- Moves that do not deal direct damage have their priority increased by one level.
- Boosts Attack by two stages for every stat drop.
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
One of the most dominant Pokemon in VGC 2011, Thundurus is just as strong in VGC 2012. Its ability, Prankster, makes it one of the few Pokemon that have access to priority Rain Dance, and with a movepool including excellent options such as Thunder, Hidden Power Flying, and Thunder Wave, Thundurus can function as a sweeper or a team supporter.
This is the most straightforward and effective set for Thundurus. Thundurus's primary offensive potential comes from its STAB Thunderbolt, which lets it dish out consistent damage every turn. Both Hidden Power Flying and Hidden Power Ice have their uses, and the choice should depend on how well Thundurus's teammates deal with the following threats. Hidden Power Flying allows Thundurus to hit Pokemon such as Hitmontop, Ludicolo, and Toxicroak for a large amount of damage, but leaves it walled by the likes of Tyranitar and Landorus. Hidden Power Ice covers several different threats, including Landorus, Garchomp, and Salamence, but loses coverage against Fighting-types. Because of Prankster, Thundurus receives priority on Thunder Wave, enabling it to paralyze even boosted threats before they have a chance to attack. The toss-up between Substitute and Protect once again depends on user preference and playstyle, and both have their strengths and weaknesses.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This is the most straightforward and effective set for any Rain Dance team. Thunder, although a risky move to use outside of rain, is necessary because of its sheer power. Prankster makes Thunder Wave a superb support move, as it lets Thundurus paralyze threats such as opposing Swift Swim Pokemon. Rain Dance can also be considered in this moveslot if maintaining rain is very important to your team. Hidden Power Flying hits several common threats—namely Ludicolo, Toxicroak, Abomasnow, and Hitmontop—for a large amount of damage.
Lastly, Substitute and Protect are both viable options, and your pick should depend on your playstyle and team. With Prankster, Thundurus can always set up a Substitute before the opponent is able to attack, which can be handy when facing Dragon Gem-boosted Draco Meteors, as Substitute not only wastes their Gem, but also causes their Special Attack to drop needlessly. With proper prediction, Thundurus can sometimes even set up a free Substitute, making it more difficult to take down. For example, if Thundurus is paired with a Fake Out user, the opponent might double Protect to negate the Fake Out, letting Thundurus set up a Substitute unscathed. However, for those that do not like the 25% HP loss along with the prediction that comes with Substitute, Protect is a safer alternative. It is a rather straightforward move, but unlike Substitute, cannot be reliably used every turn.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Thundurus also has access to several other helpful moves, such as Discharge, Psychic, Grass Knot, Focus Blast, Embargo, and Swagger. Discharge can be useful if Thundurus is paired with a partner that is immune to Electric-type attacks, such as Garchomp. With a 30% chance of inflicting paralysis, there is a 51% chance that at least one of the two opposing Pokemon will be paralyzed if both are hit. Discharge can even be used with an Electric Gem to deal massive amounts of damage. However, because Discharge damages everyone on the field, Thundurus's partner must be immune to it, or else risk getting paralyzed. Psychic hits Fighting-types for more damage, but unlike Hidden Power Flying, loses super effective coverage on Grass-types. Grass Knot removes Gastrodon and the less common Swampert, who otherwise wall Thundurus. Focus Blast allows Thundurus to hit Tyranitar, but is risky because of its low accuracy.
Embargo is an alternative that often catches people off-guard by disabling their items. However, it must be used correctly because Thundurus often does not last longer than two turns on the field. Swagger allows the opponent to attack only 50% of the time, and can be used in conjunction with Substitute to not only stall out Trick Room, but also to slowly cause damage via confusion. However, because of confusion's unpredictability, it is risky.
Checks and Counters
Regardless of its set, Thundurus has major problems against Pokemon that resist its attacking moves. Tyranitar is one of the greatest problems to Thundurus, as it resists Hidden Power Flying, takes little from Thunder, and can hit back hard with Rock Slide, which is a guaranteed KO after sandstorm damage. Rotom-H resists both Thundurus's STAB attacks and can 2HKO it with Thunderbolt, while Rotom-F fears only a surprise Focus Blast and can OHKO Thundurus with Blizzard. Unless Thundurus is running the rare Grass Knot, Gastrodon and Swampert also cause it problems, as their bulk and Electric immunity let them wall Thundurus easily. Although it is weak to Hidden Power Ice, Garchomp often carries a Yache Berry and can hit Thundurus hard with Rock Slide.