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pokemon scarlet and violet selfie regulation g
Screenshot via Dot Esports

Best Pokémon for competitive Scarlet and Violet: Team planning guide

You might not get to Master Ball Rank without one of these.

There are hundreds of Pokémon to choose from in Scarlet and Violet when you’re planning a competitive team

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Game Freak did a solid job balancing this generation to give players the freedom to make many creative choices for a competitive team, but there are a few Pokémon that rise to the top of the pack. Keep reading if you want to know why these Pokémon are so good, what roles they play on a competitive team, and our recommendations for moves, abilities, and held items.

Best competitive Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet for Regulation G (Season 18)

Season 18 of competitive Pokémon Scarlet and Violet battles brings with it a number of previously banned Pokémon who are now allowed as “restricted” Pokémon, meaning you can use them, but only one per team. This drastically changes the meta, with virtually every competitive team now including at least one of these restricted Pokémon. We’ll go into some of the best while also talking about the best non-restricted Pokémon who continue to find a lot of play in this new era.

Note that this guide is intended for the standard competitive doubles format. Some of these Pokémon may not be as viable in competitive singles.


miraidon pokemon scarlet and violet
Miradon in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Screenshot via Dot Esports

Miraidon is one of the restricted Pokémon that are now viable under Regulation G, and the reasons for its restricted status certainly show. Its incredibly high base Speed and Special Attack stats combined with the defensive Electric/Dragon typing make it a major threat as a sweeper. Its sole ability, Hadron Engine, also immediately sets up electric terrain, which only adds to its damage potential.

Since Miraidon can’t change its ability, building around it is the best choice. An item like Choice Specs lets you throw on a number of damaging moves like Draco Meteor, Dazzling Gleam, and Miraidon’s signature attack Electro Drift to jump into the fight and immediately start doing huge damage. Volt Switch is essential to ensure Miraidon can get off the field quickly while still getting a hit in if things aren’t looking good.

Flutter Mane

flutter mane pokemon scarlet and violet
Flutter Mane in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Screenshot via Dot Esports

Flutter Mane has been a mainstay in competitive Pokémon ever since Paradox Pokémon were allowed to participate. Its Ghost/Fairy typing is rare and gives Flutter Mane only a couple of weaknesses while it has a whopping three immunities to Fighting, Normal, and Dragon-type moves. It has equally high base Speed, Special Attack, and Special Defense stats, making it a premier sweeper with just enough bulk to not be a glass cannon like Chien-Pao.

Since Flutter Mane’s base Speed is already so high that it outpaces most of its competitors, it’s best to focus on further boosting its Special Attack with a held item like Life Orb or Choice Specs. Its ability Protosynthesis may make you want to give Flutter Mane a Booster Energy, but its ability is activated in sunny weather, so pairing Flutter Mane with a Drought-ability Pokémon like Torkoal or Groudon means you can take advantage of that extra Speed without blowing a held item that could be reserved for something else. Standard powerful Ghost and Fairy Special attacks like Shadow Ball, Dazzling Gleam, and Moonblast will be more than enough to knock some Pokémon out.

Gouging Fire

gouging fire pokemon scarlet and violet
Gouging Fire in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Image via OgerJoe Gaming

One of the newest Paradox Pokémon has very promising Attack and Defense stats that make it a prime candidate for a bulky damage dealer. The fact that Gouging Fire is a Dragon-type Pokémon with no weakness to Fairy-type moves due to its dual Fire-typing makes it that much more promising.

Gouging Fire has the same Protosynthesis ability as Flutter Mane, meaning the same advice about either using Booster Energy or pairing it with a Drought-ability Pokémon still applies, only Gouging Fire’s higher Attack and Defense stats mean the alternative to Booster Energy as a held item should probably be something like Choice Band, Assault Vest, or even Leftovers. Its signature move, Burning Bulwark, is just Protect with the possibility to Burn the opponent on contact, so that’s a must. Gouging Fire’s bulk also means you have time to set up a Dragon Dance, making physical Dragon and Fire-type attacks like Flare Blitz and Dragon Claw pretty scary.


incineroar in pokemon scarlet and violet
Incineroar in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Screenshot via Dot Esports

Incineroar, one of the most picked supports in recent generations of competitive Pokémon, was finally added to Scarlet and Violet with the Indigo Disk DLC. There are several reasons you see Incineroar on teams consistently once you enter the ranked battles ladder. It has solid defensive and offensive stats, its Fire/Dark-type combo gives it six type resistances on top of a Psychic-type immunity, and it learns the priority move Parting Shot which can pair with the Intimidate ability to immediately neuter an opponent’s damage potential. Those are just some of the most obvious standouts.

For an optimal build, we already mentioned Intimidate and Parting Shot, but other solid moves include Fake Out and Will-O-Wisp for support while Knock Off or Incineroar’s signature move Darkest Lariat are top contenders for its primary offensive attack. A Tera Type of Water or Psychic can block an attempt to exploit one of Incineroar’s weaknesses.


ogerpon pokemon scarlet and violet
Ogerpon in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Screenshot via Dot Esports

Ogerpon continues to terrorize competitive play after its addition in the Teal Mask DLC. This is a highly customizable Pokémon since its various mask items can dramatically change Ogerpon’s battle potential by switching its typing, its Terastallization, and the stat that’s boosted through its signature ability Embody Aspect.

The fact that pure Grass, Grass/Rock, Grass/Fire, and Grass/Water Ogerpon each have differing build metas that are all usable to some extent in competitive play makes creating a brief build recommendation for this Pokémon difficult. Ogerpon’s signature attack Ivy Cudgel is a must, especially because of how it adapts to the mask it’s holding. Spiky Shield is a great Protect-like move to keep it alive, and other support moves like Follow Me, Encore, and Spikes are quite effective in keeping the enemy team distracted and occupied.


kyogre pokemon scarlet and violet
Kyogre in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Screenshot via Dot Esports

The big whale from Hoenn is here to take its Drizzle throne back from the usurper Pelipper. Kyogre is a bulky monster that also manages a terrifying Special Attack stat. It’s one of the only Pokémon here with a single type, Water, which should make sense as Water types are effective defensive types on their own.

A combination of Calm Mind and Kyogre’s signature move Origin Pulse can be devastating for an enemy team with major contenders on this list like Incineroar, Chi-Yu, and Ursaluna Bloodmoon. Giving it Weakness Policy can take advantage of its bulk to make it hit even harder, or Clear Amulet can prevent your Calm Mind’s boosts from being taken away.

Ursaluna Bloodmoon

ursaluna bloodmoon in pokemon scarlet and violet
Ursaluna Bloodmoon in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Screenshot via Dot Esports

The big bear continues to dominate in competitive play ever since the addition of its Blood Moon form in the Teal Mask DLC. It would almost be worth using Ursaluna for the Blood Moon move alone since its 140 base power and 100% accuracy make it scary to even the tankiest of Pokémon, but its massive base Special Attack, Defense, and HP stats make it absolutely worth including this Pokémon on almost any current team.

If you’re worried about Flutter Mane, this is one of the best checks, since Ursaluna Bloodmoon’s Mind’s Eye ability means any Normal and Fighting-type attacks you teach it can hit Ghost types. You can build it like a tank with Leftovers and Calm Mind or like a full-on attacker with Choice Specs and a whole lot of Blood Moon spamming.


chi-yu pokemon scarlet and violet
Chi-Yu in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Screenshot via Dot Esports

There are no wrong answers when it comes to putting a Treasures of Ruin Pokémon on your competitive team, except Wo-Chien. The difference is that Chien-Pao and Ting-Lu both received some checks and alternatives in Regulation G while Chi-Yu still feels just as strong. Its Fire/Dark-typing makes it a great answer to threats like Calyrex-Ice and, while Chi-Yu isn’t the fastest, it’s still pretty quick and hits like a truck with its high base Special Attack.

If anything, Regulation G adds more options to playing with Chi-Yu, like Palkia Origin and its Telepathy ability which could pair well with Chi-Yu running a move like Lava Plume. Choice Specs and Choice Scarf both work as held items, depending on whether you’d prefer to prioritize it doing the most damage or ensuring it moves first, but if you gave it an item like Life Orb, you could also teach it Nasty Plot and burn through your opponent’s Pokémon with attacks like Heat Wave, Dark Pulse, and Tera Blast paired with a creative Tera Type like Grass or Water.


eternatus pokemon scarlet and violet
Eternatus in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Screenshot via Dot Esports

The Dragon/Poison-typing of Eternatus makes it very threatening to some of the meta’s stronger contenders. This Pokémon also has a hearty base HP stat to go along with high base Speed and Special Attack to create a bulky attacker that can only be classified by those who have played against it as “annoying.”

Despite Eternatus’s signature move Dynamax Cannon losing its titular purpose from Pokémon Sword and Shield, it still hits hard. Pair it with Sludge Bomb and some support/stat-boosting moves to take advantage of its staying power like Agility, Recover, and Toxic Spikes, and Eternatus is well worth the restricted slot on your team. Life Orb and Power Herb are popular choices for held items that can bolster its damage potential.


calyrex-shadow pokemon scarlet and violet
Calyrex Shadow in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Screenshot via Dot Esports

Now that Regulation G is here, there are few Pokémon players dread more than Calyrex-Shadow and Calyrex-Ice. Of all the Pokémon mentioned here, this one is just plain broken. Both forms of Calyrex when paired with Glastrier or Spectrier have two abilities, Calyrex’s Unnerve ability which prevents the enemy team from using berry items, and Glastrier/Spectrier’s ability which raises the Pokémon’s Attack/Special Attack when it knocks out an opposing Pokémon. Combine this with unbelievable base stats and here’s an offensive powerhouse that can take some hits too.

The strategy with Calyrex is different depending on whether you’re using the Shadow or Ice form. Calyrex-Ice is incredibly slow and is regularly given Trick Room or paired with a Trick Room user like Indeedee-F, while Calyrex-Shadow is one of the fastest Pokémon in the game with adversely lower defensive stats that make it more necessary to protect. Both forms have signature moves, Astral Barrage and Glacial Lance, that only make Calyrex even more broken with 120 base power and 100% accuracy.

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Nickolas Davis
Freelance writer at Dot Esports. Covering all topics gaming, travel, politics, and music-related since 2021. Also occasionally writes music and fiction under the pen name Saz. Published in Madness Heart Press, The Chamber Magazine, and The NoSleep Podcast.