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Strongest Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet

The strongest Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet are shaking up the VGC already, so get ahead of the competition with our full guide to the best beasts of the bunch.

Strongest Pokemon candidates Flutter Mane, Annihilape, and Ceruledge in front of a pink background

Who are the strongest Pokémon? You know the saying… ‘Gotta catch ‘em all’ is the calling card of Pokémon, a catchphrase and also a set of instructions telling you exactly what you need to do before you’ve even started playing the game. So what do you do once you have caught them all? Well, you make them fight to the death (or faint, whatever), and that’s where the strongest Pokémon come in.

Mind you, before you can make use of the strongest Pokémon, you need to fill out that Pokédex and catch ’em all. This is why we’re here to tell you how to evolve Charcadet, how to evolve Pawmo, how to evolve Riolu, and how to evolve Primeape. If that’s not enough for you, we can tell you all about Ralts’ evolution, Scyther’s evolution, Murkrow’s evolution, Bisharp’s evolution, Shellder’s evolution, Rockruff’s evolution, Rellor evolution, Gloom’s evolution, Dreepy’s evolution, and Floette’s evolution.

Let’s dive into our guide to the strongest Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet. 

We want to give you the best chance of winning in competitive matches, though we have a specific focus on newly introduced Pokémon in this list.

Strongest Pokémon 

Pokemon scarlet violet strongest Pokemon: key art shows the angry monkey Pokemon Annhilape

Annihilape – Fighting/Ghost 

Abilities 

  • Vital Spirit – The Pokémon cannot be asleep while having this ability
  • Inner Focus – This Pokémon will not flinch. Does not prevent flinching with Focus Punch. Also prevents stats from being lowered by the ability Intimidate
  • (Hidden Ability) Defiant – Attack is raised by two stages when the Pokémon has its stats lowered. Doesn’t work on self-inflicted stat drops or drops from allies

It’s the year of our Arceus 2024 and yet here we are, talking about how competitively viable a Mankey evolution is. Presenting the best kind of regional evolution, Annihilape is such a great way to update the monster, as its Pokédex entry suggests that a Primeape got so angry it died, only for its rage to bring it back as a ghost. I love this one so much.  

The type coverage of fighting and ghost Pokémon make Annhilape a threat to several big ‘mon, including normal types like Blissey and ice types like Cetitan and Baxcalibur. It gains STAB on moves like cross chop and stomping tantrum, and its signature ghost move rage fist gets more powerful the more Annihilape gets hit. Coupled with its impressive base 115 attack stat and a couple of complimentary abilities, this monkey could really sweep through some teams.

If you happen to come across Annhilape, it’s a good idea to look at our fighting Pokémon weakness and ghost Pokémon weakness guides to discover its strengths and weaknesses.
Pokemon scarlet violet strongest Pokemon: key art shows the rock poison pokemon Glimmora

Glimmora – rock/poison 

Abilties 

  • Toxic debris – Scatters poison spikes at the feet of the opposing team when the Pokémon takes damage from physical moves 
  • (Hidden ability) Corrosion – The Pokémon can poison the target even if it’s a steel or poison type

This is an entry that many trainers are likely to overlook the first time they run through Area Zero, and we can understand that, what with Glimmora’s unassuming appearance, but trust us when we say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover here. If you want a creature that can use status effects to its advantage as well as provide a frustrating wall, perhaps this is the Pokémon for you. Let’s just look at its toxic debris ability. Anytime Glimmora takes damage, it emits toxic spikes that can cause havoc for the opposing team.

Let’s not forget about Glimmora’s absolutely stonking 130 base special attack stat, one of the highest of any new Pokémon in the game. Coupled with STAB moves like power gem and sludge wave, this thing can do some serious damage. It also has a respectable 86 speed and 90 defense, as well as six resistance thanks to its typing, including fairy. It also gets access to sandstorm, so Glimmora could be a great buddy in doubles if you’re running a Garchomp and need to protect them. 

Understanding how to beat Glimmora is half the battle should you face one, so consult our poison Pokémon weakness and rock Pokémon weakness guides to get the upper hand.

Pokemon scarlet violet strongest Pokemon: key art shows the steel ghost pokemon Gholdengo

Gholdengo – steel/ghost 

Ability 

  • Good as gold – A body of pure, solid gold gives the Pokémon full immunity to other Pokémon’s status moves 

Yes, you read that right. The silly golden cheese string boy is completely immune to poison, confusion, sleep, burns, and paralysis (bad news for electric Pokémon), with further immunity to stat changes caused by things like intimidate or screech. Gholdengo is also immune to normal, fighting, and poison moves, with nine resistances on top of that, including fairy. This thing is absolutely insane, so you’d better get to finding those Ghimmighoul coins! 

In terms of offense, steel and ghost are great types for coverage, and Gholdengo has access to flash cannon, shadow ball, and the new unique move make it rain (yes, really) that lowers the user’s special attack, but earns the trainer extra money after the battle. This is all supplemented with a healthy spread of a whopping 133 special attack, 95 defense, 91, special defense, and 84 speed. This thing is an absolute nuisance, and it has the type and move coverage to take full advantage of that.

If you face off against Gholdengo, check out our steel Pokémon weakness guide to see how to defeat it.

key art shows the dolphin pokemon Palafin

Palafin – water 

Ability 

  • Zero to hero – The Pokémon transforms into its hero form when it switches out 

It took Pokémon so long to give us a dolphin, and I think most fans will agree that we weren’t quite expecting… this. Paladin is friend-shaped, it looks cute, and you might think it wasn’t worth your time. Well, that would be true if it wasn’t for its incredible ability and second form. In its zero form, Palafin has a measly 70 attack, 62 special defense, and 72 defense. But things are about to CHANGE if you swap it out and bring it back in.

Hero form Palafin has – wait for this – 160 attack, the same as legendary Pokémon like Unbound Hoopa or Regigas. That makes its attack stat ten higher than Rayquaza! This thing is a beast, with its design incredibly fitting of its superhero persona, and I love it so much. It also gains access to flip turn, a water-type move that swaps place with a Pokémon in your party, so Palafin can power up and change like Clark Kent in a phonebooth. 

Make sure you learn how to ride the waves with our water Pokémon weakness guide. We can also tell you how to evolve Finizen if you want to get your hands on Palafin.

Strongest Pokemon: the ghost Pokemon Ceruledge is shown against a background of the region of Paldea from Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Ceruledge – fire/ghost

Ability

  • Flash Fire – This Pokémon is immune to fire-type moves and, upon being hit with one, will receive an increase in its attack stat
  • Weak Armour – If a physical attack hits this Pokémon, its defense is lowered one stage, but its speed is increased by two stages

There is an argument to be made for either of Charcadet’s evolutions as both Armarouge and Ceruledge are fantastic picks (read our how to evolve Charcadet guide to learn how to get them). However, Ceruledge has the…edge, in our opinion, thanks to a slightly higher speed stats and that whopping 125 physical attack.

Ceruledge also has the signature move bitter blade, which recovers 50% of the damage dealt to your opponent. Fire and ghost make for great offensive typing, but we would normally stick with flash fire as an ability to gain another immunity. Of course, fire is weak to a lot of battle hazards, so Ceruledge is best paired with the heavy-duty boots in competitive. But if you’re just exploring Paldea and want to deal serious pain, use the held item life orb for extra damage, then recover the health anyway with bitter blade.

Don’t forget, if you need to put out the flames, our fire Pokémon weakness guide can tell you how.

Pokemon scarlet violet strongest Pokemon: key art shows the robot penguin pokemon Iron Bundle

Iron Bundle – water/ice

Ability 

  • Quark Drive  – Increases the user’s highest stat by 30% while electric terrain is activated or if the booster energy is attached 

Look at this fun little guy. Of all the Pokémon, Delibird ended up getting such a significant upgrade that Iron Bundle is now in the uber category of Smogon’s competitive rankings. This little boy is banned from regular play, it’s too powerful! It’s probably something to do with it having a combination of 124 special attack, 136 speed, and the ability to improve whichever is higher with the ability quark drive. 

Add on top of this great STAB moves like hydro pump, ice beam, and even the move free-dry, which is super effective against water types and can leave the target frozen. There are very few Pokémon in the game who can outright resist either STAB type moves from Iron Bundle, and that means it is a threat to any Pokémon, and it’s probably faster than them to boot. Watch out, this Robo-penguin is coming down the chimney, and he’s bringing more than just gifts. 

To learn how to melt the ice, check out our ice Pokémon weakness guide.

Pokemon scarlet violet strongest Pokemon: key art shows the ancient ghost Pokemon flutter mane

Flutter Mane – ghost/fairy

Ability 

  • Protosynthesis – Increases the user’s highest stat by 30% while sunny day is activated or if the booster energy is attached

The paradox form of Misdreavus, Flutter Mane, is one of the best-looking Paradox Pokémon, and it just might be the most powerful. Sorry Roaring Moon fans, but this thing has some power. Flutter Mane balances a wild stat split, with 135 special attack, special defence, and speed, with 55 HP, attack, and defence. That makes this one hell of a glass cannon, but it can take some special hits at least.

Ghost and fairy are great offensive types, and Flutter Mane has access to great moves like moon blast and shadow ball that will make great use of STAB and the booster energy bonus. It also has an immunity to normal, fighting, and dragon-type moves, so Flutter Wing can switch into some huge threats and get in some hits before it’s ultimately killed. It won’t last long, but if you can focus on speed and power, Flutter Mane can do some huge damage before it’s gone. 

To combat the fairy side of Flutter Mane, take a look at our fairy Pokémon weakness guide.

Strongest Pokémon: the pokemon Walking Wake appears against a blurred background

Walking Wake – water/dragon

Ability 

  • Protosynthesis – Increases the user’s highest stat by 30% while sunny day is activated or if the booster energy is attached

Game Freak added this beast after release, although hints within the game had players guessing. A paradox form of fan-favorite Suicune, Walking Wake is a monstrous version of the legendary beast, and the changes to stats and type are a major threat.

With 125 special attack and 109 speed, Walking Wake can break down a lot of defensive Pokémon, especially when used with choice specs. Double this with a timid nature to make the most of its speed, and stab attacks like draco meteor cause havoc for major checks like Dragonite, Dragapult, and Roaring Moon. It also has access to the signature move Hyrdo Steam, making this a formidable threat.

To combat the dragon half of this ‘mon, check out our dragon Pokémon weakness guide.

Now obviously that isn’t all of the strong Pokémon in Paldea, so expect us to come back and update this list as we have more fun playing online and experimenting with teams. If you just want to have a look at some more fluffy pals though, be sure to check out our guide to the best gen 9 Pokémon next, then maybe take a look at the new Pokémon game, we even have a Pokémon Legends: Z-A release date guide to keep you up to date.