Tyranitar Meta Analysis: Godzilla on a Rampage

Pokemon GO Tyranitar
Pokemon GO Tyranitar
Pokemon GO TyranitarTyranitarRockDark

Kaijus, fictional giant monsters on the big screen, have always triggered the fascination of countless individuals from all around the world.

So much, that it has become a genre per se.

As such, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Pokémon has based off one of its most powerful monsters on not just any kaiju, but the king of monsters himself: Godzilla. 

And this Godzilla mon is not just your everyday Pokémon with a badass design…

It happens to be Johto’s pseudo legendary, the awe-inspiring Tyranitar!

Tyranitar has been a mainstay in the Pokémon GO gameplay over a long period of time courtesy of its frequent presence as a raid boss and its share of weaknesses which help low-level players take down Tyranitar in groups. 

In addition, Larvitar has featured on its own Community Day and also as a 7-day Research Breakthrough reward in the past.

In a nutshell, Tyranitar is a powerhouse which many trainers have in their party.

However, our Godzilla has since been facing some really tough competition in both its typings.

As a Rock type, Rampardos and Rhyperior have joined the ranks.

As a Dark type, Darkrai, Weavile, and Hydreigon come into the picture.

So just how viable is Tyranitar?

Can there be improvements for it in the near future?

And what kind of impact would Mega Tyranitar have?

Let’s address these typical queries because Tyranitar is honestly a beast and has always held a crucial position in the meta. As such, it deserves a spotlight on its current meta usage and implications, which would be covered comprehensively in this write-up.


Typing and Match-ups

Tyranitar has a Maximum CP of 3834 at Level 40.

It has a dual typing of Rock and Dark and as such, has its own share of weaknesses including Bug, Fairy, Grass, Ground, Steel, Water and a painful 4x weakness to Fighting.

Holy smoke. With those weaknesses, you’d expect Tyranitar to fall like a pack of cards with the slightest hint of super-effective damage.

But Tyranitar is a pseudo legendary after all… and a good one at that.

This monstrosity comes with amazingly well-balanced stats, all going above 200 (an honour that only Goodra would share in the future).

Not to mention, Tyranitar has impeccable STAB coverage against some of the best Pokémon out there where it can totally toy around with Psychic and Ghost types who don’t have Focus Blast in their arsenal. 

Its list of impressive resistances include Psychic, Dark, Fire, Flying, Ghost, Normal and Poison.

Stats

Tyranitar has the following stat distribution in Pokémon Go:

Pokemon GO TyranitarTyranitarRockDark
Max CP 3834
ATK 251 DEF 202 HP 225
Weak to Strong Against
Fighting Bug Fairy Grass Ground Steel Water Bug Fire Flying Ice Ghost Psychic

 

Does Tyranitar live up to the ‘King of the (Pocket) Monsters’ moniker?

Tyranitar has always made a formidable presence in any meta.

Its stats are its USP and seeing Tyranitar being used in raids against the likes of Mewtwo or Giratina (both forms) is a very common sight.

Yes, part of the reason being its extensive usage can be attributed to its presence in the game since Gen 2 but it simply cannot be denied that Tyranitar is an extremely reliable pocket monster.

Rocky Shenanigans

Tyranitar is probably more popular as a Rock type.

Indeed, Tyranitar was the recipient of the powerful Rock type fast move: Smack Down during its Community Day.

The inclusion of Smack Down into Tyranitar’s arsenal propelled it right to the elite ranks of Rock type DPS and TDO in Pokémon Go.

However, Sinnoh’s rockstars Rampardos and Rhyperior, and Unova’s Swords of Justice ace Terrakion, have since put out a rocky path for Tyranitar to hamper it from truly doing its best.

To make matters worse, Landorus (Therian) with its non-STAB combo of Rock Throw and Rock Slide will shell out more DPS than Tyranitar!

If a Pokémon’s non-STAB Rock type moveset is surpassing your exclusive moveset from a Community Day, it is honestly embarrassing.

Still, Tyranitar offers very good TDO which is overtaken only by Rhyperior. This aspect has maintained Tyranitar’s position as a premier Rock type attacker in raids.

Embracing the Darkness Within

This is where Tyranitar really gets interesting!

At the outset, Tyranitar is a really good Dark type. While Pokémon like Darkrai, Hydreigon, Weavile and even Zoroark would edge out Tyranitar in the DPS department, all of those except Hydreigon are pretty squishy. 

So once again, Tyranitar keeps its standing due to its amazing TDO.

Wasn’t there a similar scenario in the Rock type department as well?

Then why did I say Tyranitar as a Dark type “really gets interesting”?

Well, the answer lies in its moveset.

You see…

The combination of Smack Down and Stone Edge is excellent in itself and rivaled by Rock Slide. And while Tyranitar would undoubtedly skyrocket with Rock Slide, it would be in a crowd of Rock type attackers where each fills their niche and does damage similar or better to Tyranitar. Besides, Stone Edge is a very good move.

The reason its Dark typing is spicier is due to the fact that the combination of Bite and Crunch is the worst possible Dark type moveset.

Yes, you read that right.

If you do the permutations and combinations of all the Dark type fast and charge moves in the game, Bite + Crunch is objectively the worst duo you can get!

And guess what?

Tyranitar can learn Snarl, Dark Pulse and even Foul Play in the main series games.

Tyranitar is such a beast that it becomes a premier Dark type attacker with the worst moveset combination in this typing.

Imagine a moveset reshuffle where Tyranitar gets access to any of these moves via TM.

Or how about another Larvitar Community Day since Niantic is up for repeat Community Day events anyway!

The prospects for Tyranitar as a Dark type are truly exhilarating and I really hope our dark kaiju gets the treatment it rightfully deserves as a pseudo legendary.

Mega Tyranitar: Tyranitar on Nuke mode

Let us check out Mega Tyranitar’s stats:

Max CP 5347
ATK 309 DEF 276 HP 225
Weak to Strong Against
Fighting Bug Fairy Grass Ground Steel Water Bug Fire Flying Ice Ghost Psychic

 

Mega Tyranitar has jaw-dropping stats that fire in all departments to make a bulky machine of carnage.

Yes, DPS-wise Mega Aerodactyl and Mega Absol will edge out Mega Tyranitar due to their superior moveset but once again, Mega Tyranitar’s absolutely amazing TDO totally outweighs that of Mega Aerodactyl and Mega Absol alike.

Ultimately, Mega Tyranitar is going to round as one of the most powerful mega evolutions in Pokémon Go.

This thing will be feared all across the meta once it is unleashed. Mark my words!

Moveset Analysis

Tyranitar can learn the following moves in Pokémon Go:

Fast Moves Charged Moves
  • Bite Dark
  • Iron Tail Steel
  • Smack Down Rock
  • Crunch Dark
  • Stone Edge Rock
  • Fire Blast Fire

 

Bite and Crunch is the vintage Dark type moveset of Tyranitar that has been a staple since the release of Gen 2. Bite and Crunch takes off chunks of HP from Psychic and Ghost type Pokémon

Tyranitar received Smack Down as its Community Day exclusive fast move and this makes it one of the best Rock types in the game.

Iron Tail and Fire Blast are straight out underwhelming in every aspect. Just avoid these moves.


Performance in PvP 

Master League

With Tyranitar’s impeccable stats, Master League is where it resides.

As mentioned earlier, Rock and Dark make for some amazing STAB coverage and Tyranitar can thus trouble the likes of Dragonite, Metagross, Mewtwo, Giratina and Togekiss.

However, it is crucial that Tyranitar should be kept away from Fighting type moves. Even non-STAB Counter and Superpower does a number and can knock it out cold.

So while Tyranitar is not exactly the most bankable PvP Pokémon, it does provide some valuable coverage against some really meta Master League Pokémon.

Team Go Rocket Battles

In the right super-effective match-ups, Tyranitar is a bane to the existence of all shadow Pokémon that are weak to this monster.


Performance in PvE

Raids

Tyranitar is an exceptional Pokémon for raid battles.

The Psychic type raid booses are a rather common sight. Not to mention, we have future legendary raid bosses who are going to be weak to either Rock or Dark types.

Tyranitar is going to be busy taking out legendary Pokémon very frequently.

Gyms

We have all taken out countless gyms using the Bite + Stone Edge combo. With Smack Down, it gets even neater. 


Conclusion

Tyranitar is a true Jack of all trades and master of none.

An exemplary pseudo legendary that has maintained its stature despite having several weaknesses, being outclassed by Pokémon here and there (Yveltal says “hi”) and having access to a pretty inferior Dark type moveset.

Luckily, Tyranitar gains access to a fearsome mega evolution that will be totally worth it.

With one of the most amazingly balanced stats in the meta, this cartography abusing Pokémon will always impress, no matter what.

It may not exactly be the “king of the (pocket) monsters”, but just like Godzilla, this powerful Pokémon will always occupy a prominent place in the meta.

Tyranitar is amazing and strong.

Enjoy it ‘dark’, neat or on the ‘rocks’.

The choice is yours!

My name is Niladri Sarkar. A lvl 40 Team Valor Trainer, I'm a Pokémon Battle Mechanics Specialist on Smogon's Pokémon Showdown, where I particularly excel with Dragon types, Sandstorm and Rain teams. I love to apply my knowledge and experience of the competitive scene to the ever changing meta of Pokémon Go. I also enjoy sarcasm and being a chef.