In Pokemon Sword and Shield, Yamask received a very interesting new evolution in the form of Runerigus, a defensive stalwart that is very difficult to take out.
Not only does it have high defense (145), but Runerigus has an ability in Wandering Spirit that surprisingly helps it take damage from Pokemon. With this ability, if Runerigus is hit with a move that makes direct contact (Karate Chop, Dragon Claw, etc.), then it switches Abilities with the opposing Pokemon.
When considering the powerful abilities Pokemon have in the Galar region, this can be very valuable for taking away abilities like Strong Jaw, Huge Power, and Tough Claws. Here is the moveset that works best with Runerigus:
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the opinion of the writer.
The best moveset for Runerigus in Pokemon Sword and Shield
Since Runerigus is a defensive Pokemon, this moveset is built around capitalizing on its bulk. That being said, it’s still good to teach it physical attacks, as with its high base attack stat (95), it can still inflict substantial damage on most Pokemon.
- -Body Press
Will-o-Wisp is great for crippling physical attackers. Burning a Pokemon with Will-O-Wisp cuts the power of its attacks in half. This would allow Runerigus to resist even the strongest attacks from powerhouses like Cinderace, Haxorus and Dragonite. This also works well with Wandering Spirit, since the burn would guarantee that Runerigus sustains the incoming attack. It’s almost impossible to KO a Runerigus with a Pokemon that is burnt and has lost its ability.
Runerigus doesn’t have too great of a Special Attack (50), but that won’t stop Hex from doing damage. Hex is normally a base 65 power move, but that power is doubled if the target is statused. This means that if Runerigus can get a successful Will-o-wisp off, Hex will do an enormous amount of damage. At that point, the low stat won’t matter because the move is so strong. Runerigus could even take care of opposing Ghost-type if it can burn them first.
Earthquake is the best way Runerigus can take advantage of it’s decent attack stat, as it is easily the best Ground move in the game. While it’s nice to play passive and burn opposing threats, sometimes it’s better to simply attack outright. Earthquake is great against Fire-type, Rock-type, and Electric-type Pokemon, all of which are seen often in the game.
Body Press is an incredibly valuable move on any Pokemon with high defense. Even though an Earthquake from Runerigus gets STAB (same type attack bonus), using a Body Press would probably still do more damage in most cases. This is also a great move to have against Pokemon with the Intimidate ability, which lowers the attack of the opposing Pokemon upon entering the battle.
Of course, a player can always replace one of the other three moves with Iron Defense to maximize Body Press’ damage output as well. An unboosted Body Press from Runerigus, however, is still a large threat.