Introduction Considering Tapu Bulu is one of the four Guardian Deities of Alola, it is definitely no joke to battle against in the OU tier! Sporting a massive base 130 Attack and a solid base 115 Defense, it's pretty hard to bring Tapu Bulu down physically without strong super effective moves. This is further backed up by a useful signature ability — Grassy Surge — that calls in Grassy Terrain whenever the Pokémon is brought to the field. Grassy Terrain slightly heals all grounded Pokémon every turn as well as reduces the effectiveness of the move Earthquake, which is a very notable move in competitive Pokémon. Grassy Terrain also boosts Grass-type moves by 50%, which only increases Tapu Bulu's potential as a wallbreaker. Combine this with moves like Horn Leech, Superpower, Zen Headbutt, Bulk Up, and Leech Seed, and what we have is a powerful Pokémon that can make the most of its stats and usable movepool. All isn't fine for this angry guardian, though. It is extremely exploitable specially due to its low Special Defense. With moves like Ice Beam, Flash Cannon, Sludge Wave, and Fire Blast ever so common in the tier, sometimes it gets hard for Tapu Bulu to really do enough. Base 75 Speed makes it slower than several of the wallbreakers in the tier, and with almost all of its sets running an Adamant nature, it is very easy to revenge kill if it doesn't happen behind a Substitute. Sets King Crimson (Choice Band) Tapu Bulu @ Choice Band Ability: Grassy Surge EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Wood Hammer - Horn Leech - Zen Headbutt / Megahorn - Superpower / Stone Edge Choice Band Tapu Bulu is by far the most common and effective set in the OU tier, as few Pokémon survive a 2HKO from it with the right move, especially with Stealth Rock on the field. Wood Hammer is its main STAB move and hits everything that is not a Steel- or Grass-type for loads of damage. Thanks to Grassy Terrain, it is so powerful that even Latios and Latias aren't spared from an OHKO after Stealth Rock damage. Horn Leech is another STAB move that deals a nifty amount of damage all around and helps it leech off health from its foe that it would have lost due to Wood Hammer recoil. It is worth noting that Horn Leech can be replaced with any other of the mentioned coverage moves if recoil isn't too big a problem for the given team. The following two moveslots help Tapu Bulu to round off its coverage. As Tapu Bulu doesn't have access to Play Rough to fully round off its coverage, it has to make do with the other coverage it has, and that doesn't disappoint. Zen Headbutt can be used to get rid of pesky bulky Grass / Poison walls — namely Mega Venusaur and Amoonguss — that would otherwise be a full stop to Tapu Bulu as a whole. The move helps it immensely by scoring a 2HKO after Stealth Rock damage. The only thing bad about the move itself that it might miss due to its imperfect accuracy. Megahorn, on the other hand, takes care of Pokémon like Tangrowth, Celebi, Mew, and Cresselia that take pretty low damage from any of the other moves. The final slot is reserved for either Superpower or Stone Edge. Superpower wrecks many of the common Steel-types that believe they will tank a hit from this beast, with examples being Celesteela, Ferrothorn, Skarmory, and Heatran. Stone Edge is more or less a lure for the many Fire- and Flying-types that think they could otherwise switch into it for little damage and KO it. Stone Edge hits Pokémon like Mega Charizard X, Mega Charizard Y, Mega Pinsir, Alolan Marowak, and Zapdos. The EVs are pretty straightforward. 252 EVs in Attack with an Adamant nature results in 394 Attack, which generates destructive amounts of damage when boosted with a Choice Band. 252 EVs in Speed puts Tapu Bulu to 249 in Speed, which is enough to outrun most key threats like Adamant Bisharp, Modest Volcanion, and defensive Landorus-T as well as walls like Chansey, Tapu Fini, Toxapex, and Clefable. Leech Seed Tapu Bulu @ Leftovers Ability: Grassy Surge EVs: 152 HP / 252 Atk / 104 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Leech Seed - Substitute / Bulk Up - Horn Leech - Brick Break / Superpower This set makes use of Tapu Bulu's immense physical bulk as a means of setting up multiple Leech Seeds to leech off health from passive Pokémon like Chansey and Toxapex. The next slot has either Bulk Up or Substitute. Bulk Up is there to bolster Tapu Bulu's already high Attack and Defense to nuclear levels and make KOing it harder physically. Bulk Up also increases Tapu Bulu staying power, enabling it to collect more Bulk Up boosts. Substitute can be used in conjunction with Leech Seed and Protect to help stall out most passive threats bar Mega Sableye and bulky Grass-types while also helping it avoid status from threats like Mega Sableye and Toxapex. Horn Leech is Tapu Bulu's most reliable STAB in such cases. This furthers its staying ability and hits pretty hard under Grassy Terrain. By the time Grassy Terrain has ended, it should have collected enough boosts to keep hitting at a similar pace. The final slot can be used for either Brick Break or Superpower. Brick Break is used to reliably hit most Steel-types like Ferrothorn and Heatran. Brick Break is preferred over Superpower here, as the former lacks the stat drops of the latter. However, Superpower can be used for the immediate power it provides, and the drops can be patched up with Bulk Up. The Speed EVs let it hit 212 Speed, which lets it outrun standard Rotom-W and anything below. 252 Attack EVs with an Adamant nature give it maximum overall damage output. The rest of the EVs are dumped into HP to give it enough bulk to set up Bulk Up. Other Options Choice Band and Bulk Up sets aside, Tapu Bulu is also known to function as a fine revenge killer with Choice Scarf and Jolly nature with the same moves as the Choice Band set. If you prefer more flexibility, you can use Life Orb to switch moves at the cost of losing health every turn. However, with Grassy Terrain mildly healing Tapu Bulu every turn it is present, it is less punishing on the recoil. You can also opt for an Expert Belt if Life Orb's recoil isn't to your taste; it also helps Tapu Bulu bluff Choice Band. Nature's Madness can be used to soften would-be counters and get into KO range of Wood Hammer in most cases, with the most prominent being against Alolan Marowak. Taunt is also a useful addition; it helps shut down Pokémon that depend on non-damaging moves, such as Clefable and Chansey, or slow entry hazard setters, such as defensive Landorus-T and Skarmory. Checks and Counters Bulky Grass-types: Bulky Grass-type Pokémon like Mega Venusaur, Tangrowth, and Amoonguss are generally full stops to Tapu Bulu unless it has a coverage move to dispatch them. Even then, they are only at most 2HKOed. With that said, both Mega Venusaur and Amoonguss can KO it back with Sludge Bomb. Having teammates like Heatran, specially defensive Mandibuzz, Mega Charizard X and Y, and Tapu Lele helps against these threats. Bulky Steel-types: Celesteela and Skarmory have a solid double resistance to Grass and take neutral damage from Stone Edge and Superpower, ending up in a chance to 2HKO, making them great checks if they happen to switch in on a resisted move that Tapu Bulu is locked into. At full health, Celesteela and Skarmory can dispatch Tapu Bulu with Heavy Slam or Fire Blast and Brave Bird, respectively. While Heatran and Ferrothorn don't appreciate coming into a Superpower or a boosted Brick Break, they can still come in on any other move and quickly take care of Tapu Bulu with Lava Plume or Flash Cannon and Gyro Ball, respectively. Magnezone is definitely the best partner when it comes to trapping and dispatching the Steel-type threats mentioned above. Heatran, unless it's holding Air Balloon, can be trapped specifically by Dugtrio. Bulky Fire-types: Bulky Will-O-Wisp Mega Charizard X only truly fears Stone Edge from Tapu Bulu; otherwise, it can freely come in any other moves and burn with Will-O-Wisp. Dragon Dance variants gain free setup turns on resisted hits and make quick work of Tapu Bulu. Mega Charizard Y can switch in on any move bar Stone Edge (assuming Stealth Rock isn't on the field) and OHKO Tapu Bulu with Fire Blast. Heatran can switch in on any moves bar Superpower and Brick Break and proceed to OHKO with a super effective Fire- or Steel-type move. In such cases, bulky Water-types for teammates are your best bet against these nuclear warheads. Quagsire, Suicune, Azumarill, and Tapu Fini can check Mega Charizard X to an extent. The same group can check Heatran as well as long as it doesn't have Grassium Z or Power Herb with Solar Beam to lure such threats out. Hippowdon also helps to check against Mega Charizard X. Mega Charizard Y can be taken care of with specially defensive Toxapex and Chansey. Choice Scarf Tyranitar can Pursuit trap or simply OHKO Mega Charizard Y with Stone Edge as long as it doesn't switch into Focus Blast. Choice Specs or Choice Scarf Keldeo can take care of these Fire-types with its strong Hydro Pump. Latios and Latias check Mega Charizard Y as well and can threaten it back with Psyshock. Offensive Poison-types: Glass cannons like Gengar and Salazzle have access to strong Poison-type moves, such as Sludge Bomb and Sludge Wave, which can take out Tapu Bulu in one hit, making them useful revenge killers. However, they can't reliably switch in to Tapu Bulu. Bulky Ground-types like Gastrodon and Hippowdon have an easier time switching in against and taking care of the aforementioned threats with Earthquake. Choice Scarf Excadrill can revenge kill these threats as well. Specially defensive Toxapex is almost always a full stop against these two. Spoiler: Special Thanks Joyverse - Writer Annoying Orange - QC, Artist E.T. - QC, Grammar Sobi - QC, Grammar Spoovo The Pirate - QC RedJoker25 - Grammar Do you want to contribute to Articles too? Here's How to Become an Articles Contributor.