With the right build, there is flat out no way of breaking through Dondozo in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. With enormous HP and Defenses, it's almost like it was designed not to ever be knocked out. Dondozo also gets the Unaware ability, making it pointless to boost stats in front of it. It's currently quite popular in the meta since many trainers enjoy watching opponents have their attacks bounce off Dondozo.
Best build for Dondozo in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
- Body Press
To make this Dondozo build pracitcally unstopabble, trainers will want to start by dumping max EVs into Special Defense. Dondozo naturally has high physical Defense, so boosting its Special Defense will make it tanky on both sides. Curse also ensures that Dondozo will be able to take any physical attack.
Dondozo will also definitely want to run the Leftovers item to give it some recovery. Since Dondozo is so durable, trainers can get away with running Rest without a Chesto Berry to wake it up: it can simply wait the two turns without worrying of taking too much damage.
After a couple Curse set ups, Liquidation will start doing some serious damage. Body Press is a way to hit Gastrodon, Baxcalibur, and a couple other threats that resist Liquidation. Technically this leaves Dondozo without a way of hitting Dragapult, but Liquidation will end up KOing it even though Dragapult resists Water.
What are the best counters to Dondozo?
The bottom line is countering Dondozo is very difficult and it really centralizes how trainers build teams. The one reliable way to defeat Dondozo is to use a strong Special Attack which deals out Super Effective damage. Iron Bundle would be great at this, but now that it's banned, the options trainers have boil down to Specs Dragapult, Specs Sandy Shocks and Specs Gholdengo with Thunderbolt.
Want more Pokémon Scarlet & Violet guides? Check out Pro Gamer Guides for Best moves for Ting Lu in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.