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Community POTW #151

Serebii

And, as if by magic, the webmaster appeared...
Staff member
Admin
Time for the next Pokémon of the Week and this week we have an absolute staple from Unova

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It's Landorus

 

Divine Retribution

¡Zapatistas se levantar!
If you ask a lot of competitive players what the single best Pokemon in its given metagame is, a lot of them will answer Landorus-Therian. A staple of OU since its inception, it doesn't take a genius to see where Landorus's success comes from in either form. Both forms are blessed with fantastic Ground/Flying typing, good overall bulk, and great (and efficient) coverage. Its Therian form has Intimidate, one of the most useful utility abilities in the game, and a fantastic base 145 Attack stat. This combined with its naturally decent bulk, great typing, and access to many important support moves like U-Turn, Stealth Rock, and Knock Off, makes Landorus-T pretty much the premiere pivot for Singles, and allowed it to top the viability ranking charts for 3 and a half generations now.

Landorus-Incarnate takes a slightly different approach than its Therian form. With its somewhat lower offensive stats, you might, at a glance, expect it to pack less of a punch than Landorus-T. You'd be wrong. Sheer Force makes up for the slight difference in stats, turning Landorus-I into a frightening breaker that is incredibly difficult to switch into, and the fact that it still has a usable Attack stat backed up by moves like Knock Off and Superpower prevents dedicated Special walls like Chansey from switching in with impunity. It also crucially sits just above the base 100 Speed mark at 101, where Landorus-T sits slightly below it at 91. That 10 point difference might not seem like much, but there are a ton of Pokemon that sit between it that Landorus-I can outspeed while Landorus-T cannot.

Both Landorus forms are highly customizable Pokemon that can run a huge number of different sets, with many variations on those sets to deal with specific threats. This is especially true for Landorus-T in unofficial formats; the "standard" Landorus-T set shifts so often to keep up with the metagame (which in turn shifts around it) that trying to keep up with it means analyzing usage statistics for the high ladder and high-level tour games. It can sometimes be difficult to play around Landorus until you've identified its set; assuming that your opponent is using a defensive set as a bulky pivot can be disastrous if it turns out to be Scarf, for example, and unlike many other Pokemon there really isn't a safe assumption to make either way.

I'm not really a Doubles player, but with a strong Earthquake and Rock Slide and access to Intimidate, one of the best abilities in Doubles, I understand that Landorus-Therian made quite an impact in VGC as well.

As for what holds it back, Landorus famously lacks a reliable Flying STAB, having access only to Fly. This prevents it from leveraging its Flying typing offensively. It also lacks recovery, which can leave it prone to getting worn down if it's used to check multiple different Pokemon over the course of a match, and its bulk, while decent enough especially when bolstered by Intimidate, isn't amazing by any means, which forces it to rely on offensive pressure to deal with many Pokemon instead of just walling them indefinitely the way a bulkier defensive Pokemon might be able to do. Despite all of these flaws, Landorus is still one of the best Pokemon in the entire game.
 

Mestorn

Wandering Battler
Landorus. What isn't there to say about it? Fantastic typing from both an offensive and defensive standpoint. Fantastic abilities in either form. Base 600 Stat total tweaked just so for either a balanced attacker (Incarnate) or physical power house (Therian). 90% usage in Gen 7 Smogon OU at one point, yet "not a problem". Landorus has been an all around fantastic pokémon, and the generational shift was kind to it. Landorus loves Max Airstream, giving it the Flying STAB it always wanted while bolster its lackluster speed.

Landorus-Therian has made quite the splash in Doubles as well. As the second best Intimidate user in the game, Landorus-Therian provides invaluable role compression, combining damage control [Intimidate + Max Quake], Speed control [Max Airstream], and just all around great damage [Rock Slide + STAB Earthquake having great coverage and spread]. Being immune to Electric moves is quite the boon as well, utterly stuffing the otherwise oppressive Regieleki and immune to both it and Thundurus' Electro-Web. Main thing holding it back is stiff competition with Incineroar (best Intimidate user in the game while sharing a Water weakness), Groudon (another Ground type so a bunch of shared weaknesses and benefits there), Thundurus (another Max Airstream user that punishes Intimidate).

Huye Rising
Landorus-Therian
Ability:
Intimidate
Item: Life Orb
-Fly
-Earthquake
-Rock Slide
-Swords Dance
EVs: 36 HP / 212 ATK / 8 SDEF / 252 SPE
Nature: Jolly (+SPE, -SATK)

Landorus Therian Doubles set. This is completely meant to abuse Dynamax, with STAB Max Airstream providing insane damage and speed control, Max Quake to bolster Special Defense after cutting down on the opposing sides Attack while not needing to worry about hitting your partner or getting its power further dropped by Rillaboom's Grassy Terrain and Max Rockfall providing extra chip damage. Out of Dynamax, Fly becomes a pseudo Protect, and while it can be easily blocked by Protect, it is good for Lando-T to stall out turns. Earthquake and Rock Slide spread damage around very quickly, and while both are blocked by Wide Guard, it is great for putting on the pressure. Swords Dance rounds out the set. Lando-T has no defense against opposing Intimidates, Parting Shots, etc. and thus helps address the issue while enabling Lando-T to stay in.
 

Divine Retribution

¡Zapatistas se levantar!
Dropping some sets.

landorus.gif

Landorus-Incarnate @ Life Orb
Timid - Sheer Force
4 Def, 252 Sp. Atk, 252 Speed
-Earth Power
-Focus Blast
-Sludge Wave
-U-Turn

Landorus-I is a terror in formats where it is both allowed and doesn't have to compete with title legendaries like Groudon and co. Thanks to its expansive movepool and devastating power, Landorus-I has very few safe switch-ins. This set is a pretty simple wallbreaker / balance breaker that maximizes overall coverage and exploits Landorus-I's potential as an offensive pivot. Earth Power is your main STAB move and what you'll be using to do damage 90% of the time. Focus Blast nails Ferrothorn and is your best option against Corviknight, Celesteela, and Skarmory in most circumstances, 2HKOing Skarmory and most Corviknight sets and at least taking a solid chunk out of Celesteela. Sludge Wave nails Grass-types like Tangrowth, Tapu Bulu, and Rillaboom. Finally U-Turn is... well, U-Turn. Lets you pivot and scout switches and such. With that said, there are a metric crap ton of other options to choose from as well, so let's go over those.​
  • You could run a Choice Scarf set to take advantage of Landorus-I's great Speed tier and use it as a revenge-killer. Other items could be considered as well, but are generally inferior to the combination of Life Orb + Sheer Force.
  • Gravity - A relatively obscure move on most Pokemon, Landorus finds a use for Gravity to negate the Ground immunities of common switch-ins like Corviknight, Celesteela, Zapdos, etc. It also patches up Focus Blast's accuracy and synergizes fantastically with Sticky Webs and Spikes support as it renders Flying-types and Levitaters vulnerable to them.
  • Psychic - Hits a couple obscure threats like Galarian Zapdos and Amoonguss harder than the rest of Landorus-I's movepool, but those Pokemon are either fairly rare or already hit pretty hard by Earth Power so it's usually not worth running.
  • Knock Off - Removing items is cool. Makes Chansey think twice about switching in, removes boots from things like Zapdos, making them vulnerable to Stealth Rock, and generally annoys other dedicated defensive Pokemon, Scarf users, etc.
  • Superpower - Landorus's strongest weapon against Blissey, cleanly 2HKOing it. Fails to 2HKO Chansey, however, unless it's already been chipped or had its Eviolite knocked off.
  • Calm Mind - Landorus can try to pull off a Calm Mind sweeping set. It's not really the most optimal Pokemon for that, and prefers to take advantage of its immediate power to break holes in teams for other sweepers to capitalize on.
  • Rock Polish - Another boosting move Landorus gets. Landorus can use this to devastating effect against frailer hyper offense teams that it might otherwise struggle to punish without getting revengekilled, but the prevalence of Pokemon like Weavile on these teams makes that difficult to pull off in practice.
  • Rock Slide - Notably OHKOs Volcarona, regardless of Quiver Dance boosts. This is especially useful if running a Choice Scarf, as Scarf Landorus-I will outspeed even a +1 Volcarona.
  • Stealth Rock - Landorus-I often struggles to find a slot for it, unlike its Therian cousin, but it is an option if you're looking for a Stealth Rock user.
  • Smack Down - Generally less useful than Gravity, at least for Landorus-I, but it does let you bypass Flying-types and Levitaters. They can simply switch out of Smack Down's effects, unlike Gravity, and without any boosts you're not going to be racking up much damage with it.
  • Weather Ball - Cute tech for hitting Ferrothorn, Corviknight, etc. on Sun teams or Landorus-Therian on Rain teams, but gimmicky, reliant on weather to work, and generally not worth giving up a move slot for.
  • Fly - Probably good in formats that allow Dynamax, I dunno.

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Landorus-Therian @ Leftovers
Impish - Intimidate
252 HP, 164 Defense, 92 Speed
-Earthquake
-U-Turn
-Stealth Rock
-Toxic

This bulky pivot set is arguably the most common and consistent set you'll see Landorus-Therian running. It capitalizes on Landorus-T's strengths (Intimidate, good typing, good natural bulk, etc.) to blanket check a huge array of different physically-oriented sweepers. Earthquake still does respectable damage even without investment thanks to Landorus-T's high base Attack stat. U-Turn lets Landorus-T scout switches, which it tends to force a lot. Landorus-T is one of the most consistent Stealth Rock users in the entire tier, and is often the go-to user of the move for many teams. Finally, Toxic punishes bulky Waters, Grasses, and Grounds (including opposing Landorus-Therian) that want to switch in on him, and synergizes well with Landorus-Therian's strong Earthquake as most Poison and Steel types don't want to stay in to take it. As with Landorus-I, there are plenty of other options to look at.
  • There are many other items to consider as well. Choice Scarf lets you revengekill many Pokemon who would usually outspeed you, and can be a nasty surprise for offensive Pokemon to deal with. Rocky Helmet racks up chip damage on contact move users. Focus Sash can be used on dedicated Stealth Rock leads to guarantee that rocks get up against most opponents. Soft Sand can be used on offensive sets as it doesn't wear into Landorus-T's HP and makes a big difference in some circumstances, notably giving it a chance to break through Unaware Clefable. Other, more niche items have uses as well, like Assault Vest, Yache Berry, and Lum Berry.​
  • Other sets will obviously want to run different EV spreads. There are dozens of different spreads designed for Landorus-T, each designed to survive certain hits, outspeed certain threats, secure certain KOs, etc., so the exact spread you use will have to be tailored to what exactly you want out of your Landorus-T set.​
  • Knock Off - Landorus-T makes an arguably even better user of Knock Off, largely thanks to the myriad of switches it forces letting it remove a lot of items over the course of matches. Knock Off is particularly valuable for Stealth Rock setters as many Defog users are weak to rocks and rely on Heavy-Duty Boots to negate them, which Landorus-T can knock off, making their job that much harder.​
  • Stone Edge - EdgeQuake coverage has been lauded for generations now. On more offensively-inclined Landorus-T sets, Stone Edge is usually the coverage move of choice. The combination of it and Earthquake gives Landorus-T fantastic overall coverage, and lets it be a lot more liberal with its remaining two moveslots. Rock Slide can be used if you prefer a somewhat more accurate, if noticably weaker, alternative.​
  • Substitute - Great for blocking status effects, often used with Swords Dance to flatten stall teams.​
  • Fly - Good in Dynamax formats, probably. Can also be used to prevent bulky Grasses like Rillaboom and Tangrowth from hard walling you, but it's extremely easy to play around and Toxic is generally crippling to those threats as well.​
  • Swords Dance - Boosts Landorus-T's Attack to insane levels, letting it crush defensive teams. This is especially devastating if Dynamax is allowed and Landorus-T can get Speed boosts from Max Airstream.​
  • Gravity - For pretty much all the same reasons Landorus-I can use it. Nothing being immune to Earthquake is great when you have 145 base Attack and a STAB Earthquake.​
  • Smack Down - Landorus-T gets a bit more usage out of the move than Landorus-I, as Landorus-T can actually deal a bit of damage with it, especially with a Swords Dance boost, which discourages rampant double switching to try and play around the move.​
  • Rock Polish - Can pair well with Swords Dance, but Landorus-T often struggles to find an opportunity to use both.​
  • Explosion - Explosion coming off of a base 145 Attack will leave a dent in anything. A decent option for suicide lead sets to stop opponents from being able to use Defog or Rapid Spin on that turn.​
  • Superpower - Hits Ferrothorn in particular, but Swords Dance-boosted Earthquakes are already going to leave big dents in it, and the other Pokemon that Landorus-I sometimes runs Superpower for are already invalidated by Landorus-T's physical inclination.​
  • Sludge Wave - This is here if you really hate Tapu Bulu.​
 
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