Garganacl – Scarlet & Violet Competitive Battle Guide

Could you imagine being interested in playing Pokémon Scarlet and Violet competitively, only to be met by a Pokémon who’s incredibly bulky, immune to any status effects, stalls with its moveset and, if that wasn’t enough, barely has any weaknesses due its Hidden Ability and Terastallizing?! Because, as of Series 2, you’ll no longer have to imagine — said fear is a reality.

In the most recent Series 1 San Diego Regional, a player decided to show us what nightmares are truly made of with the absolute domination of said regional with the monstrosity known as Garganacl in his team. This unit of a Pokémon has been taking over the competitive scene having itself being in the winning team of the Series 1 last competitive regional tournament and the first & second place’s team of the Series 2 first unofficial tournament.

A lot of players have taken note of Garganacl’s strength, so its play rate on the ladder has skyrocketed. If you’re frustrated by its constant presence, I hope to shed light on both its strengths and weakenesses so that you can properly defend against it. But after you read through this piece, you may just want to use it yourself! With the recent Mystery Gift, you should have a Garganacl at your disposal already!

Garganacl stats, ability and basic information

Base stats

  • HP: 100
  • Attack: 100
  • Defense: 130
  • Sp. Attack: 45
  • Sp. Defense: 90
  • Speed: 35


  • Purifying Salt: The Pokémon’s pure salt protects it from status conditions and halves the damage taken from Ghost-type moves.
  • Sturdy: The Pokémon cannot be knocked out by a single hit as long as its HP is full. One-hit KO moves will also fail to knock it out.
  • Clear Body (Hidden Ability): Prevents other Pokémon’s moves or Abilities from lowering the Pokémon’s stats.

How to obtain

Catch in Area Zero or in 5- or 6-star Tera Raid Battles, evolve Naclstack

How to use Garganacl in battle and recommended moveset

Garganacl is a strong defensive support who is a really simple, yet annoying, Pokémon to face. Its playstyle revolves taking advantage of its bulkiness, insane sustainability and incredible defensive moveset.

To make use of said qualities, you can wear down the opposing team with his signature move Salt Cure, which takes ⅛ of a Pokémon’s health each turn or ¼ of it if the opponent is either a Steel or Water type. It can then sustain itself Recover, Wide guard or Protect while waiting for the opposing team’s HP to be chipped away to nothing. If you opt for using the held item Leftovers, that further increases the healing Garganacl is able to do.

Garganacl is currently being run with a Careful Nature, Leftovers as its Held Item, an EV spread of 252 HP / 28 Def / 228 SpD and a moveset like the one below:


  • Salt Cure
  • Recover
  • Wide Guard
  • Protect

A stall playstyle is nothing new in the competitive scene, but this time players can’t punish Garganacl by applying a status effect that may mitigate its sustainability, and this is because of its hidden ability Purifying Salt. This ability makes Garganacl immune to any status condition and, if that wasn’t enough, it also reduces the incoming damage from all Ghost-type attacks by half. This means that the only way to effectively beat Garganacl is by hitting him with him super effective attacks which, in reality, might be easier said than done because it counters two of its weaknesses (them being Water and Steel) with its signature move. To make matters worse, it can change its typing at any moment due to the new Terastallization mechanic

Speaking of Terastrallizing, for Garganacl the preferred way to run its Tera Type is with either Ghost, Poison, Flying, Fairy or Fighting type. As of the start of Series 2, most players have chosen to run its Tera Type with Ghost or Poison: Ghost due to its ability to take reduced damage from Ghost types basically removing all of its weaknesses except from Dark types, while Poison Tera-type on the other hand is only weak against Ground and Psychic types — you only basically have to watch out for Ground types because, as of right now, there aren’t any good Psychic Pokémon or any that run hard-hitting Psychic moves in the meta.

Flying, Fairy and Fighting are also good options since you’re no longer have to worry about your usual weaknesses, but they aren’t as viable as the other ones because, with Ghost Tera Type, you take advantage of your hidden ability and, with Poison Tera Type, you make use of your moveset in order to avoid Ground type moves.

Partners, checks & counters for Garganacl

Partners: Garganacl’s main role is to provide support to its team so it’ll look how to be paired up with offensive Pokémon such as Iron Hands, Gholdengo, Baxcalibur, Arcanine and Garchomp.

Although those Pokémon have a weakness against Ground-type attacks, Garganacl can protect them, to some extent, with Wide Guard; this will nullify incoming damage from the commonly run move Earthquake.

On the other hand, pairing Garganacl up with other Support Pokemons such as Meowscarada, Mimikyu, Murkrow and Amoonguss is alsoviable. Garganacl can chip away your opponent’s team with Salt Cure while you setup up or recover Garganacl’s health with them.

Counters: After reading this far, you might be thinking that as strong as Garganacl may be, it still has some sort of weakness… right?! Well, kinda. Garganacl’s biggest threat as of Series 2 is Great Tusk because of its high offensive stats and due to its signature move Headlong Rush. Headlong Rush is the a hard-hitting move to use against Garganacl and, due to it being a single target attack, it cannot be blocked by Wide Guard.

Another way to deal with Garganacl is by equipping a Covert Cloak on a Pokémon who can set up. This item allows its holder to be protected from the additional effects of other Pokémon’s damaging moves, making Salt Cure useless on the wearer — a great way to avoid your Pokémon’s health being chipped away as you lay the groundwork for a sweeper to come in and take down your opponent’s team.

Other players have opted to deal against Garganacl by running Amoonguss with Pollen Puff, which is a move that, if used on allies, restores up to 50% of the target’s maximum HP, effectively mitigating the constant damage done by Salt Cure.

And finally, you can also run a Pokémon with either Encore or Taunt in order to prevent Garganacl from using most of his stall based moveset.

And with that, we hope you gained a good understanding of Garganacl, how to use it and how to counter it. Series 2 is just beginning and nothing is set in stone; what’s viable today might not be viable tomorrow, so have fun trying new strategies and playing it in different ways until you find a way that works best for you.

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’ve been using Garganacl already or are thinking about trying it after reading the guide! Leave your comments below or share your thoughts on Discord!