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Zacian, the warrior Pokémon, is a legendary, Fairy-type (but when holding the Rusted Sword, it can change itself to the Crowned Sword form, getting the Steel-type) Pokémon, introduced in Gen 8. It is the mascot, alongside Zamacenta, of Pokémon Sword and Shield. Zacian is inspired on the Excalibur, King Arthur’s sword, and in the coat of arms of the middle ages, which were used to have fantastic animals wearing weapons like swords or shields.
Zacian is a quadrupedal, mostly cyan, wolf-like (lupine) Pokémon. It has two forms: the Hero of Many Battles form and the Crowned Sword form. In its Hero of Many Battles form, Zacian has cyan fur on its body, while it has a pink tail and white legs and trunk.
However, the most characteristic feature Zacian has are the pink braids along its body and the wound-shaped white fur it has in all its body.
On the other hand, its Crowned Sword form is more majestic, with a sword on its mouth and two big and golden wings on the top of its back. The braids got untied and are now two large and pink tufts of fur. Its head also changes, getting a golden mask with golden, pink, and cyan details.
Zacian’s name comes from the union between the Japanese word “Okamiza” which means Lupus, the wolf constellation, and Cyan.
Zacian Summary of Appearances in Pokémon Versions and Media (Games, Anime, Movies)
In the games, Zacian is a legendary Pokémon, which means it is unique, and you can find it only once in the following places:
- Gen 8: Zacian is an exclusive Pokémon from Pokémon Sword. You can find it in the Tower Summit, only once. If you want it in Pokémon Shield, you have to transfer it.
Zacian is a recurring Pokémon in the anime. It appeared for the first time in Sword and Shield, Slumbering Weald! When Ash found it in its Hero of Many Battles form, in Slumbering Weald. After that, it disappeared.
Zacian didn’t appear in the series until Sword and Shield: From Here to Eternatus! When it helps Goh and Sonia get the Rusted Sword and the Rusted Shield. Thanks to it, now, Zacian can change into its Crowned Sword form alongside Zamacenta. They fight against Eternatus in Sword and Shield… The Legends Awaken!, winning and saving the world.
In the Manga, Zacian had two main appearances:
- Zacian appeared in Pokémon Journeys, where it took the same role it took in the anime. Its debut was in JNM13.
- Zacian appeared in Pokémon Adventures, too; its debut was in PASS05, and it took the same role as in the anime. It appeared in Slumbering Weald as an illusion to Henry and Casey.
In the TCG, Zacian has cards in the following expansions:
- Rebel Clash (as a Rare)
- Vivid Voltage (as an A card)
Zacian also has V cards in the following expansions:
- Sword and Shield (as an Ultra Rare-Rare, a Rare Ultra, and a Secret Rare)
In all these cards, Zacian is a Steel-type Pokémon.
Zacian Evolution Line: When Does Zacian Evolve?
Zacian is a legendary Pokémon, which means it can evolve and can’t breed.
Zacian is a legendary Pokémon; this only means that its stats will be really high. In fact, Zacian is so overpowered that it only has strategies in AG (Anything Goes), the tier where all the legendary Pokémon habitats and battle format with the least rules. In fact, when Sword and Shield came out, Zacian was being part of the OU tier, but it got instantly banned there because it was pretty strong, so it got in Uber.
The problem was that Zacian also got banned from Uber, so the only way for Zacian to be used is in AG, or Anything Goes since you can use any Pokémon you want there.
Even its Hero of Many Battles form is pretty strong, so you can use it too. So, we will show two different builds for Zacian, one using its Hero of Many Battles form and the other using its Crowned Sword form.
So, let’s check Zacian’s stats in both forms:
Hero of Many Battles
|HP||Attack||Defense||Sp. Atk||Sp. Def||Speed|
Zacian’s attack is basically outstanding, as well as its Speed. Its Special Attack is rather bad, but Zacian doesn’t make use of it, as well as its HP. Even its Defenses, which should be low because of the purpose behind its stats, are really high.
It’s obvious Zacian is perfect to be a Revenge Killer or a Sweeper. You can do whatever you want with Zacian, and it will accomplish.
Now, let’s check its Crowned Sword stats.
|HP||Attack||Defense||Sp. Atk||Sp. Def||Speed|
Having almost 200 base points in Attack is something that not much Pokémon can say they have. Its HP sightly increases too, and its Speed is way better than in its Hero of Many Battles Form. Crowned Sword’s Zacian can also be used as a Revenge Killer or a Sweeper with Swords Dance; It will One-Hit KO whatever is in its path.
Zacian, as well as every single legendary Pokémon in the game, has a unique ability. Let’s check out Zacian’s one!
Zacian can only have the following ability:
- Intrepid Sword: This ability buffs Zacian’s Attack every time it gets into the field.
So simple, yet so effective. Zacian will get a buff on its Attack every time it steps on the field, so we can’t ask for more.
Now, we have to decide on a Nature that works for Zacian.
Here’s where we have to wait for a second and decide what we want to buff. There’s no point in buffing its Attack with a Nature since Zacian’s Attack is almost perfect, and it gets naturally buffed with its Ability, so we have to be smart and select a Nature that can raise its Speed since we need Zacian to hit first in every single turn.
Then, let’s check which Nature can suit Zacian perfectly, regardless of the form you want to use:
- Timid (Increases Speed, decreases Attack)
- Hasty (Increases Speed, decreases Defense)
- Jolly (Increases Speed, decreases Special Attack)
- Naive (Increases Speed, decreases Special Defense)
Using Timid is a bad option since Zacian uses its Attack; we don’t want to reduce it. Also, reducing Zacian’s Defenses is a bad option because there can always be a moment when Zacian needs to handle a hit before attacking.
Our option will be Jolly since Zacian doesn’t use any kind of Special Attack. This Nature will work with its two forms.
Now, we have to see the list of moves Zacian can learn. They are not much, but the ones Zacian can learn are really good. Let’s go!
Moves per level (Gen 8)
Zacian can learn the following moves by leveling up:
Moves per TM/TR (Gen 8)
Zacian can learn the following moves through the use of a TM/TR:
|TM/TR (GEN VIII)||Move||Type||Category||Power||Accuracy||PP|
Zacian has many Physical options, which is good since both builds we will showcase use Zacian’s Attack as its main argument against Foe’s Pokémon. If you are using one of these, remember to pick Fairy-type Physical attacks like Play Rough as Hero of Many Battles’ Zacian is Fairy-type.
Now, we have to see the strengths and weaknesses of Zacian in both its forms.
Hero of Many Battles
In this form, Zacian is only a Fairy-type Pokémon, which means it can resist attacks from the following types:
- It only gets 1/2 of the damage against Bug, Fighting, and Dark-types.
- Also, Zacian is immune to Dragon-types.
Also, with Fairy-type moves, it can deal increased damage to the following types:
- It will inflict x2 damage against Dragon, Fighting, and Dark-types.
Being a legendary Pokémon with Fairy-type gives Zacian a lot of advantage against many other legendaries like Rayquaza, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina or Eternatus, and many Dynamax Pokémon (that are the most in Anything Goes), like Duraludon-GMax and others.
The rest of the types Zacian has an advantage against aren’t common in this tier. But, we have to see its Crowned Sword form, as it is pretty defensive.
In this form, Zacian is a Fairy/Steel-type Pokémon, which mean it can resist attacks from the following types:
- It only gets 1/2 of the damage against Fairy, Ice, Normal, Grass, Psychic, Rock, Dark, and Flying-types.
- It only gets 1/4 of the damage against Bug-types.
- It is immune against Dragon and Poison-types.
Also, with Steel-type moves, it can deal increased damage to the following types:
- With Steel-type attacks, it will inflict x2 damage against Fairy, Ice, and Rock-types.
- With Fairy-type attacks, it will inflict x2 damage against Dragon, Fighting, and Dark-types.
Fairy/Steel-type is such a defensive combination since there are only 4 types that can deal Zacian neutral damage, and it only has 2 checks which we will see later.
Crowned Sword Zacian’s combination, plus its good defenses, makes it a great Pokémon to be safe and is a great choice for a revenge killer / Pivot Pokémon that will not fall even if it gets hit by an effective attack.
But not everything is great in Zacian; we have to see its weaknesses!
Hero of Many Battles
Zacian is weak against the following types:
- It takes x2 damage against Steel and Poison-types.
Also, its Fairy-type attacks will not do much against the following types:
- It will only inflict 1/2 of its damage to Steel, Fire, and Poison-types.
Fairy-type has good coverage against essential types like Water or Grass since they are neutral against it; the problem is when Zacian gets exposed to a Poison or a Steel-type Pokémon, which are pretty common in high tiers, like a lot of legendaries that can learn various Steel-type moves.
Obviously, Zacian is pretty strong, and it will not get One-Hit KOed by any other Pokémon (unless a Sweeper with a lot of attacking buffs gets it, in that case, Zacian will get out of the battle, and that’s why Zacian has to be pretty fast), but two hits can be enough to fall; that’s why Zacian has to be hopping in and out of the field every time it can.
Crowned Sword Zacian will have the following weaknesses:
- It takes x2 damage against Fire and Ground-types.
Also, its attacks will not do much against the following types:
- With its Fairy-type attacks, it will only inflict 1/2 of its damage to Steel, Fire, and Poison-types.
- With its Steel-type attacks, it will only inflict 1/2 of its damage to Steel, Water, Electric, and Fire-types.
As you can see, Zacian doesn’t care much about what the Foe’s Pokémon has since it will only get a problematic amount of damage against Fire and Ground-types. The problem is when, as an example, a Cinderace-GMax or a Charizard-GMax gets on the field. It has Behemoth Sword, but it will not do much against both since they are Fire-types and can easily sweep Crowned Sword Zacian.
Defending itself from Fire-types can be complicated, but getting Zacian out of the field is the only way.
We studied Zacian’s pros and cons, but now, we will showcase Zacian’s build in its two forms!
Zacian Best Moveset
Hero of Many Battles
Hero of Many Battles Zacian can work with the following build:
- Play Rough
- Close Combat
- Wild Charge
With Choice Scarf as its item, Intrepid Sword as its ability, and Jolly as its Nature.
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Let’s start with its moveset; Play Rough works perfectly as it is the strongest Fairy-type Physical move; it is your principal option when you are attacking.
Close Combat is there to protect Zacian against Steel-types. Remember, it will decrease your Attack and Defense, so you have to remember switching Zacian and not letting it be in the field for a long time.
Crunch can help Zacian with those Psychic-types (like Lunala or Necrozma, which are pretty dangerous in AG). But Zacian’s work is to get in the field if those Pokémon are weakened enough; that’s why in your team, you should have an Entry Hazard Setter or a Staller like Ferrothorn or Gothitelle.
The last move slot is reserved for any move you want, but we recommend using a move that helps you cover a weakness in your team. We selected Wild Charge as it is great against those Water and Flying-type Pokémon that can be potentially annoying, but you also can use Solar Blade and get rid of the Ground-types or Dig if you want to have an argument against Fire-types. Fire Fang is a great option too.
Choice Scarf will help Zacian outspeed any Pokémon in this tier (and even in the game); this is perfect since we want to avoid Zacian getting hit. In addition, its EVs are set to give some extra power to the offensive; the EVs with the Choice Scarf is a great combination. But remember, the Choice Scarf will only let you use a move, so if you want to use another one, you have to switch.
Now, let’s talk about Crowned Sword Zacian:
- Behemoth Blade
- Close Combat
- Sword Dance
- Wild Charge (again, you can dedicate this move slot to anything you want).
With Rusted Sword as its item, Intrepid Sword as its Ability, and Jolly as its Nature.
EVs: the same as with the previous build; 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Behemoth Blade is the strongest Steel-type Physical attack Zacian can have, and it will work perfectly against the Dynamaxed Pokémon that you’ll find in AG; use it wisely.
Close Combat will help Zacian a lot against Steel-types.
Sword Dance is in this build because Crowned Sword Zacian can be in the field for a good time since its defensive types help Zacian not get hard hits. So if you feel safe, let Zacian be in the field and use Sword Dance.
The last move slot has the same advantage as the Hero of Many Battles Zacian; it can be used for whatever you want.
Rusted Sword will not help Zacian do much (besides being Crowned Sword Zacian). Its EVs can work the same as before; they are there to give power to its Speed. In this form, Zacian can be slower than some Pokémon, but we don’t have to worry since this will not occur consistently.
Zacian In a Video
You know a Pokémon is overpowered when it can sweep out a whole team by itself. This video shows how a Crowned Sword Zacian sweeps all the Pokémon of its foe.
Now, let’s see a more realistic video of how you can build a whole Doubles team with Zacian as your main damage resource.
Question: Why is Zacian banned from the meta?
Answer: Zacian and Eternatus are banned from the meta because it is overpowered; it has a ridiculous base Attack, and it is hard to win it when we talk about Speed. Using it was a disadvantage in battles.
Question: Which one is better, Zacian or Zamacenta?
Answer: Zacian is way better than Zamacenta, mostly because its type combination is good defensively, while Zamacenta can have a lot more checks and counters. Sadly, Zamacenta is at a clear disadvantage against Zacian.
Question: Is Zacian the most powerful legendary Pokémon?
Answer: In the meta, Zacian is one of the most powerful. Still, suppose we are talking about history and origins. In that case, Zacian is only one of those legendaries because the originals destined it to take care of a certain region, like the Tapus in Alola or the Guardians in Teselia.
Zacian Guide: Conclusion
There are no lies if we say that Zacian is the most powerful Pokémon of the meta. Unfortunately, it will be hard to get it down, and it is that strong that it isn’t even allowed in official competitions. Sadly, it is only used for fun, but that’s good since Zacian will give you many laughs while it sweeps a whole team by itself!