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

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

Garchomp - Related Articles
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Basic Information for Garchomp

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Dragon Type Ground Type
Abilities
Sand Veil Boosts the Pokemon's evasion in a sandstorm.
Rough Skin Inflicts damage to the attacker on contact.

Type Defenses

Type
Takes 4x damage
Pokemon Ice Image
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Dragon Image Pokemon Fairy Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Fire Image Pokemon Poison Image Pokemon Rock Image
Takes 1/4x damage
-
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Electric Image

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
108 130 95 80 85 102

Best Nature for Garchomp

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

Strategies for Garchomp

Swords Dance Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

Nature Jolly(+Spd, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread Atk 252 / Sp.Def 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 183 / Atk 182 / Def 115 / Sp.Def 106 / Spd 169
Ability Rough Skin or Sand Veil
Held Item Life Orb
Moveset Swords Dance
Outrage
Earthquake
Iron Head

Garchomp's flagship set is set to shake up the Sword and Shield Metagame. It's great Dual STAB moves and access to powerful moves make it a force to be reckoned with and is a Pokemon that all teams must be prepared to face up against!

About Garchomp's Moves

The moves listed are based on predictions and on older movesets from previous generations. These may change upon release of The Crown Tundra DLC!

Swords Dance boosts Garchomp's already high attack stat to dangerous levels, allowing it to KO Pokemon that don't resist its dual STABs - Earthquake and Outrage.

It's last move is Iron Head, which allows it to take out Fairy-type Pokemon that would otherwise wall it. This move also has a nice flinch rate, which works great with Garchomp's high attack stat.

About Garchomp's EV Spread

We're using the standard EV spread here, with full investment on Speed and Attack so that Garchomp can hit fast and as hard as possible. We invest the remaining 4 EVs into Special Defense to round up Garchomp's respectable bulk.

About Garchomp's Ability

We're using Rough Skin for this build. Although it doesn't provide direct offensive bonus, it can break the opposing Pokemon's Focus Sash if they hit Garchomp with a contact move and allow the land shark to get a KO.

Sand Veil is an alternative and the better choice if Garchomp will be used in a dedicated Sand team. With this ability, Garchomp's evasiveness is increased when under the effects of Sandstorm. This makes it more difficult to hit and gives it more opportunities to set up with Swords Dance.

About Garchomp's Held Item

For this build, we're giving Garchomp Life Orb to further boost the power of its moves at the cost of some residual damage.

Other Viable Moves

Stone Edge Can be used as an alternative to Iron Head, giving Garchomp an EdgeQuake combo with good physical coverage.
Aqua Tail A niche alternative to Iron Head that allows Garchomp to better hit bulky ground-types like Hippowdon for super effective damage.
Substitute Can be used instead of Iron Head to protect Garchomp from status moves, allowing it to accumualte more Swords Dance boosts.

Mixed Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

Nature Naive(+Spd, -Sp.Def)
EV Spread Atk 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 183 / Atk 151 / Def 115 / Sp.Def 94 / Spd 169
Ability Rough Skin or Sand Veil
Held Item Life Orb
Moveset Swords Dance
Earthquake
Draco Meteor
Fire Blast

Garchomp can forgo a pure physical attacking set and fill the role of a mixed sweeper. Although this build doesn't have the immediate offensive presence as a pure physical one, it can surprise Garchomp's usual counters and walls and KO them!

About Garchomp's Moves

The moves listed are based on predictions and on older movesets from previous generations. These may change upon release of The Crown Tundra DLC!

For this build, we still give Garchomp Swords Dance to trick the opposing player into thinking that we have the standard physical attacking build. The opponent will most likely switch to a physical wall, allowing Garchomp to take them out with a STAB Draco Meteor.

Earthquake is its secondary STAB move and still hits hard even without full attack investment. Its last move is Fire Blast, which allows Garchomp to threaten or even KO Steel-types such as Corviknight that take little damage from even Draco Meteor.

About Garchomp's EV Spread

We're using a standard mixed attacking EV spread with full investment in Special Attack and Speed. The remaining 4 EVs are placed in Attack to boost Garchomp's naturally high attack stat.

About Garchomp's Ability

We're using Rough Skin for this build. Although it doesn't provide direct offensive bonus, it can break the opposing Pokemon's Focus Sash if they hit Garchomp with a contact move and allow the land shark to get a KO.

Sand Veil is an alternative and the better choice if Garchomp will be used in a dedicated Sand team. With this ability, Garchomp's evasiveness is increased when under the effects of Sandstorm. This makes it more difficult to hit and gives it more opportunities to set up with Swords Dance.

About Garchomp's Held Item

For this build, we're giving Garchomp Life Orb to further boost the power of its moves at the cost of some residual damage.

Other Viable Moves

Earth Power A good alternative to Draco Meteor if you want to switch Garchomp's STAB moves.
Outrage A good alternative to Earthquake if you want to switch Garchomp's STAB moves.
Surf A good alternative to FIre Blast, allowing Garchomp to potentially KO bulky ground types like Hippowdon.

Choice Scarf Revenge Killer Moveset & Best Build

Nature Jolly(+Spd, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread Atk 252 / Sp.Def 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 183 / Atk 182 / Def 115 / Sp.Def 106 / Spd 169
Ability Rough Skin or Sand Veil
Held Item Choice Scarf
Moveset Outrage
Earthquake
Stone Edge
Iron Head

Garchomp's unique speed tier makes it a great candidate for Choice Scarf, letting it function as a physical revenge killer.

About Garchomp's Moves

The moves listed are based on predictions and on older movesets from previous generations. These may change upon release of The Crown Tundra DLC!

Outrage and Earthquake are Garchomp's main STAB moves, and can hit a plethora of common Pokemon in the metagame for good damage even without a boost. Stone Edge gives it great neutral coverage when paired with Earthquake, giving Garchomp the coveted "EdgeQuake" combo.

It's last move is Iron Head, which is an important coverage move that ensures Garchomp can hit Fairy-type Pokemon that will otherwise wall it completely.

About Garchomp's EV Spread

We're using the standard EV spread here, with full investment on Speed and Attack so that Garchomp can hit fast and as hard as possible. We invest the remaining 4 EVs into Special Defense to round up Garchomp's respectable bulk.

About Garchomp's Ability

We're using Rough Skin for this build. Although it doesn't provide direct offensive bonus, it can break the opposing Pokemon's Focus Sash if they hit Garchomp with a contact move and allow the land shark to get a KO.

Sand Veil is an alternative and the better choice if Garchomp will be used in a dedicated Sand team. With this ability, Garchomp's evasiveness is increased when under the effects of Sandstorm. This makes it more difficult to hit and gives it more opportunities to set up with Swords Dance.

About Garchomp's Held Item

This build relies on Choice Scarf, boosting Garchomp's speed by 50% but restricts it to using only the initial move it used for the turn.

Other Viable Moves

Rock Slide A weaker alternative to Stone Edge that has better accuracy and has a 30% chance to flinch the target.
Aqua Tail A niche alternative to Iron Head that allows Garchomp to better hit bulky ground-types like Hippowdon for super effective damage.
Iron Tail A stronger alternative to Iron Head that has less accuracy but has a 30% chance to lower the defense stat of the target Pokemon by one stage.

How to Use Garchomp Effectively

Capitalize on its Speed and Power

Garchomp's claim to fame is its great attacking stat and unique speed tier, which allows it to outrun many sweepers in the 100 base speed range. It's one of the reasons why the land shark, for the longest time, has been the quintessential revenge killer - performing the role effectively even without using Choice Scarf.

Get as much boosts from Swords Dance Boost

With one Swords Dance boost, Garchomp can KO and threaten a lot of Pokemon in the metagame. Even physically defensive titans such as Ferrothorn and Toxapex will find it hard to wall Garchomp once it's accumulated enough Swords Dance boosts.

How to Build a Team with Garchomp

Garchomp is easy to fit in almost any team and is a staple in Hyper Offense teams for both Singles and Doubles. If your team needs a powerful physical or mixed sweeper, Garchomp is always a good choice!

A Tricky Sweeper in Sand

Garchomp can potentially get as much as two Swords Dance boosts in Sandstorm thanks to its Sand Veil ability. Although it's not as fast as Excadrill under the same conditions, it has the potential to max out its attack and virtually KO everything that isn't resistant or immune to its STAB Ground and Dragon-type moves.

Counters for Garchomp

Outspeed it with a Faster Pokemon

Despite its unique speed tier, there are Pokemon that can outspeed Garchomp and KO it before it can set up Swords Dance.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Dragapult ImageDragapult Ranking: ★★★★★
・Faster than Garchomp
・Can easily KO Garchomp with Outrage or Draco Meteor

Moveset & Best Build for Dragapult
Starmie ImageStarmie Ranking: ★★★★★
・Faster than Garchomp
・Can easily KO Garchomp with Ice Beam

Moveset & Best Build for Starmie

Wall it with a Defensive Pokemon

Garchomp is at its dangerous when it accumulates enough Swords Dance boosts. Despite this, there are defensive Pokemon that can wall it and get rid of its boosts using phasing moves or even outright ignore its boosts completely!

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Hippowdon ImageHippowdon Ranking: ★★★★★
・Boasts massive defenses and has reliable recovery in Slack Off
・Can phase Garchomp with Whirlwind

Moveset & Best Build for Hippowdon
Quagsire ImageQuagsire Ranking: ★★★★★
・Boasts great mixed bulk and has reliable recovery in Recover
・Its Unaware ability ignores Garchomp's Swords Dance boosts

Moveset & Best Build for Quagsire
Clefable ImageClefable Ranking: ★★★★★
・Boasts great mixed bulk and has reliable recovery in Moonlight and Wish
・Immune to Garchomp's Dragon-type moves
・Its Unaware ability ignores Garchomp's Swords Dance boosts

Moveset & Best Build for Clefable

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