- Prevents critical hits.
- Critical hits do 3x damage instead of 2x.
- The wielder's accuracy cannot be lowered.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Drapion has all the tools it needs to be an offensive threat; it has good Attack and Speed stats to compliment its natural bulk and solid typing. Its Swords Dance set is threatening, and it is a very effective stallbreaker with the combination of Swords Dance and Taunt. Drapion is also one of the better Pursuit users in the metagame; because it poses the threat of making Pokemon such as Rotom, Slowking, and Cryogonal setup fodder, it can catch them with Pursuit as they flee to make their defensive duties much more difficult. Drapion isn't without its flaws though, because while base 90 Attack is good, it's still pretty weak without a boost. Drapion also has to rely on weaker Base Power STAB moves than most of the tier. Not only that, but Drapion faces some heavy competition in its attacking roles; Absol has much more Attack and the strongest priority move in the game, Spiritomb can block Rapid Spin while being an effective Pursuit user, and Escavalier has a much more powerful STAB move in Megahorn. That being said, Drapion is still good, but you just need to be sure that it's exactly what you're looking for.
Drapion is most effective when utilizing its Speed, bulk, and power to sweep with Swords Dance. Setup opportunities aren't hard to come by, as Drapion can force out Pokemon such as Rotom, Slowking, and Mesprit quite easily to pick up a Swords Dance. Once at +2, Drapion is able to 2HKO nearly every Pokemon in the tier, with even defensive behemoths such as Tangrowth, Steelix, and Poliwrath falling to Life Orb-boosted assaults. Crunch is Drapion's main STAB move that gets pretty good neutral coverage on the tier, and hits the many Psychic-types in the metagame for super effective damage. Earthquake hits a lot of things that Crunch doesn't, including Steel-types and opposing Drapion. Steelix and Ferroseed don't take +2 Life Orb-boosted Earthquakes that well, and Earthquake also gets the crucial OHKO on Aggron.
The last slot can be a tough decision, as both moves are very good and have a lot of use in the current metagame. Poison Jab is the superior choice to make Drapion a more potent offensive threat, as it OHKOes Tangrowth at +2, and 2HKOes Poliwrath after Stealth Rock, although the latter will phaze Drapion out before it can land a second blow. Poison Jab is also good for getting a guaranteed OHKO on Grass-type threats such as Lilligant and Sceptile. Taunt, on the other hand, ensures Drapion's longevity isn't cut short by status, and prevents Pokemon such as Slowking, Rotom, or Uxie leaving it with a parting gift of paralysis or burn. Poison Jab is generally better, but Taunt can still be useful for setting up to oblivion on certain threats.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Drapion is one of the best Pursuit users in the metagame, and this set looks to hit hard off the bat in order to use the move effectively. Drapion is capable of trapping Ghost- and Psychic-types with ease thanks to its handy resistances to their STAB moves, and it is also the fastest Pursuit user in RU, meaning that it can Speed tie with Uxie and outspeed Mesprit and Rotom. While Pursuit is used to hit Ghost- and Psychic-types as they flee, Drapion also has the reliable and powerful Crunch to hit them with if they choose to stay in. Crunch is also Drapion's best STAB move that gets good coverage on the majority of the metagame, and Drapion can sweep late-game with it once the opponent's team has been weakened. Earthquake hits most of the threats that Crunch misses out on, such as Fighting-, Dark-, and Steel-types. In practice, it gives Drapion a way of hitting Aggron, Steelix, and opposing Drapion hard. There are two good options in the last slot; Poison Jab is generally the better option as it allows Drapion to hit Grass-types hard. It 2HKOes all variants of Tangrowth after Stealth Rock, and allows Drapion to OHKO Lilligant and Sceptile, which no other move in Drapion's arsenal is capable of doing. That being said, Aqua Tail is a viable alternative, and it allows Drapion to hit Rhydon and Sandslash hard, which would otherwise be hard counters to it; it also allows Drapion to OHKO Moltres without the help of Stealth Rock.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set takes advantage of Drapion's key resistances to Ghost-, Psychic-, and Grass-type attacks to combat some of the most threatening sweepers in the metagame. This set can fit well on stall teams that are looking for an additional check to Pokemon like Sceptile, Lilligant, Sigilyph, and Substitute + Calm Mind Uxie; it can also defeat Clefable using Taunt, which is usually a headache for stall teams due to its inability to take residual damage. This set looks to take hits and hit back with one of Drapion's STAB moves, and although they are rather weak without investment, they are typically super effective against the threats that Drapion is being used to check. Crunch is good against Ghost- and Psychic-types such as Rotom and Mesprit, while Poison Jab finds use against Grass-types such as Lilligant. Whirlwind is a great asset for Drapion, as it can hit Pokemon behind Substitutes that Drapion may or may not be able to deal with, ranging from Rotom to Entei to Gallade, the latter two being somewhat harder for Drapion to KO. It also allows Drapion to rack up entry hazard damage, which is likely because this set is typically seen on defensive teams. Taunt, while also having the aforementioned use for beating Clefable, also allows Drapion to prevent slower threats from setting up, as well as protecting it from status from the likes of Spiritomb, Tangrowth, and Lilligant.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Chief among Drapion's other options is a Choice Scarf set. With a Choice Scarf, Drapion can function as both a Pursuit trapper and a revenge killer, but base 90 Attack is far too weak without a boosting item. Drapion can run a bulkier take on a Swords Dance set, using Rest and Sleep Talk along with Crunch to act as a mono-attacking RestTalk booster. However, Drapion needs to invest heavily in bulk to accumulate enough boosts this way, making an offensive Swords Dance set usually superior. On the topic of boosting moves, Drapion also has access to Agility. This is of little use, however, as Drapion is relatively fast already, and more often than not lacks the immediate power to sweep as opposed to Speed. To take advantage of Sniper, Night Slash and Cross Poison can be used for a greater chance of a critical hit. However, this is not advised, as relying on luck is never a reason to use an otherwise inferior move. That being said, if you really want to trust your luck, you can always use Acupressure; it might work, but probably not. Drapion can act as a supporter for weather teams, as it is able to set up both Rain Dance and Sunny Day. However, Uxie supports its team far better, and Drapion doesn't bring any key resistances to the table to justify its use. Although it receives STAB, Payback shouldn't get any use as Drapion is too fast to be an effective user of the move. One very interesting move in Drapion's movepool is Torment, which cripples many Ghost-types, such as Rotom and Dusknoir; they usually only run one coverage move, and Drapion resists their STAB Ghost-type move. Other viable physical moves in Drapion's movepool include X-Scissor, Brick Break, Rock Slide, Thunder Fang, Ice Fang, and Iron Tail. While all of these offer coverage options against very specific opponents, they don't bring enough to the table to find use in one of Drapion's main sets.
Checks and Counters
Poliwrath is the best counter in existence to all Drapion variants. No matter how hard it tries, Drapion just can't break through it. Poliwrath can then attempt to burn it with Scald, or get rid of its boosts with Circle Throw. Rhydon is the next best option for countering Drapion, although it fears the rare Aqua Tail. Otherwise, it can switch into even Earthquake and KO Drapion with one of its own Earthquakes. Sandslash is in a similar boat, but although it isn't as bulky as Rhydon, it doesn't have a weakness to Earthquake and Aqua Tail isn't as effective against it either. That being said, its defensive sets can only hope to 2HKO Drapion. Tangrowth is a decent option for checking Drapion if it carries Earthquake, but Poison Jab hurts a lot. Steelix is a pretty good check to Drapion, but like Sandslash, it is easily worn down due to its lack of recovery and can only 2HKO with an uninvested Earthquake. Ferroseed is a good check to any Drapion set that lacks Taunt, as it really doesn't take much from any of its attacks, and can paralyze it and use Leech Seed to continually recover HP. Escavalier is one of the best offensive checks to Drapion, as it can switch in on any of Drapion's moves, and OHKOes with a Choice Band-boosted Megahorn. Both Bouffalant and Druddigon are bulky enough to take an unboosted onslaught, and can each KO with Earthquake and Outrage (almost all of the time), respectively. Justified Gallade is worth mentioning, as it can snag an Attack boost if hit by Crunch or Pursuit and proceed to OHKO with Close Combat. Aerodactyl and Archeops are both naturally faster than Drapion, and can switch in for free on a predicted Earthquake and KO it with one of their own. Durant is faster than Drapion as well, and can use its own natural bulk to take even a +2 Earthquake and 2HKO in return.