15 Best False Swipe Pokémon From All Games (Ranked)

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).

False Swipe is a move synonymous with Pokémon for a lot of players.

If you’re trying to complete the Pokédex or hunt for shinies, then you need a well-built False Swiper.

Lucky for you, I’ve done the hard work of picking out the best candidates. All you have to do is look at the list and pick one. Much harder than the actual creature hunt!


15. Escavalier

Escavalier from Pokémon anime

Escavalier is one of the more basic False Swipers out there, meaning you don’t see it all that much.

The point that it can perform the role acceptably well remains, though. It learns False Swipe naturally, which is always a quality of life bonus.

More importantly, though, it has good defense and attack stats. Meaning its False Swipes are going to hit harder than a lot of others.

You have much better options available to you, but you can use an Escavalier if you’re working with limited resources.


14. Sirfetch’d

Sirfetch’d Pokémon anime screenshot

Sirfetch’d walks around with the kind of drip we all wish we had.

How it pulls off looking so stylish while sporting a unibrow, I will never know.

Farfetch’d has never been much of a threat. And that honestly hasn’t changed. Even with the introduction of its Galarian form and new typing.

It does learn False Swipe, though. And it does look unbelievably stylish, which is enough to work its way onto any list of mine.


13. Parasect

Parasect from Pokémon anime

Bet you didn’t plan on seeing an OG like this on the list.

Did you know that Parasect is infected with the same brain-controlling fungus that serves as inspiration for The Last of Us? Well, now you do.

I never gave Parasect a second glance, and I bet you didn’t either.

That doesn’t change the fact that this crab makes a fine False Swipe user.

It has access to all sorts of status condition moves, which gives a Pokémon a massive edge up as a catcher.

Parasect does have one particularly devastating weakness, though. Fire.

There isn’t a Pokémon alive that’s as weak to fire as Parasect. So if you’re catching fire types, leave this one in the box. Otherwise, you’re going to be down a Parasect, but up a delicious plate of sautéed crab.


12. Shedinja

Shedinja from Pokémon anime

Shedinja? A False Swiper?

I must be mad, I hear you say.

Despite your feeble opinion, this Pokémon is a spirit animal of mine and deserves some love.

If you’re unaware of Shedinja’s … special status, then let me enlighten you.

It has 1 HP. Just one.

It’s also immune to almost every type of attack in the game. While there are a handful of moves that can get through its defenses, it’s a small enough list for you to work around.

The fact that it’s so hard to KO Shedinja is what makes it such a great False Swipe choice. If you pick your matchups right, you can leave it on the battlefield indefinitely and throw Ultra balls to your heart’s content.


11. Venusaur

Venusaur from Pokémon anime

There’s something dirty about relegating one of the original three to a False Swiper, which is partially why Venusaur is so low on the list here.

That doesn’t change the fact that it’s essentially a better Parasect.

Venusaur is a chunky boy that can absorb some serious punishment, even from the dreaded fire types.

It has access to plenty of status condition moves, with a stats spread that makes it perfectly viable as your catching companion.

Whether or not you want to force a Pokémon as prestigious as Venusaur to this status, that is up to you.


10. Scizor

Scizor Pokémon anime screenshot

Scizor is one of the coolest-looking Pokémon that I never got to use as a kid (on account of not having any friends, but we won’t go into that).

Scizor has the benefit of being steel/grass, like Escavalier.

Unlike Escavalier, though, it has a great set of stats that make it much more effective in battle.

It also has access to the technician ability. This adds an extra bit of oomph to its weaker moves, including False Swipe.


9. Zangoose

Zangoose from Pokémon anime

Zangoose is completely useless in almost every way.

Yet it does find some redeeming qualities in how good of a False Swiper it is. It’s so good in that role, in fact, that it’s most trainers’ first experience with building a “catching Pokémon”.

Think of it as “baby’s first False Swiper.”

It doesn’t get access to status condition moves, which is a shame. But it does get a STAB bonus on False Swipe.

Combine that with a surprisingly solid base attack stat, and you’ve got yourself one of the most effective, albeit simplest, False Swipers to take with you on your Pokédex filling adventures.


8. Terrakion

Terrakion from Pokémon anime

Terrakion is the first legendary to appear on the list. But it won’t be the last (trust me on this; I can justify it).

Terrakion is the strongest of the Swords of Justice, all of which can learn False Swipe.

And Terrakion just so happens to be the one with the highest attack, which is why it wins out over the other two.

The lack of STAB and status inflictors doesn’t matter when you’ve got an attack stat as high as Terrakion’s. Although, there are still better options if you’re looking to optimize your catching.


7. Garchomp

Garchomp from Pokémon anime

There’s an argument to be had about whether or not Garchomp is the greatest Pokémon ever made.

It’s a force of nature at the competitive level. So it should be no surprise to see it on a list like this.

You don’t even need to take advantage of Swords Dance, Dragon Dance, or Garchomp’s dragon typing to be effective. All you need is that ludicrously high attack stat.

It doesn’t inflict status conditions. But if you give another Pokémon that job, then Garchomp easily becomes one of the best False Swipe options in the entire series.


6. Absol

Absol Pokémon anime screenshot

Absol holds a special place in my heart thanks to its involvement in the old Mystery Dungeon games, so I tend to jump on any chance I get to use one.

Absol is a much better False Swiper than most Pokémon on this list. But falls short of making the top five.

That being said, it can learn Thunder Wave and Mean Look. Which are invaluable for catching a lot of particularly tricky Pokémon (I’m looking at you, Entei).

If you’re like me and have a fondness for Pokémon that are prominent in non-mainstream titles, then Absol should be one of your go-to options when looking for a swiper.


5. Aegislash

Aegislash from Pokémon anime

Like Garchomp, Aegislash is a competitive power-house that just so happens to be a great False Swipe contender.

Steel/ghost typing is phenomenal when it comes to battle.

But it does suffer that all-too-common fire weakness.

Aside from that, Aegislash really doesn’t have to worry about anything in terms of defense. It has one of the highest base attack and defense stat in the series.

So you can go straight into its shield form after your False Swipe, and weather whatever storm ensues.

Also, is it just me or is there a theme of “knightly” Pokémon making for great False Swipers?

Escavalier, Sirfetch’d, Terrakion, and now Aegislash. Coincidence? Probably, not definitely.


4. Pangoro

Pangoro from Pokémon anime

Let me preface this by saying that whoever thought of making a Pokémon designed after a giant angry panda deserves a raise.

They also deserve a raise because they created one of the best False Swipers ever to grace the series. Even better, they created one that is readily available in Sword and Shield.

Pangoro doesn’t have the strongest False Swipe in the game, the best stats, nor can it inflict status conditions.

What it does have, though, is Scrappy.

Scrappy is Pangoro’s hidden ability. It allows the user to hit ghost types with normal type moves. In other words, Pangoro can do something that no other Pokémon on this list can.

Catching ghosts tends to be a big hurdle for a lot of shiny hunting enthusiasts, and Pangoro blows through that hurdle in a rage befitting its design.


3. Zacian

Zacian from Pokémon anime

I told you there was another legendary on this list, but hear me out.

Sword’s signature Pokémon is easily the greatest False Swiper for the Galar region. The reason for this is simple:


Zacian is already far above the level of most wild Pokémon when you catch it, and that only grows as you use it in your post-game endeavors.

It has great stats that make it bulky. But more importantly, it can bring all but the bulkiest of wild Pokémon to 1HP regardless of level.

Those that do take a hit fall victim to Zacian knowing Swords Dance.

Zacian is ready to use out of the box, making it the most convenient False Swiper to use by a country mile. Definitely in Sw/Sh.


2. Gallade

Gallade from Pokémon anime

Gallade is my favorite Pokémon. Full stop.

Its design is unbelievably elegant, and those sword arms just remind me of something like a Pokémon version of Assassin’s Creed.

Also, another “knightly” Pokémon. I can’t be the only one seeing the connections, right?

Joking aside, Gallade has been the go-to catcher of most shiny hunters, myself included. It’s typing is as solid as they come, and its attack stat makes it capable of one-hit False Swiping most regular Pokémon in the game.

It also learns Hypnosis, which checks the status conditions box.

Probably the best False Swiper that has access to status afflictions, which is why it’s so popular in the current metagame.


1. Smeargle

Smeargle Pokémon anime screenshot

OK I have to admit, Smeargle is the best False Swiper (especially with access to status ailment moves).

If you’ve never built a Smeargle before, consider yourself lucky.

The Pokémon is an artist. And as an artist, it presents itself as a blank canvas with infinite potential.

It has a unique move called Sketch. When you use this move, you copy the last move used by the attacker. Not for the battle, but permanently.

This lets you put any move you want onto a Smeargle, making it the best False Swiper by default. Just get your Venusaur and Gallade into a double battle with Smeargle, and attack your own Pokémon until you’re done.

It’s cruel, but so is art, so deal with it.

Browse: Video Games