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As far as Dragon-types go, Flygon has always been somewhat of a "black sheep" in the family. It doesn't have massive overkill attacking stats, it doesn't have access to any boosting moves, and its presence rarely strikes fear into the hearts of men. It's mainly made its presence known through its unique combination of typing and ability, as it is one of the few Pokémon capable of resisting the Ground/Rock attacking combination. In ADV, its main uses were as a bulky check to QuakeSlide Pokémon that could force switches with Screech, punish switches with Substitute, or hit hard with Choice Band, and it was rare to see Flygon running significant speed.
Generation 4 brought many boons for the oft-forgotten dragon. Outrage went from being a mediocre special move that nobody would ever consider touching to a world-crushing force of mass destruction, and Flygon definitely made excellent use of it. Choice Scarf also allowed Flygon to act as a top-notch revenge killer against speed-boosting threats such as Gyarados and Kingdra. Furthermore, Flygon became one of two OU Dragon-types to resist the now-ubiquitous Stealth Rock; the other, Garchomp, was one of the first Pokémon banished to Ubers. However, Flygon had a tough time differentiating itself from the other Dragon-types... that is, until Salamence and Latias found themselves suffering the same fate as Garchomp. Now, as the fastest Dragon-type in OU, Flygon is a staple on many teams as a scout, revenge killer, and all-around reliable clutch Pokémon.
Flygon's stats are definitely nothing special. With a 520 BST and average stats all around, Flygon doesn't stick out in any notable way stat-wise. Its 100 base Speed makes it the fastest Dragon-type in OU, and with a Choice Scarf, it can outspeed and defeat every single user of Dragon Dance in the metagame even after a boost. 100 Attack isn't excellent, but it's definitely passable, especially considering the high Base Power on Flygon's STAB moves. However, other than its Attack and Speed, the rest of Flygon's stats are fairly average. 80 / 80 / 80 defenses aren't going to be winning any awards, but they're still higher than those of the majority of offensive Pokémon, and they allow Flygon to effectively abuse its many resistances. Meanwhile, 80 base Special Attack allows it to make decent use of its powerful STAB Draco Meteor, as well as allowing it to utilize Fire Blast as an off-hand answer to Skarmory.
However, where Flygon really shines is its excellent typing and ability. Dragon / Ground is one of the best possible typings in the game, granting it an immunity to Electric, resistances to Rock, Fire, and Poison, and a meager two weaknesses (Dragon and Ice). Meanwhile, its Levitate ability gives it an extra immunity to Ground, making it one of the only Pokémon in OU to resist the combination of Earthquake and Stone Edge. It also boasts incredible resistance to most forms of indirect damage, packing immunities to sandstorm, Spikes, and Toxic Spikes in addition to a resistance to Stealth Rock, making its decent defensive stats even better. On top of that, the immunity to Thunder Wave means that it's incredibly hard to pin Flygon down with Paralysis like other revenge killers, such as Choice Scarf Rotom-A and Jirachi. On the offensive side, the power of Flygon's typing is inarguable. The typing gives Flygon powerful dual STABs in the form of Outrage and Earthquake, and the only Pokémon to resist the combination are Skarmory and Bronzong, both of which are weak to Fire Punch / Fire Blast.
Flygon also has a solid movepool. It's got the aforementioned dual STAB combination of Outrage and Earthquake, and it backs them up with a solid tertiary movepool. U-turn is a staple on many Flygon sets, as it allows Flygon to scout the opponent's switch and easily seize offensive momentum. Flygon can use Stone Edge to hit Gyarados and Dragonite hard without locking itself into Outrage. ThunderPunch is also effective for guaranteed elimination of all variants of Gyarados. Fire Punch and Fire Blast both make short work of Forretress and Scizor, as well as hitting Bronzong and Skarmory hard.
Choice Scarf Flygon is the most effective and most common variant by far, and it's easy to use. Barring Choice Scarfed Gengar, Flygon is pretty much guaranteed to outspeed the opposing Pokémon and pound it hard with one of its moves. Its 100 base Speed even allows it to outspeed many common Choice Scarf users, such as Rotom-A, Tyranitar, and Heatran. However, the most important function that Choice Scarf Flygon provides is its ability to revenge kill many extremely threatening sweepers, including all four common Dragon Dance users in OU: Dragonite, Gyarados, Kingdra, and Tyranitar. It can also scout with U-turn, as it allows the Flygon user to gain an effortless switch advantage on the opponent's Flygon counter.
While Choice Scarf may be the one making the most splash, there are definitely other ways of using Flygon. Choice Band Flygon packs devastating power, as many Pokémon that would otherwise be comfortable absorbing its neutral Outrages are now threatened with OHKOs or 2HKOs. Flygon can also perform a throwback to ADV and utilize Screech to break through opposing teams by softening them up with entry hazards, or hitting them for effectively double damage after a Screech. It can also bluff a Choice Scarf set with Expert Belt, luring opponents into a false sense of security before switching moves and pounding them.
Flygon's biggest downfall by far is its middling Attack. Unless it's hitting opponents with a super effective attack, it's not likely to be OHKOing anything bulky any time soon, and it's easy to take advantage of that. Even with Fire Blast or Fire Punch, Flygon is hard pressed to hurt Skarmory, and an Outrage from Flygon is easily a free 2-3 layers of Spikes for Skarmory or Forretress. Flygon also has trouble dealing damage to Blissey, Vaporeon, Suicune, and other general purpose defensive Pokémon.
Another note is that while Flygon's dual STABs may be extremely powerful and have excellent coverage, they can both be liabilities in the wrong situation. Earthquake has a number of common Pokémon immune to it, such as Gyarados, Rotom-A, Gengar, Skarmory, and others, and if Gyarados can come in on an Earthquake from Flygon and get multiple Dragon Dances, Flygon can easily find itself unable to perform its revenge killing duty. Meanwhile, a Flygon locked into Outrage can easily be taken out by offensive Steel-types such as Jirachi, Metagross, and Scizor.
Like most of the other top Pokémon in the metagame, it's easy to drop Flygon into a team and have it do its job well. Still, Flygon requires a fair bit of support, considering its fairly mediocre attacking stats. Offensive support is needed to ensure that defensive Pokémon can't just shut it down with their ability to sponge its attacks.
Flygon probably cares less about its environment than any other Pokémon in OU. It's immune to sandstorm, Spikes, and Toxic Spikes, and resistant to Stealth Rock, which means that it needs approximately zilch in terms of environmental support on the defensive. However, Stealth Rock and Spikes can help Flygon's offense, as they can make it hard for defensive Pokémon to repeatedly switch into Flygon's attacks, especially if they are met with a U-turn as they switch in.
Heatran works quite well with Flygon, as it can lure in and explode on bulky Water-type Pokémon, and it can also absorb Dragon- and Ice-type attacks aimed at Flygon. Skarmory also works well, especially Specially Defensive variants, as it can lay Spikes to help Flygon capitalize on the switches it causes, and Flygon packs a resistance to Fire and an immunity to Electric.
As Generation IV winds down and Black/White creeps onto the scene, isn't now the perfect time to have a ball and explore just what this formerly underappreciated dragon is capable of? Give Flygon a shot, and I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
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