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How to beat Leon in Pokemon Sword and Shield

Leon is the Champion of the Galar League (Image via Game Freak)
Leon is the Champion of the Galar League (Image via Game Freak)
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Shane Foley

Leon can undoubtedly give players a tough time in Pokemon Sword and Shield.

Gigantimax Charizard can usually give users headaches by itself. However, Leon has supported his Charizard using several threats with various types and weaknesses.

On top of that, he is guaranteed to have a starter that beats the gamer's starter, so it's really not a good idea to go into Wyndon Stadium without a plan.


Which Pokemon have the best matchups against Leon's team?

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The full breakdown of Leon's team is as follows:

  • Aegislash lvl 62
  • Dragapult lvl 62
  • Haxorus lvl 63
  • Mr. Rime/Seismitoad/Rhyperior lvl 64
  • Cinderace/Inteleon/Rillaboom lvl 64
  • Charizard lvl 65

As with past rivals, Leon will pick Cinderace, Inteleon, or Rillaboom, depending on which one has an advantage against the player's starter. Leon also, however, gives users a free KO based on their starter, which is why the fourth Pokemon on his team rotates.

If gamers pick Rillaboom as their starter, Leon will have Cinderace on his team, but he will also have Seismitoad. With a double weakness to Grass, Seismitoad might perish to a Razor Leaf, let alone a Grassy Glide or Wood Hammer.

Therefore, once players account for their starter's weakness, they've already accounted for two members of Leon's team. When it comes to the other four, there are a couple of types trainers will want to bring, or they can catch one Pokemon that deals with most of Leon's team as it is.

Weavile counters half of Leon's team (Image via Bandai Namco)
Weavile counters half of Leon's team (Image via Bandai Namco)

That Pokemon is Weavile. With the Dark and Ice-type combo, it basically beats Aegislash, Dragapult, and Haxorus. Trainers with Weavile have half of Leon's team countered already.

If any trainers don't feel like using Weavile, they might want to look for a Fairy-type or Ice-type for Leon's pair of Dragons. Trainers need to watch out for their speed stats, though. This is because Haxorus has Poison Jab for Fairies and Iron Tail for Ice-types (if it hits).

Therefore, trainers are going to need to outspeed Haxorus. Ninetails Alola and Tapu Koko are usually good for this role. Otherwise, trainers might want a Water/Ice Pokemon (e.g., Walrein, Lapras, Cloyster), which will only take neutral from Iron Tail.

After all of that, the only thing left is to counter Charizard. It's wise to save Dynamax until Charizard is out because it is guaranteed to Gigantamax. The quickest way to beat Charizard is a strong Max Rockfall.

Relying on an actual Rock-type for this, though, is ill-advised. Charizard knows Solarbeam, and with Gigantamax, that means a Max Overgrowth, enough to KO any Rhyperior or Stonejourner.

The best options for dealing with Charizard are usually Dragons. They resist Max Overgrowth and G-Max Wildfire, and some of them (like Garchomp and Haxorus) can learn Stone Edge.


Edited by Ravi Iyer
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