Best Pokemon in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: 10 creatures you need to catch

Tinkaton and Dragapult appearing as two of the best Pokemon in Pokemon Scarlet and VioletThe Pokemon Company

If you want to be the Champion of Paldea in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, only the best Pokemon will do – so we’ve rounded up 10 of the strongest creatures you need to add to your team if you want to rise to the top in Game Freak’s game.

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet have shaken things up by delivering the franchise’s first truly open-world game, letting players forge their own path through the Paldea region while defeating Titans and winning battles against Gym Leaders.

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Whether you’re aiming to make it through the main story and defeat the Elite Four or you just want to win battles against your friends, you’ll need to put together a team of the strongest Pokemon that can cover a variety of opponent types.

From new faces like Gholdengo and Tinkaton to old favorites like Gallade and Dragapult, here are some of the best Pokemon in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet.

Side note: We’re not including Legendaries and we’ve limited Paradox Pokemon to just one to keep this list more accessible for all players, regardless of where you are in your journey across Paldea.

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10. Gallade

An image of Gallade.The Pokemon Company
Gallade has an impressive 125 base Attack stat.

We’re starting our list with an old favorite: Gallade. This Psychic/Fighting-type Pokemon is a great option for taking on Dark-type, Ice-type, and Steel-type opponents across Paldea, with a huge 125 Attack stat and some brilliant moves. That’s not the main reason we’ve included it on our list, though.

Unlike other Pokemon featured here, the main reason to use Gallade isn’t to take down your opponents – it’s to keep them alive! Gallade is one of the best Pokemon to use when catching other Pokemon thanks to the moves False Swipe and Hypnosis. We’ve always got one on our team when out in the wild.

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9. Houndstone

An image of Houndstone.The Pokemon Company
Houndstone has one of the most effective moves in Scarlet & Violet.

The adorable Ghost-type dog Greavard stole the hearts of Pokemon fans around the world when it was first unveiled for Scarlet & Violet, but it turns into a fighter to be feared when it evolves into Houndstone thanks to one particular move: Last Respects.

This move has 50 base power and 100% accuracy, which is nothing fancy, but that power is increased by 50 every time a Pokemon on the user’s team faints. This means if Houndstone is your final Pokemon, the move will reach 300 power and be pretty much unstoppable against anything other than Normal-types.

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8. Armarouge or Ceruledge

Armarouge in Pokemon Scarlet and VioletThe Pokemon Company
Armarouge is the Fire/Psychic-type evolution of the new Pokemon Charcadet.

Depending on which version of the game you’re playing, you’ll be able to evolve newcomer Charcadet into either the Fire/Psychic-type Armarouge (Scarlet) or the Fire/Ghost-type Ceruledge (Violet).

We do prefer Ceruledge as it has a slightly higher Speed stat and the brilliant signature move Bitter Blade, but they’re both excellent and reliable options that are worth evolving and trying out on your team.

7. Gholdengo

An image of Gholdengo.The Pokemon Company
Gholdengo is one of the most difficult Pokemon to obtain in Scarlet and Violet.

If you thought Legendaries were difficult to obtain in Scarlet & Violet, wait until you try and evolve a Gholdengo. This bizarre Pokemon requires you to find 999 Gimmighoul Coins hidden around the Paldea region, either by locating tiny Roaming Gimmighoul or by defeating Chest Form Gimmighoul.

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It’s a ridiculous task, but once you’ve done it, you’ll have one of the best competitive Pokemon in Scarlet & Violet. It’s got an incredible 133 Special Attack (as well as Nasty Plot to boost that further) and decent defense stats, while the Good as Gold ability gives it immunity to any status moves.

6. Slaking

Slaking in Pokemon Scarlet and VioletThe Pokemon Company
Slaking has a surprisingly high speed stat.

The Normal-type Slaking might not look like the most exciting Pokemon to have on your team, but it’s got a whopping 670 base stats to play with – which is more than most Legendaries have – and a combination of 150 HP and 100 Defense which means it will have some serious staying power on the battlefield.

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Bulky Pokemon usually suffer from being quite slow, but Slaking actually has a solid 100 Speed stat, giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to taking hits and dishing them out. A positively scary 160 Attack stat combined with moves like Giga Impact and Mega Kick make it a top-tier choice.

5. Tinkaton

Tinkaton appearing in Pokemon Scarlet and VioletThe Pokemon Company
Tinkaton is completely immune to Dragon and Poison-type attacks.

A Fairy/Steel-type Pokemon was always going to be a nightmare to deal with. Tinkaton has only two weaknesses to worry about (Fire and Ground) with a huge nine(!) type resistances and immunity to both Dragon and Poison-type attacks. It’s no surprise it’s already become a fan favorite.

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If that wasn’t enough, Tinkaton also has one of the best signature moves we’ve ever seen: Gigaton Hammer. This devastating Steel-type attack utilizes that huge hammer to dish out 160 damage with 100% accuracy, so even Pokemon resistant to Steel-types will struggle to deal with it.

4. Palafin (Hero Form)

Palafin in Pokemon Scarlet and VioletThe Pokemon Company
The move Zero to Hero can change Palafin into its Hero form which provides a big boost to it’s base stats.

If you’ve evolved a Finizen into Palafin, you might be a little confused about what’s changed. It looks almost exactly the same, and it’s still not that powerful, right? Well, what makes Palafin such a standout in Scarlet & Violet is the ability Zero To Hero, which activates its Hero Form when switched out of battle.

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Hero Form Palafin gets a massive boost to its base stats, going from 457 to 650 – all of which are nicely distributed across the board with the obvious standout being that 160 Attack stat. With moves like Bulk Up and Jet Punch, many players have already deemed it ‘broken’ in battle because it’s just so powerful.

3. Garchomp

Garchomp in Pokemon Scarlet and VioletThe Pokemon Company
Garchomp has some of the best moves in all of Pokemon.

Is anyone surprised to see Garchomp return in Scarlet & Violet? Didn’t think so. This pseudo-Legendary is one of the most beloved Pokemon of all time, thanks to its memorable design and huge power in battle, so it’s definitely worth searching caves to catch a Gible before evolving it into its final form.

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Garchomp has access to some of the best moves in the franchise like Earthquake, Draco Meteor, and Dragon Rush, with an impressive 130 Attack stat, 115 Defense, and an above-average 102 Speed to back all of that up. Finally, its dual Ground/Dragon-typing makes it a perfect counter to other Dragon-types.

2. Dragapult

An image of the Pokemon Dragapult.The Pokemon Company
Dragapult is exclusive to Pokemon Violet.

The pseudo-Legendary Dragapult was one of the obvious standouts in Pokemon Sword & Shield, so it’s great to see it return in Scarlet & Violet. With a 142 Speed stat, it’s one of the fastest Pokemon of all time, and it makes the most of that speed with a huge 120 Attack and 100 Special Attack.

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Dragapult may be a glass cannon, but it has the power and the moves (like Dragon Darts!) to take down opponents before they know what’s hit them. There’s just one catch: Dragapult is exclusive to Violet, so if you’re playing Scarlet you’ll need to find a friend with the other game or utilize trade codes.

1. Flutter Mane

Flutter Mane, the best Pokemon in Pokemon Scarlet and VioletThe Pokemon Company
Flutter Mane is a great offensive and defensive Pokemon.

Of all the Paradox Pokemon in Scarlet & Violet, the Scarlet-exclusive ancient Flutter Mane might just be the best one. It’s got 135 Special Attack, 135 Special Defense, and 135 Speed, which makes it an absolute machine on the special side of things – even if its other stats are pitifully low as a result.

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A Fairy/Ghost-typing is brilliant both offensively and defensively, with three immunities and only two weaknesses to watch out for. As long as you’re using it against special attackers, it’s easily one of – if not the – greatest Pokemon you can add to your team (and it’s brilliant for those Charizard Tera Raids!)

So there you have it, 10 of the best Pokemon to catch in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet! While you’re here, check out some more guides below:

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