Should You Pull? Leon & Dragapult

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TL;DR: Sync Pair Ranking

What Does It Do?

Leon & Dragapult take a page from the old-fashioned Tech unit textbook by focusing on debuffs, status, and damage that can be boosted based on both. However, they also take that old-fashioned strategy much farther than most of their contemporaries. They can self-buff to +3 Critical Rate/+4 Attack/+1 Speed with a single move use, drop the entire opposing team’s Attack, Defense, and Speed by 1 stat rank each with B-Breaking Swipe for only a token cost to activate, deal solid Dragon Type damage with the double-hitting Dragon Darts, and go even deeper than that with a passive that drops one of the target’s stats at random with every attack launched, which means 2 random stat-drops at a time on Dragon Darts. As icing on that cake, they also have Will-O-Wisp to spread Burns around to drop incoming physical damage even more, cause damage-over-time, and activate various skills that prey on the Burn status. And when all is said and done, they can start dealing high move damage alongside Sync Move damage that preys on stat-drops, and they can even Dynamax to deal high Dragon Type damage to a single target at any point in the battle.

When all is said-and-done, Leon & Dragapult are great at managing the opposing team’s ability to do most things. If you’re fighting a Physical attacking opponent, then it won’t take long for their attacks to feel like a gust of wind between the Attack drops and Burn status while they also have trouble attacking with strong moves at all thanks to the Speed drops. And to top all of that off, they’ll also take additional damage from Defense drops and a plethora of other randomly-chosen stat drops along the way. Naturally, this then opens Leon & Dragapult up for strong volleys of Dragon Darts, devastating Max Moves, and powerful Sync Moves that prey heavily on general stat-drops. It’s also worth noting that Leon & Dragapult have the ability to outright ignore enemy passive skills when attacking, so potentially devastating effects like Fluid Fortification are entirely trivialized for them even if they haven’t yet met the requirements to bypass them. On top of this, Leon & Dragapult is among the fastest Sync Pairs in the game, meaning their very presence can be very beneficial for any slower partners that they may end up paired with. When all is said and done, Leon & Dragapult can easily act as the team’s main attacker or as a dedicated Tech with high backup damage potential, making them flexible and useful.

On the other hand, the fact that Leon & Dragapult don’t target Special Attack outside of random stat drops can make them a bit dubious in terms of defensive utility. Yes, they will largely shut down the threat that any Physical attacks may pose, but the vast majority of stages mix Physical and Special attacks. Still, the ability to neuter an incoming Giga Impact or physical Sync Move is nothing to scoff at. There’s also the fact that Leon & Dragapult are a bit slow at their debuffing job, only scoring -1 to each stat per B-Breaking Swipe outside of randomly-chosen stat drops. Still, that’s -3 total stats per use, so it’s not too bad. Regardless, this can make their total setup time in order to start dealing harsh damage a bit long and make them feel slow to start actually doing worthwhile damage at times.

How To Use It?

Sync Grids & Upgrades

If you’re mainly interested in using Leon & Dragapult for their Tech utility, then sticking with ⅕ is just fine. They get virtually nothing out of their grid at this stage, but their base kit is very strong regardless. ⅖ is were they gain a bit of support for their Tech set and can begin dealing solid move damage, as they unlock a few tiles that can prey on stat-drops and status. ⅗ is where their Sync Move and Max Move can start to genuinely shine, while their Move Damage and general utility also expands.

Going beyond the customary ⅗ actually does have some genuine merit as well, as their ⅘ and 5/5 grid tiles are all actually really nice. Between Defense drops on Dragon Darts, Free Move Next effects on B-Breaking Swipe, sure-crits on Sync Moves, and the ever-popular Go Viral for Will-O-Wisp, it might be worth considering giving Tech candies to Leon & Dragapult beyond the standard ⅗. 

All-in-all, every level has some very real advantages, so it’s worth considering what your plan is for Leon & Dragapult before making an investment, though ⅖ is generally the happy-medium where they start to see additional utility from their grid.

EXing Leon & Dragapult is a great idea, as it boosts their base stats and gives their already powerful Sync Move a huge damage boost.

Critical Strike 2 is the classical choice for anything that focuses on dealing damage, and it still holds strong here. A more supportive build can also utilize the stat-dropping Lucky Skills, Defense Crush 2 or Mind Games 2, to get the job done a bit faster, but they generally won’t be of tremendous use in comparison.

Game Modes

For most game modes, Leon & Dragapult put in a lot of work. They can drop Dragon weak stages in the Champion’s Stadium or act as an enabler/debuffer to wreak havoc from the sidelines of virtually any stage, they can cut through the Passive Skills that can make select Legendary Arena/Gauntlet stages a pain to face while dropping high single-target damage, and they can even help to shore up your team for the Dragon-Type Masters event that will inevitably show up someday. About the only major game modes that they can have trouble in are the Battle Villa and select Extreme Battle formats. The Villa due to their lack of passive buffs, and Extreme formats due to their tendency to lean heavily into random gimmicks. Still, the Status/Debuffing capabilities of Leon & Dragapult can make them potentially useful even in these game modes.

Team Compositions

If you’re using Leon & Dragapult for their attacking prowess, then they’re going to need some help with getting their last +2 to Attack and maybe some help with debuffs. Sonia & Yamper can do this job perfectly, as they provide all of the support that Leon & Dragapult need while also scoring reliable Defense buffs, greatly reducing setup time as a result. And while a plethora of other Support units can provide the +2 Attack, like Champion Hop & Galarian Articuno who also provides their Master passive, Tech units like Champion Iris & Hydreigon, Champion Hop & Galarian Zapdos, Champion Serena & Greninja, Masked Royal & Incineroar, and many others can help out with debuffing in various ways, thus offering even more power to Leon & Dragapult. Beyond the basic choices, another outstanding partner for Leon & Dragapult is Lucas & Dialga, as they can set Dragon Zone, potentially score Special Defense drops thanks to their grid to help power up Leon & Dragapult’s Sync Move even more, and deal great single-target Dragon damage themselves, making the duo a potential Dragon blitz once set up.

If using Dragapult & Leon for their ability to make the opposing team miserable due to stat drops and status, we have a lot of units that appreciate their skills. For example, anyone who appreciates having the opposing team Burned loves the utility that Will-O-Wisp brings, so Sync Pairs like Sygna Suit Hilda & Victini, Gloria & Cinderace, or Silver & Ho-oh all appreciate the faster setup that this allows. Attackers that prey on specific stat-drops also love having Leon & Dragapult around, so the natural picks are units like Champion Iris & Hydreigon, Victor & Rilaboom, or Special Costume Sonia & Tsareena for the bonus that these effects can bring.

Showcase Video

Is It Worth Pulling?

Leon & Dragapult are definitely worth adding to your team; they have a high mix of power and utility that can genuinely help out just about anyone (as well as the ability to unlock an absolute banger of a song in the Jukebox composed by Toby Fox of Undertale fame). The one problem on this front is the timing; we’re very close to the anniversary, and the Sync Pairs around it have traditionally been game-changing in the past. It’s hard to recommend investing in Leon & Dragapult, but those who do will find utility and a lot of fun regardless.

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About the Author(s)

Long-time Gamepress fan and writer for Pokemon Go and Pokemon Masters sub-site