The competitive Pokemon scene is an ever-evolving battlefield. With each new generation of the series, dozens more species are added to the Pokedex, along with new moves, abilities, items, and more. This results in which Pokemon being considered the strongest sometimes shifting with the introduction of the novel.
Poison-types have not received much love over the course of the franchise until recently, like in Pokemon Sword & Shield. They almost never get legendaries and end up getting featured in the anime mostly as villain characters' Pokemon. Don't interpret this as a sign of weakness, however, as some of the mightiest modern Pokemon are of this type!
Updated on November 25, 2021, by Reyadh Rahaman: Those wishing to have the best competitive Poison-type Pokemon in Pokemon Sword & Shield will need to determine what is the best balance for their team. Even though there are powerful Pokemon that can sweep entire teams by themselves, they often need to set up some sort of strategy or limit themselves in some way. As such, having different options, such as using a Poison-type Pokemon at the right time, can be useful in many situations. Try to think a few steps ahead of the opponent for the best outcomes.
Thankfully, there is a way to transfer many Pokemon from older generations into Pokemon Sword & Shield. Meaning that most people's cherished companions can make their way into the modern era, allowing for a more personal experience that feels canon in one's lifelong journey as a Pokemon trainer. Salazzle, with their unique typing of Poison and Fire, is one such pocket monster.
Their ability, which only this species can possess, is called Corrosion and comes with an eponymous effect. It allows Salazzle to poison other Poison-type Pokemon with status moves, such as Toxic. It also lets them do the same do the normally immune Steel-types, allowing for an almost guaranteed way to cripple tough walls or make a status ailment-themed strategy work.
Salazzle was introduced in Pokemon Sun & Moon with the following Pokedex entries:
- Pokemon Sun: For some reason, only females have been found. It creates a reverse harem of male Salandit that it lives with.
- Pokemon Moon: Filled with pheromones, its poisonous gas can be diluted to use in the production of luscious perfumes.
Tips For Using Salazzle
In addition to being very capable of defeating Steel-type walls in most situations, Salazzle can also take down Fairy-type enemies due to their natural advantage on the type effectiveness chart. Salazzle's high Speed stat also means they are capable of striking first during most rounds of a battle.
One of the best Poison-type Pokemon from Generation I pierces their way into the meta-game once more. Nidoking has had a decent number of usages in competitive gameplay for every generation. Never a truly noteworthy amount, but they have always been a decent choice for a physical or special attacker. Not quite potent enough to sweep full teams by themselves but mighty and versatile enough to force the foe to consider their next moves very carefully.
With a wide movepool of special attacks, Nidoking can assail adversaries with elemental moves like Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, and Flamethrower backed by 85 base Special Attack. By itself, this stat does not have sufficient knockout power, but when combined with the potential ability, Sheer Force, their attacks with secondary effects deal 30% more damage. The only downside is that the effects themselves are nullified, making this the ability for a purely damage-based strategy.
Nidoking was introduced in Pokemon Red & Blue with the following Pokedex entry:
- Pokemon Red & Blue: It uses its powerful tail in battle to smash, constrict, then break the prey's bones.
Tips For Using Nidoking
If players want to make use of Nidoking's Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB) while also getting the power boost from Sheer Force, trainers can teach their Nidoking moves like Sludge Wave and Earth Power, since those also have secondary effects.
Despite the bizarre, headcrab-like aesthetic, Slowking's Galar form is an impressive special attacker as well, though focusing more on taking advantage of their Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB) potential. Most players who use Slowking-Galar in competitive play prefer tanky hit-and-run strategies with big Poison or Psychic-type attacks followed by switching out.
Slowking can have the Regenerator ability, which heals them for 30% of their total health upon switching out. With this shell-headed Pokemon's solid HP and defensive stats, it can usually tank a hit, launch one of its own for a decent damage-trade, and then switch out to heal while an ally takes their place for a while.
Slowking's Galar form was introduced in Pokemon Sword & Shield with the following Pokedex entries:
- Pokemon Sword: A combination of toxins and the shock of evolving has increased Shellder's intelligence to the point that Shellder now controls Slowking.
- Pokemon Shield: While chanting strange spells, this Pokémon combines its internal toxins with what it's eaten, creating strange potions.
Tips For Using Slowking-Galar
Trading its original Water-typing for Poison-typing changes how Slowking can be used in battle by quite a lot. Players should make use of the new STAB bonus with powerful Poison-type moves, like Sludge Wave, which can be learn via TR, or Belch, which can be an egg move.
As another Generation I Pokemon to get a ticket into the Galar region with a new form, Weezing makes an appearance gaining a secondary type: Fairy. Appropriately for their likeness to pollution-spewing factories, this poison gas Pokemon's top strategies usually involve a lot of sludge.
The 90 base power Sludge Bomb is a reliable way for them to dish out a nasty amount of damage. The 30% chance to poison the foe is a great additional effect as well. Weezing's excellent Defense stat of 120 allows them to shrug off many physical attacks, letting them debuff opponents who have boosted their stats by clearing them with Haze.
Weezing's Galar form was introduced in Pokemon Sword & Shield with the following Pokedex entries:
- Pokemon Sword: This Pokémon consumes particles that contaminate the air. Instead of leaving droppings, it expels clean air.
- Pokemon Shield: Long ago, during a time when droves of factories fouled the air with pollution, Weezing changed into this form for some reason.
Tips For Using Weezing-Galar
While Weezing-Galar has a much better special attack movepool than it does for physical attacks, its Attack stat is actually a bit higher. Players can potentially make use of this by teaching their Weezing-Galar Play Rough, which is a pretty strong physical Fairy-type move.
Appearing with a Gigantamax form, Venusaur becomes one of the strongest Grass-type starter Pokemon evolutions in the game. With well-rounded stats and great Grass and Poison-type moves, Venusaur is one of the best choices for those valuing complex and difficult to counter-strategies.
Giga Drain, which can be learned by Technical Machine (TM), is a great special attack to let Venusaur heal while doing damage. Applying Leech Seed to do a damage-over-time equivalent as well can stack the beneficial effects enough to foil any of the adversaries' tactics that involve setting up plays that take multiple turns.
Venusaur was introduced in Pokemon Red & Blue with the following Pokedex entry:
- Pokemon Red & Blue: The plant blooms when it is absorbing solar energy. It stays on the move to seek sunlight.
Tips For Using Venusaur
Venusaur has always been a great choice for the most cunning trainers, as they have an excellent movepool full of tricky status moves. Leech Seed and Toxic are often useful for causing issues for opponents, however, Venusaur can also learn great offensive moves like Venoshock that capitalize on attacking poisoned targets.
There are few Pokemon species as accomplished at destroying entire teams with poison strategies as Toxapex. One of their abilities, aptly named Merciless, guarantees critical hits against poisoned foes. They may not have very good Attack or Special Attack stats at 63 and 53 respectfully, however, high base damage moves from either Water or Poison-types can do decent damage.
Though, this is the secondary strategy. The primary one is to apply the badly poisoned status, a worse version of being regularly poisoned, and then tanking hits with their huge Defense stat of 152 as well as their Special Defense stat of 142. Moves like Recover give them significantly better longevity while Haze can prevent enemies from buffing.
Toxapex was introduced in Pokemon Sun & Moon with the following Pokedex entries:
- Pokemon Sun: Toxapex crawls along the ocean floor on its 12 legs. It leaves a trail of Corsola bits scattered in its wake.
- Pokemon Moon: Those attacked by Toxapex's poison will suffer intense pain for three days and three nights. Post-recovery, there will be some aftereffects.
Tips For Using Toxapex
The best tactic for using Toxapex is to stand one's ground and watch the opposing Pokemon slowly succumb to the poison. Proper usage of Recover to heal and Haze to prevent adversaries from buffing will make Toxapex a tough wall to break through in any situation.
With their Gigantamax form, Toxtricity focuses more on their Electric side than their Poison one. Zapping foes with the 80 base power Overdrive is a great way to make use of their satisfying 114 Special Attack. Their ability, Punk Rock, also grants them reduced damage taken from sound moves and increases their own by 30%.
This lets them unleash normally severe attacks like Boomburst at even more devastating levels. Combine these tactics with Shift Gear for a speedy special sweeper that can break through many common walls like Corviknight and Toxapex.
Toxtricity was introduced in Pokemon Sword & Shield with the following Pokedex entries:
- Pokemon Sword: When this Pokémon sounds as if it's strumming a guitar, it's actually clawing at the protrusions on its chest to generate electricity.
- Pokemon Shield: This short-tempered and aggressive Pokémon chugs stagnant water to absorb any toxins it might contain.
Low Key Form
- Pokemon Sword: Capable of generating 15,000 volts of electricity, this Pokémon looks down on all that would challenge it.
- Pokemon Shield: It has an electrical organ on its chest. While generating electricity, it fills its surroundings with what sounds like the strumming of a bass guitar.
Tips For Using Toxtricity
Most trainers will have Toxtricity on their team as a strong Electric-type Pokemon, however, their Poison-typing means that players can use a move slot for a powerful Poison-type attack like Sludge Wave or Belch to take down Fairy and Grass-type foes that underestimate Toxtricity.
Showing up in raids at Wild Areas every now and then lets players come face to face with the gaping-mouthed monster that is Gengar's Gigantamax form. They can even learn some new moves that are only available via the Move Tutor in Pokemon Sword & Shield's expansion.
One of these is the Poison-type move, Corrosive Gas, which damages the opponent's item to the point where it cannot be used, though is still held by the foe. That item remains unusable for the rest of the battle, regardless if that Pokemon switches out. Another great one, the Ghosty-type Poltergeist, hits the foe with 110 physical base damage if they are holding an item.
Gengar was introduced in Pokemon Red & Blue with the following Pokedex entry:
- Pokemon Red & Blue: Under a full moon, this Pokémon likes to mimic the shadows of people and laugh at their fright.
Tips For Using Gengar
There are a ton of different tactics one can use with Gengar, as they have a varied movepool of great special attacks as well as versatile status moves. It's often best to choose one strategy or the other instead of mixing both in competitive battles when using this Ghost and Poison-type. This is due to the fact that being good at one thing is better than being okay at multiple things when it comes to Pokemon battles.
With 127 base Special Attack and 121 base Speed, this Poison and Dragon dual-type Pokemon is one of the best special sweepers. Their Beast Boost ability makes their dominance even more assured as it raises Naganadel's highest stat by a single stage every time they knock out an enemy. This allows them to go on a rampage and get deadlier with each felled foe.
Using these traits in conjunction with powerful STAB moves such as Sludge Wave and Draco Meteor can cleave through an opponent's Pokemon. The only thing that can cause them to pause would normally be a Steel-type, though Naganadel can learn Fire-type attacks like Flamethrower to melt these walls with ease.
Naganadel was introduced in Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon with the following Pokedex entries:
- Pokemon Ultra Sun: It stores hundreds of liters of poisonous liquid inside its body. It is one of the organisms known as UBs.
- Pokemon Ultra Moon: One kind of Ultra Beast, it fires a glowing, venomous liquid from its needles. This liquid is also immensely adhesive.
Tips For Using Naganadel
With high all-around base stats, as is suitable for a legendary Pokemon, Naganadel can be a solid choice for any team. Their Dragon-typing also gives them unique usage compared to many other Poison-type options. This is definitely the kind of Pokemon that trainers should try to use as a sweeper.
As a being from outer space hungry for life energy, Eternatus is one of the most intimidating Pokemon in the franchise. Add to this that they are the origin of Dynamax and Gigantamax transformations for a heaping helping of Pokemon world lore that explains why they are so huge and powerful. They are 65 feet long and can obliterate most opposing Pokemon with their 145 Special Attack at break-neck swiftness with their 130 Speed. Though, this is only in their regular form.
Eternatus has a special giant form known as its Eternamax form that gets to be a ridiculous 328 feet long! Easily the largest Pokemon in existence. With this size upgrade comes the highest HP stat in the game alongside Blissey at 255, as well as the highest defensive stats at 250 Defense and 250 Special Defense for mind-boggling bulk. Eternamax Eternatus's base stat total is a colossal 1125, the only Pokemon to ever achieve a combined stat number in four digits.
Eternatus was introduced in Pokemon Sword & Shield with the following Pokedex entries:
- Pokemon Sword: The core on its chest absorbs energy emanating from the lands of the Galar region. This energy is what allows Eternatus to stay active.
- Pokemon Shield: It was inside a meteorite that fell 20,000 years ago. There seems to be a connection between this Pokémon and the Dynamax phenomenon.
Tips For Using Eternatus
With crazy base stats, Eternatus is not only one of the strongest Poison-type Pokemon in the game, but possibly one of the strongest overall! This, combined with mighty Dragon-type signature moves like Dynamax Cannon and Eternabeam can let Eternatus dominate the battlefield.
Pokemon Sword & Shield is available on the Nintendo Switch.
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