Although much more manageable than its Incarnate form, Thundurus-T is not to be underestimated. Its base 145 Special Attack is nothing to scoff at, considering it's the highest among all Electric-types. It also has an amazing ability, arguably more helpful than Prankster, in the form of Volt Absorb, which means that your opponent must think twice before using an Electric-type attack, lest they give you a free switch. Rain being the dominant weather is good news for Thundurus-T too as it can use the more powerful Thunder without issues.
However, every Pokemon has its flaws, and Thundurus-T is no exception. Base 101 Speed is good, but it's not enough to outpace the several faster threats in the metagame. Thundurus-T is also quite frail, weak to Stealth Rock, and can only really switch in on Ground- or Electric-type moves. While its movepool isn't lacking in options, Thundurus-T sadly doesn't get any Flying-type moves apart from the exploitable Fly, the pitifully weak Sky Drop, and Hidden Power Flying, which prevents the use of Hidden Power Ice. As the last nail in the coffin, Thundurus-T occasionally has problems getting past bulky Grass-types, Chansey, and Blissey. Nonetheless, Thundurus-T is a solid Pokemon, and while it's not as dominant as its Incarnate form, it's a worthy consideration for any offensive team.
Thundurus-T's base Speed, while good, isn't high enough for it to sweep. That's where Agility comes into play; it turns Thundurus-T into an amazing late-game sweeper. Thanks to its base 145 Special Attack, Thundurus-T hits very hard from the get go, even when only using Life Orb to boost its offenses. Its incredible power, access to Volt Absorb, and amazing typing and coverage separate Thundurus-T from other similar late-game cleaners such as Landorus. After just one Agility, Thundurus-T outruns every relevant threat in the game.
Thunderbolt is Thundurus-T's main STAB, and out of all its reliable STAB options, it's the strongest of them. However, Thunder is an alternative, but it should only be used on rain teams, as the 70% accuracy can prove to be troublesome otherwise. Hidden Power Ice is there to form a pseudo-BoltBeam combo; it hits Dragon-, Grass-, and Ground-types that otherwise laugh at Thundurus-T's Electric-type STAB. Focus Blast rounds off the coverage, hitting Tyranitar, Ferrothorn, Magnezone, and Mamoswine, all of which can comfortably take its other attacks, and it's Thundurus-T's best attack against Jolteon. If you feel that Gastrodon is a problem, Grass Knot can be used—Grass Knot also hits Hippowdon harder than Hidden Power Ice and hits Mamoswine, Terrakion, and Tyranitar more reliably than Focus Blast.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Unlike Thundurus-T's other sets, this set is meant to catch opponents by surprise by luring and OHKOing Pokemon that assume Thundurus-T is equipped with a Choice item with the appropriate move. Gastrodon, for example, can be fooled into thinking that Thundurus-T is running a Choice Scarf and then be promptly obliterated by Grass Knot. Expert Belt is also useful because Thundurus-T already takes a lot of entry hazard damage, doesn't appreciate Life Orb recoil when Volt Switching, and has good super effective coverage.
Volt Switch lets you keep momentum on your side and is much more useful in maintaining the illusion that you are using a Choice item. However, it is weak and unreliable, and there are times that you don't want to switch. Because of this, Thunderbolt is used as a secondary Electric-type attack in these situations. Thunder should be used instead if you are using a rain team. Hidden Power Ice is the best coverage move to use alongside Thunder (or Thunderbolt) and Volt Switch, hitting many threats in this metagame super effectively, especially considering that most of them resist Thundurus-T's Electric-type STAB. Unlike other sets, Grass Knot is preferred here over Focus Blast, as the ability to lure in and KO Gastrodon is invaluable to many teams. It also nails Hippowdon harder than Hidden Power Ice and hits Tyranitar more accurately than Focus Blast, 2HKOing most of those that don't invest in Special Defense. If you feel that Gastrodon is not a problem, Focus Blast can still be used, as Ferrothorn walls Thundurus-T otherwise. It is also its best option against Magnezone and Jolteon.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Thundurus-T can equip a Choice Scarf, which transforms it into a solid revenge killer comparable to Choice Scarf Landorus on sand teams. Thundurus-T has the advantage of being able to outspeed Speed-boosting sweepers such as Salamence, Haxorus, and Volcarona after a boost as well as Choice Scarf Salamence, Haxorus, Jirachi, and Hydreigon. Even without any boosts, Thundurus-T still hits very hard thanks to its massive base 145 Special Attack.
Volt Switch is the main attacking option to both deal damage and conserve momentum at same time, and it's helpful when Thundurus-T's checks and counters are still alive; however, be very wary of using this move when your opponent has Pokemon immune to it. The second slot is reserved for Thunderbolt, which is a more reliable and powerful Electric-type attack that is used when you don't want to switch. Hidden Power Ice hits almost all Ground-, Dragon-, and Grass-type Pokemon that wall its Electric-type STAB. The few Pokemon who have little to fear from Thunderbolt or Hidden Power Ice, such as Ferrothorn, Tyranitar, and Magnezone, are all defeated by Focus Blast.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While unsuitable for sweeping, Nasty Plot Thundurus-T is all about power; it is a great wallbreaker with very few counters. It may have some difficulty grabbing a boost due to its frailty, but once it does, there aren't many things that can withstand its attacks; even Blissey & Chansey are 2HKOed by Focus Blast. Although the decline of defensive teams means that this set isn't what it used to be, it's a solid option for those that have problems with them.
Once again, Thunderbolt is the main STAB option. It is the most consistent and powerful attack that Thundurus-T can use, but Thundurus-T likes having even more powerful attacks to break through the opposition. For this reason, if you are using it on a rain team, use Thunder instead. Hidden Power Ice hits most things that resist or are immune to Thunderbolt, and the few Pokemon capable of withstanding the combination of Thunderbolt and Hidden Power Ice are destroyed by Focus Blast. Note that at +2, Thundurus-T can 2HKO Blissey and Chansey using either Thunder or Focus Blast, though Thunder will only 2HKO with a Life Orb. Focus Blast will also leave a large dent in Gastrodon, who gives Thundurus-T's other sets trouble if they lack Grass Knot. However, Substitute can replace Focus Blast to protect Thundurus-T from Toxic and Leech Seed, scout switch-ins that are faster than it—especially those that can take an attack from Thundurus-T—and prevent the opponent from simply sacrificing a slower Pokemon to deal with it. However, you should only use Substitute with Leftovers; otherwise, the lack of recovery will wear Thundurus-T down quickly.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
A Choice Specs set is viable since it is powerful right off the bat and can surprise opponents expecting it to be less powerful than it actually is. However, a Choice Specs set faces competition from Jolteon, which is faster and lacks a weakness to Stealth Rock. In addition, there is little reason to use it over a Life Orb set. A double boosting set is viable as it can choose between power and speed depending on your opponent's team. The problem with this set is that Thundurus-T lacks a usable STAB Flying-type attack, and it doesn't want to depend on coverage moves such as a weak Hidden Power Ice, an inaccurate Focus Blast, or an inconsistent Grass Knot. A Substitute + 3 attacks set has its merits, but it's generally inferior to Thundurus-T's other sets, as there's no overwhelming reason to use Substitute. Thunder Wave is an option on any set, although the lack of Prankster hurts the move's viability, and Thundurus-T doesn't want to sacrifice coverage. Taunt can be used to prevent status, stop entry hazard setters, and use them as setup fodder.
Discharge can be used for the higher paralysis chance, but Thundurus-T will generally find the extra power provided by Thunderbolt to be much more useful. U-turn can be used on any set instead of Volt Switch if you prefer the ability to switch out of all threats to the extra power that Volt Switch has. Don't bother with any other moves that Thundurus-T can use. Dark Pulse, Flash Cannon, and Psychic all have unnecessary coverage; a neutral Thunder will even hit for more damage than these options when they are super effective. Thundurus-T actually has a decent Attack stat, a usable physical movepool, and Bulk Up to augment its attack, but it is better off sticking to special attacks.
Checks and Counters
Gastrodon and Quagsire with specially defensive spreads are near surefire counters to Thundurus-T; they can take anything that it can use apart from Grass Knot, though the former must also watch out for a boosted Focus Blast. Hidden Power Ice will hurt Latios and Latias, but they will outrun most sets and slaughter Thundurus-T with Draco Meteor or Dragon Pulse. Jolteon takes a large amount of damage from Focus Blast, but it can survive one and OHKO back with a Choice Specs-boosted Hidden Power Ice after Stealth Rock or some Life Orb recoil. Blissey and Chansey can sponge most of Thundurus-T's attacks but must watch out for Nasty Plot sets and Superpower. However, they might win against the Nasty Plot set through Toxic stalling if Thundurus-T lacks Lum Berry. Chople Berry Tyranitar can take almost anything from Thundurus-T, but a Nasty Plot-boosted Focus Blast will still OHKO, and it is never going to survive two consecutive unboosted Focus Blasts. Specially defensive Hippowdon can take most of Thundurus-T's attacks but will be felled by two Life Orb-boosted Hidden Power Ices or one Nasty Plot-boosted Hidden Power Ice, and it must also watch out for Grass Knot, which always 2HKOes regardless of the set. Ninetales, especially specially defensive ones, are decent switch-ins to Thundurus-T that rely on Thunder. Mamoswine can revenge kill with Ice Shard no matter how high Thundurus-T has boosted itself; however, it must watch out for Focus Blast or Grass Knot on the switch, and cannot OHKO Thundurus-T without Stealth Rock damage. Terrakion in sand can survive most unboosted attacks and OHKO with Stone Edge.
The number of potential revenge killers increases if Thundurus-T is not using Agility or Choice Scarf. While Thundurus-T has only two weaknesses, it is very frail, meaning you can always resort to defeating it with strong, neutral STAB attacks; they should at least cripple Thundurus-T enough for it to be KOed by residual damage from Stealth Rock, Life Orb recoil, or sandstorm.