Pokémon Sword Shield Gigantamax

Ranked Battle Series Three in Pokémon Sword and Shield will begin on Mar. 1. When this goes live, a new set of Gigantamax forms will become legal in competitive play. Here is a look at which of the Gigantamax forms are the strongest and why.

1. Lapras

Expect to see a lot of Gigantamax Lapras over the next few months. While Lapras hasn’t been the most popular pick so far in Pokémon Sword and Shield, its G-Max move looks like it will be very strong in doubles battles. G-Max Resonance is an Ice-type move with 140 power (assuming the Ice attack is special) that sets up a screen for its team which reduces Physical and Special damage (similar to Aurora Veil).

Along with G-Max Resonance, which will help protect its team, Lapras has okay stats and a decent move pool. It has STAB Water-type moves as well. Those should help it deal with Incineroar, who will also become legal in March.

2. Charizard

Gigantamax Charizard has already won a Regional Championship and is not going anywhere. In Ranked Battle Series Three, however, it will also gain access to its Hidden Ability, Solar Power. While it’s debatable whether this will make a huge difference, there is no doubt that G-Max Wildfire is one of the best moves in doubles battles. The move wipes 1/6th of both opposing Pokémon’s HP for four turns.

If the incredible G-Max move isn’t enough, Charizard is also decent on its own. It has a solid 100 Speed along with 109 Special Attack. With Solar Power in the Sun, it is more than capable of One-Hit-KOing opposing threats with STAB Flying and Fire-type moves.

3. Hatterene

Hatterene has seen some success in Trick Room teams, and now it’s getting access to a great Gigantamax move, G-Max Smite. This move has 130 power and will confuse both opposing Pokémon in doubles battles.

Expect to continue seeing Hatterene used in Trick Room teams, but now with its Gigantamax form. It may even become more popular than Dusclops or Jellicent if it ends up being strong enough.

Gigantamax Hatterene

4. Grimmsnarl

While Grimmsnarl has mainly seen play as a support Pokémon, it’s likely that Gigantamax Grimmsnarls will spring up here and there. G-Max Snooze is basically a 130 power move that applies Yawn’s effect to both opponents.

Gigantamax Grimmsnarl might also give the Pokémon more options as an attacker. It does have an excellent 120 Attack stat, so it could see more versatility. Since it’s so commonly seen as a support, it could grant the element of surprise.

5. Coalossal

Gigantamax Coalossal’s move is basically a Rock-type version of Charizard’s. G-Max Volcalith has the same effect as G-Max Wildfire, but Coalossal might not be as strong of a pick as Charizard. Its Rock/Fire-typing leaves it extremely vulnerable to Water and Ground-type attacks, which are both popular.

With that said, Coalossal has seen some success with its Steam Engine ability when paired with a Weavile who knows Surf. Steam Engine gives it a huge speed boost when it gets hit with a Water-type attack, and Weavile can use Surf to proc it. Unfortunately, this strategy is extremely predictable and easily countered with Fake Out.

There are other notable Gigantamax forms coming as well, such as Toxtricity and Appletun, which could also turn out to be strong. Remember that with the right team and strategy, any Pokémon or Gigantamax form can work!

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.

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