When it comes to competitive Pokémon battling, there tend to be two main approaches. Players will either build a team around their favorite Pokémon, determined to try to make them perform well, or they’ll simply use the most viable, powerful, utterly meta critters available.
It’s all a matter of player preference. Those players who prefer battling with quirkier teams, however, have probably tried out a party of Eevee’s evolutions at some point in their Pokémon careers. Some of them are also popular picks in and of themselves (Jolteon and Sylveon in particular). Here’s one possible ‘best’ moveset for each of them, as well as Eevee itself.
9 Eevee: Last Resort, Baton Pass, Stored Power, Substitute
Before diving into this Eevee moveset, there’s one very important caveat: Z-Moves, of course, don’t exist in Pokémon Sword & Shield. While the world mourns the loss of the brilliantly ridiculous Let’s Snuggle Forever, spare a thought for Extreme Evoboost too.
This was, undoubtedly, the most formidable and almost-practical moveset an Eevee has ever been able to run. Last Resort became Extreme Evoboost, which gave Eevee +2 in every stat. it could then Baton Pass these boosts to a teammate, or even try to sweep itself with Stored Power (which was super strong after all those boosts). It was easy for the opponent to see this coming, but if they couldn’t stop it, it could be very, very scary. It was super unlikely Eevee would manage a Substitute too, but if it did, the incoming ally would be all but unstoppable. What a shame this isn’t an option anymore in Generation VIII.
8 Flareon: Quick Attack, Façade, Flare Blitz, Superpower
Flareon has always been a rather awkward Pokémon to use. It boasts a formidable 130 base Attack, but doesn’t really have the speed to make much use of it a lot of the time. Its movepool is limited too, but this mighty Fire-type still has what it takes to leave its mark.
With the brilliant Guts Ability, a Toxic Orb (it can’t be burnt by Flame Orb, naturally) will give it a further boost to its damage output. From there, Façade’s power will be doubled, its otherwise-weak priority move will be boosted to surprisingly painful proportions, and its coverage moves will take opponents on a one-way trip to Painville. Some form of speed control will probably be needed, though.
7 Jolteon: Thunderbolt, Volt Switch, Shadow Ball, Weather Ball
Jolteon is a Pokémon seemingly tailor-fit for one main purpose: hitting super fast and relatively hard. Defensively, it falls very short, but it doesn’t ever want to take a hit if it can help it.
Often, it’ll be running Choice Specs and utilizing a hit and run strategy. Volt Switch is a perfect move for this, while Thunderbolt (or the new Isle of Armor move Rising Voltage) is an excellent STAB move as always and the remaining moves work well as coverage (Weather Ball for unexpected options on/against weather teams).
6 Vaporeon: Scald, Ice Beam, Wish, Heal Bell
Many veteran Pokémon players and Water-type fans talk at length about ‘bulky waters.’ With their lack of weaknesses, tanky Water-types make for vital parts of many team cores and Vaporeon fills this role well. Its strengths are its titantic HP (base 130) and solid Special Defense (95). It doesn’t really appreciate taking physical hits, but its high Special Attack (110) allows it to retaliate much harder than foes may be expecting.
This set aims to make the best of its strengths, offering a lot of offense (Scald can burn the target, which helps a lot against physical attackers) as well as healing and team support.
5 Espeon: Psychic, Dazzling Gleam, Shadow Ball, Trick
Like Jolteon, Espeon is a speedy special attacker. It suffers the familiar Eeveelution movepool issues, though it can muster enough useful moves to offer an effective Choice Specs set.
It has solid coverage between its STAB move, Dazzling Gleam and Shadow Ball, but the final move can actually prove to be the deadliest. Trick switches the user’s held item with the target’s, which can be utterly devastating for the opponent if a key defensive/set up Pokémon is locked into a single move at an inopportune moment.
4 Umbreon: Foul Play, Moonlight, Helping Hand, Snarl
As befits a Dark-type, Umbreon has access to a wide array of sneaky moves to debilitate the opposition. It has excellent mixed bulk and access to recovery moves, all of which can make it a real nightmare to go up against.
With this set, Umbreon can deal a lot of damage to physically-oriented foes (Foul Play uses their Attack stat to calculate damage rather than Umbreon’s own meager one). It can also heal itself with Moonlight, boost the power of its allies’ moves in doubles matches with Helping Hand and deal nice STAB chip damage while reducing the foes’ Special Attack with Snarl. As with all of these sets, there’s ample room to tinker and switch moves, as it has other interesting status options besides (such as Charm).
3 Glaceon: Freeze-Dry, Ice Beam, Water Pulse, Shadow Ball
Glaceon is, perhaps, the Eeveelution that suffers the most from its poor movepool. Its Special Attack matches Flareon’s mighty Attack, but it also lacks the attack variety and Speed to reach its powerful potential.
This set is suggested by competitive community Smogon, which offers it up as another Choice Specs candidate. This is probably the best damage-to-coverage ratio that Glaceon can muster. While it can also opt for very strong Blizzards, it requires either Hail support from teammates or trying to set the weather itself, both of which can be unreliable.
2 Leafeon: Swords Dance, Leaf Blade, Dig, Knock Off
The intriguing new phenomenon of Dynamax leaves players with a lot of questions. Questions like, what new wrinkles will the Crown Tundra DLC’s Dynamax Adventures add to the mix? Not to mention: Wait, Dig is actually a decent competitive moveset option?
That’s right. Dig is a single-turn Dynamax Ground move that can be a huge boon when it comes to coverage. In this case, Leafeon can finally hit Fire- and Steel-types decently hard. It’s best used as a surprisingly tanky physical attacker (ideally with Sun, which will double its Speed if it has its Hiden Ability), and this set allows it to perform that role quite well in and out of Dynamax.
1 Sylveon: Hyper Voice, Mystical Fire, Psyshock, Shadow Ball
For many, Sylveon is both the most adorable and the most terrifying of all Eevee’s evolutions. With its Hidden Ability Pixiliate, it can become a Hyper Voice spamming immovable object, thanks to its great special bulk and excellent damage output.
Hyper Voice won’t cut it alone, though. When a pesky Ferrothorn or another Steel-type switches in and threatens to ruin Sylveon’s entire day/week/fiscal year, a swift Mystical Fire can solve that issue (Ferrothorn and Scizor in particular are ruined by this). Very handy with the removal of Hidden Power this generation. Elsewhere, Psyshock is very nice against physical walls (as it hits on the physical side) and Shadow Ball offers trusty coverage as ever.
NEXT: The 15 Strongest Fairy Pokémon, Ranked
Chris is a freelance video game journalist and entertainment writer from a small town in England. While he’s an ardent fan of video games, regardless of platform, he specializes in retro games. His heart will always belong to the Sega Genesis. When he isn’t gaming, Chris will usually be found catching up on the latest and greatest movies, whether at the theater or at home. He has sat through the Harry Potter movies more times than you have, and he doesn’t care if you disagree.
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