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

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Zacian.png

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

Zacian - Related Guides
Pokemon SWSH - Zacian Evolution and LearnsetEvolution and Learnset Pokemon SWSH - Zacian Best BuildBuild for Ranked Battle

Basic Information for Zacian

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Fairy Type Pokemon Sword and Shield - Steel Type
Abilities
Intrepid Sword Boosts the Pokémon’s Attack stat when the Pokémon enters a battle.

Zacian Weaknesses and Resistances

Type
Takes 4x damage
-
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Fire Image Pokemon Ground Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Normal Image Pokemon Grass Image Pokemon Ice Image Pokemon Flying Image Pokemon Psychic Image Pokemon Rock Image Pokemon Dark Image Pokemon Fairy Image
Takes 1/4x damage
Pokemon Bug Image
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Poison Image Pokemon Dragon Image

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
92 170 115 80 115 148

Best Nature for Zacian

Best Natures
Adamant
(+Atk, -Sp.Atk)
Jolly
(+Spd, -Sp.Atk)

Singles Movesets for Zacian

Physical Attacker Moveset & Best Build

Physical Attacker Zacian.png

Nature Jolly (+Spd, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread Atk 252 / Def 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 167 / Atk 182 / Def 136 / Sp.Def 135 / Spd 209
(Hero of Many Battles)
HP 168 / Atk 244 / Def 136 / Sp.Def 135 / Spd 209
(Crowned Sword)
Ability Intrepid Sword
Held Item Rusted Sword
Moveset Iron Head (Behemoth Blade)
Close Combat
Swords Dance
Play Rough

Zacian is one of the most powerful physical attackers in the game and is an oppresive force in competitive battle that pushed the metagame into its current state of hyper offense.

About Zacian's Moves

Iron Head is Zacian's main STAB move, and turns into Behemoth Blade when it transforms into its Crowned Sword form. The latter's base power doubles to 200 when used against Dynamax or Gigantamax Pokemon.

Close Combat is its main coverage move, and provides Zacian great neutral coverage - hitting Dark, Steel, and Ice-types for super effective damage. Keep in mind that this move lowers Zacian's Defense and Special Defense by 1 stage.

Swords Dance boosts Zacian's Attack by 2 stages, making it even more difficult to switch into. Its last move is Play Rough and is its secondary STAB move, and alows the Warrior Pokemon to take on and easily KO Dragon-types.

About Zacian's EV Spread

We're using a standard physical attacking set with full investment in Attack and Speed to ensure Zacian hits as hard and as fast as possible. The remaining 4 EVs are invested in Defense to boost its natural bulk.

About Zacian's Ability

Intrepid Sword is Zacian's only Ability, which boosts its Attack by 1 stage upon entering the battle.

About Zacian's Held Item

Zacian's best held item is the Rusted Sword since this is what transforms it into its Crowned Sword form. This item also turns Iron Head into Behemoth Blade.

Other Viable Moves

Wild Charge Electric-type coverage move that lets Zacian hit Flying-types and Bulky Water-types.
Crunch Dark-type coverage that lets Zacian threaten Psychic-types such as Necrozma and Mewtwo.
Substitute Can replace Close Combat so that Zacian can safely set up with Swords Dance, and also protects it from Will-O-Wisp.
Sacred Sword A good alternative to Close Combat that's weaker but doesn't lower Zacian's Defense and Special Defense, and also ignores the target's Defense and Evasion boosts.
Ice Fang An Ice-type coverage move that lets Zacian hit Ground-types such as Landorus.
Quick Attack Allows Zacian to hit Focus Sash and Sturdy users on the next turn before they can move.
Psychic Fangs A Psychic-type coverage move that destroys Reflect, Light Screen, and Aurora Veil.

Bulky Physical Attacker Moveset & Best Build

Nature Adamant (+Atk, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Atk 92 / Def 20 / Sp.Def 132 / Spd 12
Final Stat Values HP 199 / Atk 178 / Def 138 / Sp.Def 152 / Spd 160
(Hero of Many Battles)
HP 199 / Atk 222 / Def 138 / Sp.Def 152 / Spd 160
(Crowned Sword)
Ability Intrepid Sword
Held Item Rusted Sword
Moveset Iron Head
Play Rough
Psychic Fangs
Quick Attack

Zacian's great typing allows it to run a bulkier build while still having enough raw attack to threaten opposing teams. This bulky Zacian was used by Japanese competitive player Chihaya to reach first place in the current Ranked Battle Season.

This bulkier Zacian is great at surprising its usual checks and counters, and has the ability to survive powerful and staple moves in the current generation such as Choice Scarf Kyogre's Water Spout. As a result, it's a good choice for more balanced teams.

About Zacian's Moves

Iron Head is Zacian's main STAB move, and turns into Behemoth Blade when it transforms into its Crowned Sword form. The latter's base power doubles to 200 when used against Dynamax or Gigantamax Pokemon.

Play Rough is its secondary STAB move, hitting Dragon, Fighting, and Dark-types for super effective damage. Both these STAB moves still hit hard even without full Attack investment.

Psychic Fangs is both a coverage move and used for utility as it allows Zacian to break Light Screen, Reflect, and Aurora Veil.

Quick Attack is its last move and allows Zacian to hit faster and frailer attackers and is very useful against Focus Sash leads.

About Zacian's EV Spread

We're using a bulkier EV spread for this Zacian focusing more on survivability than straightforward attack. 252 HP, 20 Def, and 132 Sp.Def EVs make it as bulky as possible while 92 Atk and 12 Spd allow it to hit reasonably hard and as fast as possible.

About Zacian's Ability

Intrepid Sword is Zacian's only Ability, which boosts its Attack by 1 stage upon entering the battle.

About Zacian's Held Item

Zacian's best held item is the Rusted Sword since this is what transforms it into its Crowned Sword form. This item also turns Iron Head into Behemoth Blade.

Doubles Movesets for Zacian

Physical Attacker Moveset & Best Build

Zacian Behemoth Blade

Nature Adamant (+Atk, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Atk 44 / Spe 212
Final Stat Values HP 398 / Atk 215 / Def 135 / Sp. Def 135 / Spe 195
(Crowned Sword)
Ability Intrepid Sword
Held Item Rusted Sword
Moveset Iron Head (Behemoth Blade)
Sacred Sword
Substitute
Protect

Zacian is one of the most powerful physical attackers in the game and is an oppressive force in competitive battle that pushed the metagame into its current state of hyper offense.

About Zacian's Moves

Behemoth Blade is Zacian's signature move. This move allows Zacian to essentially be a 'second Dynamax' because of the damage it is able to put out. It is able to deal massive chunks of damage even on Pokemon who resist it.

Sacred Sword allows Zacian to effectively attack even if an opponent has Max Steelspike Defense boosts. This is good against Pokemon who would try to abuse Iron Defense such as Registeel or Ferrothorn.

Substitute is good for prolonging Zacian's stay on the battlefield. It can work as a second 'Protect'. Because Zacian is usually the fastest Pokemon in the field, its Substitute will always come first, sponging an opponent's move. This is good for stalling out an opponent's Dynamax.

Protect is a good option for Zacian to have. Because of its blazing Speed, it will always be the target of Fake Out users. Zacian is also prone to being double targeted. Its modest bulk allows Zacian to comfortably take a super-effective Max move through Protect.

About Zacian's EV Spread

Putting 252 EV's into HP gives Zacian as much HP as possible, giving it survivability while still having more than enough for Attack and Speed. 44 Attack EV's and an Adamant Nature gives Zacian an astronomical 322 Attack stat after an Intrepid Sword boost and a safe 215 if Intimidated.

212 Speed EVs puts Zacian at 195 Speed. At this speed, it will always be the fastest Pokemon on the field outside of Regieleki, Pheromosa, Tailwind or Weather abusers.

About Zacian's Ability

Intrepid Sword is Zacian's only Ability, which boosts its Attack by 1 stage upon entering the battle.

About Zacian's Held Item

Zacian's best held item is the Rusted Sword since this is what transforms it into its Crowned Sword form. This item also turns Iron Head into Behemoth Blade.

Other Viable Moves

Play Rough Another STAB option. This move is sure to take decisive knock outs on Dragon-type Pokemon.
Wild Charge Electric-type coverage move that lets Zacian hit Flying-types and Bulky Water-types.
Close Combat An alternative to Sacred Sword. Close Combat is able to give Zacian Fighting-type burst damage at the cost of lowering its defenses.
Crunch Dark-type coverage that lets Zacian threaten Psychic-types such as Necrozma and Mewtwo.

How to Use Zacian Effectively

A Powerful Physical Attacker

Zacian is one of the most powerful physical attackers in the current metagame, with its Ability boosting its Attack by 1 stage simply by switching in.

A combination of great dual STAB, powerful moves, and excellent Attack and Speed make it an exceedingly powerful sweeper that's hard to check and even more difficult to counter - especially if it accumulates even more boosts!

An Anti-Dynamax Lead

With how common Dynamax and Gigantamax Pokemon are in the current metagame, Zacian stands out as one of the few that can directly take on these giant Pokemon with its signature move, Behemoth Blade. This move becomes a 200 Base Power Steel-type move when targeting Dynamax and Gigantamax Pokemon.

This move makes Zacian one of the best Dynamax counters in the game, and is often used as an Anti-Dynamax Lead to instantly turn the tide of battle as soon as the match starts.

How to Build a Team with Zacian

Zacian is easy to fit into many teams whether on a Defensive or Offensive Team, providing great offense thanks to its ability to directly take on Dynamax Pokemon.

Use it as an Anti-Dynamax Lead

Zacian is best used as a lead to take on opposing Dynamax Leads, cutting them down with Behemoth Blade before they can boost their teammates stats with Max Moves.

Example Hyper Offense Team

Rain Offense Attacker Defiant Attacker
Pokemon SWSH - Kyogre ImageKyogre Pokemon SWSH - Zacian ImageZacian Pokemon SWSH - Thundurus ImageThundurus

While Zacian fits perfectly into most teams, it shines in offense-oriented teams. Kyogre can knock out popular Intimidate users such as Incineroar and Landorus. Thundurus with Defiant can work as a deterrent against Intimidate.

Equipping Thundurus with Safety Goggles also makes it a great Pokemon to use against Sun teams.

How to Build an Offensive Team

Counters for Zacian

Zacian
Weakness Pokemon Fire Image Pokemon Ground Image

Counter Zacian with Fire-types

Super-effective moves are still important against Zacian. A turn where you can safely double target it are also good if you want to knock out a Zacian. These are usually turns after it has used Protect.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Venusaur ImageVenusaur Ranking: ★★★★★
・Venusaur can outspeed Zacian in sun.
・Has access to Fire-type coverage in Weather Ball if used in Sun.
Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Venusaur
Pokemon SWSH - Charizard ImageCharizard Ranking: ★★★★★
・Can tank a Behemoth Blade.
・Can knock out Zacian with G-Max Wildfire.
Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Charizard
Pokemon SWSH - Chandelure ImageChandelure Ranking: ★★★★★
・Can tank a Behemoth Blade if holding a Focus Sash.
・Can hit Zacian with a powerful Fire-type move.
・Can survive a hit and set up Trick Room.
Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Chandelure

Related Links

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