Tactical Tuesdays #22 – Flygon

Cody

After a break for the holidays and a brand new year, we’re getting back to Tactical Tuesdays, where we take a Pokemon every week and attempt to provide an in-depth competitive analysis of it. This week we’re taking a look at the fan-favorite Flygon! If you have any questions, comments, or requests, make sure to leave them below.

#330 – Flygon


Species: Mystic Pokemon
Abilities: Levitate
Height: 6’07
Weight: 180.8 lbs

Stats Breakdown:

HP: 80 – Okay
Attack: 100 – Good
Defense: 80 – Okay
Special Attack: 80 – Okay
Special Defense: 80 – Okay
Speed: 100 – Good

Notable Moves:

Bulldoze
Rock Slide
Earth Power
Dragon Tail
Earthquake
Sandstorm
Dragon Claw
Dragon Rush
Hone Claws (TM)
Roost (TM)
Solar Beam (TM)
Flamethrower (TM)
Fire Blast (TM)
Rock Tomb (TM)
Aerial Ace (TM)
Facade (TM)
Steel Wing (TM)
Stone Edge (TM)
U-turn (TM)
Power-Up Punch (TM)
Draco Meteor (ORAS Tutor)
Dragon Pulse (ORAS Tutor)
Fire Punch (ORAS Tutor)
Giga Drain (ORAS Tutor)
Heat Wave (ORAS Tutor)
Iron Tail (ORAS Tutor)
Outrage (ORAS Tutor)
Superpower (ORAS Tutor)
Thunder Punch (ORAS Tutor)
Boomburst (Learned by its pre-evolution, Vibrava, at level 47)

Overview:

Poor Flygon. Despite sporting one of the cooler designs in Gen III RSE, it’s classified as many to be the very definition of an “okay” Pokemon. In fact, Flygon has pretty much been that way since the very beginning. Being the same exact type as its brother Garchomp, the comparisons naturally follow suit, but it doesn’t really end there. Flygon is pitted against a plethora of other high-powered dragon-types, and usually pales in comparison; lacking the “pseudo-legendary” status as the previously mentioned Garchomp along with Dragonite, Salamence, and Goodra, it just has a hard time being good at one thing specifically. Its tier placement in today’s meta-game reflects that, being a pretty good UU Pokemon at best.

But why is this? Well, let’s good back to the “okay” part of Flygon…. which is pretty much every base stat that it has. Although it’s a very clean spread with no strange numbers, the numbers themselves aren’t all that impressive. With not a single stat breaking 100, especially the incredibly important attack and speed stats, it’s hard for Flygon to justify itself ever being used in a higher tier when, again, Garchomp is basically the superior version of it. But enough with the negativity – Flygon is a good UU Pokemon, so it should be judged in that manner, naturally. So what are the good things exactly? Well, it’s actually what I just mentioned. Having average stats across the board, Flygon doesn’t have an overly-glaring weakness besides the expected ice-type, and can do a variety of things thanks to it not specializing in particularly anything.

Base 100 attack and speed isn’t bad by any means, and actually implies that Flygon can pull off both Choice Band and Choice Scarf sets effectively, compensating for the rather low potential of both stats in their vanilla form. Flygon is also rocking an above-average move-pool, both naturally via TMs and through the new ORAS move tutors. With the ability to run two items to its advantage, on top of a great move-pool that favors both items, you can see that we have the making of a pretty sweet Pokemon in a tier that is somewhat lacking fast or powerful dragon types.

So, what about that great move-pool? Well, we have, of course, the excellent dual-stab options. Earthquake is unquestionably the ground STAB of choice, hitting incredibly hard with 100% accuracy. Bulldoze is an interesting alternative, always lowering the foe’s speed along with base 60 damage, although it’s very situational. For dragon-type STAB, Flygon is blessed with the sweeping tool of choice for dragon types, Outrage, an incredibly powerful move that disguises Flygon’s low base attack rather well. There’s also a plethora of other options for dragon STAB as well, including Dragon Claw, Dragon Rush, and even Dragon Tail if you should have use for it. The most common combination is, of course, Earthquake and Outrage, although Flygon certainly has the versatility to run something less orthodox to pop unsuspecting opponents.

Besides good STAB options though, Flygon has an incredible amount of coverage moves at its disposal, thanks in part to those brand new move tutors. Most notable are Stone Edge, Superpower, U-turn, and two elemental punches in Fire Punch and Thunder Punch. Needless to say, all of them bring something great to the table; Stone Edge combines with Earthquake for the coveted EdgeQuake combo, Superpower grants incredibly powerful fighting-type coverage (even moreso with a Choice Band), U-turn is a perfect match for any Choice set, and the elemental punches are great for any additional coverage your team may be lacking. Other notable moves that I find neat but not as useful include Iron Tail, Rock Slide, Aerial Ace, and Power-up Punch.

One last interesting tidbit – Flygon has an absolutely outstanding special move-pool. If its attack and special attack stats were switched, I believe it could very well be a great deal better than it is now, but as it is, it’s worth noting these excellent special moves that can be very useful against dedicated physical walls. Fire Blast, Giga Drain, and Draco Meteor are the most powerful of the choices, but Flygon also has the possibility of running Flamethrower, Heat Wave, Dragon Pulse, and Solar Beam.

Flygon’s previous evolution, Vibrava, is also one of the exclusive Pokemon that learns the base 140 power Boomburst, a move with no negative effects on the user. Although its use on Flygon is questionable, it’s definitely an interesting choice given the fact that not many Pokemon at all are able to learn it.

Viable Sets:

1.) “Lord of the Flies”

[email protected] Band
Ability: Levitate
Nature: Adamant
EVs: 252 Attack, 252 Speed, 4 HP
– Earthquake
– Outrage
– U-turn
– Thunder Punch

– I believe that, in the UU tier, Flygon makes the best of what it can be with a Choice Band. With an adamant nature and maxed out EVs, Flygon is able to muster just enough power along with its great move-pool to be either a wall-breaker or even a late-game sweeper that can clean up. Flygon also gets rather generous switching opportunities due to its immunity to ground-type moves, which further increases the viability of any Choice set.

– Using the most powerful moves available is important for a Pokemon like Flygon, so it’s natural that Earthquake and Outrage be used. Plus, the two compliment each other incredibly well; Earthquake takes care of any steel types hoping to switch in on Outrage, along with dealing great neutral damage to anything with no confusion caveats mixed in. Outrage does its normal thing, tearing through most Pokemon that aren’t steel or fairy type.

– The importance of U-turn or Volt Switch can’t be over-stated on a Choice set. Due to the hit-and-run tendencies these items tend to create, U-turn is a near god-send. It also helps that it counts as good bug-type coverage along with creating powerful momentum in your favor if you’re able to properly predict switches.

– The last slot is a bit of a toss-up, but I think Thunder Punch works remarkably well due to the plethora of flying-types in UU that might switch in hoping to get a free ride of the incoming Earthquake. Electric is also a great attacking type in general due to the multiple bulky water-type Pokemon throughout the tiers, most notably being Vaporeon, which won’t appreciate a Choice Band Thunder Punch at all.

2.) “Where’s My Mega?”

[email protected] Berry
Ability: Levitate
Nature: Jolly
EVs: 252 Attack, 252 Speed, 4 HP
– Power-up Punch
– Earthquake
– Outrage
– U-turn

– Confusion is a bummer, but a Lum Berry is the best way to make sure that Flygon can stay on the field for the longest possible time without chickening out and using U-turn. This is also a cool quirky set as it bypasses Flygon’s unfortunate inability to effectively boost its stats, which, when coupled with the ability to use Outrage more than once without risking confusion hits, can be pretty devastating.

– Power-up Punch is one of the cruxes of this set, granting Flygon acceptable fighting-type coverage while also boosting its attack after every turn, eventually granting the same type of boost as a Choice Band with the ability to actually switch up moves.

– Earthquake and Outrage are used for the same reasons as the set above, but it’s worth noting that Outrage is a much better option on this set than any alternative dragon move because of the presence of a Lum Berry. Should you get two or more boosts with Power-up Punch under your belt while your Lum Berry is still intact, double Outrage is going to be doing some pretty awesome damage.

– U-turn is just a great move in general, and since this set is Jolly maximizing speed, it also means that Flygon is able to out-speed some potential threats and put momentum back in your favor.

Conclusion:

- Although not really one of my favorite Pokemon in Gen III, I can definitely see where Flygon’s fans are coming from. It’s pretty unique for a dragon type, being a tad bit more creative than many of its other somewhat generic brethren, so it’s got that going for it. If you’re a big fan of UU play, I would definitely recommend giving Flygon a shot, as it definitely gets a good time to shine when big brother Garchomp isn’t in the equation.


Categorized under: Articles, Editorial, Pokeditorials, Tactical Tuesdays
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