Kingdra

Swift Swim
Speed doubles in rain.
Sniper
Critical hits do 3x damage instead of 2x.
Type Tier
Water / Dragon OU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
75
- 291 354 -
Atk
95
203 226 289 317
Def
95
203 226 289 317
SpA
95
203 226 289 317
SpD
95
203 226 289 317
Spe
85
185 206 269 295

Overview

Kingdra had often been bashed in past generations due to its poor movepool; however, DPP has given it an array of blessings, including incredible new options such as Outrage. While Kingdra's movepool still isn't anything to write home about, it can do a lot with what it has. All in all, Kingdra has changed from quite the mundane sweeper to a Pokemon that many teams will have significant problems with.

Name Item Ability Nature

ChestoRest

Chesto Berry / Lum Berry Swift Swim Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Rest
~ Dragon Dance
~ Outrage
~ Waterfall
144 HP / 160 Atk / 40 SpD / 164 Spe

Excellent dual STABs in Waterfall and Outrage coupled with Dragon Dance make Kingdra a top threat capable of sweeping unprepared teams. Kingdra's excellent defensive typing, along with its deceptively bulky stats, allow it to take strong special hits and Dragon Dance with a comfortable amount of HP remaining. Suicune and Starmie, two excellent checks to other Dragon-types, usually hope to bait Outrage, only to find themselves unable to stop Kingdra from setting up two or three Dragon Dances, then Rest and restore itself to full health thanks to Chesto Berry. Chesto Berry will not cure anything but sleep, so Pokemon relying on Will-O-Wisp or Toxic might think that they have beaten or crippled Kingdra, only to find they have given it an opportunity to gain more boosts before healing off status with Rest. With its boosted Waterfall, Kingdra is able to beat many Pokemon without locking itself into Outrage, and becomes very difficult to stop if the opponent no longer has a defensive wall such as Skarmory or Forretress.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Substitute + Dragon Dance

Leftovers / Lum Berry Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Substitute
~ Dragon Dance
~ Waterfall
~ Outrage
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

With two physical STAB options to go with Dragon Dance, Kingdra is a fearsome foe with nearly perfect type coverage provided by Waterfall and Outrage; the combination is resisted only by Empoleon and Shedinja. Kingdra can use its unique typing to set up on opposing Pokemon that are unable to do significant damage to it, such as Starmie, Heatran, and Vaporeon. Substitute protects Kingdra from status moves that could otherwise ruin its sweep, and can help it set up on Pokemon such as Toxic Vaporeon. When using a Lum Berry, it is best to Dragon Dance the first time the foe uses a status move on Kingdra, and then use Substitute the next time to get another Dragon Dance as they hopelessly try to status Kingdra once more.

This Kingdra has trouble with bulky physical walls with a phazing move, such as Skarmory, Suicune, and Swampert. Magnezone can trap Skarmory who lack Shed Shell, and its powerful STAB Thunderbolt will scare off Suicune. If you pack Hidden Power Grass, it can even beat Swampert. Rotom-A also works well at warding off said Pokemon, although it cannot trap Skarmory. Celebi easily defeats Suicune with Leaf Storm or Perish Song, and it will also appreciate Kingdra's resistance to Fire-type attacks.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Mixed Rain Dance

Life Orb Swift Swim Rash / Mild
Moveset EVs
~ Rain Dance
~ Waterfall
~ Hydro Pump / Surf
~ Draco Meteor
208 Atk / 136 SpA / 164 Spe

This set is arguably Kingdra's most destructive set, capable of smashing through even the game's most defensive Pokemon. It can work very well outside of Rain Dance teams, but is generally best used with rain support from its teammates. Hydro Pump is the real selling point of the set, as it significantly out-damages Waterfall and demolishes the physically based OU metagame. Surf can be used, but it doesn't pack the power that Hydro Pump does. Draco Meteor rounds out the set by allowing Kingdra to deliver a powerful hit to Grass-types and opposing Water-type Pokemon that resist its Water-type STAB. On Rain Dance teams, though, you will have other Pokemon to set up Rain Dance, so you might not need it on Kingdra.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Mixed Dragon Dance

Life Orb Naughty / Naive
Moveset EVs
~ Dragon Dance
~ Waterfall
~ Outrage
~ Ice Beam / Hydro Pump
252 Atk / 24 SpA / 232 Spe

This set takes a more offensive approach than the former set. Kingdra retains its two physical STAB options, Waterfall and Outrage, but also carries a special attack to hit physical walls harder. The big difference is that with Life Orb, Kingdra can utilize Hydro Pump to 2HKO Skarmory or Ice Beam to take out opposing Dragon-type Pokemon without needlessly locking itself into Outrage.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Special Rain Dance

Life Orb Swift Swim Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Rain Dance
~ Surf / Hydro Pump
~ Dragon Pulse
~ Signal Beam / Hidden Power Electric
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

This is a purely special rain sweeper. It can't hurt Blissey much, but this set has some advantages over the mixed version. Kingdra doesn't need Attack EVs, so it can maximize Speed, making revenge killing it a much harder task. Hydro Pump can be used for some extra power, specifically to OHKO Swampert and Metagross, but Surf's reliability makes it the better choice overall. Signal Beam may seem a bit specific, but scores some nice KOs, namely against Celebi and Abomasnow after Stealth Rock. Hidden Power Electric is an alternative option if you don't particularly fear the aforementioned Grass-type Pokemon; it 2HKOes offensive Empoleon, and does slightly more damage to other Water-types in comparison to STAB Dragon Pulse.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Double Dance

Leftovers Swift Swim Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Rain Dance
~ Dragon Dance
~ Waterfall
~ Outrage
180 HP / 252 Atk / 76 Spe

The strategy on this set is to use Rain Dance first. As Waterfall is Kingdra's main attack, this is the equivalent of the boost from Dragon Dance, but it immediately doubles Kingdra's Speed to outpace many Choice Scarf revenge killers. Rain Dance also clears other weather effects, thereby restoring Kingdra's Leftovers recovery, and offers the rest of your team temporary protection from Fire-type attacks. Kingdra can then attack or continue to set up with Dragon Dance. After a Dragon Dance in the rain, Kingdra essentially gains three times as much Speed and a 2.25x boosted Waterfall, able to crush offensive teams. Even Choice Scarf Flygon will fail to outspeed with rain falling from the sky if Kingdra has obtained a Dragon Dance. Unlike the Dragon Dance set, Kingdra can also afford to invest in his HP, thus improving Kingdra's survivability and increasing the chance of it getting the opportunity to set up Dragon Dance.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Choice Specs

Choice Specs Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Draco Meteor
~ Hydro Pump
~ Surf
~ Dragon Pulse
32 HP / 252 SpA / 224 Spe

Kingdra's Dragon-and Water-type STAB core form a nearly perfect combination, so there are no reasons to use any other attacks for this set. The idea is to come in on predicted non-damaging support moves, or Fire- and Water-type attacks, and unleash pain on your opponent. Draco Meteor and Hydro Pump are good early-game moves for tearing holes in the opposing team, while Surf and Dragon Pulse are better used for sweeping late=game since they have decent power and perfect accuracy.

With four STAB moves, it is important to know when it is appropriate to use each attack. The choice for which move to use depends mainly on what Kingdra switches into. For example, if Kingdra switches in on a Heatran's Fire Blast early in the game, Draco Meteor is the best option to use as it will beat Naive Choice Scarf Heatran whether they switch or not, and will maim an incoming Water-type resist. Later in the game, Surf and Hydro Pump are generally safer options because most Water-type resists are Water-type Pokemon and do not threaten Kingdra directly.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Mono-Attacker

Leftovers Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Outrage
~ Dragon Dance
~ Rest
~ Sleep Talk
252 HP / 96 Atk / 160 SpD

While Kingdra lacks any form of recovery outside of Rest, his excellent typing and respectable 75 / 95 / 95 defenses make it a great status absorber and offensive tank. Unlike other Kingdra sets, this one can actually switch in multiple times throughout the match without worrying too much about taking damage and status effects. People are often even thrown off-guard by Rest, since some just aim at weakening Kingdra to the point of revenge killing with a priority attacker—a strategy that will lead straight to their demise against this set.

Typically, this Kingdra will be able to Dragon Dance a few times then Rest off the damage before using Outrage. Sleep Talk remedies the issue of being locked into Outrage if it is selected while sleeping, and thus makes Outrage the superior choice over Waterfall as Kingdra's STAB attack. Outrage also has the advantage of not being walled completely by the likes of Vaporeon and other Pokemon immune to Water-type attacks, and allows Kingdra to hit Dragon-types for super effective damage.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Although only a minor option, Yawn can replace Substitute on the first set, as Yawning your opponent's first switch-in can result in forcing them to go to a Pokemon less equipped to deal with Kingdra, lest they allow their best Kingdra counter to be put to sleep. If they decide to save their Pokemon from sleep, Yawn has the added benefit of racking up residual damage on both opposing Pokemon. In addition, since their second switch-in to Kingdra will more than likely be unable to handle Kingdra to the same extent as their first, you might be able to pull off an extra Dragon Dance.

Kingdra's movepool is fairly shallow and it doesn't have much in the way of other options. Flail is decent if you can manage it, but good luck pulling it off with Tyranitar, users of priority moves, and Stealth Rock everywhere. Kingdra can run a Choice Band set, but the lack of a decent physical movepool hinders its viability.

Specific EVs are given for each set. Adamant, 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe is best for the Substitute + Dragon Dance set. The Mixed Rain Dance set could use Naughty, 252 Atk / 240 SpA / 16 Spe to outspeed Choice Scarf Heatran in the rain, but Naughty, 192 Atk / 240 SpA / 76 Spe is a good alternative to outspeed +1 neutral-natured base 100s at the slight cost of Attack. Adamant, 252 Atk / 24 SpA / 232 Spe is the best option for the mixed Dragon Dance set. The Special Rain Dance set should use either Modest 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe or Modest, 92 HP / 252 SpA / 164 Spe for a bit more bulk. Timid, 32 HP / 252 SpA / 224 Spe can even be used for surprise factor outside of rain, as well as to outspeed almost all opposing Kingdra and +2 Jolly Gyarados in the rain. The Double Dance set is best with Adamant, 180 HP / 252 Atk / 76 Spe, but can use Adamant, 92 HP / 252 Atk / 164 Spe to outspeed +1 positive-natured base 100s in the rain.

Checks and Counters

Empoleon easily walls most mixed and special Kingdra sets, fearing only the occasional Hidden Power Electric, but when it comes to the Dragon Dance set, Empoleon has to focus its EVs into Defense or it will be 2HKOed by boosted Outrages. Celebi and Tangrowth also do decently at stopping Dragon Dance sets, but still have to be wary of Life Orb variants as Outrage can 2HKO both of them. Although hits from Draco Meteor will still take their toll, Milotic, Ludicolo, Suicune, and Vaporeon are also effective at stopping the mixed and special sets as well, due to their Water-type resistance and good Special Defense. Blissey and Snorlax will beat the specially based Rain Dance set. Tyranitar and Abomasnow also can annoy Rain Dance sets by taking away their rain and hitting back hard.