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Meta Report For Single Ranked Battles

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Crown Tundra Now Out - Learn About It Here

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, & 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.

Crown Tundra Out

Crown tundra pokemon

With the release of the Crown Tundra Expansion on October 23rd, several Pokemon have made their long-awaited return to the series! Among them are a swathe of powerful Legendary Pokemon from previous games, many of whom will not be usable in Ranked Play. Regardless, with the addition of another 100 Pokemon, the meta landscape is sure to change!

The New King Of Ranked Is Here


At long last, Landorus has finally been made available for play in the ranked Sword and Shield meta - and he's already #1. Packing extremely high base stats, the incredible ability Intimidate, as well as an immune to Ground and Electric moves, Landorus is absolutely terrifying to play against.

Therian Landorus Usage Stats (※ As of 11/2)

MovesEarthquake: 99.8%
U-Turn: 61.6%
Rock Tomb: 57.9%
Fly: 51.6%
Stealth Rock: 49.2%
NatureJolly: 41.4%
Impish: 27.3%
Adamant: 27.0%
ItemSitrus Berry: 23.4%
Focus Sash: 13.9%
Life Orb: 13.4%
Lum Berry: 11.4%
Choice Scarf: 10.6%

Given that he hasn't been available for very long, it's no doubt that many players are in the process of trying to find what builds work best on the powerful Ground/Flying type. So far, U-Turn usage rates seem to be particularly high, with a lot of players opting to cycle Pokemon in and out frequently. Watch out for Scarf variants and be ready for a swap!

Cinderace Is Back!


Given his incredibly strong performance, Cinderace was actually briefly banned from ranked play in Series 6. However, he is now officially back, and just as powerful as before, ranking in at #2 in the first week of play.

Cinderace Usage Stats (※ As of 11/2)

MovesPyro Ball: 95.1%
High Jump Kick: 89.2%
Bounce: 66.5%
Sucker Punch: 53.2%
Gunk Shot: 26%
AbilityLibero: 99.0%
Blaze: 0.1%
ItemsLife Orb: 51.3%
Focus Sash: 15.8%
Choice Scarf: 15.2%

In these initial stages of the meta, it seems players are choosing builds that really let Cinderace's physical damage power shine. The usage of Gunk Shot is also particularly noteworthy here. This is likely included to deal with teams that lead with Tapu Fini.

Check The Meta Out For Yourself

The information we've noted here is based almost entirely on statistics provided by Pokemon Home. However, we think it's really important that you play the game and see the meta for yourself, as that will give you the best understanding of what is currently happening.

Pokemon To Watch Out For

Power Herb Nihilego

NatureTimidItemPower Herb
AbilityBeast BoostEVs252 Sp. Atk / 252 Speed
Must MovesMeteor Beam
Sludge Wave
Other MovesPower Gem
Grass Knot

We think that the newly added Ultra Beast Nihilego is something to look out for from here on out! The move Meteor Beam normally requires 2 turns to charge, but by using the Power Herb you can fire it off immediately (once)! This 120 power STAB Rock move can deal massive damage and one shot a Landorus with no defensive EVs! Try this out for yourself!

Check Out Nihilego Here For More

Pokemon Frequently Seen In Single Ranked Battles

Usage Rates

Check Pokemon Below 10th Place

Last Week's Usage Rankings

Check 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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