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.
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.
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.
Not Fin-tastic, but far from Abyss-mal
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
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.
Thunderbolt, Focus Blast, Dragon Pulse, Sludge Wave, Hydro Pump, Surf, Shadow Ball, Haze, Venom Drench, Protect, Toxic, Assault Vest
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..
-Dragged out of the Sea-
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?
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.
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