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What is a good moveset for Greninja?

12 votes

Our tradition of providing a wide variety of Pokemon movesets continues with Pokemon X & Y. If you have a good moveset for Greninja, post an answer below.

Remember, this is for competitive movesets, not in-game. Ability, EVs etc should be included. More guidelines here.

Greninja Pokedex & learnset

Greninja sprite

asked Oct 22, 2013 by MovesetBot
edited Oct 31, 2013 by Pokemaster
I use that as my moveset for physical Greninja
Protean is really only recognized for the free STAB, when moves like Shadow Sneak can be used to gain immunities or Spikes can be used to get a quick SDef boost in a sandstorm. It's most definitely one of the most powerful abilities in the game.
Not water shuriken because greninja is already fast and water shuriken gives priority in exchange of damage . Protean is awesome but the catch is you have to run all different move types. Try hydro pump, dark pulse, ice beam, and substitute (for protection from lucky  super effective hits).  Try giving him a life orb for extra power on his already powerful attacks.
All Movesets have Protean
I like this moveset

54 Answers

13 votes

This thing is a monster. So far my favorite set which abuses both it's speed, Hidden Ability and wonderful Special Attack stat utilizes the item Expert Belt. This allows it to fake Choice Specs, which ruins other teams.

Greninja @ Expert Belt
Ability: Protean
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 SAtk / 4 Atk
Hasty Nature
- Dark Pulse
- Hydro Pump
- Ice Beam
- U-turn

Dark Pulse and Hydro Pump are both powerful moves allowing him to pretend he isn't running Torrent > Protean. Ice Beam is great coverage, hitting grass types well. U-Turn provides excellent scouting with a base 120 speed stat. With it's Hidden Ability Protean he constantly gets powerful, EBelt boosted STABs. He's like an upgraded Infernape, truly a marvelous beasty.

answered Oct 23, 2013 by MrKijani
Marvelous beasty.
Why not Extrasensory?
Actually, Greninja won't "pretend" to not run Protean.  If you use a water- or dark-type move, it will transform into being purely that type.
In my opinion, I would replace Hydro Pump with Scald because Hydro pump doesn't have the best accuracy and you can't afford missing a potential KO. So, I would run Scald and it can also leave the target with a burn and with STAB, Scald is a pretty good choice.
Would it be ok if I switch Hydro Pump with Scald(As above said) and U-turn with Acrobatics?
Acrobatics isn't that good of a move.  Plus U-Turn is good for not taking any damage.
I would replace hydro pump with scald and u-turn with grass knot.
i say this BRUH
5 votes

Greninja (M) @ Focus Sash

Trait: Protean
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Naive Nature (+Spd, -SDef)

  • Spikes
  • Hydro Pump
  • Hidden Power [Fire]
  • U-turn

This set is a great scout, and Protean allows it to become a great team player. Spikes are entry hazards that shield Greninja's Water typing by replacing it with Ground. Hydro Pump is STAB, and HP Fire is coverage. U-turn is to escape out of bad situations.

answered Oct 23, 2013 by Mewderator
Dangit Mew, beat me to it :)
I like to use a life orb instead of a focus sash
How do you get hp fire on greninja? I always get hp dark-.-
How do you get u- turn
How do you get hp fire on greninja? I always get hp dark-.-
commented Jan 4 by D.imran
Breed the IVs to it. Also check Pokemon Showdown for the IVs.
I may sound like a  new player but what is protean?
4 votes

Greninja @ Choice Specs

Trait: Protean
EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 Atk / 252 Spd
Naive Nature

  • Hydro Pump
  • Dark Pulse
  • Ice Beam
  • U-Turn/Extrasensory

The whole idea of this set is to get massive power and coverage from the constant STAB Protean provides combined with the boost from Choice Specs. The first 3 moves are pretty much mandatory on any all-out attacking special Greninja. Hydro Pump and Dark Pulse are STABs and Ice Beam is crucial coverage hitting Dragons and others hard. Extrasensory is coverage and trolls fighting types that switch in, but U-Turn is recommended for scouting with its incredible speed stat.

answered Oct 22, 2013 by JarJar~
edited Oct 24, 2013 by JarJar~
I'd go for it's hidden ability Protean for constant STAB and screwing with your opponent.
OK, i didn't know it got protean... i find it pretty predictable though, but i'll still add it as an option. thanks.
I think that for Specs Protean would be incredibly cool. As for the predictability. It's about as predictable as Technician Scizor is.
yeah lol idk why i said that i guess i was thinking that the type you switch into would be obvious? :3 but that still is just as predictable as using a move without Protean.
Revised a little and made it a specs only set :) might post some type of cool LO variant later.
This is my Greninja's set :) Nice job JarJar
2 votes

Physical Lead

Greninja @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Protean
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)

  • Power-Up Punch
  • Night Slash
  • Waterfall
  • Rock Slide / Acrobatics

This set is made to dish out damage quickly on special walls. I'm really sad he doesn't get SDance or Bulk Up, but Power-Up Punch is a great move to hit dark types (which are going to rise with steels) and raise attack. You see how the set works, blah blah blah.

answered Oct 23, 2013 by Ninja
edited Nov 1, 2013 by JarJar~
Jolly actually decreases SpAtk, but good set
SAtk is special attack. Atk is Attack.
I have the same set!!!
2 votes

Greninja @ Life Orb
Ability: Protean
EVs: 252 Sp. Atk, 252 Speed, 4 HP
Nature: Timid
- Surf/ Hydro Pump
- Exstrasensory/ Ice Beam
- Dark Pulse
- HP Fire

HP Fire is a good option in order to deal with Scizor/Ferrothorn/Forrtress. Surf STAB might not do enough for Scizor, and it definitely won't be doing anything to Ferrothorn. The good thing about HP Fire is that Protean will change type to Fire, meaning Fairy will be not very effective as a result.

Some moveset choices will be down to personal preferences. Surf or Hydro Pump, depending if you want accuracy or power. Extrasensory or Ice Beam for coverage. To be honest, Psychic doesn't cover much apart from Fighting and Poison, and with Protean, Greninja will no longer be weak to fighting (because you won't be using a Dark move against a fighting Pokemon). Then again, with HP fire, Ice Beam could be redundant. Surf will cover Landorus & Gliscor, so the main worry there is Thundurus and Tornadus. Again, personal choice and dependant on the rest of your team.

Life Orb does sap health, but I think Greninja can sweep easily because of its great speed, and the fact that all moves will receive STAB due to Protean.

answered Oct 23, 2013 by fondant
edited Oct 24, 2013 by fondant
Yo man, how do you get hp fire on greninja?! I always get hp dark-.-
You have to breed for it; hidden power is based on a Pokemon's IVs. There's a guy in Anistar City that checks Hidden Power types.
2 votes

enter image description here

You can go different ways with this awesome gen 6 monster. Because of it's stats and it's awesome hidden ability, makes this Pokemon my favorite gen 6 starter.

Greninja Physical Moveset

Greninja @ Flying Gem / Focus Sash
Ability: Protean
EV's: 4 Hp / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Nature: Jolly / Adamant

- Night Slash
- Waterfall / Water Shuriken
- Acrobatics / Arial Ace / Rock Slide
- U-Turn / Power-Up Punch

Night Slash is his most powerfull physical Dark-Type move and a powerfull STAB. His Water-Type STAB can be Waterfall with high power or you can use Water Shuriken if you want a really cool ninja move. The third slot will have Arcobatics if you go with the Flying Gem and Arial Ace or Rock Slide if you go with the Focus Sash. The Flying-Moves have the most coverage over his weaknesses and the Rock-Move only covers one. For the last slot you can use U-Turn for switch and some damage or use Power-Up Punch to power up your attack and deal some damage. Both of the last slot moves are Super-effective against other Dark-Types.

Greninja Special Moveset

Greninja @ Focus Sash / Expert Belt
Ability: Protean
EV's: 252 Atk / 4 Sdef / 252 Spe
Nature: Timid / Modest / Hasty

- Dark Pulse
- Hydro Pump / Scald / Surf
- Ice Beam / Hidden Power [Flying]
- Extrasensory / U-turn

Dark Pulse is his most powerfull special Dark-Type move and a powerfull STAB. His Water-Type STAB can be Hydro Pump with high power or you can use Scald or Surf with less power but better accuracy. If you go with Scald you even gain a chance to burn the target. For the third slot you can use Ice Beam for coverage or Hidden Power [Flying] for even more coverage. In the last slot you can use U-turn for escape and damage or Extrasensory for coverage and damage.

answered Oct 23, 2013 by ah11procent
Please give separate movesets separate answers. Thank you.
No, I like the fact there's one for physical and one for special. (this is a bit late I know)
Excellent set. I now have a perfectly bred Greninja ready for competitive battling thanks to you. I really like that you include both sp.atk and atk movesets too.
2 votes

Sup everyone my Pokemon name is XMIrage and I was one of the finalists in a Pokemon competition.

My greninja is a unique one, but is a great Pokemon to have as a lead.

Pokemon- Greninja (obviously)
Nature- Jolly (NOt special)
Ability- Protean
IVs- at least 5, not in Sp.Atk
Item- Focus Sash/ Band
EVs- 252 Atk, 252 Spd, 4 Hp

Stuff- Greninja is a relatively defenceless Pokemon, but with this moveset, it should help alot.


Spikes- Greninja can be used as a setup/ opening Pokemon. With spikes, you are able to outspeed and possible outplay enemies. Protean changes its type to ground, and most players tend to open up with a rotom. THis denies them of the damage from moves like thunderbolt or volt switch, and you get a free layer of spikes

Mat Block- I know, not many use this, but I guaratee this is useful. It shields your entire team (regardless of position in triple battles) or yourself from all attacks, excluding status moves. Though this move has no priority, this shields you for one turn and you are able to see what moves the enemy has which is key to making correct judgements

Shadow Sneak- Really useful move, prefarably over Water shuriken as it isn't as reliable in terms of overall damage. THis also allows you to turn into a ghost type, blocking fighting type moves which woulda been an OHKO for the Water/Dark type.

U-turn- Though Uturn changes it to bug type with a lot of weaknesses, (fire, rock, etc) it allows for a safe switch and is relatively used as a damage source .


Why I didn't include ice beam, its too predicatble, same risk against fighting type as staying in water/dark form

surf- (main move though, but the most predictable move)

darkpulse- also too predicatable

Thank you for reading this and please vote this as a top one so others have a higher chance for seeing it too, I also made various posts for other Pokemon as well so be free to look around


answered Feb 26, 2014 by BlackEnd Galaxy
Not the best idea to ask for votes… oh well, I voted you up anyway.  :P
1 vote

enter image description here

I think this pokémon is going to end up in the OU tier. It has the best speed for all water type pokémon and the 3rd best speed for all dark type pokémon.

Special Sweeper
EVs = 252 Sp. Atk/252 Spe/4 HP
Item-Expert Belt
Ability - Protean
-Hydro Pump (Lv. 60)
-Ice Beam (TM 13)
-Dark Pulse (TM 97)
-Extrasensory (Lv. 49)

answered Nov 21, 2013 by backnaxt21
1 vote

Greninja @ Expert Belt
Ability: Protean
Nature: Timid/Modest
Ev: 4Att/252Spd/252SpAtt

-Dark Pulse
-Hydro Pump
-Ice Beam

This set covers some types as Dark Pulse covers Psychic and Ghosts, Hydro Pump covers Rock, Ground and Fire, Extrasensory covers Fighting and Poison, Ice Beam covers Grass, Ground, Flying and the popular Dragons...pretty strong guy this is!!

answered Dec 17, 2013 by MoccahSteeltype
1 vote

Greninja@Life Orb
Ev's: 252 Speed/ 252 Sp.Attack/ 4 Hp
-Hydro Pump
-Dark Pulse
-Ice Beam
-Grass Knot

answered Jan 9, 2014 by jy161
edited Mar 9, 2014 by jy161
1 vote

Greninja sprite
Greninja@Expert Belt
Timid Nature (+Speed -Attack)
Ability: Protean
EVs: 252 Speed, 252 Special Attack, 6 HP

  • Scald
  • Dark Pulse
  • Grass Knot
  • Ice Beam

With it's ability Protean, each of its moves gain STAB, which helps a lot. Scald is for the chance of burning the target. Dark Pulse is for coverage, along with the chance of flinching. Grass Knot can screw your opponents over when they try attacking with an electric type move, and with this ninja frog's blinding speed, it will almost always go first. Predict what your opponent will do, and change your type according to your prediction. The Expert Belt will be really useful as well, since it boosts the power of super-effective moves.

answered Mar 12, 2014 by Shiny Hunter Luna
Copied my set o3o
Oh! I'm so sorry! I didn't know ;~; I'll be sure to look over the other movesets before posting next time!
Extrasensory though…
1 vote

This is my Hit and Flinch Ninja

Greninja @ King's Rock
Ability: Protean
Nature: Timid
- Surf
- Extrasensory
- Dark Pulse
- Ice Beam

This Pokemon is the Master of Disaster.

Great coverage, and helped by King's Rock not just Extrasensory and Dark Pulse increase the chance for Flinch but Surf and ice beam have a pretty good chance to flinch too.

answered Mar 19, 2014 by Master0x
1 vote

Great Lead and Anti-Lead Set

Greninja @ Focus Sash (Guarantees taunt plus 1 layer of Spikes)

Nature: Jolly (+Speed, -Sp. Atk.)
Ability: Protean (To change types)
252 Speed
252 Attack
4 HP

Spikes (Hazards)
Taunt (No Hazards, Setup, or Status)
U-turn (Switch out with damage)
Shadow Sneak (Priority, Normal Immunity)

answered Mar 29, 2014 by scyther used fly
Nice set.  +1
1 vote

An unexpected Greninja:

Greninja @ Life Orb
EVs: 252 Attack, 252 Speed, 4 HP
Ability: Protean

Power Up Punch
Water Shuriken
Aerial Ace
Night Slash

Most Greninjas are Special Sweepers, so a physical one is a bit of a surprise. PuP to boost attack even further while attacking, Water Shuriken to have a water move, aerial ace to hit fighting, grass and bug. Night Slash is STAB.

answered May 8, 2014 by Lobster44
edited Aug 9, 2014 by Lobster44
Nice set.  One problem I see is that Greninja's too frail to be able to set up  properly with Power-Up Punch.
Yeah, he's best at KOing fast, rather than boosting. It's good to use if you predict a switch though.
can't learn earthquake
Sorry, my bad.
1 vote

******Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire set**

Greninja @ Life Orb/Expert Belt (Life Orb preferred)
Ability: Protean
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Hydro Pump
- Gunk Shot
- Ice Beam
- Extrasensory
This thing got busted AF with the Gunk Shot move tutor. No safe switch ins, except for Empoleon. Almost everything in the Metagame can get OHKO'd and if not that 2HKO'd. If you can take care of Ferrothorn, you win.

answered Nov 12, 2014 by drd sndstrm
1 vote


Greninja @ Focus Sash
Ability: Protean
Jolly Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
-Water Shuriken
-Gunk Shot
-Ice Punch

252 Atk Greninja Water Shuriken (3 hits) vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Talonflame: 162-198 (54.5 - 66.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Greninja outspeeds Talonflame, so its priority will go first. Assuming you get 3 hits on the first turn, you take out about half, and you live the Brave Bird with Focus Sash. Water Shuriken KO's next turn.

This set was honestly just for the lolz.

answered Jan 2 by Radicool21
0 votes

Greninja @ Flying Gem
Trait: Protean
EVs: 252 SpA/ 4 Atk/ 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Taunt
- Hydro Pump
- Acrobatics / spikes
- U-Turn

Probably a stupid Idea, but maybe anti-Lead? A special biased mixed attacker that can taunt common SR leads, and U-turn out. Acrobatics with Flying gem packs quite a punch, and Hydro pump is great STAB. One more thing, Protean makes Acrobatics ultra powerful.

answered Oct 23, 2013 by tazzie
edited Oct 23, 2013 by MrKijani
Water Shuriken > Hydro Pump so you can run full physical. Just makes more sense in my mind anyway.
Waterfall over water shuriken, and it's physical too!
0 votes

Scout / Annoyer

Greninja @ Focus Sash
Trait: Protean
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -Atk)

  • U-Turn
  • Acrobatics
  • Taunt
  • Swagger

This set is meant to just annoy the hell out of people. Greninja is a little frail, but his speed and ability can make up for it. Taunt or Swagger hits set up sweepers, If that Lucario hits you can hope to Swagger and Acrobatics for the KO. If you can't, the semi-status is great with U-Turn.

answered Oct 23, 2013 by Ninja
0 votes

Mixed Sweeper

Greninja @ Life Orb
Trait: Protean
EVs: 128 Atk / 128 SAtk / 252 Spd
Hasty Nature (+Spd, -Def)

  • Ice Beam
  • Scald / Hydro Pump
  • Rock Slide
  • Night Slash


answered Oct 23, 2013 by Ninja
0 votes

Greninja @no item/Flying gem
Ability: Protean
EV's: 252 Atk 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant
Rock Slide
Night Slash

Waterfall and Rock Slide are good for flinching
Acrobatics without an item is still pretty good. If you can manage to get a flying gem, even better. Also is coverage for being Water, Rock Type or Dark type
Night Slash has high crit ratio

answered Oct 23, 2013 by shawn1301
No item is awful. In competitive battling, a Flying Gem should always be used. Most competitive battling is done on simulators or wi-fi battling where the items that are used up come back after the battle.
Haven't come across one yet, and haven't seen location either.
I'll k eep that in mind for next time though.
Internet research tells me they can be found via Rock Smash in a certain cave, but they're really rare.
There is no flying gem in gen 6 yet, and you cannot transfer items over.