TL;DR

Generally safe, but small chance to get unlucky if Guzzlord has Sludge Bomb (1/8 failure rate against SB, 3.3% in random raid):

  • 6*L40 regular Gardevoir
  • (6*L40 Togekiss is similar, but even less consistent against Sludge Bomb)
  • 6*L35 Shadow Granbull

Almost always safe (<5% failure rate against SB, <1.3% in random raid):

  • 6*L30 Shadow Gardevoir
  • 1*L40 Shadow Gardevoir + 5*L40 regular Gardevoir
  • 1*L50 Gardevoir + 5*L40 Gardevoir
  • 1*L40 Shadow + 1*L50 + 4*L35 Gardevoir
  • 6*L40 Shadow Granbull
  • 6*L30 Gardevoir in CLOUDY weather only

If you only care about non-Sludge Bomb movesets, 6*L35 regular Gardevoir can still be a bit risky if Guzzlord has dark-type charged moves. 6*L35 regular Togekiss can consistently win.

Dodging? Only dodge Sludge Bomb if you’re using (shadow/regular) Gardevoir. Nothing more.

Don’t want to invest? Just get another player. EASY duo using any fighting, dragon and ice types, or basically anything you have.

Keep reading for:

  • How L30 shadow is often cheaper – and better – than L40 non-shadow
  • Guzzlord as a dark attacker
  • What makes Guzzlord soloable
  • Why you can’t really avoid Sludge Bomb raids
  • Why other fairy attackers at L40 are not enough against Sludge Bomb
  • Plans for upcoming articles (Ursaluna, Shadow Mewtwo, and more!)

Introduction

Guzzlord has entered raids since Tuesday, November 8, and will stay as the T5/UB Tier raid boss until Wednesday, November 23, at 10am local time.

In case you missed the memo: Yes, Guzzlord is a T5 raid boss that can be soloed using fairy attackers – and it’s actually fairly manageable! There have already been several Guzzlord raid guides and solo videos floating around, such as this one from Ryan. However, that post only uses theoretical metrics and thus doesn’t consider Sludge Bomb; it also doesn’t consider different attacker levels.

In this article, I take on a slightly different direction with the help of Pokebattler simulations: What’s the minimal team, and Pokemon level, for you to solo Guzzlord? Especially against its toughest moveset, Sludge Bomb?

  • To be clear, my post aims at everyday raiding, not challenge raiding. This is not a guide for you to do a “Unique 6”, “1v1” or “under XXX seconds” challenge. Rather, I want you to be able to walk into a random Guzzlord raid on the map and have a reasonable chance at winning it by yourself, without even knowing what moves it has.
  • This article also focuses on consistency (mainly Sludge Bomb), instead of average Time to Win.

I was swamped with IRL stuff until about 5 hours ago, which is how long it took me to write this post. So it’s a quick analysis, not a full fairy-type analysis that I hoped it could be. Hope you’ll still enjoy it!

Is Guzzlord relevant as a raid attacker?

Surprisingly, mayyyyyybe. As a dark type, Guzzlord is slightly better than Tyranitar – which means it’s way behind Brutal Swing Hydreigon.

This might be of no relevance to you, and is almost certainly not worth rare candies. But it’s still impressive that Guzzlord does it with an absymal 188 base attack, compared to Tyranitar’s 251! This is entirely because Guzzlord got the most optimal dark-type PvE moveset (Snarl/Brutal Swing), while Tyranitar is stuck with Bite/Crunch, close to the worst case.

Guzzlord’s (relative) lack of relevance doesn’t mean it’s just a dex filler, though. Its defensive stats and an excellent PvP moveset allows it to be very relevant in PvP Great and Ultra Leagues, currently ranked #14 in both on PvPoke. I know a huge chunk of my audience don’t care about PvP, but in case you do, you’ll have a reason to do those Guzzlord raids! And maybe even solo them…

Why is Guzzlord soloable?

While Guzzlord does have defensive stats, its bulk comes almost entirely from a monstrous 440 base HP stat. On the other hand, its base defense is very low: 99.

This makes life very easy for us when it’s a raid boss! Each raid tier always has a fixed HP (15000 for T5 raids), regardless of the Pokemon’s own HP stat, so a raid’s difficulty is determined primarily by its defense. If you have done a Chansey raid before (another Pokemon with massive bulk that’s entirely from HP), you probably noticed how surprisingly easy it was – and this is why.

Furthermore, Guzzlord has a double weakness to fairy, meaning it takes 2.56x damage from fairy attacks. This is significant compared to most raid bosses that do not have a double weakness, which only take 1.6x damage from their counters. Other well-known raid bosses that have double weaknesses include: Rayquaza, Moltres, Ho-Oh, Landorus, Heatran, Genesect, Virizion, etc. Most of them are easy duos if you use the right counters, and some can be soloed too.

The combination of both factors gives us another soloable T5 boss. And unlike the Genesect solo, you don’t need megas or XLs. You might not even need too many shadows!

Brief note on “predicting” boss movesets

You may ask, “Why can’t I tell which Guzzlord raids have Sludge Bomb and just avoid them?”

Once upon a time, when the recommended battle parties were still trash, this was easily doable. The old recommendation algorithm focuses on survival, so if Guzzlord had Sludge Bomb, expect to see “counters” that resist poison, like Metagross and… Aggron.

However, that’s no longer the case. Now the algorithm prioritizes your own damage, even if your counters will take super effective damage from the boss. You’ll still see Gardevoir more often than not, even if Guzzlord has Sludge Bomb.

Of course, there are other reasons why you may not be able to avoid Sludge Bomb… For example, if it’s the only raid around you.

Shadow Gardevoir

At the moment, Shadow Gardevoir is the best fairy-type attacker in game, and therefore naturally the best Guzzlord counter. Being a Psychic/Fairy type, it does have the drawback of taking neutral damage from Guzzlord’s dark-type moves (Snarl, Crunch and Brutal Swing), but Shadow Gardevoir’s raw power in DPS is so much ahead of others that it doesn’t matter.

In the table below, I present the Pokebattler simulation results of a team of 6 Shadow Gardevoir against different Guzzlord movesets:

  • Random: This is what will happen on average, without knowing Guzzlord’s moveset.
  • Snarl/Sludge Bomb (S/SB): This is the worst-case scenario. Dragon Tail/Sludge Bomb is very close, so I omitted it.
  • Snarl/Brutal Swing (S/BS): This is the toughest non-Sludge Bomb moveset. This is true even for non-Gardevoir attackers, but is particularly relevant for (Shadow) Gardevoir.

For each case, I report 3 values: Time to Win (out of 300 seconds, the smaller the better, does consider relobby), Win rate, and # of deaths. If TTW>295, you lose on average. If # deaths>=6, you will need to relobby once; >=12, relobby twice, etc. I assume each relobby takes 15 seconds to revive all your Pokemon and enter again.

Guzzlord movesetRandomS/SBS/BS
L30 S-Gardevoir251.2s274.0s261.7s
(Win %)100%96.0%100%
(# deaths)101511
L35 S-Gardevoir239.1s263.3s242.2s
(Win %)100%100%100%
(# deaths)91410
L40 S-Gardevoir229.3s254.5s229.3s
(Win %)100%100%100%
(# deaths)8149

A team of six Level 30 Shadow Gardevoir is already almost guaranteed to solo Guzzlord! There’s a very tiny chance of failing – 4% if you roll Sludge Bomb, or 1% for a random raid – but it really doesn’t matter in practice. Be prepared to relobby twice, but you’ll still beat it, and on average with ~26 seconds to spare.

If you do want to be 100% sure though, at Level 35, six Shadow Gardevoir can guarantee a solo with 100% success rate. Level 40 obviously makes things easier, but you don’t necessarily need it.

  • Powering up six Shadow Gardevoir from L8 to L30 costs 817,920 stardust. L35 costs 1,264,320, while L40 costs 1,897,920.

Shadow Granbull

Shadow Granbull is the 2nd best fairy attacker, only behind Shadow Gardevoir. So while people may build one Shadow Granbull – especially if you nagged a good IV Shadow Snubbull – much fewer people will want to build six, given the high stardust cost.

Regardless, the following table assumes you use 6 Shadow Granbull:

Guzzlord movesetRandomS/SBS/BS
L30 S-Granbull267.4s292.4s257.9s
(Win %)90.5%70.5%100%
(# deaths)10169
L35 S-Granbull252.5s280.6s249.9s
(Win %)97.0%89.5%100%
(# deaths)9158
L40 S-Granbull241.9s269.1s237.5s
(Win %)100%98.0%100%
(# deaths)8147
L45 S-Granbull235.4s262.3s232.3s
(Win %)100%100%100%
(# deaths)7146

Compared to Gardevoir, Granbull has both lower DPS and less bulk. So while it dies less often to Brutal Swing (and Crunch) thanks to resisting these attacks, its performance is a minor (12-15s) downgrade from Shadow Gardevoir across the board. Even more notably, Shadow Granbull can no longer be consistent against Sludge Bomb sets at Level 30 – you win majority of the time, but there’s a ~1/3 chance you will fail if you do get Sludge Bomb.

Powering up a bit will help with that. Level 35 is usually enough, as it reduces the failure rate to 10.5% when facing Sludge Bomb, or 2.6% for a random raid. At Level 40, Shadow Granbull is essentially consistent (2% failure against SB), while Level 45 guarantees success.

It’s still a great option! Especially compared to the non-shadows we’ll see…

Regular Gardevoir

Non-shadow Gardevoir is about 16% worse than an equally leveled shadow. (The shadow boost has 20% more attack, but the lower defense reduces the gap a bit.) As a result, a L40 non-shadow Gardevoir is worse than a L30 Shadow Gardevoir. But six of them are still enough most of the time:

Guzzlord movesetRandomS/SBS/BS
L30 Gardevoir290.0s335.2s300.1s
(Win %)53.5%0.0%39.5%
(# deaths)101611
L35 Gardevoir278.5s303.6s288.5s
(Win %)80.0%32.0%77.5%
(# deaths)91411
L40 Gardevoir265.6s289.0s266.2s
(Win %)97.0%86.5%100%
(# deaths)8139
L45 Gardevoir253.7s266.7s259.0s
(Win %)100%100%100%
(# deaths)7118
L50 Gardevoir245.2s255.5s251.5s
(Win %)100%100%100%
(# deaths)6107

SIX L40 Gardevoir is generally enough to solo Guzzlord, with 13.5% failure rate (~1/8) against Sludge Bomb, or 3.3% in a random raid. Yes, you need six, and unfortunately you will need to relobby as long as Guzzlord doesn’t have Dragon Claw, but you still have enough time except the very unlucky cases.

If you want to be more consistent, 6 L45 Gardevoir guarantees success.

I wouldn’t recommend using six L35 Gardevoir though, much less L30. At L35, you’re no longer consistent against even the non-Sludge Bomb movesets, such as Snarl/Brutal Swing. At L30, you’ll probably fail, and you will fail Sludge Bomb even if you’re lucky.

  • Powering up six non-lucky Gardevoir from L30 to L40 costs 900,000 stardust. If you start from L20 instead, it costs 1,350,000.
  • In case you want to scroll up and compare… That’s more expensive than L30 Shadow Gardevoir, which performs even better than L40 non-shadow! It’s only more economical if you start with a weather boosted or lucky Gardevoir.

Togekiss

While Togekiss has slightly lower DPS than Gardevoir, it has enough bulk to make up for it, and also has a more favorable typing due to resisting dark. In some tier lists, you see Togekiss being ranked above Gardevoir for this reason. But in this case, maybe not:

Guzzlord movesetRandomS/SBS/BS
L30 Togekiss294.2s315.2s297.9s
(Win %)64.0%9.0%55.0%
(# deaths)6116
L35 Togekiss277.5s299.2s279.4s
(Win %)88.5%47.0%100%
(# deaths)6115
L40 Togekiss265.6s290.1s261.5s
(Win %)93.0%70.0%100%
(# deaths)5114
L45 Togekiss254.2s275.0s249.3s
(Win %)100%94.5%100%
(# deaths)5104
L50 Togekiss244.3s259.9s240.2s
(Win %)100%100%100%
(# deaths)484

In the Guzzlord solo, Togekiss’s performance is virtually the same as Gardevoir’s, but a hair less consistent. Therefore, most conclusions for Gardevoir still apply here:

  • Six L40 Togekiss is generally enough to solo, with 30% failure rate (~1/3) against Sludge Bomb, or 7.5% in a random raid. This is a slightly worse failure rate than six L40 Gardevoir.
  • Six L45 Togekiss virtually guarantees success, while six L50 Togekiss guarantees it.
  • Six L35 Togekiss struggle against Sludge Bomb but can still solo other movesets. Do not try 6 L30.

If you want to dig deeper:

  • The advantage of Togekiss is that it avoids a relobby in most cases: it only needs to do so once agaisnt Sludge Bomb movesets, while Gardevoir needs to relobby once against Brutal Swing/Crunch and possibly twice against Sludge Bomb.
  • However, Togekiss’s lower damage output means its average TTW is virtually the same as Gardevoir’s against random movesets (even thuogh it’s all around better against Brutal Swing and Crunch).
  • What’s more detrimental is that Togekiss is even less reliable against Sludge Bomb than Gardevoir, especially at L40+. At L30-35 it does better, but those are not advisable anyway.

Dodging?

Assuming you use the “realistic dodging” option on Pokebattler: Dodging does often prevent a second relobby for Gardevoir (shadow or regular) against Sludge Bomb, but it rarely changes the TTW significantly, nor does it change the number of relobbies in other cases.

At levels 30-40:

  • Dodging Sludge Bomb cuts (shadow/regular) Gardevoir’s deaths from 13-16 to 9-11.
  • Dodging Brutal Swing cuts Gardevoir’s deaths from 9-11 to 6-8.
  • Dodging Sludge Bomb cuts Togekiss’s deaths from 11 to 7-8.
  • Against Sludge Bomb, dodging has no significant changes on Gardevoir’s TTW, regular or shadow. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. (Except L30 regular Gardevoir, which shouldn’t be used anyway.)
  • Against all other charged moves, dodging generally makes your TTW worse. Yes, that includes Brutal Swing.

For an overall strategy, I would only dodge Sludge Bomb if you’re using Gardevoir (shadow or regular). Nothing more.

This also means you do need SIX fairy counters (especially Gardevoir), even if you dodge. The only case where you don’t need that many is if Guzzlord has Dragon Claw, or if you’re running Togekisses and are very sure that Guzzlord doesn’t have Sludge Bomb.

Mixed Teams

So far, we’ve only discussed six of the same Pokemon at the same level. In the age of shadows and XLs, very often that’s not how people invest, though. Here, I consider some common alternatives that still allow a high success rate (<5% chance of failure even if you roll Sludge Bomb).

L40 Shadow Gardevoir(s) + L40 Regular Gardevoirs

What if you only have one Shadow Gardevoir with good IVs? Or only want to bring one shadow to Level 40? Fear not…

Guzzlord movesetRandomS/SBS/BS
1L40 Shadow + 5L40 Regular257.4s280.6s257.9s
(Win %)100%98.5%100%
(# deaths)8129
2L40 Shadow + 4L40 Regular249.8s274.5s249.9s
(Win %)100%98.0%100%
(# deaths)8139
3L40 Shadow + 3L40 Regular242.6s268.5s243.0s
(Win %)100%100%100%
(# deaths)8139

Having ONE L40 Shadow Gardevoir on your team, followed by 5 L40 regular Gardevoirs, is already enough to virtually guarantee a solo! There’s only a 1.5% failure rate against Sludge Bomb, which is like nothing.

If you want to play it safe, get 2 or 3 L40 shadows. On average, each additional shadow makes you beat the raid ~7 seconds faster. This is most significant against Sludge Bomb sets, giving you a bit more wiggle room.

When a L50 regular Gardevoir is in play

Gardevoir does have a mega evolution in the future, so some players will want to prepare for a L50 mega, while keeping the other Gardevoirs at L40 or even lower.

I found two configurations that can almost always beat the raid:

  • One L50 regular + 5 L40 regular;
  • One L40 shadow, one L50 regular, and 4 L35 regular. (L35 may be weather boosted catches, for example.)
Guzzlord movesetRandomS/SBS/BS
L50 + 5*L40259.9s278.9s261.4s
(Win %)100%98.5%100%
(# deaths)7128
L40 Shadow + L50 + 4*L35259.8s283.3s264.5s
(Win %)97.5%95%100%
(# deaths)8139

Other fairy attackers?

The fairy types further down the list – against Guzzlord specifically – are Zacian, Primarina, Granbull and Sylveon in this order. Unfortunately, even at Level 40, they still typically lose to Sludge Bomb sets or are at least very unreliable, even though they handle other movesets with ease (except Sylveon). Running 6 of them is not recommended, but they can be used to fill the last spot in your team at Level 40.

  • Note: Zacian with Quick Attack/Play Rough sometimes appear on top of Gardevoir and Togekiss in generic tier lists, because against targets single weak to fairy (e.g. Giratina, Darkrai, Terrakion), Zacian does perform slightly better. However, against Guzzlord, Zacian misses out on the 2.56x effective damage from fast moves.

Cloudy weather boost

If you have cloudy weather, the solo becomes trivial. Even six L30 Gardevoir only has a 2% failure rate against Sludge Bomb, with an average TTW of 246.3s, basically like L50 non-boosted Gardevoir or L30-35 Shadow Gardevoir. Any other counters mentioned above will probably also be viable.

Non-fairy counters?

In addition to being double weak to fairy, Guzzlord is also (single) weak to Bug, Dragon, Fighting and Ice. Unfortunately, none of these attackers are enough to reliably solo Guzzlord at L40 without weather boost. Even Shadow Salamence, the strongest attacker of these four types, only has an estimator 1.03 against random movesets.

One other player?

But if you do get another player to help you, now duoing Guzzlord becomes trivial!

To give you an idea of how easy it is, you and your fellow raider can comfortably duo Guzzlord using six of the following, without any friendship bonus:

  • Dragon: Level 30 Alolan Exeggutor, Guzzlord and Druddigon
  • Fighting: Level 30 Bewear, Pangoro and Sawk
  • Ice: Level 30 Auroros, Vanilluxe and Piloswine
  • Bug: Level 30 Accelgor, Durant and Golisopod

None of these are good raid attackers, so please don’t start investing in them. But the point is clear: ANY attacker of the types above that you have heard of – anything you’ve built – should be enough for a duo.

And if you’re inviting 5 other players… Just use whatever lol.

Conclusion, Remarks & What to expect soon

Not all players will want to invest in a fairy team to solo Guzzlord, especially given how easy of a duo it is. But if you’ve been looking for an excuse to build a fairy team, this is the time! Fortunately, you don’t have to put together an expensive 6*L40 Shadow team either – many options will give you a sufficient team. You DO really want SIX fairies, though.

If you’re concerned about how useful fairy types are outside of Guzzlord raids: Shadow Gardevoir in particular may be better than you thought! In dragon raids (that are actually weak to fairy), L40 Shadow Gardevoir can be quite competitive with L40 non-shadow dragons on average.

  • Against Palkia, Shadow Gardevoir performs very similarly to Rayquaza on average – because you don’t have to worry about getting one-shot by Draco Meteor!
  • This also applies to several other dragon-type bosses, like [email protected] and Zekrom. When the bosses don’t have dragon moves, Shadow Gardevoir typically falls behind the dragons; but against dragon moves, it really shines.
  • Cloudy weather is also more common than windy in many places.

Also don’t forget that Hoopa Unbound is coming to Elite Raids again this upcoming Sunday, and it only has two weaknesses: 2x to bug, and 1x to fairy. While fairies are not as useful as bugs here, they will still outdamage all other attackers you have. Had trouble taking down Hoopa last time? Hmm, maybe…

Moving on from Guzzlord, here are some short-term analyses projects coming up next:

  • Ursaluna (and Shadow Golurk). Despite the moveset that killed the hype, I’ll still do a complete ground-type analysis, including what Ursaluna would be if it does get a ground-type fast move (depending on its move pool in Scarlet/Violet).
    • In case I don’t get to it before CD: Not relevant now, but evolve them (including shadows) to get High Horsepower so that you can Fast TM them (or Elite Fast TM them) just in case it does get a ground fast move in the future.
  • Shadow Mewtwo, Super Rocket Radars, and ALL future shadow legendaries. I want to address the questions “SHOULD I get multiple Shadow Mewtwo?” and “what should I use my saved Super Rocket Radars on?”. Yes, this will include a look at every shadow legendary you’re thinking of. Kyogre, Rayquaza, Zekrom, Kartana, you name it.
  • A more complete fairy-type analysis that’s more in line with my traditional style, with plots, level comparisons, future attackers, etc.
  • Future fire and dark/ghost attackers. I haven’t forgotten it yet, just that it takes time to get to it.
  • Nihilego and poison-type analysis, since it’s coming back later this month.

Wait, this took 5 hours to write? I was aiming for a quick one lol. Hope it was worth it!