Tornadus

Prankster
Moves that do not deal direct damage have their priority increased by one level.
Defiant
Boosts Attack by two stages for every stat drop.
Type Tier
Flying UU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
79
- 154 186 -
Atk
115
121 135 167 183
Def
70
81 90 122 134
SpA
125
130 145 177 194
SpD
80
90 100 132 145
Spe
111
117 131 163 179

Overview

After Tornadus-T's ban, Tornadus got the chance to enter the spotlight of OU once again. Flying is a very good offensive type with few Pokemon that resist it in OU, and Tornadus makes excellent use of it with STAB Hurricane, base 125 Special Attack, and base 111 Speed. Most Steel-, Rock-, and Electric-types looking to tank a Hurricane can get promptly smashed by Focus Blast or Superpower, which means that walling Tornadus is not an easy feat. Furthermore, Tornadus has U-turn, a staple on special attacking sets, which lets it build up damage on its few counters and keep momentum. Tornadus can also use a physical set with Acrobatics, adding a bit to its versatility. To top it off, non-Choiced sets can put Prankster to use, which gives Tornadus many utility options, such as priority Tailwind and Rain Dance, letting it act as a crutch for its team or just take advantage of those moves by itself.

Despite the positive qualities of Tornadus, it has flaws that should be taken into account. A Stealth Rock weakness and general frailty are Tornadus's biggest problems, and prevent it from coming in as much as it would like, while also necessitating the use of a spinner. Due to its frailty, it can also be easily revenge killed with faster Pokemon or priority. Finally, while Tornadus has only a few counters in OU, some of them are really popular, such as Jirachi and Rotom-W, which means that Tornadus will often fail to break past defensive cores by itself and therefore requires even further support to function.

So, all in all, Tornadus is very good at its job—wallbreaking and cleaning up—but it needs a lot of support to function, making it a high maintenance Pokemon that cannot be slapped on any team.

Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Specs

Choice Specs Defiant Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Hurricane
~ Focus Blast
~ U-turn
~ Air Slash / Heat Wave
4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

This set should always be used on rain teams, where Tornadus becomes a fearsome attacker and takes care of several Pokemon that trouble rain teams in general, such as Celebi and Amoonguss. Hurricane has perfect accuracy under rain and decimates everything that doesn't resist it not named Chansey or Blissey. Focus Blast takes care of some Pokemon that don't mind Hurricane, such as Tyranitar, Heatran, and Magnezone, and 2HKOes 252 HP Jirachi after Stealth Rock most of the time. U-turn racks up entry hazard damage on Tornadus's counters and makes trapping Jirachi, Heatran, and Tyranitar with Dugtrio a breeze. Air Slash is used to have a reliable STAB outside of rain, while Heat Wave almost OHKOes Ferrothorn in rain and 2HKOes Jirachi outside of rain.

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

Prankster

Sharp Beak / Life Orb / Leftovers Prankster Timid / Naive
Moveset EVs
~ Hurricane
~ Focus Blast / Superpower
~ U-turn / Taunt
~ Tailwind / Rain Dance / Substitute
4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

While this set still relies on Hurricane's excellent power and neutral coverage to do damage, the item options allow Tornadus to change moves, unlike the first set, and thus better take advantage of Prankster and the interesting uses it has. As usual, the first few turns that Tornadus gets in should be used to spam Hurricane, which still hits very hard even without the Choice Specs boost, unless there are Pokemon that can take multiple Hurricanes. Focus Blast nails many of the Pokemon that resist Hurricane, such as Tyranitar, Heatran, and Magnezone, and provides excellent neutral coverage. On the other hand, Superpower gives the same coverage as Focus Blast, but with Life Orb has the benefit of 2HKOing Blissey, 2HKOing Chansey after Stealth Rock 38.67% of the time, and cleanly OHKOing 252 HP Tyranitar, as well as having perfect accuracy. Keep in mind that Superpower should only be used with Life Orb, as otherwise it is too weak to do anything that Focus Blast can't already. U-turn racks up damage on Tornadus's checks and counters, especially with the help of entry hazards, and is the best move to use when hard counters to Tornadus are on the opposing team, such as Jirachi, Rotom-W, or Bronzong. Taunt can be used over U-turn and is useful for shutting down the recovery of walls, enabling Tornadus to weaken or beat some of its best checks, namely specially defensive Skarmory and Chansey. Taunt is also useful for preventing setup from Pokemon such as Bronzong, Substitute + Calm Mind Jirachi, and Agility Thundurus-T, which could otherwise turn Tornadus into a liability.

For the last slot there are three choices. Tailwind is the best option overall, as it gives to the whole team a +2 Speed boost for three turns and has priority thanks to Prankster, meaning that no matter how fast a Pokemon gets, Tornadus can sacrifice itself in order to set up a Tailwind and allow its teammates to revenge kill the dangerous sweeper. Tailwind can even let Tornadus and its teammates get a last-minute sweep against normally faster Pokemon, and turns hard hitting Pokemon such as Choice Band Kyurem-B and Choice Specs Keldeo into absolute beasts for two turns. Rain Dance allows Tornadus to better combat sand and sun teams and alleviates the constant pressure on Politoed to keep rain up; Rain Dance can also act as a last resort option against Chlorophyll and Sand Rush sweepers in their preferred weather, allowing the rest of Tornadus's team to deal with them. Finally, Substitute protects Tornadus from status, priority, and revenge killers and can scout for Choice-locked attacks, even those with priority (Choice Band Scizor). Substitute should always be used with Leftovers, as otherwise Tornadus dies too fast.

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

Acrobatics

Flying Gem Prankster Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Acrobatics
~ Superpower
~ Bulk Up / Taunt
~ Tailwind / Bulk Up
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Tornadus has a good base 115 Attack and a strong physical STAB in Acrobatics, which allow it to be used outside of rain with a physical set. Flying Gem-boosted Acroabatics is almost as powerful as Terrakion's Life Orb Close Combat, OHKOing many offensive Pokemon with ease. Furthermore, Acrobatics transforms Tornadus into a very good Chansey and Blissey lure, as the first is 2HKOed by a combination of Flying Gem Acrobatics and Superpower after Stealth Rock while the latter is easily 2HKOed by any attacking move of Tornadus. Superpower provides good neutral coverage with Acrobatics and lets Tornadus OHKO any Tyranitar, 2HKO 248/0 Heatran after Stealth Rock, and deal with Chansey and Blissey by the ways already mentioned. Bulk Up makes Tornadus harder to revenge kill with priority and physical Choice Scarf users and makes Tornadus harder to wall, giving it some much-needed utility against balanced and stall teams. On the other hand, Taunt provides a way to prevent setup of any kind and stops Baton Pass chains cold, negating any Speed boosts thanks to Prankster, while also allowing Tornadus to weaken or get past certain Pokemon that rely on recovery to deal with it, such as Hippowdon and Skarmory. In the last slot, Tailwind is an excellent option that benefits from Prankster and makes Tornadus a useful crutch for its team under dangerous situations, allowing your team to deal with any speedy sweeper that can get past your team's defense; it can also allow Tornadus to do some late-game cleaning against very weakened offensive teams. Bulk Up is mentioned after Tailwind because it is a viable option if Tornadus has opted for Taunt in the third slot. Taunt + Bulk Up turns Tornadus into a potent stallbreaker that can get past defensive Pokemon such as Skarmory, Ferrothorn, and Hippowdon much more reliably than with Taunt alone.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

With a Choice Scarf equipped, Tornadus outspeeds every single unboosted threat in OU, as well as all common Choice Scarf users. However, unlike most other Choice Scarf users, Tornadus has a nasty Stealth Rock weakness, lacks power, and has trouble switching into anything even remotely offensive because of its frailty. A pure support set with Rain Dance and Damp Rock can be used on dedicated Rain Dance teams to allow Swift Swim Pokemon to wreck havoc. Torment can be used on any non-Choiced set to mess with Choice item users, as after they land a hit or KO something Tornadus can force them to use Struggle with priority Torment. When running this move it is advised to use Protect or Substitute alongside it to better deal with Choice item users. Hidden Power Ice is an option to hit Zapdos, Thundurus-T, and Dragonite harder than any other move, while Grass Knot deals with Hippowdon without the need to gamble on Hurricane's 70% accuracy in sand and hits Gastrodon harder than anything else.

Checks and Counters

Most bulky Steel-types that resist Hurricane and are neutral to Fighting are good counters. Jirachi, Metagross, and Bronzong are all such Pokemon, with Jirachi being the best due to its reliable recovery. Specially defensive variants of Rotom-W and Zapdos are good short-term counters but may fail to wall Tornadus multiple times, the first due to lack of reliable recovery, and the latter because of its weakness to Stealth Rock and Tornadus's access to U-turn. Chansey and Blissey wall the Choice Specs set, but they both detest Superpower from the second set, which 2HKOes the former with Life Orb and the latter without it, and they outright lose to the third set. Specially defensive Heatran and any Tyranitar are good checks to the Choice Specs set, as they can easily tank multiple Hurricanes but must be careful to not get hit by Focus Blast, which 2HKOes the former and OHKOes the latter; Tyranitar has the added benefit of trapping Tornadus with Pursuit. Jolteon and Choice Scarf Thundurus-T can take a hit from Tornadus, outspeed, and OHKO it, so they can be used as one-time checks. Any faster Pokemon and priority users can usually OHKO Tornadus after Stealth Rock, except for weak Pokemon such as defensive Starmie and Stone Edge-less Dugtrio. Finally, taking away rain makes Tornadus much more manageable, as Hurricane's accuracy drops to 50% or 70% depeding on the weather, making it a very risky move to use.