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Pokemon of the Week DP: Tyranitar

by Ninjomewtwo

Tyranitar

Sets

DD-Tar

Item Held
Life Orb / Leftovers
Nature
Adamant (+Attack, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP

Straight from Advance, here comes the Dragon Dancer everybody loved. Once their physical Walls are taken down, bring in Tyranitar, Dragon Dance once or twice and proceed to sweep the rest of their team. Crunch and Earthquake are the most reliable moves Tyranitar can get for the Dragon Dance set. The move that makes Tyranitar a nasty Dragon Dancer though is Taunt. It can force opponents like Weezing attack it with their weak moves while gaining its Dragon Dance boosts. Of course, you can drop Taunt if you don’t feel comfortable with it for a third offensive move, Stone Edge being your best option.

As far as the item goes, Life Orb turns some 2HKOs and 3HKOs to OHKOs and 2HKOs respectively while Leftovers will make Tyranitar last longer.

CB-Tar

Item Held
Choice Band
Nature
Adamant (+Attack, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 HP – 6 Speed

Huge Attack, pretty good defensive stats and a nice array of resistances make Tyranitar an excellent choice for a Choice Bander. Crunch, Stone Edge and Earthquake hit almost anything one would like to hit, getting OHKOs on Pokémon like Gengar, Heatran and Azelf. And of course, we’ve got Pursuit. If something fears that STABed Crunch and switches out, it will meet a painful hit by Tyranitar’s Pursuit. Choice Band Tyranitar is certainly a really dangerous Pokémon, however it needs good prediction skills to be used effectively. For example, if your opponent predicts your Earthquake and switches to a Flying-type, you’ll have to switch and since Tyranitar is slow, you’ll have to take two hits to be able to attack again.

Tyraniboah

Item Held
Leftovers
Nature
Quiet (+Special Attack, -Speed)
Effort Points
252 HP – 168 Special Attack – 60 Attack – 28 Speed

One more set coming directly from Advance. Crunch is a better option than the Special Dark Pulse, since Tyranitar’s Speed won’t help Dark Pulse’s flinch effect. Ice Beam covers all those Ground-types that tend to switch in, like Donphan, Hippowdon and Gliscor while Thunderbolt takes care of the bulky Water-types, mainly Gyarados. The Sub-Punching combo is quite good on Tyranitar as it can make 101 HP Substitutes, able to survive a Seismic Toss by Blissey.

Brave nature (+Attack, -Speed) can be used, especially if you go for Crunch. The EPs on the two offensive stats can also be adjusted depending on what you want to hit the most.

Choice Specs Sweeper

Item Held
Choice Specs
Nature
Modest (+Special Attack, -Attack)
Effort Points
252 Special Attack – 184 Speed – 74 HP

Tyranitar’s Special Attack stat is average compared to its Attack, but the type coverage of this set is great, not to mention that it is going to surprise your opponent. Dark Pulse is there for STAB, Flamethrower for taking down Steel-types like Skarmory and Bronzong, Ice Beam for Hippowdon, Gliscor and the dragons and Thunderbolt for those bulky Waters. If you want to avoid being completely shut down by Blissey and Snorlax, Superpower is a good alternative for any attack on the set. If Platinum moves are unavailable, the usual Focus Punch will do.

Mix-Tar

Item Held
Life Orb
Nature
Hasty (+Speed, -Defense)
Effort Points
248 Speed – 144 Special Attack – 118 Attack

Contributing to Blue’s “surprise Pokémon”, here’s the most surprising way one could use Tyranitar, although this set’s gaining quite a fame to be considered a common one. The general idea is to use Dragon Dance, making the opponent expect a powerful physical move like Earthquake. Then, they switch in their Tyranitar counter, let’s say Hippowdon, and you slam them with an Ice Beam or Fire Blast, depending on their physical wall. Consequently, this set is better used late in the game, after the opponent has revealed most of their team. Fire Blast is here for the ever popular Bronzong and Skarmory, as well as Scizor, Metagross, Jirachi and Forretress. Ice Beam takes down the usual bulky Ground-types. Hidden Power Grass is an option for taking down Swampert and Rhyperior more easily, though Ice Beam is the superior choice most of the time.

Of course, the Dragon Dance boost shouldn’t be totally wasted, so a physical move should be included in the moveset. Crunch is the best option, hitting hard stuff like Gengar (which may try to put you to sleep) and Dusknoir (which may try to burn you). Of course, its side-effect of lowering the foe’s Defense is also welcome.

The Effort Points on this set are standard. A Speed stat of 242 (+Speed nature, an IV of 31 and 248 EPs) must be reached so that Pokémon like Timid Starmie, Raikou and Azelf are outrun after a single Dragon Dance. The 144 Special Attack EPs give you a stat of 262, which ensures the 2HKO on Bronzong with Fire Blast. If your IVs aren’t perfect, take some EPs from Attack, but the stats above must be reached.

Other Possible Options

Tyranitar’s movepool is the definition of the word “enormous”. Using Ice Beam on the Choice Band set is an option that allows you to take out Tyranitar’s counters like Gliscor and Hippowdon.

On the Physical side, Tyranitar doesn’t really need any other moves, although it gets anything one may like. Outrage, Aqua Tail, AerialAce, Avalanche and the Elemental Punches are all available to Tyranitar for covering specific threats (like Heracross or Scizor). Although the combination of Stone Edge, Earthquake and Crunch is already quite good, one of these moves could fit in a moveset if you are really afraid of a certain Pokémon.

As far as Special moves go, apart from the ones mentioned above, Tyranitar can get Dragon Pulse, Surf, Focus Blast and most notably, Earth Power. A second special STABed move is available in the form of Ancientpower, however its base power is low.

Other than those, Tyranitar can go for different ways of setting up. Curse, whch works well with Payback and Avalanche is one and Rock Polish is another if you care a lot about Speed. Choice Scarf can be also used since Tyranitar’s Speed is low, making it a good canditate for that role.

Finally, Tyranitar’s vast movepool contains some support moves like Thunder+Wave and Stealth Rock but there are a lot of Pokémon with lower offensive stats able to use them, why waste Tyranitar’s 403 Attack for setting some rocks down?

Counters

The general counters to any physical sweeper are bulky Ground-type and Water-type Pokémon as well as Skarmory and Bronzong. However, Tyranitar is that easy to counter.

While the likes of Donphan, Hippowdon and Gliscor can take the physical hits thrown towards them, they are easily taken down by an Ice Beam. Rhyperior fears Ice Beam less than the others, but repeated Choice Band boosted hits from Earthquake will take it down. Swampert isn’t bad, but it lacks a reliable recovery move.

Bulky Waters are taken immediately out of the list as neutral hits from Stone Edge will stop them. Poliwrath is an exception as it resists both of Tyranitar’s STABed moves and can hit with its STABed Fighting-type moves. Other than Poliwrath, Fighting-types like Machamp and Hariyama can switch in on Tyranitar’s unboosted hits and bring it down. Lucario can switch in on Stone Edge or Crunch, but Earthquake kills it.

Skarmory and Bronzong can do something, depending on Tyranitar’s set. Skarmory can switch in on an Earthquake and Whirlind Tyranitar’s Dragon Dance boosts away, while Bronzong can use them to its advantage, powering up its Gyro Ball. Of course, both of them should watch out for Flamethrower.

Opinion & Notes

Tyranitar is a total beast, getting better after each generation. In Advance, it got Sand Stream, dealing passive damage to anything not immune to it. In D/P, Sandstorm’s side effect of raising the Special Defense of all Rock-type Pokémon by 50%, in addition to Stone Edge and a physical Crunch. And now that Platinum’s here, it adds moves like Superpower and Earth Power to its arsenal. Many claimed that Tyranitar should be considered an Uber, and we have to admit that they’ve got a point. However, Tyranitar remained an OU Pokémon (mainly due to its quad weakness to a common type) and will dominate in its tier forever. Definitely a threat one should watch out for.

Note that Pursuit and Dragon Dance are illegal on the same moveset. Also, note that Superpower, Earth Power, Aqua Tail and the Elemental Punches are available to Tyranitar through Platinum’s move tutors. Fire Punch can also be taught to Tyranitar via Emerald’s Battle Frontier move tutor.

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