A Nuzlocker’s Guide to Sigilyph

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1

Sigilyph is, by all accounts, a rather strange Pokémon. From its eccentric design to its obscure origins to its rarity, the Avianoid Pokémon, at first glance, seems perplexing from top to bottom. However, if you manage to run into one in the Desert Resort, don’t be quick to underestimate it. Sigilyph is a relatively fast, powerful Pokémon that gets a wide range of coverage moves, such as Shadow Ball and Charge Beam. This gives the Avianoid Pokémon the potential to be a potent part of your team, especially in the earlier portions of the game. Sigilyph has also been gifted two excellent abilities in Magic Guard and Wonder Skin as well as the movepool to be a useful support Pokémon. It’s not without its faults, however: some of its best coverage moves come in the post-game and it’s not particularly useful against any of the gyms (not that it can’t contribute at all; it just always lacks a distinct advantage). Nevertheless, the Avianoid Pokémon’s positive traits will allow it to be a potent member of your team no matter the role you choose for it.


Sigilyph: Desert Resort (uncommon).

Sigilyph’s Match-ups in Important Battles

Sigilyph versus N in Nimbasa City: N’s two Dark-type Pokémon may cause some issues for Sigilyph, but the Avianoid Pokémon’s Air Cutter is strong enough that it can take on both Sandile and Scraggy. However, don’t try to push Sigilyph too far; if its health gets too low, heal or switch it out. Also, use a better counter for Sandile and Scraggy if you have one. Sigilyph’s Air Cutter should result in a 2HKO on Sandile, so a critical hit should be an OHKO. Since Air Cutter has a high critical hit ratio, an OHKO is much more likely than it would be for another move. Furthermore, Sigilyph’s chances of landing a critical hit will go up if you let it hold the Scope Lens, which is recommended. Keep in mind that Sandile can 3HKO in return with Assurance, so a hit followed by a critical hit can be deadly. Sigilyph should be able to finish Sandile before that happens, but Air Cutter’s accuracy isn’t perfect. Be wary. Scraggy hits harder than Sandile does; a critical hit Feint Attack from Scraggy may be the end of Sigilyph, especially if Sigilyph is weak from fighting Sandile. Still, Sigilyph will almost certainly OHKO Scraggy with a critical hit Air Cutter whereas a non-critical hit is a 2HKO. However, if you have a better counter for Scraggy, it likely isn’t worth the risk. Darumaka’s Fire Punch hits about as hard as Scraggy’s Feint Attack would; use a Water- or Rock-type against Darumaka if you can. Sigilyph can 2-3HKO with Psybeam, but that’s only a viable strategy if you are to get very lucky with Darumaka’s Hustle causing misses. Attempting a mirror match with N’s Sigilyph isn’t the best idea, but you can take control of the match by using Thunder Wave on N’s Sigilyph, which will cripple its Speed. Even if it uses Tailwind, N’s Sigilyph, when paralyzed, will be cripplingly slow (about half as fast as your own Sigilyph). Moreover, there is always the chance for N’s Sigilyph to become immobilized by paralysis. Due to the effects of paralysis, N’s Sigilyph will be much easier to take down, but you’ll probably want something with super-effective coverage. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 22; Tailwind/Thunder Wave, Whirlwind, Psybeam, Air Cutter.

Sigilyph versus Elesa in Nimbasa City Gym: Since Sigilyph is a Flying-type Pokémon, this battle is tough for Sigilyph to participate in. Unless you can level up Sigilyph to level 28 (one level over Elesa’s ace) to learn Reflect, then Sigilyph can’t provide that much use as a support Pokémon. Moreover, if Sigilyph is slower than Elesa’s Emolga, then Sigilyph will either go down quickly or will have to be withdrawn quickly. Reflect, if you can have it, could be useful for helping out your Ground-type if you have one. Ground-types are immune to Volt Switch, but they are susceptible to the physical moves used by Zebstrika and both Emolga, especially Emolga’s Aerial Ace. Furthermore, Emolga’s Volt Switch should result in a 2HKO, and Emolga’s Pursuit will then trap the Avianoid Pokémon. All in all, it’s best to keep Sigilyph on the bench for this battle. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 27; Tailwind/Thunder Wave, Psybeam, Air Cutter, Light Screen.

Sigilyph versus Cheren in Route 5: Cheren should start this battle by leading with Liepard. Sigilyph might be able to stand up to Liepard, but only risk it if you have healing items. If not, then you may need something else to take on Liepard in the interest of safety. Air Cutter is a possible 2HKO whereas Liepard can 3HKO with Pursuit, but Liepard could be faster. Tread lightly here, and, if you have it, you could use Reflect. Tranquill, on the other hand, isn’t a threat at all. With two rounds of Psybeam, Sigilyph can easily steamroll Tranquill. Furthermore, the elemental monkeys can only 5HKO Sigilyph with Bite, which gets even worse when Sigilyph has its Reflect up. Of the monkeys, Pansage is the easiest to defeat. Sigilyph’s Air Cutter should be an OHKO. Moreover, with two rounds of Psybeam, Sigilyph can take down both Pansear and Panpour. Similarly, Sigilyph can overpower both Servine and Pignite; the Avianoid Pokémon can 2HKO the former with Air Cutter and the latter with Psybeam or Air Cutter. Dewott, on the other hand, can put up more of a fight; its Razor Shell is a 4HKO. However, Sigilyph should be faster and can 3HKO with Psybeam, so there’s not much to worry about with Dewott, either. After two tough battles, this is one where Sigilyph can truly make a difference, so take advantage of it while you can. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 27; Tailwind/Thunder Wave, Psybeam, Air Cutter, Light Screen.

Sigilyph versus Clay in Driftveil City Gym: Clay should lead with Krokorok, a Dark-type that can OHKO Sigilyph with a critical hit Crunch. Sigilyph can 2HKO in return with Air Cutter, but it’s not worth the risk. Use a more appropriate counter for Krokorok. Palpitoad, on the other hand, isn’t too tricky to 2-3HKO with Psybeam since Sigilyph should be faster and Palpitoad can only 4HKO in return with Muddy Water. (If Excadrill has yet to come out, then you could use Reflect when Palpitoad is about to faint, which would be incredibly helpful for staving off Excadrill’s attacks. Only try this if you can risk Sigilyph taking another hit, though.) Lastly, there is the matter of Clay’s ace, Excadrill, who, with Rock Slide, can 2HKO Sigilyph. Moreover, Excadrill is a Steel-type and therefore resists both Flying- and Psychic-type moves. However, Sigilyph may be able to get the last laugh here; it can set up Reflect on the first turn if it’s already on the battlefield when Excadrill comes out. The Subterrene Pokémon can OHKO with a critical hit Rock Slide either way, but Excadrill is liable to use Hone Claws on the first turn. However, this strategy is both risky for Sigilyph and gives Excadrill a free set-up turn, so it should only be used in a desperate situation. All in all, it’s best to simply keep Sigilyph away from this gym, but it’s not completely worthless here and can be helpful if your team is not well-suited to fight Clay. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 31; Tailwind/Thunder Wave, Psybeam, Air Cutter, Reflect/Light Screen.

Sigilyph versus Bianca in Driftveil City: Bianca should lead with Herdier, who has Crunch, which is only a 3-4HKO on the Avianoid Pokémon. As such, Sigilyph should be able to retaliate rather easily; Psybeam is a likely 2HKO. Still, use a better counter for Herdier if you have one. Bianca’s elemental monkey will go the same way as Cheren’s: Pansage can’t handle Air Cutter and the other two fall to two rounds of Psybeam. As with the battle against Cheren, the elemental monkeys’ Bite is only a 5HKO. Also, as with Cheren, Bianca’s starter can’t do much to Sigilyph. Air Cutter will annihilate Servine whereas Psybeam does the same to Pignite and Dewott. Of the three starters, Dewott is the most dangerous, yet it still can’t pose much of a threat to Sigilyph since Dewott’s Razor Shell is only a 4-5HKO whereas Sigilyph should be faster and can 2-3HKO with Psybeam. Lastly, Bianca’s Musharna can be rather annoying due to its bulk (Sigilyph’s Air Cutter is only a 4-5HKO), but the Avianoid Pokémon can win easily; Musharna can’t seriously hurt Sigilyph. All in all, Sigilyph does about as well here as it did in the last battle against Cheren, which means that the Avianoid Pokémon is fantastic here. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 31; Tailwind/Thunder Wave, Psybeam, Air Cutter, Reflect/Light Screen.

Sigilyph versus N in Chargestone Cave: N, of course, has an entirely different team than he had the last time you fought him, and, on paper at least, it doesn’t seem like a very favorable match-up for Sigilyph: N now has a Rock-type, two Steel-types, and an Electric-type. However, Sigilyph can still put up a fight and live to tell the tale, but it will probably require healing if the Avianoid Pokémon is to take down more than one Pokémon. N should lead with Boldore, who has Smack Down, which has a very small chance of 2HKOing Sigilyph whereas the Avianoid Pokémon is faster and can 2HKO with Psybeam. Moreover, Boldore is fond of using Iron Defense, so you may not have to worry about Sigilyph taking damage at all. N’s Ferroseed can only 4-5HKO with Gyro Ball whereas Sigilyph can 3HKO in return with Air Cutter. (Ferroseed may even go down faster if Sigilyph is holding the Scope Lens; remember that Air Cutter already has a high critical hit ratio.) Now, having Sigilyph fight Boldore and/or Ferroseed isn’t the most optimal choice, but keep in mind that Sigilyph can undoubtedly hold its own if given the chance. The same can be said of Joltik, who, with Electroweb, can 3HKO Sigilyph. However, Joltik is also slow and frail compared to Sigilyph, so the latter should come out on top after two uses of Psybeam. Nevertheless, keep in mind that Sigilyph probably can’t fight all three of these Pokémon without the use of a healing item. Furthermore, chances are that you have a better counter for most of N’s team. For example, Pignite and Simisear can annihilate Joltik, Ferroseed, and Klink with a Fire-type move. Speaking of Klink, it may seem scary with Charge Beam, but the most threatening move in its arsenal is Gear Grind, which is a possible 4HKO on Sigilyph, who can 3-4HKO in return with Psybeam. However, if Sigilyph has been significantly weakened, you’ll want to get it out of there. If you’re going to switch out, then you may want to consider setting up Reflect or Light Screen first to aid your other Pokémon. (This should only be attempted if Sigilyph has most of its health; keep in mind that Klink’s Gear Grind can shave off about two-thirds of Sigilyph’s health with a critical hit.) All in all, Sigilyph can handle every Pokémon N has, but it probably won’t be able to sweep unless you have healing items. Also, there are several other Pokémon that can take down N more efficiently, such as the aforementioned Pignite. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 31; Tailwind/Thunder Wave, Psybeam, Air Cutter, Reflect/Light Screen.

Note: At this point in the game, you get access to Charge Beam, which can be found on the route north of Mistralton City. As such, now is a good time to decide what your Sigilyph’s final moveset will look like. Two movesets will be covered in this guide: a support set and an offensive set. The support set is a safer set that includes dual screens as well as an option for speed control in the form of Thunder Wave/Tailwind. It’s especially recommended for a Sigilyph with a nature that decreases the Special Attack stat (such as Adamant, Impish, Careful, or Jolly) as these natures will make it much harder for Sigilyph to effectively go on the offensive. The offensive set is a riskier set that is centered around Charge Beam, two STAB moves, and (eventually) Shadow Ball. It’s especially recommended for a Sigilyph with a nature that increases the Special Attack stat (such as Modest, Mild, Rash, or Quiet) as these natures will make it much easier for Sigilyph to effectively go on the offensive. The ability to use healing items is also helpful for Offensive Sigilyph, who lacks reliable recovery (Roost is an egg move). Furthermore, team composition is important, which is to say that a team that is mostly made up of frail sweepers will appreciate Support Sigilyph whereas a more defensive team could use the offensive prowess of Offensive Sigilyph. Whichever set you choose, know that a recommended offensive and support set will be given in this analysis.

Sigilyph versus Skyla in Mistralton City Gym: This battle works very differently depending on which Sigilyph set you’re running: Offensive Sigilyph can function as your main counter to the gym whereas Support Sigilyph is best when used to help another Pokémon that can counter Skyla (such as Zebstrika and/or Boldore/Gigalith). It can be difficult for offensive Sigilyph to set up on Skyla’s lead, Swoobat, so it’s good to set up Reflect first if you can. The Avianoid Pokémon’s Charge Beam is likely a 2HKO, but Swoobat may be faster and, with Acrobatics, can 3-4HKO in return. With Reflect active, however, Acrobatics becomes a mere 6HKO, but you must watch out for critical hits. Support Sigilyph can also set up Reflect, and Thunder Wave/Tailwind is another option to support your other Pokémon. Swoobat is blisteringly speedy, so Thunder Wave/Tailwind can help your other Pokémon get the speed they need to overtake Swoobat, which is especially significant given that the Courting Pokémon can make its foes flinch by using Heart Stamp. For Offensive Sigilyph, how difficult it is to defeat Unfezant depends on how many boosts have been accrued. With no Special Attack boosts, Sigilyph’s Charge Beam only has a chance to 2HKO, but that chance becomes guaranteed when the Avianoid Pokémon’s Special Attack has been boosted by one stage. If Sigilyph’s Special Attack is at +2, then an OHKO is possible. Unfezant can’t do much in return (its Air Slash is only a 4-5HKO) and the Proud Pokémon is likely slower than Sigilyph. However, keep an eye on Sigilyph’s health bar; critical hits are everywhere and chip damage racks up quickly. Support Sigilyph can 2-3HKO with Psybeam, but, like with the match-up against Swoobat, it’s probably better to utilize your speed control options or set up Light Screen/Reflect. Still, Support Sigilyph can hold its own against Unfezant offensively, so the Avianoid Pokémon can be of use if need be. Lastly, there is the matter of Skyla’s ace, Swanna. Offensive Sigilyph might outspeed (but keep in mind that there is a very real chance that Swanna is faster) and will certainly OHKO with Charge Beam with +1 Special Attack. (Charge Beam is a 2HKO otherwise, but you should have gotten a Special Attack boost already.) Swanna’s Air Slash likely won’t be an issue (it’s a 3-4HKO) as long as Sigilyph is both healthy and faster. However, if the Avianoid Pokémon is slower than its opponent, then Air Slash’s flinch chance becomes a possible problem. As for Support Sigilyph, its Psybeam is only a 3HKO, so it should be rather difficult for it to take down Swanna, especially if the White Bird Pokémon is faster. Again, speed control and/or dual screens will be Support Sigilyph’s best chance of contributing. All in all, either variant of Sigilyph should be incredibly useful in this battle even though the two variants fill very different roles. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 35; (Offensive) Psybeam, Air Cutter, Reflect/Light Screen, Charge Beam; (Support) Thunder Wave/Tailwind/Air Cutter, Psybeam, Reflect, Light Screen.

Sigilyph versus Cheren in Twist Mountain: This time around, Cheren should lead with Unfezant, who can 4-5HKO the Avianoid Pokémon at best, and Offensive Sigilyph can 2-3HKO with Charge Beam. (Unfezant may go down faster if your Sigilyph gets the Special Attack boost from Charge Beam.) With Psybeam, Support Sigilyph should be able to 2-3HKO Unfezant. However, you’re better off setting up a screen on the first turn since that is when Unfezant should use Detect. Liepard, on the other hand, should be avoided unless you’re using Offensive Sigilyph and have both boosted Special Attack and a lot of HP remaining. At +1 or +2 Special Attack, Sigilyph can 2HKO Liepard with Air Cutter. (At +2, there is the possibility for an OHKO. With no boosts, it’s still possible to 2HKO, but it’s much less likely.) Still, with Assurance, Liepard can 3HKO Sigilyph, so using the Avianoid Pokémon here is not necessarily recommended. Support Sigilyph should stay away unless setting up a screen. Don’t try to use Thunder Wave on Liepard, though; it has Limber. As for Cheren’s elemental monkey, you may only be able to safely take on Simisage. Fortunately, though, they have all dropped Bite for the pitiful Lick. Sigilyph can easily 2HKO Simisage with Air Cutter. (For Offensive Sigilyph, Air Cutter should OHKO at +1 Special Attack.) If you’re running a Support Sigilyph that lacks Air Cutter, then know that Psybeam, which is a 3HKO, still does more damage than Simisage’s Seed Bomb. However, the other two elemental monkeys are trickier to deal with, especially if Sigilyph has racked up some chip damage. All three monkeys take the same amount of damage from an unboosted Psybeam, which, again, is a 3HKO. Only a Sigilyph at +3 can score an OHKO with Psybeam on Simisear whereas Charge Beam has a slim chance of doing the same to Simipour when Sigilyph is at +2. It’s even more difficult for Support Sigilyph, who can likely only help out against Cheren’s elemental monkey by supporting one of your team members. With their respective STAB moves, both Simipour and Simisear can 3HKO Sigilyph whereas the Avianoid Pokémon can do the same in return. However, Sigilyph isn’t guaranteed to be faster than Cheren’s elemental monkey. Tread lightly, and keep an eye on Sigilyph’s health bar. Lastly, there is the matter of Cheren’s starter. Fortunately for Sigilyph, Cheren’s starter has not evolved yet, so Sigilyph can handle it no matter which Pokémon it is. Pignite can 3HKO Sigilyph with Heat Crash, but the latter is both faster than the former and can 2HKO with Psybeam. Sigilyph can 3HKO Dewott with the same move whereas the Discipline Pokémon, with Water Pulse, can only 4-5HKO in return. However, watch out for confusion. Servine can do very little damage to Sigilyph, but it can be annoying with Leech Seed. Without Leech Seed in play, Psybeam is a 3HKO and Air Cutter is a 2HKO; with Leech Seed in play, Psybeam’s 3HKO chances drop significantly, and, while Air Cutter can still 2HKO, keep in mind that the move is inaccurate. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 35; (Offensive) Psybeam, Air Cutter, Reflect/Light Screen, Charge Beam; (Support) Thunder Wave/Tailwind/Air Cutter, Psybeam, Reflect, Light Screen.

Sigilyph versus Brycen in Icirrus City Gym: Sigilyph, as a Flying-type Pokémon, is clearly at a distinct disadvantage here. Moreover, both Cryogonal and Vanillish have Frost Breath, a move that always lands as a critical hit, so Light Screen is useless in this battle. The final nail in the coffin for Sigilyph is the fact that this gym is easy enough to counter anyway: rather common Pokémon like Emboar, Simisear, and Darmanitan can crush Brycen. With all of this in mind, it’s best to just keep Sigilyph on the bench for this one. If you get in a pinch, Flash Cannon allows Sigilyph to 2HKO Vanillish and possibly Beartic, but both of those Pokémon can do the same to Sigilyph. (Also, Beartic might even be able to OHKO Sigilyph.) The Avianoid Pokémon could set up Reflect on Beartic, who is Brycen’s only Pokémon that doesn’t have an attack with a guaranteed critical hit chance. However, Beartic still has Slash (which has a high critical hit ratio) and a critical hit Icicle Crash is certainly the end of Sigilyph. All in all, just keep Sigilyph away from Brycen’s team. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 39; (Offensive) Psybeam, Air Cutter, Reflect/Light Screen/Flash Cannon, Charge Beam; (Support) Thunder Wave/Tailwind/Air Cutter, Psybeam, Reflect, Light Screen.

Sigilyph versus Bianca in Route 8: Keep Sigilyph away from Bianca’s lead, Stoutland, who has both Work Up and Crunch. Bianca’s other Pokémon, however, can be handled by Sigilyph (mostly) across the board. Musharna, in particular, is, while slightly annoying, a joke to Sigilyph. Simply 3HKO with Shadow Ball or get some Charge Beam boosts. Support Sigilyph, though, should have Air Slash to face Musharna one-on-one. If that’s not an option, then set up Light Screen and flee. Speaking of Air Slash, it may OHKO Simisage, even if Sigilyph is unboosted. Simisage can do little damage in return and might be slower than the Avianoid Pokémon. (If your Sigilyph lacks Air Slash, then Psybeam is a 3HKO.) Unless your Sigilyph is rather battered when Simipour comes out, then the Avianoid Pokémon should handle the Geyser Pokémon without too much trouble (Scald is a 3-4HKO). Air Slash should do more damage than Charge Beam, but use the latter if you want to raise Sigilyph’s Special Attack. Simisear should go the same way; Sigilyph’s Air Slash is a likely 2HKO whereas the Ember Pokémon should only 4HKO in return (a 3HKO is possible but incredibly unlikely). For Support Sigilyph, use Reflect (for Simisage) or Light Screen (for Simipour or Simisear) and Psybeam should be a 3HKO if your Avianoid Pokémon lacks Air Slash. (You can also use Tailwind or Thunder Wave if Bianca’s elemental monkey happens to be faster than your Sigilyph.) If your Bianca has Samurott for her starter Pokémon, then Sigilyph can handle it as well (her Samurott doesn’t have a very good moveset). Samurott’s can only 4-5HKO with Slash (and a 4HKO is incredibly unlikely). Offensive Sigilyph can get some boosts with Charge Beam (if you haven’t done that already) and/or 3HKO with Air Slash (which is a 2HKO at +1 Special Attack and a possible OHKO at +3). Support Sigilyph can set up Reflect and 3HKO with Air Slash or 3-4HKO with Psybeam. However, both variants have to watch out for critical hits as well as Samurott’s Aqua Jet, the latter of which isn’t too powerful but can be deadly if your Sigilyph is at low health. If your Sigilyph has Air Slash, then Serperior will be even easier to take down; the Regal Pokémon’s Slam is only a 5HKO (and rather inaccurate) whereas Sigilyph can 2HKO with Air Slash. Moreover, Serperior is liable to set up with Coil, which should make it easier for Sigilyph to 2HKO. (For the record, a +1 Attack Slam should be a 4HKO but has a chance, albeit a small one, to 3HKO.) Psybeam, on the other hand, is a 4HKO on Sigilyph. However, since only a Support Sigilyph that lacks Air Slash should be using Psybeam, then you can set up Reflect and halve the power of Slam. As for Emboar, be very careful of it, and use a (preferably heavy) Water- or Rock-type if you can. (Note that Bianca’s Emboar has no Fighting-type moves, which is why a Rock-type is suggested.) Emboar is almost certainly slower than Sigilyph, but the Mega Fire Pig Pokémon can also 2HKO Sigilyph with Heat Crash, which means that a critical hit may be the end of Sigilyph. Still, Sigilyph can 2HKO with Psybeam (or Air Slash, but its imperfect accuracy is not ideal in this situation). However, this is rather risky, so it’s not necessarily recommended. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 41; (Offensive) Psybeam, Charge Beam, Air Slash, Shadow Ball; (Support) Thunder Wave/Tailwind/Air Slash, Psybeam, Reflect, Light Screen.

Sigilyph versus Iris/Drayden in Opelucid City Gym: Sigilyph probably won’t be too useful in this gym; all of Iris/Drayden’s Pokémon carry a Dark-type move and the Avianoid Pokémon’s only offensive Ice-type move (Ice Beam) comes in the post-game. Support Sigilyph can help neuter Haxorus, but, again, Sigilyph must watch out for Dark-type moves. With Air Slash, Offensive Sigilyph can 2HKO Iris/Drayden’s lead, Fraxure, who is slower and can only 3HKO with Assurance. Not only that, but Air Slash may also cause Fraxure to flinch. However, after a Dragon Dance, Fraxure just might be faster than Sigilyph and Axe Jaw Pokémon should also turn its Assurance into a 2HKO. Support Sigilyph might be more useful here for its ability to set up Reflect and Tailwind/Thunder Wave. (Tip: Try to steal a Light Clay off of wild Golett in Dragonspiral Tower. Giving this to Support Sigilyph will increase the turns for which Reflect is active.) However, watch out for critical hits; an unboosted Fraxure can shave off two-thirds of Sigilyph’s health with a critical hit Assurance. Speaking of critical hits, Druddigon has a higher chance of landing one with Night Slash, which has a high critical hit ratio. Moreover, Druddigon’s Attack stat is impressively high, so it can 2-3HKO Sigilyph. As such, Druddigon’s Night Slash has a scary chance to OHKO with a critical hit, even if Sigilyph is at full health. On the bright side, Druddigon lacks Dragon Dance and is already rather slow, so Sigilyph’s teammates should be able to handle the Cave Pokémon without Sigilyph having to risk itself to set up Tailwind or cripple Druddigon with Thunder Wave. Similarly, Haxorus can 2HKO with its Dark-type move, which is Assurance in this case. Sigilyph might be faster, so you could risk using Thunder Wave. However, a critical hit is likely the end of the Avianoid Pokémon, so be wary. Lastly, Offensive Sigilyph cannot risk fighting either Druddigon or Haxorus; Air Slash is only a 3HKO on those two whereas, again, Druddigon and Haxorus can both 2HKO the Avianoid Pokémon. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 43; (Offensive) Psybeam, Charge Beam, Air Slash, Shadow Ball; (Support) Thunder Wave/Tailwind/Air Slash, Psybeam, Reflect, Light Screen.

Sigilyph versus Cheren in Route 10: Cheren should lead with Unfezant this time around. By using two rounds of Psychic (which Sigilyph should have learned by now), the Avianoid Pokémon should have no issue taking down Unfezant, who is likely slower and can only 4-5HKO with Air Slash. Unfezant can be a little annoying by using Detect and Support Sigilyph fears Taunt, but, again, the Proud Pokémon isn’t very directly threatening. With Sigilyph on the field, Cheren might then send out Liepard, whose Night Slash has a high critical hit ratio and is likely a scary 2HKO. Moreover, depending on the Pokémon’s respective natures and other factors, Liepard could be faster than Sigilyph. (Liepard will be faster after it eats its Sitrus Berry and activates Unburden, but this also means it’s susceptible to Thunder Wave.) As such, you’ll want to take the Avianoid Pokémon out of battle. When it comes to Cheren’s elemental monkey, Sigilyph, as per usual, is best when used against Simisage. The Avianoid Pokémon should be faster (again, depending on the Pokémon’s respective natures as well as other factors) and its Air Slash is a possible OHKO. Even if you don’t have Air Slash, Simisage isn’t too difficult to defeat since Psychic is a likely 2HKO and Simisage’s Seed Bomb can only 5HKO. Sigilyph’s Psychic should net the 2HKO on either of the other elemental monkeys. Just keep in mind that both Simisear and Simipour, with their respective STAB moves, can 3HKO the Avianoid Pokémon. Emboar is just as dangerous as last time since its Heat Crash is a 2HKO and can shave off up to three-fourths of Sigilyph’s health points. Emboar is better taken down with a Water- or Rock-type Pokémon (Emboar still doesn’t have Fighting-type moves) that can take a Heat Crash better. Nonetheless, Sigilyph can 2HKO with Psychic and should be faster than the Mega Fire Pig Pokémon. It’s just rather risky to attempt. Sigilyph’s Psychic should only net a 3HKO on Samurott, who, with Aqua Tail, can 2-3HKO in return. Sigilyph should be faster and Aqua Tail is rather inaccurate, but use a more appropriate counter if you have one. Support Sigiliyph can attempt to set up Reflect to aid a teammate, but not if it has taken too much chip damage. Serperior is probably the easiest of the three starters to take down; Sigilyph can 2HKO with Air Slash or 3HKO with Psychic. However, Serperior might be faster, so it could be beneficial (for Support Sigilyph) to use Thunder Wave or Tailwind first. Serperior can only 5HKO with Slam in return. Slam becomes more dangerous as well as more accurate as Serperior sets up Coil, but Sigilyph is powerful enough that the Regal Pokémon shouldn’t be able to get enough boosts to be dangerous. Still, keep an eye on Sigilyph’s health, and watch out for critical hits while you’re at it. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 45; (Offensive) Charge Beam, Air Slash, Shadow Ball, Psychic; (Support) Thunder Wave/Tailwind/Air Slash, Reflect, Light Screen, Psychic.

Sigilyph versus the Elite Four: Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 50 (for the Elite 4)/Level 54 (for N/Ghetsis); (Offensive) Charge Beam, Air Slash, Shadow Ball, Psychic; (Support) Thunder Wave/Tailwind/Air Slash, Reflect, Light Screen, Psychic.

Sigilyph versus Shauntal: As expected, the Psychic-type Sigilyph does not do very well against Shauntal, who is known for her Ghost-type Pokémon. Offensive Sigilyph can 2HKO Cofagrigus with Shadow Ball, but the Coffin Pokémon can do the same in return, which means that a critical hit is deadly to Sigilyph. Jellicent can take at least two hits (but probably not three in the case of Shadow Ball) from any of Sigilyph’s attacks and can 2HKO in return. Sigilyph should 2HKO Golurk, but the Automaton Pokémon comes dangerously close to ending Sigilyph’s life with a single Shadow Punch. Furthermore, Chandelure can outright OHKO Sigilyph; there’s no room to mess around with Chandelure’s ridiculous Special Attack stat. Support Sigilyph could be useful for setting up Light Screen and/or Reflect (especially if you have a Light Clay) to support your teammates and dull the damage that Sigilyph takes from Ghost-type attacks, but a critical hit is probably the end of the Avianoid Pokémon. If you can predict an Earthquake from Golurk, an Energy Ball from Jellicent, or a Will-O-Wisp from Cofagrigus, then either variant of Sigilyph can be used as a pivot and/or a lure for Ghost-type moves, and Support Sigilyph might even be able to set up a screen. However, this requires quite a bit of prediction, and there is still the possibility of ending up with a dead Sigilyph. Make sure to bring a Dark-type or another appropriate counter to this battle.

Sigilyph versus Grimsley: Similar to the battle with Shauntal, Sigilyph is at a distinct disadvantage here and, as a result, will struggle to make an impact. With Air Slash, Sigilyph can 2HKO Scrafty, but the Hoodlum Pokémon can do the same with Crunch. Sigilyph is almost certainly faster, but critical hits are still a threat. Offensive Sigilyph has no chance to do anything against Krookodile, whose Crunch comes precariously close to netting the OHKO. With Air Slash, Sigilyph can 2HKO Liepard, but the Cruel Pokémon can do the same in return (and with a move that has a high critical hit ratio) and might be faster than the Avianoid Pokémon. The cherry on top is Grimsley’s Bisharp; Sigilyph can’t even touch the Sword Blade Pokémon, whose Night Slash comes close to ending the Avianoid Pokémon with one strike. Support Sigilyph can set up Reflect and run, but even this is risky since critical hits go right through screens and Scrafty’s Brick Break destroys screens. Keep your Sigilyph on the bench for this one.

Sigilyph versus Caitlin: With Charge Beam and Shadow Ball, this battle could be a clean sweep for Sigilyph. However, that strategy is unlikely to go as planned. Every one of Caitlin’s four Pokémon have a super-effective move to use on Sigilyph, so the Avianoid Pokémon will have a lot of trouble staying alive long enough to KO with Shadow Ball, and setting up is even more difficult. Reuniclus is rather bulky and comes dangerously close to ending Sigilyph with one use of Thunder. With Shadow Ball, Sigilyph, unboosted, can only 3HKO in return. Unless Thunder misses several times, Sigilyph can’t do much to Reuniclus. With Shadow Ball, Musharna can 2-3HKO Sigilyph, whose own Shadow Ball can 3HKO in return. Sigilyph might be able to handle Musharna, but probably only with healing items or a lot of luck. Attempting a mirror match with Caitlin’s Sigilyph isn’t necessarily recommended, but your Sigilyph should be faster (unless its nature reduces the Speed stat) and can 2HKO with Shadow Ball. Still, with Ice Beam, Caitlin’s Sigilyph can 2HKO in return, which means a critical hit is fatal. Gothitelle is dangerous as well; the Astral Body Pokémon’s Thunderbolt should 2HKO Sigilyph, who can only 3HKO in return. Moreover, Gothitelle can set up with Calm Mind in Sigilyph’s face. All in all, Offensive Sigilyph does rather poorly here. The best that Support Sigilyph can do to Caitlin’s team is setting up Light Screen, which will probably be helpful to one of your teammates given the wide range of coverage Caitlin’s Pokémon possess. Also, if you can lure one of Caitlin’s Pokémon into using a Psychic-type move, then Sigilyph can come in safely. (Don’t risk it with Reuniclus, though; Thunder just hits too hard.) Overall, Sigilyph is best used as a pivot and screen setter here.

Sigilyph versus Marshal: Unfortunately for Sigilyph, this is yet another battle in which all of the opposing Pokémon have a super-effective move for a dual Psychic- and Flying-type Pokémon. Each one of Marshal’s Pokémon carries a Rock-type move. However, Sigilyph can still be of use here since its STAB Psychic will still do a number on any one of Marshal’s Pokémon. Two uses of the move will take down Throh, but Sigilyph fears both Payback and Stone Edge. Both will likely result in a 2HKO on the Avianoid Pokémon (assuming Sigilyph moves first), and the latter has a high critical hit ratio. Still, if you’re willing to risk losing Sigilyph to a critical hit, Psychic is a 2HKO. Air Slash has imperfect accuracy, but it should also result in a 2HKO and has a handy chance to cause flinching, but you’re already taking a risk by using Sigilyph against Throh at all. The Avianoid might have able to easily OHKO Sawk, but Sturdy prevents that. Moreover, Sawk’s Stone Edge does more damage than Throh’s does yet misses the OHKO. Still, an injured Sigilyph (or even one at full health, in the case of a critical hit) is in danger if it’s out against Sawk. Conkeldurr’s Stone Edge does even more damage than that of either Throh or Sawk and comes dangerously close to OHKO range. A Sigilyph with a particularly low Defense stat may fall victim to Stone Edge, even if the attack doesn’t land as a critical hit. Still, Sigilyph has a good chance, but not a guarantee, of finishing Conkeldurr with a single use of Psychic. Mienshao carries Rock Slide instead of Stone Edge, but it can still 2HKO Sigilyph. Moreover, Mienshao has a good chance of outspeeding Sigilyph. Nevertheless, the Avianoid Pokémon can OHKO with Psychic. To make this battle slightly less risky, Support Sigilyph can set up Reflect, but you still must be wary of critical hits. All in all, this battle is incredibly risky for Sigilyph, so be careful. Moreover, it is unlikely that Sigilyph can safely take down more than one of Marshal’s Pokémon unless you carry healing items, which are still risky to use since a critical hit will almost always finish the Avianoid Pokémon anyway.

Note: Do not forget that you can leave the Elite 4 and train your team before fighting N and Ghetsis. This is recommended for those that entered the Elite 4 with their team below level 52.

Sigilyph versus N: Keep Sigilyph away from Zekrom, whose Fusion Bolt will annihilate the Avianoid Pokémon. Compared to Zekrom, Reshiram can’t do as much damage, but Fusion Flare is still a 2HKO and Sigilyph can’t do much in return. Use something else for N’s box legendary. Carracosta and Archeops should also be avoided; with Stone Edge, they both have a chance to OHKO Sigilyph. Vanilluxe can do the same with Blizzard. While Sigilyph should be faster than Vanilluxe, the Avianoid Pokémon’s Psychic is not a guaranteed 2HKO, so the Snowstorm Pokémon may be able to set up Hail and land a Blizzard. If your Sigilyph has Light Screen, setting it up and running is the most that the Avianoid Pokémon can contribute when facing Vanilluxe. Klinklang isn’t that dangerous to Sigilyph, but the Avianoid Pokémon can’t do very much damage to the Gear Pokémon either. Also, what appears to be Klinklang might be Zoroark, who, with Night Slash, can 2HKO Sigilyph. The Avianoid Pokémon might be faster than Zoroark, in which case you can try and land an Air Slash to determine if you’re facing Klinklang or Zoroark. If you’re dealing with a Zoroark, you’ll want to get out of there unless Air Slash causes flinching, in which case you should be able to finish Zoroark with another Air Slash. Klinklang is easier to deal with, but the variant of Sigilyph that is useful against the Gear Pokémon also happens to be the variant that might not have Air Slash to make sure that Klinklang is indeed a Klinklang. Support Sigilyph can attempt to set up a screen if you so choose. Just keep in mind that Klinklang can 3HKO with Thunderbolt.

Sigilyph versus Ghetsis: Ghetsis should lead with Cofagrigus, who loves to Toxic stall yet is more than willing to use Shadow Ball to 2HKO Sigilyph, who probably shouldn’t risk fighting the Coffin Pokémon. Sigilyph can 2-3HKO in return and is likely faster, but a critical hit from Cofagrigus is likely the end of the Avianoid Pokémon. Bouffalant should also be avoided; with Wild Charge, it can 2HKO Sigilyph, who can only 3HKO in return with Psychic. Ghetsis’ Bisharp, like Grimsley’s Bisharp, walls Sigilyph. Also, due to the threat of Night Slash, it isn’t wise to try and use support moves when Bisharp is on the field. Eelektross is yet another threat to Sigilyph; Wild Charge may be an outright OHKO. Seismitoad isn’t much of a threat, especially if you have Support Sigilyph use Light Screen first. With Psychic, Sigilyph can 3HKO Seismitoad, who can 3HKO in return but is almost certainly slower. Still, watch out for critical hits. Ironically, after struggling against most of the Elite 4, Sigilyph, at least those running a support set, is incredibly useful against the Pokémon that is arguably the most difficult to take down in the Unova region: Ghetsis’ Hydreigon. If you need to switch Sigilyph in safely, try and lure Hydreigon into using Focus Blast on the turn you switch. Once Sigilyph is safely on the field, it can set up Light Screen to help out a teammate. (This is even more effective if you can manage to steal a Light Clay from a wild Golett.) Also, Sigilyph can use Thunder Wave or Tailwind to make Hydreigon even less threatening. Sigilyph itself can’t stand up to Hydreigon, whose Dragon Pulse should result in a 2-3HKO. Still, barring unlucky critical hits, Sigilyph may very well save your run against Ghetsis’ Hydreigon and its ridiculous coverage.

Everything in Between

The Desert: When training your Sigilyph, the desert isn’t the best place to be; Audino grinding in Pinwheel Forest is better. When on par with the rest of your team, Sigilyph is great for fighting any Maractus you might come across. If you happen to run into a scary wild Sigilyph and get into a pinch, then your own Sigilyph can enter the battle. As for the other Pokémon that appear here, don’t worry too much about super-effective moves from the likes of Yamask, Sandile, or other not fully evolved Pokémon. Sigilyph, as it is already fully evolved, can take some super-effective hits from these weaker Pokémon.

Mid-Game Areas: Sigilyph is great at this point in the game, where many Pokémon you’ll see aren’t fully evolved yet. Sigilyph is especially useful on the route past Driftveil City, where you’ll find many Grass-type Pokémon. The Cold Storage and the battles with Team Plasma Grunts shouldn’t pose a threat, especially if you run into a Pokémon that is weak to Sigilyph’s attacks. However, the route north of Mistralton can be rather difficult, at least as far as Zebstrika is concerned; Sigilyph can handle Blitzle but should stay away from the fully-evolved Zebstrika. In Celestial Tower, watch out for Ghost-type moves, but those coming from unevolved Pokémon won’t hit too hard.

Caves and Mountains: Keep Sigilyph away from the likes of Boldore and any stray Cryogonal you may come across, but the Avianoid Pokémon should be fine otherwise. The population of wild Klink in Chargestone Cave is better handled by another Pokémon, but they still don’t pose much of a threat to a healthy Sigilyph. The trainers with Fighting-type Pokémon on the lower floor of Wellspring Cave shouldn’t be too tough.

Water Routes: Sigilyph can handle any wild Frillish with Shadow Ball. The trainers in the water itself are better handled by a Grass- or Electric-type simply for the sake of saving time, but Sigilyph has no obvious disadvantage and can handle those trainers all the same. As for the trainers on the land, keep Sigilyph away from the Crustle, Boldore, and Emolga owned by trainers here; Sigilyph can pretty much handle all of the others.

Late-Game: Sigilyph can Palpitoad, but keep the Avianoid Pokémon away from the Stunfisk in the area, who carry Discharge. The trainers on Route 9 mostly have Dark-type Pokémon and should therefore be avoided. As for the wild Pokémon on Routes 9 and 10, just try to stay away from the likes of Liepard, Pawniard, and Vullaby.

Checks and Counters

Dark-types: Sigilyph is weak to more than just Dark-type moves, but Dark-types, in particular, are rather difficult to deal with, especially given how common they are in Unova. The likes of Cheren’s Liepard and Grimsley’s entire team come to mind. It would be helpful to have a Fighting-type Pokémon around to counter these Dark-types and, as a result, make Sigilyph’s life easier. Emboar, Conkeldurr, and Scrafty all fit this role well. In return, Sigilyph can take hits from opposing Psychic-types that tend to give Fighting-types some trouble. Frailer Fighting-type Pokémon, such as Sawk and Mienshao, particularly appreciate Support Sigilyph’s dual screens.

Electric-types: Electric-types, such as Elesa’s team and Ghetsis’ Eelektross, are another group of Pokémon that pose a threat to Sigilyph. A Ground-type Pokémon is good to have around to counter Electric-types. Seismitoad, Excadrill, and Krookodile are great options for handling Electric-types. In return, Sigilyph can take down the Grass-type Pokémon that give most Ground-types trouble.

Ice-types: As yet another type that has super-effective STAB moves for Sigilyph, Ice-types can be an issue for Sigilyph. The likes of Brycen’s team as well as N’s Vanilluxe come to mind. A Fire-, Fighting-, or Steel-type would be good for handling Ice-types. The likes of Darmanitan, Emboar, and Ferrothorn come to mind. Sigilyph can help them out with Tailwind and/or dual screens in return.

Ghost-types: Coming most prominently in the form of Shauntal’s team, the Ghost-type Pokémon of the Unova region are another group of Pokémon that both have super-effective STAB moves for Sigilyph and are common enough to be a threat. Dark-types are excellent for taking on the role of countering Ghost-types, and a few Dark-types, notably Krookodile and Scrafty, can cover more than one of Sigilyph’s weaknesses. In return, Sigilyph can take down the Fighting-types that give Dark-types trouble.

Pokémon that don’t care about dual screens: A rather niche group that only applies to Support Sigilyph, but they’re threatening all the same. This mostly covers those who like to use Night Slash, Brycen’s team (two-thirds of his team have a move that always lands critically), and Pokémon that carry Brick Break. (Although, Sigilyph itself, as a Pokémon that resists Fighting-type moves, already discourages the use of Brick Break.) This group of Pokémon can ignore or even undo Support Sigilyph’s hard work by making the Avianoid Pokémon’s dual screens essentially worthless. As such, give the Unova region’s pair of Shell Armor Pokémon a second look when building your team; a Crustle or Escavalier with Shell Armor can ignore critical hits and safely enjoy Sigilyph’s dual screens. A Ghost-type might also be useful for switching in on Brick Break, but, since Sigilyph lures Pokémon into using Dark-type moves, it may not be wise to bring in a Ghost-type when Sigilyph is on the field.

Overall Grade: B

All in all, Sigilyph’s usefulness immediately after it’s caught, high Special Attack stat, and wide movepool are all factors that make the Avianoid Pokémon an excellent companion in the Unova region. Sigilyph is bogged down by the region’s abundance of Dark-type Pokémon and the fact that its best coverage moves are locked in the post-game, but Sigilyph is capable of excelling nonetheless. Sigilyph even can save your run against Ghetsis’ dreaded Hydreigon; Light Screen and Thunder Wave/Tailwind are amazing for limiting the sweeping potential of the Brutal Pokémon. As a result, Sigilyph, while rare and with a rather off-putting design, can carve out a very meaningful role in your team, making it a great companion for your journey through the Unova region.

Resources to Utilize

Sigilyph’s Learnset: https://pokemondb.net/pokedex/sigilyph/moves/5

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1. For questions about this guide or for specific advice for your playthrough, send them a message on Reddit.