Galarian Darmanitan

Darmanitan, The Zen Charm Pokémon. On days when blizzards blow through, it comes down to where people live. It stashes food in the snowball on its head, taking it home for later. Though it has a gentle disposition, it's also very strong. It will quickly freeze the snowball on its head before going for a headbutt.

Overview

The cold mountains of Galar are no place for foreigners, however, Darmanitan finds itself home on this turf. Sword & Shield introduces a new form of Darmanitan now being a pure Ice type. While both Unova and Galar formes share almost the same coverage options, Galarian Darmanitan has been blessed with one of the best offensive typings in the game. With two exceptional abilities in Gorilla Tactics, which becomes an auto-Choice Band boost and Zen Mode which increases its Speed to astonishing levels once changed, it makes it one of the most dangerous offensive Pokemon in the game.
Positives
Base 140 Attack makes Darmanitan capable of hitting very hard its opponents coupled with its Ice STAB and excellent coverage options in Earthquake, Flare Blitz and Superpower.
With two useful abilities in Gorilla Tactics, which grants an automatic Attack boost at the expense of choosing freely between moves (basically an automatic Choice Band) and Zen Mode, which allows it to gain even more Speed after changing its form making it a very formidable opponent.
A base 95 Spe allows it to outspeed a good portion of the Galar Dex. Coupled with a Choice Scarf, it is capable of easily revenge killing foes such as Dragapult.

Negatives
While its HP is great, its mediocre base 55 Defenses makes Darmanitan a very frail Pokemon to use.
Due to being a pure Ice type, Darmanitan faces issues on being weak to Fighting, Rock, Steel and Fire types.
Galarian Darmanitan is vulnerable to all form of entry hazards, specially being weak to Stealth Rock, which makes it very difficult to efficiently use its Zen Mode when trying to activate it.
Priority move users like Hitmontop and Conkeldurr, while unable to take hits, they are capable of checking Darmanitan and dent it with Mach Punch.

Movesets

YETI

- U-turn
- Icicle Crash / Ice Punch
- Earthquake / Superpower
- Flare Blitz
Item Attached: Choice Scarf
Ability: Gorilla Tactics
EVs and Nature:
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature

U-turn allows Darmanitan to regain momentum on its favor and switch out against unfavorable match-ups against Pokemon like Rotom-Wash and Rotom-Heat. Ice Punch is the preferred option on this set due to its 100% accuracy and higher PP. While Icicle Crash is an stronger option, it does not gain any notable OHKO as Ice Punch will do. It's worth mentioning, however, that Icicle Crash has a 30% chance to flinch an opponent which may come in handy. Earthquake is Darmanitan's strongest option against Aegislash and Toxapex, two Pokemon that would otherwise wall it. Also, Earthquake does not trigger King's Shield which makes it the preferred coverage move on this set. On the last slot, Flare Blitz completely annihilates Ferrothorn for a OHKO and hits Corviknight very hard.

DYNAMAX:
It is worth mentioning that while locked into a single move, Darmanitan can Dynamax to switch in freely between moves and grab an unexpected OHKO against an opponent like Ferrothorn or Tyranitar. Also, Superpower can also be considered since once Darmanitan is Dynamaxed, it can gain an Attack boost. Outside this, Darmnitan doesn't gains many benefits from the secondary effects of its coverage Max moves.

A Jolly nature with 252 Spe EVs is necessary in order to allow Scarf Darmanitan outspeed +252 Spe Dragapult and revenge kill it with Ice Punch or Icicle Crash. Max Attack is needed to deal as much damage as possible while the rest is dumped on Defense rather than HP allowing Darmanitan to switch into Stealth Rock more than 4 times. A Choice Scarf is necessary in order to allow Darmanitan outspeed Pokemon like Dragapult and Cinderace.

Partners

Gyarados: With Darmanitan scouting the opponent's team and doing chip damage to Rotom-Wash with U-turn while being able to threaten Ferrothorn, it makes Gyarados is a fantastic partner. Once Dyanamaxed, it can sweep easily the opponent's team. In return, Darmanitan is capable of revenge killing Dragapult who would otherwise put a stop on Gyarados' sweep.
Ferrothorn: Its ability to set up Spikes and Stealth Rock allows it to set up hazards on the opponent's side of the field, which benefits Darmanitan's ability to punch holes on the opponent's team.
Corviknight: It's typing and ability to remove hazards makes it a great partner for Galarian Darmanitan. Thanks to STAB Brave Bird, it is also able to check Conkeldurr.
Mandibuzz: Similar to Corviknight, it can aslo remove hazards with Defog.
Rotom-Wash: It synergizes very well with Darmanitan thanks to its access to Volt Switch making a solid VoltTurn core allowing you to regain momentum, while being able to check Pokemon like Barraskewda.
Hydreigon: Thanks to Darmanitan's U-turn, it benefits from the switch-ins Darmanitan can force and get plenty of opportunities to set up with Nasty Plot.
Hawlucha: Another Pokemon that benefits from Darmanitan's U-turn, however, Hawluchas has a good type synergy with Darmanitan being able to resist Fight and threaten Conkeldurr with Max Airstream when Dynamaxed.

WRATH OF THE HIMALAYAS

- U-turn
- Icicle Crash / Ice Punch
- Earthquake / Superpower
- Flare Blitz
Item Attached: Choice Band
Ability: Gorilla Tactics
EVs and Nature:
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature

With both Gorilla Tactics and a Choice Band, Darmanitan gains a pseudo Swords Dance boost and it becomes very capable of decimating almost any defensive check and switch-in thrown to it. U-turn, similarly to the Scarf set, allows Darmanitan to regain momentum and switch out from unfavorable match-ups while dealing chip damage on the process. It's worth mentioning that Rotom-Wash loses a considerable amount of health from a Banded U-turn weakening it for an eventual 2HKO. Icicle Crash is the preferred move on the Band set due to its increased power and its ability to flinch defensive walls like Clefable and Galarian Corsola on a pinch. Earthquake completely decimates Toxapex for a clean 2HKO while being its strongest option against Jellicent. On the last slot, Superpower deserves a mention as it is able to OHKO Ferrothorn with minimal Def EV without taking up on the recoil at the expense of lowering its stats. Flare Blitz is always mentioned as it completely roasts Ferrothorn and opposing Steel types like Corviknight at the expense of building up in recoil.

DYNAMAX:
Banded Darmanitan already has enough power that it hardly requires to Dynamax outside obtaining an unexpected OHKO when locked into a move your opponent is immune to. Max Knuckle is a decent move to raise its Attack even further, but usually this set shouldn't max considering that just by clicking the right move and predicting your opponent's switch-ins will be more than enough to punch holes.

Max Speed and Attack is required to make the best out of Darmanitan's wallbreaking power. Once again, the leftovers EVs are in Def allowing Darmanitan to switch more than 4 times if Stealth Rock is present on your side of the field. Choice Band is the necessary item along with its Gorilla Tactics ability to increase its damage output to sky high levels and break defensive walls.

Partners

Cinderace: With its ability to swap hazards on both side of the field with Court Change, Cinderace is able to give more opportunities for Darmanitan to switch into.
Ferrothorn: It's ability to set up both Spikes and Stealth Rock allows Darmanitan to punch even bigger holes on the opponent's team. Thanks to its increased power, Darmanitan can even claim a OHKO on Toxapex if both (3 Spikes + SR) are present making it an even scarier Pokemon to face for stall teams.
Corviknight: It's typing and ability to remove hazards makes it a great partner for Galarian Darmanitan. Thanks to STAB Brave Bird, it is also able to check Conkeldurr.
Mandibuzz: Similar to Corviknight, it can aslo remove hazards with Defog.
Rotom-Wash: It synergizes very well with Darmanitan thanks to its access to Volt Switch making a solid VoltTurn core allowing you to regain momentum, while being able to check Pokemon like Barraskewda.
Dragapult: With Darmanitan being able to break walls, Dragapult is able to check opposing Pokemon like Hydreigon and Cinderace who would otherwise outspeed and OHKO Darmanitan. It's Speed tier makes it fantastic partner useful to check hyper-offense teams.
Hawlucha: Another Pokemon that benefits from Darmanitan's U-turn, however, Hawluchas has a good type synergy with Darmanitan being able to resist Fight and threaten Conkeldurr with Max Airstream when Dynamaxed.

DEFROSTY THE SNOWMAN

- Belly Drum
- Substitute
- Icicle Crash
- Earthquake / Fire Punch
Item Attached: Salac Berry
Ability: Zen Mode
EVs and Nature:
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature

Zen Mode Darmanitan is capable of terrorizing the opponent's team when it is able to set up successfully. While they are hurdles to overcome, due to its Stealth Rock weakness, once under a Substitute, it becomes capable of cleaning the opponent's team. Substitute allows Darmanitan to set up safely on an opponent it can force out like Hydreigon as long as the set is not revealed yet. Once done, Belly Drum is what allows Darmanitan to put itself on range of activating Zen Mode and change its form into a Ice / Fire type gaining a horrifying +6 Attack boost in addition to its new base 135 Speed letting it outspeed even more Pokemon. Ice Punch and Fire Punch are the preferred offensive moves to take advantage of its Belly Drum boost once activated. Both are accurate reliable STABs without any drawback.

DYNAMAX:
Zen Mode Darmanitan can't really take advantage from Dynamax as when set-up, it will usually be under low health and Mach Punch from the likes of Conkeldurr will still achieve a OHKO under low HP. However, assuming Darmanitan is able to pull it off, it is an option to set up Max Flare to power up its STAB Fire Punch on a sweep.

Max Speed and Attack is required to allow Darmanitan function as a late-game sweeper. Once in Zen Mode, Darmanitan is able to outpace Noice form Eiscue, Jolteon, Hawlucha (without Unburden), Dugtrio and Weavile among others. 4 EVs are dumped in HP to allow Darmanitan activate Zen Mode after a Substitute and a Belly Drum while gaining the Salac Berry boost.

Partners

Corviknight: Defog support is mandatory for this set which makes Corviknight an ideal partner for Zen Mode Darmanitan. Also, thanks to Brave Bird, it can force out Conkeldurr who would otherwise revenge kill with Mach Punch outside a Sub.
Ferrothorn: Spikes and Stealth Rock are always appreciated on the other side of the field allowing Darmanitan to punch holes on the opponent once set-up.
Clefable: It is able to set up Stealth Rock and it's overall a good partner capable of checking Fighting types like Conkledurr and Hitmontop who can revenge kill Darmanitan with Mach Punch.

Countering Darmanitan

Hazards are the best way to keep both Galar and Unova form Darmanitan at bay. With the Galar forme having much more limited switch-ins due to Gorilla Tactics and a better offensive typing, Stealth Rock is your best way to limit its switch in opportunities.
While bulky Water types are able to switch into both forms, take into account that Jellicent, Vaporeon, Toxapex and Milotic all take a considerable amount of damage from a Choice Banded Galar Darmanitan. It's worth mentioning that Toxapex gets hit super-effectively by Earthquake if both formes carry it.
Pokemon like Conkledurr, Hitmontop and Lucario who have access to STAB priority moves like Mach Punch and Bullet Punch make for great checks since they are able to hit super-effectively the Galar form while bypassing Zen Mode's boosts.

Unovan Corner

Darmanitan, The Blazing Pokémon. The thick arms of this hot-blooded Pokémon can deliver punches capable of obliterating a dump truck. This Pokémon's power level rises along with the temperature of its fire, which can reach 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Overview

Positives
Base 140 Attack makes Darmanitan capable of hitting very hard its opponents along with some excellent coverage options like Earthquake, Rock Slide and Superpower.
Sheer Force grants a boost to its most powerful STAB in Flare Blitz making it capable of punching holes into the opponent's team.
Darmanitan boasts a decent speed tier allowing it to outspeed foes such as Roserade, Lucario and Excadrill.

Negatives
Because of its over-reliance on Flare Blitz, its HP whittles down quite easily and with its weakness to Stealth Rock, it makes it difficult for Darmanitan to switch in safely.
Base 55 defenses makes Darmanitan an incredibly frail Pokemon, specially considering its weakness to Rock, Water and Ground.
Compared to its Galarian counterpart, its checks have an easier time checking the regular form taking into account its lower offensive power.

Movesets

FIRE KONG

- U-turn
- Rock Slide
- Earthquake / Superpower
- Flare Blitz
Item Attached: Choice Scarf
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs and Nature:
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature

U-turn is a useful pivoting move that allows Darmanitan to gain momentum against Pokemon that Flare Blitz fails to break like Jellicent. Flare Blitz is the main STAB to use and when coupled with Sheer Force and the boost of its Life Orb, it becomes a frightening powerful move capable of even denting resists like Milotic. Rock Slide is a very useful coverage move able to hit Pokemon like Charizard and Pelipper super-effectively. On the last slot, Earthquake is an option to hit Tyranitar and Toxapex very hard despite not being boosted by Sheer Force. Superpower is an alternative that OHKOs Tyranitar at the expense of losing coverage against Toxapex.

DYNAMAX:
Darmanitan appreciates the ability to set up its own Sun to further boost its Flare Blitz to ridiculous levels and break resists like Jellicent and Milotic. Superpower deserves a mention as once in Dynamax, Max Knuckle will increase Darmanitan's Attack.

Max Speed and Attack is required to allow Darmanitan to be as fast as possible while punching holes on the opponent's team. The rest goes into Defense.

Partners

Corviknight: Defog support is still mandatory for Unovan Darmanitan due to the burden Flare Blitz recoil can put into Darmanitan's offensive prowess.
Mandibuzz: It's ability to force out Dragapult and Defog makes it a decent partner for Unovan Darmanitan as well.
Rotom-Wash: Unovan Darmanitan's ability to threaten Ferrothorn and Rillaboom, couples with Rotom's access to Volt Switch makes for both Pokemon being able to synergize very well.
Ferrothorn: Spikes and Stealth Rock are always appreciated on the other side of the field allowing Darmanitan to punch holes on the opponent once set-up.
Seismitoad: Thanks to Water Absorb, it can switch into Water type moves that Darmanitan is scared of while also setting up Stealth Rock.
Dragapult: A solid partner capable of hitting Toxapex hard with Specs Thunderbolt and deal with faster threats such as Hydreigon, that Unovan Darmanitan cannot outspeed.

Other Options

Unovan Darmanitan can also run Banded and Scarf sets with the advantage of boasting a Scarf STAB Flare Blitz capable of threatening Corviknight immediately. However, due to Galar forme's Gorilla Tactics ability, it makes using a Band set on a Unova form a completely inferior option.
Zen Headbutt is an option to still nail Toxapex with the advantage of setting Psychic Terrain when Dynamaxed. However, it is inferior to its other options and generally not worth for Galar form Darmanitan to lose its valuable coverage moves.
Don't ever consider using Zen Mode Unova form unless you want to make some memes out of it.

Checks & Counters

Hazards are the best way to keep both Galar and Unova form Darmanitan at bay. With the Galar forme having much more limited switch-ins due to Gorilla Tactics and a better offensive typing, Stealth Rock is your best way to limit its switch in opportunities.
While bulky Water types are able to switch into both forms, take into account that Jellicent, Vaporeon, Toxapex and Milotic all take a considerable amount of damage from a Choice Banded Galar Darmanitan. It's worth mentioning that Toxapex gets hit super-effectively by Earthquake if both formes carry it.
Bulky walls like Hippowdon and Gigalith can pretty much set up their hazards on the Unovan form while threatening it with their STAB moves.


Locations in Games

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Not in game

Gold/Silver/Crystal:
Not in game

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Not in game

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Not in game

Colosseum/XD:
Not in game

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Not in game

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Not in game

Black/White:
Desert Resort

Black 2/White 2:
Desert Resort

X/Y:
Trade from Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Mirage Island, Mirage Mountain

Sun/Moon:
Transfer from Generation VI

Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Transfer from Generation VI

Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!:
Not in game

Sword/Shield:
Max Raid Battles: Dusty Bowl, Giant's Cap, Hammerlocke Hills, Lake of Outrage, Stony Wilderness (Sword)
Trade from Sword (Shield)

Animé Appearences

Darmanitan has made a few appearances in the anime. Most notably, Burgundy used one during the Junior Cup in Unova.

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
667 Saving Darmanitan From the Bell! Darumaka and Darmanitan! The Secret of Clock Tower!! Pics
681 A Venipede Stampede Castelia City - Venipede Panic! Pics
M14 White: Victini & Zekrom Victini & The Black Hero: Zekrom Pics
701 Cilan Versus Trip, Ash Versus Georgia!! Fierce Fighting Don Battle! Snivy VS Pawniard!! Pics
704 Meowth's Scrafty Tactics Negotiator Meowth! Scrafty Persuasion Tactics!! Pics
710 Enter Elesa, Electrifying Gym Leader! Charismatic Gym Leader Appears! Elesa Enters! Pics
714 A Maractus Musical Somewhere, Over The Rainbow! A Maractus Musical! Pics
715 The Four Seasons of Sawsbuck! Sawsbuck: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, All Present!! Pics
720 Stopping the Rage of Legends! (Part 1) Tornadus VS Thundurus VS Landorus!! (Part One) Pics
721 Stopping the Rage of Legends! (Part 2) Tornadus VS Thundurus VS Landorus!! (Part Two) Pics
730 Climbing the Tower of Success! Obstacle Breakthrough! Climb The Tower of the Sky!! Pics
750 Iris and the Rogue Dragonite Iris and the Roughneck Dragonite! Pics
751 Jostling for the Junior Cup! The Junior Cup Gets Underway! Dragonite VS Beartic!! Pics
763 Team Eevee and the Pokemon Rescue Squad! Team Eevee, Depart! The Pokémon Rescue Squad!! Pics
769 A Unova League Evolution Unova League Conclusion! Lucario VS Pikachu!! Pics
773 Team Plasma's Pokémon Power Plot! Colress VS Looker! The Team Plasma Conspiracy! Pics
795 The Journalist from Another Region! Alexa Appears! Helioptile & Gogoat!! Pics
977 A Crowning Moment of Truth! A Fire Battle! Marowak Shows Up! Pics
1103 Raid Battle in the Ruins! The First Visit to the Unova Region! Raid Battle at the Ruins!! Pics
1105 A Chilling Curse! Ash Has Been Cursed...! Pics
1106 Kicking it from Here Into Tomorrow! Scorbunny Use Your Flaming Kick! Face Tomorrow!! Pics
1108 A Talent for Imitation! I Am Ditto! Pics
1112 Panic in the Park! Massive Panic! Cerise Park!! Pics
1120 TBC Feebas and the Prism Scale! Pics
1124 TBC I Got Pikachu Pics