Gaming

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Academy Ace Tournament Guide

Pokémon lovers have always enjoyed the additional challenges that come with the post-game content. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet take it a step further by offering an extensive series of main quests and a plethora of activities to undertake even after completing the game. One of the most daunting post-game endeavors is the Academy Ace Tournament.

Unlike the gym leaders or other trainers in Paldea, the competitors you’ll face in the Academy Ace Tournament don’t rely on teams built around a single Pokémon type. Their teams are diverse, consisting of high-level Pokémon, making them a formidable challenge. Here’s everything you need to know to prepare your team and become the champion of the Academy Ace Tournament in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

How to Start the Academy Ace Tournament

A receptionist explaining the tournament rules.
Image used with permission by copyright holder.

The Academy Ace Tournament is available as a post-game activity. To unlock it, you must first complete the Victory Road quest by earning all eight gym badges and defeating the Elite Four. Once you’ve accomplished that, you’ll also need to challenge and defeat each of the eight gym leaders again.

Once these requirements are met, return to the Academy and approach the attendant at the Entrance Hall desk. They will grant you access to the Academy Ace Tournament.

Note that your Pokémon will be fully healed between each round of the tournament, so feel free to go all-out against every opponent.

Academy Ace Tournament Guide

You have the opportunity to participate in the Academy Ace Tournament multiple times. During your first attempt, you will face the same four trainers. On subsequent attempts, however, you’ll encounter a random assortment of opponents. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect in the initial bracket:

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Arven

Arven acting cocky.
Image used with permission by copyright holder.

Arven is your first opponent in the tournament, and his team shouldn’t catch you off guard. What sets him apart now is that all his Pokémon are significantly stronger. Prepare to face the following lineup in the first round:

  • Greedent — Level 67 (Normal-type)
  • Garganacl — Level 67 (Rock-type)
  • Scovillain — Level 67 (Grass/Fire-type)
  • Toedscruel — Level 67 (Ground/Grass-type)
  • Cloyster — Level 67 (Water/Ice-type)
  • Mabosstiff — Level 68 (Dark-type with Dark Terra Type)

Arven’s team focuses on inflicting damage over time (DoT) effects on your Pokémon using various status ailments. To counter this, aim to defeat as many of them as possible in a single turn. Strategize by switching out your Pokémon between each of Arven’s team members. Most of his team is vulnerable to Fighting-types, making it ideal to start with a Fighting-type Pokémon to counter Greedent. Swap to an Ice Pokémon when facing Toedscruel, and use Rock-types against Cloyster and Scovillain. Finally, return to a Fighting-type to deal with Mabosstiff.

Jacq

Jacq hoping he doesn't embarrass himself.
Image used with permission by copyright holder.

Despite being the second opponent, Jacq is arguably easier than Arven. This is due to the fact that all but two of his Pokémon have a single type, making them easy to counter. Additionally, his team is slightly lower in level. Here’s what you can expect from Jacq:

  • Arcanine — Level 65 (Fire-type)
  • Mudsdale — Level 65 (Ground-type)
  • Lurantis — Level 65 (Grass-type)
  • Slowbro — Level 65 (Water/Psychic-type)
  • Swalot — Level 65 (Poison-type)
  • Farigiraf — Level 66 (Normal/Psychic-type with Psychic Terra Type)
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Most of Jacq’s team has clear counters. Use Water against his Fire-type, Grass against Ground, and Fire against Grass. Even Slowbro can be overwhelmed by a good Electric, Grass, Bug, Ghost, or Dark-type Pokémon. Dark and Bug-types offer extra advantages as they also counter Farigiraf.

Dendra

Dendra taunting the player.
Image used with permission by copyright holder.

Despite being the Academy’s battle professor, Dendra proves to be an underwhelming opponent in the Academy Ace Tournament. Her team matches Jacq’s in level but can be easily defeated by just one or two specific types. Let’s take a look at her Pokémon and how we can exploit their weaknesses:

  • Falinks — Level 65 (Fighting-type)
  • Taurus — Level 65 (Fighting/Fire-type)
  • Taurus — Level 65 (Fighting/Water-type)
  • Hawlucha — Level 65 (Fighting/Flying-type)
  • Medicham — Level 65 (Fighting/Psychic-type)
  • Hariyama — Level 66 (Fighting-type with Fighting Terra Type)

As you can see, every Pokémon in Dendra’s team shares at least part Fighting-type, making them weak to Fairy, Flying, and Psychic-types. Flying and Psychic-types are especially effective against most of her team. However, keep in mind that Medicham won’t take super-effective damage from Psychic moves since it is part Psychic itself. Aside from that, the only thing to watch out for is Hawlucha’s speed, but a powerful Flying-type Pokémon can easily overcome it.

Geeta

Geeta being introduced.
Image used with permission by copyright holder.

While the previous rounds may have seemed easier, Geeta is here to provide a true final challenge in the tournament. Her team remains unchanged since your encounter with her after defeating the Elite Four, but they are now at a slightly higher level. Here’s a reminder of her team’s composition:

  • Espathra — Level 69 (Psychic-type)
  • Avalugg — Level 69 (Ice-type)
  • Kingambit — Level 69 (Dark/Steel-type)
  • Veluza — Level 69 (Water/Psychic-type)
  • Gogoat — Level 69 (Grass-type)
  • Glimmora — Level 70 (Rock/Poison-type with Rock Terra Type)
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To overcome Geeta’s team, Fire and Bug-types are your best allies. If you have a Pokémon with moves from both of these types, you can use it to counter every Pokémon on Geeta’s team, except for Glimmora, which is resistant to Fire and Bug. Fortunately, Glimmora has several vulnerabilities, including Fighting, Grass, Ground, Steel, and Water.

Academy Ace Tournament Rewards

In addition to gaining experience points and cash, your reward for defeating the Academy Ace Tournament for the first time includes the Sporty Cap accessory and the Paldea Champion Ribbon.

Each time you participate in the tournament thereafter, you’ll have a chance to receive various items as rewards. These may include Rare Candy, random Mints, and random Tera Shards, with the rarest drop being a Gold Bottle Cap at a mere 1% chance.

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