10 Pokemon That Are Good In Singles, But Not Doubles
When you play Pokemon as a kid, all you really tend to do is grab a few of your favorite powerhouses and just blow through all of the Gym Leaders and the Elite Four. As it usually turns out, a lot of these Pokemon prove to be incredibly effective competitively as well.
However, you have got to know where that Pokemon fits. While some Pokemon function well when partnered with another Pokemon, others are meant to be solo acts. This means that they really don't get a chance to shine in VGC, Pokemon's official competitive format. These Pokemon still deserve their moment in the spotlight, so let's focus on those critters that shine best when they're on their own.
Weavile is a fast physical sweeper with access to great priority moves and awesome coverage. Not to mention that they're cute to boot! Seriously, Weavile is the very definition of a scamp.
However, Weavile is incredibly frail, needing a Choice Band to reach its full attacking potential. Sadly, this is its downfall in doubles. While you could swap it out for a wall Pokemon to absorb the damage in singles, Weavile is pretty much hung out to dry in VGC — where the opponents hit a lot harder and versatility is the name of the game. Weavile is awesome, but only on its own.
9 Galarian Darmanitan
Galarian Darmanitan is a lot like Weavile, but with more of an emphasis on power and less on speed. But what really sets it apart from others is its two incredible abilities: Gorilla Tactics and Zen Mode. The former basically acts as a Choice Band without holding an item, while the former massively increases Galarian Darmanitan's attack and speed while adding the Fire typing. No matter which ability you choose, Galarian Darmanitan is going to hit like a truck.
However, in doubles it won't last long enough to take advantage of that power. It has even worse defenses than Weavile, and in order to take advantage of Zen Mode, you'll already need to be at half health. So it looks like this yeti-like Pokemon will have to remain isolated.
Blissey is the first Pokemon players think of when they think of a special wall. With a massive 135 base Sp. Defense and an even higher 255 base HP, Blissey will have no issue dealing with special attackers. She'll just sit there healing herself and dishing out Toxics like nobody's business.
The issue with doubles is that there are two Pokemon on the other side of the field, and more often than not, one of them is going to have a physical move. Blissey cannot handle physical moves, having a flimsy 10 base Defense. That's less than a Caterpie. So, Blissey is relegated to the singles, where it can pick and choose its opponents more liberally.
Starmie is arguably one of the best Pokemon to come out of the first generation of Pokemon. It has good speed and Sp. Attack, and decent enough defenses. Combine this with Rapid Spin and you have one of the most reliable hazard removers in the game. Even though it has lost a little bit of effectiveness over the years, Starmie is still an incredibly reliable Pokemon.
However, doubles doesn't really have much of a call for hazard removal, and its stats just don't live up to the rest of the VGC metagame. Seriously, if you had access to Kyogre, would you choose Starmie? Like most sea stars, Starmie is best left on a rock doing its own thing.
And now for the most surprising entry on this list. Lugia is arguably one of the best defensive Pokemon of all time, with sky high HP, Defense, and Sp. Defense. Competitive singles players don't call it the Great Wall for nothing!
It's just a shame that Lugia doesn't see this kind of greatness in doubles. This is mainly because its attacking stats are only decent, not good. And in VGC, you are only allowed two limited Pokemon. So, if you have limited access to these legendary Pokemon and you want to be able to hit hard and fast, Lugia is not your best option.
Speaking of birds that are total walls, Skarmory! This iron bird has had a constant presence in competitive singles since its introduction. Its Steel and Flying typing balance each other out fairly well, and having the highest defense for a Flying-type. Skarmory is the perfect Pokemon for setting up entry hazards like Spikes or Stealth Rocks, and phasing its opponents out with Whirlwind.
While this is an effective strategy, it doesn't translate well to doubles. Typically, there is less swapping in and out, and special attackers like Kyogre and Regieleki have a massive presence. But that's totally fine, because Skarmory has set up a lovely nest in single battles.
Wobbuffet's inclusion on this list should be self explanatory, as there is really only one thing it can do: wait to get hit and then hit back with twice as much power using either Counter or Mirror Coat. This is an incredibly effective way to get rid of one threat in a singles match, but there are just too many variables in doubles.
Not only do you have to select between Counter and Mirror Coat, but you have to guess which of your opponent's two Pokemon are attacking you and what type of move they'll use. Wobbuffet is just too predictable as a result, and essentially an empty slot on your team. Stick with Team Rocket, bud.
Alakazam was the terror of Generation One, when Psychic-types dominated the competitive landscape. It only got stronger down the line, too, with the Magic Guard ability and a Mega Evolution. However, this only applies to single battles, because in doubles it doesn't stand a chance.
This is not just because Alakazam is far too frail, but because it is a Pokemon built for Gen One when single battles were the only kind of battles going on. And while others have been able to adapt, like Snorlax and Slowbro, Alakazam has been left stuck in the back playing with its spoons.
Toxapex is a defensive behemoth that, along with its pre-evolution form Mareanie, has some of the most disturbing Pokedex entries ever. These make sense, when you realize its job is to stick around and poison its prey until they just give up. This is exactly what Toxapex does in combat: poison the opponent and wait around until it faints.
However, VGC is a fast-paced metagame, and more often than not you won't have the time to wait. In order for Toxapex to do what it does, it would need to survive Max Lightning attacks from Dynamax Kyogre and Max Quake attacks from Dynamax Groudon — and that's just not going to happen. Go back to attacking Corsolas, Toxapex. That's where you belong.
Dugtrio has one role and it performs it well: trap a Pokemon on the field with Arena Trap, and hit it fast and hard with its decent Attack and excellent Speed. When holding a Focus Sash, Dugtrio is the perfect revenge killer, and able to eliminate a threat from your opponent's team.
This strategy is completely destroyed in doubles. The Focus Sash is wasted, because as soon as Dugtrio is doubled up on or hit with two spread moves, it will faint. Dugtrio is the definition of simplicity. It looks basic, and it only has one real role that it fills. Ultimately, that's just too simple for doubles.
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