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

Pokemon scarlet violet strongest Pokemon: blacked out images tease several Pokemon from the paldea region

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.

If you have already explored every corner of Paldea and picked up every pocket monster, you are probably on the hunt for the strongest Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet so you can get battling online and sweep some noobs. So we’ve gathered the toughest of the bunch, and put together this handy dandy guide so you know exactly who to catch and train. This list will be focused on new Pokémon introduced in Scarlet and Violet, and it will also not include legendary Pokémon, as their base stat spreads mean they are all fairly viable in competitive. Once you’ve checked out the list, get battle ready with our guides to Pokémon Scarlet and Violet items and the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet TM machine.

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

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 2022 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 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.
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

Perhaps one of the most unassuming new Pokémon, if you race passed Glimmora in Area Zero, maybe don’t be so quick to judge it. If you’re looking for a really frustrating wall, and one that can use status effects to its advantage as well, Glimmora absolutely has you covered. First of all, yes its ability gives it free toxic spikes whenever it gets hit, and that’s absolutely incredible. 

Glimmora also has an absolutely stonking 130 base special attack, 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 respectable 86 speed, 90defence, and its typing gives it six resistances, including fairy. It also gets access to sandstorm, so Glimmora could be a great buddy in doubles in if you’re running a Garchomp and need to protect them. 

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, paralysis, and it’s even immune 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 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 lower’s 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 defence, 91, special defence, and 84 speed. This thing is an absolute nuisance, and it has the type and move coverage to take full advantage of that.

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 it’s zero form Palafin has a measly 70 attack, 62 special defence, and 72 defence. But things are about to CHANGE if you swaps it out and comes  in.

Hero form Palafin has – wait for this – 160 attack, the same as legendary Pokémon like Unbound Hoopa or Regigas. That’s ten attack 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. 

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. 

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. 

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.