Psychic-types have historically remained one of the most overpowered typings in the Pokemon series. Many have received nerfs to their attacks and new weaknesses like Dark-type moves to prevent them from ruling competitive play, but even in Pokemon Sword & Shield, Psychic-types still remain incredibly dominant.
Galar’s pool of Psychic-type Pokemon is massive, and many more members are competitively viable than most members of the Pokedex. That being said, some are undoubtedly more powerful than others, and it’s worth having at least one of the most powerful members in your team if you plan to take on the Battle Stadium.
Some of the strongest Psychic-types in the game are also the oldest, as Alakazam brilliantly proves. This Pokemon was so powerful in the original Pokemon Red & Blue that it garnered a dramatic nerf towards all Psychic-types, in the form of newly resistant Dark and Steel-types.
Despite having more weakness, Alakazam is still an intense powerhouse. Its Speed and Special Attack are nearly unmatched, and while it lacks a wide movepool of non-Psychic attacks, any opponent that doesn’t resist Alakazam will have a troubling fight ahead of them.
9 Galarian Rapidash
Not all of the best Psychic-types are the classics, however, as newer members of the family have been especially fortunate with their stats and secondary typings. This includes the new Galarian Rapidash, replacing the original Fire-type with a Psychic and Fairy dual-type to deal with Dark Pokemon even better.
What makes Rapidash so unique, though, is that it’s a physical attacker instead of a special attacker. This is exceptionally rare for Psychic-types, but even rarer among Fairy-types, and access to moves like High Horsepower and Bounce give it a ton of moves that are Super Effective against common competitive threats.
8 Galarian Slowbro
Unlike many fast Pokemon, Galarian Slowbro’s quickness is significantly more varied. This is because of its unique ability Quick Draw, which lets it occasionally strike at the speed of moves like Quick Attack with any of its attacks. It’s unreliable, but an undoubtedly powerful effect against dangerously fast opponents like Cinderace and the new Regieleki.
Thankfully, the risk of a slower move can be mitigated further, as the often-forgotten item Quick Claw can give an additional chance to let Slowbro strike first. When it fails, though, its high defenses and wonderfully move-resistant combination of Psychic and Poison-type let it succeed no matter when it manages to attack.
Putting opponents to sleep is one of the most effective strategies in competitive play. Sometimes an opponent might wake up immediately, but even gaining one turn to improve your stats or chip away damage can put you infinitely ahead of your opponent, and even more so if they take several turns to snap out of their slumber.
The main problem with Sleep-based strategies is that many of these moves lack accuracy, but Kanto classic Jynx manages to circumvent that with the 75% accurate move Lovely Kiss. It still can miss often without other accuracy or evasion changes, but it’s still reliable enough to hit most of the time and Jynx is fast enough to outrun most foes, giving it a huge potential to shut down opponents.
Many of the recent changes to the online metagame are because of the Crown Tundra expansion, which brought back several legendary Pokemon that populated the competitive scene of past online games. An absurd amount of them come from Sinnoh and Unova, and Azelf remains one of the standouts from this era.
Azelf, a member of the lake guardian trio, is especially known for its wide movepool, which features several classic elemental attacks like Flamethrower and Thunderbolt. This is accompanied by high Speed and Special Attack stats, as well as a surprisingly impressive physical Attack stat that can be combined with unexpected moves like Stone Edge and Play Rough.
Psychic-type tanks can often be liabilities, as their primary defensive stat is usually Special Defense. This protects them from many Ghost and Bug-type foes, but physical fighters can often take them down without relying on Super Effective attacks. As a result, physically defensive tanks like Metagross are a blessing for Psychic-type fans.
This competitive staple from Hoenn has a troubling number of weaknesses, but its defensive stats are high enough that it’s nearly impossible to defeat in one hit. With the powerful Weakness Policy item and the ability to Dynamax for additional health, it’s not unreasonable for Metagross to gain enough offense and bulk to defeat up to two faster foes before fainting.
There are tons of options for Psychic-type support strategies, but many lack the stats or moves to do everything you need. Setting up barriers fast can be important for some matchups, but others demand a quick Trick Room or pure damage to get ahead of their opponents, and Meowstic succeeds in every one of those categories.
Not only does the male version of Meowstic gain the spectacular Prankster ability to use status moves immediately, but its Speed and offensive stats are high enough that it can always fall back on damage in a dire situation. The female version of Meowstic is not generally worth using because it lacks Prankster, but those wishing for a unique aggressor might find some use with it.
Another gender-divided Pokemon, Galar’s new Indeedee competes extremely hard against Meowstic for its utility. Both genders receive the hidden ability Psychic Surge, which immediately puts Psychic Terrain over the battlefield to block priority moves. This gives Indeedee a great defensive buff, while its additional Normal-typing also protects against Ghost-type moves.
Indeedee also can work just as well as a solo fighter, thanks to its new move Expanding Force that can be learned from the Isle of Armor’s Move Tutor. This will have increased damage and hit both targets in Double Battles when used on Psychic Terrain, meaning Indeedee’s ability gives an immediate boost to an already-powerful move.
Azelf is hardly the only classic Psychic-type from Sinnoh to return in the Crown Tundra, as the expansion also brings back many of the most powerful tanks to the game. One of these includes the underrated legendary Cresselia, a lunar beast with Defense and Special Defense stats that outclass nearly every other Psychic-type in the game.
Cresselia does have its weaknesses, namely its low offensive stats, but its ability to heal itself through the move Lunar Healing means it can usually outpace basic aggressors. If things do look gloomy, Cresselia’s Lunar Dance lets it faint to fully heal your next incoming Pokemon, letting Cresselia benefit your team from the grave.
1 Galarian Articuno
Many competitive players are loving the new Galarian legendary birds. Players have gotten attached to the new Moltres and Zapdos, but Articuno’s versatility outmatches them and a majority of other Psychic-types as well.
Articuno can fill any role in a team, whether it is supporting its companions with Tailwind and Hypnosis or dealing heavy damage with Hurricane and Freezing Glare. Articuno is also especially good at countering Dynamax opponents, as many Max Moves will decrease its stats to activate Articuno’s Competitive ability to immediately double its Special Attack stat.
Next: 10 Pokemon You Forgot Were Psychic-Type
- Pokémon Sword and Shield
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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