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Butterfree - Best Moveset & Build

Butterfree - Best Moveset & Build | Pokemon Sword Shield

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Find out how to breed Butterfree in Pokemon Sword and Shield! Learn about the best Butterfree competitive movesets, best builds, best nature, Gigantamax builds!!!

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Butterfree Best Moveset & Build

Total Base Stats395
Type bug IconFlying Icon

Substitute Sleeper Build

Best NatureBest Item
Timid (Speed↑ / Atk↓)Leftovers
Best Ability
Compound Eyes

Increases the accuracy of moves.
Best Moveset
Sleep Powder / Substitute / Quiver Dance / Hurricane
▼Check Move Info Here
Best EV Spread
HP 204, Sp. Atk 56, Speed 252

Optimize Leftovers Regen

By setting Butterfree's HP to a multiple of 16 + 1, we can maximize Leftover healing and the amount of times you can Substitute. With 204 HP EVs, Butterfree will have 161 HP (at Lv. 50). Alternatively, you can put 76 EVs in HP to reach 145 HP & dump the remaining EVs into Special Attack if you wish.

Check Out How To Get Leftovers!

Compound Eyes Sleep Powder Combo

Butterfree's unique ability allows it to increase the accuracy of its moves. This allows the otherwise quite hard to land Sleep Powder to have around a 97% accuracy. After putting your opponent to sleep, set up a Substitute and buff up with Quiver Dance.

Keep Opponents Asleep

Once you've put your opponent to sleep, pray that they don't wake up immediately. If you can stall out 3-4 turns, you'll be able to recover most of the HP lost from Substitute with Leftovers. In the meantime, build up Quiver Dance stacks. If your opponent wakes up after 2 turns, put them back to sleep again!

Pairs Excellently With Grimmsnarl

Grimmsnarl's Prankster ability allows status moves to hit first, which lets you set up a Scary Face or Thunder Wave on your opponent before switching into Butterfree. A Dragapult running Thunder Wave can fulfill a similar role.

Recommended Moves

Sleep Powder
status icon
Puts opponents to sleep. Thanks to Compound Eyes, it has a 97% accuracy, making it much more reliable. A must.
status icon
Sacrifice 25% HP to put up a Substitute. This can save you in a pinch if your opponent wakes up unexpectedly. Leftovers can help recover the damage taken.
Quiver Dance
status icon
A set up move to use while your opponent is napping away.
Flying Icon
A STAB move with over 90% accuracy thanks to Compound Eyes.

Other Viable Moves

Air Slash
Flying Icon
Alternative to Hurricane. Less damage, but has a chance to flinch and is more accurate.
Bug Buzz
bug Icon
Alternative to Hurricane. 90 power Bug move.

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Butterfree Gigantamax Moveset & Build

Butterfree Gigantamax
Best NatureBest Item
Timid (Speed↑ / Atk↓)Leftovers
Best Ability
Tinted Eyes

Moves which are not very effective deal regular damage.
Best Moveset
Bug Buzz / Air Slash / Shadow Ball / Psychic
▼Check Move Info Here
Best EV Spread
Sp. Atk 252, Speed 252, HP 4

Inflict Status Conditions On Foes

Move G-Max Befuddle Bug Icon
Effect Deals damage and applies either Paralysis, Sleep, or Poison to the target.

This G-Max move randomly applies one of three status conditions to your target. Although you can't choose whether you want Paralysis, Sleep, or Poison, any of those would be a substantial benefit for your team.

Check Out All Other Gigantamax Pokemon Here!

Increase Speed With Max Airstream

Although Butterfree is rather slow, it retains the option of boosting its speed up with Max Airstream. Alternate it with G-Max Befuddle for maximum effect.

Brute Force It With Tinted Eyes

Butterfree's Hidden Ability Tinted Eyes allows it to deal regular 1x damage with moves that are not very effective. This makes G-Max Befuddle a lot easier to use. However, since Butterfree isn't particularly strong in terms of offensive stats, we still encourage you to aim mostly for Super-Effective hits.

Really Shines In Double Battles

Since the Compound Eyes Sleeper build is so popular in single battles, there aren't really many opportunities to use the Gigantamax version. However, in Double Battles, G-Max Befuddle can apply status effect to both enemy targets, making it significantly better!

Recommended Moves

Air Slash
Flying Icon
Used for Max Airstream.
Bug Buzz
bug Icon
Becomes G-Max Befuddle.
Shadow Ball
Ghost Icon
Excellent coverage move.
Psychic Icon
Excellent coverage move.

Other Viable Moves

Energy Ball
Grass Icon
Useful alternate coverage move.
status icon
Sacrifice 25% HP to put up a Substitute. This can save you in a pinch if your opponent wakes up unexpectedly.
Quiver Dance
status icon
A set up move to use while your opponent is napping away.

Butterfree - Best Items to Hold

LeftoversRecover lost HP while your opponent is asleep. Really the only item that works with this particular build.
Focus SashSince Butterfree is somewhat frail, this item is useful for ensuring that you get your status condition off.
Assault VestUseful if you're not planning on running Quiver Dance, Substitute, or other status moves. Boosts Sp. Def substantially.
Check Out Battle Item Locations Here!

Butterfree - Best Nature And EVs

Butterfree - Recommended Natures

Timid Speed↑ / Atk↓
This is the only nature you should consider for Butterfree, as it desperately needs the speed to get off Sleep Powder early.

Recommended Base Point (EV) Allocation

Substitute Sleeper Build

StatBase Point
HP204 Points
Special Attack56 Points
Speed252 Points

This build optimizes Leftovers regeneration at Lv. 50 while maximizing speed.

Gigantamax Build

StatBase Point
Special Attack252 Points (Max)
Speed252 Points (Max)
HP4 Points

This build optimizes Leftovers regeneration at Lv. 50 while maximizing speed.

Butterfree Counters

Recommended Pokemon To Counter Butterfree

Ferrothorn IconFerrothorn Pros
- Immune to Sleep Powder
- High defense, Flying moves aren't super effective
- None
Mow Rotom IconMow Rotom Pros
- Immune to Sleep Powder
- Flying moves aren't super effective
- None
Heat Rotom IconHeat Rotom Pros
- One shots with Overheat
- Max Lightning can prevent falling asleep
- None
Mimikyu IconMimikyu Pros
- Max Starfall can prevent falling asleep
- Can one shot with unbuffed Play Rough (*depending on the roll)
- Faster than Butterfree
- Needs to Dynamax to prevent falling asleep
- Won't go first if Butterfree has already stacked Quiver Dance

How To Play Against Butterfree

Block Sleep Powder With Grass Types

Grass type Pokemon are immune to the effects of Sleep Powder. However, they are generally weak to Butterfree's flying-type moves, so it's preferable to bring a dual-type Grass type like Ferrothorn or Mow Rotom.

Break Substitute With Volt Switch

If your Pokemon can use Volt Switch, try using it to break the Substitute and switch into a Pokemon faster than Butterfree.

Remove The Effects Of Sleep

The only real reason to bring Butterfree is Sleep Powder, so if you can disable sleep with a Max Move, or cleanse its effect with a Lum Berry, you'll be in good shape to deal with it.

The Opponent's Party Lacks Power

Butterfree's rather abysmal sub-400 base stats, along with its mediocre 70 speed don't exactly make it a powerhouse. Considering that it also often needs Grimmsnarl to help support it, it's likely that your opponent is at a significant base stat disadvantage if they're running Butterfree. It's usually worth using Dynamax to take care of Butterfree.

Butterfree - Competitive Breeding Process

Breeding Process Flow Chart

1Catch a Caterpie on Route 1 (or a Metapod/Butterfree in the Wild Area)
2Hatch Eggs until you get a High IV Caterpie
3Breed that Caterpie until you get one with a Timid Nature
4Put 204 points in HP, 56 points in Special Attack, and 252 points in Speed
5Max out its Dynamax Level
6Teach it Sleep Powder, Substitute, Quiver Dance, and Hurricane
7Equip Leftovers
>> Check Out Our Breeding Guide For More Info!

Competitive Breeding Related Articles

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