Fading in, fading out, on the edge of paradise
approved by aim
leading with kingdra rain?
leading with kingdra rain?
QC: Leftiez | TDK | AM
GP: Mr. Uncompetitive + Snobalt | The Dutch Plumberjack
Thanks to Swift Swim, Kingdra can outpace the whole unboosted metagame under the rain. Furthermore, Kingdra's decent offensive stats turn it into a great wallbreaker and sweeper, which is amplified by the fact that its Water-type STAB moves are bolstered even further by the rain, and it can also choose to run a mixed set effectively due to its decent Attack. Kingdra also does not stack weaknesses with the rest of its team because it is neutral to Grass- and Electric-type attacks, unlike other Swift Swim Pokemon such as Mega Swampert and Omastar. However, Kingdra has somewhat underwhelming bulk, rendering it susceptible to strong priority moves such as Talonflame's Brave Bird and Bisharp's Sucker Punch when weakened. Moreover, rain only lasts for a maximum of eight turns, and Kingdra's reliance on rain for Speed and power makes it easily exploitable outside of it. Kingdra's Special Attack really isn't that great either, especially compared to other Draco Meteor users such as Latios.
name: Choice Specs
move 1: Hydro Pump
move 2: Draco Meteor
move 3: Scald
move 4: Ice Beam
item: Choice Specs
ability: Swift Swim
evs: 28 HP / 252 SpA / 228 Spe
Hydro Pump is Kingdra's strongest STAB move, is bolstered by the rain and Choice Specs, and severely dents non-resistant Pokemon. Draco Meteor is Kingdra's secondary STAB move, allowing it to get past Water-, Grass-, and Dragon-types such as Slowbro, Celebi, and Latios, which resist Hydro Pump. Scald can cripple many common Kingdra switch-ins such as Mega Altaria, Ferrothorn, and Azumarill via a burn; the move can also be used late-game to clean up due to its perfect accuracy. Ice Beam takes out bulky Grass-types such as Celebi, as well as Mega Altaria, but it is mostly a filler move, as most Grass-types are hit hard by Hydro Pump or Draco Meteor already. Dragon Pulse is an option to let Kingdra clean up more easily, especially in the face of Pokemon that resist Water, without facing the Special Attack drop from Draco Meteor.
The given Speed EVs allow Kingdra to outpace Choice Scarf Latios and everything slower in the rain and Jolly base 70 Speed Pokemon such as Bisharp and Breloom outside of rain. Maximum investment into Special Attack ensures that Kingdra hits as hard as possible, and the remaining EVs are placed into HP for some additional bulk. Choice Specs further raises Kingdra's Special Attack and, in tandem with the rain, aids its wallbreaking and sweeping. Swift Swim takes advantage of the rain to double Kingdra's Speed and bolster its Water-type STAB attacks.
Kingdra should use Scald on switches into Azumarill, Mega Altaria, and Ferrothorn to potentially cripple the foe via a burn. Because of Kingdra's double resistance to Fire- and Water-type moves, it can easily pivot into Pokemon with said moves, such as Heatran and Alomomola. Kingdra greatly appreciates Volt Switch or U-turn support, and it is also best brought into play after a teammate has fainted or by a double switch, as Kingdra's bulk really isn't that great. Kingdra is best used as a wallbreaker, punching holes in the opponent's team early- and mid-game. Hydro Pump is easily the most spammable move because it is the most powerful one in Kingdra's arsenal, as even Pokemon that resist it, such as Mega Venusaur, are 2HKOed in the rain.
Politoed is a mandatory partner to Kingdra because it brings rain to boost Kingdra's Speed and the power of its Water-type STAB moves. Other rain sweepers, such as Tornadus-T, Kabutops, and Omastar, are good partners as well because they also take advantage of the rain; Tornadus-T wears down Ferrothorn and Celebi for Kingdra while providing crucial momentum with U-turn. Kabutops hits physically, allowing it to muscle past specially defensive Pokemon such as Chansey, which Kingdra struggles against, and 2HKOes Ferrothorn with Low Kick, while Omastar checks Talonflame and cripples Chansey with Knock Off. Setup sweepers such as Mega Scizor, Nasty Plot Thundurus, and Mega Pinsir love Kingdra's ability to weaken the opposing team for a potential sweep by them, and they can also deal with bulky Grass-types. Rotom-W checks Talonflame, Bisharp, Thundurus, and Azumarill, all of which Kingdra dislikes, as Talonflame's and Bisharp's priority attacks deal a hefty chunk of damage to Kingdra, Thundurus can use Prankster Thunder Wave to cripple it, and Azumarill can outright OHKO Kingdra with Play Rough.
name: Life Orb Attacker
move 1: Hydro Pump
move 2: Draco Meteor
move 3: Scald / Waterfall
move 4: Outrage / Ice Beam
item: Life Orb
ability: Swift Swim
evs: 28 Atk / 252 SpA / 228 Spe
ivs: 29 HP
Hydro Pump is Kingdra's strongest Water-type STAB move, dealing hefty damage to everything that does not resist it. Draco Meteor provides good coverage alongside Hydro Pump, allowing Kingdra to muscle past Grass-, Dragon-, and Water-types such as Celebi, Garchomp, and Rotom-W. Scald has a solid chance to cripple switch-ins such as Azumarill, Ferrothorn, and Mega Altaria with a burn and is also more accurate than Hydro Pump. Outrage is a great move to use after Draco Meteor and allows Kingdra to finish off weakened Rotom-W and Celebi after Draco Meteor; however, it comes with the nasty side effect of locking Kingdra into it. Waterfall is a handy option to get past specially defensive Pokemon such as Chansey and is also an excellent move to use after Draco Meteor because it ignores the Special Attack drops. Ice Beam 2HKOes Grass-types such as Celebi and Chesnaught, as well as Mega Altaria, but it is more of a filler move.
228 EVs are invested into Speed to outspeed everything up to Choice Scarf Latios in the rain, as well as Jolly base 70 Speed Pokemon such as Breloom and Bisharp outside of it. Maximum investment in Special Attack ensures that Kingdra hits as hard as possible, and the remaining EVs are invested into Attack to power up its physical moves. Life Orb provides Kingdra with an invaluable boost to its offenses and aids its sweeping capabilities. A Rash nature maximizes Kingdra's Special Attack and is chosen over a Mild nature to take priority attacks better. Alternately, an EV spread of 64 Atk / 216 SpA / 228 Spe could be used, which has enough Attack investment to ensure that Kingdra 2HKOes Chansey after Stealth Rock and one layer of Spikes but comes at the cost of a significant Special Attack drop.
Kingdra is best used as a wallbreaker, working well early-game to punch holes in the opponent's team due to its decent power under rain and great Speed. Kingdra can also be used as a sweeper, but this is rather unnecessary, as it will often be paired up with other rain sweepers such as Omastar and Mega Swampert. Checks and counters such as Ferrothorn and Mega Altaria should be removed prior to Kingdra attempting to sweep. Use appropriate coverage moves to dent or cripple switch-ins, such as Draco Meteor on Mega Venusaur and Scald on Ferrothorn. Because of rain's limited length, one must take advantage of every turn and use it as efficiently as possible. Kingdra has double resistances to Fire- and Water-type moves, so it can easily pivot into Pokemon using said moves, such as Heatran and Rotom-W. However, don't overestimate its bulk, as it is susceptible to entry hazards and Life Orb recoil.
Politoed is a compulsory partner for Kingdra, providing crucial rain support for Kingdra to bolster its stats. Backup rain setters such as Klefki and Thundurus are greatly appreciated as well for their ability to replenish Kingdra's Swift Swim should Politoed faint. Kingdra should be paired up with other rain sweepers such as Mega Swampert, Kabutops, and Tornadus-T; they can weaken Kingdra's checks and counters and appreciate Kingdra's ability to put huge dents in the opposing team. In particular, Omastar forms a great wallbreaking core with Kingdra, as it checks Talonflame and cripples Chansey with Knock Off. Because Kingdra struggles to beat certain Water- and Grass-types, such as Slowking and Ferrothorn, Pokemon that can reliably take them on are good partners. Examples include Mega Heracross and Mega Pinsir, which can deal with them via their Bug-, Fighting-, and Flying-type moves. Mega Manectric and Raikou both fit amazingly into rain teams, boasting the ability to check Thundurus and Talonflame, function outside of rain, use a perfectly accurate Thunder, and provide useful momentum for Kingdra with Volt Switch. Magnezone can trap and KO Ferrothorn outside of rain and also has a perfectly accurate Thunder. Lures to various Kingdra checks are also appreciated, such as Focus Blast Politoed and mixed Thundurus. Rotom-W and Ferrothorn deal with Azumarill and Mega Altaria, respectively, which otherwise causes Kingdra a lot of trouble. Azelf is another great pick, providing Stealth Rock, Explosion to let Kingdra come in safely, and possibly Rain Dance support.
Because Kingdra has quite a shallow movepool, it does not have many other options to utilize. Signal Beam has the utility of breaking past Slowbro, Starmie, and Celebi without facing the Special Attack drop from Draco Meteor. A set utilizing Sniper, Focus Energy, and Scope Lens allows Kingdra to guarantee critical hits on every single hit, but Kingdra is too slow and easily revenge killed to be able to pull off such a set effectively. Dragon Pulse has more accuracy than Draco Meteor and does not come with the side effect of lowering Kingdra's Special Attack; however, the drop in power is quite noticeable. Hidden Power Fire allows Kingdra to lure in Ferrothorn and KO it; however, the Base Power is decreased in the rain and, aside from Ferrothorn, the move does not hit many relevant targets. Rain Dance allows Kingdra to replenish rain by itself so that it doesn't become overly reliant on Politoed. Substitute allows Kingdra to evade Sucker Punch from Bisharp and status from the likes of Rotom-W and Celebi, but, combined with repeated switch-ins with entry hazards and Life Orb recoil, Kingdra will be on a short fuse. Kingdra has access to Dragon Dance, so it can utilize various items such as Lum Berry and Life Orb in tandem with it to sweep, but it is outclassed as a Dragon Dance user by Mega Charizard X, Mega Gyarados, and Mega Altaria.
Checks and Counters
**Ferrothorn**: Ferrothorn resists both of Kingdra's STAB moves, takes little damage from Ice Beam, can use Kingdra as setup fodder with Stealth Rock or Spikes, and can wear it down with Power Whip and Leech Seed. However, it needs to watch out for the rare Hidden Power Fire and is crippled by Scald burns.
**Specially Defensive Pokemon**: Specially defensive Pokemon such as Chansey, Mew, and Slowking can continuously recover off any damage taken from Kingdra and stall out its rain. Chansey is a particularly effective counter to most of Kingdra's sets bar the 64 Atk / 216 SpA / 228 Spe spread because it is not 2HKOed by any of Kingdra's moves and can replenish its health with Soft-Boiled (RC) and 3HKO Kingdra back with Seismic Toss.
**Mega Altaria**: Unless Kingdra packs Ice Beam, Mega Altaria is an effective check to Kingdra. Mega Altaria resists Kingdra's Water-type STAB attacks and is immune to its Dragon-type ones. In return, it can heal itself with Roost, use Kingdra as setup fodder with Dragon Dance, or outright OHKO it with Hyper Voice. However, it dislikes Scald burns, especially if it's a Dragon Dance variant.
**Azumarill**: Azumarill resists Kingdra's Water-type STAB moves and is immune to its Dragon-type ones; Azumarill can then set up on Kingdra with Belly Drum or OHKO it with Play Rough. However, it loathes burns from Scald.
**Other Weather Conditions**: Because Kingdra is reliant on the rain for its Speed and power, other weather conditions such as sand and sun put Kingdra at a severe disadvantage. However, weather inducers such as Tyranitar and Mega Charizard Y cannot switch directly into Kingdra out of fear of getting 2HKOed by Hydro Pump.
**Revenge Killers**: Revenge killers and priority users such as Bisharp, Talonflame, and Dragonite can KO Kingdra when it's weakened. Mega Alakazam also deserves a mention, as it can Trace Kingdra's Swift Swim, thus outspeeding it, and KO it with Psychic after some prior damage.