Dragon-type Pokémon are a popular group in Pokémon's history. It has yielded awe, excitement, reverence, frustration, and controversy. When looking through the extensive National Dex, Dragon-types have little variation in their aesthetic and appeal. They’re intimidating and fierce Pokémon, or they have some sort of mythical and awesome air about them.
Then there are Pokémon that cause some people to scratch their heads. Why are these Pokémon Dragon-types? Why not this one? We’re going to tackle that topic now. Here are some Pokémon that should be Dragon-types, and some others that shouldn’t be.
10 SHOULDN’T BE: Goodra
Goodra is different. Goodra is unique. Goodra brings something different compared to its other pseudo-legendary counterparts. It definitely has the aesthetic and real-life inspiration, such as the Lou Carcolh or the “blue dragon” sea slug.
It’s also hard to justify Goodra as a Dragon-type. Its Dragon-type appeal and appearance are strange. It also would’ve been a great opportunity to introduce a non-Dragon-type pseudo-legendary. Imagine if it was Poison, Fairy, or a Water-type. Missed opportunity.
9 SHOULD BE: Charizard
Charizard’s original typing makes a lot of sense. It would prevent Charizard from being the go-to starter pick of the Kanto Region, and it wouldn’t be broken. This was remedied with his Mega X Evolution, which turns the iconic Fire-type into part Dragon.
But at the same time – if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck. Despite its power, Charizard can be dismantled rather quickly by its type disadvantages and anything that can tank Special Attack damage. It’s a much different landscape now.
8 SHOULDN’T BE: Altaria
According to Bulbapedia, “Altaria is likely based on a Peng, a Chinese legendary bird of enormous size, said to travel 3000 li in one flap of its mighty, cloud-like wings. It is often portrayed as having a fish's head and whiskers.”
As much as people love Altaria, the Humming Pokémon looks nothing like a Dragon-type. Since its base form, Swablu, is a Normal/Flying-type, of course, it’s going to resemble a bird more. The Peng has a fish head and whiskers, but Altaria has nothing like that. They should probably change it to a Fairy/Flying-type.
7 SHOULD BE: Aggron
Aggron has the perfect aesthetic to be a Dragon-type. Since reptiles are known for their scaled and sturdy hides, Aggron would fit right into that popular mythos. According to Bulbapedia, Aggron may have been based on “Triceratops and various theropods,” and dinosaur-like Pokémon (think Haxorus) tend to become Dragon-types.
Aggron should have gained the Dragon-type for its Mega Evolution. It made sense that it became a mono Steel-type, since it accrued more armor. However, its Mega would’ve been the perfect opportunity to give the steel behemoth the Dragon-type.
6 SHOULDN’T BE: The Applin Line
Some criticism of the Gen 8 tends to include this Pokémon. Applin is a Pokémon that spends most of its life inside of an apple. It evolves into either Flapple or Appletun, the latter which uses its sweet fragrances to draw in Bug Pokémon for consumption. Flapple can spit “powerful acid.”
While those Dex entries are pretty fascinating, the Pokémon itself is not a Dragon-type. It seems like they took the concept of an earthworm and Venus flytrap, slapped the Dragon-type label on it, and made it into a Dragon-type. It would serve better as a Normal/Grass-type.
5 SHOULD BE: Aerodactyl
Aerodactyl is a peculiar case. Its design is inspired by wyverns, mythical winged creatures known for their fierce appearance and nature. Wyverns are commonly associated with Dragons. Pterosaurs, which inspired Aerodactyl’s design, are also called “winged dragons” in Japan; Clair and Lance also had Aerodactyls in their party at one point.
Because they resembled Dragons so much, why not make them Dragons? Well, pterosaurs are often seen as predecessors to modern bird species; in this case, Aerodactyl is the predecessor to Flying-type Pokémon. And as a Fossil Pokémon, it had no choice but to be a Rock-type. Could’ve been part Dragon in its Mega Evolution, but I guess GameFreak did not want to undermine Tyrantrum.
4 SHOULDN’T BE: Guzzlord
The most infuriating thing about Guzzlord is the fact that there is already a Dark/Dragon-type that fills the “eat everything” niche. You know, Hydreigon. The Brutal Pokémon that attacks anything and devours all in its path. They could’ve made Guzzlord a Steel/Dark-type instead.
It seemed like GameFreak fell back on previous lore in order to pad the existence of this Ultra Beast. Considering Guzzlord is the final encounter in the post-game Ultra Beast missions, it looks bad on GameFreak’s part. Guzzlord had much influence on the story with Looker and Anabel, and this is the direction they took him? Unbelievable.
3 SHOULD BE: Gyarados
Gyarados was in the same situation as Charizard in the early days of Pokémon. If it was a Dragon-type back then, all other Water-types would’ve been irrelevant, Kingdra included. Now that the Pokémon landscape has become more balanced and diverse, there was freedom to alter the typing of existing Pokémon.
What didn’t make sense was that Gyarados did not get a Dragon-typing when it got a Mega Evolution. Instead, it became a Water/Dark-type. While the Dark-typing is fitting, it was still a headscratcher. Fans waited over 15 years for Gyarados to get its corrected typing, and this was the result? Strange indeed.
2 SHOULDN’T BE: Alolan Exeggutor
The only thing that looks Dragon-related on Alolan Exeggutor is the tail. Alolan Exeggutor is literally a palm tree, so how is that in any way related to Dragons? Is it because of the elongated neck? It’s good for satire but doesn’t align with the whole package. Also, Alolan Exeggutor only knows three Dragon-type moves between Egg Moves, Move Tutor, natural moveset, and TMs.
It would’ve made more sense to convert Exeggutor into a Ground-type. Alola is an island and surrounded by a bunch of sand. Players are more likely to find Alolan Exeggutor around beach areas since it’s a palm tree. It would also have more access to Ground-type moves.
1 SHOULD BE: Milotic
Instead of making Altaria part Dragon-type, they should’ve made Milotic part Dragon-type. Milotic is already a powerful Pokémon that requires much labor to obtain in Gen 3 and 4. It would’ve made sense considering its mythical beauty, rarity, whiskers, elongated body, and visible scales on its tail.
Milotic can already use Dragon-type moves, and one of its Egg Groups is Dragon. If Milotic got a Mega Evolution, its typing could’ve been Water/Dragon. But GameFreak has no plans to create more Megas since they weren’t present in Sword/Shield. Oh well.