A Pokemon’s attacking stats might be how they come out of battle victorious, but their defense stat often dictates how long that Pokemon will remain in battle, as, if their defenses are poor, they aren’t likely to last too long. With the introduction of the Galar region, there are many new Pokemon that focus more on their defenses than their offenses.
This shouldn’t be too surprising considering the fact that one of the cover legendaries, Zamazenta, is based around a shield, but there are many other Pokémon native to the Galar region that are equally as good at taking a hit in battle.
As a Dragon-type Pokemon, Duraludon wouldn’t otherwise be known for its defensive capabilities, with very few Dragon-types focusing on defense over offense. However, due to its secondary Steel-typing, Duraludon is able to back up its decent offenses with some equally good defenses, having a base defense stat of 115. This goes a long way in helping it survive super-effective attacks, as it is only weak to Fighting and Ground-type attacks, two types that are, more often than not, physical attacks.
9 Zacian and Zamazenta
The fact that Zacian and Zamazenta aren’t closer to the top of the list of Galarian Pokemon with the highest base defense says a lot about how many good defensive Pokemon there are in the region. With identical stats between them, both of the cover legendaries have a base defense of 115, tying them with Tapu Fini, Tapu Bulu, and Suicune, as well as several non-legendary Pokemon like Magnezone and Sudowoodo.
8 Galarian Weezing
Several alternate forms, either Alolan or Galarian, also have altered base stats between each form to better differentiate between them. Weezing, on the other hand, has identical stats between both its Kantonian and Galarian forms, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Poison-type Pokemon was already great at taking hits, but with the addition of the Fairy-type, it is arguably even better.
With a base defense of 120, this puts it in the higher spectrum of defense stats in the game for Pokemon that aren’t super rare or legendary. A Fairy-type Pokemon with high physical defense is also fairly uncommon, as the majority have much higher special defense instead and goes a long way in helping it resist its common Steel and Poison-type weaknesses.
At first glance, Coalossal is just a Fire-type version of Rhyperior, but there is a lot more to this Pokemon than meets the eye. Aside from having a great base defense stat of 120, which, while not helping a whole lot against Ground and Water-type attacks that will almost certainly knock it out in one blow, does help against many other common threats. What makes Coalossal really stand out, however, is its Steam Engine ability, which increases its fairly poor speed by six stages when hit with either a Fire or Water-type attack and makes the Pokemon much more imposing if the ability is activated.
Like Rock-types, Ground-type Pokemon are generally fairly defensive, with the likes of Marowak and Hippowdon both having great defenses despite their other shortcomings. Sandaconda, while a little weird looking and not all that useful in battle, does have a very impressive base 125 defense stat. While this doesn’t help much against Water or Grass-type attacks, which are more often than not special attacks, it does help it use its signature ability, Sand Spit, more effectively.
Zamazenta may be the shield Pokemon, but it has some serious competition with this frozen horse. Glastrier’s stats clearly indicate that it is designed to either be run on a Trick Room team due to its incredibly low speed or to tank attacks for its partners in battle. With a base defense stat of 130, Glastrier is one of the toughest Ice-type Pokemon around and somewhat makes up for the general poor quality of Ice-type Pokemon’s resistances. While there are many non-legendary Pokemon with higher defenses, it is still one of the best overall tanks in Galar.
Not to be outdone by Glastrier, Stonjourner has the second-highest base defense stat of any non-legendary Galarian native Pokemon at a very impressive 135. While its special defense is one of the lowest in the series at a mere 20, it more than makes up for it with its other stats and its incredible ability.
Specifically designed to be used in double battles, Stonjourner’s Power Spot ability boosts the power of its allies’ attacks by 30%. This might not seem like much at first, but this is only slightly lower than the boost gained by holding a Life Orb, meaning Pokemon that normally rely on attack boosting items can take advantage of Stonjourner instead.
3 Crowned Shield Zamazenta
The Hero of Many Battles Zamazenta may be tied with Zacian and Duraludon in its defense stat, but when it holds the Rusted Shield and becomes the Crowned Shield Zamazenta instead, its defenses both go through the roof. Where Crowned Sword Zacian focuses on attack and speed, Zamazenta instead sacrifices a little speed in exchange for 20 extra points in both defense and special defense to reach a whopping 145. Its base stats, coupled with its ability, Dauntless Shield, which raises its defense by one stage when sent into battle, means that there are few Pokemon who can take out Zamazenta with a single attack.
Tied for second place in the competition between Galarian Pokemon with the highest base defense stat is Runerigus, the evolution to Galarian Yamask. Unlike Cofagrigus, who has the identical base 145 defense stat that Runerigus does, its Galarian counterpart is focused more on physical attack than special attack, which pairs nicely with its additional Ground-typing. Both Runerigus and Cofagrigus function in much the same way, both being great at setting and abusing Trick Room, but Runerigus just barely comes out on top due to its wider movepool and secondary typing.
1 Ice Rider Calyrex
Crowned Shield Zamazenta may have had the highest base defense for a legendary Pokemon in Galar in the beginning, but all that changed when Calyrex regained one of his lost steeds and became Ice Rider Calyrex. While Glastrier’s 130 defense is nothing to scoff at, when it’s combined with Calyrex, its defense skyrockets to 150, making it one of the most defensive Pokemon in all of Galar. While there are several Pokemon in Galar with a higher defense stat, such as Cloyster, Onix, and Shuckle, none of them can back this bulk up with the raw power that Ice Rider Calyrex possesses.
Next: 10 Water-Type Pokemon Ash Ketchum Never Caught
Callum Archer is a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia. He is an avid gamer, Nintendo fanboy, and lover of weird sci-fi novels, who also dabbles in manga from time to time, usually dark and twisted work like Uzumaki and Death Note.
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