Galarian Zapdos - Movesets & Best Build for Ranked Battle | Pokemon Sword and Shield

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

Galarian Zapdos - Related Articles
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Basic Information for Galarian Zapdos

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Fighting Type Flying Type
Abilities
Defiant When its stats are lowered its Attack increases.

Type Defenses

Type
Takes 4x damage
-
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Electric Image Pokemon Ice Image Pokemon Rock Image Pokemon Fairy Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Grass Image Pokemon Ghost Image Pokemon Dark Image
Takes 1/4x damage
-
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Ground Image Pokemon Psychic Image

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
90 125 90 85 90 100

Best Nature for Galarian Zapdos

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

Strategies for Galarian Zapdos

Bulk Up Dynamax Build Best Moveset & Best Build

Nature Jolly (+Spd, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread Atk 252 / Def 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 165 / Atk 177 / Def 111 / Sp.Def 110 / Spd 167
Ability Defiant
Held Item Life Orb
Lum Berry
Sharp Beak
Moveset Bulk Up
Brave Bird
Thunderous Kick
Blaze Kick

Galarian Zapdos is shaping up to become a staple of Hyper Offense teams thanks to its great physical movepool and excellent physical attacking stats. It's also a good candidate for Dynamax thanks to access to two of the most coveted Dynamax moves in Hyper Offense - Max Airstream and Max Knuckle.

About Galarian Zapdos's Moves

Bulk Up boosts Galarian Zapdos' Attack and Defense one stage, allowing it to dish out and take better hits. This move should always be used before Dynamaxing.

Brave Bird is its main STAB move, and becomes Max Airstream when under the effects of Dynamax. Apart from its high damage, it also boosts Galarian Zapdos and its team's speed by one stage. Thunderous Kick is its secondary STAB move and becomes Max Knuckle when under the effects of Dynamax, boosting it and its team's attack by one stage.

Thunderous Kick is also a good spammable after Dynamax since it lowers the target's defense by one stage. This allows Galarian Zapdos to ward off physically defensive Pokemon like Toxapex, making them more susceptible to getting sweeped by its teammates.

Blaze Kick is its last move and is mostly for coverage against Steel-type Pokemon that take little damage from Galarian Zapdos' main STAB moves, such as Celesteela and Corviknight.

About Galarian Zapdos's EV Spread

We're using a straightforward EV spread with full invesment in Attack and Speed so that Galarian Zapdos can hit as hard and as fast as possible. The remaining EVs are placed in Defense so that it can get as much bulk as possible, especially after a Bulk Up.

About Galarian Zapdos's Ability

Defiant is Galarian Zapdos' only ability. When one of its stats is lowered, it raises its Attack Stat by two stages.

About Galarian Zapdos's Held Item

Galarian Zapdos has several options for held items and will ultimately depend on the team you're facing up against.

Life Orb is always a good choice as it boosts Galarian Zapdos' attacks at the cost of some residual damage.

Lum Berry is another option and prevents the Strong Legs Pokemon from getting shut down by Will-O-Wisp.

Sharp Beak is another alternative that boosts the power of Galarian Zapdos' Brave Bird by 20%. Flying is a great neutral attacking type that's great when paired with Fighting.

Other Viable Moves

U-Turn While it doesn't have synergy with Bulk Up, it's a good alternative to Blaze Kick if using Galarian Zapdos as an offensive pivot.
Throat Chop A good alternative to Blaze Kick that allows Galarian Zapdos to take on bulky Psychic-types such Slowbro.

Choice Scarf Moveset & Best Build

Nature Jolly (+Spd, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread Atk 252 / Def 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 165 / Atk 177 / Def 111 / Sp.Def 110 / Spd 167
Ability Defiant
Held Item Choice Scarf
Moveset Brave Bird
Thunderous Kick
Blaze Kick
U-Turn

Galarian Zapdos excellent attack and great speed stats make it a great user of Choice Scarfs. With this set, the Strong Leg Pokemon truly lives up to its name - outspeeding its usual checks and counters and KOing them.

About Galarian Zapdos's Moves

Brave Bird is Galarian Zapdos' strongest STAB move, allowing it to KO opposing Fighting-type Pokemon. Thunderous Kick is its secondary STAB move and functions as a deterrent against defensive Pokemon as it always lowers the target's Defense stat by one stage.

Blaze Kick is its main coverage move against Steel-type Pokemon that take little damage from Galarian Zapdos' main STAB moves, such as Celesteela and Corviknight.

It's last move is U-Turn and is Galarian Zapdos' way of pivoting to its teammates. It also does great damage against Psychic-type Pokemon.

About Galarian Zapdos's EV Spread

We're using a straightforward EV spread with full invesment in Attack and Speed so that Galarian Zapdos can hit as hard and as fast as possible. The remaining EVs are placed in Defense to round off its defense.

About Galarian Zapdos's Ability

Defiant is Galarian Zapdos' only ability. When one of its stats is lowered, it raises its Attack Stat by two stages.

About Galarian Zapdos's Held Item

We're giving this Galarian Zapdos Choice Scarf to double its speed at the cost of restricting it to one move during its turn.

Other Viable Moves

Throat Chop A good alternative to Blaze Kick that allows Galarian Zapdos to take on bulky Psychic-types such Slowbro.

How to Use Galarian Zapdos Effectively

Use it as a Lead Sweeper

Whether it's Dynamaxing or not, Galarian Zapdos gets the most out of the battle by being the lead. Not only does it benefit from Intimidate, it's one of the few Pokemon that can Dynamax off the bat and support its teammates with Max Airstream and Max Knuckle.

How to Build a Team with Galarian Zapdos

Galarian Zapdos fits comfortably in many teams in both Singles and Doubles, though it faces some competition with faster revenge killers.

Doubles Lead Sweeper

Galarian Zapdos thrives in the Doubles Metagame where it's ability allows it to function as a lead setup sweeper. As a Dynamax Pokemon, it can also serve as a Tailwind setter since Max Airstream's secondary effect does the same thing!

Check out our full article below to learn more about building a Doubles Team.
How to Build a Doubles Team

Counters for Galarian Zapdos

Check it with Resistant Pokemon

Despite its offensive presence, Galarian Zapdos has trouble dealing with Pokemon that resists its two STAB moves due to its rather limited amount of coverage moves. It's especially susceptible to faster special attackers that can threaten it to switching out.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Thundurus ImageThundurus Ranking: ★★★★★
・Incarnate Forme Outspeeds Galarian Zapdos and can KO it with Thunderbolt
・Incarnate Forme can cripple Choice Scarf variants with Prankster boosted Thunder Wave

Moveset & Best Build for Thundurus
Latios ImageLatios Ranking: ★★★★★
・Resists Galarian Zapdos' Thunderous Kick
・Outspeeds Galarian Zapdos and easily KOs it with Psyshock or Psychic

Moveset & Best Build for Latios

Counter it with Defensive Pokemon

Certain Defensive Pokemon can freely switch into Galarian Zapdos, not caring about its STAB moves, and essentially walling them for the rest of the battle.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Zapdos ImageZapdos Ranking: ★★★★★
・Resists both of its Galarian Formes' STABs and takes little damage from Blaze Kick
・Even defensive variants can KO it with STAB Thunderbolt

Moveset & Best Build for Galarian Zapdos
Clefable ImageClefable Ranking: ★★★★★
Unaware Ability ignores Galarian Zapdos' boost from Bulk Up, Max Airstream, and Max Knuckle
・Threatens Galarian Zapdos with Moonblast

Moveset & Best Build for Clefable

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