Finding the perfect balance of creatures for your Pokémon squad can be a real challenge. While Pokémon Legends: Arceus doesn't feature the same emphasis on traditional gym battles or trainer encounters, there are still plenty of intense challenges worthy of proper team synergy. With a massive assortment of over 240 Pokémon to collect and train, there's a lot to understand, even for seasoned veterans. For players looking to truly become the very best, here's a collection of valuable tips that will help you construct the best Pokémon team in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
Know your type matchups
One of the most unique and vital mechanics in the Pokémon franchise is type matchups. Every Pokémon is given at least one type of designation, which fundamentally determines their strengths and weaknesses when facing off against opposing monsters. The current list of 18 Pokémon types is Normal, Fire, Water, Grass, Electric, Ice, Fighting, Poison, Ground, Flying, Psychic, Bug, Rock, Ghost, Dark, Dragon, Steel, and Fairy. While some fundamentals like Fire being weak to Water are easy enough to understand, it quickly becomes more complicated as we dive into dual-type Pokémon and unconventional matchups.
When assembling your team of up to six Pokémon, it's essential to have a diverse spread of Pokémon types and move types. You never want to put all of your eggs into one basket in this regard. Let's say your partner Samurott, a Dark/Water-type Pokémon is battling a Mr. Mime who is Psychic/Fairy. Typically, this would be an unfavorable matchup for your Samurott as Dark is weak to Fairy. However, if you have a Steel combat ability equipped, you can still land a Super Effective attack against Mr. Mime. These seemingly wildcard move matchups can help essentially any Pokémon on your team get the upper hand in desperate situations.
|Type||Super Effective (2X DMG)||Not very Effective (½X DMG)||Weak||Immune|
|Fighting||Normal, Rock, Steel, Ice, Dark||Flying, Poison, Bug, Psychic, Fairy||Flying, Psychic, Fairy||None|
|Flying||Fighting, Bug, Grass||Rock, Steel, Electric||Rock, Electric, Ice||Ground|
|Poison||Grass, Fairy||Poison, Ground, Rock, Ghost||Ground, Psychic||None|
|Ground||Poison, Rock, Steel, Fire, Electric||Bug, Grass||Water, Grass, Ice||Electric|
|Rock||Flying, Bug, Fire, Ice||Fighting, Ground, Steel||Fighting, Ground, Steel, Water, Grass||None|
|Bug||Grass, Psychic, Dark||Fighting, Flying, Poison, Ghost, Steel, Fire||Flying, Rock, Fire||None|
|Ghost||Ghost, Psychic||Dark||Ghost, Dark||Normal|
|Steel||Rock, Ice, Fairy||Steel, Fire, Water, Electric||Fighting, Ground, Fire||Poison|
|Fire||Bug, Grass, Steel, Ice||Rock, Fire, Water, Dragon||Ground, Rock, Water||None|
|Water||Ground, Rock, Fire||Water, Grass, Dragon||Grass, Electric||None|
|Grass||Ground, Rock, Water||Flying, Poison, Bug, Steel, Fire, Grass||Flying, Poison, Bug, Fire, Ice||None|
|Electric||Flying, Water||Grass, Electric, Dragon||Ice, Dragon, Fairy||None|
|Psychic||Fighting, Poison||Steel, Psychic||Bug, Ghost, Dark||None|
|Ice||Flying, Rock, Grass, Dragon||Steel, Fire, Water, Ice||Fighting, Rock, Steel, Fire||None|
|Dragon||Dragon||Steel||Ice, Dragon, Fairy||None|
|Dark||Ghost, Psychic||Fighting, Dark, Fairy||Fighting, Bug, Fairy||Psychic|
|Fairy||Fighting, Dragon, Dark||Poison, Steel, Fire||Poison, Steel||Dragon|
Use the above Pokémon type chart to help determine the right beast for the battles ahead. If you're a new player, learning the types of different Pokémon will undoubtedly require a little trial and error. However, catching Pokémon or defeating them in battle will unlock their type information in your in-game Pokédex, which you can reference at any time should you need a friendly reminder. There isn't a one-type fight all in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, but with a large number of powerful Rock and Fire Noble Pokémon in the game, having at least one powerful Water-type on your team is highly recommended.
Know your Natures
Much like its type, a Pokémon's Nature significantly influences its inherent strengths and weaknesses. Nature is a randomized mechanic in Pokémon Legends: Arceus that often increases one stat at the expense of another. For example, a Pokémon with a Brave Nature will have increased Attack and decreased Speed. While certainly not as critical as type matchups, dedicated players can leverage specific natures to alter a Pokémon's stat advantages.
Unlike previous Pokémon entries, there is no breeding in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. This means the only way to get Pokémon of a specific nature is by catching as many as possible until you're satisfied with the result, then using the farm in Jubilife Village to grow Nature Mints. You can check a Pokémon's Nature by selecting Check Summary in the party or pastures menu. The desired Nature will vary dramatically based on the Pokémon type and your intended playstyle.
|Careful||Special Defense||Special Attack|
|Rash||Special Attack||Special Defense|
If your goal is to train a tanky Snorlax who can consistently endure a beating, you'll likely want it to have the Sassy Nature, which increases its Special Defense while decreasing its Speed. Don't worry too much if you find yourself in a situation where you're unable to catch a Pokémon with the Nature you're hoping for. Simply pay the farmer in Jubilife village 10,000 Poké Dollars for a Mint Harvest until you get the Mint associated with your desired Nature. In the case of our Snorlax here, a Sassy Mint would get the job done.
EV train your Pokémon
Once you've gained a confident grasp of type matchups as well as Natures in Pokémon Legends: Arceus and are happy with your curated selection of six Pokémon, it's time to begin the process of EV (Effort Value) training. The mechanics of EV training can be overwhelming for newer players, but understanding how they work and impact your Pokémon is critical for building the ultimate Pokémon team. Raising these value levels, determined on a scale from 0 to 10, directly improves each one of your Pokémon's base stats.
Thanks to a major overhaul of the allocation system for Effort Value points, EV training is easier than ever in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Players can earn various Grit items, which can be used to raise any Pokémon's stats. These items include Grit Dust, Grit Gravel, Grit Pebble, and Grit Rock. Grit items are precious and thankfully can be earned simply by engaging with many of the game's core mechanics like catching and battling. However, if you want to acquire these training items quickly, check out our guide on the best ways to farm Grit.
|Grit Items||Effective Range|
|Grit Dust||+1 Effort Value from level 0-3|
|Grit Gravel||+1 Effort Value from level 3-6|
|Grit Pebble||+1 Effort Value from level 6-9|
|Grit Rock||+1 Effort Value from level 9|
To unlock a Pokémon's full potential, you'll need to raise each one of their stats to level 10 on the EV scale. You can quickly see where a Pokémon stands with its EVs by checking their summary in the party menu. To raise any particular Effort Value, simply select the Grit item you wish to use from your inventory and choose the stat you wish to improve. Each Grit item only works within a specific range. Use the above chart as a point of reference when enhancing your Pokémon's Effort Values. Reaching level 10 is very item-intensive, so make sure you're quite happy with your Pokémon before committing these Grit items.
A powerful team example
While there are countless combinations for constructing a mighty squad in Pokémon Legends: Arceus and it's difficult to say one particular team is definitively "the best," I've taken some time to build a group of six Pokémon with diverse type and move matchups that should easily handle even the most challenging encounters. I'll be breaking down the specific Pokémon I've chosen, their types, Natures, and movesets. This example should give you a strong understanding of building your personalized ultimate Pokémon team.
- Iron Tail (Steel) - The target is slammed with a steel-hard tail. This may also lower the target's defensive stats.
- X-Scissor (Bug) - The user slashes at the target by crossing its scythes or claws as if they were a pair of scissors. This move has a heightened chance of landing a critical hit.
- Night Slash (Dark) - The user slashes the target the instant the target lowers its guard. This move has a heightened chance of landing a critical hit.
- Hydro Pump (Water) - The target is blasted by a huge volume of water launched under great pressure.
- Giga Impact (Normal) - The user charges at the target using every bit of its power.
- Sludge Bomb (Poison) - Unsanitary sludge is hurled at the target to deal damage. This may also poison the target.
- Draco Meteor (Dragon) - Comets are summoned down from the sky onto the target. The recoil from this move lowers the user's offensive stats.
- Iron Head (Steel) - The user slams the target with its steel-hard head.
- Psychic (Psychic) - The target is hit with a strong telekinetic force to inflict damage. This may also lower the target's defensive stats.
- Dazzling Gleam (Fairy) - The user emits a powerful flash of light to inflict damage on the target.
- Thunder Punch (Electric) - The target is punched with an electrified fist. This may also leave the target with paralysis.
- Ice Punch (Ice) - The target is punched with an icy fist. This may also leave the target with frostbite.
- Aerial Ace (Flying) - The user confounds the target with speed, then slashes. This attack never misses.
- Shadow Ball (Ghost) - The user hurls a shadowy blob at the target to deal damage. This may also lower the target's defensive stats.
- Snarl (Dark) - The user attacks by crying out as if it's ranting about something. This also lowers the target's offensive stats.
- Slash (Normal) - The target is attacked with a slash of claws or blades. This move has a heightened chance of landing a critical hit.
- Stone Edge (Rock) - The user stabs the target with sharpened stones. This move has a heightened chance of landing a critical hit.
- Close Combat (Fighting) - The user fights the target up close, inflicting damage without guarding itself. This also lowers the user's defensive stats.
- Flare Blitz (Fire) - The user cloaks itself in fire and charges the target to inflict damage. This also damages the user and may leave the target with a burn.
- Nasty Plot (Dark) - The user stimulates its brain by thinking bad thoughts, raising the user's offensive stats.
- Sleep Powder (Grass) - The user scatters a cloud of sleep-inducing powder that makes the target drowsy.
- Wood Hammer (Grass) - The user slams its rugged body into the target to attack. This also damages the user.
- Bite (Dark) - The user bites the target with viciously sharp fangs to inflict damage.
- Bulldoze (Ground) - The user tramples its target into the ground, dealing damage. This also lowers the target's action speed.
Get out there and start training!
Why you can trust iMore Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
As someone who has played Pokémon for decades now, I know firsthand just how technical some of the deeper game mechanics can be. Hopefully, this team example and collection of crucial tips will help you when training up your very own powerhouse team. With thousands of possibilities and a vast roster of amazing Pokémon to choose from, experimentation is one of the most exciting things about playing a new Pokémon game.
It delivers a satisfying experience centered around catching and exploring for casual players. And for more dedicated players, it offers a deep endgame experience with plenty of worthwhile challenges. Even early on in the year, it's clear that Pokémon Legends: Arceus is one of the best games on Switch in 2022.
A grand adventure!
Be the very best!
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a fresh new take on the classic Pokémon formula. With a larger open-world than its predecessors and some new twists on the gameplay loop, this unique entry is a welcomed addition to the series.
Get the best of iMore in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to iMore. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.