Poké Monday 10/5/15: Groudon

RNG (Groudon)  

Groudon
Tier: Uber
Type: Ground
Base Stats: 100 HP, 150 Atk, 140 Def, 100 Sp.Atk, 90 Sp.Def, 90 Speed
Ability: Drought

Primal Groudon
Tier: Uber
Type: Ground/Fire
Base Stats: 100 HP, 180 Atk, 160 Def, 150 Sp.Atk, 90 Sp.Def, 90 Speed
Ability: Desolate Land

Usable moves: Aerial Ace, Ancient Power, Body Slam, Brick Break, Bulk Up, Double-Edge, Dragon Claw, Dragon Pulse, Dragon Tail, Earth Power, Earthquake, Eruption, Façade, Fire Blast, Fire Punch, Flamethrower, Focus Blast, Frustration, Hammer Arm, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Hone Claws, Iron Head, Lava Plume, Overheat, Power-Up Punch, Precipice Blades, Protect, Rest, Return, Roar, Rock Polish, Rock Slide, Seismic Toss, Shadow Claw, Stealth Rock, Stone Edge, Substitute, Swords Dance, Thunder, Thunder Punch, Thunder Wave, Thunderbolt, Toxic

Overview

On Poké Monday 2/23/15, I talked about Kyogre and the ins and outs of primal and non-primal weather. As a reminder, primal weather is different from regular weather in the following ways:

  1. If not overridden, it stays up as long as the user stays in play.
  2. It cannot be overridden by any non-primal weather (i.e., weather summoned by Drizzle, Drought, Sand Stream, Snow Warning, Rain Dance, Sunny Day, Sandstorm, or Hail).
  3. It nullifies a certain type of move (specifically, Desolate Land nullifies Water and Primordial Sea nullifies Fire). Note that this only applies to offensive moves (for instance, Primordial Sea does not nullify Will-O-Wisp).

To elaborate, Desolate Land and Primordial Sea work more independently than Drought and Drizzle, weather teams are much more difficult to use in Ubers, and Primal Groudon is only weak to Ground while Desolate Land is up (barring Cloud Nine or Air Lock).

With the benefits of its new primal weather and its boost in Defense and offensive power, there is no doubt that Primal Groudon is one of the dominating forces in the tier. Its typing makes it immune to Will-O-Wisp and Thunder Wave, making it a top-notch physical attacker. To further aid its offensive prowess, it gets a new signature move in Precipice Blades, which is a 20 BP improvement over Earthquake at the expense of 15% accuracy. (Using Precipice Blades over Earthquake not only increases the expected damage output (102 over 100), but it also guarantees a 2HKO on 248/252 Bold Primal Kyogre (given 252 EVs, Adamant or Jolly).)  Also, there is no reason not to use Primal Groudon because it doesn’t need Choice Scarf (due to Rock Polish) unlike Kyogre, and if you really want to use sun support, might as well go with Ninetales in OU.

So, Primal Groudon may have all these advantages, but what does it suffer against? Well, that all depends on the set. If it’s defensive (which is pretty much guaranteed if it sets up Stealth Rock), Rash Life Orb Landorus-I has at least a 75% chance to OHKO with Earth Power, regardless of Primal Groudon’s spread. (Keep in mind that Primal Reversion happens instantly, meaning Groudon can’t just stay in its base forme to take the hit.) Cloud Nine Golduck can guarantee an OHKO with Hydro Pump on any variant (on extra specially defensive variants, Surf is not enough for the guarantee), and it can switch into an uninvested Earthquake, even with Stealth Rock on the field, but it must be wary of Precipice Blades (which is a guaranteed OHKO with Stealth Rock and a 25% chance without), and…well, it’s Golduck. Choice Band Rayquaza can switch into anything but Stone Edge and, in return, guarantee a 2HKO (unless it gets burned by Fire STAB) with Earthquake on any variant. Even if burned, it has a good chance to 3HKO specially defensive variants. Ground Arceus can OHKO most variants with +2 Earthquake (and has a 68.8% chance of doing so against 248/252+), but it would be a shame if it got burned, and it doesn’t take Primal Groudon’s Fire STAB very well.

0 Atk Groudon-Primal Fire Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Arceus-Ground in Harsh Sun: 172-204 (45.1 – 53.5%) — 35.2% chance to 2HKO

0 SpA Groudon-Primal Lava Plume vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Arceus-Ground in Harsh Sun: 157-186 (41.2 – 48.8%) — guaranteed 3HKO

Also, defensive Primal Groudon hates Primal Kyogre switch-ins.

If it’s offensive and it has Rock Polish and/or Swords Dance, however, that’s kind of a problem. If it’s Adamant and already has a Rock Polish under its belt, it speed ties with max speed base 120 Choice Scarf users, meaning…maybe Scarf Darkrai can shut it down with Dark Void? Maybe Scarf Shaymin-Sky can flinch it to death? The conundrum, though, would be figuring out whether it’s Adamant or Jolly. If it’s Jolly, you would need base 140 Speed to cut past it with a Choice Scarf, which sucks because no intelligent Deoxys-A would run Choice Scarf (and, if it goes this unwise route, it has a 62.5% chance to OHKO with Psycho Boost).

If it has Swords Dance, first off, keep in mind that Unaware users are not checks.

252+ Atk Groudon-Primal Precipice Blades vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Quagsire: 220-261 (55.8 – 66.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ Atk Groudon-Primal Precipice Blades vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Clefable: 241-285 (61.3 – 72.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

That aside, physically defensive Giratina can take Primal Groudon’s hits pretty well, as long as the latter is not at +4, and use Dragon Tail or Roar to phaze it out. Lugia can take a Stone Edge with Multiscale intact (at all stages except +6, in which case it has a 25% chance to OHKO) and can force Primal Groudon out with Whirlwind, but without Multiscale, it does not appreciate a +2 Stone Edge. (Fire Punch is not so much a problem, so Lugia is a much better stop to Primal Groudon that lack Stone Edge.) Speaking of which, Ho-Oh resists Primal Groudon’s dual STABs, but it obviously gets wrecked by Stone Edge. Skarmory can take a hit with Sturdy and force Primal Groudon out with Whirlwind, and it can wall variants that lack Fire Punch (unless they set up to +6). Better yet, Air Balloon Heatran can completely halt variants that lack Stone Edge.

Simply put, Primal Groudon is a threat for which every Ubers team should be prepared.

One thing I failed to mention in my Kyogre post is that Primals, unlike Mega Pokémon, are not restricted to one per team. This means you can use Primal Groudon, Primal Kyogre, and…say…Mega Gengar on one Ubers team.

All right, that’s enough ranting. On with the sets.

Set 1: Defensive

Groudon @ Red Orb
Ability: Drought
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Earthquake
– Lava Plume
– Stealth Rock
– Roar

Once again, with its wonderful typing and Ability combination, Primal Groudon is effectively only weak to Ground, and it offers some useful resistances in Fairy, Fire, Steel, and Bug, not to mention its immunity to Electric and Will-O-Wisp, as well as a situational immunity to Water. That, along with its sheer bulk, gives Primal Groudon a relatively easy time setting up Stealth Rock to benefit the team. Earthquake is reliable STAB with decent offensive coverage, and Lava Plume is alternative STAB that has a good chance of causing burn and actually does slightly more damage than Earthquake under harsh sunlight (fun fact). This also makes it easier to deal with physically defensive Steel-types like Forretress and Skarmory. Roar is used in the last slot to prevent it from becoming fodder to setup sweepers. EVs are allocated to patch up its weaker defense and so that it takes slightly less residual damage from Toxic and hazards.

Set 2: Offensive

Groudon @ Red Orb
Ability: Drought
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Precipice Blades
– Fire Punch
– Rock Polish
– Swords Dance

Again, Primal Groudon’s typing grants it immunity to Thunder Wave and all forms of burn, making it a fearsome physical sweeper with its sky-high base 180 Attack. Precipice Blades is its strongest STAB move, slightly outdamaging Fire Punch in the sun. Its dual STABs have few resistances, all of which are Flying-type, and those can be broken through with the help of Swords Dance. It can also use Rock Polish to patch up its middling base Speed. Jolly nature is mainly to cut past Choice Scarf Darkrai and Shaymin-S after a Rock Polish. Max Attack and Speed are required for maximum offensive prowess.

Other Options

As mentioned, Stone Edge can be used to take care of Flying-types and prevent it from being stopped by Air Balloon Heatran. Dragon Tail can be used over Roar on the defensive set so that it can phaze out Taunt users (and Soundproof users, but they do not thrive in Ubers) and deal extra damage; however, Fairy-types like Xerneas cannot be forced out in this manner. Thunder Wave is an option in case Speed control is necessary, and then there’s Toxic for wearing down things that cannot be burned by Lava Plume. Substitute can be used on an offensive set as a one-time stop to priority users like Extreme Killer Arceus and Mega Kangaskhan, although that’s really the extent of it.

Sample Teams

http://pastebin.com/8rM67Nqg – team 1; contains defensive Primal Groudon

http://pastebin.com/LjUdcXwJ – team 2; contains offensive Primal Groudon

Both teams have been tested only once, and I can only conclude that the Uber tier is littered with players who have less of an idea what they’re doing than me, and that’s saying something.

Team 1 contains:

  • Primal Groudon (set 1 above)
  • Palkia as a switch-in to Primal Kyogre
  • Greninja for hazards and Taunting
  • Xerneas as a Fairy wall, Sleep absorber, and cleric
  • Mega Salamence for hazard control and a Ground immunity
  • Scarf Zekrom for Lugia, Ho-Oh, Kyogre, and strong offense in general

Team 2 contains:

  • Primal Groudon (set 2 above)
  • Deoxys-Speed for lead purposes
  • Zekrom for the same purpose as in team 1
  • Diancie for Magic Bounce
  • Dialga for backup Stealth Rock
  • Klefki for Prankster T-wave and Spikes
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