Featured Uber Pokémon: Dialga

By bojangles. Art by icepick.
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The Uber tier is a completely different animal from the OU tier. The Pokémon are stronger, faster, bulkier, and all in all more intimidating. It is as if Pokémon has finally reached a modern, nuclear age: every Pokémon has the potential to completely wipe out civilization, however its competitors keep it in check. While Salamence's base 135 Attack and 110 Special Attack may scare you, it is truly nothing when you compare it to the awe-inspiring might that is Rayquaza, who has base 150 Attack and Special Attack. When playing in the Ubers tier, you need to embrace the fact that the Pokémon are seemingly on steroids; you need to treat every Pokémon whom your opponent controls like it could sweep your entire team. You always need to be on guard. You always need to be thinking multiple steps ahead. You always need to try and outwit your opponent. Anything short of that, and you will end up experiencing the full brunt of the Ubers metagame, the hard, potentially R-rated way. If you feel that you're up to the task of entering such a threatening yet thrilling, metagame, read on to the first Ubers Featured Pokémon! If not, well, you gave it your best effort.


In ADV, Game Freak brought us the Pokémon manifestations of the Earth itself. Groudon and Kyogre, the deities of continent and ocean, respectively, were constantly at war over whether land or water should dominate the face of the planet. When the 4th generation rolled around, Game Freak brought us the next step in the Pokémonization of nature: time and space themselves. Enter Dialga and Palkia, two massively powerful Dragon-types who would take turns shaping the Uber metagame.

When Dialga entered the scene, its typing stood out as a huge boon. Its Steel typing, when partnered with its Dragon-type, eliminated that pesky Dragon-type weakness, as well as Ice- and Fire-type weaknesses (although it is important to note that Dialga is the only Dragon who doesn't resist Fire-type moves), two very common attack types in Ubers, at the cost of a 2x weakness to Fighting and Ground. Dialga's stats also lend themselves to pretty much any role, sporting massive attack stats, as well as a very respectable amount of bulk. The jaw-dropping movepool that accompanies those stats is the icing on the cake. Dialga was set to unleash hell on the metagame.

Dialga's Qualities

The first thing you probably notice about Dialga is likely what others do too: its typing. Aside from being really cool, it is unique, and luckily very useful. The typing, actually, is more than useful; it is, in a sense, flawless, or at least nearly so. It essentially combines the best offensive type, Dragon, with the best defensive type, Steel. This leads to a massive amount of versatility for Dialga, which will be discussed later. It also brings a resistance to Rock-type moves, as well as an immunity to Poison-type moves, meaning that Dialga is not really affected by the most common offensive and defensive entry hazards. This allows it to switch in repeatedly with near impunity. Dialga's typing also nets it resistances to Normal-, Water-, Electric-, Grass-, Flying-, Psychic-, Bug-, Rock-, Ghost-, Dark-, and Steel-type moves, which is a very long and impressive résumé. This means that it resists or is immune to 12 out of the 17 attack types, giving it a chance to switch in on almost every Pokémon in a variety of different scenarios. The typing also gives Dialga STAB Draco Meteor, which is truly a force with which to be reckoned. This all comes at the mere price of weaknesses to Fighting- and Ground-type moves, but both can be worked around. Dialga truly hit the genetic jackpot; it was definitely near first in line when Arceus was doling out the goods.

Not only does Dialga have a rapturous typing, but it also has a proverbial clown car of awesome attacking, support, and boosting moves. Aura Sphere, Bulk Up, Draco Meteor, Dragon Claw, Dragon Pulse, Earth Power, Fire Blast, Outrage, Stealth Rock, Thunder, Thunder Wave, Toxic, and Trick Room; no, this isn't a Dragon-type's wish list, but rather merely the highlights of Dialga's extensive movepool. It also really has the stats to use all of them. Base 100 HP, base 120 Defense, and base 100 Special Defense all combine to make an incredibly sturdy Pokémon. By investing in Dialga's defenses, you can turn Dialga into a supportive or defensive blockade. When you're done admiring the defenses, please stare in pure, unadulterated horror at Dialga's gargantuan base 150 Special Attack, further backed up by base 120 Attack. This gives Dialga the oomph it needs to power through the metagame with those delicious attacks listed above. The base 90 Speed may seem slow, and it is a bit, but Dialga's massive defenses and excellent typing mean that it can take a hit, which compensates for this small blight. The moves and stats are part of the package of versatility that is about to be explained.

Playing with Dialga

The great physicist Albert Einstein once said, "The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once". Now, he may have actually been talking about time itself, but it is easy to apply this to Dialga all the same. Dialga is possibly the most versatile Pokémon in the entire game, after Mew and Arceus of course. As mentioned above, Dialga has just the stats, typing, and movepool to push its talents to the very edge.

One of the most popular and possibly most game-breaking sets, if played correctly, is the Mixed Attacker set. It completely rips through stall. Fire Blast completely incinerates Forretress and Scizor, and Brick Break or Outrage 2HKOes Blissey, depending on which variant you run. Draco Meteor also thoroughly smashes Giratina and Groudon, two other key stall players. Dialga is also immune to Toxic; stall's chief method of wearing Pokémon away will simply not bother Dialga. The set also packs Thunder, which will severely injure Palkia and OHKO minimum HP / Special Defense Kyogre, meaning that Dialga is not stuck inside when it's raining out. Hasty Mixed Dialga is also a fantastic check to Swords Dance Rayquaza (as long as it doesn't run Jolly) and Lucario, meaning that it can perform multiple jobs on your team.

If you are a power-hungry megalomaniac or love the Hulk-esque "Pokémon smash" feel, you'll love that Dialga has great Choice Band and Choice Specs sets. Dialga is truly a force to be reckoned with when it puts on the Specs; it reaches a fear-inducing 657 Special Attack stat. With this kind of force, only specially defensive Scizor, Lugia, Blissey, and Jirachi can switch in on Draco Meteor without being greatly crippled for the rest of the match, or outright OHKOed; it basically boils down to Steel-types and Blissey (and, to a lesser extent, Lugia). However, Steel-types need to watch their backs too, since a Fire Blast will obliterate them. Specs Dialga also packs Dragon Pulse for consistency, and Thunder to OHKO Kyogre, Manaphy, and Lugia after Stealth Rock damage. Choice Band Dialga works off Dialga's slightly weaker Attack stat; however, it still reaches a very respectable 558 Attack. Furthermore, the Ubers metagame is much more specially-oriented, so this set can really wreak havoc. With this kind of power, Outrage can even OHKO a 252 HP / 0 Def Groudon!

However, if you want to mellow out and give Dialga a more supportive or defensive role, it's OK with that too. One of Dialga's best sets, which has since fallen out of grace in terms of usage, is Bulk Up. After just one Bulk Up, even Choice Band Garchomp's STAB Earthquake will not KO Dialga, meaning that Dialga can easily strike back for the OHKO with Outrage. By alternating between Bulk Up, Outrage, and Rest and Sleep Talk, Dialga can effectively stall out many threats, while still boosting its own stats. Dialga also has the ability to run a supportive set that sets up Stealth Rock for the team. The set also allows Dialga to spread some sort of status, either Thunder Wave or Toxic, as well as weakening the opponent's team by peppering them with Draco Meteor and Flamethrower. The final common set that Dialga utilizes is the Choice Scarf set. Dialga resists both Dark Pulse and ExtremeSpeed, meaning that it is easy for Dialga to switch in and KO Darkrai and Rayquaza with Aura Sphere and Draco Meteor, respectively. This set is also fantastic at picking off what's left of the opponent's team.

Playing Against Dialga

First off: don't panic. Your first priority should be to figure out what set Dialga is running. It is impossible to deal with Dialga until you know its set, because its power and versatility fluctuates greatly with each set.

Blissey, the great special wall that she is, can also do quite well against Dialga, provided that Dialga does not have Brick Break or Outrage. She only needs to beware of switching into Aura Sphere at under 70% health, or, of course, being hit by a critical hit. Heatran also does not fear many of Dialga's moves, barring Earthquake, Earth Power, and Aura Sphere, and can KO even the most defensive sets with Overheat, provided the sun is shining. Heatran also has a nifty resistance to Dragon-type moves and an immunity to Fire-type moves in Flash Fire, meaning that most of Dialga's moves either will not do much, or will actually boost Heatran.

Lugia can deal with the Choice Scarf set quite well, since it has a very large base Special Defense and Dialga's Thunder is not quite powerful enough to best it. Furthermore, since Dialga is locked into one move and Thunder is not a good move to fire off randomly, Lugia probably won't have to deal with Thunder initially. This allows it to use Whirlwind Dialga out if it tries to come back in. Ho-Oh can also perform a similar role, because of its massive Special Defense. It also can take a stand offensively, as its Life Orb Sacred Fire in the sun will OHKO Mixed Dialga. However, Ho-Oh does have one large drawback in walling Dialga: a 4x weakness to Stealth Rock. Groudon is also a good answer to check Dialga, whose true Achilles' heel is its weakness to Ground-type moves. Groudon's STAB Earthquakes will send Dialga straight back to its time-traveling world. Not only this, but Groudon is also very bulky physically (so it can deal with Outrage, if it invests in Defense), and it provides the sun for Heatran.

Fitting Dialga into Your Team

While Dialga is truly an excellent Pokémon, it is not actually a juggernaut. It does need a bit of support; however, by providing it with some support, you can get a very large return.

Environmental Factors

Dialga, like pretty much any other offensive Pokémon under the sun, enjoys Stealth Rock being set up. This helps the time beast nab some OHKOs and 2HKOs where it could not before. This also stops Lugia and Ho-Oh from switching into it as easily, which is big because they both have means to deal with Dialga. Dialga is also rather slow in terms of Ubers, unless you're running the Choice Scarf set, so if you plan on having Dialga sweep, Thunder Wave or Body Slam support can be appreciated. Furthermore, make sure you have the appropriate weather support to pair with Dialga's Thunder and/or Fire Blast. Finally, since, outside of Rest, Dialga has no way to restore its health, Wish support can benefit it, since it will want to stay near full health to take full advantage of its great typing.


When using Dialga, you're going to have to be wary of its one true weakness: Ground-type attacks. Therefore, public enemy number 1 is Groudon, as its STAB Earthquake will easily dispose of Dialga. A Choice Scarf Shaymin-S can outspeed even the fastest Groudon and eliminate it with STAB Seed Flare. A Choice Scarf Gengar is another possibility. He can OHKO Lucario and Garchomp, two other threats, with Focus Blast and Hidden Power Ice, respectively. Furthermore, as a last-ditch effort, he can cripple Groudon by Tricking it his Choice Scarf. Giratina-O has great defensive synergy with Dialga, as it is immune to both Ground- and Fighting-type moves. Dialga is also neutral to Dragon- and Ice-type attacks, which is better than having a weakness, and is resistant to the Ghost- and Dark-type moves that Giratina-O attacts. Furthermore, Giratina-O blocks Rapid Spin, keeping Stealth Rock down for Dialga.

In a sense, Dialga's greatest teammate is itself. Most of the time, its sheer unpredictability will be the easiest way for Dialga to break through your opponent's team. Any physical or mixed attacker who can take care of Blissey will benefit Dialga, unless it is a Mixed or Choice Band variant itself. Any special or mixed attacker who can take care of Groudon, Skarmory, or Lugia will help Dialga out, unless Dialga is running the Mixed or Choice Specs variant. See the pattern here?

Get Out There!

Dialga is truly an incredible Pokémon who will easily fit onto most of your teams—it is sure to never disappoint! The bigger hurdle, rather, is to actually get onto the Ubers ladder. Do a bit of research, assemble a team, pack a change of underwear, and click "Find" on the Ubers ladder. It'll be a wild ride you won't soon forget.

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