- Increases power of Ground-, Rock-, and Steel-type attacks by 30% in a sandstorm.
- Increases power of moves with secondary effects by 30%, but removes the effects.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Thanks to its great offensive stats as well as two excellent ability choices, Landorus can quickly pose a threat to opposing teams. Sand Force turns it into a potent sand sweeper, granting Landorus's physical moves a sizable damage increase. Access to STAB-boosted Earthquake further bolsters Landorus's offenses, providing it with a powerful spread move. Its other ability, On top of that, its base 101 Speed allows it to outpace important Pokemon such as Volcarona and Manaphy. Its decent bulk and good typing helps provide useful resistances and immunities, such as to Ground-, Fighting-, and Electric-type attacks. Sadly however, its typing leaves it weak to other common spread moves such as Blizzard and Surf, and it can struggle against some team types due to this. Landorus can overcome these minor setbacks though, and its offensive prowess, typing, and bulk give more than enough reasons to use it.
When using Sheer Force, Landorus quickly becomes a fearsome special attacker, with its high Speed and Special Attack letting it quickly put holes in the opposing team. Landorus is also the only Pokemon in the tier that can be an effective Ground-type special attacker, so it is a great option to avoid using Earthquake, which can injure your partners. Earth Power is the main STAB move on the set, and is a great option since it gets a boost from Sheer Force and can do good damage to anything it hits neutrally. Hidden Power Flying is a nice option to hit Grass-types such as Breloom and Amoonguss harder than Earth Power would and has good coverage with Earth Power. Psychic is another option, hitting Fighting-types and other Pokemon such as Amoonguss as well as freeing Landorus to use Hidden Power Ice to hit Dragon-types. However while Psychic does have more power than Hidden Power Flying, it is resisted by important Pokemon such as Latios, Cresselia, Scrafty, and Hydreigon. Grass Knot is used to hit bulky Water-types such as Jellicent and Gastrodon for more damage than Earth Power would, which is great because they can easily tank an Earth Power and KO Landorus in return. Hidden Power Ice is an option to hit Grass-types super effectively and also grants coverage on Dragon-types such as Salamence and Latios.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While one might think that Excadrill is generally more suited to run a set like this, Sand Force, superior typing, and less of a reliance on sand being up all allow Landorus to carve out a great niche for itself. Earthquake is the main STAB move, and is a great attack since it can hit both opposing Pokemon at once. One must be wary of using it though since it hits your ally as well, so be sure to have a Pokemon with a Ground-type immunity on the field or have your ally use Protect to avoid taking damage. Rock Slide is a good coverage option since it can hit the Flying-types and Levitate Pokemon that would not be affected by Earthquake. While it has spread coverage, which can be useful, it also deals middling damage due to the lack of STAB and spread damage reduction, so Stone Edge is an option to deal more damage against targets. Stone Edge also lets you play around Wide Guard, which can come in handy when you need to KO Pokemon such as Volcarona. Since those two moves already grant it great coverage, Substitute makes a great option in the 3rd slot to shield Landorus from powerful spread moves and ease prediction. Thanks to Landorus's good bulk and typing, it doesn't have trouble setting up a Substitute, especially when one of the Pokemon out on the opposing side is a supporter. Once sitting behind a Substitute, Landorus has no trouble tearing holes in opposing teams. Substitute is also great to take advantage of moves such as Protect, Wide Guard, and Sucker Punch that your opponent may be using. If you're not comfortable using Substitute, U-turn is an option to bring another Pokemon in without the loss of momentum that accompanies switching out. Using Landorus with a Normal Gem and Explosion can be a good way to net some kills against an unsuspecting opponent, but it will hit your partner for high amounts of damage if it lacks an immunity and is not using Protect, so it can be a constraining option at times.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
A physical set with Choice Scarf can be used to let Landorus clean up late-game with Earthquake, but due to the abundance of Earthquake immune Pokemon as well as Landorus's common weaknesses, it can be difficult to use. A set with Gravity or Smack Down can be used to take out Pokemon such as Rotom-W, which would otherwise have nothing to fear from Landorus, but finding time to use either can be difficult and they come at the cost of a move with more utility. In addition, when using Gravity, Earthquake can now hit almost any of Landorus's potential partners, so you must either Protect or have a Pokemon with Telepathy out such as Musharna to avoid taking damage. Bulldoze can be a nice option to grant speed control, but it is significantly weaker than Earthquake and still hits Landorus's partner. Imprison can be nice to remove an opposing Pokemon's access to Protect and also renders Pokemon such as Excadrill and Landorus-T useless. Swords Dance can be useful because it makes Landorus's Attack skyrocket, but it can be difficult to find time to set it up. Rock Polish is also an option for a setup move for a late-game sweep, but it is tough to set up, and Landorus can still be taken out with priority.
Checks and Counters
Cresselia is an amazing counter to Landorus, taking little to no damage from any of its sets and being able to hit back hard with Icy Wind. Swift Swim Pokemon such as Kingdra and Ludicolo make for good checks as they can outspeed and easily KO with rain-boosted Water-type attacks. Common hail Pokemon such as Abomasnow, Rotom-F, and Kyurem are also great checks as they can take a hit and strike with a fully accurate Blizzard. However, Rotom-F and Kyurem must watch out for Stone Edge from the physical set and Focus Blast from the special set. Mamoswine can take Landorus out with an Ice Shard before it has a chance to hit with an attack of its own. If Mamoswine has Icicle Spear it can even get around Yache Berry and Substitute. Weavile can also use Ice Shard to decimate Landorus and naturally outspeeds it, so it could use Ice Punch too. Rotom-W is immune to one of Landorus's STABs, resists the other, and can strike back with its own Water-type attacks. Gyarados is also immune to Landorus's Ground-type STAB, has Intimidate to limit its offensive presence, and can deal heavy damage with Waterfall. Opposing Landorus make for good checks due to their good bulk and Ground-type immunity. Landorus-T makes for an even better check, as it has a Ground-type immunity, good bulk, and access to Intimidate to cripple physical Landorus sets. Both formes must watch out for a Hidden Power Ice from special Landorus though. Latios and Togekiss make for great checks to the special set, as they are immune to Earth Power and don't take very much from its other moves. Togekiss can even redirect Landorus's hits with Follow Me while a partner KOes it. Scrafty is a great check to physical Landorus, with access to Intimidate to neuter its offenses and Ice Punch to take it out. It loses to the special set though. Hitmontop also has Intimidate and can use Wide Guard to block Earthquake. However, Earthquake still does a lot of damage even after the Intimidate drop, and Hitmontop is taken out by the special set as well. Excadrill can outpace Landorus in sand and use Magnet Rise to give itself an immunity to its Ground-type STAB, and it resists most of the other moves Landorus commonly has.