VGC 17 Tapu Bulu

Mr.GX

Mew Mew
is a Tiering Contributor
[OVERVIEW]

* With the ability Grassy Surge and a powerful Attack stat of 135, Tapu Bulu easily becomes one of the best Grass-type Pokemon in the format.
* Defensive stats of base 70 / 115 / 95 give it a considerable amount of bulk that helps it survive a lot of powerful attacks when combined with Intimidate support or Assault Vest support, while its Speed stat of 75 places it in an average Speed tier, outspeeding a lot of the metagame with just a small amount of investment.
* The ability to set Grassy Terrain upon being sent out makes it invaluable on a team that is susceptible to Earthquake, making it a great partner to Pokemon like Arcanine and Alolan Muk.
* Tapu Bulu lacks access to any decent physical Fairy-type attack like Play Rough, so it must depend solely on its coverage options in the form of Superpower and Stone Edge.
* Being Grass-type can help it fit in popular team archetypes like rain, which helps mitigate its Fire weakness.
* Tapu Bulu has access to a variety of support moves like Leech Seed, Snarl, Taunt, and Rock Slide.
* Tapu Bulu is 4x weak to Poison-type moves like Poison Jab and Sludge Bomb, which are usually sufficient to OHKO it, so users of these moves should be handled with caution.
* The increasing popularity of Will-O-Wisp, Buzzwole, and Poison-type attacks gives Tapu Bulu a hard time in the current metagame.

[SET]
name: Scarf Bulu
move 1: Wood Hammer
move 2: Horn Leach
move 3: Superpower
move 4: Stone Edge / Rock Slide
item: Choice Scarf
ability: Grassy Surge
nature: Adamant
evs: 108 HP / 252 Atk / 148 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

* Wood Hammer is Tapu Bulu's primary STAB move and used to pick up OHKOs when boosted by Grassy Terrain, while Horn Leech is used as a recovery option to extend its longevity. Both are used on this set to cover both damage and recovery.
* Superpower is used as a coverage option to deal super effective damage to Magnezone and break Celesteela's Substitute.
* Stone Edge is often used in the last moveslot to pick up KOs on AlolanMarowak and Arcanine, with the higher critical hit chance coming in handy. Rock Slide may be used instead to fish for flinches when you are in a pinch, giving you some space to plan your next move. Choice Scarf Rock Slide has always been well known for crippling opposing Pokemon with flinches.

Set Details
========

* Tapu Bulu's ability, Grassy Surge, sets up Grassy Terrain when it is sent out. Grassy Terrain boosts the damage of Grass-type moves by 1.5x and weakens Earthquake, Bulldoze, and Magnitude.
* Choice Scarf is used to enable Tapu Bulu to outspeed and KO threats such as Garchomp and Nihilego. This allows the user to invest more EVs in bulk and Attack, making Tapu Bulu a fast and effective sweeper.
* 108 EVs are invested in HP give it greater longevity.
* 148 Speed EVs ensure that Tapu Bulu outspeeds Timid Nihilego, allowing it to take out the threat before it gets KOed. Alternatively, 196 Speed EVs can be used to outspeed Pokemon from the base 110 Speed tier, and 228 EVs outspeed Timid Salazzle.
* 252 EVs are put into Attack to make sure Tapu Bulu hits hard as possible with an Adamant nature. This is usually sufficient to OHKO an unsuspecting Garchomp.

Usage Tips
========

* As a Grass-type Pokemon, Tapu Bulu can easily take down most of the Water-type Pokemon in the metagame. This includes but is not limited to Gastrodon, Milotic, Golduck, and Tapu Fini.
* Due to its high Speed thanks to Choice Scarf, Tapu Bulu almost always sets up its Terrain before the opponent's Terrain setter. It is advisable to switch in Tapu Bulu later on to turn the Terrain in your favor.
* With its bulk, Speed, and offensive power, Tapu Bulu can be used to outspeed and OHKO the guardian deities with ease.
* Tapu Bulu's Fairy typing allows it to be switched into incoming Dragon-type attacks, especially Salamence's Devastating Drake, which can put your opponent at a disadvantage.
* Grassy Terrain can be utilized against Earthquake users to provide your team with better bulk. It can also be used to boost other Grass-type moves like Grass Knot from Nihilego and Leaf Blade from Kartana.
* Tapu Bulu also serves as a soft Rain check, easily getting rid of Pelipper and Golduck with Horn Leech, which restores its HP in the process.
* Poison-immune Pokemon like Celesteela and Magnezone are advised to be used with Tapu Bulu to switch into Poison-type attacks, as this can put your opponent at a disadvantage.

Team Options
========

* Team members are chosen to take advantage of Tapu Bulu's Grassy Surge. Pokemon weak to Earthquake can fill this role, as they don't have to worry about one of their weaknesses. Such Pokemon include Alolan Muk, Nihilego, Arcanine, and Magnezone.
* It is essential to have a Poison-immune Pokemon on the team to absorb Poison-type moves directed at Tapu Bulu.
* Steel-types like Celesteela and Kartana can take down Tapu Bulu if you are not careful; it is advised to use Fire-type Pokemon like Arcanine and Alolan Marowak to deal with those Pokemon.
* As Garchomp poses a threat to Tapu Bulu due to Poison Jab, a Pokemon like Salamence that can KO Dragon-types is often utilized on such teams to OHKO it and other threats. It can also be used to OHKO Arcanine and deal massive amounts of damage to Alolan Muk.
* Intimidate users like Arcanine and Gyarados are recommended to be used alongside Tapu Bulu, weakening physical attackers like Kartana and Garchomp that otherwise would be able to OHKO Tapu Bulu with Smart Strike and Poison Jab, respectively.
* Finally, a Water-type Pokemon like Milotic or Gastrodon can be used to deal with Tapu Bulu's Fire-type weakness.

[SET]
name: Bulky Attacker
move 1: Wood Hammer / Horn Leech
move 2: Superpower / Substitute
move 3: Nature's Madness / Leech Seed / Toxic
move 4: Protect
item: Grassium Z / Leftovers
ability: Grassy Surge
nature: Adamant
evs: 252 HP / 196 Atk / 4 Def / 36 SpD / 20 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

* Wood Hammer is Tapu Bulu's primary STAB move, deals an enormous amount of damage in Grassy Terrain, and can be converted to Bloom Doom with Grassium Z to take out most of the meta.
* Horn Leech can also be used in this moveslot for recovery.
* Superpower can be run on this set to damage Steel-types to an extent after Tapu Bulu has used its Z-Move. Substitute is often used in this slot to allow Tapu Bulu to avoid being OHKOed.
* The third slot is taken by Nature's Madness to weaken bulky Pokemon like Celesteela, which otherwise completely walls Tapu Bulu.
* Leech Seed or Toxic works on this set as well, allowing Tapu Bulu to stall out bulky Pokemon like Porygon2.
* Protect is used in the last slot to scout your opponent for surprises like Poison Jab and to allow Tapu Bulu's teammate to take out specific threats.

Set Details
========

* As Grassy Terrain boosts Tapu Bulu's offensive power, one can afford to take some Attack EVs and invest them in bulk.
* Grassium Z allows Tapu Bulu to use Bloom Doom, which when combined with Grassy Terrain becomes one of the strongest Z-Moves in the metagame.
* Leftovers can be used to create a stall set with Substitute and Leech Seed for recovery, which can allow it to beat what it normally loses to.
* 252 HP / 36 SpD allows Tapu Bulu to survive Timid Pelipper's Hurricane 97.5% of the time, then use Horn Leech and recover HP.
* 20 EVs are invested in Speed to Speed creep opposing Tapu Bulu and bulky Pokemon of the same Speed tier.
* The rest are used in the Attack stat to maximize damage output, allowing Bloom Doom in Grassy Terrain to OHKO most of the Pokemon that don't resist it.
* It should be noted that a bulky spread of 252 HP / 28 Atk / 84 Def / 140 SpD / 4 Spe can be used with a more defensively oriented set.

Usage Tips
========

* Tapu Bulu possess enormous offensive capabilities, and can be used to OHKO slow Pokemon quite easily.
* One has to be careful not to get Tapu Bulu burned, as that significantly reduces its damage output.
* As Bloom Doom is a one-time option, it should be used carefully. A simple switch from your opponent could waste a potential KO.
* Bulky Fire-type Pokemon like Arcanine wall this set and should be taken care of before sending in Tapu Bulu.
* Setting up Grassy Terrain on turn one is often the optimal play when facing another guardian diety, as this allows you to use Bloom Doom and score a KO quickly.

Team Options
========

* As Tapu Bulu is 4x weak to Poison-type attacks, it is recommended to run a Ground- or Steel-type like Celesteela, Magnezone, or Mudsdale.
* Since Fire-types like Arcanine pose a threat to Tapu Bulu, Water-type Pokemon like Gastrodon and Milotic work well with it.
* Rain setters like Politoed can be used to help Tapu Bulu mitigate its Fire weakness, while Tapu Bulu takes out powerful Electric-type Pokemon like Tapu Koko that threaten Politoed. Combined with Tapu Bulu's bulk, Politoed can disrupt your opponent with Encore and even use Perish Song as a last resort due to its low Speed.
* Using a Fire-type Pokemon like Arcanine can benefit Tapu Bulu as well, with its Intimidate support weakening opposing Garchomp and Celesteela as well as its STAB moves taking out bulky Steel-types.
* Porygon2 can be used with Tapu Bulu as a Trick Room setter, which helps Tapu Bulu move faster thanks to its middling Speed stat.
* Since Grassy Terrain weakens Earthquake, it is safe to use Magnezone against Garchomp, although Intimidate may be required to make sure Magnezone survives.
* Alolan Muk and Nihilego can be used as well, as they take advantage of Grassy Terrain weakening Earthquake, though the former should be wary of Tectonic Rage from Garchomp. These Pokemon help take out hail teams, which otherwise easily threaten Tapu Bulu.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
=============

* Fightinium Z can be used to deal with Porygon2 and Celesteela, but it won't do much to other Pokemon in the metagame.
* Similarly, Tapunium Z allows Tapu Bulu to use Guardian Of Alola, which greatly damages every Pokemon in the metagame by significantly reducing their HP. This is especially useful when dealing with Celesteela or Alolan Muk.
* Snarl can be run with Leftovers to weaken opposing Pokemon on the switch in. Taunt, on the other hand, helps Tapu Bulu shut down any setup options like Belly Drum or Trick Room.
* Assault Vest is used at times to greatly enhance Tapu Bulu's special bulk, allowing it to survive attacks like Pelipper's Hurricane with ease.
* Miracle Seed can be used to further boost Tapu Bulu's Grass-type moves, though this makes it nothing more than a mindless attacker.
* EVs can be invested so that it survives Poison Jab from Garchomp after an Intimidate, which is usually enough to score a KO with Wood Hammer.

Checks and Counters
===================

**Poison-types**: Poison-type moves can OHKO Tapu Bulu almost every time and should be played around with caution. One also have to be careful about Pokemon that have the capability to run a Poison-type move, like Garchomp and Gastrodon.

**Steel-types**: Steel-type Pokemon like Celesteela and Kartana often wall Tapu Bulu and OHKO it with their respective STAB moves.

**Fire-types**: Powerful Fire-type Pokemon like Arcanine and Alolan Marowak can easily OHKO Tapu Bulu with a Flare Blitz.

**Flying-types**: Flying-type Pokemon like Talonflame and Braviary can greatly damage Tapu Bulu with their STAB moves.

**Ice-types**: Ice-type Pokemon like Alolan Ninetales and Vanilluxe can deal massive amounts of damage to Tapu Bulu, OHKOing it most of the time with 100% accurate Blizzards in hail.

**Intimidate and Burn**: Like most physical attackers, Tapu Bulu is susceptible to burn and Intimidate, and can be rendered useless by the former. This can be prevented to an extent if it holds a Lum Berry.
 
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Not QC, but I think Kartana should be mentioned as a specific Superpower target. Bulu still won't want to 1v1 Kartana as Superpower isn't a guaranteed OHKO (and even then only has a chance w/ Adamant nature) & Kartana outspeeds, but Superpower allows Bulu to catch Kartana on the switch. Seems important to mention that as Kartana is otherwise a safe switch-in to Bulu.
 
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I personally think Whirlwind is a nice option on him. It's great to use on set up pokemon like DD Gyarados and Trick Room setters like Oranguru and Polygon 2.
 
Overview
  • I get why you mentioned Breloom and Virizion, but remove this. Them being unavaliable will just confuse readers.
  • Don't just recite stats. Remember a Pokemon's stats are right above the analysis when read in the SmogDex.
    • For example, its defenses make it a good Assault Vest user, enables setting up Terrain late-game etc...
  • Make a note that it fits well on common archetypes. Particularly Rain, since it mitigates its Fire weakness.
Set Details 1
  • Despite being its only ability, you need to talk about Grassy Terrain. Just say what it does, if nothing else.
Usage Tips 1
  • Most of these points need to be rephrased to sound more like tips/recommendations and not just statements.
  • Mention that keeping Tapu Bulu in the back leaves it ready to switch into attacks and restore Grassy Terrain.
Team Options 1
  • Cite a few examples of Intimidate users, as they're able to round out Assault Vest Tapu Bulu's defenses.
Moves 2
  • "It's doubles" isn't good enough when mentioning Protect. Not all readers are familiar with VGC conventions.
    • For example, it enables Tapu Bulu to shield itself while a partner eliminates a threat/switches for positioning.
Set Details 2
  • You need to talk about the item and ability here. With emphasis on the former.
Team Options 2
  • Expand on Politoed, saying that Drizzle summoning the Rain is useful to mitigate Tapu Bulu's Fire weakness.
  • Add Alolan-Muk and Nihilego like you mentioned in Team Options 1. They're good for the same reasons.
Other Options
  • Add Leftovers and Miracle Seed. The former is particularly important.
Checks and Counters
  • Add sections for Flying- and Ice-types.
  • Change "Burn" to "Intimidate and Burns".
Tag me when implemented and I'll look over and stamp it.
 
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Mr.GX

Mew Mew
is a Tiering Contributor
Overview
  • I get why you mentioned Breloom and Virizion, but remove this. Them being unavaliable will just confuse readers.
  • Don't just recite stats. Remember a Pokemon's stats are right above the analysis when read in the SmogDex.
    • For example, its defenses make it a good Assault Vest user, enables setting up Terrain late-game etc...
  • Make a note that it fits well on common archetypes. Particularly Rain, since it mitigates its Fire weakness.
Set Details 1
  • Despite being its only ability, you need to talk about Grassy Terrain. Just say what it does, if nothing else.
Usage Tips 1
  • Most of these points need to be rephrased to sound more like tips/recommendations and not just statements.
  • Mention that keeping Tapu Bulu in the back leaves it ready to switch into attacks and restore Grassy Terrain.
Team Options 1
  • Cite a few examples of Intimidate users, as they're able to round out Assault Vest Tapu Bulu's defenses.
Moves 2
  • "It's doubles" isn't good enough when mentioning Protect. Not all readers are familiar with VGC conventions.
    • For example, it enables Tapu Bulu to shield itself while a partner eliminates a threat/switches for positioning.
Set Details 2
  • You need to talk about the item and ability here. With emphasis on the former.
Team Options 2
  • Expand on Politoed, saying that Drizzle summoning the Rain is useful to mitigate Tapu Bulu's Fire weakness.
  • Add Alolan-Muk and Nihilego like you mentioned in Team Options 1. They're good for the same reasons.
Other Options
  • Add Leftovers and Miracle Seed. The former is particularly important.
Checks and Counters
  • Add sections for Flying- and Ice-types.
  • Change "Burn" to "Intimidate and Burns".
Tag me when implemented and I'll look over and stamp it.
Pretty good. Can't believe I missed a lot of them. Will fix it later on and let you know.
 
I think you're underselling Tapu Bulu's versatility a little bit. SubSeed had great success in London, and Meadow Plate/Miracle Seed with 2 Grass type attacks + support move (Nature's Madness, Taunt, Disable, Whirlwind) has been one of the staple sets from the very beginning.
I would add those to the analysis, especially since Assault Vest made it in.
 

Mr.GX

Mew Mew
is a Tiering Contributor
I think you're underselling Tapu Bulu's versatility a little bit. SubSeed had great success in London, and Meadow Plate/Miracle Seed with 2 Grass type attacks + support move (Nature's Madness, Taunt, Disable, Whirlwind) has been one of the staple sets from the very beginning.
I would add those to the analysis, especially since Assault Vest made it in.
I know it did well at London, but that was one of the first tournaments of the formats. Bulu is kinda non existent these days, and every team got bulu outs in Arcanine, Kartana and Poison Jab Garchomps. I feel like support Bulu may not see much usage anymore. Let me look into it a bit more though.
 
Why are you ignoring the second part of my post entirely?
And Bulu having difficulties in the current metagame doesn't mean we should ignore other, viable set options.
 

blarajan

is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Tiering Contributoris a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
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i don't know what this mon does

add sub seed

mention that the mon sucks

and i think it's grassium not grassinium
 

Mr.GX

Mew Mew
is a Tiering Contributor
i don't know what this mon does

add sub seed

mention that the mon sucks

and i think it's grassium not grassinium
Sub seed with nature's madness? Add it as in another set?
And could you get me a sub seed set?
 
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SubSeed set from Wolfe Glick's London team report in youtube:

Move 1: Horn Leech
Move 2: Leech Seed
Move 3: Substitute
Move 4: Protect
Ability: Grassy Surge
Item: Lum Berry

Adamant Nature
252 Hp / 36 Atk / 60 Def / 140 SpD / 20 Spe

On mobile, can't get link to youtube video, but it's easy to find - 13th Place london team report Wolfe Glick - he explains around the 22-23 min mark
 

Mr.GX

Mew Mew
is a Tiering Contributor
SubSeed set from Wolfe Glick's London team report in youtube:

Move 1: Horn Leech
Move 2: Leech Seed
Move 3: Substitute
Move 4: Protect
Ability: Grassy Surge
Item: Lum Berry

Adamant Nature
252 Hp / 36 Atk / 60 Def / 140 SpD / 20 Spe

On mobile, can't get link to youtube video, but it's easy to find - 13th Place london team report Wolfe Glick - he explains around the 22-23 min mark
Thank you, my friend. Youtube not loading for me for some reason :3
 

lucariojr

MS State Pokemon!!!
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnus
  • As a Grass-type Pokemon, Tapu Bulu can easily take down most of the Water-type Pokemon in the metagame. This includes but is not limited to Gastrodon, Milotic, Politoed and Golduck. <- And Tapu Fini, probably the main reason to use it. This is pretty obvious, though so i'd rework it to sell Bulu over Kartana. Also, something for the overview. I wanna know why I should use bulu over kartana.
  • Part Fairy-typing allows you to switch in Tapu Bulu against incoming Dragon-type attacks, especially against Salamence's Devastating Drake Z-Move, which if used correctly, can put your opponent at a disadvantage. <- this seems like something for team options. also, dragon moves suck.
  • It should be noted that being Grass/Fairy-type makes Tapu Bulu x4 weak to Poison-type, which is usually sufficient to OHKO it, and should be handled with caution. <- what is usually sufficient to OHKO it? Give examples.
 

Mr.GX

Mew Mew
is a Tiering Contributor
  • As a Grass-type Pokemon, Tapu Bulu can easily take down most of the Water-type Pokemon in the metagame. This includes but is not limited to Gastrodon, Milotic, Politoed and Golduck. <- And Tapu Fini, probably the main reason to use it. This is pretty obvious, though so i'd rework it to sell Bulu over Kartana. Also, something for the overview. I wanna know why I should use bulu over kartana.
  • Part Fairy-typing allows you to switch in Tapu Bulu against incoming Dragon-type attacks, especially against Salamence's Devastating Drake Z-Move, which if used correctly, can put your opponent at a disadvantage. <- this seems like something for team options. also, dragon moves suck.
  • It should be noted that being Grass/Fairy-type makes Tapu Bulu x4 weak to Poison-type, which is usually sufficient to OHKO it, and should be handled with caution. <- what is usually sufficient to OHKO it? Give examples.
  • Yea, fini was non-existent when I wrote this. Glad I didnt finish it then :D
  • Well, dragon moves were used, especially in wolfe's team. Should I change it?
  • Any poison types usually ohko it, muk, garchomp poison jab, nihilego sludge bomb.
Also, could someone tell me what wolfe's sub seed set do? like whats the EV benchmarks etc?
 
Also, could someone tell me what wolfe's sub seed set do? like whats the EV benchmarks etc?
In the video he states that it survives a combination of -1 Garchomp's Poison Jab and Life Orb Tapu Koko's Dazzling Gleam most of the time, in addition to often OHKOing Milotic. I'm pretty sure the Speed EVs are just speed creep.

Tbh I think something like 252 HP / 52 Atk / 108 Def / 92 SpD / 4 Spe might be better. It survives neutral Garchomp's Poison Jab, OHKOes 252 HP / 76 Def Milotic 100% of the time, and puts the rest into Special Defense.
  • 252 Atk Garchomp Poison Jab vs. 252 HP / 108 Def Tapu Bulu: 148-176 (83.6 - 99.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
  • 52+ Atk Tapu Bulu Horn Leech vs. 252 HP / 76 Def Milotic in Grassy Terrain: 204-242 (100.9 - 119.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Also, outside of Grassy Terrain:
  • 172 SpA Milotic Ice Beam vs. 252 HP / 92 SpD Tapu Bulu: 78-92 (44 - 51.9%) -- 9.8% chance to 2HKO
Not all Milotic are going to run that much Special Attack, so the range is fine.

252 HP / 28 Atk / 84 Def / 140 SpD / 4 Spe is an option closer to the original. It makes OHKOing 252 HP / 76 Def Milotic a 14/16 damage roll, but is still guaranteed against spreads such as 252 HP / 44 Def. Also makes Garchomp's Poison Jab a 15/16 chance to OHKO. You're at least as bulky as Wolfe's spread here, so at minimum Tapu Bulu will survive the same attacks.
  • 252 Atk Garchomp Poison Jab vs. 252 HP / 84 Def Tapu Bulu: 152-180 (85.8 - 101.6%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
  • 28+ Atk Tapu Bulu Horn Leech vs. 252 HP / 76 Def Milotic in Grassy Terrain: 200-236 (99 - 116.8%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO
  • 28+ Atk Tapu Bulu Horn Leech vs. 252 HP / 44 Def Milotic in Grassy Terrain: 206-246 (101.9 - 121.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
 
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Mr.GX

Mew Mew
is a Tiering Contributor
Nearly done. Sorry for the delay.
EDIT: Just 2 more para and done
 
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On the Bloom Doom set, 4 EVs are unaccounted for. I assume you meant to put them into Attack, as 4 more will get you another point. (Which specifically brings the stat up to 192).
 

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