Best Zarude movesets with explanations and videos

The newest Mythical Pokémon to be added to Pokémon Sword & Shield is Zarude, the Rogue Monkey Pokémon. As more and more players are gaining access to it, many are wondering what the best ways to use it are.

General information about Zarude

Zarude official art

Zarude stats, weaknesses and resistances

Zarude has a base stat total (BST) of 600 from its individual stats:

  • HP: 105
  • Attack: 120
  • Defense: 105
  • Sp. Attack: 70
  • Sp. Defense: 95
  • Speed: 105

Like most Mythical Pokémon, Zarude enjoys a high BST. This is spread out nicely to give it high attack, good defenses and superb speed.

Unfortunately, its Dark/Grass typing doesn’t do it many favors; Zarude is weak to 7 types: Bug (4x), Fairy, Fighting, Fire, Flying, Ice and Poison.

That being said, its 6 resistances aren’t anything to scoff at. It takes half damage from Dark-, Electric-, Ghost-, Grass-, Ground- and Water-type attacks.

How can I get Zarude?

If you don’t already have Zarude, the only way to currently get one is through codes printed on pre-purchase tickets for Pokémon the Movie: Coco in Japan. The tickets usually run for about $7.55 USD and also include a code for a Shiny Celebi. This means you’ll need an acquaintance in the country to get one for your—most that are currently being given out have been generated through hacking.

The best movesets for Zarude

Our friends at pokeaimMD have helped create some very strong movesets for Zarude to utilize.

Jolly Choice Band

  • Nature: Jolly
  • Ability: Leaf Guard
  • Item: Choice Band (boosts attack, but locks Pokémon into a single move)
  • EV Spread: 252: Attack & Speed, 4: Defense
  • Moves:
    • Close Combat
    • U-Turn
    • Rock Slide / Darkest Lariat
    • Power Whip

Power Whip is used at Zarude’s primary STAB damage-dealing attack and is going to take a significant amount of HP from any Pokémon it lands on that doesn’t resist it. Because Zarude doesn’t have access to Knock Off, Darkest Lariat is going to be the best Dark-type attack to run on it. However, that slot can also be filled by Rock Slide, which can take out some threats that Zarude would otherwise struggle against.

Close Combat allows Zarude to hit Steel-type walls super effectively, making them less of a challenge than they would normally be for a Grass-type Pokémon. U-Turn allows you to get in a hit before switching out if the match-up is unfavorable or if you find yourself facing a Grass-type wall such as Tangrowth.

Alternative: Using the same moves and nature, you can also run Choice Scarf (boosts speed, but locks Pokémon into a single move) on Zarude. This can be a good choice when facing a team with Dragapult, Volcarona or other fast threats. Pokeaim recommends Darkest Lariat over Rock Slide when using Choice scarf.

Jolly Life Orb

  • Nature: Jolly
  • Ability: Leaf Guard
  • Item: Life Orb (boosts damage done by moves, but inflicts damage equal to 10% of max HP on user each turn)
  • EV Spread: 252: Attack & Speed, 4: Sp. Defense
  • Moves:
    • Close Combat
    • Bulk Up
    • Rock Slide / Darkest Lariat
    • Power Whip

This set focuses on using pure power to take out your opponent. The Life Orb boosts the damage you’re dealing, allowing Zarude to capitalize on both its high speed and attack to use Bulk Up, then dish some serious pain out.

Alternative: You can use this set with an Adamant nature for an even higher attack boost, but keep in mind this will sacrifice the speed boost of Jolly and may leave you unable to out-speed fast threats.

Closing thoughts

Don’t be surprised to see Zarude in battles online—and don’t get caught off guard with its high speed and attack. Hopefully these movesets will serve two purposes: show you how to utilize its power, but also how to prepare when facing it.

You can also check out the rest of pokeaimMD’s video for some other, more experimental sets that utilize Zarude’s exclusive move “Jungle Healing”, which both restores HP and cures status conditions for it and its allies!

Let us know what you think in the comments below or find other Pokémon Sword & Shield players in our Discord server!