How to Breed Competitive Pokemon in Sword and Shield
If you really want to battle competitively in Pokemon, you need to know how to breed. Rental teams are always an option, but they don’t provide the same level of customization and you won’t be able to use them in officially sanctioned tournaments.
Breeding is fairly simple. You give the nursery lady (there’s one on Route 5 and another in the Wild Area) two Pokemon from the same egg group and opposite genders and they will create an egg that will contain the first form of the female Pokemon. I.E. if you leave a male Magikarp with a female Inteleon, the egg will hatch into a Sobble.
When the nursery lady has an egg, she will cross her arms. The player can collect the egg and it will hatch after a certain number of footsteps. Having a Pokemon with the Flame Body ability first in your party will make hatching eggs require fewer footsteps.
Breeding for the proper stats and ability
Breeding for competitive Pokemon is fairly complicated, but once you know how to do it, it just becomes a matter of time and RNG. There are three major things you must consider when breeding, here’s what you need to know.
The first thing to consider when breeding for a competitive Pokemon is its nature. Every nature in Pokemon increases a stat by 10% and decreases a stat by 10%. For example, a Pokemon with a Jolly nature will have increased Speed and decreased Special Attack.
For this breeding guide, let’s say we want to make a competitive Whimsicott, who is one of the most popular Pokemon in Sword and Shield. We will need to get a Cottonee with Timid nature. The best way to do this is to find a female Cottonee or Whimsicott and have it mate with a male Pokemon that has a Timid nature in its egg group.
Egg groups can be found on popular Pokemon websites such as Serebii or Bulbapedia. If you don’t feel like looking it up, you can generally assume Pokemon with the same typing will be in the same egg group, so for Whimsicott, other Grass or Fairy types. A Ditto is also an option, as it can breed with every Pokemon and will be important later in this guide.
Once you have a female Whimsicott/Cottenee and a male Pokemon or Ditto with the Timid nature, give the Timid Pokemon an Everstone (which can be found by the digging duo in the wild area) and breed an egg. The offspring should be a Timid Cottonee.
The second step is to get a Cottonee with the best competitive ability. For Whimsicott, it’s going to be Prankster. Prankster allows Whimsicott to move first when using status moves, which makes it extremely valuable as a support Pokemon on any team.
Whimsicott, along with most other Pokemon, has two standard abilities and a hidden ability. Pokemon with their hidden ability can only be found in Max Raid Battles or through Pokemon Home transfers and they will have a 60% chance of passing their hidden ability to their offspring.
Prankster is not a hidden ability, so we can find a Cottonee with Prankster in the wild or through breeding. To get ensure the highest chance to get this ability, breed until you have a female Timid Cottonee with Prankster. Having a female with the ability will increase the chances of passing it down (gender does not affect the chances of passing down a hidden ability).
Individual Values (IVs)
Individual Values, commonly known as IVs, will influence each Individual stat. At level 100, a Pokemon with a 31 (max) Speed IV will have 31 bonus Speed points. For competitive purposes, it is important to max every IV the Pokemon can make use of.
The best way to max IVs is to get a Ditto (do Ditto max raid battles or trade to get one) with all 6 perfect IVs and give it a Destiny Knot and have it breed with your female Timid Prankster Cottonee (make sure the Cottonee is holding the Everstone to pass its nature on). The Destiny Knot will ensure that 5 IVs from the parents will be passed down to the offspring.
Keep breeding out Cottonee’s until you get one that has perfect HP, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed IVs. Having a perfect Attack IV isn’t important since Whimsicott will never use a physical attack. In fact, it is beneficial to keep the attack IV as low as possible to reduce damage from Foul Play (a move that deals damage based on a Pokemon’s attack stat).
If you have done everything correctly, you should have a Timid Cottonee with Prankster and 5 perfect IVs. It is now ready to be EV trained, evolved, and taught a competitive moveset.