While three-stage pseudo-legendaries like Dragonite and Garchomp are likely what pops into mind when it comes to dragon-type Pokemon, there have been loads of interesting one-stage dragon types as well.
In Pokemon Sword and Shield, three new Pokemon of this variety were added. Though Dracovish and Dracozolt have been the most competitively viable thus far, Duraludon is a very interesting Pokemon in its own right.
As the signature Pokemon of eighth gym leader Raihan and one of the few Pokemon to possess a special Gigantamax form, Duraludon is meant to be a big deal. Here’s where to catch the dragon-steel Pokemon and the best way to utilize it.
Duraludon can be found in a number of different locations as overworld encounters in both Pokemon Sword and Shield. These are the Pokemon that spawn once per day in areas outside of tall grass. Interestingly, Duraludon is most often found in areas that are experiencing extreme weather.
The most reliable location to find Duraludon is Route 10, where it can be found as a very rare overworld encounter. Alongside this, it can be found in the Lake of Outrage section of the Wild Area while it is snowstorming. It isn’t just snowy areas it can be found though, as it can be found in normal weather in the Giant’s Seat.
That said, it may be easier to just look for it in Max Raid dens. It can be found as a rare encounter in a variety of raid dens across the Wild Area, making it a relatively common sight both for individuals and through online multiplayer in the Y-Comm.
Players specifically looking for a Gigantamax Duraludon have more limited options. The only raid den where Gigantamax Duralodon can be found is in a Giant’s Seat raid den. It can be found near the perimeter of the map near a single tree next to a cliff surrounded by blue flowers.
Rather than burning Wishing Pieces in hopes of finding it, players with the Crown Tundra DLC can keep an eye out for one in Dynamax Adventures. Duraludon can be found ahead of the legendary encounters and will always be in its Gigantamax form. Though the exact Pokemon that’s in each encounter is hidden, it’s incredibly easy to pick out Duraludon from other steel and dragon type Pokemon due to its tall, slender body when Gigantamaxed.
Duraludon has a fairly high 535 combined base stats and strong typing in dragon-steel, but still isn’t a particularly strong Pokemon.
This is unfortunate because Duraludon has a lot of good things going for it. Alongside its high total stats and typing, it has a solid movepool and an interesting Gigantamax move in Depletion, which shaves away PP from the last move the defending Pokemon used.
The trouble is that Duraludon’s base special defense is prohibitively low, coming in at just 50. If Duraludon’s stats were shuffled ever-so-slightly, the Pokemon would be able to hang with some of the best in Sword and Shield. Instead, it’s mostly unusable.
The best option for using Duraludon is building it as a Choice Scarf sweeper with standard max EVs on special attack and speed. Draco Meteor, Steel Beam, Thunderbolt, and Dark Pulse. Though there’s no shortage of strong options for Choice Scarf users, a fully invested STAB Steel Beam from Duralodon can punch a hole through many Pokemon that aren’t strong walls.
Officially, Duraludon is weak to fighting and ground-type moves due to its dragon-steel typing. That said, because Duraludon has very low special defense and mediocre HP base stats, basically any Pokemon built to hit hard with special attacks can score a one-hit knockout on Duraludon with a move that it doesn’t have resistance to.