Let’s face it, dragons in general are really cool, some of the most fierce, fascinating and majestic of all the mythological creatures. In the world of Pokémon, Dragon-types are some of the coolest-looking creatures around. Many have vicious-looking fangs, swooping wings, nasty claws, and razor-sharp spikes. There was a time when they were the rarest of Pokémon. They’re a key part of any team, with resistances to many types, like Electric, Water, Grass and Fire. And they’re also some of the most powerful Pokémon of all time.
So, of the 52 species of Dragon-type Pokémon, which are the most powerful? We’ve taken a lot into consideration in ranking this list, from stat totals to moves to personalities to Mega Evolutions to Legendary status to memorable showdowns on TV and in films.
Get ready to cheer on your favorite draconic character as we count down the 17 Most Powerful Dragon-Type Pokémon.
If you’re hanging out in Kanto Region and you find yourself a Charmander as your Starter Pokémon, chances are you’ll be in pretty good shape. If you can get him evolved up through Charmeleon to Charizard, you’ll have yourself a pretty powerful Pokémon. In fact, a Charizard is one of the most powerful evolutions of a Starter Pokémon you can get – and definitely the most powerful of the Starter Dragon-types. And if you can crank one up to Mega Charizard X, forget about it.
They like to fly around searching for other powerful Pokémon to battle, but they’re no bullies. They won’t go after anyone less powerful than they are. Consider the time Ash’s Charizard squared off against Gary’s Blastoise, a Water-type Pokémon-- the weakness of a Fire-type like Charizard. But Charizard doesn’t back down, grabbing Blastoise and flying high up into the sky, then crashing Blastoise into the ground at full speed, knocking his opponent out cold.
At the very least, you have to say that Salamence has a powerful mind. In its original Bagon form, and later as Shelgon, it had such a powerful desire to grow wings that it essentially willed them onto itself by the time it evolved into Salamence. But it’s not just powerful in mind. Let’s just say that you won’t like Salamence when it’s angry. It’ll go all Hulk on you in a manic fit of mindless, destructive rage.
While it has a dominating ability to attack, Salamence also has some pretty glaring weaknesses, especially when it comes to any kind of ice attack. With his four-times weakness to ice, it's best to use him as part of a team that can keep him in check and help defend him from his weaknesses. Nevertheless, Salamence can be super ferocious, especially when upgraded to the broad-winged Mega Salamence with its powerful Aerilate move, which gives its Normal-type moves a 30% power boost.
Flygon likes to hang out in the desert. Its nickname happens to be “the elemental spirit of the desert,” which is kind of a mouthful as far as nicknames go, but it is what it is. A tall, slender Pokémon, at 6’7” in length and 180.8 pounds, its wings are a huge part of its identity – they make music when they flap and they stir up a sandstorm while it flies, which helps hide it from enemies.
Considered one of the most powerful of the Underused Pokémon, certainly among Dragon-types, Flygon’s powerful attributes include its speed and ability to run in and make a quick, debilitating attack, then retreating so another Pokémon can finish the job. Along with Psychic/Flying-type Xatu, Flygon is one of the two Mystic Pokémon. And, side note, it could have become even more powerful: artist Ken Sugimori was originally going to give it a Mega Evolution, but got artist’s block.
Garchomp is a nasty looking sort; not the Pokemon you’d want to meet up with in a dark alley. It’s like a cross between a hammerhead shark, with deadly sharp teeth, and a dragon covered in spikes. And when it Mega Evolves, sprouting even more spikes with wings that look like scythe blades? Forget about it.
Garchomp isn’t just fast-- in Ash’s Pokedex he has a Garchomp that can fly at the speed of sound. It can even resemble a plane when it’s flying. While as Mega Garchomp, it’s not nearly as fast, it gains even more attack power, making it pretty devastating. Among non-legendary Dragon-types, they don’t get much more powerful. In the anime, Cynthia’s Garchomp used its incredibly powerful Dragon Rush move to easily defeat Weavile, who as an Ice-type should have had a good chance. In that scene, Garchomp took out three of Paul’s Pokémon with one move each, before Paul used the massive Torterra. It looked like Garchomp had finally met its match against the behemoth, but it blocked a nasty move with its wings then pulled out a devastating Brick Break to take it down, leaving onlookers in awe.
While Mega Garchomp has those wings that look like scythe blades, Haxorus has a similar scythe-like configuration, only on its head. Haxorus is a rare Dragon-type who doesn’t even have wings. The scythe-like things on his head, which give it the nickname “Axe Jaw Pokémon,” are actually considered tusks and they’re a big part of what makes it powerful – after all, they can cut through steel and are said to be unbreakable.
While a friendly Pokémon in general, Haxorus is incredibly strong both in terms of attack power (it’s got a massive 147 base Attack stat) and build, with a body similar to a Tyrannosaurus rex and solid armor covering its body. Haxorus is always at its best when defending its territory. But despite its strength and undeniably cool looks, it’s a surprisingly underused Pokémon, particularly in the anime, with a total base stat lower than a lot of the other Dragon-types on this list.
Speaking of Dragon-types with base stats higher than Haxorus, here’s Dragonite with its even 600. Dragonite doesn’t look nearly as scary as the other Pokémon on this list so far, with its adorably huge, Disney-esque eyes, relatively small wings, and playfully pudgy body. It’s downright cute. But don’t judge a book by its cover. Dragonite has skills. Despite those tiny wings, like Garchomp it can fly faster than the speed of sound, and is able to circumnavigate the globe in a mere 16 hours. It’s nice, friendly, and smart, but threaten its territory and it will go off on you.
Rare in the wild, Dragonite is said to live in the sea and has even been known to help shipwrecked crews to safety. It is actually the second most powerful Pokémon in Pokémon Go (behind only the dominant Mewtwo), with a maximum Combat Points (CP) of 3500.06 thanks to attacks like Draco Meteor and Hyper Beam.
Goodra has a few things in common with Dragonite. First of all, there’s that tidy 600 total base stat. Second, Goodra is cute, but deadly. It has those big, adorable Disney-esque eyes and flowing, curling antennae and tail. But what makes it a little less adorable is the fact that its name is as much about being “good” as it is about being made of “goo,” which rubs off on its trainers when they hug it. Ew.
Those antennae can work as a not-so-secret weapon, extending to three times its height (which would amount to over 19 feet), and can be used to grab onto things. As with Dragonite, don’t let its looks deceive you into thinking it’s weak. Goodra’s punch can feel as though you’ve been pounded by 100 professional boxers at the same time. Plus, it has retractable horns than can be used to attack. But, overall, Goodra is not as well-known for attacking as it is for defending, which it does with the best of them. Its special defense stat is matched among Dragon-types only by Mega Latias.
8 & 9. LATIOS AND LATIAS
Did we just mention Mega Latias’ great ability to defend? What a great segue into Dragon-type pseudo-siblings Latios and Latias (referred to by fans as the Eon duo or Lati twins). We’re grouping them together at 10 and 9 because they more or less come in pairs, with Latios as the male version and Latias as the female version, and both have a 600 total base stat. They were actually the first legendary Pokémon to be assigned genders.
Super fast, some of Latias’ power comes from her high intelligence, able to understand humans and use telepathy to communicate. She can even turn invisible. Latios is also able to understand humans and use telepathy, while able to fly faster than a jet. Though he’s a bit of a pacifist, he won’t back down and is the only Pokémon able to pull out the Luster Purge move, which can severely damage his opponent’s Special Defense.
The Legendary Pokémon Reshiram is almost intimidatingly ethereal in appearance, all white with angular, ice-blue eyes, and a wide wingspan, while standing an awe-inspiring 10’06” and weighing in at 727.5 pounds. That’s enough to make you wet your pants and run for the hills. Not that running would help, because it has a sort of jet engine in its tail, so let’s just say you’re not going to outrun it.
And that tail-- the flames that burst from it can also pretty much destroy anything in its path. It can even be used to change the weather, and legend has it that those flames are so powerful they can destroy the world, so it’s a good thing Reshiram is generally good natured. The “Vast White Pokémon” has very high Attack, Special Attack, and Special Defense stats, making it a true force to be reckoned with. But then there’s his counterpart Zekrom…
While Zekrom, at 9’6”, 760.6 pounds, is shorter but heavier than its counterpart Reshiram, it’s no less intimidating. Actually, Zekrom is arguably even more intimidating, thanks to its similar shape, but all-black appearance. It is also less organic-looking and more robotic. Its demonic red eyes don’t help, either. So if you merely wet your pants looking up at Reshiram, more unpleasantries could be in store with a real-life glance at this behemoth.
While Reshiram has that cauldron of fire in its tail, Zekrom has a similar appendage, but it generates electricity. This can help him with aerodynamics in flight and, like Reshiram’s, can change the weather, often generating thunderstorms. One power unique to Zekrom is the Bolt Strike attack, which can paralyze its opponent. Another somewhat unique power it has is telepathy, which it shares with Reshiram. Along with being a Dragon-type, Zekrom is also an Electric-type and leads those in Attack, Defense, and total stats.
5 & 5. DIALGA AND PALKIA
Legendary Pokémon Dialga, Palkia and Giratina comprise the Creation Trio, but we’re lumping Dialga and Palkia together on their own as 6 and 5 on this list. After all, they debuted together in the movie The Rise of Darkrai, where they fought fiercely after their worlds began colliding. Dialga controls the dimension of time, while Palkia is in charge of space.
When you can control time like Dialga, you’ve got a major power, on top of the 680 total base points it shares with Palkia. Its signature move is Roar of Time, which distorts time and of all the Dragon-type moves, it has the highest base power. While Dialga stands on four legs, Palkia is bipedal with a powerful tail and can control the dimension of space. Its unique special move is Spacial Rend, which rips up the fabric of space and sends a wave of energy at its opponent, often resulting in a critical hit.
Like its Creation Trio mates, Giratina possesses 680 total base points, but unlike them it has two different forms, both equally terrifying. In its Altered Forme, it looks not unlike a giant, 14’9” earwig-dragon, with six legs, eight pincer-type things, and enormous spiked wings. In its Origin Forme, it has a similar look except its legs disappear and it becomes a giant, 22’8” earwig-worm-dragon. It controls the Distortion World (or Reverse World), and it’s there that it appears in its spooky Origin Forme. In that form, it can travel from one dimension to another.
A super-aggressive Pokémon, Giratina’s unique signature move is Shadow Force, which makes it disappear for a turn and suddenly appear for its next turn to strike a blow. Giratina’s stats come out on top of many categories, ranking first among Dragon-types in the HP base stat and holding the same distinction among Legendary Pokémon. Meanwhile, its base stat total is highest among all Ghost-types. Plus, in Altered Forme it’s the heaviest of the Dragon-types.
Zygarde looks at Giratina’s two paltry forms and scoffs. After all, it has three nasty forms, plus two components. The original form introduced to fans was its 50% Forme, a somewhat abstract serpentine configuration, with frills and tendrils and eight hexagonal eyes. Then there’s the 10% Forme, which is much smaller but still essentially a large dog. Finally, its Complete Forme is a gigantic 14’9” humanoid monster with four wings and frightening claws. And then there’s the other two components: Zygarde Core (the brain center) and Zygarde Cells (they put his formes together), both of which are amorphous green blobs.
In its more common 50% Forme, Zygarde is plenty powerful, but its ability to change into its Complete Forme when it’s threatened makes it one of the most powerful Dragon-types. In its Complete Forme, it’s said to be more powerful than Xerneas and Yveltal. It also has four moves that no other Pokeman can pull off: Land’s Wrath, Thousand Arrows, Thousand Waves, and Core Enforcer.
The trio master of the “weather trio,” along with Groudon and Kyogre, Rayquaza is another ferocious-looking (and acting) Legendary Dragon-type pokémon. In its conventional form, it’s a 23’-long flying green snake with huge fangs and giant fins/wings along its body and around its head. But it can Mega Evolve into a 35’5” version of itself, amplified in every way.
One of Rayquaza’s sneakier powers is that it doesn’t need a Mega Stone in order to Mega Evolve. It’s got a special internal organ that acts as a Mega Stone, powering it up to Mega Rayquaza when it chows down on meteorites while flying through the stratosphere. Like many of the most powerful Dragon-types, Rayquaza has a move unique to itself: Dragon Ascent, which involves soaring high into the sky before barrelling down and crashing into its opponent at insane speed. Practically immortal, having lived for hundreds of millions of years, no Dragon-type (or Flying-type) has higher Attack and Special Attack stats than Rayquaza.
The massive Legendary Pokémon Kyurem doesn’t evolve from anything and doesn’t have a Mega Evolution. But this hard-headed Dragon-/Ice-type does have two other forms: White Kyurem and Black Kyruem. It fuses with Reshiram to go White and with Zekrom to go Black. And when it appears in one of these two forms, it jumps from a 660 base total to 700.
With its sharp, icy angles, nasty fangs and glowing eyes, Kyurem is a scary sight. And in the movie Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice, the elder says that Kyurem is the most powerful Dragon-type Pokémon because of that ability to absorb the powers of the mighty Reshiram and Zekrom – even their unique special moves (Fusion Flare and Fusion Bolt). On its own, Kyurem is the only Pokémon that can use Glaciate, a blast of cold air that can reduce opponents’ speed. It won’t let anyone run away from a fight and wants so badly to beat the best that it can sense when an opponent is not using their full power and forces them to use it.
Pokémon Sun & Moon arrives in stores on November 18th, 2016.