Resource Doubles Overview, Rules, and Q&A - Ask Questions Here! (Resource Index Inside)

MajorBowman

panic on the brain
is a member of the Site Staffis a Top Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Battle Simulator Moderator
Doubles Colonel
Welcome to the Generation 8 Doubles Forum!

This forum is focused mainly on Doubles OU, Smogon's official Doubles Format
Come chat with the community in real time at the Smogon Doubles Discord Server or PS! Room

Format Rules

Banlist:

Doubles OU is a format in which both players have two Pokémon on the field at the same time. All Pokémon except those on the banlist (found below) can be used in Doubles OU regardless of the Pokémon's tier in singles play. Unlike in VGC, all Pokémon default to level 100 instead of level 50, and all 6 members of the team are brought each game.

Play Restrictions
  • Endless Battle Clause: Players cannot use any moveset on any Pokémon capable of intentionally causing an endless battle. Thus:
    • A Pokémon may not carry Recycle and hold a Leppa Berry in conjunction with Heal Pulse and Milk Drink, Moonlight, Morning Sun, Recover, Roost, Slack Off, Soft-Boiled, or Wish.
    • A Pokémon may not hold a Leppa Berry while carrying Recycle and Pain Split.
    • A Pokémon may not hold a Leppa Berry while carrying Recycle and Fling.
  • Evasion Clause: Players cannot use the moves Double Team or Minimize.
  • OHKO Clause: Players cannot use the moves Fissure, Guillotine, Horn Drill, or Sheer Cold.
  • Species Clause: Players cannot have two Pokémon with the same Pokédex number on the same team.
  • Gravity Sleep Clause: Sleep moves with below one hundred percent accuracy may not be used in conjunction with Gravity.
  • Dynamax Clause: You cannot dynamax.
Pokémon Restrictions
Players can only use Pokemon that either are obtainable in Pokemon Sword and Shield or transferable to Pokemon Sword and Shield
Players cannot use the following Pokémon:
  • Mewtwo
  • Jirachi
  • Reshiram
  • Zekrom
  • Kyurem-B
  • Kyurem-W
  • Solgaleo
  • Lunala
  • Necrozma-Dusk Mane
  • Necrozma-Dawn Wings
  • Magearna
  • Marshadow
  • Melmetal
  • Zacian
  • Zamazenta
  • Eternatus
Players cannot use the following attacks:
  • Beat Up


Forum Rules
1. All main forum rules still apply here. Be sure to read those, as well as the rules in this thread, before posting in the subforum
2. The forum moderation team (listed below) reserves the right to lock and/or delete, without notice, senseless threads
3. Be nice to other posters and maintain good discussion

Doubles OU Tier Leaders:
MajorBowman
talkingtree

Doubles OU Forum Mods:
Arcticblast
Level 51
MajorBowman
talkingtree

Doubles OU Council:
MajorBowman
talkingtree
Croven
Demantoid
Ezrael
qsns
Stratos
Yoda2798



Forum Resources

Generation 8 Data

Pokemon Sword and Shield Datamine Thread
List of Changes to Old Pokemon, Moves, etc

Discuss
SwSh Doubles Discussion Thread
Doubles Viability Rankings
Doubles Newsroom

Build
Doubles Sample Teams and Team Showcase
Doubles Team Bazaar
Doubles Effective Cores
Doubles Roles Compendium - coming soon!
Doubles EV Spread Compendium - coming soon!
Doubles Speed Tiers
Doubles Teambuilding Competition

Compete
Doubles Circuit Information
Doubles Hall of Fame

Old Generation Info
SM DOU
XY DOU
BW DOU

Lower Tier Info
Doubles UU
Doubles Ubers



Doubles Basics
The true gem of Doubles does not lie in such minute differences in rulesets - it's the various strategies that are born and made viable by the virtue of having an additional partner and an extra opponent on the battle field simultaneously. Such battle setting results in a fast and furious play unimaginable in Singles play. If you think you have time to dilly dally with setting up hazards and some brainless volt-turn spam, think again! Since so much happens in a span of a single turn, on-the-spot decision making and intuition are tested heavily in Doubles. A thrilling new challenge unfounded in Singles!

Another major appeal of Doubles is the increased viability and deeper nuances of Pokemon moves. Here are some quick overview of such moves:

Protect - +4 Priority. Undoubtedly the most important move in Doubles; it shields whatever moves targeted at the user and without the need to blindly switch out and let another one of your Pokemon to take a hit, too! A well-executed Protect means wasted turns for the opponent, whose attacks utterly fail to do anything while your other Pokemon can ideally take the attacker out. Protect also shield your Pokemon against Fake Out flinches, a devastating move in Double. Stalling out Tailwind or TR turns serve as another purpose for using Protect.

Feint - +2 Priority. With Protect being such a pivotal move in Doubles, it's no wonder that a counter-move in Feint would see some use! It comes in handy when you need to connect with the target Pokemon on that turn NO MATTER WHAT. Feint also breaks other protection moves, including Wide Guard, Quick Guard, and Spiky Shield.

Fake Out - +3 Priority. This is another prevalent move in Doubles, and it's a game-breaking one, too. A super-priority flinch move renders one of the opponent's Pokemon immobile and vulnerable to assaults. Just like in Singles, Fake Out can be seen from a mile away, but the Fake Out user can actually take advantage of this, forcing the opponent to use Protect. Fake Out's greater utility in Doubles in turn increases the value of Inner Focus.

Spread Moves - These moves target multiple Pokemon - some only affect both enemies while other spread moves also catches your ally, too. Such distinctions make otherwise obscure moves in Singles, such as Heat Wave and Rock Slide, to have a specific niche in Doubles!

All spread moves's power is reduced to 75% of its original base power (so Earthquake is a 75 bp Ground-type move, while Blizzard is a 82 bp Ice-type move), but this reduction is more than compensated by hitting more than one target. If it's hitting both foes, it is effectively hitting with 150% of the move's original power (75%*2). When there is only one target on the field, the spread move hits the opponent with 100% of its original power.
Notable Spread Moves that Target Only Enemies
  • Blizzard (82 bp) & Icy Wind (41 bp)
  • Rock Slide (56) & Diamond Storm (75)
  • Thousand Arrows (67)
  • Heat Wave (71) & Eruption (112)
  • Muddy Water (67) & Water Spout (112)
  • Dazzling Gleam (60)
  • Pixilate Hyper Voice (87, Fairy-type) and Aerilate Hyper Voice (87, Flying-type)
  • Snarl (41)
  • Electroweb (41)
Notable Spread Moves that Target Enemies and Ally alike
  • Explosion (187) & Selfdestruct (150)
  • Earthquake (75)
Wide Guard / Quick Guard - +3 Priority. Unlike Protect, these Guard moves protect both the user AND the ally from spread moves and priority moves, respectively. This means that one Pokemon can guard for Earthquake or Fake Outs, thereby wasting the opponent's turn, while its partner can go on the offensive. Both of these moves can be used consecutively without fail. Quick Guard also blocks non-damaging moves from Pokemon with the ability Prankster.

Helping Hand - +5 Priority. A move designed specifically for Doubles, this move boosts the power of the user's ally by 50% for one turn, which can change a 2HKO into a OHKO. Such a difference is significant in Doubles, as knocking out the opponent effectively means cutting down on the opponent's offense by half for that turn. Thus, Helping Hand user pairs nicely with a fast Sweeper like Thundurus or Latios. Helping Hand has +5 priority, so the helper can be a slow bulky supporter like Cresselia, and it is used before Prankster Taunt.

Follow Me / Rage Powder - +2 Priority. Another move tailored for Doubles, but this time all non-spread moves are re-directed to the user of Follow Me or Rage Powder, thereby keeping its partner untouched. Spread moves like Blizzard and Earthquake still hits both users, though. This move comes in handy when you are trying to set up with your other Pokemon. XY nerfed Follow Me / Rage Powder by lowering its priority bracket to one below Fake Out - faster users can no longer re-direct Fake Out with these moves. Grass-types and Pokemon either holding Safety Goggles or using the Overcoat ability also ignore Rage Powder.

Tailwind / Icy Wind / Thunder Wave / Trick Room - Similarly to Singles, having the first move is almost always more advantageous than attacking second. Tailwind, Icy Wind, and Trick Room are prevalent moves to control Speed and attack first. Even though 4-5 turns go awfully quick in Singles to do anything productive, in Doubles it is usually half the game or more! Icy Wind (or Electroweb) is also an amazing utility move, a spread move that drops BOTH enemies' Speed by one stage.

Move Order - Who moves first is often a frequently confused topic, since a Pokemon's Speed can change in the middle of a turn, making faster Pokemon slower. As of Sword and Shield, move order is no longer pre-determined at the beginning of the turn and is dynamically determined, so any changes in the Pokemon's Speed will affect move order on the turn they occur. Here are some scenarios:
  • Your Prankster Whimsicott sets up Tailwind. Your max Speed Obstagoon will move before the opponent's max Speed Charizard that turn.
  • Your Prankster Grimmsnarl paralyzes the opposing max Speed Cinderace with Thunder Wave. Your max Speed Chandelure will move before Cinderace that turn.
  • Your Choice Scarf Abomasnow uses Icy Wind against an opposing max Speed Gengar. Your max Speed Polteageist will move before your opponent's Gengar.
  • You switch in your Ninetales and summon sun. Venusaur's Chlorophyll kicks in immediately.
  • Also note that if you have a Pokemon holding a Choice Scarf, Dynamaxing that Pokemon will cause it to lose the Speed boost from the Choice Scarf.
 
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Hi, I want to ask, how does Encore work with Dynamax. When you Encore non-Dynamaxed mon, and he Dynamaxes, does the Encore lose it´s effect? Is it possible to Encore Dynamaxed mon? If so, does the effect still continues even after Dynamax ends?
 
Endless Battle Clause: Players cannot use any moveset on any Pokémon capable of intentionally causing an endless battle. Thus:
  • A Pokémon may not carry Recycle and hold a Leppa Berry in conjunction with Heal Pulse and Milk Drink, Moonlight, Morning Sun, Recover, Roost, Slack Off, Soft-Boiled, or Wish.
Um... there's no legal way to obtain Milk Drink in Gen 8. The only Pokémon with that move were Miltank and Skiddo/Gogoat, neither of which is obtainable in Sword/Shield.
 
I'm curious about a few things, as someone who has little to no knowledge of competitive, but wants to learn more about doubles. This gen seems more accessible to me since there are a lot less Pokemon to look at for each individual role.
For one, is it worth it in doubles to have a mon that specifically jumps Intimidate leads? Like I was looking at Defiant Falinks with Adrenaline Orb. With No Retreat, it locks itself in place, but in doubles, that seems to be less of a problem than in singles, and if Falinks is Intimidated, it'll just further buff itself. Braviary and Milotic also do this, but they don't have priority to my knowledge, especially not such strong priority that can immediately dispatch a Dark or Psychic type foe on the field if buffed with Defiant.
Two, is Throh a more viable alternative to Conkeldurr now that Inner Focus makes him immune to Intimidate?
Three, is mono-fighting a better typing than it was last gen, is it worse, or is it about the same? I've heard this is the generation of flying types so I'm not sure how much that will hurt fighting type.
And four, all these mons that got Aurora Veil, are any of them worth checking out as possible users of it? Vanilluxe hits fairly hard and sets its own hail, but isn't as fast as A-Ninetales, Abomasnow has a terrible defensive typing and rather middling stats, Frosmoth has a really bad defensive typing and is slow, and Avalugg is insanely slow and has horrendous special defense.
 
What's the best mon(s) to be dealing with Rotom-W?
Ferrothorn is the best (stallish) mon to counter Rotom-W. Any other mons with strong Neutral moves or strong Grass-type moves, but not weak against it (ahem not Gyarados), are fine.
Excadrill with Mold Breaker is fine, too, but it usually has Sand Rush, especially when Tyranitar is around.
 
For one, is it worth it in doubles to have a mon that specifically jumps Intimidate leads? Like I was looking at Defiant Falinks with Adrenaline Orb. With No Retreat, it locks itself in place, but in doubles, that seems to be less of a problem than in singles, and if Falinks is Intimidated, it'll just further buff itself. Braviary and Milotic also do this, but they don't have priority to my knowledge, especially not such strong priority that can immediately dispatch a Dark or Psychic type foe on the field if buffed with Defiant.
It isn't worth it. If the opponent sees that your team has something with defiant/competitive, they're less likely to lead with intimidate. Furthermore, in SWSH a ton of stuff can deal with intimidate pretty well + incineroar and lando-t are banned, so I doubt it'll be as common as it was in gen 7. If you play someone who just doesn't have intimidate, you're left with a pretty subpar mon that can't accomplish much on its own.

Two, is Throh a more viable alternative to Conkeldurr now that Inner Focus makes him immune to Intimidate?
Probably not? Again, intimidate will likely not be as important as it was in gen 7. But the bigger issue with throh is that it has base 100 attack stat and its best fighting stab is superpower. You might want to try Machamp/Sirfetch'd, both of which also ignore intimidate with steadfast (sirfetch'd also ignores with scrappy) but have better attack and a better movepool.

Three, is mono-fighting a better typing than it was last gen, is it worse, or is it about the same? I've heard this is the generation of flying types so I'm not sure how much that will hurt fighting type.
No idea yet

And four, all these mons that got Aurora Veil, are any of them worth checking out as possible users of it? Vanilluxe hits fairly hard and sets its own hail, but isn't as fast as A-Ninetales, Abomasnow has a terrible defensive typing and rather middling stats, Frosmoth has a really bad defensive typing and is slow, and Avalugg is insanely slow and has horrendous special defense.
This is something I'm very interested in. You can safely discount frosmoth and avalugg since they can't set their own hail, but I think Vanilluxe/Abomasnow could be pretty useful. Vanilluxe gets freeze dry, good bulk, and a solid SpAtk stat, while aboma has great coverage. This + considering how snowball-y dynamax mons already are makes me think setup with aveil could be good this gen.
 
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n1n1

the real n1n1
is a Tiering Contributor
Relevant Speed Tiers
Here are the speed benchmarks I think are worth mentioning, mostly focused on the relevant mons new to gen8


Mons that get speed boost from Weather. Not including ones with Unreleased abilities
  • 792 - Barraskewda in Rain with 208+(out runs Jolteon out of Rain). (816 if 252+, 742 if 252)
  • 634 - Leafeon in Sun with 252+
  • 604 - Excadrill in Sand with 252+(550 if 252)
  • 542 - Drednaw in Rain with 252+(528 if 224+ which out runs max base 70 mons out of rain)
  • 524 - Ludicolo in Rain with 252+
Scarfs
  • 643 - Darmanitan 252+ with Scarf
  • 596 - Rotoms 252+ with Scarf (432 if 216+ which out runs +1 Max speed Gyarados)
Natural Speeds
  • 421 - Dragapult 252+
  • 396 - Barraskewda 208+ (408 if 252+)
  • 375 - Boltund 252+
  • 372 - Inteleon 252+
  • 370 - Cinderace 252+
  • 350 - Max Speed Base 110s
  • 328 - Max Speed Base 100s
  • 317 - Max Speed Base 95s (a few notable new mons here: Darmanitan-Galar, Obstagoon, Indeedee)
  • 306 - Max Speed Base 90s
  • 302 - Excadrill 252+
  • 298 - Rotoms 252+
  • 295 - Max Speed Base 85s (a few notable new mons here: Rillaboom, Duraludon, Indeedee-F)
  • 287 - Gyarados 252+
  • 284 - Max Speed Base 80s
  • 273 - Max Speed Base 75s (a few notable new mons here: Toxtricity, Dracovish, Dracovolt)
  • 271 - Drednaw 252+
  • 262 - Max Speed Base 70s
  • 256 - Corviknight 252+
  • 251 - Max Speed Base 65s (a couple notable new mons here: Centiskorch, Sirfetch'd)
  • 243 - Tyranitar 252+
  • 240 - Max Speed Base 60s (Sylveon is probably only base 60 worth investing max speed. Grimmsnarl and Lapras are in this tier)
  • 229 - Pelipper 252
TW benchmarks
  • 212 - Out runs Dragapult
  • 186 - Out runs Cinderace
  • 176 - Out runs base 110s
  • 165 - Out runs base 100s
  • <165 - Too Slow. Use TR

Lots of sets are still being figured out, will update when things settle. PM me if I missed something
 

MajorBowman

panic on the brain
is a member of the Site Staffis a Top Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Battle Simulator Moderator
Doubles Colonel
Any plans for a Nat Dex doubles?
Not at the moment, if there's interest down the road we might consider it. We'd rather everyone get involved with the official DOU metagame first and then possibly branch out once it's more established. Note that if a Nat Dex doubles metagame is created, all official DOU formats will still be what's obtainable in Galar only.
 
Thanks - so we would show interest via starting a thread when the forum gets past beta I presume?

Edit: when the tier gets past beta sorry*
 
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Now that the pinch berries are nerved I wonder what the reason could be behind this. Is it because they were too good?
 
Now that the pinch berries are nerved I wonder what the reason could be behind this. Is it because they were too good?
Pinch berries were 1. probably too strong at 50% heal and super splashable as an item 2. didn't respect item clause in formats like VGC, as you could basically have the same very powerful item as many times as you wanted on a team due to the difference in name between Figy and Aguav.
 

Cheryl.

Celesteela is Life
Can someone fill me in on the update to speed mechanics that make Whimsicott so good this gen compared to last gen?
 
Last generation, the order in which the four (or fewer) pokemon on the field moved was determined simultaneously at the start of the turn. So, if pokemon A had 100 speed at the start of the turn, pokemon B 200 speed, pokemon C 300 speed, and pokemon D 400 speed, the turn order would be D C B A, regardless of what happened during the course of the turn.

In generation 8, this has changed. Now, turn order is recalculated after every pokemon moves. Let's imagine the following situation: Whimsicott with the ability Prankster and pokemon B with speed 200 are on one side of the field, and pokemon C and D are on the other side of the field with 300 speed each. Whimsicott uses Tailwind, and because of the ability Prankster the move has +1 priority and goes first. After Whimsicott moves, the turn order is recalculated. Pokemon B now has a speed stat of 200 * 2, which is higher than either of the opposing pokemon, so pokemon B would move next (whereas in previous generations, pokemon B would move last, since it had the lowest speed stat at the start of the turn).

TLDR speed is recalculated mid-turn so prankster tailwind takes effect immediately instead of not coming into play until the next turn.
 

MajorBowman

panic on the brain
is a member of the Site Staffis a Top Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Battle Simulator Moderator
Doubles Colonel
When is National Dex Doubles Ubers coming?

This generation is tediously boring without a national dex for doubles play.
Not at the moment, if there's interest down the road we might consider it. We'd rather everyone get involved with the official DOU metagame first and then possibly branch out once it's more established. Note that if a Nat Dex doubles metagame is created, all official DOU formats will still be what's obtainable in Galar only.
 
hey so I lost my password to my old account on showdown so I can't ask questions there cause of moderated chat. Is g-max replenish working properly in showdown? I've been fighting in OU doubles and it doesn't seem to be giving snorlax's berry back or if it is he's not eating it. i can't really tell. gmax snorlax is sort of the star of my team so I was just curious. thanks for any insight. FYI he always leads with protect then belly drum then eats the berry with gluttony so the berry is always getting consumed. but the Gmax move doesn't seem to be working properly or I just don't understand it's limitations. thanks.

*edit*

recovered my account in showdown. apparently gmax replenish is only 50% chance to refill the berry. thanks for reading.
 
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That blows on both counts.

Hopefully a national dex doubles ubers format is added down the road. It sucks not being able to play any of my favourite mythical, legendary and ordinary Pokemon in a doubles format that have been available in previous games.
 

Stratos

- OTL
is a Tiering Contributor
Scizor is my favorite Pokemon (and not in the dex), but I don't understand why anyone would want to go back to the same Lando-T and Kyurem-B that we've been playing with for seven years now. Rather than rejecting change, you should be embracing the unique character of a new meta. It's exciting that we lost all of tiers 1 and 2 on the SM VR; it means a new set of Pokemon get to be popular now! I promise if you play with them you will learn to love them. And hey we'll still hold old gen tournaments if you really just miss Incineroar that much.
 
I can only speak for myself but I'm just excited to see how old stuff interacts with these new mechanics and Pokémon (mid turn speed calcs, dynamax...)

I could honestly see myself playing both Dou and Nat Dex doubles if the latter should be implemented. Huge fan of doubles since I started last year, and Dou as it stands sort of has an early season vgc feel to it (which I never got into since I'm not a huge cartridge player now).
 
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Scizor is my favorite Pokemon (and not in the dex), but I don't understand why anyone would want to go back to the same Lando-T and Kyurem-B that we've been playing with for seven years now. Rather than rejecting change, you should be embracing the unique character of a new meta. It's exciting that we lost all of tiers 1 and 2 on the SM VR; it means a new set of Pokemon get to be popular now! I promise if you play with them you will learn to love them. And hey we'll still hold old gen tournaments if you really just miss Incineroar that much.
I'm finding it's too much of the same and offers a lot less variety not having the previous generations available.

What has lost me with this generation is the nerf on my level 1 Mimikyu (focus sash is no longer useful) and no endeavour on Togedemaru. No Smeargle. So there is no (worthwhile) level 1 shenanigans.

Then the Pokemon I would use aren't available. No Magearna, Diance, Meloetta, Stakataka or any of the Mega's I'd use if we're talking DOU. Lando-T and Kyurem-B I found neither overused, broken nor difficult to deal with. Incineroar was overused last gen but otherwise I found in DOU there was a lot of variety and add in the new mechanics and there would be some more lifespan. I'm already feeling like with this generation I'm largely done with it while generations past with the mechanics and variety of Pokemon I never found the gameplay/variety got stale like that.

In saying that DUbers is my preferred format and requires the full complement of Pokemon available to be interesting. And seeing Zacian/Zamazenta in their crowned forms and Eternatus would have been wild against the other popular Pokemon used in the format. And add gmax Pokemon to that along with Primals, Mega's and Z-Moves and that would really be fun in a doubles format and re-engage me and the other DUbers players from generations past.
 

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