With the release of Sword and Shield as the current generation of Pokemon games, fans are already wondering which one to pick to get the best legendary. The wolf inspired and lore filled creatures of this Pokémon game have very minor differences, especially design-wise, to add to this whole confusing situation
Usually, in a Pokémon game, the title legendaries have 2 very unique looks, however, in Sword and Shield their similar looks and stats make them close to the same Pokémon in all but type. To figure out which is the best, here are 5 reasons Zacian is the best and 5 reasons Zamazenta is the best.
Updated by Michael Connor Smith on May 26th, 2020: A Pokémon generation’s legendaries are not only an important factor to sway players towards their preferred game and encourage trading with others, but they’re also a contender for a ton of debate between Pokémon fans on which legendary is truly the better Pokémon.
This list was updated to give additional info on both of the legendary Pokémon from Sword & Shield, pertaining to their designs, origin, and competitive usage to determine which one comes out on top.
14-Sword: Better Signature Move
What you’ll find with Zacian is its Signature Legendary move is a lot better than Zamazenta’s. One big benefit is the power is doubled if you’re against a dynamaxed pokemon, which is a saving grace because of the very specific Pokémon in Pokémon Sword that you can only catch in the dynamax dens. It can be your new go too for any dynamax fight. Shield’s legendary signature move does have the same effect, however, it doesn’t have the perfect storm of Zacian has where its ability increases his speed so it can go first on a dynamax Pokémon.
13-Shield: Better Defense
With Zamazenta you will get more defense no matter what. It isn’t exactly tanky though with a 145 base defense stat, a Snorlax will have a better defense stat. Its ability increases its defense at the start of battle and Zamazenta has plenty of moves that raise its defense more, like Iron defense.
Zacian doesn’t have any defense increasing moves so you get what you get with that 115 base defense stat in Pokémon Sword. Of course, without Zamazenta’s signature item, its defense will go down to 115 which is still a high number but much less tanky than it should be overall being a literal shield.
12-Sword: Better Type
The Fairy/Steel type with Zacian is a great advantage over the Fighting/Steel of Zamazenta. Zamazenta has 3 weaknesses to worry about with Fire, Fighting, and Ground-type moves, while Zacian would only have to worry about two weaknesses Fire and Ground. Meaning Zacian’s type neutralizes Fairy’s weaknesses. This puts Zacian forward as a better Pokémon, battle wise. Zamazenta essentially has the same weaknesses as Lucario, while Zacian is a better Klefki.
11-Shield: Better Doubles Potential
While both of these Pokémon are banned in any competitive format besides ubers, Zamazenta has a few extra tools at its disposal to give it a slight edge when it comes to doubles. They have similar offensive potential, but Zamazenta brings a few more important defensive options to the table.
These two have extremely similar movesets, but Zamazenta has access to both Reflect and Light Screen, as well as an extra multi-targeting move in the form of Dazzling Gleam. It may not be the biggest difference in the world, but the Shield legendary seems more fitted for a doubles team.
10-Sword: Better Substitute User
Substitute is a deadly move that has been a staple in the competitive scene since its earliest days, and Zacian is able to completely destroy teams by using it. Substitute users are usually ones with high Speed and Attack, where Substitute will allow it to more safely out-speed opponents while throwing out damaging moves.
Since Zacian’s Attack and Speed are both higher than Zamazenta’s, it will end up getting a bit more mileage out of this move. While Zamazenta may be able to tank more hits before the Substitute runs out, Zacian still has a great Defense stat, making it the better choice overall.
9-Shield: Better Rival Fit
With Pokémon Shield, SPOILERS, your rival gets the opposite legendary from you at the post-game. Zacian looks better with Hop as a partner both move wise and color-wise. With Hop’s upbeat attitude, it lends more to attacking and connecting more with Zacian, which would be odd to think who he connects with depends on the version of the game. But simply, it does provide more of a challenge during your last battle with him that way.
8-Sword: Better Ability
Zacian’s ability strengthens its attack at the start of battle which is big considering its base attack is 170 with it’s signature item. Its base attack stat is among the higher range already, combine that with the amount of super physical attacks it knows and it’s a Pokémon that can easily 1-hit KO many Pokémon.
It turned into made for attacking which many Pokémon fans have grown acquainted with for their playing fashion. While it isn’t always the best attack stat you will find, it is higher than most. It’s the equal of having a swords dance performed for Zacian without spending a dime, that could delete the want for the move if you’re an all-out attacker trainer who does not like stat-boosting.
7-Shield: Better Move Tutor User
Both of these legendary wolves can make use of the move tutor found within Motostoke, as he’ll teach any Steel Pokémon apart from Dusk Mane Necrozma the move Steel Beam. This Special Attack has a base 140 damage while the user takes some serious recoil damage from it.
While neither Pokémon have a particularly great Special Attack to warrant frequent usage of Steel Beam, Zamazenta would be a much better choice. Both of these Pokémon have an equal Special Attack stat, so it comes down to which one can take more hits after the recoil, and Zamazenta’s higher defenses can make use of it.
6-Sword: Cooler Design Origin
Taking a look at the setting of the Galar region and the weapons that these two wield, it’s safe to say that they’re based on the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, as Zacian represents the fabled sword Excalibur, and Zamazenta represents King Arthur’s shield, Pridwen.
Zacian has a chunk more to its design to present it the threshold, but. Since the Pokédex refers to Zacian with feminine pronouns, we can attribute this to the Lady of the Lake inside the story of King Arthur, as she is the one to bestow Excalibur.
5-Shield: Better Normal Form
Zamazenta’s no item form is essentially the same as Zacian but with a better, sleeker, and more angular look. Based on that look alone might make it a better legendary this generation, while Zacian looks quite plain without its sword item, Zamazenta looks much like it still has armor on it giving it styled, as well a better matching color palette. Zacian looks a bit too close to the legendary dogs of generation 2.
4-Sword: Stronger Regular Moves
While Zacian and Zamazenta learn many of the same things, Zacian learns a lot more of stronger moves naturally that most Pokemon players will be likely to use when all 5 PowerPoints for Zacian’s special move run out. Moves such as Solar Blade help increase the 1-hit KO ratio you can have with this pokemon and win more battles. You’ll be slicing through Pokémon like butter with Zacian. Zacian’s 170 base attack stat with signature item is a huge attack that overpowers the defense number of Zamazenta’s.
3-Shield: Better Pokedex Description
Zamazenta has the more interesting pokedex entry if you’re interested in the lore of the pokemon to make your decision. SPOILERS AHEAD. Keep reading if you’re interested as it has to do with the story of the game since the legendary and the story are both much more involved with each other in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
According to the Shield pokedex: “This Pokémon slept for aeons while in the form of a statue. It was asleep for so long, people forgot that it ever existed.”
The other pokedex entry in Sword does not point out this in any respect about being encased in stone, that’s a really thrilling characteristic. Imagine being asleep in ice for generations, then a few smiley child with a pokeball decides to preserve you as his slave the moment you get out.
2-Sword: Better Item Form
Zacian does have the better item form of the two with heroic-looking doggo holding a sword in its teeth. Zamazentas isn’t quite as interesting with its shield and gives that cartoonishly impossible feeling that nature would create a high powered, one of a kind, Pokémon that can absorb metal into a very specific shield design around its face. Not much of a shield if it can’t protect the most important part of your body, your face. Add onto that Zamazanta’s super move looks quite ridiculous and over the top because it turns into a giant shield and crashes down on the opponent Pokémon.
1-Shield: Better Shiny Color
Shield does have the better shiny colors of the two games, with pink, red, and white. Zacian simply looks paler and the colors match too much. If you’re a shiny hunter, shiny Zamazenta is the better of the two as far as color, but as a Pokémon it is the weaker of the two. The better of this generation goes to Sword as a fighting Pokémon, with Shield’s being the others basic form essentially.