One of the wonderful things about Sword and Shield is that just about any Pokemon can work. Of course, there are things like flexibility and consistency that propel some Pokemon to the top of the usage charts, but the current VGC metagame has proved to be robust and diverse. However, there are some Pokemon that have incredible potential, but for whatever reason are passed over by trainers when assembling their team. Today, I want to bring to attention three superb, but underused Pokemon in online doubles.
This rock monster faces a lot of competition from the popular Tyranitar for a slot on the team. While its overall bulk is a bit less than Tyranitar, it does have almost the same attack stat and a speed stat that makes it excellent under Trick Room. Gigalith also isn’t weak to Fairy and only has a single weakness to Fighting. Unlike Tyranitar, Gigalith can survive a Mach Punch from an Iron First Conkeldur.
Its single typing also gives Gigalith a leg up on Rhyperior. Rhyperior is tough to take down, but its double weakness to Grass and Water are easily exploited. If you slap an Assault Vest on Gigalith, there is almost no hit that it can’t survive, especially when Dynamaxed.
Gigalith has access to the amazing ability Sand Stream. However, it could also opt for Sand Force instead to dish out the most powerful Rock Slides in the game.
However, with a pitiful speed stat of 25 Gigalith has greatly reduced usefulness outside of Trick Room. Don’t let that get you down, though. Next time you assemble a Trick Room team, give Gigalith a chance. It will not let you down.
It’s honestly astonishing that Goodra is such an underused Pokemon. It has good stats across the board and an exceptional movepool. It’s likely that it gets passed up in favor of Dragapult. While Dragapult may run circles around Goodra in the speed department, nothing can match the astonishing special bulk of the gooey little dragon. With a special defense stat of 150, Goodra is not going to go down easily. On top of this, it boasts immunity to Grass type moves with the ability Sap Sipper. This means Venasaur can’t hinder it with Sleep Powder.
Goodra has the flexibility to be run as either a special or physical attacker. A special variant may be more appealing at first glance, but the attack boosts from Sap Sipper make physical Goodra an offensive monster. On top of its offensive prowess, Goodra makes an excellent Weakness Policy holder. Its natural bulk allows it to take super effective hits even with minimal defensive investment.
Dragapult may be at the top of the meta game at the moment, but Goodra is a great alternative if you need something with a little extra bulk.
This is a hill I am prepared to die on — Boltund is an incredible support Pokemon. This goodest boy has a usage rate of under 1%, and most of the sets used are geared towards offense. Some may say that Raichu is a far superior support option. This is understandable since Raichu has both Fake Out and Lightning Rod. However, Boltund has access to an even more elusive move — Electrify.
Electrify was exclusive to the Helioptile family until Sword and Shield gave it to Boltund. Electrify will turn any move the target uses into an electric type move, including max moves. If your opponent is hoping to target down your Excadrill with a Max Geyser, your Boltund can simply Electrify it. Now it will be Max Lighting, which has no effect on Excadrill. Not only did you totally waste a turn of your opponent’s Dynamax, they lose out on the secondary effect of the max move as well. Keep in mind that Electify can affect Ground type Pokemon, but will be sucked in by Lighting Rod.
Boltund is a great Electrify user since it is blazing fast, allowing it to get the move off before the opponent attacks. Besides Dragapult, Boltund will outspeed every relevant threat in the metagame. It even speed ties with Adamant Choice Scarf Dracovish. Not even Raichu can do that.
Boltund has a wide variety of other support moves as well. With Charm, Eerie Impulse, Howl, and Nuzzle at its disposal, Boltund is sure to be a pain in the side of your opponent. I’m actually using a Boltund team this season myself with some decent success.
If you are looking to build a team and want to take a step back from the usual suspects, then I suggest these three underused Pokemon. They all perform great in their roles, and the fact that they aren’t as popular provides an extra edge since most opponents will not have prepared for them specifically. If your are looking to climb the Sword and Shield ladder, then be sure to also check out our tips to reach Masterball tier.