All Poison-Type Pokémon Weaknesses and Strategy

Don’t you know that you’re toxic?

Once upon a time, Poison-Type Pokemon were practically a joke. Psychic-Type Pokemon dominated Generation 1, and Poison-Type Pokemon could only hit a scant few Pokemon for Super Effective damage. Nowadays, Poison-Type Pokemon are a force to be reckoned with.

Poison-Type Pokemon are powerful defensively. They resist a whopping five different Types by themselves, which only puts them behind Fire and Steel-Type Pokemon for the most resistances. Yet unlike those two, Poison-Type only takes Super Effective damage from two Types total. While Poison-Type Pokemon only hit Grass and Fairy-Type Pokemon for super effective damage, they also resist Fairy-Type Pokemon. Given the sheer power of Fairy-Type Pokemon, this gives Poison-Type Pokemon a powerful niche.

So how, exactly, should you counter a Poison-Type Pokemon? It ultimately depends on the Pokemon in question, but you have a few options.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Option 1: Nuke it with its weaknesses

Poison-Type Pokemon have two weaknesses: Ground and Psychic. This presents an interesting dilemma. Psychic-Type Pokemon typically excel as Special Attackers, with Pokemon like Gallade acting as rare exceptions.  Meanwhile, Ground-Type Pokemon are predominately physical attackers. Earthquake is one of the most powerful moves in the game, and monsters like Garchomp have the high stats to deal destructive damage with it.

In other words, the Type of Pokemon you want to use will depend on your enemy’s stats. Clodsire is a great example, since it’s a tanky Pokemon with especially high Special Defense. While you can use Psychic-Type moves, you’ll have a greater chance of scoring a one-hit KO with a ground-type Pokemon. Meanwhile, Psychic-Type Pokemon will be the preferred option against Pokemon like Toxapex.

It should be noted that many Pokemon in Scarlet & Violet favor Special Defense over Defense. This is especially true of Pokemon like Gengar that can nuke a Psychic-Type Pokemon before it can even act. This isn’t to say Psychic-Type Pokemon aren’t effective, but take this into consideration when you’re planning to counter a Poison-Type.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Option 2: Prioritize your own defense

Since the Poison-Type excels at Defense, you may encounter Pokemon that prefer to prioritize defense and harass you with status ailments. The move Toxic is particularly deadly, as its damage increases the longer your Pokemon is on the field. If you’re looking to keep all your Pokemon healthy, sometimes the best offense is a good defense.

Steel-Type Pokemon are a great answer to this problem. Not only are they immune to Poison-Type attacks, but they’re also immune to the Poison status effect altogether. That said, since Steel-Type moves only do neutral damage to Poison, you may have a hard time breaking down a bulky opponent with this strategy. Poison-Type Pokemon are also immune to the Poison status effect, though they’ll have an even harder time fighting back since the Poison-Type resists itself.

It’s worth noting that a Pokemon already suffering from a status ailment can’t be affected by another ailment aside from Confusion. A Pokemon that knows Poison Heal like Breloom can also turn the tables and get healed by being affected with Poison. However, these strategies extraordinarily risky and unreliable, so only take a gamble like this if you are in an incredibly niche situation.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Option 3: Look at its other type

Of all the Poison-Type Pokemon in Scarlet & Violet, only two are pure Poison-Type. These Pokemon are Muk and Swalot, and neither is dangerous enough for you to plan around specifically.

This gives you the freedom to counter Poison-Type Pokemon by taking its secondary type into account. For example, Amoonguss is a Grass/Poison-Type Pokemon that has appeared on many competitive teams. While Psychic is effective against it, you can hit it hard with Fire, Flying, and Ice-Type attacks by targeting its Grass-Type. In another example, Gengar’s Ghost-Type attacks will deal less damage to a Dark-Type than a Ground-Type, which would mean it would need a move like Focus Blast to deal any notable damage.

For many Poison Pokemon, Ground-Type attacks will be the best way to dispatch them quickly. Just remember to take your opponent and their team into account when considering your counterplay. In the competitive scene, your opponent will surely be trying to cover their common weaknesses with items like Air Balloon.  There is no catch-all option to defeat a Poison-Type Pokemon, but if you keep all your potential options in mind, you’ll be able to come out on top.

Timothy Monbleau
Freelancer - Timothy started writing community blogs for Destructoid in 2012. He liked it so much he decided to write articles for the site professionally. His love for JRPGs and the Ys series will endure forever.