Landorus

Sand Force
Increases power of Ground-, Rock-, and Steel-type attacks by 30% in a sandstorm.
Sheer Force
Increases power of moves with secondary effects by 30%, but removes the effects.
Type
Ground / Flying
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
89
- 319 382 -
Atk
125
257 286 349 383
Def
90
194 216 279 306
SpA
115
239 266 329 361
SpD
80
176 196 259 284
Spe
101
214 238 301 331

Overview

Landorus is an underrated, but deadly threat in the DW metagame. Its main selling points are its excellent abilities, Sand Force and Sheer Force. Sand Force boosts Earthquake's and Stone Edge's power to insane levels in the sand, making Landorus a fearsome sand sweeper, while Sheer Force boosts many of Landorus's special moves and prevents Life Orb recoil when using them. This makes it a diverse threat that can be used effectively outside of sandstorm as well. Landorus also has impressive offensive stats and a good movepool to abuse its great abilities with: base 125 Attack, base 115 Special Attack, base 101 Speed, and access to fantastic boosting moves such as Swords Dance and Rock Polish, as well as a powerful STAB Earthquake.

Unfortunately, the good news stops there. Unlike in OU, Landorus finds itself struggling to keep up with the powerful sweepers present in the Dream World metagame. With Garchomp and Excadrill, both of whom have better typing and stats, as well as ability in Excadrill's case, running around, Landorus struggles to find something it has over them. Its weaknesses to common Water- and Ice-type attacks also allow threats such as Genesect to take it down with ease. Don't be afraid to give Landorus a try though; it can rip through teams if played to its strengths.

Name Item Ability Nature

Physical Sweeper

Life Orb / Leftovers Sand Force Hasty / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Rock Polish / Swords Dance
~ Earthquake
~ Stone Edge
~ Hidden Power Ice / Substitute
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

This is one of Landorus's deadliest sets, and for good reason. With access to Rock Polish and Swords Dance, Landorus becomes an unpredictable sweeper that only needs a turn of setup to pull off a sweep. Rock Polish is the preferred option, as Landorus already has plenty of power and the extra Speed can help it outspeed many common threats, such as Genesect, Deoxys-S, Excadrill, Garchomp, Keldeo, and Thundurus, all of whom could revenge kill Landorus otherwise. However, Swords Dance can be used to tear through defensive teams with Landorus's raw power. Earthquake and Stone Edge are obvious choices, as they not only receive a Sand Force boost, but also create the infamous "EdgeQuake" combo. The last move is a toss-up between Substitute and Hidden Power Ice. Hidden Power Ice is the preferred option, as it can be used to OHKO Gliscor with Life Orb. Substitute is also viable, as its shields Landorus from status such as burn or poisoning that could halt its sweep. It also allows Landorus to scout the opponent and safely KO faster threats such as Genesect after a Swords Dance.

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

Special Sweeper

Life Orb Sheer Force Timid / Hasty
Moveset EVs
~ Rock Polish / Calm Mind
~ Earth Power
~ Psychic
~ Hidden Power Ice / Hammer Arm
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

Although Landorus is usually viewed as a physical sweeper, one must not forget that it actually has a usable base 115 Special Attack. Add Sheer Force and the special movepool to abuse it, and you have a dangerous, albeit underrated, threat. Rock Polish is the preferred boosting move, as Landorus has plenty of power thanks to Sheer Force and thus appreciates a Speed boost more. Calm Mind is an option for more power (and less importantly, Special Defense), but the added power isn't all that useful. It does nab the KO on defensive variants of Dragonite and Tyranitar, as well as OHKOing Hippowdon, but leaves Landorus outsped by a slew of threats. You also lose the surprise value, as the moment you use Calm Mind, the opponent will know you're running a special set. STAB, Sheer Force-boosted Earth Power is the crux of this set, dealing heavy damage to anything that doesn't resist it. Psychic hits the plethora of Fighting-types in the metagame hard, particularly Breloom, who resists Earth Power; it also gets a Sheer Force boost. Hidden Power Ice is the best choice for the last slot, OHKOing Gliscor and even Dragonite after Stealth Rock damage. Don't forget though that a neutral Earth Power is actually more powerful than a 2x effective Hidden Power Ice. Finally, if Blissey, Chansey, and Air Balloon users worry you more, Hammer Arm is an acceptable option in the fourth moveslot to handle them.

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

Choice

Choice Scarf / Choice Band Sand Force Hasty / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ U-turn
~ Earthquake
~ Stone Edge
~ Hidden Power Ice / Hammer Arm
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Despite its great Attack, Speed, and abilities, Landorus often finds itself outclassed when it comes to a Choice set by other Pokemon with better Attack, Speed, and abilities, namely Garchomp and Excadrill. However, Landorus does have one thing over those two, and that is U-turn. U-turn turns Landorus into an excellent scout, allowing it to scout for counters and eliminate them. When not U-turning, Earthquake will be Landorus's primary attack, as it's reliable, powerful, and receives STAB and Sand Force boosts. Stone Edge is another powerful option that forms the "EdgeQuake" combo, giving Landorus great coverage. Once again, you must make the tough choice between Hidden Power and Hammer Arm. Hidden Power Ice is for taking out Gliscor and Dragonite, whereas Hammer Arm beats Air Balloon users such as Heatran.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Landorus actually has a pretty diverse movepool, and as such, it has plenty of other options. Smack Down is one of the better ones, as it actually allows Landorus to defeat its worst enemies: Skarmory and Bronzong. However, that's its only use, so whether it's worth a moveslot is questionable. Explosion is also a decent option to go down with a bang, but the nerf it received this generation limits its effectiveness. Landorus also gets Bulk Up, but the Defense boost isn't that helpful, as it already resists common physical attacks; besides, Swords Dance provides a greater boost to Attack. Landorus also has access to Grass Knot, which can be used to take down bulky Water-types such as Quagsire, Gastrodon, and Slowbro. However, it has no other use, so finding a slot for it is difficult. Another possible set would be a ''Double Dance'' set with Swords Dance and Rock Polish, but Terrakion generally outclasses Landorus in this role. Lastly, Expert Belt can be used to fake a Choice item and surprise Gliscor, but the loss of power can cause Landorus to miss out on key KOs.

Checks and Counters

Landorus's biggest checks are Skarmory and Bronzong, which can take any attack and retaliate with Hidden Power Ice and Brave Bird, respectively. However, they need to be wary of Smack Down as they switch in, as Landorus can then KO with Earthquake. Hippowdon also makes a decent check, as it is only 3HKOed by and can strike back with Ice Fang. Aside from these three, Landorus's counters depend on what set it is running. Gliscor can beat any Landorus without Hidden Power Ice, especially if it has Ice Fang. Choice Scarf Genesect can take down any Landorus without a Speed boost. Blissey and Chansey can take on the special variant, but need to watch out for Hammer Arm. Intimidate Gyarados is also a decent counter, as a Sand Force-boosted Stone Edge can only do 91% max after Intimidate, whereas an unboosted Waterfall KOs most of the time after Stealth Rock. Finally, the many threats that can outspeed Landorus, such as Keldeo, Garchomp, and offensive Deoxys-S, can beat non-Choice Scarf variants or ones without a Rock Polish boost.