How to beat Hammerlocke Gym and Gym Leader Raihan in Pokémon Sword and Shield

Having troubles with the last gym leader in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

As is common with Pokémon games, Sword and Shield’s path to becoming the very best like no ever was involves taking on various Pokémon gyms. In total, there are eight Pokémon gyms to challenge, each having a specific type of Pokémon as its theme. Of those gyms, the Hammerlocke Gym is the final and most challenging gym you will have before you can start thinking about challenging Leon for the title of Pokémon champion. Here are some tips for beating Hammerlocke gym and its Gym Leader, Raihan.

Be prepared

Before you go into this challenge, it is essential to know that Hammerlocke Gym’s specialty is dragon Pokémon. Dragon-type Pokémon are susceptible to ice, fairy, and dragon type moves. While the gym’s focus is on dragon types, when you fight Raihan, you will only see two Pokémon who are actually of the dragon type. Whatever you do, do not go into this challenge with any bird Pokémon, as multiple opponents can take them down quickly, and you will not have any opportunities to thrive with them.

During this entire gym challenge, you will be battling Pokémon while also dealing with the game’s four weather effects, altering how your moves act on your opponent.

Gym challenge

Hammerlocke Gym does not have much of a gym challenge when compared to others in Sword and Shield. This gym challenge tasks you with fighting three duo battles, meaning each side will have two Pokémon fighting at once. In-between each match, you can heal your Pokémon with any items you have in your inventory, so come prepared.

In each battle, the enemy will have a dragon Pokémon and a non-dragon Pokémon that affects the field’s weather. First, Pelipper will have Drizzle, which boosts water type moves by 50% while lowering fire type attacks by 50%. The second battle has a Ninetales with Drought, which increases fire type attacks by 50% and reduces water type damage by 50%. Finally, the last setup battle will have an Abomasnow with Snow Warning. Snow Warning will start a hail storm that will slightly damage all Pokémon on the field who are not ice-types at the end of each turn. It will also increase the accuracy of ice type moves while in effect. Once you get through these three battles, you can take on Gym Leader Raihan.

Battling Raihan

Oddly enough, Raihan only has two dragon types in his party. This battle will also be a duo battle, and the beginning of the fight will start with a Sandstorm via Raihan’s Gigalith. Sandstorm will damage any Pokémon who is not a rock, ground, or steel type slightly. It will also increase the special defense of rock types. Here is Raihan’s complete party.

  • Flygon, level 47, ground and dragon
  • Gigalith, level 46, rock
  • Sandaconda, level 46, ground
  • Duraludon, level 48, dragon and steel

As stated above, only two of Raihan’s Pokémon are dragon-types. For Gigalith and Sandaconda, you will have success with grass, water, or ice moves, making an ice-type Pokémon, or a water-type that knows ice moves, even more important in this fight when you consider ice-type move’s strength against dragons.

First, you will be greeted by Flygon and Gigalith. Gigalith will start a sandstorm with his ability, and for his first turn, will use Stealth Rock. This will leave rocks floating in the air on your side that will damage any Pokémon you send out for the rest of the match. This damage is added on to any damage you may see from the sandstorm.

With Gigalith, hit it with water, grass, ground, or fighting moves to take it down quickly. For Flygon, you will want to focus your ice, dragon, or fairy attacks on. If you do not have those, use your best water or grass types.

Once you take down either of these Pokémon, Raihan will send out his Sandaconda. This Sandaconda knows the move Protect, so there is a chance some of your attacks will be made useless on various turns. A water type will be particularly useful here as Sandaconda is a ground type and has Fire Fang as one of his attacks. Make two of Raihan’s Pokémon faint, and he will toss out his last hope, Duraludon.

Like the other gym leaders, Raihan saves his Dynamax for his last Pokémon, making Duraludon look like a skyscraper in its Gigantamax form. You should reserve yours for this confrontation as well. Duraludon is a steel and dragon type. The dragon in him makes it, so fire moves are not super effective against him, unlike other steel Pokémon, but he is weak against ground and fighting moves. Takedown Duraludon, and you will have earned yourself the Dragon Badge as well as TM99 Breaking Swipe. As a bonus, you can also now catch Pokémon of any level in the Wild Area.