February 3

Tyrantrum The “Despot” Pokemon a Competitive Analysis

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Tyrantrum is a powerful Physical Sweeper. If you want to play this incredibly strong Pokemon, our guide will help you understand what the best EVs, Nature, and Movesets!

Why Play Tyrantrum?

When you look at the competitive scene, it's a real shame that there are not very many of our fossil Pokemon seeing play in Smogon’s OU tiers. In fact, even in UU, they do not see as much play. In competitive play, these Pokemon require some extra attention and you must build a team around them. For today’s article, we are going to discuss the “Despot” Pokemon, Tyrantrum.
While extremely fearsome looking, Tyrantrum is one of those Pokemon, like Luxray, that when first released, looked awesome. Unfortunately, their stats were just not up to par with many of the other heavy hitters who were outpacing them.

Of course, there are ways to remedy this. After all, Tyrantrum is not completely without an arsenal to scare certain Pokemon. Their move library is decent and their ability, Rock Head, allows them to heavily abuse their signature move: Head Smash. While you do have to provide Tyrantrum with massive team support, the rewards of shocking your opponent with a T-Rex sweep is beyond comparison. Especially because Tyrantrum is smack down in Smogon’s NU tier (Never Used).

Rock Head- This Pokemon does not take recoil damage besides Struggle, Life Orb, and crash damage.

Best Competitive Build

Effort Values

  • 252 Attack
  • 252 Speed
  • 4 HP

(Adamant Nature)

Rock Polish

Raises the user's Speed by 2 stages.

Head Smash

If the target lost HP, the user takes recoil damage equal to 1/2 the HP lost by the target, rounded half up, but not less than 1 HP.

Close Combat

Lowers the user's Defense and Special Defense by 1 stage.


Damage doubles if the target is using Dig.

For this build, Rock Polish is the move which boosts the users speed by two stages. With an Adamant nature, this puts Tyrantrum’s speed at 482, out speeding a Dragapult with a beneficial nature in speed, barring it's not holding a choice scarf (Yes. apparently, this is a thing). Dragon Dance is also a possibility but with this selection be wary that Tyrantrum may not have the speed they need to sweep properly. 

Head Smash, while a gambling trainer’s move, is too greatly benefited from Tyrantrum’s ability to pass up. It should also be noted that if dynamaxed, a sandstorm will be summoned and with Tyrantrum’s Rock/Dragon typing, they will get a nice special defense boost. 

Close Combat is strictly here to answer Ferrothorn, who would otherwise flex at Tyrantrum all day and will provide attack power boosts in dynamax form. 

Finally, Earthquake will deal with Toxapex and grants a special defense boost to Tyrantrum, which if he is in a sandstorm can become a decent special attack tank. Other moves to consider are Play Rough, Iron Head, Crunch, Zen Headbutt, Outrage, and Dragon Claw (if you’re not wanting to be locked). Take into consideration what types your team can cover and decide accordingly. Although I would not recommend getting rid of Close Combat.

Possible Moves

  • Play Rough- Has a 10% chance to lower the target's Attack by 1 stage.
  • Iron Head-Has a 30% chance to make the target flinch.
  • Crunch-Has a 20% chance to lower the target's Defense by 1 stage.
  • Zen Headbutt-Has a 20% chance to make the target flinch.
  • Outrage-The user spends two or three turns locked into this move and becomes confused immediately after its move on the last turn of the effect if it is not already. This move targets an opposing Pokemon at random on each turn. If the user is prevented from moving, is asleep at the beginning of a turn, or the attack is not successful against the target on the first turn of the effect or the second turn of a three-turn effect, the effect ends without causing confusion. If this move is called by Sleep Talk and the user is asleep, the move is used for one turn and does not confuse the user.
  • Dragon Claw

Held Items

For the held item, we recommend going with Weakness Policy. The results are not disappointing by any means and going this route could put Tyrantrum extremely ahead of your opponents. Life Orb is another possible consideration, but the dwindling health could limit Tyrantrum’s time on the field. Lum Berry is another option to prevent a status ailment as well as Leftovers to try and keep Tyrantrum healthy by recovering health every turn. 

Weakness Policy

If holder is hit super effectively, raises Attack, Sp. Atk by 2 stages. Single use.

Life Orb

Holder's attacks do 1.3x damage, and it loses 1/10 its max HP after the attack.

Lum Berry

Holder cures itself if it has a non-volatile status or is confused. Single use.


At the end of every turn, holder restores 1/16 of its max HP.

Tips and Tricks

Sticky Web and other entry hazard support is GREATLY appreciated by this set. Shields (Reflect/Light Screen/Aurora Veil) are also great in helping Tyrantrum soak attacks and keep them with as healthy as possible. If you can find room for it on your team, Psychic Terrain would not be a bad idea as Tyrantrum does not like priority attacks like Bullet Punch or Mach Punch.


In conclusion, Tyrantrum is a sleeper and deadly in the right hands. The meta doesn't call for him but if properly built around, he could be a devastating sweeper! If you have any other recommendations for items and moves then please engage in the comment section below! We love to see unique builds and strategies!

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Spartan Alphazulu

About the author

Hello my fellow readers! I am Spartan Alphazulu and I am a 32 year old Air Force veteran that loves to nerd out over Pokemon, World of Warcraft, and Magic: the Gathering. I have always enjoyed competitive play in gaming since I was a child and am hoping to assist my readers with strategies and ideas that they can apply to their hobbies like many have done for me. I am married with five children who, like me, are showing interests in the many hobbies of gaming and nerd culture that I enjoy and am looking to set the example for everyone that doing what you love is not always a “waste of time” like many have told me growing up. Sometimes fate extends a hand and it is up to you to recognize and take the risk.

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