Pokemon Go Countering Dragonite and Snorlax

Pokemon Go Countering Dragonite and Snorlax by chatchan

I’m going to discuss two very powerful Pokemon whose Types are not represented well enough in the metagame to flesh out their own complete sections: Dragonite and Snorlax. These two may seem like very different Pokemon, but as you’ll soon see, they’re actually a little similar when it comes to the strategy of beating them.

Dragonite (182 stamina/250 attack/212 defense)

Countertypes: Fairy

Other effective types: Ice, Rock, Dragon

Dragonite is countered by Fairy, weak to Rock and Dragon, and super weak to Ice. There aren’t exactly a huge number of strong Pokemon in the game who represent these types, and to make matters worse, Dragonite learns Steel Wing, a Basic move which is good against Fairy, Rock, AND Ice (although it being good against Ice doesn’t matter too much). It also obviously learns Dragon moves, so using a Dragon type against it can sometimes be a bad idea.

The best way to start off against Dragonite is to use Water/Ice type Pokemon like Lapras, Dewgong, and Cloyster. Not only do they get a STAB boost on the type Dragonite has a double weakness to, but they also aren’t weak to any of its moves – since Water resists Steel, it balances out the Ice type’s weakness to it.

You may be tempted to try Rock types like Omastar and Kabutops; since they’re half Water, they aren’t weak to Steel, and they also get STAB on super effective Rock type moves. However, I wouldn’t recommend them – they’ll be dealing much less damage since each of their Basic moves are resisted by Dragonite, a far cry from the double effectiveness boasted by Ice moves. And if you’ve never fought a Dragonite before, you’ll soon realize that time is of the essence – you can’t waste too much time barely scratching it with resisted hits when even super effective moves don’t do all that much.

Once you know the moveset of the Dragonite you’re battling against, you can start to expand your choices by switching out if you feel you’ll need to – for instance, you may only have one Water/Ice type Pokemon, or you may have a differently typed answer that has much better CP.

If Dragonite doesn’t have Steel Wing, then Fairy types like Clefable or Wigglytuff and Rock types like Golem (the only usable Rock type who can have a double-Rock moveset) can play a part; Fairies are especially useful due to the Dragon resistance.

You may also be tempted to try Jynx (the only obtainable Ice type actually weak to Steel), but Jynx’s bad Stamina and Defense combined with a low CP range tend to make it subpar, since you’ll need to waste too much time dodging just to keep it alive, and a few failed dodges can spell trouble.

If Dragonite doesn’t have any Dragon moves, or if it doesn’t have a Dragon type Basic move and you’re good at dodging, then you can also try using your own Dragonite with Dragon moves against it.

Finally, when facing Dragonite you need to try your absolute best to dodge its Charge moves, especially if it has Hyper Beam. I am not lying when I tell you that Hyper Beam will rip right through most of Dragonite’s answers, and it can be a serious setback. On a related note, try to bring multiple answers to Dragonite just in case you miss a dodge or two (or are just overwhelmed in general) and faint because of it.

Dragonite Battling Summary

i) Bring multiple answers to battle Dragonite in case things go south.

ii) Start by using Water/Ice types since they have STAB on Dragonite’s double weakness and aren’t weak to any of its moves.

iii) Once you’ve determined Dragonite’s moveset, you can also use other answers you’ve brought to the battle (or in subsequent battles).

iv) Try your hardest to dodge Dragonite’s Charge moves, as they are the main vehicle for its ridiculous Attack stat. Conversely, use your own Charge moves frequently to make sure it faints in time.

Snorlax (320 stamina/180 attack/180 defense)

Countertypes: None

Other effective types: Fighting, Rock, Steel, Ghost

Snorlax is a monster, and I’m not just talking about its weight.

Like many of the other Pokemon I’ve discussed, Snorlax knows moves that can take advantage of its typical answers: Lick hurts Ghost types, Zen Headbutt hurts Fighting types (and the Ghosts in this generation), and Earthquake hurts Rock and Steel types.

What makes Snorlax unique is that these move possibilities not only cover almost every single Pokemon with any kind of advantage over Normal, but are also combined with incredible Stamina, higher than average Attack and Defense, and a single weakness which is represented by an incredibly small number of truly strong Pokemon and that is covered by one of its Basic moves. This Pokemon is a real problem.

Instead of choosing Pokemon with an advantage over the given type and jumping into battle like you’d normally do against most other Gym defenders, in Snorlax’s case, you may instead want to start off by using Pokemon with high or at least decent Attack and CP who aren’t hit effectively by any of Snorlax’s move types. Then, once you know its moveset, you can start using Pokemon with an advantage over Normal by switching out or in subsequent battles, similar to Dragonite.

For example, if you find out that a Snorlax knows Lick instead of Zen Headbutt, then Fighting types (preferably Machamp, but Poliwrath can sometimes work if you can actually get Submission) and Normal types, who resist Lick, can work well. If you find out that Snorlax has Body Slam instead of Earthquake, then Rock types like Rhydon (who learns a Fighting type Basic move) and Golem are safe bets.

If you’re good at dodging, you may be tempted to use Pokemon who are weak to Snorlax’s moves (for example, you may have a Machamp but know that you’re up against Zen Headbutt), but spending a lot of time dodging against a Pokemon with such incredibly high Stamina will raise the chances of you running out of time in the battle. It’s not an impossible endeavor, just a risky one. Speaking of timing out, as with any high-Stamina Pokemon, don’t be shy about using your Charge moves in order to end the fight in time.

Snorlax Battling Summary

i) Don’t start off with Pokemon with a type advantage over Normal, because Snorlax can potentially have answers for almost every such Pokemon.

ii) Instead, start by using offensively powerful Pokemon who aren’t weak to Psychic, Ghost, or Ground to test the waters and figure out Snorlax’s moveset so you can know what will work well in subsequent battles.

iii) Use Charge moves as often as possible and try not to spend too much time dodging, or you may time out.

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