How to Build a Weather Team | Pokemon Sword and Shield

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This page explains everything you need to know about weather teams in Pokemon Sword & Shield. Read on to learn what a weather team is, what strategies to use with one, and what countermeasures to use against one.

What is a Weather Team?

A Game Changing Mechanic

First introduced in Generation II and further expanded in Generation III, weather is widely considered the most influential mechanic in the competitive battling scene.

Take Advantage of Weather's Unique Mechanics

To succeed with a weather team, you need to take advantage of each weather's unique mechanics - choosing the right Pokemon, with the right abilities, and building your team around the weather.

The Four Types of Weather

In Pokemon Sword & Shield, there are four types of weather - excluding Clear Skies, which is the absence of weather.

Rain

Rain is arguably the most commonly used weather mechanic in competitive battling. Dedicated rain teams can easily establish immediate offensive presence, especially when used against non-weather teams.

In battle, Rain has the following effects:

Harsh Sunlight

Though not as common as Rain, dedicated Sun Teams can also establish early-game offensive presence and are often used to counter dedicated Rain Teams. In the competitive battle scene, this weather is simply called Sun.

In battle, Harsh Sunlight has the following effects:

Sandstorm

Sandstorm teams historically occupied a specific niche as a counter to both dedicated Rain and Sun Teams, while also being one of the two weather types used in stall.

In battle, Sandstorm has the following effects:

Hail

Hail is the least used weather mechanic and dedicated Hail Teams are quite rare outside of a few niche teams. Like Sandstorm, it's also used in stall teams.

In battle, Hail has the following effects:

Weather Team Building

Weather Leads

Weather teams are built around leads that can instantly set up weather for their allies.

Rain

Pokemon Description
Pelipper ImagePelipper Ranking: ★★★★★
・Can support its team mates with Tailwind or threaten opposing Pokemon with Hurricane and Hydro Pump
Choice Scarf variants are a great offensive pivot thanks to U-Turn
・Defensive variants have a reliable recovery move in Roost
Politoed ImagePolitoed Ranking: ★★☆☆☆
・Can force switches thanks to Perish Song
・Lack of reliable recovery move outside of Leftovers means Politoed can't take repeated hits

Harsh Sunlight

Pokemon Description
Torkoal ImageTorkoal Ranking: ★★★★★
・Access to support moves such as Stealth Rock, Yawn, and Rapid Spin allow Torkoal to support its team after setting up weather
・Can become potent special attacker using Eruption under Trick Room or by using Shell Smash
Ninetales ImageNinetales Ranking: ★★★★☆
・Can function as a potent special attacker with Nasty Plot, Fire Blast, and Solar Beam
・Lack of support moves outside of Will-o-Wisp means it can be easily be stopped by dedicated defensive cores

Sandstorm

Pokemon Description
Tyranitar ImageTyranitar Ranking: ★★★★★
・Tyranitar is a versatile weather setter that can serve as a bulky attacker, Choice Band user, or even a special wall
・Boasts a wide movepool with both physical and special coverage moves, allowing it to threaten other weather leads
Hippowdon ImageHippowdon Ranking: ★★★★★
・High HP, Defense, and access to reliable recovery in Slack Off make it one of the most durable weather leads in the metagame
・Access to Stealth Rock and Whirlwind allow it to function as a phazer
Gigalith ImageGigalith Ranking: ★★★☆☆
・Massive Defense, access to Stealth Rock, and a Special Defense boost courtesy of Sandstorm make it a great mixed wall
・Lack of reliable recovery means it can easily be worn down by repeated hits
Sandaconda ImageSandaconda Ranking: ★★★☆☆
・Can function as a secondary weather setter with its Sand Spit ability
・One of the few Pokemon that can paralyze Ground-types thanks to Glare
・Lack of reliable recovery means it can easily be worn down by repeated hits

Hail

Pokemon Description
Alolan Ninetales ImageAlolan Ninetales Ranking: ★★★★★
・Can boost its team mates defenses with Aurora Veil
・Is the fastest weather setter, with or without Choice Scarf
Vanilluxe ImageVanilluxe Ranking: ★★★★☆
・Can function as a potent wallbreaker with Blizzard and Freeze Dry thanks to its high special attack
・Medicore speed means it can easily be outspeed and taken out by faster Pokemon
Abomasnow ImageAbomasnow Ranking: ★★☆☆☆
・Has access to high-powered moves such as Leaf Storm and Blizzard
・It's Grass/Ice typing give it a whopping seven weaknesses, limiting its viability

Which Weather Stays?

When two weather setters are sent out at the same time, the faster Pokemon first sets up their weather but is immediately overwritten by the slower Pokemon's weather effect.

In the event of a speed tie, the Pokemon that loses the coin flip moves second, which means it keeps it gets to keep its weather effect.

How to Win with a Weather Team

Extend Weather Effects with Held Items

All weather effects only last five turns, but you can extend their duration by having the weather setters hold weather extending items.

Item Effect
Damp Rock Extends the duration of Rain Dance to 8 turns instead of 5
Heat Rock Extends the duration of Sunny Day to 8 turns instead of 5
Smooth Rock Extends the duration of Sandstorm to 8 turns instead of 5
Icy Rock Extends the duration of Hail to 8 turns instead of 5

Outspeed the Competition

Weather teams can easily establish offensive presence by choosing sweepers that get their speed doubled under the effects of weather courtesy of their abilities.

Examples include:

Rain Sweepers

Pokemon Description
Barraskewda ImageBarraskewda Ranking: ★★★★★
・The fastest weather sweeper, with a base 136 speed stat doubled in rain
・Has a great offensive movepool which includes Liquidation, Close Combat, Flip Turn, and Ice Fang
Drednaw ImageDrednaw Ranking: ★★★★★
・Natural bulk allows it to set up with Swords Dance
・Can Gigantamax and use G-Max Stonesurge to support its team
Kingdra ImageKingdra Ranking: ★★★★★
・Can fill the role of a Dragon Dance physical sweeper or Choice Specs special sweeper
・Boasts high power moves such as Hydro Pump, Draco Meteor, and Hurricane

Sun Sweepers

Pokemon Description
Shiftry ImageShiftry Ranking: ★★★★★
・One of the few effective mixed sweepers under sun thanks to Growth
・Boasts a wide physical and special movepool that includes Solar Blade, Sucker Punch, and Heat Wave
Venusaur ImageVenusaur Ranking: ★★★★★
・Turns into a fast and bulky special sweeper under sun
・Has excellent coverage moves such as Giga Drain, Sludge Bomb, and Weather Ball
・Can Gigantamax and support its team with G-Max Vine Lash

Sand Sweepers

Pokemon Description
Excadrill ImageExcadrill Ranking: ★★★★★
・Swords Dance Excadrill is a powerful sweeper in sand, with excellent STAB coverage moves such as Iron Head and Earthquake
・One of the few Rapid Spin and Stealth Rock users phazers have trouble switching in to
Stoutland ImageStoutland Ranking: ★★★★☆
・Can be used as a status absorber and attack with boosted Facade
・Shallow movepool make it a niche sweeper at best

Hail Sweepers

Pokemon Description
Beartic ImageBeartic Ranking: ★★★★★
・High attack and access to great coverage moves such as Icicle Crash and Superpower make it a potent Slush Rush sweeper
・Can set up Swords Dance or serve as a powerful Choice Band sweeper
Arctozolt ImageArctozolt Ranking: ★★★★★
・Slush Rush allows Arctozolt to take advantage of Bolt Beak's mechanics
・Can serve as a physical sweeper or mixed attacker

Weather Defense

Defensive Pokemon can also take advantage of the weather mechanics using certain abilities.

Hydration + Rest

The Hydration ability instantly cures status conditions at the end of every turn if under the effect of Rain. By using Rest, bulky Pokemon can restore all of their HP and cure their Sleep status at the end of the turn.

Good users of this strategy include:

Pokemon Description
Vaporeon ImageVaporeon Ranking: ★★★★★
・ A High HP Stat, excellent mixed bulk, and support moves such as Scald and Whirlpool make it the quintessential "bulky water"
Goodra ImageGoodra Ranking: ★★★★☆
・Massive special defense and wide attacking and support movepool make it a great defensive pivot

Leaf Guard + Rest

This is similar to the above strategy as Leaf Guard also instantly cures status conditions at the end of the turn.

Good users of this strategy include:

Pokemon Description
Leafeon ImageLeafeon Ranking: ★★★★★
・ Can support its team with Fake Tears, Leech Seed, and Body Slam
・Reliable recovery under sun thanks to boosted Synthesis
Roserade ImageRoserade Ranking: ★★★★★
・Boasts a plethora of support moves such as Toxic, Toxic Spikes, Spikes, and Leech Seed
・Reliable recovery under sun thanks to boosted Synthesis

Rain Dish

Pokemon with the ability Rain Dish restore 1/16 of their maximum HP at the end of each turn. This is equivalent to the recovery from Leftovers.

Good users of this strategy include:

Pokemon Description
Ludicolo ImageLudicolo Ranking: ★★★★★
・Boasts a plethora of support moves, such as Leech Seed, Knock Off, and Teeter Dance
・Boasts a 4x resistance to Water-type moves, allowing it to threaten opposing rain teams
Blastoise ImageBlastoise Ranking: ★★★★☆
・Access to support moves such as Scald and Rapid Spin provide its team offensive utility
・Can Gigantamax and further support its team with G-Max Cannonade

Ice Body Stall

This is similar to the above strategy as Ice Body also restores 1/16 of a Pokemon's maximum HP at the end of each turn. This is often used in conjunction with the passive damage from Hail in stall teams.

Good users of this strategy include:

Pokemon Description
Glaceon ImageGlaceon Ranking: ★★★★★
・Great mixed bulk and access to support moves such as Heal Bell and Wish make it a great cleric in Hail Stall teams
・Can act as a bulky special attacker thanks to its high Sp.Atk stat and perfect accuracy Blizzard in Hail
Avalugg ImageAvalugg Ranking: ★★★★☆
・Massive Defense stat and access to Recover allow it to wall physical threats
・One of the most powerful users of Body Press

How to Counter a Weather Team

Counter with Your Own Weather Team

The best counter to an opposing weather team is usually another weather team. This often turns into what the competitive battling community calls a Weather War.

Weather Wars are won by carefully switching in weather setters at the right time and taking out the opposing weather setter as soon as possible.

Clear the Weather with Cloud Nine

The Cloud Nine ability nullifies all weather effects as long as the Pokemon remains on the battlefield. If Having one Pokemon with this ability in your team can help you stop an opposing weather team's offensive momentum.

Pokemon with this ability include:

Pokemon Description
Drampa ImageDrampa Ranking: ★★★★★
・High special attack and access to coverage moves such as Thunderbolt, Hydro Pump, Fire Blast, and Grass Knot allow it to comfortably threaten all weather setters
Lickilicky ImageLickilicky Ranking: ★★★★☆
・Has great bulk, access to Wish and Heal Bell, along with support moves such as Knock Off and Disable
Golduck ImageGolduck Ranking: ★★★★☆
・An effective Calm Mind user with access to coverage moves such as Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, and Focus Blast

Related Links

Team Building [v1].pngAll Competitive Battling Guides
Battle Formats
Basics of Competitive Singles Team Building Basics of Competitive Doubles Team Building
Types of Teams
Offensive Teams Defensive Teams
Weather Teams Trick Room Teams
Monotype Teams Doubles Teams

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