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 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.

Thundurus Weaknesses and Resistances

Type
Takes 4x damage
-
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Ice Image Pokemon Rock Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Grass Image Pokemon Fighting Image Pokemon Flying Image Pokemon Bug Image Pokemon Steel Image
Takes 1/4x damage
-
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Ground Image

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.

Doubles Movesets for Thundurus (Incarnate Forme)

Dynamax Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

Thundurus Max Airstream

Nature Jolly (+Spe, -Sp. Atk)
EV Spread HP 4 / Atk 252 / 252 Spe
Final Stat Values HP 155 / Atk 167 / Def 90 / Sp. Def 100 / Spd 179
Ability Defiant
Held Item Assault Vest
Moveset Fly
Wild Charge
Superpower
Foul Play

Defiant Thundurus is an excellent teammate for physically offensive Pokemon who would not want to get Intimidated.

About Thundurus' Moves

Fly and Wild Charge are Thundurus' main weapons when it is Dynamaxed. Both moves gets powered-up by STAB, with Max Airstream boosting its Speed. You can also use Max Knuckle to raise Thundurus' Attack stat.

Wild Charge can be used against bulky Water-type Pokemon like Kyogre, and Foul Play takes advantage of Thundurus' boosted Attack stat to deal high damage.

About Thundurus' Ability

With Intimidate leads rampant in the metagame, Thundurus can rely on Defiant to take advantage of this trend and even power up its attacks.

About Thundurus' Held Item

Thundurus is given Assault Vest to improve its low Sp. Def stats, as it is vulnerable to Ice-type moves such as Ice Beam or Blizzard.

About Thundurus' EV Spread

Tornadus' EVs for this build are the standard boosts to Attack and Speed to make it hit as hard and as fast as possible. The rest is allotted to HP to give it a bit of a bulk.

Other Viable Moves

Thunder Punch Less powerful than Wild Charge but safer to use when Thundurus is not Dynamaxed since it does not have recoil.
Crunch Physical Dark-type move that can be an alternative to Foul Play.

Doubles Support Moveset & Best Build

Nature Calm (+Sp. Def, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 124 / Def 236 / Sp. Def 148
Final Stat Values HP 170 / Def 120 / Sp. Atk 145 / Sp. Def 130 / Spd 131
Ability Prankster
Held Item Sitrus Berry
Moveset Thunder Wave
Eerie Impulse
Protect
Thunderbolt

Thundurus with Prankster has the potential to cripple hyper-offensive teams thanks to the Ability giving priority to status moves.

About Thundurus' Moves

Thunder Wave acts as way to kill your opponent's momentum by slashing their Speed stat to half and inflicting paralysis. As for offensive special attackers, Eerie Impulse will hit them where it hurts as the move lowers the target's Sp. Atk by two levels.

You can then use Thunderbolt to chip away your opponent's health while your main attacker finishes the job.

About Thundurus' Held Item

Sitrus Berry is given to Thundurus to let it stay in battle longer. The longer you can hold on to Thundurus, the better, as there will be times where your opponent might be able to gain the upper hand.

About Thundurus' EV Spread

Thundurus' EV spread for this build focuses on making it more bulky and defensive, as it is weak to Rock and Ice-type attacks which numerous Pokemon have in their movesets for coverage.

Other Viable Moves

Taunt Disables the use of status moves of a target, making it unable to set up Screens or use Protect.
Rain Dance Allows Thundurus to be an alternative Rain setter.
Scary Face Another Speed control move which can target Electric-type Pokemon.

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 Zapdos

Anti-Intimidate Dynamax Attacker

Support Special Attacking Sweeper Redirection/Support
Pokemon SWSH - Incineroar ImageIncineroar Pokemon SWSH - Zapdos ImageZapdos Pokemon SWSH - Zacian ImageZacian

Incineroar is valuable support for Thundurus as it is able to reduce an opposing Groudon's Attack stat with its Intimidate, effectively turning a OHKO from a Max Rockfall into a 2HKO. It is also able to use Fake Out into much faster Pokemon.

Zacian is a good partner to have on the field because it is a prime target for Intimidate, which is very good for Defiant Thundurus. Zacian also greatly benefits from Max Knuckle and Max Airstream.

Counters for Thundurus

Thundurus
Weakness Pokemon Ice Image Pokemon Rock Image

Counter Thundurus with Rock-Type Moves and Burn

Although reasonably bulky, Thundurus will not be able to withstand super-effective Rock-type moves. Thundurus also does not appreciate getting burned.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Groudon ImageGroudon Ranking: ★★★★★
・Can tank hits from Thundurus and can knock it out with a Max Rockfall.
Groudon - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle
Pokemon SWSH - Nihilego ImageNihilego Ranking: ★★★★★
・Outspeeds and can knock out Thundurus with a boosted Meteor Beam.
Nihilego - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle
Pokemon SWSH - Dragapult ImageDragapult Ranking: ★★★★★
・Outspeeds and can cut Thundurus' attacking power with Will-O-Wisp.
Dragapult - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle

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