By TBuck48

Introduction

Welcome to the first round of our Monotype Encyclopedia! As the now-former Fire Elite Four member, I will be guiding you through a basic rundown of Fire-type Pokemon, from basic statistics and notable Pokemon, to how to use Fire-types in Smogon OU, Monotype, and lower tiers. In the official league, I only battled 5 times as a Fire-type user, garnering four wins and 1 loss. In those five battles I faced some of Fire’s biggest fears in Landorus-T and Latias, and in nearly every battle I was able to bring them down with the intense flames of my reliable Pokemon, such as Charizard or Entei. With Charizard-Y’s intense sunlight, I was able to wield mighty flames alongside my beloved Fire Pokemon, and have my opponents begging for mercy as their Pokemon succumbed to my intense flames. And now, I pass my knowledge unto you.

Type Overview

Fire has been around since the very beginning, and as such, should not be taken lightly. Fire Pokemon have the ability to dish out a lot of damage in a hurry and leave you sweating considering your options, as many have enough offensive versatility to bring down their counters. With said offensive versatility, a Monotype Fire team is typically going to be a balanced offensive team. While Fire possesses enough viable Hyper Offensive ’mons to build a Hyper Offensive team, it generally doesn’t work out as well when there are certain counters in play on the other side, especially given fire’s reputation for frail defenses. As such, bulky offense is typically the best option, as you can bring in some bulkier Pokemon that are capable of taking the needed hits, and countering the threat.

Something that is unique to Fire is its immunity to burn, which goes a long way when attacking, as burns halve the physical attack of a Pokemon, meaning potent physical attackers such as Entei or Charizard-X would not be nearly as useful when burned. This is something to consider when there is a Fire-type in play for you or your opponent, as it can allow you or an opponent to preserve precious offense by absorbing a Will-o-wisp. With that, let’s get to the numbers!

By the Numbers

Roster

# of Pokemon with this type: 67

# of Fully Evolved Pokemon: 37

Offensive Effectiveness

2x super effective against: Grass, Ice, Bug, Steel

Effective against: Normal, Electric, Flying, Fighting, Ground, Psychic, Dark, Ghost, Fairy, Poison

2x resisted by: Water, Rock, Dragon

Ineffective against: N/A

Defensive Effectiveness

2x weak against: Water, Rock, Ground

Damaged normally by: Psychic, Normal, Flying, Fighting, Dragon, Ghost, Poison, Dark, Electric

2x resistant to: Grass, Bug, Fairy, Steel, Fire, Ice

Immune to: N/A

Notable Pokemon

  • Mega Charizard X
  • Alolan Marowak
  • Heatran
  • Primal Groudon
  • Ho-Oh
  • Reshiram
  • Entei
  • Victini
  • Volcanion
  • Volcarona
  • Mega Charizard Y
  • Blaziken
  • Infernape
  • Darmanitan
  • Incineroar
  • Heat Rotom
  • Chandelure
  • Arcanine
  • Salazzle
  • Torkoal
  • Turtonator

 

Notable Moves

Status:

  • Will-o-Wisp

Physical:

  • Flare Blitz
  • Sacred Fire
  • Fire Punch
  • Blaze Kick
  • Fire Fang
  • Heat Crash

Special:

  • Fire Blast
  • Eruption
  • Flamethrower
  • Fusion Flare
  • Blue Flare
  • Burn Up
  • Overheat
  • Searing Shot
  • Shell trap
  • V-Create

Z-Moves

  • Inferno Overdrive
  • Z Will-O-Wisp
    • In addition to burning the target, raises the users attack one stage

Analysis: How to Use Fire

In the Gen 6 OU metagame, Fire possessed some of the most feared Pokemon, particularly either Mega Charizard (X and Y both), Heatran, Volcarona, and most of all, Talonflame. The problems that these Pokemon posed in the metagame was that they were all quite versatile. Mega Charizard-Y was one of the most powerful wallbreakers in the tier, and was capable of countering its counters with a sun-boosted solar beam, while Mega Charizard X was a powerful setup sweeper with Dragon Dance and its ability tough claws. Further, you were always left guessing what form Charizard your opponent was bringing until it mega evolved or you used context clues to deduce. Heatran acted as a complement to Fire-weak Pokemon, such as Scizor and Ferrothorn, as it could absorb Fire-type moves and increase the power of its own Fire-type moves. Finally, Talonflame was a presence on most OU teams due to its versatility in several different roles, earning it the nickname “Smogon Bird.”

charizard-megaxcharizard-megayheatrantalonflame

All four of these Pokemon were something to worry about, as it was unclear what set they were running until it was actually brought out. In OU, Fire-types usually fit into the role of a wallbreakers or set-up sweepers; common examples of these are Charizard-Y (wallbreaker), and Charizard-X, Talonflame, and Volcarona (sweepers). Heatran ran a variety of sets, with a bulky utility set being the most common, as it is able to set up stealth rocks, tank hits, and serve in a stallbreaker role. I faced a fair number of battlers on Smogon OU who would use these Pokemon indiscriminately, without clearing out counters, particularly with Talonflame, and as such these battlers would usually forfeit after losing one of them. The battlers who could master the use of these Pokemon could be terrifying to face, especially those who could make use of Bulk Up Talonflame effectively, or those who set up a Volcarona or Charizard-X on a predicted switch.

volcarona

When building a team with these Pokemon in mind, with the exception of Heatran, they will typically be the center of the team, as Charizard X, Talonflame, and Volcarona make excellent win-cons (win conditions) due to their power and speed after setting up. As such, it is important to have a spinner or defogger to clear the field of Stealth Rocks, especially since all three are 4x weak to Stealth Rocks. Other vital members should include Pokemon with immunities/resistances to the win-con’s weaknesses; Chesnaught was an excellent complement to Mega Charizard-Y on my league audition team, as it resisted every one of Charizard’s weaknesses, and as such was an excellent switch-in to Ground-, Rock-, and Water-types. Entry hazard-setters are also vital, as they help with getting KO’s that wouldn’t occur without them and help maintain pressure on a team that requires a lot of switch-ins.

Problems that Fire-types have in OU, and really any of the metagame, are Stealth Rocks. Stealth Rocks deal damage on switch-in based on type match-up, and as Fire is weak to Rock, most Fire-types will take at minimum 25% HP damage on each switch-in; Pokemon such as Charizard, Talonflame, and Volcarona will take 50%. Most Fire-types will also struggle against Dragon Pokemon, as they resist Fire STAB, and are usually capable of dealing a lot of damage to Fire-types, especially Garchomp and Latios. Terrakion is also a huge concern given its massive attack and that it speed-ties Fire’s fastest non-Talonflame Pokemon in Infernape; with a Choice Scarf, it outspeeds Talonflame that isn’t using a Flying-Type move and +1 Charizard-X. As previously mentioned, having good complements to Fire-types is huge.

So far in the Gen 7 metagame, a couple of these major players have seen reduced usage. Both Charizard X and Talonflame have dropped in usage, although I do not expect it to remain that way with Charizard X. Charizard Y was initially Underused, but has recently been banned to the purgatory that is Borderline. Talonflame however, was heavily affected by a change to it’s signature ability, Gale Wings, in that Flying-type moves only have priority if Talonflame has full HP, meaning that if it takes Stealth Rocks damage, it will no longer have priority. It has therefore dropped firmly to Underused. Other changes won’t be clear until later when the metagame has stabilized.

 

volcanion

The final Pokemon that typically sees a lot of usage is Volcanion, as it is immune to Water with its ability, Water Absorb. As mentioned in the beginning of this post, Fire-Mono will typically use a Balanced Offense setup, given its inability to counter certain types in other archetypes. Charizard will typically function as a wallbreaker, Heatran as a utility ‘mon, and Volcanion as a bulkier wallbreaker. A hazard clearer will also be vital, but the options are pitifully limited to Torkoal, and a Gen 4 transferred Defog Charizard or Moltres. In Showdown, Defog Charizard-Y is probably going to be the best option, but for those battling our league, getting a 5 IV Charizard in Gen 4 is extremely difficult without genning capabilities. Therefore I usually went with a more aggressive and risky alternative in suicide lead Infernape.

infernape

Infernape can use Taunt to prevent Stealth Rocks, and also take out the other lead with a Focus Sash, Endeavor, and Mach Punch. The rest of the team is really up to the user, but two other ‘mons to round out the four I have outlined are Alolan Marowak with Lightning Rod and Rotom-Heat, as they both do an excellent job neutralizing Electric threats.

rotom-heatmarowak-alolan

Alolan Marowak in particular is seeing a lot of usage this generation. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Sun-Moon metagame, Alolan Marowak has an important niche in being able to check or counter 3/4 Tapus and 6/7 Ultra Beasts. With a Thick Club to bring it to near Mega Mawile levels of attack and coverage via Flare Blitz/Shadow Bone/Bonemerang, Alolan Marowak is truly a hard hitter. It can also run Swords Dance, Stealth Rock, or even Will-O-Wisp depending on your specific needs. Z Will-O-Wisp, while initially tempting, should not be run, however, as the attack boost pales in comparison to Thick Club’s immense power.

Some other options to consider are Entei and Choice Scarf Darmanitan, as it makes an excellent Cleaner and Revenge Killer.

enteidarmanitan

As far as limitations go, they are the same as outlined in the OU section; Stealth Rock weakness and difficulty handling Dragon-types, so coverage moves to counter should be considered. In my opinion, Fire hasn’t changed much with Gen 7. Alolan Marowak makes an excellent addition however, to absorb Electric attacks for Charizard and Volcanion.

turtonator

Another potential mention is Turtonator, a Fire-Dragon-type. This thing is rather disappointing, honestly: it does not get Rapid Spin, it lacks the speed and bulk to make it a true threat, and it is generally outclassed by other Dragon and Fire types alike.

While I am not very well-versed with Fire in most of the other metagames, I did experiment with my Fire Elite Four team in Ubers, where I was able to use Primal Groudon.

groudon

Primal Groudon is an absolute beast, as its ability allows it to completely neutralize Water-type moves, and deal out powerful physical or special moves. The type overall performs pretty well, but given the abundance of Dragon-type ubers, it can occasionally struggle in the tier. The return of the Red and Blue Orbs in Sun and Moon mean that Primal Groudon will surely continue to be a dominating force in the Ubers Metagame.

Tips and Tricks

I discussed some of the options for Fire earlier, but I did want to go into detail on some important Pokemon I neglected to detail further. One of my favorite Fire-types to use was Choice Scarf Darmanitan. Choice Scarf allows Darmanitan to outspeed any non-scarfer, and utilize it’s ridiculous Attack stat coupled with its excellent ability in Sheer Force. As I mentioned before, it is an excellent Cleaner, so it’s use early in a match will typically involve U-turning out of battle to get chip damage and maintain offensive momentum. As such, Rotom-Heat makes an excellent counterpart, as it is able to form a volt-turn core with Darmanitan to preserve momentum and deal damage. I utilized several Rotom-Heat sets, all depending on what role I needed it to serve, but it was usually in a bulky utility capacity, as it’s ability to paralyze Pokemon is very important. Some starter Fire-Mono sets will have you using a Scarf Rotom-Heat, but this is not a great idea in my opinion, as it lacks the power to make great use of this set. Both of these sets are rather standard on Smogon’s main meta pages, but the set for Rotom-Heat is not as common, and Darmanitan is not as common as I believe it should be.

Closing Remarks

Overall, Fire is an excellent type, but in my opinion it lacks the diversity to be a top-tier Monotype at the moment, something Smogon users seem to agree with me on. While it is offensively very strong, it lacks good defensive synergy. Fire has some heavy hitters, but Dragon-types continue to cause problems, and so I am hoping for a Fire-Fairy-type in the near future to help alleviate this. I hope this article has given you a new perspective and knowledge of Fire-types- thanks for reading!

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