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The best grass type Pokemon for VGC Series 9

With the new Series 9 ruleset coming to the ladder in May, now is a great time to prepare your Pokemon teams for the climb. Here we have compiled a list of the best grass types among the series 9 Pokemon you can put on your team to sweep away the competition. 

Kartana

Kartana is an offensive powerhouse. Its base 181 attack stat is even higher than Deoxys-Attack, and that thing has attack in its name. In addition to that, it has good speed, high defense, and excellent typing. Kartana is only weak to fire and fighting moves.

However, Kartana has the third lowest special defense of any fully evolved Series 9 Pokemon, with just slightly more than Shedinja and Stonjourner. This combined with its lackluster HP stat means that most special attacks, even if not super effective, are going to deal major damage to it.

Dynamax helps alleviate a lot of Kartana’s issues. In addition to the extra bulk, Dynamax gives Kartana access to Max Airstream, which gives it the speed boost it needs to outpace just about anything. Outside of Dynamax, Kartana can make an excellent late game sweeper if you have managed to take out any checks to it. Combine its exceptional offensive capabilities with the ability Beast Boost, and Kartana can take over games very quickly.

Here’s my suggested set:

  • Moves: Leaf Blade, Smart Strike, Aerial Ace, Sacred Sword
  • Item: Assault Vest
  • Ability: Beast Boost
  • EVs: 44 HP, 252 Special Defense, 212 Speed
  • Nature: Jolly

At first, this may seem like an odd spread for an offensive Pokemon. Kartana can get away with not investing in attack because of its already monstrous attack stat and Beast Boost. To give an idea of just how big it is, a max attack Cinderace with an adamant nature still won’t have as much attack as an un-invested Kartana. Maximum special attack investment combined with an Assault Vest gives Kartana a chance to live a few special hits, especially if it’s Dynamaxed. 

Kartana has such a weird speed stat that it generally won’t be speed-tying with anything other than another Kartana. Because of this, we can take a few points from speed to invest in a bit of HP. This particular speed investment allows it to outrun a max speed Nihilego, which is likely to be common enough to warrant a few extra speed points. 

Whimsicott

With Sword and Shield causing turn order to change dynamically with changes in speed, Whimsicott quickly rose to the top. The combination of Prankster and Tailwind is one of the most powerful forms of speed control, since it applies to any Pokemon on your side of the field. 

Whimsicott is far from just a Tailwind bot, though. It has several tricks up its sleeves. It can run Fake Tears or Helping Hand to give its partner a significant damage boost, or even Trick Room to turn the tides on opposing Tailwind teams. Whimsicott has a wide variety of viable moves it can run that will likely leave your opponents guessing what it’s about to do.

Here is my suggested set:

  • Moves: Moonblast, Tailwind, Fake Tears, Protect
  • Item: Focus Sash
  • Ability: Prankster
  • EVs: 252 Special Attack, 4 Special Defense, 252 Speed
  • Nature: Timid

Though Whimsicott doesn’t have great offensive capabilities, a Focus Sash ensures it is never knocked out in one hit. Because of this, we can invest heavily in special attack to give it a bit of an extra damage boost with Moonblast. Maxing out speed is a must, since going fast is what Whimsicott does best. 

Be wary of Fake Out users who could stop any Prankster moves you may want to go for. In addition to the guaranteed flinch, Fake Out renders your Focus Sash useless. Protect is slotted in to guard our little cotton friend and its Focus Sash.

Fake Tears pairs excellently with special attackers since it’s boosted by Prankster. However, if you find you don’t usually run Whimsicott with a special attacker, you can use Helping Hand instead. Helping Hand comes with the added benefit of going before Fake Out, so you aren’t trapped into using Protect that turn. 

Venusaur

This first generation favorite has been consistently good ever since it made its way to the Galar region. It had its biggest moment in the most recent Player’s Cup, where all top three teams were running a Venusaur. The combination of Chlorophyll, Sleep Powder, and an excellent Gigantamax form make Venusaur one of the best Series 9 Pokemon around.

Sleep received an indirect buff with Dynamax, since it has the potential to waste opponents’ limited Dynamax turns. On top of spreading sleep status, Venusaur has the option to Dynamax and set up its incredibly powerful G-Max Vinelash. This versatility makes it difficult for opponents to play around, since you never know what this grassy frog is going to do when it’s on the field.

Here is my suggested set:

  • Moves: Leaf Storm, Sludge Bomb, Sleep Powder, Weather Ball
  • Item: Coba Berry
  • Ability: Chlorophyll 
  • EVs: 252 Special Attack, 4 Special Defense, 252 Speed
  • Nature: Timid

Chlorophyll makes Venusaur incredibly fast in the sun. This is crucial, as it allows Venusaur to usually get off Sleep Powder or Gmax Vinelash before the opponent can move. While in the past Venusaur could get away with running a modest nature, the advent of Regieleki means Venusaur cannot outspeed it without a timid nature. The rest of the EVs are invested in special attack to bolster Venusaur’s mediocre offensive abilities. 

Leaf Storm gives Venusaur a powerful nuke and a strong G-Max Vinelash when Dynamaxed. Sludge Bomb is for more consistent damage and special attack boosts Max Ooze. Sleep Powder, as mentioned before, is incredibly threatening, and can win games outright if you hit the 75% accurate move. Since Venusaur is often in the sun, Weather Ball gives it a fire attack to hit steel types that would normally wall it. If the sun is out, a Max Strike from Weather Ball will become Max Flare. 

Coba Berry is great for allowing Venusaur to take the ever prevalent Max Airstream. Focus Sash is also a great alternative if no other allies are holding it.

Amoonguss

Whenever I see an Amoonguss on the opposing team I can’t help but groan a bit. This Pokemon is one of the most infuriating foes to go up against. However, this frustration is a result of how effective Amoonguss is at what it does. 

Being a mushroom Pokemon, Amoonguss gets access to the incredibly rare Spore. This alone would make Amoonguss a strong contender for any team, but it also comes with redirection in Rage Powder, and solid bulk to boot.

Having an Amoonguss on your team will also make opponents think twice about setting up Trick Room. While under the effects of Trick Room, Amoonguss’ slow speed means it can usually put something to sleep before the opposing Pokemon can even move. 

Amoonguss is one of the best supports of all available Series 9 Pokemon. It can perform well on just about any team. Here is my suggested set:

  • Moves: Pollen Puff, Rage Powder, Spore, Protect
  • Item: Coba Berry
  • Ability: Regenerator
  • EVs: 252 HP, 132 Defense, 124 Special Defense
  • Nature: Relaxed

How you EV your Amoonguss is very reliant on your team composition and what you want it to survive. Maximum investment in HP gives Amoonguss additional bulk on both the physical and special side. 132 defense EVs and a relaxed nature allow Amoongus to survive a Max Hailstorm and the subsequent hail damage from a Metagross. The remaining EVs are put into special defense for additional bulk.

Rage Powder, Spore, and Protect are staples on just about every Amoonguss set. Rage Powder and Spore are what make Amoonguss unique, and Protect is valuable since your opponent is likely to want to get rid of this Pokemon as soon as possible. 

The last moveslot offers a lot of flexibility. I prefer Pollen Puff, as it not only gives Amoonguss a bit of damage, but a way to heal allies as well. Sludge Bomb is usually the choice if you want more damage. Clear Smog can be used to stop setup Pokemon and potentialy remove stat drops on your own Pokemon. Giga Drain gives Amoonguss a bit of recovery, and is helpful if you need more grass coverage. 

Both of Amoonguss’ abilities are useful. Regenerator is more common, as it extends Amoonguss’ life a bit, but Effect Spore can be great against the plethora of contact moves. This is particularly relevant for Fake Out, since Amoonguss is often targeted with this move. 

Like with Venusaur, Coba Berry is great to survive Max Airstreams, but Focus Sash is also an excellent choice if no other Pokemon on your team is using it. 

Rillaboom

When the Isle of Armor expansion was released, Rillaboom exploded onto the competitive scene. Not only did it finally gain access to its hidden ability, Grassy Surge, but it also got a great new move to complement it: Grassy Glide. In Rillaboom’s hands, Grassy Glide becomes one of the most powerful and consistent priority moves in the game.

The new Galar starter comes with a plethora of other great utility options as well. Fake Out  and Knock Off are both great for crippling opposing Pokemon. Rillaboom can also go on the offense with moves like Wood Hammer, Superpower, and High Horsepower.

Whether you need some additional support on your team or just an offensive grass type, Rillaboom is one Series 9 Pokemon to look into. Here is my suggested set:

  • Moves: Grassy Glide, Fake Out, Knock Off, Protect
  • Item: Rose Incense
  • Ability: Grassy Glide
  • EVs: 242 HP, 252 Attack, 12 Speed
  • Nature: Adamant

There are a lot of different spreads available for Rillaboom. This particular set is designed to maximize bulk and offensive power. The small speed investment is to outspeed other Rillabooms who may only put 4 EVs into speed. 

Grassy Glide and Rillaboom have become almost synonymous with each other and is a staple on virtually every set. This often will be the only offensive move you need. Knock Off allows Rillaboom to remove items, which can be particularly potent against Weakness Policy and Eviolite users. It also gives Rillaboom good coverage against Pokemon that resist Grassy Glide. Fake Out is great for disruption, and Protect for ensuring Rillaboom can stick around as long as possible. 

Rose Incense is identical to Miracle Seed in that they both give a boost to grass type attacks. However, Rose Incense is less common, so there is potential an opponent could Frisk it and be unsure of what it does. Also, the little item icon just looks cooler than Miracle Seed’s.

That concludes my recommendations for the top grass type Pokemon for Series 9. Be sure to check out our other guide on the top fire type Series 9 Pokemon, and stay tuned for other competitive Pokemon content!

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Will Newhouse

Currently enjoying being the 2nd player on my wife's Animal Crossing island and falling down the Pokemon Battle Tower ranks.
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