You can solo 5-star and 6-star in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, but it’s not easy. If you need help taking down these raids, we have a fairly simple solution that will allow you to easily solo most raids, and it revolves around one of Paldea’s brand new Pokémon.
Iron Hands is one of the Paradox Pokémon exclusive to the Violet edition of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. By levelling it up to the right level and teaching it a few optimal moves, you can have one of the best raid Pokémon in the game.
Here's where to find Iron Hands if you haven’t caught one already, and then how to build Iron Hands in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
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If you'd like to learn more about your Paldea adventure, visit our Pokémon Scarlet and Violet walkthrough.
Where to find Iron Hands in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
Iron Hands is one of the futuristic Pokémon exclusive to the Violet edition of the game, and is the opposite to the historical Pokémon found in Scarlet. While it may not be the most Pokémon-y of names, Iron Hands is a futuristic version of Hariyama that you will find in Area Zero of Paldea’s Great Crater.
This is only accessible once you beat the Elite Four, although you can always trade a friend for their Iron Hands at any point of the game, assuming they have one.
Alternatively, if you have online, you can trade a Brute Bonnet from Scarlet (another Area Zero-only creature) for an Iron Hands using codes 0378 and 0384, of which have been decided by the community for this purpose.
Our Pokémon Scarlet and Violet walkthrough can take you through the entire game - including The First Day of School, Victory Road, Starfall Street, Path of Legends and when you're ready, The Way Home and the final boss. Elsewhere, we can help with the Normal Gym test Secret Item menu, version differences, the best Scarlet and Violet starter, EXP farming, shiny Pokémon and learning how to fly, swim, climb and dash. When it comes to individual Pokémon, we can help with Gimmighoul, Ditto, Bellibolt, Pawmot, Scovillain, Frigibax, Sinistea, Brambleghast, Annihilape, Farigiraf, Dudunsparce, Lycanrock forms, Armarouge and Ceruledge.
How and when to solo raids in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
Before we get into creating a Iron Hands build for solo raids - why would you want to do them?
Let’s not tiptotodile around the issue: there are several reasons why you might want or need to solo these raids, and several reasons why you shouldn’t if you don’t have to.
First, soloing raids is extremely difficult at high levels. A Level 5 raid is roughly equivalent to fighting a Level 75 Pokémon, and a Level 6 is approximately a Level 85 Pokémon, so you should try to bring a Pokémon of similar levels if you want to deal any real damage.
Fortunately, if you need to solo a raid, the game will fill your remaining three slots with NPCs. Unfortunately, the Pokémon these NPCs choose are both woefully inadequate (there’s always that one trainer who still hasn’t figured out that Water beats Fire and chucks out a Grass type instead). Every time this trainer’s Pokémon faints, you take a time penalty, further ramping up the difficulty.
Additionally, these NPCs are completely unaware of the subtitles telling you when you need to Terastalise your Pokémon, meaning that once the raid boss puts its shields up, it’s up to you to tear through the damage sponge they’ve erected.
So, why on Paldea would you want to solo a raid?
Well, the answers are threefold: you can’t play online because you don’t have Nintendo Online; you can’t join a raid because the game won’t let you; and because you simply want to.
Point two is the most egregious; even with a strong internet connection, some players are finding that they can host raids but can’t join them. So, being able to solo raids suddenly becomes a lot more important.
Iron Hands solo build
Queue the Paradox Pokémon, Iron Hands. You can either find one in Area Zero of the Great Crater or you can ask a Violet-themed friend to lend you a, well, hand, and trade you one.
That’s the hardest part of this mission done. From here, we need to teach our new cyber sumo two vital moves, and this means raising Iron Hands’s level to at least Level 84 so it learns Belly Drum, and teaching it Drain Punch with a TM.
This is when Iron Hands learns the move Belly Drum – a move that halves its HP in exchange for maximising its attack stat. This partners with Drain Punch – a move that simply steals HP from the boss while dealing massive damage. Done correctly, this will keep your Iron Hands in good health while whittling down your enemy’s HP.
If you can change Tera Type to Fighting, you will deal even more damage with these punches, so it’s well worth making sure that you have this as an option.
Drain Punch, meanwhile, is unlocked at the TM Machine once you beat Team Star’s Fairy base.
Once that’s done, you have a choice – either raise Iron Hands’s level further, adding a lot more bulk to this already bulky Pokémon, or dive straight into raids. If you’re at Level 84 (which you really should be because Belly Drum is very important to this strategy), you should be ok in a 5-star raid. Since these will drop EXP candies, you can always power-level your Iron Hands off the back of each raid. Each level you get towards the cap of 100 will make you even more of a force to be reckoned with.
Either way, you're now ready to raid – your plan is to use Belly Drum to maximise your attack and then use Drain Punch to deal heavy damage and regain your lost HP. A single Drain Punch can sometimes restore your entire HP bar, depending on what you’re going up against.
It’s also worth considering what you want as Iron Hands’s two flex moves – Belly Drum and Drain Punch are essential, but a strong Electric-type move for the STAB damage and a fourth for coverage is also very good.
Lastly, if you really want to up the ante, you can give Iron Hands an item that will further increase damage. Either something like the Punching Gloves to both protect Iron Hands from abilities such as Flame Body while also increasing damage, or an item that will increase your Critical Hit chance, such as the Razor Claw, is highly recommended, both of which can be picked up at a Delibird Presents. These aren’t essential, but every little helps!