Anyone who has played VGC or Ranked Doubles in Pokémon Sword and Shield has surely run into Togekiss more than a few times. This Pokémon is posting over a 45% usage rate on Pikalytics, and it appeared in both finals teams at the Dallas Regionals.
What Togekiss brings to a team
Togekiss has an excellent stat spread that makes it a versatile option for many different teams. It can be a fast special attacker, bulky support, or a hybrid between the two.
Togekiss has a 120 Special Attack stat and an 80 Speed stat, making it a solid choice as an attacker. It has a large move pool that gives it plenty of coverage, as well as a STAB Flying-type attack that makes it a great candidate for Dynamaxing. Its Fairy/Flying typing and solid defensive stats also give it more survivability than other attackers.
In the past, Togekiss would generally take a Timid Nature, Serene Grace, and a Choice scarf, then aim to make opponents flinch by spamming Air Slash. Now that Dynamax exists and prevents opponents from flinching, many Togekiss users have opted to take a Modest Nature with a Scope Lens and the ability Super Luck to maximize damage and land critical hits. Weakness Policy is also a solid option here, but it relies on Togekiss surviving a super-effective attack to be useful.
Support Togekiss takes the moves Follow Me and Yawn to provide its partner opportunities to safely deal damage. Its bulk allows it to survive several hits after using Follow Me. It will generally hold either a Babiri Berry to help it survive a Steel-type attack or a Sitrus Berry to heal itself.
Support Togekiss will generally take a Bold Nature along with a defense- or special defense-focused EV spread to maximize its survival. Both Super Luck and Serene Grace are viable as abilities for this set.
Hybrid Togekiss has started to gain popularity too. This build runs the Modest Nature with Super Luck, much like Togekiss’s special attacker sets. However, it also invests more EVs into defensive stats and less into Speed and Special Attack.
Hybrid Togekiss will generally take the moves Follow Me, Air Slash, Dazzling Gleam, and Heat Wave. This gives it both of its major stab attacks along with Follow Me to provide support for its partner. It can hold a wide variety of items but usually takes a Babiri Berry for survivability or a Scope Lens to maximize damage.
How to counter Togekiss
Anyone planning to play Ranked Doubles or compete in VGC20 needs to be prepared to see this Pokémon. It’s a tricky creature to counter due to the number of different sets it runs. Hitting it with a super-effective attack isn’t always a great idea either, as it often runs Weakness Policy, which will give it a huge Special Attack boost if it survives the hit.
As the adage goes, “if you can’t beat em, join em”. This is probably the best strategy for dealing with Togekiss. It is a great duo alongside most Pokémon and works well in any team.
For those who don’t want to run it on their team, it’s important to play around Togekiss until it reveals what kind of set it’s running. Try not to hit it with a super-effective move until you can safely KO it. Duraludon is a great option here, as its Stalwart ability allows it to avoid hitting Togekiss even if it uses Follow Me.
Togekiss looks to be a staple in the current VGC meta. For the time being, make sure to take appropriate counters and have a strategy for it. At least until the DLC drops in June, it’s likely that this Pokémon isn’t going anywhere.