokemon whenever he has to switch. You’ll want to sweep his Pokemon as quickly as possible, as he relies on tick damage and status effects. This, coupled with his already strong Pokemon, make him a difficult challenger.

Arven will lead with Greedent, a Normal Type Pokemon. It’s only weak to fighting, so be sure to either bring its type disadvantage or your best STAB moves. It has Bullet Seed, Body Slam, Psychic Fangs, and Earthquake in its arsenal, so don’t underestimate it.

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Arven is likely to bring in Garganacl next. Its moves are Stone Edge, Earthquake, Body Press, and Stealth Rock. Garganacl will probably throw Stealth Rock on the floor immediately. Stealth Rock is a move that damages opposing Pokemon who are switched into battle and it does more damage depending on your Pokemon’s type. If your Pokemon is weak to Rock moves, it will take more damage. Since Arven’s team is so varied, you’ll likely be changing your Pokemon quite a bit to counter his. It’s this way that Arven whittles your team’s health down and puts you in a bad position, so take down Garganacl before he can use Stealth Rock!

Toedscruel has Power Whip, Earth Power, Spore, and Sludge Bomb. But allow it one move and it’s likely to either put your Pokemon to sleep with Spore or poison it with Sludge. Since it’s a Grass Type, a strong Fire Type or Flying Type move is also sufficient to put it in its place, but it’s even better if you have an Ice move, as it does quadruple damage.

These three Pokemon are the most likely to give you trouble because of their resistances and their tendency to inflict status effects or tick damage:

Cloyster has Rock Blast, Icicle Spear, Liquidation, and Light Screen. But as a Water Type, it’s weak to Electric, Grass, Fighting, and Rock, so it’s likely you’ll be able to put it down easily.

Scovillain might throw you for a loop because of its double typing, but if you reached this point, you’ve likely faced it quite a few of these Pokemon before. It has Fire Blast, Energy Ball, Zen Headbutt, and Crunch, so Arven is well aware that you’re likely to throw a Poison or Rock Type its way. Your best chance to reduce damage is a Flying Type.

As for Mabosstiff, this is technically Arven’s ace. But as a Dark Type, he’s weak to Fighting, Bug, and Fairy. Terastallize a Pokemon with one of those typings and the old dog will go down fast. Its move set is Crunch, Psychic Fangs, Fire Fang, and Play Rough.

Instructor Jacq

This Pokemon Professor will go down far more easily than Arven, if only because four of his Pokemon are monotypes with ample weaknesses, and the remaining two are also countered with common Types. But Jacq leans heavily on hard-hitting, recoil-inflicting moves. All of his Pokemon are level 65, except for his ace, Farigiraf, who is level 66.

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He’ll lead with Arcanine, who has Flare Blitz, Play Rough, Close Combat, and Psychic Fangs. It’s also very fast, so it’s likely it’ll hit you with one of these powerful moves. Flare Blitz and Close Combat are the most likely moves it will lead with unless you have a Pokemon weak to either Fairy or Psychic. Poor Arcanine killed itself using Flare Blitz.

Jacq sends out Mudsdale next. It knows Earthquake, Heavy Slam, Stone Edge, and Close Combat but chose to Close Combat my Pokemon. Its moves are heavy hitting, so try to sweep it as quickly as possible.

The rest of his team are glass cannons who will go down easily if you counter their typing. Lurantis is a Grass Type with Leaf Blade, Leech Life, Night Slash, and Brick Break. Swalot is a Poison Type with Fire Punch, Ice Punch, Toxic, and Protect. It’s possible that if you don’t bring Swalot down immediately it can cause you a bit of trouble, as it will probably attempt to Poison you with Toxic or prevent your attack (assuming it’s faster than your Pokemon) with Protect. Try to prevent either one from happening with a fast Psychic type.

Slowbro will be Jacq’s first non-mono Type Pokemon, as its Psychic / Water Type. But it’s a very straightforward Pokemon with Psychic, Surf, Flamethrower, and Light Screen. It has ample weaknesses, including Electric, Grass, Bug, Ghost, and Dark, so it shouldn’t give you too much trouble so long as you avoid its Flamethrower.

Jacq’s final Pokemon will be Farigiraf at Leve 66. It will terastallize into a Psychic Type. Its Special Attack is high, and it doesn’t have many weaknesses, so try to bring out a Dark or Bug-type if you can. Failing that, something with high Special Defense is a great move.

Battle Instructor Dendra

After Arven and Jacq, Dendra is a breath of fresh air. She’s the easiest trainer you’ll fight of the four, as she’s purely dedicated to Fighting types. No wonder she lost to Tulip! It’s helpful if you led your team off with a Pokemon with either Flying or Psychic abilities, as you can quickly sweep her team with powerful moves. Failing to do so will mean that her team will land some devastating attacks as they, unsurprisingly, all have high attack power.

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Her entire team is level 65, save for her ace, Hariyama, who is level 66.

Dendra will lead with Falinks, who knows Close Combat, Smart Strike, Zen Headbutt, and First Impression. It has high defense, but with super effective attacks, it should fall quickly. It’s likely that Dendra will then bring out one of her two Tauros. She has the Paldean variants, one Fire and one Water.

The Fire-Fighting Tauros, which you’ll be able to distinguish because of the splashes of red in its mane, has Raging Bull, Close Combat, Earthquake, and Zen Headbutt. In contrast, the Water-Fighting Tauros has Raging Bull, Close Combat, Rock Slide, and Aqua Jet. Both of these Pokemon are strong and liable to give you a bit of trouble if you’re not aggressive with them. Dendra doesn’t mess around with status effects or tick damage – she’s all about a full frontal attack.

If you’re dependent on Psychic moves, be aware of Medicham, who won’t take super-effective damage. But if you happen to be packing a Gardevoir, this will be its time to shine, as the fairy move Moonbeam will absolutely obliterate it. It has Axe Kick, Zen Headbutt, Ice Punch, and Thunder Punch.

If you’ve been sweeping through Dendra’s team, it’s possible that Hawlucha will give you trouble, as it’s surprisingly fast. It will wallop a glass canon Pokemon who can’t outspeed it. But because it’s Fighting and Flying type, it has ample weaknesses you can throw at it, including Electric, Ice, Flying, Psychic, and Fairy. Its move set is Flying Press, Rock Tomb, X-Scissor, and Iron Head, all moves meant to counter Pokemon strong against. So try to get it out of the game as quickly as possible.

Dendra’s last Pokemon will be Hariyama. While she’ll terastallize it into a Fighting type, it’s again very weak to Psychic, Flying, and Fairy Type Moves. For this reason, Gardevoir is one of the best Pokemon you can take against Dendra. It knows Close Combat, Stone Edge, Earthquake, and Heavy Slam.

Top Champion Geeta

Here we go again! Geeta has the strongest Pokemon out of the four trainers you’ll face, with each of them being 69, with the exception of Glimmora, who is Leve 70. Geeta will use the exact same team she used in the Elite Four assessment, so if you were able to beat her there (and have subsequently leveled up your Pokemon) you should have no problem here.

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A surprisingly supreme Pokemon against Geeta is Volcarona. With its Fire and Bug Type moves, it can easily sweep 5 of Geeta’s 6 Pokemon, stopping short at Glimmora who resists every move Volcarona can throw at it. Alternatively, a Pokemon with Bug, Dark, or Ghost-type moves will be enough to take down Espartha, Gogoat, and Veluza, while Fighting-type moves should be able to take down Avalugg, Kinggambit, and Glimmora.

Honestly, Geeta is a straightforward trainer who uses strong moves but who is easily countered. If you’re struggling with her, and super-effective attacks aren’t cutting it, it’s likely that you’ll need to grind out a few more levels.  

Geeta will lead with Espathra, who knows Lumina Crash, Dazzling Gleam, Quick Attack, and Reflect. Espathra is a pure Psychic Type and has weaknesses to Bug, Ghost, and Dark.

Her next Pokemon is likely to be Gogoat, who knows Horn Leech, Zen Headbutt, Play Rough, and Bulk Up, but is a pure Grass Type and will go down to Fire, Ice, Poison, Flying, and Bug moves.

Veluza will come next. And while this Water / Psychic Type Pokemon is fast, with hard-hitting moves including Aqua Jet, Liquidation, Psycho Cut, and Ice Fang, it has many weaknesses. These are Electric, Grass, Bug, Ghost, and Dark.

Avalugg is her tank, a pure Ice Type Pokemon who knows Avalanche, Crunch, Earthquake, and Body Press. Its Earthquake is powerful, so if you’re using a Fire Type Pokemon, obliterate it before it can pull this move out. It’s also weak to Fighting, Rock, and Steel.

Kingambit is next and will have Iron Head, Kowtow Cleave, Zen Headbutt, and Stone Edge. Its Dark and Steel Type make it difficult to whittle away unless your Pokemon has a high Special Attack, but it has a quadruple weakness to Fighting if you’re struggling to take this Pokemon down. Its only other weaknesses are Fire and Ground.

Glimmora is Geeta’s pocket ace and it will terastallize into a Rock Type. Its trademark move is Tera Blast (a move that Geeta herself gifted to you many Gyms ago). Its other moves are Sludge Wave, Earth Power, and Dazzling Gleam. Glimmora can be a pain to bring down. It can take a ton of damage, but a Pokemon with Fighting, Grass, Ground, Steel, or Water tera Types should be enough to counter it.

Good luck getting that win, trainer!

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Daphne Fama
A Staff Writer at Prima Games since 2022, Daphne Fama spends an inordinate amount playing games of all stripes but has a soft spot for horror, FPS, and RPGs. When she’s not gaming, she’s an author and member of the Horror Writers Association with a debut novel coming out in 2025. In a previous life, she was an attorney but found she preferred fiction to contracts and forms