Galarian Darmanitan - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle | Pokemon Sword and Shield

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Galarian Darmanitan.png

This is a strategy guide for using Galarian Darmanitan in competitive play for the games Pokemon Sword and Shield. Read on for tips on the best Nature, EV spreads, Movesets, Builds, and Held Items to use with Galarian Darmanitan, as well as its strengths and weak points.

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Basic Information for Galarian Darmanitan

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Ice Type
Gorilla Tactics Boosts the Pokemon's Attack Stat but only allows the use of the first selected move.
Zen Mode (Hidden) Changes form when HP drops below half.

Type Defenses

Takes 4x damage
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Fire Image Pokemon Fighting Image Pokemon Rock Image Pokemon Steel Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Ice Image
Takes 1/4x damage
Takes 0x damage

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
105 140 55 30 55 95

Best Nature for Galarian Darmanitan

Best Natures
+Atk, -SpAtk
+Spd, -SpAtk

What are Natures?

Moveset & Best Build for Galarian Darmanitan

Choice Item Physical Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

Choice Item Physical Sweeper Galarian Darmanitan.png

Nature Jolly
EV Spread HP 4 / Atk. 252 / Spd. 252
Final Stat Values HP 181 / Atk. 192 / Def. 75 / Sp.Def. 75/ Spd. 161
Ability Gorilla Tactics
Held Item Choice Scarf / Choice Band
Moveset Flare Blitz
Icicle Crash
・One of the moves below

Galarian Darmanitan's Ability Gorilla Tactics boosts Attack while limiting it to using only the first-selected Move, so by stacking it with a Choice Item having the same effect, it can dish out heavy attack damage without an additional disadvantage.

The Choice Scarf in particular can raise Galarian Darmanitan's already-high Speed to make it faster than most opponents and make it into a killer physical sweeper.

Options for Final Move Slot

Stone Edge A powerful attack to hit the often-present Heat Rotom. The best solution for the current metagame.
Superpower A great counter for Dark-types, in particular Tyranitar. Its Dynamax counterpart Max Knuckle's attack boost is also great to have.
Earthquake Although it's super effective against several types, it won't be needed often. Use this option when you need it to maintain the type balance for your team's movesets.

Zen Mode Moveset & Best Build

Zen Mode Galarian Darmanitan.png

Nature Jolly
EV Spread HP 4 / Atk. 252 / Spd. 252
Final Stat Values HP 180 / Atk. 192 / Def. 76 / Sp.Def. 75/ Spd. 161
Ability Zen Mode
Held Item Sitrus Berry
Moveset Substitute
Belly Drum
Icicle Crash
Fire Punch

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

Galarian Darmanitan's Zen Mode Ability increases its Speed and Attack when its HP is below half, allowing it to hit first and hit hard. This gives it a power boost without the disadvantage of the Gorilla Tactics ability, which restricts it to use only the first-selected move.

When used in the order, use Substitute, then Belly Drum – while holding Sitrus Berry, you maximize HP while still satisfying Zen Mode's requirement of having less than half HP. This allows the Substitute to take advantage of Belly Drum's attack-maximizing effect and Sitrus Berry's HP recovery effect, while satisfying Zen Mode's condition of the true Galarian Darmanitan's HP having to be below half its max.

Other Viable Moves

Superpower A Fighting-type move. Effective against Rock-types, especially powerful threats like Tyranitar.
Iron Head A Steel-type move, powerful against Fairy-types, like Mimikyu.
Earthquake A Ground-type move that hits all opponents and allies, except for Flying-types. Effective against Ice-types.
Zen Headbutt A Psychic-type option. Changes into Max Mindstorm when Dynamaxed, which creates Psychic Terrain, blocking priority moves.
Rock Slide A Rock-type move that can potentially strike first and cause an opponent to flinch thanks to Zen Mode's Speed boost.
Stone Edge Another Rock-type move, with emphasis on power. Its imperfect accuracy hurts, but can defeat many opponents in one hit with its high power.

How to Use Galarian Darmanitan Effectively

A physical sweeper who uses Choice Items to dominate

Galarian Darmanitan's unique ability Gorilla Tactics combines well with Choice Band to doubly boost its attack. While this limits it to one move choice per switch-in, this combination grants double the advantage compared to other Pokemon, making it a superpowered physical attacker.

Timing of Dynamax is essential

When Dynamaxing Galarian Darmanitan, the effects of Gorilla Tactics and Choice Items will be removed. This will result in a decrease in Attack and/or Speed, but has the tradeoff of breaking the selection bondage of the Choice Item. This leaves the player with a key decision, to Dynamax or not to Dynamax.

Counters for Galarian Darmanitan

Wall its heavy attacks with a defensive Pokemon

Because Galarian Darmanitan is focused entirely on physical attacking, it has a hard time taking down defensive Water-type Pokemon, who can bear the brunt of its moves.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Toxapex ImageToxapex Ranking: ★★★★★
・Can hold off physical sweepers with Scald and Recover
・Can field a number of physical sweepers besides Galarian Darmanitan
Milotic ImageMilotic Ranking: ★★★★☆
・Can defend against both physical and special sweepers effectively
・Its Ability Marvel Scale makes it a superb wall against physical attackers

Face it down with a head-on attacker

Although Galarian Darmanitan has high Attack, its Defense and Special Defense are lacking. If you've got a physical attacker who can take the first hit from Galarian Darmanitan, it's not a hard feat to knock it out with one Move.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Mimikyu ImageMimikyu Ranking: ★★★★★
・After setting up Swords Dance on the first turn, it can Dynamax on the second turn to use Max Starfall and knock out Galarian Darmanitan
・Can knock out a wide range of Pokemon after setting up Swords Dance
Best Ranked Battle Build for Mimikyu
Rhyperior ImageRhyperior Ranking: ★★★☆☆
・Can take reduced damage from super effective moves with its ability Solid Rock
・A physical attacker who can handle other physical attackers

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