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Meta Report For Single Ranked Battles
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Meta Report For Single Ranked Battles

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Read more about the current state of the Ranked Meta in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Find out Pokemon usage rates, and how to counter them, and Isle of Armor meta!

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Sword and Shield Single Ranked Battles Meta Report

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

Breaking News - Series 6

Ranked Battle Rules
Duration9/1 13:00 ~ 11/1 8:59

Official Japanese sources have announced the rules of the next Ranked Battle series! The biggest, most noteworthy change here is that the top Pokemon from Season 8 will no longer be usable in VGC 2020 rules! This will no doubt greatly change the face of the ranked online meta as we know it!

Check Out The Latest News & Updates Here

Pokemon Which Are No Longer Usable (Starting In Series 6)

In what turns out to be quite a shocking development, a huge amount of extremely powerful Pokemon will no longer be usable starting September. The face of the meta will undoubtedly shift with the likes of Dragapult, Mimikyu, Gyarados, and Cinderace no longer being able to participate!

We recommend players start reconsidering their team compositions right away in preparation!

The Newest Member Of The Top 10 Crew


With the release of a new Hidden Ability and the addition of the tutor move Grassy Glide in Isle Of Armor, Rillaboom has climbed his way through the ranks and secured a spot in the top 10 Pokemon in terms of usage. He's particularly strong against the ever-common Wash Rotom and Hippowdon.

> Check Out The 18 New Moves Added In The DLC

Choice Band Build Is King

ItemUsage Rate
Choice Band21%
Assault Vest18.7%
Focus Sash14.3%

The most common spec for Rillaboom so far seems to be the Choice Band. It is likely due to the fact that Choice Band + Grassy Terrain + the priority Grassy Glide can deal a seriously massive amount of damage.

Gyarados On The Rise


The fact that Gyarados is strong should be no surprise - with two very powerful abilities which have a roughly 50-50 usage rate, he is versatile as well as strong. Intimidate can prevent an enemy's sweep, while Moxie can guarantee your own.

Gyarados Held Item Usage Rates

ItemUsage Rate
Lum Berry38.7%
Life Orb27.0%
Sitrus Berry14.9%

Lum Berries are being run the most on Gyarados, likely in response to the rise of Yawn using Hippowdon and Will-o-Wisping Wash Rotom, both of which are common in the meta. He's also incredibly viable as a Dynamax sweeper, making his recent rise in popularity quite understandable.

Isle Of Armor Is Here!


The first Expansion Pass (DLC) Isle Of Armor is officially out, and with over 100 new/returning Pokemon have joined the fray! While the influence of these new Pokemon on the meta isn't reflected in the current usage statistics, it's likely that we'll see some major changes in the next few weeks!

Check Out The DLC Pokedex Here!

Pokemon That Might Influence The Meta

※ The following is just small selection of Pokemon we think will perform well in the current ranked meta. This is not a full list of DLC Pokemon.

New PokemonReason
VolcaronaVolcarona Heavy Duty Boots remove the fear of Stealth Rock
・Excellent 135 Sp.Atk stat
MagnezoneMagnezone ・Ability Magnet Pull traps Steel-types like Corviknight
・Water types are quite common
ChanseyChansey Eviolite gives it a whopping 157 Sp. Def
・Frustrating special wall that can heal and inflict status conditions
MienshaoMienshao ・Regenerator restores health when swapping out, combines well with U-Turn
・125 Atk / 105 Speed, decent sweeper
・Can learn Knock Off
Urshifu (Single Strike Style)Urshifu (Single Strike Style) ・Decently high base stats
Wicked Blow is an 80 power STAB move that always crits
・Great base 130 Atk

Heaps of new Pokemon have been added with the latest The Isle Of Armor DLC, potentially having a noticeable influence on the shape of the current meta. We'll see how the meta develops in the coming weeks, but for now, we recommend that trainers start raising up at least some of the above Pokemon!

Let us know in the survey below which Isle Of Armor Pokemon you think will shake up the meta the most. If we've forgotten a Pokemon here, let us know in the comment section!

What Pokemon Will Have The Biggest Impact On The Meta?

Pokemon Frequently Seen In Single Ranked Battles

Usage Rates

The following table showcases which Pokemon are currently used the most in the online ranked meta. It is not a Tier List.

Check The Pokemon Below 10th Place

Last Week's Usage Rankings

Check The Pokemon Below 10th Place

Explanation Of Popular Pokemon

Pokemon You Need To Counter

MimikyuMimikyu・Disguise eats up 1 move (buys time during Dynamax)
・Fairy/Ghost moves have good coverage
・Good base stat balance.
・Good candidate for Dynamax.
・Curse/Trick Room builds are increasing
DragapultDragapult・One of the fastest Pokemon in the game
・Many abilities allow for a huge variety of builds
・Curse builds are currently popular
・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
SnorlaxSnorlax ・High Sp. Def and base stats
・Yawn can stop opponent's Dynamax
・Good candidate for Dynamax
・Can set up with Belly Drum and Curse and be used as a physical attacker
CinderaceCinderace・119 Speed, faster than most other Pokemon
・Substitute and Blaze work well together
・Accuracy of moves is somewhat unreliable
・HA Libero is incredibly powerful

Very Commonly Used Pokemon

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
・Extremely common so it's easy often easily countered
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
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
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 Mimikyu
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
PrimarinaPrimarina Sparkling Aria hits through Substitute
・Knows priority moves
・Can learn Calm Mind
LaprasLapras ・Gigantamax Move is incredibly powerful
・Max Lightning prevents you from falling asleep
Sheer Cold can OHKO tanks
BlastoiseBlastoise ・Can learn Shell Smash
White Herb builds are common
・Good varied move pool

Familiarize Yourself With Builds!

In order to effectively counter Pokemon in the meta, you'll need to know what builds they could potentially be running. This means you can win matches with just your knowledge of possible moves/held items, etc. Make sure you look at all build variations of popular Pokemon before playing ranked!

Check Out All Movesets & Builds For Ranked Here!

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Anonymous 2

I am glad they did this. Tired of seeing the same teams and mons every time

Anonymous 1

It's not like this ban is going to be permanent, right?

I'm ***uming they'll change things up each battle season and only ban the most popular pokémon from the previous one

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