And now I am going to start a series of articles dedicated to seeing the competitively-lauded Pok√©mon of any difficulties they have that makes them hard to find or raise with the prospect that you have a rewarding Pok√©mon to battle with. Basically, if you use simulators for your battling needs, you will never have experienced the hardships of getting a certain strong Pok√©mon, as the simulator basically generates the Pok√©mon you needed. In light of this, some would scoff at certain players for getting a certain Pok√©mon very easily, like through hacking. What players can consider to be some of the weaker Pok√©mon might also be some of the easiest to raise, like Rattata and Pidgey, because of their availability. So basically, this article is talking about the difficulties on raising said strong Pok√©mon to contrast any article that prefers to talk about why easy-to-raise Pok√©mon can‚Äôt hold a candle to those big names.
Each of these entries will contain a fully-evolved Pok√©mon that is great in competitive battling, by the way. In there, I will explain what‚Äôs great about them (the “Great” part of the article), their possible drawbacks and what kind of possible external drawbacks these Pok√©mon possibly may have that balances their abilities out (the “Tribulations” part of the article). It will end with whether I think the Pok√©mon is balanced or not. Do keep in mind that I won’t be doing these type of articles regularly, so don’t expect the next one to appear any time soon. With that, let‚Äôs begin! Since the Pok√©mon of the Month is Dragonite, this is the Pok√©mon we will start with, to commemorate this particular Pok√©mon. This is of course because Dragonite is a great Pok√©mon, so this is a no-brainer. To make Dragonite feel special, he will be the first one to be reviewed in this series, and as such, beginning this particular series of articles and leading the way to future articles!
What makes Dragonite a great Pok√©mon, you ask? As a pseudo-legendary, Dragonite has a large movepool and great stats. Dragonite is reasonable bulky and has great attacking stats. It does have an average Speed, allowing it to be patched up with either Dragon Dance or Agility. Dragonite also has move coverage, which is easy for Dragons since Steel-types only resist Dragon, and Dragonite has the attacks for them (Superpower, Fire Punch, Flamethrower, Earthquake). Dragonite also makes a reasonable attacker in rain, thanks to the ability to learn both Thunder and Hurricane, both fully accurate and powerful there, and both of them are great attacking types. The true greatness about Dragonite is Multiscale, allowing Dragonite the power of survivability at full health, allowing it to survive an attack while it sets up, which is a handy advantage, since Dragonite also possesses Roost as a level-up move (great because Roost is not a TM anymore). A strong priority attack (ExtremeSpeed) and power to remove an opponent (Dragon Tail) wraps up Dragonite‚Äôs greatness.
Dragonite is a special case because it gets better every Generation, so that means Dragonite wasn’t initially as great as it is now. This is because at first, Dragonite didn’t have any Dragon-type moves to use, since Dragon Rage is Attack-independent, always doing 40 damage every time, which is pretty low at Level 100. Not only that, Flying was a pretty weak attacking type. Outrage was eventually introduced, but it was a Special attack and didn‚Äôt have enough power. The fact that Dragonite has very little viable Physical moves didn’t help at all (Earthquake was only added in Dragonite’s movepool in Generation 3!). While Dragonite can attack on the Special side, there simply were better options to use them, like Starmie who is faster and has Water STAB. It didn’t help matters that Dragonite has a huge Ice weakness, and Ice is a great attacking type for all ages. And then, Generation 4 split moves into Physical and Special attacks independent of its type. This gives Dragonite a better chance at attacking since some of Dragonite’s options became Physical. Dragonite needed something more: something that can differentiate itself from the generally superior Salamence, who has more power and speed. ExtremeSpeed was there, that’s for sure, but something greater is needed. In Generation 5, Dragonite’s got it: the exclusive ability Multiscale! The runner-up upgrade is Hurricane.
So, Dragonite is great and all, but how is it challenging to raise one? First of all, Dragonite has a high level requirement when it comes to evolution. Dratini evolves into Dragonair at Level 30, which is a reasonable level, but for Dragonair to evolve into Dragonite, you need to reach Level 55! While Dragonair has an admittedly more useful ability, its stats are only average. At that level, you cannot bring Dragonite to any competition, because some of them require a level of 50 at most, like the Level 50 challenge at Battle Tower. Eventually there is a Level 50 Dragonite in an event, but remember that this variant doesn‚Äôt have any other nature apart from Mild. The real pickle is Dragonite‚Äô s experience growth rate. For your information, Dragonite‚Äôs level up rate is slower than an average Pok√©mon, so it takes a lot of experience to get to higher levels.
Dragonite also has a high move requirement to hatch a Dratini, requiring over 10000 steps to get it. While Dragonite didn‚Äôt have many significant Egg Moves, it‚Äôs still something you may need to face, since in addition to this, you will also have to train a Dratini from scratch. Of course, there‚Äôs breeding for the right Nature and IVs, but the main reason you want to breed them is for their new move ExtremeSpeed. This is important because the only way to get a Multiscale Dragonite with ExtremeSpeed is to breed it. Since new abilities will be chosen at random when hatched, this is something to keep in mind, because you may not have the right combination on the first try. Did I mention that if you want an Extremespeed Dratini, you have to forgo other Egg Moves that this family cannot learn (like Haze)?
Dragonite is also not an easy Pok√©mon to obtain. So far, Dragonite is a rare find in Dragonspiral Tower, but at least Dragonair and Dratini are more common. Dratini is one of the Pok√©mon you can get in a Game Corner and some other places as well. This family has the same Catch Rate, but they are low enough to be a good challenge to catch. But Dragonite‚Äôs true source of greatness is ExtremeSpeed and Multiscale, so of course you want to get them instead. ExtremeSpeed is listed first, since you need it to get the combination of ExtremeSpeed and Multiscale. In order to get an ExtremeSpeed Dratini, you need to correctly answer the Dragon Master‚Äôs quiz, otherwise the Dratini you will be given will have Leer instead of the prized move. Since you only can get one, you have to be careful of this one. In the case you didn‚Äôt get a male variant (because they are the one that pass moves), you can keep breeding until you get a male one, but in this case, better to soft reset to get a male one than to keep breeding for eggs that has a chance to hatch into something you don‚Äôt want. As for the Multiscale variant, you need to go to the Dream World to get one. That sounds easy enough, but you need to get to Sparkling Sea and 10000 points to get it, meaning some grinding is required. Not only that, only females can pass the new ability, so that means you need to get a female Dratini with Marvel Scale if you want to get a Dragonite with ExtremeSpeed and Multiscale!
So these are the challenges you basically need to overcome in order to get the best Dragonite. In that case, is Dragonite balanced? Certainly. Dragonite isn‚Äôt special on its own, which can explain why it is relatively easy to get those without the aforementioned traits. However, the best traits Dragonite possess are tougher to get, so the reward to achieve this status makes is all the sweeter. I can safely say that Dragonite is a balanced Pok√©mon.
Verdict: Balanced (¬Ī0)
Initially there will be two more Pok√©mon to be reviewed here, but the current length of the article meant that I will not be able to do it without making it too long, so here‚Äôs what I prepared for your reading pleasure. Expect more great Pok√©mon to be reviewed like this in the future, so be sure to check back! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing them.
Thanks for reading.