While Battle Stadium Doubles tends to be more popular in Pokémon Sword and Shield due to VGC, Battle Stadium Singles offers players a different competitive battling experience. Here are some of the best Pokémon for this format, as well as how to use them to climb in ranked Singles.
Galarian Darmanitan’s unique ability, Gorilla Tactics, boosts its attack while locking it into one move, just like a Choice Band. This allows it to hold a Choice Scarf without any drawbacks. With a Jolly nature, 252 Speed EVs, and a Choice Scarf, Darmanitan even out-speeds Jolly Dragapult – assuming it doesn’t have a Choice Scarf as well.
Darmanitan is a fast, strong physical attacker with a huge move pool that provides it a lot of coverage. The only drawback is that this setup always locks it into one move. When using it, make sure to take Pokémon that it can swap out with when it finds itself in a bad matchup. Having the move U-Turn can also help it escape poor matchups, assuming it isn’t already locked into a different move.
Excadrill can serve as a sand-sweeper or a Mold Breaker counter to Pokémon with the Levitate ability, like Rotom. With Sand Rush, you want it to either set up a sandstorm with a Dynamax Rock-type move or team up with a sand-setter. In sand, it can out-speed any Pokémon whose speed isn’t boosted. This allows it to take an Adamant nature to maximize its attack.
Alternatively, the Mold Breaker ability allows Ground-type moves to hit Pokémon with Levitate. This is extremely valuable against the different variations of Rotom, especially Rotom-Wash, who, otherwise, is only weak to Grass-type moves.
Dragapult excels in every format in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Its incredible 142 base Speed stat allows it to outspeed every Pokémon without Choice Scarf in the game except Accelgor, who is rarely used.
Dragapult is typically taken as a physical attacker, but it functions quite well as a special attacker in Singles. It can take a Timid Nature with Choice Specs or Life Orb and use Flamethrower, Thunderbolt, Shadow Ball, Draco Meteor, or any number of other moves to give it wide coverage. It does need to beware of Darmanitan, however.
Rotom-Heat tends to function as a special-sweeper with support options. Its Levitate ability protects it from Ground-type moves, which would be super-effective against it, making it weak only to Water and Rock-type moves.
Timid Rotom-Heat with Choice Scarf out-speeds Darmanitan and can easily one-hit-KO it with Overheat. This Pokémon can also use Will-O-Wisp on physical attackers to burn them and cut their attack in half. It’s very good against Corviknight and Sand Rush Excadrill.
Always a popular pick, Mimikyu has one of the best abilities in the game for Battle Stadium Singles. Its Disguise ability allows it to take one damaging attack without receiving any damage. This gives it a turn to set up with Swords Dance.
Once Mimikyu is set up, it can easily sweep as long as it doesn’t get out-sped. Be careful of Dragapult, Darmanitan, and Sand Rush Excadrill, as these Pokémon will out-speed it and one-hit-KO it once its disguise is down.
When making a team for Sword and Shield Battle Stadium Singles, it is important to be aware of these Pokémon. Sure, it isn’t necessary to take all of them, or even any of them, to climb the ranks. But it is important to have a strategy for them. They are bound to appear in most battles.