Japanese Name: クリムガン (Crimgan)
Classification: Cave Pokémon
Weight: 306.4 lbs
Gender Ratios: Male 50% – Female 50%
Base Stats: HP 77 / Atk 120 / Def 90 / SpAtk 60 / SpDef 90 / Spd 48
Druddigon is a Pokemon that suffers in popularity due to his stats. An Attack stat of 120 and a wide variety of physical attack options give Druddigon enormous potential for damage-dealing, much like Haxorus. Unlike Haxorus, though, Druddigon has the stats to back up the ability to take a hit. 77/90/90 defensive stats give Druddigon a bit more staying power than other Dragon type Pokemon, and his typing reduces the chances of ever-present super-effective Ice attacks from effortlessly OHKOing Druddigon. However, Druddigon’s Special Attack is atrociously low, making Special or Mixed sets impossible in a competitive sense, and his base Speed is also a dire problem. Base 48 doesn’t leave much to outrun, save Ferrothorn, and unaided often results in Druddigon’s demise, despite his above-par defenses. Still, despite these two significant weaknesses that make many overlook him completely, Druddigon has tools he can bring to the table to help a team in some surprising ways.
Druddigon’s defenses are a huge selling point in his favor. 77/90/90 is a great spread for defensive purposes, and such solid stats let him tank hits that more fragile Pokemon would find lethal. Because of his mono-Dragon typing, Druddigon isn’t weak to Rock like many of his cousins are, and Ice, while still striking for super-effective damage, isn’t striking for quadruple-effective damage. Druddigon also resists Electric, which many other Dragons can’t boast. Due to his typing, however, Druddigon is hit by Ground attacks that most Dragon-types miss, and doesn’t carry a Psychic or Electric immunity. Still, Druddigon’s defensive prowess leaves little else to be desired.
Attack is this dragon’s forte, however. Much like Haxorus running around in OU, Druddigon has the highest Attack stat in the UU/RU/NU tiers for a Dragon type, and has the skills to back up that beautiful 120 base stat. Fire Fang and Thunder Fang give Druddigon some options for elemental coverage in his tier, letting him super-effectively hit Steel and Water types that could prove to be a challenge. Superpower is a fantastic move for Druddigon, as it gives him the ability to fire off a high-energy Fighting attack and his defenses can possibly allow him to survive a counterattack, despite the one-stage drop to both. He does learn the obligatory Outrage, which is always a bonus for wallbreaking, as well as the safer, but significantly less powerful, Dragon Claw. An interesting move to consider on Druddigon is Dragon Tail, which doesn’t necessarily hurt him with his base 48 Speed almost guaranteeing any move will go last anyway, and is a nice STAB phazing option. Earthquake is also a fantastic coverage option, having a high base power and damage-dealing potential, even without a STAB bonus.
Fling and Sucker Punch are the last two moves to consider, and arguably are some of his most interesting. Considering his low speed, an Iron Ball can be used in conjunction with Fling to deal base 120 Dark damage to an opponent with little or no negative consequence. Sucker Punch is the most effective of all Druddigon’s moves, though. As long as the opponent is preparing an attack, Sucker Punch becomes a priority attack that connects for 80 base damage, bypassing Druddigon’s abysmal Speed and taking unprepared opponents by surprise. The utility of this move should never go unnoticed, and ought to be considered for any type of Druddigon build.
On that note, however, there are other ways in which to use Druddigon on a team. Utilizing a Trick Room Pokemon on a team rapidly turns one of the slowest of the Dragon Pokemon into the fastest, making him a terrifying physical sweeper of unparalleled speed. Druddigon also has access to the boosting move Hone Claws, which increases Attack and Accuracy one stage a piece, though the plan is a bit risky and requires some careful prediction to avoid a premature end to a possible sweep. Also possible is a paralysis-inducing set, combining the renewed and far more effective Glare with Dragon Tail, much like how Dragonite utilizes Thunder Wave and Dragon Tail, but without the fear of Electric move-absorbing or Ground type hindrances getting in the way.
Druddigon’s abilities tend to be more or less useful, depending on the situation. Rough Skin is probably the best bet for any set. Sheer Force permits abuse of higher-power Thunder Fang or Fire Fang, but so many of his moves have additional effects that the Life Orb is rarely able to be abused, and is therefore less than useful. The Dreamworld ability Mold Breaker is a nice idea, but Haxorus does the job better, and Druddigon just doesn’t have the same tools going for it that Haxorus has to really make the ability shine.
In all, Druddigon is a rather underappreciated Pokemon, mostly from looks and from his abysmal Speed, but overall, he has the potential to be a nice addition to a team in need of a powerful slugger. As long as one can develop a strategy around him that works for the team (and he has plenty of potential options for one to work with), Druddigon will not disappoint.