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Zacian Competitive Pokemon Overview Sword and Shield

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Greetings Pokemon fans, it’s that time of the week again. Series 10 is around the corner and as everyone has now been informed, legendary and other restricted Pokemon are returning for eligibility. Series 10 allows 1 restricted legendary per team and as Crown Tundra has given us the ability to catch all legendaries through raids, these broken champions of legends will most definitely roam the meta again. In this competitive Pokemon overview, we will start by analyzing Zacian, one of the more busted mons, and how one can utilize and beat them. For more info on Series 10 and what other Pokemon will be available, check out that article here.


Zacian is one half of the Hero Duo and is one of the Pokemon responsible for saving Galar during the Darkest Day Catastrophe. While normally a pure Fairy-type, it turns into a Fairy/Steel-type as a result of its held item, Rusted Sword. Zacian can be one of the most broken legendaries in the meta as its base stats show below.

Base Stats:

HP: 92

Atk: 130

Def: 115

Sp. Atk: 80

Sp. Def: 115

Spd: 138

These stats reflect Zacian in its original form, Hero of Many Battles, which signals incredible attack power and speed without even trying. Once it’s given the Rusted Sword to access its Crowned Form, the stats start to look like the ones below:

HP: 92

Atk: 170

Def: 115

Sp. Atk: 80

Sp. Def: 115

Spd: 148

The Rusted Sword gives Zacian a 40 point increase in attack and a 10 point increase in speed. On top of that, Zacian’s ability, Intrepid Sword, raises its attack by one stage just for entering the field. In addition, Behemoth Blade doubles its base power against Dyanamaxed and Gigantamaxed opponents, making Zacian a powerhouse even against Pokemon that have a type advantage over it. But don’t worry, there are ways to make this foe crumble. It’s time for the most important part of this Zacian competitive Pokemon overview.

Recommended Build

The best build for it is as a Physical Attacker. With its incredible attack and speed stats, along with the tools Gamefreak has given this swords-dog, anyone who uses Zacian will be set up for success. For this build, make sure Zacian has a Jolly nature, which will give it a boost in speed. This build is for Crowned Zacian, so Rusted Sword is a must and Intrepid Sword is the only ability Zacian has so players don’t need to worry about ability manipulation.

Visual for the Zacian Competitive Overview
Image from NintendObserver

Here are Zacian’s recommended moves:

Behemoth Blade: Zacian’s main STAB move and its signature move. This move is a must on Crowned Zacianand in order to access it, the player must make sure that Iron Head is equipped on base form Zacian. 

Ice Fang: This is one of Zacian’s main coverage moves and can be used to deal damage to Ground-type Pokemon, allowing it to counter popular choices like Landorous, as well as covering its own weakness to it.

Swords Dance: This move will raise Zacian’s attack stat by two stages, which grants a much-appreciated buff to Zacian’s attack power, resulting in it being even more broken than it already is.

Play Rough: Lastly, this secondary STAB move will allow Zacian to punish Dragon Pokemon and take them out of the running in one hit.

Counters for Zacian:

In Series 9, Ditto was the best counter for Zacian. Players could turn into an exact copy of the sword-wielding wolf to turn its best assets against it. Unfortunately, as Series 10 will outlaw Dynamaxing, it is important to be able to counter Zacian’s speed and type. As a result, Pokemon like Landorus-Therian are ideal as they can outspeed Zacian and easily KO it with Earthquake. In addition, Pokemon such as Cinderace can easily 1 hit KO Zacian with STAB Pyro Ball. Fire Pokemon in general are great for countering Zacian. 

Another great counter for Zacian are Pokemon with Unaware, such as Quagsire, due to being able to ignore Zacian’s ability and Steel STAB. This allows them to cripple Zacian easier, bringing players closer to victory. In fact, Quagsire itself is a great choice due to their access to scald, which would open up the chance to land a burn condition. And he’s not the only one either.

Another great choice is Swoobat, which not only has speed but can learn Heat Wave through TM. This means that on top of only taking neutral damage, it can deal super effective damage with this coverage move. However, as Zacian can still outspeed it, try giving it a quick claw. Overall, kill it with fire and bury it in the earth. With that said,

Closing visual for the Zacian Overview
Image from GameInformer


This Zacian competitive Pokemon overview is the first of many articles in this series. Each week, we will be reviewing each legendary Pokemon so there will be a comprehensive guide for each legendary.

Zacian has been cutting down the opposition in casual games for a long time. And with its return on the horizon, it’s time to buckle down and get ready for war. For those who are fans of this sword-bearer, you now have the tools to use them successfully, however, those who were once cowering in fear now have the gun to face it in the woods and put it down.

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