Is Paldean Tauros a Good Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet?

Tauros gets a regional form in Scarlet and Violet, and its Paldean form may bring what was once one of the mightiest of all Pokemon from Generation 1 back into the competitive spotlight. At least we hope, especially given that this Tauros from Paldea comes in three delicious flavors. One is a Fighting Type, one is Fighting/Fire, and one is Fighting/Water. While these typings may appear random at first, one look at Tauros’ move pool from Sword and Shield will show that they make total sense.

Before we get into the three flavors of Paldean Tauros, I must point out that Paldean Tauros isn’t identical in base stats to regular Tauros. Let’s compare the base stats.

Tauros: 75 HP, 100 ATK, 95 DEF, 40 Special ATK, 70 Special DEF, 110 Speed

Paldean Tauros (all forms): 75 HP, 110 ATK, 105 DEF, 30 Special ATK, 70 Special DEF, 100 Speed

These changes are subtle, but extremely important. You’re not specially attacking with a Tauros more often than not any way, so moving 10 Special Attack points into Attack makes perfect sense. Tauros already hit hard, and now it can hit harder. The second change is much more impactful, though. Losing 10 Speed for 10 physical Defense seems fine, but the Speed is much more important.

While 100 Speed is fine, 110 was significantly better. Remember, in Pokemon you literally only need to outspeed your opponent by a single stat point. We’ll see if this is a problem when it comes to speed tiers, because now it’s going to be tying with many things, even if you go with a Jolly nature and boost your Speed. The only thing that seems to be a real problem from Paldea itself in the Speed department is the Psychic-type Espathra, which has 105 base Speed. Fortunately, Jolly nature may just outrun an Espathra with no Speed EV (Effort Value) investment.

First, we’ll consider Fighting-type Tauros. Because Tauros has run Close Combat for many generations, gaining a Fighting-type means that it hits with a 1.5x same type attack bonus (STAB). It does lose the Normal-type STAB on Body Slam, but that’s not really that much of an issue. Typically, Tauros has been run with its excellent hidden ability, Sheer Force, which boosts moves with secondary effects by 30 percent, but negates their effects. This meant Tauros typically ran a move set of Body Slam, Close Combat, Throat Chop (Dark-type), and Iron Head (Steel-type). Honestly, this is still a solid move.

The one major downside from switching from Normal to Fighting type means that it has a few more weaknesses. Obviously, Tauros now resists Fighting-type moves as a same-type Pokemon, but now it loses to Fairy, Flying, and Psychic type moves, all of which will very much be running around competitive Pokemon.

Unfortunately, Sheer Force Paldean Tauros won’t be a thing, as its Hidden Ability has been switched to Cud Chew. While this is a decent ability on Firagarif, most trainers will likely settle for one of Paldean Tauros’ regular abilities in Intimidate. Of course, Intimidate is awesome, lowering your opponents’ current Pokemon’s physical attack stat by one third until it switches out. Anger Point is neat, but that requires to be hit with a critical hit to max out its Attack.

Paldean Tauros learns a strong signature move by level up called Raging Bull. This is a 90 base power move that can smash through Reflect and Light Screen barriers, much like the Fighting-type Brick Break. The unfortunate part is that it’s a Normal-type move, so it doesn’t get the Fighting-type same-type attack bonus. Tauros doesn’t have access to Brick Break, though, so even as a Normal-type move, it’s still usable. Fortunately, Regular Tauros will get this signature move, too, however, once they are allowed to be transferred in from Pokemon HOME.

It’s also notable that Fighting-type Tauros loses a lot of access to TM moves, especially the special moves. This isn’t really that big of a deal, of course, as Tauros has had pitiful Special Attack since the Physical/Special split after Generation 1. Yes, Special Attack and Special Defense used to be a single stat in Special with Red, Blue, and Yellow. Not sure why this ever was the case, but so it is.

The good physical attacking TM’s that Fighting-type Tauros has include:

  • Outrage (Dragon)
  • Wild Charge (Electric)
  • Body Press (Fighting)
  • Body Slam (Normal)
  • Take Down (Normal)
  • Trailblaze (Grass)
  • Drill Run (Ground)
  • Earthquake (Ground)
  • Dig (Ground)
  • Zen Headbutt (Psychic)
  • Rock Slide (Rock)
  • Stone Edge (Rock)
  • Smart Strike (Steel)

Outrage is a particularly good addition to Paldean Tauros move pool. All three Paldean forms learn Outrage, too. Notably Outrage has been on Tauros previously, yet it’s no longer on regular Tauros, which is kind of bizarre.

The Fire/Fighting Tauros, exclusive to Pokemon Scarlet, becomes a somewhat worse Infernape, swapping its Fairy type weakness for a Ground and a Water type weakness. The trouble is while Tauros always learned hard-hitting Fire type moves like Flamethrower and Fire Blast, Tauros’ Special Attack stat is so terrible.

This Tauros form’s move pool is also adjusted towards the physical side for Fire-type moves. It actually even learns Flare Blitz by level up. Fire/Fighting Tauros also learns a few good Fire-type moves by TM including Flame Charge and even Will-o-Wisp. This Fire Tauros also has access to Special Fire type moves like Fire Blast, but you’re better off just going with Flare Blitz. It should be a decent Pokemon, in any case.

The Water/Fighting Tauros, exclusive to Pokemon Violet, is perhaps more interesting than the Fire/Fighting type. Again, Tauros always learned special Water moves like Surf, but getting a physical Water-type move, Aqua Tail, perhaps, would help Water Tauros out a lot. It does indeed learn a couple great Water-type physical moves in Aqua Jet and Wave Crash. The latter was originally a Legends Arceus move that was altered significantly moving to Scarlet and Violet; it’s basically now just Water-type Double Edge, 120 base power with big recoil damage. It also learns Liquidation, one of the other really good Water-type Physical moves, by TM.

Unfortunately for Water Tauros, Water/Fighting is an abysmal defensive type, as we’ve already discussed with Quaquaval. This Tauros is weak to Electric, Fairy, Flying, Grass, and Psychic type moves. The resistances are nice though: Fire, Ice, Bug, Rock, Dark, and Steel. This Tauros intrigues me the least, though.

It seems like the base Fighting form of Paldean Tauros is going to be the best, but I can see a world in which the Fire/Fighting form is somewhat more impactful in competitive Pokemon. The Water/Fighting Tauros could surprise me, too, since it has Wave Crash to do a crap ton of damage. It will take some Battle Stadium play to see which one wins out, but I’m definitely leaning towards the mono-type Fighting Tauros being the best overall. Also, Kantonian Tauros will eventually be in Scarlet and Violet, too. So, if you’re hankering for some old school Sheer Force Tauros, you will get your chance when you can transfer them over from Pokemon Home.

Which Paldean Tauros form is your favorite? Also, which Paldean Tauros do you prefer for your Scarlet and Violet team? Would you rather just run your Tauros from previous generations?

Writing words, spreading love, Amelia Desertsong primarily writes creative nonfiction articles, as well as dabbling in baseball, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and whatever else tickles her fancy.
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