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Competitive Pokémon Dragonite: Best Builds, Counters and Team Composition.

  • Dragonite has a very high attack stat and is ranked 5th overall for his total stat values.
  • Weakness Policy is one of his best builds as a physical sweeper.
  • Dragonite's Multiscale ability helps to protect him from being one-hit KO’d by super effective moves.

Dragonite is considered to be one of the best Pokémon for competitive battling in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet. Whether you’re in singles or doubles battling, Dragonite’s Attack is its biggest strength, and while the rest of his stats don’t excel compared to other Pokémon, he is ranked 5th overall in total stat value. There’s a reason he’s considered SS Rank in the competitive scene.

Dragonite Strategy

Dragonite really only has one main strategy, but there are a few different ways to employ it. Because he has such a high base attack stat (12th highest out of all the Pokémon), you’ll always be aiming to create a physical attacker out of Dragonite.

Thanks to the addition of the Tera Orb in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Dragonite's biggest weakness can be removed with Terastallization. This allows you to eliminate Dragonites 4x weaknesses and give a STAB damage boost to its coverage moves.

All of this means that Dragonite is going to be the physical sweeper that you’ll want to open with to deal as much damage as possible to your opponents.

Building a Team for Dragonite

What Pokémon does Dragonite pair well with? Since Dragonite hits hard with physical attacks, you’ll need something with utility and something to cover defensive builds. When choosing teammates, you want Pokémon that can complement Dragonites high attack and help set up or easily switch between your Pokémons. Rotom Wash is a great addition for their wide selection of utility-based moves such as Volt Switch, allowing you quick access to the rest of your team.

The Weakness Policy Build is considered one of the best along with Dragon Dance, which takes a few rounds to set up. But since Dragonite is a physical attacker, bringing in a special attack sweeper like Gholdengo is a solid choice.

Dragonite Counters

Some of the best Pokémon to use as Dragonite counters, which means you should plan for them, are Cloyster, Hippowdon and Sylveon.

Cloyster relies on chip damage to overcome Dragonite’s tankiness. It has access to multi-hit STAB move Icicle Spear and Ice Shard is priority move, which means it can outspeed Dragonite’s Roost ability when you’re trying to heal up.

Hippowdon is another one that has a lot of chip damage abilities you need to prepare for. Between Sand Stream and Stealth Rocks, they can put out a lot of small damage over time while you’re trying to deal with the natural defenses and bulky nature of Hippowdon.

Sylveon is another great defensive counter to Dragonite because she can tank all the offensive tricks you have and outlast in damage as well. She also has a very high special attack stat and with STAB Fairy moves will make quick work of Dragonite unless you use your Tera Orb to negate that weakness.

Dragonite Weakness Policy Physical Sweeper

Here are all the details you need for the Physical Sweeper moveset and the best build for Dragonite. Depending on the team you run with them, you may have to swap around a few moves, but this is the base build you should aim for.

  • Nature: Jolly (Speed Up, Special Attack Down)
  • EV Spread: Attack 252 | HP 4 | Speed 252
  • Ability: Multiscale
  • Tera Type: Normal
  • Held Item: Weakness Policy
  • Move Set:

Outrage is going to be your primary move and, in most cases, if a Pokémon isn’t resistant or immune to Dragon Type, this may knock them out in one go. Hurricane is a powerful secondary attack and does get a boost to STAB damage, but it lacks accuracy.

Extreme Speed's strength lies in the fact that it’s a priority move. That means regardless of how fast your opponent is in comparison to you, so long as they’re not using a priority attack as well, this move will always go first. Extreme Speed also benefits from STAB damage when you use your Tera Orb.

The final recommended move, Fire Punch, will help you with more neutral move coverage. More importantly, it’s going to help deal with some of the other heavy hitters in the competitive scene like Gholdengo and Scizor, who are both Steel types.

The final detail for this build that helps it shine is its held item Weakness Policy. This works great with Dragonite because his Multiscale ability helps to protect him from being one-shot. Weakness Policy will then boost his stats by two stages whenever he’s hit by a super-effective attack. So you turn your weakness into your strength as you allow your opponent to power you up.