Tyranitar vs Dragonite: round two

USER GUIDE | Submitted by Chateranga

Pokemon GO Tyranitar vs Dragonite

At the beginning of the year I examined the strengths and weaknesses of these two widely popular Pokemon and made some predictions as to what might happen when Generation 2 was released. Now that Generation 2 is finally released I wanted to re-examine this matchup and provide some insight to how the gym meta looks in the current environment.

Tale of the Tape

CP ATK DEF STA HP
Dragonite 3581 263 201 182 154
Tyranitar 3670 251 212 200 168

Dragonite received three new moves in Generation 2 Dragon Tail, Outrage, and Hurricane, that only made him even stronger than before, while Tyranitar was given a Fire Type move as a charge move, Fire Blast, and overall moves like Bite and Crunch that do not take advantage of his high attack stats.

The rework of Stone Edge is a benefit for all Rock Type Pokemon but the move favors an attacker over a defender.

Generation 2 Changes

As I predicted in my previous article, Generation 2 introduced new Dark Type moves, improved the Fighting Type Pokemon, and reworked Charge move mechanics altogether.

However, the one major change that has not been discussed is the stat fix for Lapras that was postponed in December because of the “Lapras Event” in Japan. Even with the addition of Avalanche (Ice Charge Move), the Lapras nerf makes Dragonite much better in gyms now.

On the other side of the equation, Tyranitar counters have greatly increased and with several new Bug Type Moves, even low CP Pokemon can take down a poor moveset Tyranitar.

Possible counters:

  • Tyranitar
  • Dragonite
  • Machamp
  • Lapras
  • Heracross
  • Jynx
  • Primeape
  • Piloswine
  • Poliwrath
  • Sneasel
  • Hitmonchan
  • Cloyster
  • Hitmonlee
  • Tyranitar
  • Hitmontop
  • Golem (Rock moves)
  • Exeggutor
  • Rhydon (Stone Edge)
  • Rhydon (Rock Smash/Stone Edge)
  • Scizor
  • Pinsir
  • Victreebel Venusaur

With charge moves like Solar Beam being buffed, as well as the addition of Counter, Close Combat and Dynamic Punch (all fighting moves) the list of good matchups against Tyranitar is significantly larger. I myself took down a Tyranitar with Forretress and have heard reports of players defeating him with multiple Ledian – that’s insane!

These type of match-ups are almost unheard of against Dragonite, as most charge moves will make a low CP Pokemon faint. As always movesets matter in these examples, as well as “IV’s” and other variables, but the point is that Generation 2 introduced a lot of Bug and Fighting Types, with additional moves and mechanics, but provided very poor move choices for Tyranitar.

Even though the base stats are similar, Dragonite is much better in almost every situation.

Winner by TKO!

While everyone will still want Tyranitar for Pokedex purposes, in the current environment it is a better choice for Attacking than Defending. All the hype prior to Generation 2 releasing was crushed under Niantic’s poor choices in movesets, and the increase in good Fighting moves, while reducing the one Pokemon who had kept Dragonite in check (Lapras).

With decent if not strong Legacy moves and even stronger new moves, with only Tyranitar (with Stone Edge) to contest him, Dragonite is by far the best Defender in the current meta.

As the past few weeks have demonstrated, Niantic can and will change moves, so don’t be surprised if Tyranitar eventually becomes the monster he was intended to be, but for now Dragonite is the winner.