Dragalge

Dragalge, The Mock Kelp Pokémon. Their poison is strong enough to eat through the hull of a tanker, and they spit it indiscriminately at anything that enters their territory.Tales are told of ships that wander into seas where Dragalge live, never to return.

Overview

Say "Hello" to the newest member of the Pokemon-that-wish-they-had-their-Hidden-Abilities-because-they-would-be-so-much-better-if-they-did club (founded by Serperior)! Dragalge is a unique Pokemon, largely due to its Poison / Dragon typing. In the past, adding Poison typing to a Dragon might have been frowned upon, but then Game Freak gave us XY. With XY came the Fairies, and with the Fairies came a new method of checking Dragons and a new reason to use Poison attacks. Dragalge is cool in that it's one of only a couple of Dragons that not only are not weak to Fairy-type moves, but they can also slam Fairies with their secondary STABs. Dragalge's biggest problem is just that it doesn't have a ton of stuff to set itself apart outside of that Poison-typing. It's overall about as bulky as a Latios, but without the excellent power and speed that makes Latios so good. It's a pretty nice lower tier Dragon, however, one that you can't just toss a Fairy in front of and call it a day lest you be slammed by a powerful STAB Sludge Bomb.
Positives
+As I mentioned before, being neutral to Fairy-type moves is pretty awesome. Outside of that, Dragalge's typing gives it seven handy resistances as well as immunity to the poison status and the ability to absorb opposing Toxic Spikes.
+65 / 90 / 123 defenses are quite solid. Again, you're looking at about as much bulk as Latios, which is pretty impressive. Now if only Dragalge had reliable recovery…
+Dragalge's movepool is pretty expansive, as is the case with many Dragons. It happens to be one of the few non-Water-types to get Scald, and it can put the move to good use.
+Dragalge's abilities are pretty handy, letting it spread poison like there's no tomorrow. Adaptability will also be spectacular once (or if) it's released.

Negatives
-Base 44 Speed is really, really slow. At least it still outspeeds a couple of slower tanks like Eviolite Rhydon and Spiritomb.
-Dragalge's offenses aren't very impressive. Base 97 Special Attack isn't really bad per se, but it's not all that great either. Dragalge hits pretty soft without a boosting item.
-Poison typing is sort of a double-edged sword. While it gives Dragalge useful Fighting, Poison, and Bug resistances (along with a Fairy neutrality), it also gives Dragalge weaknesses to common Ground moves and less common Psychic moves.
-By the time I got done writing this article, I got sick of typing the word "poison."

Abilities

Poison Point: The opponent has a 30% chance of being induced with poison when hitting this Pokemon with a contact move. Not a bad ability at all. Poison damage can be important in wearing opponents down, although Dragalge needs Def investment to comfortably tank many contact attacks.
Poison Touch: This Pokemon has a 20% chance of inflicting poison on the opponent when it hits the opponent with a contact move. This is a cool ability when paired with Dragon Tail, especially since you can use it to poison opponents that float above the Toxic Spikes.
Hidden Ability (Not Available):
Adaptability: Increases the Same Type Attack Bonus from 1.5x to 2x. Once released, this will make Dragagle's STAB moves significantly more powerful, which is great for offensive sets. Even defensive sets can appreciate the power of an Adaptability-boosted Sludge Bomb and such.

Movesets

Not Fin-tastic, but far from Abyss-mal

-Dragon Tail
-Sludge Bomb / Rest
-Scald / Sleep Talk
-Toxic Spikes
Item Attached: Black Sludge
Ability: Poison Touch / Poison Point
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD OR 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Sassy Nature / Relaxed Nature

When you put together Dragagle's bulk, unique typing, and cool movepool, you've got quite a neat defensive Pokemon on your hands. Dragalge has access to the unique Toxic Spikes, which can be very important in wearing down entire teams. Once you have your Toxic Spikes down, you can shuffle the opponent's team around with Dragon Tail, dealing a little damage with the move itself and poisoning as many opponents as possible with your hazards. Even Flying-types and Levitate users aren't completely safe since Poison Touch gives you a chance to poison those Pokemon as well. Just be careful about inducing something with regular poison via Poison Touch when you might have preferred they get Toxic poison from 2 layers of Toxic Spikes instead. Fairy-types are unfortunately immune to Dragon Tail, so Sludge Bomb lets you punish those snarky Fairies that think they can just switch right in and shut you down. As a bonus, it even has a 30% chance to poison of its own. Scald is another cool move that does two basic things. First of all, it offers a method of punishing Steel-types, who are immune to poison and heavily resist Dragalge's STAB moves. In addition, Scald has that wonderful chance to burn, which gives Dragalge a second status to toss around. If you feel that you don't need the utility that Sludge Bomb and Scald offer, you can use Rest and Sleep Talk to provide Dragalge with at least some form of recovery, which will keep it alive longer so that it can wall more threats. A specially defensive setup is the primary choice here, used to maximize Dragalge's special bulk and turn it into a fantastic special tank. However, a physically defensive set is also viable, bolstering Dragalge's weaker side and making it into more of a mixed tank capable of better handling hard hitters such as Emboar and Swords Dance Virizion. With maximum Defense investment, Poison Point becomes more reliable since physically defensive Dragalge is much more comfortable with tanking contact moves than specially defensive Dragalge, allowing it to poison more opponents that way.

I Need Kelp Coming Up with Better Puns

-Draco Meteor
-Sludge Bomb
-Scald
-Hidden Power Fire
Item Attached: Choice Specs
Ability: Poison Point / Adaptability
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 200 HP / 252 SpA / 52 Spe
Modest Nature

With a Choice Specs boost, Dragalge becomes capable of doing solid damage to a wide range of Pokemon, despite its unimpressive base 97 Special Attack stat. Draco Meteor is a great move to spam due to its high base power, but it does have problems with Fairy- and Steel-types. That's where Dragalge's coverage moves come in. STAB Sludge Bomb wipes the stupid grin off of those Fairies' faces when they think they can switch into Draco Meteor willy-nilly. Scald punishes a lot of Steel-types that might try to switch into Dragalge's Draco Meteor as well. While it may not hit many of the super effectively, it is still capable of doing pretty impressive damage while also threatening all of them with a possible burn. Hidden Power Fire rounds out the set by doing more damage to most Steel-types than Dragagle's other moves while slamming Escavalier in particular. It also demolishes the occasional Ferroseed, who resists every other move on this set. With a Modest nature and the given EV spread, Dragalge has maximum power while being able to outspeed uninvested base 50 Speed Pokemon, such as Tangrowth. The rest of the EVs are used to give it a little extra bulk to safely tank more hits. Currently, Poison Point is the best ability to use for this set. After all, Poison Touch is quite useless with no contact moves, and Poison Point can occasionally poison something and make them easier to KO. However, once Adaptability is released, it will easily be the best ability to use. Just to put the power into perspective, Modest Dragalge's Adaptability-boosted Draco Meteor is hitting about 20% harder than Timid Latios's Draco Meteor! Adaptability Dragalge will quickly become a terrifying wallbreaker. All we need is for Game Freak to give it the green light.

Other Options

Thunderbolt, Focus Blast, Dragon Pulse, Sludge Wave, Hydro Pump, Surf, Shadow Ball, Haze, Venom Drench, Protect, Toxic, Assault Vest
Thunderbolt is another one of Dragalge's awesome coverage moves with solid power and neutral coverage, but there isn't much that it hits that Dragalge couldn't already hit with its other moves.
Focus Blast is an alternative to Hidden Power Fire to hit Steel-types. It's a lot stronger against some of them (such as Registeel), but the accuracy is a real letdown.
Dragon Pulse is an alternative to Draco Meteor on offensive Dragalge. It's more powerful over the course of a few turns, but it's somewhat weak. Two Draco Meteors still overpower two Dragon Pulses, even counting the Special Attack drop.
Sludge Wave can be used over Sludge Bomb. It has a lower chance to poison the opponent, but it does have a bit more base power.
Hydro Pump can be used over Scald. Giving up the burn chance and perfect accuracy of Scald can be hard, but the extra power is nice. Surf is also there, but Scald is generally better overall since you give up a small bit of power for the great utility of Scald burns.
Shadow Ball hits Psychic-types that might try to threaten Dragalge with their STAB moves, but it's not really useful for much else.
Haze ensures that no Pokemon will ever be able to set up on Dragalge. It also stops Baton Pass chains and quick passers like Shell Smash Gorebyss and Combusken.
Venom Drench is a unique move that might find use on defensive sets. Dropping the opponent's offensive stats and speed is great for crippling offensive opponents and helping teammates to set up, and while it's a bit unreliable since it requires the opponent to be poisoned, Dragalge certainly has a knack for poisoning lots of things.
Any Pokemon can use Protect, but defensive Dragalge really appreciates it since it helps to stall for Black Sludge recovery and poison damage at the same time, so it's worth a mention.
Toxic is there because you can never have enough poison! Plus, Toxic poison is generally more effective than regular poison in the long run, so you could use it to poison Pokemon immune to Toxic Spikes rather than fish for Poison Touch poison with Dragon Tail.
Dragalge looks like a prime Assault Vest user with its great special bulk and solid coverage, but it's not all that great. It lacks any form of recovery like some other Assault Vest users have, and its offensive sets are pretty weak without a boosting item. Even defensive sets would generally rather have Black Sludge recovery and the ability to use status moves such as Toxic Spikes and RestTalk.

Double & Triple Battle Options

Dragalge looks pretty awesome on paper, Poison/Dragon with Adaptability for it's Hidden Ability. Next step is to look at the base stats and.... oh boy do we have a mess here..
65/75/90/97/123/44.
It's hard to know how to approach Dragalge because it seems to have a lot of conflicting interests..
-Poison/Dragon means it has a way to hit Fairies hard while still taking advantage of its Dragon STAB, but it's slower than EVERY fully evolved Fairy not named Aromatisse. Yes, Wigglytuff and Granbull are naturally faster than Dragalge..
-Base 123 SDef means it's geared to be specially defensive, but Adaptability gives it the means to be an offensive Pokemon..
-It's non hidden abilities are reliant on Dragalge taking or dishing out Physical Attacks, something it generally should be avoiding..
-Base 44 Speed and Adaptability adds up to Trick Room abuse right? Sure, but even with Adaptability it's going to fall a little short on the damage output without relying on Choice Specs. At which there are stronger Pokemon who can use the Choice Specs to greater effect..
So what is to be done about this mess? Scoop it up into an Assault Vest to keep it from falling apart completely.

-Dragged out of the Sea-

Dragon Pulse
Sludge Bomb
Scald / Hydro Pump
Shadow Ball / Focus Blast / Thunder
Item Attached: Assault Vest
Ability: Adaptability
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 36 Def / 220 SAtk
Modest/Quiet Nature

The EV spread is built to withstand one Dragon Claw or multiple target Earthquake from Standard Garchomp NOT holding a Damage Boosting item like Life Orb or Choice Band while always OHKOing said Garchomp in return with Dragon Pulse, even the ones that are built to survive Hidden Power Ice from Timid Mega Manectric. With that said, Dragalge is a strong choice to check rain teams, because neither Kingdra or Ludicolo can OHKO it but Dragalge can OHKO them in return with the appropriate STAB, assuming neither are using Assault Vest. Not even Choice Band Talonflame can OHKO this set outside of a Critical Hit.

Now, instead of talking about what hits Dragalge can take, lets talk about what it can dish out. I recommend Dragon Pulse over Draco Meteor because Draco Meteor forces you to switch a lot, something that Dragalge should avoid. Sludge Bomb is your second STAB and has a nice 30% Poison rate. Scald unfortunately no longer gets STAB, but 30% Burn rate isn't something I would pass up, but Hydro Pump is a stronger, more risky alternative, without the burn rate of course. The last slot is dependent on what your team would appreciate more. Shadow Ball lets Dragalge hit Aegislash for decent damage, Focus Blast is a strong but risky fighting type move to hurt certain Steel Types while Thunder really lets you stick it to the rain teams, or perhaps you're running a rain team and want 3 of Dragalge's moves to have a 30% status rate against the opponent. None of these are bad options (though I have negative bias against Focus Blast).

Dragalge CAN function without Trick Room, it just prefers not to. Nobody enjoys waiting for their Pokemon to attack only to see that it flinched from the weak Rock Slide that hit it earlier that turn. So the obvious partners will be able to set Trick Room, but alos perhaps fucntion in a Rain environment too. Politoed sets the rain and there are a plethora of Trick Room setters. I'd go with Aromatisse for that.

I feel Dragalge has a niche somewhere, or somewhere down the line a World's player will write an article explaining how Dragalge was "The one Pokemon this team was crying out for, the PERFECT fit." It takes an ambitious player to try and make Dragalge work. My prediction is that once Adaptability becomes available, it will see use on Rain Teams, Trick Room teams or Rain Room teams. But until then we'll have to wait patiently. I'm still waiting anxiously for Contrary Serperior. One can only dream right?

Countering Dragalge

Defensive Dragalge loves setting Toxic Spikes and poison things, so Pokemon that get in the way of that can hinder Dragalge. Defog and Rapid Spin users can remove Toxic Spikes. Gligar is a good examples since it's immune to the hazards and can threaten Dragalge with a STAB Earthquake, although it hates Scald. Steel-types in general can also really annoy defensive Dragalge since they resist its STABs and are immune to poison. As long as they can avoid Scald burns (or Hidden Power Fire from offensive sets), Steel-types such as Escavalier and Registeel switch into Dragalge without too much trouble. Dragalge happens to have a couple of fairly common weaknesses that give players multiple avenues to take it out. Powerful Ground-type attacks from Pokemon such as Rhyperior can do tons of damage to Dragalge. Dugtrio in particular can not only slam Dragalge with its STAB Earthquake; it can trap Dragalge with Arena Trap so that it has no hope of escaping. There are several powerful Psychic-types such as Slowking, Reuniclus, and Delphox that can hit Dragalge hard with their STAB Psyshock. The fact that Psyshock targets Dragalge's weaker physical bulk only makes them that much more dangerous. Faster Dragons such as Druddigon and Tyrantrum can outspeed and KO Dragalge with their Dragon STAB moves, although they obviously can't switch in safely for fear of Dragagle's own STAB moves. Just remember that without reliable recovery, Dragagle can only tank hits for so long, so it'll eventually fall to repeated hits if you can keep the pressure up on it.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Not in game

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Not in game

Colosseum/XD:
Not in game

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Not in game

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Not in game

Black/White:
Not in game

Black 2/White 2:
Not in game

X/Y:
Route 8, Ambrette Town, Cyllage City (Y)
Trade from Y (X)

Animé Appearences

Dragalge has made a couple of appearances in the anime. In its main one, it was defending a sunkern ferry from excavators

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
827 TBC The Castle on the Seabed! Skrelp & Dragalge!!  

 
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