" Through the ages, I’ve remained on top. Either on Smogon or VGC, I am the one ruling the all. Only Heatran could possibly rival me. I, Landorus-T, am the best competitive Pokémon of all time. "
-Landorus-Therian, in its legendary modesty.
Hi guys, girls and everything in-between! Oh, I know you saw it. You cannot hide it from me.
And here I go. In december 2020, according to Smogon’s usage stats Landorus-T was #7 in Gen 5 OU with 15.95017% of usage, #2 in Gen 6 OU with 14.62226% of usage, #1 in Gen 7 OU with 19.92558% and #1 in Gen 8 OU with 25.17809% of usage. In VGC, it appeared 3 times in top 8 at world, had every trainer in Top 8 at world using Landorus-T and used 3 times in top 8 of world 2018. This is only taking the world, its list of usage in VGC would take until next year to list all of its placement. We could say it is the face of modern Pokémon games, but as I always say, I’m not pass a mid-level competitive player.
There is very little way to overstate how Landorus-Therian shaped the face of competitive Pokémon after its arrival in B2/W2. It has almost everything going for it: stats distribution, good typing, O.K. movepool, ability and flexibility. Sure, it is not perfect, only Gen 1 Mewtwo and Smash 64 Pikachu has no weaknesses. Everyone, this one is going to be long AF. It may not be as long as Delta Hoopa in terms of sets, but it still take a bunch of time to read it. Thanks to Smogon, I can go in really deep.
Be warned, since there is no competitive usage stats avaliable, I do not have any reliable ways to accurately predict the metagame. This analysis is theoretical and does not entirely reflect a Pokémon’s viability.
Typing, Stats, Ability & Movepool
Possissing a good typing, solid bulk and Intimidate, Landorus-T part of the premier bulky Ground type. Intimidate is key here, as it increase its already good bulk and can weaken physical sweepers like Talonflame or Mega Metagross. It got good immunities in Electric and Ground while also resisting Bug, Poison and Fighting. While Water and Ice are common offensive types in the metagame, it is easy for its teammate to compensate for and thus fit well in most non-stall teams.
Having a balanced but still good stats distribution means its EV spread can be tweaked to forms multiple roles. Its speed tier, while not being excellent, allows to outspeed slower offensive Pokémon like Mega Crawdaunt, Mega Delta Blastoise and some fast defensive Pokémon like Bulky Jirachi and Utility Celebi. Its good attack means to can do decent damages even if not invested. It has a very wide range of useful items as Leftovers, Rocky Helmet, Earth Plate, Lum Berry and Choice Scarf. While not being the best user, its speed tier allows to outspeed slower setup sweeper like Mega Gyarados or Mega Tyranitar and all unboosted Pokémon in the metagame.
Landorus-T has a somewhat limited movepool, but have exactly what he wants. Stealth Rock, Knock Off and U-Turn are very useful utility moves and possesses Earthquake, Stone Edge, Swords Dance and Rock Polish on the offensive side. Limited, but just enough to fulfil its role. The only things missing here are reliable recovery and a Flying STAB.
Intimidate is key for his success. Without it, Landorus-T’s bulk is O.K. at best. But now, it allows Landorus-T to check a very wide array of physically offensive Pokémon and force them out, allowing to grab the momentum. Watch out for Defiant users as it boost them instead of cutting their attack.
Landorus-T is a glue, meaning it can fit on most teams after a bit of adjustments if necessary.
Landorus-Therian @ Rocky Helmet / Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 240 Def / 8 SpD / 8 Spe
-U-turn / Swords Dance
Just a superb set overall. The 8 EVs in SpD allows to take a Hidden Power Ice from Mega Manectric from full HP and the speed allows to outspeed Max speed Jolly Azumarril. The rest is dumped into Def to take hits better. Rocky Helmet is often preferred to take hits better, but Leftovers passive recovery is fitting on more defensive teams.
EadgeQuake combo is still good in Ins.OU and can do good damages even uninvested. U-Turn is used to preserves momentum and turn (no pun intended) Landorus-T into a fantastic pivot. On the other hand, Swords Dance gives better matchup against bulkyer Pokémon like Clefable, Ferrothorn or Mega Scizor. Toxic can also be used on the last slot to cripple more defensive switch-in like Slowbro or opposing Lando-T.
Hidden Power Ice is a viable option that allows to deal with opposing Landorus-T, Gliscor and Garchomp. In this case, removing the SpD EVs and running a Lax nature is needed in order to get better rolls.
Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
-Knock Off / Hidden Power [Ice] / Superpower
This is how I first discovered Landorus-T. The mighty Scarf Lando. This set serves as an all purpose revenge killer that has an easy time grabbing momentum. Knock Off removes item from its switch-in like Choice Specs from Keldeo, Life Orb from opposing Latios and Toxic Orb from Gliscor. Hidden Power Ice is good against 4x weak Pokémon while Superpower allows to beat Mega Gyarados more effectively and, Mega Loppuny and Ferrothorn. Stone Edge is needed to deal with Flying types and to round up the coverage.
Here again, Hidde Power Ice is a very strong option. If using it, Naive nature an 4 EV in SpA is recommended.
Landorus-Therian @ Earth Plate / Lum Berry
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Double Dance set allows to pick your boosting move according the the opponent’s team. On more bulky team, use Swords Dance. On more offensive, use Rock Polish. Earth Plate is the preferred Item, but Lum Berry can be good as this set loves to setup against bulky and defensive Pokémon that often runs Toxic or Will-o-Wisp. Healing a burn or Glare Paralysis can be game changing, please keep that in mid.
Preserves this variant until Late-Game and surrounds it with wallbreakers to weaken the opposition. More on that in the teammates section.
Offensive rock setter
Landorus-Therian @ Earth Plate / Yache Berry
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant / Jolly Nature
-Stone Edge / Smack Down
-Swords Dance / U-Trun / Knock Off
This is a pretty classic offensive set. Smack Down can be used against common switch-in, such as Zapdos, Delta Volcarona and Rotom-W and either menace them with Earthquake or, if they have a second ground switch-in, setup rocks. Alternatively, Stone Edge just pretty much remove the need to strike again of it does hits its target on the super effective. U-Turn convert its Wallbreaker role into an offensive pivot. In that case, Earth Plate must be use to compensate the power loss from Swords Dance. Knock Off, of the other hand, remove sometimes precious items from its switch-in. Yache Berry looks more useful to me on Jolly nature set as a mean to setup on slower Pokémon carrying Ice type coverage like Mega Medicham.
Adamant is used in order to do maximum damage, but Jolly trade power in order to outspeed neutral natured base 100 speed like Mega Medicham. It goes down to your team, I guess.
Landorus-Therian @ Focus Sash
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Only viable in Hyper Offense teams, although facing hard competition from Azelf who has superior speed, better use of Hidden Power and Taunt.
Lanforus-T has the advantage of not being taken advantage off by anti lead, mainly Mega Loppuny lacking Ice Punch and Mega Diancie. Rock Tomb is used against faster Pokémon to slow them down. After setting the rock, just use Explosion to prevent Defog and/or give a free switch to your offensive assault.
On Flying Spam teams, Normal Gen + Explosion can remove Zapdos and Rotom-W for the team as it lure and OHKO them. Gravity is also an option over Smack Down, but can be taken advantage of by the opposing team as well since it increase the accuracy of every move (if I remember correct) to 100% barring OHKO moves like Horn Drill or Sheer Cold. Gravity also remove your own ground weakness. There also exist a set of Substitute, Swords Dance/Bulk Up coupled with Salak Berry, but is vulnerable to the common priority in the tier coming from Talonflame, D.Arcanine, Mega Scizor and Draco Jet Garchomp. Sludge Wave can hit bulky Grass types like Tangrowth and Chestnaught, but with Tapu Bulu not being in Gen 6, its not as useful as to dedicate a full slot for the move.
- Bulky Grass Types enjoy having a Bug and Poison switch-in that beats Fire types and can cover a lot of Water types in return. Such Pokémon includes Tangrowth in Bulky Offense,** Amoonguss and Ferrothron. Ferrothorn in particular can create an hazards stacking core and doesn’t share the Ice weakness. Ferrothron and Defensive Landorus-T cover a lot of the metagame together. Amoonguss spread Sleep and counter most Keldeo variants.
- On more offensive teams, Klefki works out very well instead of Ferrothorn.
- Defensive Landorus-T has an interesting synergy with Dragalge. Dragalge can setup T-Spikes and cover Water types (aside from Starmie and Psychic Slowbro) while Landorus-T is immune to Ground and appreciate T-Spikes chipping those waters down.
- Latios and Starmie checks Keldeo and remove hazards. Starmie have the added benefit of resisting Ice types. Slowbro can do the same on bulkyer build without the hazard removal.
- Delta Vocarona, while not sharing meaningful type synergy, appreciate a lot the support Intimidate and Stealth Rock provides. In return, Delta Volcarona can Hazard Stack with Toxic Spikes, Stallbreak with Taunt, spread burns with Wildfire, remove Grass types, Defog and much, much more.
- Speaking of which, Stealth Rock and Molten Rocks removers are greatly appreciated tu to the number of switches Landorus-T will do. The Lati twins, Zapdos, Mew and Delta Volcaronna are good at this job, so do Rapid Spiners in Starmie, Excadrill and Tentacruel.
- Strong wallbreaker like Mega Medichamp, Kyurem-B, Mega Gardevoir and Volcanion appreciate switch-in given by U-Turn and Stealth Rock support. Also, sweeper variants of Landorus-T love the hole these Pokémon can create in the opposition for him to finish the job.
- In a similar vein, Sweepers like having Offensive variant being a wallbreaker. Mega Ferraligatr, Bisharp, Mega Charizard X, Delta Crustle and Mega Flygon are all prime examples.
- Rotom-W and Mega Scizor can form an extremely powerful Volt-Turn core that can seemingly endlessly pivot in the opposition. Other pivots like Mega Manectric, Tornadus-T, Mega Delta Lopunny and Delta Volcaronna can also work out.
- Since Landorus-T is stopped cold by Skarmory and is checked by Bulky Mega Scizor and Ferrothorn, Magnezone makes for a great teammate as it remove them from the picture.
- Landorus-T, even on more offensive set, is a blanket check to Excadrill and a lot of Poison Types. Something Clefable absolutely love. In return, Clefable can switch into Keldeo’s Scald and Kyurem-B Ice Beam. Plus, CLefable can wish pass and thus give recovery to defensive variants.
- Pokémon benefitting from other Bulky Ground types appreciate offensive versions, namely Mega Delta Loppuny and Mega Charizard X. Electric types like Mega Manectric and Thundurus does too. Although these Bulky Ground types checks the offensive ones, repetitive assault from both Landorus-T and the one they are supposed to check might be too much.
- Tyranitar is a good teammate Landorus-T invites Latios, Latias, Starmie and Slowbro. All of which can be taken advantage of by TTar. Keep in mind, TTar can pursuit Slowbro only if carrying the Choice Band as it is not strong enough otherwise. Stealth Rock Landorus-T would ofter prefer to use another move when paired with support Tyranitar because TTar has a better time dealing with the mose common hazard removing method in the tier in the Lati twins and Starmie. Excadrill is also completely checked by Landorus-T, removing another method of hazard removal. That makes the two having a very synergistic combo, although it attracts Keldeo and other offensive Water types very often. Keep that min mind.
- For Suicide Lead set, hyper offense Pokémon like Delta Crustle and Delta Arcanine fits well. They don’t have much defensive synergy, but Hyper Offense rarely need it anyway.
Check & counters
- As Landorus-T lack recovery outside of Leftovers, Knock Off is a minor, yet very annoying nuisance for Lando. Do not think only carrying Knock Off is a good idea though.
- Bulky, non-Ground weak Steel types like Bulky Mega Scizor and Ferrothorn can take Earthquake without a Swords Dance. Skarmory shuts down Landorus-T lacking Smack Down, so do Magnet Rise Klefki who can turn Landorus-T into free Hazards stack.
- Most Grass types like Tangrowth and Mega Venusaur force out non-Swords Dance with their STAB move and don’t take as much as Lando would like to inflict them without Sludge Wave. Tangrowth must be sure it can take a U-Turn though.
- Water Types can force Landorus-T out with their STAB. Keldeo, Manaphy, Mega Ferraligatr and Delta Dragonite alongside Rotom-W are worth looking out for. Special mention has to go to Mega Crawdaunt as it can, behind its Substitute, avoid Intimidate and setup a Dragon Dance.
- Ice types moves are generally as pleasant as waking up at 5 AM during a Monday and seeing a dead spider in your toothbrush. You can make your own conclusion from this. Many Pokémon carry Ice Punch or Hidden Power Ice solo for Landorus-T, so scout common users of these moves. Electric types often do to complete the BoltBeam combo, but Ice Types in general are the most obvious users like Mega Delta Gardevoir, Weavile and Kyurem-B.
- While Lando’s Physical bulk is nice, Special Wallbeaker does clean OHKO on its weaker special. Mega Charizard Y, Mega Delta Charizard and Mega Delta Medichamp are notable ones despite having neutral STAB on Landorus-T.
- Without a Choice Scarf, Fast revenge killer are a threat to Landorus-T. Even then, with a somewhat subpar speed tier, its outspeed by common scarfer like Keldeo or Delta Volcaronna. Also, naturally fast Pokémon outspeed too. +Speed nature base 95-ish and above like Kyurem-B and Mega Gardevoir outspeed. Mega Latias can outspeed with its 110 speed and have enough bulk to eat Knock Off from the Choice Scarf set.
- Defensive Landorus-T is Landorus-T best check, especially for Choice Scarf variants. No kidding. Outside from Hidden Power Ice, Toxic and Smack Down, Landorus-T cannot do much to itself and is free momentum grab or Stealth Rock. Although Skarmory is a heck of a strong counter, Landorus-T can hit it for supper effective damage after Smack Down. Something it cannot do to itself
Let’s face it, Landorus-T is a top tier. It can check so many dangerous threats like itself, Mega Delta Spidergross, Mega Medicham, Garchomp, Mega Gallade, Mega Lopunny, Excadrill, Tyranitar, Heatran, Delta Registeel, Excadrill, UFI, Mega Stunkfisk, Talonflame, Jirachi, Dragonite, Mega Bisharp and Volcanion. That’s makes it very hard to pass up. Well, given they don’t run Ice type moves. Its also so versatile that it can fit in a LOT of teams and be good. It range from Hyper Offense to Semi Stall and even some weather teams. Dang it its U-Trun make almost turns almost every entry into a momentum grab. Its defensive set is just so good alongside Rotom-W and Ferrothron o_o. That core can hazard stack, checks so many threats in the metagame and is part of the best Volt-Turn core avaliable out there.
- Delta Vespiqueen
- Mega Delta Gardevoir
- Mega Charizard X
Total words count: 2766