Torterra, The Continent Pokémon. Small Pokémon sometimes gather on its back to begin building their nests. Moving FOrests are actually Torterra migrating in search of water
Torterra is one of the many new additions from Diamond and Pearl and a rather interesting Pokémon. It has a unique type combination, Ground and Grass, which has several benefits and setbacks.
One of the most prominent advantages of this type combination is a resistance to both Ground and Rock attacks, which combined with its high HP and Defence stat makes it a fairly viable physical wall. It also gains an immunity to Electric Attacks, although this advantage is somewhat lessened by the likelihood of Electric types carrying Hidden Power [Ice] (to deal with the likes of Salamence and Garchomp).
The disadvantage of this type combination is the somewhat wide cross-section of weaknesses: Fire, Flying, Bug and most notably: Ice. The Ice weakness is the really big one, since every team is quite likely to be carrying several ice attacks (to deal with the aforementioned Salamences and Garchomps), and the fact that it's a 4x weakness brings it into the area where it risks being OHKOed by such attacks. The Flying and Bug weaknesses are none to helpful either, the fact that both of its STAB attacks are resisted by those two types makes it a likelihood that they will switch in and easily set themselves into a position where they can take advantage of Torterra's weaknesses. The Fire weakness is somewhat mitigated by the fact that it can Earthquake Fire types as they switch in, as well as the fact that Fire moves aren't particularly popular on the 'top' sweepers, but nonetheless it's an annoying weakness to have, especially with many people placing fire moves on their physical attackers to deal with Skarmory and Bronzong.
As far as Torterra's move-pool and stats are concerned they gel fairly well. Although its physical move pool is nothing to write home about it's certainly large enough to work for most of its sets and comes with two solid STAB moves to use, and combined with its good Attack stat it can use them fairly proficiently. Added with its offensive move pool is a fairly wide array of support moves, including: Leech Seed, Stealth Rock, Synthesis, Reflect, Light Screen and several others.
Although it isn't the kind of Pokémon that is likely to be come a staple of teams it's still fairly good, and with good stats, a decent move pool and a unique typing Torterra will probably carve a nice niche for itself in the fourth generation's competitive battling scene.
Overgrow: is all Torterra has. Overgrow only activates when Torterra's HP is low however, and since Torterra is a fairly slow Pokémon it's unfortunately unlikely for it to be able to take advantage of the boost. However, when the boost can be taken advantage of it's a fairly nice trait.
Physical Wall and Stealth Rock Support
This set plays to Torterra's strengths, good HP and Defence makes Stealth Rock easy to lay down and once they have been laid out Torterra can play a defensive role for its team. The moves themselves should be pretty obvious but there's two areas where there's legitimate reason to consider variety.
Wood Hammer gets STAB and as an added bonus, it hits most of the popular Rapid Spinners for super-effective damage (Starmie, Donphan and Claydol). Stone Edge on the other hand has a lot of synergy with Earthquake, Grass and Earthquake combined are resisted by many Pokémon (Grass, Bug, Flying types as well as others) however Ground and Rock combine very well.
In normal circumstances Synthesis would be the superior recovery choice for Torterra, however in competitive battling, between the addition of Hippowdon and Abomasnow as well as an improved Tyranitar, the likelihood of clear skies is low. As a result Synthesis will have its effectiveness severely reduced. Leech Seed on the other hand won't recover damage as quickly as Synthesis but overtime will show its effectiveness, the added bonus of HP draining is also likely to force several switches as well, racking up some extra Stealth Rock damage.
EVs and Nature:
Since Torterra is a defensive Pokémon you'll want a lot of focus on HP and Defence. Max HP is good but at the very least you'll want 384 HP (for maximum Leftovers recovery). 300 Defence is a good stat to shoot for and the rest of the EVs can be thrown into Attack.
With a fairly decent offensive move pool and a good Attack stat, Torterra can pull off Choice Band fairly effectively. Most of its moves are pretty self-explanatory, the only new move added is: Superpower, which is Torterra's best shot at taking on Skarmory and Bronzong who would otherwise wall Torterra's efforts.
EVs and Nature:
The EVs can be changed up a bit, with Max HP Torterra can play more defensively but Torterra could also use Max Speed effectively. With Max Speed it outruns a fair few Pokémon, in exchange for a slight drop in its defensive capabilities.
Torterra can use Choice Scarf fairly effectively. Although it doesn't have a huge attack stat it's still enough to cause problems. With its absolute Max Speed and Scarf it outruns many Pokémon, including the likes of: Salamence, Garchomp, Infernape and Porygon-Z, and since a lot of people will be expecting a slow Torterra the element of surprise can work out very favourably for it.
EVs and Nature:
It's all pretty self-explanatory. Jolly Nature is the thing that guarantees to set it above the likes of Garchomp and Infernape (and will let it outrun several faster Pokémon if they aren't running a +Speed Nature) so Jolly is well worth the investment.
A Sub-Seed staller. Put a Leech Seed on the opponent and then put out Substitutes until they either switch or are KOed. With Some Spikes and/or Stealth Rocks support a lot of passive damage can be racked up and the set in general is annoying to get around.
Since Torterra lacks the Speed to pull this off as proficiently as the likes of Sceptile and Jumpluff, Rock Polish could be given a run to boost its Speed. Alternatively Stealth Rock could be used so that Torterra doesn't need to rely on another Pokémon to set it up for passive damage. Alternatively Torterra could simply run an additional attack or an additional recovery move.
EVs and Nature:
Setting up EVs for this kind of set is pretty difficult. Speed is a preference since a large part of Sub-Seed's effectiveness comes from throwing up a Substitute prior to your opponent's attack, however Torterra has a terrible Speed stat to begin with so with a lot of opponents it won't be able to set-up prior to their attacks (of course with Max Speed it will be able to set-up prior to some opponents, especially the slower tank-like Pokémon). HP isn't necessary since smaller Substitutes are easier to replenish than larger Substitutes. If you opt against Speed then its better to throw the EVs into either Special Defence or Attack.
Rock Polish Sweeper
A sweeper set-up for Torterra. It isn't one of the best Pokémon to take advantage of Rock Polish but it can still try. With enough Speed EVs it can outrun most Pokémon that are threats and with Max Attack it reaches a respectable 348 stat.
EVs and Nature:
202 Speed is the bare minimum speed required, just enough to outrun Adamant Scarf-Cross as well as Aerodactyls and Crobats. The rest of the EVs can be dedicated to maxing Attack with whatever is leftover thrown into HP.
Swords Dance Sweeper
A Swords Dance sweeper set-up for Torterra. It's necessary for its team-mates to give Torterra adequate paralysis support against the faster opponents, but with that support this set stands a fair chance at sweeping. Once again, it isn't the most effective user of a set like this but it's workable.
EVs and Nature:
Max Speed with a Jolly Nature is a big helper, it gives Torterra the necessary boost that allows it to outrun the likes of: Suicune, Milotic, Skarmory and others.
Big Root, Seed Bomb, Crunch, Leaf Storm, Worry Seed, Amnesia, Curse, Roar, Tickle, Light Screen, Reflect, Light Clay, Sunny Day.
The impression I've gotten is that Big Root increases the HP drained from Leech Seed, if that is accurate then it's an option on any set that uses Leech Seed.
Seed Bomb is an option over Wood Hammer on all of the sets. Its power is significantly lower but it comes with the added bonus of not causing recoil.
Crunch is an additional physical attack that Torterra learns, unfortunately it doesn't hit a particularly wide array of Pokémon. Earthquake only does slightly less damage than Crunch to most Psychic and Ghost types whilst Wood Hammer will frequently out damage it against Psychics and Ghosts. There are a handful of Pokémon who are hit hard by Crunch whilst resisting both Earthquake and Wood Hammer but they are too few and insignificant to be worth giving Crunch a move slot.
Leaf Storm is the only Special Attack worth using on Torterra, but even then its worth is questionable. On the Pokémon Leaf Storm would work nicely against, Wood Hammer (or Seed Bomb) would usually suffice.
Worry Seed replaces the opponent's Trait with Insomnia, it's rather handy albeit situational. It prevents tanks from using Rest but also serves nicely for removing your opponents Trait. Making Heracross lose Guts, Medicham lose Pure Power, Gengar lose Levitate, and so on is quite helpful, but once again: situational.
Amnesia is a possible stat-boosting move that Torterra could use, but it won't protect it from Ice attacks or critical hits.
Curse boosts both Torterra's Attack and Defence, both of which are pretty good. It has some potential for use but Torterra is unlikely to find time to stat boost with such common weaknesses.
Roar and Tickle can force switches, one will always force a switch whilst the other leaves the opponent at risk of taking a much stronger physical attack. Stacked with Spikes and/or Stealth Rocks it's some nice additional damage.
Light Screen and Reflect are short-term defensive buffers that can give some helpful added support to a team. They would best fit on a set similar to the first set, maybe over Stealth Rock or one of the attacks. If you were to use either of the two moves then Light Clay would be an option for extending the duration of Screen/Reflect by three additional turns. If you have Synthesis (or Leech Seed) the loss of Leftovers recovery can be mitigated somewhat.
Sunny Day is an option but somewhat of a weak option. The main purpose it serves is to clear the skies of Sandstorm (or Hail or Rain), boosting Synthesis's healing power in the process. If you have team-mates who can take advantage of Sunny Day then it might seem a bit more of a viable option but on its own immediate merits it isn't a particularly strong looking choice.
Whilst Torterra has good Attack and a decent offensive move pool it isn't exactly a huge threat. Its two STAB attacks can be resisted by a lot of Pokémon, almost all: Flying, Bug and Grass types can resist both. Added to this list are several others, such as Weezing and Bronzong who benefit from Levitate. Since some Torterras are likely to carry Stone Edge some scouting would likely be in order for any Flying or Bug types but aside from that possible issue there isn't much for them to worry about against Torterra. The main problem Torterra is going to cause for its opposition is Stealth Rock and possibly Leech Seed. Aside from that it's quite likely Torterra will sit back as a defensive wall.
For the most part, Ice Attacks will be at the very least a 2KO, and more than likely an OHKO if they have a STAB boost behind them. Fire, Flying and Bug Attacks are also going to be troublesome for Torterra to deal with, although they are unlikely to get an OHKO unless have some seriously strong offences backing them up. Torterra's Special Defence is weaker than its Physical Defence so obviously the preferred method of attacking would be to target it with Special Attacks.
Toxic works nicely against Torterra since it's a defensive wall, any attempts at stalling will result in it having its HP slowly picked away. Will-o-Wisp also works nicely, halving Torterra's Attack as well as picking off some HP. Taunt can stop Torterra from putting up Stealth Rock but most of the good Spinners have problems against Wood Hammer (with the main exception being Forretress), so chances are you will have to put up with it laying out a set of Stealth Rocks against your team and deal with it at a later time.
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