Tapu Bulu, The Land Spirit Pokémon. It pulls large trees up by the roots and swings them around. It causes vegetation to grow, and then it absorbs energy from the growth. The guardian deity of Ula’ula is a lazy Pokémon. It commands plants to immobilize its foes and then deals them a savage blow with its horns. It makes ringing sounds with its tail to let others know where it is, avoiding unneeded conflicts. Although it’s called a guardian deity, it’s violent enough to crush anyone it sees as an enemy.
Initially regarded as one of the worst Tapu's released, many people considered Tapu Bulu an inferior choice to use on a team compared to what Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele and Tapu Fini could bring to a team. Bulu's multiple weaknesses (Flying, Fire, x4 Poison, Steel, Ice) along with his main STAB being Grass (a very inferior offensive type compared to Electric, Water & Psychic), didn't do him any favors either. However, an aspect often overlooked on Tapu Bulu is the fact that Bulu's offensive outputs rivals those by Lele and the healing utility provided by Grassy Terrain can be extremely useful given the right support. While Tapu Bulu has a large number of weaknesses, it also has plenty of resistances which grants him many opportunities to switch into battle.
Grassy Surge: Activates Grassy Terrain for 5 turns when the Pokémon enters a battle. Tapu Bulu's signature ability, Grassy Surge, allows it to summon Grassy Terrain whenever it enters the battlefield. Under Grassy Terrain, the HP of all grounded Pokémon will be restored by 1/16 of their maximum HP at the end of the turn while weakening Ground type moves like Earthquake, Magnitude and Bulldoze to a 50%. Finally, it boosts all Grass type moves to a 50% which allows Bulu to deal ridiculous amounts of damage to even Pokemon that resist Grass attacks.
- Swords Dance
The premise of using this set is simple: Use Swords Dance to boost your Attack to sky high levels and plow through sturdy Pokemon like Skarmory, Celesteela & Tangrowth. While a little bit weak, Horn Leech is an excellent way to dish out damage while recovering some health back in order to keep Tapu Bulu consistently healthy throughout the match. Superpower is an excellent coverage move that allows Tapu Bulu to destroy Steel types like Ferrothorn and Heatran. When combined with a Fightinium Z, it allows Tapu Bulu to fire an All-Out Pummeling that it is easily able to remove Celesteela after Stealth Rock damage. Stone Edge is there to hit Fire types like Charizard & Volcarona. Rockium Z can be used in order to hit hard against neutral targets like Mega Venusaur and Tangrowth. If using Grassium Z, Wood Hammer is an excellent option to nuke resists to Grass type attacks. With the Grassy Surge boost and after a Swords Dance boost, Bloom Doom is so strong, it is even able to OHKO Tangrowth after Stealth Rock damage. Even offensive variants of Mega Scizor (x4 resist) take a 50% from their health when hit by the move!
- Wood Hammer
With a Choice Band, Tapu Bulu becomes a fearsome wallbreaker that is capable of putting dents on many switch-ins to Grass-type attacks. Wood Hammer becomes Tapu Bulu's most spammable move as it is able to achieve some impressive benchmarks like OHKOing Mega Charizard Y and Latios after Stealth Rock damage. Horn Leech is used for more consistency in order to keep Tapu Bulu healthy throughout the match. Superpower allows Tapu Bulu to hurt Skarmory, Ferrothorn & Heatran switch-ins and finally, Zen Headbutt provides super effective coverage to destroy Mega Venusaur and Amoonguss. Stone Edge is an option to hurt Zapdos and Volcarona badly without having to resort to Wood Hammer and risk a Static paralysis or a Flame Body burn.
- Horn Leech
This is a set that maximizes Tapu Bulu's durability abusing fully Grassy Terrain's healing effects, the recovery provided by Leftovers and Leech Seed making it one of the most annoying sets for your opponent to face. Once again, Horn Leech provides reliable recovery albeit a bit weak. Substitute shields Tapu Bulu from common switch-ins like Heatran & Skarmory allowing it to use Leech Seed next turn while also protecting it from status moves. It also lets Tapu Bulu to set up on Pokemon like Toxapex who is rendered useless against this set as it will find itself unable to break Bulu's Substitutes. Nature's Madness is the recommended move on the last move to pressure your opponent's switches by removing half of their HP, which is valuable for hitting neutrally against anything immune to Leech Seed (Grass-types). Superpower is an option to hit Ferrothorn, however, it achieves very little due to the lack of offensive investment.
• Assault Vest takes advantage of Tapu Bulu's fantastic resistances and combined with Horn Leech & Grassy Terrain's recovery, makes it effective to use in Singles. With this item, Tapu Bulu has an easier time switching into Pokemon like Tapu Koko, Ash Greninja and Keldeo.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Tapu Bulu is the least used of the four Tapus, but that does not mean it is a bad Pokemon in VGC 2018. In fact, Tapu Bulu can actually beat any of the other Tapus 1v1 (usually). Unless Tapu Lele or Tapu Fini are very slow, Tapu Bulu's terrain is typically the terrain that stays up due to its lower speed, meaning it can reliably be led for terrain control. Although Intimidate can slow it down, Tapu Bulu's incredible Attack stat, especially backed by Grassy Terrain when using Grass-type moves, can break through many opponents. Sadly, Tapu Bulu has not received any physical Fairy-type attacks, so its coverage moves typically fill out a set, but the power of its Grass-type moves are a huge threat for an opponent.
Grab the Bulu by the Horns
Offensive Tapu Bulu needs maximum Attack, and it typically appreciates maximum Speed as well unless you have reliable speed control. Adamant nature further boosts attack and is more likely to ensure your terrain overrides Tapu Fini's or Tapu Lele's, but Jolly can still be used. Grassy Surge is its only ability available, but is very useful to boost its own attacks and support the team (unfortunately, it is also the terrain your opponent can most take advantage of as well with recovery). Grassium Z gives Tapu Bulu one of the strongest attacks in the game, as a Grassy Terrain-boosted Bloom Doom backed by Tapu Bulu's high Attack can take out almost any Pokemon that does not resist it.
Wood Hammer is Bulu's strongest attack, and it also gives Bloom Doom its highest power. Additionally, the nasty recoil is somewhat offset by the Grassy Terrain recovery. Horn Leech also receives a Grassy Terrain boost, and is often more than enough to pick up a knock out, but will recover your health in the process. Superpower and Rock Slide both provide good coverage. Superpower hits many steel types hard, but Rock Slide gives spread damage and hits many Fire-types super-effectively. Protect keeps Tapu Bulu safe from threatening attacks, gives it a free turn of Grassy Terrain recovery, or stalls out speed control.
Guardian of Ula'ula
The other common way to use Tapu Bulu is a bit less offensive, and more geared to lasting long on the field. Maximum HP lets Bulu take attacks well, while an Adamant nature with maximum Attack still lets it hit hard to pick up necessary KOs, although many trainers will invest in some Special Defense instead. Leftovers gives consistent recovery and is great when paired with Grassy Terrain to recover off damage from Substitute or Wood Hammer, but a pinch berry like the Mago Berry can really come in handy to immediately recover half of your health.
Horn Leech again provides good damage and recovery with Grassy Terrain. Wood Hammer provides a little more damage when needed, but Leech Seed can further increase recovery. Substitute goes well with Bulu's good bulk and recovery options, and allows it to dodge dangerous attacks. Protect is arguably the best move in the game, again keeping Bulu away from attacks that threaten to knock it out while a teammate helps out.
Other Options & Team Ideas
-Assault Vest is an item picking up in usage lately, and for good reason. The boost to its special defense shores up Tapu Bulu's weaker defensive stat, and makes it incredibly bulky. With four moveslots available, it is able to take full advantage of its high base attack, and the terrain's recovery still acts as a free “Leftovers.”
Locations in Games
Black 2/White 2:
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
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