PKMN.NET :: Pokemon of the Week #10 - Tyrantrum :: #10 of Pokémon of the Week - Generation 6 :: Columns
Pokemon of the Week #10 - Tyrantrum by Richard and Blaziken at Sun 09 Mar 2014 05:00:00 UTC

Welcome to the tenth issue of 6th Generation Pokemon of the Week! This week we'll be focusing one of the two fossil Pokemon introduced this generation. This week we discuss Tyrantrum.

Pokemon Overview

Tyrunt is very temperamental - if something happens that it doesn't like, it throws a tantrum and becomes impossible to control. Its jaws are strong enough to chew up an automobile. It is believed to have existed around 100 million years ago. It is around this time that Tyrantrum was a nearly unchallenged king of Pokemon, able to rip through thick plates of steel with its incredible jaws.

Competitive Corner

Base Stats: 82 HP / 121 Attack / 119 Defense / 69 Sp. Attack / 59 Sp. Defense / 71 Speed

Damn it, Game Freak. You finally give us a real dinosaur and you give it the troll base Speed of 71? Tyrantrum has an impressive base 121 Attack stat alongside an equally impressive 119 Defense, and a decent base 82 HP, but that terrible Speed is holding it back from achieving all that it really wants to. Still, Tyrantrum is lucky enough to have a few ways to remedy this: Dragon Dance, Rock Polish, and the ever trusty Choice Scarf, if one so desires. Each has their individual merits.

The real thing holding Tyrantrum back at the moment is that his Hidden Ability, Rock Head has not been released yet. Upon release, Tyrantrum will be free to launch Head Smashes at will without any recoil damage, which will make for an incredibly fearsome sweeper, revenge-killer, or wall-breaker, depending on how he's used. That's not to say that his current ability is bad, and in fact, it gives Rock Head a run for its money in determining the better ability. Strong Jaw gives a 50% boost to all biting moves, and Tyrantrum has access to all of them except Hyper Fang. Such moves as Fire Fang, Crunch, Thunder Fang, Ice Fang, and even Poison Fang all benefit from this, and all of them have some merit. Furthermore, Tyrantrum's terrible base 59 Sp. Defense means that it might not be sticking around long anyway, so Head Smash's recoil may not be consequential enough to make Rock Head a necessity. When a choice is made available, consider both options and decide based on what you feel to be more important.

All of this said, Tyrantrum has seen sparse use in the current metagame. The low base Speed is too big a factor to be overlooked in many cases, and weakness to many common priority moves, such as Bullet Punch, Mach Punch, Ice Shard and Vacuum Wave all hinder its sweeping capabilities as well. Tyrantrum seems mostly outclassed by Pokemon like Haxorus and Salamence in nearly anything it can do. Still, it has some redeeming factors that neither of them have; Haxorus has a shallow movepool in comparison to Tyrantrum, and Salamence has a nasty weakness to Stealth Rock. Both of them lack a good secondary STAB as well, which puts Tyrantrum in a somewhat unique niche. Still, consider whether this is enough to justify his use in OU before choosing him for your team.

Welcome To Jurassic Park
Tyrantrum@ Choice Scarf
Strong Jaw / Rock Head
Adamant nature (+Attack, -Sp. Attack) / Jolly nature (+Speed, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 Attack / 252 Speed / 4 HP
Dragon Claw / Outrage
Head Smash / Stone Edge
Fire Fang
Earthquake / Crunch / Thunder Fang

I'm going to note here that every set will have Strong Jaw as the first option listed simply because Rock Head isn't available yet. Anyway, giving Tyrantrum a Choice Scarf is the best way to make use of him in the OU tier, remedying his poor Speed and allowing him to serve as an excellent and terrifying revenge-killer. The choice between Dragon Claw and Outrage is no longer just one of convenience vs. power - any Fairy type that switches into Tyrantrum while it's Outraging is given a free turn, which can be incredibly dangerous when considering Nasty Plot Togekiss, Mega Mawile and possibly most of all, Belly Drum Azumarill, which all get a free turn to setup a boost as Tyrantrum uselessly Outrages (assuming you killed something with it the turn before) and are then given another free turn as you're forced out. You really do not want to give Mawile 2 free Swords Dances, so Dragon Claw is probably your best bet in this case.

Head Smash is the much better option for your secondary STAB if you have, and I want to make it clear that it's not only an option for a Tyrantrum with Rock Head. The recoil will deal back massive recoil to those with Strong Jaw, but it is also Tyrantrum's single most powerful move, and there are few Pokemon in OU that can actually switch into Head Smash and then proceed to take another one without immediately dropping. Stone Edge is an option, however, for those with Strong Jaw that dislike recoil, but the drop in power is significant. Fire Fang is chosen as your means to deal with Ferrothorn and Forretress, who otherwise care very little about your attacks, especially as the former resists both STABs.

The final slot's most useful move is probably Earthquake, and it's used almost exclusively for hitting Aegislash if needed, as well as Tyrantrum's first three moves covering nearly everything it needs to cover. Crunch hits a bit harder, due to Strong Jaw, but suffers from being susceptible to Aegislash's King's Shield. It does gain some coverage, though, and can help with Ghosts, particularly if you're not using Head Smash as your Rock STAB. Thunder Fang can be used with Strong Jaw if you want to deal some extra damage to bulky Water types, but it's still a bit underwhelming, and Rock Head Head Smash does more to almost anything that doesn't resist Rock (Then again, Water/Ground is immune to Electric, so you're not gaining much).

The Ancient King
Tyrantrum@ Life Orb
Strong Jaw / Rock Head
Adamant nature (+Attack, -Sp. Attack) / Jolly nature (+Speed, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 Attack / 252 Speed / 6 HP
Dragon Dance
Head Smash / Stone Edge
Dragon Claw
Fire Fang / Earthquake

Dragon Dance Tyrantrum is one of the most terrifying Pokemon you can face down, and it's really not hard to see why. After a single boost, Tyrantrum reaches frightening levels of power. To show what I mean, standard 252/184+ Gliscor is OHKO'd by Head Smash after one boost, factoring Stealth Rock. One of the most defensive Pokemon in the metagame is immediately dropped after just one boost. Head Smash is the move of choice here, capable of wiping most non-resistant opponents clear off the field. Stone Edge may be chosen, however, if you have Strong Jaw and dislike recoil, but there is a noticeable drop in power, and your sweep may easily be ended if you fall just short of KO'ing an opposing Pokemon. Finally, Fire Fang is chosen to deal with Steel types, which most commonly in OU, have a neutrality or immunity to Earthquake, with some even being 4x weak to Fire, such as Ferrothorn. A note to make here is that Choice Band Scizor's Bullet Punch will OHKO a full HP Tyrantrum around 50% of the time, so make sure to clear it out first. Magnezone may serve as a good partner for trapping and removing Scizor, though you might need to compensate for the shared Ground weakness between the two. Earthquake is a better option for hurting Aegislash and Heatran (who falls to Head Smash anyway, but this could be useful for those with Strong Jaw), so consider your options.

Entry hazard support is much appreciated, specifically Stealth Rock and Sticky Web if possible, as this will help ensure that opposing Scarfers don't stop Tyrantrum's sweep, while punishing things like Scarf Salamence by chipping a quarter of its health if it tries to put a stop to your sweep. Stealth Rock is the most necessary of the two, however, as it helps ensure KOs that would just barely be missed without it.

I want to mention here that Rock Polish can be used in place of Dragon Dance for a much faster approach, but at the cost of some power, but I didn't feel that it deserved writing up the same set with only that move replaced. Rock Polish will allow a Jolly Tyrantrum to outspeed base 100 positive nature Scarfers, such as Salamence, and continue on its sweep unhindered. It does come at a cost of power, however, and it is for this reason that you attempt to keep Stealth Rock and at least one layer of Spikes on the field when attempting to use this kind of Tyrantrum.

Power Of This Level Should Be Band
Tyrantrum@ Choice Band
Strong Jaw / Rock Head
Adamant nature (+Attack, -Sp. Attack) / Jolly nature (+Speed, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 Attack / 252 Speed / 4 HP
Head Smash / Stone Edge
Dragon Claw / Outrage
Fire Fang / Earthquake
Earthquake / Ice Fang

Slapping a Choice Band onto something this terrifyingly might seem like overkill, but any opponent that switches out of Tyrantrum to a "counter" will be met with a devastatingly powerful blow without the need for using a turn to boost. Tyrantrum's STAB of choice is Head Smash, delivering a move capable of dealing massive damage to Pokemon that could ordinarily switch in with relative comfort to any of the previous sets. As an example, Head Smash deals 54.9 - 64.6% to 252/0 Landorus-Therian after factoring Landorus's Intimidate, which makes it even bulkier than Gliscor. Landorus will have a difficult time staying alive if it has to repeatedly switch into that throughout the match, and in fact, will not be able to manage it twice if you keep Stealth Rock on the field, provided it's not allowed to heal via Wish or a few turns ofLeftovers shenanigans. Stone Edge, again, can be used if you've got Strong Jaw and dislike recoil, but the drop in power is disappointing and almost not worth it when trying to weaken Tyrantrum's counters. Dragon Claw is your best bet for a reliable Dragon STAB, for the reasons listed in the Scarf set, but the wall-breaking potential of Outrage can't be overlooked completely, especially late-game when Fairys and Steel types have been removed.

Fire Fang is your best way to deal with common Steel types, but Earthquake has more power for any Steel type not neutral or immune to it. You could use both to hit different Steel type targets, or use Ice Fang in the last slot to deal out huge damage to Gliscor and Landorus-Therian, OHKOing most variants of both Pokemon, assuming Strong Jaw.

Sticky Web support is almost mandatory for this set, as Tyrantrum's Speed constantly lets it down. Stealth Rock is also mandatory, helping to ensure OHKOs that it would otherwise miss, and just dealing out more damage and pressure onto an opponent in general. Spikes aren't a necessity, but certainly make life easier, especially when predicting switches.

In-Game Information

Jaw Fossil can be obtained in both X and Y version after rescuing the (oblivious) scientist from Team Flare in Glittering Cave. It is offered as a choice, alongside Sail Fossil. I'm gonna level with you and say that if you picked Sail Fossil, you got the short end of the stick. After being revived Tyrunt gives you access to a Pokemon with two amazing types and one of the bigest payoffs if raised in X/Y. Tyrunt evolves into Tyrantrum at level 39 during the day time. Here's what I'd recommend using:


Rock Slide
Dragon Claw
Crunch / Poison Fang

Tyrantrum is a pretty straightforward Pokemon: click the strongest attack and win. Rock Slide and Dragon Claw are your most reliable STABs, and they'll get you through the game pretty well, providing very good coverage. Earthquake is almost always a good choice for a physical attacker, and Tyrantrum even learns it via level. This allows you to cover Steel types very well.

The last slot goes to Crunch, taking moderate advantage of the Strong Jaw ability, though its use is fairly limited. If you're willing to breed, however, Poison Fang will assuredly help against the army of Fairy types thrown at you during the plot of X and Y. Seviper passes Poison Fang along to Tyrunt through breeding, if you want to go that route.

My Thoughts

I honestly had only mild interest in Tyrantrum upon it first being revealed, but they give the fossils to you so early on in X/Y, and I didn't have much else going for my team at that point, so I tried it out. Tyrunt quickly became a top member of the team, and Tyrantrum destroyed so many Pokemon it's ridiculous. Not only does he have a cool design, but he's got two wonderful types and a massive Attack stat to abuse his excellent movepool. Honestly, I think this is my favorite of the new Pokemon this generation. If you haven't raised a Tyrunt, just... go, go do it right now. Or... wait until Rock Head becomes available. But who knows when that might be. Just go do it now. I'll know if you don't.

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