Should you run the Garchomp / Sylveon Raid Challenge in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet?

How to tame (or slay) your dragon

Though Pokémon Scarlet & Violet already gave us mice for Valentine’s Day, it hasn’t slowed down in rolling out its weekly Tera Raid spotlight events. Case in point: Garchomp and Sylveon are currently featured as blue star Tera Raids from now through February 19th.

If you’ve been following these events as they’ve gone live, you know what to expect. Garchomp and Sylveon will have boosted appearance rates in Tera Raids at either 4 or 5-Star difficulty. They will spawn as any Tera Type in the game, so it’s impossible to choose a dedicated Pokemon to counter them like in 7-Star raids. That said, Sylveon will more commonly appear with the Fairy Tera Type, while Garchomp will commonly sport the Ground Tera Type. These events typically don’t boost the the appearance of Tera Types that correspond with a Pokemon’s natural Type, so both these monsters may hit you harder than other 5-Star raids. Here’s what to expect.

Screenshot by Destructoid

How to defeat Sylveon

While both these monsters are strong attackers, their stats and moves are dramatically different.

Sylveon is the easier foe of the two. It’s offenses can be hard to predict, as it knows Hyper Voice, Moonblast, and Tera Blast. Hyper Voice is typically Normal-Type, but if Sylveon has its hidden ability Pixilate, it will deal Fairy-Type damage instead. Similarly, Tera Blast’s Type corresponds with the user’s active Tera Type, so there’s no “safe” Type to always use. That said, Steel shuts down Fairy and Normal moves handily, and it deals Super Effective damage to Fairy Pokemon. Considering Sylveon’s boosted appearance rate as a Fairy Tera Type, monsters like Perrserker and Magnezone can perform particularly well here.

Sylveon’s other notable move is Yawn, which it is prone to use near the start of the fight. This is virtually guaranteed to put your party to sleep. Consider giving your Pokemon a Chesto Berry to counter this, otherwise be braced to take a few hits. Additionally, Sylveon will use Calm Mind during the encounter. This will buff its offense enough to deal serious damage to level 100 Pokemon, plus its special defense will increase.

To circumvent this, bring physical attackers or support Pokemon that can weaken Sylveon’s special stats. Similarly, Pokemon with higher special defense can take Sylveon’s hits like a champ. If your parties online are failing this fight regularly, consider building a Chansey with moves like Light Screen and Life Dew to help your team survive.

Screenshot by Destructoid

How to defeat Garchomp

Meanwhile, Garchomp can be a real pain to take down. It’s relatively frail, so it is possible for a Pokemon to take it out in one hit with boosted Super Effective damage. You’ll be at the mercy of whatever Tera Type Garchomp wants to appear with, so you may have difficulty forming a one-shot strategy that works every time.

If you can’t pull off a one-shot, you’ll have to deal with Garchomp’s mechanics. It will begin the fight with Sandstorm, which can lower your Pokemon’s accuracy if knows its normal ability Sand Veil. Weather effects can override this easily, so moves like Rain Dance are advisable to bring. Meanwhile, it has impressive offensive coverage in Earthquake, Dragon Claw, Rock Slide, and Iron Head. Bring any of the following Types to avoid Super Effective damage from Garchomp: Normal, Fighting, Ground, Ghost, Water, Grass, Psychic, or Dark.

The move that makes Garchomp potentially deadly is Swords Dance. It will use this at scripted moments throughout the fight, though it appears to skip it if it already has +2 attack stages. It will often use Swords Dance when entering its shield phase, which can be deadly if you’re relying on Shell Bell strategies for healing. Moves like Chilling Water can make a lot of difference for your team’s survivability here, so consider running a support Pokemon if your teammates go all in on dealing huge damage.

It’s also worth noting that Garchomp can potentially sport its hidden ability Rough Skin. While this makes its Sandstorm easier to deal with, it will deal massive damage to you if you use multi-hit moves like Population Bomb or Icicle Spear. Otherwise, keep in mind that all of Garchomp’s attacks deal physical damage. Pokemon with high defense will last a lot longer against this onslaught.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Is this event worth your time?

For casual players, this event is mostly good. Sylveon is a great Fairy-Type attacker with some powerful moves in its arsenal. It was a surprise MVP when the Charizard 7-Star raid was live, so this Eeveelution is worth keeping. Meanwhile, Garchomp is an absolute beast. This pseudo-legendary has wreaked havoc since Generation 4, and its Earthquakes are deadly to this day. It also helps that their boosted Tera Type appearance rates correspond with their most powerful attacks, since this is preferred in both casual content and 7-Star Tera Raids.

That said, Garchomp and Sylveon both spawn as fixed encounters in Scarlet & Violet. In other words, the stakes aren’t super high to catch them now. Definitely run the event if you’re still playing the game, but don’t lose sleep if you can’t.

Meanwhile, competitive players should give this event a look. While the introduction of Paradox Pokemon has shaken the competitive scene, Garchomp and Sylveon still see decent usage. As always, the grind for Tera Shards is a killer, so this is a great chance to grab these monsters with the Tera Type you’d want. Steel and Fire Tera Types are great for these Pokemon, though the Ground Tera Type can help Sylveon use Tera Blast to damage enemies that would otherwise counter it. Both Pokemon also have notable hidden abilities you can grind for if you wish. Rough Skin helps Garchomp shut down Maushold’s Population Bomb, and Sylveon’s Pixelate seriously ups its damage potential. Farm these if you don’t want to grind for Ability Patches.

Otherwise, this is a decent opportunity to grab TM materials from these monsters. Gible Fur is used for both Swords Dance and Dragon Dance, while Eevee Fur is used for Helping Hand. If you need more of these TMs, knock yourself out. Farm the event if you want, but don’t feel pressured to marathon it. Enjoy your adventure in Paldea!

Timothy Monbleau
Guide Editor - 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 RPGs and the Ys series will endure forever.