Best Pokemon Tier List For Ranked Battle: October 2020 | Pokemon Sword and Shield

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Tier List for Ranked Battle.png
This is our tier list for the strongest Pokemon for Ranked Battle in the games Pokemon Sword and Shield. If you're planning on getting into Ranked Battle, but don't know what Pokemon to start with, this list will get you started in the right direction. Read on for details about which Pokemon the strongest trainers are using in online play.

Competitive Pokemon Battle Guides
Tier List.pngTier List Best Builds.pngBest Builds Pokemon - Series 7 Rotom Phone.pngCrown Tundra Tier List Contenders
Doubles Tier List Icon.pngDoubles Tier List Competitive Team Building Icon.pngTeam Building Rental team.pngRental Teams

Tier List Contenders for Series 7 (Crown Tundra)

Series 7 Image (1).png

Ranked Battle Series 7 will include a host of Pokemon introduced in the Crown Tundra DLC, including a number of Legendary and Mythical Pokemon. Even with the return of the banned Pokemon from Series 6, we're likely to see a Tier List different from any before.

All Tier List Contenders

S Tier (!)
A Tier
B Tier

Our guide to Tier List Contenders has full explanations of all the Pokemon you'll want to get ready for Series 7!
Crown Tundra Tier List Contenders

Returning Pokemon in Series 7

The Pokemon who have been banned from Ranked Battle in Series 6 are returning as well. The following Pokemon will be back in the ring starting November 1st!

All Returning Pokemon

Venusaur ImageVenusaur Gyarados ImageGyarados Porygon2 ImagePorygon2 Tyranitar ImageTyranitar
Torkoal ImageTorkoal Hippowdon ImageHippowdon Magnezone ImageMagnezone Togekiss ImageTogekiss
Excadrill ImageExcadrill Whimsicott ImageWhimsicott Incineroar ImageIncineroar Mimikyu ImageMimikyu
Rillaboom ImageRillaboom Cinderace ImageCinderace Indeedee ImageIndeedee Dragapult ImageDragapult

Ranked Battle Series 7 Rules

Tier List Updates as of 2020/10/19

Tier Changes
Tier 1 No Change
Tier 2 Grimmsnarl
Tier 3 Sylveon
Snorlax ↓
Tier 4 Porygon-Z ↓
Delisted No Change

*Delisted Pokemon do not include those who are Banned from usage.

Best Pokemon Tier List For Ranked Battle

This tier list is based on the Pokemon HOME Pokemon Rankings for Series 6, beginning on September 1st.

Which Pokemon do you think will prove to be the strongest in Series 7? Let your voice be heard!

Click a Pokemon to jump to their explanation.

Tier 1
Dracozolt Icon.pngDracozolt Urshifu Rapid Strike Style.pngUrshifu Rapid-Strike Primarina.pngPrimarina
Tier 2
Charizard Icon.pngCharizard Diggersby Icon.pngDiggersby Gengar.pngGengar
Urshifu Single Strike Style.pngUrshifu Single-Strike RhyperiorRhyperior Heat Rotom Icon.pngHeat Rotom
Azumarill Icon.pngAzumarill Ferrothorn Icon.pngFerrothorn Grimmsnarl Icon.pngGrimmsnarl
Tier 3
Snorlax.pngSnorlax Hydreigon Icon.pngHydreigon Alolan Ninetales.pngAlolan Ninetales
Clefable Icon.pngClefable Aegislash Icon.pngAegislash Volcarona Icon.pngVolcarona
amoonguss game8 image.pngAmoonguss Corviknight Icon.pngCorviknight Sylveon Icon.pngSylveon
Tier 4
porygon z.pngPorygon-Z Blissey Icon.pngBlissey Scizor Icon.pngScizor
Lapras Icon.pngLapras Goodra Icon.pngGoodra Durant Icon.pngDurant
Arcanine Icon.pngArcanine Wash Rotom Icon.pngWash Rotom Dracovish Icon.pngDracovish

Hall of Fame

The following Pokemon were previously found on the Tier List, but were eliminated due to new rule changes in Series 6. We're hoping to see them back again next season!

Tier 1
Cinderace Icon.pngCinderace Togekiss Icon.pngTogekiss Dragapult Icon.pngDragapult
Tier 2
Porygon2 Icon.pngPorygon2 Rillaboom Icon.pngRillaboom Hippowdon Icon.pngHippowdon
Gyarados Icon.pngGyarados Excadrill Icon.pngExcadrill Magnezone Icon.pngMagnezone
Tier 4
Whimsicott.pngWhimsicott Tyranitar Icon.pngTyranitar -

Best Pokemon - Tier 1

Ranked Battle Series 6's metagame is dominated by bulkier attacks. Although speed creep is no longer an issue, many sweepers employ priority attacks or use stat-changing moves and held items.

Dracozolt

Moveset & Best Build for Dracozolt
Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread Atk. 252 / Spd. 252 / Def. 4
Final Stat Values HP 165 / Atk. 152 / Def. 111 / Sp.Atk. 90 / Sp.Def. 90 / Spd. 139
Ability Hustle
Held Item Choice Scarf
Moveset Bolt Beak
Low Kick
Earthquake
Outrage

Dracozolt's Strong Points

With the disappearance of Mega Ampharos, Dracozolt is the only Electric/Dragon dual-type Pokemon in existence.

With its Ability Volt Absorb, it can throw off the dominance of an Electric-type sweeper.

Its accuracy comes into question, but its Ability Hustle allows it to deal heavy damage, and the accuracy drop can be removed by Dynamaxing.

Urshifu Rapid-Strike Style

Moveset & Best Build for Urshifu Rapid-Strike Style
Nature Jolly
EV Spread Atk 252 / Def 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 175 / Atk 182 / Def 121 / SpDef 80 / Spd 163
Ability Unseen Fist
Held Item Choice Band
Moveset Surging Strikes
Close Combat
Aerial Ace
U-turn

Urshifu Rapid-Strike Style's Strong Points

Urshifu in its Rapid-Strike Style can break through Focus Sash and Mimikyu's Disguise with its multi-hit Surging Strikes, a hugely powerful move in its own right.

When Gigantamaxed, its G-Max Rapid Flow can hit through Max Guard and Protect, giving it an advantage in a Dynamax showdown.

Primarina

Nature Modest (+SpAtk, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 180 / Sp.Atk. 252 / Sp.Def. 4 / Spd. 72
Final Stat Values HP 178 / Def. 94 / Sp.Atk. 195 / Sp.Def. 137 / Spd. 89
Ability Torrent
Held Item Lum Berry
Moveset Scald
Psychic
Energy Ball
Moonblast

These values are from base stats and ideal EVs, excluding external factors.

Primarina's Strong Points

Primarina can take advantage of its inherently high Special Attack to knock out many of the highly defensive Pokemon found in the current metagame.

It also learns Calm Mind for the first time in this generation, unlocking a new potential to set up and sweep as a Special attacker.

Best Pokemon - Tier 2

Charizard

Moveset & Best Build for Charizard
Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Sp.Atk. 252 / Spd. 252 / HP 4
Ability Solar Power
Held Item Weakness Policy / Life Orb / Expert Belt
Moveset Fire Blast
Air Slash
Solar Beam
Dragon Pulse

Charizard's Strong Points

When it Dynamaxes, Charizard can use Max Airstream to boost its Speed, increasing its sweeping potential.

It can also use Max Flare when Dynamaxed to cause intense sunlight, activating its Ability Solar Power to boost its Special Attack.

Diggersby

Moveset & Best Build for Diggersby
Nature Adamant (+Atk, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread Atk. 252 / Sp.Def 4 / Spd. 252
Final Stat Values HP 160 / Atk. 118 / Sp.Def 4 / Spd. 130
Ability Huge Power
Held Item Life Orb
Moveset Swords Dance
Earthquake
Quick Attack
Body Slam

Diggersby's Strong Points

Diggersby's Huge Power ability boosts its otherwise mediocre attack to deadly levels, allowing it to sweep with its powerful STAB moves such as Body Slam and Earthquake.

Gengar

Moveset & Best Build for Gengar
Nature Timid (+Def, -SpAtk)
EV Spread Def. 4 / Sp.Atk. 252 / Spd. 252
Final Stat Values HP 135 / Def. 81 / Sp.Atk. 150 / Sp.Def. 95 / Spd. 178
Ability Cursed Body
Held Item Focus Sash
Moveset Shadow Ball
Focus Blast
Sludge Wave
Thunderbolt

Gengar's Strong Points

Gengar remains one of the most threatening sweepers in the metagame thanks to its unique Ghost/Poison dual typing. Access to powerful STAB moves, as well as an excellent special movepool, make it an unpredictable Pokemon to face!

Urshifu Single-Strike Style

Moveset & Best Build for Urshifu Single-Strike Style
Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread 4 HP / 252 Atk. / 252 Spd.
Final Stat Values 175 HP / 182 Atk. / 120 Def. / 80 Sp.Def. / 163 Spd.
Ability Unseen Fist
Held Item Life Orb
Moveset Wicked Blow
Close Combat
Iron Head
Aerial Ace

Urshifu Single-Strike Style's Strong Points

Wicked Blow can hit with 80 Power and a guaranteed Critical Hit.

On top of that, its G-Max One Blow is able to hit through Max Guard and Protect, changing up the game for Dynamax battles.

Rhyperior

Nature Adamant (+Atk, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread HP 176 / Atk 252 / Def 4 / Sp.Def 76
Final Stat Values HP 212 / Atk 211 / Def 151 / Sp.Def 76
Ability Solid Rock
Held Item Weakness Policy
Moveset Rock Slide
High Horsepower
Hammer Arm
Protect

Rhyperior's Strong Points

Rhyperior's Solid Rock ability makes it an excellent Weakness Policy user. With the right HP investment. it can survive a super effective hit and sweep with its powerful moves once Weakness Policy activates.

Heat Rotom

Moveset & Best Build for Heat Rotom
Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Sp.Atk. 252 / Spd. 252 / Atk. 4
Ability Levitate
Held Item Choice Scarf / Choice Specs
Moveset Overheat
Discharge
Volt Switch
Trick
Dark Pulse

Heat Rotom's Strong Points

Heat Rotom's combination of Fire and Electric types make it highly effective for handling a variety of threats.

When Dynamaxed, it can unleash a firestorm with Max Flare to deal heavy damage fast.

As there are a limited number of usable Fire-types in the current metagame, Heat Rotom serves an ever more essential niche with grace.

Azumarill

Moveset & Best Build for Azumarill
Nature Adamant (+Atk, -SpAtk)
EV Spread HP 4 / Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 176 / Atk 112 / Def 100 / SpAtk 100 / SpDef 102 /
Ability Huge Power
Held Item Sitrus Berry
Moveset Belly Drum
Aqua Jet
Play Rough
Superpower

Azumarill's Strong Points

With its Ability Huge Power, Azumarill's Attack stat is effectively doubled, allowing it to deal massive blows from the getgo.

It's also capable defensively, with solid defensive stats and six resistances, making it a great damage absorber to switch in when another Pokemon is about to take a hit.

Ferrothorn

Moveset & Best Build for Ferrothorn
Nature Relaxed (+Def, -Spd)
EV Spread HP 252 / Def. 252 / Atk. 4
Ability Iron Barbs
Held Item Leftovers
Moveset Gyro Ball
Leech Seed
Protect
Knock Off

Ferrothorn's Strong Points

With its effective type combination of Grass and Steel, it's only weak to Fire and Fighting type moves.

If it seems like the opponent will use a Gyarados or Wash Rotom on the Pokemon select screen, putting in Ferrothorn to wall them is a no-brainer. By sapping the foe's HP with Iron Barbs and Protect, use Knock Off to get rid of the foe's Held Item.

Grimmsnarl

Moveset & Best Build for Grimmsnarl
Nature Adamant (+Atk, -SpAtk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Atk. 252 / Def. 4
Ability Prankster
Held Item Sitrus Berry
Moveset Bulk Up
Sucker Punch
Substitute
Play Rough

Grimmsnarl's Strong Points

Grimmsnarl is a holder of the rare Ability Prankster. With its combination of the Dark and Fairy types, it's an ideal counter for Dragapult.

Prankster allows it to use Bulk Up first without fail, allowing it to raise its Defense before taking a hit, while Sucker Punch and Play Rough are great for taking down opponents.

Best Pokemon - Tier 3

The Pokemon in Tier 3 are used frequently as counters to those in Tiers 1 and 2.

Snorlax

Moveset & Best Build for Snorlax
Nature Impish (+Def, -SpAtk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Def. 252 / Atk. 4
Final Stat Values HP 267 / Atk. 131 / Def. 128 / Sp.Def. 130 / Spd. 50
Ability Gluttony
Held Item Figy Berry
Moveset Recycle
Body Slam
Curse
Fire Punch

Snorlax's Strong Points

With its high Special Defense, it plays a useful role as a sponge for Special attacks.

It also plays an important role on teams as a Normal type to throw off the dominance of Ghost-type Moves.

Hydreigon

Moveset & Best Build for Hydreigon
Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Sp.Atk. 252 / Spd. 252 / HP 4
Ability Levitate
Held Item Choice Specs / Choice Scarf
Moveset Draco Meteor
Fire Blast
Hydro Pump
Dark Pulse

Hydreigon's Strong Points

Like Dragapult and Tyranitar, Hydreigon has 600+ total Base Stats. As a powerful Special Attacker with Choice Specs, Hydreigon can put the pressure on the opponent with powerful attacks.

With a base Speed of 98, it's faster than Mimikyu, so Hydreigon can't help but bring the pain with its fast attacks. With attacks available in a variety of types, it's a great Pokemon to consider Dynamaxing.

Alolan Ninetales

Moveset & Best Build for Alolan Ninetales
Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 4 / Sp.Atk. 252 / Spd. 252
Final Stat Values HP 149 / Atk. 78 / Def. 95 / Sp.Atk. 133 / Sp.Def. 120 / Spd. 177
Ability Snow Warning
Held Item Light Clay
Moveset Aurora Veil
Freeze-Dry
Will-O-Wisp
Dazzling Gleam

Alolan Ninetales' Strong Points

Alolan Ninetales functions as a lead weather setter for Hail teams, using its ability Snow Warning to instantly cast the weather and Aurora Veil to boost it and its teams defenses.

Clefable

Moveset & Best Build for Clefable
Nature Bold (+Def, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Def 252 / Sp.Def 4
Final Stat Values HP 202 / Def 137 / Sp.Atk 115 / Sp.Def 111 / Spd 80
Ability Unaware
Held Item Leftovers
Moveset Cosmic Power
Calm Mind
Moonlight
Moonblast

Clefable's Strong Points

Clefable is a great answer to set-up sweepers thanks to its Unaware ability. It can also boost its own defenses with Cosmic Power, allowing to function as a great mixed wall for the team.

Aegislash

Moveset & Best Build for Aegislash
Nature Quiet
EV Spread HP 252 / Sp.Atk. 252 / Sp.Def. 4
Ability Stance Change
Held Item Weakness Policy
Moveset Shadow Ball
Sacred Sword
Shadow Sneak
King's Shield

Aegislash's Strong Points

By switching between its Blade Forme and Shield Forme, Aegislash's stat total of 500 effectively becomes 680, as it can avoid ever being damaged in Blade Forme.

As its Shield Forme has incredible Defense and Special Defense, it can hold its own against a variety of opponents.

Also, its access to Fighting-type Moves provides it with a wide movepool.

Volcarona

Moveset & Best Build for Volcarona
Nature Modest
(+SpAtk, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 4 / Sp.Atk. 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 161 / Def 85 / Sp.Atk. 205 / Sp.Def. 125 / Spd 152
Ability Flame Body
Held Item Life Orb
Moveset Quiver Dance
Fire Blast
Bug Buzz
Hurricane

Volcarona's Strong Points

Volcarona's unique dual-typing make it a formidable bulky sweeper, and access to Quiver Dance allows it to threaten teams late in the game. It's a common sight in sun-based teams, and can quickly overpower the opposing team if left unchecked!

Amoonguss

Moveset & Best Build for Amoonguss
Nature Bold(+Def, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 248 / Def 168 / Sp.Def 92
Final Stat Values HP 220 / Def 122 / Sp.Atk 105 / Sp.Def 112 / Spd 50
Ability Regenerator
Held Item Black Sludge
Moveset Giga Drain
Spore
Protect
Clear Smog

Amoonguss' Strong Points

Amoonguss plays a different role in Singles. Instead of providing redirection support, it serves as a multi-purpose defensive Pokemon that can function as a wall and phaser thanks to its great dual typing and great support moves. Access to Spore and Giga Drain allow it to threaten walls, while Clear Smog resets the opposing team's stat changes.

Corviknight

Moveset & Best Build for Corviknight
Nature Careful (+Sp.Def, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Def 28 / Sp.Def 228
Final Stat Values HP 205 / Atk. 107 / Def. 129 / Sp.Def. 147 / Spd. 87
Ability Pressure
Held Item Leftovers
Moveset Brave Bird
Roost
Defog
U-Turn

Corviknight's Strong Points

Corviknight is one of the metagame's premiere mixed walls. Great mixed bulk and access to Defog and reliable recovery in Roost allow it to threaten leads that set up entry hazards. Respectable attack also allows it to hit hard with Brave Bird even without investment.

Sylveon

Moveset & Best Build for Sylveon
Nature Modest (+Sp.Atk, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 236 / Sp.Atk. 252 / Spd. 20
Final Stat Values HP 200 / Sp.Atk. 178 / Sp.Def 150 / Spd. 83 / Def. 85
Ability Pixilate
Held Item Throat Spray
Moveset Hyper Voice
Mystical Fire
Psyshock
Quick Attack

Sylveon's Strong Points

Sylveon functions as a bulky special attacker, capable of taking hits while still dealing respectable damage. Thanks to its ability Pixilate, it's Normal moves become Fairy-type moves and also get a significant damage boost. This turns Sylveon's Hyper Voice into a powerful STAB move!

Best Pokemon - Tier 4

When Tier 4 Pokemon come out, we can start to see a bit of individuality in each team. The presence of these Pokemon shows what Tier 1 or 2 Pokemon the user is afraid of. Tier 4 boasts Pokemon who are strong on their own, those who are strong against those in Tiers 1 to 3, and those who are a pain to deal with for all other Pokemon.

Porygon-Z

Moveset & Best Build for Porygon-Z
Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Sp.Atk. 252 / Sp.Def. 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 160 / Def 90 / Sp.Atk 187 / Sp.Def 96 / Spd 156
Ability Adaptability
Held Item Choice Specs
Moveset ・Tri Attack
・Shadow Ball
・Ice Beam
・Thunderbolt

Porygon-Z's Strong Points

Porygon-Z is a powerful special attacker that easily finds itself in many hyper offense teams. It's one of the few special sweepers in the tier with the coveted BoltBeam coverage, and its Adaptability ability also boosts the power of its Tri Attack.

Blissey

Moveset & Best Build for Blissey
Nature Bold (+Def, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Def. 252 / Sp.Def. 4
Ability Nature Cure
Held Item Leftovers
Moveset Soft-Boiled
Seismic Toss
Aromatherapy
Thunder Wave

Blissey's Strong Points

Blissey is the quintessential special wall, capable of withstanding powerful special attacks thanks to its massive HP stat and great special defense. Access to reliable recovery in Soft-Boiled as well as guaranteed damage from Seismic Toss allow it to threaten set-up sweepers and opposing walls. It can also serve as a cleric for the team, curing Status with Aromatherapy.

Scizor

Moveset & Best Build for Scizor
Nature Adamant (+Atk, -SpAtk)
EV Spread 252 HP / 252 Atk. / 4 Spd.
Final Stat Values 177 HP / 200 Atk. / 120 Def. / 100 Sp.Def. / 86 Spd.
Ability Technician
Held Item Choice Band
Moveset Bullet Punch
U-turn
Quick Attack
Dual Wingbeat

Scizor's Strong Points

With a whopping 9 resistences, Scizor can handle many foes and use STAB U-turn to switch out on the ones it can't while simultaneously hitting hard.

It also gains the benefits of the Ability Technician, which allows it to use its low-power priority moves with a damage boost. Near the end of a fight, Scizor can hit hard with priority moves to finish off Pokemon with limited HP remaining.

Lapras

Moveset & Best Build for Lapras
Nature Quiet (+SpAtk, -Spd)
EV Spread Sp.Atk. 252 / HP 132 / Def 84 / Sp.Def. 36 / Atk. 4
Final Stat Values HP 222 / Atk. 106 / Def. 111 / Sp.Atk. 150 / Sp.Def. 120
Ability Water Absorb
Held Item Assault Vest
Moveset Freeze-Dry
Surf
Ice Shard
Sheer Cold

Lapras's Strong Points

High Base Stats overall allow it to withstand attacks while simultaneously hitting back with powerful attacks of its own.

When using Gigantamax Lapras, its G-Max Resonance can set up simultaneous Reflect and Light Screen, without requiring Hail like Aurora Veil.

It also has the potential to break through a wall-heavy player's defenses for a one-hit KO with Sheer Cold.

Goodra

Moveset & Best Build for Goodra
Nature Modest (+Sp.Atk, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 248 / Sp.Atk 252 / Sp.Def 8
Final Stat Values HP 196 / Def. 90 / Sp.Atk. 178 / Sp.Def. 171 / Spd 100
Ability Sap Sipper
Held Item Assault Vest
Moveset Draco Meteor
Sludge Wave
Thunderbolt
Flamethrower

Goodra's Strong Points

Goodra is versatile sweeper with great natural bulk that's boosted by Assault Vest. It's wide special movepool allows it to hit common Pokemon in the metagame for super effective damage, and it's one of the few Dragon-types that don't fear Fairy-types since its boosted Special Defense allows it to survive a hit and KO the opposing Fairy-type with Sludge Wave.

Durant

Moveset & Best Build for Durant
Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread Atk. 252 / Spd. 252 / HP 4
Final Stat Values HP 134 / Atk. 161 / Def. 132 / Sp.Def. 68 / Spd. 177
Ability Hustle
Held Item Life Orb
Moveset Iron Head
X-Scissor
Thunder Fang
Superpower

Durant's Strong Points

Durant carves a niche in the Metagame as a powerful Dynamax user since it eliminates the accuracy drop of its ability Hustle. It's often partnered with speed leads that can boost its rather mediocre speed stat to ensure it outpaces its opponents.

Arcanine

Moveset & Best Build for Arcanine
Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread Atk. 252 / Spd. 252 / HP 4
Final Stat Values HP 166 / Atk. 162 / Def. 100 / Sp.Def. 100 / Spd. 161
Ability Intimidate
Held Item Choice Band
Moveset Extreme Speed
Flare Blitz
Play Rough
Wild Charge

Arcanine's Strong Points

Arcanine is a powerful and unpredictable sweeper, capable of running both physical and special sets, as well as unorthodox defensive sets. As a sweeper, it has a rather wide movepool along with the coveted priority move Extreme Speed, making it a great user of Choice Band.

Wash Rotom

Moveset & Best Build for Wash Rotom
Nature Modest (+SpAtk, -Atk) or Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Sp.Atk. 252 / Def. 4 or
Sp.Atk. 252 / Spd. 252 / HP 4
Ability Levitate
Held Item Choice Specs / Choice Scarf / Sitrus Berry
Moveset Discharge
Volt Switch
Hydro Pump
Will-o-Wisp
Trick
Dark Pulse

Wash Rotom's Strong Points

Wash Rotom has carried on its legacy as a strong contender from previous games. With its powerful combination of the Water and Electric types, and its Levitate Ability to rid itself of its Ground weakness, Wash Rotom's power is easy to understand.

With a Timid Nature, it can boost its Base Speed as high as 156, and with a Choice Scarf on deck, it can reach a higher Speed than Dragapult and use a powerful Volt Switch first.

Dracovish

Moveset & Best Build for Dracovish
Nature Jolly (+Spd, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread HP 4 / Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 166 / Atk. 142 / Def. 120 / Sp.Def. 100 / Spd. 139
Ability Strong Jaw
Held Item Choice Scarf
Moveset Fishious Rend
Crunch
Ice Fang
Outrage

Dracovish's Strong Points

Dracovish is arguably the most threatening wallbreaker in the metagame. Strong Jaw boosted Fishious Rend can punch holes in even the toughest walls, and holding Choice Scarf guarantees that its main STAB always gets a boost. Few Pokemon can outspeed Dracovish without Choice Scarf, making it an ever-present threat to defensive teams.

Hall of Fame

These Pokemon have enjoyed their reign at the tops of the Tier List, but it was time for them to extend the crown for others. All the following Pokemon are banned in Series 6 of Ranked Battle. They might be returning again for Series 7, but only time will tell!

Hall of Fame Ex-Tier 1 Pokemon

Cinderace

Moveset & Best Build for Cinderace
Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread Atk. 252 / Spd. 252 / HP 4
Final Stat Values HP 156 / Atk. 168 / Def. 95 / Sp.Def. 95 / Spd. 188
Ability Libero
Held Item Life Orb
Moveset Pyro Ball
High Jump Kick
Sucker Punch
Bounce

Cinderace's Strong Points

With its new Hidden Ability Libero, Cinderace is now able to use every attack with STAB, giving 1.5x boost to all its attacks. In essence, this liberates it from STAB, as per its name - Cinderace has no incentive to use Fire-type moves over other types, as it can gain the same bonus with any type. This makes Cinderace equally threatening no matter what type of move throws out.

On top of that, it benefits from a wide movepool to counter a variety of potential opponents.

Its exclusive attack Pyro Ball is also a potent threat that's kept it in the metagame since before Libero. A 120-power Physical Fire move, it's a perfect fit for Cinderace's stat makeup to form a highly threatening fast attacker.

Togekiss

Moveset & Best Build for Togekiss
Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 244 / Spd. 236 / Sp.Atk. 30
Ability Serene Grace
Held Item Weakness Policy
Moveset Air Slash
Fire Blast
Dazzling Gleam
Nasty Plot

Togekiss's Strong Points

Togekiss is revered for its 60% chance to cause its opponent to flinch using its Ability Serene Grace together with Air Slash.

It also has a good balance of Base Stats, making it generally easy to use.

When Dynamaxed, it can use Max Airstream to boost its Speed, making it even more effective at outspeeding and causing flinching.

Dragapult

Moveset & Best Build for Dragapult
Nature Naive (+Spd, -SpDef)
EV Spread Atk. 252 / Spd. 252 / HP 4
Ability Clear Body
Infiltrator
Held Item Focus Sash / Choice Scarf / Choice Band / Weakness Policy
Moveset Dragon Darts
Phantom Force
Fire Blast
Steel Wing / U-turn

Dragapult's Strong Points

Dragapult is one of the few Pokemon appearing in Sword and Shield with total Base Stats in the 600+ range. As one of the fastest Pokemon in the metagame, few opponents can outspeed it without a Choice Scarf.

In addition to the recommended Moves above, it's also capable of Thunderbolt, Shadow Ball, Will-o-Wisp, and other moves to trip up your opponent. Dragapult's strength is found in its unpredictability.

Hall of Fame Ex-Tier 2 Pokemon

Porygon2

Moveset & Best Build for Porygon2
Nature Bold
EV Spread 244 HP / 252 Def. / 12 Spd.
Final Stat Values 191 HP / 156 Def. / 125 Sp.Atk. / 115 Sp.Def. / 82 Spd.
Ability Trace
Held Item Eviolite
Moveset Recover
Thunder Wave
Foul Play
Discharge

Porygon2's Strong Points

Porygon2 is a non-fully-evolved Pokemon, allowing it to use Eviolite to weather any medium-level damage. It's bulky enough to survive and Recover, and is only weak to Fighting, making it difficult for opponents to break through its wall.

It's also capable as a Trick Room attacker, as it can set up Trick Room on its own and use moves in a variety of types, allowing it to hit opponents across the board while dishing out damage of its own.

Rillaboom

Moveset & Best Build for Rillaboom
Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread Atk. 252 / Spd. 252 / HP 4
Final Stat Values HP 176 / Atk. 177 / Def. 110 / Sp.Def. 90 / Spd. 150
Ability Grassy Surge
Held Item Choice Scarf / Choice Band
Moveset U-turn
Drum Beating
Knock Off
Superpower

Rillaboom's Strong Points

Rillaboom has both a high Attack as well as formidable Defense, making it able to hold its own in all-out brawls with Physical attackers.

With its new Hidden Ability, Grassy Surge, and a new Tutor Move Grassy Glide from The Isle of Armor, Rillaboom is able to set up Grassy Terrain and attack with priority from the first turn.

Although its low Speed has often been its downside, this combination allows it to bypass Speed altogether to hit fast attackers first with STAB and the damage boost from Grassy Terrain.

Hippowdon

Moveset & Best Build for Hippowdon
Nature Impish (+Def, -SpAtk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Def. 252 / Sp.Def. 4
Ability Sand Stream
Held Item Rocky Helmet
Moveset Slack Off
Yawn
Earthquake
Rock Tomb

Hippowdon's Strong Points

Hippowdon can use Yawn to force a switch, which can be an opportunity to set up Stealth Rock.

With its high Defense, it's also capable of taking hits from the variety of Physical attackers in the metagame.

Mimikyu

Moveset & Best Build for Mimikyu
Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread Atk. 252 / Spd. 252 / HP 4
Ability Disguise
Held Item Life Orb
Moveset Swords Dance
Play Rough
Shadow Sneak
Shadow Claw

Mimikyu's Strong Points

With its Ability Disguise, Mimikyu is able to take one attack with damage equal to just 10% of its maximum HP. This ensures that Mimikyu can use at least one move in any situation, allowing it to pull off a Swords Dance without fail. With its Attack boosted by 2 stages for free at the onset, there's few and far between a foe that can take its Dynamax attacks head on.

Mimikyu can also set up Max Starfall to prevent any negative status effects, preventing it from being Burned and limiting its attack power.

Gyarados

Moveset & Best Build for Gyarados
Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread Atk. 252 / Spd. 252 / HP 4
Ability Moxie
Held Item Lum Berry
Moveset Waterfall
Bounce
Power Whip
Dragon Dance

Gyarados's Strong Points

A Pokemon beloved since Pokemon Red & Blue, Gyarados is back for more in Sword and Shield. With its Ability Moxie and its Dynamax Move Max Airstream (from Bounce), Gyarados has the potential to snag an effect equivalent to Dragon Dance on its first turn out.

Against a weak party, Gyarados is known to sweep the whole team alone. And in addition to its killer Attack, its defensive stats are strong around the board, with a base 100 Special Defense standing out, allowing it to hold its own when taking hits as well.

Excadrill

Moveset & Best Build for Excadrill
Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread Atk. 252 / Spd. 252 / HP 4
Ability Mold Breaker
Held Item Focus Sash / Assault Vest / Choice Scarf / Choice Band / Life Orb
Moveset Earthquake
Iron Head
Rock Tomb
Horn Drill
Fissure
Stealth Rock

Excadrill's Strong Points

Excadrill is known as a powerful counter for Mimikyu and Rotom. With its Ability Mold Breaker, it can break through Mimikyu's Disguise and Rotom's Levitate to hit both of their weak spots.

With a base Speed of 88, it's slightly faster than Rotom, so making sure Excadrill is as fast as possible is a must. With Rock Tomb, Excadrill can set up for its teammates to come in with an advantage after it's defeated, and with Horn Drill, it has a chance of defeating foes that it normally wouldn't be able to handle.

Magnezone

Moveset & Best Build for Magnezone
Nature Modest (+SpAtk, -Atk)
EV Spread SpAtk 252 / SpDef 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 145 / Def 135 / SpAtk 200 / SpDef 111 / Spd 112
Ability Sturdy
Held Item Choice Specs
Moveset Thunderbolt
Flash Cannon
Volt Switch
Tri Attack

Magnezone's Strong Points

Magnezone has a variety of Abilities which can all be useful depending on the build, making it difficult for the opponent to read which Ability it will use.

Magnezone's Ability Sturdy guarantees it at least one move in battle, providing it the effects of a Focus Sash without needing to use its Held Item space.

It can use Magnet Pull instead to allow it to trap Steel-type opponents, and prevent the opponent from switching in a more advantageous Pokemon.

Lastly, the Analytic Ability can be used in a slow build together with Choice Specs to deal huge damage with each hit.

Hall of Fame Ex-Tier 4 Pokemon

Whimsicott

Moveset & Best Build for Whimsicott
Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 205 / Def 164 / Spd 116/ Sp.Atk 20 /Sp.Def 4
Final Stat Values HP 161 / Def 126 / Sp.Atk. 100 / Sp.Def. 96 / Spd 166
Ability Prankster
Held Item Leftovers
Moveset Cotton Guard
Leech Seed
Substitute
Moonblast

Whimsicott's Strong Points

With high natural speed and a wide support movepool, Whimsicott remains one of the most popular support leads thanks to its ability Prankster.

It's a common sight on both the Singles and Doubles format and can fill the role of a team supporter with Tailwind or function as a check to tanks, shutting them down with Taunt.

Tyranitar

Moveset & Best Build for Tyranitar
Nature Adamat (+Atk, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Atk. 204 / Def. 20 / Sp.Def. 20 / Spd. 12
Final Stat Values HP 207 / Atk. 198 / Def. 133 / Sp.Def. 123 / Spd. 83
Ability Sand Stream
Held Item Weakness Policy
Moveset Stone Edge
Crunch
Heavy Slam
Earthquake

Tyranitar's Strong Points

Tyranitar is a great candidate for a Weakness Policy. With its natural bulk and the right EV spread, it can survive super effective hits from the likes of Excadrill and Wash Rotom and sweep after gaining the boosts.

How to Make the Best Team

There is no unbeatable team

CinderacePyroBall.jpeg
Unlike in previous Pokemon metagames, there is no party or Pokemon that can defeat anything used against it. However, there are teams which can win consistently, as long as the right Pokemon are chosen for the battle.

Party composition is key

GalarianDarmanitan.jpeg
Battles are not won by individual Pokemon. The team as a whole must be constructed to balance type strengths and weaknesses, and have built-in strategies to defeat opponents. In the current metagame, crafting a party that works together is more essential than ever.

Start off with a Rental Party

It's no easy feat to make a killer team from scratch. It can be a good idea to start off with rental teams, which any player can download and use in Ranked Battle. This can help to understand how a team is built, how to select which Pokemon to use in a battle, and how to use the party's built-in strategies in battle to rack up wins.

Our Best Teams guide has all teams available for rental, so you can try out your favorites to get a feel for some of the most popular Pokemon and strategies in the metagame!
Best Teams for Ranked Battle

Trends of the Current Metagame

Most teams take advantage of Dynamax

Take advantage of Dynamax.png

The boost which Dynamaxing provides to HP, as well as the effects of each Max Move are taken heavily into consideration when planning teams for Ranked Battle. The Move Max Airstream, with its effects increasing Speed, is particularly popular, and Pokemon who can use it effectively, such as Gyarados and Corviknight, gain popularity as a result.

Weakness Policy has become increasingly useful

The advent of Dynamax has allowed Pokemon who normally would faint in one hit from moves to survive, thanks to the HP boost it provides. This grants new potential for the item Weakness Policy, which activates when a Pokemon is hit by a super effective move and grants a two-stage Attack and Special Attack boost. Pokemon who otherwise would not have been able to survive a super effective hit now have the potential to hit back harder than ever.

Weakness Policy Effects and How to Obtain It

Physical Attackers are ever-present

In the current metagame, physical attackers appear significantly more frequently than special attackers. This makes Pokemon such as Clefable and Gastrodon, who can withstand heavy physical damage, all the more essential to have in your party.

Summary

And that's our latest Tier List of the Best Pokemon for Ranked Battle as of September 2020. With the banning of most of the top Pokemon in the tier list, the new top Pokemon are still in a state of flux. We'll be continuing to update with the top Pokemon as the season continues!

If you're thinking of getting into competitive play, or if you're having trouble winning online, some of the Pokemon in this article might be just what your team needs.

Here's hoping you can have as much fun playing online as we have. Check back soon as we continue updating with tier upsets, new additions and more individual Build pages!

Related Links

Best Builds for Ranked Battle Partial.pngAll Competitive Builds for Ranked Battle
Movesets & Best Builds for The Crown Tundra Pokemon
Galarian ArticunoGalarian Articuno Galarian ZapdosGalarian Zapdos Galarian MoltresGalarian Moltres
RaikouRaikou EnteiEntei SuicuneSuicune
Tapu KokoTapu Koko Tapu LeleTapu Lele Tapu BuluTapu Bulu
Tapu FiniTapu Fini HeatranHeatran CresseliaCresselia
MetagrossMetagross DragoniteDragonite GarchompGarchomp
NidokingNidoking Galarian SlowkingGalarian Slowking NihilegoNihilego
PheromosaPheromosa CelesteelaCelesteela NaganadelNaganadel
LatiosLatios ZapdosZapdos RegielekiRegieleki
RegidragoRegidrago ThundurusThundurus LandorusLandorus
Movesets & Best Builds for Isle of Armor Pokemon
ScizorScizor KingdraKingdra MagnezoneMagnezone
VolcaronaVolcarona ChanseyChansey BlisseyBlissey
TalonflameTalonflame AzumarillAzumarill Galarian SlowbroGalarian Slowbro
Porygon2Porygon2 Urshifu Single-Strike StyleUrshifu Single-Strike Style Urshifu Rapid-Strike StyleUrshifu Rapid-Strike Style
SlowbroSlowbro Alolan MarowakAlolan Marowak DragalgeDragalge
KlefkiKlefki LycanrocLycanroc AmoongussAmoonguss
PoliwrathPoliwrath PalossandPalossand MienshaoMienshao
StarmieStarmie HeracrossHeracross ComfeyComfey
Porygon-ZPorygon-Z
Movesets & Best Builds for New Pokemon
DragapultDragapult Galarian CorsolaGalarian Corsola ToxtricityToxtricity
Galarian DarmanitanGalarian Darmanitan CorviknightCorviknight DracovishDracovish
GrimmsnarlGrimmsnarl RillaboomRillaboom DuraludonDuraludon
CinderaceCinderace AlcremieAlcremie DracozoltDracozolt
HattereneHatterene EiscueEiscue InteleonInteleon
PincurchinPincurchin FrosmothFrosmoth ZacianZacian
SirfetchSirfetch'd FlappleFlapple CoalossalCoalossal
CentiskorchCentiskorch ArctozoltArctozolt ZarudeZarude
Galarian WeezingGalarian Weezing
Movesets & Best Builds for Returning Pokemon
MimikyuMimikyu Wash RotomWash Rotom GyaradosGyarados
FerrothornFerrothorn AegislashAegislash ExcadrillExcadrill
TyranitarTyranitar HydreigonHydreigon Heat RotomHeat Rotom
ArcanineArcanine MamoswineMamoswine ToxapexToxapex
TogekissTogekiss CloysterCloyster DurantDurant
SnorlaxSnorlax CharizardCharizard SylveonSylveon
LucarioLucario HippowdonHippowdon UmbreonUmbreon
ConkeldurrConkeldurr QuagsireQuagsire GastrodonGastrodon
LaprasLapras WhimsicottWhimsicott RhyperiorRhyperior
GoodraGoodra HaxorusHaxorus GlaceonGlaceon
Mow RotomMow Rotom Type: NullType: Null GengarGengar
MiloticMilotic GardevoirGardevoir FlygonFlygon
ChandelureChandelure LanturnLanturn TorkoalTorkoal
BisharpBisharp SeismitoadSeismitoad SilvallySilvally
Butterfree Butterfree PrimarinaPrimarina IncineroarIncineroar
BlastoiseBlastoise DecidueyeDecidueye VenusaurVenusaur
DarmanitanDarmanitan Alolan NinetalesAlolan Ninetales GothitelleGothitelle
CrawdauntCrawdaunt ClefableClefable ReuniclusReuniclus
Kommo-oKommo-o TerrakionTerrakion CobalionCobalion
VirizionVirizion NoivernNoivern Fan RotomFan Rotom
ToxicroakToxicroak PelipperPelipper JellicentJellicent
CelebiCelebi ClefairyClefairy HitmontopHitmontop
DiggersbyDiggersby
Movesets & Best Builds for Gigantamax Pokemon
Gigantamax GrimmsnarlGigantamax Grimmsnarl Gigantamax SnorlaxGigantamax Snorlax Gigantamax CharizardGigantamax Charizard
Competitive Pokemon Battle Guides
Tier List.pngTier List Best Builds.pngBest Builds Pokemon - Series 7 Rotom Phone.pngCrown Tundra Tier List Contenders
Doubles Tier List Icon.pngDoubles Tier List Competitive Team Building Icon.pngTeam Building Rental team.pngRental Teams

Comment

16 Jolly24 days

Galarian Darmanitan definitely needs to be ranked on this tier list. With Gorilla Tactics + Choice Scarf he hits like a truck and outspeeds most pokemon due to Scarf. Even if Draco has choice scarf Darmanitan will outspeed him and bop him with an icicle crash.

15 Anonymous24 days

Diggersby is so close to tier 1 man. With the prevalence of electric types hes a phenomenal counter plus he has crazy sweep potential. I find myself going into battles with him almost every match.

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