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[VGC] King of VGC 2018 - Landorus-Therian Competitive Analysis (Assault Vest, Scarf)
Landorus-T Competitive Analysis

  [Image: landorus_sacred_beast_forme_by_xous54-d528mrm.png]
art by Xous54
          Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! My name is Scott, and today I will be kicking off a series of competitve analysis posts concerning the current VGC2018 meta. And to kick it off, I figure there couldn't be a better 'mon to start with than the undisputed king of VGC18 himself, Landorus-Therian! As of today, Landorus-T holds a usage rating of over 50% across both cartridge play and Pokemon Showdown in VGC, so lets dive in and see what makes the orange demon so popular! I'll begin with some statistics!  
HP: 89
Attack: 145
Defense: 90
Special Attack: 105
Special Defense: 80
Speed: 91
Total: 600
          Looking at these stats, there are a few things to take note of at first glance: Lando's MONSTER Attack stat of 145 and his base 91 Speed. This means that he already outspeeds a good chunk of the metagame with base 90 and under, and can out damage a good majority of other strong sweepers. He also comes packing a decent defensive spread of 89/90/80. Thanks to his high Attack stat, Landorus requires little offensive investment, which means a good chunk of EV's can be spent bulking up his defenses. This, in addition to his signature ability, Intimidate, makes him quite hard to remove without the proper counters.

         Landorus-Therian's popularity on the competitive scene is due mostly to his verstatility. A wide movepool and balanced stats gives him the ability to be whatever your team needs him to be. Choice Scarf, Life Orb, Groundium/Flyinium Z, and Assault Vest are all viable options. With that being said, let us get into the fun part: the sets! I will be discussing the two most used sets only, as its late and I don't wanna spent all day doig calcs. Just know that Landorus is a moldable Pokemon, and the possibilities are endless!

[Image: landorus-therian.png]
Landorus-Therian @ Assault Vest  
Ability: Intimidate  
Level: 50  
EVs: 244 HP / 12 SpD / 252 Spe  
Adamant Nature  
- Earthquake  
- Rock Slide  
- Knock Off  
- U-turn
          Set One - Assault Vest: Certainly the most popular at the moment, an Assault Vest set give Landorus-T some much-needed bulk in exchange for offensive investment. The spread takes his 89/90/80 split and buffs it into an impresssive 195/111/102, while still boosting his speed up to an incredible 143! This allows Landorus to act as a support character, using Knock Off to remove opponent's items and allowing him to safely pivot with U-turn to reduce incoming damage from hard hitters. Earthquake is still a reliable STAB to cripple opponents and Rock Slide allows you to hit two opponents at once for potential KOs. But that's all talk. How effective is this set?

Some Defensive Calculations:
0 SpA Cresselia Icy Wind vs. 244 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Landorus-Therian: 56-68 (28.7 - 34.8%) -- 2.7% chance to 3HKO
0 SpA Cresselia Ice Beam vs. 244 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Landorus-Therian: 88-104 (45.1 - 53.3%) -- 21.9% chance to 2HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 244 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Landorus-Therian: 56-68 (28.7 - 34.8%) -- 4.6% chance to 3HKO
252+ SpA Heatran Heat Wave vs. 244 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Landorus-Therian: 70-84 (35.8 - 43%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
0 SpA Tapu Fini Muddy Water vs. 244 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Landorus-Therian: 78-92 (40 - 47.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252+ SpA Aegislash-Blade Shadow Ball vs. 244 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Landorus-Therian: 67-79 (34.3 - 40.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

          As you can see, this set allows Landorus to take multiple hits from attacks would normally OHKO and still be able to outspeed a big chunk of the metagame with 143 Speed. Even super-effective moves like Icy Wind become a non-threat even with a 4x weakness, possibly coming out to a 4 hit KO. That is HUGE for a generally offensivey-oriented Pokemon like Landorus. Most players will be expecting a Choice Scarf set, so it's best to keep your true intentions secret to gain an advantage over the opponent. Speaking of Choice Scarf...
[Image: landorus-therian.png]
Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- U-turn
- Superpower
          Set Two - Choice Scarf: This is the mostly-standard set for Landorus-T, taking full advantage of his high Attack and Speed and making him into a monster of a sweeper. The set caps his Attack out at a blazing 216, with a Speed of 143 backing it up. Earthquake becomes a weapon that would put a pretty good dent into anything standing in front of it. With Rock Slide as an answer to prevelant Flying types and Superpower to take out Pokemon like Kangaskhan, and U-turn to pivot out of bad matchups, Landorus is a monstrous force to be reckoned with. Now for some calcs.

Some Offensive Calculations:
252+ Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tapu Koko: 234-276 (160.2 - 189%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ Atk Landorus-Therian Rock Slide vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Charizard: 248-296 (162 - 193.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Metagross-Mega: 144-170 (92.3 - 108.9%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Landorus-Therian Superpower vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Kangaskhan-Mega: 164-194 (90.6 - 107.1%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tapu Lele: 129-153 (88.3 - 104.7%) -- 25% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Landorus-Therian Superpower vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Tyranitar: 300-356 (144.9 - 171.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO

          As you can see, Landorus can dish out stupid amounts of damage in order to defeat his opponents. He also outspeeds most of these Pokemon under normal circumstances with his Choice Scarf, so KOing possible threats before taking any damage gives you an incredible advantage. That being said, all Pokemon have their counters, and Landorus is no exception. Some noteable counters:
[Image: cresselia.png]
Cresselia. Almost always carries an Ice attack, whether its Ice Beam or Icy Wind, and can usually take out Landorus with an OHKO due to his 4x weakness to Ice. Not to mention she's also immune to EQ thanks to levitate

[Image: rotom-wash.png]
Rotom Wash. Bulky, resists Lando's moves and can dish out super-effective Water attacks. Also immune to Earthquake

[Image: landorus-therian.png]
While this may seem kind of odd, a well equipped Landorus who can outspeed and outplay you can easily get the KO with a Rock Slide before you can attack it, so be wary
          In Conclusion: Overall, Landorus-Therian is one of the most versatile Pokemon in the entire roster for the VCG18 season, and I don't see his usage dropping anytime soon. With the speed and power to outrun and outdamage his foes, he becomes an absolute beast under the command of the right player. I hope this analysis helped you to better understand the VGC King that is Landorus-Therian, or at least gave you some insight as to why he is so incredibly popular in the competitive scene. I hope to write more of these later on and consistently throughout this season, and I would love to hear your feedback. Until next time, have a fantastic night!

Breeder Scott - Proud Member of the Amethyst 0mega Breeder's Guild

Looking for breedables? Check out my new shop
Oh, for heavans sake, I would battle ANYTHING over Landorus...

You might also want to consider Porygon2. Often carries Ice Beam, and a proper set can achieve an OHKO while tanking through Landorus's hits.
VGC|Breeding|Forum Regular|Amethyst 0mega

PM me if you need help with competitive battling!
Good to see a fellow VGC18 Enthusiast @ScottyThunder!

@RetroTyphlosion Although definitely scary, Lando's presence has become so well know, that almost everyone prepares for it, Cresselia, Zapdos, Tyranitar are all great choices if you're struggling
Timezone is GMT+10 (AEST)

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@RetroTyphlosion I know what you mean. But, they don't call it Most Effective Tactic Available for nothing. If it's the best choice out there, people are gonna use it. 

When I thought of TR Ice Beam users, my mind went to Cresselia first. In my experience, P2 hasn't been much of an issue as I've rarely encountered it. Cresselia on the other I see almost every other battle. That's just me tho 

@Kris thanks! I really wanna get into this season, since it's so open! I plan to do more of these!

Breeder Scott - Proud Member of the Amethyst 0mega Breeder's Guild

Looking for breedables? Check out my new shop

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