Best and Worst Dual Typings

By marthaa.
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Art

Art by Reiga.

Introduction

Dual typings have been around since the start of Pokémon and continue to shape the metagame to this day. Combining two of the eighteen types together to create a new and potentially unique typing can lead to a Pokémon that works really well both offensively and defensively, offering two STAB options instead of one for offensive Pokémon and giving defensive Pokémon more resistances. However, by stacking two types, a Pokémon can gain 4x weaknesses, some of these to common types, and an offensive typing that fails to damage key threats, leaving it wishing it only had the one typing. The typing of a Pokémon controls a lot of its viability, so a bad dual typing can more often than not lead to a bad and unviable Pokémon. This article will explore the best and worst dual typings and why they are so good or bad.


Best

Steel / Fairy

Key Pokémon: Magearna, Mega Mawile

The Fairy typing is exceptional both offensively and defensively, and one of the best ways to potentially accentuate the typing's strengths is by combining it with another great all-around typing in Steel; this blessed combination gives the Pokémon a total of nine resistances and two immunities. One such Pokémon is Magearna, an extremely potent threat in USM OU, as it is a strong, slow pivot with its Assault Vest set and has the ability to sweep teams through the combination of Shift Gear, Calm Mind, and Soul-Heart. Because Magearna's typing gives it many resistances to STAB attacks from common offensive threats like Tapu Lele and Mega Diancie, Magearna is able to come in on these Pokémon and either pivot out through Volt Switch to preserve momentum or set up almost freely. Even though it often prefers coverage moves over its useful STAB moves, Fleur Cannon, Iron Head, and Flash Cannon threaten key Dark-, Fighting-, and Fairy-types. Another great Steel / Fairy is Mega Mawile. Its typing complements its role as an offensive wallbreaker, and its pre-Mega Intimidate ability and good bulk even allow it to survive some Ground-type hits from key threats like Landorus-T at -1. It can also use its powerful STAB combination to punish key threats like Tyranitar and Mega Medicham. This typing is a very solid one, and it is complemented with Pokémon that can take advantage of this well.

Water / Ground

Key Pokémon: Mega Swampert, Swampert, Quagsire

Water is one of the most common typings in Pokémon, and it boasts only two weaknesses to Electric and Grass. By adding another good defensive typing in Ground, the Electric weakness becomes an immunity, though the Grass weakness is doubled. However, this is the only weakness of Water / Ground, and the typing also has four key resistances including Rock and Fire. Mega Swampert is generally seen as the face of rain offense; even though this is due to its Swift Swim ability, its typing covers a large Electric weakness that the archetype has, allowing it to switch in on Electric-type attacks from Tapu Koko, blocking its potential Volt Switch and costing the opponent's team valuable momentum. Mega Swampert also uses the typing's ability to hit six types super effectively, boasting almost unresisted coverage with its STAB moves and Ice Punch, to become a serious threat to foes like Heatran, Tapu Koko, and even Landorus-T. Unlike its Mega counterpart, Swampert's place is as a bulky physically defensive Water-type that uses its resistances and immunity to check common threats in UU like Mega Manectric and Mega Aerodactyl, pressuring the former with Earthquake and the latter with a potential burn. Its ability to set up Stealth Rock on a large number of Pokémon also adds to its viability. Quagsire's place is on bulky or stall teams, using its resistances coupled with Unaware to wall threats across many metagames.

Water / Fairy

Key Pokémon: Azumarill, Primarina

Both Water and Fairy bring unique offensive and defensive attributes; when they are combined, the overall viability of a Pokémon increases drastically. With an immunity to Dragon-type attacks and a resistance to Dark-type moves, Pokémon that possess this typing can switch into many key Pokémon and pressure them with their near-unresisted STAB coverage or wall them. Azumarill's ability to either wallbreak with a Choice Band or sweep with a Belly Drum set, coupled with Huge Power and useable coverage, made it very intimidating and pressuring to almost any opposing team when it was legal in UU. The Water / Fairy typing perfectly fits Azumarill, allowing it to hit everything for at least neutral damage when combined with its coverage, and its useful resistances and immunity allow it to switch in easily. Its ability to survive resisted attacks makes it easier to set up with Belly Drum and become a terrifying sweeper. If you're looking for a bulky Water-type, Azumarill can still be found with a trapper set that utilizes Whirlpool and Perish Song to eliminate foes and takes advantage of Sap Sipper to offer yet another immunity. Another Pokémon that can utilize this typing's offensive prowess is Primarina. In the UU tier, it serves as an exceptional wallbreaker due to its high Special Attack and spammable STAB moves in Moonblast and Hydro Pump. When coupled with Choice Specs, Primarina is able to threaten some special walls, most notably having a high chance to 2HKO Alolan Muk after Stealth Rock. In addition, its unresisted STAB combination allows it to shred through most team archetypes, beating some of the tier's key threats in Latias and Gliscor. However, both of these Pokémon's lack of reliable recovery can really hinder their ability to make this amazing typing show its true force.

Bug / Steel

Key Pokémon: Mega Scizor, Scizor

The Steel typing has always been known to be formidable defensively, but have you ever considered Bug to complement such a strong typing? Bug-types are arguably some of the most pitiful Pokémon, and yet this iron-clad combination still shines with only one weakness and eight resistances. On top of that, an immunity to Poison avoids Toxic and Toxic Spikes, making switching in a lot safer. When you think of Bug / Steel, Scizor immediately comes to mind, and Generation 6's Mega Evolution definitely served as a way to make this Pokémon really stand out. Mega Scizor has almost everything that a Steel-type would want: it has Attack, it has bulk, it has a way to amplify these stats, and it has a strong, spammable STAB priority move that circumvents Mega Scizor's lackluster Speed. On top of that, it is an extremely reliable Defogger that is threatened by only a few Stealth Rock users. Its sole weakness to Fire does leave it vulnerable to foes like Heatran, but Mega Scizor's typing allows it to constantly threaten Pokémon like Tapu Bulu and Kyurem-B. However, even without the power and bulk that its Mega Evolution gives it, Scizor still stands out on its own. Technician-boosted STAB Bullet Punch is powerful no matter what, and the fact that only Fire- and Steel-types resist the combination of Bullet Punch and U-turn or Bug Bite allows Scizor to run a variety of sets such as Choice Band, bulky or offensive Swords Dance, and even Defog.


Worst

Grass / Bug

Key Pokémon: Leavanny, Parasect

The Grass typing has faced a lot of problems over the years due to its many weaknesses, boasting a grand total of five, and its offensive presence can be somewhat lacking alongside this. If one mediocre typing is combined with another bad one that is weak to Stealth Rock and stacks not one, but two 4x weaknesses, any Pokémon cursed with this awful typing loses a lot of potential viability. Adding Bug to Grass-types only grants them one extra resistance to Fighting and doubles the threat of Fire- and Flying-type moves while not removing any of Grass's natural weaknesses. A lackluster typing saps a Pokémon's potential a lot, and this is true for Leavanny, which, as a Pokémon with access to the coveted Stcky Web and decent Attack and Speed stats, could have been potentially good as a niche setter. However, there is one key reason why Araquanid, Galvantula, and Smeargle are used instead: the typing. There isn't much worse than a 4x weakness—unless a Pokémon manages to have an even larger vulnerability. Unfortunately, this is the case for Parasect. Bug / Grass did not help this poor Pokémon at all, as it has been lackluster since the first generation despite its access to Spore. What really makes Parasect special—in a bad way— is its ability Dry Skin, granting immunity and healing from Water but stacking an extra weakness to Fire.

Rock / Steel

Key Pokémon: Aggron, Stakataka

Steel. It's a very sturdy typing that almost always brings out the good attributes of a Pokémon. Rock, while a less useful typing due to its common weaknesses, is also powerful and has produced Pokémon like Mega Aerodactyl. However, when these two forces are combined, weaknesses just begin to stack out of control. Even though this typing has eight resistances including a resistance to Psychic and a 4x resistance to Flying, the 4x weaknesses to both Fighting and Ground, extremely common types, hold it back significantly. Aggron's niche lies in the combination of Head Smash + Rock Head, enabling it to become a wallbreaker and threaten foes in the PU tier, but common moves like Earthquake and High Jump Kick severely dent or OHKO it despite its high Defense, while special variants in Earth Power and Focus Blast easily stop this Pokémon in its tracks. Stakataka's typing has exactly the same flaws as Aggron's, but its base 13 Speed and ability to set up Trick Room gave it an edge over the competition, allowing it to fit on Trick Room teams in both OU and UU as an offensive sweeper. Because it underspeeds almost everything under Trick Room, Stakataka can use Gyro Ball with maximum Base Power as well as Continental Crush from Stone Edge. Despite the fact that Fighting-, Water-, and most notably Ground-type moves are present on every team and these Pokémon rarely get to utilize these good traits, this type isn't as flawed offensively as it is defensively; this is especially true when coupled with strong coverage moves like Earthquake and Superpower.

Psychic / Grass

Key Pokémon: Celebi

Celebi has always been a good Pokémon; it has been OU from Generation 3 to Generation 5 and now has resided in UU since Generation 6 due to its access to strong STAB attacks, a wide array of coverage moves, and a plethora of utility options to be able to support teams. However, while Celebi is good on paper with base 100 stats across the board, it has one major setback. Unfortunately, its typing leaves it weak to seven typings, most of which are extremely prominent, such as Fire, Ice, and especially Dark, which pressures Celebi due to common and powerful Dark-type moves such as Sucker Punch, Pursuit, and Knock Off. In addition, Celebi has an unfortunate 4x weakness to Bug, which especially means it struggles to find opportunities to switch in and utillize its wide movepool due to the prevalence of U-turn. Despite its access to Recover and Giga Drain, the fact that it's forced out by so many common threats such as Hydreigon, Infernape, and most notably Scizor means it's very easy to wear down. Despite this, if it does have the opportunity to come in, its typing and STAB moves allow it to threaten a large portion of the tier—especially when backed by Nasty Plot, including Primarina and Gliscor.


Final Thoughts

Dual typings can be a blessing or a curse and can offer a variety of different strategies that can be utilized in battle, and they also have further potential yet to be explored with typings such as Grass / Fire and Normal / Ghost still out of our reach. Why not try taking advantage of some of the better dual typings and try making the worse ones work?

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