Dragonite, The Dragon Pokémon. It is said to make its home somewhere in the sea. It guides crews of shipwrecks to shore. It is said that this Pokémon constantly flies over the immense seas and rescues drowning people. This marine Pokémon has an impressive build that lets it freely fly over raging seas without trouble.
Dragonite is probably one of them more versatile Pokemon in 5th Generation, being able to run a variety of sets, as well and having a vast movepool. But what really sets the first Dragon apart from the others is the ability it received this generation; Multiscale. This allows Dragonite to be able to survive many hits it otherwise couldn't, and also take advantage of the fact by either healing it off or setting up on the hit. Whatever it does, Multiscale is really what sets Dragonite apart from the other Dragons, making it quite a tank and allowing it to better handle the opponent's team.
Inner Focus: Prevents Dragonite from being Flinched, this is a decent ability as it shields Dragonite from Paraflinch strategies and such, but it is really situational and doesn't help Dragonite too much in the long run. Multiscale: Reduces any damage by half if Dragonite is at full health, a very good ability that allows Dragonite to survive hits and switch in on moves that it otherwise would avoid like the plague, meaning it has a lot more freedom than it used to. Only drawback is Stealth Rock can ruin your day, so it'd be best to have a Rapid Spinner.
Enter the Dragonite
Dragonite has always had quite a few things to play with in its movepool, and Dragon Dance is probably one of the best things it was given. Boosting both its Attack and Speed by one stage, Dragonite is very capable of outspeeding and KOing many Pokemon it couldn't otherwise. Dragon Claw is a strong STAB move that hits several types for neutral damage, but gets key super effective hits on Pokemon like Kyurem-B, Garchomp, other Dragonites, and the Lati twins. Outrage is far more powerful than Dragon Claw, but has the drawback of locking you into the move and then inflicting you with Confusion at the end of the 2-5 turns it lasts. Fire Punch rips through Steel types that otherwise stop Dragonite's Dragon type spamming in its tracks, with things such as Ferrothorn, Forretress, and some Skarmory falling to it pretty quickly. The last slot goes to either ExtremeSpeed, which is a powerful priority move that outpaces most other priority, Roost, which allows Dragonite to heal itself and possibly allow Multiscale to help with another hit, or Earthquake, which allows it to beat more bulky Steels such as Jirachi and Heatran (the latter being immune to Fire Punch), and non-Steels like Tentacruel, Ninetales, and Tyranitar. Leftovers as an item is useful in most scenarios as it recovers some of your health each turn, making it easier for Dragonite to get Multiscale back up as well as stick around a lot longer. Lum Berry is useufl for keeping status away long enough for Dragonite to kill what's attempting to give him status, or to recover from Outrage's confusion. The choice between natures is simple, Adamant boosting power more, while Jolly allows you to outspeed more threats either on the onset or at +1.
How To Train Your Dragon
Attaching a Choice Band to Dragonite makes it extremely powerful and dangerous, especially with the right support, making this one of the most viable sets to use on Dragonite. Outrage rips through any team lacking a Steel type to resist it, allowing Dragonite to plow through teams without having to worry about being stopped by too much. ExtremeSpeed can be used on Dragonite to let it be a great revenge-killer, with a powerful priority move that can even take down some Pokemon from pretty high health. Earthquake hits the same bulkier Steels and others as it did for the last set, while Superpower hits most Steels and some other obscure things. Fire Punch and Waterfall both are helped out by Sun and Rain respectively, which is generally the reason to run one over the other, as they both provide coverage on certain threats. .
Taking Back The Dragonite
With Rain being ever present in the 5th generation competitive scene, a Dragonite set that abuses it was bound to turn up. And not only did it appear, but also turned out to be quite a good mixed attacker. Hurricane is strong Flying STAB with a chance to Confuse that also has perfect accuracy in Rain, meaning Dragonite can fire them off with no drawbacks and a possible status infliction on the opponent. Thunder is similar, having perfect accuracy and a higher chance to inflict Paralysis, making it a powerful coverage move. Aqua Tail works very well under Rain, and hits quite a few threats for very high damage with the Rain boost. Superpower does manage to hit several threats harder than Aqua Tail, notably Blissey and Tyranitar, as well as some Steels. Dragonite can pick off weakened opponents with ExtremeSpeed, with its other options being easy recovery ad Life Orb recoil nullification through Roost and a bit more coverage in Earthquake.
This battle is starting to Drag-on
Taking the Dragon Dance set and tweaking it a little made it so that DD Dragonite can not only dish out a ton of damage, but is better able to take it as well as status. Substitute gives Dragonite a buffer of protection, keeping away status and higher damage, as well as giving it a good opportunity to use Dragon Dance if the opponent switched out of Dragonite ont he Substitute. Dragon Dance is there to boost Dragonite, the same as with the previous DD set. Dragon Claw and Outrage are Dragonite's STAB options, with Dragon Claw being the preferred choice and the safer option, while Outrage does hit harder but also locks you in as well as causes Confusion, which generally leads to you switching out and losing your boosts. Roost is there to make sure Dragonite stays around to take advantage of its sweeping potential, as well as quickly heal off damage from using Substitute. The EVs allow for it to outrun Alakazam at +1 Speed, and the bulk allows it to take certain hits that will, with those EVs, not break the Substitute.
Agility, Draco Meteor, Dragon Pulse, Dragon Tail, Fire Blast, Flamethrower, Focus Blast, Stone Edge, Surf, Thunder Wave, Thunderbolt, Toxic
Double & Triple Battle Options
Dragonite isn't really any different in these formats than it is in Singles, though it does run Protect on several sets (which is generally required in these formats anyhow). It still serves as either a physical attacker or a Rain boosted special attacker in general though.
Politoed is the obvious partner for Rain themed Dragonite sets, and most Dragonite also appreciate having a Rapid Spinner as a partner like Tentacruel and Donphan to keep their Multiscale intact.
Mamoswine is one of the better counters to Dragonite, being able to OHKO through Multiscale with Icicle Crash and do around 60% of its health with Ice Shard. Beyond that, it's mostly fast choice Scarf users with super effective coverage moves (Keldeo, Terrakion, Latios, etc.), most defensive tanks like Skarmory and Ferrothorn in Rain (they can at least cripple it or phaze it, or wall a Dragonite stuck in Outrage), or Intimidate pivots like Landorus-Therian. It really depends on the set that Dragonite is using though, as it has enough diversity to be a problem. Stealth Rock still on the field is probably the best counter to Dragonite, as it breaks Multiscale and gets Dragonite down 25% of its health right off the bat.
Locations in Games
Black 2/White 2:
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