The Best Dragon-Types in Pokémon HG & SS (Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Before the Fairy-type arrived, Dragons were considered the undisputed strongest Pokémon.
Whether it’s for their resistances to all 3 starter-types, or their sky-high stats, Dragon is a revered typing – and that’s just as true in Heartgold & SoulSilver.
So if you’re looking for suggestions on what kind of Dragon-type ace could work for your team, here are my recommendations.
Altaria is a unique Dragon-type with a wide movepool, let down by its low attack stats.
That doesn’t mean Altaria isn’t worth recruiting for your team though.
Its ability is excellent, and it is by far the most accessible fully evolved Dragon-type in the game.
We’ll be building Altaria’s entire moveset out of TMs, HMs, and move tutor moves, passing up Dragon-type STAB moves in favor of a wide set of coverage attacks.
We’ll start off with Ominous Wind, learned from the move tutors in the Frontier Front.
Ominous Wind will give Altaria what it needs to stand against both Sabrina’s Saffron City Gym team, and Will’s Elite Four rematch team.
Flamethrower is next, covering for Altaria’s x4 Ice-type weakness, as well as tagging Altaria into the battle against Erika’s Celadon Gym team.
Earthquake is the quintessential coverage TM. And we’ll be using it here to cover for Altaria’s Rock-type weakness, and to deal major blows in the brutal Elite Four rematch against Koga.
Finally, we’ll give Altaria Fly for some Flying-type STAB – and to help us get around the game quicker too.
Despite its relatively low base stats, Altaria’s long list of coverage options, combined with its ability to remove status effects with Natural Cure, can offer a surprising amount of longevity.
How to catch: After beating the Pokémon League for the first time, Professor Oak will upgrade your Pokédex into the National Pokédex. After this, the Professor’s PokéGear channel “Pokémon Talk” will start to broadcast locations of rare Pokémon once per day.
Eventually the Professor will announce that Swablu has been spotted on Route 45. Catch a Swablu there, and then evolve it at level 35 into Altaria.
Professor Oak’s Pokémon announcements are random, and it can take a while for Swablu to be announced. So feel free to adjust the date on your DS until he finally speaks about Swablu.
Kingdra is a strong all-rounder with barely any weaknesses and a surprising amount of utility.
Kingdra’s status as a true mixed attacker means we can teach it both physical and special-type moves.
In the spirit of overworld utility and huge STAB damage, we should teach Kingdra Surf or Waterfall (or even both!)
With both special and physical water-type STAB covered there, let’s work on powering up these high damage moves.
Dragon Dance is one of the best status moves in the game, buffing Kingdra’s Attack and Speed stats.
This should give it the speed boost it needs to turn into a makeshift sweeper, one-shotting anything that has a Water or Dragon-type weakness.
Dragon Dance is learned naturally at level 48, which is a little high to be around in time for the first trip to the Pokémon League.
To make sure Kingdra can put that move slot to use as soon as possible, we’ll teach it Ice Beam so it can put in work against some of Will’s Psychic-type Elite Four team. You’ll find Ice Beam (TM13) in the Goldenrod City Game Corner.
And finally, we’ll give Kingdra some Dragon-type STAB. This will also cover Kingdra’s one and only weakness – other Dragon-type Pokémon.
Dragon Pulse is a very strong move, and it’s available early enough to make it the perfect fit as Kingdra’s primary STAB move. You’ll receive it as a reward for defeating the Blackthorn City Gym.
How to catch: Catch a Seadra by surfing in B2F of the Whirl Islands. Then pick up the Dragon Scale from Mt. Mortar, and equip Seadra with it.
Trade the Seadra while it has the Dragon Scale equipped and it’ll evolve into Kingdra. Trade it back and enjoy your team’s new ace.
Dragonite is probably the most iconic dragon available before HeartGold & SoulSilver’s postgame.
The long journey to evolve Dragonair is worth it, with near-legendary stats and a great move pool too.
We can teach it Dragon Dance here to give Dragonite a major buff, before following it up with Dragon Pulse to one-shot all but the toughest of foes.
These two moves are integral to Dragonite’s effectiveness as your MVP. So be sure to save the Dragon Pulse TM from Blackthorn City, and hang in there until Dragonair learns Dragon Dance at level 53.
Next up we could use the Earthquake TM to give Dragonite the ammunition it needs to poke through the defenses of Steel-type Pokémon – the only type that will resist a Dragon Pulse.
Earthquake’s TM26 can be found in Victory Road and the Battle Frontier Market.
As well as the Dragon-type’s weakness to itself, Dragonite has an unfortunate x4 weakness to Ice. So we’ll want to use another move slot to cover that.
Flamethrower is the best way to deal with any Ice-type Pokémon here.
It also doubles as a way to deal some super-effective damage against Steel-types.
Pick up this move (TM35) from Route 28 or the Goldenrod City Game Corner.
How to catch: Use the Good Rod in the Dragon’s Den (Blackthorn City) to catch a Dratini at level 20. Evolve it to Dragonair at level 30 and then into Dragonite at level 55.