Credit to Yilx
"Move aside hover cat, I'm taking over"- Landorus-Incarnate
(VGC) Landorus-Incarnate - Attack (Mixed Attacker)
July 9th 2015
Base Stats: 89 HP / 125 Attack / 90 Defense / 115 Special Attack / 80 Special Defense / 101 Speed
Weaknesses: Ice (X4), Water (X2)
Resistances: Fighting (X0.5), Bug (X0.5), Poison (X0.5)
Immunities: Ground, Electric
Ability 1: Sand Force - Boosts the power of Rock, Ground, and Steel type moves used by the user by 30% during a sandstorm.Pokemon with this ability won't take any damage from sandstorm
Ability 2: Sheer Force (Hidden Ability) - Raises the base power of any attacking move with an additonal effect, but those effect nullified/ignored.
Landorus-Incarnate is a rather odd choice in the current VGC metagame - given its vastly overshadowed by its Therian feline cousin. To be honest, there are several things going for and against Landorus-I given its traits. Typing wise, Landorus-I sports a Ground/Flying duel type, an great all-round defensive type immune to Electric and Ground types, and resisted to Bug, Fighting, and Bug types. While immunities to Electric and Ground types attacks alongside a resistance to Fighting is great, Landorus-I will be taking neutral hits from common strong hitting types such as Flying, Rock, Normal, Fire, Fairy, etc. To top it off, Water and Ice attacks (especially Ice with all the random HP Ice) are still common in the VGC metagame so Landorus-I must stay away from both types. Defensively, Landorus-I sports a 89 HP / 90 Def / 80 SpD overall defense, yet however without the Intimidate ability from its Therian form, it won't be taking strong physical hits from threats like Mega Kangaskhan or Mega Salamence for long. Due to the pentagon rule, Landorus-I loses arguably its best ability in Sheer Force, boosting the power of all attacks with secondary effects by 30%, at the cost of those same effects being nullified. While this setback alone might be reason enough to look for other viable Pokemon, Landorus-I's primary ability, Sand Force shouldn't be dismissed so fast. With the sandstorm in play, Sand Force boosts the power of all of Landorus-I's Ground, Rock, and Steel type moves by 30%, the same multiplier as Sheer Force. Landorus-I can still do well with a proven QuakeEdge combo, with Sand Force boosting Landorus-I's main Ground STAB and Rock moves since very few Pokemon resist these two types together. Backed up with its 125 attack, 115 special attack and a rather 101 trollish speed, Landorus-I can become a powerful mixed attacker that can focus on wallbreaking and/or cleaning up weaken teams. Unfortunately this is where the good stuff ends as practically most bulky Pokemon (mostly Water types and Levitate users) such as Cresselia, Rotom-W, or even Suicune can sponge any of its Sand Force hits and retaliate with a Water/Ice move. Its best to stay clear from these threats, otherwise with the sandstorm up, Landorus-I can and will mop of the rest of the opposition with its Sand Force boosted attacks.
Specially Mixed Attacker
Landorus-Incarnate @ Life Orb / Expect Belt
Ability: Sand Force
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Timid / Naive Nature
- Earth Power
- Stone Edge / Rock Slide
- Hidden Power Ice
One thing to note from this set is this Landorus-I is specially-mixed instead of its high 125 base attack for several reasons. For starters, Landorus-I doesn't have the luxury of using Earthquake without having to switch into a Levitate/Flying type, and/or Protect since else its partner will be get hurt by the attack. Though this might seem incredibly oblivious, Tyranitar, the sole viable Sand Stream user of VGC (unless you happen to make Hippowdon work) doesn't appreciate taking a Sand Force boosted Earthquake by its partner. For Landorus-Incarnate to work at its fullest potential, it will need the sandstorm provided by its partner, Tyranitar (or Hippowdon if you're that guy ) to boost the power of its Ground and Rock type moves with its Sand Force ability. Fortunately Landorus-I has a respectively 115 special attack and can abuse the single target base 90 Earth Power while having Tyranitar alongside not taking unnecessary damage from Earthquake. The EV spread isn't the most creative, however 252 speed ensures Landorus-I outspeed literally all the base 100 Pokemon: Mega Charizard Y, Mega Gardevoir, Mega Kangaskhan, Salamence (before Mega), Entei, Zapdos, Volcarona, etc. Another impressive feat from this simplistic set is 252 SpA allows Landorus-I with both Life Orb and Sand Force to one shot standard 252 HP / 4 SpD Aegislash - in Shield form! Using an Expert Belt will make this a 62.5% chance to OHKO Shield form Aegislash, but without losing health from the Life Orb. Both Stone Edge and Rock Slide will receive the Sand Force boost and can already one shot threats like Talonflame or Charizard Y due to the quad weakness to Rock so Timid nature can be run without compromising its defenses.
Considering Landorus-Incarnate's limited movepool, this is honestly the one of the best sets it can offer for the current sand archetype. With most specially-based Landorus-I, Earth Power is its main attacking STAB move which is further boosted by from the sand by 30%, literally the same power as from Sheer Force. With the Sand Force and Life Orb/Earth Power boost, Landorus-I can effectively 2HKO the vast majority of the format either not resisted or immune to Ground type attacks and nearly spammable. Stone Edge is a risk-reward rock type move with a powerful 100 base power reserved for Flying type Pokemon like Charizard Y, Talonflame, Zapdos, Thundurus, etc. The 80% is rather shaky at times, however the ability to bypass Wide Guard users can certainly catch the opponent off guard (pun not intended). Rock Slide is a safer option compared with Stone Edge, alongside the added bonus of an improve accuracy, hitting both targets, and applying a 30% chance flinch factor. The choice between Stone Edge and Rock Slide is entirely up to the user, largely stemming whether or not the user would like an accurate attack with a 30% flinch factor that can win games, or bypassing Wide Guard users while OHKOing Mega Charizard Y - 80% of the time. HP Ice is the final moveslot given how common Pokemon with Ice type weakness like Dragons, Flying, Grass and Ground types * cough Landorus-T* cough* are. Practically HP Ice alongside the QuakeEdge Combo in Earth Power and Stone Edge/Rock Slide ensure Landorus-I hits all Pokemon for neutral damage at the very least.
Offensive (All calculations were done with Life Orb as the item choice and may have Sand Force boost as depicted.)
Earth Power ( Life Orb 252 SpA )
- 252 SpA Life Orb Landorus Earth Power vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Kangaskhan: 94-110 (51.9 - 60.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
- 252 SpA Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earth Power vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Kangaskhan in Sand: 121-142 (66.8 - 78.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
- 252 SpA Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 20 SpD Mega Kangaskhan in Sand: 117-138 (55.1 - 65%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
- 252 SpA Life Orb Landorus Earth Power vs. 44 HP / 4 SpD Mega Metagross: 172-203 (106.8 - 126%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 252 SpA Life Orb Landorus Earth Power vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Terrakion: 203-242 (121.5 - 144.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 252 SpA Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earth Power vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tyranitar in Sand: 159-190 (90.3 - 107.9%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO
- 252 SpA Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Aegislash-Shield in Sand: 172-203 (102.9 - 121.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 252 SpA Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 52 SpD Ferrothorn in Sand: 101-121 (55.8 - 66.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
- 252 SpA Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 116 SpD Mega Scizor in Sand: 107-126 (60.4 - 71.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
- 252 SpA Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earth Power vs. 212 HP / 116+ SpD Politoed in Sand: 99-117 (51.5 - 60.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage and Leftovers recovery
- 252 SpA Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earth Power vs. 236 HP / 0 SpD Mega Gardevoir in Sand: 94-110 (54.3 - 63.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage
- 252 SpA Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 92 SpD Amoonguss in Sand: 129-152 (58.3 - 68.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage
Stone Edge / Rock Slide ( Life Orb -0 Atk ) some with Sand Force boost
- 0- Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Rock Slide vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Mega Charizard Y in Sand: 187-224 (101 - 121%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 0- Atk Life Orb Landorus Stone Edge vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Mega Charizard Y: 260-307 (140.5 - 165.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 0- Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Stone Edge vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Mega Salamence in Sand: 112-133 (65.4 - 77.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage
- 0- Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Stone Edge vs. 236 HP / 116+ Def Thundurus in Sand: 146-172 (79.3 - 93.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
- 0- Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Stone Edge vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Zapdos in Sand: 159-187 (80.7 - 94.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage and Sitrus Berry recovery
- 0- Atk Life Orb Landorus Rock Slide vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Talonflame: 161-192 (104.5 - 124.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Hidden Power Ice (252 SpA )
- 252 SpA Life Orb Landorus Hidden Power Ice vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Salamence: 182-218 (106.4 - 127.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 252 SpA Life Orb Landorus Hidden Power Ice vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-T: 203-239 (123 - 144.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 252 SpA Life Orb Landorus Hidden Power Ice vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Breloom: 122-146 (90.3 - 108.1%) -- 50% chance to OHKO
- 252 SpA Life Orb Landorus Hidden Power Ice vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Hydreigon: 91-109 (54.1 - 64.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Based on these calculations, you can already tell that Landorus-Incarnate is a powerful Sand Force abuser given its mixed offensive capabilities. For starters, Landorus-I can 2HKO most standard 4 HP Mega Kangaskhan with LO Earth Power and with the Sand Force boost deals 2/3 of its health. Not even the a bulky 252 HP / 20 SpD Mega Kangaskhan can take a LO Sand Force boosted Earth Power reasonably well and recall that Mega Kangaskhan has a overall defense of 105 HP / 100 Def / 100 SpD. Sand Force boosted Earth Power can 2HKO most Ferrothorns (unless they are fully specially defensive) and has a chance of knocking out 252 HP / 176 SpD Aegislash 31.25% of the time. Practically any other frailer target like Bisharp, Infernape, Blaziken, Metagross, Greinnja, Mienshao will all get KOed by either a LO Earth Power as well.
Defensive - Given that fact that this set focuses primarily on offensive and that Landorus-I doesn't have Intimidate unlike its feline counterpart, I'm going to disregard this section on both sets. Yes Landorus-I can run a bulkier set to survive certain moves better, however its already water down without Sheer Force, and that base 101 speed is an important benchmark most Landorus-I should achieve. Besides if Landorus-I is using Life Orb, most defensive calcs wouldn't matter much if Landorus-I weakness itself to get knocked out by a strong neutral hit.
Landorus-Incarnate @ Life Orb / Expert Belt
Ability: Sand Force
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly / Naive Nature
- Rock Slide / Stone Edge
- Iron Tail / Superpower / Hidden Power Ice / Earth Power
Since Landorus-Incarnate sports a high base 125 attack, why not have a physically based set alongside the specially mixed one (which I guarantee will skyrocket in usage after Cybertron used one to get 4th in Nationals). Both Earthquake and Rock Slide/Stone Edge receive the Sand Force boost, provided if Tyranitar can setup the sand, and hopefully switch out before taking a Sand Force boosted Earthquake. Likewise most Pokemon won't be taking an STAB Sand Force boosted Earthquake as it deals about 58% minimum to a standard Mega Kangaskhan. Rock Slide and Stone Edge round up the QuakeEdge combo as with the Sand Force boost either attack will deal significantly more damage to bulky Flying types like Mega Salamence, Zapdos, Thundurus, etc. For the last moveslot, Landorus-I has three viable option to chose from: Iron Tail, Superpower, and HP Ice. Iron Tail might sound like an odd choice, but the fact that it receives a Sand Force boost helps Landorus-I get past Fairy types like Sylveon, and the rising star Mega Gardevior... 75% of the time. Superpower is a great coverage move for Mega Kangaskhan, Hydreigon, and even opposing Tyranitars (hopefully they don't fire an Ice Punch/Beam). Hidden Power Ice is still a great move to round up Landorus-I main Ground/Rock attacks for perfect coverage. Note that HP Ice will likely be a reduced power since this Landorus-I set is largely physical and has no special attack EVs invested. Lastly, Earth Power can be used on the final slot to bypass Wide Guard users who think they can potentially wall this Landorus-I set.
Earthquake ( Life Orb 252 Atk )
- 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earthquake vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tyranitar in Sand: 195-229 (110.7 - 130.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earthquake vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Excadrill in Sand: 315-374 (169.3 - 201%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earthquake vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Mega Metagross in Sand: 151-179 (96.7 - 114.7%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO
- 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Aegislash-Shield in Sand: 151-179 (90.4 - 107.1%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO
- 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earthquake vs. 92 HP / 116 Def Sylveon in Sand: 126-149 (69.2 - 81.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage
- 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 124 Def Mega Gardevoir in Sand: 125-148 (71.4 - 84.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage
Stone Edge / Rock Slide ( Life Orb 252 Atk ) some with Sand Force boost
- 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Stone Edge vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Mega Salamence in Sand: 151-179 (88.3 - 104.6%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO
- 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Rock Slide vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Mega Salamence in Sand: 86-101 (50.2 - 59%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage
- 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Rock Slide vs. 252 HP / 144+ Def Zapdos in Sand: 94-112 (47.7 - 56.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage and Sitrus Berry recovery
- 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Rock Slide vs. 244 HP / 108 Def Thundurus in Sand: 122-146 (65.9 - 78.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage and Sitrus Berry recovery
- 252 Atk Life Orb Landorus Rock Slide vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Talonflame: 213-255 (138.3 - 165.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 252 Atk Life Orb Landorus Rock Slide vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Mega Charizard Y: 203-239 (109.7 - 129.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Iron Tail (252 Atk Life Orb)
- 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Iron Tail vs. 248 HP / 188 Def Sylveon in Sand: 205-244 (101.9 - 121.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 252 Atk Life Orb Landorus Iron Tail vs. 252 HP / 124 Def Mega Gardevoir: 174-205 (99.4 - 117.1%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO (and this is WITHOUT THE SAND FORCE!)
- 252 Atk Life Orb Sand Force Landorus Iron Tail vs. 244 HP / 164+ Def Clefable in Sand: 179-213 (89 - 105.9%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO
Superpower (252 Atk Life Orb)
- 252 Atk Life Orb Landorus Superpower vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Mega Kangaskhan: 174-205 (96.1 - 113.2%) -- 75% chance to OHKO
- 252 Atk Life Orb Landorus Superpower vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Hydreigon: 190-224 (113 - 133.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 252 Atk Life Orb Landorus Superpower vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tyranitar: 322-380 (182.9 - 215.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
- 252 Atk Life Orb Landorus Superpower vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Excadrill: 260-307 (139.7 - 165%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Defensive - Same as previous set
Potential Teammates include, but aren't limited to;
- Tyranitar: In all honestly, Tyranitar is Landorus-Incarnate's best partner considering its the one providing the Sand Force boost with its 5 turns of sandstorm. Landorus-I even forms a better synergistic core with Tyranitar defensively given that it resist Tyranitar's quadruple weakness to Fighting, resistant to Bug attacks, and immune to Earthquake, which both Tyranitar and Exadrill, another popular sand sweeper are weak against.
- Bulky Partners (with Water/Ice Resistence): Landorus-I has the misfortune of being heavily countered by most, if not all bulky Water type Pokemon in the format. Amoonguss and other redirection Pokemon can help Landorus-I take these Water moves though consistent Ice type attacks can witter the mushroon Pokemon useless. Aegislash is an amazing switch-in against most things in general, particularly Ice moves which destroy the genie, as well as powerful Normal, Flying, Fairy, and other types directed at Landorus-I. Electric types like Thundurus, Zapdos, and most Rotom forms can counter balance against Landorus-I main weakness to most water types with their STAB Electric attacks. In turn, Landorus-I can get rid of most Ground and Rock type Pokemon with its Sand Force boosted Earth Power.
- Powerful Spread Damage Dealers: Tyranitar, Mega Salamence, Sylveon, Mega Charizard Y, etc are all great spread attackers who can soften of the opponent's Pokemons for Landorus-I to sweep late game.
- Bulky/Defensive Pokemon and some Flying/Levitaters: In all seriousness, Landorus-I cannot touch/heavily damage certain Pokemon like Suicune, Cresselia, Gyarados (factoring Intimidate), Mega Venusaur (watch out for random Flying STAB) Milotic, Lati@S or even Rotom-W considering most are either immune to it main STABs, or don't take as much damage.
- Water type Pokemon and their Potential Ice Coverage: Water Pokemon like Suicune, Milotic, Rotom-W, Gyarados and nearly all other bulky water types can fire powerful Water STABS and even use some of their Ice attacks to finish off Landorus-I. Again most of these bulky Water Pokemon have the defense to take on Landorus-T's attacks even with the Sand Force. Rain is certainly not a matchup Landorus-I enjoys facing off as Politoed can take away the sand (and Sand Force) with rain, and fire strong rain boosted Water attacks or Ice moves. Again most rain based Pokemon like Mega Swampert, Ludicolo, Kingdra, etc can sponge Landorus-I's attacks and even retalitate with a Water or Ice attack.
- Opposing Speed Control: Landorus-I doens't enjoy being outspeed at all considering most don't run at some defensive investment like the Therian forms. Icy Wind, Tailwind, and most of all Trick Room all take away from Landorus-I's trollish base 101 speed and makes him a complete liability for the rest of the team. This is notable especially in a Trick Room matchup as Landorus-I can get easily knock out by slower Trick Room mons before it gets off an attack.
- Random Ice Moves: Given how common Ice is as a coverage attack, Landorus-I must be careful facing off against most Pokemon, particularly special attackers with who can potentially carry Hidden Power Ice. The fact that Landorus-I is quad weak to Ice should be reason enough why players shouldn't use Landorus-I so recklessly against potential Ice coverage/HP Ice users like Zapdos, Thundurus, Hydreigon, Tyranitar, Rotom-H, Heatran, Blaziken, Greninja, etc
- Powerful Attacks: While Landorus-I has a above average 89 HP / 90 Def / 80 SpD overall defense, it won't be taking hits from the likes of Mega Kangaskhan, Mega Salamence, Mega Gardevoir, Charizard Y, etc for too long. If Landorus-I is using Life Orb, repeated 10% recoil can often be enough for Landorus-I to get knocked by a strong neutral attack.
Other Notable Moves
Though Landorus-Incarnate like its Therian counterpart have other viable moveslots to consider so here a good list:
- Smack Down - This low base 50 Rock move has the added bonus of 'grounding' Flying, Levitate users, and deals double damage against targets who use Sky Drop, Fly, and Bounce (effectively canceling the move). The main appeal here is to use Smack Down on targets Landorus-I cannot harm such as Zapdos, Thundurus, and the Rotom forms with its powerful Earth Power. If any of these three (bar Cresselia) were to get hit by Smack Down, the opponent is force to switch out, otherwise they might lose their Pokemon to an Earth Power.
- Psychic - A powerful base 90 Psychic move (how convenient named) which can be used to hit Poison and Fighting types like Mega Venusaur, Amoonguss, Terrakion, etc hard. Would have been great if Landorus-I had Sheer Force since Psychic becomes more powerful with the 30% boost.
- Grass Knot - A Grass move dependent on the weight of the target. This move is a great coverage move to hit most Water, Rock and Ground types for super effective damage. The only thing you'd want to worry about is knowing the weights of certain Pokemon so I'd suggest anyone should research Pokemon weights on Bulbapedia or a different source.
- Hidden Power Flying - Can be used to hit unsuspecting Grass, Bug and Fighting types with a 90 power attack (after STAB).
- Knock Off - A powerful base 65 Dark move (or 97 since almost everyone runs an item). Useful to remove items from opposing Pokemon and great to hit Cresselia, Latios, and Latias for a good chunk of damage.
- Gravity - Can be a fun move to utilize if setup. Anyways Gravity grounds all Pokemon for 5 turns and drops the evasion of all Pokemon by two stages. Similarly to Smack Down, Gravity can allow Landorus-I to hit most Flying and Levitate users with its powerful Earth Power and boosts Stone Edge accuracy to moderate fine levels.
- Swagger - Raises the target's Attack by two stages and confuses them. Almost won US Nationals 2015
Other Notable Items
- Yache Berry - Cuts the power of Ice move by 50%.
- Focus Sash - If the holder's attack is full, they'll survive an attack that would KO by 1 HP.
- Earth Plate - The holder's Ground type moves have 1.2x power.
Thanks for reading this overview. I'm gonna try my best to make at least one write-up a week as of now, therefore I'm going to follow Eckley's format instead of me rambling on about a certain Pokemon on all the different ways to go about it. Expect me to "fix" most of my other Pokemon write-ups for current meta changes and for polish.