Pokémon Sword and Shield Trick Room team strategy counter competitive ranked VGC play

Trick Room teams are extremely popular on the Pokémon Sword and Shield ranked doubles ladder and VGC at the moment. These teams can be difficult to deal with, so here are some strategies to consider when building a team that can successfully counter it.

What Trick Room aims to do

Trick Room is a move that twists the dimensions of the battlefield and makes the Pokémon with lower speed move first. This gives the user a huge advantage because they are able to invest their EVs into stats other than speed while still moving first and putting fast Pokémon at a disadvantage.

These teams will generally place the Trick Room user with a Pokémon who uses Follow Me or another support move to enable the Trick Room user to safely get the move off. Once the move is used, a Trick Room sweeper such as Rhyperior or Conkeldurr will be brought into the battle to sweep. They will generally Dynamax it and attempt to win the fight before Trick Room wears off.

Know the Trick Room users

Every Pokémon that uses Trick Room will have a slightly different counter. Hatterene, for example, cannot be Taunted due to its Magic Bounce ability. Popular Trick Room users are Dusclops, Jellicent, Hatterene, Chandelure, Bronzong, Oranguru, and Gothitelle. Indeedee-F pairs well with any of these Pokémon due to its Psychic Surge ability, which prevents priority moves like Fake Out.

If any of these Pokémon are on the other team, the opponent will probably try to use Trick Room. Knowing which counters to use is important.

Countering Trick Room in Pokémon Sword and Shield

Duraludon

Duraludon is one of the best Pokémon for countering Trick Room. Its Stalwart ability allows it to ignore moves like Follow Me and directly attack the Trick Room user. Duraludon’s high Special Attack stat allows it to inflict serious damage, and possibly even KO, the Pokémon. It works especially well against Hatterene, who is weak to Steel-type moves.

Taunt

Having a Pokémon with the move Taunt can be a lifesaver against Trick Room teams. Excluding Hatterene, every other Trick Room Pokémon can be safely Taunted. Every Pokémon in a Trick Room team will have low Speed, so it is easy to get Taunt off first.

Trick Room Pokémon

That’s right — having a Pokémon that knows Trick Room itself can reverse the effects of the move. If the move is used twice, the dimensions return to normal. Whimsicott is a popular speedy Pokémon that has access to Trick Room, and it also has the Prankster ability so it will move first even under the effects of Trick Room.

Have a Trick Room sweeper

Many players choose to run a Trick Room sweeper of their own on their team. This way, the Pokémon will be well suited to sweep when the opponent uses Trick Room. Mudsdale, Rhyperior, Torkoal, and Conkeldurr are good options for this. Be sure to have a -Speed nature and a 0 Speed IV when going this route.

Stall

Stalling until Trick Room wears off is another viable option. This can be difficult, but moves like Protect, Detect, and Roost come in handy here. Be sure to lead with defensive Pokémon that can dish out some damage so that the opponent can’t get another Trick Room off after the first one ends.

It is important to have a strategy for beating Trick Room teams in Pokémon Sword and Shield. They are all over the ladder right now, so plan ahead and prepare!

Nate Searl
Nate is a college graduate with a B.A. in Journalism who loves gaming and esports. He has reached Legend rank in Hearthstone, Master Ball tier in Pokémon Sword, and pretends to be good at League of Legends and Overwatch.