Thundurus (Analysis)

QC Checks: panamaxis, Setsuna

GP Checks: Zystral, bugmaniacbob, DJXO9, jc104

Thundurus (Serebii Pokedex Entry)

Status: Done


<p>With an excellent base Speed of 111, wonderful mixed attacking stats, and a good movepool, Thundurus is a potent offensive threat who can perform many different roles in teams. The first thing one notices about it is its massive base 125 Special Attack stat and Nasty Plot, which enables it to hit like a truck with STAB Thunderbolt. Its secret weapon is its impressive ability, Prankster, which gives priority to Nasty Plot, Taunt, and Thunder Wave. Electric / Flying is an excellent typing as well, shared only with Zapdos, Emolga and Rotom-S, and gives Thundurus only 2 weaknesses: Rock- and Ice-type attacks.</p>

<p>However, Thundurus is not without its faults. Even though it is fast, it is still outsped by a host of Pokemon. With its mediocre defenses, Thundurus is vulnerable to getting revenge killed. Rock- and Ice- type attacks are common, and having a weakness to both can be problematic. Its movepool is good, but not great, and it has to rely on undesirable moves such as Hidden Power and Focus Blast to make up the coverage.</p>

name: Nasty Plot Sweeper
move 1: Nasty Plot
move 2: Thunderbolt
move 3: Hidden Power Ice
move 4: Focus Blast / Taunt
item: Life Orb / Leftovers
ability: Prankster
nature: Timid
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

[Set Comments]

<p>After a Nasty Plot, Thundurus hits an amazing 698 Special Atack with a Timid nature. This in tandem with its high Speed stat means that Thundurus becomes a very dangerous sweeper after a boost. STAB Thunderbolt boosted by Life Orb from 698 Special Attack is nothing to scoff at, even OHKOing 252 HP / 252 SpD Calm Jellicent. Hidden Power Ice hits Grass-, Ground-, and Dragon-types that resist Thunderbolt, and with the two moves together, Thundurus achieves almost universal coverage, with the exception of Magnezone.</p>

<p>For the fourth move, there are two options. Focus Blast remedies Thundurus's imperfect coverage, and gives it a strong option to deal with walls such as Ferrothorn, Blissey, and Porygon2 even though its poor accuracy can be a hindrance. However, Taunt will shut off their mode of recovery and also prevent them from crippling Thundurus with status moves.</p>

[Additional Comments]

<p>The EVs are standard for any fast special attacker. 252 Speed EVs make Thundurus as fast as possible, while 252 Special Attack EVs maximize its power. A Timid nature is recommended in order to ensure that Thundurus will not be outsped by anything below its base Speed stat, and for this reason, a Modest nature is not advised. Without any HP EVs, Thundurus hits 299 HP, which is a magic Life Orb number. For this reason, putting the remaining 4 EVs in either Defense or Special Defense is advised. Using Hidden Power Ice is also legal with 31 HP IVs, so there is no cause for worry.</p>

<p>The main roadblocks Thundurus is going to run into are walls like Blissey, Ferrothorn, Porygon2 and other defensive Pokemon with a recovery move. Even though Focus Blast either 2HKOes or OHKOes them after a Nasty Plot, its inaccuracy can let you down. This is why Taunt can sometimes be preferred over Focus Blast on this set. Thundurus can prevent their recovery with Taunt, making it much easier for it to break through their defenses (albeit slowly) and achieve a sweep. It also stops Ferrothorn from using Leech Seed or Thunder Wave to cripple Thundurus.</p>

<p>Faster Pokemon are also dangerous, as they can easily ruin Thundurus's fun through revenge killing. As such, having a Thunder Wave user can be very useful. An excellent example is Ferrothorn, who can take almost all attacks aimed at Thundurus, and spread paralysis with Thunder Wave. Jirachi also deserves a mention, as with Thunder Wave and STAB Iron Head, it can easily finish off paralyzed Pokemon that pose a threat to Thundurus.</p>

name: Mixed
move 1: Thunderbolt
move 2: Hidden Power Ice
move 3: Hammer Arm
move 4: Taunt / U-turn / Thunder Wave
item: Life Orb / Expert Belt
ability: Prankster
nature: Naive / Hasty
evs: 32 Atk / 224 SpA / 252 Spe

[Set Comments]

<p>With its mixed offensive stats of base 115 Attack, base 125 Special Attack, and 111 base Speed, Thundurus is an excellent candidate for running a mixed set. With the given three moves, it gets neutral coverage on everything bar Shedinja. For the fourth move, there are three options: Taunt aids Thundurus a lot in shutting down Pokemon like Ferrothorn, Skarmory, Forretress, Blissey and Chansey, U-turn deals hefty damage to Celebi and Reuniclus who might switch in thinking they can take a hit and set up, while Thunder Wave helps Thundurus cripple faster Pokemon such as Starmie who might switch in on a predicted Taunt.</p>

<p>Thunderbolt is your main STAB option, as Wild Bolt has recoil damage and lower base power. Hammer Arm and Hidden Power Ice round off the moveset nicely, providing neutral coverage as mentioned. Hammer Arm always 2HKOes 252 HP / 252 Def Bold Blissey and Ferrothorn, who can also be shut down by Taunt. The Speed drops can be remedied by simply switching out.</p>

<p>This time, Thundurus will have no problems juggling different moves, as the given moves are all it needs to get perfect coverage. Life Orb adds extra sting to Thundurus's attacks, while Expert Belt helps Thundurus bluff a Choice item, luring in the aforementioned Pokemon.</p>

[Additional Comments]

<p>The EVs require some explanation. The 32 Attack EVs are required to 2HKO 252 / 252 Bold Blissey with Hammer Arm, as mentioned earlier. 252 Speed EVs and either a Naive or Hasty nature are used to maximize Speed, since Thundurus cannot run a Timid or a Jolly nature on a mixed set. Either way, it does not matter, since Thundurus is not going to take too many hits anyway.</p>

<p>As usual, faster Pokemon will be a full stop to Thundurus, and as such, Thunder Wave support is of great use to Thundurus. However, if it cannot spare a moveslot for the same, a Pokemon such as Jirachi can be very useful with its Steel typing, providing resistances to both of Thundurus's weaknesses. Blissey can spread paralysis, and also provide Wish support to Thundurus. Ferrothorn also has Thunder Wave and can provide slow HP restoration with Leech Seed.</p>

name: Prankster
move 1: Thunderbolt / Volt Switch
move 2: Thunder Wave
move 3: Taunt
move 4: Hidden Power Ice
item: Leftovers
ability: Prankster
nature: Timid
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

[Set Comments]

<p>With access to Prankster, Taunt, and Thunder Wave, Thundurus can function as a support Pokemon. The crux of this set is a priority Taunt, which stops the likes of Deoxys-S and Ferrothorn setting up entry hazards. Thunder Wave helps Thundurus cripple faster Pokemon such as Starmie and Choice Scarf users, who are common switch-ins to scout the expected Taunt. </p>

<p>Thunderbolt is Thundurus's primary STAB move, providing the perfect balance of reliability and power. However, Volt Switch is a viable option over Thunderbolt, if Thundurus does not intend to stick around long enough for a counter to turn up. However, this means the loss of vital power. Hidden Power Ice complements Thundurus's STAB Electric-type attack, hitting almost all those who resist Thunderbolt for at least neutral damage, 2HKOing Hippowdon and Multi-Scale Dragonite. This set can also work well as a lead, preventing the likes of Deoxys-S from setting up entry hazards.</p>

[Additional Comments]

<p>The EVs and nature are straightforward, giving Thundurus maximum Speed, so that it doesn't become even more vulnerable to revenge killing than it already is. Leftovers provides valuable recovery to Thundurus, reducing the damage taken from hail and sandstorm. However, if you intend to use Thundurus as a lead, Focus Sash could be more worthwhile to ensure Thundurus's continued survival. Sometimes, Volt Switch and Thunderbolt can be used on the same set, but you would have to drop Thunder Wave or Focus Blast in such a case which seriously undermines Thundurus's effectiveness.</p>

[Other Options]

<p>On the Support set, dropping Thunder Wave and instead having both Volt Switch and Thunderbolt is an option, allowing Thundurus to retain the ability to 2HKO Drizzle Politoed and switch out of Pokemon that threaten it. However, it should be noted that Volt Switch will not work on Pokemon with an immunity to Electric-type attacks. To remedy this, U-turn may be used instead. Going with Life Orb and 3 attacks on this set is also viable; Hammer Arm can be used to good effect, as it always OHKOes lead Tyranitar. For this purpose, either Volt Switch or Thunder Wave can be dropped to make way for Hammer Arm.</p>

<p>Thunder is another STAB option which Thundurus can use, albeit only with rain support. Since it also has access to Rain Dance, Thundurus can set up rain itself, and put a 100% accurate Thunder to great use. Grass Knot can also be used to deal with bulky Water-types who are immune to Thunderbolt, such as Quagsire and Swampert, but is of little use otherwise. On the Nasty Plot set, if Focus Blast's poor accuracy is an issue, it can be replaced by Brick Break, which also removes the effects of Reflect and Light Screen. However, this is not advisable, since you lose a lot of power in return for reliability. Thundurus might seem like the ideal candidate to run a Choice Scarf set, but it is good only on paper. Thundurus is weak to Stealth Rock and thus cannot switch in and out frequently when it runs a Choice Scarf. Thundurus's other sets are also better suited to the metagame.</p>

<p>Toxic is another interesting option; even though Thundurus does not have the defenses to attempt Toxic stall, it can inflict status on walls and switch out with Volt Switch before taking too much damage, leaving the stage clear for a Pokemon adept at stalling to come in. This can be put to great use especially when finding a moveslot for Toxic on a staller is difficult. Wish Blissey benefits immensely, as it can run an extra recovery move instead of Toxic to stall out the poisoned foe. Thundurus can also set up Rain Dance reliably, since Prankster gives it priority. With the Drizzle+Swift Swim ban, Thundurus can fit in rain teams well, since it can support dangerous rain sweepers such as Kingdra and Kabutops. Rain Dance also allows Thundurus to shut down opposing weather teams with ease, and utilise a 100% accurate Thunder.</p>

<p>In terms of alternative boosting moves, Bulk Up is an option to help with physical sweeping, and can work in tandem with STAB Wild Bolt and other physical options such as Brick Break and Crunch. However, both Thundurus's physical movepool and defensive stats are rarely up to snuff for this sort of set. Lastly, Charge Beam is an option, but Thundurus needs to hit hard and switch, so it cannot afford to sit boosting its stats with weak attacks. Nasty Plot is generally the better choice for a boosting move.</p>

[Checks and Counters]

<p>In general, it is quite difficult to counter Thundurus taking into account its large movepool and Prankster. However, special walls such as Chansey and Blissey take little damage from Thundurus's unboosted attacks barring Hammer Arm, and can wear it down quickly with Life Orb recoil and Seismic Toss. As such, bulky Pokemon which can take a hit and OHKO in return are Thundurus's best counters. Eviolite Trace Porygon2 is a prime example of such a Pokemon. With a 252 HP / 252 SpD EV spread, it can take any of Thundurus's unboosted attacks barring Hammer Arm, and KO it with Ice Beam. Porygon2 can also Trace Prankster.</p>

<p>Lanturn can also wall Thundurus to an extent, as with Volt Absorb it is immune to Thundurus's STAB Electric-type attacks. With a 252 HP / 252 SpD EV spread, Lanturn can sponge all of Thundurus's attacks, and KO it with Ice Beam.</p>

<p>Choice Scarf Magnezone is another good check to Thundurus. It resists both Thunderbolt and Hidden Power Ice, outspeeds Thundurus and can take a Brick Break with its high Defense. STAB Thunderbolt will 2HKO Thundurus as well. However, it needs to be wary of Focus Blast, which will OHKO if it hits.</p>

<p>Specially defensive Unaware Quagsire is a good check to Thundurus's Nasty Plot set. With its ability, Quagsire will negate Thundurus's stat boosts. Quagsire also has a useful Electric-type immunity. With a 252 HP / 252 SpD EV spread, Quagsire will never get 2HKOed by any of Thundurus's other unboosted attacks, barring Grass Knot, and can 2HKO it with STAB Waterfall.</p>

<p>Lastly, Pokemon which outspeed Thundurus will put a complete stop to it. Starmie, Excadrill (under sandstorm) and Choice Scarf Tyranitar are great examples, as they can OHKO Thundurus with a super effective move. Should Thundurus run a Choice item, Blissey, Ferrothorn and other walls can freely switch in, and stall out Thundurus, though it would be highly inadvisable for Thundurus to stay in.</p>

[Dream World]

<p>Thundurus gets the ability Defiant through the Dream World. Moves which lower stats are rare, and the chances that they would do so are even rarer. However, it could be of use on a Bulk Up set, as it makes Thundurus effectively immune to Intimidate. If Thundurus does not carry any non-attacking moves, it would probably be better to run Defiant.</p>
Choice Scarf set should have Timid nature over Modest to outspeed Scarf Lati@s and tie with other Borutorosu. 111 speed is too speed tier-breaking (pre-5th standards) to not get Timid. It doesn't lose out on Skymin KO, and you're KOing Garchomp after 1 Life Orb recoil, OHKO on Salamence, and OHKO on Dragonite after SR damage.
@ soonerorlater: Good suggestion, have mentioned it in the [SET COMMENTS].

@DrillingGround: Thank you for reminding me; I was sure I had mentioned it wrongly somewhere in the thread. Fixed now.

Working on adding a BulkUp set and a Choice Specs set. Thank you for the suggestions you have offered, it is helping me make this a better analysis.

-Calm Pokemaster.
I think the slashes on the NP set should be:
Nasty Plot
Focus Blast
Hidden Power Ice / Grass Knot / Taunt

Being walled by Lati@s (as well as Zapdos and Goruggu) really, really sucks.
Is the non-NP mix set worth a mention ?

Borutorosu @ Expert Belt
Naive Nature
4 Atk / 252 SAtk / 252 Speed
- Hammer Arm
- Thunderbolt
- Grass Knot
- Hidden Power Ice

It actually hits pretty hard and has alot of coverage and the Expert Belt is cool for bluffs, whilst ensuring you 2hko Bold Blissey with Hammer Arm.
Borutorosu does not outrun Doryuuzu in sandstorm. Dory reaches 600+ speed, while Borutorosu reaches 482 speed with Modest, 530 speed with Timid. If it was that easy to revenge Dory, it wouldn't be a problem as much as it is right now.
if you are looking to add more sets, i have one that abuses mischevious heart relatively well.

Borutorosu @ leftovers
Timid Nature
212 hp/44 satk/252 speed
Thunder Wave
Hidden Power Ice

i have used this set to great success. priority subs and t-waves are awseome and the tbolt/hp ice are like boltbeam for coverage. 212 hp is the highest lefties number (i think..) and then max speed with leftovers in satk. obviously there is some room for improvement here but borutorosu can use his good typing to come in, sub and start spreading paralysis. He shuts down most rain sweepers pretty well too.


fueled by beer
I think the slashes on the NP set should be:
Nasty Plot
Focus Blast
Hidden Power Ice / Grass Knot / Taunt

Being walled by Lati@s (as well as Zapdos and Goruggu) really, really sucks.
agreeing with this.
T-Bolt/Focus Blast is also walled by Nidos and all Grass/Posion Types so HP Ice is extremly important to receive Perfect Coverage and should be used everytime whereas Focus Blast should be slashed with Grass Knot and Taunt.
BUMP. This analysis is now 99% complete, leaving only some formatting issues to be complete. Please suggest any changes/ mistakes you may find in this analysis.

-Calm Pokemaster
My suggestion would be to use Hammer Arm on the mixed set. The extra power makes a huge difference, allowing you to invest more in SpA. The speed drop doesn't really matter because even at -2 you're still faster than Blissey and Nattorei; if anything else switches in, you probably would have been scared out anyway.

The lead set needs to be changed; I think Taunt + 3 Attacks with a Life Orb is probably a better option. With team reveal, specialised leads (especially Focus Sash ones) aren't all that useful. Even if they don't get Rocks up, Sandstorm will break your Sash, and Tyranitar is lethal because you don't have a Fighting move. You could maybe even combine the Lead set with the Stallbreaker.

I really think Nasty Plot is the best set and should be first. Stats show it's also the most common.
@Parachomp- I shall make use of the animated gif provided; thank you.

@Ice eyes - The sets are not arranged in order of use on PO. The lead set can stay as it is; Thunder Wave is extremely useful, as people often switch in faster Pokemon to scout the Taunt, but end up getting paralyzed. However, I shall mention your suggestion in [OPTIONAL CHANGES].


how many seconds in eternity?
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnusis a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
In general I think Hammer Arm should replace Brick Break except maybe on the physical set.

1st set: good
2nd set: I don't think Brick Break should even get a Slash tbh, Focus Blast really outclasses it imo.
3rd set: good
4th set: Not sure on yet, I'll get back to you on it.
5th set: good
6th set: Not sure how viable pinch berry sets are at this current point in time. Could we get a calc of roopushin's mach punch and scizors CB bullet punch?
@pana - I will try and add damage calculations for CB Scizor's Bullet Punch, and unboosted Mach Punch from Roob.

As for the second set, I have removed Brick Break. I shall try ad dit somehwere in Optional Changes.


how many seconds in eternity?
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnusis a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
yeah scrap the pinch berry set, it takes way too much from priority, sandstorm is really common...I'm just not seeing it.


Sweet and bitter as chocolate.
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
Minor edit. When you represent Speed in the EVs section of sets, you must label them as "Spe". Some may mistake it as Special Defense (provided Special Defense EVs actually have a purpose on Bulk Up, lol). I also don't like the EVs on the Bulk Up set, please revise.

Again, revise your EVs. Also, I'm not sure about mentioning Cloyster leads, since the majority of leads run Focus sash and will attempt to defeat Cloyster, making Shell Break Cloyster leads a limited option.


indulges in unsavory behavior
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
1. Change Focus Sash to Life Orb on the "lead" set, i've never seen Death Gambit before so Focus Sash seems pretty useless.
2. Slash Focus Blast in with Thunder Wave, important for hitting Tyranitar and Nattorei.
3. On the Choice Scarf set, take out the first sentence in the second paragraph ("Volt Change helps Borutorosu scout the opponent's team."). This is untrue since both players know eachother's teams at the start of the match.
4. Get rid of the Bulk Up set entirely it fucking sucks.

Also I honestly thing the name of the "lead" set should change and it should be mentioned in the set comments that it works very well as a lead. With team previews I think we should start cutting down on the amount of sets that are named "lead" and from personal experience that Borutorosu set works just as well outside of the lead position. In the analysis you make it sound like it only functions as a lead.