Damage Reduction Berries in OU: Analysis and Review

By A. Released: 2018/07/05.
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Art by LifeisDANK.


Damage reduction Berries have always been an interesting part of OU; they've clearly made a significant impact on the Generation they were introduced in, and they still see some legitimate play in more current metagames. This article will be looking over some of the sets crafted with these Berries and their purpose in USM OU and some past examples with previous Generations.

Generation 4 (Tyranitar Heatran Azelf Metagross Jirachi Empoleon Starmie Gyarados Dragonite)

Notable Berries: Chople (weakens Fighting), Shuca (weakens Ground), Colbur (weakens Dark), Occa (weakens Fire), Babiri (weakens Steel), Passho (weakens Water), Yache (weakens Ice), Wacan (weakens Electric).

Generation 4's metagame can be described as highly offensive with a focus on the lead-centric metagame, where setting up and maintaining Stealth Rock is an important priority for players. The majority of leads can usually get the aforementioned entry hazard up one way or another, and damage reduction Berries allow these Pokémon to fulfill their function more easily. They also let these Pokémon gain a huge swing in momentum in the fast-paced metagame of DPP. Shuca Berry allows Heatran to stomach an Earthquake and properly retaliate back, which often resulted in a huge momentum swing. Chople Berry was also a good option for handling threats like Infernape and Lucario. Colbur Berry allowed Azelf to handle Tyranitar and Machamp, two common threats that often stopped it in its tracks.

Occa Berry Metagross could survive blows from Heatran and Infernape and respond appropriately. Both Occa and Shuca Berry can be are used on Agility Metagross sets to bait Flygon or Infernape and Heatran, respectively. Tyranitar makes use of Shuca or Babiri Berry on its Dragon Dance sets to surprise would-be answers like Choice Scarf Flygon and Scizor. Babiri Berry has fallen out of usage but was prominent when Scizor was very common.

Passho, Shuca, and Chople Berries have also made appearances on lure Tyranitar sets: Passho allows Tyranitar to handle high-profile threats such as Starmie, Kingdra, and Empoleon, Shuca lets it beat Pokémon like Flygon and Gliscor, and Chople aids in dealing with Gengar and Breloom.

Wacan Berry gave Gyarados a buffer versus Thunderbolt so it could respond accordingly by either getting another boost or attacking. Jirachi with Occa Berry can be a very effective lead with its very versatile coverage and bulk for setting up Stealth Rock. Empoleon used several Berries to give it an easier time setting up for a sweep with Agility. Lastly, Yache Berry Dragonite had an easier time setting up and helped to handle the likes of Choice Scarf Hidden Power Ice Heatran.


Tyranitar Tyranitar
Heatran Heatran
Azelf Azelf
Metagross Metagross
Gyarados Gyarados
Dragonite Dragonite
Empoleon Empoleon
Tyranitar [Shuca Berry / Babiri Berry]
Tyranitar [[Passho Berry / Chople Berry / Shuca Berry]
Heatran [Shuca Berry / Chople Berry]
Azelf [Colbur Berry]
Metagross [Occa Berry]
Metagross [Shuca Berry / Occa Berry]
Gyarados [Wacan Berry]
Dragonite [Yache Berry]
Empoleon [Shuca Berry / Chople Berry / Wacan Berry]

Generation 5 (Garchomp Tyranitar Magnezone Ferrothorn)

Notable Berries: Yache, Chople.

BW has brought a lot of changes to the metagame, such as the addition of Team Preview. This results in the concept of a dedicated lead being mostly removed. With most leads disappearing, most sets that utilized these Berries have also vanished, but there are still some viable choices when it comes to these Berries and their applications. Swords Dance Garchomp has a myriad of options to run when it comes to items, and Yache Berry allowed it to survive attacks from the likes of Weavile and Mamoswine, as well as Ice-type coverage that would remove it or stop its rampage. Chople Berry allowed Tyranitar to handle a variety of threats like Gengar and Alakazam and remove them with Pursuit, and it also buffered a fair bit better versus Hidden Power Fighting Latios variants. The removal of Dugtrio in the metagame allowed support Tyranitar to free up its item choice, with Chople Berry being a popular one. Chople Ferrothorn and Magnezone also see occasional play.


Garchomp Garchomp
Tyranitar Tyranitar
Magnezone Magnezone

Garchomp [Yache Berry]

Tyranitar [Chople Berry]

Magnezone [Chople Berry]

Generation 6 (Jellicent Ferrothorn)

Notable Berries: Colbur, Chople.

Damage reduction Berries are few and far between in ORAS, but some have proven to be quite effective in the current metagame. Colbur Berry Jellicent is a solid answer to the ever-popular Keldeo + Pursuit trapper cores. It can also fulfill a variety of roles thanks to its ability, bulk, and typing. It is notable for being able to handle the likes of Suicune and burn the plethora of Dark-type Pursuit trappers, among other things. Chople Berry gives Ferrothorn an easier time facing Mega Gardevoir and Mega Alakazam; after taking an attack, it can then proceed to cripple or outright KO them, which gives it even more defensive utility at the small price of an item slot. It's worth mentioning that Chople Berry Tyranitar was also an option this Generation for more supportive sets.


Jellicent [Colbur Berry]
Ferrothorn [Chople Berry]

Generation 7 (Toxapex Landorus-T Tapu Koko Ferrothorn)

Notable Berries: Payapa (weakens Psychic), Yache, Shuca, Chople.

In SM OU, damage reduction Berries have made a return, with common prominent Pokémon utilizing them one way or another. The ability to sponge specific attacks gives these Berries advantages in various situations. Here are some examples.


Toxapex Toxapex
Landorus-T Landorus-T
Tapu Koko Tapu Koko
Ferrothorn Ferrothorn

Toxapex [Payapa Berry]

Payapa Berry Toxapex is a defensive lure that serves a couple of particular purposes for teams that use it. Payapa Berry allows it to handle Psychium Z Volcarona with ease and Haze off its boosts as well as stomach one Psychic-type attack from Tapu Lele and Mega Medicham to properly respond with Toxic, putting both wallbreakers on a timer. The EV spread in particular allows Toxapex to switch into High Jump Kick and then survive Zen Headbutt. Thanks to its high natural bulk, reliable recovery, and ability in Regenerator, Toxapex is not too bothered by the loss of Black Sludge.

Landorus-T [Yache Berry]

Defensive Landorus-T is a fairly standard set in the current metagame, but an interesting option to consider is Yache Berry. Yache Berry Landorus-T is able to patch up issues with Tapu Koko; the Speed creep allows it to outpace and beat other Landorus-T while preserving most of its HP. Toxic variants can cripple the likes of Mega Medicham and Zapdos while also acting as a buffer versus Shift Gear Ice Beam Magearna. The item also works due to the popularity of Rocky Helmet and Choice Scarf, which may mislead your opponent.

Tapu Koko [Shuca Berry]

Shuca Berry gives Tapu Koko a lot of nice utility for teams, being able to answer Choice Scarf Landorus-T and act as a soft check to various Dragon Dance Zygarde variants. It also naturally checks Hawlucha, being able to survive +2 High Jump Kick and Stone Edge, only really fearing the uncommon Poison Jab variants. This version of Tapu Koko is also less restricted than Choice Specs variants and able to keep up momentum more easily by being able to switch moves, especially if one mispredicts with Volt Switch against incoming Ground-types. All in all, by sacrificing the power boost of Choice Specs, Tapu Koko can still threaten offensively inclined teams while providing more defensive utility.

Ferrothorn [Chople Berry]

Chople Berry can be used as an alternative on Ferrothorn over Leftovers, which allows it to lure the likes of Mega Alakazam, Shift Gear Magearna, and Focus Blast or All-Out Pummeling Tapu Lele. Ferrothorn can also afford to run dual entry hazards for rain, freeing up a moveslot for Mega Swampert. Knock Off also allows it to hinder opposing Ferrothorn. This particular version of Ferrothorn excels well on rain teams, which are highly offensive in nature, and Ferrothorn compliments the playstyle by providing a lot of role compression alongside defensive utility.

Get out there!

These are just some examples of damage reduction Berries being utilized in the various OU metagames; why not give some a try or even create your own? It might just be the next best thing.

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