Suicune, The Aurora Pokémon. Suicune embodies the compassion of a pure spring of water. It runs across the land with gracefulness. This Pokémon has the power to purify dirty water. It races around the world to purify fouled water. It dashes away with the north wind.
Suicune is a great example of how some of the greatest Pokemon in competitive can eventually be pushed out of the spotlight through no fault of their own. Times have not been the most kind to Suicune with the likes of Tapu Fini and Toxapex showing up, and the lack of reliable recovery only hurts it more, but this has not stopped Suicune from doing what it does best. A strong defensive stat spread with decent utility options is always great for a bulky Water-type, and Suicune does a great job of abusing every last detail from its fantastic defenses to its Pressure ability and even access to Mirror Coat. If you're looking for a reliable bulky Water-type and don't want to be bogged down by other weaknesses from a second typing, Suicune has got you covered. Just make sure that Tapu Fini's Fairy typing and Misty Surge aren't more useful for you, and you will find Suicune is more than capable of holding its own as a defensive tank and pivot.
A classic set, Suicune still functions well with a Calm Mind set. This doesn't need a ton of explanation since it's exactly the same as always, but Scald is the ideal STAB move due to its solid power and burn chance. Ice Beam pairs well with most bulky Water-types granting coverage against Grass-types while conveniently dealing with Dragon-type foes that resist Scald. Sleep Talk might be preferable in formats where battles may be longer, though this makes Suicune more reliant on setting up a lot to deal big damage. Calm Mind allows Suicune to boost to very high levels on the special side, synergizing well with its physical defensive investment. Rest allows Suicune to cure itself of the many Toxic users that will want to scare it away, while also keeping Suicune healthy.
Maximum investment in physical bulk with a Bold nature allows Suicune to tank hits from both sides after setting up with Calm Mind. Chesto Berry allows Suicune to wake up immediately after using Rest once if using Ice Beam, though Leftovers grants Suicune some complementary longevity if you don't mind Suicune being a sitting duck while using Rest or relying on Sleep Talk. Pressure is actually a good ability for Suicune to stall out foes relying on low PP moves, which can help it set up safely later on.
Suicune can effectively abuse Pressure in a number of ways, primarily through the use of Substitute and Protect. Substitute allows Suicune to create a buffer to hide behind and stall PP an extra turn, while Protect complements this perfectly by allowing Suicune to not only stall more PP, but also heal more HP so that it can continue creating Substitutes. Scald is the primary STAB move which needs little explanation, it offers great utility for its power though do note that the burn chance can clash with Toxic. Toxic is preferred if you wish to fully abuse the stalling nature of the set and stallbreak foes. Calm Mind however takes the set in a different direction, giving Suicune a lot of staying power that can be very difficult to break once it's behind a Substitute.
Maximum HP and Speed investment with a Timid nature gives Suicune the most amount of overall bulk while making it as fast as possible so that it can set up Substitutes more safely. Leftovers is ideal here so that Suicune gets recovery while stalling out turns and allow it to make further use of Substitute. Pressure is also the entire point of the set, allowing Suicune to break foes by stalling out PP until they can no longer threaten it.
Waterium Z is a strong alternative to a defensive item on Calm Mind sets if you want more power out of Suicune, this can be more useful than it sounds since even super-effective Scald will fail to OHKO foes if it hasn't set up yet.
VGC & Double Battle Options
Suicune looks like a Pokemon that should very strong in Doubles, but it really ends up falling short in a few areas especially when it has to compare with Tapu Fini. As a bulky Water-type, Suicune doesn't do a ton to make up for its common weaknesses to the likes of Tapu Koko and Kartana, lacking the offensive presence and utility options to truly stand out. This isn't to say Suicune has nothing though, access to Tailwind and Snarl certainly give Suicune a niche in Doubles and its strong stats help keep itself up, but in the end Suicune is a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none in Doubles. Generally speaking, a support Pokemon in Doubles doesn't want to be defined solely by the moves it has access to, since there are better Tailwind users and Snarl is typically a fluff option that doesn't give enough concrete support in most scenarios. Compared to Tapu Fini, Suicune's lack of a secondary typing and lack of Muddy Water makes it very difficult to recommend in Doubles, so unless you specifically want Tailwind and a bulky Water-type that isn't weak to Gengar, strongly consider Tapu Fini instead.
Suicune is a very general Doubles support, attempting to support the team via Snarl and Tailwind. Scald is the primary STAB move and still has burn utility in a metagame infested with Misty Terrain since not all foes are grounded and Misty Terrain isn't always going to be active. Snarl provides some damage control by weakening strong special attackers such as Mega Gengar and Mega Charizard Y, though it's usually a move utilized during dead turns where Suicune can't do much else. Tailwind is the real selling point, providing powerful Speed control for the team in a way that Tapu Fini can't simply accomplish better. Icy Wind can provide similar speed control while also dealing meaningful damage to Landorus-Therian and Mega Salamence, though other Pokemon can also provide this support, including Tapu Fini, so this takes away from Suicune's sole selling point. Protect allows Suicune to shield against being doubled, which is not uncommon against a Pokemon that can threaten to set Tailwind for its stronger teammates.
The EV spread should be adjusted as desired, though the listed one maximizes overall bulk while making Suicune as strong as possible so that it can actually threaten foes. However, a specially defensive spread with Calm nature gives Suicune a lot more longevity should you desire that instead. Iapapa Berry is chosen for the big burst recovery, it's really just better than any alternative items, though any pinch berry except Figy works here. The choice of ability doesn't matter much here, Pressure can be used to speed check via ability activation order while Inner Focus can provide Fake Out immunity and some insurance against Rock Slide spam.
- Roar can be used as a tech against Trick Room if your team lacks many options against it, though this can be difficult to make room for and equally tricky to execute effectively.
Suicune suffers from the same problems most bulky Water-types do, being weak to Electric- and Grass-type foes is dangerous since it can't do a ton back to the likes of Tapu Koko, Magnezone, Thundurus-T, Tapu Bulu and the like unless it has set up beforehand. Grass-types in particular are problematic since Suicune needs Ice Beam to manage anything meaningful against them, Mega Venusaur and Ferrothorn being notable because they don't mind even that. They're also immune to Toxic so they really have nothing to fear from Suicune. Breloom nets a special mention due to Technician Bullet Seed shutting down Substitute sets, though it has trouble switching in due to its frailty and aversion to burns. Taunt users can be an issue for Suicune as well since Suicune tends to be reliant on its support moves and can't threaten much except for a lucky burn from Scald otherwise. Suicune also does not like Toxic, it does not have Rest to fall back on or the safety of a Substitute then it will quickly be worn down and won't have enough power to make up for it. The lack of reliable recovery also makes entry hazards problematic for Suicune, as aside from Leftovers it doesn't have much to deal with the residual damage that adds up from switching into Stealth Rock or Spikes.
Locations in Games
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Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
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