Let’s get down to grass tacks.
If you’re worried about countering a Grass-Type Pokemon, good news! This is one of the easiest Types to deal Super Effect damage to in the entire Pokemon franchise. Having said that, you would be a fool to underestimate Grass Pokemon.
The Grass-Type is capable of dealing Super Effective damage to Rock, Ground, and Water Pokemon. While we’ve seen more aggressive offensive spreads, the Grass-Type is more about quality than quantity. In this case, Water and Ground-Type Pokemon are so threatening that Grass provides ample utility by countering these Types alone. Furthermore, the introduction of Terastalization in Scarlet & Violet have given the Grass-Type a second wind. Major competitive threats such as Dondozo like to Terastalize into the Grass-Type to completely shut down Pokemon that would typically counter it. Just because the Grass-Type isn’t a traditional powerhouse doesn’t mean you should underestimate it.
In fact, once you realize what Grass Pokemon can do, you’ll realize that adequate counterplay isn’t so straightforward. Let’s get down to business.
The best Types to counter Grass
Four Pokemon Types share the spotlight for handily countering Grass Pokemon: Bug, Fire, Flying, and Poison.
Each of these Types resists Grass-Type attacks while dealing Super Effective damage in return. Funny enough, this is the only matchup the Bug-Type has with this efficacy. That said, because the Bug-Type struggles in most matchups, you’re best off not picking a Bug Pokemon specifically to counter Grass. As far as the other three Types go, they all have unique pros and cons. Fire and Poison are both strong defensive Types, and Flying has a valuable immunity to Ground attacks. Pick whichever Type fits on your Team the best.
Of course, there are plenty of other options to consider when countering Grass-Types. For starters, Ice-Type attacks also deal Super Effective damage to Grass Pokemon. While Ice-Type Pokemon are very weak defensively, they hits so many powerful Types for Super Effective damage that they are well worth considering. Dragon-Type Pokemon also resist Grass attacks, which makes them attractive options considering their penchant for sky-high stats. Finally, the Grass-Type resists itself. This can turn Pokemon with hybrid typing like Abomasnow and Scovillain into potent Grass counters.
You have no shortage of potential Pokemon to take down Grass-Types. If you’re just playing the main campaign of a Pokemon game, any of the Types listed at the top of this section will suffice. Fire and Flying are a bit better at providing overall offensive coverage, but there are many strong Bug and Poison-Types that are worth considering. That said, Grass-Type Pokemon have unique properties that can make even a favorable matchup on your end go poorly if you don’t play right. Let’s get into the details.
The price of status effects
While the Grass-Type is relatively frail, it brings one huge advantage to the table: status moves.
Grass-Type Pokemon have many options to debilitate your monsters. Most trainers have surely seen Grass-Type moves like Stun Spore used during casual play. That said, the deadliest Grass-Type move in this category is Spore. This move has a 100% chance of inflicting Sleep, effectively debilitating any Pokemon who isn’t holding a Chesto Berry. While this move doesn’t often pop up in the main game, it is capable of causing chaos in competitive play. Many Grass-Types cannot learn Spore, but only Grass-Types are capable of using it.
Although it’s not as popular in Scarlet & Violet, you’ll also want to watch out for moves like Leech Seed. While not powerful on its own, it is a rare debilitating effect that stacks with other status moves. Wall monsters like Ferrothorn are exceedingly difficult to topple while your HP is slowly drained if it is allowed in the format you participate in.
Interestingly enough, one of the most powerful counters to these moves are… well, Grass Pokemon. The Type is actually immune to Leach Seed and other Powder moves like Spore. This advantage seems niche, but it can potentially afford a strategic switch-in if you can predict when a foe might be using these moves against you. It may not be an ideal counter, but this nugget of wisdom can at least prevent you from trying and failing to put an enemy Amoonguss to sleep.
Don’t get tricked
It’s not just Spore that you need to worry about. Many Grass-Type attacks have secondary properties to watch out for, especially if you’re entering competitive Pokemon battling.
The first are the many drain moves. You’ve likely seen moves like Giga Drain while playing Pokemon casually, and they can be deadly in competitive play. As of writing, popular Grass-Type Pokemon typically don’t run these moves in competitive Scarlet & Violet. However, it would still behoove you to be on the lookout for them as new Pokemon are added to the game. Not many Types are able to heal themselves while inflicting damage, and getting caught off-guard by Giga Drain or Strength Sap can be devastating.
Even the most straightforward offense options pack unique properties. Breloom can use Bullet Seed, a multi-hit attack that can be devastating when paired with the Technician ability. Meowscarada also has the signature attack Flower Trick, which has 100% accuracy and inflicts a guaranteed critical hit. Even Arboliva’s signature attack Terrain Pulse can inflict serious damage, as its power doubles when Grassy Terrain is on the field (which Arboliva’s signature ability conveniently places). In other words, whereas many Ground-Type Pokemon can reliably run Earthquake, there’s no one move Grass-Type Pokemon will universally use. You’ll need more specific strategies to play around with their quirks.
Of course, all of this can be resolved by knocking out a Grass-Pokemon before it can even attack. It doesn’t matter if it plans to debilitate you or deal huge damage if it never uses its move. For playing the main game, this option will suffice! Still, if there’s one thing you should take away from this, it’s never to underestimate Grass Pokemon. As long as you know what they’re capable of and plan your counterplay accordingly, you should be fine against even the fiercest monsters within the Type. Don’t get Spored!