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[SMOGON] Gen 8 OU (Beta) Dragapult Competitive Analysis
#1
Each new Gen we immediately look to the pseudo legend of that region to see how they stack up in Competitive, almost every time they have something that makes them stand out. And this time is no different, Sword & Shield gave us the new pseudo legendary Dragapult. Dragapult shares it's typing with Giratina making it the second Ghost Dragon Pokemon, along with it's pre evolutions. But, how good is it and how can we use it in the current meta? Let's take a look.

BST
 
[Image: 887.png]
Dragapult
Dragon Ghost
Ability - Clear Body, Infiltrator and Cursed Body
HP - 88
Attack - 120
Defense - 75
Sp. Atk - 100
Sp. Def - 75
Speed - 142

Dragapult has a ridiculous 142 Base Speed, making it the third fastest Pokemon of the current gen meta, behind only Ninjask and Accelgor. It's able to out speed it's main threat of Gengar which is huge, and it can out speed every other common threat, and this is before we even apply modifiers. It's Ability Clear Body allows it to ignore stat changes, so Intimidate Gyarados does not scare it off, and it even gets Cursed Body as a Hidden Ability, but I find Infiltrator to be especially promising as stall Pokemon like to run Substitute, and this will completely ignore it. The go to Ability will be Clear Body, however, as there is much more practicality behind using it. It has a hefty 120 on the Attack, and with access to some hard hitting moves which we'll see later, it lends itself well to Physical sets. Don't copunt out it's special capabilities yet as Dragapult may have a much lower Special attack, it still recieves a few powerful moves that can work extremely well in different matchups. This time, however, I'll be going over the Physical set, and update when I learn the Special Set. So, with that said, it's set time.

Physical Sash
[Image: 887.png]
Dragapult @ Focus Sash
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Outrage
- U-turn
- Psychic Fangs
Stats, Item and Ability

Dragapult is a physical powerhouse, and as such will be a late game sweeper set seen on many teams. While it doesn't directly counter a lot of specific Pokemon, it counters Gengar, one of OU's biggest threats right now and will naturally counter other Dragon Types. EV Spread is self explanatory, it is optimized to give it the best Speed and Attack it can have. I have opted give Dragapult an Adamant Nature to give Dragapult even more power behind it's hits and pick up KOs much more effectively, even before boosts. I use Clear Body as it is Dragapult's most versatile tool, able to ignore stat drops from any Pokemon, except for the occasional Mold Breaker Pokemon. I gave my Dragapult a Focus Sash for a very obvious role, to take one hit after setting up Dragon Dance and proceeding to sweep anything it can. obviously this can be negated by traps and weaker moves,  but generally this will be a late game sweeper, so it manages to work effectively. 

Moves

Dragon Dance is the tried and true setup tool, and of course any physical Dragapult set will want to run this move, it will boost your attack and speed, increasing your KO potential even further. Outrage is Dragapult's strongest physical move (thats viable) and as such, is a great tool. Not only does Dragapult get STAB from it, it will naturally hit HARD. Even defensive Pokemon can still feel the brunt of this attack. Next I have U-Turn, a great move you can use even without boosting to get out bad matchups, or to scout opponents moves. As Dagapult naturally outspeeds many Pokemon in the current meta, it can get away with some free damage while saving it's HP. Of course you can't freely use it on Pokemon like Ferrothorn as the whole set revolves around the Focus Sash. Latly we have Psychic Fangs. Dragapult, despite being a Ghost Type, doesn't get Shadow Claw, and its next best Physcial Ghost move is Phantom Force, so instead Ive opted for Psychic Fangs. This move instantly breaks screens, which does include Aurora Veil, but it also hard counters Gengar, and other prominent Poison types like Toxapex, and also hard counters Hawlucha which can now run Throat Chop. 

Damage Calcs

252+ Atk Dragapult Psychic Fangs vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Gengar: 232-274 (88.8 - 104.9%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO
(232, 234, 238, 240, 242, 246, 248, 252, 254, 256, 260, 262, 264, 268, 270, 274)

+1 252+ Atk Dragapult Psychic Fangs vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Gengar: 348-410 (133.3 - 157%) -- guaranteed OHKO
(348, 352, 356, 360, 364, 368, 372, 376, 380, 384, 388, 392, 396, 400, 404, 410)

+1 252+ Atk Dragapult Psychic Fangs vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 154-182 (50.6 - 59.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
(154, 156, 158, 160, 160, 162, 164, 166, 168, 170, 172, 174, 176, 178, 180, 182)

+1 252+ Atk Dragapult Outrage vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Abomasnow: 387-456 (100.7 - 118.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
(387, 391, 396, 400, 405, 409, 414, 418, 423, 427, 432, 436, 441, 445, 450, 456)

252+ Atk Dragapult Outrage vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dragapult: 516-608 (180.4 - 212.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
(516, 522, 528, 534, 540, 546, 552, 558, 564, 570, 576, 582, 588, 594, 600, 608)

252+ Atk Dragapult Outrage vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Hydreigon: 444-524 (136.1 - 160.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
(444, 450, 456, 462, 464, 470, 476, 482, 486, 492, 498, 504, 506, 512, 518, 524)

+1 252+ Atk Dragapult Outrage vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Araquanid: 231-273 (67.9 - 80.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
(231, 234, 237, 240, 241, 244, 247, 250, 253, 256, 258, 261, 264, 267, 270, 273)

Threats

Opposing Dragapult can easily opt to run Jolly over Adamant and cause just as trouble for it, as it can to them. Gengar running scarf is also another threat to be wary of, as Shadow Ball can easily topple it. Golisopod and Weavile both get access to strong priority moves, making it's Focus Sash and Speed null. And, although I still cant believe I'm saying it, Corsola can be a terrifying counter to Dragapult as it's Eviolite lets it tank even a Boosted Outrage and burn in return. 

Team Sets

On the flipside, Corsola can be a great help to Dragapult as it can drop rocks onto opponents and hit them with Whirlpool, slowly damaging them as Dragapult can setup. Especially useful if you trap weaker setup Pokemon like Ferrothorn, offering you up to two Dances in a row if possible.

Any Rapid Spin Pokemon is a must for Dragapult simply because traps will break it's sash.

Weavile or Hawlucha are great counters to Dark or Dragon types that can threaten Dragapult.

Other Options

As stated before, you can run Jolly to outspeed more effectively, but instead of sash, you can also run Scarf for speed increases, and you'll outspeed Gengar running scarf too.

A Life Orb can be run in place of the Sash to increase Dragapult's power even more.

Instead of Dance, You can run Phantom Force and a Choice Band as a mixup.
OU MASTER RACE
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#2
What a nerd, he's already doing Gen 8 writeups!  Tongue

Nicely done, @Kris . I've considered getting into Smogon for a long time, and Gen 8 might be the year I begin playing OU. Thank you for the wonderful thread!
VGC|Breeding|Forum Regular|Amethyst 0mega

PM me if you need help with competitive battling!
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#3
(Nov 23, 2019, 09:38 AM)RetroTyphlosion Wrote: I've considered getting into Smogon for a long time, and Gen 8 might be the year I begin playing OU.
Definitely wait. OU is probably gonna have about 2-3 bans in the coming month or so. I'm gonna predict that G-Max is banned for sure. Probably some other weird bans as well.
Just a fossil from the days of olde.
Sword and Shield Trades
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#4
(Nov 23, 2019, 05:54 PM)Hojunhu Wrote:
(Nov 23, 2019, 09:38 AM)RetroTyphlosion Wrote: I've considered getting into Smogon for a long time, and Gen 8 might be the year I begin playing OU.
Definitely wait. OU is probably gonna have about 2-3 bans in the coming month or so. I'm gonna predict that G-Max is banned for sure. Probably some other weird bans as well.

Fair enough. I'll take your word for it, and I'll wait till the metagame smooths out. 

Thank you!

-Retro
VGC|Breeding|Forum Regular|Amethyst 0mega

PM me if you need help with competitive battling!
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