Tapu Bulu has average bulk to go with its Grass / Fairy typing, a decent movepool, and, most importantly, an excellent ability in Grassy Surge. It is able to tank some super effective hits, such as an Ice Punch from Mega Medicham and an Ice Beam from Choice Specs Tapu Fini. Tapu Bulu's Grass typing matches it up very well against Mega Gyarados, a very formidable and prevalent threat. It is also the slowest of all the Guardian Deities, which means that its Terrain activates the latest on the field and prevails for the first five turns of the battle. However, the absence of a good physical Fairy-type STAB move and a weakness to commonly used types like Fire, Flying, and Steel present major drawbacks to its usage. Its typing causes it to be easily KOed by Pokemon like Mega Charizard X, Flyinium Z Dragonite, and Mega Metagross. It also has a subpar Speed stat and just decent Special Defense. This leaves Tapu Bulu vulnerable to powerful special attacks like Porygon-Z's Hyper Beam and Choice Specs Greninja's Ice Beam before it gets the chance to land a hit on these Pokemon.
name: Grassium Z
move 1: Wood Hammer
move 2: Rock Tomb
move 3: Taunt
move 4: Swords Dance / Bulk Up
item: Grassium Z
ability: Grassy Surge
evs: 156 HP / 84 Atk / 136 SpD / 132 Spe
Wood Hammer helps Tapu Bulu defeat Water-type Pokemon like Mega Gyarados and Primarina. It also turns into a 190-Base Power Bloom Doom with Grassium Z, which enables Tapu Bulu to OHKO bulky Pokemon like Mega Slowbro, Blissey, Mega Sableye, and Porygon2. Rock Tomb is used for speed control against Pokemon like Mimikyu and to break through Sturdy on Pokemon like Donphan and Golem while avoiding Counter. Taunt lets it beat setup Pokemon like Shell Smash Crustle and Carracosta, and also temporarily disables Aegislash's King's Shield.Swords Dance helps Tapu Bulu raise its Attack faster against Pokemon like Mega Gyarados and Zygarde, while Bulk Up lets it set up slowly but fare better against Pokemon like Bulk Up Groundium Z Landorus-T.
Running 156 HP EVs helps Tapu Bulu tank Let's Snuggle Forever + Shadow Sneak from maximum Attack Mimikyu after Grassy Terrain recovery, and 136 Special Defense EVs allow it to tank Electroweb + Flash Cannon from maximum Special Attack Timid Magnezone. This investment also gives it a very good chance of tanking a Twinkle Tackle from Magearna. Using 132 Speed EVs lets Tapu Bulu outspeed Jolly Donphan as well as maximum Speed Jolly Mimikyu after a Rock Tomb. The remaining EVs are dumped into Attack, which, when coupled with an Adamant nature, gives it the best chances of beating common Pokemon like Magnezone. Grassium Z turns Wood Hammer into a 190-Base Power Bloom Doom, which OHKOes nearly everything that does not resist Grass.
Since Tapu Bulu is a Grass-type Pokemon, it can be sent against most Water-, Ground-, and Rock-types, like Mega Gyarados, Groundium Z Landorus-T, Mega Swampert, and Mega Tyranitar. Additionally, Tapu Bulu can be sent in against Mimikyu, Magnezone, and Magearna; against Magnezone, the recommended course of action is to use the Z-Move right away, followed by Wood Hammer. Against Magearna, you should use Taunt if you predict Iron Defense, or Swords Dance if you predict their Z-Move, followed by Bloom Doom. Don't send Tapu Bulu against Landorus-T if you think Landorus-T is holding Flyinium Z . Since it has the lowest Speed of the Guardian Deities, Tapu Bulu's Terrain activates last, so it can be sent out against other Guardian Deities like Tapu Fini. Avoid sending Tapu Bulu in against Fire-, Steel-, and Poison-type Pokemon like Mega Charizard, Magearna, and Mega Venusaur. Taunt can be used against slower Pokemon that tend to set up on Tapu Bulu, like Crustle and Carracosta, and once said Pokemon are Taunted, use Rock Tomb followed by Bloom Doom to KO them. In similar cases, Taunt followed by Bulk Up and Bloom Doom can also be used to help tank the opposing Pokemon's attacks, restore HP from Grassy Terrain, and hit the foe with Bloom Doom for maximum damage.
Since Tapu Bulu is weak to Fire-, Steel-, and Poison-type moves, Ground-type Pokemon like Landorus-T, Zygarde, and Golem can serve as good teammates. Tapu Bulu helps them in return by covering their Water-type weakness. Since Tapu Bulu cannot hit Flying-type Pokemon like Mega Charizard Y and Celesteela very hard, Electric-type Pokemon like Zeraora and Thundurus-T are also good teammates for Tapu Bulu, and Tapu Bulu helps in return by covering their Ground- and Rock-type weakness, respectively. Magnezone can serve as an excellent teammate for Tapu Bulu because in addition to it drawing in Ground-type Pokemon for Tapu Bulu, Magnezone also learns Mirror Coat, which can make up for Tapu Bulu's mediocre Special Defense when facing Pokemon like Meloetta and Porygon-Z. Since Tapu Bulu has a disadvantage against Ice-type Pokemon like Kyurem, Avalugg, and Weavile, Rock- and Fighting-type Pokemon like Mega Tyranitar and Terrakion can also serve as good teammates. Tapu Bulu also helps in covering any Rock-type teammate's weakness to Ground- and Water-type moves. Since Tapu Bulu does not have naturally high Special Defense, some specially defensive Pokemon like Chansey or Meloetta can serve as teammates for Tapu Bulu.
name: Choice Scarf
move 1: Wood Hammer
move 2: Grass Knot
move 3: Hidden Power Fire
move 4: Stone Edge
item: Choice Scarf
ability: Grassy Surge
evs: 40 HP / 156 Atk / 84 Def / 52 SpA / 176 Spe
Grassy Terrain-boosted Wood Hammer helps Tapu Bulu in defeating Water-type Pokemon like Mega Gyarados, Choice Specs Greninja, and Primarina. Grass Knot is used in this set to KO Pokemon like Golem and Donphan, the latter of which could use Counter if Tapu Bulu uses Wood Hammer. Hidden Power Fire is used to net KOs on Kartana and Durant. Stone Edge is used to OHKO Flying-types like Mega Charizard Y and Mega Pinsir.
Running 40 HP EVs and 84 Defense EVs lets Tapu Bulu tank a Continental Crush + Ice Shard from maximum Attack Donphan. 176 Speed EVs combined with a Choice Scarf and Jolly nature let Tapu Bulu outspeed maximum Speed Timid Choice Specs Greninja. 52 EVs in Special Attack give it a great chance of OHKOing Durant with Hidden Power Fire, and the remaining EVs are invested in its Attack stat to maximize its offensive ability as much as possible.
Since Tapu Bulu has a strong, Terrain-boosted Grass-type move in Wood Hammer, it is recommended to send it in against Water-, Ground-, and Rock-type Pokemon like Mega Gyarados, Greninja, Primarina, and Mega Tyranitar. Since it has Grass Knot, it can also be sent in against Counter users like Donphan and Golem. You can send it against Charizard if you think that it's Mega Charizard Y, since it outspeeds and OHKOes it with Stone Edge. The same is also applicable to Mega Pinsir; Pinsir usually Mega Evolves when matched up against Tapu Bulu, so you can use it this to your advantage, since Mega Pinsir is OHKOed by Stone Edge. This set also lures Kartana and Durant in, so it is advisable to send it in against these Pokemon. Actively avoid sending it in against most other Pokemon, since this set is a lure set, and it lacks the firepower or the moveset to KO much else.
Ground-type Pokemon like Donphan and Golem can cover Tapu Bulu's Fire-, Steel-, and Poison-type weaknesses while appreciating Tapu Bulu's ability to defeat Water-types. Since Tapu Bulu can hit Flying-type Pokemon like Mega Charizard Y and Mega Pinsir with this set, some Pokemon that lure in these like Mega Heracross and Volcarona can be paired with it. Magnezone can draw in Ground-type Pokemon for Tapu Buluand make up for its mediocre Special Defense by defeating special attackers such as Porygon-Z and Meloetta with Mirror Coat.
A Choice Band set with Superpower, Stone Edge, and Megahorn can be utilized, where Stone Edge can be used against slower Fire-type Pokemon like Alolan Marowak, and Megahorn helps against Psychic-types like Latios and Latias. It is worth mentioning that with appropriate Speed investment, Tapu Bulu can also outspeed and KO Heatran with Superpower. A set with Grassy Seed, which increases the holder's Defense by one stage when Grassy Terrain is in effect, can also be viable. But it lacks the boost in Speed provided by a Choice Scarf, or the firepower provided by Grassium Z, and turns out to be just a defensive tank which can be played around with setup.
Checks and Counters
**Grass-resistant Pokemon**: Fire-, Steel-, Flying-, and Poison-type Pokemon like Mega Charizard X, Mega Metagross, Heatran, Naganadel, and Mega Venusaur can counter Tapu Bulu because of their type advantages.
**Poison-type Coverage Moves**: Poison-type moves are common as coverage moves for many Pokemon that outspeed Tapu Bulu like Garchomp, Sawk, Pheromosa, and Landorus, so these Pokemon OHKO Tapu Bulu before it gets a chance to attack.
**Setup Sweepers**: Some Pokemon, like Crustle and Carracosta, can endure one hit from Tapu Bulu with Sturdy, set up, and defeat Tapu Bulu if it isn't running Taunt.
**Strong STAB Attackers**: Strong attackers such as Meteor Mash Mega Lucario, Choice Specs Greninja, and Hyper Beam Porygon-Z outspeed Tapu Bulu and OHKO it because of their high Special Attack stats and powerful attacks.
- Written by: [[<Wrath of Alakazam>, 292550]]
- Quality checked by: [[UnleashOurPassion, 385597], [Macemaster, 302951], [charizard8888, 333554]]
- Grammar checked by: [[Electrolyte, 148071], [lotiasite, 302985]]