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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Murkow is surprisingly the online MVP

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Murkrow is handing out some serious beatdowns in the first season of ninth-generation ranked battles

Custom image of a Murkrow looking at the camera for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Murkrow guide

Following the first weekend of competitive play, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Murkrow has emerged as a surprise MVP, with variations on a specific build causing all kinds of mayhem in the early meta. We know what you’re thinking, “surely, they don’t mean Murkrow, the unevolved second-generation bird that until now has been essentially good for nothing”. We do mean it. It’s true.

The reason Murkrow is currently so popular in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is thanks to a combination of a specific held item, Murkrow’s ability, and a wicked moveset. Essentially, Murkrow is the new ultimate set-up Pokémon, using its hidden ability Prankster to prioritise status moves like Tailwind to double the speed of your team – especially useful in double battles – or even Sunny Day to help boost the power of Scarlet’s ancient paradox Pokémon.

You’re probably wondering how a Murkrow might survive a bout with something incredibly powerful like Miraidon or Iron Hands, and the answer is in another old-school gem. The eviolite, an item first introduced in the fifth generation of Pokémon, gifts unevolved monsters enhanced defence and special defence stats. This turns the frail bird into something of a tiny tank, soaking up hits while laying out the set-up for the rest of your team.

Murkrow is managing to catch out even professional Pokémon enthusiasts like former world champion Wolfe Glicke, with the streamer taking to Twitter to announce “just lost to Murkrow lol”. As the only Prankster Tailwind-setter available in-game as of writing, it doesn’t look like the crowing chaos-bringer is going anywhere anytime soon.

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There you have it, all you need to know about Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Murkrow emergence. For more tips on your Paldean trip, check out our Pokémon Scarlet and Violet gym leaders and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet elite four.