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Community POTW #053

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Serebii

And, as if by magic, the webmaster appeared...
Staff member
Admin
Time for the next Pokémon of the Week. This week we fcus on a Galar Pokémon




It's Duraludon

 

Mestorn

Wandering Battler
Duraldon is an interesting case. As Dialga has proven, the Steel/Dragon type has numerous valuable resists and being a Dragon that isn't scared off by fairies is a big plus... However Duraldon has one little factor separating it from becoming Dialga-lite.... Its utterly awful Special Defense stat. That Achilles Heel must be played around, for sending Duraludon out against the wrong opponent will drop it faster than you can say oops.

Reflective Shielding
Duraludon
Item
: Assault Vest
-Foul Play
-Body Press
-Mirror Coat
-Dragon Tail
Nature: Careful (+SDEF, -SATK)
EVs: 252 HP/252 DEF/4 SDEF

This is my best attempt to turn Duraludon into a defensive pivot for all attacks while patching up its SDEF with Assault Vest. Foul Play and Body Press run off the opponent's ATK and Duraludon's Impressive DEF respectively, enabling it to do decent damage despite having no offensive investment. Mirror Coat serves as part of a nasty surprise for opponents who think they can just drop Duraludon with a Special Attack, only to see it survive and blast them with a Mirror Coat. Dragon Tail prevents Duraludon from becoming setup fodder and forces out an opponent's counter picks.

This set requires a lot of Support to run effectively -Entry Hazard support to get the most mileage out of Dragon Tail plus Wish support to keep Duraludon healthy through a match, since it has no recovery on its own (and a reason why you shouldn't just slap Assault Vest on everything).

Be wary of Knock Off as that removes Duraludon's assault vest and make it difficult to survive Special Attacks when need be.
 

BillyBobJoe

Well-Known Member
Its utterly awful Special Defense stat. That Achilles Heel must be played around, for sending Duraludon out against the wrong opponent will drop it faster than you can say oops.
I don’t think its bad Special Defense is as big of an issue as you are making it out to be. Yes it is bad in comparison to Dialga, but Steel/Dragon is weak to Fighting and Ground, which are both physically-oriented types. Duraladon’s Defense is only slightly lower than Dialga’s.

One of Duraladon’s weaknesses is its move-pool. Outside of its STABs and Normal, the only other special attacks it gets are Solar Beam, Thunder/Thunderbolt and Snarl/Dark Pulse (I don’t count Mirror Coat, as it is a countering move).
 

XaelOstigian

Competitive...kinda
I actually kinda feel bad for Duraludon. You can tell GameFreak put a lot of effort into making this pseudo-rival counterpart to Tyranitar, but it just falls short in too many departments to be considered competitively viable in the higher tiers. It has excellent defense and special attack, but is let down by poor special defense, HP, and base 85 speed with no means of boosting it further. The movepool also leaves a lot to be desired, and you would think a Pokemon that looks like a gun would at least have access to Ice Beam and Flamethrower, but no. Too frail on the special side to be truly defensive despite good defensive typing, too slow to be a reliable sweeper. This thing was supposed to be popular, but instead it just became a neglected mess of a Pokemon that didn't live up to its own ambitions. Honestly, I would rather use Aggron despite its 4x weakness to Ground and Fighting attacks.

Suicide Cannon
Ability: Light Metal
Item: Choice Specs/Choice Scarf
Nature: Timid (+Speed -Attack)
EVs: (HP 4) (Sp.Att. 252) (Speed 252)

Moves:
Draco Meteor
Flash Cannon/Steel Beam
Thunderbolt
Dark Pulse/Body Press

Set Details:
A straightforward choice set that tries to hit as hard as possible with what little you have. Draco Meteor has the high power, and the special attack drop can be remedied by a simple switch out after hopefully landing the knockout. Flash Cannon is your secondary STAB option that can be used consistently, though Steel Beam is worth a mention just to surprise your opponent with a move even stronger than Draco Meteor, but that 1/2 HP recoil is devastating and should always be in the back of your mind. Thunderbolt is your best special attack option against Steel types that block both of your STAB. Dark Pulse also serves the same purpose for general neutral coverage, but Body Press is also an option since it uses your high defense and not your attack stats, and though it doesn't get the Specs boost it is still your best option against Steel types overall.
I feel I should also mention its Gigantamax form as well since it is one of the few Pokemon that gets one. It's signature G-Max move Depletion basically serves as a Spite on top of an attacking move which lowers your opponent's PP of the last move it used by 2, which frankly pales in comparison to the Attack drop offered by Wyrmwind. If the PP drop was the same as Spite's (-4 PP) I could have seen some use for it to quickly drain your opponent's PP of their more powerful moves while keeping the offensive pressure, but that is not the case here, so regular D-Max is preferred.
 

Ophie

Salingerian Phony
I actually kinda feel bad for Duraludon. You can tell GameFreak put a lot of effort into making this pseudo-rival counterpart to Tyranitar, but it just falls short in too many departments to be considered competitively viable in the higher tiers. It has excellent defense and special attack, but is let down by poor special defense, HP, and base 85 speed with no means of boosting it further. The movepool also leaves a lot to be desired, and you would think a Pokemon that looks like a gun would at least have access to Ice Beam and Flamethrower, but no. Too frail on the special side to be truly defensive despite good defensive typing, too slow to be a reliable sweeper. This thing was supposed to be popular, but instead it just became a neglected mess of a Pokemon that didn't live up to its own ambitions. Honestly, I would rather use Aggron despite its 4x weakness to Ground and Fighting attacks.

Though the data is a bit outdated, VG Stats puts Duraludon as the 6th most successful Pokémon based on official competition results, so it's definitely good for something:



The primary utility for Duraludon in VGC rules, from what I can gather, is a direct counter to Pokémon that use Follow Me. With the exception of Indeedee, all of the common Follow Me Pokémon are Fairy-type, allowing Duraludon to ignore Follow Me via Stalwart, then get rid of the Follow Me user later using a strong Steel-type move. If a Follow Me user is not present, the player targets any special attackers they see to try to eliminate them as quickly as possible (preferably via Dynamax or, in some cases, Gigantamax), then uses Max Steelspike to raise Defense as far as they can before Dynamax/Gigantamax runs out. For that reason, Life Orb is the item of choice for Duraludon, though I sometimes see Focus Sash to cover for Duraludon's terrible Sp. Defense.

More recent Duraludon movesets often have Steel Roller to erase the Island Guardians' terrains. Duraludon's not as good a physical attacker as it is a special attacker, but because of Steel Roller, I have been seeing physical-attacking Duraludon in Ranked lately.

Since both Follow Me users and terrain setters are chosen at the beginning of a match, Duraludon is also typically deployed at the beginning of a battle. If a team has neither, Duraludon is more likely to show up later into the battle or is not selected to battle at all.
 

KillerDraco

The Enforcer
Staff member
Super Mod
I don’t think its bad Special Defense is as big of an issue as you are making it out to be. Yes it is bad in comparison to Dialga, but Steel/Dragon is weak to Fighting and Ground, which are both physically-oriented types. Duraladon’s Defense is only slightly lower than Dialga’s.
It's not "bad in comparison to Dialga"; Duraludon's special defense stat of 50 is just bad. For perspective, it has less special bulk than Greninja. The issue of low special defense is tangential to its weaknesses, because that low special defense also means it struggles to endure neutral hits, as most neutral special attacks can 2HKO or even 1HKO it.
 

Divine Retribution

See who you are, where from, what of
Duraludon shouldn't be compared to Dialga anyways; if you have the option of using either one you're probably going with Dialga in almost any circumstance. Duraludon sees usage in formats where Dialga can't be used.
 

Ophie

Salingerian Phony
Duraludon shouldn't be compared to Dialga anyways; if you have the option of using either one you're probably going with Dialga in almost any circumstance. Duraludon sees usage in formats where Dialga can't be used.
Or in formats where the powerful Legendary/Mythical Pokémon are restricted in quantity. There hasn't been something like that in yet in which both Dialga and Duraludon can be used, but I do recall the latter half of Generation VII official rules where you were allowed up to two such Pokémon per team where Mega Camerupt continued to see use even where Primal Groudon was allowed, and same with Flygon where Zygarde 100% was allowed. In those cases, there was typically some other powerful Legendary/Mythical Pokémon that they wanted on their team even more. I saw that happen in the Battle of Legends event last month, where some people (particularly Japanese players) had Dracozolt on their teams when they were allowed Zekrom--they had chosen Zacian, Mewtwo, Necrozma, or some other non-Zekrom Legendary/Mythical for their one allotted no-restrictions team slot.
 
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