Kingdra, The Dragon Pokémon. It is said that it usually hides in underwater caves. It can create whirlpools by yawning. It stores energy by sleeping at underwater depths at which no other life-forms can survive. It lives in caves on the seafloor and creates giant whirlpools every time it moves. It sleeps deep on the ocean floor to build its energy. It is said to cause tornadoes as it wakes.
Kingdra was always one of my favourites since it was introduced. It helped take the mediocre at best Seadra to new levels, with only one weakness back when Dragon-type moves weren't overly common. Its stats are good, but not great, and it has a diverse movepool. It just shys away from greatness. Then, Gen 3 hit and brought Swift Swim, giving Kingdra an even bigger boost, doubling its Speed, and its movepool is fairly versatile, allowing you to use Kingdra in multiple ways. Now, in Gen VI, it has got an extra weakness which is somewhat common in the metagame and thus impedes it a bit, but it is still capable of being a decent part of any Pokémon team.
Swift Swim: When rainy, The Pokémon’s Speed doubles. However, Speed will not double on the turn weather becomes Heavy Rain. - Though permanent rain has ended now, this is still the best bet for Kingdra in rain teams. Doubling its Speed allows it to potentially sweep with ease
I See a Seahorse
This is a standard special sweeping set on Kingdra. Hydro Pump hits hard with STAB, as does Draco Meteor, but Draco Meteor does lower your Special Attack, so may not be the best course of action in all cases. Dragon Pulse is weaker than Draco Meteor, but far more reliable. The final move is completely up to you, Surf is completely accurate barring any accuracy drops while Hidden Power and Ice Beam provide decent coverage and Rain Dance, which shouldn't be used if you're using Choice Specs, will give your Water-type moves a bosot as well as doubling your Speed for 5 turns. Who can complain at that?
The Power of Hippocampus
- Focus Energy
While Kingdra's abilities have been nerfed in X & Y, a change has occurred which can make Kingdra an absolute beast. In X & Y, the Critical Hit ratio has been altered somewhat and makes it so if you have a Critical Hit ratio of 4, you are guaranteed a Critical Hit. As such, if you use Focus Energy, it'll boost your stage up to 3, and the Scope Lens puts it up at 4. Nowadays, critical hits don't hit as hard as before, but with Sniper, they do get a decent boost. So, run with Focus Energy at the start to get the boost, and then move to the next move. Draco Meteor is a hugely powerful move, and thanks to the mechanics of Critical Hits, the Special Attack drop is ignored every single time. This makes Draco Meteor a beast of an option. Hydro Pump and Surf are your Water-type STAB options. Hydro Pump has more power but Surf is more accurate. Then, for the final slot, you have Substitute which is cool as it will allow you to fully set up the Focus Energy. Hidden Power helps give Kingdra coverage while Flash Cannon can help get rid of those pesky Fairy-types. Finally, Agility gives you the option to outspeed your enemy. Always handy.
Blizzard, Bounce, Dive, Muddy Water, Outrage, Protect, Scald, Waterfall
Double & Triple Battle Options
Kingdra is known for two things this Generation, the first being Swift Swim and the other is its ability to abuse the new Critical Hit Mechanics, potentially allowing it to land Critical Hits, 100% of the time. The latter sounds very appealing, especially when it's swimming around at the speed of sound.
- Focus Energy
Indeed Sniper does power up the Critical Hits you land, but that I feel isn't nearly as important as being able to outspeed threats like Choice Scarf Gardevoir and Salamence. The EVs here will allow you to outspeed even Max Speed Scarf Garchomp when the rain is up.This set takes one turn to set up and get the most out of. Focus Energy with Scope Lens will be all you need to fire off Critical Hits.
- Muddy Water / Hydro Pump
This set forgoes the first turn of set up and goes for quick but still respectably strong offense.. well.. as respectably strong as base 95 Special Attack will allow for. That's why Life Orb is the item here. The Water STAB is simply up to preference, but Ice Beam lets you exploit some Pokemon's x4 Weakness to Ice, or just their Ice Weakness in general. Draco Meteor and Dragon Pulse.. again it's up to preference. Draco Meteor hits hard, but lowers your Special Attack to embarrassing levels while Dragon Pulse never seems to hit quite hard enough it doesn't pressure you to switch after using it and it allows you to use your other Special Attacking moves afterwards.
To get the most out of Swift Swim, the weather has to be rainy, because of that, Drizzle Politoed (or Kyogre) is almost a given when using Swift Swim Kingdra. Though a few Pokemon will get in the way of Kingdra swimming it's way to victory, mainly Azumarill and Lapras. Azumarill because it just resists most of Kingdra's attacks naturally, and Lapras because it's bulky and gets access to Freeze-Dry, an Ice Type move that hits Kingdra like it's x4 weak to Ice. Ouch! To help this problem it might not be a bad idea to use an electric type alongside Politoed and Kingdra. Rotom-C/W, Manectric and Zapdos may get the job done, it's up to you to try it out.
Kingdra as a swift swimmer faces stiff competition from the likes of Ludicolo, who's STAB combination seems to hit a lot more Pokemon. The introduction of Fairies really hurt Kingdra too, but Muddy Water can turn games around by itself, hax willing. Otherwise, Kingdra is decent at what it does in swift swim sweeping. When ORAS comes out and when/if Mega Glalie becomes the next big threat, Kingdra's lesser used ability Damp will come in handy by preventing Explosions of any sort.
Kingdra is a hard Pokémon to counter. In times past, there used to only be a handful, but now thanks to Fairy-type, we have a few more. Powerful Dragon-type and Fairy-type moves are likely to 2HKO Kingdra with ease. Azumarill is a good choice against it. It resists both of its main type attacks and Huge Power Play Rough, even without a Belly Drum boost, will OHKO it. Alternatively, just go for faster Dragon-type Pokémon such as Salamence or Garchomp, and hit it with an Outrage. Job done.
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