Gholdengo – Scarlet & Violet Competitive Battle Guide

With the release of a new Pokémon Game always comes a new meta. And even if people are just getting adjusted to the new meta, there’s one Pokémon who, due to their incredible signature ability, has been regarded as one of the best Pokémon in this OU meta.

We’re talking about the one and only, Gholdengo! This silly golden entity has been dominating the ladder and reaching a whopping 30% usage in OU! In this guide, we’ll show you how to properly use it, who to pair it up with and, if you’re already tired of matching against Gholdengo every single match, then worry not, because we’ll also mention a couple counters for the golden menace!

Gholdengo stats, ability and basic information

Base stats

  • HP: 87
  • Attack: 60
  • Defense: 95
  • Sp. Attack: 133
  • Sp. Defense: 91
  • Speed: 84

Ability: Good as Gold

A body of pure, solid gold gives the Pokémon full immunity to other Pokémon’s status moves.

How to obtain

Players must collect 999 Gimmighoul Coins, which can be found by defeating or catching Gimmighoul, interacting with Roaming Form Gimmighoul or finding coins hidden throughout Paldea.

How to use Gholdengo in battle and movesets

Gholdengo can be used as a potential Sweeper for your team. For Gholdengo to be fully viable in that role, you must first have some sort of setup to increase his speed such as running tailwind on another Pokémon in your party or equipping Choice Scarf on him, since his overall speed stat isn’t that great. Without support, Gholdengo risks being outsped by his counters (Arcanine, Chi-Yu, Ceruledge, Garchomp, Hydreigon).

Where it shines the most, aside from his ability to negate all statuses effects which are directed towards him, is his amazing typing which is really annoying to deal against (It being Ghost/Steel) and his ability to sweep teams with his high special attack and his robust move pool, having moves such as Make it Rain, Shadow Ball & Focus Blast which take advantage of such a strong ‘mon.

Gholdengo is currently being run with a Timid nature either with 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 Spe EVs or with 252 SpA / 4 SpD/ 252 Spe EVs, the former being the most popular one.

Movesets:

  • Make it Rain
  • Shadow Ball
  • (Situational, two of the following) Focus Blast / Trick / Nasty Plot / Recover / Substitute 

Items:

  • Choice Scarf
  • Air Balloon
  • Choice Specs
  • Life orb

Make it Rain and Shadow Ball are Gholdengo’s staple moves, so you should always run them. Shadow Ball is an 80 Power Ghost-type Special Attack which has a 20% chance of lowering the attacked Pokémon’s Special Defense by one stage so it doesn’t have any downsides.

On the other hand, while Make it Rain is Gholdengo’s strongest Steel type Special Attack and it also lowers the user’s Special Attack by one stage after being used; hence why running Gholdengo with Choice Specs or with Life Orb is a viable option since it allows to bypass the only bad side of said move.

The other move that’s most used with Gholdengo is Focus Blast since it allows one shot Dark-type Pokémon which are a threat to our favorite Gholden Guy. Speaking about threats, running Air Balloon is another way to bypass one of Gholdengo’s weaknesses, that being of Ground Type moves; just be careful, since if you get hit once, then your balloon will pop, making you once again vulnerable to ground type moves. 

As stated before, Gholdengo’s speed is also one of his biggest weaknesses; a way to bypass this is by equipping him with Choice Scarf. This allows it to outspeed its counters in case you don’t have a Pokémon with Tailwind. This boost gives it a chance of one-shotting its counters before they attack.

And, last but not least, whether you decide to run either Trick, Nasty Plot, Recover or Substitute in your moveset comes down to your team composition. If you run Cyclizar with Shed Tail, then you might not want to run Recover/Substitute and instead include Nasty Plot, since you have a free substitute that will enable you to set up and get ready to sweep your opponents team. 

Partners, checks & counter for Gholdengo

Partners: As stated before, in order to use Gholdengo to its full potential, you need to first have some sort of setup that will enable him to easily sweep the opposite team. The best pokemons for said job are:

  • Murkrow who typically runs Tailwind which doubles the speed of your team for 4 turns, allowing Gholdengo to outspeed his counters
  • Cyclizar who typically runs Shed Tail allowing him to setup a substitute for Gholdengo, allowing him to not get one shot by his counters
  • Garchomp which is a natural counter for all of Gholdengo’s counters
  • Maushold, a popular support Pokémon in the meta right now due to the versatility of its move pool, with access to moves such as Thunder Wave and Follow Me, but one that can also pack a punch with moves such a Population Bomb

Counters: Gholdengo worst match-ups are Fire, Dark & Ground-type Pokémon that easily outspeed him and easily one shot him so watch out for Ceruledge/Armarouge, Arcanine, Hydreigon, Annihilape, Garchomp, Torkoal, Volcarona & Talonflame which are the most used Pokemons in the meta right now that can easily counter Gholdengo if not properly prepared to match against them.


At the end of the day, how you decide how to play Gholdengo is up to you! The meta is just beginning and nothing is set in stone; what’s viable today might not be viable tomorrow, so have fun experimenting until you find a strategy that truly fits your playstyle. Nevertheless, I hope this guide has been useful to you, and I hope you win your games and find your way quickly climbing to the top of the ladder!

Let us know if you have any comments or suggestions in the comments below! You can also join PokéJungle’s Discord server here!

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