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I recall seeing a question much like this one that Volt Striker asked wondering about the viability of running both Dark and Ghost moves on a set, so I decided to ask a similar question. Dragon moves are usually avoided as coverage due to only being super effective against Dragon types, so its much more beneficial to run a Fairy or Ice move as coverage over Dragon moves. Additionally, high tiered Dragon types often have a secondary typing as well, which results in them having other weaknesses besides Dragon, Fairy, or Ice types. If I need to specify a format, they're Single Battle formats like Ubers, AG, OU-PU etc, primarily for Gen 8.

To specify what I mean by "coverage", I mean that if a Pokemon uses a set including a Physical or Special Dragon move that the Pokemon doesn't get STAB from, with the Dragon move being used in order to fulfill a certain purpose, such as countering a common Pokemon in the metagame.

I'm not really sure but maybe Sceptile runs it due to lack of special moves?
Charizard in ADV(Gen 3) OU used Dragon Claw for coverage.
Lemme think of current gen examples.
I decided to do some searching myself, here's what I found:

Defensive Groudon in Ubers uses Dragon Tail in order to force out foes and force them into switching, allowing them to take hazard damage, as well as to punish Zygarde. Steelix also uses Dragon Tail in RU in order to force out setup sweepers like Curse Gastrodon, Reuniclus, and Suicune, but as it has low priority, it isn't used often.

That's all I could really find so far.
Oh, right I forgot about dragon Tail. I'll add that to the answer.

1 Answer

1 vote

I did a quick search, and only three instances of dragon being used for coverage were found: Salazzlein Gen 8 NU, Groudon in Gen 8 Ubers, and sometimes Steelix in Gen 8 RU. It runs Dragon Pulse on its Nasty Plot set to hit Dragalgae and Guzzlord. Dragon Tail is used by Groudon to take advantage of entry hazards and punish Zygarde. Steelix uses it to force out setup sweepers.
In Monotype, Heatran uses Dragon Pulse on it's choice scarf set on steel teams.
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edited by
Heatran never runs Dragon Pulse, and Clawitzer has no analysis. It's very niche in NU, only  seen on Terrain Teams, and better off running Ice Beam/Water move/Terrain Pulse/U-Turn or Toxic. It's not even ranked on VR.
Heatran runs Dragon Pulse on its Choice Scarf variant for its Monotype Steel set, and Heatran uses Dragon Pulse as a niche option on its OU sets to fight off the Dragon types that threaten it, such as defensive Garchomp, Hydreigon, and Dragonite.
I didn't realize this question included monotype. My bad. I'll edit it in if that's the case.  In OU, however, you can just Toxic the Dragon Types on the switch instead of using Dragon Pulse.
The question asks for competitive battling and not any tier as a whole. The answer is still incomplete, you're better off if you comment until you get a complete list.
Alright, I'll go scour analyses some more and complete the answer.