Pokemon Sword & Shield: 10 Best Water-Type Pokemon For Online Ranked Battles

Water-types are by-far the most numerous and varied species in the entire Pokemon series. The sprawling oceans of Kanto and Hoenn are full of them, but even in Pokemon Sword & Shield, there’s a massive diversity of aquatic creatures to choose from, each with different secondary types and styles.

When going into online ranked battles through the Battle Stadium, it can be hard to know just which ones are competitively viable. Many of these Pokemon have poor stats and weaknesses that keep them from fighting against the top Pokemon in the game, while others have some nearly unbeatable strategies to help them dominate your opponents.

10 Dracovish

Of all Galar’s Fossil Pokemon, few have proven themselves as powerful as Dracovish. This Water and Dragon-type is utterly unique among non-legendary Pokemon, and its secondary typing helps it survive hits from common Water-type weaknesses like Grass and Electric-type moves.

Its primary weakness is its Speed stat, which is disappointingly average compared to its massive Attack stat and pleasantly wide movepool. The best way to deal with this is a Choice Scarf, which restricts its attacks to grant a huge speed boost, but other tools like a partner using Tailwind can help it easily run over most foes.

9 Sharpedo

For something more naturally speedy, Sharpedo is as powerful as it is easy-to-find. Sharpedos follow you all across the Isle of Armor’s oceans, and a standard one will have spectacular speed and physical attack. Its Water and Dark-type combination does make it vulnerable, but this is hardly a problem if it reliably hits your opponent first.

It only gets stronger with the addition of its Hidden Ability, which you can get from rare and high-star Max Raid Battles. This would be Speed Boost, which raises its Speed stat by fifty percent at the end of each turn, and only one turn’s worth is usually enough to outrun nearly any other Pokemon in the game.

8 Suicune

The Crown Tundra brought tons of new Legendary Pokemon back to the series, and one of the first you’ll receive is right in your first Dynamax Adventure. This would be Suicune, one of Johto’s Legendary Beasts and one of the most defensive Water-types for Pokemon of such high Speed.

Suicune works great as a support player, using moves like Tailwind to boost your team or Snarl to decrease Special Attack. However, its ability to sustain damage and still outrun other slow foes means it can function just as well as a tanky fighter when given damage-boosting items like the Weakness Policy or Life Orb.

7 Politoed

Speaking of supportive Pokemon, Politoed is another addition from the Isle of Armor expansion that’s known among competitive Pokemon circles for its remarkable efficiency. This Pokemon’s Hidden Ability is Drizzle, originally exclusive to the legendary Kyogre for its ability to create an instant rainstorm.

This not only boosts its own Water-type attacks, but it can potentially support your entire team when given items like a Damp Rock to increase the length of the weather. Pairing it with a Steel-type means the rain will prevent Fire-type attacks from immediately annihilating you, and other Water-types with abilities like Swift Swim will quickly become unstoppable.

6 Seismitoad

If you happen to have a rainstorm going, Seismitoad is one of the best Pokemon you can have by your side. This combination of Water and Ground-type is only vulnerable to Grass-type moves, and while foes with priority moves like Grassy Glide are a threat, Seismitoad can usually kill most foes in one hit when it has a speed boost from its Swift Swim ability.

If you don’t have any way to create rain among the rest of your team, Seismitoad can still be quite effective. Simply use a Water-type move during Dynamax to hit with Max Geyser, and you’ll have rain for the next few turns so long as an opponent doesn’t change the weather before your next attack.

5 Azumarill

There are exceptionally few physical attackers who can use Fairy-type moves well, but Azumarill fills an exceptionally small niche that can be a boon to any Water-type team. This bulky blue orb is fortunate enough to have the ability Huge Power, which doubles its Attack stat to give it an artificially-boosted stat.

Using its strength can be hard, but maximizing its Attack further through moves like Belly Drum can help it reach one of the highest damage stats in the entire game. Alternately, priority moves like Aqua Jet can help it hit hard and abnormally fast without taking a turn off to boost its great stats further.

4 Milotic

Many Water-type Pokemon can deal lots of damage, but even more impressive is how sturdy they can typically be. Since the days of Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire, one of the best examples of this is Milotic, a pure Water-type with an incredible combination of speed and defense, as well as several moves like Recover to keep its health as high as possible.

The key is to make sure you deal more damage than them, which you can usually do through Milotic’s efficient stat-changing moves. Skitter Smack and Breaking Swipe can lower offensive stats until their damage fully fades away, while egg moves like Hypnosis can combo with the rare Coil to raise its defense and put foes to sleep with perfect accuracy.

3 Tapu-Fini

Another Pokemon that’s nearly impossible to take down is Tapu-Fini, one of Alola’s Guardian Deities and a powerful addition from the Crown Tundra. Much of its bulkiness comes from a massive Special Defense, which helps it counter Super Effective moves from Electric and Grass-type opponents.

Perhaps more powerful, though, is its ability Misty Surge. This creates Misty Terrain when in play, which prevents status ailments from affecting any Pokemon on the ground, meaning your risks of falling asleep or becoming paralyzed are uniquely neutralized while Tapu-Fini is in play.

2 Starmie

While Galar has an especially high density of defensive tanks and physical attackers, Water-type Pokemon will always dominate as special attackers with powerful ranged attacks. This couldn’t be more true of Starmie, a classically overpowered starfish from Pokemon Red & Blue that came in the Isle of Armor update.

This Pokemon’s stats are impressive, but even more unusual is its ability to learn unusually-typed moves for Water-types. This includes Electric-type moves like Thunderbolt, but getting Meteor Beam from the Isle of Armor move tutor can give it an extra boost to its impressive Special Attack stat while easily dealing with Flying-types.

1 Inteleon

If you truly want the most powerful Water-type in Galar, you don’t need to look any further than your Starter Pokemon. On its surface, Sobble’s evolution Inteleon might seem like a typical Special Attacker, but its key powers come with its Hidden Ability, Sniper, which boosts the power of Critical Hits.

Critical Hits are incredibly rare in Pokemon, but Inteleon’s signature move has secretly higher odds of it occurring more often than usual. This can be combined with a Scope Lens item or one use of Focus Energy to reliably get one with each hit, meaning it’ll deal ludicrous amounts of damage while ignoring any of the target’s defensive stat boosts.

Next: Pokemon: The 5 Best Types (& 5 That Are Overrated)

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Gene Cole is a Canadian freelance writer with a B.A. in psychology and criminology. He works hard to keep an open mind towards a huge variety of games, and loves learning about how different people make and play them. In his free time he loves wandering aimlessly in Slime Rancher, fiddling with competitive games like Poker and Magic: The Gathering, and (amateurishly) attempting to speedrun Super Mario Odyssey.

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