Best Competitive Builds for Murkrow in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet

Sick of Gholdengo and Murkrow yet?

Murkrow has one of the best support Abilities, Prankster, and can be EV trained to be very bulky. The item Eviolite will increase unevolved Pokémon's Defense and Special Defense by 50% and pairs well with Murkrow. It has access to many strong Status moves that will get increased priority in battle that can help with speed control, debuffing Pokémon, or diverting attention. There is a good reason why Murkrow is so popular, and these are the best competitive sets for it in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet.

Best Competitive Moves for Murkrow in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet

Murkrow doesn't have as large of an Attack or Special Attack as its evolution, Honchkrow, but makes up for it with valuable support moves. To get its Hidden Ability, players must use an Ability Patch on their Murkrow, giving them Prankster. With the increase in priority for all of its Status moves, Murkrow becomes very effective in debuffing enemy Pokémon and buffing its own allies. Its moveset will depend on what each player's team needs, but these are the best moves it can learn:

Offensive Moves

  • Foul Play - This is Murkrow's best damaging option as it uses the target's Attack stat instead of Murkrow's to do damage.
  • Sucker Punch - This move is typically only useful for finishing off low HP Pokémon, but it has increased priority, making it a viable damage option.
  • Night Shade - All VGC battles are done at level 50, so this move will always deal 50 HP damage.

Support Moves

  • Haze - This has synergy with Pokémon that use moves like Close Combat or Overheat that lower their stats as it will restore their stats to normal. It also can shut down any Pokémon on the opponent's team that tries to increase their stats with moves like Belly Drum or Dragon Dance.
  • Taunt - Stopping Protect or other Status moves from opposing Pokémon can shut down certain strategies. This will not work on Dark Types.
  • Mean Look - Trapping opposing Pokémon can work well with certain strategies or prevent opponents from switching to something stronger. Moves like Perish Song also synergize well with this move.
  • Torment - Stopping Pokémon from using their moves twice in a row can stop Pokémon from using their strongest moves multiple times.
  • Quash - While this move doesn't always have its uses, it will ensure that ally Pokémon will move before the target, regardless of their Speed stat.
  • Protect - Protect can waste the opponent's entire turn if used well.
  • Confuse Ray - Other moves might be better to use but the chance of wasting a Pokémon's turn and for them to damage themselves has its uses.
  • Snarl - While this move doesn't do much damage, it hits both opposing Pokémon and lowers their Special Attack by one stage.
  • Icy Wind - Like Snarl, this does the same but for the Speed stat.
  • Sunny Day - Access to a first turn Sunny Day can synergize with certain Pokémon like those with Chlorophyll or Solar Power.
  • Rain Dance - Perfect for rain teams that need another way of bringing rain other than Pelipper.
  • Thunder Wave - Another form of Speed control, Paralysis, and Confuse Ray can also work well together.
  • Tailwind - Doubling the Speed of the team is invaluable in VGC, and Prankster will make Murkrow act first without any consequences.
  • Feather Dance - This works the same as Charm to lower the Attack stat by two stages.
  • Flatter - This has synergy with Mirror Herb as Murkrow will increase the opponent's Special Attack by two stages while confusing the target. If an ally Pokémon is holding the Mirror Herb, they will then get those stat increases without becoming confused.
  • Perish Song - This, combined with Mean Look, could wipe out both opposing Pokémon on the field if played right.
  • Screech - Lowering the Defense of Pokémon can make ally Physical attackers deal even more damage.

Related: Best Competitive Builds for Armarouge in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet

Best EV Spread and Builds for Murkrow in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet

When deciding how to EV train a particular Pokémon, a lot of it comes down to what purpose the Pokémon serves on the team. Murkrow's role as a Support Pokémon makes it so investing in Attack, Special Attack, and Speed isn't needed. Whether Defense or Special Defense is needed depends on how well the team can deal with Physical or Special attackers. Teams with Intimidate or Reflect will make it so Defense EVs aren't as needed. These are some example sets for Murkrow and how to use them effectively in a team.

Tailwind Support

  • Item - Eviolite/Focus Sash
  • Nature - Calm/Bold
  • EVs - 252 HP, 252 Special Defense, 4 Defense
  • Tera Type - Steel/Fairy
  • Ability - Prankster
  • Moves
    • Protect
    • Tailwind
    • Haze
    • Foul Play/Snarl/Thunder Wave

Moving first in a battle will give players the upper hand in most scenarios, and Tailwind will double the entire team's speed. This can keep players from having to put EVs into Speed for other Pokémon because Tailwind is rarely ever going to be prevented from being used. Haze can be used to reset the stats of partner Pokémon using Overheat or Close Combat or shut down stat boosts from the opponent's side. Foul Play is Murkrow's best source of damage but Snarl and Thunder Wave as well.

Related: How to EV train your Pokémon in Scarlet & Violet

Debuff/Status Trap

  • Item - Eviolite
  • Nature - Calm/Bold
  • EVs - 252 HP, 252 Special Defense, 4 Defense
  • Tera Type - Steel/Fairy
  • Ability - Prankster
  • Moves
    • Mean Look
    • Feather Dance/Tailwind
    • Snarl/Confuse Ray
    • Screech/Thunder Wave

This moveset aims to debuff opposing Pokémon until they can hardly do damage and then use Mean Look to prevent them from switching out. This can allow ally Pokémon to use their own setup moves safely. A critical hit will override stat changes, but with the right setup, this can be remedied with healing moves or Abilities like Shell Armor. Screech can also be used before the ally Pokémon moves to guarantee to do more damage against the opponent's Pokémon. Alternatively, overwhelming the opposing Pokémon with both Thunder Wave and Confuse Ray can make it very difficult for them to even get a move out, to begin with.

For more competitive Pokémon guides, check out Best Competitive Builds for Meowscarada in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet and for help finding an Eviolite, check out How to get the Eviolite in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet on Pro Game Guides.

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Best Competitive Builds for Murkrow in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet

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