Tier List Overview
This is the tier list for damage dealers. Here, you'll find pairs that focus on doing the heavy work of lowering the enemy's HP with their strong hits rather than trying to disrupt them or offer different kinds of support for the team. Pairs here are often strikers, although we also include other roles as they fit the description. Also, damage dealing here is their main function, but not their only one - characters like Classic Blue, for example, has most of his kit focused on striking, but still can buff the team's critical hit ratio as a bonus, which is also weighted here.
Sygna Suit Red, simply put, has everything you would want on a striker. Extremely high DPS, one of the best AoE Sync Nukes in the entire game (if not the best), very good gauge, and good self buffs - and even its high HP means it can take hits better than most strikers provided you can deal with his self defense debuffs. While Red doesn't do as many things as some other units can, he just does what he's supposed to do extremely well, earning him a spot at the top of the list.
While it's classified as a Dragon-type Sync Pair due to its Sync Move, Cyrus & Palkia only show their true potential while using Hydro Pump. Being one of the premier choices for rain teams, Cyrus matches the damage of the high-end damage dealers like Red & Mega Charizard X, Emmet & Archeops, and Lear & Hoopa despite using only three gauges instead of four! An excellent trainer move that boosts both Special Attack and Speed by three stages with a drawback that can easily be offset by its (multiple) regeneration options also makes Cyrus very good and fast at setting up granted it has critical hit rate support. Cyrus also notably is arguably the best striker to pair with Professor Sycamore on the Battle Villa, getting critical hit rate buffs without using MP via Spacial Rend: Critical Focus 2 and Healthy Healing maintaing its HP high. All in all, if you need a unit with high DPS that sets up fast, Cyrus might be your guy.
With one of the best AoE moves in the game, a strong Sync Move, decent self buffs, good gauge during the rain weather, and access to the move Rain Dance, May shows herself as a great damage dealer that can also make her Water-type partners stronger. Being a Hoenn unit also grants her a superb synergy with Archie & Kyogre, both activating Theme Skills and boosting Hoenn Spirit. May has a good enough bulk to also work as a tank in a pinch, and is only held back a bit due to a lack of a stronger single target option, which is not enough to take her out from the highest tier.
As one of the few Damage Dealers on Tier 2 that has absolutely no influence on Terrain or Weather teams, Alder still carves itself a niche on the higher end of the group by providing one the best gauges of any four gauge striker can have due to his amazing trainer, maximizing his Special Attack in a single turn and getting +2 Speed alongside a good base Speed and innate Rejuvenate 6. Although Volcarona's damage doesn't quite reach the weather damage dealers, it still gets a respectable number that can be further boosted via Overpower if the player wishes so. Devastation lets Alder sync nuke and uses the same debuff as Overpower, but both multipliers can be a bit situational. In short, Alder is a Damage Dealer that trusts in their offensive versatility to outweight its less impressive output compared to its fellow Tier 2 members.
Leon & Charizard is a pretty polarizing Sync Pair: on one hand, they have the single highest realistic damage per turn, with Inferno on sun already matching behemoths like Mega Charizard X and Palkia, while Burn Synergy 3 puts him on a level of his own. On the other hand, Leon is pretty reliant on his teammates to excel, needing gauge support alongside Special Attack and crit buffs, with sunny weather allowing him to reach his max potential. Leon also offers a Sync Move that does good damage, despite the set up being based on the opponent status rather than his own, Inferno makes it easy to reach the condition at least for the main target. MP Rekindle also makes Leon superb in Battle Villa by being capable of refreshing his trainer moves at any time. Although Leon lacks the versatility common to the other top tier damage dealers and often sees hard competition with other strong sun sync pairs, his sheer damage output gives him a spot at the top of Tier 2
Marnie & Morpeko are another versatile Damage Dealer on Tier 2. Power Trip provides good damage by an extremely cheap cost at two gauges while being easy to cap in damage. Marnie also doesn't ask for much support, seeing as the standard Speed buffs that most teams have today allows Marnie to max her Attack by herself, while some smaller self crit buffs too. One thing that Marnie excels at is her Sync Move: rivaling even Palentine Serena as a Sync Nuker, Marnie gets an easy to setup nuke that can even one shot Master Mode centers with no prior damage and neutral damage. Although Marnie's output can be a bit inconsistent due to Hunger Switch, she still earns a spot at the higher end of Tier 2.
Sceptile's awesome speed and power have kept it relevant ever since the game's release as one of the most versatile offensive pairs available. Incredibly efficient self buffs on top of the excellent dps it maintains throughout an entire match (even ramping that number up through Ramming Speed) are really all anyone could want from a non-mega striker, and Sceptile delivers these in spades. The pair's only real downside is its reliance on the Dauntless Lucky Skill to prevent Leaf Storm's Sp.Atk drop, without which it remains a powerhouse damage dealer but loses the self sufficiency that makes it such a flexible pair.
Ho-oh's Sync Grid has, similarly to Palkia's, launched its owner from obscure mediocrity to a star metagame position, in this case as one of our best available sidemen. Excellent gauge efficiency, surprisingly substantial damage, and access to permanent sun make it one of Charizard's very best partners, as well as a generally excellent option for any Sun-focused composition. Although held back by its lack of EX, the very low commitment required for its use enables ambitious teams that more than make up for the lost damage.
The easiest way to consider Zekrom's place in the meta is to conceptualize it as a modernized Garchomp, complete with even greater potential for damage, just as rare a typing, a more useful Terrain partner, and the single target damage type that recent 3v3 formats have pushed back into major relevance. With the introduction of more and more powerful combination tanks, the old problem of finding a third wheel for Zekrom and Luxray has largely disappeared, leaving the team at the forefront of a meta that has never been more accommodating of squishier Striker/Tech duos.
Being one of the strongest Gauge Batteries in the game as well as an excellent source of damage, Mightyena is an essential component to nearly any 3v9 Hyper Offensive or Multi-Striker composition, as well as a fine damage-dealing option in Master Mode (especially considering the scarcity of its typing). As the metagame continues its shift towards the offensive, Mightyena and its niches will only become more and more important, and the sheer breadth of comps it enables already puts it above most of its contemporaries.
Although its kit may at first seem a tad too 2019 to be relevant in the Pokemon Masters of today, Gardevoir manages to prove that the classic high-commitment Mega Striker still has a place in the hearts and minds of the world (and the meta). The simplicity inherent to its toolset does, however, result in rather a dearth of discussion points here; there's little more to do with this pair than slap it on a team with your favourite tanks to facilitate it and watch anything weak to Fairy types melt.
Although its sync nuke is hypothetically second only to Morpeko's in terms of sheer damage, Drednaw suffers from the extreme amount of commitment, both in the teambuilder and at the scout banner, it requires to reach those numbers. Additionally, because a part of that commitment is ensuring the pair's access to constant rain, it faces insurmountable competition from the completely free Cyrus & Palkia, who synergize better with primary rain setter Swampert while out-dpsing Drednaw and maintaining usability outside of rain.
Mega Gallade boasts an excellent combination of stats and multipliers that make it one of the highest damage three bar Strikers in the game, and even outclass its four bar fighting counterpart, Sirfetch'd, in terms of straight dps. Throw guaranteed Critically Striking Sync Moves as well as a refreshingly painless setup cycle on top of that, and it's easy to see why the pair has held fast to its place in the meta for so long.
Although the pair is undoubtedly possessed of both excellent dps potential and a considerable amount of versatility, its unfortunate shared typing with the excellent Blue & Pidgeot stops it from dominating its niche as contemporaries like Volcarona or Gallade are able to. The pair would certainly be excellent did it exist in a vacuum, but there's simply very little incentive to use it over its generally more powerful and accessible rival.
The incredibly powerful Hyper Beam combined with Dragonite's excellent stats give it the potential to deal excellent damage, but it's complete lack of self buffing means it requires a huge amount of Support from its team to accomplish this. Not the most versatile Striker in the world, but make it work for you and the damage you'll deal will rival most top tier strikers.
Tied with Charizard X for highest Sp.Atk in the game with decent self buffs and great Speed to boot, in a vacuum the pair seems like far and away one of the game's best. Unfortunately for it, Charizard X's downright insane Passives and buffing potential completely outclass it in its main niche, and it simply can't compare to something like Pheromosa or Sceptile in the early game with its 2 bar moves before Mega. Still, it's the best flying type Striker we've got by a wide margin and is versatile enough to leverage its amazing lategame dps on a huge variety of teams.
Alolan Sandslash's strengths lie primarily in its Techy utility and siamese link to the powerful Hail archetype, the very things that render it particularly vulnerable to powercreep as it struggles to keep up with the damage of more recent Strikers and additional Ice-Type options chip away at the ubiquity of Hail. Although it remains the cornerstone of a solid archetype and a uniquely Techy general option, Sandlash is far from the meta definer it once was.
Blazingly fast and offensively self-sufficent, Sharpedo is a more than solid Striker who suffers from a few key issues keeping it out of the top tier. Firstly, almost all of its precious offense buffs come after its Sync Move, making it nearly dead weight till that point (3 is a lot of Gauge to spend on a Defense debuff from Liquidation). Additionally, its heavy recoil means it requires serious healing Support to come anywhere near its full potential (although Master Healer Potion users like Pikachu and Swanna can do this rather painlessly). Other than those issues, however, Sharpedo's debuffs, Grid, and Passives help offset its lackluster Attack Stat and make it a good choice for a wide variety of teams.
The addition of Emboar's Sync Grid to the game has transformed it from an inconsistent, one-dimensional Striker into a highly versatile pair that can effectively fulfill a variety of roles. Firstly, this new version of Emboar can reprise its old role as a straightforward Striker with renewed vigor thanks to skills like Standfast, Desperate Measures, and Inertia patching up its former weaknesses. Past that, its new roles also include a surprisingly bulky, incredibly fast healing tank as a well as several variations on the theme of Sync nuking.
While the old standby Striker Lycanroc has been circumstantially affected by the encroachment of powercreep since release day, it still holds up surprisingly well in a vacuum and remains a truly excellent general use Striker. While the addition of monsters like Volcarona and Pherosma has deprived it of its former place as the game's best early game assassin, there still is and always will be a place for a pair who can, with little to no investment, be slotted onto any team carry players through most of the game's content. Although it's no longer the best at any one thing, above average bulk and Attack, a delightfully quick setup phase, and a still more than satisfactory dps output make Lycanroc one of the game's most versatile pairs to this day.
One of many formerly obsolete Strikers revitalized into perfectly viable Sync Nukers by the introduction of their grids, Zebstrika's Electric typing and generally excellent grid damage buffs makes it a more than serviceable alternative to Zekrom on E Terrain teams and a solidly powerful offensive pair all around.
Although shackled to the lackluster Palossand on whose Sand it entirely depends, struggling to keep up with the brutal four bar moves and colossal sync nukes of more recent Strikers, and relegated to exclusively Area Of Effect damage, Garchomp and its weather-focused comps have held onto relevance only through their uncommon Ground-Type damage and usefulness outside the context of the meta. Still, in an exclusively PVE game, the ability to tackle any neutral stage with a simple two-pair core is a valuable trait, even if Garchomp will likely never again be an optimal pick for any specific stage.
With the introduction of the excellent aoe Paralysis spreader Whimsicott, Kommo-O has finally found a way to easily access its incredibly potent damage multipliers against Paralyzed targets. Combined with a support like Blastoise capable of covering the pair's offensive stat buffs and lack of a defensive presence in one slot, and you've got the kind of team comp that can afford to disregard its mixed typing through sheer dps. Not much more to say, really; Kommo-O may not be the most versatile pair in the game, but it's real difficult to argue with an immensely powerful aoe four bar on top of a brutal sync nuke, especially when backed up not only by Unhindered but also Whimsicott's aoe Paralysis and surprisingly potent Moonblasts. Although recent powercreep and the introduction of Master Mode have increased the number of pairs who can match up to its damage and severely limited the utility of Aoe over single target damage, Kommo-O and Whimsicott can still knock anything Dragon or Fairy weak into 2028 with relative ease.
Perhaps the game's most unique late game Striker, Zacian's versatile typing and sheer damage potential combine to make the Support it requires well worth providing. Its near complete lack of buffs to Crit. Chance as well as its reliance on opposing sync moves can make it a bit of a burden to most team compositions, but the growing number of tanky Critical Supports (Blastoise being the most prominent example) make its damage dealing requirements much easier to fulfill. What makes this worth it over simply using a mores self-sufficient pair is the truly outstanding damage it deals between its blinding speed, devastating Sync Move, and the awesome power of Behemoth Blade. Even relative to top strikers like Charizard and Pheromosa, the numbers Zacian can put out with proper investment seriously push the limits of what this type of pair is capable of.
Far above average lategame dps combined with total self-sufficiency would already make Houndoom more than viable in its role as a Mega Striker, but what keeps the pair so relevant to the meta are the synergies between its sync grid and the various Techs it's generally partnered with. While it can proc skills like Overpower and the "Fighting" skills on its own, it's only when Houndoom is paired with a disruption or status user like Pallosand or Crobat that its full power is unveiled, gaining massive damage boosts against the enemies its partners will keep permanently debuffed.
The Lucky Skill Lessen Confusion 9 has finally given Haxorus what it's always wanted: mitigation of the effects of Confusion without losing all the bonuses. Now that it finally has that, it's started to see a great amount of use as a totally self-sufficient Striker who makes up for its lackluster Stats through a monstrously powerful Moveset and Sync Grid. Carry On in particular has made it such a consistent Battle Villa force through Mp independent Attack buffs that it's become one of the first 3 star promotions for most new players.
A solid mixed attacking sync nuker, plain and simply. Nothing outstanding, but what it does it does well and it even comes with a few neat tricks like Phantom Force's temporary guaranteed evasion and Shadow Ball's chance to lower enemy Special Defense. Considering its extremely rare typing and gimmicky Legendary Arena solo strats on top of that already perfectly useful base, and you've yourself a seriously viable Striker.
Toxic Power and a decent level of self-sufficiency make Arbock a surprisingly usable Striker, but unfortunately it's entirely outclassed in its role as a Posion-spreading damage dealer by the excellent Crobat and as a tech by the almost as excellent Nidoqueen. Not much else to say, really; the pair isn't necessarily horrid, but there simply isn't any reason to use it over its F2P Poison peers.
At first glance, Siebold & Clawitzer look like they would be a strong Sync Pair: Self-Heal, Self-Buff and even inflicted Debuffs. While Siebold & Clawitzer have the tools, they lack talent and skill.
Clawitzer’s stats are low and poorly distributed for his strengths. This means that a Special Strike Pokemon who doesn’t have the proper toolkit but does have better stat distribution will outperform Siebold & Clawitzer.