Pokemon Sword and Shield

Xerneas - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle

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Xerneas - Movesets and Counters.png
This is a strategy guide for using Xerneas 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 Xerneas, as well as its strengths and weak points.

Xerneas - Related Guides
Pokemon SWSH - Xerneas Evolution and LearnsetEvolution and Learnset Pokemon SWSH - Xerneas Best BuildBuild for Ranked Battle

Basic Information for Xerneas

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Fairy Type
Fairy Aura Raises power of Fairy-type moves for all Pokemon in battle.

Xerneas Weaknesses and Resistances

Takes 4x damage
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Poison Image Pokemon Steel Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Fighting Image Pokemon Bug Image Pokemon Dark Image
Takes 1/4x damage
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Dragon Image

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
126 131 95 131 98 99

Best Nature for Xerneas

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

Singles Movesets for Xerneas

Geomancy Moveset & Best Build

Geomancy Xerneas.png

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Def 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 201 / Def 116 / Sp.Atk 183 / Sp.Def 118 / Spd 166
Ability Fairy Aura
Held Item Power Herb
Moveset Geomancy
Draining Kiss

Xerneas is easily one of the best Fairy-type Pokemon available. Without a secondary typing, Xerneas can take advantage of its immunity to Dragon-type moves without worrying about additional weaknesses other than the rare Poison and Steel-type moves.

Xerneas also has access to a stellar stat-increasing move in the form of Geomancy which, when partnered with Fairy Aura, allows it to dish out some of the strongest STAB Fairy-type moves in the game.

About Xerneas' Moves

This set revolves around Xerneas getting a two-stage boost on its Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed through the use of Geomancy, after which Xerneas will effectively have 366 Special Attack, 236 Special Defense, and 332 Speed.

Combining this monstrous Special Attack stat with STAB Fairy-type moves such as Moonblast or Draining Kiss, which are then further powered by Fairy Aura, makes Xerneas a threat few can deal with. The former attack can be used to deal raw damage, while the latter can be used as a form of healing.

Thunderbolt serves as a good coverage move for Pokemon who would otherwise resist Xerneas' Fairy-type attacks. It also has the added benefit of a chance to paralyze the opponent.

About Xerneas' EV Spread

You can't go wrong with a standard Special Attacking Sweeper spread for Xerneas. This allows you to deal the most damage as fast as possible.

About Xerneas' Ability

Xerneas' signature ability, Fairy Aura, increases the damage of its Fairy-type attacks. In conjunction with STAB, it almost doubles the Base Power of Xerneas' Fairy-type moves.

About Xerneas' Held Item

Having Xerneas hold a Power Herb allows Geomancy to charge in a single turn instead of two, eliminating the turn of vulnerability that Xerneas would otherwise have without the item.

Other Viable Moves

Substitute Can be used as a way to scout what the enemy might do, while also giving you more chances to set up safely.
Flash Cannon Steel-type move that may lower the opponent's Sp.Def stat. Gives Xerneas access to Max Steelspike to raise Defense.
Focus Blast Coverage move for opposing Steel-types. Also useful against Tyranitar.
Psyshock Coverage move for opposing Poison-types. It also allows you to overcome specially-defensive walls by attacking their physical side instead.
Thunder A stronger, albeit less reliable, alternative to Thunderbolt.

How to Use Xerneas Effectively

Boost Your Stats With Geomancy

Geomancy nets Xerneas a two-stage boost on its Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed. Although normally a two-turn move, holding a Power Herb lets it charge in just one.

The Speed boost provided by Geomancy will be another hurdle that enemies have to overcome. Only select Choice Scarf users will be able to outspeed Xerneas, meaning most opponents will have to take the brunt of the Life Pokemon's attacks.

How to Build a Team with Xerneas

A Special Attacker for Offensive Teams

Example Special Attacker + Offense Team

Scout Lead Special Attacker Physical Attacker
Pokemon SWSH - Rillaboom ImageRillaboom Pokemon SWSH - Xerneas ImageXerneas Pokemon SWSH - Incineroar ImageIncineroar

As a Fire-type, Incineroar can be a solid teammate for Xerneas who might struggle facing off against Steel-type Pokemon. Intimidate helps lower the Attack-stat of physical attackers who may wish to prey on Xerneas' physical defense. Incineroar also boasts high offensive stats of its own which works well with this offensive team.

Rillaboom rounds out the team with useful Grass-type coverage and the ability to offer Grassy Terrain for passive healing of the team. With Knock Off, Rillaboom can also cripple enemies who rely on items to succeed.

Xerneas works well with these two starter Pokemon and can also cover their Water and Flying-type weaknesses thanks to its Electric-type coverage.

How to Build an Offensive Team

Counters for Xerneas

Weakness Pokemon Poison Image Pokemon Steel Image

Attack With Physical Moves

Xerneas has limited options on raising its physical defense outside of Max Steelspike, so attacking with physical moves will be the way to go to wear this Pokemon down.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Zacian ImageZacian Ranking: ★★★★★
Behemoth Blade absolutely shreds through Xerneas with super effective STAB damage from Zacian.
Moveset & Best Build for Zacian
Pokemon SWSH - Cinderace ImageCinderace Ranking: ★★★★
・Thanks to Libero, Cinderace can fire off a STAB Gunk Shot that will deal super effective damage against Xerneas.
Moveset & Best Build for Cinderace
Pokemon SWSH - Necrozma (Dusk Mane) ImageNecrozma (Dusk Mane) Ranking: ★★★★
・Has access to the STAB Steel-type move Sunsteel Strike to deal super effective damage
・Steel / Psychic typing allows Necrozma to take neutral hits from Xerneas' Fighting-type coverage moves.
Pokemon SWSH - Ferrothorn ImageFerrothorn Ranking: ★★★★
・Has access to the STAB Steel-type move Gyro Ball to deal super effective damage
・Has to be careful of Xerneas' Fighting-type coverage moves, such as Focus Blast.

Moveset & Best Build for Ferrothorn
Pokemon SWSH - Calyrex (Ice Rider) ImageCalyrex (Ice Rider) Ranking: ★★★
・Has access to the Steel-type move Heavy Slam to deal super effective damage.
Assault Vest Calyrex (Ice Rider) can better withstand Xerneas' special attacks.
Pokemon SWSH - Metagross ImageMetagross Ranking: ★★★
・Has access to STAB Steel-type moves such as Meteor Mash and Bullet Punch to deal super effective damage.
・Steel / Psychic typing allows Metagross to take neutral hits from Xerneas' Fighting-type coverage moves.

Moveset & Best Build for Metagross

Related Links

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Best Builds for Ranked Battle

All Competitive Builds for Ranked Battle

Competitive Guides for Pokemon Sword and Shield

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Pokemon SWSH - Doubles Tier ListDoubles Tier List Pokemon SWSH - Competitive Team BuildingTeam Building Pokemon SWSH - Rental TeamsRental Teams

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