The Forgotten Genies of Doubles OU

By Pastelle. Art by Bummer.
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Tornadus Art


There are few Pokémon that have had as big of an impact on any metagame as the genies from Generation V, specifically Landorus-T and Thundurus. These Pokémon are common sights in any OU tier, and Doubles is no exception. Landorus-T has been the most common Pokémon on the Doubles ladder for a very long time due to its ability to deal massive damage to almost everything in the metagame. Thundurus on the other hand offers Prankster Taunt and Thunder Wave and good bulk in addition to powerful offense. Without a doubt, these two Pokémon shape the Doubles known today and are huge threats that always need to be considered. However, their alternate formes, Landorus-I and Thundurus-T, are also viable, but they play very differently from their more commonly used counterparts. Many unfortunately aren't aware that these genies are good, let alone of what they do. Today we look at the underdogs, the ones forgotten, the road less traveled in the DOU community, as we examine the niches these underused Pokémon possess.


Kicking things off is Landorus-I. This poor guy is always lurking in the colossal shadow of the most used Pokémon in the entire tier, the aforementioned Landorus-T. However, Landorus-I, to put it simply, is a powerhouse. With fantastic Special Attack and coverage options further boosted by Sheer Force and a Life Orb, Landorus-I can hit extremely hard. Its movepool also features some of the strongest special attacks in the game, including Focus Blast, Sludge Bomb, and Psychic. This allows Landorus-I to stay in on and deal massive damage to a wide variety of threats. Its base 125 Attack is nothing to laugh at either, meaning it can run Rock Slide to do heavy damage to the likes of Talonflame and Mega Charizard Y even without investment. Because of its offensive nature, Landorus fits really well on hyper offensive teams and is great on teams severely weak to the likes of Heatran and Bisharp.

Playing with Landorus-I

There's really only one effective Landorus-I set:

Nearly all of Landorus-I's attacks get a boost from Sheer Force, an ability that increases the power of attacks with secondary effects in exchange for those effects being nullified. While this does mean missing out on flinches from Rock Slide and poison from Sludge Bomb, it's a fair trade for doing far more damage. What coverage moves you run depends on the lack of coverage a team may have. The EVs are simple enough, but the Timid nature is important since Landorus-I has only a base 101 Speed, far lower than the base 110 standard for the rest of the tier. Landorus-I's main job on a team is to OHKO Shield forme Aegislash, a feat that very few Pokémon can do, and blow massive holes through anything that doesn't resist Ground.

Why Landorus-T Is Used More than Landorus-I

Landorus-I's main problem is its lackluster Speed. Its good coverage and power would make it great at KOing fast Pokémon like Mega Diancie and Mega Metagross, except they all outspeed it. It can't run a Choice Scarf because its defenses are bad and it can't afford not to run Protect. Landorus-T, on the other hand, has the utility of Intimidate to benefit the rest of its team and possesses more attacking prowess than Landorus-I. This allows it to make better use of arguably the two best spread moves in the game, Earthquake and Rock Slide. Landorus-T also has better defenses than Landorus-I and is the most viable Choice Scarf user in the tier. All in all, Landorus-T is easier to use than Landorus-I, and it requires less support.


Next up is Thundurus-T, and like Landorus-I, it hits insanely hard. With its base 145 Special Attack, Thundurus-T's niche also comes in the form of being one of the strongest Electric-types in the tier in terms of base stat total and from being the only viable Electric-type Choice Scarfer. It also plays as a fantastic Thundurus switch-in thanks to its ability, Volt Absorb. Thundurus-T makes for a good choice on rain teams to fire off powerful Thunders or on teams in need of a fast Electric-type. While Thundurus-T's movepool lacks the variety of powerful coverage moves that Landorus-T possesses, its sheer power alone allows it to deal big damage to neutral and even resistant targets.

Playing with Thundurus-T

Like with Landorus-I, there's really only one effective Thundurus-T set:

Thundurus-T is the definition of a glass cannon, and its purpose on a team is to deal massive damage at blistering speed. Choice Scarf allows it to outspeed Swift Swim Ludicolo in rain, as well as Choice Scarf Landorus-T, which it can then OHKO with Hidden Power Ice. Volt Switch is good for scouting attacks and getting early chip damage. Thunderbolt is its preferred STAB move, with Thunder only being used if on a rain team. Focus Blast is mainly for Mega Kangaskhan, as well as for Ferrothorn and Kyurem-B, which are big threats to rain teams. Volt Absorb allows it to get a free switch into predicted Electric-type attacks. As far as natures go, Modest is typically the best option to ensure Thundurus-T hits as hard as possible, but Timid can also be used to ensure it's outspeeding Jolly Landorus-T. All in all, Thundurus-T is a great all-out attacker that can pack a powerful punch on rain or otherwise.

Why Thundurus Is Used More than Thundurus-T

Thundurus and Thundurus-T play very differently from each other, since Thundurus has an amazing movepool and ability to make it one of the best support Pokémon in the tier. Not only that, but it also has more Speed than Thundurus-T, leaving Thundurus-T largely outclassed by Thundurus if it's not holding a Choice item. This is especially relevant because an offensive Life Orb set is becoming more popular on Thundurus. Thundurus is also very easy to fit onto a team, since it can run bulky spreads and moves like Taunt, Thunder Wave, and Swagger that get priority thanks to its ability Prankster. Thundurus is just a more versatile Pokémon than Thundurus-T, and typically better in almost any situation.

What About Tornadus?

As you see from above, it seems I'm forgetting about the third set of genies, Tornadus and Tornadus-T. The reason I'm not mentioning them is because, frankly, they're both terrible. I won't go into too much detail since it's not necessary, but to keep it short, they're both too frail since pure Flying is a terrible defensive typing, Tornadus is outclassed by Talonflame as a fast offensive Flying-type, and Tornadus-T doesn't do enough of anything to ever be worthwhile to use.


Landorus-I and Thundurus-T, while not better than their counterparts in most situations, are both respectable Pokémon that you should give a shot on your next Doubles team. They're very cool picks and are overall very fun to use in battles. If you're looking to spice up your Doubles teams and the standard Landorus-T and Thundurus are starting to get too stale, these often overlooked genies can certainly grant your wish.

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