Series 8 Rain Team for Ranked Battle | Pokemon Sword and Shield

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This is a strategy guide and complete explanation of a Rain-focused team for the games Pokemon Sword and Shield. Read on for tips on how to use this team in competitive play, with recommended movesets & best builds for each Pokemon.

Team Summary and Rental Code

Pokemon Kyogre ImageKyogre Poliwrath ImagePoliwrath
Kingdra ImageKingdra Dracozolt ImageDracozolt
Starmie ImageStarmie Celesteela ImageCelesteela
Team Code 0000 0000 0RWL 1N
Words from the Game8 Team Rain Dance teams are the easiest weather-centric teams to use as Water-types have great bulk and there are many moves and abilities that benefit from the weather effect. This is a team that takes advantage of the boosts to go on the offensive.

How to Use the Team Effectively

Maximize the Benefits of Rain

Maximize the Benefits of Rain.png

This team was crafted by the Game8 team to demonstrate the strengths of a rainy weather team.

With the re-introduction of Legendaries in the Crown Tundra DLC, Kyogre returns as the premier Rain-setting Pokemon surpassing Pelipper. With the offense that Kyogre brings, the entire team is built around dealing damage in strong, decisive blows.

The rest of the team comprises of Pokemon that support Kyogre, such as Dracozolt and Celesteela who do well against Kyogre's weaknesses. While the other members are attackers who benefit from rain; Poliwrath and Kingdra get a speed boost thanks to Swift Swim. Read on for insights about this team that might give you new insights to the metagame as a whole.

Moveset & Best Build for Each Pokemon

Choice Specs Sweeper Kyogre Moveset

Choice Specs Sweeper Kyogre.png

Nature Modest (+Sp.Atk, -Atk)
EV Spread Def 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 175 / Def 111 / Sp.Atk 222 / Sp.Def 160 / Spd 142
Ability Drizzle
Held Item Choice Specs
Moveset Origin Pulse
Thunder
Ice Beam
Ancient Power

Choice Specs Kyogre has the ability to overpower its usual checks and counters due to its boosted Special Attack.

About Kyogre's Moves

Origin Pulse is its main STAB move - a Base 110 Power Water-type move that hits even harder with a Choice Specs boost. Thunder is its main coverage move, getting perfect accuracy in Rain and hitting opposing Water-types.

Ice Beam rounds off Kyogre's coverage, hitting Dragon and Grass-types while also forms BoltBeam coverage with Thunder.

Ancient Power takes this Kyogre's fourth moveslot and catches opposing Ice-types off guard. It also has the added chance to boost all of Kyogre's stats at once. While a nice option, you shouldn't rely on getting the boosts to get stronger.

About Kyogre's EV Spread

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

About Kyogre's Ability

Drizzle is Kyogre's only Ability and sets up Rain Dance for 5 turns.

About Kyogre's Held Item

Choice Specs doubles Kyogre's Special Attack but restricts it to only the initial move it used during that turn. Keep in mind that you are free to Dynamax and switch moves while Dynamaxed.

Alternative Kyogre Movesets and Builds

Belly Drum Sweeper Poliwrath Moveset

Belly Drum Sweeper Poliwrath.png

Nature Adamant(+Atk, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread HP 4 / Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 166 / Atk 161 / Def 115 / Sp.Def 110 / Spd 122
Ability Swift Swim
Held Item Sitrus Berry
Moveset Belly Drum
Liquidation
Drain Punch
Ice Punch

This Poliwrath fills the role of a fast sweeper under Rain, and is best partnered with Kyogre who can immediately set it up thanks to Drizzle.

About Poliwrath's Moves

Belly Drum boosts Poliwrath's Attack by 6 stages, but cuts it HP by half. This is easily remedied by using the move Drain Punch as it restores HP by 50% of the damage the move deals.

Liquidation is its secondary STAB move, and the 20% chance to lower the opponent's Defense by 1 stage makes Poliwrath an even more fearsome sweeper, especially after it's gained its Belly Drum boost!

Ice Punch is its last move and provides important coverage, allowing Poliwrath to hit bulky Grass, Flying, and Dragon-types.

About Poliwrath's EV Spread

We're using a bulkier stat spread for Poliwrath, with an Adamant Nature and full EV investment in Atk and Spd. The remaining 4 EVs are placed in HP to get Poliwrath's HP to an even number. This guarantees that Sitrus Berry will

The remaining 4 Sp.Def EVs ensure Poliwrath's Special Defense is just 4 points lower than its Defense, giving it great overall bulk.

About Poliwrath's Ability

Swift Swim allows Poliwrath to outspeed Pokemon that are normally faster than it under the effects of Rain. At level 50, Poliwrath has an effective speed stat of 268 with this ability, allowing it to outspeed the likes of Jolly Cinderace, Timid Dragapult, and Choice Scarf Dracovish to name a few!

About Poliwrath's Held Item

We're giving Poliwrath the Sitrus Berry as it helps keep Poliwrath healthy after it uses Belly Drum.

Alternative Poliwrath Movesets and Builds

Physical Kingdra Moveset

Physical Kingdra.png

Nature Jolly (+Spd, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread HP 4 / Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 151 / Atk 147 / Def 115 / Sp.Def. 115 / Spd 150
Ability Swift Swim
Held Item Lum Berry
Moveset Dragon Dance
Outrage
Liquidation
Iron Head

Although generally seen as a special sweeper, this set aims to take the opponent by surprise by utilizing a physical set. Since Kingdra's base Attack is the same as it's Special Attack, it is equally viable and still benefits from the rain!

About Kingdra's Moves

It's best for Kingdra to start off by using Dragon Dance once or twice to raise it's Attack and Speed. After which, it can rely on it's STAB moves to deal damage. Outrage serves as a powerful Dragon-type attack, while Liquidation has the added chance of lowering the opponents' physical defense.

Finally, Iron Head serves as Kingdra's coverage moves against Ice and Fairy types, notably Tapu Fini.

About Kingdra's EV Spread

We're utilizing a standard physical attacking spread with max investment in Atk and Spd. The remaining EVs may be placed in HP to add a point of bulk.

About Kingdra's Ability

Swift Swim doubles Kingdra's Speed in rain. This allows Kingdra to outspeed Pokemon that are normally faster than it, especially after a Dragon Dance or two.

About Kingdra's Held Item

Lum Berry allows Kingdra to heal itself of its own confusion after Outrage ends. This can ensure that Kingdra can sweep without having to worry about hitting itself. It can also prove useful if the opponent tries to

Alternative Kingdra Movesets and Builds

Assault Vest Dracozolt Moveset

Assault Vest Dracozolt.png

Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread Atk 252 / Spd 252 / Def 4
Final Stat Values HP 165 / Atk 152 / Def 111 / Sp.Atk 90 / Sp.Def 90 / Spd 139
Ability Hustle
Held Item Assault Vest
Moveset Bolt Beak
Low Kick
Earthquake
Aerial Ace

Dracozolt works well against many of this teams counters. If you're expecting the opponent to counter your rain team off the bat, you can instead send out Dracozolt as a Dynamax lead to clear out the opponent before your Kyogre comes in to set up the rain.

About Dracozolt's Moves

With Dracozolt's exclusive move, Bolt Beak, as its main attack, it can hit first and deal massive damage. Bolt Beak's effect causes it to deal double damage when it attacks first, so its speed is maximized to increase this potential in spite of its low base speed.

The rest of Dracozolt's set works well to deal with opponents who may try to wall this team. Low Kick to deal with Steel-types, Earhquake to deal with Electric-types, and Aerial Ace to deal with Grass-types.

When used as a Dynamax Lead, the added bonuses of each of these Max Moves further empower Dracozolt as he takes out threats to your team.

About Dracozolt's EV Spread

We're utilizing a standard physical attacking spread with max investment in Atk and Spd. The remaining EVs may be placed in HP to add a point of bulk.

About Dracozolt's Ability

To deal further damage, we've included its ability Hustle for this build, which boosts the power of its attacks while sacrificing accuracy.

Keep in mind that when Dynamaxed, Dracozolt still benefits from the attack boost, without the accuracy drop.

About Kingdra's Held Item

With Dracozolt holding an Assault Vest, you will be able to defend against special attackers like Togekiss, Charizard, and Wash Rotom. Adding Aerial Ace to this moveset allows you to use Max Airstream when Dynamaxed, which perfectly combines with Bolt Beak.

Alternative Dracozolt Movesets and Builds

Special Sweeper Starmie Moveset

Special Sweeper Starmie.png

Nature Timid(+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Def 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 135 / Def 105 / Sp.Atk 152 / Sp.Def 106 / Spd 183
Ability Analytic
Held Item Life Orb
Moveset Hydro Pump
Psychic
Thunderbolt
Ice Beam

Starmie has filled the role of a special sweeper since the first Generation, and while it faces stiff competition now from faster and stronger Pokemon, it's one of the few with the coveted "BoltBeam" coverage. This makes it a fast sweeper with fantastic coverage.

About Starmie's Moves

Hydro Pump is Starmie's strongest STAB attack coming from its respectable base 100 Sp.Attack. Psychic is its second STAB move that can also lower the target's Special Defense.

Starmie's last two moves provide it great coverage through what the competitive community calls "BoltBeam" - Thunderbolt allows Starmie to take on opposing Water-types that can wall it while Ice Beam hits Grass-type Pokemon for super effective damage. It also allows it to hit Dragon, Flying, and Ground-types which are very common in the current metagame.

About Starmie's EV Spread

We're using a straightforward EV spread with maximum investment in Special Attack and Speed with a Timid Nature, with the remaining 4 EVs on Defense.

About Starmie's Ability

We're using the Analytic ability which boosts the power of moves by 30% when an opponent moves before Starmie. While Starmie is normally faster than most Pokemon, this ability also activates when an opposing Pokemon switches out.

If Starmie is facing an opponent and they switch out, the game considers that as move done before Starmie. As a result, Starmie gets the Analytic boost. You can use this to your advantage as Starmie often forces a lot of switches.

About Starmie's Held Item

We're using Life Orb, which boosts the power of Starmie's moves by 30& at the cost of 10% recoil damage.

Alternative Starmie Movesets and Builds

Leech Seed Stall Moveset & Best Build

Leech Seed Stall Celesteela.png

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 244 / Def 4 / Sp.Atk 4 / Sp.Def 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 203 / Def 123 / Sp.Atk 127 / Sp.Def 121 / Spd 124
Ability Beast Boost
Held Item Leftovers
Moveset Air Slash
Protect
Substitute
Leech Seed

Celesteela serves as the team's physically defensive wall. It also bears key resistances to Grass-type moves which several members of the team are weak to. It's also immune to Ground-type moves making it a good defensive partner with Dracozolt.

About Celesteela's Moves

Air Slash is its main STAB move that has a nice 30% flinch rate. This move becomes Max Airstream when using during Dynamax, boosting Celesteela and its teammates speed by one stage.

Substitute protects it from status while Protect lets it stall opposing Pokemon with Leech Seed.

About Celesteela's EV Spread

We're using a modified EV spread with full investment in Speed and 244 EVs in HP. The remaining 8 EVs are split to Defense and Special Defense to boosts its overall bulk.

About Celesteela's Ability

Beast Boost is Celesteela's only ability. Whenever it knocks out an opposing Pokemon, it's highest stat (apart from HP) is raises by one stage.

Note: With a Timid Nature, Celesteela's immediate Special Attack is still higher than its speed. This ensures it always gets a Special Attack boost when it knocks out its oponent.

About Celesteela's Held Item

Leftovers provides passive healing and helps it recover HP if it hasn't set up Leech Seed yet.

Alternative Celesteela Movesets and Builds

Thoughts from the Game8 Team

Be Mindful of Kyogre's Rain Turns

Kyogre Image Kyogre

Since Poliwrath and Kingdra rely on Swift Swim to outspeed opponents before dealing damage, you need to keep count of how many turns of rain are still up when you switch them in. This is especially important since you might want an additional turn if you plan on setting up with Belly Drum or Dragon Dance respectively.

Try using Dracozolt as a Dynamax Lead

Dracozolt Image Dracozolt

In our experience using this team, many opponents will see your team and try to bring in Pokemon who can take on your water types. Dracozolt's access to Ground and Flying-type moves make it a perfect matchup against this team's Electric and Grass-type weaknesses. Even Steel-types will have to worry about Dracozolt's Fighting-type moves.

When used in conjunction with Dynamax, Dracozolt can raise its Sp.Def, Spd, and Atk with Max Quake, Max Airstream, and Max Knuckle respectively. Ideally, Dracozolt will take out any threats before you bring in Kyogre to set the rain and sweep with the rest of the team.

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