11 Best Pokemon to Have On Your Team in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Which Paldea Pokemon are the best to use?

by Diego Perez

The Paldea region in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet has a ton of new and returning Pokemon for you to add to your team, but which of these creatures are the best to use? Not every Pokemon is created equal, and while the game is pretty easy for most players, you won’t be able to defeat the Elite Four and achieve Champion rank with a team of underdeveloped Pokemon. To make your journey easier, we’ve compiled a list of some of the strongest Pokemon the Paldea region has to offer complete with locations and catching tips for each one.

The Best Pokemon for Your Scarlet and Violet Team Ranked

Of course, you should try to prioritize your favorite Pokemon above all else since that’s what the games are all about. However, if you’re indecisive or just want the Pokemon with the best stat spreads so you can assert your dominance over Paldea’s trainers, these are some of the best Pokemon that you can use in Scarlet and Violet.

11. Skeledirge


Skeledirge is the final evolution of Fuecoco, the game’s fire-type starter Pokemon. It’s a dual Fire/Ghost-type Pokemon, giving it an interesting suite of moves at its disposal. Paired with a killer base stat spread, Skeledirge is an absolute beast for all types of play. Whether you’re trying to climb the competitive ladder, dominate Tera Raids online with other players, or just have a cool-looking crocodile on your team, Skeledirge can carry you to victory. To get it, you’ll have to pick Fuecoco as your starter Pokemon or find another trainer willing to trade you one since there’s no way to catch a Fuecoco in the wild.

10. Gholdengo


Gholdengo, the evolution of Paldea’s mimic chest Pokemon Gimmighoul, is not the evolution that people were expecting. Even though it comes from a chest Pokemon, the resulting evolution seems more similar to string cheese. Don’t let Gholdengo’s appearance fool you though, since it’s base stats are incredibly high with a particularly powerful Special Attack stat. It’s great for both competitive and casual play, and you can’t go wrong bringing it to a Tera Raid. The only issue is obtaining it, as you’ll have to obtain 999 Gimmighoul Coins scattered throughout the Paldea region. It’s a long grind, but Gholdengo is worth it.

9. Chi-Yu


Chi-Yu is one of the four ruinous legendary Pokemon that can be obtained by finding ominous blake stakes throughout the Paldea region, and despite its cute appearance, this legendary Pokemon packs quite a punch. It’s a dual Fire/Ghost-type Pokemon just like Skeledirge but its stat spread makes it a great fit for any team. This isn’t surprising since legendary Pokemon are always good, but plenty of people overlook Chi-Yu in favor of its more menacing counterparts at first glance. It’s well worth the trouble of pulling all of the black stakes to access its shrine.

8. Chien-Pao


Chien-Pao is another of the ruinous legendary Pokemon of the Paldea region, and like Chi-Yu, it packs quite a punch. It has a great stat spread with high base Attack and Speed stats that make up for its less than stellar Defense, making it a glass cannon that can deal devastating damage to the opposing team. To get Chien-Pao, you’ll have to find all of the ominous black stakes in its region and find it in its shrine just like the other ruinous legendary Pokemon. While it can be taken down quite easily in competitive play against certain matchups, Chien-Pao is a powerful Pokemon that makes a great fit on an offensive-focused team.

7. Iron Valiant


Just like the legendary Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet, the all-new Paradox Pokemon are incredibly powerful. While they don’t quite make the legendary ranking, they’re still banned from the in-game ranked competitive battle scene because of their high stats. Iron Valiant, the future form of Gardevoir and Gallade, is even stronger than its modern-day counterpart. It has a remarkably high stat spread just like Gardevoir and Gallade, and it benefits from their fantastic movesets and typing on top of that. It’s a great fit even though you can’t obtain it until you reach Area Zero at the end of the game. If you have Pokemon Scarlet, it’s worth trading with a Violet player to get your hands on one.

6. Roaring Moon


Roaring Moon is another one of the new Paradox Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet. This Scarlet-exclusive Pokemon is the past version of Salamence, which is already a huge competitive and casual staple among Pokemon fans. As expected, this even stronger version of Salamence is being picked by a large number of trainers for their teams due to its great stats and typing. If you would use Salamence on your team, there’s no reason to not choose Roaring Moon instead since Paradox Pokemon are already more powerful than their standard versions by default. The only downside is that you can’t get it until you reach Area Zero in the game’s final act and you can only get it in Scarlet and not Violet.

5. Iron Hands


If you’ve been researching powerful Pokemon to use in Scarlet and Violet, then you’ve no doubt heard of Iron Hands. This Violet-exclusive Pokemon is the future form of Hariyama and it’s one of the strongest Paradox Pokemon of them all. This Pokemon makes this list because of its great stat spread but also its dominance in online Tera Raids, where it can singlehandedly carry teams to victory against 5-Star and 6-Star Tera Raids with moves like Belly Drum and Drain Punch. You can get it in Area Zero in Pokemon Violet, but plenty of people are trading this Pokemon due to its popularity, so Scarlet players shouldn’t have a problem obtaining one.

4. Palafin


Palafin is another Pokemon that has been dominating the conversation in the competitive scene since the release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. This unassuming dolphin has a very powerful second form that dramatically increases all of its stats and makes it one of Paldea’s strongest Pokemon. Its Zero to Hero ability changes its form when it switches out of battle and swaps back in, making it the perfect Pokemon for your team’s leading slot. When paired with a move like Flip Turn, you can swap Palafin out while doing some damage in the process, making it a no-brainer for most competitive teams.

3. Great Tusk


Great Tusk is a Paradox Pokemon available in the Scarlet version of the game. It’s the past form of Donphan, and just like its present-day counterpart, it has insanely high stats with an emphasis on Defense. Great Tusk is seeing a lot of use in the competitive scene and for good reason. It’s one of the best Paradox Pokemon in the entire game. You can get it in Area Zero just like any other Paradox Pokemon, but Violet players will have to rely on trades to add one to their team.

2. Kingambit


In Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, the fan-favorite Dark/Steel-type Bisharp finally got an evolution. Kingambit has an unusual evolution method but the result is more than worth it. It has incredibly high stats, packing an above-average Attack and Defense stat. It’s a tank that hits extremely hard. It’s no surprise that people are desperately trying to catch it. To evolve Bisharp into Kingambit, you have to defeat a wild Bisharp that leads a pack of Pawniards while your Bisharp holds a Leader’s Crest.

1. Flutter Mane


Flutter Mane is one of the best Pokemon to use in Scarlet and Violet regardless of who you ask. It’s great for casual play, it’s great for Tera Raids, and it’s great for competitive battles. It even has the highest usage rate in the OU (overused) tier of Smogon. Smogon ratings are the defacto authority on a Pokemon’s power, and the fact that it is the most used Pokemon of the already crowded overused tier shows just how ubiquitous Flutter Mane really is. Its low Health and Defense stats pale in comparison to its exceptionally high Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed stats, making Flutter Mane capable of insanely high damage output. It’s typing also makes it immune to Normal, Fighting, and Dragon-type Pokemon with a huge resistance to Bug-type attacks on top of that. You can get Flutter Mane in Area Zero at the end of the game, and there’s even an exploit to get a guaranteed shiny Flutter Mane spawn.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are available now on Nintendo Switch.

- This article was updated on December 5th, 2022

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