Pokémon Scarlet and Violet bring a wide variety of new Pokémon to the table, some of which have higher defensive stats than others. Defensive Pokémon aren’t right for every scenario, but having the ability to hold up well against repeated attacks can be critical to overcoming certain challenges. One of the most exciting prospects of a new adventure is putting together a powerful team, and learning which Scarlet and Violet Pokémon have high defense can give players the key to finding the perfect lineup.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet introduces fans to the Paldea region, a large open world where many new species of Pokémon roam. Getting to know the stats of these new Pokémon is essential for a well-rounded composition. Whether it be for gym battles, post-game content, or multiplayer showdowns, Pokémon with high defensive stats can be important to fill out a roster. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet have plenty of options between them.
12 Iron Thorns – 110
A variant of the Generation 2 Pokémon Tyranitar, Iron Thorns is one of the many strong “Paradox” Pokémon available only to Violet players. This new feature pulls past and future versions of classic Pokémon out of time and into the present day.
Trainers can find and catch Iron Thorns in Area Zero, which isn’t accessible until the endgame. Luckily, players have plenty of other options for Pokémon with high defense stats to use before reaching this point in the game. Iron Thorns makes for an excellent defensive Pokémon, but there’s no need to rush to add it to the Pokédex.
11 Iron Bundle – 114
A variant of the Gen 2 Pokémon Delibird, Iron Bundle marks another “Paradox” Pokémon that ranks among the strongest defensive options in Scarlet and Violet. In the case of Iron Bundle, the futuristic version is far more powerful than the modern-day Delibird.
Differing from Delibird, Iron Bundle is a Water-type instead of Flying and has much higher stats all around. It can be caught when exploring Area Zero, one of the best things to do after beating the game.
10 Dachsbun – 115
Not all the best defensive Pokémon look the part. Dachsbun, an evolution of the new Scarlet and Violet Pokémon Fidough, has the adorable look of a leavened canine. Dachsbun tends to be found near towns and cities, so trainers won’t have to venture far into the wilderness to acquire one.
As the only Fairy-type among the best defensive Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet, Dachsbun is weak to Poison and Steel. It’s particularly excellent against Fire-type, however, receiving a boost to defense when hit by a Fire attack and taking no damage.
9 Dondozo – 115
Dondozo has a reliably high defensive statistic, along with very high health and solid attack levels. The massive catfish Pokémon is not a version exclusive and can be caught in Casseroya Lake in both games.
The pure Water-type can definitely be a useful battler against opponents with a low special attack. Unfortunately, Dondozo’s special defense is quite weak, contrary to its high melee defense. Building a strong team with Dondozo is all about balancing these strengths and weaknesses with other Pokémon.
8 Klawf – 115
Klawf is a goofy-looking Pokémon, and a new addition to the fun line of shellfish mons in the games. Like Dondozo, Klawf has a decently high attack and defense stat, as well as some interesting passive abilities to play with on a team.
Klawf is one of the catchable Pokémon in South Province Area Three in both games. Though its defense is high, its best value can come from its range of move types and its abilities.
7 Koraidon – 115
As usual, the game’s two main Legendary Pokémon have an interesting dichotomy in their stats. While Miraidon has strong special attack and special defense skills, Koraidon has strong attack and defense. For players who picked up Pokémon Scarlet, Koraidon is the melee option of the two legendaries.
Like most legendaries, Koraidon has very strong stats. While some players prefer not to use the Legendary Pokémon they capture, those who want an easy option for completing in-game objectives can safely rely on Koraidon. Miraidon is considered to be a bit stronger, but when deciding which Legendary option is best, neither will steer players far wrong.
6 Kingambit – 120
Kingambit is an additional evolution to Bisharp, a second-stage Pokémon that came in Generation 5. The final evolution has powerful attack and defense, though can be quite the process to obtain. Like most third evolutions that are established in later generations, evolving to Kingambit takes a special circumstance.
To do so, players will have to use Bisharp to defeat other Bisharp who are leading packs of Pawniard. This must be done while holding the “Leader’s Crest” item. Catching an initial Pawniard to evolve and train to later become a Kingambit is not difficult, as they are quite common around the region.
5 Iron Treads – 120
Iron Treads is another Paradox Pokémon, and is a futuristic Donphan variant that is unique to users playing Pokémon Violet. For Scarlet players, trading is always an option. Iron Treads has strong stats, but unfortunately, Paradox Pokémon are only available post-game, so they will not be useful for competing in gym battles.
Nevertheless, Iron Treads is a necessary step in catching them all and also could be quite the proficient battler in player-versus-player matches and post-game content. Iron Treads is one of a number of the bulkiest Scarlet and Violet Pokémon that can be acquired in Area Zero.
4 Ting-Lu – 125
One of the new legendaries in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Ting-Lu can be acquired much like other legendaries in the Pokémon franchise. After solving a puzzle, the player can enter a chamber to battle and capture Ting-Lu. The large, open map of Paldea offers a new method of acquisition for this Legendary, however.
The requirements to find and catch Ting-Lu are spread out across its area on the map, rather than in just one contained space. Also, due to the open-world aspect of the game, players can approach this Legendary as early as they want, though it will still be difficult, and is recommended for later in the game.
3 Garganacl – 130
Third evolution Pokémon are commonly strong, and Garganacl offers strong stats all around, with the particularly appealing high special defense to compliment the strong defense. The salty rock type can be caught in Area Zero, but players will have better luck acquiring one through evolution.
The Pokémon to look out for is Nacli, a small mushroom-like Rock-type that can be found in numerous areas around the Paldea region. Evolving Nacl into Garganacl is a great choice for a player looking for a new rock type for their roster. Garganacl is also one of the strongest Paldea Pokémon in the wild.
2 Great Tusk – 131
One of the new “Paradox” Pokémon, Great Tusk seems to be an ancient variant of the modern Donphan. Aside from its prominent defensive stat, Great Tusk is an all-around cool-looking Pokémon to have on the team. Unfortunately for Pokémon Violet players, Great Tusk is exclusive to the Scarlet Area Zero.
Great Tusk could be a powerful team addition, mixing the standard Donphan ground type with the additional fighting type. This allows for the Pokémon to have a high attack stat to complement its high defensive, likely due to the use of its large tusks.
1 Orthworm – 145
Boasting the highest defense stat among the new additions in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Orthworm can be acquired in multiple locations in both games, primarily the Asado Desert. Orthworm is essentially a defensive specialist, as its other stats are quite low.
The Steel earthworm could be valuable in the right situations. Its high defensive stat could make it capable of defending itself from Fighting-type Pokémon, a match-up it would normally suffer against.