Hello underground champions! This week we have an undercover Pokemon. A praying mantis pretending to be a flower…no wait we have to go deeper, a flower pretending to be a praying mantis. Lurantis is one of my favourite new Grass types from Sun and Moon because of how much I enjoyed using it during my in-game playthrough. Every time I managed to pull off a Solar Blade I felt so satisfied, that animation is beautiful! For any of you who aren’t too familiar with Lurantis let us hop on into the summary.
Weekly Reminder: If you would like to see TCG content here please give me some recommendations and I will add it to subsequent articles.
Description: The Bloom Sickle Pokemon
Abilities: Leaf Guard
Hidden Ability: Contrary
Competitive: [Smogon RU]
Evolution: Formantis -> Level 34 (in Daytime) -> Lurantis
Origin: Lurantis’ name looks to be a combination of lure and mantis. It is based on the inverse of an Orchid Mantis which disguises itself as a flower to lure prey close.
Original Appearance: Pokemon Sun and Moon
Dex Entry [Sun]: It requires a lot of effort to maintain Lurantis’s vivid coloring, but some collectors enjoy this work and treat it as their hobby.
Dex Entry [Moon]: It fires beams from its sickle-shaped petals. These beams are powerful enough to cleave through thick metal plates.
There are so many great things about this Pokemon I don’t know where to start. First off, the title “Bloom Sickle Pokemon” is perfect! A play on its flower anatomy, sickle arms, and the word Popsicle. Out of all the previous articles I have done that is my favourite description. Next up we have Lurantis’ origins, I first learned of them from TheFluffiestWhimsicott on the podcast so shoutout to her for knowing this without Wikipedia. Lurantis is based on the orchid mantis and Hawaii (aka Alola) is well known for its orchids making this design both creative and fitting. I am not sure what Lurantis is hoping to lure to it by pretending to be a praying mantis (Pikapek maybe?) but I know whatever it is, it is going to have a bad day when it falls for the trap.
I had to include multiple Pokedex entries for this Pokemon because they are so different. In Sun Lurantis is painted as a beauty queen, maintaining its lovely appearance, and in Moon it is firing beams through thick metal plates like in a old school monster movie. These opposing entries have been a theme in Generation 7 and I am glad they did it because being able to see both sides of a Pokemon is more interesting.
Lurantis is often compared to Serperior in competitive play due to their matching ability, Contrary. For the most part Contrary will always be better than Leaf Guard except for on Sun teams, and even then it is a debate since if you run Leaf Storm you will want to keep Contrary. What Contrary does is make your stat changes the opposite of what they should be, so if you use Leaf Storm your attack will actually increase by 2 stages instead of decrease and you can snowball out of control. Unfortunately for Lurantis, it does not have the great speed of Serperior, making use of this strategy more difficult without speed control on your team. If you manage to set up a Sticky Web then it will work out much better.
Luckily Lurantis comes equipped with some great support moves in case its attacking strategy doesn’t fit the meta. Aromatherapy, Defog, and Synthesis with max defensive EV’s will allow it to act like a bulky supporter in its tier. The benefit of this set over other supporters is that by adding Leaf Storm for the 4th move slot, all of a sudden Lurantis becomes an offensive threat as well.
Where Lurantis also has slightly less bulk than Serperior it makes up for that by having far more attack. When I was team building around Lurantis I was trying to make it a physical attacker. My main goal was to use Solar Blade so I wanted it on a sun team. In the case where the sun was not up I would make use of Grassium Z to use a super charged Bloom Doom. To boost the attacking power even more you can remove Contrary for Leaf Guard and add Swords Dance. I think this kind of setup sweeper is the set you want with Sticky Web. Maximus actually mentioned a mixed set on the Podcast that I think is a great idea.Weather Ball in the Sun becomes a 100BP Fire type move, giving coverage for Lurantis’ Steel and Grass counters. Solar Blade is your main damage dealing attack while Leaf Storm hits physical walls and lets you boost against bulkier Pokemon. With this set you can still afford a move slot for Defog which allows your team to have more versatility. I am going to be trying this set for sure!
How does Lurantis perform in VGC? No one knows. Lurantis has seen almost no play in VGC and as far as I can tell Grass types generally struggle in the format because they don’t offer enough power and are weak to many of the dominant Pokemon. That being said Lurantis has the potential to OHKO Defensive Tapu Fini with a Bloom Doom so it may be able to find a spot. The reason I like Lurantis in VGC is to counter intimidate users with the Contrary ability. They would actually increase your attack, which could give you the extra damage needed to be viable.
The next time you see a pretty Mantis walking through the garden, ask yourself before you approach, “Is this actually a flower I don’t want to mess with?”. It could save your life.
Until next time,