Pokemon Sword and Shield

Zygarde - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle

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

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

Basic Information for Zygarde

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Dragon Type Pokemon Sword and Shield - Ground Type
Aura Break Reduces power of Dark-type and Fairy-type moves.
Power Construct Changes form when HP drops below half.

Zygarde Weaknesses and Resistances

Takes 4x damage
Pokemon Ice Image
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Dragon Image Pokemon Fairy Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Fire Image Pokemon Poison Image Pokemon Rock Image
Takes 1/4x damage
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Electric Image

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
108 100 121 81 95 95

Best Nature for Zygarde

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

What are Natures?

Singles Movesets for Zygarde

Coil Moveset & Best Build

Pokemon SWSH - Zygarde Coil.png

Nature Careful (+Sp.Def, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread HP 236 / Sp.Def 60 / Spd 212
Final Stat Values 50% Forme
HP 213 / Atk 120 / Def 141 / Sp.Def 135 / Spd 142
Complete Forme
HP 321 / Atk 120 / Def 141 / Sp.Def 135 / Spd 132
Ability Power Construct
Held Item Leftovers
Moveset Thousand Arrows

At first glance, Zygarde appears like any bully attacking Pokemon in the metagame. What separates itself from other bulky attackers is its ability to change into an even bulkier forme with its Power Construct Ability.

Access to great utility moves and Coil make it Zygarde a threatening Pokemon that can turn the tide of the battle in your team's favor.

About Zygarde's Moves

Thousand Arrows is Zygarde's main attacking move - a Ground-type STAB that hits Flying-types, Pokemon with the Ability Levitate, or holding an Air Ballon.

This allows Zygarde to hit Flying-types that would otherwise wall it, such as Landorus (Therian Forme), Wash Rotom, and Corviknight to name a a few.

Coil boosts Zygarde's Attack, Defense, and Accuracy by 1 stage, allowing it to become even bulkier over the course of the match. Glare is its main support move, and is capable of inflicting paralysis on opposing Ground-type Pokemon.

It's last move is Substitute, which when set up, protects Zygarde from Status moves. Thanks to Zygarde's increased HP in itsComplete Forme, it's substitute is difficult to break - especially after it gets enough Coil boosts.

About Zygarde's EV Spread

We're using a bulkier attacking EV spead for this Zygarde build. 236 HP and 60 Sp.Def EVs make it as bulky as possible, especially after Power Construct activates, while 212 Spd EVs make it as fast as possible.

About Zygarde's Ability

Power Construct is Zygarde's best Ability. When its HP falls to half of its maximum, Zygarde changes to its Perfect Forme.

This changes its immediate stats. Its Perfect Forme is slightly slower than its 50% Forme, but its Base HP increases to 216.

At Level 50 and with the given HP EVs, Zygarde's Perfect Forme has an immediate 321 HP!

About Zygarde's Held Item

Since Zygarde lacks a recovery move outside of Rest, it's best to give it Leftovers to provide it passive healing.

Other Viable Moves

Rest A great alternative to Substitute. This move completely heals Zygarde to maximum HP, removing existing status conditions but causes Zygarde to fall asleep for three turns.

How to Use Zygarde Effectively

A Powerful Bulky Attacker

Pokemon SWSH - Zygarde Perfect Coil.png
Great mixed defenses, powerful utility moves, and a great boosting move in Coil make Zygarde one of the premiere bulky attackers in Ranked Battle Series 8. It's capable of turning the tide of battle against powerful Legendary Pokemon such as Dialga,

Power Construct Makes it Even Bulkier

Pokemon SWSH - Zygarde Power Construct.png
Zygarde's Power Construct makes it one of the most formidable bulky Pokemon. When its HP reaches half of its maximum, it changes to its Perfect Forme and its Base HP increase by 108 from its 50% Forme.

This makes Zygarde very difficult to beat, especially after it recovers its lost HP, allowing it to stay in matches without switching.

Full HP Recovery During Dynamax

Zygarde's Power Construct increases the real value of its HP. This means that if its HP gets halved during Dynamax, it instantly recovers 216 HP. This makes it one of the best Dynamax users as it's essentially a free heal during Dynamax once it changes formes.

How to Build a Team with Zygarde

Zygarde is a great addition to any team and is best used as a Dynamax Pokemon. Due to its bulk and reliance on boosting moves, it's best used in balanced and defensive-oriented teams.

A Bullky Dynamax Pokemon for Defensive Teams

Zygarde is the perfect Dynamax Pokemon for defensive teams and is capable of stopping opposing Offensive teams once it changes to its Perfect Forme.

Example Coil Build + Defensive Team

Lead Dynamax Special Attacker Utility Pokemon
Pokemon SWSH - Zygarde ImageZygarde Pokemon SWSH - Heatran ImageHeatran Pokemon SWSH - Vaporeon ImageVaporeon

Zygarde functions as this team's lead, boosting its Attack, Defense, and Accuracy with Coil before Dynamaxing. It's best to Dynamax once Zygarde's HP is close to falling to half, so that it changes forme during Dynamax and gets a free heal from its Power Construct Ability.

Heatran is a great partner for Zygarde, boasting 4x Resistances to Fairy-types that Zygarde is weak to, and provides great special coverage for the team.

Vaporeon serves as this team's Utility Pokemon, passing Wish to its wounded teammates. Zygarde lacks reliable recovery beyond Leftovers and Rest, so it really appreciates Vaporeon's healing. Its Water typing also synergizes well with Heatran.

How to Build a Defensive Team

Counters for Zygarde

Weakness Pokemon Ice Image Pokemon Dragon Image Pokemon Fairy Image

Overpower it with Ice and Fairy-type Moves

Despite Zygarde's massive bulk and Ability to instantly heal during Dynamax, it can get overwhelmed by strong Pokemon with Fairy and Ice-type coverage moves.

Zygarde is especially vulnerable to powerful Ice-types due to its 4x Weakness to the type, especially when targetted at its lower Special Defense stat.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - White Kyurem ImageWhite Kyurem Ranking: ★★★★★
・Easily KOs Zygarde's 50% Forme with Max Hailstorm
・Faster than Zygarde's Perfect Forme
Pokemon SWSH - Black Kyurem ImageBlack Kyurem Ranking: ★★★★★
・Easily KOs Zygarde's 50% Forme with Max Hailstorm
・Can break Zygarde's Substitute with Icicle Spear
Moveset & Best Build for Black Kyurem
Pokemon SWSH - Lapras ImageLapras Ranking: [red]★★★★
・Easily KOs Zygarde's 50% Forme with G-Max Resonance
・G-Max Resonance sets up Aurora Veil, reducing damage for 5 turns
Moveset & Best Build for Lapras
Pokemon SWSH - Zacian ImageZacian Ranking: ★★★★
・Outspeeds and easily KOs Zygarde's 50% Forme with Play Rough
・Can heavily damage Dynamax Zygarde with Behemoth Blade
Moveset & Best Build for Zacian
Pokemon SWSH - Kyogre ImageKyogre Ranking: ★★★★
・Outspeeds Zygarde's 50% Forme with Choice Scarf
・Easily KOs Zygarde with Max Hailstorm
Moveset & Best Build for Kyogre
Pokemon SWSH - Xerneas ImageXerneas Ranking: ★★★★
・Outspeeds 50% Zygarde after using Geomancy
・Easily KOs Zygarde with Geomancy-boosted Moonblast or Max Starfall
Moveset & Best Build for Xerneas
Pokemon SWSH - Calyrex (Ice Rider) ImageCalyrex (Ice Rider) Ranking: ★★★
・Easily KOs Zygarde's 50% Forme with Glacial Lance
・Lower Speed means it can wear down Zygarde with boosted Avalanche
Moveset & Best Build for Calyrex (Ice Rider)

Related Links

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Best Builds for Ranked Battle

All Competitive Builds for Ranked Battle

Competitive Guides for Pokemon Sword and Shield

Competitive Pokemon Battle Guides
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