A Nuzlocker’s Guide to the Doduo Line

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1

The Kanto region is one that has no shortage of Flying-type Pokémon: Pidgey and Spearow can be found at every turn, every cave has a Zubat infestation, there is a legendary trio of birds to encounter, and even one of the starter Pokémon evolves into a Flying-type. Doduo has a boring dual Normal- and Flying-type, and it comes later than both Spearow and Pidgey. As a result, it may seem as though the Doduo line has trouble standing out from the pack. However, that could not be more false. Dodrio possesses a fantastic Attack stat, which, among Flying-type Pokémon, is only overshadowed by that of Dragonite and Gyarados. This allows Dodrio to defeat threats more effectively than many of its brethren can. Dodrio also possesses a Speed stat that, while not as high as its Attack, allows it to be faster than many opponents and use its high Attack more effectively. Due to these factors, Dodrio can utilize its satisfactory physical movepool, including the coveted Drill Peck and early access to Tri Attack, to great effect since it can outspeed its opponent consistently and deal a significant amount of damage. Dodrio does have its drawbacks, noticeably its meager bulk and relatively late availability compared to Fearow and Pidgeot, but Dodrio’s numerous positive traits are enough to dwarf its negative ones and will enable the Triple Bird Pokémon to become a potent member of almost any Nuzlocke team.


Doduo: Route 16 (common), Route 17 (common), Route 18 (common), Safari Zone (East, uncommon; West, uncommon).

Doduo’s Match-ups in Important Battles

Doduo versus Rival in Pokémon Tower: Doduo is rather weak right now, and it won’t be doing much until it evolves. As such, it’s not advisable to use Doduo against any Pokémon besides your Rival’s Grass-type, and even that is a little risky. Against your Rival’s lead, Pidgeotto, Doduo is only truly safe if it is faster. Tri Attack is a likely 2HKO, meaning Doduo will likely finish Pidgeotto in two hits or with a critical hit. Pidgeotto can retaliate with Gust or Quick Attack, both of which result in a 4HKO. Sand Attack may also cause a problem. Nevertheless, Doduo will be able to handle Pidgeotto most of the time. However, the chip damage sustained here may cause Doduo to not be in good enough shape to fight your Rival’s Grass-type, so keep that in mind. Furthermore, Doduo can annihilate Kadabra with Tri Attack in theory, but the Psi Pokémon is faster and hits hard with Confusion. It’s best to save Kadabra for another teammate unless you already have a Dodrio. On the other hand, Doduo can handle Exeggcute without too much difficulty, but Hypnosis and Leech Seed can be annoying. Fortunately, either Fly or Aerial Ace will result in a 2HKO on Exeggcute. Also, Early Bird variants of Doduo need not worry too much about Hypnosis unless Exeggcute lands a critical hit Confusion, which is a natural 3HKO. Gyarados, in contrast, must be avoided at all costs. Its Thrash will annihilate Doduo with a critical hit as it’s a natural 2HKO. On top of that, Gyarados has Intimidate to cripple Doduo’s Attack stat. Furthermore, only a Doduo at full health can handle Growlithe since it also has Intimidate and can 3HKO the Twin Bird Pokémon. Doduo should stay away from Charmeleon for similar reasons: Ember is a 3HKO, Doduo only has a chance to 2HKO, and Charmeleon is possibly faster. As for Wartortle, Doduo can 3HKO it with Tri Attack, but the Turtle Pokémon can do the same in return. Like with Growlithe, this is only manageable if Doduo is at full health, which is unlikely. On the other hand, Doduo can easily 2HKO Ivysaur with Fly or Aerial Ace, but be wary of Sleep Powder. To reiterate, Doduo should fight your Rival’s Grass-type and stay away from everything else. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 25; Pursuit, Fury Attack/Peck, Tri Attack, Fly/Aerial Ace.

Doduo versus Giovanni in the Celadon Game Corner: The Twin Bird Pokémon won’t be of much use here, and even the Triple Bird Pokémon would have trouble contributing. Doduo cannot stand up to Onix, whose Rock Throw is a 2HKO. The best Doduo can do in return is 6HKO with Pursuit or Tri Attack, which isn’t going to cut it. Furthermore, Rhyhorn could be too dangerous, but for different reasons. It has no Rock-type moves, but its Stomp will hurt (it’s a 4HKO on Doduo), especially if it uses Tail Whip a few times. Rhyhorn also has Scary Face, which can put the Twin Bird Pokémon in a position to flinch from Stomp. Still, keep in mind that Tri-Attack, while Rhyhorn resists it, is a likely 5HKO. On the bright side, Giovanni’s ace is not a Rock-type and doesn’t resist Doduo’s Tri-Attack. Nevertheless, Kangaskhan is the most threatening of all. Its Mega Punch will carve out three-fourths of Doduo’s health, and the Twin Bird probably won’t do half as much with Tri-Attack. All in all, you should keep Doduo out of this battle. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 28; Pursuit, Fury Attack/Peck, Tri-Attack, Fly/Aerial Ace.

Doduo versus Erika in Celadon City Gym: Doduo is a solid choice for this gym, and Dodrio would be even better to have if you aren’t using a level cap. The Triple Bird Pokémon just annihilates everything almost unopposed, but the Twin Bird Pokémon is no slouch, either. Against Erika’s lead, Victreebel, Doduo’s Aerial Ace or Fly will 2HKO whereas Victreebel can only 3HKO with Acid. However, you must be wary of Stun Spore; it’s recommended that you bring status healing items. Furthermore, Tangela isn’t too tough despite its high Defense stat. It will likewise fall to a pair of either Aerial Ace or Fly. Tangela does have Ingrain and is liable to use it on the first turn, but that is unlikely to affect your chances of defeating it in two hits. Lastly, there is Erika’s ace, Vileplume, who Doduo can 2HKO with either Aerial Ace or Fly. Vileplume’s Acid isn’t that dangerous (its Attack is lower than that of Victreebel), but do keep an eye on Doduo’s health. You must also be wary of Sleep Powder and Stun Spore here as well. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 29; Pursuit, Fury Attack/Peck, Tri-Attack, Fly/Aerial Ace.

Dodrio versus Koga in Fuchsia City Gym: At first glance, it may look like a terrible idea to throw a frail Pokémon into a battle against the physically bulky, liable-to-explode Koffing and the evasion-abusing Muk. However, Dodrio can do quite a bit of work here thanks to a move that is rarely used in standard playthroughs: Substitute. Dodrio can make good use of Substitute against Koga, who loves Smokescreen and Toxic, as putting up a Substitute blocks status moves and prevents Selfdestruct from harming the Triple Bird Pokémon. However, it will carve out one-fourth of Dodrio’s HP, but, at least against Koga, the positives outweigh the negatives. Also, it’s best to carry something that can switch in on a Selfdestruct, such as Gengar or Golem, in case the fight goes south. In the battle, Koga will lead with Koffing, who has three of its four moves blocked by Substitute whereas the fourth one probably can’t break it. Here, you should have Dodrio set up a Substitute. If Koffing uses Selfdestruct, it will break the Substitute and faint, leaving Dodrio unscathed. Furthermore, Toxic and Smokescreen are invalidated by the presence of a Substitute. Once Substitute is up, Dodrio can 2HKO Koffing with Tri-Attack. (This goes for the second Koffing as well, but don’t switch in Dodrio on it if you switched out and keep an eye on your Pokémon’s health.) Muk will likely come out next and, if you’re lucky, Dodrio will still be protected by a Substitute. The Triple Bird Pokémon can 3HKO with Tri-Attack, but Muk’s Sludge, a 3HKO, will break a Substitute and it is liable to use Minimize, which will significantly trivialize Dodrio’s success. Muk also has access to Acid Armor, which will sharply raise Defense and force Dodrio to switch out, preferably to a Pokémon with high Special Attack. As for Koga’s ace, Weezing, its Sludge is a 3HKO and does more damage than Dodrio’s Tri-Attack, a 4HKO, but Weezing is likely to go for Smokescreen or Toxic. As such, Dodrio may be able to win out, but be careful. In the final analysis, however, this strategy is unnecessary if you have access to any of the region’s Psychic-type Pokémon or any other good Koga counter. However, Dodrio can utilize this strategy if you’re in a pinch. Also, note that Dodrio should not attempt to partake in this battle if it does not carry Substitute. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 39; Tri-Attack, Fly/Aerial Ace, Steel Wing, Substitute.

Dodrio versus the Fighting Dojo in Saffron City: Dodrio has little to fear from the Fighting Dojo. The Triple Bird Pokémon can simply OHKO Hitmonlee with Aerial Ace or Fly. As for Hitmonchan, it has a higher Defense stat, but its elemental punches are a joke. Dodrio can easily 2HKO it. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 39; Tri-Attack, Fly/Aerial Ace, Steel Wing, Substitute.

Dodrio versus Rival in Silph Co.: A bird-versus-bird match-up is possible, but not ideal. Dodrio will probably 2HKO Pidgeot, who can only 4HKO in return, with Tri-Attack. However, Pidgeot also has Feather Dance, which will cripple Dodrio’s Attack stat. If you have a better counter, use it. Dodrio is great for fighting Exeggcute, however, who will fall to two uses of either Aerial Ace or Fly. However, be wary of its Hypnosis and Stun Spore; if you can, make sure you have healing items and/or the Poké Flute. Gyarados, on the other hand, is tougher. It has Intimidate, which will cause Dodrio’s Fly to go from a 3HKO to a 4HKO. Gyarados will make use of Dragon Rage, which will end Dodrio in three hits. You’ll want to use a more appropriate counter for the Atrocious Pokémon. Like Gyarados, Growlithe has Intimidate, but the Puppy Pokémon is much easier for Dodrio to take down. Intimidate doesn’t hurt Fly’s 2HKO chances, and Dodrio can take a Flame Wheel on the switch as well as one after landing a hit. As such, Dodrio can handle Growlithe if you lack a better counter. Against Alakazam, Dodrio performs surprisingly well since Tri-Attack is a possible OHKO and the Psi Pokémon can only use Future Sight to attack. It also has access to Reflect, but this will merely turn Tri-Attack into a 2HKO. As such, Dodrio can handle Alakazam without too much difficulty, even if the Triple Bird Pokémon must switch into battle. However, Charizard is much too dangerous for Dodrio to face; Flamethrower does a ton of damage and Tri-Attack is a mere 3HKO. Blastoise, however, is easy enough for Dodrio to handle as the Shellfish Pokémon’s best move is Water Gun. Simply 3HKO with Tri-Attack, but keep an eye on Dodrio’s health since you’re probably late into the battle. If your Rival has Venusaur instead, it will be even easier to handle. Just use Fly or Aerial Ace twice, which will end Venusaur. Sleep Powder may be an annoyance, so keep the Poké Flute handy. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 40; Tri-Attack, Fly/Aerial Ace, Steel Wing, Substitute.

Dodrio versus Giovanni in Silph Co.: Dodrio can make some contributions in this battle, but note that there are several other Pokémon that can do much better. Thanks to Tri-Attack, Dodrio can easily 2HKO Giovanni’s lead, Nidorino, whose Horn Attack is a joke. However, Nidorino is rather weak at this point in the game, and most Pokémon would be able to handle it with ease anyway. It’s the rest of Giovanni’s team that poses a threat. Dodrio needs to stay away from Rhyhorn, whose Rock Blast may prove fatal. Steel Wing won’t be of much use here despite the fact it is a 2HKO; the move is inaccurate and Rhyhorn’s Rock Blast may finish Dodrio anyway. Furthermore, Kangaskhan is rather dangerous as its Mega Punch is a 3HKO and it may use Tail Whip to exacerbate this. Dodrio may be able to 2HKO in return with Tri-Attack, but this isn’t feasible if Dodrio has taken damage from Nidorino’s Horn Attack or isn’t currently in battle, both of which are very likely scenarios. Dodrio is also capable of handling Nidoqueen, but, like the match-up with Kangaskhan, the Triple Bird Pokémon is unlikely to pull it off. Dodrio’s Tri-Attack is a 3HKO on Nidoqueen, whose Body Slam is likewise a 3HKO, although the Triple Bird Pokémon is faster. However, Dodrio is likely either wounded or not present in battle, so it should only switch in if Nidoqueen’s health has already been significantly depleted. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 40; Tri-Attack, Fly/Aerial Ace, Steel Wing, Substitute.

Dodrio versus Sabrina in Saffron City Gym: Dodrio makes a viable, if risky, counter to at least part of Sabrina’s team. However, if your Dodrio has an exceptionally poor Speed stat, then Sabrina’s Kadabra may be faster, which is potentially problematic as it has Reflect. Check Dodrio’s nature before the battle; if it is Brave, Relaxed, Quiet, or Sassy, Kadabra is liable to outspeed. A level 38 Kadabra with zero IVs and EVs with a neutral nature will have a Speed stat of 84, so you’ll want Dodrio’s to be higher than that. (Also, remember that the Thunder Badge gives a 10% boost to the Speed stat.) As long as the Triple Bird Pokémon is faster, it can effortlessly OHKO Kadabra with Tri-Attack. Mr. Mime should go the same way, but, if Dodrio fails to OHKO, Mr. Mime is liable to use Barrier. Most likely, Sabrina will then use a Hyper Potion, and Mr. Mime has access to Baton Pass, which allows it to pass Defense boosts to Venomoth or Alakazam. Be wary of that. (If you’d like to increase your chance of beating Mr. Mime with one Tri-Attack, give Dodrio some Proteins or level it up to be on par with Alakazam, which is level 43.) Furthermore, unless Mr. Mime passes along a Barrier boost, Dodrio will annihilate Venomoth with a single Fly. Even if Venomoth survives a Fly, its Psybeam isn’t very dangerous since it’s likely a 5HKO. It does, however, have Supersonic, so bring some Full Heals (if you can) or be prepared to switch out. Finally, there is the matter of Sabrina’s Alakazam. Dodrio is unlikely to outspeed, but you can increase your chances by giving it Carbos and training it to level 43, the same level as Alakazam. (Keep in mind that a level 43 Alakazam with zero IVs and EVs will have a Speed stat of 108.) Dodrio’s Tri-Attack is a 2HKO, which can also be said of Alakazam’s Psychic. However, you should know that this endeavor is risky, and there is always the chance Alakazam will land a critical hit. Tread lightly. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 41; Tri-Attack, Fly/Aerial Ace, Steel Wing, Substitute.

Dodrio versus Blaine in Cinnabar Island Gym: Dodrio can make some contributions here, but, if you have a Water-type, Dodrio should just sit on the bench. Tentacruel, Blastoise, Vapreon, Lapras, and Poliwrath (to name a few) all fare better against Blaine. Still, even after Intimidate, Dodrio can 2HKO Blaine’s lead, Growlithe, with Tri-Attack. However, Fire Blast will hurt since it’s a 2-3HKO. As for Blaine’s Ponyta, it’s Fire Blast is just as dangerous, but it will also fall to a pair of Tri-Attacks, even if Dodrio’s Attack is still debuffed. However, that’s likely all Dodrio can accomplish. If the Triple Bird Pokémon’s Attack is still debuffed when Rapidash comes out, then Tri-Attack is a 3HKO whereas Rapidash’s Fire Blast is solidly in the 2HKO range. Dodrio fares even worse against Arcanine, whose Fire Blast does an enormous amount of damage. It’s best to keep Dodrio away from Rapidash and Arcanine. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 45; Tri-Attack, Fly/Aerial Ace, Steel Wing, Substitute.

Dodrio versus Giovanni in Viridian City Gym: If you remember back to the previous battle with Giovanni, Rhyhorn was not a Pokémon to be messed with as its Rock Blast could have been fatal. Similarly, Dodrio must stay away from both Giovanni’s first and second Rhyhorn, both of which can easily kill one bird with several stones. On the other hand, Dodrio is fantastic against Dugtrio, who can only use Slash against Flying-types. If you need the Triple Bird Pokémon to switch in on an Earthquake and 2HKO Dugtrio with either Drill Peck or Tri-Attack, then go for it. Furthermore, Dodrio should be able to handle Nidoqueen, but be wary of Body Slam’s chance to cause paralysis. Dodrio can 2-3HKO with either Tri-Attack or Drill Peck. It’s a similar story with Nidoking, who does slightly more damage but also receives slightly more damage. However, due to chip damage and the possible need to switch in or out, it is unlikely that Dodrio will be able to handle all three without healing items, so keep that in mind. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 47; Tri-Attack, Fly/Steel Wing, Substitute, Drill Peck.

Dodrio versus Rival in Route 22: Like in the previous battle with your Rival, Dodrio is capable of handling Pidgeot, but pitting them against each other is not recommended. The Triple Bird Pokémon will finish your Rival’s lead with three rounds of Tri-Attack or Drill Peck, but Pidgeot can 4HKO with Wing Attack in return and has Feather Dance to ruin Dodrio’s Attack stat. As such, if you have a more appropriate counter, such as a Rock- or Electric-type, then use that instead. Furthermore, your Rival is carrying a Rhyhorn, which Dodrio should avoid. This Rhyhorn, like Giovanni’s, will annihilate the Triple Bird Pokémon with Rock Blast. Moreover, your Rival’s has Horn Drill as well, so be wary of that. On the other hand, Dodrio can effortlessly destroy Exeggcute, who can only attack with Solar Beam, since Drill Peck is an OHKO. Similarly, Dodrio should be able to 2HKO Growlithe without too much trouble, even after Intimidate. However, the Triple Bird Pokémon should turn tail and run whenever Gyarados enters the field; the Atrocious Pokémon, like Growlithe, has Intimidate as well as better bulk and a stronger attack in Hydro Pump. Additionally, keep Dodrio away from Alakazam as well. It now has a powerful, single-turn STAB move in Psychic, which hits about as hard as that of Sabrina’s Alakazam. Both Dodrio’s Tri-Attack and Drill Peck will result in a 2HKO, but it’s unlikely it will make it that far. Speaking of Pokémon Dodrio should avoid, Charizard is one of them. Its Flamethrower will hurt as much as Alakazam’s Psychic and Dodrio can only 3HKO in return. Blastoise, on the other hand, still lacks a hard-hitting attack; its best move is still Water Gun. Nevertheless, both Dodrio’s STAB attack and Blastoise’s Water Gun will result in a 4HKO, so using Dodrio is only viable if it is healthy and already in battle or if you are carrying healing items. Venusaur isn’t nearly as difficult to defeat, but note that its Razor Leaf is a 5HKO and has a high critical hit chance. Dodrio’s Drill Peck will dispose of it in two hits. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 49; Tri-Attack, Fly/Steel Wing, Substitute, Drill Peck.

Dodrio versus the Elite 4: Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 59; Tri-Attack/Return, Substitute, Drill Peck, Double Team. (Note that Steel Wing is a viable alternative to Double Team for fighting Bruno, but Steel Wing should be replaced with Double Team after Bruno has been defeated if Dodrio is to be of use against Agatha.)

Dodrio versus Lorelei: As every single Pokémon Lorelei has, bar Cloyster, can use an Ice-type move, it’s best to keep Dodrio out of this battle. Both Lapras and Jynx have a chance to OHKO Dodrio, and both Slowbro and Dewgong will almost certainly 2HKO. Dodrio would be best used against Cloyster, which still isn’t recommended since Dodrio will have a tough time cracking its shell. All in all, keep Dodrio on the bench for this battle.

Dodrio versus Bruno: Despite Bruno being known as a Fighting-type trainer, Dodrio is still not the best counter for his team. Bruno leads with an Onix, has a second Onix in his arsenal, and two of his three Fighting-type Pokémon have Rock Tomb. However, Dodrio is still powerful and has a super-effective STAB move for three members of Bruno’s team. Furthermore, a Dodrio carrying Steel Wing can even go toe-to-toe with an Onix. A pair of Steel Wings from Dodrio is likely to finish Onix, whose Rock Tomb doesn’t do much damage. However, Rock Tomb will also lower Dodrio’s Speed, which is problematic for the Triple Bird Pokémon. As such, another Pokémon should handle Bruno’s first Onix, but Dodrio can handle it if needed. As for Hitmonchan, it should fall to a single Drill Peck. Nevertheless, be wary of its access to Counter, which will be the end of Dodrio if Drill Peck fails to OHKO. Also, if you must switch in or Dodrio was hit with a Rock Tomb, note that Hitmonchan’s Sky Uppercut will carve out just under half of Dodrio’s health. Hitmonlee should meet the same fate, and it lacks both Counter and Rock Tomb. Both its Mega Kick and its Brick Break will 3HKO, so be wary if your Dodrio has been hit with a Rock Tomb, must switch in, and/or was hit by Hitmonchan’s Sky Uppercut. Furthermore, Dodrio can handle Bruno’s second Onix, but you’ll likely need healing items at this point. Also, this Onix has no Rock-type moves, so Dodrio can even stall out with Drill Peck, Tri-Attack, or Return. Onix’s best attack, Double-Edge, is a 4HKO while any one of Dodrio’s aforementioned STAB moves will be a 5HKO. However, you will almost certainly need healing items if you attempt this. As for Bruno’s ace, Machamp, Dodrio can naturally 2HKO with Drill Peck. However, Machamp’s Cross Chop deals just as much damage and has a high critical hit ratio. Dodrio will also have to be very healthy and already in battle when Machamp comes out. As such, it is a precarious endeavor to use Dodrio against Machamp, so use a more appropriate counter, if possible. Nevertheless, Dodrio has enough power to defeat Machamp, so, under good conditions, the Triple Bird Pokémon can triumph over its opponent.

Dodrio versus Agatha: This is the battle where you’ll want Dodrio to have Substitute and Double Team in its arsenal. The Triple Bird Pokémon can be helpful here without these two moves, but Dodrio won’t have a chance to sweep. Dodrio will need to be faster than Agatha’s first Gengar, which is possible considering the badge boost and any EVs you’ve picked up over the game. With a Substitute up, Agatha’s lead can’t touch Dodrio at all, allowing for an easy set up with Double Team. Once Dodrio’s evasion has been maxed out, it can 2HKO Gengar with Drill Peck. (Note that Gengar has probably been setting up with Double Team as well, but it still can’t hurt Dodrio anyway.) The rest of Agatha’s team is tougher to defeat, though. Dodrio can defeat Golbat with two rounds of Return, Tri-Attack, or Drill Peck. Likely, Golbat can only break Dodrio’s Substitute with a critical hit. If Substitute does happen to fade at any point, Dodrio can easily restore it against Haunter, who relies mostly on status moves and will probably fall to a single Drill Peck. However, the Double Team and Substitute strategy meets a possible roadblock against Arbok, who has Intimidate and can break a Substitute. After Intimidate, Dodrio will need to have Return to net the 2HKO. Furthermore, you’ll probably have to rely on luck with evasion to protect your Substitute. Despite the threat that Arbok poses, Dodrio is still capable of continuing to sweep (especially if you use an X Attack). Lastly, Dodrio may be able to handle Gengar, but it may come down to Speed. If Dodrio’s Attack is still debuffed, this becomes much more difficult (going from a 2HKO to a 3HKO), especially since Gengar is holding a Sitrus Berry. As with the match-up with Gengar, you may need some luck with evasion, and note that Gengar’s Sludge Bomb is a 3HKO. Nevertheless, Dodrio is capable of pulling off a sweep, although it may require a bit of luck and possibly some healing items.

Dodrio versus Lance: The Triple Bird Pokémon doesn’t have any business being in this battle, but, like most other battles, it can still be of some use if need be. Even after Intimidate, a Dodrio that’s packing Return should be able to 3HKO Lance’s lead, Gyarados, whose Hyper Beam is a 2HKO. However, Dodrio probably won’t be taking down Gyarados without being healed and a critical hit Hyper Beam is fatal. Furthermore, just about any Pokémon with an Electric-type move would be more useful against the Atrocious Pokémon. As for Lance’s Aerodactyl, keep Dodrio far away; Aerodactyl is much faster, can 2HKO with Ancient Power, and doesn’t take much damage from the Triple Bird Pokémon’s attacks. On the other hand, Dodrio can 2HKO Lance’s Dragonair. (If Dodrio has Return, it can still 2HKO with its Attack lowered by one stage.) Moreover, the best Dragonair can do is 3HKO with Hyper Beam, which requires a recharge in between, or possibly 3HKO with Outrage. However, Dodrio probably won’t be able to handle both without the use of healing items. Also, something with an Ice-type move is generally better for defeating Dragonair in addition to Lance’s ace, Dragonite, which is a Pokémon Dodrio likely can’t handle. Dragonite can 2HKO with Outrage (and a critical hit may be fatal) whereas Dodrio can only 3HKO with Return. All in all, Dodrio can probably handle Gyarados and/or a Dragonair or two, but keep the Triple Bird Pokémon away from Dragonite and Aerodactyl.

Dodrio versus the Champion: As with the other Rival battles, Dodrio can handle Pidgeot if need be, but it isn’t recommended due to the latter’s access to Feather Dance and, in this battle specifically, Sand Attack. Nevertheless, the Triple Bird Pokémon is faster and can 2HKO with Return if you lack a better counter for Pidgeot. On the other hand, Dodrio should stay far away from Rhydon, who has high Defense and can 2HKO with Rock Tomb. Similarly, the Triple Bird Pokémon should avoid Alakazam, who is faster, has Reflect, and can 2HKO with Psychic. Dodrio can probably OHKO with Return if you have no better option, but it’s rather risky. Furthermore, Dodrio can only 3HKO Arcanine due to Intimidate, who can 2HKO with its Flamethrower. Arcanine also has Extreme Speed, which may let it finish a Dodrio at one-third health or less. As such, have Dodrio avoid Arcanine, too. Likewise, avoid Gyarados, who also has Intimidate and an attack that can 2HKO Dodrio (Hydro Pump in this case). On the other hand, Dodrio’s Drill Peck can make quick work of Exeggutor since it results in a 2HKO. Dodrio is capable of switching in on an Egg Bomb or a Giga Drain, but Sleep Powder could be problematic if you cannot use the Poké Flute or healing items. Nevertheless, Dodrio is a fantastic option for defeating Exeggutor. Similarly, Venusaur won’t give Dodrio too much trouble, even if you have to switch in. Venusaur can only attack with Solar Beam, meaning it must either charge for one turn or set up with Sunny Day. Dodrio, on the other hand, can annihilate Venusaur in two hits thanks to Drill Peck, even considering the fact Venusaur is holding a Sitrus Berry. However, if your Rival has Charizard or Blastoise, keep Dodrio far away. Both can 2HKO Dodrio and can tank more than two hits of Return. All in all, Dodrio is great for your Rival’s Grass-type and possibly his Pidgeot, but keep the Triple Bird Pokémon away from his other team members.

Everything in Between

Caves and Mountains: Rock-types should be avoided, especially those that can use Selfdestruct. Zubat, however, isn’t too difficult to deal with, and, for Dodrio, neither is Golbat. However, stay away from Mt. Ember’s Moltres, who is better handled by a Water-type; Dodrio does not want to take a Flamethrower. Dodrio, without question, should steer clear of Articuno as well, who has a powerful, STAB, super-effective Ice Beam. Again, bring a Water-type.

Vermilion City Area: There are several trainers east of Vermilion City that have either Magnemite or Magneton. When training Doduo, avoid these trainers. (In fact, for the sake of time, keep Dodrio away from them as well since the Triple Bird Pokémon won’t be hitting a Steel-type hard.) Feel free to enter Diglett’s Cave with Dodrio in the lead; the Triple Bird Pokémon is immune to anything a stray Dugtrio tries to use (bar the not-that-great Normal-type attacks).

Mid- to Late-Game: With Pursuit, Aerial Ace, and/or Fly, Doduo can be of use in the Pokémon Tower, provided it’s at a high enough level. The Marowak at the end may prove to be too much for Doduo, who takes more damage than it can dish out, but Dodrio should have no trouble defeating it. The various bird and water route trainers of Kanto are typically easy for Dodrio to handle. However, steer clear of Shellder and Cloyster, who have high Defense stats and carry super-effective Ice-type moves. When it comes to Cycling Road, Dodrio is pretty hit-and-miss. The Triple Bird Pokémon should avoid the likes of Koffing and Weezing, who can explode and possess high Defense stats, but Fighting-types are easy enough to deal with. Continue to steer clear of Koffing in the Pokémon Mansion and those owned by the bikers on the Sevii Islands. Those same islands are also home to many birds as well as Grass-types, both of which Dodrio can handle well. Finally, keep Dodrio out of the Power Plant. Flying-types don’t like Electric-types, especially those that can explode.

Checks and Counters

Rock-types: The Rock-types of the Kanto region, notably Giovanni’s Rhyhorn and Blue’s Rhydon, resist both of Dodrio’s STAB moves and have super-effective coverage for the Triple Bird Pokémon. As a result, Dodrio has trouble standing up to them, even if it’s packing Steel Wing. A Water- or Grass-type Pokémon, such as Blastoise or Venusaur, will make a good teammate for Dodrio. In return, Dodrio handles the Grass-types that could give your Water- or Grass-type trouble.

Physical Walls: Dodrio has a great Attack stat, but it still has trouble breaking past physical walls such as Weezing, Cloyster, and Golem. However, these Pokémon tend to have a low Special Defense stat, making a special attacker a good teammate for Dodrio. As such, powerful special attackers, like Alakazam or Exeggutor, can annihilate these threats and will synergize well with the Triple Bird Pokémon. In return, Dodrio can take down any Pokémon with high Special Defense and lower Defense, such as Hypno or Sabrina’s Mr. Mime.

Overall Grade: A

In a region chock-full of Flying-type Pokémon, Dodrio nevertheless stands out from the pack. Among Flying-types, it has the third-highest Attack, only coming after Dragonite, who comes very late in the game, and Gyarados, who doesn’t get a usable Flying-type move. This tremendous boon allows the Triple Bird Pokémon to hit significantly harder than its main competition, Fearow. Moreover, its movepool is good enough to make the likes of Pidgeot and, to a lesser extent, Fearow blush with envy: Doduo learns Tri-Attack early and later gets powerful, reliable Flying-type STAB in Drill Peck. As has been noted, Dodrio does have its weak points, like its lack of bulk. Nevertheless, it is an excellent choice for any team in need of a Flying-type and can be an exceptional teammate.

Resources to Utilize

Dodrio’s Learnset: https://pokemondb.net/pokedex/dodrio/moves/3

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1. For questions about this guide or for specific advice for your playthrough, send them a message on Reddit.