Poké Monday 2/9/15: Bagon

RNG 

Smogon official tier: LC
Type: Dragon
Base Stats: 45 HP, 75 Atk, 60 Def, 40 Sp.Atk, 30 Sp.Def, 50 Speed
Abilities: Rock Head, Sheer Force (HA)

Usable moves: Aerial Ace, Body Slam, Brick Break, Crunch, Double-Edge, Draco Meteor, Dragon Claw, Dragon Dance, Dragon Pulse, Dragon Rush, Façade, Fire Blast, Fire Fang, Flamethrower, Frustration, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Ice), Hone Claws, Hydro Pump, Hyper Voice, Iron Defense, Outrage, Protect, Rain Dance, Rest, Return, Roar, Rock Slide, Shadow Claw, Sleep Talk, Substitute, Sunny Day, Thrash, Toxic, Wish, Zen Headbutt

Overview

Bagon has always been an interesting Pokémon to me. The reason? Sheer Force Dragon Rush. This combination is 40 base points more powerful than Outrage, although 25% less accurate, and grants the freedom to switch between moves. It also gets some nice coverage against Steels in Fire Fang, although that move has a somewhat disappointing 86 BP with Sheer Force. It is unfortunate that the Dragon type has been nerfed with the introduction of the Fairy type; this Pokémon has interested me since the B/W days, especially because it was better off back then. It’s also unfortunate that Bagon is so slow and frail; it’s like a Dragon-type Cranidos with much less offensive power, a more underwhelming movepool, less accurate primary STAB, and only slightly more bulk. Also, it has a difficult time getting a good sweep in with all the priority, SturdyJuice, and Sash Abra roaming around in the tier.

Set

Bagon @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
Level: 5
EVs: 236 Atk / 76 SpD / 196 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Dragon Rush
– Fire Fang
– Dragon Dance
– Hone Claws

I personally like to use a “double dance” set, using Dragon Dance to patch up its relatively low Speed and Hone Claws to patch up the shaky accuracy of Dragon Rush. Aside from that, this set does not leave much more room for explaining. Max Attack and Speed for optimal offensive prowess, the rest dumped into Special Defense (its weaker defensive stat), and Life Orb for extra damage output at no cost (Life Orb loses the 10% HP reduction effect when influencing a move boosted by Sheer Force).

Other Options

Dragon Claw is an alternative for Dragon Rush as a more reliable, although substantially less powerful, primary STAB. Doing this pretty much makes Hone Claws a liability, leaving room for other Sheer Force boosted options like Rock Slide, Crunch, and Zen Headbutt (the first of these is the most highly recommended). One more other option: don’t use Bagon (unless for fun).

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/hKwTctsr Please do not take this team seriously.

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