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

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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 Articles
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Basic Information for Thundurus

Types and Abilities (Incarnate Forme)

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Electric Type 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
Electric Type 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)

Movesets & Best Builds for Thundurus (Incarnate Forme)

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.

Doubles Rising Voltage 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
Rising Voltage
Focus Blast
Weather Ball

Thundurus' Incarnate Forme is a great choice for lead sweeper in Doubles - especially in Rain Teams. Access to multi-target moves and Prankster Nasty Plot make it a powerful special attacker that can potentially sweep entire teams with its teammates.

Although potentially powerful, it needs both Rain and Electric Terrain support to function properly!

About Thundurus' Moves

Nasty Plot increases Thundurus' Special Attack by two stages, and gets a priority boost thanks to its ability. Rising Voltage is its main STAB move, and becomes a Base 140 Power move when Electric Terrain is up.

It's other moves are for coverage. Weather Ball becomes a Base 100 Power Water-type move when under the effects of Rain, and allows Thundurus to hit Ground-type Pokemon for super effective damage. 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 Rising Voltage but has a 30% chance to paralyze the target and hits both targets in Doubles.
Thunder More reliable than Rising Voltage in Rain but only hits one target in Doubles.
Rain Dance Can replace one of its coverage moves so that Thundurus can serve as a secondary weather setter. Very useful at throwing an opposing Weather Team's offensive momentum.

Movesets & Best Builds for Thundurus (Therian Forme)

Choice Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

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 Pelipper ImagePelipper 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 Tapu Koko ImageTapu Koko 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

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
Gastrodon ImageGastrodon Ranking: ★★★★★
・Immune to Thundurus' Electric STAB and absorbs Water-type Weather Ball
・Specially Defensive variants can survive a Focus Blast and KO Thundurus with Mirror Coat

Moveset & Best Build for Gastrodon
Clefable ImageClefable Ranking: ★★★★★
・Ignores Incarnate Forme's Nasty Plot and can redirect its attacks in Doubles with Follow Me
・Specially Defensive varaints can survive two Sludge Waves from Choice Specs Therian Forme

Moveset & Best Build for Clefable

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