Pokemon Sword and Shield

Azelf - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle

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Competitive Battle Guide

Azelf - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle
This is a strategy guide for using Azelf 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 Azelf, as well as its strengths and weak points.

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

Basic Information for Azelf

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Psychic Type
Levitate Gives immunity to Ground type moves.

Azelf Weaknesses and Resistances

Takes 4x damage
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Bug Image Pokemon Ghost Image Pokemon Dark Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Fighting Image Pokemon Psychic Image
Takes 1/4x damage
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Ground Image

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
75 125 70 125 70 115

Best Nature for Azelf

Best Natures
(+Spd, -Atk)

What are Natures?

Singles Movesets for Azelf

Nasty Plot Setup Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Def 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 150 / Def 91 / Sp.Atk 177 / Sp.Def 90 / Spd 183
Ability Levitate
Held Item Life Orb
Focus Sash
Moveset Nasty Plot
Fire Blast

Azelf's great offensive stats, high speed, and access to Nasty Plot make it a great setup sweeper for both balanced and offensive teams. With the right team support, it can easily clear weakened teams with its boosted moves.

About Azelf's Moves

Nasty Plot boosts Azelf's Special Attack by 2 stages, boosting the power of its special moves. Psyshock is its main STAB move and targets the opposing Pokemon's Defense stat, allowing it to take on Special Walls such as Chansey and Blissey.

It's last two moves are for coverage. Thunderbolt allows Azelf to take on bulky Water-types such as Toxapex and Tapu Fini, while Fire Blast allows it to threaten common Grass-types like Rillaboom and Ferrothorn.

About Azelf's EV Spread

We're giving Azelf a standard Special Attacking EV spread with full Sp.Atk and Spd investment as well as 4 Def EVs to give it some physical bulk.

About Azelf's Ability

Levitate is Azelf's only Ability and gives it immunity to Ground-type moves, as well as grounded entry hazards such as Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and Sticky Web.

About Azelf's Held Item

Life Orb further boosts the power of Azelf's special attacks at the cost of some residual damage at the end of every turn. Focus Sash is another good held item that can ensure Azelf gets at least one Nasty Plot boost.

Other Viable Moves

Dazzling Gleam An alternative to either Thunderbolt or Fire Blast that allows Azelf to direclty deal super effective damage on Dark and Dragon-types.
Energy Ball A good alternative to Thunderbolt that allows Azelf to deal more damage gainst dual Water/Ground types such as Quagsire and Gastrodon.
Grass Knot Another good alternative to Thunderbolt that deals higher damage to heavier Pokemon such as Hippowdon.

Doubles Movesets for Azelf

Dynamax + Weakness Polic Moveset & Best Build

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Def 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 150 / Def 91 / Sp.Atk 177 / Sp.Def 90 / Spd 183
Ability Levitate
Held Item Weakness Policy
Moveset Psychic
Dazzling Gleam
Fire Blast

Azelf is a main attacker in Doubles, with Dynamax giving it extra bulk to withstand a super effective attack from its partner to activate its Weakness Policy.

About Azelf's Moves

Psychic is Azelf's main STAB move that becomes Max Mindstorm during Dynamax. This move sets up Psychic Terrain, which powers up Azelf's Psychic-type moves while also preventing the opponent from using priority moves.

Dazzling Gleam is its main coverage move and allows Azelf to damage Dark-types that would otherwise wall Azelf. Fire Blast lets it hit Steel and Grass-types such as Zacian and Rillaboom respectively.

Detect is its last move and is mostly used for scouting, and also gives Azelf Max Guard during Dynamax.

About Azelf's EV Spread

We're giving Azelf a standard Special Attacking EV spread with full Sp.Atk and Spd investment as well as 4 Def EVs to give it some physical bulk.

About Azelf's Ability

Levitate is Azelf's only Ability and gives it immunity to Ground-type moves, as well as grounded entry hazards such as Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and Sticky Web.

About Azelf's Held Item

We're giving Azelf Weakness Policy for this build. Thanks to Dynamax, it can take a super effective hit from an opponent or its partner, which will boost its Attack and Special Attack by 2 stages.

Other Viable Moves

Psyshock Although weaker than Psychic, it allows Azelf to hit Special Walls on their weaker Defense stat.
Thunderbolt An alternative to Fire Blast that lets Azelf hit bulky and offensive Water-types.

How to Use Azelf Effectively

A Fast Special Attacker

While Azelf has equally high offensive stats, it's best used as a special attacker as it has access to Nasty Plot. Additionally, many of the special attacks it can learn boast higher base power than its physical counterparts.

Requires Good Team Support

Azelf's offensive presence is balanced by its rather low defenses and it can take very little punishment before going down. Careful teambuilding and choosing the right partners is vital to ensure Azelf can survive and deal as much damage as possible.

How to Build a Team with Azelf

Nasty Plot Attacker for Singles

Example Offensive Team

Lead Support Special Attacker Physical Attacker
Pokemon SWSH - Grimmsnarl ImageGrimmsnarl Pokemon SWSH - Azelf ImageAzelf Pokemon SWSH - Zacian ImageZacian

Grimmsnarl's ability to set up priority-boosted Reflect and Light Screen with its Prankster Ability makes it an invaluable lead support for Azelf. With dual screens essentially cutting physical and special attacks in half, Azelf can safely switch in and set up with Nasty Plot. It can then Dynamax and deal boosted damage with its STAB and coverage moves.

Zacian serves as this team's back up attacker, and like Azelf, appreciate dual screen support from Grimmnsarl so that it can safely set up with Swords Dance.

Doubles Dynamax + Weakness Policy

Example Balanced Doubles Team

Lead Attacker Helping Hand Support
Pokemon SWSH - Azelf ImageAzelf Pokemon SWSH - Dusclops ImageDusclops
Physical Attacker Back Up Support
Pokemon SWSH - Zekrom ImageZekrom Pokemon SWSH - Incineroar ImageIncineroar

The goal of this team is to activate Azelf's Weakness Policy using Dusclops' Shadow Sneak. Thanks to Dynamax, Azelf can take a super effective hit without losing too much health and also allows it to use its Max Moves immediately after it gets the Weakness Policy Boosts.

Zekrom fills the role of back up physical attacker and appreciates the terrain Azelf sets up, such as Psychic Terrain preventing opposing teams from using priority moves. Incineroar is the team's back up support and can be switched in after Dusclops is done providing Helping Hand support to Azelf.

Counters for Azelf

Weakness Pokemon Bug Image Pokemon Ghost Image Pokemon Dark Image

Hit it With a Priority Move

Azelf's high speed allows it to outrun most threats and hit first, but it's very susceptible to getting weakened or even immediately knocked out by a priority move.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Urshifu Single-Strike Style ImageUrshifu Single-Strike Style Ranking: ★★★★★
・Easily KOs Azelf with STAB Sucker Punch
Unseen Fist Ability lets it hit through Azelf's Detect
Moveset & Best Build for Urshifu Single-Strike Style
Pokemon SWSH - Cinderace ImageCinderace Ranking: ★★★★★
・Easily KOs Azelf with STAB Sucker Punch
・Becomes immune to Azelf's Psychic moves if it uses a Dark-type move thanks to its Libero Ability
Moveset & Best Build for Cinderace

Related Links

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Best Builds for Ranked Battle

All Competitive Builds for Ranked Battle

Competitive Guides for Pokemon Sword and Shield

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