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Ok, so for Christmas, my brother got me a Gameboy Advance, and Pokémon Emerald. And when I do casual playthroughs, I always have a Dragon Type on my team. I usually use my favorite Pokémon. Except I am tied between a Salamence and Altaria for my team. And I also want to know the pros and cons to both. Leave the moveset to me. So, can anyone answer my question?

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4 Answers

2 votes
 
Best answer

Salamence
- Excellent Ability in Intimidate
- Phenomenal Attack, Special Attack, HP, and Speed
- Can easily run a mixed set
- Learns Fly, Dragon Claw, Flamethrower, Earthquake, Brick Break, and other excellent moves
- Evolves late
- Can be tricky to find

Altaria
- Natural Cure is pretty good
- Good defenses
- Learns Fly, Dragon Claw, Earthquake, Body Slam, and other solid moves
- Equal attacking stats means it can go mixed easily
- Swablu is fairly easy to find
- HP, Attack, Special Attack, and Speed are only average

If you have no qualms against potentially waiting longer for a Bagon, then absolutely use Salamence. It's better than Altaria in pretty much every way, even if it does evolve later. You can use Altaria until you get Salamence, or keep it with you for the whole game if you so choose, but I think Salamence is the better option.

Hope I helped!

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Sniped? What does that mean?
It means I answered a very short time before him :P
Oh XD I usually pick the first answer to be the best if the 2nd happens to be about the same as the 1st.
If you're willing to grind in order to evolve Bagon into Salamence, why don't you also grind in order to turn Altaria into a higher leveled, stronger Altaria?
Well, I as the adventure goes on, it kinda grinds itself. And I through in a little extra when I need to. Except with this Bagon, I would have to throw in a lot.
2 votes

Ok, Let's see.
Salamence:
PROS:
-Insane Attack and Respectable speed
-Middling Hp
-High Base stat total
-Good stab moves in Dragon Claw (TM) and Fly
-CONS:
-Learning Dragon Claw, a decent physical move is at level 79, and the TM may not be in emerald
-Evolves very late
-Getting a bagon is very late
-You must level up the bagon a lot to evolve it, and bagon does not have very good stats
-Found in Meteor falls (need waterfall) which you can access very late (this section at least)

Altaria:
PROS:
-Can be found before the fire type gym (swablu)
-Good Defenses
-Decent stab moves in Dragon Breath and Fly
-Can learn Dragon Dance to Set up
CONS:
-Low Attacking stats in 70 on both, and attacking is the main point of a playthrough
-It's moveset without TMS is quite bad with only normal flying and dragon moves (not including astonish)

I personally think salamence is much better, so if you are willing to wait, then get salamence definitely, however if you don't want to, then go with altaria.

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Thanks for the help! But if you saw the comments up there, ^ I will probably go with Altaria
Yeah I did and I understand that. Altaria's cool
2 votes

Well first, let's look at their stats.

Altaria is more defensive with 75/90/105 bulk and mediocre attacking stats, while Salamence is more offensive, with 135 base Attack and 110 Special Attack. As playthroughs are more offensively oriented, Salamence wins here.

Now let's look at availability. Altaria can be found as a Swablu on Routes 114 and 115. It then evolves quickly at lv. 35. They are much more common than Bagons, which are in the back of Meteor Falls and require you to get the HM Waterfall. Bagon evolves into Shelgon at lv. 30, and Salamence at lv. 50. Altaria is the better choice in this regard, as using Bagon will mean a lot of grinding.

Both Altaria and Salamence have decent movepools, but Salamence can make more use of great moves like Earthquake, Fire Blast, Fly, Dragon Claw, and Brick Break due to it's large attacking stats. Altaria can also learn these moves (with the exception of Brick Break) and tacks on stuff like Solar Beam, Ice Beam, and Perish Song.

Altaria gets the ability Natural Cure, which is nice, but not as useful as Salamence's Intimidate.

I personally would use Altaria for more ease of play, but if you're not scared of grinding and long Pokemon hunts, use Salamence. Salamence is better overall.

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Thanks! Yeah, another thing, I have no where to transfer Pokémon to when I want to start a new playthrough, so all that grinding on Bagon would be wasted. So I will go with Altaria.
0 votes

One thing I don't like about the other answers is that they seem to assume that grinding and stats are inherent properties of each Pokemon. Base stats and evolution level are inherent properties. Stats and grinding are variable.

The highest level wild Bagon is level 35.
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Salamence has slow leveling rate and evolves at level 50.
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A level 35 wild Bagon has 53,593 experience and needs 156,250 to reach level 50 and evolve. Therefore, it needs to gain 102,657 experience.
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If you're willing to put 102,657 experience into a Salamence, why not do the same for an Altaria? Catching that level 35 Bagon requires defeating Juan's level 46 Kingdra. So if you are using Altaria instead of Salamence, then I think I can assume Altaria will be level 46 at that point in the game. Altaria has erratic leveling rate.
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The same experience table as before says that a level 46 Altaria has 105,122 experience. Giving it 102,657 experience gives it 207,779 total experience, which lets it reach level 61. These are Salamence's and Altaria's stats at level 50 and 61, respectively (assuming 16 IVs and 84 EVs).
Salamence: 173 HP / 158 Atk / 103 Def / 133 SpA / 103 SpD / 123 Spe
Altaria: 185 HP / 112 Atk / 137 Def / 112 SpA / 155 SpD / 125 Spe
Altaria also learns dragon dance by level up. There are some situations where you need to attack immediately and other situations where you can have Altaria use 6 dragon dances, so I'm going to let Altaria use dragon dance once in this damage comparison.

84 Atk Salamence Fly vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Glalie: 63-75 (40.6 - 48.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
+1 Lvl 61 84 Atk Altaria Fly vs. Lvl 50 0 HP / 0 Def Glalie: 79-94 (50.9 - 60.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

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tldr
If you're not willing to grind, then Altaria is stronger.
If you're willing to grind, then Altaria is still stronger.
Also Swellow is stronger than both of them.

Lvl 58 84 Atk Swellow Return vs. Lvl 50 0 HP / 0 Def Glalie: 82-97 (52.9 - 62.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

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Wow, this is just a casual run. Yeah, I see your point.
If "casual" means not grinding, then definitely use Altaria (or Swellow).