Calyrex (Shadow Rider) - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle | Pokemon Sword and Shield

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Calyrex Shadow Rider - Movesets and Counters.png
This is a strategy guide for using Calyrex (Shadow Rider) 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 Calyrex (Shadow Rider), as well as its strengths and weak points.

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Basic Information for Calyrex (Shadow Rider)

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Psychic Type Ghost Type
Abilities
As One (Shadow Rider) This Ability combines the effects of both Calyrex's Unnerve Ability and Spectrier's Grim Neigh Ability.

Type Defenses

Type
Takes 4x damage
Pokemon Dark Image
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Ghost Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Poison Image Pokemon Bug Image
Takes 1/4x damage
-
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Normal Image Pokemon Fighting Image

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
100 85 80 165 100 150

Best Nature for Calyrex (Shadow Rider)

Best Natures
Timid
(+Spd, -Atk)
Modest
(+Sp.Atk, -Atk)

Singles Movesets for Calyrex (Shadow Rider)

Special Attacker Moveset & Best Build

Special Attacker Calyrex Shadow Rider.png

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Def 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 175 / Def 101 / Sp.Atk 217 / Sp.Def 120 / Spd 222
Ability As One
Held Item Life Orb
Focus Sash
Moveset Astral Barrage
Psychic
Giga Drain
Nasty Plot

Calyrex's Shadow Rider form is one of the most threatening sweepers in the current metagame, capable of outrunning and knocking out many Pokemon with its STAB moves.

With a 165 Base Special Attack Stat, the High King Pokemon is a special sweeper that all teams should prepare for!

About Calyrex (Shadow Rider)'s Moves

Astral Barrage is Calyrex's strongest STAB move - a Base 120 Ghost-type move that, when coupled with its high special attack, can knock out and heavily damage even the sturdiest of Pokemon.

Psychic is its secondary STAB move, and although not as powerful as Astral Barrage, it can set up Psychic Terrain when it becomes Max Mindstorm during Dynamax. Not only does it power up Psychic-type moves, it also prevents Priority moves!

Giga Drain is its main coverage move, hitting bulky Water and Ground-types for super effective damage, and also heals Calyrex for a respectable amount.

Nasty Plot is its last move, boosting Calyrex's Special Attack by 2 stages. It's best used when you expect a switch, and can easily make the High King Pokemon nigh-unstoppable. The move also becomes Max Guard during Dynamax.

About Calyrex (Shadow Rider)'s EV Spread

We're using a standard special attacking EV spread with full investment in Speed and Special Attack, with the remaining 4 EVs invested in Defense to round off its bulk.

About Calyrex (Shadow Rider)'s Ability

Calyrex's Shadow Rider forme's Ability is As One, which combines Calyrex's Unnerve and Spectrier's Grim Neigh Abilities.

About Calyrex (Shadow Rider)'s Held Item

Calyrex's Shadow Rider form has two options for held item.

Life Orb boosts the power of Calyrex's moves by 30% at the cost of some recoil damage.

Focus Sash ensures Calyrex survives a super effective hit, allowing it to set up and deal damage on the next turn.

Other Viable Moves

Psyshock An alternative Psychic-type STAB that hits the opponent's Defense instead of Special Defense.
Expanding Force A powerful Psychic-type move that hits both opponents in Doubles. Gets a 1.5 power increase and 1.3 terrain boost in Psychic Terrain.
Energy Ball A stronger Grass-type coverage move but lacks recovery.
Pollen Puff An alternative Bug-type coverage move that hits Dark-type Pokemon for super effective damage. This move also heals allies when used in Doubles.
Draining Kiss A Fairy-type coverage move that heals 75% of the damage it deals.

Doubles Movesets for Calyrex (Shadow Rider)

Expanding Force Moveset & Best Build

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Def 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 175 / Def 101 / Sp.Atk 217 / Sp.Def 120 / Spd 222
Ability As One
Held Item Life Orb
Moveset Astral Barrage
Leaf Storm
Expanding Force
Substitute

This all-out attacking build for Calyrex was used by Japanese competitive player Yabu to reach 14th place in the current Ranked Battle Season, favoring a straightforward offensive build over the usual setup sweeper.

Although he used it in Singles, this build is perfectly viable in the Doubles Metagame especially when its partnered with a Pokemon that can set up Psychic Terrain.

About Calyrex (Shadow Rider)'s Moves

Astral Barrage is Calyrex's strongest STAB move - a Base 120 Ghost-type move that, when coupled with its high special attack, can knock out and heavily damage even the sturdiest of Pokemon.

Leaf Storm is a powerful Grass-type move that allows Calyrex to threaten the likes of Groudon, Quagsire, and Swampert. This move should be used sparingly though as it reduces Calyrex's Special Attack by 2 stages.

Expanding Force is a powerful Psychic-type STAB when powered by Psychic Terrain in Doubles. In Singles, it can set up Psychic Terrain itself when used during Dynamax.

If using this move in Singles, it's best to use it as the first move so that it can set up Psychic Terrain and prevent priority moves from working.

Its last move is Substitute, which is a great utility move that protects it from status moves such as Thunder Wave that can potentially cripple it.

About Calyrex (Shadow Rider)'s EV Spread

We're using a standard special attacking EV spread with full investment in Speed and Special Attack, with the remaining 4 EVs invested in Defense to round off its bulk.

About Calyrex (Shadow Rider)'s Ability

Calyrex's Shadow Rider forme's Ability is As One, which combines Calyrex's Unnerve and Spectrier's Grim Neigh Abilities.

About Calyrex (Shadow Rider)'s Held Item

Life Orb boosts the power of Calyrex's moves by 30% at the cost of some recoil damage.

How to Use Calyrex (Shadow Rider) Effectively

One of the Fastest Special Attackers

Calyrex's Shadow Rider form is one of the fastest Pokemon in the metagame, only outsped by Pheromosa and Regieleki.

With a 165 Base Special Attack, it's without a doubt one of the most powerful special attackers available and can easily overpower unprepared teams with its STAB moves.

How to Build a Team with Calyrex (Shadow Rider)

Calyrex's Shadow Rider form is easy to fit into any team and can function as either a lead or main Dynamax Pokemon for the team.

Lead Dynamax for Hyper Offense Teams

Calyrex's Shadow Rider is an overpowering force when used as a Lead Dynamax Pokemon, with its powerful STAB moves getting more utility as Max Moves that can support its teammates.

Lead Dynamax + Hyper Offense Team

Lead Dynamax Offensive Pivot Physical Attacker
Calyrex (Shadow Rider) ImageCalyrex (Shadow Rider) Landorus (Therian Forme) ImageLandorus (Therian Forme) Azumarill ImageAzumarill

Calyrex functions as this team's Lead Dynamax, firing off powerufl Max Phantasms and Max Mindstorms, with the latter setting up Psychic Terrain to prevent moves such as Shadow Sneak and Sucker Punch.

Calyrex has a relatively low Defense stat so physical attackers are often used against it. Landorus (Therian Forme) is a great, well-rounded offensive pivot that deters these physical attackers with its Intimidate Ability.

Azumarill is this team's physical attacker, and benefits from the Defense drop Calyrex's Max Phantasm inflicts. It also deters Dark-types that would love to switch into Calyrex, threatening them with STAB Play Rough.

How to Build an Offensive Team

Counters for Calyrex (Shadow Rider)

Take Advantage of its Weaknesses

Despite its overwhelming offensive presence, Calyrex (Shadow Rider)'s Psychic/Ghost dual typing leaves it vulnerable to Dark and Ghost-type moves. It helps that these two types have priority moves that bypass Calyrex's immense speed.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Yveltal ImageYveltal Ranking: ★★★★★
・Resists Calyrex's Ghost-type STAB and is immune to its Psychic-type STAB
・Easily KOs Calyrex with Dark Pulse or Sucker Punch

Moveset & Best Build for Yveltal
Mimikyu ImageMimikyu Ranking: ★★★★★
Disguise guarantees that it can set up with Swords Dance
・Easily KOs Calyrex with Swords Dance boosted Shadow Claw and Shadow Sneak

Moveset & Best Build for Mimikyu
Cinderace ImageCinderace Ranking: ★★★★★
・Easily KOs Calyrex with Life Orb boosted Libero Sucker Punch

Moveset & Best Build for Cinderace
Urshifu Single-Strike Style ImageUrshifu Single-Strike Style Ranking: ★★★★★
・Resists Calyrex's Ghost-type STAB and immune to its Psychic-type STAB
・Easily KOs Calyrex with Wicked Blow or Sucker Punch

Moveset & Best Build for Urshifu Single-Strike Style
Grimmsnarl ImageGrimmsnarl Ranking: ★★★★★
・Resists Calyrex's Ghost-type STAB and immune to its Psychic-type STAB
・Easily KOs Calyrex with Sucker Punch
・Can use Prankster boosted Thunder Wave to cripple Calyrex's Speed

Moveset & Best Build for Grimmsnarl
Tyranitar ImageTyranitar Ranking: ★★★★
・Resists Calyrex's Ghost-type STAB and immune to its Psychic-type STAB
・Easily KOs Calyrex with Crunch
Sand Stream sets up Sandstorm, boosting Tyranitar's Special Defense by 50%

Moveset & Best Build for Tyranitar

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