I’ve been thinking of making this post for a while. Ever since I saw that Rhyperior was voted winner of the next CD, I immediately realized Tyranitar would soon get its final nail in the coffin. I’ll explain why by summing up its history in the Pokémon GO metagame in False Swipe Gaming style, and then cover possible solutions for its tragic fall from grace.

Since the beginning of Gen 2, Tyranitar has and has always had incredible base stats, it has a great Attack stat, and for a Pokémon with such high Attack, its defensive stats are insanely good, which is to be expected from a pseudo-legendary, like Garchomp and Dragonite. These stats are what made it good in the first place, and in the days where you could only attack gyms, its lack of a Rock type fast move wasn’t much of a drawback, since Bite and Stone Edge had such good coverage on common defenders like Arcanine and Gyarados, not to mention it was a top defender by itself, except when it’s in front of a Fighting type.

In June 2017, a new core mechanic was introduced to Pokémon GO: Raid Battles. In Raids, what you want the most is to take down the Raid Boss before the time runs out, and as fast as you can to net better rewards. To fight the coveted legendary birds, Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, it lived in the shadow of Golem, who despite having worse base stats, was one of the only Pokémon at the time with access to the lone Rock fast move: Rock Throw. This made it preferred over Tyranitar for those opponents. When fighting Mewtwo, on the other hand, Tyranitar was unrivaled. Its helpful double resistance to Psychic and resistance to Shadow Ball and Hyper Beam made it the perfect Pokémon to choose for the task. Gengar dealt higher DPS, but it didn’t perform as well in practice due to its sheer frailness.

In Gen 3, even more good news came around for Tyranitar. First, it was discovered that no new Hoenn Pokémon were projected to dethrone King Tyranitar from its yearlong throne. Second, its own special event fixed just the issue that didn’t let it outperform Golem, by granting it access to a brand new Rock fast move: Smack Down. With it, Tyranitar found itself miles ahead of any other Pokémon in its two typings, making it a quintessential meta staple, especially with the imminent return of the Legendary birds, who were breakfast for Tyranitar. The only problem was, if you didn’t participate in the Larvitar Community Day, you had no way of getting this monster unless you had a friend willing to trade one to you, which obviously wasn’t the most reliable solution given the randomness of IV scored after trading. It was Gen 3 where Tyranitar had reached its apex…

…Until Gen 4, where everything started to go south for our big green hero. Game Master discoveries had shown that four newcomers of both the Rock and Dark type had been about to arrive. For Rock, there was Rhyperior, and especially Rampardos, who both had Smack Down naturally. The former being very close to Smack Down Tyranitar’s Raid performance, but not dependent on a limited time window, but rather a new evolution item: the Sinnoh Stone. The latter had absolutely bonkers DPS, so much more than Tyranitar, that most of the time its frailness wouldn’t even matter. Rampardos was hard to get though, so most players would still be relying on Tyranitar for Rock type DPS. As for the Dark types, first there was Weavile, being roughly on par with Tyranitar, trading some TDO for a bit of DPS, but the next newcomer was the long-forgotten sleeping giant Darkrai, who stood along another Gen 4 legendary Pokémon, Giratina, in its Origin form, as the premier Psychic and Ghost slayer. It wasn’t detrimental to Tyranitar just internally, but Pokémon of different typings that counter the things that Tyranitar does, and better, also came around, like Meteor Mash Metagross for Ice, Hydro Cannon users for Fire, and Mamoswine for Ice.

Neither did Gen 5 bring Tyranitar any favors, as the new Terrakion did the job of Rock type tank better, not to mention fellow pseudo-legendary Hydreigon and also Chandelure for countering Psychic and Ghost types, and finally, of course, the threats of Crabhammer Kingler, Conkeldurr, etc. But Tyranitar still had a trick up its sleeve despite all of the better Pokémon that came around, and it was the ease of its access. It has been a mainstay 4-Star Raid boss, meaning the Dark type set of Bite and Crunch was very easily obtained, and Smack Down Tyranitar has already been featured over a total of four full days for people to evolve.

Then, finally, we come to the present day, the final nail in the coffin, the advent of Rock Wrecker Rhyperior. The move’s stats have been revealed, and it sounds like another sad story for our beloved behemoth. Datamines show that Rock Wrecker is on par with Shadow Ball and Blast Burn, two of the best moves in the game. The move’s incredible stats compared to Tyranitar’s old Stone Edge don’t lie: Tyranitar was outclassed in every way: damage, survivability, and finally, accessibility, the last of which Rhyperior was on par, arguably better than Tyranitar for.

The Pokémon that is supposed to be a hulking Pseudo-legendary is now outdone by numerous Pokémon that aren’t on its level of stats, and I’m 99% sure that is because of Tyranitar’s lackluster charge moves. Stone Edge and Crunch just don’t seem to me like they quite cut it anymore.

Finally, I want to emphasize all of the other Pseudo-legendary Pokémon have something that set themselves apart both in Raids and PvP. Dragonite is still very accessible and consistently a top 6 dragon in raids, and also has one of the highest TDO of all Dragon Breath/Claw users in all three PvP leagues. Salamence is on par with Rayquaza as a dragon attacker, which is nominally the best one at that regard. Metagross is a beast with Meteor Mash altogether, for virtually anything. Garchomp is also immensely powerful in the Master League and is capable of holding its own in Raids as well. Hydreigon completely outclasses Tyranitar as a Dark type attacker in raids. Meanwhile, Tyranitar is now also outclassed by Rhyperior in the Master League, due again to Rock Wrecker’s amazing PvP stats.

In conclusion, it’s been a rough three years for Tyranitar. But I’ll suggest possible solutions to make Tyranitar the monster it truly deserves to be.

#Solution 1: Buff Stone Edge and Crunch’s base damage/energy cost.

By having Stone Edge buffed to 120 and Crunch to 80, It would help Tyranitar get a significant boost to its damage output, helping it reach roughly 15.5 neutral DPS as both a Rock and a Dark attacker, for reference creeping up close to Weavile and Rhyperior, even though it wouldn’t come close to Rampardos’s damage. It probably would make Tyranitar a top 8 option for Regice and Mewtwo raids, at worst.

For PvP, if Stone Edge’s base damage or energy cost were to be decreased, it would definitely see some spike in usage and help it keep up with Rhyperior.

#Solution 2: Give Tyranitar better existing charge moves, like Rock Slide and Foul Play.

Kyogre got that treatment as well. If it were to receive Rock Slide or Foul Play, this would not only generate more revenue from the TM grind, but it would only mean good things for Tyranitar, so it seems more probable. While 120 S. Edge is better than current Rock Slide, 80 Crunch is better than 70 Foul Play. Giving similar results overall, but slightly less balanced.

That concludes the analysis.


Good summary. I think option #2 is probably the best/most likely. I could see another CD for T-tar with Payback or Foul Play as the CD move (Dragonite already sets this precedent by being included in the Feb CD candidates). The problem with buffing Stone Edge or Crunch is that they are very common moves so buffing it to help one 'mon moves up the performance of several others too.
I think PvP/Rocket battles is where T-tar still has significant relevance. Being fairly easy to find purified (thus reducing power-up cost for ML and 2nd move unlock) and having moves that perform well in PvP, it doesn’t really need any buff there to compete with the likes of Dragonite or Rhyperior (whose x2 weaknesses hinder them a lot).

Giving Tyranitar bad charged moves made sense back in Gen 2 when its main Dark competitor was Houndoom.

According to Bulbapedia, Tyranitar can learn both Snarl and Foul Play. With that moveset, it would rank third in Dark DPS, behind only Darkrai and glass cannon Zoroark, compared to ninth currently. In fact, its DPS^3*TDO would be even higher than Darkrai with Snarl + Shadow Ball.

Tyranitar is a victim of the power creep in later generations. It is not the only Gen 2 species that needs and deserves some love from Niantic:

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Indeed a balance is needed. Changing moves like Crunch or Stone Edge is not practical because many other pokes use them and it’s just to messy to do it when there is a simple solution which is giving Tyranitar Rock slide (would put it on pair with Terrakion, less DPS but 10% more bulk) and Foul Play (less DPS than Drakrai but 25% more bulk), those would be enough to keep it relevant to fill the teams without making a big mess in the pvp meta.


I didn’t play Pokemon back then, but isn’t this the reason why they came up with the mega evolutions for these pokes? If so, then I’ll guess we’ll just have to wait

I only played the first two generations, so I know very little (only from Bulbapedia) about Mega Evolutions.

Same here. But if megas are the solution then I would be OK with it, they look cool and if they make things right they can be put on the same level as their pairs without making them OP. In the case of Tyranitar, the mega shares the same types (with the same moves) but increases attack and defense, and I think that would be the same end result as it would be increasing the damage of the current moves or giving tyranitar the better ones. Time will tell, but I do hope they don’t leave it there forgotten for too long.

Payback is also learnable, so that’s another potential option for Tyranitar depending on the stats it gets when implemented (to my knowledge, we don’t have stats for it yet, though it’s in the code)

I can see it getting Rock Slide through one of their PvP movepool updates they do, but its a matter of when they do this

If they’re going to improve it for PvP, I think they’re more likely to give it a coverage move.

Fighting is its primary threat, but it doesn’t have a lot of options in that regard, pretty much just Aerial Ace. It has a somewhat diverse movepool though, and there’s quite a few interesting options, such as Ice, Water, and Fighting type moves.

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I don’t really want to see Tyranitar go from 3 to 5 moves as long as the TM problem is not solved. More and more pokémon now have very wide movesets, which is awful considering the poor reliability of TMs. GBL makes it easier to get some, but scoring 4 wins with a premium pass is only possible with a great amount of luck when you are in higher ranks. With basic rewards, the income is still not enough to cope with the randomness of TM efficiency. Make TM cycle reliably through every move of a pokémon in a definite order, and then yes we can keep on expanding movesets.


If Niantic adds more moves in Tyranitar’s move pool like the current Rhyperior, or even Snorlax, that would definitely be awful with the current TM system. And if they decide to do a CD re-run like how they floated the idea of Superpower Dragonite, that’d be kinda awkward too. Either way it seems a no win for players. T_T

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Sadly, I can see this happening too. And I really hope it doesn’t. I’m already looking at a good dozen Starters/CD Pokemon that I’ve caught in the last month that have great IV’s for PVP… but I can’t use them for PVP until I get the CD move. (Like a Mudkip; I can get a 2/14/15 Purified Swampert whenever I want, but really, isn’t Swampert without Hydrocannon just a waste of Mudkip candies?) And the more I run into this problem, the more annoyed I get at the idea of a CD Exclusive move in the first place - when I was already ambivalent on the idea.

But I don’t see that changing… well, ever. So my half-dozen 96%+ Ttars (two Weather Boosted 98% D/S 15 in particular) that I picked up through raiding (back when Ttar was THE Pokemon) are likely going to continue taking up space in my inventory as I can’t bring myself to transfer or trade them (98% WB Ttars, man - 98% WB Ttars!!) but never get any love.

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I’ve said it before, but I’d be totally onboard for a Tyranitar re-run, though I’m very much biased towards Ttar as I’ve loved it since I was a child. I’ve been sat on a lucky Pupitar since well before the December CD weekend but didn’t have any luck with hatches or raids so I didn’t get the candies; but I don’t wanna evolve her until she can have a moveset that lets her shine, which a rerun with Payback or Foul Play would allow.
Though I also wouldn’t object to it being just an addition to the move pool (though I understand the bloat that already plagues a lot of mons), perhaps a move update will do that for us without needing a CD though I definitely wouldn’t object to Fire Blast’s removal from the pool, but that’s unlikely

I don’t disagree that Tyranitar is outclassed, but I don’t see why it should be heavily fixed. Some pokemon have had their use and served well when they were needed. But I’m not a fan of reinventing pokemons solely because other pokemon have caught up with them. Might as well give Dragonite, Gardevoir, Gallade, Slaking new CD moves because theyre viable but exceeded by many other options (if ever even been the top DPS / TDO). And if naming a few viable but outclassed more, the following pokemon are also not the best in their current roles and could use some new moves:

  • Arcanine, one of the best fire types in the beginning of the game
  • Starmie has never even seen a single use
  • Pinsir has long been outclassed as a bug-type
  • Gyarados has always been one of the best pokemons in the game, but now only sees top tier use in ultra league as a fragile ultra league anti-meta use
  • Entei, a legendary pokemon, has never been worth the investment due to how the very common Blaziken always have or was going to outperform it. Other fire type CD’s also came close.
  • Lugia and Ho-Oh are PvE-wise pretty near useless if we’re talking about top tier, Lugia having lower attack than Aggron and Ho-Oh isn’t remotely good in either PvE or PVP
  • Give Shedinja his wonder guard please?
  • Magmortar doesn’t have Overheat lol
  • Palkia is an absolute joke compared to what it always has been in the main games
  • I’m pretty sure Mewtwo, Dialga and Palkia could learn the most OP pokemon go move Aura Sphere…

That’s just to name a few. My point is that there is so much that could have some updating, although there will always be only one number one. I do like versatility (and Tyranitar), but it seems a bit of wasted effort to me to reinvent pokemons when this effort can also be put in new content

Of course. That’s precisely why I’d love it to happen, but I’m not gonna get bent out of shape if it doesn’t. As you say, mons get outclassed all the time and Tyranitar is no exception to that

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I can’t understand why this post has not more likes, it’s incredibly well detailed and argued. Even if the TM problem would exist OP named viable alternatives.

In fact, Dark moves in general need a sight buff. Darkrai is not tier pure 1 because of that, having twice the TDO will never be near of the DPS ghosts cause, who have insane moves. And Bite + Crunch is very mediocre. If this moves would be sightly buffed, more for Bite and Crunch who aren’t the best Dark moves, Tyranitar will definitely not be completely mediocre. And also, buff Stone Edge to be not as good as Rock Wrecker but more near.

But, if that doesn’t happen, there is a last hope: mega-evolution; no other top Rock or Dark attacker can mega-evolve. Tyranitar can and has pretty solid stats, making it viable as the mega of the team outperforming other options not in DPS, but with the sum of all the stats and results.

Gyarados, Aerodactyl, Houndoom, Sableye and Diancie beg to differ

None of that pokemon are TOP attackers. They will still be outclassed as a mega-evolution, all of them.