Ferrothorn, The Thorn Pod Pokémon. By swinging around its three spiky feelers and shooting spikes, it can obliterate an opponent. They attach themselves to cave ceilings, firing steel spikes at targets passing beneath them. It fights by swinging around its three spiky feelers. A hit from these steel spikes can reduce a boulder to rubble.
Blessed with one of the best defensive typings in the game, Ferrothorn has not really changed a lot since its introduction in Gen 5. Thanks to Ferrothorn's great bulk, for many years, it has been the premier hazard setter in most Singles teams, which is what it does best. Thanks to its great utility movepool, high defenses and typing, it finds itself as an easy pick for many teams that require a check for dangerous sweepers such as Ash Greninja, Tapu Koko, Gyarados, and Tapu Lele on a single Pokemon. However, while Ferrothorn is extremely slow, due to its prevalence in Singles, Pokemon such as Magearna and Mega Latios usually run coverage moves such as Hidden Power Fire and Focus Blast in order to deal with Ferrothorn which limits its ability to check these Pokemon reliably.
WALL OF THORNS
- Spikes / Stealth Rock
In another generation of Pokemon, Ferrothorn fulfills its role as one of the best hazard setters in Singles. Thanks to its great bulk and defensive typing, Ferrothorn is able to reliably set up Stealth Rock or Spikes due to the amount of switches it can easily force while helping its teammates to whittle down the opposition. If you are already using a Stealth Rock user, Spikes should be considered on the first slot as it allows Ferrothorn to stack hazards on the opposition and damage grounded Pokemon like Mega Mawile, Tapu Fini and Chansey, making it easier to break them down. Otherwise, feel free to use Ferrothorn as your sole Stealth Rock user in case you can't fit the move on another team member. Leech Seed grants Ferrothorn recover by sapping the opponent's health while healing itself. It makes Ferrothorn an incredibly annoying Pokemon to switch into as not many Grass types (who are immune to Leech Seed) can really threaten it unless they carry Fire coverage. Power Whip is Ferrothorn's main STAB and with its base 120 base power, it can easily OHKO or 2HKO most Water, Ground and Rock types that are hit super-effectively by the move. However, Bullet Seed is preferred in Battle Spot due to Mimikyu's prevalence. On the last slot, it depends on what your team needs: Gyro Ball is a secondary STAB that hits fast Pokemon such as Latios, Tapu Koko and Weavile very hard thanks to Ferrothorn's low Speed. Knock Off is an always good option to remove the foe's item and cripple common switch-ins such as Zapdos. Protect makes Ferrothorn an stalling machine and lets it abuse Leech Seed recovery at the cost of being more passive. Finally, Thunder Wave can heavily cripple switch-ins such as Heatran or Mega Charizard X/Y.
Max HP and +164 SpD EVs prevent Choice Specs Ash Greninja from ever achieving a 2HKO on Ferrothorn even after Stealth Rock and one round of Spikes damage, while 92 Def EVs prevent Ferrothorn from being 2HKO'd by Choice Band Zygarde's Thousand Arrows. However, Ferrothorn is pretty customizable and you can play around with the EVs depending on what you want to achieve with this Pokemon: 252 HP / 48 Def / 208 SpD prevents Ferrothorn from being 3HKOed by pre-transformation Greninja's Choice Spec boosted Dark Pulse from full HP. Alternatively, you can use a physically stronger defensive spread of: 252 HP / 88 Def / 168 SpD with an Impish / Relaxed nature in order to deal with Swords Dance Excadrill and Landorus-T.
Iron Barbs is the only ability Ferrothorn should ever consider using for competitive formats as Anticipation is virtually useless. Leftovers should always be the optimal item for Ferrothorn to use as it grants it a great recovery to combine with Leech Seed. Chople Berry is an option to let Ferrothorn stomach Mega Medicham's Hi Jump Kick and cripple it with Thunder Wave. Rocky Helmet is also a niche pick to abuse Ferrothorn's Iron Barb and chip up to 30% on every contact move.
In case Power Whip's accuracy or Bullet Seed's power lets you down, Seed Bomb is a more accurate Grass STAB Ferrothorn can use in order to avoid accuracy issues. However, the power drop is very noticeable specially against threats such as Keldeo or Manaphy.
VGC & Double Battle Options
Ferrothorn's place in Doubles, much like in Singles, has not seen much change over the years. While its ability to set hazards is not highly valued in most Doubles formats, Ferrothorn still finds itself very annoying to deal with if unprepared. In a format where Protect is such a valuable move, Leech Seed alone makes a Pokemon as bulky as Ferrothorn a legitimate threat. Often times a team will be forced to bring their Ferrothorn checks solely due to how difficult it can be to deal with it otherwise, and this is true even in a GS Cup format such as the current 2019 format. With Xerneas and Kyogre being such common threats, Ferrothorn finds itself on many teams at the moment, whether to aid them or defeat them. However, Incineroar being as common as it is certainly does not help Ferrothorn in any format, as it more or less ensures a team will have a Ferrothorn answer, reducing some of its team preview pressure. That being said, Ferrothorn has a whole team to support it, so if you're willing to help Ferrothorn do its job, you will not be disappointed.
- Gyro Ball
Ferrothorn is very straightforward in how it plays, with most of its variation being in the EV spread. Gyro Ball is the primary Steel-type STAB which is mostly valuable for dealing with Xerneas, though its coverage is lacking against most other foes. Power Whip is Ferrothorn's best Grass-type STAB which proves valuable for dealing with Kyogre, and despite its accuracy it's fairly reliable. Leech Seed provides very valuable utility that helps increase its longevity against all the legendaries with big HP stats, and also provides some momentum with switches. Protect is a given and it synergizes well with Leech Seed, allowing it to stall a turn for some recovery which can possibly be against two foes.
A Brave nature with full investment in HP and Attack is listed to maximize offensive presence which is important against Xerneas, but shifting focus into Special Defense with a Sassy nature is an equally valid approach. The choice depends greatly on how much you want to rely on Ferrothorn's defensive traits and how much of an immediate presence you want from it. Leftovers is the preferred item because Ferrothorn is durable enough to gain a lot of valuable recovery from it, especially in conjunction with Leech Seed. However, a pinch berry can provide more immediate recovery which can be valuable for more offensive spreads like the one listed above. Iron Barbs is the only ability worth using despite many threats being special attackers, if only to put an extra dent in Incineroar after going down to Flare Blitz.
- Ferrothorn doesn't have many other options worth consideration in Doubles, if only because it has no room due to Protect being mandatory. Knock Off can provide some nice utility against the many berries in the format, though making room for this is hard to justify.
Volcarona, Charizard and Heatran deserve a special mention as they can outright OHKO Ferrothorn while setting up in front of it quite easily. They only have to fear for the occasional Thunder Wave. Strong Fighting STAB users like Mega Medicham, Mega Lopunny and Mega Lucario can also threaten Ferrothorn out quite easily.
Anything with Fire or Fighting coverage will heavily dent Ferrothorn. Pokemon like Tapu Lele, Mega Alakazam, Greninja and Magearna tend to commonly run coverage moves like Hidden Power Fire and Focus Blast which takes a huge blow on Ferrothorn's ability to check them properly. Strong nukes such as Kyurem B's Sub-Zero Slammer or Magerna’s / Hoopa Unbound's All Out Pummeling can easily push a OHKO on Ferrothorn.
Locations in Games
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Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
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