Tide Goes Out
Thanks to the combination of Heavy Duty Boots and Multiscale, Dragonite is able to perform a wide variety of roles on a team. With access to Roost and Heal Bell, as well as a wide offensive movepool, Dragonite is an excellent natural check to the likes of Urshifu-R, Rillaboom, Volcarona, and Heatran. Dragonite is arguably the best answer to Heatran within the tier, resisting Magma Storm, possessing an immunity to Earth Power and able to get rid of status thanks to Heal Bell. Dragonite is also able to perform as a good win condition with a powerful Dragon Dance set, letting it sweep thanks to its natural bulk, stats, defensive typing, fantastic ability in Multiscale and great offensive coverage in Dual Wingbeat and Earthquake as well as solid options in Fire Punch and Ice Punch. Though Dragonite is a very solid Pokemon, its reliance on Heavy Duty Boots makes it vulnerable to Knock Off and Trick. The removal of Heavy Duty Boots means that it
move 1: Ice Beam
move 2: Earthquake
move 3: Roost
move 4: Heal Bell
item: Heavy Duty Boots
evs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Dragonite's utility set puts the spotlight on it
Dragonite's solid bulk and utility options make it a solid choice for many bulky offense teams, providing a solid check to many powerful physical attackers like Rillaboom and Urshifu-R, as well as an excellent Heatran check. This makes pokemon such as Clefable and Volcarona great teammates, as they appreciate Dragonite's defensive utility. Fairy-types like Clefable can pair with it extremely well, checking Pokemon like Dragapult, Hydreigon, Weavile and Garchomp, while Dragonite is able to alleviate pressure for Clefable by handling pokemon such as Heatran, Rillaboom, Kartana and Magnezone. Toxapex also makes an excellent partner as it's able to divvy out the work between Dragonite and itself while providing a check to Dragapult and Weavile. Specially Defensive Pokemon like Blissey and Scizor can work together with Dragonite to position against and check the likes of Dragapult and Kyurem which take advantage of Dragonite. Scizor makes for a fantastic partner as it's able to also divvy out the pressure Dragonite faces when checking Kartana and Rillaboom, being able to soak up Knock Off as well as Grass-type moves from them, where Dragonite can pressure Fire-types like Heatran and Volcarona. Buzzwole in particular makes for an excellent partner, being able to divvy out pressure from Urshifu-R, Rillaboom, and Kartana, but also creates a good backbone with Dragonite against Physically-oriented wallbreakers. Buzzwole is able to take on the likes of Weavile, Garchomp, and Melmetal, as well as be an excellent Knock Off absorber for Dragonite. In return, Dragonite checks the likes of Heatran, Volcarona, and Tornadus-T for it. Heal Bell is another factor in why these two synergise well, as Dragonite is able to remove status from Buzzwole, which it wants to avoid.
name: Defensive Dragon Dance
move 1: Dragon Dance
move 2: Dual Wingbeat
move 3: Heal Bell / Earthquake
move 4: Roost
item: Heavy Duty Boots
evs: 248 HP / 52 Atk / 56 Def / 152 Spe
Defensive Dragon Dance Dragonite presents itself as a bulky and reliable wincon, able to set up thanks to Multiscale and keep itself healthy throughout the match with Roost, able to situationally switch into the likes of Urshifu-R and Volcarona and not have to fear status conditions. This spread is able to reliably check Smart Strike Kartana while still outspeeding the likes of Kartana, Urshifu-R, and Hydreigon after a Dragon Dance boost. Heal Bell allows Dragonite to prevent itself from being crippled once it begins sweeping from common counterplay like Toxic Landorus-T or Toxapex. Earthquake allows Dragonite to get punish Steel-types and many other would-be checks, such as Heatran, Tapu Koko, and Toxapex.
Ice Punch is also an option, as it gives Dragonite a way to hit the many Ground and Dragon-types within the tier, such as Garchomp, Landorus-T and opposing Dragonite, while still hitting Grass-types like Rillaboom and Tapu Bulu. This prevents Garchomp and Landorus-T from Toxic-ing you, letting Dragonite not be worn down as easily. Roost lets Dragonite set itself up at full health, letting it use it's Multiscale to give it more opportunities to setup with Dragon Dance or deal major damage to something
Dragonite functions extremely well with other potent wallbreakers, so the likes of Kartana, Urshifu-R and Tapu Lele can help overload Dragonite's check's like Toxapex, Corviknight, and Clefable while creating a frightening offensive core. Kartana and Dragonite work well to overload Corviknight and Mandibuzz together, Urshifu-R appreciates Grass-type Pokemon being dealt with and handles Steel-types for it whereas Tapu Lele loves the fact that Dragonite is able to deal with Slowking and Heatran. Hazard support is greatly appreciated, as with Stealth Rock up you manage to get valuable chip damage on opponents like Garchomp, opposing Landorus-T and Heatran. This makes Landorus-T and Heatran solid partners. Heatran in particular can trap Toxapex and handle Steel-types like Corviknight, Skarmory and Ferrothorn which Dragonite struggles with, making it a very good partner for it. Magnezone makes for a very solid partner for Dragonite, being able to trap Skarmory and Corviknight so Dragonite doesn't have to worry about them. Offensive pivots like Tapu Koko, Zeraora, Landorus-T, and Urshifu-R can position Dragonite excellently, giving the most opportune moment to set up in front of Heatran and Buzzwole, while also being able to chip down opponents with U-turn and Volt Switch.
Aqua Tail can be considered on Defensive sets due to it's ability to hit Volcarona, Heatran and other Ground-types like Hippowdon is one slot. Offensive Dragon Dance Dragonite is also a viable option, reducing its investment in bulk to its Attack and Speed, with it
Checks and Counters
**Fairy-types**: Clefable is a complete stop to Dragon Dance Dragonite, ignoring its boost, use Knock Off orThunder Wave to cripple it and Moonblast it, and Calm Mind sets are able to use it to set up freely. Tapu Fini is able to fish for Scald burns, Taunt it to prevent Dragonite from setting up or Roosting off damage, or Moonblast it for massive damage. Tapu Fini can also run a Choice Scarf set and Trick it onto Dragonite, both removing it's Heavy Duty Boots and crippling it by forcing a Choice lock against it and stopping any potential sweep. Tapu Lele is also a great revenge killer for Dragon Dance sets with a Choice Scarf, and Choice Specs sets are able to get free turns out of defensive sets and OHKO it.
**Ice-types**: Weavile and Kyurem both pose a major threat to Dragonite, with Weavile being able to OHKO it with Triple Axel, Knock Off its Heavy Duty Boots, and effectively revenge kill Dragon Dance sets with Ice Shard. Kyurem is able to threaten OHKO it with Ice Beam and Freeze Dry, making Dragonite weary of setting up. SubRoost variants also are able to take a couple of hits with Kyurem's great bulk and immediately pressure it back.
**Steel-types**: Ferrothorn, Corviknight, and Skarmory act as hard walls to Dragonite without Fire Punch, Ferrothorn even being able to Knock Off Dragonite's Heavy Duty Boots and Iron Defense variants of Skarmory and Corviknight being able to 1v1 it with ease.
**Chip Damage**: Dragonite really struggles to deal with Toxic unless it's a Heal Bell set, and Knock Off is a major hindrance as losing Heavy Duty Boots forces you to take Stealth Rock damage. This means that Dragonite's Multiscale is rarely going to be active, so it'll have a much harder time checking Pokemon it should like Kartana and Zeraora.
**Fast Revenge Killers**: Dragonite is naturally slower than a lot of offensive threats, like Tapu Koko, Garchomp, Dragapult and Weavile, all of which are capable of revenge killing Dragonite.
**Dragon-types**: Hydreigon, Garchomp and Dragapult are able to slam Dragonite for super effective damage, leaving it crippled for the remainder of the match and making it much harder to switch into opposing threats.
- Written by: [[Magnum, 540289]]
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