Dodrio's combination of high Attack and great Speed makes him a scary offensive threat. Not many Pokemon can stand up to one of the strongest Brave Birds in the game. Although Dodrio's movepool is rather shallow, he still has useful options in Taunt, Acupressure, Agility, and Baton Pass. Dodrio is often compared to Swellow because they play similarly, and many opt to use Swellow instead because of his higher Speed, access to U-turn, and Guts ability. One shouldn't discount Dodrio, however, as he hits harder right off the bat, has an easier time against certain Pokemon because of Taunt, and has a slightly better ability to Roost. Dodrio may not be the easiest Pokemon to use, but he can certainly carry his weight on any team, whether by breaking through common defensive cores or supporting the team with Baton Pass.
Choice Band Dodrio is one of the most fearsome physical sweepers in UU. With just a STAB Brave Bird or Return, he can 2HKO the entire tier, bar bulky Steel- or Rock-types. Powerful physical walls like Slowbro and Weezing don't even stand a chance against Dodrio's STAB attacks. Even Pokemon that resist Flying, like Rotom and Kabutops, are unable to switch in lest they be 2HKOed.
Brave Bird and Return are Dodrio's STAB attacks, and are used to punch holes into teams. Common cores like Fire-Water-Grass or Weezing + Milotic are unable to handle Dodrio effectively. Pursuit is useful to catch Psychic- and Ghost-types on the switch, and works excellently on Mismagius that utilize Hidden Power Fighting; however, Payback can be used to hit Rotom and bulky Psychics on the switch without suffering recoil, and is Dodrio's strongest attack against Rhyperior and Regirock. The last slot gives Dodrio a useful priority move in Quick Attack. However, one can choose to run Toxic to cripple bulky Rock-type switch-ins and limit the amount of times they can counter Dodrio.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set has nearly the same wallbreaking capabilities of the Choice Bander, but mixes in utility options like Taunt and Roost to support the team and help Dodrio stick around a bit longer.
Brave Bird is Dodrio's main STAB attack and still obtains the 2HKOs on Milotic and Donphan, two common Pokemon that 'glue' many teams together. The second slot is for Dodrio's alternative STAB attack. Return has a good amount of power and can hit Pokemon that resist Flying hard, but Quick Attack allows Dodrio to hit faster Pokemon. Although it may seem odd to use Roost on a Pokemon as frail as Dodrio, he can use it on weaker attacks like Pursuit and on predicted Sucker Punches, giving him a bit more longevity. Taunt allows Dodrio to defeat walls that hope to stall him out, such as Slowbro, and prevents Pokemon like Regirock and Omastar from setting up entry hazards on him. Taunt also prevents Registeel and Uxie from throwing around status attacks, allowing your counters to switch in without being crippled. Toxic is an option to weaken pesky Rock-types like Rhyperior, while Payback can be used to eliminate Rotom without having to take a good amount of recoil; it is also Dodrio's strongest attack against Rock-types.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Dodrio can Baton Pass Agility, but Ambipom and Lopunny generally do that much better. Acupressure is a bit more restricted and is an interesting option to Baton Pass, but Dodrio is better off with offense. Dodrio can also run Baton Pass on offensive sets to scout for the opponent's Dodrio counter, but it's illegal with Brave Bird and forces Dodrio to run the much weaker Drill Peck. Steel Wing can be used to hit Rock-types a bit harder than Payback, but is useless outside of that.
Dodrio can run a Flail set that becomes incredibly powerful once set up, but his inability to significantly hurt Rock- or Steel-types makes it a difficult option to pull off. Such a set is also susceptible to priority users as well.
Checks and Counters
The Choice Band set is extremely difficult to counter without a Rock- or Steel-type. Offensive Pokemon that resist Brave Bird, like Kabutops or Rotom, will be outsped and 2HKOed, and therefore do not make reliable counters. Luckily, Stealth Rock and Brave Bird recoil will quickly wear Dodrio down, and strong priority attacks harm him significantly.
The second set hits a bit weaker, so Slowbro and Weezing should be able to take 2 hits as long as Dodrio is using Sharp Beak. From here, they may either status Dodrio, try to stall him out, or flat out attack him. They both must be wary of Taunt, however, and of the fact that this particular Dodrio is more of a lure to help set up another dangerous teammate by weakening the counters.
In general, using a Pokemon like Regirock, Rhyperior, or Steelix will make Dodrio seem much less scary. Dodrio is also outsped by several common Pokemon like Ambipom, Alakazam, and Swellow, who can all KO him. He also has trouble switching in because of his frailty, although he does have an immunity to both Ghost- and Ground-type attacks; if you're firing off powerful attacks, Dodrio won't have an opportunity to switch in(besides when a teammate is KOed).