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

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Pokemon - Thundurus Movesets and Counters.png
This is a strategy guide for using Thundurus 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 Thundurus, as well as its strengths and weak points.

Thundurus - Related Guides
Pokemon SWSH - Thundurus Evolution and LearnsetEvolution and Learnset Pokemon SWSH - Thundurus Best BuildBuild for Ranked Battle

Basic Information for Thundurus

Types and Abilities (Incarnate Forme)

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Electric Type Pokemon Sword and Shield - Flying Type
Abilities
Prankster Gives priority to a status move.
Defiant (Hidden) When its stats are lowered its Attack increases.

Types and Abilities (Therian Forme)

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Electric Type Pokemon Sword and Shield - Flying Type
Abilities
Volt Absorb Restores HP if hit by an Electric-type move.

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

Incarnate Forme

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
79 115 70 125 80 111

Therian Forme

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
79 105 70 145 80 101

Best Nature for Thundurus

Best Natures
Timid
(+Spd, -Atk)

Singles Movesets for Thundurus (Incarnate Forme)

Nasty Plot Sweeper Thundurus.png

Nasty Plot Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Def 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 154 / Def 91 / Sp.Atk 177 / Sp.Def 100 / Spd 179
Ability Prankster
Held Item Life Orb
Focus Sash
Moveset Nasty Plot
Thunderbolt
Focus Blast
Sludge Wave

Thundurus' Incarnate Forme is notorious for being one of the fastest setup sweepers in the metagame. Thanks to its ability Prankster, it can set up Nasty Plot before its opponent and sweep on its next turn.

About Thundurus' Moves

Nasty Plot increases Thundurus' Special Attack by two stages, and gets a priority boost thanks to its ability. Thunderbolt is its main STAB move and, coming off from its base 125 Special Attack stat, can dent or even knock out Pokemon that don't resist it.

It's other moves are for coverage. Focus Blast hits Steel and Rock-type Pokemon, many of which have a secondary Ground typing that are immune to Thundurus' main STAB.

Sludge Wave is another good coverage move that hits bulky Grass-type Pokemon that take little damage from Thundurus' Electric-type attacks.

About Thundurus' EV Spread

We're using a standard Special Attacking EV spread with full investment in Speed and Special Attack so that Thundurus can hit hard and as fast as possible. It's remaining 4 EVs are placed in Def to improve its rather mediocre bulk.

About Thundurus' Ability

Prankster is the preferred ability for this Thundurus. This gives all it's status moves, such as Nasty Plot and Rain Dance, a +1 priority.

About Thundurus' Held Item

Life Orb is the preferred ability so that Thundurus can hit harder with its moves, but this item also deals recoil damage after every turn.

You can also have Thundurus hold Focus Sash so that it can survive a hit that would KO it and still sweep on the next turn.

Other Viable Moves

Discharge Weaker than Thunderbolt but has a 30% chance to paralyze the target.
Weather Ball You can replace Focus Blast with this move if you're using Thundurus on a Rain Team. This move becomes a 100 Base Power Water-type move in Rain, allowing Thundurus to hit Ground-types for super effective damage.
Thunder Wave Can replace one of its coverage moves so that Thundurus can spread paralysis. This move gets a +1 priority boost from Prankster.

Standard Attacker Moveset & Best Build

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 155 / Def 90 / Sp.Atk 197 / Sp.Def 100 / Spd 168
Ability Volt Absorb
Held Item Life Orb
Choice Specs
Choice Scarf
Moveset Dark Pulse
Thunderbolt
Focus Blast
Sludge Wave

This is a standard attacking build for Thundurus. With its high Special Attack and Speed stat, Thundurus packs quite a punch with high damage moves like Focus Blast, Sludge Wave, Dark Pulse, and an even stronger STAB move in Thunderbolt.

About Thundurus' Moves

Dark Pulse is a good coverage move against Ghost and Psychic-type Pokemon. Thunderbolt is its main STAB move and, coming off from its base 125 Special Attack stat, can dent or even knock out Pokemon that don't resist it.

It's other moves are for coverage. Focus Blast hits Steel and Rock-type Pokemon, many of which have a secondary Ground typing that are immune to Thundurus' main STAB.

Sludge Wave is another good coverage move that hits bulky Grass-type Pokemon that take little damage from Thundurus' Electric-type attacks.

Other Viable Moves

Discharge Weaker than Thunderbolt but has a 30% chance to paralyze the target.
Volt Switch A good utility STAB move to get Thundurus out of sticky situations and matchups.
Grass Knot Coverage move against Ground and Rock-type Pokemon.
Psychic A strong coverage move against Poison-type Pokemon that looks to stall.
Hyper Beam A good finishing move that capitalizes on Thundurus' high special attack stat.
Flash Cannon Another strong coverage move against Rock-type Pokemon.

Singles Movesets for Thundurus (Therian Forme)

Choice Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

Choice Sweeper Thundurus.png

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Def 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 154 / Def 90 / Sp.Atk 197 / Sp.Def 100 / Spd 168
Ability Volt Absorb
Held Item Choice Scarf
Choice Specs
Moveset Thunderbolt
Volt Switch
Focus Blast
Sludge Wave

Although slower than its Incarnate Forme, Thundurus' Therian Forme makes a great revenge killer and offensive pivot thanks to its massive 145 Base Special Attack Stat.

About Thundurus' Moves

Thunderbolt is Thundurus' strongest STAB move, while Volt Switch allows it to pivot from its checks quickly into its teammates.

It's other moves are for coverage. Focus Blast hits Steel and Rock-type Pokemon, many of which have a secondary Ground typing that are immune to Thundurus' main STAB.

Sludge Wave is another good coverage move that hits bulky Grass-type Pokemon that take little damage from Thundurus' Electric-type attacks.

About Thundurus' EV Spread

We're using a standard Special Attacking EV spread with full investment in Speed and Special Attack so that Thundurus can hit hard and as fast as possible. It's remaining 4 EVs are placed in Def to improve its rather mediocre bulk.

About Thundurus' Ability

Volt Absorb is Thundurus Therian's only ability, protecting it from Electric-type moves while also healing for a quarter of its HP.

About Thundurus' Held Item

We're giving this Thundurus a Choice Scarf, doubling its speed but restricting it to only one attack for its turn.

You can also run Choice Specs if you want to further boost the power of Thundurus Therian's special attacks.

Other Viable Moves

Rising Voltage A good alternative to Thunderbolt in Doubles, but requires Electric Terrain to hit for its maximum damage.
Weather Ball Becomes a Base 100 Power Water-type Move when in Rain.
Grass Knot A good alternative to Focus Blast that allows Thundurus to potentially KO bulky Ground-types like Hippowdon.

How to Use Thundurus Effectively

Use it in a Rain Team

Thundurus, whether it's in its Incarnate Forme or Therian Forme, is best used in a Rain Team where it can fill the role of a main sweeper, offensive pivot, or even a back-up Rain setter if its in its Incarnate Forme.

Set Up Electric Terrain Early

Thundurus is at its most dangerous when there's an Electric Terrain up, as it can then unleash Rising Voltage against the opposing Pokemon. There are many ways you can set this up - either by using a Pokemon that can set it up automatically such as Tapu Koko or by having your main Dynamax Pokemon use Max Lightning.

How to Build a Team with Thundurus

Thundurus has a specific niche in Rain and Doubles teams as either a lead setup sweeper, back-up setter, or offensive pivot. While this restricts it to the teams it can function best in, it's often the first choice in such teams thanks to its offensive presence.

It's best partnered with Pokemon that can set up Rain Dance or Electric Terrain as soon as they switch in.

Team Options for Thundurus

Rain Lead
Pokemon Pokemon SWSH - Pelipper ImagePelipper Pokemon SWSH - Thundurus (Therian Forme) ImageThundurus (Therian Forme)
Ability Drizzle Volt Absorb
Held Item Choice Scarf Choice Specs
Nature Timid Timid
EV Spread 4 Def / 252 Sp.Atk / 252 Spe 4 Def / 252 Sp.Atk / 252 Spe
Moveset Tailwind
Hurricane
U-Turn
Soak
Thunder
Volt Switch
Focus Blast
Sludge Wave

Pelipper makes a great partner for Choice Specs Thundurus Therian, allowing the Bolt Strike Pokemon to unleash powerful Thunders at the opposing team. Partnering Thundurus with Pelipper also deters opposing Electric-types that threaten the rain setter.

Check out our article below to learn more on how to build a Rain Team.
How to Build a Weather Team

Electric Terrain Lead
Pokemon Pokemon SWSH - Tapu Koko ImageTapu Koko Pokemon SWSH - Thundurus ImageThundurus
Ability Electric Surge Prankster
Held Item Choice Specs Focus Sash
Nature Timid Timid
EV Spread 252 Sp.Atk / 4 Sp.Def / 252 Spe 4 Def / 252 Sp.Atk / 252 Spe
Moveset Thunderbolt
Dazzling Gleam
Volt Switch
Grass Knot
Nasty Plot
Rising Voltage
Focus Blast
Sludge Bomb

Tapu Koko is a great partner to Thundurus' Incarnate Forme. Not only does it instantly set up Electric Terrain with its ability, it can threaten Thundurus' usual checks and counters with its own moves.

Check out our article below to learn more on how to build a Doubles Team.
How to Build a Doubles Team

Counters for Thundurus

Thundurus
Weakness Pokemon Ice Image Pokemon Rock Image

Use Specially Defensive Pokemon

Despite its immediate offensive presence, Thundurus has some difficulty getting through Special Walls due to its rather lackluster movepool.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Cinderace ImageCinderace Ranking: ★★★★★
・An all-around strong Pokemon that can be used in different teams
・Can one shot Thundurus if it is an attacking Cinderace build.

Cinderace - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle
Pokemon SWSH - Garchomp ImageGarchomp Ranking: ★★★★★
・Is not affected by Thundurus' Electric-type moves due to it being a Ground-type Pokemon
・Strong and fast enough to deal massive damage.

Garchomp - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle
Pokemon SWSH - Dragapult ImageDragapult Ranking: ★★★★★
・One of the strongest Pokemon in the meta due to it having strong offensive stats as well as unmatched speed.
・Generally a good Pokemon to have on your team.

Dragapult - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle
Pokemon SWSH - Alolan Ninetales ImageAlolan Ninetales Ranking: ★★★★
・The Ice-typing helps as it is super effective against Flying-type Pokemon.

Alolan Ninetales - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle
Pokemon SWSH - Weavile ImageWeavile Ranking: ★★★★
・One of the hardest hitting Ice-type Pokemon as well as fast. Weavile does a good job in taking and giving back damage against Flying-type Pokemon.

Weavile - Evolution and Learnset

Related Links

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    • Looking to get Solgaleo, as I have Shield. Will trade or run DA’s to get. Have Lunala to trade, if interested.

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      I'm sorry, I did not read it properly
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