Duraludon

Duraludon, The Alloy Pokémon. Its body resembles polished metal, and it's both lightweight and strong. The only drawback is that it rusts easily. The special metal that composes its body is very light, so this Pokémon has considerable agility. It lives in caves because it dislikes the rain.

Overview

Duraludon started very strongly this generation since it filled various roles successfully on the previous metagame before the DLC content. However, with most of the previous generation Pokemon returning such as Scizor, Celesteela and Metagross it becomes very difficult to justify most of its previous roles and it is constantly getting outclassed by a better pokemon on most cases. Duraludon also struggles on breaking past Pokemon like Ferrothorn since it will be walled by it and being unable to keep against returning threats like Swampert and Landorus-Therian, it becomes difficult to justify its niche in Singles.
Positives
While Stalwart is fantastic for Doubles, unfortunately Duraludon does not have a good ability to justify its use in Singles as Light Metal only comes with the niche of reducing damage from moves like Low Kick.
A base 115 Defense makes Duraludon physically bulky allowing it to switch into various resisted attacks in virtue of its good defensive typing.
It has a decent dual STAB combination backed up by a base 120 Special Attack and powerful moves like Steel Beam or Draco Meteor.
Negatives
A pitiful base 50 Special Defense makes it difficult for Duraludon to stay on the field as almost any strong neutral special attack will be enough to 2HKO it at best.
As a special attacker, Duraludon its outclassed by Dragapult due to the latter's higher Speed and as a Stealth Rock user, it is outclassed by Ferrothorn due to its better defenses and access to a form of recovery like Leech Seed.
It's poor coverage options makes Duraludon very one-dimensional and difficult to justify a niche on the current metagame.

Movesets

Tower of Dragons

- Stealth Rock
- Draco Meteor
- Steel Beam / Flash Cannon
- Thunderbolt
Item Attached: Eject Pack
Ability: Light Metal
EVs and Nature:
4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature

Duraludon's current niche relies on being a Pokemon capable of switching into threats such as Gyarados and Kartana while being able to support its team with Stealth Rock. Draco Meteor is its strongest STAB capable of damaging anything it hits neutrally for good damage. Once its Special Attack drops, Duraludon will be forced to switch out thanks to Eject Pack which makes it a great way to regain momentum on its favor. Steel Beam is Duraludon's secondary STAB and with the same base power as Draco Meteor does, it will punch holes on anything not resistant to it at the expense of half of its HP. This also allows Duraludon to act as a pseudo-suicide lead preventing the foe from Defogging as long as Duraludon is faster. Thunderbolt is the last coverage move Duraludon needs to hit Tapu Fini and Gyarados for good damage.

Dynamax
While Duraludon is one of the few Pokemon capable of Gigantomaxing, unfortunately its GMax effect is completely inferior to what Max Wyrmind can offer as Duraludon appreciates much more the Attack drops on the long run rather than the depletion of PP from the last move the opponent used which is very circumstancial. Due to this set's nature of often going down after laying Stealth Rock, it is recommended for other partners to use Dynamax instead.

EVs and Items
Duraludon wants to be as fast as possible allowing it to outspeed max Speed Jolly Gyarados while taking advantage of its great Special Attack with a classic 252/252 spread. An Eject Pack will allow Duraludon to switch out after its special attack drops from using Draco Meteor which makes it the ideal item to use on this set.

Partners
Duraludon appreciates partners that are able to deal with the strong Fighting and Ground type users that threaten it. Landorus-T is a decent partner as thanks to Intimidate and access to U-turn it can switch into Duraludon safely allowing it to set up its Rocks. Pokemon that are able to take advantage of hazard damage like Spectrier, Galarian Zapdos, and Pheromosa are heavily appreciated.

Other Options & Team Ideas

Duraludon can use a Choice Specs set to hit much harder, however, this set is outclassed by Dragapult and Latios due to their better coverage moves and higher Speed.
Duraludon can also use an Assault Vest set but it is very inferior due to its poor coverage options.
Dragonite could also use a Choice Band set and hit extremely hard off the bat, but unfortunately, this set would require a lot of support to make it worthwhile due to hazards which may constrain team building.

VGC & Double Battle Options

Duraludon was one of the more unique additions to the Doubles environment in Sword and Shield, and while its past its prime in the current environment it's still a fairly unique spin on on a bulky Special Attacker. Stalwart is the biggest unique draw to Duraludon, making it one of the few Pokemon that can entirely ignore redirection moves which are otherwise very powerful tools in Doubles. Its Steel/Dragon typing also provides many useful resistances while its great movepool also gives it nice versatility. Unfortunately, its Special Defense is awful unless it runs Assault Vest to patch it up a bit and in the current environment its niche is less valuable as Togekiss is no longer the best Pokemon in the meta and the rest of the environment becomes less kind to it. However, Duraludon still holds a fairly unique niche and while the metagame may not be ideal for it anymore, it's not a bad Pokemon by any means.

Dinotyrant

- Draco Meteor
- Flash Cannon
- Dark Pulse / Thunderbolt
- Thunderbolt / Snarl / Protect
Item Attached: Assault Vest / Life Orb / Weakness Policy
Ability: Stalwart
EVs and Nature:
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature

Duraludon often fills the role of a bulky attacker and Dynamaxer with various options for bulk or power, depending on the team. Draco Meteor is the strongest Dragon-type STAB options which makes for a powerful Max Wyrmwind, while Flash Cannon complements it as a reliable secondary STAB move for hitting Fairy-types. Dark Pulse is used for hitting Metagross which is otherwise a major problem for Duraludon, while Thunderbolt is used to hit Tapu Fini and Galarian Moltres harder. Snarl can provide useful damage mitigation support for the team and can help Duraludon take Special Attacks better itself, though if you're not using Assault Vest then Protect is always a move worth considering.

Assault Vest is a good item for bolstering Duraludon's otherwise bad Special Defense, allowing it to actually take special hits to an extent. However, Life Orb is a powerful damage boosting item that syngerizes well with Dynamax if using it as a dedicated slot for that. Weakness Policy works similarly well for the Dynamax role, though it's a higher risk and higher reward item that relies on team support or the foe hitting its weaknesses. Duraludon's Speed tier is also not what it once was, so Modest nature is usually the go-to nature since you're better off boosting damage output than trying to compete with the higher Speed tiers.

Other Options & Team Ideas

- Steel Beam is another high-risk high-reward STAB option if you want a stronger Max Steelspike, though the nasty HP recoil can be problematic.
- Dragon Tail may seem awkward but the ability to phase out a foe that isn't Dynamaxed can effectively disrupt a foe's attempt at boosting if timed well.
- Dragon Pulse is also a weaker STAB option than Draco Meteor, but it can be useful if the Special Attack drops are annoying to play around.
- Landorus-Therian is always an effective teammate to consider and notably helps Duraludon deal with Urshifu and Metagross better, though using Earthquake alongisde it will be awkward so you'll additionally want to consider Ground-immune teammates such as Galarian Moltres and Cresselia.
- Tapu Fini is an awkward teammate that weakens Dragon-type moves against grounded foes, but it's also an excellent option for threatening Landorus-Therian which is a problem for Duraludon.
- Glastrier is another excellent option for dealing with Landorus-Therian, and synergizes well with the aforementioned Cresselia for a Trick Room mode that Duraludon itself appreciates as well.

Countering Duraludon

Gastrodon is one of the best counters for Duraludon as it can easily recover the damage from Draco Meteor due to its great Special Defense stat and access to Recover. Tapu Fini does a good job on checking Duraludon and Moonblast is strong enough to 2HKO it, however, it has to be wary of Thunderbolt. Ferrothorn walls Duraludon to death as outside Body Press and Dark Pulse, it can't really touch it. While Zapdos doesn't appreciates Draco Meteor, it can shrug off the damage with Roost and wall it for the rest of the match. Any strong special attacker like Spectrier, Heatran or even Regieleki (thanks Transistor) with a strong STAB will pretty much be able to dent Duraludon pretty badly..

Locations in Games

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Not in game

Gold/Silver/Crystal:
Not in game

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:
Not in game

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Not in game

Sun/Moon:
Not in game

Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Not in game

Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!:
Not in game

Sword/Shield:
Route 10, Giant's Seat, Lake of Outrage
Max Raid Battles: Dusty Bowl, Giant's Seat, Stony Wilderness, Giant's Bed, Path to the Peak, Frigid Sea, Three-Point Pass, Ballimere Lake
Gigantamax Raid Battles: Giant's Seat, Giant's Bed, Path to the Peak, Frigid Sea, Three-Point Pass, Ballimere Lake

Anime Appearences

Duraludon has made a few appearances in the anime. Most notably it has been used by Raihan in his World Coronation Series battles.

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
1116 Toughing it Out! The Legend of Heroes! Leon's Ultimate Battle! Pics
1117 Sobbing Sobble! Sobble Sobs For What Reason? Pics
1131 TBC Sword & Shield I: Slumbering Weald Pics
1133 TBC Sword & Shield III: Eternatus Pics
1134 TBC Sword & Shield IV: Ultimate Sword & Shield Pics