Poké Monday 11/17: Thundurus

RNG  

Incarnate forme
Smogon official tier: OU
Type: Electric/Flying
Base Stats: 79 HP, 115 Atk, 70 Def, 125 Sp.Atk, 80 Sp.Def, 111 Speed
Abilities: Prankster, Defiant (HA)

Therian forme
Smogon official tier: BL
Type: Electric/Flying
Base Stats: 79 HP, 105 Atk, 70 Def, 145 Sp.Atk, 80 Sp.Def, 101 Speed
Ability: Volt Absorb

“Usable” moves (according to Pokémon Showdown): Agility, Brick Break, Bulk Up, Charge Beam, Crunch, Dark Pulse, Discharge, Façade, Flash Cannon, Focus Blast, Foul Play, Frustration, Grass Knot, Hammer Arm, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Ice), Iron Tail, Knock Off, Nasty Plot, Payback, Protect, Psychic, Rain Dance, Rest, Return, Sleep Talk, Sludge Bomb, Sludge Wave, Substitute, Superpower, Taunt, Thrash, Thunder, Thunder Punch, Thunder Wave, Thunderbolt, Torment, Toxic, U-turn, Volt Switch, Wild Charge

Overview

In this review, I will be covering both the incarnate and therian formes of Thundurus, and I will do this for all other Pokémon with a differing alternate form (I didn’t cover Mega Latios when I reviewed Latios (8/25) but that’s because I knew next to nothing about it at the time).

Incarnate

The incarnate form of Thundurus is an enigmatic Electric-type attacker, being the second-fastest Prankster user with Tornadus incarnate (the fastest being Whimsicott) and the fastest with access to Thunder Wave, as well as having access to setup moves like Substitute and Nasty Plot. What lets it down, however, is that it has a movepool that pretty much requires Hidden Power Ice for coverage. It could also take from its physical movepool, but that does not have much for Ground-types either, let alone things like Gliscor. Basically, it’s an offensive threat with a neat speed tier and an okay movepool.

Therian

Thundurus-Therian has a Special Attack that makes it the second hardest hitting Electric-type on the special side (the first being Mega Ampharos, which does not have a free item slot) with the downside of its Speed being cut down to a worse tier, lower than that of Garchomp, Terrakion, and base 110s (and, more trivially, its Attack is cut down to base 105). Therefore, it can benefit better from a Choice Scarf or use of the move Agility than its incarnate counterpart can. Other than that and its loss of Prankster/Defiant for Volt Absorb, it’s pretty much the same.

Sets

Incarnate Set

Thundurus (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 Def
– Volt Switch
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Thunder Wave
– Taunt

This set takes advantage of Thundurus incarnate’s access to Prankster Thunder Wave and Taunt to stop sweepers and leads the world over. It uses STAB Volt Switch to keep up momentum, usually after Taunting but possibly after Thunder Waving. I am not confident in the use of Hidden Power Ice in this set just because it’s not fully offensive (despite how it’s EV’d); perhaps a Naïve nature with Knock Off could work as well.

Therian Set

Thundurus-Therian (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 Def
– Thunderbolt
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Nasty Plot
– Agility

Double Dance Thundurus-Therian uses Agility to patch up its average Speed and uses Nasty Plot to punch holes through walls. In fact, even without Nasty Plot, it can still pack a punch, especially with Life Orb in tow. Something like Expert Belt or Leftovers is also acceptable as an item (although I’m not so sure about the latter). What’s good about Thundurus-Therian is that, as an Electric-type and a Pokémon with Volt Absorb, paralysis will not stop its sweep (if applicable, of course).

Other Options

For incarnate forme, Prankster variants can use Substitute to avoid priority. On the flip side, Defiant can be used on physical or mixed sets for Thundurus to act as a sort of anti-Defog mechanism. Beware that I have run pure physical Thundurus with little success; the Pokémon Showdown damage calculator recommends Naïve, Life Orb, 76 Atk/180 Sp.Atk/252 Speed with a set of Thunderbolt/Knock Off/Superpower/Hidden Power Ice (the spread guarantees to KO 4/252+ Eviolite Chansey with a combination of Knock Off and Superpower, as well as to OHKO with Defiant-boosted Superpower). I used U-turn on physical Thundurus, but looking back, I suppose it prefers to Volt Switch (and HP Ice whenever necessary).

For therian forme, Choice Scarf is the main alternate option to consider (and the most common in usage); it reaches a reliable 496 Speed (given 252 Timid) without setting up while sacrificing a portion of its power. This requires using options in its movepool alternate to Electric STAB and Hidden Power Ice, Focus Blast being a go-to coverage move for Steels that don’t mind its STAB.

Sample Teams

Incarnate team: http://pastebin.com/5muy8zgR

Therian team: http://pastebin.com/qP6XQhrL

Once again, bear in mind that these are sample teams and are therefore subject to improvement.

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