Mild Post-Game Spoilers Below: This is your Chance to Turn Back
If you’ve ignored my spoilers warning, I’ll assume you’ve beaten the story of Pokemon Sun and Moon. Congratulations Champion! Now that you are Alola’s first ever Champion, it’s time to see how you stack up against the best trainers from around the Pokemon world! The Battle Tree, found on the once sealed off portion of Poni Island, is the place to go to claim your status as the best trainer in the universe. While the Singles Battle Tree is certainly tough, you can’t earn that “best in the world” title without toppling the brutal Pokemon Double Battle Tree. This guide will help you achieve your goal of becoming the ultimate Pokemon Master!
Suggestion: Beat The Singles Battle Tree First
This is by no means law, but I highly recommend it. The singles ladder was so much easier than the Double Battle Tree in my experience. It’s still tricky, but ultimately if you have a well-rounded and well-trained team you’ll beat the singles tree in no time.
I also implore you to check out my singles tree guide before continuing further. I outline a lot of the key preparations you’ll need to make for each of your Pokemon before attempting the Pokemon Double Battle Tree. In this guide you’ll see terms like “Natures”, “IVs and EVs” and “Sweeper/Tank/Set-Up”. If you don’t know what these mean, or how they apply to Pokemon, I break it all down in extreme detail in that singles guide. There’s also critical information on breeding strong Pokemon that is a borderline must for Battle Tree success, so if Destiny Knots and Everstones sound foreign you’ll be wise to read that portion of the guide. The computers are very well trained and intelligent, and you need your Pokemon to be equally as prepared to stand a chance.
By clearing the singles tree, you’ll also earn BP critical to purchasing the items you’ll need to win the doubles ladder. Again, this is merely a suggestion, but I believe it will make your doubles experience much easier.
Don’t just use your favorite Pokemon: Create a team that gels together
It may sound obvious, but it’s the first step towards winning the Pokemon Double Battle Tree. I couldn’t win with my team of Ninetales, Arcanine, Lycanroc Midday and Raichu. Three of my Pokemon were weak to ground (Arcanine/Raichu/Lycanroc Midday), and one couldn’t take two hits from Earthquake anyway (Ninetales). I needed to find someone to pair with my Ninetales who could resist/deal out powerful ground attacks. Garchomp was the clear choice, so I dropped Raichu and added him in. I’ll go into more details about my team shortly, but remember to cover your type weaknesses.
You can also create a team built around gimmicky strategies. The psychic type Oranguru is one of the strongest new Pokemon in Sun and Moon thanks to his great doubles moveset. You can create a slow, bulky team and get away with it by having him (or Porygon2) set up a Trick Room to make the slowest Pokemon move first. In theory, a team of Oranguru, Muk, Araquanid, and Turtonator could really do some damage through this Trick Room strategy.
There are so many ways to develop your team, so get creative with it! Your movepool should be diverse as well, so be sure to check out the Egg Moves of each Pokemon you choose. For more info on those, give my singles guide a look. I go pretty in-depth on the topic of breeding there because it is absolutely vital to your battle tree success.
Give Your Pokemon the move Protect
Protect is one of those TMs that players, such as myself prior to Sun and Moon, often ignore. You’ll never need it to beat the main game, so why bother. Well, in doubles, Protect is one of the most valuable moves around. Here’s an example: You’ve got Garchomp paired up with Arcanine as your lead Pokemon. Unfortunately, your opponents leads with Ice Cream Cone (Vanillux) and Avalugg. Garchomp is 4x weak to Ice, but you don’t want to switch him out because you don’t want to have your switch in eat a Blizzard upon entry. Use Protect, have Arcanine use Flare Blitz and kill one, letting the other launch out an ineffective Ice-move. Instead of having a gravely injured Pokemon and a slightly weakened Arcanine, you’ve got a team nearly at full strength and an early lead.
Here’s another reason to have Protect: Earthquake. Earthquake is an insane move that lights up any opposing Fire/Steel/Poison/Electric/Rock-types you’ll face. Unfortunately, it also hits your ally. Protect nullifies this problem and opens the field to your powerful spread moves. You can safely pair Arcanine with Garchomp without worrying about not being able to use Earthquake assuming Arcanine has Protect.
Never underestimate the value of being able to keep a Pokemon safe for an entire turn, especially if you’ve hit your opponent with a status effect such as poison. Make it take chip damage and then finish it off!
Set your team up with items before challenging the Double Battle Tree
Items are one of the few ways to gain an edge over the computer. In the Pokemon Double Battle Tree, every CPU has perfectly IV and EV trained Pokemon, but occasionally lack a great item. You can get useful items by spending the BP (Battle Points) you’ve earned at the Battle Tree or in the Battle Dome. These items, some of which are listed below, are crucial to success in the Battle Tree. For a quick fix, you can equip common berries found throughout Alola, but often this won’t be optimal. You can’t go wrong with a Sitrus Berry or Figy Berry for healing, but not every Pokemon wants those. Investing in better items gives you a leg up in your quest to reach the top.
Here are some of the best items to buy:
- Life Orb (take minor damage on every attack, but boosts every attack by 30%)
- Choice Band/Scarf/Specs (50% increase to attack/speed/special attack, but locks you into the first move you choose)
- Mega Stones (Mega Evolution)
- Focus Sash (Allows you to survive a one-hit KO)
Note: You can find a Focus Sash in the Poni Wilds by defeating Dancer Julia on the beach. Once you beat the main game and gain access to Poni Meadow, you can also find a free Life Orb! Check out this video for the exact location:
Buying items is one of the primary reasons I suggest beating the Single Battle Tree first. Getting the BP to buy these items takes a lot of time if you haven’t beaten the singles ladder. In the standard doubles tree, one win nets you one BP until you hit a winning streak of 10. If you get that far, each win after gives you 2. One Mega Stone will run you 64 BP, and at a rate of 1 point per win, you’re looking at easily 6-7 hours of playing to get just one item! Once you’ve cleared the singles ladder you’ll unlock a new mode that makes it way easier to quickly rack up BP. In this mode, “Super Single Battle Tree”, each win gets you 2 BP, then 3 once you hit a win streak of 10. This makes the process considerably easier.
The Nitty-Gritty: My Team
Okay, I think that’s all the background info you need to succeed. I’ve had a lot of success with this team in both the Battle Tree and Battle Spot PvP Ranked matches with this team, so I’m confident it will work for you as well.
Alola Ninetales: Sweeper/Set-Up
Nature: Timid (+Speed, -Attack) Ability: Snow Warning
IVs: Perfect, Save for Attack EVs: 252 Speed, 252 Sp. Att, 4 HP
Moves: Protect, Aurora Veil, Blizzard, Freeze-Dry
Item – Never-Melt Ice
Arcanine: Tank/Status Spreader
Nature: Calm (+Sp. Def, -Attack) Ability: Intimidate
IVs: Perfect, Save for Attack EVs: 252 HP, 252 Sp. Def, 4 Def
Moves: Protect, Will-O-Wisp, Flamethrower, Morning Sun
Item – Leftovers
Garchomp: Sweeper/Ninetales Defender
Nature: Jolly (+Speed, -Sp. Attack) Ability: Rough Skin
IVs: Perfect, Save for Special Attack EVs: 252 Speed, 252 Attack, 4 HP
Moves: Rock Slide, Earthquake, Iron Head, Outrage
Item: Choice Scarf
Lycanroc Midday: Stealth Rock Setter/Speedy Sweeper
Nature: Jolly (+Speed, -Sp. Attack) Ability: Keen Eye
IVs: Perfect, save for Sp. Attack EVs: 252 Speed, 252 Attack, 4 HP
Moves: Protect, Stone Edge, Fire Fang, Stealth Rock
Item: Life Orb
Why Use These Pokemon?
I constructed this team this way for a few very specific reasons. Ninetales is my favorite Pokemon, and I wanted to base a team around its ability to rattle off kills with powerful 100% accurate Blizzards. Steel types were a major issue for this, however, because Ninetales is 4x weak to it. To counter this, I used Garchomp. He’s Dragon/Ground, so I was getting same-type attack bonus (STAB) boosted Earthquakes off to shut down those steel types. Ground is super effective against every single one of Ninetales’s weaknesses (Poison, Fire, Rock and Steel), so using Garchomp really opened the field for Ninetales. Whenever I saw one of these types come onto the field, I’d have Ninetales use Protect and Garchomp use Earthquake. The Choice Scarf made me confident Garchomp would outspeed just about anything, and I can’t think of one occasion where that didn’t prove true.
In my most successful runs, I’ve led with Ninetales and Garchomp, but the cool thing about this team is that any combination works pretty well. Arcanine and Lycanroc worked out well because Arcanine was able to burn the enemy, halving their physical power, allowing Lycanroc to set up Stealth Rocks to damage the opponent’s mon upon entry and live to fight another turn. Ninetales and Arcanine also works well because Arcanine would intimidate physical attackers that threatened Ninetales, heal his chip damage from the hailstorm with Leftovers and punish those irritating steel-types with Flamethrower.
Each Pokemon on this team worked exceptionally well in its given role. Still, it’s far from perfect. Lycanroc is a very cool Pokemon, but there were times where I’d have been better served with my Alolan Persian due to its excellent supporting moveset. Consider Persian with Darkinium Z, Timid nature, 252 Speed EVs, 252 HP EVs and 4 Sp. Def EVs if you are struggling. Parting Shot, Toxic, Taunt and Foul Play is a great moveset I love using in the Pokemon doubles battle tree.
Don’t Be Afraid to Swap out
I mentioned this in my singles guide, but it’s just as relevant, if not more so, in the doubles battle tree. It’s almost always better to keep your Pokemon fighting, especially if they are speedy, than to let them faint. Ninetales has clutched out many games for me, even when facing three healthy Pokemon, with just a few points of health left. Keep your team rotating and you’ll be in great shape.
In the planning phase I talked about giving your Pokemon Protect. Now it’s time to actually use it! The computers regularly attacked a protecting Pokemon because they are programmed to take advantage to type matchups. You can buy time to allow status effects such as poison and burn to chip away at an opponent by using protect and switching out on the next turn instead! Protect is your best friend. Use it. Depend on it. Trust it. But not too much… it doesn’t always work if you use it back to back.
He’s Back: Be Ready for Blue!!
Blue is just as cocky as you remember, and for good reason! His team is fierce in the final battle of the Pokemon Double Battle Tree. He’ll use a combination of nine Pokemon (he battles with four, but it could be any combination of these nine): Aerodactly, Rhyperior, Tyranitaur, Gyrados, Exeggutor, Machamp, Alakazam, Arcanine and Pidgeot. You should be able to cover all these types if your team is well built, but it helps to know what’s coming. I learned the hard way that Aerodactly is incredibly fast, so make sure you take him out before he gets the chance to run roughshod over your team! Sometimes Blue will have a Mega Aerodactly as well, so be ready for that. You need to be careful when dealing with Mega Aerodactly because its speed is extremely high.
But hey, if you happen to lose to him, at least you’ll be able to listen to this incredible track twice!
That’s a Wrap Folks!
There you go folks! By following these steps you’ll be able to conquer Blue and the Double Battle Tree. Perseverance is definitely an important virtue when climbing to the top. There’s only so much reading about strategies can do to help you achieve victory. Ultimately, playing and practicing will be your best teacher.
For more Pokemon coverage, check out some of our other fun articles. My fellow trainer Todd Black and I both created fun “Theme Teams” (Part 1, Part 2) that you may want to try out either in the main game or in the battle tree! We love Pokemon Sun and Moon, and have also written a piece about our favorite changes to the game, so give that a look as well! Good luck at the Double Battle Tree, and Happy Training!