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Pokemon Sword and Shield: Ranked Tier List for December 2019

Image result for pokemon sword and shield ranked battle
Gautam Nath

Pokemon Sword and Shield is Game Freak's most ambitious game so far. Although they have fallen short on adding many Pokemon from previous generations, this is probably the best Pokemon game when it comes to the number of features they have online.

You can compete with other players in the Battle Stadium and every month, there is a ranking system available. The lowest tier is the Poke Ball Tier and the highest tier is the Master Ball Tier.

But before you jump into the competitive environment, make sure that your Pokemon have the right IVs and stats as well as the right moves to perform against the other Pokemon Masters!

Here is a short list of the best Pokemon to play online as well as in Max Raid Battles. Scroll down further for more details.

S Tier

  • Dragapult
  • Mimikyu

A Tier

  • Galarian Darmanitan
  • Gyarados
  • Tyranitar
  • Excadrill
  • Grimmsnarl
  • Aegislash
  • Togekiss
  • Dracozolt

B Tier

  • Cinderace
  • Rillaboom
  • Cloyster
  • Kommo-o
  • Duraludon

S Tier

Dragapult

Dragapult
Dragapult

Type: Ghost/Dragon

Best Nature: Jolly

Recommended Item: Choice Band

Recommended Ability: Clear Body (Prevents stat reduction from other Pokemon's abilities or moves)

Recommended Moveset: Phantom Force / Dragon Darts / U-Turn / Fire Blast

Dragapult is the best Pokemon in the game especially with its power level. It has a high base Speed stat of 142. It is recommended to max out its speed and attack which are its highest stats.

Mimikyu

Mimikyu
Mimikyu

Type: Ghost/Fairy

Best Nature: Jolly

Recommended Item: Life Orb

Recommended Ability: Disguise (Negates the damage of one hit)

Recommended Moveset: Swords Dance / Shadow Claw / Play Rough / Substitute

Mimikyu's ability Disguise is very strong as it avoids one hit of damage. Use that time to boost your stats with moves like Swords Dance. Mimikyu is also one of the most used Pokemon in Ranked Battles and for a good reason!

A Tier

Galarian Darmanitan

Galarian Darmanitan
Galarian Darmanitan

Type: Ice

Best Nature: Jolly

Recommended Item: Choice Scarf

Recommended Ability: Gorilla Tactics (Only allows the use of one move, but attack is boosted)

Recommended Moveset: Flare Blitz / Icicle Crash / Earthquake / U-Turn

For an Ice Type, Galarian Darmanitan is extremely strong. In Zen Mode, its base stats go up to 540 and it converts to a Fire and Ice Type. It can also learn many moves which can counter its weaknesses to Steel, Fire and Rock Types. Gorilla Tactics also has the same effects as the item Choice Band. It is not the best but very high up when it comes to Pokemon to put in your party.

Gyarados

Gyarados
Gyarados

Type: Water/Flying

Best Nature: Jolly

Recommended Item: Choice Band

Recommended Ability: Moxie (Boosts the Attack stat after knocking out any Pokémon)

Recommended Moveset: Waterfall / Ice Fang / Earthquake / Bounce

Gyarados has always been a strong Pokemon and remains so in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Take advantage of its high Attack stats to inflict damage on your opponents. Gyarados can also learn Earthquake to counter its weaknesses, Electric and Rock Types.

Tyranitar

Tyranitar
Tyranitar

Type: Rock/Dark

Best Nature: Adamant

Recommended Item: Choice Band

Recommended Ability: Sand Storm (Summons a sandstorm whenever this Pokemon enters battle)

Recommended Moveset: Stone Edge / Crunch / Earthquake / Ice Punch

Tyranitar is a pseudo legendary and has extremely high stats. Although it is weak to 7 Types of Pokemon, Tyranitar is quite versatile and can pack a punch without having to worry about its weaknesses. Sand Storm is a great ability to inflict periodic damage on your opponents.

Excadrill

Excadrill
Excadrill

Type: Ground/Steel

Best Nature: Jolly

Recommended Item: Life Orb

Recommended Ability: Sand Rush (Increases speed during Sandstorms)

Recommended Moveset: Earthquake / Iron Head / Rapid Spin / Swords Dance

Excadrill is great with dealing with the many Fairy Types you'll find in the Ranked Battles, especially Mimikyu. If paired with Tyranitar, the Sandstorm it brings can boost Excadrill's speed during battle.

Grimmsnarl

Grimmsnarl
Grimmsnarl

Type: Dark/Fairy

Best Nature: Adamant

Recommended Item: Light Clay

Recommended Ability: Prankster (Gives priority to status moves)

Recommended Moveset: Reflect / Light Screen / Foul Play / Play Rough

Grimmsnarl is better as a defensive Pokemon than an offensive one. Setting up Reflect/Light Screen provides a great line of defense for your team. But you can also use it to go on the offensive to counter enemies that could prove a disadvantage to your team.

Aegislash

Aegislash
Aegislash

Type: Steel/Ghost

Best Nature: Adamant

Recommended Item: Weakness Policy

Recommended Ability: Stance Change (The Pokemon changes between defensive and offensive forms when it uses certain moves)

Recommended Moveset: Autotomize / Sacred Sword / Shadow Claw / King's Shield

Aegislash is a very flexible Pokemon which you can play as a tank or you can play it offensively. Stance Change allows you to switch and choose your recommended play style. Aegislash can be used as your first Pokemon to set up the rest of your battle for you.

Togekiss

Togekiss
Togekiss

Type: Fairy/Flying

Best Nature: Adamant

Recommended Item: Weakness Policy

Recommended Ability: Serene Grace (Boosts the likelihood of additional effects occurring when attacking)

Recommended Moveset: Air Slash / Fire Blast / Dazzling Gleam / Nasty Plot

Togekiss is another Pokemon that holds up surprisingly well competitively. This Fairy/Flying Pokemon can deal with many types of Pokemon with its naturally high speed and Special Attack stats. It can also be used to setup the battle for your future Pokemon.

Dracozolt

Dracozolt
Dracozolt

Type: Electric/Dragon

Best Nature: Jolly

Recommended Item: Life Orb

Recommended Ability: Hustle (Raises attack significantly, but lowers accuracy)

Recommended Moveset: Outrage / Earthquake / Aerial Ace / Bolt Beak

This Fossil Pokemon is the best of the lot. It has the best Typing, extremely high Attack and Speed Stats. The Hustle ability can be a risky but rewarding one dealing high Attack to your opponents.

B Tier

Cinderace

Cinderace
Cinderace

Type: Fire

Best Nature: Jolly

Recommended Item: Choice Scarf

Recommended Ability: Blaze (Deals more damage with fire moves when at low health.)

Recommended Moveset: Pyro Ball / U-Turn / High Jump Kick / Zen Headbutt

The Fire-Type starter Pokemon finds itself on the third tier of Pokemon to bring to Battle. Cinderace is strong but not as strong as many others on this list. Pyro Ball deals 120 damage for 90 accuracy and that move is one of the key reasons why Cinderace is even on this list.

Rillaboom

Rillaboom
Rillaboom

Type: Grass

Best Nature: Jolly

Recommended Item: Choice Band

Recommended Ability: Overgrow (Deals more damage with grass moves when at low health.)

Recommended Moveset: Drum Beating / U-Turn / Knock Off / Superpower

Another starter on this list, Rillaboom is a Grass-Type which is one of the weakest Pokemon Types. Still, Rillaboom has a very high attack even though it has a low speed. Just like Cinderace, the reason for it being on the list is it's signature ability Drum Beating. It only has 80 Attack but lowers the Speed of your opponent and you'll find a lot of high Speed opponents when playing competitively.

Cloyster

Cloyster
Cloyster

Type: Water/Ice

Best Nature: Adamant

Recommended Item: Focus Sash

Recommended Ability: Skill Link (Multi-hitting moves always hit the maximum number of times)

Recommended Moveset: Shell Smash / Icicle Spear / Liquidation / Rock Blast

Cloyster has some weaknesses but has a very strong overall statline. Cloyster has a very high Defense and using Shell Smash will lower your Defense but increase its Attack significantly without affecting Defense much.

Kommo-o

Kommo-o
Kommo-o

Type: Dragon/Fighting

Best Nature: Adamant

Recommended Item: Life Orb

Recommended Ability: Bulletproof (Immune to moves that use balls or bombs)

Recommended Moveset: Close Combat / Outrage / Psychic Fangs / Dragon Dance

Although Kommo-o has many weaknesses, its dual typing is also one of the strongest in the game. Coupled with a very high Attack and Special Attack, Kommo-o can prove to be one of the most lethal Pokemon to deal with if you do not defeat it on time.

Duraludon

Duraludon
Duraludon

Type: Dragon/Steel

Best Nature: Timid

Recommended Item: Choice Scarf

Recommended Ability: Light Metal (Halves the Pokemon's weight)

Recommended Moveset: Draco Meteor / Flash Cannon / Thunderbolt / Solarbeam

Duraludon is a very unique Pokemon. With the right nature and ability, it can have an extremely high speed as well as Attack, Special Attack, Defense and Special Defense. It is only weak to Fighting and Ground Types but holds up very well against other types. Draco Meteor is a devastating Dragon-Type move for Duraludon.


Edited by A. Ayush Chatterjee

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