Every Pokemon has unique properties. While some may be solo powerhouses able to carry you through an entire playthrough by themselves, others work better on a team, with a partner standing by their side. The entries in this article are those Pokemon.
Although they may have some interesting attributes or fun movesets in singles combat, these Pokemon find themselves excelling in a doubles format like the VGC (Video Game Championship) — the official format for The Pokemon Company's competitive scene. So sit back, grab a friend, and let's take a look at Pokemon that reach peak performance when playing with others.
Of all the Pokemon on this list, Incineroar is the most synonymous with doubles. It's a combination of bulk, Intimidate, and great support moves like Fake Out and Parting Shot, and makes for one of the most common Pokemon in the VGC metagame.
Unfortunately, Incineroar's ferocity doesn't really carry over into singles. Yes, it can hit decently hard, with a 115 base Attack stat, but its low base Speed (just 60) really lets it down. This is especially true with all the bulky Water-types that tend to do well in single battles. Incineroar may be a wrestling Pokemon, but it looks like it will always be more Marty Janetty than Shawn Michaels. Look it up.
If you started playing Pokemon with Red and Blue, there is a good chance that you actually soloed the game with one of these starters. However, time gets to all of us, and as Pokemon has moved past the Kanto region, Venusaur, Charizard, and Blastoise have become less and less effective on their own. However, this trio really shines in the VGC!
All three starters are included together here because of their Gigantamax forms. Not only do these give them massive bulk, but each gets a unique G-Max move that deals an extra one sixth damage to your opponents for four turns on the field. This can be crucial when it comes to pressuring your opponent, preventing them from setting up. While these forms and moves can be powerful in singles, they are most effective in doubles.
Fan favorite Lapras is arguably one of the most beautiful Pokemon in the game, and has left a lasting impression since Lorelei used it in the first generation all those years ago. Unfortunately, it has never really been great in combat, mainly serving as a great form of transportation.
All of this changed in Sword and Shield, when it received a Gigantamax upgrade. This form gave it access to G-Max Resonance, an incredible move that deals damage while also activating Aurora Veil. This means that your entire team suddenly has a ton of bulk, something that is incredibly hard to get around. So while it is a bit harder to build a team around a defensive Gigantamax Pokemon, it can prove to be worthwhile with Lapras.
Whimsicott has been around since Generation Five, standing out with its adorable appearance and Prankster ability. This means it can get non-damaging moves off with priority. Unfortunately, its lack of bulk has made it harder for this cute cottonball to really stand out.
Where Whimsicott does stand out is with its incredible speed, moving faster than any other Prankster Pokemon. This means it can speed up its allies with Tailwind or slow down opponents with Stun Spore, before they can even blink. This can be crucial in a match, especially if your Pokemon tend to be bulkier and hit hard. In other words, Whimsicott can be the difference between victory and defeat.
Porygon2 stands out as one of the best Eviolite users in all of Pokemon, boosting both of its defenses to incredible heights. However, this bulk means nothing if it isn't able to capitalize on it. So, while it is easy for Porygon2 to get beaten in singles with common moves like Knock Off and Trick, these are much less common in doubles.
This gives Porygon2 the opportunity to do what it does best: set up Trick Room and stick around. This means slower Pokemon, such as Snorlax and Conkeldurr, can start to sweep through opponents with no resistance. Porygon2 is the perfect duck for doubles.
Grimmsnarl is one of the wilder looking Pokemon added in Sword and Shield. Covered almost entirely in hair, Grimmsnarl's unique Dark-and-Fairy typing and access to Prankster make for an incredible support Pokemon in doubles. It can set up screens, get off Thunder Waves, and even lower the opponent's Sp. Attack with its signature move Spirit Break.
But that's in doubles. In singles, Grimmsnarl is let down by its average bulk and low speed, much like Incineroar. So, while this Pokemon will make sure that its teammates stick around a bit longer, Grimmsnarl is essentially doomed on its own.
4 Female Indeedee
At first, the female Indeedee seems harmless. She's got decent bulk and a great ability in Psychic Surge, which increases Psychic-type attacks and prevents priority moves from working. Combine this with the move Expanding Force and you have a powerful special attacker. That's about it for singles though, since Indeedee's moveset doesn't really allow it to do much.
But in doubles, the female Indeedee excels! That bulk, combined with great support moves like Helping Hand and Follow Me, allow her teammates to start setting up other moves or stat buffs. The female Indeedee can hold her own while making her partner even stronger — isn't that what we all want in a partner?
Tornadus is yet another powerful Prankster Pokemon in VGC, except this one has some serious firepower! While not quite as fast as Whimsicott, it is still able to fire off fast Tailwinds and destroy opponents with moves like Heat Wave and Hurricane. The latter is especially effective when paired with Kyogre, one of the best Legendary Pokemon in the entire franchise, since it becomes 100 percent accurate in the rain.
Even though it is a powerful Legendary that works well with another Legendary, Tornadus is much less effective on its own. That 100 percent accurate Hurricane drops to 70 percent. Plus, Tornadus needs some time to set up additional power to take down a lot of the special walls in singles. So, while it's not terrible in singles, it is much better when complimented with teammates that can help it right out the gate.
Clefairy is an interesting Pokemon. It fills a very specific niche in doubles. It has access to Eviolite and the rare ability Friend Guard, a move that reduces damage dealt to your allies. When it comes to single battles, however, it is vehemently not great.
Look, Clefairy used to be a first-stage Pokemon that got a baby form later in life. Of course it's not going to be great in singles, even though it has the incredible Magic Guard ability. Clefairy may be cute and may have some surprising utility, but it will get obliterated in any standard singles competition.
One of the most surprisingly effective Pokemon in doubles was Gigantamax Coalossal. The unique Steam Engine ability, combined with Weakness Policy, suddenly made for a Pokemon with +6 to Speed, and +2 to both Attack and Sp. Attack. All of a sudden, this big and bulky bruiser was sweeping through teams with no issue.
But that's easy to do in doubles. In singles, Coalossal is atrocious. The Fire-and-Rock typing makes it weak to both Fighting and Rock, and four-times weak to Ground and Water — the type its ability takes advantage of. In other words, Coalossal is the perfect Pokemon to cap off this list.
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