Kyurem, The Boundary Pokémon. This legendary ice Pokémon waits for a hero to fill in the missing parts of its body with truth or ideals. It generates a powerful, freezing energy inside itself, but its body became frozen when the energy leaked out.
The third of the Dragon trio in Black and White and in lore the remains after the legendary dragon separated into Reshiram and Zekrom. Kyurem is an interesting Pokemon being the only Dragon/Ice so far, giving Kyurem access to two fantastic offensive types with the offensive stats to back it up, all while maintaining solid bulk. However, normal Kyurem's run through the years competitively is lackluster as Ice is a really bad defensive type, making it Stealth Rock weak while just missing that base 100 Speed tier, which is also true of its other forms. This makes Kyurem a somewhat niche but also very powerful pick that can catch slower teams off guard and rip through them quite easily.
Pressure - Doubles PP use for the opponent - While not bad, it's not amazing like Nidoqueen's Sheer Force. This can make it really annoying for pokemon such as Heatran and Tyranitar that need to use 8 PP moves to really deal damage as they only get 4 uses while Kyurem is in. This pairs very well with Substitute which is very useful on Kyurem as well.
A slow burn set, Kyurem is a stellar user of Substitute with its base 125 Health meaning it only needs 56 HP to reach 404 base health for 101 Substitutes. This means Chansey and Blissey won't break it with Seismic Toss, though 60 HP EVs may be worth to get that extra Substitute or switch into Stealth Rock. Roost is odd for Kyurem to get but allows Kyurem to PP stall Pokemon such as Heatran with ease, especially since Kyurem outruns Heatran and allows it to keep making Substitutes. Ice Beam is for STAB and the main move to use which is why a Metronome can be used so Kyurem can just muscle through things that it hits for neutral. However, Icium Z is typically better with Leftovers being an equally good choice for natural recovery outside Roost. Earth Power is for neutral coverage, only Rotom Heat and Wash don't take neutral and it is just strong coverage alongside Ice Beam.
This is less viable in standard formats, though choiced Kyurem can really mess up teams due to its ability to pivot into threats such as Mega Manectric and Rotom and threaten either a Choice Specs Draco Meteor or double tap something with a Choice Scarf. Ice Beam is a strong STAB and very spammable, no need for explanation there. Earth Power and Hidden Power Fire are good coverage for Steel threats, Hidden Power mostly being there for Scizor and can be switched for a Dragon STAB. Last slot is often Draco Meteor as 130 Special Attack base at +1 hurts, but Dragon Pulse can be used for a more spammable STAB. Outrage can also be used with Naive nature and 4 EVs into Attack to catch Chansey and Blissey off guard, but this isn't advised unless you run Draco Meteor over Hidden Power Fire.
Mixed - 130 base in both Attack and Special Attack means a mixed set is possible on Kyurem. However, while surprising because Kyurem doesn't normally run this, it's not recommended outside lower tiers as Kyurem's other form Black Kyurem does this far better, and in lower tiers there's competition with Hydreigon who has better move options such as Superpower and U-Turn.
Volt Switch / U-Turn - Kyurem struggles to find a way in sometimes and slower Volt Switch or U-Turn cores can really help the ice dragon. Scizor is perhaps the best for this as it baits in Fire Pokemon such as Heatran and Rotom Heat, which Substitute Kyurem can set up on. Scizor can also provide Defog support which Kyurem greatly appreciates. Volt Switch options include Mega Manectric and Rotom in all forms as they often bait in Blissey/Chansey, which Kyurem will win a fight with if its a Substitute + Roost set. Kyurem also deals with Grass and Ground threats which the Choiced sets destroy (SubRoost loves Grasses as well bar Breloom). Rotom falls into the same boat as Scizor as it carries Defog, and it has access to Will-O-Wisp which can weaken Pokemon that would otherwise beat Kyurem such as Azumarill. Finally, Tapu Koko is pretty decent with its solid damage and ability to turn on anything with access to both moves, and its high Speed and Fairy typing checks other Dragon and Fighting type foes that Kyurem dislikes.
Scizor - A solid check to the Choiced sets and counter to the SubRoost set, Scizor can easily revenge kill Kyurem with Bullet Punch or trap with Pursuit. However Stealth Rock needs to be up for Scizor to secure the OHKO with a Choice Band, but is a 2HKO otherwise. Bear in mind however Choice Specs Kyurem 2HKOes Banded Scizor with everything, as Scizor isn't extremely durable on the special side.
Black Kyurem has a similar competitive history as Kyurem, being hyped for its insane 170 base Attack and then had an outcry when it got released in Smogon OU, but was never near as broken as people thought it would be. All that said Black Kyurem is an insanely powerful pokemon and one of the best possible the best wall breakers around thanks to Kyurem's strong movepool, base stats, and Teravolt. In any other standard format that allows it, Black Kyurem is a deadly Pokemon that is absolutely worth the hype, as long as it's not a format with other similar power legendaries.
Teravolt - This Pokemon's moves and their effects ignore the enemy's ability - This is the same as Zekrom's ability, it's just Mold Breaker with a fancy name which is a fantastic ability. Kyurem had neutral coverage on everything except Rotom so it could pivot into Kyurem, which is no longer the case as it can simply hit it with Earth Power now. Also an effective way of shutting down those silly kids trying to pull off a Sturdy Shedinja strategy in Doubles.
With Icium Z Black Kyurem finally has access to a strong physical Ice STAB…..once. Yeah it really hurts but at least Black Kyurem has a move of immense power that only Steels resist. If you can predict well you can use Freeze Shock on its own but this isn't recommended. Fusion Bolt is good coverage for the bulky Waters that Kyurem struggled with. Ice Beam is for a spammable STAB and can use Icium Z if needed for a blast on the special side as well, so this set has a nice level of flexibility. Earth Power and Substitute are the options for the final slot, with Earth Power destroying most Steels that this set would struggle with otherwise while Substitute lets Black Kyurem stay in on some threats it normally can such as Keldeo and otherwise punish switches.
Black Kyurem is all about power so maximum offensive investment is logical, though 52 HP EVs can be used if making use of Substitute. Naive nature lets Black Kyurem get a jump on some of the other neutral nature Pokemon in that speed range, though Naughty nature can also be used if the extra power boost is more desirable. Hasty and Lonely nature fill similar functions but lowering Special Defense is preferred to Defense since this would make it more vulnerable to being revenge killed by Bullet Punch.
Roost + 3 Attacks
Despite having 170 base Attack, Black Kyurem lacks the ability to truly be a physically based mixed attacker, but is still a great specially based mixed attacker. Ice Beam is Black Kyurem's only STAB and really hurts some common threats such as Tangrowth and Zygarde. Fusion Bolt is really nice here as lets Black Kyurem beat Tapu Fini who otherwise walls it, as well as pressure Mega Gyarados and Mega Charizard Y. Earth Power or Hidden Power Fire round out the damage based on your team. Earth Power is better for Steels such as Heatran and Magearna while Hidden Power Fire lets Black Kyurem beat Ferrothorn and Scizor. Roost rounds out the set to heal off entry hazard damage, chip damage, and Life Orb recoil.
This is a set that focuses on wallbreaking over long periods of time so the extra speed from a Naive nature is preferred here. Otherwise focusing in offensive investment works the same as the previous set. Life Orb grants Black Kyurem a sizable power boost at the cost of some HP, though Leftovers can also be considered if the extra longevity is preferred to the power.
Choiced - With a Choice Scarf similar to Kyurem, Black Kyurem can become a decent revenge killer, but with Fairy types Outrage is far less spammable and no physical Ice STAB hurts. Choice Band makes Black Kyurem terrifying but it struggles more with Tapu Koko and Tapu Bulu as it fails to hit them any harder, arguably less due to full Attack EVs, making it hard to justify outside a specific team need.
Hazard Control - While Black Kyurem likes similar support to Kyurem it really likes hazard control due to not using Roost as often and often using a Life Orb. This makes its lifespan very short compared to its vanilla form, granted it will be doing more damage in the process. Zapdos is a good option here as its ability to check Scizor and Ferrothorn with ease lets Black Kyurem run Earth Power and blow up other Steels, on top of having access to Volt Switch. Scizor is decent but Black Kyurem struggles with the Fire types in the higher tier formats such as the Charizards which can beat Black Kyurem due to their base 100 Speed, but Heatran is really easy for Black Kyurem to abuse. Finally Excadrill is a nice option as one of the best Rapid Spinners since it can also check other Steel types, and it pairs well on a sand team thanks to Tyranitar's ability to trap Latios for Kyurem. The sand core can also benefit from the holes Black Kyurem punches in teams as well, making for an easier sweep.
VGC & Double Battle Options
Kyurem's history in Doubles is comparable to its history in Singles, in that Black Kyurem is strong in standard formats that allow it and the other formes struggle in one way or another. Black Kyurem is a powerhouse mainstay in 6v6 Doubles formats due to its very useful resistances and offensive pressure, accentuated by its infamous Substitute sets in past gens and Life Orb sets in recent gens. Access to Z-Moves also grant it some offensive flexibility and unpredictability making for a very dangerous threat that you should never underestimate, even in a format flooded with Fairy-types. Times are definitely getting tougher for it though, as the once deadly powerhouse that possibly shouldn't even have been allowed to touch standard 6v6 Doubles in the Gen 5 era now faces tougher competition with each gen. Likewise, while White Kyurem is the only forme to see use in GS Cup formats the teams in which it's worth the attention are limited in number and are becoming increasingly difficult to justify with more options around. Kyurem continues to suffer from the Unova dragons being given more limited movepools and being Dragon-types with more exploitable weaknesses, though that doesn't mean it isn't still worth your attention. This is still a powerful Ice-type, and powerful Ice-types can sometimes be some of the scariest Pokemon to deal with.
- Ice Beam
Life Orb continues to be a strong option for Black Kyurem in Doubles, and has overtaken the Substitute set of old days due to the increased need for power in a bulky metagame. Note that this is not a Pokemon you want to use in GS Cup formats since there is always going to be a better use of your restricted slots. Ice Beam is a powerful STAB move that deals with an assortment of threats such as Zapdos and Landorus-Therian, while generally being a reliable option. Fusion Bolt allows Black Kyurem to deal with Tapu Fini which is otherwise a huge problem for it, and the Attack investment makes it a reliable option for 2HKOing it. Earth Power rounds out coverage by letting Black Kyurem deal with the likes of Tapu Koko, Incineroar and even less common threats such as Stakataka and the rare Rotom. Protect is Protect, even more useful when you're a Pokemon with middling Speed and weak to Fairy-types.
Normally a standard 252 SpA / 252 Spe spread would be the general recommended spread, though Black Kyurem benefits from the Attack investment solely to make Tapu Fini more reasonable to deal with. 144 SpA is the benchmark chosen because it allows Black Kyurem to OHKO Tapu Koko with Earth Power, the 112 Atk is mostly leftover because extra Special Attack isn't necessary. Hasty Nature with maximum Speed investment allows Kyurem-Black to ensure it outspeeds Landorus-Therian that aren't running Choice Scarf, and the nature choice over Naive is taken because its useful resistances are primarily special oriented, namely Electric- and Water-type moves.
- Black Kyurem has a variety of options for sets, Icium Z Freeze Shock being a notable one that can nuke reasonably bulky foes which becomes increasingly useful in the USUM Doubles environment. However, the same flaws with Freeze Shock from Singles still apply in that the move is somewhat of a dead slot without the Z-Move. Intimidate being as common as it is doesn't help either, but it doesn't prevent this from being a deadly option.
Countering Black Kyurem
Fighting types - Black Kyurem can beat most Fighting types in a vacuum, but realistically that never happens due to its Speed tier. Keldeo is arguable the best with its Water typing to resist Ice Beam and it can OHKO with Secret Sword, but it has to be wary of Fusion Bolt or a Substitute set when trying to switch in. Terrakion is very similar but has to watch Earth Power which can be dodged with an Air Balloon, as poor a choice that is. Finally, Hawlucha is far faster than Black Kyurem but has a harder time beating it due to needing to land Hi Jump Kick and being weak to half the standard moves on Black Kyurem, but it can get in for free on an Earth Power.
Kyurem's other form, White Kyurem is undeniably the best form and really shows what stats in the right areas can do, having the same base stat spread as Black Kyurem but with Attack and Special Attack flipped. This allows White Kyurem to have the hardest hitting Draco Meteors in the game as well as the ability to OHKO or 2HKO almost every Pokemon with a Life Orb or Choice Specs, making it a premier wallbreaker in Ubers. However a lot of the same problems the other forms of Kyurem plague White Kyurem there on top of there being new faces to answer that the other formes never have to deal with, namely the keeper of the sacred beasts, Ho-Oh.
Turboblaze - Moves from this Pokemon and their effects ignore the opponents ability - Same as Black Kyurem, White Kyurem inherited Reshiram's ability but it is slightly less useful as the abilities you'd want to ignore such as Shadow Shield and Prism Armor are unaffected by this ability. Make no mistake, however, White Kyurem's ability to negate abilities is huge, allowing White Kyurem to pick up kills on Lugia with minimal effort.
Life Orb and Choice Specs are flexible here and change how White Kyurem will fit on the team. Life Orb makes it harder to get into White Kyurem as it will 2HKO the whole of Ubers, while Choice Specs will OHKO a chunk of the metagame but because it gets locked into a move, it makes it easier to switch into. Ice Beam and Draco Meteor are the STAB moves, Ice Beam being a more spammable move with the plethora of Dragons and lack of Fires while Draco Meteor is for the big damage. With Choice Specs, White Kyurem deals 62-73% to defensive Ho-Oh, one of its best checks. Fusion Flare is incredible for White Kyurem as Steels resist both STABs and this allows White Kyurem to blow past them. Finally, Roost can be used with a Life Orb for recovery from the recoil and damage from pivoting in, while Earth Power can be used to hit threats such as Primal Groudon for OHKOs after entry hazards without using Draco Meteor.
Expert Belt - A more gimmicky option as while White Kyurem does hit much for Super Effective damage, it often leans on raw power to break threats and losing Specs or Life Orb can really limit its power. For example, Expert Belt Kyurem does 79%-92.8% to 144 HP Primal Groudon while Life Orb does 85%-100% and Choice Specs deal 98%-115%.
Primal Groudon - With the ability to answer Xerneas that can fish for a way in after White Kyurem uses Draco Meteor, Primal Groudon is an excellent partner. Outside stopping the legendary deer, Primal Groudon also provides utility to the team with Stealth Rock and its flexibility, being able to sweep after White Kyurem thrashes through the enemies team mid game. Finally Primal Groudon also checks Steels that are a pain for White Kyurem such as Mega Scizor and Mega Metagross, and can turn them into fodder for Swords Dance or Rock Polish.
VGC & Double Battle Options
Kyurem's history in Doubles is comparable to its history in Singles, in that White Kyurem is strong in standard formats that allow it and the other formes struggle in one way or another. White Kyurem is a powerhouse mainstay in 6v6 Doubles formats due to its very useful resistances and offensive pressure, accentuated by its infamous Substitute sets in past gens and Life Orb sets in recent gens. Access to Z-Moves also grant it some offensive flexibility and unpredictability making for a very dangerous threat that you should never underestimate, even in a format flooded with Fairy-types. Times are definitely getting tougher for it though, as the once deadly powerhouse that possibly shouldn't even have been allowed to touch standard 6v6 Doubles in the Gen 5 era now faces tougher competition with each gen. Likewise, while White Kyurem is the only forme to see use in GS Cup formats the teams in which it's worth the attention are limited in number and are becoming increasingly difficult to justify with more options around. Kyurem continues to suffer from the Unova dragons being given more limited movepools and being Dragon-types with more exploitable weaknesses, though that doesn't mean it isn't still worth your attention. This is still a powerful Ice-type, and powerful Ice-types can sometimes be some of the scariest Pokemon to deal with.
Switching gears to White Kyurem, this is also a Pokemon that is arguably not worth using your restricted slot in GS Cup formats, though this set can be justified on select team setups. Choice Specs White Kyurem with Blizzard is a terror for many teams, though it requires the use of Gravity support from the likes of Bronzong or Meowstic to be reliable and worth the effort. No, Hail support is not working in a format with the Primals and Mega Rayquaza, you should be ashamed if you even considered it. Fusion Flare gives White Kyurem an option to deal with Steel-types such as Ferrothorn, Bronzong, and Dusk Mane Necrozma. Draco Meteor is a powerful secondary STAB that is primarily useful for nuking Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre. Ice Beam is a filler slot but it provides a reliable single target STAB for situations where Gravity support can't be relied upon.
All-out offense is the only way to go with White Kyurem, it already hits insanely hard so the maximum Speed investment and a Timid nature are more important to ensure that it outspeeds as many foes as possible. Choice Specs turns Blizzard into a crazy powerful spread nuke that only the Primals can compare with, though White Kyurem has the advantage of a slightly better Speed tier and stronger offensive typing. You may be wondering why you would be using this over Gravity support with Groudon, and that is a valid question. You will typically be better off using that since Groudon is more durable and consistent, but this is about White Kyurem and its ability to sneak wins with lucky Blizzard freezes against the few things that live.
- As you might be able to guess, there's not really much else in terms of options for base Kyurem or White Kyurem. There is also nothing that base Kyurem can do in Doubles that the other sets don't do better.
Countering White Kyurem
Ho-Oh - One of the best answers to White Kyurem with its immense Special Defense and neutrality to both STABs and resistance to coverage in Fusion Flare. Ho-Oh can also threaten White Kyurem back, unlike Blissey, with moves such as Sacred Fire and Brave Bird, or just nail it or its partners with Toxic, such as Primal Groudon who is otherwise a great answer to Ho-Oh, and just switch out and heal with Regenerator.
Locations in Games
Black 2/White 2:
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!:
All Content is
Pokémon And All Respective Names are Trademark & © of Nintendo 1996-2019