The suspension of the 2020 PokÃ©mon competitive circuit might have slowed down VGC momentum, but thereâ€™s still plenty of places to test your competitive might - from ranked battles online to community tournaments by fans.
But what PokÃ©mon should be on your radar if youâ€™re looking for a fighting chance in tournaments? Hereâ€™s some of the essential monsters you should consider for your roster.
Togekiss is arguably the strongest Pokemon in the current meta (Picture: Nintendo)
Togekiss has become the dominating PokÃ©mon in Sword and Shieldâ€™s competitive meta, with an impressive breadth of stats which make it incredibly versatile for numerous play-styles.
The fairy/flying type PokÃ©mon can work as an offensive attacker, with a high 120 Special Attack and 80 Speed stats. It can also use the ability Super Luck, which raises a playerâ€™s chance of a critical hit.
Togekiss is also very strong as a supporting PokÃ©mon - with moves like Follow Me, which directs all attacks to the PokÃ©mon, or Yawn which puts opponents to sleep, making it practically essential on many top teams.
Lapras has become a G-max monster (Picture: Nintendo)
After being introduced in VGC series 3, ice/water type Lapras now frequently appears in VGC competitive teams due to its very powerful Gigantamax form.
G-max Lapras can utilise exclusive move G-max Resonance, which inflicts damage and sets up Aurora Veil, reducing damage by half for your team over five turns.
While it doesnâ€™t have the highest attack stats, Laprasâ€™s high HP and powerful G-max capabilities make it a great base to form a team around.
Excadrill is incredibly versatile (Picture: Nintendo)
This ground/steel type PokÃ©mon, similarly to Togekiss, is also very flexible on the battlefield. It works very well offensively with abilities like Sand Rush, which doubles the PokÃ©monâ€™s speed within a sandstorm.
It can also nullify effects of opponent PokÃ©monâ€™s abilities with Mold Breaker, especially useful against Rotom-orientated teams. Itâ€™s also immune to electric, poison and is resistant to a huge number of types.
Coupled with a Life Orb, Excadrillâ€™s Dynamaxed form is also incredibly powerful, with Max Quake and Max Steel Spike only further boosting the PokÃ©monâ€™s defences.
Incineroar is back in the mix (Picture: Nintendo)
Incineroar is a controversial issue within the VGC community, mostly because of his dominance throughout the 2019 season with Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
While the PokÃ©mon isnâ€™t quite as essential in the 2020 format following his introduction in series three, Incineroar is still a mighty defensive force. It can learn Fake Out, which while not effective against Dynamax PokÃ©mon, always attacks first and causes foeâ€™s to flinch.
It also has the Intimidate ability which lowers the opponentâ€™s stats upon entering the field. Itâ€™s important to note this ability has been lessened by potential counter moves Inner Focus and Own Tempo.
Dusclops is pushing the Trick Room meta (Picture: Nintendo)
This ghost type PokÃ©mon has led the way for Trick Room teams in the competitive meta, a move which twists stats around so PokÃ©mon with lower speed move first.
While Dusclops isnâ€™t the only user of Trick Room (Jellicent, Hatterene are alternatives), heâ€™s considered one of the best with his added bulk and support moves.
If youâ€™re going to utilise a Trick Room setup, ensure you have a Trick Room sweeper like Conkeldurr or Rhyperior to ensure maximum damage before the move wears off.
Dragapult is still a significant threat (Picture: Nintendo)
The only PokÃ©mon carrying over from our original competitive recommendations, Dragapult has continued to be a useful force on VGC teams.
The dragon and ghost type PokÃ©mon is resistant to many types of moves (poison, bug, fire, water, grass and electric), and has an incredibly high base speed stat of 142.
Itâ€™s most commonly used to execute high damage on foes, while it can also use Protect and Phantom Force to avoid damage too.
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