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This is a strategy guide for using Articuno 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 Articuno, as well as its strengths and weak points.
List of Contents
|Pokemon||Type 1||Type 2|
|Pressure||The Pokemon raises the foe's PP usage.|
|Takes 4x damage|
|Takes 2x damage|
|Takes 0.5x damage|
|Takes 1/4x damage||
|Takes 0x damage|
|HP||Attack||Defense||Sp. Atk||Sp. Def||Speed|
|Nature||Calm (+Sp.Def, -Atk)|
|EV Spread||HP 248 / Def 4 / Sp.Def 160 / Spd 96|
|Final Stat Values||HP 196 / Def 121 / Sp.Atk 115 / Sp.Def 181 / Spd 117|
|Held Item||Heavy-Duty Boots|
Great mixed defenses and reliably recovery makle Articuno a great choice to fill the role of Pressure Staller in a dedicated Hail Team.
Substitute is what allows Articuno to stall with its Ability, and it also prevents it from getting hit by status moves. Roost is its recovery, and also gets rid of its secondary Flying-type for the turn it used it.
Freeze-Dry is its only attacking move. While relatively weak, it hits Water-types for super effective damage. It's last move is Hail, allowing Articuno to reset the weather condition once it runs out.
We're using a mixed Defensive set for this Articuno. 248 HP EVs and 160 Sp.Def EVs make it as bulky as possible on its special side, while 96 Speed EVs ensure it outruns slower sweepers and walls. The remaining 4 EVs are placed in Defense to round off its bulk.
This build revolves around Articuno's Pressure ability, which causes the opposing Pokemon to loose 2 PP instead of 1.
We're giving Articuno Heavy-Duty Boots to protect it from Stealth Rock, which would otherwise cut its HP in half.
|Tailwind||An alternative to Hail if your team already has a dedicated main and backup weather setter.|
Articuno's reliably recovery and Pressure Ability makes it a dangerous stall Pokemon in a dedicated Hail Team. The combination of Substitute, Pressure, and the residual damage from Hail can whittle down the opposing team and force switches, especially if they like an Articuno counter.
Articuno only has a niche in dedicated Hail Teams where it fills the role of a Pressure staller.
Articuno faces some competition from Mandibuzz as a specially defensive wall in Hail. Instead of using it as a defensive Pokemon, it's better used as a dedicated staller.
|Alolan Ninetales||Galarian Darmanitan|
|Lead Hail Setter||Choice Scarf Sweeper|
|Pressure Staller||Defensive Pivot|
|Cleric/Special Wall||Setup Sweeper|
Articuno has great defensive synergy with, Reunicules and Clefable who both cover the Freeze Pokemon's defensive shortcomings. In turn, Articuno is usually switched in when the team faces a bulky Water-type Pokemon looking to wall Galarian Darmanitan, such as Toxapex or Jellicent.
Articuno lacks a reliable way to handle Fire-types. The Freeze Pokemon is particularly vulnerable to faster physical Fire-types that can easily overpower and outright KO the Legendary Bird.
・Takes little damage from Freeze-Dry
・Outspeeds Articuno and easily KOs with Pyro Ball
Moveset & Best Build for Cinderace
・Takes little damage from Freeze-Dry
・Outspeeds Articuno and easily KOs with Sacred Fire
Moveset & Best Build for Entei
|All Competitive Builds for Ranked Battle|
|Movesets & Best Builds for The Crown Tundra Pokemon|
|Galarian Articuno||Galarian Zapdos||Galarian Moltres|
|Tapu Koko||Tapu Lele||Tapu Bulu|
|Movesets & Best Builds for Isle of Armor Pokemon|
|Porygon2||Urshifu Single-Strike Style||Urshifu Rapid-Strike Style|
|Movesets & Best Builds for New Pokemon|
|Movesets & Best Builds for Returning Pokemon|
|Mow Rotom||Type: Null||Gengar|
|Movesets & Best Builds for Gigantamax Pokemon|
|Gigantamax Grimmsnarl||Gigantamax Snorlax||Gigantamax Charizard|
|Competitive Pokemon Battle Guides|
|Tier List||Best Builds||Crown Tundra Tier List Contenders|
|Doubles Tier List||Team Building||Rental Teams|
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