Published on June 15th, 2015 | by Serapis


Growing Like Weeds: An Overview of Grass Types in VGC ’15

One of the three core types of the game, Grass types see notably less play than their Water and Fire type brethren.  However, don’t simply assume that Grass is a bad type because of usage.  While Grass types are less common than other types, and rightfully, they can fulfill important team niches, and often times several of them at once.  So, let’s dive right in!

Offensive Potential

Recently I’ve been working with Nick (LightCore) on gathering and organizing Regional Top Cut usage statistics, and for fun I decided to run some calculations to find out what the best offensive type in a Top Cut Metagame was.  The calculations themselves were pretty simple, each neutral hit a type got was +1, each 2x super effective hit was +2 and each 4x super effective hit was +3.  2x resisted hits were -1, 4x resisted hits were -2 and immunities were -3.  After point values were assidned, they were multipled by the totaly number of the Pokemon that’s typing was being used in the calculation.  By combining calculations I was able to assign each type it’s own point value, and compare it’s offensive coverage to that of other types.

Almost totally without contest, Grass type scored the lowest clocking in at -36 once all was said and done, and if you were counting on secondary STABs to save them, the only other type that even came close to Grass in negative points was Poison at -25, and Grass/Poison is the most common dual typing.  Still, despite all that, Grass type does benefit from the ability to damage the bulky Waters that roam the metagame, and it also gets 4x super effective coverage on Swampert and Gastrodon while Electric type answers to bulky Waters find themselves dead weight.

Finally, many Grass types have access to the ability Chlorophyll which allows them to continue to use their terrible STAB, but faster.  All jokes aside here, thanks to the sheer power of Charizard-Y, it’s quite viable to have a Sun mode on teams with a Chlorophyll sweeper like Venusaur as long as you sufficiently cover weaknesses like Talonflame.  Speaking of Talonflame. . .

Defensive Potential

Grass types suffer from an extremely mixed bag in terms of defensive capabilities.  On the one hand, Grass is weak to five other types, those being Fire, Flying, Bug, Poison and Ice.  Furthermore, when relying on Chlorophyll to outspeed and incapacitate/KO threats Grass types find themselves totally at the mercy of Talonflame who disregards their buffed speed to spam its super effective Brave Bird.

Moving beyond this however, things begin to look up for the green type. Grass’s Ground resistance is extremely valuable in a meta where Landorus-Therian is the second most common Pokemon, although the common Poison dual typing removes that benefit.  Pokemon like Amoonguss and Venusaur trade their Ground resistance for a Fairy resistance, which is still very helpful as Sylveon is lurking a single slot behind Landorus in the Battle Spot Doubles usage stats.

Furthermore, Grass types often make the best Rain counters.  For anyone who has experienced the terror of a well played Rain team, a good Grass type can be quite reassuring.  Resisting the boosted Water STABs that Rain teams love to throw around so much, Grass types also tend to have the natural bulk to take the Ice type coverage moves that Rain teams traditionally carry. Furthermore, Giga Drain is a great defensive tool for Grass types as it allows them to increase their staying power and continue to support their teammates as long as possible.

Supportive Potential

While offensively underwhelming and defensively niche, Support is where Grass types really get to shine.  And by shine, I mean Spore.  Everything.  Seriously, it’s a 100% accurate sleep move, how can you go wrong?  Beyond that Grass types often have Leech Seed to give them even more staying power when paired with Giga Drain.  And, if you want to live even longer, Grass types like Amoonguss and Tangrowth get Regenerator, the ability that allows you recovery just by switching out.  I’d mention Whimsicott here, but THAT will be getting it’s own section later.

Now that we’ve analyzed the abilities of Grass types in general, it’s time to look at the specific Pokemon themselves.  And yes, I did totally copy WackaboomVGC’s format in doing this.  What can I say?  His article was beautiful.  Anyway, let’s get started!



Type: Grass/Poison

Notable Items:

  • Rocky Helmet 67.1%
  • Black Sludge 10.3%
  • Mental Herb 9.2%

Notable Moves:

  • Spore 95.5%
  • Rage Powder 98.2%
  • Giga Drain 85.2%
  • Protect 84.8%
  • Sludge Bomb 12.5%

Amoonguss is currently the only Grass type Pokemon to be in the Top 12 in the Battle Spot usage statistics, but it has certainly earned it’s place.  With good bulk, Spore, and redirection via Rage Powder, it can be an extremely disruptive Pokemon.  As mentioned earlier, it also gets Regenerator (83.9% usage) to extend it’s longevity even further by switching in and out of battle.  However, despite the fact that Amoonguss is a great Rain and Trick Room counter, it finds itself extremely susceptible to Taunt.

In a Metagame with Thundurus-Incarnate running around everywhere, the little mushroom has to be extremely careful to stay clear, as even a single Taunt can render it near useless unless it’s running the Mental Herb which wastes the damage potential of Rocky Helmet and the active recovery of black Sludge.



Type: Grass/Fighting

Notable Items:

  • Focus Sash 80.5%
  • Choice Scarf 10.7%
  • Life Orb 3.7%

Notable Moves:

  • Bullet Seed 96.8%
  • Spore 96.7%
  • Mach Punch 90.3%
  • Protect 77.4%
  • Rock Tomb 21.8%

Breloom probably the second most recognizable Grass type and it’s almost entirely because it has access to a decently speedy Spore.  Don’t get me wrong, with Base 130 Attack and Technician boosted Bullet Seed and Mach Punch, it can certainly hold it’s own in terms of damage output, but at the same time it’s main threat is that of Spore.  This does make Breloom susceptible to Taunt, but not nearly a susceptible as Amoonguss is.  Nearly all Breloom run Focus Sash because they are extremely frail, however you will occasionally see Choice Scarf variants.

Breloom is best dealt with by double targeting and spread moves.  Talonflame obviously does a number on it (we’re talking about Grass type here, assume it beats them all unless noted otherwise) but Mega-Charizard Y is the real winner here as it easily brings Breloom to it’s Sash just by spamming it’s most common attack.  From there all it takes is a Rock Slide or Earthquake and that’s the end of Breloom.  Partially for this reason, Breloom can be incredibly dangerous in Tailwind, although a faster alternative Grass type does already exist.



Type: Grass/Fighting

Notable Items:

  • Life Orb 62.1%
  • Expert Belt 14.5%
  • Lum Berry 11.0%
  • Focus Sash 9.1%

Notable Moves:

  • Leaf Blade 99.4%
  • Close Combat 98.4%
  • Protect 92.5%
  • Stone Edge 69.0%
  • Quick Guard 23.6%

Virizion shares the same typing as Breloom, but lacks Spore and has a notably inferior Attack stat.  Virizion is able to make up for this however with it’s speed; sitting at Base 108 it outspeeds everything except Base 110s and Heliolisk.  Of course, it does have to worry about speed ties with Terrakion, but at the same time Virizion actually has a decent amount of bulk and can take a Close Combat from Terrakion decently.  One of the largest issues that Virizion faces is that in order to get the Close Combat and Leaf Blade KOes that it wants, it pretty much requires the Life Orb or Expert Belt.  The former messes with Virizion’s decent bulk while the latter leaves it rather vulnerable to neutral targets who don’t have to deal with the Expert Belt boost.

It’s also worth noting that Virizion has access to Quick Guard, which can allow it occasional moments of glory against Talonflame, but never on its own.  The increase in Life Orb Talonflame (to 36.9%) also decreases the chances of catching Talonflame locking itself into BB so you can Quick Guard it into oblivion as your partner is free to attack.  Even if you don’t block Brave Bird from Talonflame, Virizion’s Quick Guard can block Kangaskhan’s Fake Out so it does certainly have some use even though Stone Edge sees notably more use.  Personally, I would never depend on a Pokemon like Virizion to deal with Charizard because of the lack of switch in potential, not to mention you’re relying on Stone Edge to hit as well.



Typing: Grass/Fairy

Notable Items:

  • Focus Sash 79.7%
  • Mental Herb 4.3%

Notable Moves:

  • Encore 86.9%
  • Tailwind 82.5%
  • Protect 65.5%
  • Beat Up 57.9%
  • Taunt 26.9%
  • Fake Tears 21.1%
  • Moonblast 13.7%

Ah, Whimsicott.  If you want Prankster support, Whimsicott is probably for you.  Boasting Prankster Tailwind, Whimsicott really becomes a deadly threat with Prankster Encore.  The two moves are even more deadly in combination as with Encore Whimsicott can punish opponent’s trying to Protect stall out Tailwind.  It can also partner with Terrakion to form the terrifying TerraCott duo with the Beat Up + Justified combination to boost Terrakion’s attack.  While it may be a cheesy strategy, that’s not much comfort as you’re being swept by it.  Whimsicott’s Taunt is notable because it is the fastest Prankster Taunt in the game, allowing it to always go before Thundurus-Incarnate and Liepard.

Fake Tears is mostly for use with Mega-Gengar.  If you haven’t seen the strategy, a trainer will Fake Tears/Shadow Ball or Sludge Bomb into a mon for the almost guaranteed OHKO.  This strategy is weak to the fact that in order to work it needs to leave one Pokemon unharmed, and with that we come to Whimsicott’s greatest issue.  It just can’t do damage.  It truly excels at assisting it’s teammates in doing damage, but it’s utterly incapable of doing anything to Pokemon that aren’t weak to it, assuming it’s one of the 13.7% that actually carry an offensive move.


Mega Venusaur

Typing: Grass/Poison

Notable Items:

  • Venusaurite 68.3%
  • Focus Sash 17.0%
  • Life Orb 5.3%

Notable Moves:

  • Sludge Bomb 97.4%
  • Protect 92.7%
  • Giga Drain 73.4%
  • Leech Seed 44.3%
  • Sleep Powder 39.8%

Let’s cover Chlorophyll Venusaur before diving into the Mega.  Chlorophyll Venusaur abuses Mega-Charizard Y’s Drought to gain amazing speed, but even with the ability to move first it still often struggles to deal damage.  The existence of Talonflame further restricts it, and while Chlorophyll Venusaur is a nice option to have it shouldn’t be relied on as a team’s main sweeper.

Mega-Venusaur has a lot of the same problems regular Venusaur faces, but it has extra bulk and the Thick Fat ability to deal with them. Mega-Venusaur needs proper team support in order to function, but when the threats to it are dealt with it can simply sit down, start Leech Seeding things and never die.  It’s ability to deal with Sylveon and Landorus-Therian is notable and invaluable for teams.  But sitting down and Leech Seeding things. . . that sounds almost like. . .



Typing: Grass/Steel

Notable Items:

  • Rocky Helmet 37.8%
  • Leftovers 27.1%
  • Choice Band 12.3%
  • Lum Berry 10.3%

Notable Moves:

  • Power Whip 89.5%
  • Protect 81.1%
  • Gyro Ball 80.6%
  • Leech Seed 68.4%
  • Knock Off 23.5%

Ferrothorn has seen a pretty sharp decrease in usage since the 2014 season, partially due to the increased variety of viable Fire types in this meta.  It also has to contend with Terrakion, although it’s worth noting that Ferrothorn can survive Terrakion’s Close Combat.  Prankster Taunt hasn’t helped Ferrothorn’s case any, but the expansion of the meta isn’t all bad for Ferrothorn.  Although it lacks a Ground resistance, it’s fully capable of beating Landorus-Therian through Leech Seed stall, and with most Sylveon carrying HP Ground for Heatran, it finds another positive matchup there.

As with many Grass types, Ferrothorn is a bit of a natural counter to Rain, and similar to Amoonguss it can put in large amounts of work against Trick Room teams.  Finally, Iron Barbs in conjunction with the Rocky Helmet allow it to force massive amounts of residual damage on the physical metagame. Kangaskhan in particular suffers greatly against a Rocky Helmet Ferrothorn.


Mega Sceptile

Typing: Grass/Dragon

Notable Items:

  • 95.1% Sceptililite

Notable Moves:

  • Dragon Pulse 93.2%
  • Leaf Storm 55.1%
  • Protect 46.8%
  • Quick Guard 46.4%
  • Energy Ball 34.0%

Mega-Sceptile is like a Chlorophyll sweeper that doesn’t even need Sun.  With a Base 145 speed stat it can opt for a Modest nature and still outspeed Jolly Mega-Salamence, or go for Jolly and outspeed Adamant Choice Scarf Landorus-Therian.  It has decent STAB coverage, but it’s super effective coverage is nothing special.  As a Dragon type without Draco Meteor it can find its damage to be underwhelming, and Energy Ball is a decent STAB move but nothing spectacular.  The only success Mega-Sceptile has seen thus far in the season is with Kenposy on a rather unusual Electrify/Discharge team that centered around Lightning Rod abuse.

Mega-Sceptile does have a niche in the meta, but unlike most Grass types, it loses to Rain and absolutely despises Trick Room.  More of a late game sweeper, Sceptile relies on its partners to deal early damage so it can come in and clean up towards the end of the game.  Also of note is the fact that it gets Quick Guard, which improves its Talonflame matchup slightly, although Talonflame is still very threatening to it.



Typing: Grass/Water

Notable Items:

  • Assault Vest 72.2%
  • Life Orb 7.0%

Notable Moves:

  • Fake Out 93.5%
  • Ice Beam 92.0%
  • Giga Drain 88.1%
  • Scald 78.7%
  • Hydro Pump 19.1%
  • Energy Ball 11.3%

Ludicolo’s main attractions are its unique typing, ability to hard counter Rain, good bulk and access to Fake Out.  While in past Generations it has been a weaker Kingdra, with the advent of Generation Six, Ludicolo has begun to stand on it’s own.  While it’s not nearly as common in ORAS as it was back in XY, Ludicolo is still more than capable of filling roles in this meta.  By making use of its unique typing, it’s capable of countering combinations of Pokemon that would never be otherwise possible.  Acting as an answer to both Fire and Water types, Ludicolo also fares well against Pokemon like Thundurus and Terrakion.  The former struggles to damage it, and the latter is just Giga Drain bait.



Typing: Grass/Ghost

Notable Items:

  • Focus Sash 50.0%
  • Choice Scarf 47.7%
  • Mental Herb 2.3%

Expect Sitrus/Leftovers at live events, especially if facing one in later rounds.

Notable Moves:

  • Trick 54.5% (Wait, what?)
  • Trick-or-Treat 52.3% (The heck?)
  • Destiny Bond 52.3% (This isn’t getting better)
  • Shadow Sneak 45.5% (Somebody help me)
  • Protect 45.5%
  • Seed Bomb 38.6%
  • Will-O-Wisp 25.0%
  • Leech Seed (somewhere under 16%)
  • Trick Room (somewhere under 16%)

Another support oriented Grass type, Gourgeist really shines due to it’s ability to set up Trick Room.  It’s also one of only three Evolved Grass types to get Will-O-Wisp.  The lesson to be learned from the move statistics is that most of the people using Gourgeist on Battle Spot have. . . very inventive ideas.  Anyway, due to its solid defensive typing coupled with Will-O-Wisp Gourgeist can pose a surprising threat to the metagame.  While it finds itself extremely weak to Fire types, even more so than the average Grass type, it also walls the great Mega-Kangakhan and might as well wall Landorus-Therian.

By abusing Leech Seed recover as well as Leftover or the Sitrus Berry that it apparently doesn’t use, Gourgeist can achieve longevity to rival that of Mega-Venusaur.  As shown by Ashton, while Gourgeist may not always be the best Pokemon, there are plenty of weaknesses to it in this meta to be exploited.



Typing: Grass/Ice

Notable Items:

  • Abomasite 51.1%
  • Focus Sash 35.3%
  • Choice Scarf 5.7%

Notable Moves:

  • Blizzard 98.9%
  • Protect 91.1%
  • Ice Shard 81.0%
  • Energy Ball 54.3%
  • Wood Hammer 24.3%
  • Giga Drain 20.6%

Abomasnow has always been an interesting Pokemon.  Defensively, its Ice/Grass typing is the worst in the game, but on the other end of the spectrum it offers it nearly unrivaled offensive coverage.  Couple that with Blizzard and Snow Warning and you have yourself a viable Pokemon.  Still, viable or not, Abomasnow definitely needs a lot of support in order to function.  Trick Room is almost a must to allow Abomasnow to actually achieve anything, and even then it retains it’s horrible 4x Fire weakness.  Ice Shard can help it’s speed issues, but Ice Shard will only be KOing 4x weaknesses, the two most common of which (Landorus-T and Salamence) have Intimidate to ensure they survive.  I definitely believe in Abomasnow’s potential in Trick Room, and you can find more on that here.

And with that we’ve covered the major Grass types of the meta.  I’m not going to conclude this by saying that Grass type is strong, or even good.  What I will tell you is that all Pokemon have potential, and Grass types are incredibly versatile and most are extremely effective in specific regards.  Whimsicott is an amazing Prankster, Amoonguss is amazing redirection, Abomasnow a powerful anti-meta pick, Virizion can OHKO Kangaskhan while resisting Landorus-T’s STABs and the list goes on.  So, if you find yourself with an oddly specific role you’re looking to fill on your team, take a look through the list of Grass types.  Their versatility might surprise you.

About the Author

24 Responses to Growing Like Weeds: An Overview of Grass Types in VGC ’15

  1. LightCore says:

    Woot Woot! Its finally up! XD

  2. LightCore says:

    Very Sorry but the Link doesn’t work at all.

  3. Makenzie says:

    Link won’t come up.

  4. Think this was posted on the main page but taken down for some reason so unfortunately this forum page remains from that! Hopefully it’ll be fixed soon

  5. No link D: I was so curious too T-T

  6. Keonspy says:

    Who is that Kenposy guy and why did he also uses Electrify/Mega Sceptile combo oo

  7. WackaboomVGC says:

    Awesome read, well better than mine anyway :P

  8. fourganger says:

    Those Gourgeist stats…very strange indeed. I wonder why Focus Sash is so popular?

  9. EstiloDM says:

    Those Gourgeist stats…very strange indeed. I wonder why Focus Sash is so popular?

    My guess is that the most common Gourgeist is the small size, meaning less bulk for more speed. But that’s just a theory.
    While not mainstream, Maractus is a extremely interesting pick, a 105 base SPA storm drainer with leech seed and spiky shield. Nice and niche perks indeed.

  10. pball0010 says:

    You didn’t scroll to the other gourgeist forme did you?

  11. RpIndaHouse says:

    How can Mega Sceptile only hold Sceptilite 95% of time? Huehuehuehue :v

  12. bombe32 says:

    It’s a nice overview, and I’m a huge fan of grass types (especially Breloom) myself, but I personally think an article of this kind should be more detailed and go in depth with the Pokemon instead of describing the main characteristics of each Pokemon in note form. It almost feels like you are stating the obvious in some places, especially when you repeat that Amoonguss is very weak to Taunt two times in a row.
    Discussing which Pokemon are good partners and what strategies synergize well with a Pokemon would have been really helpful. Why is Amoonguss the most popular grass type, apart from it being disruptive? If you were more specific, you could say that Kangaskhan is the most popular Pokemon in the game and Amoonguss is a fantastic partner to Kanga, redirecting super effective attacks away from her, as well as a good shield for your own Pokemon facing her, since Rage Powder + Rocky Helmet will do a good amount of damage to her.
    You could have also asked yourself whether or not Gourgeist should have been on this list, especially when you present data that doesn’t correspond with what we can expect it to carry. It’s also very similar to Trevenant in some way, so if you include one, why not the other?
    Lastly, I feel like Serperior was forgotten. I have personally faced more Serperiors on Battlespot than I have Abomasnow, Gourgeist, Sceptile and Virizion, so it’s probably more likely to appear on an opponent’s team in a tournament as well. Cradily could have been an honorable mention as well somewhere.

  13. Kasis says:

    Good read.

    Rotom-Mow worth a mention possibly?

  14. Livy says:

    Rotom-Mow yo?

    Anyway, I like these overview articles! One of my favourite articles. This one was great just like your last one but I thought 10 Grass types was a little small. Also I was expecting Tangrowth, since you mentioned it 😉

    @Bombe32 it’s an overview, an overview is an outline. The main points of interest are fine. An analysis would be more in depth (“Grass Analysis”)

    I agree with only choosing viable Grass types, but those niche picks, some bombe said, would be good to read up on. I’m hoping to see more of these articles, they’re great to learn about various Pokemon within the types. I’m discovering things ^_^

  15. MissingNoL says:

    where are premier challenge winner Tangela and Worlds semi-finalist Rotom-Mow
    This was well written, Serapis. You wrote very concise and clear summaries for each Pokemon. Not much else to say about that.

  16. AuraStormLucario says:

    ) : no mention of taunt on virizion. Nonetheless, AMAZING Article, and once again, another great analysis on pokemon of a type in our metagame. well done, I’m sure this will help many people new to and currently in our community

  17. Galvatron says:

    As Livy said Rotom-mow would have been cool to see but great article anyways!

  18. Zilvertrix says:

    Where is Torterra on this list?? I can not wait for the day when Torterra gets a Mega evolution, then it will also have a spot on a list like this.

  19. BhoKaSK says:

    Even the kalos starter, chesnaught deserves some interest. He can wall physical attackers very well. Surprise switch in Sylveon for chesnaught against a sludge ball from M-Venusaur is my best experience to set up my M-Salamence on the other slot ! Really want to watch out for talonflame and landorus-T and carefull play, he can be your best bulk Pokemon !!

  20. albus says:

    I beleive these guys are worth to mention:


  21. MattDorrell says:

    The lack of Serperior in this article is upsetting 🙁

  22. thestarchyninja says:

    Amazing article. Just another thing, ferrothorn is one of the slowest fully evolved pokemon in the game, with base 20 speed which meant that it usually goes first in trick room.

  23. Crawdaunt says:

    Fun read, great article! Without just randomly naming grass types like some of the above, Tangela is actually seriously legit. Do you know Tangela’s base stats? I didn’t until I randomly looked it up recently.

    Tangela gets defences of 65/115/40. A Calm Nature with 252 HP / 252 SDef / 4 Def lets Tangela (with Eviolite) hit defensive stats of 172 / 204 / 151. That’s crazy bulky. That survives Choice Banded Talonflame Brave Birds (94%), something its main competition Amoonguss can’t survive at all with 252/252 Relaxed.
    Tangela’s respectable Base 100 Special Attack also let its Giga Drains support the team reasonably well, and offer it recovery. It of course gets Regenerator for additional recovery.
    It has a variety of good moves to consider:
    Giga Drain / Energy Ball / Leaf Storm
    Rage Powder
    Leech Seed / Synthesis / Pain Split
    Sleep Powder
    Tickle / Power Swap
    Amnesia (Amnesia is normally not worth a mention, but on an Eviolite Pokemon that’s effectively x3 boost and buffs Tangela’s SpDef to 303)
    And I’ve left behind cheesier stuff like Worry Seed, Psych Up, and Swagger.

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