Dialga, The Temporal Pokémon. A Pokémon spoken of in legend. It is said that time began moving when it was born. It has the power to control time. It appears in Sinnoh-region myths as an ancient deity.
Dialga, the signature legend of Diamond. Dialga is one of many Pokémon considered to be in the “Uber tier” of Pokémon. It's banned from standard battles and enjoys its competitive use within the aforementioned Uber tier, matching up with fellow Ubers such as Mewtwo and Groudon (so basically, don't go using this guy up against Standard teams without the consent of the opponent).
As one would expect of an Uber, Dialga has fantastic stats and a highly versatile move-pool. In comparison to other Ubers, the major thing setting it apart is its typing. Steel is the best defensive typing in the game and combined with the resistances from the Dragon typing, Dialga carries many resistances and few weaknesses. This aforementioned typing, as well as its good defensive stats, give Dialga some solid defensive capabilities, although lacking a reliable recovery move hurts it in that department.
Offensively, Dialga performs adequately. Its STAB moves offer lacklustre type coverage but it has a wide move-pool and the ability to attack with either Physical or Special attacks. Its Speed is low in comparison to its fellow Ubers and it lacks good stat-up moves, however its wide cross-section of resistances allow it to switch into play with great ease, giving it great possibilities with Choice items.
Pressure: is an adequate trait. A large number of Uber Pokémon share this trait, but it's good nonetheless. Chipping off twice as much PP per attack can be crippling on low PP moves, especially with Dialga's good defensive possibilities.
- Draco Meteor
Without Calm Mind or Nasty Plot to boost that huge Special Attack stat, Dialga just cries out for a Choice Specs move-set. Its awesome typing and its many resistances make getting into play rather easy. As with any Choice move-set, prediction is the key.
A STAB Draco Meteor, off of a Special Attack that'll be in the 590+ range, will put a huge dent in anything that doesn't resist it (and very few Pokémon resist Dragon attacks). The stat drop is offset by the fast switching nature of this move-set. Overheat puts a large dent in the majority of Pokémon who do resist Draco Meteor and much like Draco Meteor, the stat drop is offset by switching.
Aura Sphere deals with a handful of Pokémon, most notably Blissey and opposing Dialga. Thunder deals with Kyogre and puts a large dent into Lugia and Ho-Oh and has the added bonus of paralysis. Both are expendable however. Dragon Pulse offers a more reliable STAB attack than Draco Meteor, since it can be used repeatedly (unlike Draco Meteor, which gets weaker with each repeated use).
EVs and Nature:
Dialga, in comparison to its fellow Ubers, is by no means fast. Timid with 252 Speed EVs still leaves it trailing behind many of the other Ubers, but it allows Dialga to out-speed or tie-speed with Kyogre, Groudon, Deoxys (Defence), Ho-oh and Giratina, with the possibility of outrunning slower variants of the Lati twins. However, it's a huge EV investment and sacrifices the large nature boost obtainable with Modest, and as a result, alternative EV spreads exist.
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Spd / 252 SAtk
Obviously, 252/252 with Modest is a possibility. Provided the aforementioned Pokémon aren't running a Speed boosting nature, Dialga will once again out-speed or tie-speed with them, whilst retaining the large benefit that Modest brings.
Of course, when dealing with Speed, a good (and ideally, perfect) IV is essential. When poor IVs are in question, or when a defensive Dialga is preferred, the Speed EVs can simply be invested into Dialga's HP or Defence.
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SAtk
- Dragon Pulse
With Darkrai boasting a Sleep move with 90% accuracy, Sleep Talk becomes an attractive option in the Uber environment. Aside from the benefits of absorbing Sleep attacks, Rest-Talk also provides Dialga with its only decent recovery option, giving Dialga an opportunity to show its defensive capabilities.
Dragon Pulse is resisted by few Pokémon and ideal as a lone attack. It won't be causing masses of damage but it'll be enough to keep people from seeing Dialga as a free switch in. Even without an EV boost, a Base 150 Special Attack is nothing to scoff at. The fact that several of Dialga's fellow Ubers take super-effective damage from it is an additional bonus.
Rest and Sleep Talk form the core of this move-set. As previously mentioned, the pair combine to give Dialga its best recovery option. Be careful of Sleep Talk's unreliability however, since it can pick any of the other three moves, and it won't necessarily pick the ideal attack.
Toxic works nicely with the long-term survival that Rest-Talk provides. It'll force switches and cut the survivability of defensive Pokémon. Just watch out for Steel types, who resist Dragon Pulse and are immune to Toxic.
EVs and Nature:
Although the EV spread is simple, that's the gist of what you'd want. 400+ HP and 350+ Defence is the minimum you should be aiming for, and max is quite nice in general. Speed EVs are worth minor consideration, since it'd be helpful to outrun Deoxys (Defence) before it can use Taunt. Otherwise, whatever is leftover can be thrown into its Special Attack.
- Dragon Pulse
It's somewhat novelty, but Dialga can be a very effective Trick Room user. In comparison to its fellow Ubers, it's slow, and Trick Room can swiftly turn the direction of a battle.
Trick Room switches around Speed priority. The slower Pokémon go first and the faster Pokémon go last. Dialga itself benefit's a lot from this but to gain the most use out of this move, Dialga is best teamed with offensively-minded Pokémon who can take advantage of the Speed reversal (such as Ho-oh and Groudon).
Individually, this Dialga move-set could be considered a sweeper. Treat Trick Room like it was a stat-boost, and then follow it with offence. Dragon Pulse is generally its most reliable attack, and the other two move-slots should be offensive moves to support that.
Aura Sphere deals with Steel types adequately. Flamethrower can gain a Sunny Day boost and also deals with Steel Types whilst Thunder can benefit from the Rain Dance accuracy boost and handles Kyogre, Lugia and Ho-oh. Be careful of the paralysis chance however, since paralysing your opponents will be a hindrance whilst Trick Room is active.
As far as items are concerned, Expert Belt and Life Orb are the main ones. Expert Belt gives a 1.2x boost to super-effective attacks whilst Life Orb gives a 1.3x boost at the expense of 10% HP for each attack. Other items worth consideration for their boosts are Adamant Orb (1.2x boost for Dragon attacks) and Wisdom Glasses (1.1x boost for Special attacks).
EVs and Nature:
Max Special Attack and getting that Speed as low as possible are the main priorities. Spare EVs should be focused on increasing Dialga's survivability (HP and Defence).
- Dragon Claw
Although Dialga's Attack stat is inferior to its Special Attack stat, Dialga is still very capable of causing a lot of damage with its physical attack.
Dragon Claw provides consistent STAB whilst Earthquake deals with the Steel types who resist it. Stone Edge takes out Lugia and Ho-oh whilst Shadow Claw deals with the many Psychic types.
In comparison to the Choice Specs set, the main things lost are the 'one-off' hard-hitting moves (Draco Meteor and Overheat), giving Dialga a less powerful initial punch. However, Choice Band Dialga will be unexpected and the surprise factor can bring a significant advantage.
EVs and Nature:
Once again, Max Speed allows Dialga to outrun or tie-speed with the Ubers who it shares its Base Speed group with (Kyogre, Groudon, Deoxys (Defence), Ho-oh and Giratina). Adamant is always worth consideration for the additional boost and more defensive variants can be attempted. Potential EV spreads follow the same guidelines as the Choice Specs set, just with Attack and Special Attack flipped.
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
- Dragon Claw
Once again, Dialga's Attack stat is nothing to scoff at, and it can be given a nice boost with Bulk Up (which also gives a nice boost to its Defence).
Bulk Up gives both an Attack and Defence boost. How you prioritise using this depends on play style, since it can be saved for a late-game sweep or it can be used early for Defensive stability. Either way, it'll probably be unexpected.
Dragon Claw is the primary attack once again. After a Bulk Up or two, the lack of super-effective coverage will be less relevant. Earthquake and Stone Edge provide its best offensive combination to back Dragon Claw, granting solid type coverage.
Leftovers provides some additional healing, and fits nicely for a more defensive mindset. On the other hand, Expert Belt and Life Orb provide some offensive boosts. Muscle Band (1.1x boost for Physical attacks) and Adamant Orb (1.2x boost for Dragon attacks) are also worth a look for their offensive boosts.
The main other route with this move-set is Rest-Talk instead of Earthquake and Stone Edge, which would allow for a very defensive Bulk Up set. A lot of offensive versatility is lost in exchange for greatly increased survivability.
EVs and Nature:
If you want to outrun things during sweeping, 252 Speed EVs with Jolly will probably be needed. Once again, sacrificing Jolly for Adamant is worth consideration.
Alternatively, this move-set can be approached with a more defensive mindset, possibly allowing Dialga to throw up more than one Bulk Up. There are many ways to approach this. Simply maxing HP instead of Speed would be act as a compromise between offence and defence, whilst maxing HP and Defence would give a considerable focus to Dialga's survivability. Maxing Special Defence and HP is also a possibility, allowing Dialga to survive both Special attacks and Physical attacks quite well. Mixing and matching to personal preference is advised, and Speed shouldn't be totally ignored, since small investments of Speed can make a difference.
These three EV spreads provide simple samples of advisable possibilities:
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SDef
Flash Cannon, Iron Tail, Heal Block, Thunder Wave, Stealth Rock, Roar, Earth Power, Thunderbolt, Fire Blast, Ice Beam, Psych Up, Choice Scarf.
Flash Cannon and Iron Tail provide additional STAB, although their inferior type coverage and lack of noteworthy power leave them on the sidelines.
Heal Block provides some useful possibilities. A lot of defensive Pokémon rely on moves like Recover to function successfully, and Heal Block prevents those moves for five turns. This can chain nicely with passive damage and can be troublesome for opponents in general.
Since Dialga is slow, Thunder Wave can be very useful for bringing the opponent down to a beatable Speed.
Stealth Rock is quite useful for the passive damage it provides. There are very few Pokémon with Rapid Spin who can viably compete in the Uber environment.
Roar provides the ability to force an opponent out of play. This can be teamed with Stealth Rock (and Spikes) for some added damage and can frustrate an opponent attempting to use stat boosts.
Earth Power is a strong Ground move. The lack of Uber Pokémon vulnerable to Ground attacks coupled with the fact that Aura Sphere shares similar type coverage (against Rocks and Steels) relegates it to the sidelines however.
Thunderbolt can replace Thunder on any of the aforementioned sets. If you intend to control the weather or simply don't want to chance on the lack of Rain Dance, Thunderbolt provides more reliability.
Fire Blast provides somewhat of a middle-ground between Flamethrower and Overheat. Flamethrower has more reliability, Overheat has more power, Fire Blast combines the two to an extent.
Ice Beam hits a large number of opposing Uber Pokémon for super-effective damage, however many of those are already weak to Dragon, reducing its usefulness.
Psych Up can copy an opponent's stat boosts, but its use is situational and Dialga doesn't particularly excel at the job.
Choice Scarf can be placed on any of the Choice sets. Dialga's Speed is unimpressive, and Choice Scarf can make up for that.
You're looking at a Pokémon that has good offences and good defences. Dialga doesn't have an Achilles heel, so taking it down in a single hit will be difficult (if not impossible), whilst its typing blesses it with a nice collection of resistances and few weaknesses.
Of its two weaknesses, neither are largely exploitable. Fight and Ground weaknesses are uncommon amongst Ubers, and the only Ubers who gains STAB on these moves are Groudon and Arceus (assuming it holds the appropriate Plate).
Groudon, whilst not particularly good against Special Attacks, has the potential to throw up a Swords Dance and wipe Dialga out with an Earthquake.
Arceus has a multitude of possibilities. As well as having straight-forward attacking possibilities, it could also be using a Plate that gives it ideal resistances against what Dialga has to offer. Judgement targets Dialga's weaker Special Defence, which is another bonus.
Since Dialga's offence will primarily consist of Special Attacks, Blissey works well. With Light Screen or Calm Mind, Blissey can make its offences appear much less impressive. Lugia has massive Special Defence and HP but it needs to be wary of Electric or Ice attacks. Much like Blissey, it has Light Screen or Calm Mind to make Dialga's attacks easier to soak up. Deoxys (Defence) also shares those moves as well as the additional Mirror Coat.
Since the bulk of Dialga's offence will revolve around Dragon attacks, being a Steel type is helpful. With a lot of Special Defence, Heatran can work reasonably well with its Steel resistance and Fire immunity. Metagross also possesses a Dragon resistance with the added support of Light Screen, but Metagross needs to be wary of Fire attacks. Registeel has a lot of Special Defence but lacks any noteworthy offence to fight back with. The aforementioned Arceus also has potential in its Steel type form.
Up against Choice item variants, out-predicting its attacks is the best method of dealing with it. As far as Dialga's sweeping is concerned, it generally runs into problems because of its low Speed. Most Ubers outrun it, making it much more manageable.
As far as straight forward KOing is concerned, Deoxys (Attack) can take a huge chunk out of it with Super Power (and has the potential to OHKO with a Choice Band equipped). Rayquaza and Ho-oh can also make a huge dent with Earthquake. Mewtwo, Palkia and Giratina can target Dialga's much less impressive Special Defence stat with Aura Sphere (or Earth Power), and have OHKO potential with Choice Specs. And of course, Groudon and Arceus have their STAB possibilities.
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