Rapid Strike Urshifu using Surging Strikes in the Pokémon anime.
Image via The Pokémon Company

Urshifu is ‘ruining competitive Pokémon’—but its best counter is just as annoying

Who's gonna stop Urshifu?

Urshifu has been an absolute menace in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet VGC, to the point where pros believe it’s ruining competitive play, but not even the Gen VIII Legendary is safe from the tiny mushroom, Amoonguss.

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It’s no secret that Urshifu is one of the best Pokémon picks in VGC right now. Its Water/Fighting-type Rapid Strike form has been consistently performing well at major events throughout Regulation D and E—most recently winning the Latin America International Championships alongside Hisuian Arcanine on Nov. 19—but many pro players are not happy with its presence.

For example, former Pokémon World Champion Wolfe Glick commented about Urshifu “ruining competitive Pokémon” in response to fellow VGC player Gabriel Agati’s tweet about the deadly Legendary duo of Urshifu and Tornadus. Next to a Prankster Tailwind user like Tornadus, Urshifu can often get quick and easy knockouts, making the two Legendaries one of the strongest Pokémon power couples of Reg E right now.

VGC caster and Beastcoast creator Rosemary Kelley also chimed in with a meme depicting the dangerous lengths she would go to remove Urshifu from the metagame.

Urshifu’s bad reputation starts with its signature Ability, Unseen Fist, which allows it to ignore and hit through Protect. This is a huge deal, considering Protect is a very common move that gets slapped onto most Pokémon’s movesets. It’s supposed to be a guaranteed way to keep your Pokémon safe for a turn, but no one is safe from Urshifu’s Unseen Fists—including other Urshifu! 

On top of this, Rapid Strike Urshifu’s signature attack, Surging Strikes will always hit three times while landing critical hits, meaning Defense boosts and Focus Sashes also won’t save you.

That said, Amoonguss, everyone’s favorite little mushroom, is arguably the best counter to Urshifu’s Rapid Strike form. While everyone else might think Urshifu is broken, Amoonguss can just sit in front of the Legendary bear, tank multiple hits, and laugh.

As VGC player Donghun Youm points out, an Amoonguss with the Rocky Helmet is the absolute bane of Rapid Strike Urshifu’s existence. Amoonguss not only resists both of Urshifu’s STAB attacks, but its Rocky Helmet also heavily punishes the bear for spamming Surging Strikes. If Urshifu happens to use Surging Strikes on Amoonguss, it will take Rocky Helmet damage three times—this usually results in Urshifu dealing more damage to itself than to Amoonguss. Imagine punching your fist into a rocky surface not once, not twice, but three times because you didn’t learn your lesson the first time.

Still, Amoonguss will have to watch out for Urshifu’s best friend, Tornadus. With Bleakwind Storm or a potential Hurricane, Tornadus can blow the mushroom away and hit it for super-effective damage to help Urshifu out—another reason why the two Legendaries are so dominant together.


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Author
Karli Iwamasa
Karli is a freelance writer based in the Bay Area. She has written about your favorite video games on sites like Dot Esports and TheGamer. When she's not writing, she's playing VALORANT or the latest Pokémon game.