Thanks to its excellent stat distribution, unique typing, and wide movepool, Tyranitar is a key Pokemon in GSC OU. Most notably, a combination of a strong Pursuit, solid all-around bulk, an important Normal resistance, and access to Roar allows Tyranitar to provide very desirable role compression for teams looking for a Pokemon able to check threats such as Snorlax, Gengar, Exeggutor, Misdreavus, and Jynx all at once. These factors make Tyranitar very easy to fit on teams, as the sheer utility of Pursuit and Roar is extremely helpful in the metagame. Furthermore, Tyranitar is a versatile Pokemon that can turn into a Curse sweeper that invalidates typical answers to Curse Snorlax such as phazing and Explosion thanks to Roar and its part-Rock typing. Tyranitar is also capable of acting as a lure due to its numerous coverage options that allow it to dent its usual answers.
However, Tyranitar doesn't have access to a powerful STAB attack to fully exploit its tremendous base 134 Attack stat. Therefore, it faces competition as a physical attacker from Rhydon and, to a lesser extent, Golem. Moreover, Tyranitar suffers from several common and exploitable weaknesses, a below-average Speed stat, an unfortunate case of four-moveslot syndrome, and a tendency to be unable to punish switch-ins from dangerous Pokemon such as Nidoking, Marowak, Vaporeon, Rhydon, and especially Machamp. These flaws also hamper its overall reliability against the threats it is supposed to keep in check, seeing that it struggles to pressure Starmie and takes substantial damage from Exeggutor's Giga Drain, Gengar's Dynamic Punch, and most importantly, Snorlax's Earthquake, meaning Umbreon provides serious competition, as it usually performs better against these examples. Finally, Tyranitar usually has to check multiple Pokemon throughout the match and can be worn down fairly quickly when factoring its weaknesses, lack of reliable recovery, and susceptibility to residual damage in the form of Spikes and Toxic.
name: Standard Utility
move 1: Rock Slide
move 2: Pursuit
move 3: Roar
move 4: Fire Blast / Crunch / Earthquake
This variant of Tyranitar brings as much role compression as it can get into a single set. Rock Slide is Tyranitar's STAB move of choice, as backed up by its very high Attack stat it is able to 2HKO Zapdos, 3HKO Cloyster, and OHKO Jynx. It also pressures any Snorlax without a Curse boost, as it has the potential to induce a flinch at very inconvenient times. Pursuit is one of Tyranitar's main draws, as it allows it to punish Dark-weak Pokemon such as Exeggutor, Gengar, Misdreavus, and Jynx if they attempt to switch out, and it can do some chip damage to Pokemon that Tyranitar typically scares out like Zapdos. Roar is a move recommended on every team in GSC OU due to the dominance of Curse Snorlax, and Tyranitar is fit to use it, as it can constantly phaze non-Earthquake variants of Snorlax by virtue of its Normal resistance and huge physical bulk, on top of having a great matchup against Misdreavus, which can be deadly with its PerishTrap set in the absence of phazers. Roar also gives some much-needed insurance against Mean Look + Baton Pass Umbreon, and Tyranitar's typing is suited to phazing some uncommon threats such as Espeon, Porygon2, and Muk.
Fire Blast is usually chosen in the last slot for its ability to scorch Steel-types such as Skarmory, Steelix, and Forretress, which would otherwise be troublesome for Tyranitar. It can end up being very useful on a Spikes-focused team against Forretress, as Fire Blast Tyranitar can force it out and slowly but surely wear it down with Pursuit throughout the match so it cannot use Rapid Spin to get rid of your Spikes forever. Fire Blast also pressures Exeggutor, another notable Pursuit target that Tyranitar needs to scare off. Alternatively, STAB Crunch retains the ability to threaten Exeggutor while also doing much more damage to Gengar and Misdreavus than Rock Slide. This can turn out to be pretty significant, as these targets tend to cripple Tyranitar with status, Thief, and repeated hits while trying to avoid a full-powered Pursuit. Crunch Tyranitar also has a shot at trying to remove a weakened Starmie from the game. However, Tyranitar takes a lot of damage in the process and may be unable to do anything else afterwards. It is possible to fit both Fire Blast and Crunch onto the set, but the utility of Roar is usually too important to give up. Finally, Earthquake 2HKOes Raikou, Nidoking, and Tentacruel while scoring a 3HKO on Rhydon and Golem. It also has the merit of hitting both Gengar and Steelix hard in one slot, but dropping Fire Blast or Crunch makes Tyranitar unable to pressure Exeggutor as effectively.
Roar, Pursuit, and the Normal resistance are all important features that let Tyranitar fit onto a wide variety of teams. It is especially useful alongside Spikers such as Cloyster and Forretress, as they struggle against Ghost-types, which can absorb their attempt to use Explosion or Rapid Spin. Tyranitar's ability to get rid of these with Pursuit is beneficial, and Roar allows it to take advantage of Spikes further. Tyranitar's Pursuit also helps Starmie against Misdreavus, which in return can clear the field and check Machamp, arguably Tyranitar's biggest nemesis. Cloyster is also suited to help Tyranitar against Ground-types such as Marowak and Rhydon. Suicune is another good teammate, as it makes a good check to the aforementioned Ground-types but also deals nicely with Nidoking and, to a lesser extent, Vaporeon if it packs Roar. Exeggutor and Zapdos are more offensively inclined partners that can check most Ground- and Water-types as well as Machamp, giving them excellent synergy with Tyranitar. The same applies to Heracross, which is a safer answer to Ground-types and Machamp that appreciates Tyranitar's ability to cripple Gengar and Misdreavus with Pursuit. Overall, any Pokemon that wants to have the opposing Ghost-type or Exeggutor out of the way such as non-Earthquake Snorlax, Machamp, and Vaporeon will benefit from having Tyranitar's Pursuit to back it up.
It is important to keep in mind that this Tyranitar set is only a temporary check to Snorlax at best, as it cannot break through Curse Snorlax's Rest loop in a one-on-one scenario where Snorlax is the last member of its team. Furthermore, Tyranitar's usefulness will be short lived if Snorlax is packing Earthquake. As a consequence, it is recommended to pack an answer to said variants. Curse Skarmory is a good example of such a Pokemon, and it also helps against some of Tyranitar's other problems such as Marowak, Heracross, and Machamp. In return, Tyranitar checks Fire Blast Snorlax and Hidden Power Fire Exeggutor. Unfortunately, more offensive teams can't always afford to pack passive Pokemon like Skarmory to deal with Snorlax, and they would rather pick a phazer like Tyranitar to do the job. Therefore, they have to keep constant pressure on Snorlax in order to force it to Rest so Tyranitar can phaze it safely and keep it from sweeping. Powerful Pokemon such as Machamp, Vaporeon, Nidoking, and Zapdos are suited to apply offensive momentum and can benefit from having the opposing Snorlax asleep as well.
move 1: Rock Slide
move 2: Curse
move 3: Roar
move 4: Rest
As a Curse user, Tyranitar faces competition from Rhydon due to its access to STAB Earthquake, making it more offensively threatening. Tyranitar, on the other hand, is bulkier overall and isn't plagued with 4x weaknesses to Water and Grass, which makes it harder to force out once it has set up boosts. Rock Slide is Tyranitar's best physical STAB attack and is sufficient as the sole attacking move on this set, since there is no Pokemon immune to Rock-type moves. With Curse, Tyranitar is able to reliably take on non-Earthquake variants of Snorlax one-on-one and can act as a potential wincon. Roar prevents faster phazers such as Skarmory, Raikou, and opposing Tyranitar from forcing Tyranitar out. This also works when Tyranitar is asleep, so forcing it to Rest in order to phaze it afterwards isn't a possibility. It can also be helpful in Curse wars against the likes of Snorlax, Porygon2, and Muk. Rest provides the longevity needed for this set's success. Without it, Tyranitar could be worn down by the Pokemon it is supposed to check and would be ruined by Toxic.
Even with Curse, Machamp and Ground-types can still easily break through Tyranitar. Therefore, answers to these such as Exeggutor, Zapdos, Suicune, and Heracross are teammates of choice. Water-types such as Suicune and Vaporeon also prevent any attempt to sweep with Tyranitar, which is another reason why Zapdos and Exeggutor make good partners. Skarmory is one of the best defensive backbones to support Curse Tyranitar due to its good matchup against Curse and Belly Drum Snorlax carrying Earthquake, Heracross, and Marowak. The two of them together form a very formidable obstacle for Snorlax to overcome, no matter what its moveset is. Despite its overall great bulk, Tyranitar is 3HKOed by Zapdos's Thunder and Exeggutor's Giga Drain, which means that it cannot use Rest over and over again against these threats. Thus, specially bulky Pokemon such as Snorlax, Raikou, and Blissey make good backups for Tyranitar. Blissey can also cure Tyranitar from its self-induced sleep with Heal Bell, allowing it to use Rest more freely. Opposing Miltank and Umbreon can be painful to face for Tyranitar, as they can negate its boosts with Growl or Charm, so Pokemon suited to take advantage of these such as Spikers, Ghost-types in the case of Miltank, and Heracross in the case of Umbreon can be beneficial.
Tyranitar possesses a large pool of coverage options to lure and dent many of its usual answers. Dynamic Punch is capable of 2HKOing Snorlax, Miltank, and Umbreon after Spikes damage. Ice Beam targets Ground-types that aren't Steelix, Piloswine, and Quagsire while retaining a hard hit against Exeggutor, whereas Surf trades the ability to scare it off for a potential 2HKO on Steelix, a potential OHKO on Golem, and a guaranteed OHKO on Rhydon. Thunderbolt 2HKOes Cloyster and maintains super effective coverage against Pokemon such as Starmie and Skarmory in the absence of Crunch and Fire Blast. With so many possibilities, an all-out attacker set consisting of Rock Slide and three of Fire Blast and the aforementioned moves makes for a viable option. Ancient Power can also be considered on this kind of set and can make Tyranitar very difficult to handle should its secondary effect activate. However, Ancient Power fails to consistently 2HKO Zapdos, which substantially decreases its viability. Unfortunately, Tyranitar cannot break through all of the troublesome Pokemon with a single set, and it will be exploited by Machamp and Suicune regardless of which moves it has.
Screech is an alternative to Roar, as it can force out the opposing Pokemon by lowering its Defense, which notably enables Tyranitar to potentially win against non-Earthquake variants of Curse Snorlax in a one-on-one scenario and pairs well with Pursuit, as the opponent is likely to call their Pokemon back in fear of taking a Rock Slide after a Screech. However, it is less reliable than Roar overall and isn't nearly as effective against PerishTrap Misdreavus. Toxic is a good way to deter most switch-ins to Tyranitar, but it is hard to fit onto a set.
A more offensive Curse variant with Rock Slide, Earthquake, and Fire Blast is another way to lure and play around Pokemon such as Nidoking, Steelix, and, to a lesser extent, Heracross, but due to the lack of a strong physical STAB attack it is mostly outclassed by Machamp and Rhydon.
On the Curse set, dropping Roar in favor of Pursuit is doable. The role compression it offers can be quite appealing for defensive teams looking for a Pokemon capable of handling non-Earthquake Snorlax while offering the ability to trap Ghost-types to support Snorlax and spinners from its team.
Checks & Counters
**Machamp**: Due to its bulk and typing, Machamp can take hits from Tyranitar rather easily and swiftly OHKO it with its STAB Cross Chop or use it as a setup opportunity, but it has to be wary of switching into Tyranitar's assaults with Spikes down too often. Even then, the RestTalk variant is a hard wall to Tyranitar.
**Water-types**: Tyranitar is unable to get past Suicune, which does severe damage with Surf in return. Vaporeon is bulky enough to avoid the 3HKO from Rock Slide and can accumulate boosts in front of Tyranitar without much trouble, especially if it's an Acid Armor variant. Cloyster doesn't like switching into Rock Slide, but it still has the upper hand against Tyranitar due to its superior Speed and can lay down Spikes against it. Starmie is another problem if Tyranitar doesn't pack Crunch, and even then it can threaten Tyranitar with a very likely 2HKO. The less common Tentacruel can also scare off Tyranitar with its Water-type STAB and start using Substitute or Swords Dance against it.
**Ground-types**: Most of the time, Tyranitar is unable to prevent the likes of Nidoking, Rhydon, Golem, and the rare Donphan and Sandslash from taking advantage of it unless it has Ice Beam or Surf. Marowak in particular is a very dangerous Pokemon that can switch in on Tyranitar and threaten it with a potential OHKO with its STAB Earthquake, but its lack of passive recovery and poor Speed mean that it should be wary about switching into Fire Blast or Crunch, and it loses if it takes an Ice Beam or Surf on the switch. Steelix shrugs off Tyranitar's assaults as long as it doesn't have Fire Blast, Surf, or, to a lesser extent, Earthquake. Finally, the rather uncommon Quagsire doesn't care about any of Tyranitar's usual attacking moves aside from Crunch.
**Bulky Pokemon**: Unless Tyranitar packs the appropriate coverage move, the standard variant has trouble breaking through Snorlax, Raikou, and Porygon2. However, the Curse variant is likely to eventually win against these. On the other hand, Umbreon and Miltank can shut down Tyranitar's offensive capabilities by using Charm or Growl and cripple it with status effects. The only move they have to watch out for is Dynamic Punch after Spikes damage. If Tyranitar doesn't have Fire Blast, Skarmory, Forretress, and the rare Meganium become troublesome, but only Meganium is able to act as an answer to Curse Tyranitar.
**Heracross**: While Fire Blast does a significant amount of damage, Heracross is still able to scare off Tyranitar with its fast and powerful Megahorn and can heal itself with Rest. If Tyranitar doesn't have Fire Blast, Heracross can start accumulating Curse boosts against it.
**Residual Damage**: Tyranitar usually has to keep multiple Pokemon in check throughout the game. Chip damage in the form of Spikes and Toxic hamper its ability to do so, but Rest can make this task easier.
- Written by: [[Wenderz, 331114]]
- Quality checked by: [[BKC, 52012], [FriendOfMrGolem120, 424525]]
- Grammar checked by: [[The Dutch Plumberjack, 232216], [deetah, 297659]]
Last edited by a moderator: