Despite the many Water- and Electric-types in OU, Lanturn fills a unique niche in the OU metagame: resistances to some of the most common special attacks, a 4x resistance to Steel, immunity to Thunder Wave, and fantastic coverage between his two STABs and Ice Beam are all very appealing. Lanturn is the closest thing you will find to a 100% counter to Life Orb Starmie and Substitute + Thunder Wave Jirachi, both of whom run rampant in today's metagame. Like most UU Pokemon used in OU, Lanturn is very much a high risk, high reward type of Pokemon. While the above-mentioned benefits are great, Lanturn's mediocre Speed and low Defense often put it at the mercy of OU's top physical threats. In addition, both of Lanturn's OU sets require a fair amount of luck to reach their maximum effectiveness. If you're feeling daring though and want to add a little color to your team, give Lanturn a splash!
Lanturn's unique typing and valuable ability give him plenty of free switches in the OU metagame. However, his mediocre Special Attack, Speed, and tendency for luring Blissey in without fail has had the effect on making Lanturn utterly unusable in the OU tier. This set attempts to fix that through the use of Substitute and Charge Beam, turning Lanturn into a surprisingly dangerous mid-game Pokemon, capable of seriously denting the opponent's team.
Substitute will usually be the first move you use. Many of the Pokemon Lanturn easily comes in on are likely to switch out, and Substitute allows you to safely pick your next move. It also blocks status moves from Blissey and Vaporeon who think they can stall Lanturn to death with Toxic. After Substitute, your next move is dictated by whoever switches in. Hydro Pump deals over 50% to most Machamp, Metagross, Scizor, Tyranitar, and Jirachi. Ice Beam is for Dragon-type Pokemon, Gliscor, and Breloom. If you're met with bulkier Pokemon like Blissey, Zapdos, or Celebi, Charge Beam away and then hit them with Hydro Pump or Ice Beam when you're ready.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Lanturn is a relatively bulky Pokemon with a valuable niche in the OU metagame. Investing in Lanturn's bulk makes him a very effective defensive Pokemon, and his movepool further enables him to be a great staller. Thunder Wave is paired with Confuse Ray to give the opponent a mere 3/8 chance to move every turn.
Playing with this set is relatively simple, but still requires some forethought. On Lanturn's first turn out, he can either use Confuse Ray or Thunder Wave. Thunder Wave will catch Pokemon that are not immune to Electric-type attacks, which then allows Lanturn to outspeed them the following turn and hit them with Confuse Ray. However, as this strategy fails against Ground-type Pokemon and other Pokemon that are immune to Electric-type moves, like Electivire and Jolteon, leading with Confuse Ray also works. The problems with using Confuse Ray first are that you're missing out on the true status effect, paralysis, on the opposing Pokemon and that Lanturn isn't guaranteed to hit the opponent with Thunder Wave before being attacked in return.
As for attacking moves, Thunderbolt and Ice Beam are preferred to form the BoltBeam coverage combo. Discharge can be used over Thunderbolt if you'd like Lanturn to have a handy chance of paralyzing opponents while doing some damage. Additionally, Lanturn's secondary STAB move, Surf, is very effective for putting down opposing Fire-types, as well as Ground-type Pokemon that are neutral to Ice-type attacks, so it may be worth considering over Ice Beam.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Lanturn's limited options and relatively low stats prevent him from running very much effectively in OU. He can function adequately on OU Rain Dance teams by both abusing the pseudo-STAB of rain and 100% accurate STAB Thunder. Stockpile coupled with Toxic can turn Lanturn into an annoying Toxic staller, but being susceptible to poison makes the prospects of that set being successful relatively low.
Checks and Counters
Without a Substitute up on the SubCharge set, most of OU's physical threats can easily force Lanturn out, as they will usually be faster than Lanturn. Be careful switching such Pokemon into Lanturn though, as between Lanturn's offensive coverage and the possibility of having a Substitute up, Lanturn can severely weaken many of them. For this reason Flygon with U-turn makes a particularly good counter to SubCharge Lanturn, as he can remove Lanturn's Substitute and switch to an appropriate counter in the same turn. When using the Parafusion set, Lanturn becomes a lot harder to take down in one blow, especially if the opponent is not immune to Thunder Wave. For this reason Ground-type Pokemon with a powerful Earthquake, such as Swampert, are strongly recommended to effectively deal with this set. Snorlax with Earthquake is a phenomenal switch-in to Lanturn, not particularly caring about paralysis and able to take the assaults of SubCharge sets with ease. Not many special attackers can switch into Lanturn without putting themselves at serious risk. Jolteon with Hidden Power Grass can switch into the Parafusion set well, as Ice Beam won't do too much to him.
As far as defensive Pokemon go, Swampert deserves special mention as the only bulky Water-type capable of handling Lanturn: Hydro Pump is only a 3HKO, while Earthquake will scare Lanturn away. Note that Swampert cannot switch repeatedly into Lanturn however, as he will quickly succumb to Hydro Pump. Celebi with Leaf Storm also poses a threat to Lanturn, as it is not even 2HKOed by Ice Beam. Grass Knot is a laughing matter for Lanturn though, as it hits for 40 Base Power. Blissey can handle Lanturn if she comes in when Lanturn is low on health, but be wary of a Charge Beam sweep if she comes in on a Lanturn with over 70% health or a Substitute.