Just want to add to this that Urshifu can spam U-turn against Tangela teams without fear due to it lacking Rocky Helmet.So, I want to talk about a surprising, fringe anomaly I'm seeing running around on the ladder currently.
Tangela. At first, I was extremely confused. I thought it was some weird low ladder tech, but then, when then I smacked an opposing Tangela with a Wicked Blow and was surprised to see that it didn't do as much as I expected.
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Tangela on a critical hit: 129-153 (38.6 - 45.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Tangela: 129-153 (38.6 - 45.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
After calcing that, I found the minimum defense required for Urshifu's best moves to be consistent 3HKOs without hazard damage.
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 140+ Def Eviolite Tangela on a critical hit: 141-166 (42.2 - 49.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 140+ Def Eviolite Tangela: 141-166 (42.2 - 49.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
It was then that I realized that the calcs here are the sole reason that people are currently running Tangela over Tangrowth on the ladder. And, after a little experience, it's been a pretty ok way of combating Banded Urshifu on Stall/defensive cores, which otherwise dismantles them. You might wonder why exactly you might want to run Tangela over Weezing-Galar, which is a much more snug fit for its ability to counter Iron Head-less Urshifu. Though, it has some amenities that Weezing does not.
This is probably the point that is best in Tangela's favor. Not only does it have access to Morning Sun/Synthesis, but it has Leech Seed, and most significantly, Regenerator. Regenerator is a godlike defensive ability that has spawned cores of its own, and Tangela is an abuser of it. Not only is it able to switch in on Urshifu's blows, but it is able to also heal it off after sporting its relatively solid utility moves, letting it sponge hits but keep coming in and out of battle, much unlike Weezing. Being able to launch Leech Seeds on incoming targets as well as its choices of Toxic, Knock Off, Stun Spore, and Sleep Powder while still being able to heal reliably gives it a lot more longevity over the course of the match, and more utility outside of checking Urshifu.
I eluded somewhat to this, but it's definitely a great point in Tangela's favor. Access to the powders and Knock Off is fantastic, as it is able to incapacitate a Pokemon's item-based firepower (most prominently Urshifu's), paralyze a target, or put a target to sleep. This isn't really too necessary to talk about, because Tangrowth has made us familiar with these options, but they are unique to Tangela as an Urshifu check versus Weezing-Galar.
A pure Grass typing is pretty alright right now, especially on an Eviolite-boosted Tangela. The biggest reason its pure Grass typing is cool is that it provides Stall with a pretty great Excadrill check (unlike Weezing) that is able to paralyze the mole, on top of just being a pretty ok mixed wall as merit of Eviolite. It's also nice that it is a nice immediate switch-in to Rillaboom and Azumarill, too, but this doesn't last long whatsoever if they have Knock Off.
Though, there's a reason Tangela is considerably niche more than anything else. To illustrate my point, I'd like to compare Tangela to its older counterpart, Tangrowth.
The comparison solely comes down to the item slot. Tangela's only niche over Tangrowth is having Eviolite-boosted defenses, which gives it more of a defensive edge over Tangrowth. Though, this very point is also Tangela's Achilles Heel. Tangela is greatly reliant on having its Eviolite to soak more damage, and as such, absolutely hates being hit with Knock Off, similarly to Chansey/P2. Tangrowth, contrarily, has an item slot, which it can fill with an Assault Vest or a Rocky Helmet, which provides it with additional utility that makes it a much better, more reliable pick overall. Though, more prominently, Tangrowth isn't crippled by Knock Off.
So, what is my conclusion?
Tangela is a fringe hard Stall pick, and should remain as such as long as Urshifu is in the tier. It is without question that Urshifu brings a ton of trouble to Stall, and Tangela is definitely a pretty ok answer that compresses Amoonguss/Tangrowth's utility into one package without Galar Weezing's glaring longevity issue. However, its reliance on Eviolite and lack of an item's utility is exactly why Tangrowth is just better in every other situation. If you're considering Tangela on a Balance/Semi-stall team, you should really just be considering Tangrowth instead, especially since Tangela still somewhat has a shot of being 2HKO'd with hazards up anyway.
To end things off, if you want my take on a set, I've experimented with the following:
Tangela @ Eviolite
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Impish / Bold Nature
- Synthesis / Giga Drain
- Leech Seed
- Knock Off
- Sleep Powder / Stun Spore / Toxic
This general variant is what I believe is its best set. I fully optimize your Urshifu and Excadrill matchup with Max Max, and use Tangela as a pure, defensive utilitarian, combining several of its best attributes in the form of its sustainability, Knock Off support, and powder support. Toxic is an option as well if Bulk Up Urshifu is giving you trouble, as it can force the opponent to act quickly and promptly despite the middling matchup. If you're too worried about being Taunt fodder and want to kind of slap Grass-weak mons, then Giga Drain can be slashed over Synthesis (then run Bold over Impish). You could alternatively run 140 Def Impish to barely guarantee the 3HKO from Urshifu, and put the rest in SpDef. Though, given how it's a niche hard Stall Pokemon, it's best to just speck it where it performs the best, as it does perform rather badly on the Special side anyway.
252+ Atk Choice Band Urshifu U-turn vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Tangela: 112-132 (33.5 - 39.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
Add in Urshifu's Rocks resist and Tangela really can't punish it Garm-ing it over and over. Sure, it will regain most of the health it loses to the move, but if Rocks are up on both sides, Urshifu is the one who comes out on top.