Pokemon: The 10 Best Flying-type Moves, Ranked – TheGamer

Flying-type Pokemon can be very powerful, but which of their moves are among the most powerful? Let’s find out.
Flying ranks among the more popular types to use offensively in the competitive scene of Pokemon Sword & Shield. These airborne Pokemon are known for being quick, agile, and powerful. They have immunity to Ground-type moves and land-locked hazards, which makes them a fantastic defensive choice against popular moves like Earthquake and Spikes.
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Flying-type moves are super effective against Grass-, Bug-, and Fighting-types, the last of which is particularly common, giving Flying lots of utility. On the flip side, weaknesses include Ice-, Electric-, and Rock-type Pokemon moves. Flying-type Pokemon are almost always paired with a secondary type, which lends an air of unpredictability to the encounter. If you're feasting for some fliers, consider these powerful Flying-type moves.
Updated on January 23rd, 2022 by Quinton O'Connor: While it can be argued that this holds true of every type, Flying is frequently underestimated not just during the single-player journey but Sword & Shield's ever-rotating meta as well. It doesn't necessarily call to mind immediate thoughts of woe, but with moves like these, it doesn't need to. Here's the current best batch of Flying-type moves for your research pleasure.
Perhaps the most iconic Flying-type move is the titular Fly itself. Most players probably know this move for its HM purposes, carting you around the region with ease courtesy of your beloved winged allies. This was an invaluable part of any player's lineup for the first six generations before being replaced with Poke Ride Charizard Glide in Generation VII, Secret Technique Sky Dash in Let's Go Pikachu & Let's Go Eevee, and Flying Taxi in Sword & Shield.
And yet, it's been five years and counting since Sun & Moon switched things up and most fans still think of these modern adjustments as the exception, not the rule. That's the staying power of an iconic HM.
But Fly has plenty of promise when it comes to battles as well. Fly takes up not one turn, but two. On the first, the Pokemon befittingly soars into the sky. Up here, it's invulnerable to most moves. (Watch out for powerful exceptions such as Hurricane and Zygarde's Thousand Arrows.) On the second turn, the attack will land. It has 90 power and 95 percent accuracy, which is nothing to scoff at.
Once the signature move of the Pidgey family, Feather Dance was introduced in Generation III. It is a non-damaging move that targets the opponent. It will lower their Attack stat by two stages. Two stages is pretty significant — it's the difference between, say, Tail Whip reducing Defense by one stage and Screech doing the same but by two. There's a reason the former is never seen in competitive play while the latter has its uses.
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Feather Dance will effectively reverse the ever-popular Swords Dance. With an accuracy rating of 100 percent, you can safely tame some physically powerful beasts in short order with this thing.
Roost will restore half of your Pokemon's max HP. It will also cause the Pokemon's Flying-type denomination to be ignored by any other moves used until the end of the turn, making it that much more special if timed properly. That last part's an interesting twist that many players don't know about, seeing as the opportunity to revitalize a weakened partner is the more prominent angle. Roost might not be necessary in the main game, where items like Full Restore are yours for the using, but the online scene offers no such luxuries.
The non-Flying switch-up can be a wrinkle at times rather than a boon, as it will allow the Pokemon to be hit by moves to which Flying Pokemon are usually immune. But, it can be beneficial too, preventing your recovering pal from getting struck by super effective moves during their rest period.
Aerial Ace is superb against Pokemon that love to use evasion-raising moves. This move, like Swift and other variants of it, will almost never miss. (And when it does miss, it's not because of those aforementioned evasion-boosters; rather, it pertains to unique abilities and the like.) In the solo campaign, opponents who spam Double Team and Minimize are real nuisances. Online, they can be downright deadly. It's a common strategy to reduce a foe's chances to hit a physical or special sweeper to nil before unleashing devastating damage.
Advantageously, Aerial Ace isn't especially common in many competitive lineups, either. Enjoy showing up your tactically-minded rivals with an aggressive display of your own strategic prowess.
If Aerial Ace just isn't cutting it when you're trying to take down evasive enemies, Defog ought to help do the trick. This move will lower the target's evasion by a single stage. As with Aerial Ace, only rarely will the opponent have something up their sleeve preventing Defog from landing. As a bonus, those conditions don't overlap, making Defog a nifty backup plan.
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What makes this move even better is its new effects in recent generations. As of Generation VI, it will remove Spikes, Stealth Rock, and other hazards. In Generation VIII, it will also remove special terrains. Given the prevalence of both hazards and terrains these days, it's tough to argue with Defog's special place on cunning teams.
Sure, it looks downright bizarre when many Pokemon use it. (Looking at you right now, Empoleon.) That aside? Drill Peck is a great move. Introduced all the way back in Generation I, it's been a staple for Flying-types ever since. As the name implies, the Pokemon drills its beak directly into the opponent to inflict a decent amount of damage. 80 base power with 100 percent accuracy is a mighty fine mixture.
While it admittedly has zero bearing on competitive battling, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that Drill Peck can boost the user's appeal points in Contests by up to four points. Clearly, audiences are amused by brutal antics more befitting a Roman coliseum than the cuteness Contests are allegedly known for.
Among Flying-type moves, Hurricane is often considered one-third of a trio with Thunder and Blizzard. Each is an elemental force of nature, and they all have the same power and accuracy ratings. Serious damage-dishing potential, offset by less-than-stellar accuracy — that's their whole vibe.
There are ways to mitigate this downside. In Blizzard's case, the weather effect Hail ups its accuracy to a full 100 percent. For Hurricane and Thunder, the weather effect Rain is your best bet instead. If you can set things up in your favor with a move like Rain Dance, your Flying-type friendo can dish out some classic Floridian carnage.
Toss in a pair of perks and it's easy to see why Hurricane's so great: not only can it hit Pokemon in the first phase of Sky Drop, Fly, and Bounce, but there's a not-inconsiderable 30 percent chance of confusing the target. Imagine striking an enemy flier while they're midair, inflicting Confuse status, and then watching them drop only to hit themselves instead of you. That's morbidly satisfying.
Being able to make the opponent flinch can be a very powerful strategy. This flinching means they won't be able to move that turn, which can be life or death in some situations. Air Slash is a move that can cause flinching, with a 30 percent chance of it working. Regardless, Air Slash has a power of 75 and 95 percent accuracy, which makes it plenty viable with or without the side effect.
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The best thing Air Slash has going for it is that a ton of Pokemon can learn it, including a surprising number who don't even belong to the Flying type in the first place. If your party isn't packing a drill-pecking pal, you've still got capable coverage.
With a Japanese name that translates to "God Bird," you can count on Sky Attack to serve you well. Introduced in Generation I, Sky Attack is one of the earliest Flying-type moves, and boasts a power of 140 and 90 percent accuracy. It takes two turns to work, as the user will have to charge up the first turn. From Generation III onward, it also has a 30 percent chance to make the opponent flinch and an increased chance of landing as a critical hit.
140 base power is already the highest of any Flying-type move, but there was a brief window in which the special Sky Attack went from massive to monstrous. In Let's Go Pikachu & Let's Go Eevee, the developers decided to boost that 140 to 200. Forget corpses; that Rattata is dead.
The top spot on this list is taken not by a damaging move, but by a stat increaser. Tailwind is an incredible aid; doubling the Speed stat of all Pokemon on your side for a whopping four turns borders on overpowered. (Ask some players, and the border vanishes outright.)
Speed increases often turn the tide of battles, but they're almost always locked to one or two stages. Doubling, on the other hand, can be calculated to as high as four or five stages instead. Pair Tailwind with pretty much any of the other moves you've read about here and you've proven the value of Flying-type Pokemon full stop.
NEXT: The Hardest Sinnoh Pokemon To Catch, Ranked
Michael is an editor at Game Rant. Read more of his work here: https://gamerant.com/author/m_ott/