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One word: Excalibur.
If there was a need to balance dragons, this would have been better than introducing a new type (or better yet give steel the boost it needs and introduce both)

Correct me if I'm wrong, I haven't read the book in a while, but I believe Excalibur never killed a dragon?
Clarent, Durendal, Joyeuse.

I love whoever gets those references,
The other three swords?
Well, it does make sense that people were supposed to use iron weapons to kill dragons. Maybe it's just my hate for fairies, but I think this idea makes much more sense.
it didn't? if so, forgive my ignorance, I just always thought that was where the knight killing the dragon theme came from

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Steel types strength is in its durability, it's only weak to ground, fire and fighting, and few types have no weakened matchup to steel. Also, although in western culture Excalibur was a sword made renowned, it was in the process of selecting a King of England. Many of the killing of dragons with swords tales are frowned upon in eastern culture because most of the life giving forces of nature, rivers for example, were a part of the dragon themselves and the death of the dragon meant the destruction of the life sustaining resource, it's a mentality and cultural differential that must be considered and understood, it's actually a theme in the games themselves, ha! :D

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In that case, fairies killing dragons makes even less sense.
Well, not Pixie Hollow Fairies. But the Fairy-type is also based on ye olde faeries, who had much more magical properties than modern-day North American fairies. When you think of the Fairy-type, try to think more of sprites or mystical spirits than pixies. If Pokémon were based in North America it probably would have been the Magic-type or something, due to how little people know of traditional fairies.
so it's down to a cultural barrier, which explains why dragons were OP in the first place. It is disappointing if that is why, but would make sense
But if fairies have magic powers, shouldn't they be good against everything? Why are they better against dragons?
Because magic is wildly inconsistent across all genres, and can never be trusted. With the exception of, like, Doctor Strange, magic is used to fill plot holes and script flaws. Never trust a magician, they're full of lies.
So when somebody asks a developer at Game Freak why fairies are good against dragons, is this their best explanation?
"because MAGIC."