Terrakion, The Cavern Pokémon. Its charge is strong enough to break through a giant castle wall in one blow. This Pokémon is spoken of in legends. Spoken of in legend, this Pokémon used its phenomenal power to destroy a castle in its effort to protect Pokémon.
Behold the sword of justice! Throughout the 5th generation, Terrakion was widely considered one of the best new Pokemon. With a unique Rock/Fighting typing which was incredibly potent offensively, great speed and attack stats, and plenty of sets it could run, it was a defining force in Generation 5. Naturally, one might’ve expected it to stay a dominant force in the 6th Generation as well, as all of its strengths from the previous generation have not changed in the new generation. Sadly though, this was not the case. Terrakion itself didn’t change much in the new generation, but everything around it sure did. A new fairy type came and gave it a new weakness, while the advent of Mega Evolutions brought about a speed, power, and bulk creep that gave Terrakion more competition. Even worse was the advent of Aegislash and Doublade, whose night perfect typing laughed at Terrakion’s fearsome STAB combination. That said, don’t let this make you think Terrakion has become a bad Pokemon. Its STAB combination is still incredibly solid, and it can run numerous sets ranging from a lead set, to boostings sets, to Choice sets as well. Terrakion may have a few more barriers to overcome, but it’s still a solid addition to any team. All for one, and one for all!
Justified: Attack is raised by one stage when the Pokémon is hit by a Dark-type move. - Well, considering this is Terrakion’s one and only ability, I suppose it goes without saying that you’ll be using it. That said, it’s decent enough in Singles. While Terrakion may not like being stripped of its item, getting hit by the omnipresent Knock Off does net you a free attack boost, which is better than nothing. Of course, in Doubles, this is another story altogether, as Justified is what allows Beat Up to be used by a partner Pokemon against Terrakion, allowing it to reach +6 attack in one turn since each hit of Beat Up activates Justified. Scary stuff.
Despite declining usage, Terrakion still sees some usage most commonly as a lead. And fortunately for Terrakion, it has everything it needs to succeed as a lead. In basically every set, Terrakion will run Close Combat and Stone Edge. They’re its strongest STAB attacks, and their inclusion should be self explanatory. As for the actual leading itself though, Stealth Rock is fairly easy to set up due to Terrakion’s ability to force switches, and by now everyone knows just how potent Stealth Rock is as an entry hazard. On the flip side of things, Terrakion can utilize a fairly speedy Taunt to shut down opposing leads who might think they’re going to set up hazards as well. Overall, it’s a fairly self sufficient lead who can stop other leads as well.
A Jolly Nature and 252 Speed EVs maximize Terrakion’s speed, ensuring that it can outspeed as many Pokemon as possible. Another 252 EVs are put into attack to ensure that its attacks are actually threatening. The remaining 4 EVs are dumped into special defense.
Justice, thy name is Terrakion!
Next up, we have a Terrakion who puts its solid speed tier to even better use by equipping a Choice Scarf. With a Choice Scarf equipped, Terrakion becomes able to check certain threats that it wouldn't otherwise be able to, such as Mega Lopunny, and Mega Charizard X at +1. As with basically any Terrakion set, Close Combat and Stone Edge are your strongest STAB attacks which have fantastic coverage. On your Scarf set, you'll be using these two STAB attacks most of the time, which pretty much frees up your last two slot to cover whatever specific threat you want. Earthquake can prevent Ghost/Steel types like Aegislash or Doublade from completely walling you, X-Scissor can hit Psychic types such as Slowbro a little harder than Stone Edge, and Iron Head does likewise against Fairies, most notably Mega Diancie. In general though Stone Edge's damage is only marginally weaker to either X-Scissor or Iron Head on anything with just a 2x weakness, so be aware.
Once again, a Jolly nature and max speed EVs maximize Terrakion's speed investment, which on a Scarf set should be kind of a no-brainer. The rest is dumped into attack so that things get knocked out, while the leftover 4 EVs once again go into special defense.
And finally, we have a Terrakion whose sole job is to hit as hard as possible. By now, you’re probably used to seeing Close Combat and Stone Edge, but honestly, they’re just that good as far as STAB attacks go; high power, and great coverage. But this set ramps their power up to new levels by employing Swords Dance to turn Terrakion’s already impressive attack stat even more frightening, which allows it to bust down walls with ease and threaten Stall immensely. And as with previous sets, thanks to the great coverage that Rock + Fighting affords, Terrakion has a bit of freedom in its final moveslot. It can opt for Rock Polish to be reminiscent of the “Double Dance” sets of old, which allows it to boost whichever stat it needs to based on the situation; while SD packs a lot of power, Rock Polish can allow Terrakion to sweep through a weakened team late game, especially against offensive teams. It’s very rare for Terrakion to be able to set up both, however, so don’t get too greedy in trying to do so. Substitute is another option, as it can allow Terrakion respite against certain checks that may try to utilize Thunder Wave or Will-o-Wisp to check Terrakion, in addition to providing a “safety net” so to speak against revenge killing. Finally, there’s Quick Attack. It’s weak, and its coverage isn’t especially good, but it does offer Terrakion some priority that can allow it to pick off a weakened target that may be faster than it.
As you might’ve guessed by now, the nature and EVs once again emphasize maximizing speed so Terrakion can take full advantage of that base 108 speed tier. 252 attack EVs and a Life Orb ensure that Terrakion hits as hard as possible, while once again the 4 leftovers EVs are put into special defense.
-Hidden Power Ice may seem like an odd choice on a Pokemon with base 72 special attack, but it does have some merit. Terrakion can run it on a Life Orb set, usually with a Naive nature instead of Jolly, to allow it to check two otherwise solid counters; Landorus-T and Gliscor.
Double & Triple Battle Options
Terrakion is as straightforward as they come. It's stats suggest fast and powerful physical attacker, and it has just the attacks to capitalize on its excellent offensive Rock/Fighting typing in Rock Slide and Close Combat. As predictable as it is, it's still dangerously effective.
Again, Terrakion is very straightforward, generally one is looking to OHKO or severely dent whoever take's Terrakion's hit. Couldn't have asked for better moves to have STAB on in Close Combat and Rock Slide. Even if Rock Slide deals minimal damage, the flinch chance makes it all the better. Protect's usefulness is twofold, the first is preserving Terrakion, and the second is playing mind games with the opponent, especially if Substitute is the last move. Taunt can disrupt Amoonguss and Smeargle and perhaps stop a Trick Room from going up. Quick Guard will stop Thundurus's Prankster shenenigans from succeeding and also block Talonflame's Brave Bird, or a Bisharp Sucker Punch, though it is pretty situational. Substitute blocks status moves and is a really great move to use if you've a free turn.
Terrakion's stronger partners will want to pressure one or more opposing Water and Grass Types, Aegislash, and Landorus-Therian. Bisharp fills some of these roles, and Hydreigon too. But both suggestions are weak to fighting, so a Fighting resistant Pokemon would be used to round out the core. Of course, we'd also b remiss if we ignored the slightly gimmicky but highly usable Beat Up users. Take Whimsicott, which can set up a Tailwind then use Beat Up to boost Terrakion's Attack four stages, making it a true force to be reckoned with.
Terrakion falls short of no fault of its own. It's so popular that every team generally has an answer for it through Intimidate, Fairy types, Pokemon EVed just to outspeed Terrakion. It can be difficult to make the most of Terrakion when it's such a struggle to get more than one attack off before being threatened again. Despite this though, Terrakion is still a wildly popular Pokemon for all of the things it threatens by being present.
Terrakion may be a fearsome beast, but it’s got a few things that can stop it in its tracks. Ironically, this sword of justice fears literal swords; Aegislash, despite being banned in some formats, can completely wall a Terrakion lacking Earthquake, and 1HKO with Flash Cannon or Iron Head. Its pre-evolution, Doublade, is largely in the same boat. With Eviolite, Doublade doesn’t even fear Earthquake, as it typically only 3HKOs at best, while Doublade can soundly 1HKO Terrakion with Gyro Ball. Slowbro and Mega Slowbro can stop any unboosted Terrakion cold, and threaten it out with Scald, which can 2HKO and/or burn Terrakion. Both have to be wary of a boosted Terrakion, however, as a +2 Stone Edge can 2HKO both of them (accuracy permitting). Physically Defensive Hippowdon is largely in the same boat; it is 4HKO’ed by Scarf or Lead Terrakion, and 3HKO’ed by Life Orb Terrakion’s Close Combat, but a +2 Close Combat can 2HKO it. However, thanks to Close Combat’s defense drop, Hippowdon’s Earthquake will always 1HKO. Defensive Landorus-T can stop any set lacking Hidden Power Ice (which is most of them), as Intimidate allows it to cut Terrakion’s attack, and even an uninvested Earthquake will always 1HKO Terrakion thanks to Landorus-T’s monstrous attack stat. Gliscor is in the same boat; it’s bulky enough to only be 3HKO’ed by Life Orb Stone Edge, and can roost off damage while 2HKOing with Earthquake, but HP Ice can soundly 2HKO it… and it does have to watch out for a +2 Life Orb Stone Edge, which can take a huge chunk of HP out of it, but it tends to win 1v1 against any set lacking HP Ice. Physically bulky Celebi is only 3HKO’ed by Life Orb sets’ Stone Edge, while 2HKOing with Giga Drain which simultaneously keeps it healthy, but it has to watch out for the rare X-Scissor. Physically defensive Mew can take similar punishment, and can threaten with either Psychic or Will-o-Wisp, depending on the set, and can utilize Roost to heal off damage. Mega Sableye can abuse priority Will-o-Wisp prior to Mega Evolving to burn Terrakion, and its Magic Bounce completely shuts down lead sets. Physically defensive Clefable also gets a mention, as it can ignore Terrakion's boosts, and 2HKO it with Moonblast. However, it does have to watch out for Life Orb Stone Edge, which can on occasion 2HKO Clefable, although more often it 3HKO's. Fortunately though, Clefable does have Softboiled to heal off damage as well. Defensive Mega Venusaur is only 3HKO'ed by Life Orb Stone Edge, and shuts down Scarf and Lead sets by 2HKOing with Giga Drain and healing back any damage, but +2 Stone Edge can 2HKO, so it becomes a check if Terrakion has already boosted.
When it comes to checking Terrakion, you have a few more options available to you. The most obvious of which that comes to just about everyone’s mind would be the infamous Scizor, who was employed to check Terrakion left and right back in Gen 5, and this has not changed much in Gen 6. Choice Band Scizor still decisively 1HKOs Terrakion with Bullet Punch. Mega Scizor is only 2HKOing with Bullet Punch if it doesn’t have a Swords Dance boost but still deal respectable amounts of damage, and can take Terrakion’s attacks much better. Of course, if Close Combat’s defense drop is in play, Mega Scizor has no trouble 1HKOing Terrakion. Mega Lopunny can check all but the Scarf variants, as it can Fake Out to Mega Evolve and break Sashes, and then proceed to soundly 1HKO Terrakion with High Jump Kick. Garchomp can survive any unboosted attack and 1HKO with Earthquake, but has to watch out for being 2HKO’ed by Close Combat or HP Ice. However, Scarf Garchomp can revenge kill unscarfed Terrakion pretty easily. Mega Metagross can soundly 1HKO Terrakion and outspeeds non-scarfed variants, but it can be 2HKO’ed by Scarf Terrakion, especially if it hasn’t Mega Evolved prior to switching in. Serperior outspeeds non-scarfed variants and 1HKOs with Leaf Storm (thus getting a free +2 SpA in the process), but it can be 2HKO’ed by any set, most notably the Scarf set. Latios and Latias both outspeed and utterly destroy with either Psyshock or Draco Meteor, but have to watch out as a Life Orb Stone Edge can deal a lot of damage, enough to reliably 1HKO Latios after Stone Edge. Weavile outspeeds non-scarfed Terrakion and 1HKOs it with Life Orb Low Kick, but good luck if you think Weavile can switch in. Mega Sceptile can soundly 1HKO with Giga Drain, and outspeeds Terrakion even prior to Mega Evolving, but it has to watch out for Close Combat, and Scarf sets can threaten it. Alakazam outspeeds Terrakion and 1HKOs it with Psychic, and its Sash set can revenge kill even a Scarfed Terrakion in a pinch. Mega Diancie outspeeds and 1HKOs Terrakion, but it has trouble switching in due to its base form’s low speed, forcing it to either run Protect or already be Mega Evolved. The rare Iron Head on Scarf sets can wipe it out in a flash as well, so Mega Diancie has to be wary of that. Defensive Rotom-W can be 2HKO’ed by both Close Combat and Stone Edge on Life Orb sets (while Close Combat can still 2HKO on non-LO sets with Stealth Rock Up), but it can 1HKO with Hydro Pump, meaning it can check Terrakion in a pinch. Will-o-Wisp is also an answer that Rotom-W can utilize, but it has to watch out for Substitute. Starmie can 1HKO with Hydro Pump, Scald, or Psyshock, and soundly outspeeds, but it has to watch for being 2HKO’ed by Stone Edge, especially from Scarf sets. Also worth noting is that Starmie has no trouble spinning away lead Terrakion’s hazards, as well. Azumarill can stomach anything other than a +2 Stone Edge and 1HKO with Play Rough, but Stone Edge can 2HKO so it can’t switch in. Although most non-Scizor priority falls short of 1HKOing from full health, things like Azumarill’s Aqua Jet, Breloom’s Mach Punch, and Conkeldurr’s Mach Punch can all deal over 50% to Terrakion, allowing them to revenge kill a weakened Terrakion in a pinch, with things like Technician Mach Punch and Choice Band Aqua Jet doing substantial amounts of damage to Terrakion. Status remains an excellent way to deal with Terrakion as long as it’s not behind a Substitute. Things like Thundurus, Sableye, and Whimsicott can utilize Prankster to act as a “panic button” of sorts to check Terrakion, although this should usually be a last resort, especially with Thundurus, as none of these want to be eating Stone Edge. Regardless though, slapping it with a burn or paralysis greatly cripples its potential. Fortunately, Terrakion is kept in check by its poor defensive typing; pretty much any decently powerful STAB attack that hits on one of its many weaknesses can 1HKO or 2HKO it, and as long as it’s not at +2, most moderately bulky Pokemon can survive a STAB to do so. Life Orb sets are also prone to being worn down due to the recoil, which helps put it in prime revenge killing range.
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