Pokemon Sword and Shield

Best Standard Doubles Team for Ranked Battle

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This is a strategy guide and complete explanation of a standard doubles team for the games Pokemon Sword and Shield. Read on for tips on how to use this team in competitive play, with recommended movesets & best builds for each Pokemon.

Team Summary and Rental Code

Pokemon Gyarados ImageGyarados Noivern ImageNoivern
Gengar ImageGengar Amoonguss ImageAmoonguss
Toxtricity ImageToxtricity Hawlucha ImageHawlucha
Rental Code 0000 0003 TYWM GG
Twitter Top Secret
Words from the Trainer This is a balanced offensive doubles team that's easy and straightforward to use.
This set is built for 4 vs 4 doubles, but I included 2 switch-in Pokemon as alternatives.

How to Use the Team Effectively

The aim of this team is support the team's main sweepers as they set-up and eventually sweep the opposing team.

You have two offensive lead options for this team. Who you lead with will defines the support Pokemon you'll use as a partner.

Moveset & Best Build for Each Pokemon

Gyarados, the Dynamax Sweeper

Pokemon SWSH - Gyarados

Gyarados - Best Build for Ranked Battle

Nature Jolly (+Spe, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread Spe 252 / Atk 252 / Def. 4
Ability Moxie
Held Item Lum Berry
Moveset Dragon Dance
Power Whip

Dynamax Gyarados.jpg

Gyarados is one of our offensive leads for the team and works best as an early Dynamax Pokemon. It's in an odd speed tier though so before Dynamaxing, we want to get at least one Dragon Dance up. This also boosts its attack by 1 stage.

On the second turn, we'll Dynamax Gyarados and use its two main STAB moves - Max Airstream and Max Geyser.

Noivern is in charge of setting up Tailwind for the team, so we want to use Max Geyser first. This also sets up Rain, which will further boost Gyarados' Water-type moves. Only use Max Airstream if you fail to set up Tailwind with Noivern or if it has already run out.

Our last coverage move is Power Whip. Gyarados is easily countered by bulky water-type Pokemon so having a 120 base power Grass-type move ensures you won't get walled by the likes of Gastrodon, Quagsire, or Milotic.

Moxie is the preferred ability, providing Gyarados a +1 boost in Attack whenever it KOs a Pokemon. This synergizes well with Dragon Dance and Gyarados' high-powered Max Moves.

Intimidate is a viable alternative, but with the increasing popularity of Lash Out Bisharp, it may actually put your team at risk!

For the held item, we go with Lum Berry to ensure Gyarados isn't crippled by Burn or Paralysis.

Noivern, Tailwind Supporter

Pokemon SWSH - Noivern

Noivern - Best Build for Ranked Battle

Nature Timid (+Spe, -Atk)
EV Spread Spe 252 / Sp.Atk 252 / Def. 4
Ability Frisk
Held Item Safety Goggles
Moveset Tailwind
Draco Meteor
Super Fang
Heat Wave

Noivern Tailwind.jpg

Noivern is the team's main Tailwind setter and is always partnered with Gyarados. It's main role is to set up Tailwind on the first turn and support its teammate with its utility moves throughout the match.

Super Fang is Noivern's most important move and is what separates it from other Tailwind leads and is what allows it to help its teammates offensively.

This move bypasses a Pokemon's defensive stats, cutting its health by half. It's best used on defensive Pokemon and dedicated walls that can otherwise take a strong hit from Noivern's teammates.

Noivern's last two moves are for coverage and work off its moderate Special Attack stat. Draco Meteor allows it to threathen and potentially KO frail leads and sweepers. Heat Wave is a multi-target move that hits Steel and Grass-types for super effective damage.

Frisk is the preferred ability and allows Noivern to scout the opposing Pokemon's held item, allowig you to better predict their moveset and build.

For the held item, we go with Safety Goggles. This ensures Noivern won't be crippled by powder and spore moves, such as Sleep Powder and Spore. It also grants Noivern immunity to passive damage from Hail and Sandstorm.

Gengar, Nasty Plot Sweeper

Pokemon SWSH - Gengar

Gengar - Best Build for Ranked Battle

Nature Timid (+Spe, -Atk)
EV Spread Spe 252 / Atk 252 / Def. 4
Ability Cursed Body
Held Item Focus Sash
Moveset Nasty Plot
Shadow Ball
Sludge Wave

Gengar Nasty Plot.jpg
Gengar serves as a secondary offensive lead that's partnered with Amoonguss, and can also fill the role of a backup sweeper or cleaner. On the first turn, we want to get at least one Nasty Plot up to raise Gengar's Special Attack stat by 2 stages.

On the second turn, Gengar is ready to sweep with its three main coverage moves - Shadow Ball, Thunderbolt, and Sludge Wave. Keep in mind that while Sludge Wave is easily Gengar's strongest move, it hits all Pokemon on the field, including your ally!

You can also Dynamax or Gigantamax Gengar during the second turn or reserve that for another Pokemon.

If Dynamaxing Gengar, use Max Ooze to further boost its Special Attack by one stage. Max Phantasm is a good alternative as it boosts team defense by one stage. If Gigantamaxing, Max Phantasm is replaced by G-Max Terror, which prevents the targeted Pokemon from switching out. This is a great move to use against opposing Pokemon Choice-locked on the wrong move or is otherwise harmless to your team.

Cursed Body is Gengar's only available ability. It has a chance to disable a move when it's hit by a contact move.

Focus Sash is its held item as it allows Gengar to survive a KO and guarantee a set up or sweep.

Amoonguss, Enraging Redirection

Pokemon SWSH - Amoonguss

Amoonguss - Best Build for Ranked Battle

Nature Bold (+Def, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 248 / Def 172 / Sp.Def. 88
Ability Regenerator
Held Item Black Sludge
Moveset Rage Powder
Giga Drain

Rage Powder.jpg

Amoonguss is this team's Redirection support and mixed wall. While it can be partnered with either of the offensive leads, it's best used together with Gengar. It's main role is to redirect attacks to it using Rage Powder, as well as using Spore to cripple the opposing team with Sleep.

On the first turn, always use Rage Powder so that its ally can set up safely. Afterwards, it's just a matter of learning when to redirect attacks or using Spore on the opposing team.

Keep in mind that Grass-types and Pokemon with the ability Overcoat or holding the item Safety Goggles are immune to these two moves!

Protect allows Amoonguss to get passive recovery from its Black Sludge held item and also protects it from its partner's multi-target moves. Finally, we have Giga Drain, which allows Amoonguss to threaten water-types and serves as a more active recovery. It also ensures that Amoonguss is never completely shut down by Taunt.

Regenerator is the prefered ability, allowing Amoonguss to recover 1/3 of its max HP when it switches out.

Toxtricity, Offensive Pivot

Pokemon SWSH - Toxtricity

Toxtricity - Best Build for Ranked Battle

Nature Modest (+Sp.Atk, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 252 / 252 Spe / HP 4
Ability Punk Rock
Held Item Throat Spray
Moveset Overdrive
Volt Switch
Sludge Wave

Toxtricity is this team's back-up sweeper and is best partnered with Amoonguss. On a 6 vs 6 double battle, it serves as an offensive pivot and great switch-in against Grass-type Pokemon that threaten to wall Gyarados.

It's moveset is pretty straightforward: Overdrive is our main attacking move, and being a sound-based move, activates the Throat Spray held item which boosts its special attack by one stage.

Boomburst is a very powerful Normal-type special attack while Sludge Wave is its secondary STAB move. Both attacks hit all Pokemon on the field, so make sure Amoonguss uses Protect to avoid getting hit.

Volt Switch allows Toxtricity to switch out of the battle while also dealing Electric-type damage. Only use this if it hasn't consumed its Throat Spray held item as you lose the special attack boost when switching out.

Punk Rock is the preferred ability for Toxtricity as it boosts the power of its two sound-based moves, Overdrive and Boomburst, by 30%. This also halves the damage of damaging sound-based moves.

Hawlucha, Unburden Sweeper

Pokemon SWSH - Hawlucha

Hawlucha - Best Build for Ranked Battle

Nature Jolly (+Spe, -SpAtk)
EV Spread Atk 252 / 252 Spe / HP 4
Ability Unburden
Held Item Electric Seed
Moveset Brave Bird
High Jump Kick
Thunder Punch

Hawlucha is the last backup sweeper on the team and can serve as a spare Dynamax Pokemon.

This build revolves around its ability Unburden, the item Electric Seed, and Dynamax. We always Dynamax Hawlucha and then use Thunder Punch, which becomes Max Lightning.

Because this Max Move sets up Electric Terrain, it activates the Electric Seed - boosting Hawlucha's defense by 1 stage. This, in turn, activates its ability, which doubles Hawlucha's already impressive speed. All these positive stat changes occur on turn Hawlucha Dyanamaxes!

It's two main STAB moves are Brave Bird and High Jump Kick, which becomes Max Airstream and Max Knuckle respectively. The last move is Roost, which helps Hawlucha recover off damage. It also becomes Max Guard during Dynamax.

Thoughts from the Game8 Team

Gyarados is a powerful Dynamax Pokemon

Gyarados ImageGyarados

Gyarados remains one of the most potent and reliable Dynamax Pokemon as it can easily sweep unprepared teams. One Dragon Dance before Dynamaxing is often enough to power through walls with its high powered Max Moves.

The fact that it gets stronger as it knocks out opposing Pokemon with Moxie means it's hard to counter once it's on a roll.

Gengar is a great Nasty Plot Sweeper

Gengar ImageGengar

Although Alakazam is widely considered the premiere Nasty Plot sweeper in the current meta, Gengar is a great alternative and boasts unique strengths that separate it from others.

It's dual STAB moves offer greater coverage, hitting very common Fairy and Ghost-type Pokemon. Gengar also has a wider special movepool; apart from Thunderbolt, it can also run Dazzling Gleam, Energy Ball, Giga Drain, and Thunder.

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6 Anonymousabout 2 years

My question is why does Gengar have 252 attack EVs instead of 252 sp.atk

5 Anonymous27over 2 years

The only improvement here would be to give gengar destiny bond which combines incredibly well with its focus sash also amoonguss could be changed for a yawn gastrodon


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