The Best Competitive Galar Pokémon Worth Trying

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Galar brought with it a number of competitive Pokémon that we haven’t seen since Gen V.

Game Freak took its foot off the breaks when it came to shaking up the meta, which came as a breath of fresh air compared to the last few years of VGC play.

In celebration of just how well Gen VIII has done in this regard, I’ve put together a list of the better competitive Galar Pokémon out there for your team.


10. Galarian Darmanitan

Galarian Darmanitan / Pokémon Sword Battle

Galarian Darmanitan was something of a surprise success coming out of Galar.

I know I didn’t expect it to be any decent competitively, but here we are.

Galarian Darmanitan is a phenomenal early-game wall-breaker.

Its great Attack and decent Speed, combined with a STAB Icicle Crash, make it a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. It also gets access to Earthquake and Flare Blitz to deal with Toxapex and Steel-types, respectively.

It does get out-sped by some of the more common Choice Scarf users in the meta right now. But in terms of Galar-exclusive Pokémon, it doesn’t get much better.


9. Grimmsnarl

Grimmsnarl in Pokémon Sword and Shield

Grimmsnarl is great for setting up screens.

Its typing, combined with inherent bulk, makes it tough enough to eat up most OHKOing attacks.

Combine that with Prankster and a decent move pool to pull from, and you have one of the best support Pokémon that Galar has to offer.

Granted, Grimmsnarl doesn’t have much use beyond that – and you’re going to be swapping it out once your screens are set up.

On the plus side though, that means you don’t have to look at this monstrosity of a Pokémon for very long during a battle.


8. Cinderace

Cinderace Screenshot from Pokémon Shield

I’m only including two of the three starters on this list, although all of them have a base stat of 530.

This is down to personal preference and stat distribution, so if you disagree, well, here we are.

First up is Cinderace.

Like every other fire starter in history, Cinderace has great ATK and SPD stats. Combine that with access to Fire-type STAB moves, and you have a recipe for a perfect physical sweeper.

With the right setup, a Life Orb Dynamax Cinderace can eat through a team unlike any other Pokémon in the Dex right now, making it one of the best competitive Pokémon native to Galar.


7. Inteleon

Inteleon in Pokémon Sword and Shield

We’re skipping Rillaboom and moving straight onto Inteleon.

Inteleon is here for the same reason Cinderace is. The only difference between the two is that Inteleon is a Sp.ATK sweeper, rather than a physical one.

It also gets Water-type STAB moves rather than fire ones.

Now, there’s a very real argument to be made that Cinderace is the better of the two.

However, I’m giving the edge to Inteleon for one reason: it has a higher base Special Attack than Cinderace’s base Attack.

Granted, it’s not by much. But it’s enough for me to distinguish between the two of them.


6. Corviknight

Corviknight Screnshot / Pokémon SWSH

Coviknight is a phenomenal Pokémon.

In fact, with the exception of one base 600, it’s the strongest non-legendary Mon to come out of Galar.

We rarely get a Pokémon that effectively blends both offense with defense, but that’s exactly what Corviknight does.

Its typing and move pool, combined with its defensive stat distribution, make it a hard counter to a lot of popular Pokemon in the SWSH meta.

It can outspeed Galar’s fastest Choice Scarfers, break through some of the strongest walls, and absorb attacks from the meta’s hardest hitters.

It’s an overall powerhouse – and a staple of many championship-winning teams.


5. Regidrago

Regidrago in Pokémon Sword and Shield

The next four entries on this list are all legendaries, so that should tell you exactly why they’re here.

There are other Galar legendaries that I haven’t included, such as Calyrex, because if I did they would take up the entire list.

Starting off, I’m taking a look at Regidrago. While not as good as its electric cousin (more on him later), it is still a base 580 Pokémon that’s exclusive to SWSH, although not base-game Galar.

It has decent stats, decent typing, and an alright move pool. Admittedly, compared to other Pokémon in its tier, it’s not great.

But overall, it’s well worth using.


4. Zacian

Zacian Screenshot from Pokémon Sword

Box art Pokémon always dominate their generations.

And Sword/Shield is no exception to this rule.

In terms of Galar’s regional legendaries, I’m only covering Zacian and Zamazenta.

Eternatus, while stronger, hasn’t quite found its place in the meta, so I’m ignoring it.

Zacian, as all Pokémon Sword owners will know, is a beast of an Attacker.

It can single-handedly carry you through the Battle Tower.

This power carries over to the competitive circuit where it’s banned from ranked matches.

This shouldn’t be a surprise, given its legend status, but it speaks volumes for how powerful it is.


3. Zamazenta

Zamazenta Screenshot from Pokémon SWSH Camp

Zamazenta and Zacian are interchangeable on this list.

Neither one is better than the other.

Both have the same base stats, with Zacian getting an Attack buff from its ability and signature item, while Zamazenta gets the same in the form of defense.

Arguably, Zamazenta is slightly weaker because of how many great defensive Pokémon there are in the meta right now.

But in terms of Galar-exclusives, it’s easily the best at absorbing damage.


2. Regieleki

Regieleki in Pokémon Sword and Shield

Game Freak went a bit nuts when the team was designing Regieleki.

Not only is it one of the best competitive Galar Pokémon, but it’s also one of the best competitive Pokémon overall.

So much so that World Champion WolfyVGC has seen massive success using it.

There’s one main reason for that, and that’s Regieleki’s speed.

It has a base speed of 200. Yes, 200.

That makes it the fastest Pokémon in the world, and by a good 20 points, too.

Combine that with both 100 in Special Attack and Physical Attack, and you have one of the best sweepers ever seen in Pokémon, never mind just the SWSH era.


1. Dragapult

Dragapult Screenshot from Pokémon Shield

Dragapult gets my number one spot for a few different reasons.

While Regieleki sees more play and success, Dragapult isn’t a legendary. So I hold it in higher regard.

While it’s not as dominant as it once was, Dragapult is still a mainstay of the Pokémon meta.

It’s this generation’s Garchomp or Hydreigon. And in line with those other Dragons, it’s got fantastic Speed, Attack, and Special Attack.

To balance that, Dragapult is pretty squishy.

However, so long as you’re running it with Choice Scarf, nothing should be around long enough to get a hit off on it.

It’s not the strongest competitive Galarian Pokémon of choice, but it is the strongest non-legendary from this gen.

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