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

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Butterfree.png

This is a strategy guide for using Butterfree 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 Butterfree, as well as its strengths and weak points.

Butterfree - Related Guides
Pokemon SWSH - Butterfree Evolution and LearnsetEvolution and Learnset Pokemon SWSH - Butterfree Best BuildBuild for Ranked Battle Gigantamax ButterfreeGigantamax Butterfree

Basic Information for Butterfree

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Bug Type Pokemon Sword and Shield - Flying Type
Abilities
Compound Eyes The Pokemon's accuracy is boosted.
Tinted Lens (Hidden) Powers up "not very effective" moves.

Butterfree Weaknesses and Resistances

Type
Takes 4x damage
Pokemon Rock Image
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Fire Image Pokemon Electric Image Pokemon Ice Image Pokemon Flying Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Bug Image
Takes 1/4x damage
Pokemon Grass Image Pokemon Fighting Image
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Ground Image

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
60 45 50 90 80 70

Best Nature for Butterfree

Best Natures
Timid
+(Spd, -Atk)
Modest
(+SpAtk, -Atk)

What are Natures?

Singles Movesets for Butterfree

Basic Moveset & Best Build

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 204 / Sp.Atk. 52 / Spd. 252
Final Stat Values HP 161 / Def. 70 / Sp.Atk. 117 / Sp.Def. 100 / Spd. 134
Ability Compound Eyes
Held Item Leftovers
Moveset Sleep Powder
Substitute
Quiver Dance
Hurricane

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

Basic Butterfree.png

The technique is to send the opponent to sleep with Sleep Powder. Although it has 75% accuracy, it will be boosted by Butterfree's Ability Compound Eyes. You can then set up raising your Sp. Atk, Sp. Def, and Speed, one stage each, with Quiver Dance.

Although this is a powerful technique, Butterfree does not have high Speed stat in the first place and this strategy could fail, so it is important to set up a situation where you can do this safely.

Alternate Move Choices

Bug Buzz

Baton Pass Moveset & Best Build

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Def. 4 / Spd. 252
Final Stat Values HP 167 / Def. 71 / Sp.Def. 100 / Spd. 134
Ability Compound Eyes
Held Item Mental Herb
Moveset Baton Pass
Quiver Dance
Sleep Powder
Substitute

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

Baton Pass Butterfree.png

After using Quiver Dance to boost Butterfree's stats, use Baton Pass to pass the stat changes to the next Pokemon. This strategy relies on the ace Pokemon to be switched out. Use this strategy wisely, because if your ace Pokemon fails, it will be over for Butterfree because it does not have any offensive moves.

The setup for this is the same as the strategy above. Put your opponent to sleep with Sleep Powder, raise stats with Quiver Dance, and switch out to your ace Pokemon with Baton Pass and let it sweep the stage. Again, be careful in setting this up.

Alternate Move Choices

Bug Buzz

Recommended Pokemon for Switching Out with Baton Pass

EspeonEspeon ・ Has Stored Power, which is more powerful the higher the user's stats are
Wash RotomWash Rotom ・Strong against Fire and Electric-type moves that Butterfree is weak to
Wash Rotom - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle
HydreigonHydreigon ・Special Attacker with a large movepool
・Can take Fire and Electric-type attacks that are super effective on Butterfree
Hydreigon - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle
CorviknightCorviknight ・Be wary of Fire and Electric-type attacks as it is also weak to them
Corviknight - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle

How to Use Butterfree Effectively

Use the Compound Eyes Ability

Butterfree's Compound Eyes Ability sets itself apart from other relatively mediocre Bug-types in the metagame. With this Ability, Butterfree has an increased chance to land powder moves such as Sleep Powder, Stun Spore, and Poison Powder..

While it can't outright KO an opposing Pokemon or withstand its attacks, it can still support its team by providing a potentially crippling status.

Use it as a Baton Pass Lead

Butterfree is one of the few Pokemon with a powerful boosting move in Quiver Dance that can also use Baton Pass.

While chain passing boosts is now a riskier strategy, it's far from a gimmick as passing just one Quiver Dance boost is enough to turn the tide of the battle - provided that you pass it to the right Pokemon!

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Cresselia ImageCresselia ・Can take advantage of stat boosts with Stored Power
・Boasts great mixed bbulk and recovery in Moonlight
Moveset & Best Build for Cresselia
Pokemon SWSH - Espeon ImageEspeon ・Can take advantage of stat boosts with Stored Power
・Quiver Dance's stat boosts increases its already high Speed and Special attack
Evolution & Learnset for Espeon
Pokemon SWSH - Wash Rotom ImageWash Rotom ・A bulky special attacker with great coverage
・Great dual-typing and mixed bulk lets it stay in matches for long time
Moveset & Best Build for Wash Rotom
Pokemon SWSH - Hydreigon ImageHydreigon ・Boasts great move coverage and resistances to Fire, Water, Electric, Ghost, and Dark-types
・Quiver Dance patches up its rather mediocre speed stat
Moveset & Best Build for Hydreigon

How to Build a Team with Butterfree

Butterfree has a niche in the current metagame but has a lot of competitors for a spot as a utility Pokemon. As such, it's' best played to its strengths so that it doesn't become dead weight for the team.

Quiver Dance Setup Sweeper

While it doesn't have the same offensive prowess as Volcarona, Butterfree is a reliable setup sweeper as it can threaten potential checks with a Compound Eyes boosted status move.

Example Offensive Team

Lead Setup Sweeper Offensive Pivot Physical Sweeper
Pokemon SWSH - Butterfree ImageButterfree Pokemon SWSH - Tapu Lele ImageTapu Lele Pokemon SWSH - Garchomp ImageGarchomp

Butterfree's role is to get a Quiver Dance boost as soon as possible, after which it can fire off boosted Hurricanes or cripple a potential check or wall with Sleep Powder.

Butterfree is very susceptible to priority moves as it bypasses the speed boosts it gains.Tapu Lele is a great teammate for Butterfree, with its Psychic Surge setting up Psychic Terrain that blocks priority moves.

Garchomp rounds off this offensive team by providing a strong physical preference. It's best sent out when Butterfree manages to cripple an opposing Pokemon with Sleep Powder or a confusion from Hurricane.

How to Build an Offensive Team

Baton Pass Lead

Butterfree is one of the few Pokemon with both Quiver Dance and Baton Pass, making it an effective Baton Pass Lead.

Example Defensive Team

Baton Pass Lead Special Sweeper Defensive Wall
Pokemon SWSH - Butterfree ImageButterfree Pokemon SWSH - Gardevoir ImageGardevoir Pokemon SWSH - Toxapex ImageToxapex

Butterfree's main goal is to get as many Quiver Dance boosts as it can, and then Baton Pass it to Gardevoir. The Embrace Pokemon is a great recepient as not only does it have Stored Power and great speed, it has Moonblast to cover its Psychic STAB's shortcomings.

Toxapex rounds off this defensive team, filling the role of an all-purpose wall and can dissuade phazers by threatening them with Toxic.

How to Build a Defensive Team

Counters for Butterfree

Outspeed it Before it Uses Quiver Dance

Despite Butterfree's threat of status and Quiver Dance, it's very frail and its Speed stat before any boosts is mediocre at best. As such, it is relatively easy to knock out - even at the start of the battle, when facing a faster and stronger sweeper.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Cinderace ImageCinderace Ranking: ★★★★★
・Faster than Butterfree and can boost its speed with Max Airstream during Dynamax
・Easily KOs Butterfree with Pyro Ball
Moveset & Best Build for Cinderace
Pokemon SWSH - Nihilego ImageNihilego Ranking: ★★★★★
・Faster than Butterfree and can get a Beast Boost from knocking it out
・Easily KOs Butterfree with Meteor Beam
Moveset & Best Build for Nihilego
Pokemon SWSH - Zapdos ImageZapdos Ranking: ★★★★★
・Faster than Butterfree and resists both of its STAB moves
・Easily KOs Butterfree with Thunderbolt
Moveset & Best Build for Zapdos
Pokemon SWSH - Charizard ImageCharizard Ranking: ★★★★★
・Faster than Butterfree and resists both of its STAB moves
・Easily KOs Butterfree with Fire Blast
Moveset & Best Build for Charizard
Pokemon SWSH - Dragapult ImageDragapult Ranking: ★★★★
・Faster than Butterfree and can threaten it with its Fire-type coverage moves
・Its Infiltrator Ability bypasses Butterfree's Substitute
Moveset & Best Build for Dragapult
Pokemon SWSH - Chandelure ImageChandelure Ranking: ★★★★
・Resists Butterfree's Bug-type moves and can retaliate with a STAB Fire Blast
・Its Infiltrator Ability bypasses Butterfree's Substitute
Moveset & Best Build for Chandelure

Nullify Its Status Moves

Butterfree makes heavy use of status moves to differentiate itself from other setup sweepers. This makes it susceptible to Pokemon who are immune to said moves or can cripple it with its own status moves!

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Thundurus ImageThundurus Ranking: ★★★★★
・Bypasses Butterfree's speed boosts with its Prankster Ability
・Easily KO's Butterfree with Thunderbolt
Moveset & Best Build for Thundurus
Hatterene ImageHatterene Ranking: ★★★★★
・Reflects Butterfree's status moves with its Magic Bounce Ability
・Can force Butterfree to switch or even KO it with Mystical Fire
Moveset & Best Build for Hatterene
Alcremie ImageAlcremie Ranking: ★★★★
・Its Sweet Veil Ability gives it immunity to Sleep Powder
・Can use Butterfree as setup fodder with its Calm Mind set
Moveset & Best Build for Alcremie
Whimsicott ImageWhimsicott Ranking: ★★★★
・Bypasses Butterfree's speed boosts with its Prankster Ability
・Its Grass-typing gives it immunity to all Powder moves
Moveset & Best Build for Whimsicott
Grimmsnarl ImageGrimmsnarl Ranking: ★★★
・Bypasses Butterfree's speed boosts with its Prankster Ability
・Can set up Light Screen and Reflect
Moveset & Best Build for Grimmsnarl

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Pokemon SWSH - Conkeldurr Best BuildsConkeldurr Pokemon SWSH - Quagsire Best BuildsQuagsire Pokemon SWSH - Gastrodon Best BuildsGastrodon
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Pokemon SWSH - Celebi Best BuildsCelebi Pokemon SWSH - Clefairy Best BuildsClefairy Pokemon SWSH - Hitmontop Best BuildsHitmontop
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