Welcome to the twenty-sixth issue of 6th Generation's Pokemon of the Week! This is going to be the first two-part special we've ever had, because this week we're covering a Pokemon whose two forms are both used in OU, and both so different that they're worth their own issues. For the next two weeks we'll be discussing Landorus.
From the forces of lightning and wind, Landorus creates energy to give nutrients to the soil to make the land abundant. Lands that have been visited by Landorus grant such beautiful crops that Landorus has been hailed "The Guardian of the Fields".
Base Stats: 89 HP / 125 Attack / 90 Defense / 115 Sp. Attack / 80 Sp. Defense / 101 Speed
While Landorus may bring bountiful harvests for the people of Unova, his presence on the battlefield is one of destruction. Taking a look at the base stats, one might think "physical sweeper" or maybe "mixed sweeper", but Landorus-I's Hidden Ability, Sheer Force boosts nearly all of the special attacks it has at its disposal, while doing nothing for most of his physical attacks. Additionally, with the weather nerf this generation, Sand Force's uses have been limited, and if you need this specific role, Mega Garchomp generally does it better. As a result, Landorus's role in OU has shifted to that of a special sweeper, and a deadly one at that. With 101 base Speed, Landorus is able to outspeed the many common base 100's in the OU tier and with Sheer Force and Life Orb (which doesn't cause recoil when you use moves boosted by Sheer Force and have you have Sheer Force). Overall, Landorus-I is one of the most threatening Pokemon in OU and you absolutely must be prepared for it if you don't want it to wreck your team.
|Landorus@ Life Orb|
Naive nature (+Speed, -Sp. Defense) / Timid nature (+Speed, -Attack)
EVs: 252 Sp. Attack / 252 Speed / 4 Defense
Knock Off / Sludge Wave / Hidden Power Ice / Calm Mind / Stealth Rock
Landorus-I has everything it needs to threaten the vast majority of OU with this set. Earth Power provides a very powerful STAB attack, while Psychic allows you to severely damage Mega Venusaur, Keldeo and Conkeldurr. Focus Blast ensures you're not walled by Skarmory, as well as allowing you to bypass Air Balloon Heatran and Excadrill.
The last slot is a bit of a decision. Knock Off allows you to deal heavy damage to Latios and Latias switch-ins while removing their item, potentially crippling them for the rest of the match, while the rest of your moves do little-to-nothing to them. Sludge Wave has fantastic neutral coverage and does the most reliable damage to things that take neutral from all your attacks. Hidden Power Ice allows Landorus to deal with opposing Landorus and Landorus-Therian, as well as Gliscor and Flying Dragons.
Calm Mind can turn this Landorus from a powerful hit-and-run brute force into a potent setup sweeper for mid to late-game. Stealth Rock, on the other hand, provides team support, taking advantage of the many switches Landorus-I forces to begin punishing those switches with residual damage.
|Landorus@ Life Orb|
Naive nature (+Speed, -Sp. Defense)
EVs: 252 Attack / 252 Speed / 4 Sp. Attack
Hidden Power Ice
I'm going to preface this by saying that there is very little reason you should even be considering this set. The previous set is better, it just is. The only merits this set has are very niche and arguably moot. Even so, if you're running a sand team and need a fast, powerful abuser of Sand Force, this is what you're looking for. Earthquake gets STAB, running off an impressive 125 Attack and boosted by Sand Force. Stone Edge completes the EdgeQuake combo, scoring nearly perfect neutral coverage, and Stone Edge is also boosted by Sand Force. U-Turn allows Landorus to scout, and can catch opponents off-guard, allowing you to deal with whatever their counter is for the usual Sheer Force Landorus. Finally, Hidden Power Ice deals with Gliscor, and oppposing Landorus and Landorus-Therian.
Sand support is crucial for this to even be worth your time using this set. Tyranitar and/or Hippowdon are essential partners. Also be sure to compare to Mega Garchomp for a team slot, since it's significantly more powerful in Sand, and has a secondary STAB that has serious use in competitive OU.
Obtaining Landorus in-game requires PokeTransfer from B/W. I'm honestly unsure why you'd want to use Landorus in-game, since it's caught at level 70. If you really want to, here's what I'd suggest:
Swords Dance / Smack Down
With Earthquake and Rock Slide, you've pretty much got everything you need in-game. U-Turn allows you to switch while causing damage. Finally, Swords Dance doubles your Attack to let you plow through all of the competition, while Smack Down can hit the odd Skarmory or Bronzong to allow you to remove them with Earthquake.
Landorus-I is kind of lazily designed, being the third nearly identical genie. It's not bad, but it's nothing special. His Pokedex 3D Pro model and animation are impressive, but he's nothing I'd consider special. Thank goodness the Therian forms came about to make the genies unique and interesting. Can't wait to discuss that one next week!
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