Garchomp

Sand Veil
Evasion increases by 25% in a sandstorm.
Rough Skin
Deals 1/8 damage when the opponent makes contact.
Type Tier
Dragon / Ground OU
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
108
- 27 30 -
Atk
130
17 19 22 24
Def
95
14 16 19 20
SpA
80
12 14 17 18
SpD
85
13 15 18 19
Spe
102
14 16 19 20

Overview

With the banning of Sand Veil under a revised Evasion Clause, the renowned Mach Pokémon returns to rampage in OU. His nearly-unresisted STAB coverage and excellent Attack and Speed stats provides him with an always-terrifying offensive presence, and with bulk practically unheard of on a Pokemon as powerful as Garchomp, stopping him in the middle of a sweep is no small feat. Garchomp's Ground typing is even more of a blessing, providing immunity to Electric attacks and a resistance to Stealth Rock, giving him switch-in opportunities his Flying brothers would rage for. Garchomp's versatility is not to be underestimated either. His fantastic base 108 HP and 95/85 defenses gives him better all-around bulk than Swampert! Garchomp was given every tool he needs to succeed as a defensive pivot and harasser in the tail end of the generation: BW2's Move Tutors gave him access to Stealth Rock, Rough Skin punishes physical attackers, and Dragon Tail uses his excellent Attack and bulk in combination.

As incredible as we've painted Garchomp to be, and he most certainly is incredible, he has his fair share of shortcomings. The most obvious is the absence of Sand Veil and the free turns it provides. Despite his unique Speed stat, the only base 102 Pokemon in the game, it's just not as fast as it once was, especially with Keldeo, Terrakion, and the twin Eon Pokemon running amok. Finally, his Ground typing removes his resistances to Water- and Grass-type attacks, which are always dangers in the weather-torn OU metagame, as well as compounding Dragon's fatal Ice weakness.

Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Band

Choice Band Rough Skin Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Outrage
~ Earthquake
~ Fire Fang / Aqua Tail
~ Dragon Claw / Dual Chop
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

What to do when you lack the time or the inclination to set up Garchomp? Slap a Choice Band on him and you're set. With an instant Attack boost, Garchomp's power reaches catastrophic levels. Outrage OHKOes or 2HKOes the entire OU metagame bar Steel-types—which is where Earthquake comes in. Although Earthquake is a risky pick for any Choice item user, Garchomp makes it work, using it as needed coverage and a powerful STAB. Fire Fang lets Garchomp break through Pokemon, such as Ferrothorn and Forretress, that laugh at Outrage and take neutral damage from Earthquake and is therefore the preferred move outside of rain.

In rain, on the other hand, Aqua Tail gets a significant boost, gaining the power to hit most Steel-types—including Skarmory and Bronzong—harder and to 2HKO Gliscor. In the last slot, a secondary Dragon-type move is recommended to avoid being locked into Outrage when possible. While Dragon Claw is the more secure pick, Dual Chop lets Garchomp get past Substitute users, such as Dragonite, Tentacruel and Breloom.

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

Stealth Rock

Life Orb / Focus Sash Rough Skin Naive / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Stealth Rock
~ Outrage / Dragon Claw
~ Earthquake
~ Fire Blast / Swords Dance
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Garchomp is no one-dimensional hard-hitter; he can also securely set up Stealth Rock for the team, handling most spinners between his dual STABs and Fire Blast. The latter OHKOes Forretress with Life Orb, 2HKOes specially defensive Skarmory, and decimates Ferrothorn and Scizor. Swords Dance also works in the last slot to give Garchomp a secondary role as a setup sweeper. Focus Sash can be used to make Garchomp a fantastic lead, as he is one of the fastest Stealth Rock users in the tier. If Terrakion hits Garchomp, Rough Skin will break its Focus Sash, resulting in an easy OHKO with Earthquake. Rapid Spin users, such as bulky Starmie, Forretress, and Tentacruel, are almost no problem for this set, as most of them are KOed easily, allowing Stealth Rock to be kept up on the field. This reduces the need for a spinblocker on the team.

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

Swords Dance

Yache Berry / Haban Berry Rough Skin Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ Outrage / Dragon Claw
~ Earthquake
~ Fire Fang
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Garchomp can use Swords Dance rather easily thanks to his good number of resistances. Just bring him in on moves he resists, such as Volt Switch and Flamethrower, or that don't have STAB, set up Swords Dance, and start sweeping. Dual STAB is pretty much all he needs, as with a +2 boost under his belt, everything is overrun by Outrage, including physically defensive Hippowdon and Intimidate Landorus-T. Fire Fang is needed to deal with Skarmory, Ferrothorn, and Forretress—Scizor is OHKOed by +2 Earthquake after Stealth Rock. Fire Fang does more damage than Fire Blast after a boost, making it the heavily preferred option.

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

Substitute + Swords Dance

Leftovers / Salac Berry Rough Skin Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Substitute
~ Swords Dance
~ Outrage / Dragon Claw
~ Earthquake
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Garchomp doesn't hide; Garchomp tactically retreats behind a Substitute. This allows him to set up more easily or attack, depending on the situation. In order to late-game sweep, you must either remove all the opponent's Outrage sponges or leave them with only one faster Pokemon. With only his STAB moves, Garchomp loses some coverage, but he gets significantly more power in return. A neutral Earthquake is often enough to let him power through most Steel-types, including Scizor, Ferrothorn and Forretress, all of which are easily 2HKOed at +2.

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

Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf Rough Skin Jolly / Naive
Moveset EVs
~ Outrage
~ Earthquake
~ Stone Edge / Aqua Tail / Fire Blast
~ Dual Chop / Dragon Claw
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Choice Scarf Garchomp noticeably lacks the immediate wallbreaking power of his other sets, but is one of the fastest Pokemon in the game, outspeeding almost everything aside from Choice Scarf Latios, Choice Scarf Terrakion, and Chlorophyll sweepers such as Venusaur, and is hence an effective revenge killer. Outrage is his main move once certain threats are removed. STAB Earthquake hits most Steel-types hard, while he can pick between Stone Edge, Aqua Tail, and Fire Blast for coverage. Stone Edge allows Garchomp to revenge kill the likes of Volcarona and Thundurus-T without locking himself into Outrage, while Fire Blast 2HKOes Skarmory, something Fire Fang does not accomplish. Aqua Tail should only really be used on rain teams, however, where it hits Skarmory and Bronzong as hard as possible. With near-perfect coverage, Garchomp can viably run many moves in the last slot. Dual Chop has the same power as Dragon Claw, but has the added benefit of breaking Substitutes. However, Dragon Claw is still an option due to Dual Chop's lower accuracy.

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

Support

Leftovers Rough Skin Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Stealth Rock
~ Dragon Claw / Dragon Tail
~ Earthquake
~ Fire Blast / Aqua Tail / Protect
252 HP / 196 Def / 60 Spe

Garchomp has great natural bulk and thus can work in a more support-oriented way. Stealth Rock is once again Garchomp's main aim. In contrast to his other sets, this one forgoes Outrage completely, as support Garchomp lacks the strength to take advantage of it, instead using Dragon Claw or Dragon Tail as they have the same neutral coverage, the former having more power while the latter can be used to phaze opposing Pokemon, racking up residual damage. The combination of Earthquake and Fire Blast destroys all Steel-types, but Aqua Tail can be used in rain to damage Gliscor and Landorus-T. Alternatively, Protect lets Garchomp scout for super effective moves and aids prediction against Choice item users.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Dragon Tail can replace Dragon Claw on any set where the latter is secondary STAB. Bulldoze receives STAB and allows Garchomp to slow down faster Pokemon and Choice Scarf users on the switch, potentially letting him fire off another attack. Garchomp can also learn Rock Slide, but it's weak and is inferior to Stone Edge.

A classic ChainChomp set with Draco Meteor and Fire Blast might catch the opponent by surprise, as people usually expect Garchomp to be physically offensive. It lacks general power in comparison to Outrage and Fire Fang due both to Garchomp's higher Attack stat and his ability to boost it but does a decent job on more physically defensively oriented Pokemon and doesn't mind being burned as much. Mixed variants should use a Naive nature to keep Garchomp's good physical bulk for taking common priority moves. A passive damage stacker set with Protect, Toxic, and a Rocky Helmet can be used on sandstorm teams. RestTalk can surprise many opponents; with Garchomp's natural bulk and newfound ability to get rid of status, he can increase his staying power to some extent.

Checks and Counters

Skarmory and Bronzong are the only Pokemon that ever happen to be seen in OU that resist both of Garchomp's STAB moves. Both are also good physical walls, making Fire-type coverage almost mandatory. Opposing Dragon-types will also trouble Garchomp. Latios and Latias can easily OHKO Garchomp with Draco Meteor, and may use a Choice Scarf of their own to outspeed Choice Scarf Garchomp. Choice Scarf Kyurem-B is faster than any non-Choice Scarf Garchomp, and Kyurem-B's Outrage will definitely hurt a lot, so team support is needed to take care of him. Choice Scarf Salamence outspeeds and OHKOes non-Choice Scarf Garchomp, assuming Garchomp lacks Haban Berry, and can potentially use Garchomp to start a Moxie sweep. Heatran, Jirachi, Forretress, Ferrothorn and Scizor can take Outrage to some degree and counter back with powerful attacks or status ailments.

Landorus-T is capable of switching into Garchomp's Earthquake, and can neuter his Attack with Intimidate. Defensive Gliscor is able to switch into Garchomp's Choice-locked Earthquake thanks to its immunity, forcing him to switch. Mamoswine is also one of Garchomp's worst problems, OHKOing any non-Yache Berry variant with Ice Shard. Weavile works similarly, but can get past Yache Berry variants of Garchomp with Ice Punch. Garchomp has only two weaknesses, but while they are low in quantity, they are high in quality: Garchomp will be OHKOed by almost any Outrage, Draco Meteor, Ice Beam, or Blizzard and even several Hidden Power Ices. Finally, priority from the likes of Breloom, Scizor, and Lucario can pick off a weakened Garchomp, even if he has a Choice Scarf or a Salac Berry boost.