Sand Stream
Summons permanent sandstorm.
Prevents the foe from consuming its held Berry item.
Type Tier
Rock / Dark OU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
- 175 207 -
138 154 186 204
117 130 162 178
103 115 147 161
108 120 152 167
72 81 113 124


Tyranitar is one of the most popular Pokemon in the VGC 2012 metagame, and for good reason. It has very impressive stats, the best of which is its massive base 134 Attack. With a base Speed of only 61, however, it is one of the slower Pokemon in the VGC 2012 metagame. This can be taken advantage of by providing it with Trick Room support, or simply by using it to underspeed opposing weather Pokemon. Tyranitar's Sand Stream ability initiates a sandstorm whenever Tyranitar enters the battlefield; when two weather inducers are sent out at the same time (the beginning of the battle, for example), the slower Pokemon's weather stays in effect. Tyranitar's Rock / Dark typing gives it two very useful STAB attacks, but also provides it with a horrific 4x weakness to Fighting-type moves, a very popular attack type in the VGC 2012 metagame. Furthermore, Tyranitar is weak to Ground-, Water-, and Grass-type moves, all of which are common in the metagame as well. Thankfully, Tyranitar's weaknesses to Water- and Grass-type attacks are to a certain extent offset by the Special Defense boost that Rock-types receive during a sandstorm.

Name Item Ability Nature

Physical Attacker

Chople Berry / Focus Sash Sand Stream / Unnerve Brave
Moveset IVs
~ Crunch
~ Rock Slide
~ Low Kick
~ Protect
0 Spe
252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD

This set takes advantage of Tyranitar's low Speed by using a Speed-reducing nature and a 0 Speed IV, allowing it to take control of the weather, as well as take advantage of Trick Room. Crunch and Rock Slide are obligatory on every Tyranitar set, as they are its strongest STAB moves. Tyranitar can choose between any number of attacks for its third move, as it has a very wide movepool. Low Kick is generally preferred, as it does heavy damage to the many Steel-types that resist Rock Slide and Crunch.

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


Chople Berry / Focus Sash Unnerve Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Dark Pulse
~ Flamethrower
~ Ice Beam
~ Protect
252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 Spe

This set outlines the use of Tyranitar on a weatherless team, and makes use of its special attacking capabilities. This gives it merit over a physical set because Intimidate no longer cripples Tyranitar. Dark Pulse is the main STAB move for the set, as it hits many Pokemon for neutral damage and most Trick Room users super effectively. Flamethrower is used to give coverage against Steel-types such as Scizor, Metagross, and Ferrothorn; these threats can all haunt a physical set because Tyranitar has no physical options to hurt them significantly. Ice Beam gives coverage against Dragon- and Flying-types such as Garchomp and Thundurus, which can destroy Tyranitar with Earthquake and cripple its teammates with Thunder Wave, respectively. Protect helps Tyranitar work around Pokemon that may threaten it, avoiding all attacks for a turn while a teammate handles the threat.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Tyranitar has a vast movepool, but many of its moves are not viable in VGC 2012. If your team relies heavily on sandstorm being set up, Tyranitar can hold Iron Ball instead of one of the recommended items to lower its Speed, and take advantage of it by running the move Fling. With an Iron Ball, Fling becomes an immensely powerful 130 Base Power Dark-type move, which is further boosted by STAB. One problem with this strategy, though, is that it can only be pulled off once. Additionally, if the target uses Protect, the Iron Ball is used up and the strategy is rendered useless. In place of Low Kick, Tyranitar can instead use a support move, such as Taunt or Thunder Wave. Taunt can be used to mess with Trick Room teams, but Tyranitar itself generally fares well in Trick Room due to its low Speed. Tyranitar also has a wide selection of powerful special attacks, such as Fire Blast, Thunderbolt, and Ice Beam, but its base 95 Special Attack pales in comparison to its base 134 Attack stat. Stone Edge can be used in place of Rock Slide, but its low accuracy makes it less reliable, and unlike Rock Slide, it can also be redirected by Follow Me and Rage Powder. Nonetheless, one big advantage of Stone Edge is its ability to easily 2HKO Gyarados, which is a big threat to Tyranitar. Tyranitar receives a number of other moves, such as Iron Head and Aqua Tail, but they are not recommended due to their poor type coverage. If you do not care about initiating a sandstorm, or would rather take better advantage of Tailwind or Icy Wind support, you can use an Adamant nature and a 31 Speed IV. Another option is utilizing 252 Speed EVs and a Jolly nature along with Choice Scarf, which can catch your opponents off guard. This opens up Tyranitar to being OHKOed by any number of attacks, but the added Speed can be helpful in some situations. In particular, Tyranitar can outspeed and OHKO Latios and Thundurus, which can otherwise pose a threat to Tyranitar and its teammates.

Checks and Counters

As stated before, Fighting-type Pokemon are the bane of Tyranitar's existence. They are able to deal massive amounts of damage to Tyranitar while taking relatively little in return. Pokemon with the Intimidate ability also fare well against Tyranitar, as Tyranitar almost always relies on physical attacks to deal damage. Hitmontop and Arcanine are particularly threatening because they pose an imminent threat to Tyranitar, but even Salamence and Gyarados can be switched in relatively safely, as neither is OHKOed by Rock Slide after Intimidate. Other Pokemon that can wall Tyranitar well and severely damage it include most Steel-types, such as Metagross and Ferrothorn.