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

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

Dialga - Related Articles
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Basic Information for Dialga

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Steel Type Dragon Type
Pressure The Pokemon raises the foe's PP usage.
Telepathy (Hidden) Anticipates an ally's attack and dodges it.

Type Defenses

Takes 4x damage
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Fighting Image Pokemon Ground Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Normal Image Pokemon Water Image Pokemon Electric Image Pokemon Flying Image Pokemon Psychic Image Pokemon Bug Image Pokemon Rock Image Pokemon Steel Image
Takes 1/4x damage
Pokemon Grass Image
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Poison Image

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
100 120 120 150 100 90

Best Nature for Dialga

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

Singles Movesets for Dialga

Dynamax Special Attacker Moveset & Best Build

Dynamax Special Attacker Dialga.png

Nature Modest (+Sp.Atk, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Sp.Atk 252 / Sp.Def 4
Final Stat Values HP 207 / Def 140 / Sp.Atk 222 / Sp.Def 121 / Spd 110
Ability Pressure
Held Item Weakness Policy
Life Orb
Assault Vest
Moveset Roar of Time
Flash Cannon
Earth Power
Fire Blast

Dialga's great typing and mixed defenses make it a great candidate for Dynamaxing. With Dynamax boosting its HP, the Temporal Pokemon can further boost its team's natural bulk with Max Steelspike and Max Wyrmwind.

About Dialga's Moves

Roar of Time is Dialga's strongest Dragon-type STAB and is best used during Dynamax where it becomes a 150 Base Power Max Wyrmwind. Not only does it deal great damage, it also lowers the opposing team's Attack stat by 1 stage.

Flash Cannon is Dialga's secondary Steel-type STAB, letting it hit Fairy-types for super effective damage. It also increases the team's Defense stat by 1 stage when it becomes Max Steelspike during Dynamax.

Its last two moves are for coverage. Earth Power provides great neutral coverage and boosts Dialga and its team's Special Defense stat by 1 stage when it becomes Max Quake during Dynamax.

Fire Blast is a great all-round coverage move, hitting opposing Steel-types such as Ferrothorn and Corviknight that take little damage from the Temporal Pokemon's STAB moves.

About Dialga's EV Spread

We're using a standard bulky attacking set for Dialga, with full investment in HP and Sp.Atk and investing 4 Sp.Def to round off its bulk.

About Dialga's Ability

Pressure is Dialga's best Ability, causing the opponent to spend 2 PP for moves when targetting Dialga.

About Dialga's Held Item

Dialga has several items it can use.

Weakness Policy is a great choice due to Dialga's rather common weakness to Fighting and Ground-type moves, but is mitigated by its great natural bulk and the HP boost from Dynamax. Once activated, Dialga gets a +2 Attack and Special Attack boost.

Life Orb boosts the power of Dialga's moves by 30% at the cost of some residual damage at the end of every turn.

Assault Vest boosts Dialga's Special Defense by 50% but restricts status moves. At level 50 and the given EV spread, Dialga will have an effective 242 Special Defense stat.

Other Viable Moves

Draco Meteor A slightly weaker Dragon-type STAB that lowers Dialga's Special Attack by 2 stages, but is useable outside of Dynamax.
Steel Beam A more powerful Steel-type STAB but deals heavy recoil damage. It's best used during Dynamax.
Flamethrower A slightly weaker Fire-type coverage move but has perfect accuracy.
Thunder An alternative to Fire Blast that takes advantage of Kyogre's Drizzle to hit it with a super effective move.

Iron Defense Moveset & Best Build

Nature Bold (+Def, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 220 / Def 252 / Sp.Atk 4 / Sp.Def 4 / Spd 28
Final Stat Values HP 203 / Def 189 / Sp.Atk 171 / Sp.Def 121 / Spd 114
Ability Pressure
Held Item Leftovers
Moveset Flash Cannon
Body Press
Iron Defense

This defensive Dialga was used by Tenku to reach 15th place in the current Ranked Battle Season. While Dialga is a powerful special attacker in its own right, it's also a capable defensive Pokemon - especially when using Iron Defense and Body Press.

Much like Corviknight, Dialga is a great check to common physical attackers in the current metagame. While it doesn't have reliable recovery, its great Special Attack lets it threaten and heavily damage the same Pokemon it walls even with minimal special attacking investment!

About Dialga's Moves

Flash Cannon is Dialga's main STAB move and still hits hard despite the minimal Special Attacking investment. This move allows the Time Pokemon to check Fairy-types such as Mimikyu and force them to switch or risk getting heavily damaged or knocked out.

Thunder is a powerful Electric-type coverage move that allows Dialga to turn the tables against Kyogre who provides the move with 100% accuracy thanks to its Drizzle Ability. It's also a good move to use against Celesteela, forcing the Ultra Beast to switch and preventing it from setting up Leech Seed.

Its last two moves are crucial to this build: Body Press uses Dialga's Defense stat to calculate damage, allowing it to hit very hard thanks to this build's Defense investment.

Iron Defense raises Dialga's Defense stat by 2 stages, further boosting Body Press' power and allowing Dialga to potentially KO opposing Pokemon once it accumulates enough boosts.

About Dialga's EV Spread

We're using a defensive EV spread with 220 HP, 252 Def and 4 Sp.Def EVs to boost Dialga's great bulk. The remaining EVs are split between Sp.Atk and Spd: 4 Sp.Atk EVs slightly boosts its naturally high Special Attack while 28 Spd EVs lets it outspeed slower walls such as Chansey.

About Dialga's Ability

Pressure is Dialga's best Ability, causing the opponent to spend 2 PP for moves when targetting Dialga.

About Dialga's Held Item

Since Dialga lacks any recovery move, we're giving it Leftovers to provide it passive healing at the end of every turn.

How to Use Dialga Effectively

A Powerful Bulky Dragon

Dialga sets itself apart from other Dragon-types by boasting excellent defensive stats, and is one of the few that take normal damage from Fairy-type moves and hit back with a super effective Steel-type move.

It's also one of the few Dynamax Pokemon that doesn't fear Zacian's Behemoth Blade thanks to its Steel typing, and can fire back with a super effective Max Quake or Max Flare.

How to Build a Team with Dialga

Dialga enjoys widespread usage due to a combination of excellent Special Attack, great coverage moves, and natural bulk. It's often the top choice for Dynamax Lead or main Dynamax Pokemon, though it faces some competition from the likes of Xerneas.

A Bulky Dynamax Pokemon for Offensive Teams

Hyper Offense teams often forgo defensive cores, leaving them vulnerable to stall or counter offense. This makes Dialga a great Dynamax Lead - with Dynamax's HP boost complementing its natural bulk and excellent resistances.

Example Dynamax Lead + Offensive Team

Lead Dynamax Offensive Pivot Physical Attacker
Dialga ImageDialga Landorus (Therian Forme) ImageLandorus (Therian Forme) Mimikyu ImageMimikyu

Dialga makes a great bulky lead for Hyper Offense teams, and unlike other leads, can patch up its team's defense with Max Steelspike or Max Wyrmwind.

Landorus (Therian Forme) is this team's offensive pivot, with Dialga switching into it if it encounters a Ground or Fighting-type Pokemon.

Mimikyu rounds off this team by functioning as a late-game setup sweeper and appreciates the defense boost Dialga sets up during Dynamax,

How to Build an Offensive Team

Counters for Dialga

Take Advantage of its Weaknesses

Although Dialga has great natural bulk and resistances, it's also weak to very common attacking types such as Fighting and Ground-type moves. Using these moves can easily wear down the Temporal Pokemon and even outright KO it!

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Landorus (Therian Forme) ImageLandorus (Therian Forme) Ranking: ★★★★★
・Can use Max Quake to boost its Special Defense
・Can wear down Dialga with STAB Earthquake

Moveset & Best Build for Landorus (Therian Forme)
Urshifu Single-Strike Style ImageUrshifu Single-Strike Style Ranking: ★★★★
Wicked Blow always deals a critical hit
・Can deal a significant amount of damage with STAB Close Combat

Moveset & Best Build for Urshifu Single-Strike Style
Cinderace ImageCinderace Ranking: ★★★★
・Can deal a significant amount of damage with STAB Libero High Jump Kick
・Needs to be careful of Dialga's Ground-type coverage moves

Moveset & Best Build for Cinderace
Zamazenta ImageZamazenta Ranking: ★★★★
・Resists both of Dialga's STAB moves and can hit back with STAB [Close Combat(/games/pokemon-sword-shield/archives/273168)
・Needs to be careful of Dialga's Fire and Ground-type coverage moves

Overpower it with Repeated Hits

Depsite its natural bulk, Dialga lacks a reliable way to recover lost HP. This means it's easy to wear it down, and due to its rather medicore Speed stat, outspeed by late-game cleaners.

Pokemon Description
Yveltal ImageYveltal Ranking: ★★★★★
・Faster and can flinch Diagla with STAB Dark Pulse
・Can recover lost HP with Oblivion Wing

Moveset & Best Build for Yveltal
Calyrex (Shadow Rider) ImageCalyrex (Shadow Rider) Ranking: ★★★★
・Easily KOs Dialga with STAB Astral Barrage
・Needs to set up with Nasty Plot to KO Dialga at full health

Moveset & Best Build for Calyrex (Shadow Rider)

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