Tyranitar

Sand Stream
Summons permanent sandstorm.
Unnerve
Prevents the foe from consuming its held Berry item.
Type Tier
Rock / Dark OU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
100
- 341 404 -
Atk
134
273 304 367 403
Def
110
230 256 319 350
SpA
95
203 226 289 317
SpD
100
212 236 299 328
Spe
61
142 158 221 243

Overview

With Pokemon Black and White 2 came the Therian formes and Keldeo, all of whom have bolstered the power of rain teams and worn down Tyranitar's prominence like waves against a cliff. Some older threats, such as Breloom and Mamoswine, have had new life breathed into them by their Dream World abilities. A few new Pokemon have also been added to Tyranitar's list of headaches due to their new access to Superpower (courtesy of the move tutors, who have decided not to give Tyranitar much to improve its admittedly already impressive movepool). The same Fighting-types that troubled Tyranitar before still remain in OU, ready to pounce on it at any moment. The general pace of the metagame has increased, making Tyranitar's life in OU more difficult to maintain than ever before.

However, Tyranitar maintains a powerful and respectable niche as one of two automatic sandstorm inducers, which is important due to the the ubiquity of weather in OU. While Hippowdon may give Tyranitar a substantial amount of competition for a team slot, the tyrant has many advantages up its sleeve: increased special bulk under sandstorm, a better movepool, and the ability to smite many of its would-be counters on the switch with its raw power and impressive versatility. Tyranitar's ability to support potent sweepers, such as Stoutland, Terrakion, and Sandslash, while fending off powerful specially based threats, such as Latios, Latias, Gengar, and Starmie, further expand its niche in OU. Overall, while many new threats have conspired to dethrone the tyrant, they have yet to succeed, for Tyranitar has retained an iron grasp on its throne as one of the many kings of OU.

Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf Sand Stream Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Pursuit
~ Crunch
~ Stone Edge
~ Superpower
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

This is similar to the quintessential Choice Scarf set that can be seen on many offensively inclined Pokemon, but Tyranitar's Choice Scarf set is special because it can outpace and trap many common, threatening Pokemon, ranging from offensive Psychic-type behemoths such as Latios to frail weather sweepers such as Sawsbuck and Starmie. However, it fails to outpace Alakazam, who is capable of OHKOing with Focus Blast; in fact, comparatively low speed for a Choice Scarf user is this set's largest shortcoming. Pursuit is listed first because this set's primary purpose is to trap and kill off weakened Pokemon. Crunch lets Tyranitar get a harder hit on Jellicent and Reuniclus, Pokemon that can usually tank a Pursuit if they don't switch. Stone Edge is Tyranitar's most powerful STAB move and gives it the power to revenge kill Flying-type Pokemon and unboosted Volcarona. Superpower is useful for catching opposing Lucario and Terrakion off-guard, provided they don't have a Choice Scarf as well.

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

Choice Band

Choice Band Sand Stream Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Stone Edge
~ Crunch
~ Pursuit
~ Superpower
180 HP / 252 Atk / 76 Spe

When equipped with a Choice Band, it is easy to see why Tyranitar is one of the most-feared Pokemon in OU. Boasting an absolutely massive 604 Attack, not many Pokemon will have business switching in on it. Opposing weather inducers not named Hippowdon will fear switching into its powerful attacks, making this set ideal for those that want to win the weather war decisively. Stall teams will be hard-pressed to keep up with its onslaught due to the sheer power it possesses, and offensive teams won't like having to sacrifice one of their team members so another one can receive a free switch-in.

Despite its accuracy, Stone Edge is Tyranitar's main STAB move solely for its power; it is capable of OHKOing or 2HKOing those that lack a resistance to it and even some that do. Crunch is a more accurate move that lets Tyranitar make short work of Jellicent, Reuniclus, and Celebi. Pursuit gives Tyranitar the ability to trap and kill the frail Psychic- and Ghost-types that would rather not stay in on any of Tyranitar's attacks. Superpower is the best move to use in the last slot due to its ability to brutalize Steel-types and other Pokemon that resist its STAB moves. Superpower also gives Tyranitar the ability to land a crippling blow on Terrakion, Keldeo, and Breloom—three of its biggest enemies—on the switch.

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

Lead

Focus Sash Sand Stream Hasty / Mild
Moveset EVs
~ Crunch
~ Fire Blast / Ice Beam
~ Low Kick / Ice Beam
~ Stealth Rock
4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

Rather than relying on sheer physical power to plough through teams, this set focuses on setting up Stealth Rock with ease while using its surprise factor to significantly damage common switch-ins. This set can outspeed common checks, such as Breloom, Scizor, Landorus-T and hit them with super effective moves, allowing Tyranitar to bluff a Choice Scarf set and start the game with a really good advantage. You would be wise to use this set only in offensive teams, as it is not intended to keep healthy for all the match but to set entry hazards and possibly mess up the momentum of weather teams.

Crunch works as the main STAB move to deal with Espeon and Xatu, two problems for other entry hazard-setting leads, and other Psychic-types. In the second slot, Fire Blast can OHKO Scizor, Breloom, Forretress (if Sturdy is not active) and Ferrothorn (which has a 45% of OHKOing without rain). Low Kick hits Terrakion, Heatran, and opposing Tyranitar, all important targets and common leads, without having the drawback of the drop in two stats that Superpower has; it 2HKOes the first two and OHKOes the latter. However, Tyranitar can run Ice Beam to always OHKO Landorus-T, Gliscor, Garchomp and other Dragon-types, and to 2HKO Donphan.

It is important to be aware that leads such as Focus Sash Terrakion and Garchomp are able to beat this set unless they use Stealth Rock first turn while Tyranitar uses Low Kick or Ice Beam and then KOes them second turn. Starting the game 6-5 with a 1 HP Tyranitar and no Stealth Rock is not a good situation, and should be avoided. That said, taking advantage of the team preview to identify if your opponent is using a dedicated lead that can put you in an immediate losing position helps, so you can save Tyranitar for later.

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

Support

Leftovers Sand Stream Sassy / Careful
Moveset EVs
~ Stealth Rock
~ Pursuit
~ Crunch
~ Fire Blast / Superpower / Stone Edge
252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD

With appropriate investment and the Special Defense boost in a sandstorm, Tyranitar gains the ability to combat several notable specially based threats, such as Latios, Ninetales, and Jolteon. Tyranitar can also reliably set up Stealth Rock because of its ability to threaten the Pokemon that possess Magic Bounce with its powerful Dark-type STAB attacks. Stealth Rock is the only hazard Tyranitar sets up, but it is enough to easily cripple several important OU Pokemon, such as Ninetales, Volcarona, and Thundurus-T. Crunch is Tyranitar's most reliable STAB move due to its ability to OHKO targets such as Latios, Gengar, and Starmie and 2HKO several other Pokemon. Pursuit is Tyranitar's other STAB move and is great for trapping frail Pokemon that switch out in fear of a powerful attack. Fire Blast is the preferred move in the last slot because it allows Tyranitar to defeat Forretress and Ferrothorn while retaining the ability to hurt Breloom and Scizor.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Tyranitar's movepool is especially impressive: It offers multiple options for boosting (from Hone Claws to Dragon Dance to Curse), a multitude of attacks, and a few support options. While Dragon Dance used to have a set of its own, the ubiquity of Technician Breloom has made it somewhat irrelevant. A mixed Dragon Dance set can be used to break stall, but it too faces the same problems a purely physical Dragon Dance set faces. TyraniBoah, a relic from the days of RSE OU, still holds some merit for stallbreaking thanks to its power and unpredictability behind a Substitute, but it is ultimately a lesser option due to the sheer force of offense reducing the usage of stall teams. Curse is still out there, but it faces the same problems the Dragon Dance sets face, is still OHKOed after a defensive boost by the myriad of Fighting-types in OU, and is more vulnerable to Trick due to Curse's Speed-reducing effects. If you desire recovery outside of Leftovers on Tyranitar, then a Rest + Sleep Talk set can be used, but it is thwarted by faster Taunt users. Roar can be used to phaze out certain targets, but Tyranitar is an inferior phazer when compared to other choices, such as Hippowdon and Skarmory. Among the support moves offered by Tyranitar, Thunder Wave stands out as a fantastic option; many Pokemon used to check Tyranitar are fast Pokemon that do not appreciate paralysis, so the move can be used to support itself and some of its slower teammates.

Checks and Counters

Naturally, Fighting-types, which resist Tyranitar's STAB moves and possess STAB on moves that target Tyranitar's largest weakness, are its best counters. Among them, Terrakion and Breloom are best suited to dealing with it thanks to the former's access to Justified and the latter's powerful Technician-boosted Mach Punch. However, Terrakion must beware of a stray Superpower, and Breloom must avoid Fire Blast or Ice Beam. Keldeo stands as a respectable counter, threatening Tyranitar with a powerful Secret Sword. Conkeldurr can use its own immense bulk to turn Tyranitar into setup fodder or force a KO on it with its powerful moves. While it must watch out for the same moves as Terrakion, Lucario is endowed with a 4x resistance to Tyranitar's STABs and has access to Close Combat.

However, Fighting-types are not the only way to halt a Tyranitar's rampage. While it may not have a resistance to its Dark STAB, Hippowdon's massive physical bulk and access to reliable recovery in the form of Slack Off allows it to stall Tyranitar out ad infinitum. Gliscor, thanks to its massive Defense, Poison Heal, and powerful Earthquake, works well as a Tyranitar counter. While Landorus-T may not have Poison Heal, it does have both Intimidate, which allows it to sponge even the strongest of hits from Tyranitar, and a massive base 145 Attack stat, making its Earthquake absurdly powerful. Steel-types also possess a resistance to its STAB moves and the ability to smack one of its weaknesses. Among them, Jirachi and Scizor stand out, with the latter only fearing an unexpected Fire Blast. Skarmory, Ferrothorn, and Forretress work as well, but they all must watch out for Fire Blast (and, in the case of Ferrothorn, Superpower).

It's much easier to check Tyranitar than it is to counter it thanks to its rather low Speed and horrendous defensive typing. With its access to Arena Trap, STAB Earthquake, and Reversal, Dugtrio can serve as one of the best Tyranitar checks in existence unless Tyranitar chooses to run a Shed Shell. While it won't enjoy a powerful Crunch or Superpower, Garchomp can come in and threaten to KO with Earthquake or use it as setup fodder. Users of Will-O-Wisp, such as Mew and Sableye, can easily nullify its gigantic Attack stat. Other opposing weather inducers, Politoed and Abomasnow, are massive pains for Tyranitar to deal with since they carry super-effective STAB attacks and rob Tyranitar of its Special Defense boost. Thanks to the Superpower tutor, Stoutland and Hydreigon are also good checks; the former can use sandstorm against Tyranitar, while the latter resists Tyranitar's Dark-type STAB and Fire Blast. Mamoswine, while not a newcomer to this list, is now an even better check thanks to Thick Fat, which improves its ability to switch in on Tyranitar.