Pokémon Scarlet & Violet: Double Battle Tips for the Indigo Disk DLC

Hey Trainers!

We’re just under 24 hours out from the release of the Indigo Disk DLC! DLC launch day is always an exciting one, and just from the amount of information we’ve received so far, the second instalment of the Hidden Treasures of Area Zero storyline is going to be massive!

It was announced early on that the second part of the DLC would have us adventuring to the Blueberry Academy, the counterpart to the Naranja/Uva Academy in Paldea! Thanks to some early information from both the Pokémon Company as well as from influencers who had the chance to play the DLC early, we know that the Blueberry Academy has a heavy emphasis on battling, specifically Double Battles!

According to some of the people who had early access, the battles at Blueberry Academy will not be trivial. While you will likely be able to steamroll your way through with either your level 100 playthrough team or a full team of Legendaries, I’m personally looking forward to crafting a team to help me battle my way through the academy while keeping myself on a relatively similar level to the NPC’s.

Because of this, I thought it was the right time to talk about some basic Double Battle strategies. The Indigo Disk DLC seems like the perfect time to try them out! Don’t worry, I’ll try and keep things as simple as possible and only explain mechanics as they’re required. Let’s take a look!

Skip ahead to the “Easy Pairings for Beginners” section for some Double Battle team suggestions!

What Makes Double Battles Different?

This may seem obvious, but let’s break it down a bit.

Double battles add an extra level of complexity to a Pokémon Battle for a variety of reasons, but the most obvious is that a 2v2 battle will understandably be a bit more complex than a 1v1. You not only have to make decisions for both of your Pokémon, but you also have to contend with two opponents at the same time!

Wolfe Glick, a professional Pokémon VGC player, posted a short on YouTube explaining the complexity a bit more numerically. In a single turn of VGC, which is 4v4 Double Battles, both players have a near overwhelming option of moves to make. For each of the two Pokémon, you can either switch out to one of your reserve Pokémon or use one of your four moves targeted into either of your opponents or your ally. Combine this with the fact that your opponent has the same amount options, and there are an astounding 37,636 different ways for a single turn of a 4v4 Double Battle to go!

Of course, this number is a lot more overwhelming than the reality. There is a much more manageable number of reasonable moves that will likely be made. However, this number demonstrates the complexity of Double Battles. One of your Pokémon may match up well against one opponent but poorly against the other. Do you double up into one opponent and hope that the other makes a defensive play? Do you switch one of your Pokémon to get better position? What happens if you protect one of your Pokémon, only for your opponent to double into its partner? The possibilities are near limitless!

Combine this with factors such as some moves hitting both opponents or even your partner, plus things like Items and Abilities, and we can now see why Double Battles can be a bit more challenging, especially at higher levels.

It’s unclear exactly how challenging the battles in the Indigo Disk DLC will be, but Game Freak has a history of creating some pretty challenging NPC battles, so it’s better to go in overprepared rather than underprepared!

Basic Double Battle Strategies

There are a few key things to note for Double Battles. The first is that your team must have some sort of synergy. At the very least, your team should cover each other’s weaknesses. You should have answers to some of the most prominent threats, namely Fairy, Dragon, Steel, and Water types. This should be pretty easy to accomplish, especially with a type diverse team. All it will take is a few bad matchups to identify any gaps your team may have, and most Pokémon have a strong enough coverage movepool to help fill these gaps.

Similarly to Pokémon GO PVP, your team should be made up of a few different classes of Pokémon. You should have a combination of offensive, defensive, and support Pokémon. This is where the synergy can really come into play. Because these will be battles against NPC’s, you can likely get away with a hyper offensive battle style. However, this means that your coverage must be very solid, and it still doesn’t hurt to throw in a few defensive or support options in to supplement.

Your Pokémon should have a solid combination of physical, special, and status moves. If you’re playing the DLC, then you’ve likely played through enough of Scarlet and Violet to be familiar with these classifications. Damaging moves fall under the categories of either physical or special, and most Pokémon do not excel at both. Additionally, certain Pokémon can have better physical or special defense, so having both types of moves on your team is definitely worth it. Finally, status moves have a tendency to be overlooked. They can definitely tip the scales of the battle in your favor. We’ll go over this more later, but status moves are especially effective in Double Battles, as some can affect both of your Pokémon or both of your opponents simultaneously, and even single target status moves can help benefit your entire side.

Another change that was introduced in Scarlet and Violet that will be extremely impactful is the fact that items consumed in battle (other than berries) are not single use. In the past, if you were to use a Focus Sash, Weakness Policy, or other consumable items in battle, they would be used up and would disappear after the battle. Scarlet and Violet changed it so that, although these items can only be used once per battle, the Pokémon will still be holding the item after the battle! This will allow us to use these powerful items in battle without having to worry about spending absurd amounts of in-game currency!

The last important thing to note for Double Battles is the move Protect. This is a staple on almost every Pokémon in Doubles. Using Protect holds much more value in Doubles compared to Singles. In Singles, using Protect is an extremely passive play that really only helps on stall-based teams. In Doubles, on the other hand, a timely Protect can turn the tide of the battle. If you correctly predict a double-up, then you can effectively negate both of your opponent’s moves for the turn. You’re also still able to exert offensive pressure with your other Pokémon on the field. Even using Protect with both Pokémon can help you scout out your opponent’s strategy. Protect is undoubtedly the most used move in VGC, and it will be an invaluable tool to use as you take on the battles at Blueberry Academy!

The Best Moves for Doubles

As mentioned previously, certain moves are stronger in Doubles than they are in Singles. Most Trainers are probably familiar with the concept of spread moves. Certain attacks, such as Rock Slide, Heat Wave, and Blizzard, are able to damage both opponents at the same time. Something that is less commonly known about spread moves is that in Double Battles, if the move is targeting more than one Pokémon, then the damage dealt to each target is reduced by 25%. This is a balancing mechanic that helps balance out powerful spread moves such as Earthquake. Even despite this damage reduction, spread attacks are very powerful and should definitely take priority when building your Indigo Disk team.

In the previous section I briefly mentioned that certain status moves are much stronger in Double Battles. Moves that affect your entire side, such as Reflect, Light Screen, or Tailwind, are extremely impactful. If one Pokémon is dedicated to setting up these passive tools, then the other Pokémon can be more offensively oriented while still gaining the benefits of these moves. Moves that change the weather can be used to support your team or weaken your opponents. Definitely consider adding some of these moves to your more supportive Pokémon when building your team!

Easy Pairings for Beginners

And now for the section of the article that will probably be the most applicable. These are some tried and true duos that will certainly make your journey through the Indigo Disk DLC easier. I’ll try and keep the explanations brief while still trying to explain the mechanics that make these strategies work. Let’s take a look!

Chien-Pao + any physical attacker

Chien-Pao is one of the new Legendaries introduced in the base game of Scarlet and Violet. It’s Ability, Sword of Ruin, lowers the Defense stat of every Pokémon on the field. Chien-Pao on its own already has strong physical offense. Give it the moves Ice Spinner/Icicle Crash, Crunch/Sucker Punch, Sacred Sword, and Protect, alone with a Focus Sash to hold, and you should be good to go! When paired with another strong physical attacker, the duo can deal out massive damage! One of the most common pairings with Chien-Pao is Dragonite. With Extreme Speed and a Choice Band, Dragonite can threaten damage on all targets except Ghost types, which Chien-Pao can hit with STAB Dark moves. This duo is a staple of VGC!

As a side note, Chien-Pao also pairs nicely with Ogerpon, the newest Legendary introduced in the previous DLC installment, the Teal Mask! Ogerpon is another powerful physical attacker, so it will greatly benefit from Chien-Pao’s Sword of Ruin Ability.

Chi-Yu + any special attacker

Similarly to Chien-Pao, Chi-Yu has an ability called Beads of Ruin that lowers the Special Defense of all Pokémon on the field. As such, it can be used in a similar manner to Chien-Pao, except paired with strong special attackers instead. Chi-Yu works best with STAB moves Dark Pulse and Heat Wave. You can slot in Tera Blast if using a Tera Type such as Grass for additional coverage, or Overheat for a powerful single target Fire move. Round out the moveset with Protect, and either a Life Orb for extra damage or the Focus Sash for extra survivability. Chi-Yu’s most prominent partner is Flutter Mane, which we’ll get into in the next section, but the combination of Heat Wave and Dazzling Gleam is an offensive threat that should be able to tear through most battles with ease!

Flutter Mane + Torkoal/Ninetales

Flutter Mane remains one of the most prominent offensive threats in Scarlet and Violet. Even without considering its Ability it is able to find success, with Dazzling Gleam and Shadow Ball supported by coverage moves like Thunderbolt and Mystical Fire. While it performs well on its own by holding the Booster Energy item to activate its Protosynthesis Ability, it can be even more powerful if you’re able to passively activate the ability through Harsh Sunlight. This frees up Flutter Mane’s item slot, either to bolster its offenses with an item like Choice Specs or to help its survivability with a Focus Sash.

Both Torkoal and Ninetales serve as great partners for Flutter Mane, with the ability to set up the Harsh Sunlight through their ability Drought upon switching in. Torkoal is the bulkier of the options, able to support with moves like Helping Hand and Yawn, but it is definitely held back by its Speed. Ninetales is faster and can exert pressure on its own, able to either deal damage or provide support with moves like Hypnosis or Will-O-Wisp. Ninetales might be a bit better in this situation, as being able to help with damage output can help churn through battles faster. Regardless of which you pick, Flutter Mane will still be the star of the show. If you haven’t gotten your hands on one yet, now is the time!

Iron Bundle + Abomasnow/Alolan Ninetales

Iron Bundle has always been a threat, but has seen a surge in usage since the Snow weather has become more viable. With access to the unique Ice move Freeze Dry, which deals Super-Effective damage against Water types instead of resisted damage, there is not a single type in the game that resists the combination of Iron Bundle’s STAB moves. Combine that with blistering high Speed and strong Special Attack, and you have a potent threat! Iron Bundle does require the Booster Energy Item to reach this level of viability, but is definitely a worthy usage of the Item slot!

Iron Bundle’s primary issue comes in its lack of bulk. This is solved by the aforementioned Snow weather. Snow works similarly to how Sandstorm works for Rock types, raising the physical defense of Ice type Pokémon by 50%. As an additional benefit, Blizzard bypasses the accuracy check to always hit when it is Snowing, making it the perfect move to round out Iron Bundle’s moveset alongside Freeze Dry, Hydro Pump, and Protect.

While Abomasnow can fill the role of Snow setter, Alolan Ninetales is far superior. It is much faster, and the Fairy typing is much more useful than Grass. Ninetales will be able to out speed many opponents and set Aurora Veil, a status move that acts like Reflect and Light Screen rolled into one, but can only work when Snow is active. Round it out with supporting moves like Icy Wind and you have the perfect partner for Iron Bundle!

Earthquake + Flier

Earthquake is probably the most well-known spread move. It is extremely powerful and can never miss, but has the glaring drawback of hitting its partner in addition to the two opponents. So how can we get around this? There are certain Abilities and Items that can provide an immunity to Earthquake, but the easiest way is to pair your Earthquake user with a Flying type! They have a natural immunity, so you can fire off Earthquakes to your heart’s content.

While there are plenty of powerful Ground types to choose from, Garchomp is both among the best as well as a fan favorite! The Pseudo-Legendary of Sinnoh is still among the strongest Pokémon in the game. You can definitely fill out Garchomp’s moveset with other coverage moves to help cover bad matchups, but giving it a Choice Band is the best way to boost its damage output. Add Tera Ground for even more damage!

Picking Garchomp’s partner seems easy enough. There are plenty of powerful options. Gyarados is a great pick, as its ability Intimidate will lower the Attack stat of both opponents! However, it doesn’t have access to a good Flying move outside of Tera Flying Tera Blast. Another great pick is Hydreigon, one of the Pokémon that can evade Earthquake through its Ability Levitate. Hydreigon also uses special attacks, and can support its team with Tailwind, doubling their speed! However, Hydreigon comes with the drawback of making your team extremely weak to Fairy attacks.

My personal pick is, maybe a bit surprisingly, Kilowattrel!

Kilowattrel has a few things going for it that make it the perfect partner for Garchomp. It of course fulfils the Flying type criteria, as well as being a special attacker with access to Tailwind. What makes it really interesting is its Ability, which is called Wind Power. Whenever Kilowattrel is hit by an attack that is classified as a Wind Move, such as Icy Wind or Heat Wave, the Ability triggers, giving Kilowattrel the Charged status. The Charged effect states that the next Electric type move used will double in power! Interestingly, Wind Power can be triggered by an ally’s Tailwind, meaning Kilowattrel can, in a single turn, double both its and its ally’s speed and also double the damage of its next Electric type move. What makes this even more interesting is that Kilowattrel gets access to Discharge, an Electric move that, similar to Earthquake, hits both targets as well as its ally. However, Garchomp is a Ground type, meaning it is immune to Discharge, just as Kilowattrel is immune to Earthquake!

So turn one, Garchomp fires off its first Earthquake while Kilowattrel uses Tailwind. Turn two, Garchomp can use a second Earthquake while Kilowattrel uses a double power Discharge! They’re immune to each other’s attacks while simultaneously hitting both of their targets! This is probably my favorite combination on this list, and I’m excited to see how it will perform!

Indeedee + Armarouge

This duo has been terrorizing the VGC scene since the very beginning of Scarlet and Violet! It is actually based off of a similar pairing from Sword and Shield, where Indeedee is was instead paired with Hatterene.

Let’s start with Indeedee. Indeedee is a great support Pokémon, with access to a great supporting movepool. It’s Ability, Psychic Surge, sets Psychic Terrain, which protects its team from priority moves and boosts the power of Psychic type moves. If given the Psychic Seed item to hold, Indeedee will gain a Special Defense boost immediately! Additionally, the Psychic Seed item will not be consumed thanks to the Generation 9 update to items mentioned in the previous section. An important not is that you need to have a female Indeedee. Not only do the male and female Indeedee have separate forms, but they also have different movesets! Only female Indeedee has access to the powerful move Follow Me, which will redirect attacks into Indeedee. Pair this with Helping Hand to boost Armarouge’s damage alone with Psychic and Protect, and you have a strong start for this pairing.

Armarouge has a very important niche in Scarlet and Violet: it is the only Pokémon in the game to learn the powerful Psychic move Expanding Force (the Lake Trio Legendaries also get it, but Levitate negates its usage so they basically don’t get it). Expanding Force was introduced in Sword and Shield. It is an 80 base power move with 100% accuracy, but its secondary effect is ridiculously overpowered: if the user is in Psychic Terrain, the move gets a 1.5x damage multiplier and hits both targets! On top of that, you also get the normal damage boost that Psychic Terrain gives Psychic moves, making this one of the strongest spread moves in the game! Supported even further by Indeedee’s Helping Hand, and there isn’t much that will live a hit from Armarouge. Give Armarouge a Life Orb for extra damage output, then round out its moveset with Protect, Armor Cannon, and Aura Sphere, and the duo is complete! Expanding Force was much more widely distributed in Sword and Shield, so Game Freak was definitely justified in limiting its distribution in Scarlet and Violet. It’s only right that the one Pokémon that gets access to it can make great usage of it!

Dondozo and Tatsugiri

This duo has become extremely iconic in the world of Double Battles. Dondozo and Tatsugiri have a unique interaction that makes them one of the most powerful duos in Scarlet and Violet.

Within the lore of the series, Dondozo and Tatsugiri are known to hunt together. Tatsugiri swims into the mouth of Dondozo and gives it directions from within. This makes the duo an extremely powerful team!

Tatsugiri’s Ability, Commander, simulates this relationship between the two Pokémon. When Tatsugiri enters battle next to Dondozo, its Ability triggers. Tatsugiri jumps into Dondozo’s mouth, and Dondozo instantly gains +2 in its Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed. Tatsugiri cannot attack while it is combined with Dondozo, but it also cannot be targeted or damaged by its opponents.

Dondozo on its own is a tanky physical Water type attacker, and with Tatsugiri backing it up, it is near unstoppable! Dondozo’s signature move, Order Up, is a Dragon type move that also boosts one of Dondozo’s stats based on the form of Tatsugiri it combined with. When combined with Tatsugiri’s Curly form, it will boost its Attack stat every time it uses the move, stacking on top of the already absurd buffs it gets from Tatsugiri’s Ability! Round out the moveset with Wave Crash and Earthquake with the Leftovers Item, and this duo will be able to smash their way through many battles on their own!

Support Options

For the final section, I’ll briefly go over some of the best options for supporting Pokémon. These entries will work well with almost every partner, and can add a lot of value to your team!


Grimmsnarl has an interesting typing in Fairy / Dark, as well as access to a great supporting moveset. Additionally, it has the Ability Prankster, which allows it to use status moves with increased priority! There are plenty of great options, such as Charm, Fake Tears, Thunder Wave, and Parting Shot, but Grimmsnarl is most commonly used as a screen setter. It can set up Reflect or Light Screen with increased priority, reducing incoming damage immediately! Combine this with the Light Clay item, which makes the screens last for 8 turns instead of 5, and you’ve got a defensive tool to help support any team!

Intimidate Users

Intimidate is one of the most powerful Abilities in Double Battles, as it can lower the Attack stat of both opposing Pokémon simply by switching in! While there are a bunch of great options for Intimidate users, there are a few standouts.

Landorus in its Therian form is the best option that is currently available. In order to make the most use of Intimidate, you want a Pokémon that can switch in and out easily in order for the Ability to trigger the most amount of times. Landorus-T is fast and powerful. It has access to U-Turn, a move that allows it to deal damage then switch out, meaning you can switch it back in as soon as the next turn! Combine this with powerful moves like Stomping Tantrum, Rock Slide, and Tera Flying Tera Blast, and Landorus can cross over from a supporting role to that of an attacker as well!

It is important to note that the Indigo Disk DLC is bringing the return of all past starter Pokémon, and with it one of the single best Pokémon in history: Incineroar. With Intimidate as its hidden ability, Incineroar is able to do the same thing as Landorus-T, only better! It gets Fake Out, which can stop an opponent from moving on the first turn. From there, it has multiple options to switch out. It gets U-Turn, just like Lando, but it also has Parting Shot, which will lower both the Attack and Special Attack of its target by one stage. That means that by the start of the second turn of the battle, Incineroar has the capability of lowering its target’s Attack stat by an astounding 3 stages, cutting their Attack down to a measly 40%! With additional ways to support either by dealing damage or inflicting Burns, and its easy to see why Incineroar is one of the strongest Pokémon in the series. It will be an extremely powerful addition to any team!


Cresselia is one of the bulkiest Pokémon in the game with an incredible supporting movepool. On top of great moves like Helping Hand, Trick Room, and Ally Switch, it gained a new signature move in Pokémon Legends: Arceus called Lunar Blessing. This move heals both itself and its partner for 25% of their HP, as well as healing them both from any status conditions. Giving it the Leftovers item for even more passive healing will make Cresselia extremely difficult to remove. With its Ability Levitate, Cresselia could be another great partner for powerful Earthquake users like Garchomp!


And there we have it! Hopefully this article will help you take on the allegedly more difficult Double Battles in the Indigo Disk DLC! Regardless of what team you end up using, the Indigo Disk is sure to have a lot of exciting new content in store for us! Stay tuned throughout the weekend for more coverage of the DLC!

Author & tags

Hey! I'm KikitheTiki, an avid Pokémon fan and a staunch supporter of everything X and Y. I dabble in shiny hunting, VGC, and of course plenty of Pokémon GO! Proud level 50 Valor💪

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