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[VGC or SMOGON] Rillaboom Competitive Analysis
What's up Trainers! I'm back again. Sword & Shield's latest expansion DLC got me very excited for one thing in particular, the new competitive meta. Gen 8 meta has been ridden with Stall Teams led by Clefable, but now with the expanded Pokedex, the meta scene is finally being shaken up. The introduction of more steel types offers a counter to the aforementioned Clefable, which many Dark Types like Thievul and the recently added Zoroark will enjoy. That said, today I'm covering a set I made quite literally an hour ago! Our Galarian starters finally have their Hidden Abilities made legal, and this means it's time for some crazy new sets! As you can tell by the title, I'm going to go over Rillaboom. I would have done this sooner, but I wanted to specifically wait in case new moves were added to the DLC, and lo and behold they were. Enough banter however, I think it's high time we got right into this overview.
[Image: NMmI1Gp.png]
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So you can immediately see Rillaboom is a bulky physical attacker, real straightforward stuff. It's defenses aren't the worst, so it can favor tanking hits here and there. In my excitement to talk about Rillaboom, i forgot to add to the image that it gets the Overgrow and Grassy Surge ability. Grassy Surge is what we're going to be focusing on here, although Overgrow can have it's niche usage. I won't go over many damage calcs for the basic set, as I'm sure most people already know it's usage.

Set 1
Rillaboom @ Assault Vest
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Darkest Lariat
- Fake Out
- Grassy Glide
- Drain Punch / Earthquake / Hammer Arm

All right, so let's get the basic set out of the way first, Adamant Nature + 252 Attack makes Rillaboom hit as hard as it possibly can. Grassy Surge will not only boost it's Grass type moves but will heal a small amount of HP back to Pokemon touching the ground each turn. Darkest Lariat is a useful move as it allows Rillaboom to not only just hit Psychic types like Indeedee-F super effectively, it ignores the opponent's stat changes too, so no +Def for example. Fake Out is your opening priority move, it can be useful for halting setup Pokemon, or just break Focus Sash on certain mons like Flapple. Grassy Glide is the brand new Grass type tutor move introduced in the DLC that has 70 Base Power, so not as strong as Drum Beating or Wood Hammer, but it gains priority under Grassy Terrain making it extremely useful for some of Rillaboom's faster matchups, notably I think of Dracovish. The last slot is interchangeable, Earthquake and Hammer Arm are extremely powerful moves, and Drain Punch could be considered if you want to keep Rillaboom around longer. Assault Vest is also interchangeable for something basic like a Grassy Seed to boost Rillaboom's Defense by one stage, or a Life Orb to increase damage output.

Set 2
Rillaboom @ Leftovers
Ability: Grassy Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 188 HP / 88 Atk / 232 Def
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Grassy Glide
- Fake Out
- High Horsepower
- Superpower / Hammer Arm

That's starting to look more like a "me" set now isn't it? This set is a doubles build and can utilized in different ways. The EV Spread is definitely the most peculiar so lets talk that first. The 188 HP combined with the 232 Def gives Rillaboom just enough defensive power to survive A Pyro Ball from a non boosted Cinderace, however more impressively, it can survive Max Flare being boosted by Pyro Ball too. You can opt to adjust the Defense and HP EVs as you please for specifc matchups like Darmanitan-Galar (although look, you're not going to want to fight that anyway) but in terms of this matchup i feel it's important to note because Cinderace will become even more popular thanks to it's Libero ability. This specific spread may even force Cinderace to go for Life Orb or Choice Band over Scarf which it would use to outspeed Dragapult. The 88 Attack allows Rillaboom to two shot most opponents that get hit by it's super-effective Grassy Glide or High Horsepower, but with a specific pairing you'll see why this is not even a hindrance to the Pokemon at all. The 0 Speed and Relaxed Nature very important for giving Rillaboom as little speed as possible, as it shares a speed tier with Indeedee-F who can also set terrain. Terrain setting is determined on speed so if Rillaboom is slower, it's terrain wiull acivate last which is what you're hoping for most of the time. Additionally, paired with Hammer Arm, you will be able to utilize Rillaboom effectively on Trick Room teams now, or if the opponent has a TR setup, Rillaboom may be able to counter those sets, but even then you have priority (and power) in Grassy Glide.

Team Building for VGC

Ok I previously mentioned that you can pair the Rillaboom with a specific ally to make full use of it's moves, and the Pokemon I was talking about may surprise you as it's Stonjourner! Stonjourner has the Ability Power Spot, which boosts the power of an ally's move by 1.3x normal. Obviously pairing this with Rillaboom is insanely useful as it gives our defensive set more attack power that it normally cannot spare. With Power Spot Hammer Arm and High Horsepower can pick up the KOs on pokemon more effectively than usual. Stonjourner is also useful in that it gets Wide Guard which protects allies from spread moves, which have been made common thanks to Togekiss and it's Dazzling Gleam, and Chandelure and it's new use of Burning Jealousy. Stonjourner's Defense is impressive at 135 meaning it will survive for a while against physical attacks, but it cannot be used against special attackers it's Sp.Def is a measly 20. It can also hit hard as it is in the same attack tier as Rillaboom, so giving it Rock Slide to cover certain Pokemon is basically a must. 

Another Pokemon to consider is Thievul. Thievul has the Ability Unburden which boosts Speed upon item usage or loss, obviously you would give Thievul a Grassy Seed to be used immediately. Thievul has the move Howl which has the use of boosting both you and your ally's Attack stat, and I'm sure you can see why that is useful for the defensive Rillaboom set. Thievul also favours having Parting Shot which swaps Thievul out while lower the target's Attack and Special Attack stats. Alternatively, with Persian-Alola back in the game, you can opt to use it and Quash instead. 

Damage Calcs


88 Atk Rillaboom Superpower vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Darmanitan-Galar: 188-222 (103.8 - 122.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
(188, 190, 192, 194, 196, 198, 202, 204, 206, 208, 210, 212, 214, 216, 218, 222)

88 Atk Rillaboom Power Spot High Horsepower vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Cinderace: 154-182 (99.3 - 117.4%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO
(154, 156, 158, 160, 160, 162, 164, 166, 168, 170, 172, 174, 176, 178, 180, 182)

88 Atk Rillaboom Power Spot High Horsepower vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 66-78 (42 - 49.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
(66, 66, 66, 68, 68, 70, 70, 70, 72, 72, 74, 74, 74, 76, 76, 78)

-1 88 Atk Rillaboom Power Spot High Horsepower vs. 76 HP / 4 Def Arcanine: 98-116 (56 - 66.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Figy Berry recovery
(98, 98, 100, 102, 102, 104, 104, 106, 106, 108, 110, 110, 112, 112, 114, 116)

88 Atk Rillaboom Power Spot Grassy Glide vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Hippowdon in Grassy Terrain: 114-134 (53 - 62.3%) -- 71.5% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery and Grassy Terrain recovery
(114, 114, 116, 116, 120, 120, 120, 122, 122, 126, 126, 128, 128, 132, 132, 134)

88 Atk Rillaboom Power Spot Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Dragapult: 158-186 (96.3 - 113.4%) -- 75% chance to OHKO
(158, 158, 160, 162, 164, 166, 168, 170, 172, 174, 176, 178, 180, 182, 184, 186)

88 Atk Rillaboom Power Spot Superpower vs. 68 HP / 188 Def Snorlax: 170-200 (69.6 - 81.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Gluttony Figy Berry recovery
(170, 172, 174, 176, 178, 180, 182, 184, 186, 188, 190, 192, 194, 196, 198, 200)


252 Atk Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 188 HP / 232+ Def Rillaboom: 152-180 (76.3 - 90.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery and Grassy Terrain recovery
(152, 152, 156, 156, 158, 162, 162, 164, 164, 168, 170, 170, 174, 174, 176, 180)

252+ SpA Aegislash-Blade Shadow Ball vs. 188 HP / 0 SpD Rillaboom: 106-126 (53.2 - 63.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
(106, 108, 109, 109, 111, 112, 114, 115, 117, 117, 118, 120, 121, 123, 124, 126)

156 SpA Lapras Freeze-Dry vs. 188 HP / 0 SpD Rillaboom: 110-132 (55.2 - 66.3%) -- 98.4% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery and Grassy Terrain recovery
(110, 110, 114, 114, 116, 116, 120, 120, 120, 122, 122, 126, 126, 128, 128, 132)

252+ SpA Life Orb Hatterene Psychic vs. 188 HP / 0 SpD Rillaboom: 152-179 (76.3 - 89.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery and Grassy Terrain recovery
(152, 153, 156, 156, 157, 160, 161, 164, 165, 168, 169, 172, 173, 175, 177, 179)


Rillaboom's biggest counter would be Darmanitan-Galar as it's able to survive the moves Rillaboom can dish out, even with Power Spot, and then OHKO it in return. Sun teams are something to especially keep an eye out for as Fire Types boosted by the Sun will decimate Rillaboom. Of course you can always counter this by bringing a Rain setter as Rillaboom doesn't particularly favour any weather, but will prefer the non damaging one in Rain, so bring Ludicolo, Politoed or utilize a Max Water Type move to change the weather in your favour. Primarily Special attackers like Dragapult will also be able to defeat Rillaboom with ease. 

All right, now it's time to take a look at the set in use, here's two good replays I was able to secure using the Rillastone core. 

Rillastone semi-sweep 
Weather Manipulation + Support
I don’t play PvP, I am more focused on PvE~

Regarding the set 1 mentioned above, Earthquake is not a good idea because grassy terrain will weaken Earthquake. Drain punch is good coverage for PvE.

I also wanted to mention about the usefulness of Grassy Surge, I had been discussing in another Pokémon community about the potential of terrains.
We all know that Misty Terrain is important in PvP and Psychic Terrain is useful in PvE. Electric terrain is used because people likes Tapu Koko. What about Grassy Terrain? Well, someone managed to make it work, that guy has steel type in his teams, which are weak to ground. And grassy terrain weakens the earthquake.

I am currently building a team with Grassy Surge and my team has heatran, which will benefit from it.

In conclusion, grassy terrain can fix a team’s weakness to Earthquake.

Regarding this Pokémon, quite hard to build a team with it because of its 95 base speed, should I run choice scarf or iron ball in trick room??
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