PKMN of the Week: Landorus

Another Sunday, another holiday!  Christians and consumerists are celebrating the season by reflecting on various fertility images - eggs that represent new life and rabbits that represent, well, what rabbits represent.  Spring is in the air, it's still chilly but there are signs that Winter is over and we see the regeneration of trees and plants around us.

Landorus is the Pokémon that represents a balanced environment that will assure a bountiful harvest.  The land is rich, there will not be too much wind or too much rain, and your plants will grow strong.  Landorus balances Tornadus and Thundurus, he stops the unfettered storms ravaging the Unova region.

I had a difficult time obtaining Landorus.  First, I didn't realize that you needed to have both Tornadus and Thundurus in your party to draw him out.  Second, the first time I drew him out, I knocked him out.  Trust me, even by Generation V I didn't realize you should save before trying to catch a legendary so that you could reset.  Luckily, I also learned that the legendaries come back after you defeat the Elite Four.

I had Landorus as part of my team in the 2011 VGCs (have I mentioned I am not the best battler?).  I thought the Ground/Flying type combo was pretty sweet, he has the 600 level base stats, and he was one of the highest level Pokémon I had.  Well . . . he got knocked out pretty easily.  Maybe some of you have been able to use Landorus better than I could.  It stands to reason that if Gliscor is such a competitive champ the other Ground/Flying type should be able to do some damage as well.  Currently, Gliscor hurts me the most because of the Poison Orb/Poison Heal combo, possibly Landorus has something comparable.

Besides being one of two fully evolved Pokémon with the Ground/Flying type, Landorus's special feature is his high special attack.  He actually has the highest Special Attack of any Ground type and you should probably leverage this if you want to use him in competition.  Alternately, his base Attack is his highest stat and his speed is decent.  Unfortunately, HP, Defense, and Special Defense are his lowest stats - he is not going to help you defensively.

If you build up his Special Attack (Modest, Mild, Quiet, or Rash nature) your STAB moves are going to be Earth Power and Mud Shot.  Other options would be Extrasensory, Hyper Beam, Psychic, Sludge Wave, Sludge Bomb, Focus Blast, or Grass Knot if you know you are up against a weighty competitor.  Landorus has a much larger pool of Physical attacks available, so it may be better to have an appropriate nature to boost Attack (Lonely, Brave, Adamant, or Naughty nature).  Then you can choose from Bulldoze or Earthquake for STAB or Rock Slide, Stone Edge, Hammer Arm, Outrage, Brick Break, Explosion, Giga Impact, Fly, or Strength.

While you can EV train to build up Landorus's speed, I have recently started some experiments using a Choice Scarf with a Ground type Pokémon.  It practically guarantees that you get to go first; if you select the right move you can blast through opponents quickly.  If you select Earthquake and your opponent is using Flying types, well, then you lose.  You may also have your Landorus hold a Charti berry to protect against Rock type moves or an Enigma berry to give you one more shot when hit by something super effective.

Landorus's ability is Sand Force - Rock, Ground, and Steel type moves get a 30% power boost in a Sandstorm.  Possibly pair your Landorus with a Tyranitar for the bonus.  A dreamworld Landorus has the Sheer Force ability.

In my experience the easiest way to knock down Landorus is to take advantage of the weaknesses that come from his Flying type.  Aerodactyl and Archeops will both be safe from Landorus's ground type moves and able to STAB at him with Rock type moves.  Landorus's biggest weakness is to Ice attacks, Articuno and Delibird will be your key players there.

I hope everyone has enjoyed some portion of the holidays - be it Passover, Easter, or just giant chocolate bunny day.  I have recently started VGC battle practice on Thursdays in the Red Room at the Black Cat in DC.  If anyone in the DC area would like to drop in for a battle or two I'll be the guy with the beer and the 3DS!