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Community POTW #059

Discussion in 'POTW Collaboration' started by Serebii, Dec 31, 2017.

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  1. Serebii

    Serebii And, as if by magic, the webmaster appeared... Staff Member Admin

  2. Sceptile Leaf Blade

    Sceptile Leaf Blade Happy Minun

    This thing used to be so common in Battle Spot doubles, in the top 3 even. It dwindled a bit over the months since Sun and Moon's release with other pokémon like Tapu Fini gaining more popularity, and it's now out of the top 30, but it's still an amazing pokémon in doubles. It brings a lot of utility, versatility, and reliability. It's got decent enough bulk, decent offensive power, great coverage, Intimidate, and a pretty solid typing. It can run special sets, it can run physical sets, it can run defensive sets, it can do all sorts of things because its movepool is just so wide.

    I'll give a somewhat gimmicky moveset as an example of what it can do. It's by no means the most common but it might gain some usage now that Skill Swap Spinda is back:

    Arcanine @ Leftovers
    Ability: Intimidate
    Nature: Sassy nature (can also be Calm or Careful)
    EVs: 252 HP, 100 Attack, 156 Sp.Def
    -Close Combat
    -Morning Sun
    -Extreme Speed / Protect / Snarl / Will-o-Wisp / other

    This is for doubles, to be paired with a Skill Swap Contrary Spinda with a Focus Sash. The idea is to use Skill Swap to give Arcanine Contrary and Spinda Intimidate. This will trigger Intimidate a second time, lowering your opponent's stats even more. And from there Arcanine starts building up defences with Close Combat to become practically invincible. Once you've set up a lot of defensive bulk, you can start spamming Overheat, which also combines with Contrary. Morning Sun is your recovery move as this is a defensive set. The reason for the increased focus on special bulk in the EVs and nature is that you've got Intimidates supporting the physical side. The EVs aren't exact, they're just a rough baseline of what you can think of. There are variations possible here. You can also forego Morning Sun, go with four attacks (for instance Close Combat, Overheat, Snarl, and Wild Charge or Extreme Speed), and run Assault Vest. It sacrifices recovery but gives you more bulk early on, it's especially viable if you've got partners that can heal you, like Mega Audino, Tapu Fini, or Comfey.

    In the ideal scenario Spinda actually survives to use Skill Swap a second time, this time to give Intimidate to an opponent's pokémon. This way you'll trigger Intimidate on their side of the field, increasing Arcanine's attack stat (thanks to Contrary), and simultaneously potentially remove a powerful ability from the opponent. Remove Comfey's Triage, remove Whimsicott's Prankster, remove Kangaskhan's Parental Bond, remove Salamence's Aerilate, and so on. Or hit their Landorus with Skill Swap, trading Intimidate for Intimidate (so your opponent's attack stats get even lower).

    Of course this set has its weaknesses. It can be Roared out pretty easily while setting up, Competitive Milotic loves opening against this as it loves eating all those Intimidates (although it must watch out for a potential Wild Charge), and it falls apart if Spinda fails the Skill Swap because it gets double-focused with powerful moves or gets Taunted, but if the opponent doesn't open with immediate power but with some kind of setup strategy instead it can be very potent.

    You can also run Mega Charizard Y in the same team. It sets up sun well, and Spinda can also give Contrary to Charizard after it mega evolves, giving Charizard that Overheat snowball in the sun (which is pretty terrifying, at +2 its Heat Wave does insane damage). Alternatively, Charizard can come in once Spinda goes down and set up sun for Arcanine to love and provide more destruction.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  3. Mestorn

    Mestorn Wandering Battler

    Arcanine the legendary pokémon. Easily one of the better fire types in the game, and has always enjoyed a degree of popularity, having been Smogon UU nearly its entire career (admittedly being in UU sucked in Gens I and II, but is respectable in every generation after). Arcanine's stats are well rounded allowing it to run Offensive and Defensive sets with ease, as well as a healthy movepool that allows it to handle a myriad of threats, and an excellent ability in Intimidate. Arcanine still has its problems though. Pure Fire remains a poor type, providing weaknesses to several popular types, and vulnerability to all entry hazards (though the resistance to Fairy and Ice moves makes it a decent partner for Dragons). Additionally, while its stats are well rounded, they are not fantastic, making Arcanine vulnerable to being walled/broken through relatively easy.

    Foo Dog
    Ability: Intimidate
    Item: Leftovers/Sitrus Berry
    -Morning Sun
    -Roar/Fire Spin/Toxic
    Nature: Bold (+DEF, -ATK) or Calm (+SDEF, -ATK)
    EVs: 244 HP/188 SDEF/78 SPD

    This Arcanine is meant as a deterrent to physical sweepers, tanking their attack first with Intimidate, than the Burn with Will-o-Wisp, effectively having them sit as -3 ATK. Then recover with Morning Sun and break the opponent slowly with repeated Flamethrowers. Last move is up to you. Roar is great if you have a setup sweeper facing you, a predicted swap in and/or entry hazards laid down. Fire Spin can trap weakened opponents in, while Toxic is good for targets that don't mind the Burn.

    Preferred Partners
    Tapu Fini and Kartana have been two of Arcanine's popular partners in VGC and for good reason: as part of the Water Grass Fire triangle, they cover for each other's weaknesses very well. What one is weak to, the others can resist and Arcanine's Stat lowering capabilities in Snarl, Will-o-Wisp and Intimidate make it and its partners much bulkier. Obviously, other Water and Grass types can help construct this Core as well and can be considered.

    Entry hazard removers are a great asset for Arcanine, as most sets will do a lot of switching and hate getting wrecked by entry hazards. Outside of Snarl, most of Arcanine's bulk comes from the physical side of things, so having a sponge on hand to help knock down what Arcanine can't can provide a useful mini core.

    Dragon types like Arcanine for its ability to handle opposing Fairys, Steels, and Ice types. Entry hazard setters also make great partners. Between Arcanine's access to Roar, and myriad of sets, it can easily force a lot of switches. Setup sweeper also appreciate Arcanine for its ability to disable opponents to the point where they can setup safely.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  4. XaelOstigian

    XaelOstigian Competitive...kinda

    Oh Arcanine, I remember back in Gen 2 when I naively thought high total base stats made a good Pokemon and how surprised I was when I saw its total. Obviously I know now that it takes a lot more than that to be good in battle, but Arcanine is still arguably one of the best Fire types out there because of said high stats, access to good abilities, and surprisingly wide movepool both offensively, defensively, and in terms of utility. One of the great things about Arcanine is that it could be anything you want on your team. A physical sweeper, a special sweeper, a mixed sweeper, a defensive status inducer, a late-game cleaner, and I'm sure you could even run a weird set no competitive player would think of using. Honestly its difficult to use Arcanine improperly because of this, and that's impressive in of itself.

    Intimidate: Lowers the attack stat of all opponents on the field upon switching in. Arguably the best of Arcanine's abilities, this ability is part of the reason it works as a defensive Pokemon and even on offensive sets being able to sponge physical attacks better is never a bad thing, especially with doubles becoming a popular format now.
    Flash Fire: Fire attacks against the user (Including Will-O-Wisp) inflict no damage and increases the power of the users fire attacks by 50%. Not a bad ability as being able to switch into anticipated fire attacks or burns allows Arcanine a free switch in and gives it ready ammunition to strike back in full. But where this ability only works with fire attacks, Intimidate works every time you switch in, so Intimidate is the better option.
    Justified (Hidden): Increases attack of the user by 1 stage every time it gets get by a dark attack. Even more situational than Flash Fire though at least the power boost applies to all physical attacks and not just fire attacks. Hypothetically you could use this ability in doubles alongside a Pokemon with Beat Up to rack up the attack boosts, but Arcanine's best physical STAB takes a chunk out of its health and the added damage from Beat Up doesn't help with longevity. Intimidate is just easier to use all around.

    RK9 Unit (Mixed Sweeper)
    Ability: Intimidate
    Item: Life Orb
    Nature: Naive
    EV's: Attack: 252 Sp.Attack: 4 Speed: 252

    Flare Blitz
    Extreme Speed
    Close Combat

    A fairly straightforward set. Flare Blitz is the strongest move at Arcanine's disposal but trainers should be mindful of the recoil when combined with the Life Orb as health with fall off pretty fast. Extreme Speed picks off weakened targets with strong priority as well as faster and frailer targets. Close Combat (Not sure how a 4-leg creature can use this but whatever) offers the best coverage and damage of Arcanine's many offensive options albeit at the cost of defenses with each use. Finally there's Overheat which targets physically defensive Pokemon that can take a hit from Flare Blitz and unlike Flare Blitz does not come at the cost of its own health, and the special attack drop is manageable with a simple swap out (This also gives Arcanine a chance to use its Intimidate ability again).

    The Pound Hound (Physical Sweeper)
    Ability: Intimidate
    Item: Choice Band/Life Orb
    Nature: Jolly
    EV's: HP: 4 Attack: 252 Speed: 252

    Flare Blitz
    Extreme Speed
    Close Combat
    Wild Charge

    Pretty much the same as the above set only with more coverage and power with sole physical investment. Flare Blitz is still the main move (Again watch the recoil), Extreme Speed has high priority and picks off those hanging on by a thread, Close Combat has the coverage, and the new slot goes to Wild Charge which targets Water types that think they have the upper hand (But again...recoil)

    It's Always Sunny in Philadogphia (Special Sun Sweeper)
    Ability: Intimidate
    Item: Life Orb/Leftovers/Firium Z
    Nature: Timid
    EV's: HP: 4 Sp.Attack: 252 Speed: 252

    Fire Blast/Flamethrower
    Solar Beam
    Morning Sun
    Dragon Pulse/Hidden Power (Ground)/Sunny Day

    I'll admit Arcanine's special movepool is not as wide as its physical one, but I'm giving this a shot anyways, and at least this set does not have any nasty recoil moves. With the help of some sun from its teammates, Fire Blast is Arcanine's main power move but can be swapped out for Flamethrower if you want something more reliable. With sun support Aracnine can also spam Solar Beam allowing it to punish the Water and Rock types it would otherwise have difficulty with. Even without investment, Arcanine has good natural bulk and intimidate also helps compensate in its defenses, so running Morning Sun to keep it healthy is a good option to increase Arcanine's longevity. With sun up the recovery move even jumps from 50% to 66% of max health restored so its a good option all around. The final move is a toss up depending on what you want. Dragon Pulse provides good neutral coverage against threats that resist both your STAB and Solar Beam, Hidden Power (Ground) is more prescriptive in handing other Fire types that resist both attacks (Especially Heatran), or you could set up the sun yourself with Sunny Day which if used in tangent with a Z-Crystal can boost Arcanine's speed and make it even more threatening (Or you could always use an Inferno Overdrive STAB with the sun to instantly reduce key threats to vapor if you prefer). Really, the item choice is ultimately down to whether you want better longevity or greater power.

    The Majestic Beast (Defensive Utility)
    Ability: Intimidate
    Item: Leftovers
    Nature: Bold
    EV's: HP: 252 Defense: 148 Sp.Defense: 108 (This is just a balanced EV set I like to use for all my defensive Pokemon, go on and judge...)

    Morning Sun
    Toxic/Roar/Fire Spin

    (Looks at above posts) Shoot, someone beat me to it...ah well. Might as well reiterate.
    Arcanine works surprisingly well as a defensive stall and status inducer thanks to its natural bulk, intimidate, and access to Will-O-Wisp. Flamethrower keeps the Taunt users from ruining you and still offers consistent and powerful damage thanks to Arcanine's good offensive stats, Will-O-Wisp whittles down opponents health but more importantly nerfs their physical attacks which alongside intimidate allows Arcanine to sponge physical attacks with impunity, Morning Sun is the obligatory recovery move required of any defensive Pokemon (Just be mindful of the low PP and any weather that is not sun), and the last moveslot is a choice of your own preferences. Toxic allows Arcanine to beat other defensive Pokemon that rely on their own recovery move and gives Arcanine a more reliable means a damaging other Fire types that wall Flamethrower and are immune to Will-O-Wisp's burns, Roar prevents opposing Pokemon from setting up stat boosts while simultaneously racking up entry hazard damage and a chance to spread the Will-O-Wisp burns all around, and Fire Spin adds additional residual damage while at the same time trapping the opponent and preventing them from switching to a better counter.

    Just a Show Dog (Gimmicky Doubles Set)
    Ability: Justified
    Item: Leftovers/Life Orb
    Nature: Jolly
    EV's: HP: 4 Attack: 252 Speed: 252

    Flare Blitz/Fire Fang
    Extreme Speed
    Wild Charge/Close Combat
    Morning Sun

    I briefly touched upon this in the abilities section as a joke, but I might as well try a novelty set.
    The idea is to use Arcanine in doubles alongside a faster Beat Up user (Dugtrio, Sneasel/Weavile, Ambipom, Whimsicott) and have them attack Arcanine. With a full team of healthy Pokemon, Arcanine's attack is boosted to its maximum allowing it to sweep almost anything that stands against it. Flare Blitz has the most power but the recoil can spell your doom if you don't anticipate properly, so Fire Fang is a weaker and safer alternative if you prefer. Extreme Speed is obligatory of course to beat out other priority users that would try and pick off a weakened Arcanine after a Beat Up and receiving recoil damage from its moves. Wild Charge handles Water types better but Close Combat takes out Rock types that otherwise resist the STAB and Extreme Speed (However the defense drops can come back to haunt you in terms of longevity). And finally Morning Sun helps Arcanine recover health lost from recoil, Beat Up, and opposing attacks, just be weary that if you use Close Combat on this moveset that Morning Sun will become less viable once your defenses become compromised.
  5. zecapau

    zecapau Member

    Time to try a set for Doubles.

    The Year of the Dog
    Ability: Intimidate
    Item: Shuca Berry/Leftovers
    - Flamethrower/HeatWave
    - Morning Sun
    - Wll-O-Wisp
    - Protect/Snarl/Dragon Pulse/Solarbeam
    EVs: 252HP/156SpA/100SpD
    Bold Nature

    This set is kinda maleable depending the purpose. Leftovers is good for longevity, while Shuca Berry has the purpose to make Garchomp or other Ground-types waste their (Intimidated) Groundium-Z at the cost of about half of your health (2/3 if not at -1Atk), which you can proceed to heal yourself with Morning Sun or cripple it with Will-O-Wisp for the rest of the game. Protect can also do the same job, which is a plus with Shuca Berry if they threaten you with Earthquake on the next turn.

    Protect can be exchanged for some alternatives. Snarl can ruin some special attackers or prevent them to boost their own. Despite the fact that Dragon Pulse can't OHKO Garchomp, it may shoo it away since it has a chance to 2HKO. In alternative Solarbeam has a function only for sun teams, also forces Tapu-Fini to switch out otherwise risks the chance of being 2HKO'd (or OHKO'd with your partner's contribution).

    Flamethrower and Heat Wave depend wether your opponent has Quick Guard or not.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  6. GeeGee

    GeeGee Late to the party

    +90/80/80 bulk with mono fire typing is decent, especially after an intimidate
    +110/100/95 offenses is respectable and gives arcanine great flexibility
    +access to 3 great abilities
    +phenomenal movepool, both offensively and supportive

    -Common weaknesses to ground, rock, and water
    -Its stats may be well-rounded, but a lack of any particularly outstanding stat leaves it a bit underwhelming
    -special movepool is lacking
    -Faces competition from other fire types including Blacephalon, Heatran, and Volcarona

    Intimidate: A fantastic ability that gives Arcanine its niche as one of the better fire types in doubles, and one of the top 3 most popular pokemon in all of VGC 2017. 90/80/80 bulk becomes a lot more respectable after your opponent has received an attack drop.
    Flash Fire: Granting an immunity to fire type attacks and boosting their power allows Arcanine to check many fire types lacking coverage to deal with other fire types. Usually outclassed by intimidate though.
    Justified: Boosts attack after taking a dark type move. Interesting in theory, however outside of bulky sets switching into predicted dark type attacks, finding the opportunity to abuse this ability without Arcanine getting KO'd is highly unlikely.


    Let's get physical
    Ability: Intimidate/Flash Fire
    Nature: Adamant/Jolly
    Ev's: 252Atk/4Def/252Spe
    Item: Life orb/Choice Band/Firium-Z
    -Flare Blitz
    -Wild Charge/Close Combat
    -Extreme Speed

    Flare Blitz hits like a bus and is Arcanine's strongest Fire type Stab. Crunch hits ghost and psychic types like Latias, Chandelure and Starmie. Wild Charge hits water and flying types such as Suicune, Mantine and Azumaril, who could all otherwise wall Arcanine. An electrium-Z might be necessary to break through Suicune however, thanks to its monster bulk. Close Combat hits Hydreigon, Krookodile and Terrakion. Extremespeed can be used to clean up and pick off any weakened foes.

    Can't touch this
    Ability: Intimidate
    Nature: Impish
    Ev's: 248Hp/8Atk/252Def
    Item: Rocky Helmet/Leftovers
    -Flare Blitz
    -Morning sun

    With intimidate and defensive investment, arcanine becomes very difficult to take down. Its supportive movepool grants longevity with morning sun and leftovers, and Will-o-wisp burns opponents and cripples them, allowing arcanine or other team mates to take care of them. Flare blitz is used to prevent arcanine from being set up fodder, and extremespeed can still finish off weakened opponents. Alternatively, you can use a specially defensive nature and invest into special bulk and special attack, utilizing snarl to cripple special attackers.

    Ability: Intimidate
    Nature: Bold
    Ev's: 252HP/148Def/36Spa/12Spd/60Spe
    Item: Wiki Berry
    -Heat Wave/Flamethrower

    Arcanine was one of the top 3 most used pokemon in VGC 2017, due to a number of factors. Intimidate was a rare ability in the format, held only by about 4 viable pokemon, all of which faced competition from other pokemon of similar roles or typing (Gyarados against tapu fini, Krookodile against garchomp, salamence against garchomp, and finally arcanine). Arcanine was the only fire type with intimidate, allowing it to fit into a defensive team core consisting of the grass-fire-water typing combination known as AFK (Arcanine, Tapu Fini, and Kartana). Flamethrower was the main stab, dealing good damage with a chance to burn. Heat wave was the spread move, damaging and potentially burning both targets, with will-o-wisp directly burning anything that needed to be shut down. Snarl was an interesting move that dropped the foes special attack, combined with intimidate allowed Arcanine to cripple opposing pokemon both physically and specially.

    Other Options:
    An offensive set of 252Atk/4Def/252Spe with wild charge can be used to hit tapu fini and other water types in the format. A Firium-Z or electrium-Z can be used to break past bulky threats like Milotic or Celesteela before they can get set up. Extremespeed can revenge kill weakened foes.
  7. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Well-Known Member

    One very gimmicky set idea is using Flash Fire and Burn Up. Burn Up removes a Pokémon's Fire typing, meaning that there is a chance that the opponent may try to hit Arcanine with a Fire move, either on purpose or as a result of a move like Lava Plume. Flash Fire takes effect, boosting Arcanine’s Fire moves.
    Again, this idea is very gimmicky.
  8. zecapau

    zecapau Member

    That idea might be good, but beware: you get the boost but still you can get burned by Will-O-Wisp.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
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