The competitive landscape of Pokemon constantly evolves over time, with once before powerful Pokemon now swapping out for newer types to take the throne. There are however exceptions to that rule in which no matter how the meta unfolds, some Pokemon continue to thrive due to their incredible stats and ways to overwhelm the other opponent. Toxapex, a Pokemon introduced in Gen VII, is a poison-water-type hybrid that specializes in neutralizing enemy walls with its powerful poison setplays, and its own wall-like build. Players who are looking to create a strong defensive team should look towards Toxapex as a mandatory option since it can take care of a lot of incoming threats, while still being able to recover from powerful counterattacks the opponent throws at you. Now that you have a glimpse of what Toxapex is all about, let’s dive a little deeper into things and provide reasons as to why you NEED to use Toxapex on your team in Pokemon Sword & Shield.
Toxic Setplays are Incredibly Dangerous
One of the major changes that was made in Pokemon Sword & Shield was removing Toxic from being a move that players could acquire through TMs or TRs, and now only a handful of Pokemon can utilize it. You can acquire it as well through egg moves but you’re pretty much limited to a small list of Pokemon, with Toxapex being one of them. Mareanie, the pre-evolution before Toxapex, is able to learn the move fairly early and once you evolve into Toxapex the move is already there for you. Toxic as a move is very potent in the Pokemon competitive doubles metagame because it creates a threat without having to overcommit in battle, along with placing a timer on the opponent to act quickly. As the match progresses, small bits of HP are sapped from your lifebar which eventually add up over time, and without the right items available your Pokemon are likely to faint relatively quickly.
A Poisonous Wall
Toxapex being an incredibly strong defensive threat, can setup certain plays in which it comes into battle, takes a few hits from the enemy, and all it needs to do is land toxic before being switched out again. It’s a simple and effective strategy that allows Toxapex to come in as a Sp.Def tank to absorb any damage from the opponent, then set up immediate threats to put the opponent in check. Toxic Spikes is another great move that Toxapex can take advantage of because much like Spikes or Stealth Rocks, it threatens the opponent without much effort. If at anytime during the battle your opponent switches out a Pokemon, Toxic Spikes will immediately hit them, and leave the incoming Pokemon with a deadly poison ailment that once again sets up for powerful set plays. Baneful Bunker is another great defensive tool as another poison option to keep the opponent in check. Anytime a physical attack is initiated from the opposing team, Baneful Bunker acts as a 2-way mechanism in that it protects Toxapex from the attack, and immediately poisons the enemy after impact. This 2-in-1 attack is super good in battles where you know the opposing team is likely to throw out an array of physical attacks to wear you down, and Toxapex can be the answer to minimizing strong offensive plays.
Great Defensive Stats Overall
It’s not often that you find a lot of poison-type Pokemon with relatively solid stats, but Toxapex is one of those exceptions. While it does tend to suffer in the speed and attack category, it makes up for it tremendously in its defense and Sp.Def base stats. This is where Toxapex shines in the metagame, where you’re likely to run into a lot of offensive teams and Toxapex can slow the game down to your liking. Maxing out its Sp.Def or defensive stats will allow you to take control of the pace and put your opponent under pressure from making poor decisions. One slip up from the enemy can lead to Toxapex setting up deadly traps so that the other Pokemon on its team can come in to clean things up. Another great plus about Toxapex is that it can work on just about any team since toxic is an amazing tool for offensive plays as well. You’ll want Pokemon who can help Toxapex come in safely and establish its position, while also protecting its moderately low HP stats. While not terrible by any account, it’s still something to be mindful of when playing Toxapex because in spite of having an immaculate defense, there are Pokemon out there who can crack through it if you don’t switch out efficiently.
The current metagame, while still early, is shaping up to be an exciting one especially with Toxapex making waves in the competitive ranked battles. Its versatility and wide variety of options makes it very intimidating and forces the opponent to draw their hand too quickly, allowing you to punish their mistakes. Give Toxapex a try if you’re looking to play at a much slower pace and want to establish immediate control in the match! Toxapex definitely excels more in the doubles arena, where it can help protect its teammates more effectively, and trap opponents whenever they get too greedy. It excels in singles as well but it truly shines when it can play the stall game, and scare the opponent into making mistakes. We hope you enjoyed this quick breakdown of Toxapex! Be sure to stick around for more as Pokemon Sword & Shield continues to evolve!
Until next time!