Welcome to the PUCL aquarium, I am your guide SumtimesIFly! This exhibit features the adorable Horsea and its evolutions, Seadra, and Kingdra. Now, I will have to ask that you don’t make any sudden loud *AAACHOOOOOO* uh oh. I appear to have startled that poor Horsea with my sneeze and I’m afraid the ink cloud it shot has prevented us from viewing this exhibit any further. Luckily I have provided an equally fun written article on the topic which I will now read to you.
Description: The Dragon Pokemon
Type: Water / Dragon
Abilities: Swift Swim / Sniper
Hidden Ability: Damp
Competitive: [Smogon OU] [Smogon UU]
Evolution: Horsea -> Level 32 -> Seadra -> Trade with Dragon Scale -> Kingdra
Origin: To start with, Horsea is based on a seahorse and its name is simply a combination of the words horse and sea. Kingdra’s name is a combination of King and Dragon. Its based on a seadragon and more interestingly a Greek legend of a sea monster called Charybdis that swallows water to create a whirlpool.
Original Appearance: Pokemon Gold and Silver
Dex Entry [Moon]: It is said that it usually hides in underwater caves. It can create whirlpools by yawning.
As mentioned on the podcast Kingdra introduced the second Dragon type line into the game in Generation 2. To be honest that is when many of my friends dropped out of Pokemon so I never was able to obtain one in game due to the trade evolution. My first experience with this Pokemon wasn’t until much later when I got back into competitive battling. Currently it is my quest to get one in Pokemon Go, already have the Dragon Scale ready and waiting.
Kingdra has a wonderful list of abilities. Swift Swim is famous for being broken when combined with the permanent weather of past generations. Even now Drizzle is banned from UU due to powerful synergies like this. Sniper is a unique ability that boosts the Critical Hit power of moves, but more on that later. Finally the best ability of the bunch, Damp. Explosion and Self-Destruct are important threats that you have to be on the look out for so it is much better to be completely immune! On a serious note, those moves have not been viable since befire in Generation 5 and Ghost types are valid immunities anyway. Damp is actually most useful when trying to catch wild Pokemon that tend to Explode on you, allowing you to capture them without risk.
Kingdra has well rounded stats with HP and Speed being on the lower side which tends to land it in the set up attacker role. Whether it is Physical or Special is up to you. Special allows it to have access to more powerful tradeoff moves such as Draco Meteor and Hydro Pump, while Physical sets have access to the reliable Waterfall. It still depends on Outrage for a Dragon STAB however. For coverage moves Kingdra has Ice Beam, Signal Beam, Flash Cannon, Iron Head, and Bounce (Z-Supersonic Skystrike). Of course we can’t forget about the signature moves of Octazooka and Whirlpool for when you really want to confuse your opponent instead of their Pokemon.
The most popular set we are going to go over is the Rain sweeper with Choice Specs. Using Swift Swim to double its speed, this set runs Draco Meteor and rain boosted Hydro Pump to dish out massive damage. You want to pair this with a Drizzle Pokemon such as Pelliper so that setting up Rain is trivial. Swift Swim is actually so impactful that Kingdra can afford to run a Modest nature and still outspeed everything, boosting its average Special Attack to something reasonable. Scald and Ice Beam are there for filler in case you want moves with no down sides. Since Drizzle is banned in UU you can remove Choice Specs for Life Orb and a coverage move for Rain Dance to make this set valid in that format. One more option is to run HP Fire on this set since Ferrothorn can completely wall the other moves.
The set that I am most excited about this week is Sniper Kingdra. I ran into this set on ladder one time and got absolutely demolished but all I could think about was how cool it was. By running a Scope Lens and using Focus Energy you immediately boost your Critical Hit chance to 100%. Sniper boosts the power of your Critical Hits to 2.25x allowing you to capitalize on this technique. Finally, you know that downside that Draco Meteor has, well consider it gone since Critical Hits ignore debuffs. Unfortunately, Kingdra is not fast enough to sweep without Swift Swim so you need to run Agility if you want to increase your speed. That is a lot of set up but the pay off is a ton of fun, you know how the saying goes “make your own luck”! More sets and details can be found on the Smogon links if you are interested.
At 5′ 11″ Kingdra is actually one of the rare sea horses you can actually ride, just hope it doesn’t know the move dive!
Until next time, SumtimesIFly