Haxorus

Rivalry
Move power depends on gender of the opponent.
Mold Breaker
Abilities that hinder attacks are nullified.
Unnerve
Prevents the foe from consuming its held Berry item.
Type Tier
Dragon OU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
76
- 293 356 -
Atk
147
297 330 393 432
Def
90
194 216 279 306
SpA
60
140 156 219 240
SpD
70
158 176 239 262
Spe
97
207 230 293 322

Overview

Haxorus's name isn't the only cool thing about him. Sporting a massive base 147 Attack, Haxorus has the ability to OHKO or 2HKO nearly everything in the game, even without entry hazard support. In addition, access to amazing moves such as Dragon Dance, Swords Dance, Outrage, and several great coverage moves including Superpower and Aqua Tail, make him both devastating and unpredictable. Unfortunately, he has meager defenses and a disappointing Speed stat which can sometimes cause him to be brushed aside in favor of his Dragon-type brethren, namely Garchomp, Salamence, Dragonite, and Kyurem-B. Haxorus faces considerable competition from Kyurem-B in particular, as both Pokemon are strikingly similar; possessing overkill Attack stats and similar Speed stats, but Kyurem-B possesses far greater durability and a great Special Attack stat. Despite these shortcomings, Haxorus's sheer power and incredible offensive coverage often merits him a spot on a team, as very little can safely switch into this behemoth.

Name Item Ability Nature

Swords Dance

Fighting Gem / Life Orb / Lum Berry Mold Breaker Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ Outrage
~ Superpower / Low Kick
~ Substitute / Aqua Tail / Earthquake
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

In a metagame filled with increasingly powerful physical threats, Swords Dance Haxorus still represents the absolute gold standard for one-turn power in OU. Haxorus is flat out uncounterable at +2—to put things in perspective, even Skarmory can't stop Haxorus once he gets going. When the opportunity presents itself, set up Swords Dance on something he can force out, usually by bluffing a Choice Band set. +2 Outrage will devastate anything that's unlucky enough to switch in; everything in OU (barring Skarmory and Forretress) is flat out 2HKOed by +2 Outrage at worst. Prominent physical walls such as Slowbro, Hippowdon, and Tangrowth all face potential OHKOes from +2 Outrage with a bit of prior damage (or none if Life Orb is used). Superpower might seem counterproductive on a boosting set, but its high Base Power is needed in order to defeat any Skarmory or Forretress that might switch in. Fighting Gem temporarily gives Haxorus Fighting STAB on Superpower, which lets him overcome the Steel-types that aren't fazed by Outrage or Earthquake, such as Skarmory, Ferrothorn, Forretress. Substitute offers Haxorus protection against status and also grants him (a few) setup opportunities. It also provides Haxorus utility against faster paced offensive teams, since he isn't going to get very far with just Swords Dance. As those teams are less likely to use pure defensive Pokemon, he doesn't even need the power boost from Swords Dance and can do some damage with just Substitute.

Aqua Tail gets an exceptional power boost in the rain, and is a staple for Haxorus on rain teams. Fighting Gem Superpower becomes completely superfluous alongside Aqua Tail, as Skarmory and Forretress are effortlessly 2HKOed by +2 Life Orb Aqua Tail in the rain and some other Steel-types such as Jirachi or Scizor are actually OHKOed. Low Kick makes for a great alternative to Superpower, as it's capable of dealing with most of the Steel-types that trouble Haxorus, and Aqua Tail can still cover Steel-types that take negligible damage from Low Kick. Earthquake nets a little bit more coverage, and is more potent against Steel-types such as Jirachi, Metagross, and Bronzong. It's also useful in situations where the Fighting Gem doesn't need to be used, and benefits significantly from Mold Breaker.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Band

Choice Band Mold Breaker Adamant / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Outrage
~ Superpower
~ Earthquake
~ Aqua Tail / Dragon Claw
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Haxorus and Choice Band go together like peanut butter and jelly, as it boosts Haxorus's already amazing Attack to an absurd 648. There are very few Pokemon that can claim to counter Choice Band Haxorus, as virtually everything gets at best 2HKOed by an appropriate attack. Even the bulkiest physical walls, including Hippowdon, Slowbro, and Tangrowth, will be unable to keep up with Haxorus's onslaught, and because many Steel-types are 2HKOed by him as well, Haxorus is as close to "uncounterable" as they come.

Even though Choice Band Outrage is incredibly powerful, Haxorus's coverage moves should be used to weaken his checks before really cutting loose with Outrage. One of the strongest physical Fighting-type moves, Superpower, has been made available to Haxorus, and with it comes the ability to utterly destroy most Steel-type switch-ins. For example, Ferrothorn, a Pokemon that was once a good check to Choice Band Haxorus, is now hard-pressed to switch into Haxorus, as Superpower will easily OHKO with a bit of prior damage. Superpower is actually as strong as a STAB Dragon Claw, so it's a good idea to use it in situations where Haxorus needs to do damage without being locked in. Earthquake is a bit weaker than Superpower, but complements Outrage well by nailing grounded Steel-types, and thanks to Mold Breaker, Levitate users such as Bronzong, Gengar, and Rotom-W must think twice about switching in. Aqua Tail is used solely to deal heavy damage to Skarmory, Forretress, Landorus-T, and Gliscor, all of which face being 2HKOed from switching into a rain-boosted Aqua Tail. It should go without saying, however, that Aqua Tail demands the use of Politoed as a partner to function and is practically useless without the boost from rain. Dragon Claw exists as a weaker alternative to Outrage; it may not kill everything, but it's still a damaging move option that doesn't lock Haxorus in.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Double Dance

Lum Berry / Draco Plate Adamant / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Dragon Dance
~ Swords Dance
~ Outrage
~ Low Kick / Earthquake
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

While it should be fairly obvious that Haxorus makes great use of either Dragon Dance or Swords Dance, each set is somewhat ineffective against specific types of teams, which limits Haxorus's utility if certain threats haven't been eliminated. By using both moves on the same set, however, Haxorus gains the ability to set up flexibly and destroy almost any team after the appropriate boost. For instance, using Swords Dance enables Haxorus to break through walls and bulky attackers on slower defensive teams, while Dragon Dance is reserved for offensive teams with faster Pokemon. If possible, Haxorus should find opportunities to use both boosting moves to become faster and even stronger, though his sweep might be at risk if he attempts to boost again. After either dance, practically every Pokemon in OU is 2HKOed, if not instantly vaporized, by any combination of Outrage, Low Kick, or Earthquake (except for Skarmory).

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Dragon Dance

Lum Berry / Yache Berry Adamant / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Dragon Dance
~ Outrage
~ Earthquake
~ Low Kick / Taunt
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Haxorus is by no means slow, but his awkward base 97 Speed means he'll always be outpaced by common Pokemon such as Garchomp, Latios, Terrakion, and Keldeo. As such, Haxorus can make great use of Dragon Dance to boost his already sky-high Attack along with his mediocre Speed in order to outpace and KO faster threats that he would otherwise lose to. Although finding an opportunity to set up may be difficult for a fragile Pokemon such as Haxorus, and other Dragon Dance users are generally better, the benefits to setting up with Haxorus can be quite substantial, as the combination of speed and power make Haxorus incredibly hard to stop. After a single Dragon Dance, Haxorus reaches a terrifying 648 Attack and 427 Speed, enough to outpace every common Pokemon without a Choice Scarf. With a Dragon Dance under his belt, Outrage will 2HKO virtually everything in the game. Earthquake will nail all other Steel-types besides Skarmory—even Bronzong isn't safe thanks to Mold Breaker. Low Kick provides Haxorus with additional coverage against Ferrothorn, which doesn't take that much damage from +1 Earthquake, and Air Balloon Heatran. Taunt, on the other hand, can prevent some untimely phazing, or prevent status users from completely crippling Haxorus. Lum Berry is a great item that allows Haxorus to avoid being hit by statusor to immediately snap out of confusion after using Outrage. Yache Berry is handy for weakening Ice-type moves and preventing Haxorus from being picked off by Ice Shard users.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Choice Scarf was once a staple on Haxorus, but has been made largely unnecessary with the introduction of Kyurem-B. It still takes neutral damage from Stealth Rock, and it isn't weak to common priority moves, so if a strong and fast physical Dragon-type is needed, feel free to use it. Haban Berry might seem attractive on paper, but it's rather underwhelming in practice as Haxorus is still usually OHKOed by most Dragon-type moves. As mentioned earlier, Rivalry Haxorus is a significant gamble, but one with a huge payoff. If an Attack boost is achieved, Haxorus is capable of potentially 2HKOing Pokemon it wouldn't dream of 2HKOing with Choice Band-boosted Outrage, such as Skarmory and Ferrothorn after Stealth Rock. The inverse is also true, and Haxorus loses out on many potential OHKOs if Rivalry is used. Since genders are randomized, the odds of achieving an Attack boost are 50% at best (keep in mind that some players selectively choose their genders for each Pokemon), so it isn't a very good ability to use in a serious match. Unnerve is completely worthless on Haxorus, since he doesn't face Pokemon that typically use resist Berries. Haxorus's movepool is fairly limited, and most viable options have already been covered. Dragon Tail is a decent option on the Choice Band set, but its negative priority coupled with Haxorus's poor defenses makes it a relatively risky choice. Roar can be used on the Choice Band set to disrupt Baton Pass teams that utilize Espeon. Other than that, there aren't many other useful moves for Haxorus to take advantage of.

Checks and Counters

The list of Pokemon that can switch into Haxorus safely is unfortunately (or fortunately!) quite sparse due to his ridiculous Attack and powerful STAB. Skarmory is as close to a counter as they come, as it can come in on most Outrages and Roost off the damage. Skarmory should watch out for the Swords Dance set however, as it risks getting OHKOed by +2 Fighting Gem Superpower after a bit of prior damage or 2HKOed by +2 Aqua Tail in the rain. Other Steel-types such as Scizor, Ferrothorn, Jirachi, and Forretress are also fine choices to take Haxorus's Outrages, although they all lack Skarmory's combination of stellar Defense and reliable recovery and can be picked off by Haxorus's coverage moves. Revenge killing Haxorus with a faster Pokemon is often the safest way to take him out. There are numerous fast and strong Pokemon such as Latios, Garchomp, Salamence, and Terrakion that can reliably revenge kill Haxorus assuming they avoid a super effective attack. Flying-types such as Tornadus can come in unharmed if Haxorus is lured into using Earthquake and OHKO back with an appropriate attack. Strong priority moves such as Bullet Punch, Mach Punch, and Ice Shard can damage Haxorus quite badly as well. Mamoswine and Weavile get special mentions because Haxorus is weak to their STAB priority Ice Shard, while Scizor is another fine choice because it resists Haxorus's STAB Outrage.