If you’re reading this, then I forgot to
write an actual intro.
is unsurprisingly a Dragon-Type Pokémon;
Dragonite Evolutionary line was the
first and only Dragon-Type Pokémon in
the video games (where
Dragonite itself is a
If you want to know where part of
the mystique and power of the
Dragon-Types come from, blame this
Pokémon and its kin for making us work
so hard for what we got.
As a Dragon-Type,
Dragonite enjoys the benefits you
might be sick of hearing, but for the
The Dragon-Type is still
a novelty; many players
will want to play it
because it is the “new”
All Dragon-Type Pokémon
released so far are Weak
to Dragon-Types, so the
simplest way to counter
one Dragon-Type is with
Nothing printed so far
has had “natural”
The Dragon-Type has some
direct support (e.g.
specifically refers to
Separately some of these aren’t much,
but together it makes for a great
Being a Stage 2 is not so great, though;
naturally the slowest Stage to get into
play and requiring the most cards
barring unusual mechanics like Restored
Pokémon, this basically tells you the
rest of this card had better be more
than simply good, or it will be another
pretty addition to the collection and
sports 150 HP; as good as it gets for
current Stage 2 Pokémon, and there are
very few Pokémon that exceed it without
utilizing a “special” game mechanic
Outside of being hit by its
Dragonite should be able to take
survive at least one shot from all but
the biggest attacks.
Said Weakness is of course to
Dragon-Type Pokémon, and this Weakness
will allow most Dragon-Type attackers to
Dragonite, though usually with only
their “big” attacks.
No Resistance is still the worst
Resistance, even though so far it too is
universal amongst Dragon-Type Pokémon,
and is in fact the standard for most
Types. This makes it is less a problem
and more a missed opportunity for
Dragonite, so let us move along to
the final Stat: Retreat.
With a Retreat of three,
Dragonite is feeling pretty chunky.
The good news is this makes it a
legal target for
The bad news is that none of its
lower Stages are legal targets and it
will be a pain to pay if you need to
has two attacks.
Both require more than two
Energy; this clearly means
Dragonite isn’t a speedy attacker
without some outside help.
As a Stage 2 this isn’t as great
an issue as it would be for a Basic
Pokémon; you can’t drop this into play
in a single turn anyway, but must Evolve
Dragonair or a
Dratini (the latter via
This means you’ll have up to two
manual Energy attachments to “fuel” the
card before it sees play.
It still matters, though; you won’t have
an inexpensive rebound attack if you
fall behind your opponent in a resource
Both attacks are mostly
Colorless, however, and that is almost
always a good thing; both can use most
other forms of Energy acceleration,
lessening the speed issue.
Hyper Beam for (LCC) hits for 50 points
of damage and if you get “heads” on a
coin toss, it allows you discard an
Energy from the Defending Pokémon.
Discarding Energy is potent, but
since it isn’t reliable, it doesn’t
offset the low damage yield.
Compare this card with
Garchomp (BW: Dragons Exalted
90/124); for just (F) it can hit for 60
and automatically discard a Special
Energy card from the Defending Pokémon
(if one is present).
Hitting any kind of Energy isn’t
worth an extra (CC) to the cost making
the discard coin flip dependant.
Dragonite can use Hurricane Tail,
which gives you four coin flips that
score 60 points of damage per “heads”;
the damage yield isn’t bad but it isn’t
Just to give you an idea, four
coin flips means 16 possible outcomes
that can be grouped together as follows:
0 Heads/4 Tails: 1 of 16 or 6.25% = Zero
points of damage
1 Heads/3 Tails: 4 of 16 (so 1 of 4) or
25% = 60 points of damage
2 Heads/2 Tails: 6 of 16 (so 3 of 8) or
37.5% = 120 points of damage
3 Heads/1 Tails: 4 of 16 (so 1 of 4) or
25% = 180 points of damage
4 Heads/1 Tails: 1 of 16 or 6.25% = 240
points of damage
Minimum Damage: Zero
Mean Damage: 120
Median Damage: 120
Mode Damage: 120
Maximum Damage: 240
Honestly, this is not bad for four
Energy; scoring no damage is horrible
and could cost you the game, and 60
points of damage is not much better
unless you’re finishing something off,
but that only accounts for 5 out of 16
possible outcomes, 31.25% (under 1/3).
I put 120 points of damage for
four Energy as roughly “average” in
terms of performance right now, and 11
of 16 (68.75% or just over 2/3s) results
hit at least 120.
The odds of you completely whiffing are
the same as you hitting hard enough to
Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted
26/124), even one sporting a
Since I said those odds are low,
more important is that you’re setting up
to 2HKO most of the format, barring
Weakness and various forms of
protection, of course.
While the two attacks have two different
non-Colorless Energy-Types for
requirements, unlike some of the
Dragon-Type Pokémon, they are split up
one-per-attack, allowing a player to
simply ignore one if they wished to use
Dragonite in a mono-Type deck.
This is good since these two
Energy are not on the same
Blend Energy card, and currently
don’t have anything that really “works”
Overall, I would say that in the attack
Dragonite unfortunately comes up
just a bit shy; the combination of Hyper
Beam being overpriced (or underpowered)
coupled with either a challenging
Energy-Type combination to access both
attacks or being forced to rely
completely on one attack or the other is
If you want to use
Dragonite, you’ll have to run
We currently have two versions:
Dragon Vault 1/20 and Dragon
Both are Dragon-Type Basic
Pokémon with 40 HP, Dragon-Type
Weakness, no Resistance, and require a
single Energy to retreat.
Dragon Vault 1/20 has a
single attack (Wrap) that for (GL) hits
for 20 and on a successful coin toss
Paralyzes the Defending Pokémon.
Dragon Vault 2/20 has two
attacks; Hypnotic Gaze for (G)
automatically puts the Defending Pokémon
to Sleep, while for (L) Tail Whap hits
for 10 points of damage.
All three attacks are horribly
overpriced. As such, it boils down to
whether or not your deck can pay for
Dratini exists only to Evolve, and
does nothing to really help
Dragonair save inflict a Special
Condition that might preserve
Dratini long enough to do so.
Since Sleep has a 50% chance of
going away between turns, automatic
Sleep is no better than a 50% chance of
Paralyzing the Defending Pokémon in the
short run, so it comes down to the deck
build being able to supply (G) for
Hypnotic Gaze, simply because you
shouldn’t have time to power up a two
Energy attack like Wrap.
can be skipped through
Rare Candy usage, but should you?
Again we have two versions,
Dragon Vault 3/20 and Dragon
Vault 4/20 that both sport 70 HP,
Dragon-Type Weakness, no Resistance, and
require two Energy to retreat.
Again all the attacks are
Dragon Vault 3/20 has Tail
Whap which does 20 for (CC) or Dragon
Pulse which does 70 for (GLC) while
discarding the top card of your deck.
Dragon Vault 4/20 has
Healing Melody and Slam.
The former costs (G) and removes
10 points of damage from all of your
Pokémon; the latter allows you to flip
two coins and do 30 points of damage for
each result of “heads” for a price of
should definitely be used, but I hate
Rare Candy alone, so I would go with
Dragon Vault 3/20; if you’re
forced to attack, small reliable damage
or medium but expensive damage is my
preference to weak-but-widespread
healing or unreliable medium damage.
So now that we have gone through
the lower Stages, it seems pretty clear
that this is a Pokémon that will be
fortunate to see League play.
Is there any good way to run it?
Not that I am aware of, but the best I
can come up with as pure Theorymon is to
use “minimalist” Energy acceleration
Double Colorless Energy and
Exp. Share to keep things flowing,
Victini (BW: Noble Victories
14/101, 98/101) to improve your results
It seems like a long shot, but
perhaps the easy Prize that
Victini offers can be exploited; it
is quite easy to search out and get into
Dragonite itself) so keeping one in
play isn’t impossible.
If your opponent doesn’t have a
highly efficient set up and the coin
flips go your way,
Dragonite could triumph in a brawl.
Well, that was the Modified format, what
Far better options exist for big
damage and for Energy removal, even when
we get past the onslaught of decks that
win on their first turn or put you into
a restrictive lock.
As for Limited, I can’t recommend
using Dragon Vault for that, but
if this card were to be reprinted (along
with the needed cards to get it into
play), if the lower Stages included
weren’t too bad you get a fairly
splashable Stage 2 attacker, and
Grass Energy and
Lightning Energy isn’t a big deal
here, where decks are often running
three different Basic Energy Types.
So it wouldn’t be a top pull, but
a good one if you got the minimal
support it needs.
Victini BW: Noble Victories
Double Colorless Energy,
is a near miss for a playable deck,
maybe even a viable one.
Unfortunately, the things that
make it a near miss are internal; being
a Stage 2 attacker that needs support,
an overpriced first attack, and an
unreliable second attack.
Dragonite fans should take some
comfort in knowing that at least this
has a shot in more casual environments,
but I will be shocked if this becomes a
Please, but shocked.