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In the moonlight n°25: Charizard, being Ryuujin Jakka before it was cool

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In the moonlight n°25: Charizard, being Ryuujin Jakka before it was cool

Post by Champion Blackwolf on Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:15 pm

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Charmander is one of the very first Pokemon: the fire starter from Gen 1. Whoever doesn't know it can go for a Pokemon anime marathon from the very beginning or play Red/Blue/Yellow for the first time in their 20 years of existence. Charmander is one of the bases and has many fans among the players from the 90's, people my age or even older, for whom Charizard was one of the most badass Pokemon (or maybe Mewtwo). Charmander has a base stat total of 309, that's about the power of a starter. Its highest stats are special attack (60) and speed (65), but nothing really high if you consider LC Pokemon such as Shieldon, Abra… Charmander has access to two abilities: Blaze, the ability every fire starter shares, raising fire power by 50% below 1/3 of its max HP; and Solar Power that raises special attack by 50% in sun but makes it lose 1/8 of its max HP after every turn of sun. Basically, Fire Blast is increased by 50% three times (STAB + sun + Solar Power), making it even stronger than Facade with Toxic Boost while poisoned.

Comparing it to its evolved forms: Charmeleon keeps the same abilities, but has a rather small raise in its base stats: total 405, from 309. Oh well, it's still not Scizor. Its special attack and speed both go up to a base of 80, rather decent. Also rather fragile with 58 base HP, 58 Def and 65 SpD. It's an average NFE Pokemon.
On the other hand, Charizard is rather strong: 534 BST, even in OU you don't always get them that high. Special attack 109, speed 100, that's enough to do heavy damage. Base attack 84, that's enough too. Charizard gets the fire/flying dual typing and learns moves like Solar Beam, Earthquake, Belly Drum, Dragon Dance, Blast Burn, Ancient Power, Air Slash, Roost… Well used, Charizard can become a key member of your team.

Gen 6 gave Charizard overwhelming power, in the form of two Mega-Evolutions. Yes, TWO. Mega-Charizard-X finally satisfies the fans by getting the long expected fire/dragon typing. Its offensive stats both reach 130, making it unpredictable since it can be physical, special or mixed (yet it's mostly physical because you have MCY with Drought for special fire power), and Dragon Dance can compensate its limited speed. As it also gets a 111 base defense, MCX now has enough bulk to afford Dragon Dance and Roost. Its ability becomes Tough Claws, raising by one third the power of its moves that make contact such as Flare Blitz or Outrage.

As for Mega-Charizard-Y, it's mostly the special side that's enhanced: 115 base special defense, and its base SpA jumps to 159. Yes, that's beyond base form Mewtwo. It keeps the fire/flying typing and gets the ability Drought, that summons sun in battle, enabling it to fire a SolarBeam in one turn, weaken water power, weaken the accuracy of Hurricane, Thunder… In OU with two possible megas, Charizard is unpredictable, the only way to counter it for sure is being faster and hitting with Stone Edge.


How to play them?

[img][/img]
Charmander: LC tier. Better get a Vulpix with a heat rock to set sun, you're going to need it. For Charmander itself, choice scarf with Solar Power. One Fire Blast will hit quite hard, but as Charmander has few special moves, it's going to be Ancient Power, Hidden Power Grass (in case of water and rock types), get whatever filler move you can think of, Echoed Voice, Dragon Pulse… Just remember Charmander has very few relevant special moves. Your best one will still be Fire Blast enhanced by sun, Solar Power and STAB, but you can also get Flamethrower instead for accuracy: the triple boost will multiply the power by 3.375 for a power of 303, still stronger than a Selfdestruct with STAB. Yet, if you’re not sure to OHKO because of eviolite-enhanced special defense, Fire Blast can hit 405 (stronger than STAB Explosion).

[img][/img]
Charmeleon : NFE. Playable in PU, but not higher, because it would be outclassed by base form Charizard and it’s simply not good enough. Even in PU I had some trouble using it. As Charmeleon needs to boost both its offensive stat and speed, better run physical over special, eviolite and Blaze because you’re likely to get low HP. You can also replace eviolite with sash if that makes you feel safer. First set up with Dragon Dance, then unload Flare Blitz, Outrage for a base power of 120. For your last move, don’t be afraid of creativity. Mine is Counter just in case : it’s sometimes better than pure offense, especially against bulky attackers. But once again, Charmeleon isn’t that good even in PU, and if you have any doubt don’t use it. After all… Golem is PU.

[img][/img]
Charizard : NU tier. It’s hardly ever seen in its base form, but I still tested it in Gen 6. Here are two sets I’ve used.
Special set, drawn out of every Smogon suggestion. Rely on sun and Solar Power, but don’t let Charizard set sun on its own, it’s rather dangerous. Better get a heat rock Drought Ninetales instead. For the item, either a flame plate to boost fire moves by 20% or a choice scarf/specs. For offense, you have either Fire Blast or Flamethrower. Flamethrower is more accurate, and still reaches 303 with just sun + STAB + Solar Power. Add a flame plate and you’ll hit 364, get choice specs instead and you’ll get 455. As for Fire Blast, it gets under the same conditions respectively 405; 486 and 607. Good luck for survival if you face it. Air Slash for flying STAB and Solar Beam to counter water or rock types. If you have a flame plate, you can complete your set with Roost, even something as fragile as Charizard sometimes gets the occasion to use it. If you have a scarf or specs, Focus Blast can help with coverage but I don’t trust that move, with 70% accuracy it is likely to turn against you. 252 SpA 252 speed, nature depends on the item.
If you want to take full advantage of Charizard’s potential though, here’s a high risk high reward combo that I’ve been testing. Run specs Solar Power Charizard in a sun team, with a heat rock Ninetales with Drought, or a sash Sunny Day Tailwind Talonflame (Fletchinder in monotype), I hate Gale Wings but it’s more balanced when run for support only. Once you have your Charizard in tailwind and sun, spam Overheat: with a 406,25% bonus in power (STAB + sun + Solar Power + specs multiplying the base power by 1,5 power 4), you can afford a SpA drop. Extreme power, but requires a lot of setup and perfect timing, and your team will focus too much on Charizard, making it a weakness. It’s up to you.
Now a physical set, one of my own. Just get Blaze, for Solar Power is useless for physical offense, and get a Sitrus berry that you’re going to need. First make sure Charizard doesn’t get hit in its first turn, because it relies on Belly Drum. Use it against a staller if that helps. As for me, I have a reckless combo: I use a lvl 1 Relicanth with Sturdy and sticky bard. I take one hit, use Yawn, then let it faint form sticky barb damage. Charizard then faces that drowsy opponent, which is likely to switch out to avoid sleeping. Then set Belly Drum and activate the berry. If the target chooses to strike then sleep instead, just use Roost on the next turn, that move helps a lot. Then you can unload Flare Blitz (you still have Roost in case of low HP) and Fly and sweep. That ReliZard combo does work and I owe it my best mindf**k battle: +6 Charizard sweeps four opponents, faints itself on Flare Blitz against Weezing (I wanted to avoid Haze), then Ferroseed stalls out a Miltank, lvl 1 Relicanth is used on two occasions and still survives. That made my opponent ragequit the NU frontier brain test in my league. So sad. 252 Atk 252+ Speed.

[img][/img]
Mega-Charizard-X : OU tier, currently banned from mono in exchange for Zapdos (whyyyyyy). Even if its offensive stats are even, most users run a physical set. Dragon Dance to boost attack and speed, then unload Flare Blitz and Outrage. Then you can fill the set with Earthquake, Rock Slide, Crunch, Roost… it’s up to you. I don’t really have anything to add. 252 atk 252 speed, get the nature you want, but I’d boost the speed a little more, since you already have Tough Claws to hit harder. You can combine this set with a dual screen support (such as Rotom-Heat in monotype when MCX wasn’t banned, combo by Primal Mamoswine) to secure the setup.

[img][/img]
Mega-Charizard-Y : OU tier. Three notable sets here, let’s start with the OU/monotype set. For STAB, you have of course Flamethrower or Fire Blast (the eternal choice between power and accuracy), to reach 202 or 270 with sun + fire STAB. Then, Air Slash, still useful, and Solar Beam for coverage, since you have sun going your way. You can fill your set with Roost, but Focus Blast remains good against Heatran (assuming you don’t miss and get hit by Ancient Power). Even if MCY is rather good on its own, it still doesn’t show its full potential in OU/mono. 252 SpA 252+ speed.

1v1 set : Mega-Charizard-Y is good in that MG, and was even better under the old rules, I’ll explain. 1v1 is a metagame where you and your opponent choose one Pokemon out of the three in your team, with a team preview. First kill wins. Under the old rules, there was no team preview, and the first Pokemon of your team was always selected. Under those old rules, I made my way to the top 5 of the 1v1 ladder, back in June 2014, with Mega-Charizard-Y, almost always winning with one hit. MCY was so much of a threat my opponents started running checks just for me, such as Gyarados (to which I answered with Hidden Power electric) and Golem (which MCY could never beat). This was my set: Solar Beam for coverage, Protect to avoid Fake Out, the fourth move could change, sometimes Air Slash, sometimes Ancient Power (for other Charizards), sometimes Hidden Power (for Gyarados). But my main move was Blast Burn. In 1v1 you can afford it, once you get a kill it’s over. And Blast Burn with STAB and sun hits a power of 337. Add MCY’s high special attack and you have a OHKO machine. Better use Mega-Charizard-Y than Solar Power Charizard in 1v1, because of Drought : a regular Charizard most likely won’t survive after setting sun through Sunny Day, and focus sash is banned. 252 SpA 252 Speed.

Doubles set : Mega-Charizard-Y has a possible combo thanks to its drought ability, combined with a move learned only by fire type starters : Fire Pledge. The Pledge moves all have a base power of 80 and can be learned by starters only. When combined with another Pledge move, both moves become one with double power and gain a secondary effect. When Water Pledge and Grass Pledge are combined, the move becomes a 160 base power grass type move and create a swamp on the opponent’s field for four turns, halving their speed. When Water Pledge and Fire Pledge are combined, the move gains the water type and creates a rainbow for four turns that works like Serene Grace (ewww). Finally, when Fire Pledge and Grass Pledge are used together, the combined move gains fire type and creates a sea of fire on the opponent’s field, removing 1/8 of the opponent’s max HP for four turns. The combo I’ve tested is Fire+Grass Pledge, with the best two users : Mega-Charizard-Y and Chlorophyll Venusaur. For that kind of combined move, both Pokemon attack at the same time, with the faster one’s speed and the slower one’s power. Here’s the set : Venusaur with Chlorophyll and black sludge, Grass Pledge + Protect + two filler moves, mine are Synthesis and Sludge wave, partner Mega-Charizard-Y with Fire Pledge + Protect + two filler moves, mine are Air Slash and Solar Beam. Use Protect with both Pokemon in turn 1, to set sun with Drought and not take any damage before Venusaur is at full speed. Then unload the Fire Pledge combination : base power 360 with sun + STAB, Chlorophyll speed (up to 568 with Venusaur), special attack up to 458 (MCY), secondary effect that hurts the foes after every turn and no negative effect (other than having two Pokemon using one move while facing two foes). Good luck getting back up from that if someone uses it against you. Fear Venuzard-Y.

Under every evolution stage or form (besides Charmeleon), Charizard can become extremely powerful for the tier it’s in, and even gain insane power without even going mega. Never underestimate that evolution line, they define fire power.



By Champion Blackwolf. I do not own the pictures. Next topic, Gengar. I'm back to business and it feels good.

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Re: In the moonlight n°25: Charizard, being Ryuujin Jakka before it was cool

Post by Woyaojinkela on Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:21 pm

nice article n_n Glad ur back n_n btw it says primal mamoswine XD


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Re: In the moonlight n°25: Charizard, being Ryuujin Jakka before it was cool

Post by Champion Blackwolf on Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:51 am

Yes, Primal Mamoswine is a player. He's the one who showed me the combo between Rotom-Heat and MCX Wink Anyway sorry I'm late for this article, I spent the whole September with no pc... I'll be faster with Gengar XD

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Re: In the moonlight n°25: Charizard, being Ryuujin Jakka before it was cool

Post by Woyaojinkela on Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:43 pm

okay n_n whole september without pc must be painful


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Re: In the moonlight n°25: Charizard, being Ryuujin Jakka before it was cool

Post by Champion Blackwolf on Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:42 am

It sure is, especially when you have a whole league to run XD

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