It seems that Kingdra has been given all the tools it needs in order to thrive in the VGC 2012 metagame. An ability in Swift Swim that boosts its Speed in rain, a great Water- and Dragon-typing, a reliable spread move in Surf that’s further boosted by the rain and reasonable bulk all allow Kingdra to be an effective teammate in this weather-dominated metagame. However, Kingdra lives and dies with Rain Dance on the field, so it is essential that you use Politoed to set up rain, and allow it to survive as long as possible in order to replenish the rain that will inevitably be negated by other weather inducing opponents.
Kingdra has plenty of options to use for its Water-type STAB attack; however, Surf and Hydro Pump are probably the best options. Surf allows Kingdra to attack both opponents at the same time while gaining a power boost in the rain. However, Surf will hit Kingdra’s teammate as well; knowing this, it is crucial that Kingdra’s teammate either resists or is immune to Water-type attacks, or casts Protect on that respective turn. Hydro Pump is another option, allowing Kingdra to target one single opponent without hitting its own teammate on the field; however, the lowered accuracy makes it unreliable in crucial situations, so one might want to opt for Surf instead. Dragon Pulse acts as its secondary STAB attack, giving it excellent coverage, which is only resisted by Empoleon. Draco Meteor may be used over Dragon Pulse for raw power; however, the Special Attack drop cripples Kingdra immensely. Therefore, because switching in and out is rather difficult in this present metagame, it is recommended that Dragon Pulse be used over Draco Meteor. Ice Beam is used to hit Parasect, Amoonguss and other Grass-type opponents super effectively. Hidden Power Electric may also be used in this slot in order to hit opposing Water-type enemies. Finally, Protect is used in the fourth slot, allowing Kingdra to protect itself against a powerful attack for one turn.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Kingdra's movepool outside of these moves isn't very deep, but there are a few other options. Rain Dance can take precedence over one of its moves, allowing Kingdra to bring forth rain onto the field manually if the weather has been changed the previous turn. Hidden Power Fire outside of the rain can be used in order to take out Abomasnow and Ferrothorn; beware that Hidden Power Fire in the rain will be considerably weakened, however. Scald or Muddy Water can be used as Kingdra's STAB Water-type attack, with Scald having a chance to burn, and Muddy Water a chance for an accuracy drop. Substitute is an option for those who are wary about status moves; it also allows Kingdra to outpredict its opponent and set up a Substitute when the opponent attempts to Protect against Kingdra's attacks. Finally, Disable may seem like a gimmicky option, but it allows Kingdra to shut down a Dragon-type attack from an enemy quite easily due to Kingdra's alarming Speed in rain. Simply Protect on the first turn while the enemy uses its Dragon-type attack, and Disable on the next turn to prevent the enemy from firing off its previous attack.
Kingdra has the option of using a Water or Dragon Gem, both which give a one time boost to Kingdra's STAB attacks. Water Gem in particular, coupled with STAB and rain on the field, has the potential of making Kingdra's Surf attack incredibly powerful. Absorb Bulb can also work if your teammate is also using Surf, and since Kingdra is 4x resistant to Water-type attacks, it takes miniscule damage and receives a Special Attack Boost.
Kingdra gets Damp as its Dream World ability. Needless to say, Swift Swim is infinitely more useful than this. Kingdra relies on its extremely high Speed stat to be successful in this metagame, and furthermore, Explosion, with its nerf in the 5th Generation, is not as prevalent as it was in the previous VGC metagames.
Checks and Counters
As mentioned above, opposing weather shifting Pokemon are the greatest threat to Kingdra, as they bring down Kingdra's Speed stat down to mediocre levels and weaken its Water-type attacks. Tyranitar is one of the most popular weather changing Pokemon with its Sand Stream ability; the Sandstorm that it brings onto the field will also increase Tyranitar's Special Defense, so beware. Ninetales's Drought brings forth eternal sun, further crippling Kingdra's Water-type attacks. Any Dragon-type enemy who can either survive an attack from Kingdra, or outspeed Kingdra outside of rain will also check it nicely. Garchomp and Latios fit the bill perfectly, as both outspeed Kingdra outside of the rain and can also carry a Haban Berry to survive a Dragon-type attack from Kingdra and KO back, assuming Kingdra is not holding a Haban Berry itself. Paralysis also damns Kingdra for the majority of the game since Kingdra relies on its Speed stat to thrive in this metagame. Finally, Ferrothorn, while not a common threat, takes miniscule damage from all of Kingdra's attacks, except for Ice Beam, and can deal major damage with its STAB Power Whip.