VGC19 Sun Series – Groudon

The Hoenn deity of the land is back in VGC19 and it has already proven itself as a top threat in the metagame. The lack of Levitate users and Flying-types amongst the most used Pokémon, coupled with the presence of Ground-weak Pokémon such as Incineroar and Stakataka have given Groudon a solid place in the current metagame.

Groudon’s signature move, Precipice Blades, allows it to dish out solid spread damage, only hindered by its shaky accuracy of 85%. Its ability Drought sets up sunny weather, boosting Fire-type moves and reducing damage from Water-type moves. This allows Groudon to reduce Kyogre’s damage output, allowing teammates to survive its Water moves and hit back. The weather war with Kyogre is a very prominent feature of the current VCG19 metagame and this is likely to continue.

One of Groudon’s biggest selling points is its ability to support Xerneas. Groudon and Xerneas have amazing synergy, something we’ve already seen in 2016 with Primal Groudon. Ground-type moves hit for super-effective damage all three types that resist Xerneas’s Fairy moves (Fire, Steel and Poison), making it the perfect partner. The combination of these two restricted has been seeing a lot of success at the Regional level and it has proven that it’s here to stay.

Groudon is also very versatile. Ranging from aggressive Choice Band or Life Orb variants to slow and bulky Trick Room abusing sets, Groudon manages to find its place in a lot of playstyles and is able to be a big threat both in Tailwind and Trick Room.

Sample Sets

Angel Miranda’s Choice Band Groudon 

Groudon @ Choice Band
Ability: Drought
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 140 SpD / 108 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Precipice Blades
– Stomping Tantrum
– Rock Slide
– Fire Punch

Bulky TR Groudon 

Groudon @ Iapapa Berry
Ability: Drought
EVs: 252 HP / 100 Atk / 156 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Protect
– Precipice Blades
– Fire Punch
– Swords Dance

Common Partners

: The most common Groudon partner is without a doubt Xerneas. Groudon and Xerneas have amazing offensive synergy, with Groudon hitting Fire-, Poison- and Steel-types that resist Xerneas’s moves, ensuring very few Pokémon can take both at the same time. Groudon and Xerneas are the most popular restricted duo in the format due to the offensive coverage they provide when together.

: Another common Groudon partner is Venusaur. Venusaur is able to abuse Groudon’s sunlight with its ability Chlorophyll, hitting very fast Sleep Powders and also threatening big damage on foes like Xerneas, Tapu Lele, Tapu Fini, Kyogre and opposing Groudon. Lilligant and Jumpluff are other less-common Chlorophyll users that fill more supportive roles with moves like After You and Encore that appreciate the increased speed.

: Gravity setters like Tapu Fini and Bronzong are also very good partners for Groudon. Groudon relies a lot on Precipice Blades to deal damage and Gravity not only boosts the move’s accuracy but also allows it to hit levitating and Flying-type opponents. This is particularly important when facing Ho-oh and Levitate Bronzong.

: Speed control users are also seen on Groudon teams. Thanks to its average speed tier, Groudon can function well under Trick Room or Tailwind and also appreciates Icy Wind or Electroweb from its partners. Tapu Fini, Bronzong, Stakataka and Tapu Koko are common teammates that support Groudon with speed control moves.

Common Threats

: The biggest threat to Groudon is Kyogre. Not only does Kyogre override Groudon’s sun, but it also hits Groudon for weakness, meaning even under the sun, Groudon is sure to take a good amount of damage from Kyogre’s powerful Water-type moves. Losing the weather war is always worse for Groudon than it is for Kyogre, so dealing with this foe is key for Groudon’s success.

: While Groudon has access to sun-boosted Fire-type moves, opposing Grass-types like Venusaur, Ludicolo and Kartana can be very threatening. Ludicolo and Venusaur are able to outspeed it under their respective weathers and deal a lot of damage or even straight out OHKO Groudon with Grass Knot, while Kartana threatens it with super-effective Leaf Blades.

: Intimidate users are a great way to reduce Groudon’s damage output. Hitmontop shines in this role as its access to Fake Out and Wide Guard severely reduces Groudon’s offensive pressure. Landorus-T is another Intimidate user that can reliably switch into Groudon, thanks to its immunity to Ground-type moves.

: Ho-oh is a very solid counter to Groudon and Xerneas combinations as it is able to resist all of their STABs, only fearing the occasional Rock-type coverage on Groudon. Ho-oh is also able to use Groudon’s sun to deal lots of damage with Sacred Fire and potentially get a burn, reducing Groudon’s attacking power.

: Yveltal can utilize its Ground immunity and access to Dark Aura boosted Foul Play to deal with Groudon and its partners, as Groudon usually has trouble touching it.

Credit to ishmam for the featured image.

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