Eevee and its evolutions have always been among the most beloved Pokémon in the franchise. In the past, they have seen varying degrees of competitive success. Here’s how Eevee evolutions rank in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
The Fire-type Eevee evolution has always been on the weak side due to its stats, and it is again in this generation. Flareon has an impressive 130 Attack stat, but its typing, move pool, and awful Speed make it difficult for Flareon to find success. It also has low Defense and HP stats, which makes it difficult for it to survive against the amount of physical Rock and Ground attackers in the metagame.
On its own, Vaporeon is probably stronger than Leafeon and Glaceon, but it struggles to fit into most teams in Pokémon Sword and Shield. There is really no reason to run it over Milotic, who is bulkier, has a better ability, a better move pool, and a better stat spread. It’s a far cry better than Flareon, but its low speed and poor physical bulk prevent it from being a great competitive pick.
The grass-type Eevee evolution has a great ability in Chlorophyll, but it relies heavily on Harsh Sunlight to be impactful. Under the right circumstances though, Leafeon can be a powerful sun-sweeper. It has a solid 110 Attack stat and some survivability with a whopping 130 Defense stat. Outside of the sun, however, it gets punished heavily by Special Attackers who outspeed it.
Glaceon is similar to Leafeon in the sense that it needs the right team to be successful. It’s slow, but its Snow Cloak ability and good bulk allow it to survive and spam Blizzard in hail. Its 130 Sp. Attack stat makes sure that its Blizzards hit like a truck. Teamed up with Vanilluxe, this Pokémon can sweep a team on its own if they don’t have an answer to it. Outside of hail, however, Glaceon is not nearly as effective.
Jolteon has an excellent 130 Speed stat, which allows it to outspeed most Pokémon in the meta without Choice Scarf. It’s 110 Sp. Attack stat and STAB (same-type attack bonus) Electric-type attacks help it deal with popular Flying-type threats like Corviknight and Braviary. Jolteon’s Volt Absorb ability makes it a good fit for rain teams where it can swap into an Electric-type attack.
Access to the Magic Bounce ability makes this Pokémon a nightmare for Stealth Rock setters in singles. In doubles, it isn’t quite as effective, but it still has a 130 Sp. Attack stat and a 110 Speed stat, which allows it to dish out high amounts of Special damage. Espeon also has access to a wide range of coverage moves to help it deal with threats.
Umbreon was once the premier tank in competitive Pokémon. Losing Toxic as a move in Pokémon Sword and Shield has hurt its viability, but it is still a great support option and Eevee evolution. It has access to popular support moves like Yawn, Snarl, Foul Play, Taunt, and Helping Hand.
Sylveon is not only the best Eevee evolution, but it is also one of the best Pokémon in the entire metagame. Its Pixilate ability makes it so that all Normal-type moves become Fairy-type. This means that it can use Hyper Voice as a STAB Fairy-type attack. It also has the move Mystical Fire to help it deal with Steel-type Pokémon. These factors, combined with great Special Defense and solid HP, give Sylveon a number of powerful tools that make it a great competitive Pokémon.
While Pokémon Sword and Shield didn’t deliver with a new Eevee evolution, all the old ones are still viable in competitive play. While some of them might be outclassed by other Pokémon, they can work with the right team composition and strategy.