Tapu Bulu - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle | Pokemon Sword and Shield

We're updating with new information for both newly revealed Pokemon games!
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Ranked Battle Series 9 Begins!

Our Tier List has been updated with the latest rules for Ranked Battle Series 9!

Pokemon - Tapu Bulu Movesets and Counters.png
This is a strategy guide for using Tapu Bulu in competitive play for the games Pokemon Sword and Shield. Read on for tips on the best Nature, EV spreads, Movesets, and Held Items to use with Tapu Bulu, as well as its strengths and weak points.

Tapu Bulu - Related Articles
Pokeball Icon.pngEvolution and Learnset VS Battle Icon.pngBuild for Ranked Battle

Basic Information for Tapu Bulu

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Grass Type Fairy Type
Grassy Surge The Pokemon creates a Grassy Terrain when it enters a battle.
Telepathy (Hidden) Anticipates an ally's attack and dodges it.

Type Defenses

Takes 4x damage
Pokemon Poison Image
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Fire Image Pokemon Ice Image Pokemon Flying Image Pokemon Steel Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Water Image Pokemon Grass Image Pokemon Electric Image Pokemon Fighting Image Pokemon Ground Image Pokemon Dark Image
Takes 1/4x damage
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Dragon Image

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
70 130 115 85 95 75

Best Nature for Tapu Bulu

Best Natures
(+Atk, -Sp.Atk)
(+Spd, -Sp.Atk)

Singles Movesets for Tapu Bulu

Swords Dance Bulky Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

Nature Adamant (+Atk, -Sp.Atk)
EV Spread HP 236 / Atk 144 / Sp.Def 32 /Spd 96
Final Stat Values HP 175 / Atk 184 / Def 135 / Sp.Def 119 / Spd 107
Ability Grassy Surge
Held Item Lum Berry
Moveset Swords Dance
Horn Leech
Stone Edge

Tapu Bulu's great natural bulk and access to Swords Dance make it a powerful, bulky sweeper that can surprise its usual checks and counters with priority boosted Grassy Glide.

About Tapu Bulu's Moves

Swords Dance boosts Tapu Bulu's naturally high attack stat to dangerous levels, dealing significant damage to opposing Pokemon that don't resist its STAB. Horn Leech is its main STAB move and also recovers HP. It also gets a 30% boost in power as long as there's Grassy Terrain active.

Earthquake is a good coverage move, allowing Tapu Bulu to hit Poison and Steel-type Pokemon for super effective damage.

Stone Edge is its last move, and provides some much-needed coverage against Fire and Flying-type Pokemon.

About Tapu Bulu's EV Spread

We're using a modified EV spread for this build that rounds off Tapu Bulu's bulk, while still providing him a boost in attack. 236 HP EVs and 32 Sp.Def EVs give it great overall bulk, while 144 ATK EVs puts its Attack stat at 184 at Level 50.

The remaining 96 EVs are placed in Speed. Although Tapu Bulu outspeeds most threats with Grassy Glide, some speed EVs are still useful - especially if it needs to use Play Rough or Stone Edge.

About Tapu Bulu's Ability

Grassy Surge is the preferred ability for this build. This causes Grassy Terrain to appear as soon as Tapu Buly switches in.

About Tapu Bulu's Held Item

We're giving Tapu Bulu Lum Berry for this build. This protects it from status effects, such as Burn, which will otherwise put a stop to Tapu Bulu's sweep.

Other Viable Moves

Wood Hammer Stronger than Horn Leech but deals recoil damage to Tapu Bulu.
Megahorn A niche alternative to Stone Edge that allows Tapu Bulu to threaten bulky Grass-types that can easily withstand its other attacks.
Superpower An alternative to Stone Edge, but requires Tapu Bulu to switch out due to the attack and defense drop.

Choice Scarf Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

Nature Jolly (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Atk 252 / Sp.Def 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 145 / Atk 182 / Def 135 / Sp.Def 116 / Spd 139
Ability Grassy Surge
Held Item Choice Scarf
Moveset Wood Hammer
Horn Leech
Stone Edge

Although better known as a bulky setup sweeper, Tapu Bulu can surprise its usual counters with a Choice Scarf set - outspeeding its usual threats and even revenge killing some with its high-powered STAB moves!

About Tapu Bulu's Moves

Wood Hammer is its main STAB move, and is a very powerful move coming off from Tapu Bulu's high attack stat. Horn Leech is its secondary Grass STAB and provides reliable healing.

Earthquake is a good coverage move, allowing Tapu Bulu to hit Poison and Steel-type Pokemon for super effective damage. It's last move is Stone Edge, providing great neutral coverage and hitting Fire and Flying-types for super effective damage.

About Tapu Bulu's EV Spread

We're using a straightforward EV spread with full investment in Attack and Speed so that Tapu Bulu can hit hard and as fast as possible. The remaining EVs are placed in Special Defense to round off its natural bulk.

About Tapu Bulu's Ability

Grassy Surge is the preferred ability for this build. This causes Grassy Terrain to appear as soon as Tapu Buly switches in.

About Tapu Bulu's Held Item

We're giving Tapu Bulu Choice Scarf. This item boosts its speed but restricts it to using only the initial move it used for that turn.

Other Viable Moves

Zen Headbutt An alternative to Stone Edge and is the only way for Tapu Bulu to hit Poison-type Pokemon for super effective damage.
Megahorn A niche alternative to Stone Edge that allows Tapu Bulu to threaten bulky Grass-types that can easily withstand its other attacks.
Superpower An alternative to Stone Edge, but requires Tapu Bulu to switch out due to the attack and defense drop.

How to Use Tapu Bulu Effectively

A Bulky Offensive Pivot

Much like Rillaboom, Tapu Bulu works best as part of a Fire/Water/Grass offensive core, or as one of the main Pokemon U-Turn or Volt Switch users pivot into. It's great bulk and excellent matchup against common Pokemon in the metagame means it's easy to switch in, although it still needs to be careful due to its quadruple weakness to Poison-type moves.

How to Build a Team with Tapu Bulu

As one of the two Grassy Terrain setters in the metagame, Tapu Bulu is easy to fit into many teams - especially those in need of a powerful Grass-type for their Fire/Water/Grass core.

A Bulky Sweeper for Balanced Teams

Although it faces competition from Rillaboom, Tapu Bulu's secondary Fairy-typing make it a good choice for balanced teams - especially if the team in question is in need of a Fighting, Dark, or Dragon check.

Tapu Bulu is also a good choice for lead in the Doubles Metagame, especially the Choice Scarf set. Check out our guide below to learn how to build a Doubles Team with Rillaboom.
How to Build a Doubles Team

Counters for Tapu Bulu

Check it with a Poison-type Pokemon!

Despite its great natural bulk, Tapu Bulu can't do much against Poison-type Pokemon. Both defensive and offensive Poison-types can freely switch into any of Tapu Bulu's attacks and potentially knock them out with their STAB moves.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Toxapex ImageToxapex Ranking: ★★★★★
・Takes neutral damage from Tapu Bulu's Grass moves and resists its Fairy moves
・Can threaten Tapu Bulu with a burn from Scald or poison it with Toxic

Moveset & Best Build for Toxapex
Amoonguss ImageAmoonguss Ranking: ★★★★★
・Boasts quadruple resistance to Tapu Bulu's Grass-type moves
・Resists Tapu Bulu's Fairy-type moves
・Can threaten Tapu Bulu with Toxic or remove its Swords Dance boosts with Clear Smog

Moveset & Best Build for Amoonguss
Toxtricity ImageToxtricity Ranking: ★★★★★
・Resists both of Tapu Bulu's main STAB moves
・Can easily knock it out with STAB Sludge Wave

Moveset & Best Build for Toxtricity

Related Links

Best Builds for Ranked Battle Partial.pngAll Competitive Builds for Ranked Battle
Movesets & Best Builds for The Crown Tundra Pokemon
Galarian ArticunoGalarian Articuno Galarian ZapdosGalarian Zapdos Galarian MoltresGalarian Moltres
RaikouRaikou EnteiEntei SuicuneSuicune
ArticunoArticuno ZapdosZapdos MoltresMoltres
TornadusTornadus ThundurusThundurus LandorusLandorus
Tapu KokoTapu Koko Tapu LeleTapu Lele Tapu BuluTapu Bulu
Tapu FiniTapu Fini RegielekiRegieleki RegidragoRegidrago
LatiosLatios LatiasLatias HeatranHeatran
CresseliaCresselia GlastrierGlastrier SpectrierSpectrier
NidokingNidoking SwampertSwampert DragoniteDragonite
SalamenceSalamence GarchompGarchomp MetagrossMetagross
Galarian SlowkingGalarian Slowking NihilegoNihilego NaganadelNaganadel
PheromosaPheromosa BuzzwoleBuzzwole CelesteelaCelesteela
KartanaKartana StakatakaStakataka BlazikenBlaziken
KyogreKyogre YveltalYveltal XerneasXerneas
Necrozma (Dusk Mane)Necrozma (Dusk Mane) Calyrex (Shadow Rider)Calyrex (Shadow Rider) MewtwoMewtwo
Calyrex (Ice Rider)Calyrex (Ice Rider) DialgaDialga LugiaLugia
Black KyuremBlack Kyurem ZekromZekrom Ho-OhHo-Oh
RayquazaRayquaza ZygardeZygarde ReshiramReshiram
White KyuremWhite Kyurem GroudonGroudon
Movesets & Best Builds for Isle of Armor Pokemon
ScizorScizor KingdraKingdra MagnezoneMagnezone
VolcaronaVolcarona ChanseyChansey BlisseyBlissey
TalonflameTalonflame AzumarillAzumarill Galarian SlowbroGalarian Slowbro
Porygon2Porygon2 Urshifu Single-Strike StyleUrshifu Single-Strike Style Urshifu Rapid-Strike StyleUrshifu Rapid-Strike Style
SlowbroSlowbro Alolan MarowakAlolan Marowak DragalgeDragalge
KlefkiKlefki LycanrocLycanroc AmoongussAmoonguss
PoliwrathPoliwrath PalossandPalossand MienshaoMienshao
StarmieStarmie HeracrossHeracross ComfeyComfey
Porygon-ZPorygon-Z AlakazamAlakazam
Movesets & Best Builds for New Pokemon
DragapultDragapult Galarian CorsolaGalarian Corsola ToxtricityToxtricity
Galarian DarmanitanGalarian Darmanitan CorviknightCorviknight DracovishDracovish
GrimmsnarlGrimmsnarl RillaboomRillaboom DuraludonDuraludon
CinderaceCinderace AlcremieAlcremie DracozoltDracozolt
HattereneHatterene EiscueEiscue InteleonInteleon
PincurchinPincurchin FrosmothFrosmoth ZacianZacian
SirfetchSirfetch'd FlappleFlapple CoalossalCoalossal
CentiskorchCentiskorch ArctozoltArctozolt ZarudeZarude
Galarian WeezingGalarian Weezing EternatusEternatus Indeedee (Female)Indeedee (Female)
Movesets & Best Builds for Returning Pokemon
MimikyuMimikyu Wash RotomWash Rotom GyaradosGyarados
FerrothornFerrothorn AegislashAegislash ExcadrillExcadrill
TyranitarTyranitar HydreigonHydreigon Heat RotomHeat Rotom
ArcanineArcanine MamoswineMamoswine ToxapexToxapex
TogekissTogekiss CloysterCloyster DurantDurant
SnorlaxSnorlax CharizardCharizard SylveonSylveon
LucarioLucario HippowdonHippowdon UmbreonUmbreon
ConkeldurrConkeldurr QuagsireQuagsire GastrodonGastrodon
LaprasLapras WhimsicottWhimsicott RhyperiorRhyperior
GoodraGoodra HaxorusHaxorus GlaceonGlaceon
Mow RotomMow Rotom Type: NullType: Null GengarGengar
MiloticMilotic GardevoirGardevoir FlygonFlygon
ChandelureChandelure LanturnLanturn TorkoalTorkoal
BisharpBisharp SeismitoadSeismitoad SilvallySilvally
Butterfree Butterfree PrimarinaPrimarina IncineroarIncineroar
BlastoiseBlastoise DecidueyeDecidueye VenusaurVenusaur
DarmanitanDarmanitan Alolan NinetalesAlolan Ninetales GothitelleGothitelle
CrawdauntCrawdaunt ClefableClefable ReuniclusReuniclus
Kommo-oKommo-o TerrakionTerrakion CobalionCobalion
VirizionVirizion NoivernNoivern Fan RotomFan Rotom
ToxicroakToxicroak PelipperPelipper JellicentJellicent
CelebiCelebi ClefairyClefairy HitmontopHitmontop
DiggersbyDiggersby DittoDitto RaichuRaichu
Movesets & Best Builds for Gigantamax Pokemon
Gigantamax GrimmsnarlGigantamax Grimmsnarl Gigantamax SnorlaxGigantamax Snorlax Gigantamax CharizardGigantamax Charizard
Competitive Pokemon Battle Guides
Tier List.pngTier List Best Builds.pngBest Builds Series 8 Tier List Contenders Icon.pngSeries 8 Tier List Contenders
Doubles Tier List Icon.pngDoubles Tier List Competitive Team Building Icon.pngTeam Building Rental team.pngRental Teams


1 Tahu7 months

Just a little heads up. Tapu Bulu is unable to learn Earthquake ^^ However it can learn High Horsepower :D

    The Like Feature

    You can save a comment for later by giving it a Like.
    As a member:Get access to several features!

    Opinions about an article or post go here.
    Opinions about an article or post
    We at Game8 thank you for your support.
    In order for us to make the best articles possible, share your corrections, opinions, and thoughts about "Tapu Bulu - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle" with us!
    When reporting a problem, please be as specific as possible in providing details such as what conditions the problem occurred under and what kind of effects it had.

    Walkthrough Menu

    New Comment

    All rights reserved

    Back to the Top
    Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more