Featured Uber Pokémon: Giratina-O

By bojangles and Jibaku. Art by Shinxe.
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Giratina-O is not unlike the United States of America; despite having a relatively short history in the world, or the metagame rather, it has quickly established itself and has become a force with which to be reckoned. However, it hasn't all been peaches and cream for Giratina-O. When it first appeared on the scene during the release of Platinum, Giratina-O was a proverbial leper; it was shunned because of the fact that it can only hold one item, Griseous Orb. Then, Ubers players investigated further. When they looked more, they quickly found that Giratina-O was actually quite a valuable Pokémon (even the Griseous Orb restriction later became a boon because it prevented Trick). Discovery of the stallbreaker, spinblocker, and later the mixed sets quickly began, and sustained, its meteoric rise to popularity. Ubers players then watched in awe as a Pokémon version of the biblical Cain and Abel unfolded in front of their very eyes; Giratina-O completely took over from its brother, Giratina, in almost every way. Since this act of sin, Giratina-O has consistently been a top threat, and a popular one at that. It got another further boost when HeartGold and SoulSilver came out in the form of Shadow Sneak, which later gave rise to the potent mixed set. While it may not be quite as versatile as Dialga or Arceus, Giratina-O does its share of jobs, and it does them well.

Giratina-O's Qualities

One of the most striking features about Giratina-O is its unique typing. Ghost/Dragon with Levitate provides it with six resistances and three immunities, including important resistances to Water, Electric, Fire, Bug, and Grass, and immunities to Normal, Fighting, and Ground. In addition, its typing grants it fantastic STABs, hitting most of the Pokemon in the Dragon and Psychic-infested Uber metagame for super effective damage.

Base stat wise, Giratina-O possesses an interesting balance between offense and defense. With 150/100/100 HP and defenses, Giratina-O is well-suited to take on resisted but powerful hits (with the exception of Water Spout from Kyogre). Short of a Draco Meteor from Dragons, Giratina-O is incredibly difficult to OHKO. On the offensive side of things, Giratina-O can utilize its great base 120 Attack and Special Attack very well due to its amazing STABs and access to powerful attacks such as Draco Meteor and Outrage. While 90 base Speed is somewhat slow by Uber metagame standards, a fair amount of Pokemon that share the same base Speed often prefer to invest in bulk, such as Groudon and bulky Kyogre. Since Giratina-O is an offensively-minded Pokemon, it will often have Speed EVs invested, allowing it to outrun a small but crucial portion of the Uber metagame. With access to Shadow Sneak, Giratina-O can somewhat bypass its average base Speed and revenge kill weakened foes.

Speaking of moves, Giratina-O packs a wide variety of offensive options. On the physical side of things, it learns the key moves Outrage, Dragon Claw, Shadow Sneak, and Earthquake, with each having unique roles. Its special movepool is slightly larger, as it learns Draco Meteor, Dragon Pulse, Shadow Ball, Aura Sphere, and Thunder, and these can be amplified by Calm Mind. Although Giratina-O wishes that it could learn Flamethrower or Fire Blast like its fellow Dragons, Hidden Power Fire will suffice for taking care of Scizor and Forretress.

Playing with Giratina-O

At first glance, Giratina-O may seem to have to compete with its fellow Dragons, particularly Latias, Latios, and Rayquaza, for a spot on the team. However, Giratina-O has a trump card in its sleeves—the ability to block Rapid Spin. This characteristic alone makes it a staple on many types of Uber teams that require multiple layers of entry hazards in order keep the momentum going. Although the only common Rapid Spinner is the non-Uber Forretress, it is a great enough threat due to its highly resistant typing and access to Spikes and Toxic Spikes. Thanks to Giratina-O's bulk and Levitate, it finds itself switching into Forretress with relative ease, and then frying it with Hidden Power Fire.

Giratina-O's most popular set is the Mixed Attacker, which provides it with great utility and coverage. Combined with entry hazards and Rapid Spin immunity, it is a menace against stall teams. Hidden Power Fire destroys Forretress while Draco Meteor wipes away at Groudon and opposing Dragon-type Pokemon. Dragon Claw or Outrage can destroy Blissey and deal heavy damage to special defensively-inclined Pokemon such as Ho-Oh and Kyogre. Against offensive teams, Giratina-O takes pride in its immunity to Counter, allowing it to strike Wobbuffet without fear of anything bar Destiny Bond. Shadow Sneak can easily pick off Latios, Latias, and Mewtwo at medium health while revenging numerous other severely weakened Pokemon. All of this comes at the sacrifice of its Defense or Special Defense stat, however, and makes Giratina-O a bit frailer than its base stats imply.

If you prefer to capitalize on Giratina-O's excellent natural bulk as well as sweeping, it has access to Calm Mind to boost its Special Attack and Special Defense stats. Giratina-O is unique compared to other special sweepers due to its immunity to Seismic Toss and Toxic Spikes. With Substitute to block Toxic, it can easily set up against Blissey and cause havoc against stall teams. It has since fallen out of grace due to the utility of the Mixed Attacking set, but the unexpectedness of this set can prove to be extremely useful as it can take advantage of suicide baits by setting up a Substitute or Calm Mind on the predicted switch, as well as being able to set up on and heavily damage Jirachi and Lugia (only with Shadow Ball, however), two Pokemon that can give the Mixed Attacker issues. As it is no longer easily KOed by the powerful special Dragon-type attacks, Calm Mind Giratina-O may be tougher to revenge.

Since Giratina-O's natural bulk is impressive and it has access to the best STAB for neutral coverage, it can run a Rest + Sleep Talk set with Calm Mind. This patches up Giratina-O's lack of reliable recovery and can allow it to continuously switch into threats and abuse its resistances. It packs considerably more power than its brother, Giratina, and can make up for the lack of Leftovers recovery with the immunity to Spikes and Toxic Spikes.

Playing Against Giratina-O

Although Giratina-O's typing provides it with a long list of resistances and immunities, it also curses it with weaknesses to some of the most common attacking types in the Uber metagame—Dragon, Ice, Dark, and Ghost to an extent. These weaknesses can make it very tough for Giratina-O to stay around for a long time. However, due to Giratina-O's powerful attacks, switching into it can be quite difficult.

The most common check to Giratina-O is Dialga, as it takes neutral damage from Dragon-type attacks, is resistant to Shadow Sneak, and can OHKO back with its own STAB Draco Meteor. However, the strength behind Giratina-O's Draco Meteor or Earthquake may make Dialga think twice before switching in.

Despite Giratina-O's powerful assaults, the great wall Lugia can absorb its hits with relative ease, barring a boosted Shadow Ball from the Calm Mind set. It can then chip off Giratina-O's health with Ice Beam. Tyranitar boosts its Special Defense through the sandstorm it whips up, and doesn't fear Draco Meteor or Dragon Claw. In return, Tyranitar can heavily damage Giratina-O with Crunch if it stays in, or nail it hard with Pursuit as it tries to flee. Keep in mind, however, that Tyranitar will have to be careful of Earthquake or Outrage from the Mixed Attacker set, or Aura Sphere from the Calm Mind set.

Another way to defeat Giratina-O is to take advantage of its four moveslot syndrome. If Giratina-O lacks Earthquake or Aura Sphere, Heatran can wall Giratina-O and retaliate with Dragon Pulse or Toxic. In a similar vein, specially defensive Jirachi can pose a problem with Earthquake's absence, especially under rain, but Substitute + Calm Mind variants can give issues. If Hidden Power Fire is absent, Forretress and Scizor are roadblocks. Should Dragon Claw or Outrage be missing, Blissey, Ho-Oh, and Kyogre can stop Giratina-O in its tracks. However, the last three can be defeated with Substitute, Calm Mind, and Thunder.

Fitting Giratina-O onto Your Team

Giratina-O is like the Beatles of Pokémon: everybody loves it, so it can fit on a wide variety of teams. Chances are, Giratina-O will be able to fit into an important niche on your team.

Environmental Factors

Giratina-O, like any other offensive Pokémon, appreciates Stealth Rock like a connoisseur enjoys his or her wine. On a stall team, where Giratina-O also fits nicely, it is even more necessary, as are Spikes and Toxic Spikes. However, the famous saying is truly inversed for Giratina-O: "Ask not what you can do for Giratina-O, but what Giratina-O can do for you". It is, unequivocally, the best Rapid Spin blocker in the metagame, possibly the entire game. For this reason, it is a major boon to practically any team. However, Giratina-O would ask for a small favor in return: provide non-damaging weather, such as sun or rain. Since Giratina-O is not able to hold Leftovers, its turns are numbered when the sandstorm is raging on top of whatever damage it's already taking.


Heatran is truly a thorn in Giratina-O's side, as it shrugs off all of Giratina-O's attacks. Defensive Scizor can do similar thing in the rain. Groudon can work well as a teammate for this reason, since Heatran has nightmares about STAB Earthquake and Scizor can't survive a Hidden Power Fire and look smug when the sun is shining. It also sets up entry hazards, and Giratina-O can mess with any Pokémon looking to Rapid Spin. There is also no Pokémon under the sun (is there sun in the Distortion World?) who would not appreciate stall teams to be softened up before a sweep, which is exactly what Giratina-O can do with its mixed set.

Get Out There!

Giratina-O will always be alluring for your team, and for good reason: using it is always effective. The only missing piece is you: go out and play some Ubers. Giratina-O and the very titans of the game beckon.

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