HYDREIGON DISCUSSION: VIABILITY IN BW2 *Approved by PK Gaming* | 45 | Hydreigon | 4.88177% | 87705 | 6.392% | 69037 | 6.246% | Hydreigon, once thought to be one of the most dangerous Pokemon in OU before the release of Black and White, now finds itself slowly plummeting down to the depths of the OU usage. For a lot of players, that shouldn't really come to much of a surprise. Black and White brought a lot of fast and powerful Pokemon to the metagame, a handful of them being Fighting-types and Dragon-types, two things that Hydreigon hates. This wouldn't be too much of a problem if Hydreigon could keep up with the fast paced metagame, but alas, Hydreigon is far from fast. Not only that, but returning Pokemon like Latios, Salamence, and Garchomp give the three headed menace a lot of competition, making it harder to fit on a team. With all that said, Hydreigon is by no means a bad Pokemon. It has a ton of useful attributes that set it apart from the plethora of Dragon-types in OU, and is one of the few Pokemon in OU to have the prestigious title of being almost impossible to counter, making it a potent wallbreaker. It's humongous movepool, amazing offensive stats, and great ability combined to create one hell of a dangerous Pokemon that shouldn't be taken light, despite its poor usage. So I'm here to ask you guys a question. How does Hydreigon fare in this current BW2 metagame? What sets can it run effectively that set it apart from the other Dragons in the tier? Does it really deserve its current low usage? Please feel free to discuss this in the comments below. Anyways, lets first analyze Hydreigon's stats: STATS HP: 92 Attack: 105 Defense: 90 Spec Attack: 125 Spec Defense: 90 Speed: 98 Hydreigon stats spread make it look really good on paper. It has very respectable bulk for a Dragon-type, allowing it to survive an Ice Shard from Mamoswine and an HP Ice from a lot of special attackers. Of course, one can't ignore Hydreigon's monstrous special attack stat and its above average attack stat. These offensive stats open up a lot of doors for Hydreigon, letting it properly abuse its massive movepool to good use. The only noticeable letdown, is it's average 98 base speed. Although by no means bad, Hydreigon misses out on the opportunity to speed tie with other base 100s, which sucks. Pretty much any common Dragon-type in the tier can revenge kill Hydreigon, seeing as most of them all reach at least base 100 speed, bar Kyurem-B, Kyurem, and Haxorus, but the latter two are rarely seen anyway. The good news is, Hydreigon can abuse its all around great bulk and massive movepool to compensate for its lack of speed, so it's definitely not dead weight in the slightest. NOTABLE ATTRIBUTES Type: Hydreigon sports 4 weaknesses, 6 resistances, and is immune to 2 types. Overall, his defensive typing doesn't really look too bad. Having only 4 weaknesses in exchange for 6 resistances AND being immune to Psychic and Ground-types, both very common attacks in OU, seems like a fair trade right? Well, this is where it gets messy. Although Hydreigon has a ton of resistances, its weak to very common types, such as Bug, Ice, Dragon, and Fighting. Bug-type moves are everywhere because of U-turn being on almost every team, and being weak to a very common move can really hurt a Pokemon's overall effectiveness. Being weak to Fighting-types is just as bad if not worse, as Terrakion, Breloom, and Keldeo are on almost every other team. Breloom can always KO Hydreigon with priority Mach Punch as well, so it doesn't matter that Hydreigon can outspeed it. Still, Hydreigon has a LOT of useful resistances and two very useful immunities. Combined that with Hydreigon's great natural bulk, and you essentially got yourself a semi-bulky attacker. Offensively, Hydreigon's typing is a mixed bag as well. Dragon-typing is arguably the best offensive typing in the game because it's only resisted by one type, but the Dark-typing isn't really that great offensively. With that said, Hydreigon is still in luck. There are a LOT of Psychic-types that run rampant in OU, so much in fact that most teams tend to run a Pursuit trapper. Hydreigon can properly abuse its powerful special attack to fire off Dark Pulses at opposing Psychic-types, hitting Celebi, Latias, and Latios extremely hard, eliminating the need for a Pursuit trapper. Overall, Hydreigon has a decent typing offensively, but defensively, Hydreigon really suffers. Ability: Levitate: "This Pokemon will not receive any damage from Ground-type moves. The Pokemon will also not be affected by Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and can switch out of Arena Trap." Levitate is probably one of the best abilities in the game for a powerful wallbreaker like Hydreigon. Having an immunity to Earthquake and Earth Power, both common powerful Ground moves, not being able to be trapped by Dugtrio and an immunity to Spikes and Toxic Spikes helps Hydreigon shine offensively and defensively, making it much harder to take down, and opening the door for more switch-in opportunities. Having a team member that can switch into Earthquake or Earth Power and not take any damage is quite useful, especially with the sheer amount of Earthquake users. MOVE LISTS Notable moves in Bold By Level Up (Move your mouse to reveal the content) By Level Up (open) By Level Up (close) Start Tri Attack Start Dragon Rage Start Focus Energy Start Bite 4 Focus Energy 9 Bite 12 Headbutt 17 DragonBreath 20 Roar 25 Crunch 28 Slam 32 Dragon Pulse 38 Work Up 42 Dragon Rush 48 Body Slam 55 Scary Face 68 Hyper Voice 79 Outrage By TM/HM (Move your mouse to reveal the content) By TM/HM (open) By TM/HM (close) TM05 Roar TM06 Toxic TM10 Hidden Power TM11 Sunny Day TM12 Taunt TM15 Hyper Beam TM17 Protect TM18 Rain Dance TM21 Frustration TM26 Earthquake TM27 Return TM32 Double Team TM33 Reflect TM35 Flamethrower TM38 Fire Blast TM39 Rock Tomb TM41 Torment TM42 Facade TM44 Rest TM45 Attract TM46 Thief TM48 Round TM49 Echoed Voice TM52 Focus Blast TM57 Charge Beam TM59 Incinerate TM62 Acrobatics TM66 Payback TM68 Giga Impact TM71 Stone Edge TM73 Thunder Wave TM77 Psych Up TM78 Bulldoze TM80 Rock Slide TM82 Dragon Tail TM83 Work Up TM87 Swagger TM89 U-turn TM90 Substitute TM91 Flash Cannon TM94 Rock Smash HM02 Fly HM03 Surf HM04 Strength By Tutor (Move your mouse to reveal the content) By Tutor (open) By Tutor (close) Aqua Tail Dark Pulse Draco Meteor Dragon Pulse Earth Power Heat Wave Hyper Voice Iron Tail Outrage Roost Signal Beam Sleep Talk Snore Spite Superpower Tailwind Uproar Zen Headbutt As you can see, Hydreigon has a gigantic offensive movepool, giving it an answer to pretty much any switch-in you can think of. It's almost like GameFreak designed Hydreigon to function purely as a Mixed Attacker. With moves such a Earthquake, Superpower, Fire Blast, Surf, and Dark Pulse in its arsenal, Hydreigon can hit very hard from both sides of the spectrum. Now that we've analyzed its moves, it's time to list some viable sets the Hydreigon can successfully run in this current metagame. If you feel like one of the sets should be removed, fixed, or added, please feel free to post a new set or change, and I'll add it to the OP. VIABLE MOVE SETS Variant: Mixed Attacker Hydreigon @ Life Orb / Expert Belt Trait: Levitate EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Mild Nature - Draco Meteor - Fire Blast - Superpower - Roost/Earthquake/Dark Pulse/Tailwind Easily Hydreigon's most dangerous set, and for good reason. With this set, Hydreigon is pretty much impossible to counter, and it can break through pretty much every wall with ease. As long as Hydreigon gets a free switch-in into something that can't threaten it back, something is going to die. Draco Meteor coming off of a +SpA nature KOs pretty much everything that doesn't resist it, and anything that isn't KOed can most likely be killed off by one of Hydreigon's other moves. That's what makes this set so deadly. No matter what you switch into Draco Meteor, Hydreigon probably has something else to kill you off with. This allows Hydreigon to easily spam Draco Meteor freely without having to worry about over prediction, since he's pretty much guaranteed a KO anyway. Ferrothorn, Skarmory, and Forretress are all easily KOed with the combination of Draco Meteor and Fire Blast, even at -2. Blissey and Chansey even risk being 2HKOed after Draco Meteor and Superpower, which is a huge feat indeed for a special attacker. Not only is Superpower great for the pink blobs, it also guarantees the OHKO on Tyranitar, another common special wall. Specially defensive Rotom-Wash is OHKOed with the combination of Draco Meteor and Superpower. The last moveslot is very interchangeable, and it all depends on what you want Hydreigon to beat. Earthquake rounds off Hydreigon's coverage, giving it a solid answer to Jirachi in the rain and the KO on Heatran. Dark Pulse gives Hydreigon another STAB to abuse, but it should only be used if Jellicent and specially defensive Celebi in the rain give you problems. Tailwind can be used to make Hydreigon insanely fast for four turns. It's actually a really great move to have on Hydreigon, as it no longer has to worry about being revenged killed after it KOs something. If none of these moves seem to work out on Hydreigon, then Roost is always the preferred option to mitigate Life Orb recoil and increase its longevity. If you think Hydreigon sucks, then you probably have never used this set before. It wrecks. My personal favorite. Variant: Substitute +3 Attacks Hydreigon @ Leftovers / Life Orb Trait: Levitate EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Modest Nature - Substitute - Dragon Pulse - Fire Blast/Roost - Focus Blast How do you make a terrifying Pokemon even more terrifying? You put it behind a Substitute of course! It's no surprise that Hydreigon can run a successful Substitute set, as it forces a ton of switches and has outstanding coverage to boot. Instead of focusing on Hydreigon's mixed capabilities, this set focuses on its outstanding special attack. When behind a Sub, Hydreigon no longer has to worry about being revenge killed so easily, and normally Pokemon that could beat it, like Breloom, find themselves being OHKOed by one of its moves. Dragon Pulse is the preferred STAB since Draco Meteor would make all of Hydreigon's other moves pitifully weak at -2. Fire Blast is important for roasting Steel-types like Ferrothorn and Skarmory who would normally switch-in on a Dragon-type. Focus Blast rounds off the set so Hydreigon can beat Heatran and Tyranitar. Although Leftovers is always the preferred item for extra longevity, Life Orb can be used to make Hydreigon even more dangerous behind a Sub. With that said, Roost is an absolute MUST if you opt to use Life Orb, or else Hydreigon will die too quickly. Variant: Choice Specs Hydreigon @ Choice Specs Trait: Levitate EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Modest Nature - Draco Meteor - Focus Blast - Fire Blast - U-turn/Surf/Dark Pulse By sacrificing it's wallbreaking potential, Choice Specs turns Hydreigon into the ultimate hit-and-run nuke. It's pretty simple to use Choice Specs, because half of the time you'll just be spamming Draco Meteor and watch everything die a horrible death. Focus Blast is extremely important for this set so Heatran and Tyranitar can't wall this set to oblivion. After Stealth Rock damage, Focus Blast can even 2HKO Blissey, as long as it doesn't miss. Fire Blast really sucks when you're locked into it, but it's important to have it for the likes of Skarmory, Ferrothorn, and Jirachi. The last move is again, pretty interchangeable. U-turn is preferred since it actually gives this set much needed momentum, but you'll rarely use it. Surf is great for a more reliable option to hit opposing Heatran and Tyranitar, but it misses out on the KO. Dark Pulse should only be used if Jellicent and Reuniclus are really problematic. Variant: Choice Scarf Hydreigon @ Choice Scarf Trait: Levitate EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid/Modest Nature - Draco Meteor - Focus Blast - Fire Blast - U-turn This set is...ehhh. I thought it deserved at least a mention because Hydreigon can still function as a potent revenge killer, and unlike Latios, Hydreigon can use U-turn to gain much needed momentum against obvious switch-ins. It also has access to Focus Blast and Fire Blast. The biggest problem with this set, is that there's pretty much no reason to use CS Hydreigon over Scarfed Latios. Although Latias lacks U-turn and Focus Blast, at least it can revenge kill a MUCH larger portion of the metagame. If your team really lacks a revenge killer, but you don't want to Latios, then I guess Scarfed Hydreigon could work out fine. It's an okay set, but there's a reason why it's rarely ever seen. CONCLUSION That's all the sets I'm posting for now. If you want me to add more to the OP, then I will, but I've tested out a lot of sets and found only these to be the most viable sets that Hydreigon can run. If you have an underrated set, please feel free to post it. The final question is, how viable is Hydreigon in this current metagame? In my opinion, I think that Hydreigon is criminally underused, and many fail to realize just how potent Hydreigon's mixed set can be in this metagame if played right. It requires little support to shine, and it pretty much guarantees 1-3 KOs every match. I'm excited to see what you guys will discuss. Thanks for reading!