Overview ######## Kingdra is one of many new Pokemon that benefited in the transition from BW to XY; however, instead of receiving a new move or being retyped, Kingdra benefits from the changes around it: the unbanning of the Drizzle + Swift Swim combination and the change to critical hit mechanics. With these changes, Kingdra can take advantage of rain to sweep with blazing Speed and great mixed attacking capabilities, or it can run a set which is guaranteed to always obtain a critical hit, working fantastically with Kingdra's Sniper ability by boosting every attack 2.25x. This also allows Kingdra's attacks to ignore defensive boosts that have been acquired by opponents, while effectively negating the Special Attack drops from usage of Draco Meteor. It also has a reasonable Attack stat which allows it to go mixed when it wants in order to break through special walls. However, it suffers from the fact that its Speed and bulk are slightly underwhelming at times, and when it is utilizing a rain sweeper set, the nerf to the amount of times rain lasts gives it a time limit on using its Swift Swim and Water-type STAB boosts. Mixed Rain Sweeper ######## name: Mixed Rain Sweeper move 1: Hydro Pump move 2: Draco Meteor move 3: Outrage / Rain Dance move 4: Waterfall / Surf item: Life Orb evs: 64 Atk / 252 SpA / 192 Spe nature: Rash / Modest Moves ======== This Kingdra set is used to sweep in the rain with its Swift Swim boost and the boost to its Water-type STAB. Hydro Pump is Kingdra's most powerful Water-type STAB move, as it deals massive damage to anything in the rain and is generally the preferred choice. Its shaky accuracy can be a problem, so Surf can be used as a more reliable alternative. Draco Meteor is a secondary STAB move; it is powerful, though a use of it will halt Kingdra's sweep. It is essential in breaking through bulky Water-types, and other things that resist Hydro Pump. Outrage is the main option here, as it can be used after a Draco Meteor to beat many threats that would otherwise wall you after the Special Attack drop, such as Rotom-W and Mega Venusaur. It also is great against Rotom-W and specially defensive Pokemon, but it does have a nasty side effect of locking Kingdra into it, so Rain Dance can be used instead to lessen Kingdra's reliance on Pollitoed to sweep. Waterfall is a physical Water-type STAB move that deals hefty damage to Blissey and Chansey in rain, and like Outrage, it is an excellent move to use after a Draco Meteor; it is also helpful in breaking through specially defensive Tyranitar variants. However, Surf can be used in this slot as a reliable special Water-type STAB move. Ice Beam is a handy coverage move to 2HKO Grass-type threats, including Celebi after Stealth Rock, but it is often out-damaged by Kingdra's other moves, especially in the rain, while as an alternative to Draco Meteor, Dragon Pulse is good for Water-types when the Draco Meteor Special Attack drop is undesirable; as always, the accuracy is helpful as well. Set Details ======== Kingdra uses full Special Attack investment, as it is its most commonly used offensive stat, and 192 Speed EVs let it outrun Deoxys-S in the rain. All of the remaining EVs should be put into Attack to benefit Outrage and Waterfall. Alternatively, one can run a spread of 32 Atk / 240 SpA / 228 Spe, allowing Kingdra to outpace Choice Scarf Latios in the rain, or 80 Atk / 252 SpA / 176 Spe to outspeed anything up until Choice Scarf Garchomp. Sets using no physical moves should run a Modest nature and use a spread of 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe. Life Orb is the preferred item to boost the power of Kingdra without locking it into one move. Usage Tips ======== Rain doesn't last long, whether from a Politoed with a Damp Rock or Kingdra's own Rain Dance. Make sure to take advantage of the amount of time you have; use it as efficiently as possible. If you predict a foe to switch out, use the appropriate move to dent the switch-in rather than doing negligible damage to them. Kingdra sweeps best late-game after foes like Ferrothorn are removed, but if it is a win condition for you earlier in the game, go for it. With Life Orb and Kingdra's susceptibility to all entry hazards, it is wise to bring Kingdra in on a double switch or after a teammate has fainted. However, its handy 4x resistances to Fire- and Water-type moves does allow it the reassurance of being able to safely switch in on these moves. Team Options ======== Politoed is a mandatory partner for the rain it provides, particularly for sets that don't run Rain Dance. Other rain setters such as Deoxys-S work well on the sort of offensive teams that Kingdra fits on. Kingdra should also be paired with other rain sweepers such as Ludicolo, Kabutops, Tornadus-T, and Keldeo. Magnezone and Gothitelle are great partners, as they can eliminate Ferrothorn with Hidden Power Fire; bear in mind that this should be done before rain is set up. Rotom-W makes for a good partner, as it can easily deal with Azumarill while also aiding Kingdra in entering the battle safely with Volt Switch. As mentioned before, Keldeo is a good partner not only because it benefits from rain, but also because it break through Blissey and Chansey. Thundurus can break through bulky Water-types with impunity, and can use U-turn to keep up momentum. Kingdra is also worn down quickly by Life Orb, so Rapid Spin or Defog support is often required to enable Kingdra to stay alive as long as possible. Scizor and Starmie both benefit from rain, so they are generally good choices. Rain Wallbreaker ######## name: Rain Wallbreaker move 1: Hydro Pump move 2: Draco Meteor move 3: Surf / Scald move 4: Ice Beam / Dragon Pulse / Sleep Talk item: Choice Specs evs: 64 HP / 252 SpA / 192 Spe nature: Modest Moves ======== This set plays as an excellent wallbreaker, blasting holes in teams with its STAB moves. Hydro Pump is the most powerful Water-type STAB move Kingdra has access too, and it is used to punch holes in things early-game, making it easy for a teammate to clean up. Draco Meteor is mainly for blasting holes in the Pokemon that resist Water, including Dragon-types such as Dragonite, Latios, and Kyurem-B. Surf is used as your reliable STAB move for the late-game, though Scald is an option as well. While the difference between the two may seem inconsequential, Surf's higher power lends Kingdra the ability to clean through teams more easily, while Scald's burn chance is in particular really helpful for Kingdra as the burn cripples some of its best checks, such as Ferrothorn, Azumarill, and Mega Venusaur. There isn't really much that can be covered with the last slot, but Ice Beam does the most against bulky Grass-types such as Amoonguss and Chesnaught, Dragon Pulse is another reliable STAB move which can be used against Pokemon such as Garchomp without forcing you out, and finally, Sleep Talk is an option as you have what you will need the majority of the time in the first three moveslots, so Kingdra can be used to absorb the sleep move and possibly still be able to blast through things later in the game, as rain will likely be up. Set Details ======== With the specified EV spread, Kingdra outruns Deoxys-S in the rain, has full Special Attack investment, and saves the rest of the EVs for bulk. Kingdra is fast enough in the rain for it to not require a Speed-boosting nature, so Modest is perfectly fine. Usage Tips ======== This set should only be used on dedicated Rain teams; it offers very little over choices such as Keldeo on a weatherless team. It also must be stressed that while rain is not permanent, this set is bothered less by this, as it doesn't have to worry much about predicting with its attacks as Hydro Pump and Surf are often powerful enough to 2HKO most foes. If using Scald, and Kingdra comes into play while you see that the other team has a Ferrothorn or an Azumarill, you should always use Scald, as those Pokemon will be your most likely switch-in, and the chance to burn them is invaluable. Team Options ======== The team options for this set are very similar to those of the first set, except this set does not use Rain Dance, making it rely much more on rain set by other Pokemon. Politoed is the probably the most essential, as its good bulk and ability to setup rain automatically put it in high demand. Deoxys-S is another great choice, as it can setup rain quickly as well as Stealth Rock, which makes it valuable when using Kingdra on heavily hyper offense-oriented teams. On these teams, other rain sweepers are recommended, with Kabutops being one of the the best, but Ludicolo, Seismitoed, and Tornadus-T are other Pokemon that work quite well. Each offers many different advantages to your rain team: Ludicolo threatens bulky Water-types such as Rotom-W, Seismitoed is immune to Thundurus's priority Thunder Wave, which stops most rain sweepers cold, and Tornadus-T can use its STAB Hurricanes at full accuracy in the rain, while also being a useful pivot with U-turn, Regenerator, and its high base Speed. If you're veering towards alternate rain setters, Tornadus has priority on Rain Dance thanks to its Prankster ability, and can also take advantage of the rain with Hurricane. CritDra ######## name: CritDra move 1: Focus Energy move 2: Draco Meteor move 3: Hydro Pump move 4: Agility / Hidden Power Fire ability: Sniper item: Scope Lens evs: 64 HP / 252 SpA / 192 Spe nature: Modest Moves ======== With the new critical hit mechanics, using Focus Energy on a Pokemon holding a Scope Lens causes every hit to be a critical hit; with Kingdra's Sniper ability, critical hits do 2.25x damage. Critical hits also bypass Draco Meteor's Special Attack drops and can break through defensive boosters. In this set, Draco Meteor is the main STAB move as it is powerful and it can be used indefinitely without repercussions. As a Water-type move, Hydro Pump in generally the best due to its power, but Surf can be used for the if Hydro Pump's poor accuracy is troubling, even though it is much weaker, especially before a boost. Finally, the last slot is dedicated to which Pokemon Kingdra want's to be able to muscle past. Agility is the main option here for when Kingdra can setup on a predicted switch, and then possibly setup on one move of the switch-in, allowing it to sweep a team with ease from that moment, though Hidden Power Fire can be used for Ferrothorn, an otherwise solid counter. This set can also run Outrage just so that Kingdra can 2HKO Chansey after a Focus Energy. Set Details ======== A spread of 64 HP / 252 SpA / 192 Spe allows Kingdra to outspeed Deoxys-S after an Agility, while giving it a bit of bulk to secure boosts and tank priority. However, an alternate EV spread of 80 HP / 252 SpA / 176 Spe can be used to outspeed Choice Scarf Garchomp if you are using Agility as well as fully investing in Special Attack, while slotting the rest of the EVs in HP to add a bit of bulk for ease in setting up. A Modest nature is the most preferable to increase power as this set uses mono-special coverage, but if one chooses to use Outrage, a Rash nature could be used instead. Usage Tips ======== Utilize Kingdra's ability to force switches to your advantage; this is to allow setup opportunities with Focus Energy or Agility. Focus Energy is the most beneficial setup move to use against defensive teams, as it allows Kingdra to hit massively hard against them, breaking through most defensive staples easily. Against faster, more offensive teams, Agility should be used to outspeed the opposing Pokemon, potentially leading to a sweep with Kingdra's STAB moves. Bear in mind that when using Agility, Kingdra will be affected by Draco Meteor's Special Attack drops, so it can't sweep as effectively against foes that resist Water. However, if you can manage to get up both boosts, Kingdra doesn't have to worry about any of the problems posed by only using one or the other. Kingdra's excellent typing allows it to switch in on Fire- and Water-type moves easily, which is especially helpful against Choice-locked attackers to allow setting up of either Focus Energy or Agility. Unlike most other sweepers, defensive boosters do not bother Kingdra, so this makes Kingdra an excellent way of breaking through these boosters if they start setting up, perfect for acting as a fail-safe. Team Options ======== Depending on which coverage move you use, this set has trouble with Ferrothorn or Azumarill, so partners that can take care of these threats for Kingdra are immensely appreciated. Heatran, Conkeldurr, and Talonflame can all deal with Ferrothorn, and Azumarill can easily be eliminated by Mega Venusaur, Manaphy, Celebi, or Aegislash. Scolipede is also a prime partner, as Kingdra's main flaw is its slightly sub-par Speed. Scolipede can Baton Pass Speed and Iron Defense boosts, a Substitute to ease Kingdra in setting up, and can even set up Spikes to help with Kingdra's sweep. In addition, it draws in Fire-type moves, which Kingdra can easily absorb thanks to its 4x resistance to them. Another way of remedying Kingdra's poor Speed is a Sticky Web inducer, such as Galvantula or Smeargle. Other Options ######## Substitute + Dragon Dance could see use as an alternate set, but it makes Kingdra much easier to wall as it is limited to only its STAB moves. Sets that run Dragon Dance are usable, but the introduction of the Fairy-type means that Outrage is not a good move to be locked into anymore. Finally, ChestoRest is a possible set, but it limits Kingdra's coverage. Checks & Counters ######## **Ferrothorn**: Ferrothorn walls the rain sweeper set completely and can also take anything on the CritDra set bar the rare Hidden Power Fire after a Focus Energy. It can then proceed to cripple Kingdra with Thunder Wave, use Leech Seed, or set up entry hazards. **Mega Venusaur**: Mega Venusaur—one of the best defensive Grass-types—is another great answer to Kingdra, as it can switch in on its Water-type STAB and setup Leech Seed to recover itself while draining Kingdra's health. **Azumarill**: Azumarill can switch in on any move and OHKO with Play Rough. It can't even be OHKOed by the rare Hidden Power Grass on a critical hit, and it can easily switch in on the rain sweeper set. **Sylveon**: Sylveon can switch in on any move and proceed to OHKO with Hyper Voice. It is 2HKOed by Hydro Pump on a critical hit, but Sylveon would almost always switch in as Kingdra uses Focus Energy, so this is hardly relevant. **Chansey and Blissey**: Chansey can only be 2HKOed by the rare Outrage from CritDra and can cripple Kingdra with Toxic or Thunder Wave, or simply stall it out with Wish + Protect. Blissey can do a similar job, but only against the CritDra set. **Togekiss and Mega Gardevoir**: Specially defensive Togekiss can switch in on a Focus Energy and do hefty damage to Kingdra with Dazzling Gleam. Mega Gardevoir can also switch in on the initial Focus Energy and OHKO with Hyper Voice.