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

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

Lugia - Related Articles
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Basic Information for Lugia

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Psychic Type Flying Type
Abilities
Pressure The Pokemon raises the foe's PP usage.
Multiscale (Hidden) Reduces damage when HP is full.

Type Defenses

Type
Takes 4x damage
-
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Electric Image Pokemon Ice Image Pokemon Rock Image Pokemon Ghost Image Pokemon Dark Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Grass Image Pokemon Psychic Image
Takes 1/4x damage
Pokemon Fighting Image
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Ground Image

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
106 90 130 90 154 110

Best Nature for Lugia

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

Singles Movesets for Lugia

Bulky Dynamax Lead Moveset & Best Build

Bulky Dynamax Lead Lugia.png

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Def 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 213 / Def 151 / Sp.Atk 110 / Sp.Def 174 / Spd 178
Ability Multiscale
Held Item Weakness Policy
Moveset Aeroblast
Earth Power
Recover
Calm Mind

Lugia makes a great Dynamax lead thanks to its great bulk and ability to support its team with Max Airstream. Although this build focuses on getting Special Attack boosts, Lugia still functions more as a support Pokemon than the team's main attacker.

About Lugia's Moves

Aeroblast is Lugia's signature move and main STAB, doing great damage even without investment due to its increased critical hit chance. Earth Power is its main coverage move and lets Lugia hit bulky Steel-types such as Heatran.

Recover keeps Lugia healthy throughout the match and also ensures its Multiscale Ability remains active.

Its last move is Calm Mind, which boosts Lugia's Special Attack and Special Defense by 1 stage. Although a bit redundant, it has some situational value as it allows Lugia to boost its special bulk even further.

About Lugia's EV Spread

Since this Lugia functions as a lead, we're giving it a fast but bulky EV spread with full investment in HP and Speed, with the remaining 4 EVs invested in Defense to bolster its bulk.

About Lugia's Ability

We're using Multiscale for this build. This ability reduces the damage Lugia receives from attacks by 50% if its at full health.

About Lugia's Held Item

We're giving this Lugia a Weakness Policy, which boosts its Attack and Special Attack by 2 stages. Thanks to Lugia's Multiscale Ability, it won't go down easily even when it's targeted by strong super effective attacks!

Other Viable Moves

Hurricane An alternative to Aeroblast that has a30% chance to confuse the target, but is best used in a dedicated rain team.
Ice Beam An alternative coverage move that allows Lugia to threaten Landorus.
Hydro Pump An alternative coverage move to Earth Power but is best used in a dedicated rain team for the Water-type boost.
Psyshock An alternative Psychic STAB that allows Lugia to beat Chansey and Blissey.

Physically Defensive Moveset & Best Build

Physically Defensive  Lugia.png

Nature Bold (+Def, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Def 252 / Spd 4
Final Stat Values HP 213 / Def 200 / Sp.Atk 110 / Sp.Def 174 / Spd 131
Ability Multiscale
Held Item Kee Berry
Moveset Air Slash
Earth Power
Recover
Calm Mind

Lugia's flagship defensive set from the Advance Generation makes a return and is ready to meet the current metagame's strongest physical attackers head on thanks to its Multiscale Ability.

For teams that need a reliable defensive Pokemon, Lugia is a great choice thanks to its great mixed bulk, reliably recovery, and surprisingly high base speed stat.

About Lugia's Moves

Air Slash is a great Flying-type STAB that has a30% chance to flinch the target, and allows Lugia to threaten slower walls such as Chansey and Blissey. Earth Power is its main coverage move and lets Lugia hit bulky Steel-types such as Heatran.

Recover keeps Lugia healthy throughout the match and also ensures its Multiscale Ability remains active.

It's last move is Calm Mind, which boosts Lugia's Special Attack and Special Defense by 1 stage. Although a bit redundant, it has some situational value as it allows Lugia to boost its special bulk even further.

About Lugia's EV Spread

We're using a simple defensive EV spread for this Lugia, with full investment in HP and Defense since Lugia's Psychic/Flying typing gives it 4x resistance Fighting-type moves. The remaining 4 EVs are invested in Speed to slightly boost Lugia's great 110 Base Speed stat.

About Lugia's Ability

We're using Multiscale for this build. This ability reduces the damage Lugia receives from attacks by 50% if its at full health.

About Lugia's Held Item

We're giving this Lugia a Kee Berry. This item boosts Lugia's Defense stat by 1 stage when hit by a physical move.

Other Viable Moves

Hurricane An alternative to Air Slash that has a30% chance to confuse the target, but is best used in a dedicated rain team.
Aeroblast An alternative to Air Slash that that has increased chance to critically hit.
Ice Beam An alternative coverage move that allows Lugia to threaten Landorus.
Hydro Pump An alternative coverage move to Earth Power but is best used in a dedicated rain team for the Water-type boost.
Psyshock An alternative Psychic STAB that allows Lugia to beat Chansey and Blissey.

How to Use Lugia Effectively

The Metagame's Great Wall

Lugia is considered the metagame's Great Wall - the be all and end all defensive Pokemon due to its great typing, excellent defensive stat distribution, and access to great support moves and recovery.

Play Lugia to its strengths and it can stop even a rampaging setup sweeper in its stracks!

A Bulky Setup Sweeper

Unlike other defensive Pokemon, Lugia isn't restricted to just walling attacks. Thanks to its respectable Special Attack stat, high powered tattacks, and access to boosting moves, the Diving Pokemon can also function as a bulky special attacker!

Although it needs several boosts to go actually start getting KOs, Lugia is a competent special attacker that's hard to counter due to its great bulk.

How to Build a Team with Lugia

Lugia is easy to fit into many teams and can easily fit the roster of both offensive and defensive-oriented teams. When played to its strengths, the Diving Pokemon can serve as either the team's defensive pivot or a support Pokemon that can go on the offense!

The Great Wall for Defensive Teams

Lugia's ability to stop powerful attackers in its tracks due to its massive bulk makes it a staple Pokemon for defensive-oriented teams. Few defensive Pokemon can match the Diving Pokemon in terms of sheer bulk and the utility it provides with its moves.

Example Physically Defensive Pivot + Defensive Team

Lead Setup Sweeper Defensive Pivot Special Wall
Bisharp ImageBisharp Lugia ImageLugia Gastrodon ImageGastrodon

In the event Bisharp faces a Pokemon that can KO it at the start of the match, it can switch into Lugia as it boasts great physical bulk and a 4x resistance to Fighting-type moves. Lugia, in turn, synergizes well with Bisharp since the Sword Blade Pokemon's Dark typing deters Ghost and Dark-types that its weak to.

While Lugia's immense base 154 Special Defense is notable, it still gets worn down by powerful Special attacks - especially Electric-type moves. Gastrodon rounds off this team's bulk by filling the role of a special wall, and covering Lugia's weakness to Electric-type moves.

How to Build a Defensive Team

A Bulky Attacker for Offensive Teams

Lugia can function as a bulky Dynamax Lead for Hyper Offense teams. Unlike other Max Airstream setters, Lugia can still support its team after Dynamax.

Example Lead Dynamax + Offensive Team

Lead Dynamax Physical Attacker Special Sweeper
Lugia ImageLugia Urshifu Single-Strike Style ImageUrshifu Single-Strike Style Nidoking ImageNidoking

Lugia functions as a Dynamax Lead for this offensive team, boosting its teammates speed with Max Airstream.

The speed boost benefits sweepers such as Urshifu Single-Strike and Nidoking as both have relatively mediocre Speed stats.

Urshifu, in particular, synergizes well with Lugia as even with little defensive EV investment, the latter can shrug off Fighting-type moves directed at the Wushu Pokemon.

How to Build an Offensive Team

Counters for Lugia

Wear it Down with Residual Damage

Lugia relies on its Multiscale Ability to withstand powerful super effective attacks. Without the Ability, it's easier to take down and you can even potentially KO it with an exceptionally powerful move.

As a result, Lugia struggles against Pokemon that set up Stealth Rock or can create weather that deals residual damage against it.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Hippowdon ImageHippowdon Ranking: ★★★★★
Sand Stream sets up Sandstorm that breaks Lugia's Multiscale Ability
・Can set up Stealth Rock and phaze Lugia with Yawn

Moveset & Best Build for Hippwodon
Tyranitar ImageTyranitar Ranking: ★★★★★
Sand Stream sets up Sandstorm that breaks Lugia's Multiscale Ability
・Can wear down Lugia with Crunch and Stone Edge

Moveset & Best Build for Tyranitar
Swampert ImageSwampert Ranking: ★★★★
・Can set up Stealth Rock and phaze Lugia with Yawn
・Can pivot with Flip Turn, allowing you to switch into a stronger attacker

Moveset & Best Build for Swampert
Mamoswine ImageMamoswine Ranking: ★★★★
・Can set up Stealth Rock
Choice Scarf variants can flinch Luga with super effective Icicle Crash

Moveset & Best Build for Mamoswine

Overpower it with High-Powered Attacks

Lugia needs a turn to use Recover to keep its health up and reactivate its Multiscale Abilty. As a result, it can't handle repeated hits from exceptionally powerful attackers that can use powerful super effective moves.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Calyrex (Shadow Rider) ImageCalyrex (Shadow Rider) Ranking: ★★★★★
・Faster and easily KOs Lugia with a Life Orb boosted STAB Astral Barrage after Multiscale is broken
・Its As One Ability prevents Lugia from using its Berries

Moveset & Best Build for Calyrex (Shadow Rider)
Yveltal ImageYveltal Ranking: ★★★★★
・Can lower Lugia's Special Defense with Max Darkness
・Takes little damage from Lugia's coverage moves and can heal back lost HP with Oblivion Wing

Moveset & Best Build for Yveltal
Mimikyu ImageMimikyu Ranking: ★★★★★
・Can lower Lugia's Defense with Max Phantasm
・Disguise gives it a free turn to set up with Swords Dance

Moveset & Best Build for Mimikyu

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