Pokemon Sword and Shield

Palkia - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle

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This is a strategy guide for using Palkia in competitive play for the games Pokemon Sword and Shield. Read on for tips on the best Nature, EV spreads, Movesets, and Held Items, as well as Palkia's strengths and weaknesses in Ranked Battles.

Basic Information for Palkia

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Water Type Pokemon Sword and Shield - Dragon Type
Pressure The Pokemon raises the foe's PP usage.
Telepathy (Hidden) Anticipates an ally's attack and dodges it.

Palkia Weaknesses and Resistances

Takes 4x damage
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Dragon Image Pokemon Fairy Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Steel Image
Takes 1/4x damage
Pokemon Fire Image Pokemon Water Image
Takes 0x damage

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
90 120 100 150 120 100

Best Nature for Palkia

Best Natures
(+Spd, -Atk)
(+Spd, -SpA)
(+SpA, -Atk)

Singles Movesets for Palkia

Physical Wallbreaker

Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpA)
EV Spread HP 100 / Atk 156 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 178 / Atk 160 / Def 120 / Sp. Def 140 / Spd 167
Ability Pressure
Held Item Lustrous Orb
Moveset Bulk Up
Scale Shot

Palkia's stat distribution allows it to be a versatile attacker. This Physical build is designed to setup and target bulky threats such as Blissey and Eternatus. Fully investing 252 EVs into its speed makes Palkia a potentially scary sweeper as well.

About Palkia's Moves

The combination of Substitute and Calm Mind is what this build revolves around. This allows Palkia to carefully setup in order to break down bulky walls such as Blissey.

Liquidation is one of the premier Physical Water-type moves. The high 85 base power combined with Bulk Up and STAB makes this a strong move even against neutral defenses. This move also has a chance of lowering the target's Defense by one stage.

Scale Shot is your Dragon-type STAB move, as well as a secondary setup move as it allows you to boost Palkia's Speed. A +1 boost to Palkia's Speed allows it to outspeed threats such as Calyrex (Shadow Rider).

About Palkia's EV Spread

This EV spread maximizes Palkia's middling Speed to give it the boost it needs against threats with similar Speed. The 100 EVs allocated to HP makes it so that Substitute can resist atleast one move to allow for Calm Mind to be set up.

About Palkia's Ability

Pressure allows Palkia to counter Pokemon looking to stall like Eternatus and Ferrothorn. This ability is even more useful in Singles where stall-teams are more prevalent.

About Palkia's Held Item

Lustrous Orb is Palkia's signature item. This item boosts Palkia's Dragon and Water-type move's power, which makes both of its STAB-moves hit a little harder.

Other Viable Moves

Waterfall Waterfall is a good alternative to Liquidation. This move is slightly weaker in terms of base power, but the 30% chance to make the opponent flinch makes this a viable option as well.
Dragon Claw Dragon Claw is another Dragon-type move you can consider running over Scale Shot. Choosing this over Scale Shot gives you immediate attacking power.
Focus Punch Focus Punch as a good coverage move to consider as it can check threats like Urshifu Single-Strike and Ferrothorn. This move also works well with Substitute, as it allows you to safely use the move.

Doubles Movesets for Palkia

Dynamax Sweeper

Palkia Spacial Rend

Nature Modest (+Sp. Atk, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 252 / 4 Def / Sp. Atk 252
Final Stat Values HP 197 / Def 121 / Sp. Atk 222 / Sp. Def 140 / Spe 120
Ability Pressure
Held Item Life Orb
Moveset Spacial Rend
Hydro Pump
Earth Power

Palkia matches up favorably against other popular restricted Pokemon such as Groudon, Kyogre, and Zacian. Ideally, Palkia gets to Dynamax and take 3 KO's in 3 turns, but if not, increasing its team's Special Defense with Max Quake is still a great help for its team.

About Palkia's Moves

Spacial Rend and Hydro Pump are Palkia's main STAB moves. Spacial Rend turns into Max Wyrmwind, which is a valuable move against physically offensive team compositions. Earth Power is our coverage move of choice because it can potentially OHKO both Zacian and Incineroar when used as Max Quake. Boosting its Special Defense with Max Quake has perfect synergy with a partner Pokemon that can use Intimidate, both of which can improve Palkia's survivability.

Protect helps Palkia on turns where it is likely to get double-targeted. It is also good for stalling out a turn of your opponent's Dynamax

About Palkia's EV Spread

This EV spread maximizes Palkia's capabilities as a bulky Special Sweeper. 252 EVs are funneled into both HP and Special Attack in order to realize the Spacial Pokemon's potential. The remaining EVs will be alloted to its Defense to let it take Zacian's Play Rough more comfortably after an Intimidate from a teammate

Maximizing Special Attack also lets Palkia score decisive knock outs on Groudon and Torkoal in Harsh Sunlight if they are not Dynamaxed.

About Palkia's Ability

Pressure lets Palkia punish opponents who failed to use PP Up on their Pokemon. It can limit the use of attacks such as Water Spout or Behemoth Blade from 4 (if the move's PP is maxed out) to just 3 if it is not.

About Palkia's Held Item

We run Life Orb over Lustrous Orb so that Palkia can get an extra offensive boost to its Earth Power, a move that is important for picking up knock outs against opposing Zacian and Incineroar.

Other Viable Moves

Surf Surf is a good alternative to Hydro Pump as your Water-type STAB move. Surf has a lower base power but its 100% accuracy and the fact that it hit both foes makes this a viable choice.
Draco Meteor Draco Meteor is a stronger Dragon-type move compared to Spacial Rend. This also allows Palkia to potentially OHKO bulky Pokemon such as Eternatus. The only downside is that it reduces Palkia's Sp. Atk after each use.
Trick Room Trick Room is good for reversing speeds, especially if your opponent's team is overwhelmingly fast.

Offensive Trick Room

Nature Quiet (+SpA, -Spd)
EV Spread HP 252 / Sp. Atk 252 / 4 SpD
Final Stat Values HP 197 / Def 120 / Sp. Atk 222 / Sp. Def 141 / Spd 108
Ability Telepathy
Held Item Lustrous Orb
Moveset Hydro Pump
Spacial Rend
Trick Room

This set maximizes Palkia's potential as a reliable Trick Room setter. Due to Palkia's bulk, it has become one of the premier Trick Room setter in the game. Additionally, the combination of its middling Speed and high Special Attack gives it the power it needs to be an offensive threat in Trick Room teams.

About Palkia's Moves

This build revolves around Trick Room. This move distorts the dimensions and makes it so that the order of the attackers go from slowest to fastest. The use of this move depends on the Pokemon out on the field as it can be a double-edged sword if used against slower foes.

Protect is your defensive move as it gives Palkia a way to defend itself against lethal damage. This moves ensures that you can get a second Trick Room up as well.

Spacial Rend and Hydro Pump are your primary STAB-moves. Palkia's maxed out Sp. Atk in addition to Lustrous Orb allows it to OHKO threats such as Stakataka, Incineroar, and even Rillaboom.

About Palkia's EV Spread

This move maximizes Palkia's offensive prowess with 252 EVs funneled into Special Attack. Additionally, we want to give it extra bulk to its HP and Sp. Def in order to ensure that it can reliably set up Trick Room.

About Palkia's Ability

Telepathy allows your partner Pokemon to freely use moves such as Earthquake, Surf, Discharge etc.

About Palkia's Held Item

Lustrous Orb gives Palkia the additional increase in power it needs to match up against tanky threats such as Blissey, Stakataka, Eternatus, etc.

Meanwhile, Leftovers would be the better option if you want to give it some added beef.

Other Viable Moves

Thunder Thunder is a viable option as a coverage move against the metagame juggernauts such as Kyogre and Urshifu Rapid-Strike. Use this over Protect if you have enough protection from your other Pokemon.
Fire Blast Similar to Thunder, Fire Blast is a good alternative coverage move. This move is handy if you find yourself running into a ton of Rillaboom and Ferrothorn on the ladder.

How to Use Palkia Effectively

Placing Palkia next to an Intimidate user or a Pokemon with access to redirection can help it stick around longer. Palkia wants to stay on the field and attack as many times as it can before finally getting knocked out.

Trading Palkia 1-for-1 is never good because Palkia should be knocking out 2-3 Pokemon during its Dynamax turns. Preserving Palkia for as long as possible will help you win games.

How to Build a Team with Palkia

Dynamax Sweeper

Support Special Attacking Sweeper Redirection/Support
Pokemon SWSH - Incineroar ImageIncineroar Pokemon SWSH - Palkia ImagePalkia Pokemon SWSH - Amoonguss ImageAmoonguss

Incineroar is valuable support for Palkia as it is able to nullify Zacian's Intrepid Sword buff with its Intimidate, effectively turning a OHKO into a 2HKO. It is also able to use Fake Out into the much faster Zacian and position Palkia to knock it out with a Max Quake.

Fighting Zacian is all about mitigating its damage output with Intimidates, Max Wyrmwind into Zacian's partner, or using Parting Shot on it.

Amoonguss can redirect attacks away from Palkia with its Rage Powder. It can then comfortably take Fairy-type attacks thanks to its Poison typing. It also poses the ever-present threat of Spore.

Counters for Palkia

Weakness Pokemon Dragon Image Pokemon Fairy Image

Outspeed and Hit Palkia Hard

While a well-rounded Pokemon, Palkia lacks speed compared to other threats. A Zacian with its Intrepid Sword buff and Play Rough will always spell trouble for Palkia. Other Dragons that can hit fast and hard can give Palkia a run for its money.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Zacian ImageZacian Ranking: ★★★★★
・Outspeeds and deals super effective damage to Palkia.
・It has a frightening damage output thanks to its Intrepid Sword Ability.
Zacian - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle
Pokemon SWSH - Dragapult ImageDragapult Ranking: ★★★★★
・Outspeeds and deals super effective damage to Palkia.
・Cannot get Intimidated thanks to its Clear Body Ability.
・Cannot get Faked Out because of its Ghost typing.
Dragapult - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle

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