Where There is Smoke, There is Fire
Fire typing is undoubtedly one of the most powerful typings in all of Pokémon. Fire types have been burning their foes to the ground since generation one. VGC 2017 has been no different, and three fire types have risen to the top of the class.
Specializing primarily in offense and speed, fire types like to hit their opponents fast and leave them with a burn. Burning an opponent in Pokémon will actually serve to reduce the amount of physical damage they are capable of doing.
Not all fire types fit into this formula, however, let’s take a look at which fire types have risen to the top of the pack in VGC 2017.
Slowest Finishes Third
Torkoal @ Charcoal/Life Orb
EVs: 116 HP / 252 SpA / 140 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Heat Wave/Flamethrower/Solar Beam
– Overheat/Flamethrower/Solar Beam
While Torkoal may not be finding a massive presence in high end tournament play, this fire type turtle defined the meta early. Doing work a bit differently than other Pokémon, Torkoal would come onto the field and overpower its opponents with help from its partner’s status effects or Trick Room.
Unlike most fire type Pokémon, Torkoal is slow and bulky, with high special attack. Changes in Sun & Moon have granted Torkoal the ability Drought, which allows it to summon the sun when it enters the field. This grants its already strong fire attacks a tremendous bonus to damage.
Stranger in the Night
Marowak-Alola @ Thick Club
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 252 HP / 172 Atk / 4 Def / 68 SpD / 12 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Shadow Bone
Marowak used to be a ground type that never saw competitive play, but Sun & Moon have changed that completely. Marowak-Alola is a monstrous opponent if left unchecked. Shedding its previous ground typing, Marowak-Alola is now a Fire/Ghost type.
Just like its type changed, so too has its use in the competitive scene. Marowak-Alola started out the VGC competitive tournament circuit as most used fire type, but has since fallen to second place. While Marowak-Alola packs a punch, he can be somewhat predictable and lacks some utility.
They’re Gonna Hear Me Roar
Arcanine @ Iapapa Berry/Sitrus Berry/Life Orb
EVs: 84 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 164 Spe
– Extreme Speed
– Flare Blitz
– Snarl/Wild Charge/Will-O-Wisp
Arcanine @ Firium Z
EVs: 204 HP / 4 Def / 116 SpA / 4 SpD / 180 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Overheat / Burn Out
Arcanine has been a fan favorite since generation one, and he is still putting in work. Sitting as the most popular fire type at this point in the 2017 VGC circuit, Arcanine has been a reliable pick for many trainers. It is no surprise, due to the plethora of ways it can be run.
Always packing intimidate support, Arcanine makes his presence felt as soon as he enters the field. From there, the battle plan is based on the trainer’s choices during breeding. Arcanine can run Snarl support to lower Special Attack and deal chip damage to its opponents, or Will-O-Wisp to inflict burns.
An offensive set can also be run abusing Flare Blitz and Extremespeed. Utilizing items from Sitrus Berry, to Assault Vest, to Life Orb, Arcanine is great at leaving the opposing trainer guessing. That is why, season after season, he continues to be on top.
A Prediction For the Birds
Talonflame @ Flyinium Z
Ability: Gale Wings
EVs: 236 Atk / 20 SpD / 252 Spe
– Brave Bird
– Flare Blitz / Overheat
– Tailwind / Taunt
Due to nerfs, Talonflame has yet to take off like it has in previous seasons. My prediction is that moving forward, Talonflame will play a much more prominent roll. Offering great offensive pressure, Tailwind support, and the ability to pressure the popular Kartana, Talonflame is poised to make a comeback!
All images courtesy of Game Freak
Follow me on Twitter: @aeroashwind