Drapion (Poké Monday 2/11/19)

Didn’t notice until recently that I only RNG’d through 807 last Poké Monday. Not that significant, but I’ll see to that it never happens again.

 

Type: Poison/Dark

Base Stats:

  • 70 HP
  • 90 Attack
  • 110 Defense
  • 60 Special Attack
  • 75 Special Defense
  • 95 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Battle Armor Drapion cannot be hit critically.
  • Sniper Drapion deal an extra 1.5* damage with their critical hits.
  • Keen Eye Drapion cannot have their accuracy lowered and ignore opposing evasiveness boosts when attacking. (Hidden Ability)

Notable physical attacks: Crunch, Earthquake, Knock OffPoison Jab, Pursuit

Notable status moves: Agility, Swords Dance, Taunt, Toxic Spikes, Whirlwind

Notable Z-moves:

  • Acid Downpour (Poison) – Converts one use of Poison Jab into a base 160 physical Poison-type attack.
  • Black Hole Eclipse (Dark) – Converts one use of Crunch into a base 160 physical Dark-type attack.
  • Tectonic Rage (Ground) – Converts one use of Earthquake into a base 180 physical Ground-type attack.
  • Hydro Vortex (Water) – Converts one use of Aqua Tail into a base 175 physical Water-type attack.

Overview

Presenting one of the strangest type changes to occur on evolution: This Poison/Dark Drapion evolves from the Poison/Bug Skorupi. Contrary to Skorupi’s typing being shared with a vast multitude of Pokémon (in fact, at least one per generation 1-5 except its own), Drapion was one of the first (hello, Skuntank) and is still one of the only three with Poison/Dark.

Speaking of Poison/Dark, it is a nifty typing for offense and defense. Offensively, Dark is one of the best single types for offensive coverage, and Poison hits one of its few resistances in Fairy. Defensively, it has a Psychic immunity and resistances to Grass, Poison, Ghost, and Dark, all with only one weakness in Ground.

Drapion’s typing works well with its stats and movepool being malleable to offensive and defensive team needs. Offensively it has Swords Dance and Agility for setup moves and Earthquake for coverage, while defensively it can notably use the combination of Toxic Spikes and Whirlwind to spread toxic poison to the opposing team. That said, it is a bit squishy on the special side, is prone to burn/paralysis, and lacks reliable means to pivot or recover.

Sets

Set 1: Utility

Drapion @ Black Sludge
Ability: Battle Armor
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Impish Nature
– Knock Off
– Taunt
– Toxic Spikes
– Whirlwind

Any Drapion worth its salt is bound to run Knock Off: a move useful for its coverage, item removal utility, and base power range from 65 to 97.5. This particular variant uses Toxic Spikes and Whirlwind as a dynamic duo to spread poison and to shuffle the opposing team. It also has Taunt to deal with opposing users of non-attacks, including slower ones that also have Taunt.

For defensive sets, Battle Armor is the preferred Ability because it reduces damage overall. Black Sludge is the item of choice because it’s not restrictive like Assault Vest and has a Trick-proof quality to it unlike Leftovers. The physically defensive EVs and Nature are merely a sample; certain situations might call for a bit of Special Defense or Speed investment.

Set 2: Offensive

Drapion @ Poisonium Z / Black Glasses
Ability: Sniper
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant/Jolly Nature
– Poison Jab
– Knock Off
– Agility / Pursuit
– Swords Dance / Earthquake

Alongside the obligatory Knock Off, offensive sets use Poison Jab to cover the Fairy-types that resist. In the next slot, Agility allows Drapion to cut past offensive threats, while Pursuit is a tool for putting pressure on Psychic- and Ghost-types. Finally, Swords Dance can supplement Drapion’s rather average base Attack, while Earthquake is tertiary coverage for Steel-, Rock-, and opposing Poison-types that can take its other attacks.

Due to the offensive nature of this set, it prefers Sniper for increased damage output. Its item choice is also more offensive; presented are two examples: Poisonium Z for a one-time Fairy nuke, or Black Glasses to give its Dark moves a slight boost. EVs are obvious, whereas preferred Nature is Adamant with Agility or Jolly without.

Other Options

Drapion can opt to run Assault Vest to improve its ability to check special attackers such as Florges and Gardevoir. (Example: Poison Jab / Knock Off / Pursuit / Earthquake, Battle Armor, 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 SpD, Adamant.) On offensive sets, Drapion can throw Dark-prone Z-Crystal or Mega Stone users for a loop by running Crunch, potentially with Darkinium Z.

Problems and Partners

Problems

Beware the Ground-types. Flygon and Zygarde-10% are naturally faster and have Dragon Dance. Donphan and Rhyperior are physically bulky and have Earthquake to retaliate with. Nidoqueen isn’t so much on the fast or bulky side, but it hits Drapion’s weaker defense.

Bewear is a solid check, being able to take hits between Fluffy and its Knock Off resistance, as well as having the physical firepower to break through even Drapion’s physical bulk.

Partners

Defensive variants of Drapion suffer from their lack of recovery, so clerical support—be it Wish from Umbreon or Healing Wish from Gardevoir—is pretty much essential.

For offensive variants it is recommended to take anything with the know-how to deal with Ground-types. Mantine has Scald to threaten the physical variety and staunch special bulk for the special variety. Shaymin resists Thousand Arrows and wrecks face with Seed Flare. Yanmega has Giga Drain with special offense to complement Drapion’s physical offense, but be mindful of its frailty.