Evolving a Dragonair into Dragonite during this month’s Community Day will give it the ability to learn a special move, Draco Meteor. Comets summon down from the sky onto the target when a Pokémon uses this move, which has always been regarded as one of the most powerful Dragon-type attacks (if not the most powerful) in the main series games.

Draco Meteor was introduced after the Generation 3 update as a one-bar charge move, Salamance being the only Pokémon able to learn it. Dragonite will also be able to learn it, but just during the 3 hours of this month’s Community Day, happening on the 24th of February.

Dragonite, unlike Salamence, is able to learn Outrage too; a two-bar heavy-hitting move. The purpose of this article will be to compare both moves from different points of view and try to provide a final conclusion on which move is better for Dragonite.

However, it’s important to recall that comparing moves with different energy costs can be a bit complicated as their viability strongly depends on the situation.

Draco Meteor and Outrage comparison

Both Draco Meteor and Outrage are Dragon type charge moves, however, they have different energy costs and characteristics. The two moves are compared in the following table:

Move Charge energy Base Power Energy cost Move cooldown DPS DPS(STAB)
Outrage Dragon 2-bar 110 50 3.9 28.21 33.8
Draco Meteor Dragon 1-bar 150 100 3.6 41.67 50.0

DPS-wise, Draco Meteor would be the clear winner. DPS is calculated dividing the move’s base power by its cooldown, and the STAB column is calculated by multiplying the base power by 1.2 (STAB bonus) and dividing it by its cooldown as well. However, DPS should not be the metric followed to compare these two moves. Cycle DPS or weave DPS is a more accurate type of DPS for this comparison.

An in-depth guide on Weave Damage was written by BoonSlevin, which will probably be useful to understand this article.

Battle simulation

Now, let’s compare them in battle. Dragonite can learn both Steel Wing and Dragon Tail as fast moves,Dragon Tail being the better option. Thus, the two movesets compared will have Dragon Tail as the fast move.

Pokémon Fast move EPS Charge move Cycle DPS (with STAB)
DragoniteDragonite Dragon Tail Dragon 8.2 Outrage Dragon 22.79
DragoniteDragonite Dragon Tail Dragon 8.2 Draco Meteor Dragon 23.48

Dragon Tail has an Energy Per Second gain of 8.2. This means that it will take Dragonite around 6-7 seconds to generate enough energy (not accounting the energy gained after each attack received from the defender) to land an Outrage and around 13 seconds to land a Draco Meteor.

Outrage has a duration of 3.9 seconds and, if activated twice, it would deal a total of 264 damage (taking into account the STAB bonus). Considering the amount of time needed to use the charge attack twice, the total amount of time needed to deal that amount of damage would be around 20 seconds.

Draco Meteor has a duration of 3.6 seconds and it just needs to be activated once, dealing 180 damage with the STAB bonus applied. Around 16 seconds would be needed to use Draco Meteor once.

Cycle DPS calculation

There are several cases where two-bar moves clearly outperform one-bar moves, such as Machamp’s Dynamic Punch vs. Close Combat. This isn’t the case for Dragonite’s movesets, as both charge attacks seem to deal similar damage in the long run. It’s in cases like this one when cycle DPS calculations can help determine which moveset is the most viable one.

The formula to calculate cycle DPS that has been generally used can be defined as:

Where D stands for damage, P for power, E for energy, QD for Fast attack Duration and the sub indices f and c stand for fast and charge respectively. This formula isn’t perfect, as it does not really consider the energy gain from receiving the defender’s attacks in battle. Furthermore, with the dodge glitch and the energy bar bouncing glitch still around, it slightly underestimates the real cycle DPS in some situations when extra energy is gained and overestimates it in others when one or two extra quick moves are used to fill up the energy bar and use the charge move. However, it’s still a good approach.

Using this formula, Dragonite with the Dragon Tail and Draco Meteor moveset barely surpasses the one with Dragon Tail and Outrage. Does this mean it’s always better? Clearly not.

As you have probably experienced already, one-bar charge moves cannot always be performed. There will be plenty of situations where your Pokémon will faint before using its charge move, and thus having Draco Meteor there could be disadvantageous if compared to having Outrage. With the dodge glitch being so common in raids, having Draco Meteor would probably not be the best choice. Furthermore, Dragonite is a common and great generalist choice when it comes to gym swiping, due to its massive attack stat and great stats overall. Outrage will still be better under these situations when landing a Draco Meteor would probably be overkill and a waste of energy.

Conclusion

Outrage and Draco Meteor are great moves for Dragonite. Draco Meteor will slightly outperform Outrage in some situations, but Outrage is still the best charge attack for Dragonite overall due to several reasons.

Draco Meteor will only outperform Outrage in specific situations when Dragonite faints soon after performing its charge attack. Given the fact that this kind of situations are not very usual and also due to the fact that the dodge and energy bar bouncing glitches are still in the game, Outrage is the overall winner. It will generally outperform Draco Meteor in raids, gym attacking and defending.

Keep in mind, however, that this might be the only chance of getting a Dragonite with Draco Meteor as its charge attack until further notice! Getting yourself a Dragonite with Dragon Tail and Draco Meteor will probably be a decision you won’t regret in the long run, as it’s still a beast when it comes to offensive purposes.