All Gens Pokemon Through the Ages: Flygon


One Activer Dawg
is a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis an Artist Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
I thought kingdra was a pretty neat anti-meta mon in be since it works around the swift swim + drizzle ban with politoed being so common. It was capable of beating just about any pokemon not called ferrothorn with its specs set and it's ddance set. Ferro was not even that big of an issue if you have something like a sub magnezone to support it.
Last edited:


levitate, levitate, levitate, levitate
Not that I played any tournament level BW OU but Kingdra could also function on one of the rare non-weather teams. An "anti-meta" type of team so to speak, run swift swim and DD Lum or even DD life orb would really do damage to enemy rain. Take draco as the last move to hit anything that'll be eating up +1 waterfalls. Or if you want to go special/get past physical defensive steels (looking @ you ferro/skarm) pairing with Mag isn't the worst idea.

It also has a niche in doubles for a strong Muddy Water user under Poli's rain. Has a neat secondary effect as well as an added bonus. Although I believe the move was nerfed in XY in it's power.

E: lmao didn't even read Typhlito's post, totally covered my entire first paragraph


The Iron Man of Ubers
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
What I remember Kingdra most for is how ridiculous it was before the Drizzle + Swift Swim ban. It was the most common, and best, swift swimmer at that time because of it's great typing and okay stats. It's specs set hit very hard with rain boosted hydro pumps while out speeding the whole meta, and even it's best common switch in Ferrothorn was limited. Special walls like the Chansey and Blissey were good switch ins to that set, but it wasn't even it's only set as DD and mixed sets were very possible and underrated at the time. Overall Kingdra really was broken at the time, enough to really help persuade the community to limit rain teams like nothing else has been.
Kingdra in GSC OU has almost no presence. No weaknesses outside of Dragon, which is irrelevant too, but almost no offensive presence. I personally never had any success in using it.


World's Strongest Fairy
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
Kingdra is mostly outclassed by Suicune in GSC. The good matchup against Gengar isn't enough to make it worthwhile.

That said, it's the one Water who can tank Thunders (sort of) in Rain. So a set of Rain Dance/Hydro Pump/Rest/Sleep Talk might have niche usage. I think that's better than the typical Haze idea, anyway.
you can curse with it and hpump gets past steelix/skarm/ttar/rhydon.

with the same set, tenta/nidoking/vap/cloy all have problems killing you. you can rest loop eggs too. i think it survives 2 thunders and an hp ice from zapdos as well.


World's Strongest Fairy
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
I wanted to bring up Curse Kingdra too, but it seemed dated compared to the Haze idea. That said, it's actually trickier to deal with than I remembered, although the sorts of things it can do all rely on dubious rolls and crits, and therefore are also unnerving for the player who has to rely on them.

Egg does 119-140. Average damage per turn needed for a 3HKO is 132.33. You're rolling the dice on damage rolls even before accounting for Crits and Spc Falls. Trying to Rest loop Egg is a last resort, not something to play for. Granted, it does get Egg to use a lot of Psychics, which can be handy if you have a Pursuiter waiting to switch in, or you're aiming to PP it out of Psychics.

Zapdos 2 Thunders + HP Ice is also a roll. That combo does 378-443 damage, and a total of 397 damage is needed to 3HKO Kingdra. Even Raikou is a roll: 356-418 damage.

AA Vap ultimately out-PPs you, but forcing it to Rest is often good enough unless you've lost your Electric.

Snorlax is a bit of a problem for Curse Kingdra. You can't fight it head-to-head and win the way Pgon2 can. That said, Kingdra can outpace Lax at +1, so all you really need to do it weaken it to 2/3 health (3/4 if you have Spikes or Poison, 7/8 if both), then play for the DE crit. Or, you can just get a non-STer to have 2 ticks on its Rest counter, then play for the end of the next Rest loop where you Curse up and outright 3HKO (+2 Kingdra outspeeds +1 Lax).

Miltank and Umbreon are pretty hard stops to it, though, but there's plenty of other things that can lure them and take them out for you.
it doesn't have to be a world beater. it just has to be "okay", which nobody is implying ("Kingdra in GSC OU has almost no presence."). kingdra is quite alright all things considered.

not being able to go toe to toe with a curselax hopefully isn't a common criterion for gsc pokemon.

a vaporeon actually has nothing to play for against a kingdra until it runs out of rest pp (i suppose you can roll for a back to back crit during kingdra's rest). that's something not even a light screen blissey can claim.

you can also run surf/icebeam resttalk set a la mixwall suicune. you at least threaten everything with a freeze in this scenario while still being annoying as hell against a shit ton of ou mons.

edit: why is this page so shitty? contributors???

even aerodactyl has 3 sets. 3. for aerodactyl. what the hell
Last edited:


im the best
is a Pre-Contributoris a Past SPL Champion
The dex update screwed up some of the old stuff I think and old-gen analyses obviously haven't been updated in a long time because nobody really cares. I used to care but they didn't give me my badge back for too long and now I don't care again because it's not like I need them anyway.

Kingdra has generally good stats, it just doesn't happen to do anything useful. Suicune hits some nice defensive benchmarks at least (like not getting OHKOed by +2 Marowak and being bulky enough to put PRESSURE on Machamp's Cross Chop PP), and also learns anti-cheese Roar, Vaporeon can obviously be an offensive threat due to Growth. Kingdra just sits there never really dying but never really killing anything much like a Lanturn, Lapras, Moltres, Arcanine...


step up, snap ya back
is a member of the Site Staffis a Super Moderatoris a Top Contributoris a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnus
Smogon Historian
The analyses for GSC UU/BL Pokemon are probably 8+ years old at this point and were written at the start of the Dex, so ya, the quality is not there for them due to priorities being elsewhere lol

BL for GSC and ADV, Donphan had a bit of a stint in OU during DPP before dropping down and finding a more suitable home in UU. Throughout BW, it managed to cling to OU status, though its presence there was a tad controversial. So, what were the best sets, roles, niches, teammates, and counters for this bizarre little elephant? Everything about Donphan's on the table this week~



From Now On, We'll...
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnus
I can only speak for BW and XY, having only joined in the BW days. Donphan remaining OU for BW and a good chunk of XY is, quite possibly, the biggest example of a newb trap in pokemon history. On the surface, he seemed extremely appealing - physical wall, STAB EQ, priority, rapid spin, and Stealth Rock all in one elephant package. However, poor Donphan suffered from a STAB that had common immunities, an incredibly weak Ice Shard (40 BP non-STAB with no investment), incredibly lackluster special defense, and the inability to beat pretty much any spinblocker. He just wasn't cut out to be in OU, and really, he's not all that hot in XY UU either. Poor Donphan.

Its flagship set for BW and XY:

Donphan @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Impish Nature
- Rapid Spin
- Earthquake
- Stealth Rock
- Ice Shard

in conclusion
Donphan gets too much hate.

There, I said it, Donphan really doesnt deserve all the hate it gets for being OU in gen 5. It's niche, sure, but what it does IE being a dedicated spinner for Sun-teams, it's actually one of the few things keeping the playstyle together. It provides an extremely vital rock resistance for sun-teams, while also being quite a capable Rock-setter. No shit it's ice shard doesnt one-shot pokemon like garchomp, it's not supposed to, it's just there because it might be useful if garchomp is at +2 with 35% left, and you dont want your team swept by it.

The fact that this poor thing gets pissed on every chance people get is really sad to me, when nobody seems to bat an eye at true OU shit-mons, like "who the fuck even uses me" vaporeon.


World's Strongest Fairy
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
GSC Donphan was an OU along with Scizor in the wee early dawn of OU, then people got good and realized those two aren't exactly world beaters. In the case of Donphan, Rhydon and Steelix could tank Lax and, in the case of Rhydon, hit harder as a Curser, whereas other Spinners got better second moves (Starmie = Recover, Cloy/Forr = Spikes). Scizor was ditched less because he was outclassed and more because he was plain terrible outside of gimmicky BP teams (on which he's still a bit of a black sheep and only works because he fills a niche no other mon can fill).

Donhan's still got use in contemporary GSC, though. He hits hard with EQ, gets Encore (!!!), and of course has Rapid Spin, the cornerstone of its set. Basically, it's a Spinner that has all the non-Explosion tools to keep Lax from just coming in and screwing with you. Apart from other spinners with decent matchups vs Lax (Golem and Forretress, due to Explosion), Donphan can come into Lax as a second look and neutralize it if it starts Cursing, and he also has the combination of Attack and typing to keep other mons, such as Machamp and Marowak, from starting riots.

Of course, despite these perks, he's still a pure Ground, which is overall a mediocre typing for a mon with a defensive role - he'll counter the occasional Mixed Ttar; be a second look to Machamp, Marowak, and thanks to Encore, stuff like Lax and Misdreavus; and be a second look to Raikou to dissuade Hidden Powers. If you'll notice, he has Egg syndrome: a good second look to a lot, but not a good primary check to much of anything, which isn't good if you can't also bring the pain yourself. He doesn't do a ton to hold a team together, and can struggle to find opportunities to switch in to spin (which he often has to delay anyway to instead chip at the inevitable Cloyster switch-in).

In BW I remember trying to use him and being thoroughly disappointed. Granted, I ran 100% Rain teams. Thunder resist + Terrakion check + Rocker/Spinner to top it off sounded like a decent set of properties on paper. The problem is he's got GSC Ttar syndrome: sure, he can Pursuit Egg/Gengar, counter Lax, and be a second look to Electrics all in one convenient package, but in practice he can't tank enough hits to do all of those things, and is only situationally good (if not outright mediocre) at any one of those things to begin with.


is a member of the Site Staffis a Top Artist Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Top Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
Donphan was just a really fun Pokemon to use in DPP OU and UU! I use it on my teams when I'm bored of using Starmie / Forry for spinning :c But pure Ground typing is pretty good and walls quite a few things decently. Pretty sad it doesn't have recovery so I tend to use Vaporeon to Wish with it. Its Atk is good and I tend to run 252 Atk instead of Def. Assurance is so good at defeating Ghosts back in DPP lol! It's a 2HKO on defensive Rotom-A and a clean kill on Gengar. So it's kinda an anti-spinblocker that's also good defensively and doesn't get Pursuited.

Ice Shard is always nice to revenge Dnite. I have no idea why it learns that though u_u Typically I'd run EQ / SR / Rapid Spin / Assurance. Stealth Rock sometimes get switched out if I have another mon to SR so Donphan doesn't have to keep coming in so often especially since it doesn't have recovery. I also remember some lols when people used Seed Bomb to troll Swamperts :C DPP is pretty much the only gen I've experienced with Donphan. Basically I'd recommend trying to use it because it's a really fun Pokemon although it wouldn't fit well on most teams :x

/end random visit to RoA xD
I always felt that Donphan performed the exact same tasks in IV and V, only straying from said task if the team at hand required whatever alternative niche Donphan could provide. Unfortunately, stuff like Life Orb and Choice Band Donphan were outclassed by other things (see primate candidate: Mamoswine) so it was pigeonholed into being a spinner and SR setter. At least, that's all I ever used it for, and all I think it ever should have been used for. Before Gen IV, I never considered Donphan as a spinner, at least not over the likes of Forretress, as the latter could set up Spikes whereas Donphan couldn't. That just left me overlooking it. Donphan's still a pretty solid 'mon imo, and has a nifty design, if that shows for anything.


Banned deucer.
is a defending SPL Championis a Past WCoP Championis the defending ADV Circuit Champion
As someone who used Donphan a lot last gen to varying effectiveness, I'll contribute my two cents.

Donphan was a bit of a dark horse in BW OU. One of the first lineups I remember to include it was Marth's famous SD Feraligatr team, which 3-4 players used to pop 1700 on ladder (myself included). The team had a 'phan running the typical 252/252 SR/Spin/Shard/EQ set, which performed surprisingly well against the plethora of HO teams on the ladder at the time. It was especially good against Sand Offense, which was probably the most popular playstyle at the time, being one of the only Pokemon that didn't resist but could still take 2 hits from a CB Terrakion CC. Meaning you could always switch in and play the 50/50 game with SR/EQ. That in itself was an incredibly valuable trait considering the severe lack of answers to CB Terrakion back in the day. Additionally, it had free switches on Tyranitar and Hippowdon, could reliably threaten out Exca back when that shit was legal, and even now does a fine job in the meta. It's an interesting niche fulfiller that operates off having things that other spinners don't, like the bulk and Electric immunity that Tenta lacks, the decent damage threat that it poses unlike Forry, and perhaps most importantly, Ice Shard. This move is often overlooked due to its pitiful 40 base power, but it's significant enough to threaten KOs on >50% threats/previous threats such as Dragonite, Salamence, Tornadus, Thundurus, Landorus, etc. Ice-type moves are always good, priority is good, and Donphan's base 120 Attack means that with only a little investment you can be threatening tons of KOs from surprising range. And one more thing, Sturdy is a great ability that even prevents a surprise LO Garchomp Draco Meteor or the like from taking you out before you can lay SR or spin. So it almost always gets something done, no matter how insignificant. A nice failsafe, if you will.

Downsides: it possesses a very limited usable movepool, and thus it's predictable. There is little to no doubt about what set it's running. Aside from the odd player who chooses to invest heavily in Attack over Defense, you know exactly what moves it has and how much damage they're going to do. This makes it easy to play around when you see it in team preview unless your team is very specifically weak to it. And most teams run at least 2 mons that it can't touch, or worse, that it's pure setup bait for. Offensive teams will have a Lati, Keldeo, and maybe Breloom or another such bulky Pokemon. Defensive teams will have Skarm/Ferro which can lay hazards at will, and continually threaten a Jellicent switch to prevent spins. Right before BW2 released, some Donphan users were opting for Toxic>Ice Shard, which I think defeats the purpose of using Donphan in the first place, but it performed a very particular job. Additionally, Donphan lacks access to Spikes/Tspikes, making it inferior to Forretress/Tentacruel in that sense. Its spin is harder to pull off because its low SDef and Water/Grass/Ice weaknesses mean it gets one-shot by a ton of stuff. And Sturdy can't always save it, especially if it has to switch in on something or if hazards are already up. Rock resist means SR damage is negated by a turn of Leftovers though. It can't Volt Switch like Forretress either, and it's been replaced in its old role of the Sun archetype's standby hazard protection by one of my personal favorites, Xatu. All in all, as I stated at the beginning of the post, Donphan in BW fills a specific niche that no other Pokemon can do, but it's overshadowed by spinners which are better in 90% of situations. Is it justified in being called OU? I think so. But it's definitely in the bottom 5 of the tier. I'm looking at you, Jolteon.

Articuno's had a less-than-fantastic history. UU in RBY, it remained BL for GSC and ADV before Stealth Rock shot it down to NU for DPP and BW. So, what held this Pokemon down for all these generations, and what sorts of niches did it carve out in lower tiers? Niches, counters, teammates, sets... all that good stuff and everything else related to Articuno is up for discussion this week~



I've never felt better in my life
is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Community Leader Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
Puzzle Hunt Champion

In a fun twist, both me and MetalGross used Articuno against each other in SPL this week.

Articuno in RBY is an absolute monster when it comes to dealing damage. It has the hardest hitting move in the entire game that is without drawbacks in the form of STAB Blizzard from 348 Special, easily getting a guaranteed 2HKO on Tauros and 3HKO on Snorlax. It also carries sweet, sweet bulk with 383 HP and 298 defense alongside it, so if you want to absolutely pummel physicals Articuno is the man and the mon.

However, outside of Blizzard, Articuno has...Sky Attack and Ice Beam. Hyper Beam too, but without STAB and only 268 attack, you're not scaring a lot of things. Even a Critical Hit Hyper Beam isn't enough to OHKO Alakazam. There is no way for Articuno to get around Rest Cloyster or Rest Lapras and it has issues with Starmie, Slowbro and Chansey as well. Being quadruple weak to Rock also means that it's a risky proposition to switch in on Golem or Rhydon, which you'd otherwise love to do as you could abuse the cute immunity to Earthquake. Being Flying in general sucks for Articuno as it also brings a weakness to Thunderbolt and a neutrality to Blizzard/Ice Beam.
Haven't played with this thing anywhere but in BW NU, but it's really fun there. The problem is that BW NU is notorious for its lack of good Spinners. Wartortle is the only decent one, and Articuno rips apart every Grass-type in the tier barring the rare Cradily which makes it a cool partner anyways. The other problem is that if you're running a 4x Stealth Rock weak Pokemon, you should be using Charizard, which is pretty much the best Pokemon in BW NU.

But it looks badass!
Articuno is a pretty fun poke to use in adv, functions fairly similar to zapdos with restalk, roar, stab and pressure. Ice beam makes it an arguably better spikes shuffler since it can hit grounds. It's a great counter to things like swampert and cune, and is decent vs gengar and celebi. Without spikes down it doesn't do a whole lot other than pressure stall, and its weaknesses to rock and electric hurt it a fair bit, but all in all it's a solid phazer thanks to its great special defense, spikes immunity, semi reliable recovery and STAB ice beam. It also has access to heal bell if that's your style. Decent BL poke.

Disaster Area

formerly Piexplode
Interestingly if stealth rock weren't around BW/ORAS would have left it a solid niche in OU to answer Lando-I brilliantly (If you can keep rocks off that consistently it's not unusable).. nonetheless I digress.

Whilst it's a majestic Pokemon, unlike Mewtwo, it wasn't given exceptional tools to make a name for itself. It, alongside Moltres are the first misguiding Pokemon, those 'legendaries' who are inherently poorer (competitive) Pokemon than many unbestowed with such a grand title. In RBY, defensively it had great stats (and monumental base 125 special) and offensively, but the flying typing opened up weaknesses; the lack of recovery outside of Rest leaves it more reliant on being offensively brilliant. Whilst it can 4HKO Chansey with its powerful Blizzard, the lack of alternative viable attacks made it easily walled by ice resists - notably Lapras and Cloyster. Similarly to Zapdos it's only walled by a small group of common OU Pokemon, which are of medium difficulty to remove - the main reason it's poor in OU is the difficulty of breaking Chansey on top of that.


World's Strongest Fairy
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
So... it's kind of trash in GSC.

I mean I guess not complete trash. It's good enough to be annoying to offensive standards like Zapdos, Egg, and Steelix with its STAB Ice Beam. Add on HP Elec for Cloyster, and if you don't have a bulky water or a Ttar then things get really dicey as you have to switch Lax in to take possible Freezes. Arti is actually tanky enough to stay in and go for a couple of those, especially if it decides to run Reflect (although Sleep Talk is probably preferred to check Egg, i.e. do the one thing it does consistently well for a team).

That said, its little idiosyncratic advantages do not make it worth using. STAB IB makes it annoying, but even in terms of gimmick super-niche Ice mons, Jynx and even Lapras are better, and of course you could always just slap IB on Cloy for a similar effect.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 1)