Therian Forme Tornadus with Bleakwind Storm: A PvP Analysis

Howdy folks! Just getting right to it… today is the first of what will be three brief articles looking at The Forces Of Nature trio in their Therian forms and with their signature moves, being added one by one throughout January. And first up we have TORNADUS! This will be a brief analysis, but we’ll still begin with our customary Bottom Line Up Front:


  • Tornadus is mostly an afterthought in PvP, even among its fellow Forces Of Nature, simply lacking the pressure the others can bring, with pretty expensive charge moves and only average energy generation from its fast moves.
  • Its new signature move gives Tornadus by far its cheapest charge move yet, but is it enough to turn things around? (Spoiler alert: not really, no.)

TORNADUS (Therian) Stats and Moves

Tornadus (Therian) Flying

Ultra League Stats

Attack Defense HP
174 (173 High Stat Product) 145 (144 High Stat Product) 142 (144 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs {Best Friend Trade}: 5-13-14, 2496 CP, Level 28.5)

Master League Stats

Attack Defense HP
213 171 170

(Assuming 15-15-15 IVs; 3635 CP at Level 50)

Believe it or not, Tornadus is the bulkiest of the Forces of Nature (in GO, at least), with a bit more HP than Therian Landorus or Thundurus, and about 20 more Defense. (At least in Ultra League, where level/CP caps are still in place). Now granted, that still puts it in stat product/bulk territory with things like Granbull, Machamp, Pangoro, and Victreebel, which is… not great. But workable if the moves are right.

More interestingly, it’s currently the only mono-Flying type in GO, leaving it with more resistances (Grass, Bug, Fighting, and 2x Ground) than vulnerabilities (Electric, Ice, and Rock).

So between the typing and stats, so far it’s all good news, right? Well, now comes the other side of the coin….

Fast Moves

  • GustFlying type, 4.0 DPT, 3.0 EPT, 2.0 CoolDown
  • AstonishGhost type, 3.0 DPT, 3.33 EPT, 1.5 CD

So first off, let’s compare this to the Therian forms of Thundurus and Landorus. The former comes packing Volt Switch, which is basically the inverse of Tornadus’ Gust: Switch deals average damage but generates 33% more energy than the average, while Gust deals 33% more damage above the mean but generates only average energy. Then there’s going to the extreme with Landorus, which runs off of Mud Shot and its crazy 4.5 EPT, but only 1.5 DPT. Point being: both have much higher energy gains than Tornadus, which drives their greater usage and success (especially Landorus).

Couple that with the charge moves and… well, let’s review them before we get ahead of ourselves.

– Exclusive Move

Charge Moves

  • Bleakwind StormFlying type, 60 damage, 45 energy, Reduces Opponent Attack -1 Stage
  • PsychicPsychic type, 75 damage, 55 energy, 10% Chance to Reduce Opponent Defense -1 Stage
  • HurricaneFlying type, 110 damage, 65 energy
  • Heat WaveFire type, 95 damage, 75 energy
  • Focus BlastFighting type, 150 damage, 75 energy

Until now, Tornadus’ cheapest move has been the 55-energy Psychic (the move), which of course was slashed to near-uselessness this season as a panicked method to try and get Medicham under 80% usage on the Play!Pokemon circuit. (Medi’s usage IS finally down, though due far more to other meta changes than the nerf to Psychic.) Everything else costs 65 or 75 energy. To put that into perspective, each Gust generates 12 energy and takes four PvP turns (or two real-life seconds of time) to finish. That means that five Gusts generates 60 energy, which is enough to fire off Psychic but nothing else. It takes another 2 seconds just to way overcharge for the 65 energy needed for Hurricane, and then ANOTHER wasteful Gust on top of that to reach Focus Blast (we don’t talk about Heat Wave… or Bruno, for that matter), overcharging that by 9 energy (84 total, to be precise). And the worst part is that it still takes five more Gusts to reach even another comparatively cheap Hurricane afterwards, whether your first move was Hurricane or Blast. Tons of wasted energy and turns, during which the opponent has ample time to pick your somewhat squishy Tornadus apart. Starting to understand why you’ve probably never seen one in PvP?

Well, at least Bleakwind Storm seems like potential salvation. 10 energy cheaper than even Psychic (the move), has STAB, and somewhat masks the lack of bulk by reducing the opponent’s Attack strength. It is a literal Icy Wind clone for Flying (just as the signature moves of the other Forces Of Nature are too… but that’s for another day). And you can reach the first one after “only” four Gusts, and with only 3 energy left over. And you can keep stringing them together, with the next Storm after that also costing only 4 Gusts of energy, and the next after that. Also interesting: the 3 leftover energy adds to six Gusts to then reach exactly 75 energy for a Focus Blast. Yes, we’re talking a full ten Gusts to do that, and a full 20 seconds (which can be an eternity in PvP), but it costs eleven turns for back to back Hurricanes, and twelve turns for a Hurricane followed up by a Blast. Even with Psychic (the move!), the fastest you could reach back to back is 10 Gusts, as five gets you to 60 energy for the first Psychic, then the leftover 5 energy plus four more Gusts hits only 53 energy, 2 short of the second Psychic (the move), requiring another to — again — rather drastically overcharge.

ALL that to say what you can probably tell just by looking at the costs: Bleakwind Storm gives Tornadus more options, with more speed, than it has ever had before. On paper, it’s just what the doctor ordered. But how does that translate to actual success?

Petition · Stop Letting BSP Use Tornadus-Therian ·


No sense looking at Great League, as only a research-level Therian Tornadus would ever fit under 1500 CP, and Niantic has gotten quite stingy with research-level Legendaries over the years. (cough) So on to Ultra.

And I have good news! Bleakwind Storm more than doubles Tornadus’ winrate! But the bad news is that… well… it’s still atrocious. Somehow this poor bloke managed only 5 wins against the meta until now, all of them things that take super effective from Flying and deal at least some resisted damage back: Toxicroak, Golisopod, and a trio of Grasses (Venusaur, Virizion, and Trevenant). Poor guy couldn’t even overcome things like Poliwrath, and just barely beats Kommo-O, and basically nothing that doesn’t just crumble to Flying damage. Even its entire winlist against Ultra League Premier is entirely Flying-weak Fighters, Grasses, and Bugs. It doesn’t win ANY neutral matchups, and of course has a number of Flying-resistant Steel, Electric, and/or Rock types that shred it in Ultra.

Bleakwind helps a little bit by adding on Poliwrath (phew!) and some neutral matchups, including Swampert, Cresselia, Obstagoon, Greedent, Gliscor, and either Shadow Claw Altered Giratina with Hurricane, or Umbreon instead with Focus Blast. But still, with a win percentage that doesn’t even break 30%, things continue to look rather… well, bleak.

Maybe Master League will better allow it to stretch its wings?


Old best versus new best is again NO comparison at all. Previously, Tornadus could only beat Zarude, Swampert, and sometimes Garchomp (and only if running Mud Shot), who all have distinct disadvantages versus Flyers. Bleakwind can add on Landorus (Therian… and only until Lando gets its own signature move), Groudon, Gyarados, Rayquaza, Zacian (even potentially with Wild Charge, which is nice), Sylveon, Togekiss, Xerneas (if you run double Flying with Bleakwind and Hurricane), and Snorlax… and of course, many of those are fringe in Master League at best. Still nowhere NEAR the success of Landorus, for example… or heck, even Thundurus who is also only rarely (if ever) used.

Before I wrap this up, I do want to briefly mention Astonish, as I know folks will ask. Yes, it’s a decent enough fast move now, and does have slightly better energy generation than Gust, as well as potential coverage. But no, that doesn’t translate to real success either, in Master League or in Ultra League. I suppose in the latter case it’s a sidegrade option, but again… why?

Yeah, no sense sugar coating it: this is just intrigue with no actual substance in PvP. The good news is the other Storms will be better, as will their recipients, so do tune in for those analyses. But Niantic is very much starting these off with the worst of the bunch, even after the addition of the very appropriately-named Bleakwind Storm. (Sorry, I know I used that bad pun twice, but it’s just SO obvious.)

Alright, that’s all I got for today. Thanks for reading! Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with regular Pokémon GO analysis nuggets, or Patreon, if you’re feeling extra generous.

Happy raiding for those going out! As for me, I am very ironically in the midst of a pretty big windstorm here over the next day or two (50 mph gusts!), so any raids I do will have to come later. Stay safe out there, and catch you next time, Pokéfriends!

Author & tags

PoGO/PvP Investigative Journalist, GO Hub and Silph Arena/Road Contributor, amateur cook, author of 'Nifty Or Thrifty' and 'Under The Lights' article series and #PvPfacts!

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