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

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

Moltres - Related Articles
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Basic Information for Moltres

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Fire Type Flying Type
Pressure The Pokemon raises the foe's PP usage.

Type Defenses

Takes 4x damage
Pokemon Rock Image
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Water Image Pokemon Electric Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Fire Image Pokemon Fighting Image Pokemon Steel Image
Takes 1/4x damage
Pokemon Grass Image Pokemon Bug Image
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Ground Image

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

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

Best Nature for Moltres

Best Natures
(+Spd, -Atk)

Pressure Stall Strategies for Moltres

Moveset & Best Build

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 208 / Def 60 / Spd 240
Final Stat Values HP 191 / Def 118 / Sp.Atk 145 / Sp.Def 105 / Spd 154
Ability Pressure
Held Item Heavy-Duty Boots
Moveset Substitute
Scorching Sands

Moltres has a niche as a relatively fast stall Pokemon that's best used to counter common defensive Pokemon, such as Celesteela and Ferrothorn.

About Moltres' Moves

Substitute allows Moltres to stall the opposing Pokemon's moves, and prevents status such as Toxic or Leech Seed.

Roost is its main recovery move, and also gets rid of its Flying-typing for that turn. Flamethrower is its main STAB, while Scorching Sands lets it hit Rock-types, while also boasting a 30% chance to burn the target.

About Moltres' EV Spread

We're using a modified defensive set. 208 HP EVs and 60 Defense EVs make Moltres as bulky as possible, while 240 Speed EVs ensure it can outrun slower sweepers and defensive Pokemon.

About Moltres' Ability

This build revolves around its Pressure ability, which causes the opposing Pokemon to lose 2 PP instead of 1.

About Moltres' Held Item

We're giving Moltres Heavy-Duty Boots to protect it from Stealth Rock, which would otherwise cut its HP in half.

Other Viable Moves

Incinerate A weaker alternative to Flamethrower that destroys the target's berries, and has a niche in Doubles.

Choice Specs Moveset & Best Build

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Sp.Atk 252 / Sp.Def 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 165 / Def 110 / Sp.Atk 177 / Sp.Def 106 / Spd 156
Ability Flame Body
Held Item Choice Specs
Moveset Burn Up
Air Slash
Scorching Sands

Moltres can also fill the role of a special sweeper and is a good choice to round out a team's Fire/Water/Grass offensive core.

About Moltres' Moves

Burn Up is powerful Fire-type move that removes Moltres' Fire typing after use. Since Moltres will often switch out, the loss of Fire typing is a non-issue. It also lessens the damage from Rock-type moves and makes Moltres take neutral damage to Water-type moves.

Air Slash is its secondary STAB and has a 30% chance to cause flinching. Scorching Sands is a coverage move that allows Moltres to hit Rock-types, and also has a 30% chance to cause a burn.

Moltres' last move is U-Turn, which allows it to quickly pivot away from the battle if it faces a check or counter.

About Moltres' EV Spread

We're using a straightforward special attacking build with full investment in Sp.Attack and Speed, with the remaining 4 EVs placed in Special Defense.

About Moltres' Ability

Flame Body is the preferred Ability for this build. When Moltres is hit by a contact move, it has a 30% chance to inflict a burn on the attacker.

About Moltres' Held Item

Choice Specs boosts the power of Moltres' special attack by 50% at the cost of not being able to switch moves during the turn.

Other Viable Moves

Hurricane A stronger but less accurate alternative to Air Slash and is best used if Moltres finds itself under the effects of rain.

How to Use Moltres Effectively

Use it as a Stall Pokemon

Although it faces competition from Corviknight as a stall Pokemon, Moltres is capable of beating Ferrothorn and Celesteela - two Pokemon that the Raven Pokemon have trouble beating.

How to Build a Team with Moltres

Moltres is a good choice for a team lacking a Fire-type looking to fill out its Fire/Water/Grass core. It's ability to inflict burns through its Ability and moves also make it a great status spreader.

Offensive Fire Core

Both Defensive and Offensive Moltres can easily fit in balanced teams that require a Fire Core.

Team Options for Moltres

Togekiss ImageTogekiss Rillaboom ImageRillaboom
Lead Tailwind Swords Dance Sweeper
Slowbro ImageSlowbro Moltres ImageMoltres
Defensive Wall Choice Specs Sweeper
Clefable ImageClefable Dragapult ImageDragapult
Cleric/Special Wall Late-Game Sweeper

Moltres patches up Rillaboom's lacking coverage, while also boasting great synergy with Slowbro. The three form a Fire/Water/Grass core, covering each other's weaknesses and lack of coverage with their typing and moves.

Counters for Moltres

Counter it with a Water-type

Outside of the rare Solar Beam variants, Moltres struggles beating Water-types as they take very little damage from its STAB and coverage moves. Faster Water-types, in particular, can easily KO Moltres if it doesn't switch.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Starmie ImageStarmie Ranking: ★★★★★
・Easily outspeeds Moltres
・Easily KOs Moltres with Hydro Pump

Moveset & Best Build for Starmie
Azumarill ImageAzumarill Ranking: ★★★★★
・Can survive Choice-locked Moltres' attacks
・Bell Drum variants easily KOs Moltres with Aqua Jet

Moveset & Best Build for Moltres

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