Featured Ubers Pokémon: Groudon

By bojangles and Furai, with help from Poppy. Art by Nastyjungle.
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Last issue I gave you a tantalizing look at what is possibly the best Pokémon in the entire game. You might have wondered, what can stop Kyogre's complete and utter dominance, since your tears certainly won't. Groudon, the Continent Pokémon, is here to (sort of) save the day. Introduced alongside Kyogre and Rayquaza as part of the weather trio (man, ADV had some really kickass legendary Pokémon), Groudon is the harbinger of the sun. Like in the anime, Groudon has been locked in an everlasting duel with Kyogre for dominance of the tier. Although Groudon has never stolen the number one spot from Kyogre (other than, ironically, this past month's 1337 stats), it has always provided Kyogre with some stiff competition in weather wars. Like Kyogre and Drizzle, Groudon's main selling point is Drought, which propelled it to great heights throughout ADV, DPP, and now BW play. Groudon has shifted between many different jobs in the metagame, from offensive powerhouse to tank to supporter to late-game cleaner, but one thing has remained the same: if, when Team Preview loads up, you don't see a Kyogre on your opponent's team, the odds are overwhelmingly high that this roaring behemoth will be hanging out in one of those spots. Unfortunately for Groudon, it sort of got shafted by Game Freak and its league of—we'll say "silly"—designers; when Kyogre got Water Spout, which not only gets STAB and a rain boost, but also works off its superior Special Attack, Groudon got Eruption, which doesn't get STAB, and works off Groudon's less-than-stellar Special Attack. However, this is truly more a show of Groudon's amazing abilities in Ubers, as it does perfectly well without some sort of uber-Earthquake. If you ask most OU battlers, they'll say that Ninetales is absolute garbage, except for Drought, of course. We in Ubers are lucky because our Drought-bringer is not garbage, but a true, prehistoric monster (literally, have you see that thing?). Groudon might not enjoy quite the same success as Kyogre, but it is no slouch. It always fills a key roll on a team, and has steamrolled many a team with its astronomical Attack and superb bulk, all things it's been doing since 2004.

Groudon's Qualities

Big dinosaur on campus. When taking a glance at Groudon's stats, the first thing that will catch your eye is its staggering base 150 Attack. Coupled with an arsenal of physical moves in STAB Earthquake, Stone Edge, Dragon Claw, and Fire Punch, and with two outstanding set-up moves in Rock Polish and Swords Dance, Groudon can become a devastating sweeper once it has set up. Groudon can make use of offensive items such as Choice Band and Life Orb to boost its already mighty attacks; foes looking to switch in on a weak support Earthquake, such as Chansey and physically defensive Kyogre, will be facing a 2HKO, at worst. With Stealth Rock present, Groudon can 2HKO even Great Wall Lugia with super effective Stone Edge, barring a miss, of course, which is a pretty big achievement. Even walls that would seem troublesome to the land titan, such as Skarmory, Forretress, and Ferrothorn, risk a sun-boosted Overheat or Fire Blast, coming from Groudon's surprisingly decent Special Attack stat. Although Fire Punch might seem more appealing, as it works off of Groudon's higher attacking stat, its low Base Power means that it is weaker than Groudon's special options when both are uninvested.

Another thing that cannot be overlooked is Groudon's amazing bulk in its base 100 HP and huge base 140 Defense. These stats allow Groudon to take on the noted Extreme Killer Arceus, which strikes fear into every trainer's heart. With access to a variety of support moves in Stealth Rock, Thunder Wave, Dragon Tail, and Roar, Groudon becomes a top-tier utility tank. The only downside to Groudon's stats is its base 90 Speed, which makes it prone to strong, fast special attackers, which can strike it with powerful moves such as Draco Meteor.

Groudon's ability, Drought, is extremely disruptive to a lot of teams, taking into consideration the prevalence of rain in the Ubers environment. A Palkia locked into Surf under the sun is not going to do anything, and reducing the power of the blue whale's Water Spout will always prove a great aid to any team. Kabutops, a well known user of Swift Swim, will fail to 2HKO support Groudon with a sun-weakened +2 Life Orb Waterfall, whilst Groudon can easily OHKO in return with its STAB Earthquake. Many threatening Pokémon enjoy the sun's rays; for example, sun allows the likes of Reshiram and Ho-Oh to hit far harder. Chlorophyll users such as Venusaur and Shiftry can also use their doubled Speed and buffed-up Growth to become very threatening very quickly.

Playing with Groudon

When playing with the prehistoric beast, you have to be very cautious, as Groudon does not have access to reliable recovery. A Rest + Sleep Talk set is, however, sadly unviable, due to Groudon's STAB having a common immunity, and Stealth Rock being a staple support move.

Offensive variants of the dinosaur, such as Choice Band, Life Orb, paradancer, and double dancer, really appreciate dual screen support. Behind screens, Groudon will find it much easier to set up, as even powerful special attacks will fail to OHKO it. The fat pink blobs, namely Chansey and Blissey, can pass enormous Wishes to almost fully heal Groudon, as well as cure it of status with Heal Bell. SmashPass is another great form of support, particularly to the Life Orb or double dancer sets. Boosting both of the titan's Attack and Speed stats immediately to +2, this strategy will strike fear into the heart of the opponent's team. Pokémon that attract Thunder, such as Water Arceus, Palkia, and even Kyogre, are great teammates, as a Choice-locked Thunder allows Groudon to switch in safely, set up, and break teams apart. Wobbuffet falls in the same category, as it can Encore resisted moves such as the aforementioned Thunder to let Groudon set up safely. The light-blue blob (man, Groudon really likes blobs) can also defeat Choice Scarf users that are liable to stop Groudon's sweep. Moreover, it can utilize Tickle and pair up with a Pursuit user to eliminate Lugia and Giratina, making Groudon's sweep much easier. Extreme Killer Arceus, Swords Dance Terrakion, and both Dragon Dance and Swords Dance Rayquaza, all of which are walled by defensive Groudon, are in fact great teammates for offensive Groudon, as they can all soften the foe's team with their brute force, allowing Groudon to sweep much more easily.

Defensive Groudon, due to the lack of its reliable recovery, is harder to use than its other sets. However, Groudon's great bulk and general utility, especially in setting up Stealth Rock, means that it is an oft-appreciated team asset. As mentioned, use Groudon cautiously; as a physical wall with no recovery, it should only be switched in when no other Pokémon on your team can take the hit. Therefore, Chansey and Blissey are again wonderful teammates, as not only can they cure Groudon of status, they can also pass huge Wishes to heal it. Moreover, the defensive synergy between them is outstanding; Groudon can switch into the physical attacks that threaten the blobs, whereas the blobs easily switch into special attacks. When it comes to Stealth Rock, simply seize any opportunity you get to lay it down, especially against a Pokémon who is locked into Thunder, such as Kyogre or Palkia. Kyogre counters defensive Groudon all day every day; thus, Palkia and Grass Arceus make great partners, as they can switch into its STAB and knock it down with super effective Thunder or STAB Judgment, respectively.

Playing Against Groudon

Defeating Groudon might seem like a hard task, but through scouting its set and good play, dealing with the whatever you want to call Groudon is a manageable task; scouting can be done either through Team Preview or by actually facing it. From there, you have to act appropriately. Against offensive sets, the smartest thing would be to hit hard and hit fast. You do not want to face the land behemoth after a Swords Dance boost, because nothing likes taking any attack coming from a stat of 876. Defensive sets are easier to play around, as they lack the power offensive sets pack, but at the same time, they are harder to take down. Hitting hard applies here as well, because Groudon is pretty bulky, but these sets are more troubled by the likes of Kyogre and Shaymin-S.

Cresselia is probably your best bet against Groudon. Her ability, Levitate, lets her float around like a rubber duck in the bathtub and avoid Groudon's fearsome STAB. She is bulky enough to take everything even a boosted Groudon can throw at her, and can use Groudon's own ability against it by recovering 2/3 of her HP with Moonlight in the sun. Cresselia can either stall Groudon with a combination of Reflect + Toxic + Moonlight, or just attack it with Ice Beam. Giratina is another outstanding counter, as it is bulky enough to take repeated hits, and has Rest for recovery (No worries though, Giratina always uses Sleep Talk with it!). It can switch into any attack, burn the dinosaur down with Will-O-Wisp, and phaze it away with Dragon Tail.

Sets lacking Fire-type moves are walled to infinity by Grass Arceus and Skarmory, and if they lack Stone Edge too, Shaymin-S is another counter. Grass Arceus is bulky enough to take a few hits, can Recover off the damage, and OHKO with STAB Grass Knot. Skarmory's high base 140 Defense allows it to take many hits, and from there it can poison Groudon with Toxic, putting lots of pressure on it, or phaze it with Whirlwind, taking its boosts away. When equipped with a Choice Scarf, Shaymin-S becomes fast enough to outrun +2 Adamant Groudon, and can KO it with Seed Flare. If Groudon lacks a Dragon-type move, Giratina-O makes a solid check, as it can switch into Groudon's STAB due to Levitate, and strike very hard with a Griseous Orb-boosted Draco Meteor.

Rayquaza, Flying Arceus, and Lugia risk being hit by Stone Edge (or Dragon Claw), but can switch into Earthquake and hit Groudon on its lower Special Defense stat with STAB Draco Meteor, Judgment, or a super effective Ice Beam, respectively. Water Arceus and Kyogre cannot take repeated Earthquakes, but are bulky enough to sponge two or three hits, and can hit Groudon for super effective damage with their Water STAB. Wallceus and Hippowdon are two phenomenal physical walls that can wall Groudon, and both pack reliable recovery in Slack Off and Recover. While they can't land much damage on Groudon, both can phaze the behemoth with Roar, and Wallceus can cripple it with Will-O-Wisp.

Fitting Groudon onto your Team

Groudon is rather easy to fit onto your team, as probably the first step in Ubers teambuilding is deciding your weather. Once you have chosen sun (of course), you have no choice but to use Groudon. However, Groudon is plagued by the ubiquity of Kyogre, who unfortunately has the upper hand one-on-one. Therefore, a Kyogre switch-in should be your number one priority when teambuilding around Groudon. Kyogre harasses any sun team, as although it won't enjoy repeated Earthquakes, it takes out the precious sun with Drizzle, troubles support Groudon (offensive Groudon will do a lot with Earthquake though), and has great coverage against sun teams. Palkia and Grass Arceus excel at checking Kyogre, as both of them can switch into Kyogre's strongest move, Water Spout, and pack super effective attacks against it.

Get Out There!

February's king of 1337 Ubers is definitely one of the prime physical walls, team supporters, and utility Pokémon in the Ubers environment. In your career as an Ubers battler, beginner or veteran, you must have used or faced the land titan at some point. Be it unleashing its immediate brute force by using an offensive set, or taking hard hits, be sure that Groudon will be as sturdy as Mount Everest.

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