Dragonair has several advantages over its other Dragon Dance-using counterparts such as Shelgon and Seadra. Its access to Extremespeed
is invaluable for Pokemon such as Sneasel, Piloswine and Snover who try to take Dragonair down with a STAB Ice Shard, while combining with Waterfall to hit the entire
NFE tier for at least neutral damage. It should be noted that Dragon and Water in theirselves hit the entire NFE tier for neutral, damage as well. Some players don't favor
Dragon Rush because of its accuracy, and it can be quite a downfall if it misses bulkier Pokemon who usually need the additional STAB boost to be taken down if Dragonair
hasn't accumulated a considerable amount of Dragon Dances, such as Electabuzz and Marshtomp, who both usually pack Ice Punch. Outrage in itself is more powerful, and provides
better chances at sweeping two or more Pokemon on your foe's team, but the inability to switch out Dragonair and the inability to use another attack can mean an early end to
one's sweep from the likes of Metang, Marshtomp, Rhydon and Piloswine, who can all usually manage an Outrage hit if insufficient Dragon Dances have been used, and can all
pack Ice attacks that can end Dragonair. Leftovers are recommended if you want to use Dragonair as an early game sweeper and give it a bit of survivability, while Life Orb
is there if you want to do extra damage and OHKO Sneasel with +1 Extremespeed after Stealth Rock damage.
52 HP EVs ensure that a Jolly Sneasel's Ice Shard is never
a OHKO, allowing Dragonair to retaliate with one of its attacks to end this considerable threat. The Attack EVs are generic, giving Dragonair the maximum damage output after
it uses its Dragon Dance. It also makes Extremespeed a OHKO against the standard Sneasel when factoring in 1 Dragon Dance, Life Orb and Stealth Rock damage. The Speed EVS ensure
that Dragonair outspeeds a max Speed Kadabra after Dragon Dance is used.
Outrage Extremespeed Waterfall Draco Meteor
252 Atk / 80 Sp Atk / 176 Spd
This set works as a revenge killer, and poses a more immediate threat for your team, as it doesn't require that you set-up Dragon Dance
to make it useful. The set is mainly physically-based to aid in Dragonair's wider attacking options as a physical sweeper, and Draco Meteor is set as filler as Dragonair's most
useful fourth option. Return is an option over Extremespeed for the extra power, but is usually redundant due to typing and the Speed this set is aimed to already give. Draco
Meteor also aids against physical walls such as Piloswine, Shellder and Gligar, who may switch-in expecting a physical Dragon-type attack, and who usually invest in Defense to
aid in taking the damage.
The Attack EVs are generic, giving Dragonair the maximum damage output after
its main use of physically sweeping. What's different with this set is that Dragonair can outspeed even a max Speed Sneasel with the given Speed EVs, and is 2HKO'ed by
Ice Shard in the event that the opponent diagnoses that Dragonair is holding a Choice Scarf. The remaining EVs were delegated to Special Attack to aid in Draco Meteor damage.
Draco Meteor Surf Fire Blast Extremespeed
140 Atk / 196 Sp Atk / 172 Spd
Dragonair also works as a useful mixed sweeper. Although a bit slow, the extra punch and access to Extremespeed work against that. The listed attacks cover nearly every
foe encountered in OU NFE, as well as all of NFE with the use of Fire and Dragon for attack types. Draco Meteor is Dragonair's main attack, dealing massive damage to any NFE not named Togetic or Mantyke. Fire Blast
covers Metang, Bronzor, Tangela, Grotle and other Grass-types. While Flamethrower may seem as a better alternative, it should be noted that it's Dragonair's only option to OHKO Metang (50% chance), and will always 2HKO any
set of Bronzor that lacks Heatproof, and doesn't invest very heavily in Special Defense. Fire Blast also gives Dragonair a 90% chance of OHKOing the standard Piloswine, something that Flamethrower cannot muscle. Surf covers Magmar (who is only OHKO'ed with Surf, which is useful
when you don't want to take the Draco Meteor recoil), and covers Lairon, Graveler, Onix and Pupitar.
Dragonair is the most specially offensive Pokemon in NFE to learn Draco Meteor. Put a Choice Specs on it, and you boost Draco Meteor's already huge power even higher. Everything takes massive damage from a Specs boosted Draco Meteor and those who don't will be fried by Fire Blast. The two moves provide perfect neutral coverage and are high on power, although if you prefer accuracy, you can use Flamethrower. However, Dragonair loses out on OHKOing ScreenTang, 252/0 Bayleef, 252/0 Ivysaur and 252/0 Gloom without Fire Blast.
Thunderbolt is useful because a lot of specially defensive Pokemon in OU NFE are Water- or Flying-typed. These Pokemon mainly include Mantyke, Togetic, Clamperl and Poliwhirl. Lastly, Dragon Pulse provides early sweeping, and doesn't force Dragonair to switch out in many cases, unlike Draco Meteor. Surf can replace Dragon Pulse if Draco Meteor is enough for your team, and can also help take down Nosepass and Lairon. Surf is also a good move because the combination of Dragon and Water is unresisted, just as Dragon / Fire is, meaning that even Heatproof Bronzor takes a large chunk from this set.
The EVs given allow Dragonair to outspeed the standard SD Croconaw with a Modest nature, who is an immediate threat to Croconaw with Ice Punch. However, a fully alternative Timid, 40 HP / 252 Atk / 216 Spd set is also usable for this set, as it outspeeds a multitude of UU Pokemon, including max Speed Luxio, Remoraid and Houndour, as well as neutral-natured, 252 Speed Onix, Drifloon, Anorith and Stunky. Timid and 216 Speed also allows Dragonair to outspeed a max Speed Roselia, who can immediately threaten Dragonair with Sleep Powder or the rare Hidden Power Ice, allowing Roselia to OHKO it with either Fire Blast or Draco Meteor.
Credit to PDC and DialaceStarvy for this set.
With resistances to Fire, Electric, Grass and Water attacks, Dragonair can find many opportunities to switch-in and set-up a Dragon Dance. Dragonair's most useful teammates are bulky Water-types such as Croconaw, Seadra, Poliwhirl, Staryu and Prinplup, who all attract Electric and Grass attacks, and who can switch into Ice Shard if Dragonair doesn't get the opportunity to set up enough Dragon Dances for a potential sweep. Poliwhirl and Croconaw are notable, as they can hit Sneasel with Brick Break for a usual KO. As with most set-up sweepers, Dragonair works very well in conjunction with Light Screen and Reflect to aid in setting-up, which Bayleef can accomplish. Dragonair makes good use of dual screens with its passable defenses, allowing it to get up more Dragon Dances than one normally would, and is highly recommended on the Life Orb variants, as they are susceptible to Life Orb recoil, and coupled with Stealth Rock, can cause considerable residual damage when combined with attacks that Dragonair normally
receives when setting-up. Using Bayleef or Grotle as a dual-screener does well in that they can switch to Dragonair when faced with a Fire attack, but unfortunately share an Ice weakness.
Even after one Dragon Dance, Sneasel can outspeed Dragonair if it invests fully in Speed, and hit Dragonair with a STAB Ice Punch,
and can survive Extremespeed if Stealth Rock is not present, or if Dragonair does not carry a Life Orb. Metang only fears a neutral Waterfall, which only does serious damage
if Dragonair has gotten at least 1 Dragon Dance up, and can also hit with Ice Punch. Piloswine has respectable Defense to manage Extremespeed or a Dragon-type attack, and can use Ice Shard on the switch-in move to take down Dragonair. However, it must be wary of Waterfall, and depending on the EV spread, can be KO'ed by the combination of the
switch-in Dragon or Water attack, and Extremespeed.
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