How good are the Island Guardians?

by: Wutpulver

After Generation 6 broke with the tradition of having a legendary trio Sun and Moon are bringing the first true quartet to the pokèmon series. Probably in an attempt to redeem X/Y. Since we know about their typings and abilities it’s about time to speculate their strengths and to prematurely answer the most pressing question of them all: Wich Tapu is the best?

Similarities 

Like most legendary families the Island Deities share some characteristics. All of them have a fairy typing, set terrain on entry and have the same signature move. This signature move is Nature’s Madness which halves the opposing Pokèmon’s HP. It pretty much works like Superfang. I am a little disappointed by it and don’t believe that it will be a commonly used move. Fairy is one of the best typings in the game and part of the infamous fantasy core (Fairy/Dragon/Steel). It favors special attackers more since Play Rough does not have wide distribution and has a chance to miss unlike the superior Moonblast.

Typings

The best typing of the bunch probably belongs to Tapu Koko with the unique combination of Electric and Fairy. Poison and Ground are its only weaknesses and all of its resistances ( Dark, Electric, Fighting, Flying) are incredibly useful in the current metagame. It can stop bird spam, takes Knocks Offs and gladly endures Volt Switches. Its typing will most likely allow it to use Volt Switch as well wich is another big advantage of this combination. A+

Next up is Tapu Bulu the Grass Fairy. The immediate concern is its 4x weakness to Poison. Poison is not exactly a common offensive typing but it is still a problem. Its other weaknesses (Fire/Steel/Flying/Ice) are frequently found on offensive pokèmon and really don’t help the bull fairy. The resistances Fairy brings to the table are still very good but all of these pokèmon benefit from it to the same degree. C

Tapu Lele recycles Gardevoir’s typing with Psychic/Fairy. Psychic seems a bit redundant on a Fairy type, at least offensively. They are both effective against Fighting and both struggle against Steel. Granted Fairy helps against Dark Pokemon and Psychic can deal with Poison types but there are far better combinations out there. Psychic isn’t that great defensively either. It’s most valuable resist is probably itself. Psychic Pokemon usually have a plethora of useful utility moves like Trick or Thunder-Wave (which is still going to be amazing even though it only halves speed now and no longer sports 100% accuracy) so I don’t want to completely dismiss it. C+

Last but not (maybe) least is Tapu Fini and its Water/Fairy typing. Bulky Water is a common and powerful archetype which mainly benefits from only being weak to two kind of attacks. Since Water pokèmon usually also have access to Ice Beam they can even deal with Grass which is supposed to be one of their main counters. Scald is one of the best moves in the game as well. Fairy is a great defensive typing which mainly benefits from only being weak to two kind of attacks….. wait a minute. If we put these two together we get one of the best defensive type combinations. A

Terrain

Electric Terrain boosts Electric attacks of grounded Pokèmon by 50%. That has the potential to be huge and could make Tapu Koko one of the scariest threats to face in any format. Stopping grounded Pokèmon from falling asleep is neat but fairly niche. However this could be the end of Amoonguss` stint in OU and might even cause Breloom to drop as well. B

Grassy Terrain boosts Grass attacks instead but Electric is just a better offensive typing. It also provides recovery for grounded Pokemon but since both teams will receive additional Leftovers this Terrain is largely useless. Secret Power becomes a Grass attack with 70 base power which gets boosted even more by the terrain. The cherry on top is the additional 30% chance to put targets to sleep. C

Psychic Terrain protects grounded Pokemon from priority attacks and boosts Psychic attacks. It is fairly niche but neat nonetheless. C+

Misty Terrain prevents status infliction on grounded Pokemon and reduces the power of dragon attacks. Since the Island Guardians are Fairies anyway this will be useless. D

Roles

I do not know any stats so far so this is the most speculative part of the article. All I have to go on is their typing, revealed moves design and lore. I predict Tapu Koko to be a fast attacker, Tapu Bulu to be a slow bulky physical attacker, Tapu Lele to be a special defensive wall and Tapu Fini to be a mixed wall.

How good are they going to be?

Their Fairy typing and hopefully above average BST should secure all of them a place in the OU/UU tiers. The best one will most likely be Tapu Koko. Tapu Fini should also have a place in the new metagame as long as it gets decent recovery. Unlike Suicune wich is another bulky Water pokèmon without great recovery it can not fall back on Rest since Misty Terrain prevents you from falling asleep. Tapu Bulu and Lele are most likely going to be quite useful but are also easier to exploit than the other two. I do not believe that they will reach OU unless they will be backed by an insane BST. Just remember that all of this is purely speculation and just an educated guess. The new metagame will be drastically different and will shift a lot of power around. Anyway I will probably be spamming Tapu Koko on the OU ladder as soon as it comes out.

[Oct 31st 2016]

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2 thoughts on “How good are the Island Guardians?

  1. I sorely disagree on your outlook for the terrains and your outlook on Tapu Lele in general. I think you did a fairly decent job, otherwise, but this is what I think you are missing.

    Psychic + Fairy is a great offensive type combination and really not that bad defensively. All you really need is fighting coverage of any kind and tapu lele will be really tough to stop. With an immunity to bullet punch and boosted psychic attacks, it’s hard to imagine tapu lele being worse than gardevoir which is a fine Pokemon in its own right on the right team.

    As for the terrains, I agree that tapu bulu’s terrain is nothing special, but I think you are massively underrating misty and psychic terrains. Psychic terrain provides immunity to talonflame’s brave bird, bullet punch, azu and crawdaunt aqua jet, accelerock, etc. That immunity is a really big deal. Misty terrain’s effect is not nearly as profound, but if tapu fini is truly a bulky water, then status immunity for 5 turns is amazing and can even be abused by your other Pokemon for a short time. This could allow for some really creative stall and bulky balance builds since water fairy is such an amazing defensive typing.

    Anyway, despite my disagreements, this was a cool article and I definitely appreciate you writing it.

    Like

    1. I don’t think Psychic Terrain will be that effective since Tapu Lele is probably still going to lose the 1v1 vs Taloflame, Metagross/Scizor and Azumarill.
      Gardevoir is currently in the UU tier wich is the tier i predicted Tapu Lele to settle in as well. I am not calling it trash its just doesnt seem great when compared to its counterparts.

      Misty Terrain on Tapu Fini is potentially amazing as long as it gets good recovery.
      In case it becomes a new Cresselia the Toxic immunity would be an amazing asset but if it has to fall back on Rest its ability will hinder it.

      Like

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