If you are in the late game of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, you should definitely take on the higher-tier raids if you haven’t already. Starting at 5 stars and higher, the Pokemon you capture will be level 75 and higher. These raid battles are tough, and you will most likely see your AI-controlled allies go down or even see random public teammates struggle. However, among the many faints, you may have noticed a huge influx of Iron Hands being used in public Tera Raids. Why is that?
You’re seeing Hariyama’s Paradox form being used a lot because of how strong it fares against a large majority of 5 and 6-star Tera Raids. Many of the new Paradox forms of Pokemon have been making the rounds as being some of the potentially broken or top-tier picks for competitive play. It’s no surprise that yet another one is doing quite well.
Iron Hands is extremely strong because of a two-part setup that makes it a tank and damage dealer in all difficulties of Tera Raids. To get this going, you want to have an Iron Hands that has Belly Drum and Drain Punch. Belly Drum can be learned at level 84, and Drain Punch can be learned via TM.
The way this works is that at the start of the battle, you make Iron Hands perform Belly Drum. This move maximizes its Attack stat while sacrificing half of its HP. Hopefully, you can tank the enemy raid Pokemon’s attack so you can then follow up on your second turn with a Drain Punch. The powered-up Drain Punch should take a sizeable amount of health away from the opponent and fully restore your HP.
The amount of life drained and damage dealt depends on type matchups and your Pokemon’s EVs, IVs, and nature. If you’re fighting a flying, poison, psychic, bug, or fairy-type, you won’t deal too much damage. Ghost types are completely immune to fighting, so keep that in mind when picking your battles.
As for your Pokemon’s EVs, IVs, and all the other nitty-gritty features to really get it going, use the following setup:
- EVs: 250 Atk, 250 HP, 10 Sp. Def
- Nature: Adamant
- Moveset: Belly Drum, Drain Punch, Physical Attack 1, Physical Attack 2
- IVs: 5 Max IVs, Sp. Atk not needed
With this setup, you should be able to tank most starter moves against 5 and 6-star Tera Raid bosses. The only exceptions are those that have supereffective moves and have strong Sp. Atk stats. While opening up with the Belly Drum and Drain Punch combo, your 2 other Physical Attacks can range from moves that cover other super effective types.
Finally, for your held item, it varies between Pokemon matchups. Ideally, you want to use Booster Energy as a held item to increase your Attack. However, when going against Pokemon that have strong moves against you, equip a Bright Powder to increase the likelihood of dodging attacks.
One final thing about this build is that you have to pay attention to when the Tera Raid boss gets rid of any positive stats affecting your team. This acts as a debuff and does require you to use Belly Drum again to maximize your Attack.
Now that you have the tools and setup for this arguably overpowered build, you will now have an easier time taking on the higher-tier raids. When or if this combo gets nerfed in a future patch for the game is yet to be determined. In the meantime, your collection will grow and your teammates will forever be thankful.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are available now exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.
- This article was updated on November 28th, 2022