Pokemon Review (BW2): Druddigon

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Victory Road 8 Badges

Druddigon is one of the slower Dragon-types out there, but it packs a punch and you don't even have to worry about evolving it like most dragons, since it comes only in its basic form. It has some impressive Attack while also maintaining respectable defensive stats, giving it the capacity to take a hit. Its Special Attack is low and shouldn't be used, while its Speed is even worse, rendering it very slow. It has two potential abilities: Rough Skin and Sheer Force. Rough Skin inflicts the foe with 1/8 its maximum HP in damage whenever it strikes Druddigon with an attack that makes physical contact, while Sheer Force raises the power of its attacks that have a beneficial secondary effect — such as burning the foe, lowering their stats, making them flinch, or raising one of Druddigon's own stats — by a hefty 30%, but then it prevents those effects from triggering. The secondary effects must have a percentage chance (10%, 30%, etc.) of triggering, so things that raise critical hit chances like Night Slash are not affected. Sheer Force is generally the preferred option, but Rough Skin can work fairly well, particularly in conjunction with the Rocky Helmet.

As far as moves go, it has some pretty useful ones. Revenge is a Fighting-type attack hitting for 60 power, but hits for 120 power instead of the foe damages Druddigon on that turn, plus it forces Druddigon to act last. That works well with the Rocky Helmet + Rough Skin combo, too. Night Slash hits for 70 power and is a Dark-type attack with a high critical hit chance, but Crunch (must be retaught by the Reminder Girl) is a superior option as it hits for 80 power instead plus it receives a Sheer Force boost, giving it an effective 104 power. Dragon Tail forces Druddigon to act last, but it then pushes away the foe after hitting for 60 power of Dragon-type damage, assuming you don't knock them out. Rock Climb (level 49) may not seem that impressive, being a Normal-type attack with 90 power (Return maxes out at 102), but since it has a chance of causing confusion, it gets a Sheer Force boost, giving it an effective power of 117. It gets Superpower at level 55, which, while being a strong Fighting-type attack (120 power), lowers its Attack and Defense afterwards. Revenge is usually a better option for it, since it is slow to begin with. Lastly, at level 62, it gains Outrage, which hits massively hard (120 power Dragon-type attack!), but locks it into using the attack for two to three turns and then confuses it afterwards. It's still an excellent option for it, although its lack of Speed leaves it vulnerable to being struck while locked into the attack, so use it carefully.

It has a lot of TM moves at its disposal, too. Rock Slide is one I'll always mention, but it gains the benefit of getting a boost from Sheer Force, bringing it up to 97.5 power. Not too bad! Bulldoze hits for 78 power with the Sheer Force boost as opposed to Dig's 80 power, so if you need a Ground-type attack (before beating the game and getting Earthquake), you may just want to consider using Bulldoze to speed things along, or you can use it with the Rough Skin variety to do some damage and lower the foe's Speed by a bit, perhaps giving you a chance to outspeed average Speed Pokemon. Dragon Claw is a definite good choice for it regardless of what you use, simply because it hits for a solid 80 power and it gets STAB, meaning it is reliable in most instances. Payback is a better option than Crunch is for the Rough Skin variety, since it does double damage if the target acts before Druddigon does, which results in it hitting for 100 power on top of any Rough Skin + Rocky Helmet damage. It does get several attacks on the Special-based side — namely FlamethrowerCharge Beam, and Surf — but neither are worth it due to its low Special Attack.

Druddigon also gets a variety of Move Tutor moves to help it out, too, which is where it really shines. Iron Head is a Steel-type attack that has a base of 80 power and costs 4 Red Shards, while ThunderPunch and Fire Punch (no Ice Punch) hit for Electric- and Fire-type damage respectively, each hitting for 75 power and costing 10 Red Shards. The good news is that all three of those attacks gain a boost from Sheer Force. Iron Tail and Aqua Tail cost 6 and 8 Blue Shards respectively and can add some additional options (Iron Tail hits for a nice 130 power with the Sheer Force boost, although it is still just 75% accurate...). Gunk Shot can be taught for 8 Red Shards if you really want a Poison-type attack, but it's inaccurate (70%) and, though it hits for 120 power, isn't typically your best option, although it does get a Sheer Force boost to raise its effective power up to 156.

What you have to consider is why you're using Druddigon over the other Dragon-type candidates: there's Haxorus, who has monstrous Attack and very sufficient Speed to go with it, although lacks variety in its moves; there's Flygon, who has rounded stats and is actually the quickest of the Dragon-types (but only by a hair), plus it hits hard with Ground-type attacks (although lacks Earthquake before beating the game); there's Altaria, who, well, is more of a defensive dragon, though even its defenses aren't too much better than Druddigon; and lastly, there's Hydreigon, who takes FOREVER to evolve, but is utterly superior to Druddigon in terms of power and durability. Druddigon fits into the dragon crowd, but it lacks so much Speed compared to its other dragon kin that you have to realize it will be taking more hits than any of them since it will almost always strike last. Because of that, I have to recommend Haxorus and Hydreigon over Druddigon, but it is at least on par with Flygon (if not better) and is certainly better than Altaria.

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