Weather conditions have always inspired competitive Pokémon teams due to their synergy with certain moves and abilities. These teams are also great for beginners, providing a theme to build around while still remaining effective. Here are the best weather-based creatures and teams in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Sandstorm teams are the most popular weather teams in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Tyranitar and Excadrill are both in the games, and both share over 20% usage rates in VGC 2020.
Tyranitar has always been a favorite for its great base stat spread and its Sand Stream ability, which sets up a sandstorm. Excadrill makes excellent use of the sandstorm with its ability Sand Rush, which doubles its speed in a sandstorm.
Pokémon Sword and Shield have a number of other reliable sand-setters as well, such as Hippowdon and Gigalith. Strong meta Pokémon such as Mudsdale, Rhyperior, and Gastrodon can also use the sandstorm to their advantage.
Despite several Swift Swim users being cut from the Pokédex in Sword and Shield, rain remains strong. Pelipper is still in the game and can set rain with its Drizzle ability, and Pokémon such as Ludicolo and Barreskewda can take advantage of the rain with Swift Swim.
Rain teams tend to include Pelipper, a couple of Swift Swim Pokémon, and at least one Pokémon with Lightning Rod to counter Electric-type moves. There are not a lot of strong Grass-type Pokémon to worry about in the meta, so rain teams tend to perform well.
Perhaps one of the biggest counters to any rain team is Gastrodon. It has access to the Storm Drain ability, which will absorb any Water-type attack. Ludicolo is therefore extremely important to rain teams, as its Grass-type moves will deal 4x damage to Gastrodon.
Torkoal has proven to be a great sun-setter in Sword and Shield. It works well in Trick Room teams, as well as with Chlorophyll Vileplume. Vileplume can use the move After You to ensure that Torkoal goes first, allowing it to spam a sun-boosted Eruption or Solar Beam.
Whimsicott and Charizard can also pair for a devastating sun duo. Whimsicott has the Prankster ability, which allows it to use Sunny Day with priority. Charizard can take advantage of this with its Solar Power ability, which increases the damage it does in the sun, with the slight drawback of it taking some damage at the end of the turn.
Ninetales, Chandelure, and Cinderace are also popular Pokémon for sun teams. Sun isn’t quite as popular as sand, but it has a lot of versatility and can work great if executed properly.
These teams have always struggled in comparison to other weather teams. Hail only boosts Ice-type Pokémon and moves, which makes it difficult to find versatility compared to other weather conditions, which help multiple types.
Nevertheless, there have been some successful hail teams in Sword and Shield. Vanilluxe has the ability Snow Warning and the move Aurora Veil, which reduces damage to friendly Pokémon but can only be used in hail. Vanilluxe is generally paired with Inteleon, who is a Water-type but has access to the move Blizzard.
These teams are bound to improve if Alolan Ninetales returns to the game when the DLC goes live. Until then, Vanilluxe, Abamasnow, Froslass, and Inteleon are all good options for hail teams.
Just remember to be careful when using a weather team, as certain Dynamax moves can change the weather. Try to maintain the correct weather condition and make the best use of the current weather that you can.
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