Looking at Landorus, its stats stand out above all else. 101 base Speed puts it just above a number of extremely dangerous threats, while 125 base Attack makes it one of the most powerful physical attackers in OU. But this is forgetting Sand Force, which turns it into the premier sand sweeper in the tier by giving it almost unmatched power. On top of this, Landorus receives excellent coverage from Earthquake and Stone Edge, leaving very few Pokemon able to wall it. Even those able to deal with these two moves have to contend with Hidden Power Ice from Landorus's base 115 Special Attack stat or the possibility of Gravity nullifying any immunity to Earthquake. Perhaps even more problematic for the opponent is Landorus's use of U-turn, which allows it to maintain momentum while wearing the opponent down; merely countering Landorus is not enough. With its immunity to Spikes and Toxic Spikes, Landorus can continue to do this almost indefinitely.
Landorus is also capable of running an entirely different set, making use of its good Special Attack stat in combination with its second ability, Sheer Force. Of course, this set has a completely different set of counters, making Landorus even more difficult to deal with.
Landorus is not impossible to beat, though. Its Speed, while good, is far from enough to outright sweep most teams. Its defenses are average, and its typing leaves it weak to Water and Ice, two very common attacking types. Its movepool is also lacking in places; it misses out on every Flying-type move except for Fly and Hidden Power Flying, and it has a strange special movepool that forces it to rely on moves like Psychic and Focus Blast. Even so, Landorus is a force to be reckoned with, and countering it completely is nigh-on impossible.
With the addition of Sheer Force from the Dream Radar, making use of Landorus's base 115 Special Attack stat becomes a real possibility. Sheer Force boosts the majority of Landorus's special moves, giving it greater power than the physical version outside of sandstorm, and also negates Life Orb recoil. In many respects, this set is like a faster, more powerful Nidoking without the brilliant set of coverage moves. Instead, Landorus is forced to use a rather strange array of moves; somehow, though, these come together to provide good super effective hits on most opponents. Earth Power is Landorus's best special STAB move and is boosted by Sheer Force, so it is a given. Focus Blast provides coverage on Skarmory (who is lured in and comfortably 2HKOed), Ferrothorn, and Hydreigon. It can even OHKO Choice Scarf Rotom-W and 2HKO some Blissey after Stealth Rock damage! Hidden Power Ice may seem a strange choice, given that it is not boosted by Sheer Force and will hence cause Life Orb recoil, but it secures an OHKO on Gliscor, other Landorus, and Salamence while also hitting a host of other Dragon- and Grass-types. Rock Polish is usually saved until late in the game, allowing you to sweep a weakened team at a moment's notice. Psychic is a move rarely seen without STAB, but it is considered here largely because it is both powerful and accurate. It OHKOes Breloom, Keldeo, Conkeldurr, and Gengar while hitting Rotom-W accurately. Substitute allows you to better take advantage of Landorus's coverage by easing prediction, and it protects Landorus from status as well. If the opponent lacks a true counter to special Landorus, it puts them in a very tight spot.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
With its excellent Attack and Speed, immunity to Spikes and Toxic Spikes, and access to U-turn, Landorus is a very strong Choice Scarf user. With the item, it becomes an excellent revenge killer, as it is able to outrun most boosted threats, including +1 Volcarona, Salamence, and Haxorus, and take them out. Additionally, U-turn allows Landorus to maintain momentum even when faced with a reliable counter. Landorus is so effective as a scout that it is commonly seen on dedicated "VoltTurn" teams alongside Pokemon such as Rotom-W and Scizor. Though its STAB move, Earthquake, might lack neutral coverage, it is exceptionally powerful in sandstorm thanks to Sand Force. As such, should the opponent's Ground-immune Pokemon be removed, Landorus can even sweep in the late-game. Otherwise, Stone Edge hits almost every Pokemon Earthquake cannot and is also potentially boosted by Landorus's ability. Finally, Hidden Power Ice nails Gliscor and opposing Landorus extremely hard and hits Dragonite and Salamence accurately.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Incarnate Landorus faces competition only from its alternate forme, Therian Landorus, as the best Gravity user in all of Pokemon. Under Gravity, Landorus absolutely destroys its usual counters. As soon as Gravity is set up, Skarmory, Rotom-W, and Bronzong will run to the hills. But it doesn't end there. As the opponent's Landorus "counter" switches out, they will be forced to contend with a Life Orb Earthquake from base 125 Attack (and quite possibly with a Sand Force boost). Almost nothing commonly seen in OU can take this, and the few things that can will often fall to Landorus's coverage moves. Hidden Power Ice decimates Breloom, Gliscor, Landorus-T, Tangrowth, and Hippowdon, while U-turn easily OHKOes Celebi. Once Gravity is up, Landorus is all but certain to attain a KO. Stone Edge is still a good move for Landorus, providing excellent coverage outside of Gravity and, with Gravity up, finally having perfect accuracy. Stone Edge is very helpful for hitting faster Ground-immune opponents as they switch in. U-turn is generally a good move on Landorus too; even though you are unlikely to have a teammate better at using Gravity than Landorus, Landorus doesn't need to set up Gravity every time it comes in.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Landorus is possibly the best user of Expert Belt in OU thanks to its fantastic mixed attacking stats and excellent movepool. Because Landorus is often assumed to be a Choice Scarf user if Leftovers or Life Orb haven't been revealed, Landorus can catch a lot of Pokemon off-guard. This set excels at luring common switch-ins such as Gliscor and Dragonite, thinking that they can come in for free on a Choice-locked Earthquake only to eat a super effective Expert Belt-boosted Hidden Power Ice. While Landorus is undoubtedly a potent lure, its uses certainly don't end there. Landorus benefits significantly from the coverage provided by four attacks and from Expert Belt's power boost. An impressive base 101 Speed means Landorus can be a dangerous late-game sweeper once physical walls have been weakened enough.
Earthquake and Stone Edge are two extremely powerful moves when coming off of an immense base 125 Attack, and not many Pokemon will be willing to switch into this sand genie and when the moves are combined with potential Sand Force and Expert Belt boosts. Hidden Power Ice allows Landorus to eliminate Gliscor, which is one of Choice Scarf Landorus's primary counters, and also hits Breloom, Dragonite, Salamence, and opposing Landorus hard. U-turn may seem like a filler attack, but it's very useful for feigning a Choice Scarf, preserving momentum, and OHKOing Celebi.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Without a doubt, it can be said that Substitute is one of the best moves in the game—so good that it's rare to see an offensive Pokemon that can't use the move effectively. And yet, the move appears so innocuous; one might have initially thought it was designed for stalling. But the advantages of Substitute are so much greater. By setting up as Landorus forces an opponent's Pokemon out, you get to choose the appropriate attacking move to hit the switch-in after it is on the field while remaining safe from practically every move in the game. In other words, Substitute reduces the need for "prediction." Should the opponent not have an answer to Landorus, it prevents them from sacrificing a slower Pokemon to deal with it; Landorus will come out behind the safety of a Substitute. Should the opponent attempt to take out Landorus with an inaccurate move, such as Rotom-W's Hydro Pump, Substitute allows Landorus to take advantage of a miss without risking being KOed. Should the opponent attempt to cripple Landorus with a status move, Substitute will block it and give Landorus another free turn with which to attack. Essentially, if the opponent does not carry a solid Landorus counter, they are going to find themselves in all kinds of trouble.
The remaining three moves give Landorus near-perfect neutral coverage, ensuring that it is very difficult to deal with. Earthquake, boosted by STAB and possibly Sand Force, is extremely powerful and cannot be so easily avoided when Landorus is behind the safety of a Substitute. Stone Edge almost completes Landorus's coverage, hitting most Flying or Levitating Pokemon for at least neutral damage. Landorus's last move, Hidden Power Ice, does a very large amount of damage to Gliscor, Salamence, Breloom, and opposing Landorus.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although Landorus's Speed is usually not enough to sweep outright, Swords Dance can still be an extremely useful move, allowing it to beat or at least heavily weaken most of the game's physical walls. Unlike some of the other sets, this one does not rely on the element of surprise to do so; instead, the idea is simply to overwhelm your opponent. After a Swords Dance, Landorus reaches 698 Attack, which is itself impressive, but with a Life Orb and Sand Force boost, this increases beyond the reach of any other Swords Dance sweeper in the game. This allow Landorus to achieve feats such as using Earthquake to OHKO Slowbro and using Stone Edge to OHKO 252 HP Celebi after Stealth Rock damage and deal upwards of 70% to physically defensive Skarmory. Together, these two moves hit almost every Pokemon in the game at least neutrally; even exceptions such as Breloom and Virizion taking very heavy damage. Hidden Power Ice allows Landorus to hit a few troublesome Pokemon very hard; it OHKOes Gliscor and Landorus-T and 2HKOes Tangrowth. However, since even these Pokemon will take heavy damage from boosted attacks, you could instead consider Explosion. The additional power and coverage can allow Landorus to take out opponents such as Cresselia after a Swords Dance and even Bronzong with a little prior damage.
Although this may be a Swords Dance set, it shouldn't be forgotten that Landorus is still extremely useful against more offensive teams without setting up. Landorus is still...well, Landorus; it still has good power, good coverage and excellent Speed, as well as immunities to Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and Thunder Wave. It might not be able to set up every game, but it should still pull its weight the vast majority of the time.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
There are several other tempting sets that Landorus can potentially run, including a couple of other boosting options. Perhaps the most notable of these is physical Rock Polish. Though Landorus's Speed is already more than decent, it is not quite fast enough for an outright sweep against most teams. After a Rock Polish, Landorus will outrun absolutely everything, but it will only really be able to sweep if the opponent's team is heavily weakened. Swords Dance can be run in addition if you wish, letting you choose your boosting move depending on the opponent's team. Bulk Up is also an option, but Landorus will still be vulnerable on the special side and will still be rather weak.
Instead of setting up, Landorus can instead simply hit as hard as possible by using a Choice Band set. Unfortunately, Earthquake has poor neutral coverage, and therefore Landorus may simply find itself spamming U-turn, which is still not especially powerful even with the Choice Band boost. The set will still fail to take out many of Landorus's checks, including Gliscor, Skarmory, and Bronzong. Altogether, a Life Orb set (such as the Gravity set) is more effective.
Landorus can also run a few other moves to get past some of its usual checks. Hidden Power Fire allows physical sets to 2HKO Skarmory on the switch, but Gravity is usually the better choice for this. Hidden Power Flying or Fly can be used to get past Virizion and Breloom, but both have their drawbacks. Hidden Power Flying is boosted by neither of Landorus's abilities, has poor Base Power, and prevents the use of Hidden Power Ice, while Fly is rather exploitable (as are all two-turn moves). Lastly, the Special Attacker set can be adapted into a mixed set with Superpower to help beat Chansey and Blissey, but Focus Blast already does good damage to them, and the splitting of EVs will leave Landorus somewhat weaker.
Checks and Counters
As with many top OU threats, Landorus doesn't really have any reliable counters. Skarmory and Bronzong can counter most Landorus sets, but they will fall to the Gravity set and are 2HKOed by Focus Blast from the Special Attacker set. Rotom-W is immune to Earthquake but will be 2HKOed by Life Orb or sand-boosted Stone Edge without considerable defensive investment. Choice Scarf sets can be OHKOed by Focus Blast after Stealth Rock and don't enjoy Stone Edge or U-turn, but they can outrun and OHKO Landorus. Gravity Landorus also beats all of the other sets. Breloom and Virizion are the most notable Pokemon to resist Earthquake and Stone Edge, but Earthquake, Psychic, and Hidden Power Ice will still deal enormous damage to them. Virizion can outrun Landorus to OHKO with its own Hidden Power Ice and isn't OHKOed by Psychic itself, while more defensive Breloom sets can counter the Choice Scarf set. Slowbro can take almost anything from physical Landorus sets but fears a 2HKO from Life Orb sand-boosted Earthquake. Tangrowth can also take Landorus's physical moves, but it fears being 2HKOed by Hidden Power Ice, even from the Choice Scarf set. Gliscor is a common switch-in to Scarf Landorus since it takes negligible damage from all but Hidden Power Ice, which doesn't OHKO without some sort of boost.
Though Landorus is not exactly slow, there are a number of more offensive checks that can outrun it. Notably, Latios and Latias can take any move Landorus throws at them, outrun it, and hit back with Draco Meteor or Surf. However, neither will enjoy taking U-turn at all. Gengar can take anything but Stone Edge or Psychic and can hit back with Shadow Ball.
Given that Landorus has average defenses and a Speed stat that is far from unbeatable, it is not especially difficult to revenge kill. Faster Pokemon such as Starmie, Keldeo, and almost every Choice Scarf user can deal with Landorus. Ice Shard users such as Mamoswine and Weavile can take it out with ease, while even a Choice Band Scizor's Bullet Punch will do good damage.