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

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

Grimmsnarl - Related Articles
Pokeball Icon.pngEvolution and Learnset VS Battle Icon.pngBuild for Ranked Battle Gigantamax GrimmsnarlGigantamax Grimmsnarl

Basic Information for Grimmsnarl

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Dark Type Fairy Type
Prankster Gives priority to a status move.
Frisk The Pokemon can check a foe's held item.
Pickpocket (Hidden) Steals an item when hit by another Pokemon.

Type Defenses

Takes 4x damage
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Poison Image Pokemon Steel Image Pokemon Fairy Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Ghost Image
Takes 1/4x damage
Pokemon Dark Image
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Psychic Image Pokemon Dragon Image

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
95 120 65 95 75 60

Best Nature for Grimmsnarl

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

What are Natures?

Singles Movesets for Grimmsnarl

Wall Builder Moveset & Best Build

Wall Builder Grimmsnarl.png

Nature Impish (+Def, -Sp.Atk)
EVs HP 252 / Def 252 / SpDef 4
Final Stat Values HP 202 / Atk 140 /Def 128 / Sp.Def. 96 / Spd 80
Ability Prankster
Held Item Light Clay
Moveset Reflect
Light Screen
Spirit Break

This is the most common Wall Builder set for Grimmsnarl currently found in the metagame.

About Grimmsnarl's Moves

This set is built around setting up Reflect or Light Screen before its opponent can attack.

Taunt helps prevent the opponent from using their own status moves, while Spirit Break is a damage dealing move that reduces the special attack of its target too. This, together with Light Screen, will make it harder for Special Attackers to plow through Grimmsnarl's team.

About Grimmsnarl's EV Spread

This moveset utilizes a standard physically defensive EV spread with max investment in HP and Defense. The remaining stats may be placed into Sp.Def

About Grimmsnarl's Ability

With its Prankster Ability, Grimmsnarl gets priority for status moves, which is really useful for setting up the fastest screens in the metagame.

About Grimmsnarl's Held Item

Light Clay extends the duration of Grimmsnarl's Reflect and Light Screen from 5 turns to 8 turns.

Other Viable Moves

Thunder Wave After you've set up Reflect and Light Screen, add this on top to weaken fast opponents and support teammates who switch in.

Lagging Tail Moveset & Best Build

Lagging Tail Grimmsnarl.png

Nature Impish (+Def, -SpAtk)
EVs HP 252 / Def 252 / Sp.Def 4
Final Stat Values HP 202 / Atk. 140 / Def. 128 / Sp.Def 96 / Spd 80
Ability Prankster
Held Item Lagging Tail
Moveset Foul Play
Spirit Break
Thunder Wave

By tricking the opponent to hold Lagging Tail, this moveset can be used to stifle a fast attacker.

About Grimmsnarl's Moves

This Grimmsnarl has Foul Play and Spirit Break as its main STAB moves. Foul Play lets you use the opponent's Attack stat against them, while Spirit Break whittles down the enemy's HP and their Special Attack stat.

Thunder Wave further cripples enemies by making sure that they aren't only slow, but they'll have a chance to miss a turn due to paralysis.

About Grimmsnarl's Ability

Grimmsnarl's Ability Prankster allows it to use Trick right off the bat, and switch its item with the opponent's.

About Grimmsnarl's Held Item

The item Lagging Tail causes its holder to move last every turn. By Tricking this item onto the opponent, we're giving your team the advantage of always moving first. This can be especially successful when used against sweepers who rely on speed.

Other Viable Moves

Sucker Punch If the opponent chooses an attacking move, it will hit first without fail.
Reflect If your team needs a defensive buff, you can never go wrong with the extra protection provided by Reflect.
Light Screen Likewise, if your team needs a specially defensive buff, Light Screen should give you the extra bulk you need.

Attacker Moveset & Best Build

Attacker Grimmsnarl.png

Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EVs HP 4 / Atk. 252 / Spd. 252
Final Stat Values HP 171 / Atk. 172 / Def. 85 / Sp.Def. 95 / Spd. 123
Ability Prankster
Held Item Life Orb
Moveset Sucker Punch
Play Rough

About Grimmsnarl's Moves

This moveset aims to surprise other wall builders and support Pokemon by employing Taunt. It can be used to corner Pokemon such as Toxapex and Galarian Corsola who rely on Status moves.

Otherwise, this Grimmsnarl has Foul Play and Play Rough as its main STAB moves.

It can also use Substitute to wear down and waste the opponent's Dynamax turns.

About Grimmsnarl's EV Spread

This moveset utilizes a standard physically offensive spread with maximum investment in Attack and Speed. The remaining EVs may be placed in HP for additional bulk.

About Grimmsnarl's Held Item

Life Orb gives Grimmsnarl a 30% boost in damage at the cost of 10% of its HP.

Other Viable Moves

Thunder Wave After you force something to switch with Taunt, throw this to hit the Pokemon that switches in. It's also effective for slowing down fast Pokemon and limiting their effectiveness.
Bulk Up For raising your own stats to knock out the opponent. Takes advantage of Grimmsnarl's already high Attack, while covering for its low Defense.
Superpower A Fighting-type option for using Grimmsnarl as a straight-up hard hitter without the fuss.

Singles Movesets for Gigantamax Grimmsnarl

Bulk Up Moveset and Best Build

Bulk Up Gigantamax Grimmsnarl.png

Nature Adamant (+Atk, -SpAtk)
EV Spread HP 244 / Atk. 252 / Def. 4 / Sp.Def. 4 / Spd. 4
Final Stat Values HP 201 / Atk. 189 / Def. 86 / Sp.Atk. 103 / Sp.Def. 96 / Spd. 81
Ability Prankster
Held Item Leftovers
Moveset Sucker Punch
Spirit Break
Bulk Up

How to Get Gigantamax Grimmsnarl

About Grimmsnarl's Moves

This Grimmsnarl has Foul Play and Spirit Break as it's main STAB moves. Foul Play lets you use the opponent's Attack stat against them, while Spirit Break whittles down the enemy's HP and their Specail Attack stat.

With Bulk Up, Attack and Defense will remain high, even when not in Gigantamax form.

It can also use Substitute to wear down and waste the opponent's Dynamax turns.

Gigantamax Grimmsnarl's G-Max Move

Move Type Effect
G-Max Snooze Pokemon Dark Image A Dark-type attack that Gigantamax Grimmsnarl use. The user lets loose a huge yawn that lulls the targets into falling asleep on the next turn.

To use G-Max Snooze, place at least one Dark-type Move on Grimmsnarl, and it will change into G-Max Snooze when Dynamaxed.

About Grimmsnarl's EV Spread

In its Gigantamax form and with its HP set to an odd number, this build is designed to maximize HP and Attack.

HP is adjusted to an odd number to yield the highest possible value when Dynamaxing. EVs are placed primarily in HP and Attack, with an emphasis on fighting while Dynamaxed. By using Bulk Up, it can boost its Attack and Defense, allowing it to remain useful even after its Dynamax ends.

About Grimmsnarl's Held Item

Leftovers offers Grimmsnarl a much-needed form of recovery.

Other Viable Moves

Fire Punch Allows it to hold its own against an increased range of foes.
Power Whip Helps take down defensive foes like Gastrodon and Quagsire.

How to Use Grimmsnarl Effectively

Take advantage of Prankster

The Ability Prankster allows non-attacking moves to become priority moves, allowing Grimmsnarl to act first to prevent its opponents from doing what they want. It can use Taunt to prevent the use of Status Moves, as well as Trick to switch away its Choice Item and force its limitation on its opponent. To play effectively with Grimmsnarl, you will need to read and control your opponent's movements.

Bulk Up and Fight!

In addition to using status moves to limit your opponent's options, Grimmsnarl can use Bulk Up to power up its Attack and Defense, which Prankster allows it to accomplish before the opponent makes a move. With its already high base stats, Grimmsnarl can build up quickly and take its foes down.

How to Build a Team with Grimmsnarl

Screens Utility for Offensive Teams

Take advantage of Grimmsnarl's Thunder Wave, Taunt, Reflect, Light Screen, and Trick moves to give these Pokemon optimal opportunities to build up and attack. With the opponent's potential crippled, switch out to these Pokemon who can use moves to boost their own stats, then Dynamax and rip through opponents before they're able to recover.

Remember that Grimmsnarl is also a powerful attacker, so it's also viable to attack with Grimmsnarl first and wear down the opponent's HP before switching in one of these Pokemon to finish the job.

Example Offensive Team

Dynamax Attacker Special Attacker Screens Utility
Cinderace ImageCinderace Zapdos ImageZapdos Grimmsnarl ImageGrimmsnarl

Zapdos makes a great partner to Cinderace being able to take Ground and Water-tpe attacks that may be aimed at Cinderace. With its Static ability, it also serves the function of a paralysis-spreader that can cripple the offensive momentum of enemy teams. Access to Volt Switch helps Zapdos keep the momentum going into favorable matchups when used properly.

Cinderace's access to Fighting-type moves covers Zapdos' weakness easily. As the main powerhouse of the team, Cinderace should take advantage of boosts from Max Airstream and Max Knuckle to be set up for success.

Grimmsnarl provides great utility for the team. With Reflect and Light Screen up, it can help Cinderace's survivability thanks to the provided defensive buffs.

How to Build an Offensive Team

Counters for Grimmsnarl

Wall with a defensive Steel-type

Grimmsnarl's primary attacking moves are Sucker Punch and Play Rough, which Steel-type Pokemon can resist. A defensive Steel-type can put Grimmsnarl at a loss for Moves.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Celesteela ImageCelesteela Ranking: ★★★★★
・Highly durable Pokemon with excellent defensive typing.
・It's high stats make it an easy fit for many teams.
Moveset & Best Build for Celesteela
Ferrothorn ImageFerrothorn Ranking: ★★★★★
・Since Grimmsnarl uses priority moves, its slow Speed doesn't make a difference
・Can be useful against most foes even if Grimmsnarl switches out
Best Ranked Battle Build for Ferrothorn
Duraludon ImageDuraludon Ranking: ★★★★
・Can field Grimmsnarl's attacks with high Defense
・As a Special Attacker, it's not bothered by Bulk Up's Defense boosts
Best Ranked Battle Build for [Duraludon

Counter with Incineroar

With its Dark typing, Incineroar nullifies the effects of status moves boosted by Prankster, like Thunder Wave. Gain an Atk. stat advantage by lowering Grimmsnarl's Atk. with Intimidate, and force it to drop its usual status move runaround and resort to an all-out brawl.

This information assumes that Grimmsnarl is using its Prankster Ability.


Pokemon Description
Incineroar ImageIncineroar Ranking: ★★★★★
・Fairy-types are not threats, due to the perfect Fire/Dark-type combination.
Brick Break destroys Light Screen and Reflect from Grimmsnarl's Wall Builder moveset.
Best Ranked Battle Build for Incineroar

Best Teams Featuring Grimmsnarl

All our Best Teams are available for free rental, and usable in Ranked Battle with no EV Training necessary.
All Best Teams for Ranked Battle

Best Grimmsnarl Team for Ranked Battle

Best Durant Team for Ranked Battle
Grimmsnarl ImageGrimmsnarl Durant ImageDurant Ditto ImageDitto
Hydreigon ImageHydreigon Mimikyu ImageMimikyu Snorlax ImageSnorlax

This is the team that made Durant, a minor Pokemon unseen in the metagame, into a superstar. Even ignoring all the trends, it's notable for its highly aggressive attacking style.

You can try out this team to get a feel for using Grimmsnarl together with Durant, or even use it as your go-to team if it fits your play style.
Best Durant Team for Ranked Battle

Best Team for Ranked Battle from a World Top 3 Player

Best Team for Ranked Battle from a World Top 3 Player
Dragapult ImageDragapult Excadrill ImageExcadrill Grimmsnarl ImageGrimmsnarl
Togekiss ImageTogekiss Snorlax ImageSnorlax Cloyster ImageCloyster

This is the primary set used by a former World Top 3 from a previous game in the series. Despite that daunting promise, it's an easy set to use for beginners, as the order to use Pokemon and which moves should be used are readily apparent. Not only that, but the set is carefully sculpted to be highly effective and dangerous even in the upper echelons of the Master Ball tier.
Best Team for Ranked Battle from a World Top 3 Player

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