Ever since its introduction, Kyurem has been a pretty rare sight in OU, and looking at its stats, it's not exactly clear why; these stats are absolutely on par with those of the many Uber legendaries. Base 130 attacking stats stand out in particular. On top of this, Dragon and Ice are great offensive types individually, if not fantastic in combination. So, you ask again, why? Well, Defensively, its Ice typing is a severe liability, leaving it extremely vulnerable to entry hazards and common attacks. This cannot be stressed enough: Kyurem hates entry hazards of all kinds, which makes Rapid Spin support almost compulsory. This can be somewhat counteracted by Kyurem's fantastic natural bulk, though; Kyurem's defensive stats would be considered good for a wall, and can allow it to switch into Water-, Grass-, and Electric-types with ease. Unfortunately, however, there is more bad news: Kyurem's Speed stat falls agonizingly short of Hydreigon, Haxorus, and a multitude of base 100s. Despite the extremely welcome addition of Earth Power, its movepool is rather lacking in comparison to other Dragons in OU; Kyurem lacks a good boosting move, as well as Earthquake and Fire-type moves. Altogether, this makes an outright sweep rather unlikely.
So, what is Kyurem good for? What does it have over other Dragons? Well, Kyurem's main niche is the ability to function effectively in hail, in which it can fire off monstrous Blizzards. Additionally, Ice STAB can prove useful in eliminating Grass-types and OHKOing Dragonite through Multiscale. Thanks to the addition of Roost from a BW2 move tutor, Pressure has become a much more valuable ability, too. Don't forget that it has the best overall power and the best overall bulk of any OU Dragon-type (other than Kyurem-B), and that it isn't weak to Pursuit or U-turn. Overall, Kyurem is definitely not the best Dragon in OU, but it definitely has a niche, and with the right support, can be very rewarding.
Rather than focusing solely on Kyurem's massive Special Attack stat, this set utilizes its above-average bulk, its nice set of resistances, and its Pressure ability. Substitute eases prediction and prevents Kyurem from being crippled by status or revenge killed easily. Kyurem can make 101 HP Substitutes, or ones that will only fade after two hits of Seismic Toss or Night Shade. Weaker moves, such as Scald and Volt Switch, usually won't break the Substitute either thanks to Kyurem's resistances and above-average defenses. When combined with Roost, Substitute can even be used to stall out the opponent's PP with Pressure, which is especially effective if only one or two moves can break Kyurem's Substitutes. Pokemon you might expect to beat Kyurem, such as Bronzong, can be rendered useless as their attacking PP disappears.
Though this set might be less powerful than some of the others, it should not be forgotten that Kyurem has an impressive base 130 Special Attack stat and very good neutral coverage. Its STAB move, Ice Beam or Dragon Pulse, will of course be its staple attack. Ice Beam (or Blizzard if using Kyurem in hail) probably offers better super effective coverage, but the neutral coverage of Dragon Pulse is unparalleled. Earth Power is an excellent coverage move in either case, hitting every Steel-type but Skarmory, which is covered by Ice Beam, and Bronzong, which can be dealt with by PP stalling. Focus Blast might have disappointing accuracy and PP, but it has perfect neutral coverage with Dragon Pulse, and is therefore a strong choice.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Given that Kyurem's STAB moves are very powerful and resisted by fairly few Pokemon, a Choice set is a very good option. A Choice Scarf will boost Kyurem's slightly disappointing Speed stat to one which beats the entire unboosted metagame, including all of the genies' Therian forms, letting it act as a revenge killer and late-game cleaner. Choice Specs, on the other hand, allows Kyurem to smash through defensive Pokemon with its monstrous power, but might cause it to be forced out by faster Pokemon. Generally, spamming Blizzard in hail is Kyurem's best option, as this move is powerful and without drawbacks. Ice Beam is significantly weaker, and so will probably not act as Kyurem's main attacking move, but it does not necessitate hail. Draco Meteor might be even stronger than Blizzard, but the Special Attack drops will often force Kyurem out, which is not ideal for a Pokemon so weak to entry hazards. Nonetheless, this hits Fire- and Water-types a lot harder than Blizzard does, and is fairly reliable outside of hail. Steel-type Pokemon resist all of these moves, however, so Focus Blast and Earth Power are great options for the remaining two slots. Earth Power hits all Steel-types but Bronzong and Skarmory for at least neutral damage, and is especially effective against Jirachi and Heatran. Focus Blast, on the other hand, provides a good super effective hit on Tyranitar and Ferrothorn. Forgoing one of these moves for Dragon Pulse is viable, as this move is great for late-game cleaning due to its perfect accuracy and excellent coverage.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set aims to make the best use of Kyurem's excellent Special Attack without sacrificing too much of its durability or coverage. The combination of power and flexibility offered by a Life Orb is hard to resist, and with the addition of Roost, the additional residual damage need not be overwhelming. Blizzard is Kyurem's main STAB move in hail, as it is very powerful, virtually drawback-free, and has decent coverage. Ice Beam is significantly weaker, but is clearly the superior option if you are using Kyurem outside of hail. Draco Meteor, on the other hand, is Kyurem's ace in the hole. Offering enormous power and near-perfect coverage, it hits any Fire- or Water-type that might attempt to take Kyurem's Blizzard. Unfortunately, its side-effect will usually force Kyurem out, which is far from ideal for a Pokemon so weak to entry hazards. Focus Blast and Earth Power provide coverage on Steel-types and Tyranitar. Earth Power notably falls short against Ferrothorn and Tyranitar, but hits Jirachi much harder and is significantly more accurate. Roost allows Kyurem to recover off damage from Life Orb and entry hazards, and allows Kyurem to make some use of its bulk and Pressure ability.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set makes full use of Kyurem's monstrous attacking stats to break through walls, opening up gaping holes in the opponent's team. Draco Meteor is phenomenally powerful, threatening all but Steel-types and dedicated special walls with an OHKO. Even the few Pokemon that survive will then have to contend with the possibility of Outrage; despite the minimal Attack investment, this still hits as hard as that from a maximum Attack neutral-natured Life Orb Flygon. Outrage will 2HKO all Blissey and will give Kyurem a good chance to break through Chansey in hail, or with entry hazards. Of course, both of these moves have large drawbacks, so Blizzard is a great move to have, providing a strong, reliable move to use in hail. It also hits Grass- and Flying-types super effectively; for example, Kyurem can easily OHKO Dragonite through Multiscale. Ice Beam is the better move on teams without hail, though of course this is to forgo one of Kyurem's main advantages over other Dragons. Outside of hail, Dragonite, Salamence, Hydreigon, or Latios might prove a better choice due to their superior Speed and typing, though they do lack Kyurem's power and bulk. However, since it received Earth Power from a BW2 Move Tutor, Kyurem doesn't have the same trouble with Steel-types that it used to. Earth Power completes Kyurem's neutral coverage outside of Bronzong, and notably OHKOes Heatran and 2HKOes specially defensive Jirachi some of the time.
All in all, this set is extremely powerful, but can be worn down rather quickly, given the Life Orb and Kyurem's crippling weakness to entry hazards. Notably, though, it isn't forced to switch as often as the Choice set is; this Kyurem only needs to come in once to cause havoc.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although Kyurem might have a very impressive Attack stat, its physical movepool is barren. Outrage, Dragon Claw, Dragon Tail, Zen Headbutt, and Stone Edge are pretty much the extent of its physical attacking movepool. Hone Claws is a somewhat viable boosting move; it can boost the power of Kyurem's physical moves and give Blizzard respectable accuracy outside of hail. A bulky set with Substitute, Hone Claws, Protect, and either Dragon Claw or Dragon Tail is fairly notable as it can easily dispatch Chansey and Blissey, and can wear other problematic opponents down with residual damage. Glaciate, Kyurem's signature move, is also viable; it can be used on the switch to slow down opponents before hitting them with the appropriate move. However, Substitute is usually the superior move, as it is also effective against slower opponents, and can protect Kyurem from status moves and priority attacks. A Life Orb set also performs fairly well in the lead position, so there is no real need to use a "lead" set featuring Glaciate and Endeavor. The entire concept of a lead is rather outdated anyway.
Checks and Counters
When it comes to countering Kyurem directly, its mixed and Choice Specs sets are the most problematic. Most of Kyurem's checks are Steel-types, as they resist Blizzard and Draco Meteor—indeed, the majority of common Steel-types can check the Choice Scarf set. When it comes to genuine counters though, Bronzong is by far the best, as it is also immune to Kyurem's premier coverage move, Earth Power. At full health, however, it's worth noting that the SubRoost set can often stall Bronzong out of Gyro Ball PP. Scizor is also a very strong check, fearing only the rare Hidden Power Fire or Choice Specs Blizzard, and dealing 90% minimum with Choice Band-boosted Bullet Punch. Specially defensive Jirachi is a reasonable switch-in, but a Life Orb Earth Power has a chance to 2HKO, and with hail and entry hazards, even the SubRoost set can present problems.
Special walls also make good checks to Kyurem. Tyranitar can take pretty much anything but Focus Blast, although it does struggle to take Draco Meteor + Outrage from the mixed set as well. It will remove hail too, rendering Blizzard inaccurate. Blissey and Chansey stop the Choice sets cold, but Blissey fears a 2HKO from Outrage. Chansey, taking 40.9-48.15%, is at risk only in hail or with entry hazards. Neither of these can break through the SubRoost set either, with Pressure burning through their Seismic Toss PP. However, they might be able to PP stall Kyurem out depending on the conditions; Toxic Spikes, or hail in the case of Chansey, will usually lead to defeat.
Finally, you can exploit Kyurem's slightly disappointing Speed to revenge kill it; just be wary of Kyurem's excellent natural bulk. A super effective STAB attack, such as Infernape's or Terrakion's Close Combat, or a Dragon-type attack from Hydreigon, Latios, or Haxorus, should OHKO Kyurem comfortably.