The 10 best physical forwards for competitive play
Through the release of DLC expansions at Pokemon Legends: Arceus, there are over 900 different species of Pokémon throughout the franchise spanning more than two decades. However, when it comes to the competitive scene, only a small fraction of these Pokemon are considered viable. Often the same Pokémon will appear in competitive battles.
A key part of building a team in a competitive environment Pokemon the match is a balance between Pokémon specializing in Attack and Special Attack stats. For the former, these Pokemon are often brutal sweepers that pose a threat to many defenseless Pokemon. These ten Pokémon spread over the 8 generations are the best when it comes to physical attack.
Dragonite might be adorable on the outside, but he’s a tough fighter when it comes to Pokemon VGC. Debuting in the first generation games, Dragonite is a Dragon/Flying type, which makes it particularly weak to Ice type moves. However, Dragonite makes up for that with its massive base attack stat of 134, which is way above average for any Pokemon.
Dragonite is placed in OR in the most recent Sword and Shield meta competitive, which means many meta games have banned it. When paired with moves like Dragon Dance, Dragonite’s attack and speed stats only increase even more. This will especially boost the Earthquake move, which counters Flying-type weaknesses like Rock and Electric.
Tyranitar’s overall stats surpass that of Dragonite, finding him blessed with incredible attack as well as HP, defense, and special defense. However, as a Rock/Dark-type Pokémon, Tyranitar is quite vulnerable against Fighting-types, which can be tricky in a competitive meta where Fighting-type Pokémon are quite popular among players.
Fortunately, Tyranitar has access to moves like Thunder Wave which paralyzes opponents. This can counter or slow down an opponent’s attack, allowing Tyranitar to take advantage of his high attack stats with moves like Stone Edge or Heavy Slam. An item like a choice group can also prioritize increasing attack stats instead of selecting different moves.
Groudon is the legendary mascot of pokemon rubyand is very popular in the competitive meta alongside his Sapphire counterpart, Kyogre. However, the fact that they are both ranked in the Uber tier makes them unusable in some parts of the ranked game. Still, there’s no denying Groudon’s massive 150 base attack and 140 base defense.
Upon activation, Groudon also activates the Drought ability, which makes the weather sunny for several turns. This will empower Groudon’s Fire-type attacks, such as the powerful moves Heat Crash or Fire Punch. However, Groudon also has a pretty wide selection of STAB moves for a pure ground type, like his signature move Precipice Blades.
Garchomp was introduced in the 4th generation and had quite high peaks in the competition Pokemon stage. In Gen 6, he had access to an extremely powerful Mega Evolution, although this ability had not been included since Gen 7. However, with the Mega Evolution gone in Gen 8, Garchomp still succeeds thanks to his powerful attack, HP and speed.
Its attack stat only becomes more powerful when paired with the Swords Dance move, which increases a Pokemon’s attack by 2 levels. Combined with Garchomp’s Rocky Helmet-type ability, Rough Skin, Garchomp can stall with Swords Dance for a few turns before demolishing any opponent with moves like Earthquake or Scale Shot.
The Therian form of Landorus is quite popular in the competitive world Pokemon due to his versatility as a physical attack sweeper as well as a defensive support. His ability, Intimidate, paralyzes opponents upon activation by reducing their attack. It also gives Landorus time to set up some Stealth Rocks or fire off some Swords Dances.
Strategies like this can pose a real threat to common Pokemon like Heatran or Corviknight, especially thanks to Landorus-Therian’s placement in the OU tier. The Ground/Flying combination makes it susceptible to Ice-types, but also negates the Flying-type’s weakness to Electric-type moves. Landorus-Therian is an easy Pokémon to adapt to any team.
Aegislash’s appearance in Generations 6 and 7 saw him dominate the competitive scene, resulting in his Uber ban. Since the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield, however, Aegislash has dropped significantly to UU, the UnderUsed level. Yet even at this much lower level, he has one of the best attack stats in the game thanks to his ability.
When Aegislash uses an attack, his ability stance change shifts him into blade form. His base form usually has Abyssal Attack and Special Attack in place of Incredible Defense and Special Defense, while Blade Form reverses that. Moves like Shadow Sneak with priority and Close Combat will rarely do devastating damage from an Aegislash.
Yveltal is another Uber-level Pokemon that isn’t often seen in Gen 8 Ranked Battles. However, even for a Legendary Pokemon, the Pokemon Y mascot has some of the best stats in the franchise, with 131 base attacks, 126 base health, and 131 base special attacks. It even has enough speed to outrun some of the biggest competitive threats.
Luckily, as a Dark/Flying type, Yveltal also has access to some pretty key STAB moves. Sucker Punch and Knock Off are rarely missed in any type of competitive Pokemon, but especially in Dark-type physical attackers. He also has access to moves like Roost and Oblivion Wing which can heal themselves and deal devastating damage, respectively.
3 incendiary roar
Incineroar gained popularity when he was included as a playable character in Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Luckily, Incineroar crushes competing brothers just as well Pokemon, with a base attack stat of 115 that rivals the best starter Pokemon from previous games. Its access to the Intimidate ability also makes for a great replacement Pokémon.
In the doubles game in particular, Incineroar makes a great hub for many viable Pokemon. Using a move like Fake Out, which flinches opponents if used on the first turn, will provide room for partners to boost stats or heal if they need it. Moves like Flare Blitz and Knock Off also give him the ability to deal devastating STAB damage.
Rillaboom is also a great starter Pokémon in the competitive scene after its introduction in Sword and Shield. Upon activation, it summons Grassy Terrain, which increases grass moves by 50% and restores its HP each turn. This HP boost makes Rillaboom the perfect choice for an item like the Life Orb that drains health for attack boosts.
A move like Grassy Glide, which gains priority in Grassy Terrain, also makes up for Rillaboom’s mediocre Speed stat. Additionally, a move like Wood Hammer is an option for players who want their attacks to have a bit more punch in exchange for knockback damage. Overall, most Water-type Pokémon will fail against Rillaboom in singles or doubles.
1 Urshifu Quick Strike
Each player who completes the Isle of Armor DLC in Sword and Shield will have access to Urshifu, the legendary evolution of Kubfu. When evolving Kubfu, players will have the choice of earning Rapid-Strike Urshifu or Single-Strike Urshifu, which vary in typing (Fighting/Water and Fighting/Dark, respectively). Only one of these forms, however, is a competitive beast.
This form would be the Fighting/Water type Rapid-Strike Urshifu. It has 130 Attack, as well as 100 HP and 100 Defense, but that’s not the best part. Urshifu’s ability, Unseen Fist, will ensure that all moves make contact through protection, making moves like Protect or Baneful Bunker useless against him. Rapid-Strike Urshifu, quite simply, is a must-have wallbreaker.
AFTER: Pokémon: The Most Underrated Competitive Pokémon