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Meta Report For Single Ranked Battles
Pokemon Sword Shield | Meta Report For Single Ranked Battles

Pokemon Sword Shield
Meta Report For Single Ranked Battles

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Read this to find out the current state of Ranked Meta in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Find out which Pokemon are used the most and how to counter them in order to rank up, & more!

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Competitive Pokemon Related Articles

Sword and Shield Single Ranked Battles Meta Report

*This article will be updated regularly as the ranked battle meta develops.

New Hidden Abilities Introduced By Pokemon Home

Pokemon Home

Alongside the release of Pokemon Home on February 12th, Hidden Abilities for several Pokemon were unlocked for use in ranked play! The influence on the current meta is not anticipated to be particularly massive, but there are definitely several contenders that might see use.

Pokemon With Newly Added HAs
Pokemon
Hidden Ability
HoothootHoothoot
Tinted Lens
NoctowlNoctowl
Tinted Lens
PidovePidove
Rivalry
TranquillTranquill
Rivalry
UnfezantUnfezant
Rivalry
PurrloinPurrloin
Prankster
LiepardLiepard
Prankster
WingullWingull
Rain Dish
PelipperPelipper
Rain Dance
ElectrikeElectrike
Minus
ManectricManectric
Minus
GolettGolett
No Guard
GolurkGolurk
No Guard
MunnaMunna
Telepathy
MusharnaMusharna
Telepathy
SnoverSnover
Soundproof
AbomasnowAbomasnow
Soundproof
NincadaNincada
Run Away(※)
NinjaskNinjask
Infiltrator (※)
BronzorBronzor
Heavy Metal
BronzongBronzong
Heavy Metal
DrifloonDrifloon
Flare Boost
DrifblimDrifblim
Flare Boost
GoldeenGoldeen
Lightning Rod
SeakingSeaking
Lightning Rod
BasculinBasculin
Mold Breaker
WoobatWoobat
Simple
SwoobatSwoobat
Simple
NoibatNoibat
Telepathy
NoivernNoivern
Telepathy
MeowsticMeowstic ♂
Prankster
MeowsticMeowstic ♀
Competitive
ChinchouChinchou
Water Absorb
LanturnLanturn
Water Absorb
CroagunkCroagunk
Poison Touch
ToxicroakToxicroak
Poison Touch
BarboachBarboach
Hydration
WhiscashWhiscash
Hydration
BinacleBinacle
Pickpocket
BarbaracleBarbaracle
Pickpocket
ThrohThroh
Mold Breaker
SawkSawk
Mold Breaker
BonslyBonsly
Rattled
SudowoodoSudowoodo
Rattled
CleffaCleffa
Friend Guard
ClefairyClefairy
Friend Guard
ClefableClefable
Unaware
ElgyemElgyem
Analytic
BeheeyemBeheeyem
Analytic
CubchooCubchoo
Rattled
BearticBeartic
Swift Swim
SkorupiSkorupi
Keen Eye
DrapionDrapion
Keen Eye
MaractusMaractus
Storm Drain
BergmiteBergmite
Sturdy
AvaluggAvalugg
Sturdy

Pokemon To Watch Out For

PokemonHidden Ability
Reason
SwoobatSwoobatSimple
Stat changes are doubled.
・Weakness Policy will increase its offensive stats by a massive 4 stages
・Can use STAB Max Airstream
ClefableClefable Unaware
Attacks ignore the opponent's stat changes.
・Joins the ranks of Quagsire and Pyukumuku as an Unaware user
・Strong SpAtk, similar tankiness to Quagsire
・Can be quite sticky with Moonlight
AvaluggAvalugg Sturdy
Can't be one-shot by opponents' moves (including OHKO effects).
・Can do something even against special attackers (which it is weak to)
・Doesn't have to worry about OHKO moves from the likes of Excadrill
・Can summon its own hail (via Dynamaxing) to regenerate HP using Ice Body

Season 3 Time Limit Increased

With the introduction of updated rules in season 3, the maximum duration of a ranked battle was increased from 15 to 20 minutes. As a direct result, going for a time-over-death victory has become more difficult and the amount of intentional stalling has decreased.

"Time Over" Win Conditions

  • The player with more non-fainted Pokemon wins.
  • If that number is the same, the player with the higher end value for the following formula wins: [Remaining HP of non-fainted Pokemon ÷ Max HP of the 3 Pokemon sent into battle]
  • If the above value also happens to be the same, the player whose non-fainted Pokemon's total remaining HP is highest wins.
  • If all of those are the same, the game ends in a tie.

Build Variety Continues To Grow

Now that some time has passed after Sword/Shield's release, it's safe to say that the meta has settled in terms of what Pokemon are being used. This means that we have entered a stage where experimentation with EV allocations, moves, and targeted counters is more and more common, especially among high-ranking players. Expect the unexpected!

Wood Hammer Mimikyus Spotted

Mimikyu

Moves: Play Rough, Wood Hammer, Shadow Sneak, and Swords Dance

More and more people seem to be running Wood Hammer on traditional physical attacker Mimikyu builds. The main purpose is likely to deal with Ground/Water types. By dealing heavy recoil damage and causing itself to faint with Wood Hammer and Life Orb, you can also avoid your opponent's stat-boosting Dynamax Moves.

Check Out Mimikyu Builds Here!

Life Orb Gyarados Gaining Popularity

Gyarados

Moves: Waterfall, Bounce, Power Whip, and Earthquake

Gyarados holding a Life Orb are becoming more and more popular in the current meta. These builds typically sport 4 offensive moves, leading to a build which boasts higher firepower and move variety than most other Gyarados variants.

Check Out Gyarados Builds Here!

Gigantamax Builds Few And Far Between

Gigantamax

The beginning of Series 2 saw many Gigantamax Pokemon unlocked and set free in Ranked Play, but unfortunately players don't seem to share the same enthusiasm as relatively few Gigantamax Pokemon are actually being used. An exception to this is Gigantamax Snorlax, who mainly sees play in its Gigantamax variant.

Weakness Policy Is Still The Best Policy

Weakness Policy
ItemEffect
Weakness Policy When hit with a super-effective move, increases your Attack and Special Attack by two stages.

As we mentioned previously, Weakness Policy is having a heyday in Sword and Shield. The addition of Dynamax has provided a massive HP cushion for Pokemon to take a super-effective attack without fainting. You should expect to see this item on almost every team, so think carefully before firing off a super-effective move against certain Pokemon.

Check Out How To Get The Weakness Policy Here!

Pokemon Frequently Seen In Single Ranked Battles

Pokemon You Need To Counter
MimikyuMimikyu DragapultDragapult ExcadrillExcadrill  Corviknight IconCorviknight

Changes In Commonly Used Pokemon

Date Changes Made
2 / 10 [Very Common → Common]
Toxapex Icon
[New To Meta]
Dracovish
1 / 23 [Very Common → Must Counter]
Corviknight Icon
[Common → Very Counter]
Gyarados Icon Toxapex Icon
[Very Common → Common]
Grimmsnarl Icon
[New To Meta]
Durant Type: Null Cinderace Dracozolt Aegislash Gastrodon
[Removed]
Duraludon Greedent Umbreon
See Previous Rank Changes

12 / 25 - Previous Changes

Date Changes Made
12 / 25 [Very Common → Must Counter]
Excadrill
[Must Counter → Very Common]
Togekiss Hydreigon Icon
[Common → Very Common]
Grimmsnarl Icon
[New To Meta]
Hippowdon Icon Inteleon Icon Quagsire
[Removed]
Charizard Galarian Corsola

12 / 11 - Previous Changes

Date Changes Made
12 / 11 [Very Common → Must Counter]
Togekiss Hydreigon Icon
[Very Common → Common]
Galarian Darmanitan Icon
[New To Meta]
Snorlax Sylveon Rotom-Mow Umbreon
[Removed]
Durant Fan Rotom Arcanine

12 / 2 - Previous Changes

Date Changes Made
12 / 2 [Common → Very Common]
Tyranitar Excadrill Togekiss
[Very Common → Common]
Gyarados Galarian Corsola
[New To Meta]
Charizard Duraludon Durant Fan Rotom Greedent
[Removed]
Aegislash

Explanation Of Popular Pokemon

Pokemon You Need To Counter

MimikyuMimikyu・Disguise eats up 1 move
・Fairy/Ghost moves have good coverage
・Good base stat balance.
・Good candidate for Dynamax.
DragapultDragapult・One of the fastest Pokemon in the game
・Many abilities allow for a huge variety of builds
・600 base stats make it quite durable too.
ExcadrillExcadrill・Mold Breaker + Steel moves can destroy Mimikyu
・Max Rockfall causes a Sandstorm, which triggers Sand Rush
・OHKO moves can be used to take out Recovery spammers
Corviknight IconCorviknight・Offensive builds with max Speed are increasing
・Hp/Def builds are still somewhat common
・Gigantamax form is rarely seen
・Mirror Guard can reflect back stat decreasing effects
・Iron Defense and Roost make it very hard to take down
・Few weaknesses

Very Commonly Used Pokemon

Tyranitar IconTyranitar・Very high 600 base stats
・Great with Weakness Policy
・Strong against Focus Sash users
・Wide variety of available moves
・Amazing when paired with Sand Rush Excadrill
Wash RotomWash Rotom・Electric type is useful in this meta
・Can swap efficiently with Volt Switch
・STAB Hydro Pump is rarely resisted
Heat Rotom IconHeat Rotom ・Electric type is useful in this meta
・Can swap efficiently with Volt Switch
・Fire moves are currently very strong
Togekiss IconTogekiss・STAB Max Airstream boosts speed
・Can cause repeated flinching with Air Slash
・Very strong with Weakness Policy
Hydreigon IconHydreigon・600 total base stats, great overall
・Dark and Steel type moves provide excellent coverage
・Can buff up with Nasty Plot
Gyarados IconGyarados・Intimidate and Moxie are both strong
・Max Airstream boosts speed
-Surprisingly bulky, few weaknesses
・Gained access to Power Whip
・Lum Berry builds with Taunt are very flexible

Commonly Used Pokemon

FerrothornFerrothorn・Defensively very strong
・Leech Seed and Protect is amazing
・Incredible STAB Moves, quite a good attacker
・Fire Pokemon are less common recently
DurantDurant・Hustle + Dynamax is super strong
・Fairly decent 109 speed, can sweep
・Popular alongside Type: Null
Type: NullType: Null・Eviolite gives it incredible bulk
・Takes a blow and swaps out with U-Turn
・Can lower speed with Thunder Wave/Icy Wind
・Popular alongside Durant
Grimmsnarl IconGrimmsnarl ・Strong STAB moves against Mimikyu and Dragapult
・Excellent wall setter<
・Prankster allows it to get priority on status moves
・Hard to predict its build
SnorlaxSnorlax ・High Sp. Def and base stats
・Incredible healing with Recycle
・Can set up with Belly Drum and Curse
CinderaceCinderace・119 Speed, faster than most other Pokemon
・Substitute and Blaze work well together
・Accuracy of moves is somewhat unreliable
・Good vs. Durant
DracozoltDracozolt・Hustle + Dynamax is a strong combo
・Volt Absorb is a good Rotom counter
・Volt Beak is strong against tanks
・Works well alongside Corviknight
Galarian Darmanitan IconGalarian Darmanitan・Gorilla Tactics is basically a free Choice Band
・Very high base attack stat
・Fire and Ice provide good type coverage
AegislashAegislash・Doesn't need to Dynamax to excel
・Shield Forme + Weakness Policy is extremely strong
・Shadow Sneak + King's Shield work well together
・Often seen paired with Hydreigon
SylveonSylveon ・Pixelate + Hyper Voice damage is incredible
・Can learn Fire moves to deal with Steel types
・Has great support moves too
GastrodonGastrodon・Bulky with access to Recover and Yawn
・Higher attack than its same-type counterpart Quagsire
・Works well with Dynamax
QuagsireQuagsire・Unaware ignores stat buffs
・Water absorb build is strong against Wash/Heat Rotom
・Can use both Yawn and Toxic
Cloyster Icon Cloyster ・Access to the powerful move Shell Smash
・High defense, good against physical attackers
・Lum Berry variants are growing more common to deal with Yawn
Inteleon IconInteleon ・Rain (from Max Geyser) and Torrent boost water moves massively
・Fastest Pokemon in the meta after Dragapult
・Water moves are extremely consistent
・Can use Max Airstream
Rotom-MowMow Rotom ・Strong against Ground types
・Useful vs. Water Absorb/Storm Drain users
Hippowdon IconHippowdon ・Good defensive stats + access to yawn make it a good lead
・Sandstorm and Stealth Rock wear down opponents
・Can roar away opponents who try to set up
Toxapex IconToxapex ・Excellent for time-over stall teams
・Often seen alongside Galarian Corsola
・Hard to deal with due to Recover and its ability Regenerator
・Can cause burns with Scald
DracovishDracovish ・Fishious Rend is incredibly powerful
・Can take out physical tanks as well
・Choice Band version is popular alongside Trick Room Mimiky

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