Drapion

Drapion, The Ogre Scorp Pokémon. It has the power in its clawed arms to make scrap of a car. The tips of its claws release poison. Its body is encased in a sturdy shell. Its head rotates 180 degrees, eliminating blind spots.

Overview

Drapion is another Pokémon introduced in the fourth generation that doesn't particularly stand out. It isn't bad or great, but it lacks anything particularly unique to boost its popularity. All of its base stats are average or better, and its move-pool is fairly versatile. Its typing is decent as well, leaving it with only one weakness whilst giving it an immunity and two resistances. It mainly suffers from being 'average'. As a sweeper, Drapion suffers from being outclassed by other Pokémon with superior offensive stats, whilst defensively, it lacks a reliable recovery move. Still, it's a solid choice and has some interesting possibilities when coupled with appropriate strategies.

Trait

Sniper: is probably the ability you're going to want to use. All critical hits have their power doubled (effectively taking them from 2x strength hits to 4x strength hits). This gels nicely with its move-pool, which includes several moves with high critical-hit ratios.

Battle Armor: protects Drapion from incoming critical-hits, which makes it an okay choice for defensive move-sets.

Move Sets

Physical Sweeper

- Night Slash
- Earthquake / Brick Break
- Swords Dance
- Cross Poison / Ice Fang / Fire Fang / Knock Off
Item Attached: Scope Lens / Life Orb / Expert Belt
Trait: Sniper
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 52 HP / 252 Atk / 204 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)

With a Base 90 Attack stat, Swords Dance, and a decent array of physical moves, Drapion is well suited to the duties of a physical sweeper.

Night Slash will probably perform as the core move for much of this move-set. It begins with a high critical-hit chance which can benefit from Sniper (and be further boosted by Scope Lens). Being on the other end of a critical Night Slash boosted by a Swords Dance is a frightening prospect.

Earthquake or Brick Break are necessities if Drapion wants to stand a legitimate chance at getting past Steel types. Earthquake is the stronger of the two but Brick Break has a couple of advantages in its favour. It removes opposing Reflects or Light Screens, it is super-effective against Dark types (and it is 4x effective against Tyranitar).

Cross Poison provides a second choice as a STAB move, but Poison is a notoriously poor offensive type and its Base power is equal to Night Slash, giving very little justification for its use. Ice Fang has some uses against the common Dragons whilst Fire Fang helps Drapion get past Skarmory and Heracross. Knock Off provides its team-mates with some additional support and all of Drapion's counters will dislike losing their items.

Scope Lens is probably the superior item choice. The prospect of a critical-hit boosted by Sniper and Swords Dance is difficult to pass up, but the benefits granted by Life Orb and Expert Belt cannot be ignored.

EVs and Nature:

Base 95 Speed is decent, although it drops it just under several important Pokémon, so Jolly becomes somewhat of a necessity to be able to compete against them. Be sure to run at least 304 Speed, to beat Adamant variants of Garchomp (and in turn, outrun all Adamant/Modest Base Speed 100 Pokémon). Max Speed is worth consideration, since Drapion shares its Base Speed with several noteworthy Pokémon (including Electivire and Houndoom).

Aside from that, Max Attack and place the remaining EVs in a defensive stat.

Choice Band

- Night Slash
- Earthquake / Brick Break
- Cross Poison / Ice Fang / Fire Fang
- Cross Poison / Ice Fang / Fire Fang
Item Attached: Choice Band
Trait: Sniper
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 52 HP / 252 Atk / 204 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)

All physical sweepers have Choice Band as an option, and Drapion is no exception. Most of the move choices are similar to the Swords Dance move-set. Night Slash provides STAB whilst Earthquake or Brick Break help it to defeat Steel types (among others). Cross Poison provides another STAB choice, Ice Fang hits the common Dragons hard whilst Fire Fang helps against Skarmory and Heracross.

EVs and Nature:

Another straightforward EV spread, following the same guidelines as the Swords Dance sweeper.

Defensive-Support

- Toxic Spikes
- Knock Off
- Night Slash / Crunch
- Earthquake / Brick Break
Item Attached: Leftovers
Trait: Sniper / Battle Armor
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk)

Drapion has two fairly delightful disruptive moves, Toxic Spikes and Knock Off, allowing it to perform decently as a support Pokémon.

One layer of Toxic Spikes will inflict basic poison to any non-Poison/Steel/Flying type that switches in whilst two layers will inflict Toxic poison to any non-Poison/Steel/Flying type that switches in. Obviously, two layers is ideal, and if you use this move-set, you would want to base your team around the prospect of Toxic Spikes being active. In particular, you would want a Ghost Pokémon to block Rapid Spin and Pokémon capable of handling Guts or Quick Feet opponents.

Knock Off removes the opponents item (barring the thinly spread Sticky Hold or a Substitute blocking the way). Simple yet extremely effective, and as mentioned previously, all of Drapion's counters won't want to lose their items.

Night Slash or Crunch provide Drapion with reliable a STAB attack. Night Slash can benefit from Sniper if its in use, whilst Crunch has more power for more reliable damage (especially if Battle Armor is being used instead of Sniper).

Earthquake or Brick Break provide the means to defeat Steel types.

EVs and Nature:

Survival is the key. Its HP stat is fairly average but its Defence stat is quite impressive. Both should be maxed to provide the best possible survivability with the little leftover placed in its Attack. Taking away from the defensive stats is an option in order to boost its Attack or Speed, but it shouldn't sacrifice a significant amount of EVs in favour of its other stats.

Other Options

Thunder Fang, Rock Slide, Pursuit, Taunt, Whirlwind, Screech, Agility, Acupressure, Confuse Ray, Protect, Choice Scarf.

Thunder Fang and Rock Slide are other physical attacking options. Thunder Fang is rather weak and is only particularly useful for taking a large bite out of Gyarados. Rock Slide is also fairly weak, but its 30% Flinch rate helps to make up for that.

Pursuit is an option for catching retreating Pokémon.

Taunt prevents the opponent from using non-offensive attacks. This is particularly useful against defensive opponents and with well timed prediction, it can also cripple certain offensive opponents who rely on stat boosts.

Whirlwind and Screech provide Pseudo-Hazing options (forcing switches). Whirlwind will force the switch whilst Screech will lower the opponents defensive stats, and the fear of a following attack will usually be enough to make the switch occur (and it has some amusing possibilities with Pursuit).

Agility is a stat-boosting option for sweeping, but Drapion lacks the initial Base Attack to be able to take full advantage.

Acupressure randomly boosts any of Drapion's stats by two stages. Because of its unpredictability, it can be unreliably helpful or unhelpful. Confuse Ray is a decent stalling-move, although its effects are lost on switching, making it less useful.

Protect can stall for a turn, allowing Leftovers recovery to occur (and possibly, allowing another turn for Toxic to take effect).

Choice Scarf is an alternative to Choice Band, but as with Agility, Drapion lacks the initial Base Attack to use it effectively.

Countering Drapion

Drapion isn't a hugely difficult Pokémon to counter. Having Knock Off can make it a bit troublesome and an unlucky critical-hit boosted by Sniper can be crippling, but aside from that, it doesn't have many tricks up its sleeve.

With both of its STAB moves being resisted by Steel types, several of those are top choices. Skarmory has nearly impassable defence, and without Fire Fang or a critical-hit, Drapion is helpless against it. Steelix and Registeel have more than enough defence to suck up any un-boosted Earthquakes thrown in their direction. Forretress and Scizor don't need to worry too much about Earthquake or Brick Break but they need to be very wary of Fire Fang. Bronzong and Metagross take neutral damage from Dark typed attacks but have bulky defences, allowing them to take on Drapion.

Fighting types resist Dark attacks. There aren't many who are particularly bulky but most of them can handle the job. Heracross in particular benefits from its Bug typing, giving it additional resistances to Earthquake and Brick Break.

Drapion's Attack stat is good but it isn't particularly frightening, so several bulky defensive Pokémon can also take it on (even when Swords Dance is a factor). As well as the aforementioned Steel types, Pokémon like Rhyperior, Donphan, Hippowdon, Gliscor, Regirock and other defensive behemoths are all solid choices (the general rule of thumb is that the Pokémon doesn't possess a weakness to Dark moves or a 4x weakness to either Earthquake or Brick Break).

Without a reliable recovery move its long-term survivability is lessened by a great deal. It's also exposed to Spikes, Stealth Rock and Sandstorm as well as paralysis and burn statuses.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

Not in Game

Colosseum/XD

Not in Game

Fire Red/Leaf Green

Not in Game

Diamond/Pearl

Safari Zone

Animé Appearences

Drapion has had a couple of Animé Appearences. In them, it is controller by Hunter J in her efforts to capture many random Pokémon.

Episode 488: Mutiny In The Bounty!

 
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