Pokémon Spotlight: All Things Gigantamax Snorlax!
Gigantamax Snorlax have finally been released all over the Wild Area! Just what is our buddy Snorlax now capable of, you ask? Let’s take a new look at one of our oldest friends in the franchise!
Welcome aboard, Trainers, Ranko here! I’ve been in the lab, researching as many possible niches for all of your favorite Pokémon and I’m ready to share the fruits of my research with all of you wonderful people!
Today, not only we’ll be looking at sets, builds, and ideas for Snorlax and its brand new Gigantamax Form, but we’ll also be providing some general information on the guy to have it snug on your team and ready for battle!
Snorlax marches on into Pokémon Sword and Shield with its immense bulk and solid power! Its enormous 160 base HP and 110 base Special Defense makes it one of the strongest special tanks in the game. Snorlax’s Defense stat is on the lower side, but with such a high HP stat it can take quite a bit of damage as long as it stays out of the range of Fighting-type Pokémon. While Snorlax has a decent movepool and can run a good mix of unique sets, it is notably infamous for its stat boosting moves in Curse and Belly Drum.
And of course, Snorlax now has a Gigantamax Form! As with all Gigantamax (G-Max) Pokémon, Snorlax gets a signature move in G-Max Replenish which, at a roughly 50% chance, restores Berries that have been eaten by Snorlax and its allies after G-Max Replenish’s initial damage. This is an extremely powerful G-Max Move that already combos extremely well with many of Snorlax’s popular sets, which commonly utilize Berries.
While Snorlax has always been at least decent at stat boosting, combinations with Dynamax and G-Max Replenish potentially turn Snorlax into an incredibly difficult Pokémon to deal with. In this article, we’ll be going over everything one needs to know about G-Max Snorlax and the many applications of G-Max Replenish.
Abilities and Movepool:
Halves the damage taken from Fire-type and Ice-type moves.
Fire-type and Ice-type moves are extremely common coverage moves, and the ability to not only switch into them safely, but also set up on their users is an incredible privilege! A great Ability that can be utilized with sets that don’t use Berries that require Snorlax to be in a pinch, such as the Chesto Berry and the Sitrus Berry.
Cannot be afflicted with the Poison status effect.
It sounds good on paper, but the other two abilities are just better for Snorlax. With many Pokémon losing the ability to learn Toxic, Immunity will save you way less than you’d hope to expect. Immunity will also lock Snorlax out of all greater forms of recovery it has available besides Rest, which will heal all status effects anyway.
Gluttony (Hidden Ability)
Makes the Pokémon eat certain held Berries early when its HP drops to half or less.
A fantastic Ability that is commonly utilized with the pinch healing Berries (Figy, Iapapa, Wiki, Mago, Aguav) to have Snorlax heal a large amount of health automatically when you most likely will need the health anyway. It’s with this Ability that G-Max Snorlax truly shines, as G-Max Replenish will constantly refresh Berries eaten early by Gluttony.
Although pinch Berries were weakened with the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield (it is now a 33% heal from a 50% heal), they are still used with Gluttony Pokémon because the healing from a pinch Berry is still a greater heal than Sitrus Berry (25% heal). With Snorlax’s new G-Max move, pinch Berries provide constant healing for our hungry pal!
Curse, Belly Drum, Rest, Body Slam, Double-Edge, G-Max Replenish, Protect (Doubles)
Earthquake, Iron Head, Fire Punch, Heat Crash, Darkest Lariat, Yawn, Recycle, Ice Punch, Thunder Punch, Seed Bomb, Stockpile, Gunk Shot, Block, High Horsepower (Doubles)
Before you can start battling with G-Max Snorlax, you’re going to need to know how to set one up. G-Max Pokémon are unique in that they cannot pass down their ability to G-Max by breeding, so alternative methods are needed to build a competitively viable G-Max Pokémon. Thankfully, G-Max Snorlax isn’t super hard to find as much as it’s difficult to catch a good one.
G-Max Snorlax can be obtained in the Wild Area in Max Raid battles, much like most G-Max Pokémon. However, the spawn rates for Snorlax raids and G-Max Snorlax raids have temporarily been greatly increased, so all you have to do is keep a good eye out for its silhouette in your Y-Comm.
Keep in mind that G-Max Pokémon are extremely hard to catch when joining other raids. I’d recommend catching a regular Snorlax and supplying Repeat Balls for the G-Max Form or waiting until night to hunt G-Max Snorlax with Dusk Balls. G-Max Snorlax spawns rather often, so don’t waste your rarest Poké Balls on it (unless you’re hosting the raid).
Another easy way to obtain at least one G-Max Snorlax is to go into your Mystery Gift menu. All you have to do is select “Get the Wild Area news” to have one G-Max Snorlax den spawn randomly in your Wild Area dens. However, you may need hunt for additional Snorlax to get a Thick Fat or Gluttony Snorlax.
Two commonly used moves in this article include Double-Edge and Curse, which are Egg Moves for Snorlax. It is impossible for the G-Max trait to be passed down to an Egg, but it is still possible to have these moves on your G-Max Snorlax thanks to breeding mechanics introduced to Pokémon Sword and Shield.
To transfer Egg Moves from one Snorlax to another, simply leave both the regular Snorlax (with the Egg Moves) and the G-Max Snorlax in any Pokémon Nursery (they do not need to be the opposite gender). After walking around for some time, the G-Max Snorlax will have inherited the Egg Moves you need. The amount of time it takes for the Egg Move transfer to take place varies, but usually a quick two-minute lap around the Wild Area does the job! Afterwards, just take your Snorlax back from the Day-Care Lady.
Of course, you’ll need to obtain a regular Snorlax with the Egg Moves first. Avalugg learns both Double-Edge and Curse by level, which makes it an easy parent for Snorlax. Breed a Male Avalugg with a Female Snorlax to get a baby(?) Snorlax with both moves Curse and Double-Edge.
It’s time for battle! Snorlax has a common strategy between its most popular sets, which is finding a way in, boosting its stats, and steamrolling your opponent! Although this Snorlax strategy is prevalent in nearly every single generation of Pokémon, the effectiveness of Snorlax in competitive settings tend to vary. However, with its new G-Max Form, it can now abuse a combination of its great bulk and new G-Max Move to prolong its staying time significantly. This usually leads to more leeway in stat-boosting and more chances to set up a full sweep!
|Held Item||Iapapa Berry / Chesto Berry|
|Ability||Gluttony / Thick Fat|
|EVs||Level 50: 244 HP / 212 Defense / 44 Speed|
|Nature||Impish (+Defense, – Special Attack)|
The strategy behind this set is simple. Have Snorlax jump into an opposing Pokémon that cannot immediately threaten it, such as a weakened Physical attacker or a passive defensive Pokémon, and then use Belly Drum to maximize its Attack stat. Belly Drum will then drop Snorlax’s HP by 50% and have it eat its held Berry thanks to Gluttony, recovering Snorlax’s health by 33% of its maximum health. Essentially, Snorlax is able to maximize its Attack stat for only 17% of its health! This set focuses on Defense EVs in order to tank neutral Physical attacks better, as Snorlax doesn’t have much room to boost its Defense stat and very few Pokémon can threaten Snorlax with Special attacks anyway.
However, the real fun comes into play with its Gigantamax Form (G-Max). Snorlax’s G-Max move, G-Max Replenish, allows Snorlax to resupply its last eaten Berry while at the same time dealing massive damage to a single target. The combination of Belly Drum, G-Max Replenish, and Snorlax’s Berry constantly being given back to them results in an extremely difficult Pokémon to take down and defend against, especially during the 3 turns Snorlax is in G-Max (Dynamax doubles a Pokémon’s HP stat).
Because of Snorlax’s massive HP stat, the recoil from Double-Edge doesn’t hurt it as much as it would on other Pokémon, which makes the main damage dealing move of choice. Double-Edge also makes G-Max Replenish have a extremely high base power of 140, which makes it nearly impossible to defend against after Belly Drum is used. However, sometimes the recoil damage can set up a lethal blow from your opponent, so if you’re okay with losing instant knockouts on Steel-type, Rock-type, and physically defensive Pokémon, Body Slam is a weaker, safer option. Facade is also a viable option that allow Snorlax to deal consistent and massive damage when burned, paralyzed, or poisoned. However, it is the weakest option of the three if Snorlax doesn’t actually get hit by a status effect.
Earthquake and Iron Head not only provide coverage against many popular Pokémon (Excadrill, Galarian Darmanitan, and all Fairy types), but also turn into powerful Max Moves that raise Snorlax’s Defense and Special Defense stats respectively. Being able to deal great damage while at the same time raise its already impressive bulk may allow Snorlax to snowball into an unsolvable issue for your opponent. Darkest Lariat is also a great choice for coverage, for not only does it hit Ghost Pokémon harder than any other option Snorlax has at its disposal, it ignores the stat changes of the Pokémon targeted, which is very useful versus Pokémon utilizing Max Steelspike or other moves to raise their Defense stat.
This EV spread super sizes Snorlax’s defensive bulk in order to better tank neutral Physical attacks. 44 Speed EVs are taken specifically to outspeed and knockout an uninvested Toxapex with Earthquake before it can use Haze to reset Snorlax’s stats and throw all of Snorlax’s efforts in the garbage. Snorlax’s Special Defense is already very good, but an alternate set that balances out Snorlax’s defenses can be done if you wish to better sponge attackers heavily investing in Special Attack. However, do note that an EV spread that leaves Snorlax’s HP at an even number is required no matter what EV spread you decide to use, as a full health Snorlax’s Belly Drum will not activate Gluttony if Snorlax’s max HP is an odd number, putting Snorlax in a health range where it is easier to KO and unable to heal at the same time.
If you want to burst heal and remove harmful status effects such as Burn, Chesto Berry is an option! Combined with Rest, this essentially gives Snorlax a free Full Restore as long as it has a Chesto Berry ready. Although you can’t use Rest during G-Max, you can G-Max Replenish your Chesto Berry to be used again once G-Max ends, giving Snorlax a possible two Full Restores in a given match. If you want to use this strategy, you’re going to want to get a Snorlax with the Ability Thick Fat instead of Gluttony. Gluttony is completely unneeded with Chesto Berry and the Ice and Fire type resistances Thick Fat provide are extremely useful.
A fun, yet effective option at Snorlax’s disposal includes Yawn, which puts a Pokémon to sleep after 1 turn. The strategy with Yawn is to use it predicting a switch out on something that cannot beat Snorlax. The opponent will most likely switch out into something that CAN handle Snorlax, but will come into the fight hit by Yawn. Then, Snorlax can ready Belly Drum to maximize its Attack stat. During this turn, the opponent must choose whether to switch out again to avoid the Sleep status and let Snorlax Belly Drum for free or stay in and attempt to KO Snorlax before it can utilize Belly Drum, G-Max, or both. If the opponent stays in, the opponent’s Pokémon is forced into sleep and whoever is still out on your field gets a free turn (which is hopefully a Snorlax with a maxed out Attack stat). For team options that can greatly utilize a free turn, I’d recommend a set-up sweeper or even another Belly Drum user to have your opponent regret ever battling you. Of course, having a Pokémon faint on purpose is a risky strategy, so don’t rely on it too much!
I have Stockpile and Curse as filler options if you wish for Snorlax to raise your defenses before it uses Belly Drum, but this is a very risky and sluggish strategy. Generally, you don’t want to waste too many turns setting up with Belly Drum, as it cuts your HP and you can only have one healing Berry at a time. By the time you’ve started boosting your Attack stat with Belly Drum, your opponent may have prepared an answer for Snorlax or Snorlax may be too weak to survive another hit. However, it is still a set worth considering if you’re looking for a bit of fun, as a combination of Belly Drum and raised defenses is pretty much unbeatable if you are able to pull it off.
A classic set in a brand new game! Curse is Snorlax’s safer option for stat boosting, although it requires Snorlax to boost for quite awhile before it can get going. However, once it has a few Curse boosts up, Snorlax is near unfaintable. This set allows Snorlax to fill a role designed to checkmate your opponent later in the match after Snorlax’s greatest enemies (users of powerful Physical moves) are either weakened or defeated.
Normally, the slow nature of this set allows opponents to quickly set up a counter strategy on CurseLax as it’s trying to boost its stats. However, with Snorlax’s G-Max Form, G-Max not only scales Snorlax’s bulk to ridiculous levels AND provides Snorlax a form of healing, it also allows Snorlax to quickly nuke opponents with its high base power Max Moves. All these factors combined make a huge difference if you need something in front of you gone quickly and Snorlax only has one or two Curse boosts. G-Max Replenish works with this set similarly to the Belly Drum set, but the need to Dynamax in the first place is less urgent at the cost of needing multiple turns to become a threat.
Due to the nature of this set, Taunt users can easily shut-down Snorlax before it is able set up Curse boosts, but Corviknight is an especially strong Taunt user with its great defenses and Steel-typing. Fire Punch is therefore the move of choice in order to maneuver through Corviknight’s stall-breaking capabilities. Additionally, Fire Punch becomes Max Flare in Dynamax, which will deal massive damage to even a Corviknight fully investing into its Defense stat! The harsh sun brought in by Max Flare will increase the power of any future Fire-type moves including Max Flare itself, rendering Corviknight unable to use Roost to heal off enough damage. You can use other attacks depending on what you personally struggle against, but Corviknight is nearly impossible to break down without Fire Punch.
Rest and Recycle are both semi-reliable healing moves that are used after Snorlax has used its initial Iapapa Berry. It may sound odd to use such moves in a G-Max Snorlax set, but CurseLax is a much slower build than Belly Drum Snorlax, and relying only on G-Max and the initial Iapapa Berry to heal wounds may prove fatal once Dynamax and the held item are both depleted. With this set’s emphasis on building Snorlax’s defenses, it can afford to utilize soft forms of recovery to prevent these issues and maybe even save your Dynamax for later!
This EV spread allows Snorlax to raise its initial defenses while surviving an incoming Adamant Dracovish’s Fishious Rend with at least 50% health after one use of Curse, which will then let Snorlax heal using its Iapapa Berry! Snorlax will then be healthy enough to either keep using Curse or go into its G-Max Form. The rest of the EVs are dumped into Special Defense to allow Snorlax to better wall Special Attackers, as all other stats are useless to raise besides the Attack stat. That being said, while you can dump the rest of the EVs into Snorlax’s Attack stat, the Special Defense investment allows Snorlax to better perform its soft role as a Special wall and set up on powerful attackers on the Special Attack end.
Unlike the Belly Drum set, the Curse set kind of needs all sorts of pieces to be in play to become effective, so it doesn’t have as much leeway in terms of move variety without bloating Snorlax’s game-plan. However, Chesto Berry is still an excellent option to get rid of harmful status and provide healing without needing to sleep for 2 turns. Again, you’re going to want the Thick Fat Ability if you use Chesto Berry, as Gluttony is useless with Chesto Berry you lose out on bonus resistances that can turn Pokémon like Galarian Darmanitan into set up fodder.
With its incredible staying power, solid strength, and G-Max Replenish, Snorlax can be played in Double Battles very effectively. There are many ways to support your Snorlax in Double Battles, and building your team with Snorlax as a win-condition is a very effective strategy. Snorlax’s set here is pretty much the basic Belly Drum set used in Single Battles, but the game-plan is slightly different in Double Battles.
In Doubles, you can have a partner Pokémon support Snorlax by increasing its defenses, healing Snorlax, or even preventing any harm done to him at all! G-Max Replenish also restores the Berries of allied Pokémon as well, which opens up a lot of fun team strategies utilizing Berries! However, a more consistent strategy would be to have a Support Pokémon help Snorlax set up, keep Snorlax staying on the field, and eventually lead Snorlax to win you the game. Let’s start brainstorming, shall we?
Gourgeist is able to pull off a few of these support roles at once! Gourgeist-Super is used to utilize the tankiest Gourgeist possible, as Gourgeist-Super has the best overall defensive stats of all the Gourgeist forms. This set attempts to utilize Ally Switch and Trick Room to embolden Snorlax’s game-plan.
As the name implies, Ally Switch switches the position of you and an allied Pokémon, potentially redirecting the attacks of your opponents. While this strategy does seem gimmicky at first glance, it is worth mentioning that Snorlax is a very important Pokémon to target, as most players will try their best not to let him set up Belly Drum (unless they want to lose the match). Ally Switch is also a priority move, which means it always goes first, so Gourgeist’s low speed stat doesn’t matter for it to be used.
If your opponent attempts to use a powerful Fighting-type attack, such as Close Combat, Ally Switch will put Gourgeist in Snorlax’s place and take no damage from the attack thanks to Ghost-type, essentially letting Snorlax set up Belly Drum for free. Of course, your opponent can target Gourgeist first and have Snorlax accidentally switch into a powerful Fighting-type move, but this is an extremely unlikely and risky play. Prepare your opponent for mind-games if you attempt to utilize this strategy!
Trick Room is also an important tool that allows your team to control the speed of a match. Trick Room reverses the turn priorities of the match, allowing slower Pokémon to move first. With Snorlax’s near nonexistent Speed stat, Snorlax pretty much gets to crash into its opponents with G-Max Replenish without fear of its opponents being able to whittle down its HP. G-Max Replenish will also restore the Sitrus Berry of its allied Gourgeist, allowing it to continue to support Snorlax. With the combination of Ally Switch, Berries being recycled with G-Max Replenish, and stat boosts from Belly Drum, Snorlax becomes nearly unstoppable. If you wish to utilize Trick Room to its fullest, I recommend hunting a Snorlax with the lowest possible Speed IV you can find.
Female Indeedee also has a wide range of support moves, including the ability to completely redirect all attacks unto itself with Follow Me. Although a few other Pokémon can learn this move, Indeedee separates itself from the rest by also having the Ability Psychic Surge, which sets up a terrain that prevents priority moves to hit opposing Pokémon and increases the power of Psychic-type moves. Psychic Terrain prevents priority moves such as Fake Out from dealing damage and flinching, which is not only useful for Snorlax, but for the rest of your team as well! While both Male and Female Indeedee can have Psychic Surge, only Female Indeedee can learn Follow Me.
Similar to the Ally Switch strategy, if your opponent attempts to hit Snorlax with any move whatsoever, Indeedee will take the attack instead. This allows Snorlax to do whatever it wants for at least one turn! Ideally, Indeedee is able to stay on the field to keep using Follow Me, so we try to invest with as much Defense EVs as possible into Indeedee. Indeedee also has a decently high Speed and Special Attack stat, allowing it to also have an offensive presence with a Psychic Terrain boosted Psychic. You can invest much further into Indeedee’s defenses if you wish, but Indeedee loses a bit of utility without the ability to use moves such as Light Screen and Reflect quickly.
Heal Pulse heals a target Pokémon for 50% of its maximum health, which allows Snorlax to heal without heavily relying on G-Max Replenish. Although, if your opponent has strong attackers in play, it may be a better idea to sacrifice Indeedee with Follow Me in order for Snorlax to knock-them out with a Belly Drum boosted attack.
Reflect and Light Screen halve the damage from Physical and Special attacks taken by your team, which stack extremely well with Snorlax’s above average defensive stats. If Light Screen, Reflect, Belly Drum, and Dynamax get into play at the same time, your opponent might as well forfeit the match. If you wish to utilize Reflect and Light Screen, I recommend using the item Light Clay to extend the amount of time they stay on the field.
If you prefer something less reliant on Dynamax, you can still run a Curse Snorlax set in double battles. The strategy with Curse works similar to singles, where it can sit in the back and clean up a weakened enemy team. Yawn is also a great move to put your opponent’s Pokémon to sleep, and possibly cripple a Pokémon intended to defeat Snorlax or even Snorlax’s allies!
Snorlax also learns Self-Destruct, and is actually a very powerful user of it too! Since Self-Destruct gains a STAB bonus from Snorlax’s Normal-typing, very few Pokémon can survive the attack. Self-Destruct can potentially take out two of your opponent’s Pokémon at the same or at the very least severely cripple them, giving your team a very great advantage. In addition, Self-Destruct boosts the power of G-Max Replenish to 150 base power in Dynamax, which is absurdly powerful for an attacking move with no drawbacks! Of course, using Self-Destruct to knock out your opponents Pokémon has you lose Snorlax in the process, so make sure to plan accordingly.
Other great support moves Snorlax appreciates include Aromatherapy or Heal Bell to shrug off status effects, and Pollen Puff, which is almost identical to Heal Pulse, except it deals damage when used on opponents. Status effect users, such as Butterfree, are also very useful with Snorlax, as teams crippled with Sleep, Burn, or Paralyze will have a hard time hurting Snorlax reliably.
Probably one of the most interesting strategies with Snorlax’s G-Max Replenish is utilizing Custap Berry. Custap Berry allows the user to immediately go first in a pinch, which can produce hilarious results with Belly Drum and G-Max Replenish. Unfortunately, Custap Berry is not yet available in Pokémon Sword and Shield, so if you want to try this strategy, keep an eye out for future Pokémon events giving them away!
In terms of Gigantamax Forms, the majority of G-Max Pokémon struggle from having their normal Max Moves prove superior to their G-Max Moves, but G-Max Snorlax is an exception to this phenomenon. Snorlax’s G-Max Replenish is definitely one of the better Max Moves in the game, thanks to a combination of Snorlax’s great abilities, stats, and movepool to abuse it.
In addition, G-Max Snorlax is currently legal for play in the Pokémon 2020 Video Game Championships (VGC2020), so be prepared to see it often! If you decide to use G-Max Snorlax on your team, it definitely will be able to hold its own in battle and is even a great Pokémon to build you team around.
Thank you all for reading, and I hope you all continue to excel in your Pokémon adventures! Until next time, everyone! Farewell!~
Edited by Aldo, bobandbill, Siddhar, and Sheep.