How to Train Your Dragon-type Pokémon
Nothing enhances the strength of a Trainer’s team faster than including a powerful Pokémon. Fortunately, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to boost your team with fantastic Legendary Pokémon this year. Dialga and Palkia are up first in February, so make sure to check out Pokemon.com/Legendary for details on how to get your own.
But even these powerful Legendary Pokémon won’t reach their full potential without help from their Trainer. Read on for tips on how to make the most of your new teammates. Whether you’re looking at Single Battles, Double Battles, or just hoping to be coolest Trainer in Alola, training your Pokémon wisely will make them more impressive yet.
You’ll receive a different Legendary Pokémon depending on which game you use to redeem your code. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Sun games will receive Palkia, while Pokémon Ultra Moon and Pokémon Moon games will receive Dialga. Additionally, you’ll receive higher-level Pokémon that know stronger moves with Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon. They’ll also be holding a super-rare Gold Bottle Cap!
The Pokémon you receive with Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon will be level 100—perfect for Hyper Training. If you visit Mr. Hyper at the Hau’oli City Shopping Mall and present a Gold Bottle Cap, you can instantly max out your Legendary Pokémon’s individual strengths! That’ll be one big element of powering up your Pokémon out of the way.
Even though your Pokémon won’t need any more Exp. Points, you should take them out to battle so they can train their base stats. Dialga performs best with strategies that mix dealing damage with providing support, so a balanced approach of training HP and Special Attack suits it well. Palkia tends gain the most from training its Special Attack and Speed to fit with more aggressive strategies. Check out our guide to Raising Battle-Ready Pokémon for details.
If you’d like to teach your Legendary Pokémon to use Trick Room, you want a Palkia or Dialga that does not have a high individual strength in Speed, so avoid using a Gold Bottle Cap. Maintaining a lower Speed stat will help that Pokémon move sooner when Trick Room reverses the turn order. Instead of a Gold Bottle Cap, use normal Bottle Caps to maximize the Pokémon’s other stats.
For both Dialga and Palkia, a Quiet Nature suits the Trick Room plan the best and a Modest Nature is a better fit for other strategies.
You can help these high-level Pokémon relearn moves they’d normally learn by leveling up if you bring a Heart Scale to Madam Memorial on Mount Lanakila. You can collect Heart Scales easily by visiting restaurants across Alola.
Time for Battle
The Temporal Pokémon, Dialga, proves its timelessness as one of the game’s most reliable Pokémon—it has strong stats in each category, a fantastic Special Attack stat, and its unique blend of the Dragon and Steel types offers nine type resistances! Dialga is a proven winner—it was a key part of Ray Rizzo’s 2010 World Championship winning team during the first season, when the most powerful Legendary Pokémon were permitted for use in the Video Game Championships.
Dialga’s type combination helps it excel with strategies that mix offense and support. Its high Special Attack lets it use powerful attacks like Draco Meteor, Flash Cannon, and Fire Blast effectively, while its types and defensive stats allow it to survive to help its team with supportive moves like Stealth Rock and Trick Room. Stay away from Dialga’s signature Roar of Time attack—its 150 base power is impressive, but the need to recharge for a turn after use puts Dialga on borrowed time.
Stealth Rock, taught by the move tutor at Heahea Beach in Pokémon Ultra Sunand Pokémon Ultra Moon, greatly increases Dialga’s effectiveness in Single Battles. The stout Legendary Pokémon has little trouble using this move safely, and its Draco Meteor can deal devastating damage to foes looking to remove Stealth Rock by using Rapid Spin. Dialga excels in longer battles, so consider teaching it Toxic alongside a move that helps it deal with Fairy-type or Steel-type Pokémon, like Flash Cannon or Fire Blast. A defensive item such as Leftovers, Shuca Berry, Sitrus Berry, or Wiki Berry best finishes this conservative strategy.
Trick Room is usually the support move of choice for Dialga in Double Battles, but it requires you to build a team that suits it. Pair Dialga with slower Pokémon, and consider including a Cresselia that also knows Trick Room on your team. If your opponent tries to stall out turns of Trick Room by having both of their Pokémon use Protect, you can use Trick Room with both Dialga and Cresselia to cancel and reactivate Trick Room to refresh its duration. Teaching Dialga Protect and giving it a Shuca or Wiki Berry will help it hold its own in Double Battles.
Where No Trainer Has Gone Before
Palkia is sure to be an impactful addition to your team—it’s so powerful that it has the ability to distort space! Pokémon Trainers may have something of a shoddy history when it comes to understanding space, but we’re sure you won’t be ten thousand light-years away from winning your next battle if you train your Palkia with care.
The Dragon- and Water-type Palkia has higher Special Defense and Speed than Dialga, but both share a similar profile of high Special Attack and strong stats all-around, leaving no easy weaknesses. Palkia is capable of learning most special attacks, but none stands out more than its signature move Spacial Rend. It isn’t as powerful as Dialga’s Roar of Time, but its lack of drawbacks, combined with 100 power, 95 accuracy, and an increased critical hit rate, makes for a much more reliable attack.
Palkia tends to perform best when it has been taught powerful special attacks of a variety of different types in Single Battles. Keep Spacial Rend and Hydro Pump to take advantage of its types. From there, consider what item you’d like to give Palkia in battle. Consider opting for Life Orb or Choice Specs to pump up Palkia’s damage, or a Choice Scarf to increase its Speed. Pick between Thunderbolt, Aura Sphere, or Fire Blast for your remaining attacks (Thunder is also great if you’re expecting to battle alongside or against Kyogre).
The Spatial Pokémon excels in similar situations in Double Battles as it does in Single Battles. If you’re looking for Palkia to start battles off with a big bang, try out Waterium Z or Draconium Z for a big attack sure to launch a foe into orbit. Some Trainers may also opt to teach Palkia Trick Room. It’s a little unconventional compared to Dialga, but a Palkia that knows Trick Room can be effective against opponents deploying the quicker Kyogre because Palkia is doubly resistant against Water-type attacks. You’ll probably also want to replace one of Palkia’s attacks with Protect for Double Battles.
We hope you enjoy your adventures with these fantastic Legendary Pokémon. You can find more information about upcoming distributions at Pokemon.com/Legendary. And don’t forget to check out more Pokémon TCG and video game articles, strategy, and tournament analysis at Pokemon.com/Strategy.