Tauros

Tauros, The Wild Bull Pokémon. When it targets an enemy, it charges furiously while whipping its body with its long tails. A rowdy Pokémon with a lot of stamina. Once running, it won't stop until it hits something. They fight each other by locking horns. The herd's protector takes pride in its battle-scarred horns. These violent Pokémon fight with other members of their herd in order to prove their strength. It is not satisfied unless it is rampaging at all times. If there is no opponent for Tauros to battle, it will charge at thick trees and knock them down to calm itself. Once it takes aim at its foe, it makes a headlong charge. It is famous for its violent nature.

Overview

Tauros is a very straightforward Pokémon. It has great Speed, good Attack and a good physical move-pool, all pointing it in the direction of physical sweeping. In the past generation, it played the role of a pacey Choice Bander, and that's a role it continues to play in this generation. The generation shift brought with it few changes, but they were useful ones. Physical Pursuit is a blessing whilst Stone Edge and Zen Headbutt give it significantly better filler options than Iron Tail.

Aside from some minor move-pool enhancements, little else of note has changed. As with the previous generation, it's considered a BL (Borderline) Pokémon. It fails to break into the Standard (OU/Overused) tier, but it's more than capable of performing in it.

Ability

Intimidate: is its first-choice ability. Intimidate drops the opposition's Attack stat by one stage (barring extenuating circumstances, such as an active Substitute or Clear Body). It already has good Defence and HP stats, so being able to drop the foe's Attack stat enhances its (physical) defensive capabilities.

Anger Point: is a bit of a novelty ability. If Tauros is hit by a critical-hit, its Attack stat is raised by six stages (the equivalent of a Belly Drum). It should be noted that it'll also activate if the critical-hit strikes a Substitute, redeeming some usability for it.

Move Sets

Choice Band - Physical Sweeper

- Return
- Earthquake
- Pursuit / Stone Edge / Zen Headbutt
- Pursuit / Stone Edge / Zen Headbutt
Item Attached: Choice Band
Ability: Intimidate
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) / Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

Choice Band is the staple offensive route for Tauros to take. It naturally packs more Speed than the majority of its opposition, and the added boost from Choice Band gives it the raw power to tear through teams.

Boosted Returns are the main attraction. Normal attacks don't score any super-effective damage, but they get plenty of neutral type-coverage. Understandably, it packs Earthquake to deal with Rock and Steel types, who would otherwise stand in the way of its Returns with no fear.

Tauros has three worthwhile options for its remaining two move-slots:

Pursuit can hunt down fleeing Psychic and Ghost types, as well as generally any weakened opponent that Tauros could viably KO.

Stone Edge scores super-effective hits on most Flying types. It'll also score some respectable damage on Gengar, although it falls short of KOing it.

Zen Headbutt is valued for ensuring a KO against Gengar. Both Pursuit and Stone Edge fall short of securing a guaranteed KO against the standard Gengar, making Zen Headbutt a worthwhile move choice.

Substitute - Anger Point

- Return
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Substitute
Item Attached: Salac Berry / Liechi Berry / Leftovers
Ability: Anger Point
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) / Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

Relying on Anger Point to trigger is far from reliable, but a usable move-set can be built around it. As noted in the ability section, Anger Point does trigger if a critical-hit strikes a Substitute, so hiding behind a Substitute and hoping to be struck by a critical-hit is the most reliable means to activate Anger Point.

There are a few item choices to work with. Assuming that Anger Point does activate, Salac Berry is the preferable item. If Anger Point doesn't activate, it still allows for sweeping possibilities, albeit ones that lack the preferable amount of raw power. Liechi Berry is an option as well, for when Anger Point doesn't activate, providing an Attack boost that'll aid its sweeping capabilities. Leftovers will allow Tauros to place up an additional Substitute (or more, depending on how quickly its Substitutes are destroyed), but this of course places total reliance on Anger Point being activated to be a worthwhile item choice, since it does nothing to enhance its sweeping capabilities.

EVs and Nature:

Physical Sweeper
The Choice Band move-set just needs the simple 'sweeper' EV spread. As with most sweeper EV spreads, the only point of contention is the nature. An Adamant Tauros is limited to 319 Speed whilst a Jolly Tauros can reach up to 350 Speed. Understandably, the nature choice is determined by how valuable those extra 31 Speed points are.

Between 319 Speed and 350 Speed there are several noteworthy Pokémon. When accounting for Speed boosting natures, there's: Garchomp (333), Infernape (346) and Salamence (328). Without Speed boosting natures, there is also: Weavile (349), Dugtrio (339), Azelf (329), Starmie (329) and Gengar (319).

Anger Point
You're working with the same EV spread as above. The only difference is that some attention needs to be paid to Tauros's HP stat. If you want to be able to make 4 Substitutes, then Tauros's HP cannot be divisible by 4. Assuming Tauros has a 31 HP IV, this isn't a problem, since its base HP isn't divisible by 4 (although putting the spare EVs into its HP stat will make it divisible by 4, so the leftover EVs should be placed elsewhere). When dealing with lower IVs, a minor HP investment might be needed.

Other Options

Double-Edge, Body Slam.

Tauros has minimal alternatives to what's already been stated. The Emerald move-tutors provide Double-Edge and Body Slam. Double-Edge gives more power, but the recoil really stings. Body Slam is less powerful than Return, but the added paralysis chance means the likes of Skarmory and Bronzong can't just sit in front of Tauros and absorb its attacks without repercussions.

Countering Tauros

Skarmory and Bronzong are the best counters. They're resistant to Return, immune to Earthquake and take very little from any of the other moves Tauros is likely to carry. Dusknoir is immune to Return, can deal with Earthquake and packs a threat with Will-o-Wisp. Spiritomb is less effective than Dusknoir at the duty, but it packs the same Will-o-Wisp threat and Return immunity.

Gengar, Mismagius, Drifblim and Rotom are immune to Tauros's two core moves (Return and Earthquake), but moves like Stone Edge, Zen Headbutt and Pursuit can cause them a lot of pain.

Since the majority of Tauros move-sets are based around Choice Band, prediction is obviously a useful aid. Tauros relies on its Speed and Attack, so both paralysis and burn threaten its sweeping chances greatly.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

Trade from FRLGXD

Colosseum/XD

Trade from FRLGXD (Col) Snagged from Cipher Boss Greevil in Citadark Isle (XD)

Fire Red/Leaf Green

Safari Zone Areas 2 & 3

Diamond/Pearl

Routes 209 & 210-South (PokéRadar)

Animé Appearences

Tauros has had a fair of Animé Appearences, most of which under the control of Ash after he caught 30 in the Safari Zone. Ash used it in his Orange League Match and his Johto League Battle against Gary as well as in his Battle Frontier Match against Anabel. The Rest are Cameos

Episode 033: The Flame Pokémon-Athon!
Episode 035: The Legend of Dratini!
Episode 067: Showdown At the Poké-Corral!
Episode 101: The Mandarin Island Miss-Match!
Episode 103: Get Along, Little Pokémon!
Episode 113: Hello Pumello!
Episode 114: Enter The Dragonite!
Episode 117: A Tents Situation!
Episode 118: The Rivalry Revival!
Episode 148: Tricks of the Trade!
Episode 168: Two Hits And A Miss!
Episode 271: The Ties That Bind!
Special 07: Epic Battle At Oak's Lab!
Special 14: Another Legend of Celebi!
Special 15: Getting to the Starting Line!
Episode 410: The Right Place At The Right Mime!
Episode 446: Talking A Great Game!
Episode 447: Second Times A Charm!

 
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