Metagross — Pokémon Sword & Shield movesets and strategies

Making a follow up from the last analysis, this week we bring you Metagross, a Pokémon that has been a force to be reckoned with since its day view back in the 3rd generation, and this meta isn’t the exception.

How to use Metagross

Having quite an impressive attack stat of 135 is no surprise that Metagross main role is to shred apart everything in its path. That monstrous offense comes with a more than decent bulk and a rather mediocre speed but that doesn’t represent any sort of problem, since Gross’ strengths outweigh its weaknesses. Now this sweeper role can be executed in different ways, mainly depending on the item you decide to equip it with.


To kick thing off, let’s start nice and simple: always go with Clear Body…we don’t like being intimidated nor the stat drops from max moves.

There are a lot of EV distributions that can work for Metagross, so, rather than giving you a couple of fixed ones we’ll give you some calculations on specific stats so you can build the set that perfectly fits your team.

Sets and Builds

Item sets for Metagross

 Weakness Policy sweeper

Being the most common item for Metagross, the Weakness Police set takes advantage of the good defensive stats Metagross packs to prove that the best offense…its an even greater offense. (*This set works the best if you commit the Dynamax on it)

Life Orb all-out-attacker

Ignoring the part in which you take a good chunk of damage to get your attack boosted, comes the Life Orb set. For this one, it can work equally as good with or without dynamax, and has the advantage that you are not forced to invest in bulk, so you can put EVs on speed and pair it with a Tailwind user or other mons that provide Speed Control.

Assault Vest tank

This set puts to good use the insane physical defense Gross has and utilizes the Assault Vest to cover its more “fragile” Sp. Def. Just as the L.O this set can shine with or without maxing it.

EV distribution

Just remember that a complicated EV distribution isn’t always necessary/mandatory, so a 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Sp.Def/Spe is sometimes the right way to go.

  • 252 HP / 84 Def ensures you can survive a Wicked Blow from a Jolly, non-offensive item Urshifu. (And as a bonus calc, just with 252 HP you always survive the Earthquake from an Adamant Landorus-T)
  • 252 HP / 116 Sp.Def alongside an Assault Vest allows you to take the Earth Power from a Sheer Force, Life Orb, Timid Landorus, giving you the opportunity to retaliate with an Ice Punch.

Those are the most meaningful calcs on both ends of the spectrum, physical and special defense but for more “miscellaneous” ones:

  • 156 Spe EVs plus and Adamant nature (or 76 with a Jolly one) allows Metagross to outspeed Jolly Urshifus after an Icy Wind or Bulldoze (take into consideration that you need a Pokémon faster than Urshifu in order to fire off the move and then follow up with Gross’ attack)
  • 132 Spe EVs + Adamant (or 60 + Jolly) allows you to outspeed Dragapult after a Tailwind.

Recommended moves and movesets

For moves the Steel STAB is a must and to cover that, a Ground type attack is almost mandatory. The other two slots are more flexible, Zen Headbutt for the second STAB, Ice Punch for all those Landos and Dragons that are running around, Bullet Punch for the clutch priority, Rock Slide, Protect, Hammer Arm etc.

Sample moveset

  • Iron Head
  • Stomping Tantrum
  • Ice Punch 
  • Protect

Partners, Checks and Counters

Pokémon that compliment Metagross

Tapu Fini is the perfect mon to handle all the Fire and Ground types that Metagross dislikes. Trick Room setters also pair very well with it, Porygon2 and Dusclops being the more prominent ones. Redirectors such as Amoonguss enable Gross to sweep safely and last but not least Intimidate users like Incineroar and Arcanine highly increase its survivability. Friendly reminder: both Dusclops and Arcanine can proc a W.P with Bulldoze, ignoring the speed drop on Metagross thanks to Clear Body 😉 

Honorable mention to Tapu Lele for the Psychic Spam core from VGC17. 

Check and Counters

Metagross doesn’t have a Pokémon that completely walls it out, that being said, Rotom Heat and Wash (if you are not running a Psychic attack) or specially Celesteela can tank your hits pretty well and return good hits with Overheat and Flamethrower respectively, or stall you out of the game with Leech Seed and Will-O-Wisp, so is important that you have a plan for those math ups.

Also, normally Gross can take at least one hit from a super effective move, just be aware of any Choice Band or Choice Specs user, as they may surprise you with an OHKO

Share your thoughts on Metagross

What sets do you like to use? What Pokémon do you like pairing Metagross with? Have any suggestions for our analysis above?  We’d love to read your opinions in the comments below or on our Discord server!