Fine Wine

The Most Defensive Pokemon

Pokemon battles have always strived to be entertaining, and as a result, defensive Pokemon tend to be some of the least exciting in the series. Nevertheless, they are necessary for success on the ranked ladder. They help disrupt opposing strategies by enduring blows, providing support, and counter-attacking with incredible force.

RELATED: Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: Strongest Physical Attackers

These guardians can stall out opponents and open opportunities to reposition. Pokemon Scarlet & Violet have not only introduced new Pokemon, but also mechanics like Terastallization which provide creative ways to showcase the defensive viability of certain Pokemon. These walls are great for stalling and brawling, but a select few stand out as the sturdiest.


10/10 Arboliva

Arboliva's Pokedex image in Scarlet & Violet shows it in waving its fruit-covered arms about.

Like a fine wine, Arboliva grows even more powerful the longer it stays around. It has fantastic defensive stats and a move pool that’s perfect for gradually draining opponents of HP while simultaneously reducing their damage output.

Its Seed Sower Ability also allows it to set grassy terrain when hit, and its Hidden Ability Harvest allows it to consume a Berry after it’s been used if it’s in harsh sunlight, both of which can drastically increase its survivability. Its slow Speed and powerful Special Attack make it fantastic in a Trick Room, so there are plenty of reasons to believe in Arboliva.

9/10 Kingambit

Kingambit sitting with a group of Pawniard and Bisharp in its Pokedex image.

Bisharp’s newest evolution is the king of defensive Pokemon. With a whopping base 120 Defense, this metal monarch no longer has to worry about being one-shot with a four-times super-effective Fighting-type move.

Its base 100 HP lets its reign last even longer, especially when equipped with an Assault Vest. It gets great use out of both offensive and defensive Terastallization, and with its Sucker Punch being one of the most powerful in the game, it certainly feels good to be king. When it comes to defensive viability, Kingambit certainly leads the pack.

8/10 Abomasnow

Abomasnow Scarlet Violet Pokedex Image from Pokemon Scarlet & Violet

Abomasnow can be a problem for any opponent, especially in Generation Nine. This frosty fern received an early Christmas present with the release of Scarlet & Violet when Hail was reworked. Previously Hail only did damage to non-Ice-type Pokemon, and boosted specific moves like Aurora Veil and Blizzard.

RELATED: Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: Best Pokemon To Have Grass Tera Type

In Paldea, this was changed to Snow, which no longer damages Pokemon but does provide a 50 percent buff to all Ice-type Pokemon — including Abomasnow. Since it’s the only available Pokemon with the Ability Snow Warning, it’s incredibly vital to any Snow team. Its added bulk makes it nearly impenetrable without a Fire-type move, and even that can be mitigated with a Water-type Terastallization. As a defensive Pokemon, Abomasnow is perfect for spreading some holiday fear.

7/10 Orthworm

Orthworm's Pokedex image shows it standing tall in a desert-like environment, next to a fence.

Steel-types tend to be some of the most defensive Pokemon around, and Orthworm is a prime example. This iron invertebrate has an incredibly high base Defense of 145, the eighth-highest available in the game.

Its unique Ability, Eartheater, not only neutralizes its Ground-type weakness but heals it as well, making it a great partner for Earthquake users like Garchomp. It also gets Body Press, allowing it to use its Defense stat offensively, and the fact that it’s one of the few Pokemon with to access Shed Tail makes Orthworm an ominous threat — as a giant sandworm should be.

6/10 Goodra

Goodra's Pokedex entry shows two of the Pokemon in a wooded environment, overshadowed by a mountain.

While it may not be the most intimidating pseudo-Legendary, Goodra is certainly capable of putting its opponents in sticky situations. It drives against Special Attack-based Pokemon with its base 150 Special Defense, the second-highest in the game.

With increased resistance through Terastallization, it’s nearly impossible to take down before it can counterattack with its base 110 Special Attack. Its Hidden Ability, Gooey, punishes physical attackers by dropping their Speed one stage when contact is made — turning any fight with Goodra into an slugfest.

5/10 Blissey

Blissey's Pokedex image in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet shows a Blissey, a Chansey, and a Happiny in a field of yellow flowers.

Blissey is not only a helpful healer, but it’s also an incredible tank. This bubbly buddy is and will always be a powerful wall in the competitive meta, solely because it has the highest HP stat in the game. Its base HP is 55 points higher than the Legendary Regidrago, and 85 points higher than the next closest, Cetitan.

RELATED: Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: Best Pokemon To Have Steel Tera Type

This makes Blissey incredibly hard to take down, and while its Attack stat is disappointing, it has a fantastic supportive move pool that includes Life Dew, Charm, and Helping Hand. This allows it to take blow after blow while healing and supporting its allies. Terastalization can increase its viability even further, as no one wants to face a Steel-type Blissey.

4/10 Great Tusk

Pokedex image of Great Tusk from Pokemon Scarlet & Violet in front of what looks to be waterfalls.

Paldea has plenty of powerhouse Paradox Pokemon, but none are as defensively viable as the Great Tusk. This ancestral Donphan has a fantastic stat distribution, with 135 in both Attack and Defense. Since its Ability Protosynthesis boost its strongest stat by 30 percent in harsh sunlight, Great Tusk can instantly boost its Defense on a sun-based team.

As Ground-and-Fighting-type, it has six different weaknesses. This can be concerning, but easily remedied with a Steel or Water-type Terastalization. Plus, its base 115 HP can take a super effective hit if needed, which is exactly why this ancient elephant is so great.

3/10 Garganacl

Garganacl striding forward in its Pokedex image.

One incredibly defensive Pokemon that is guaranteed to leave opponents salty is Garganacl. With a base 90 Special Defense and a staggering base 150 Defense, this rejected Minecraft character is a challenging obstacle for any opponent.

It gains resistance to Ghost-type moves and immunity to status conditions with its unique Ability Purifying Salt, as well as an impressive move pool of Rock Slide, Stone Edge, Body Press, and Recover. Its unique move Salt Cure does substantial damage over time as well, especially to Steel and Water-types. It’s the most solid wall of the Generation Nine Pokemon, and it continues to see usage in the highest levels of play.

2/10 Toxapex

A pair of Toxapex in its Pokemon Scarlet & Violet Pokedex image

Don’t let its base 50 HP fool you, Toxapex is a defensive wall in the Generation Nine meta, and for a good reason. Its base 152 Defense and 143 Special Defense make it one of the most statistically defensive in the series — and Its move pool makes it even stronger!

RELATED: Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: All New Poison-Types, Ranked

It can set field hazards, recover damage, and its signature move allows it to not only protect itself but also poison attackers who make contact. With a Water-type Terastallization, it can drop some of its most critical weaknesses, and make use of its base 63 Attack in a meaningful way. Toxapex is a particularly intimidating barrier for any opponent.

1/10 Ting-Lu

Ting-Lu in front of a chained Poke Ball glyph in its Pokemon Scarlet & Violet Pokedex image.

Of all the defensive walls in Paldea, none are thicker than Ting-Lu. This mysterious mountain moose has a lot longer self-life than you would assume for an ancient guacamole bowl. Its base 80 Special Defense may seem insignificant, but its Ability, Vessel of Ruin, lowers the Special Attack of all Pokemon except itself — increasing not only its own survivability but that of its teammates as well.

With a base of 155 HP and 125 Defense, it can take repeated blows regardless of the attacker’s preference, making it an exceptional pivot in this Special Attacker-heavy meta. It’s an ominous blockade worthy of its Mythical status, and a truly legendary defensive wall.

NEXT: Dynamaxing Vs. Terastallizing: Which Is Better?

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