The Ultra Beasts have enjoyed overall decent spots in the Pokémon series’ meta game since they first appeared in Gen 7. Being extradimensional creatures, these eleven pocket monsters fulfill roles in teams that no Pokémon from this universe could ever manage. That being said, some Ultra Beasts are clearly stronger than others.
Indeed, despite each of the Ultra Beasts boasting stat totals above 530 and having the Beast Boost ability, some of them are quite bad. Between strange stat distributions and typings, some run into major issues in the current meta. This is especially true for those weak against Fairy- and Steel-type Pokémon, who tend to be most dominant Pokémon types in the series.
In contrast, other Ultra Beasts are so strong that they are among the best Pokémon in the game. With a strong combination of moves, typings, and stat distributions, certain Ultra Beasts excel in the current meta. Following is a ranking of how well each of the Ultra Beasts perform in the Pokémon Sword and Shield Crown Tundra DLC meta.
#11 – Guzzlord’s Typing & Terrible Defense Make It The Worst Ultra Beast
If this list were ranking the coolest looking Ultra Beasts, Guzzlord would be near the top of it without a doubt. This unfortunately does not stop it from being the worst Ultra Beast when it comes to competitive play. Guzzlord’s Dark-Dragon dual-typing is one of the weakest in Pokémon because it is four-times weak to Fairy attacks, which essentially prevents the all-consuming monster from ever being useful in the current meta.
What makes Guzzlord even worse is its stats. While Guzzlord’s 223 HP stat is nothing to chuckle over, its abysmal 53 Defense and Special Defense make it something to laugh at without mercy. Any Fairy attacker could erase most – if not all – of Guzzlord’s health in a single hit. Even a Mimikyu with its weakness to Dark types could simply use Sword’s Dance, absorb a hit with Disguise, and one-hit KO Guzzlord.
#10-9 – Poipole & Naganadel Have A Messy Pokémon Design
Like Guzzlord, Poipole and Naganadel would be at the top of the list of the coolest Ultra Beasts, but despite the Naganadel line’s design being awesome, it suffers when it comes to functionality. Poison-Dragon is a great dual-typing, as it protects Dragon (one of the best types in the Pokémon games) from its most important weakness, the Fairy type. However, the Naganadel line is meant to function in more offensive roles as a wall-breaker or sweeper because of its high Speed stat at 121 and high Special Attack stat at 127. This leaves Naganadel in a confused state, as its mediocre defenses do not support its defensive typing, and its high Special Attack stat does not support its Poison stab moves (most of which are physical attacks).
What’s worse, Poipole and Naganadel are the only two Ultra Beasts who do not have a stat total at or above 570. While this makes sense for Poipole because it is a Pokémon pre-evolution, Naganadel should at least have a 570 base stat total if not higher because it is an evolution. It instead boasts a 540 base stat total. This is in no way bad, but it does ultimately limit Naganadel and make other Ultra Beasts better picks.
#8 – Buzzwole Was Made Worse By Gigantamax
Buzzwole used to linger somewhere in the middle of the Ultra Beast rankings, but the buff bug has suffered in more recent times due to Pokémon Sword and Shield‘s Gigantamaxing mechanic. In particular, Max Airstream, a Flying-type Gigantamax attack that raises a team’s Speed stat, is a problem for Buzzwole. Flying type moves are not usually common in the restrictive, ever-changing Pokémon VGC, but the effect of Max Airstream has made running Flying type moves on Gigantamax Pokémon meta. Buzzwole can thus no longer hope to avoid opponents taking advantage of its four-times weakness to Flying.
What makes this situation worse for Buzzwole are its stats. Buzzwole has a decent stat spread, with 107 HP backed by 139 Defense and Attack. However, running Togekiss with “Air Slash” – one of the few special attacking Flying-type moves – has become more popular than ever, which places a spotlight on Buzzwole’s abysmal 53 Special Defense. That the yolked mosquito has mediocre Speed that can’t protect it from hits only makes using Buzzwole in Pokémon harder.
#7 – Regieleki Ruined Pheromosa In Pokémon Sword & Shield
Like Buzzwole, Pheromosa fell down in the Ultra Beast rankings with the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield‘s Crown Tundra DLC. Pheromosa was once (and is somewhat still) one of the best Pokémon in the series because of its 137 Attack and Special Attack stats as well as its whopping 151 Speed. The only two Pokémon faster than Pheremosa before Crown Tundra were Ninjask (whose other stats are terrible) and Deoxys Speed Forme. And with Speed Forme being one of the lesser Formes of Deoxys, Pheromosa essentially became the fastest Pokémon in the series, and perhaps the best glass cannon because no Pokémon could truly out-speed or take damage from it.
However, Pheremosa’s speedster status changed when Pokémon Sword and Shield‘s Crown Tundra DLC introduced Regieleki, the new fastest Pokémon. With a base Speed of 200, Regieleki will always be faster than Pheromosa even if it has the optimal nature. This essentially created a hard check for Pheromosa, as it stands no chance in Uber Tier battles despite being in the Uber Tier itself. Regieleki will always be there to expose Pheromosa’s nonexistent defenses and HP.
#6 – Nihilego Provides Devastating Special Attack Pressure
Nihilego is the sleeper pick of the Ultra Beasts. Its unique Rock-Poison typing comes with fewer weaknesses than strengths, making it a strong striker for a team. Nihilego has the Special Attack and Speed to fulfill this role, with 127 and 103 points in those stats. What’s more, Nihilego comes with an even more impressive special bulk at 131 Special Defense and 109 HP, which renders most super effective Water attacks ineffective.
However, in Pokémon Sword and Shield, Nihilego comes with one huge weakness: Earthquake. The prominence of Earthquake in the Pokémon VGC is longstanding, meaning Nihilego is almost always at risk of suffering a four-times super effective hit from one of the strongest moves in the game. What’s more, Nihilego has near zero physical bulk at 47 Defense, meaning the rock jellyfish has virtually zero methods to defend itself against Ground types.
#5 – Blacephalon Is A Great Attacking Pokémon But Needs More Speed
Blacephalon is a sweeper in the Pokémon VGC and a strange one at that. Compared to other glass cannon Ultra Beasts like Pheromosa and Kartana, Blacephalon has skewed but fairly balanced attack stats with its Attack being 127 and Special Attack being 157. This opens the doorway for Blacephalon to surprise opponents with something like Shadow Sneak, as they may expect Blacephalon to run with all Special Attacking Pokémon moves.
The only thing holding Blacephalon back is its speed and defenses. Relying on Blacephalon as a direct sweeper can be risky because its Speed is not high enough for this role. This usually means it needs to be cycled into, which requires extensive set up due to its abysmal 53 HP and weakness to Water types.
#4 – Stakataka May Be The Best Ultra Beast In Pokémon, But Is Hard To Use
Out of all the Ultra Beasts, Stakataka is the strangest when it comes to the Pokémon VCG. It has a stunning 211 Defense stat and a complimentary 101 Special Defense to cover its 61 HP. In a way, this essentially makes Stakataka the Shuckle of the Ultra Beasts, being one of the most defensive Pokémon that can terrorize opponents.
However, there is more to Stakataka than its bulk. Namely, it can hit as hard as it can take: Stakataka boasts a 131 Attack stat. It also has a hilarious 13 Speed stat, making it perfect for Trick Room teams. This combination of impossibly dense defenses, scarily high physical attacks, and “Trick Room” potential make Stakataka both the Ultra Beast with the most potential and the Ultra Beast that is the hardest to use. This latter facet of Stakataka is the only trait holding it back, as the following three are incredibly powerful and straightforward in their use.
#3 – Kartana Is The Best Ultra Beast Sweeper
What happens when GameFreak combines one of the best defensive typings with one of the highest Attack stats in the Pokémon series? The answer is Kartana, a Grass-Steel Pokémon who can absolutely decimate teams. Kartana boasts a 181 Attack stat that, when combined with its Speed and a Sword’s Dance, can result in an almost immediate loss for one’s opponents. Additionally, its access to stab Steel-type moves makes it an effective counter to Fairy Pokémon.
What makes Kartana even better is that it is not terrible on switch-in. Despite its low HP stat, Kartana has a great Defense stat at 131, meaning Fighting-types and any physical attacking Fire-types are going to have a difficult time hurting this Ultra Beast. This enables Kartana to also serve as a wall-breaker that can come in and destroy an opponent’s tanks who try to set up with moves like “Calm Mind” or “Cosmic Power.” If Kartana’s HP were a little higher, it would likely be the best of Gen 7’s Ultra Beasts.
#2 – Xurkitree’s Special Attack Is Terrifying In Pokémon
Xurkitree is essentially Nihilego with a stronger offensive presence and less terrible defensive presence. Xurkitree boasts a 173 Special Attack with all other stats being mediocre across the board. In combination with Xurkitree’s Electric typing that makes it weak only to Ground, these stats make for a Pokémon who can take a few hits while unleashing perhaps the most devastating special attacking seen in the Pokémon series.
Xurkitree also has access to a fantastic move pool that diversifies both its offense and defense. The Ultra Beast can learn Grass moves like Energy Ball, which puts an immediate threat on any competitive Ground-type Pokémon in the series. Additionally, Xurkitree learns Magnet Rise, meaning it can avoid all super effective moves. This combination of incredible offense and defense make Xurkitree a reliable sweeper and wall-breaker. If only it were a little faster, it may have been ranked first.
#1 – Celesteela’s Typing & Stats Make It The Best Ultra Beast In Pokémon
Most of the Ultra Beasts suffer because of one of two reasons: they either have a bad typing or an extremely uneven stat distribution that makes them vulnerable to obvious counterplay. Celesteela is the only Ultra Beast to truly lack either of these faults. Its Flying-Steel typing is one of the best defensive typings in the series, being invulnerable to Ground attacks and weak to only Fire and Electric. Celesteela also has impressive 103 and 101 Defense and Special Defense stats to bring the most out its typing; mirroring this is its strong 101 and 107 Attack and Special Attack stats that make the Ultra Beast an offensive threat and one of the most terrifying Pokémon to deal with.
Celesteela is also the heaviest Pokémon in the series (disregarding Gigantamax Pokémon), making it the best Heavy Slam user in the game. Being 2,204 pounds, Celesteela can often do a 100 to 120 base power Heavy Slam on opponents and take advantage of the fact that it’s a stab move. This makes the Ultra Beast a threat in a meta dominated by Fairy types. With so few Pokémon serving as counters to Celesteela, it is certainly the best Ultra Beast in the Pokémon series.