Tyranitar vs Dragonite

Tyranitar vs Dragonite

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Many trainers believe that with the addition of Tyranitar into the gym meta things will change drastically. Some trainers believe that Tyranitar will replace Dragonite altogether, or that Dark type Pokemon will change the game in general. Trainers on the other side of the discussion say that Dark moves are too weak to make a difference, and that most of the new Generation 2 Pokemon will still suffer against the Water Gun meta.

With all the discussions circling social media, I thought I would examine one specific match up to highlight some of the possible changes or similarities that trainers could see when Generation 2 is fully released. Because both Tyranitar and Dragonite are strong attackers, we will focus on Gym defense and how the addition of Tyranitar may change the landscape in your local gyms.

Current Gym Meta

One major consideration when evaluating Tyranitar against Dragonite , is Tyranitar’s “Rock” type weakness to “Water” and “Grass” types. Any Pokemon with the move (Water Gun), will make quick work of Ground or Rock types.

Pokemon like Vaporeon, Starmie, Golduck, Omastar, Wartortle, and yes, even the nerfed Blastoise will allow trainers with quick fingers to smash the Quick attack move to an easy win against Tyranitar.

Currently this is one of Dragonite’s greatest advantage in gyms, as trainers are forced to switch out to a Jynx, Lapras, Jolteon, or some other counter without a Water Gun move. This is also evident against Grass type Pokemon, as the current gyms are typically stacked with Vaporeons, Rhydons, or Golems.

All of these Pokemon are vulnerable to “Grass” type Pokemon (Vine Whip/Solar Beam moveset for example) and with the addition of Tyranitar to these gyms, a few Tangelas, Victreebels, Venusaurs, or even Parasects could knock down the entire gym.

Adding a Dragonite to the same gym would force the attacker to bring another type of Pokemon to counter the Dragonite, and in turn add a higher degree of difficulty.

However, a gym that was stacked with Grass types (Venusaur, Exeggutor, or Vileplume) shouldnt add a Dragonite, as it would make the gym vulnerable to Ice type attackers. In this case Tyranitar would be a better choice to fill the gym, even though some Ice types have Water attacks as well (Cloyster with Hydro Pump for example) however, you would still have a better defense overall since Dragonite takes super effective damage from Ice.

As any experienced Gym trainer understands, you should examine what is in the current gym before placing a Pokemon in as a defender, but these examples show how both Tyranitar and Dragonite have a place in meta.


Both Dragonite and Tyranitar have a place in the current meta

The Generation 2 Effect

When we look at the type match ups against Tyranitar, many of the strong additions to Generation 2 will lower the effectiveness (or dominance) of this new “Gym God”.

With the addition of Pokemon like “Heracross” with (Bug/Fighting) type and “Scizor” with (Bug/Steel) type, Tyranitar will take super effective damage against both of these new attackers.

In addition to the type match ups, move sets like (Bug Bite/Brick Break or Bug Bite/Cross Chop) for “Heracross”, along with (Bug Bite/Iron Head or Fury Cutter/X Scissor) for “Scizor”, will allow trainers to attack and dodge quickly, ultimately receiving far less damage then they are dishing out.

So cute, yet so dangerous…

Dragonite will face some of the same obstacles from Pokemon like Kingdra, or even Tryanitar himself, as both of these Pokemon will have effective damage against Dragonite.

However, Kingdra will take effective damage from Dragonite as they both will suffer from Dragon type, which makes the matchup equally challenging to the attacker. While Tryanitar only has one type advantage against Dragonite (Rock) and defensive moves like (Steel Wing/Dragon Pulse) will allow Dragonite to deal decent damage back to Tyranitar.

If, you are in the circle of Trainers that say “Why not just stack the gyms with both Tyranitar and Dragonite?” remember that Generation 2 also provides a nice counter with the addition of “Granbull”, and current trainers with “Clefable” from Generation 1, will enjoy defeating those gyms with ease.

In any event, you can see how each of these Pokemon have many strengths and weaknesses with regards to gym defense.


Generation 2 offers a lot more threats to both Dragonite and Tyranitar. It’s very difficult to determine the winner in Gen 2 meta.

Predictions and how things might change

The major counter point to all of the current assumptions with regards to Generation 2 release is that new Dark moves should, or will be added to the game to help the incoming “Dark” type Pokemon.

In turn this will greatly increase Tyranitar’s damage and make Pokemon like Umbreon a greater threat in gyms as well. As of the current game files there are no new moves being added to the game.

However, if Niantic were to add new Dark moves I would predict that they would also add new Fighting moves as well, being that the community in general has been disappointed with the likes of “Machamp” and “Primeape” struggling to counter the stronger Normal type Pokemon in the current game.

With moves like (Close Combat or Focus Blast) not being in the game, along with moves that match certain Pokemon like (Focus Punch, High Jump Kick, or Flying Press) for Hitmontop, Hitmonchan, or Hitmonlee, I would argue that if Dark type Pokemon were to receive new moves, then so would the Fighting type Pokemon.

With the addition of Blissey to the gym meta, I would even venture a guess that Fighting types in general would get a major over haul when Generation 2 is fully released, thus making Tyranitar even weaker in gyms, especially against the aforementioned “Heracross”.

No matter what is added or if nothing changes at all and we just get New Pokemon, the addition of Generation 2 Pokemon should add a much needed diversity to the current gym meta but you will still see many of the usual suspects from Generation 1 in gyms.

I hope this has provided some insight into the possibilities of Generation 2 gym battles with regards to Tyranitar and some of the new Generation 2 Pokemon.

Trainers who currently have Dragonites can rest assured they will still have value when Generation 2 is completely released, and hopefully those who acquire Tyranitar will now have a better understanding of the Pokemon’s weaknesses or counters, so they can place Tyranitar in the best gyms possible.

In my opinion both Tyranitar and Dragonite will be equally important to the gym meta, but one will not replace the other.

Good luck and Happy Hunting!

* All of the information provided here is based off of current information and is not sponsored by Niantic or Pokemon Go. All of this information is subject to change as Generation 2 has not yet been fully released. This article is intended to provide opinions and views pertaining to the community discussion of Generation 2 Pokemon with regards to battling Gyms.

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Zeroghan started the Hub in July 2016 and hasn't had much sleep since. A lover of all things Pokémon, web development, and writing.

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