UL Help: Dragonite or Gyarados?

Hi everyone, another Ultra League team building request. Thanks in advance for your help. Just starting to get into PVP.

I currently have a Snorlax and both Charizard/Typhlosion. All have the meta movesets from the wiki.

For my third member, I’m considering either Dragonite or Gyarados. Leaning towards Gyarados as it’s slightly less of an investment. Any recommendations? And does your recommendation perform better with the Charizard or the Typhlosion?

Thank you!

Gyarados does better against Giratina and Swampert, so it pairs well with Charizard/Typhlosion, which can handle Venusaur and the fairies that wall Gyarados.

I vote Gyarados. I’ve been running it alongside typhlosion for a while, and it’s been going well. Your team will be quite weak to rock which sucks because a lot of the top meta picks use Ancient Power, but I think Dragonite is weak to that too anyway. I’d wouldn’t go with Charizard as he’s even weaker to rock and uses a dragon move which Gyarados already has.
Haven’t seen a lot of Dragonite in UL, I think he’s maybe more prevalent in ML?

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I also vote Gyarados simply because it’s decent matchups against the meta, but you will have a rough time with Melmetal. It charges Rock Slide faster than your Blast Burns and will definitely hurt

I also think Typhlosion is better than Charizard. The flying-type is a pain with all those Rock-type coverage, and Typhlosion can at least take one charged move. It charges Blast Burn faster too. Gyarados has the flying type too of course, but between Gyarados and Dragonite, the former only gets walled by Melmetal and Fairies (although a Hydro Pump can pack some OHKO’s), while Dragonite is walled by all steel-types and fairies. And a crippling double weakness to ice

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Definitely Gyarados. It have above average typing against many top threats of UL (non-dragon to Giratina, resist all Swampert&Registeel moves, resist fighting power house like Lucario, resist fire starters and neutral to grass starters and popular ice moves).

On the other side of the scale, it’s only double weakness to Electric is seriously underrepresented in UL, practically doesn’t affect Gyarados. Melmetan is the only relevant electric user in UL and still, he will probably just RockSlide you to dead instead. The great movepools of both fast and charged moves are unrivalled to most too. The only issue here is that it is very glassy and can’t take much beating even from favourable matchups. I’m using PVP IV ranked 221 (CP2493) Gyarados for reference.

Dragonite is pretty much on a suicide mission with its Flying + Dragon typing. Giratina is everywhere and ready to eat Dragonite for breakfast, lunch, dinner + some left for suppers. Those icy counters to Giratina also gonna having their field days. Pink fairies will thank you for letting them charge up the MeteorMash/PlayRough/ShadowBall for free. Registeel laugh at you with their Flash Cannon. Your only consolation is to take some beatings from mudbois and grass starters.

P/S: just run a simulation of Dragonite vs Swampert, and to my surprise, Swampert manage to win in one shield advantage, another big blow to Dragonite (as if we hadn’t have enough of it already, LOL).

I’m on Team Gyarados.
I’m actually thinking going against meta with Gyarados and going with dragon/dragon. my thinking is that dragon types are susceptible to Dragon Moves and being a flying water type, Gyarados would not be as vulnerable.

Or is that a Thanks Captain Obvious moment?

Giratina is the only significant dragon in Ultra League and is equally weak to Crunch. Remember that you are likely to face more Swamperts, Venusaurs and fairies than dragons not named Giratina.

Plus no hydro pump = no STAB for Gary. I just TM’d into hydro pump after running Outrage for a while and I don’t regret it

Easily Gyarados. Dragonite was absolute garbage in Ultra League when I started trying it in the preseason. I ran it with Dragon Breath, Dragon Claw, and Draco Meteor. Its lack of coverage with Dragon Breath and Dragon Claw was just absolutely awful, because it’d be so easily punished by any steel types and even worse by Fairy types. You could run Hurricane, but if I’m honest, you’re not really ever pulling enough energy in to use it.

I highly recommend NOT using Dragonite.

Well… from my experience, let’s say you face a Giratina-A using Dragonbreath, and you lead with Gyarados using Dragonbreath, despite not taking SE damage, Gyarados takes almost equal damage in % of its health bar. In a 2 shield matchup, Gyarados even loses. The slight upside is that both Ancient Power and Crunch take the same amount of time to charge, so you know if your opponent runs solely Dragon Claw, or also has Ancient Power

Same with Empolean.

You just can’t win against Giratina’s brute force with resistances (may be registeel can do so, my registeel is still at GL).

I’m happy enough if I can fair trade my Empolean/Gyrados with >80% of Giratina, the remaining <20% is easy peasy for my other 2 pokemons.

It’s a bit old but maybe it is interesting for the fourth round in GBL: I am pro Dragonite. If you don’t run Charizard, it would be the only option against snorlax (if you want to avoid a mirror match) and Machamp - just because it is much faster with Dragon Claw (35) vs. Crunch (50!) - and Dragon Breath hurts that much more with STAB. Giratina is also useful against Cresselia and of course Venusaur if your fire guy is gone. It also beats Empoleon and Blaziken in more scenarios. Vs. Togekiss both are lost. Or you run Waterfall.

Have you actually played with Dragonite in UL though? He’s really squishy as he’s at a pretty low level and high attack stat. Not to mention in UL everyone’s packing ice/fairy/dragon moves to take down GiratinA. If you run Dragonite now suddenly you’re running into all the hate normally aimed at Gira. I’m sure Dragonite could make it if the meta lined up just right, and it’s certainly worth trying out, but Gyarados is bulkier and has far less meta-relevant weaknesses.

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DN is mad squishy. I took one out today with an unshielded Dynamic Punch that the player thought he could eat; didn’t work out. And that’s in ML.

Ok you got me - just occassionally, because it didn’t have really good stats for PVP. The good thing was that it doesn’t have weaknesses against dark and ghost - with all the GiratinAs and AloMuks that was good. However, than the rise of Articuone came, and I got rid of it. Haven’t seen so many ice typing except from that and the occasional Lapras though. And of course it destroys the all-around Swampert without necessity for shielding. That was really nice and another pro compared to GiratinA.

The stats are similar to Gyarados, but it suffers from the weakness against Fairy and, partly, Ice, true. However, I was facing SO many venusaurs, that Gyarados never came to my mind as a really worthy pick (one of the reasons I quit using swampert).
Edit: Oh, and I forgot that Dragonite has an advantage against Armored MT and Snorlax. Not in the most abundant meta, but still used quite a lot. Aaaaaand, important when getting back to the OP: When you use crunch (as the only fast charging move you should) on Gyarados, it has more weaknesses against fighting-types than Dragonite.

But yea, tbh - I won’t pick one of both Dragonite and Gyarados in any future UL team.

Haha, that might have been me - I was expecting Cross Chop once.