Tangrowth is undisputedly a great Pokemon in UU; he has high HP, good overall defensive stats, and useful offensive stats on both sides. On top of that, Tangrowth is one of the few Pokemon who get STAB on Power Whip. He has Sleep Powder, Stun Spore, Knock Off, and a great physical and special movepool as well. However, Tangrowth is in an unfortunate position in UU, where his best counters are also the top Pokémon in the tier; Venusaur and Blaziken, among others, can beat him easily one-on-one. The threat from special sweepers in UU is, in general, much greater than that from physical sweepers, and the physical sweepers who are still considered threats can often beat Tangrowth anyway.
Don't let this make you feel that Tangrowth is any the worse for wear, though. Tangrowth can still function as a bulky Grass-type and be an annoyance to the opponent thanks to Knock Off, Stun Spore, and Sleep Powder. All the Pokemon listed above hate having these moves used against them. Stealth Rock support makes Tangrowth even better on the field, as many of Tangrowth's counters hate having 25% of their HP chipped off. Tangrowth's potential is such that he can stand his ground with Power Whip and his support moves alone. He is one of the best Rhyperior checks in the game, and one of the only Pokemon in UU who can call a halt to Swords Dance Kabutops in the rain.
Tangrowth is sometimes considered to be overshadowed by other walls and other Grass-types with whom he competes for a spot on a team. However, he has a fantastic support movepool backed up by reliable defensive stats; his overall physical defense is greater than that of Skarmory or Hippowdon; and he has plenty of attacking power on both sides. This set best demonstrates his formidable walling potential alongside the individual moves that support his claim to fame.
Power Whip provides fairly reliable STAB, having 120 Base Power and no negative side effects besides imperfect accuracy. On the special side, his most notable STAB is Leaf Storm, which has the perks of better accuracy and destructive power; however, this does mean that his Special Attack is cut massively after just one use, and Tangrowth is rendered easy setup fodder. Tangrowth also has access to healing moves; Synthesis grants instant 50% recovery and is useful in UU where all the fully-evolved auto weather changers are absent. As for complementary moves, Hidden Power Ice can hit Leafeon, Venusaur, Scyther, Swellow, and Altaria for decent damage, while on the physical side, Earthquake is usually the best choice for a coverage move, as it can hit opponents such as Drapion, Registeel, and Houndoom for super effective damage. Sleep Powder is a very valuable tool as it cripples one Pokemon on the opposing team, and Tangrowth is one of the most reliable sleep inducers in UU.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Double Powder is another interesting way in which Tangrowth can cripple his counters, this time with both sleep and paralysis. The way this set should be used is essentially the same as the defensive set: come in on someone who fears Tangrowth, such as Choice Scarf Hitmonlee or Choice Band Azumarill locked into Waterfall, then use Sleep Powder on the opponent's Pokemon, and subsequently use Stun Spore on the switch-in. Hopefully, you will catch someone like Swellow off-guard and effectively neuter two Pokemon.
The core difference between this set and the standard physically defensive set is the more offensive orientation of this set; while the standard wall takes hits and deals them back, Double Powder is more aggressively played, with his primary objective being to cripple foes, and after that, to take hits. Because of this, it is generally preferable to forgo a healing move to provide better coverage. Earthquake hits Fire-, Steel-, and Poison-types who may pose Tangrowth problems, while Hidden Power Ice hits Flying-, Dragon-, and other Grass-types. It is best to choose between these two based on his STAB move of choice: Power Whip provides consistent power, while Leaf Storm has better accuracy and comes off Tangrowth's better attacking stat.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Tangrowth is often looked down upon for his miserable base 50 Special Defense stat, which ordinarily makes him extraordinarily weak to special attacks of all descriptions. Therefore, attempting to make use of this stat would seem pointless; however, by investing heavily on the special side, Tangrowth can use his resistances and improved defensive capabilities to decent effect, while relying on his immense physical Defense stat, which is formidable even without investment. However, it should be noted that by running this spread, Tangrowth loses the ability to beat extremely strong physical attackers such as Rhyperior and Swords Dance Feraligatr.
Once again, Sleep Powder, Stun Spore and Synthesis are all good support options. Sleep Powder is usually the best option, but if you prefer repeated status or already have a sleep inducer on your team, Stun Spore is worth a look. Leech Seed is also an option if you prefer that method of support. Again, you have to make a serious decision with regard to offensive moves. Power Whip accomplishes the most out of Tangrowth's STAB options, but its comparatively low accuracy can be a turn-off. Leaf Storm is again an option, but it has a number of faults that can make it a worse option. Not only do you only get one shot with it, which is bad especially on a Tangrowth such as this, which relies a great deal on firepower, but Leaf Storm Tangrowth cannot specially defensive Milotic, who is one of the main targets for this set. After one Leaf Storm, Milotic can heal itself with Recover and leave Tangrowth looking useless. Leaf Storm does, however, have the helpful ability to OHKO Slowbro with 120 EVs in Special Attack. Again, Hidden Power Ice and Earthquake are your coverage options; it is usually best to choose the option that works off the same stat as your STAB option to avoid splitting EVs.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
A combination of a respectable Attack stat, access to Swords Dance and Power Whip, and Chlorophyll allow Tangrowth to pull off a Swords Dance set with reasonable success. The core principle of the set is to come in on an ineffective physical attacker, use Swords Dance, and proceed to knock holes in anyone Tangrowth can hit. Sceptile has higher Speed, which is useful for this type of set, but Tangrowth has a higher Attack stat and the killer variable, Chlorophyll, which with sun support allows him to plow through teams with Power Whip and Earthquake.
Power Whip is Tangrowth's main source of damage and his best STAB move. Earthquake provides the standard coverage move, getting important hits on Poison-, Fire-, and Steel-types. Rock Slide completes Tangrowth's pseudo-QuakeEdge coverage, allowing him to hit Flying-types like Scyther and Moltres. Status moves such as Stun Spore and Sleep Powder are also usable; Stun Spore in particular is important if you want to use this effectively without sun support.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although Tangrowth's 50 base Speed stat makes sweeping seem nearly impossible, this can easily be fixed by Sunny Day support. Thanks to Chlorophyll, Tangrowth's Speed doubles in the sun, allowing him to outspeed most of the UU tier and take advantage of his high attacking stats, if only for a few turns. While offensive Tangrowth is typically seen as a physical attacker with Swords Dance, this set attempts to take advantage of Chlorophyll and the higher of Tangrowth's attacking stats, his Special Attack. Once a teammate sets up Sunny Day, Tangrowth can easily switch into physical attacks and attempt to sweep thanks to his base 125 Defense.
Since this Tangrowth relies on the Speed boost from Chlorophyll to be successful, Sunny Day support is absolutely mandatory. Once sun is set up, Sleep Powder should be used first to immediately incapacitate the opponent's first switch-in. With his primary counter asleep and his Speed doubled, Tangrowth can abuse his flawless coverage to hit many Pokemon for heavy damage. SolarBeam is a very potent attack, and takes no charge-up to execute in the sun. Hidden Power Fire gets pseudo-STAB from the sun, and AncientPower provides near flawless coverage. Power Whip may be used over either Sleep Powder or Hidden Power Fire as a last-ditch attempt to topple opposing special walls, such as Chansey, who would otherwise wall Tangrowth; though it provides no extra coverage and seems fairly situational, its wallbreaking capabilities alone make Power Whip worthy of consideration.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
With proper support, Tangrowth can make a fearsome mixed sweeper in UU, with powerful STAB and coverage options backed up by solid base 100 Attack and 110 Special Attack. Tangrowth should be paired with sun support to activate his Chlorophyll ability, allowing him to outrun everyone up to and including Modest Scarf Rotom. It also boosts the power of Hidden Power Fire, but it is advised that Tangrowth should not run Sunny Day himself in the interest of type coverage.
Power Whip is chosen as the preferred STAB move, since it hits nearly everyone of significance harder than Grass Knot, with a few small exceptions such as Cloyster and Slowbro, who are 2HKOed by Power Whip anyway. If you're prepared to take a little risk for the best of both worlds, SolarBeam is always an option, since it has Power Whip's Base Power combined with Grass Knot's accuracy and comes off Tangrowth's higher Special Attack stat. SolarBeam also OHKOes Milotic after Stealth Rock damage. It is also blessed by the absence of the fully evolved instant-weather Pokémon in UU, so the chance of the sun being banished and Tangrowth being locked into a weakened SolarBeam is low. Using SolarBeam or Grass Knot over Power Whip, however, will make Chansey far more of an issue. In the way of coverage, Hidden Power Fire gets a boost from the sun and hits Grass-, Bug- and Steel-types, while Earthquake gets super effective coverage on Fire-, Poison- and Steel-types. Thus five of the seven types resistant to Grass are covered; the final two being Dragon and Flying. The only common UU Dragon-type is Altaria, who is also part Flying. To deal with these Flying-types, the best choice is really Rock Slide, which will also hit Fire- and Bug-types for super effective damage, however it will fail to OHKO a min/min Altaria even after Stealth Rock damage.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
First and foremost, you should use sets that differentiate Tangrowth's from his fellow Grass-types. He is certainly not short of other support options, but often other Pokemon can make better use of them. Block is an interesting move that could be used alongside Sleep Powder and Leech Seed. With Block you can create an "annoyer" out of Tangrowth. The problem is that Tangrowth is left with only one move. Knock Off, despite being available from the move tutor, is still a fairly exclusive toy and Tangrowth can use it to great effect, removing items and possibly simultaneously telling you what variant of Pokémon you are facing. Tangrowth can use the popular SubSeed strategy, which is especially useful since Tangrowth can reach the magic 404 HP stat, meaning his Substitutes cannot be broken with Seismic Toss; however, Sceptile and Jumpluff are both faster, and thus can perform the strategy more easily. Toxic works on the standard set and is an option over Stun Spore on the Double Powder set. Reflect is an excellent support move for Tangrowth to aid his pals; it's just a pity that Tangrowth doesn't get Light Screen to help out with his dismal Special Defense stat. The only physical move of note not listed in the rest of the analysis is Poison Jab, which is Tangrowth's most powerful physical move against Leafeon and other pure Grass-types, but has mediocre coverage after that. Sludge Bomb follows the same logic as Poison Jab; however, it works off of Tangrowth's higher Special Attack stat instead (and with a higher Base Power as well).
Tangrowth is generally a defensive Pokémon and should be EVed as such. It is advised that you max out his HP before you work on his defensive stats. 252 Def is advised in UU play as it is essential to surviving boosted hits from key opponents, such as Dragon Dance Feraligatr, but you can branch out into Attack if you feel like the extra power would help. Offensively orientated sets should concentrate on the attacking stat they're using. If you're using Chlorophyll with Sunny Day, 240 speed with Adamant or Modest nature, factoring in the IV drop from Hidden Power Fire, allows Tangrowth to beat neutral Scarf Blaziken, but maximizing Speed is usually the best choice at that point. 228 EVs with a Timid, Jolly or Naive nature beats Modest Scarf Rotom; 232 EVs with a positive nature beats Adamant Rock Polish Torterra after a boost; and max Speed with a positive nature beats Adamant Scarf Primeape and ties with other Tangrowth. Without Chlorophyll, there is very little you can outspeed and you are best off going on the defensive. 29 HP EVs can be uesd on offensive sets with Life Orb to minimize recoil.
Checks and Counters
At first sight, it would appear that the Tangrowth is quite easy to switch into—his STAB has a total of seven types resistant to it, and his coverage moves are fairly weak against neutral targets. However, that is not the case—it is difficult to switch into Tangrowth, mainly because of his great support movepool. Sleep Powder, Stun Spore, and Knock Off are moves that are very difficult to switch into and can cripple an opponent for the rest of the battle. Not only that, but since many of Tangrowth's counters are weak to Stealth Rock, Pokemon who switch in will likely be forfeiting a good amount of their health.
As far as typing goes, Moltres, Charizard, and Scyther all have quad resistances to Grass and all destroy Tangrowth with their STAB moves, but they all have quad Stealth Rock weaknesses as well, and so cannot switch in more than twice if the rocks are up. Other Grass-types like Venusaur and Sceptile make good counters; Venusaur gets a special mention for having a quad resistance to Grass, no Stealth Rock weakness, and STAB Sludge Bomb.
Other counters include Flying-, Fire-, and Poison-types. Of the Flying-types, Altaria has a quad resistance to Grass as well as access to special Fire-type attacks and Natural Cure. Swellow can activate his Toxic Orb, making him immune to sleep and paralysis attempts, and he is not bothered by Knock Off if his Orb has already activated. Drifblim has good defensive stats and can put up a Substitute if need be. Fire- and Poison-types need to beware of Earthquake from sweeper Tangrowth; however, they also make good counters should the need arise. Arcanine has Intimidate to let him come in safely, and can fry Tangrowth with STAB Flare Blitz. Ninetales, Typhlosion, Blaziken, Magmortar, and Houndoom are other notable checks. Of Poison-types, Weezing is immune to Earthquake, has good defensive stats, and can use STAB Sludge Bomb to beat Tangrowth. Nidoking and Nidoqueen have no Grass resistance but have access to moves like Poison Jab and Ice Beam. Toxicroak can set up in Tangrowth's face with Substitute and/or Swords Dance, but must beware of Earthquake or sun-boosted Hidden Power Fire. Muk and Drapion also make reasonably good choices.