As one of the only pseudo legendary Pokémon that isn’t a Dragon-type, Tyranitar has a special place in many player’s hearts as well as their teams. Tyranitar consistently proved it was a powerful Pokémon that wasn’t to be messed with, even before it gained an unnecessary Mega Evolution in Pokémon X & Y.
Tyranitar returned in Sword & Shield and saw a great deal of usage in both competitive and casual battles, particularly alongside the only Pokémon with Sand Rush at the time, Excadrill, and was a solid choice on just about any team that had room to spare.
10 Where To Find It
Unfortunately for anyone who bought Sword rather than Shield, they won’t be able to find Tyranitar or any of its pre-evolutions in the game, but they can go online and try their luck with randomized Max Raid battles through other people’s games. In Pokemon Shield, players can find one roaming around Dusty Bowl, though it is possible to obtain a Larvitar fairly early instead. In Giant’s Set, in the Raid Den hiding behind the large stone pillar, players can find Larvitar inside rare beam dens once two and three-star Raids are available.
Tyrantitar’s standard ability, Sand Stream, is easily its best and the reason why it is one of the best pseudo legendary Pokemon in the series. Its ability to summon a Sandstorm when it’s brought into battle not only benefits through dealing chip damage to any Pokemon that isn’t Ground, Rock, or Steel-type but also increasing its special defense by 50%. An aspect of Sandstorm that many players don’t realize is that, if a Rock-type Pokemon is out in battle during the Sandstorm weather condition, it will have notably increased special defense compared to when there is no Sandstorm and makes Pokemon like Gigalith and Tyranitar some of the best Pokemon to have in a Sandstorm, since both of them summon it as well as benefit fully from the effects.
8 Hidden Ability
When it comes to pseudo legendaries and their hidden abilities, some are significantly better than others. Dragonite’s Multiscale, for example, is a much better option than its standard ability, Inner Focus, though that does have its uses since its update in Sword and Shield. Tyranitar’s hidden ability, on the other hand, is far less useful.
Unnerve is an ability that prevents opposing Pokemon from eating held berries in battle while a Pokemon with Unnerve is out in battle. This does have its uses, particularly against Pokemon like Snorlax and Alolan Muk who abuse the Gluttony ability, as well as preventing Harvest from activating with Trevenant and Tropius, it is nowhere near as good as Sand Stream.
7 Who You Can Breed It With
Like many pseudo legendary Pokemon, Tyranitar falls into the Monster egg group, which includes the Kanto starters, Nidoking, Rhydon, as well as several Dragon-type Pokemon with Haxorus, Druddigon, Turtonator, and Garchomp. The most readily available Pokemon in Sword & Shield that you can breed it with, however, is Chewtle and Dreadnaw, as Chewtle can be found and caught before the Wild Area becomes available to the player.
6 IV Focus
Tyranitar’s main focus in battle is its great physical attack stat, so making sure this is at maximum should be the top priority. In terms of its other stats, it depends on how the player wants to use Tyranitar in battle. Weakness Policy builds might chose to invest only in HP and attack, since the item is usually set off the their own Bulldoze, though Choice Scarf builds should opt for maximum speed instead, as Tyranitar’s speed is mediocre at best. Although it can be tempting to invest in its great defense stats, these are best left alone as Sandstorm will increase special defense anyway and Tyranitar’s biggest weakness, Fighting-type attacks, will knock it out in one hit regardless of how much is invested in its defense stat.
5 EV Spread
Just like with Tyranitar’s IVs, its EVs should be focused mainly on its attack stat, with the remaining points going into either HP or speed. Some investment in special defense is also warranted, as its base stats combined with Sandstorm will make it even harder to knock out in battle, especially if it is combined with an Assault Vest. In most cases, it is fairly safe to simply have maximum attack and speed, with the remaining points in either HP or one of the defense stats.
4 Egg Moves
Unfortunately for Tyranitar, it doesn’t learn a whole lot of egg moves and can only really take advantage of one of them. Of the three egg moves it can learn through breeding, Stomp, Ancient Power, and Curse, only Curse is worth using, and only if you are intending on it being slow in battle.
Curse can be bred onto a Larvitar by breeding with any Pokemon in the Slowpoke line, the Galarian forms included, Bergmite, or Avalugg. This move increases both attack and defense by one stage at the cost of also reducing speed by one stage. This can be really useful on Trick Room centered teams, as Tyranitar’s base speed is a little too high for most Trick Room teams to take advantage of.
Tyranitar’s optimal natures are fairly basic, as they should either increase its attack or speed without reducing its attack. Adamant and Jolly are both great options for the majority of teams, particularly when it holds a Choice Scarf or Weakness Policy. If it is being used on a Trick Room team, then Brave may be the better choice as it reduces speed in favor of attack.
2 TM and Tutor Moves
Although Tyranitar is severely lacking in the egg move department, it more than makes up for it with its TM and move tutor movepool. Stone Egde and Crunch are almost mandatory on any Tyranitar moveset, as they are the best STAB options for dealing high damage. Common coverage moves include High Horsepower, Heavy Slam, Dragon Claw, as well as less common support moves in Snarl and Thunder Wave. It can also learn Lash Out through the Isle of Armor move tutor, which doubles damage dealt if it has had its stats decreased that turn and works perfectly alongside Weakness Policy builds and Bulldoze in double battles. It’s best set-up move by far, however, is Dragon Dance, which can quickly make Tyranitar impossible to outspeed and capable of knocking out any Pokemon in one hit.
1 Perfect Partners
Tyranitar benefits not only from Pokemon that can deal with Fighting and Fairy-types, but also those that can take advantage of Sandstorm. Excadrill and Stoutland both have Sand Rush, which doubles their speed during a Sandstorm, but they are also both weak to Fighting-type attacks. Excadrill does have the advantage of being a Steel-type, making it a decent counter for Fairy-type Pokemon but its best ally may be a Poison-type, as it resists both Fighting and Fairy-type moves.
Next: Pokemon Sword & Shield: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Applin
Callum Archer is a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia. He is an avid gamer, Nintendo fanboy, and lover of weird sci-fi novels, who also dabbles in manga from time to time, usually dark and twisted work like Uzumaki and Death Note.
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