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

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

Darmanitan - Related Articles
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Basic Information for Darmanitan

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Fire Type
Abilities
Sheer Force Removes aded effects to increase move damage.
Zen Mode (Hidden) Changes form when HP drops below half.

Type Defenses

Type
Takes 4x damage
-
Takes 2x damage
Water Image Ground Image Rock Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Fire Image Grass Image Ice Image Bug Image Steel 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 Darmanitan

Best Natures
Jolly
(+Spd, -SpAtk)
Adamant
(+Atk, -SpAtk)

What are Natures?

Strategies for Darmanitan

Choice Scarf Moveset & Best Build

Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread HP 4 / Atk. 252 / Spd. 252
Final Stat Values HP 181 / Atk. 192 / Def. 75 / Sp.Def. 75 / Spd. 161
Ability Sheer Force
Held Item Choice Scarf
Moveset Flare Blitz
Earthquake
Rock Slide
Trick

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

Equipping Choice Scarf will boost Darmanitan's speed, and its Ability Sheer Force will boost the power of its moves, allowing you to deal high damage fast, like its counterpart Galarian Darmanitan.

Trick

If you have Choice Scarf equipped, you can use Trick to force the opponent to hold Choice Scarf and prevent an attacker from setting up or a defensive Pokemon from using support moves. After switching items, you'll be able to start using other moves as normal, but be careful as Darmanitan's Speed will return to its original value.

U-turn

When using Darmanitan simply as a high-speed attacker, U-turn is recommended, so when it's at a disadvantage against its opponent, it can escape while simultaneously dealing damage.

Alternate Move Choices

U-turn High priority alternate choice for Trick.
Iron Head Used for hitting Fairy types.
Superpower A powerful Fighting-type move effective against the likes of Tyranitar.
Zen Headbutt Effective against Poison and Fighting types.

Life Orb Moveset & Best Build

Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread HP 4 / Atk. 252 / Spd. 252
Final Stat Values HP 181 / Atk. 192 / Def. 75 / Sp.Def. 75 / Spd. 161
Ability Sheer Force
Held Item Life Orb
Moveset Flare Blitz
Earthquake
Rock Slide
Iron Head

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

Darmanitan has the unique potential to deal increased damage with Life Orb, which boosts the power of moves, without the cost of losing HP. Due to its Ability Sheer Force, Darmanitan will avoid the effects of taking damage from Life Orb, while still being able to benefit from the power increase.

Alternate Move Choices

Superpower A powerful Fighting-type move effective against the likes of Tyranitar.
Zen Headbutt Effective against Poison and Fighting types.
U-turn Lets you manipulate the flow of battle. When faster, allows escape from a threatening opponent.

How to Use Darmanitan Effectively

High-power attacker with Sheer Force

Moves that have additional effects will reach 1.3x their normal power due to Sheer Force. It is specifically compatible with Flare Blitz, a move which is powerful regardless of the target's type.

And unlike Galarian Darmanitans with Gorilla Tactics, a similar Ability, Darmanitan is not locked to using only one move.

Counters for Darmanitan

Defensive Pokemon can weather its hits

It is highly recommended that you use defensive Pokemon that can withstand Darmanitan's heavy damage, such as Pokemon with HP-restoring moves and abilities.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Milotic ImageMilotic Ranking: ★★★★★
・Its ability Marvel Scale makes it effective against Physical attackers
・Recover allows it to recover HP
Moveset & Best Build for Milotic

Put in something that can take its hit and strike back

Counter with Pokemon that can fight back after being hit. Since Darmanitan does not have strong defensive stats, it is easy to beat it with its weaknesses.

Mimikyu has the opportunity to use Darmanitan to set up, thanks to its Ability Disguise, which will protect it from any attack once. You can use this chance to use Attack-boosting moves such as Swords Dance, and after Dynamaxing, it can take out Darmanitan and be ready for the next Pokemon.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Rhyperior ImageRhyperior Ranking: ★★★★☆
・A good type matchup and strong defenses
・Can hit super-effectively and try for a KO
Moveset & Best Build for Rhyperior
Mimikyu ImageMimikyu Ranking: ★★★★☆
・Its Ability Disguise allows it to weather one hit
Moveset & Best Build for Mimikyu

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