Hydreigon is a very strong special attacker that can deal massive damage to many common Pokemon in the tier with the help of Life Orb or Choice Specs, and its offensive typing is also very good, being only resisted by Steel types, and it can learn moves such as Fire Blast to deal with them. This leads to it being very hard to wall, because it can carry coverage for many different Pokemon. Thanks to Levitate, it is also immune to Spikes and Toxic Spikes, as well as Ground type moves, giving it a few more switch-in opportunities then it would normally have. However, Hydreigon is extremely hindered by its base Speed stat of 98, which causes it to be just barely outran by common Pokemon such as Salamence and Garchomp, which can easily KO it with their Dragon type attacks. Unfortunately, Hydreigon cannot always run all the coverage that it needs to because of four move slot syndrome, so it will be walled by different threats depending on what options it forgoes. Its Dark typing is also somewhat of a hinderance, due to the weakness to Fighting it brings, a fairly common attacking type in the metagame, and it is also weak to priority moves in Mach Punch and Ice Shard.
move 1: Dark Pulse / Dragon Pulse
move 2: Focus Blast / Fire Blast
move 3: Substitute
move 4: Roost
item: Life Orb
evs: 252 Spe / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Substitute allows Hydreigon to take advantage of Pokemon that it can force switches against, and lets it attack safely without being vulnerable to priority moves like Mach Punch. Dragon Pulse deals less damage than Draco Meteor, but it is preferred due to Hydreigon not needing to switch out after using it, since it will be under a Subsitute. Dark Pulse hits many Psychic types in the tier super effectively and also carries a flinch chance, which can occasionally let Hydreigon break through a check. Fire Blast deals with many Steel types like Skarmory, Excadrill, Ferrothorn and Forretress and provides near unresisted coverage along with Dragon Pulse. Focus Blast hits many Steel types super-effectively as well, but it should only be used if Dark Pulse is used in the first slot. Roost heals off Substitute damage and Life Orb recoil and maintains longevity throughout the match.
A Modest nature combined with Life Orb maximize firepower to deal as much damage as possible under a Substitute.
This set should aim to switch in on Pokemon that Hydreigon can force to switch out, or passive, slower Pokemon that cannot deal much damage to it so that Hydreigon can safely use Substitute while the Pokemon switches out. It is then best to simply start attacking what is in front of Hydreigon, as most Pokemon cannot pose an immediate threat to it other than Pokemon with multi-hit moves, and Steel type switch-ins will usually be hit by Fire Blast before they can break Hydreigon's substitute and attempt to attack it. Roost can also be used if whatever is in front of Hydreigon cannot break its Substitute in one turn, as you will almost always have to use Substitute again if it has to face a priority user. Roost should also be used whenever Substitute could be used but you do not have enough HP to make one or when a switch is forced while behind a Substitute.
Entry hazard support to whittle down bulkier foes that Dragon Pulse cannot easily take down is very useful for Hydreigon, which Pokemon like Excadrill and Landorus-T can provide very well. Landorus-T can also use Intimidate to weaken a physical attacker, usually forcing it to switch out for Hydreigon to freely use Substitute. Magnezone can also trap and remove problematic Steel types like Forretress, Ferrothorn and Excadrill.
name: Choice Specs
move 1: Dark Pulse
move 2: Draco Meteor
move 3: Fire Blast / Focus Blast
move 4: Earth Power
item: Choice Specs
evs: 252 SpA / 252 Spe / 4 SpD
Dark Pulse boosted by Choice Specs deals good damage to Pokemon that don't resist it. Draco Meteor also deals massive damage to most Pokemon and has the best neutral coverage, but the Special Attack drop means Hydreigon can easily be taken advantage of after using it, and it is a dangerous move to get Choice locked into. Fire Blast hits Pokemon that resist both Dark Pulse and Draco Meteor. Focus Blast hits Tyranitar as well as Blissey, but Fire Blast is generally the more useful move due to its better accuracy and ability to hit more things super effectively then Focus Blast. Earth Power is used to hit Heatran as well as being a more reliable option against Magnezone once its Air Balloon has been popped.
Choice Specs greatly boosts the power of Hydreigon's moves, and a Timid nature is used as Choice Specs makes up for the power drop from a Modest nature.
This set is very easy to take advantage of if the wrong move is used, so it is often better to use whatever move will hit most Pokemon on the opposing team neutrally or super effectively, rather then trying to recklessly attack whatever is in front of Hydreigon as its low Speed means many of its switch-ins are faster and can deal heavy damage or OHKO Hydreigon depending on the move before it has a chance to attack. Draco Meteor should only be used once Pokemon that can take advantage of Hydreigon after its use are eliminated or have been weakened enough to be taken out by it, due to its Special Attack drop and the fact that you will be Choice locked into it, but once any Pokemon that resist it are eliminated, it should be used more often to heavily damage the opposing team so that they can be cleaned up by Hydreigon's teammates or by Hydreigon itself when it switches back in later. If a Pokemon is heavily weakened, it usually can also be taken out by Draco Meteor or another super effective move that Hydreigon has even after the Special Attack drop, but there are very few situations in which Hydreigon should not switch out after using Draco Meteor. This set should mainly be used in the mid to late game, as mispredictions with this set can be taken advantage of very easily and will often lead to Hydreigon being KO'd very early on, and this set also relies on Pokemon that resist its moves to be taken out first before it attempts to sweep as it cannot use multiple moves against them.
This set especially appreciates Magnezone's ability to remove Steel types, as it cannot use its coverage moves against them if locked into the wrong move, as Hydreigon will often be KO'd if it attempts to use weaker moves on Pokemon it could otherwise hit super effectively to ensure that Steel types can be dealt with. Psychic types such as Latias, Latios and Alakazam also remove any Fighting types that carry Mach Punch, as they will often halt Hydreigon's sweeps and limit it to only KO'ing one Pokemon.
A Choice Scarf with a Timid nature can also be used to act as a revenge killer, outspeeding Choice Scarf Salamence and Garchomp if they do not run a Speed increasing nature themselves. However, the power drop from a lack of Choice Specs or Life Orb is very noticeable, mainly on its non-STAB moves. Garchomp can also outclass Hydreigon as a Choice Scarf user, as its typing is only vulnerable to Ice Shard, which is much less common then Mach Punch. However, Garchomp's Outrage is far less spammable than Hydreigon's Dark Pulse or Draco Meteor due to the fact that it is turned into set up fodder for bulky Steel types such as Ferrothorn after using it.
Checks and Counters
**Fighting types**: Fighting types that are faster then Hydreigon, such as Keldeo or Terrakion, can easily OHKO it with Secret Sword or Close Combat, and slower ones also have a good chance to OHKO it after prior damage with Mach Punch, and Technician Breloom has a chance to OHKO it with no prior damage.
**Faster Dragon types**: Salamence, Garchomp, Latios and Latias are all faster then Hydreigon and can all deal massive damage or OHKO it with their Dragon type STAB attacks. However, if Hydreigon has a Choice Scarf with a Timid nature, they cannot outspeed it without using a Speed increasing nature and a Choice Scarf themselves, but Salamence and Garchomp do commonly run Choice Scarf.
**Paralysis**: Paralyzing Hydregion greatly reduces its already mediocre Speed, allowing Pokemon that would normally be outran by it to use their stronger moves such as Close Combat to OHKO it. It can also miss out on opportunities to use Roost.
**Special Walls**: Sandstream Tyranitar, and Blissey can wall Hydreigon and shrug off their attacks to either fire back with a super effective move or stall it out with Toxic, but they cannot be walled if Hydreigon carries Focus Blast.
- Written by: [[FilledPizza]]
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