This Unexpected Pokemon is a Powerhouse in Pokemon Sword and Shield's Competitive Play

An unexpected Pokemon has become a powerhouse in early Pokemon Sword and Shield competitive play. Pokemon Sword and Shield's first competition is starting this Friday and we're highlighting some of the Pokemon that you may want on your team. The "Galar Beginnings" competition is a Single Battle competition that lets players use any Pokemon from the Galar Pokedex, except for Mew, Zacian, Zamazenta, and Eternatus. Players are scouring the Galar region looking for good Pokemon to include on their team, and one that has risen to the top in early competitive play is the Galarian Darmanitan.

Galarian Darmanitan is one of several existing Pokemon to get a new Galarian form, but players are looking at the Pokemon mostly because of its new Ability: Gorilla Tactics. Gorilla Tactics acts as an innate Choice Band, as it increases its Attack stat by 30% but allows it to only use one move for an entire battle. The key to Gorilla Tactics is that players can also give Darmanitan a Choice Band or Choice Scarf as its held item, which gives it another 50% boost to Attack without any drawback. By stacking a Gorilla Tactics Darmanitan with a Choice Band, players ultimately can boost Darmanitan's Attack by 195%. By giving Darmanitan the right move set, players can use Darmanitan to knock out most Pokemon currently used in competitive play in one to two hits.


Darmanitan's biggest weakness is that it will take a lot of damage from various entry hazards, so players need a Pokemon like Corviknight to help clear those away to provide Darmanitan with a lot of room to work. Players will also need to equip Darmanitan with a diverse moveset that can counter Pokemon resistant to Ice-type attacks, just in case players lead with something like Toxapex.

Are you surprised that Darmanitan is so powerful? Let us know in the comment section or find me on Twitter at @CHofferCBus to chat all things Pokemon!