PKMN of the Week: Heatran

I must confess, I am a total goof.  I started playing Pokémon Diamond when it first came out, but never finished.  What can I say?  Life got in the way.  Hopefully I will beat the elite four in Emerald soon so I can finally move on and restart Diamond.

I like a Fire-type.  Something about their passion and flaming tempers draws me in every time.  I also like a unique Pokémon - I know that isn't the best battle strategy but there is something about potentially surprising an opponent with a Pokémon they have never seen or whose type they can't identify that thrills me a bit.

That brings us to our buddy Heatran.  If I had played all the way through Diamond I would have eventually gotten to meet one.  There are a lot of unique things about Heatran, the most important is his combo Fire/Steel-typing.  It is the only Pokémon of this type and, with its ability of Flash Fire, it gets a lot of resistances to attacks from different types (Flash Fire makes it so that Heatran does not take damage from Fire-type attacks).  I recently did an internet survey about Heatran and mostly got crickets back; I suspect it might be quite overlooked.

Heatran's strengths are in Defense, Special Defense, and above all Special Attack.  Add in its natural resistances to Normal, Flying, Bug, Ghost, Steel, Grass, Psychic, Ice, Dragon, and Dark-type attacks and its immunity to Poison and Fire-type attacks and you have a Pokémon that is hard to damage.  You only really need to worry about five types of attacks - primarily beware of Ground, also look out for Fighting, Water, Rock, and Electric-type attacks.

I am a fan of boosting up Heatran as a Special Attacker and equipping it to take advantage of that.  A Modest or Quiet nature could serve you well and not take away from its natural strong defenses.  I have heard that a Heatran carrying a Power Lens really likes to battle Vileplume . . .

If you need to beat a Heatran, go for the Ground-type attacks.  Heatran is four times weak to Ground-type attacks, so that will take him out pretty easily.  There is some possibility that the Heatran you are up against might have the Dream World ability Flame Body which is great for hatching eggs but not for targeting physical attacks against.  Just to be cautious, use Earth Power (a powerful Ground-type Special Attack) against your Heatran foe and you won't come away with a burn.

Following my thoughts for outfitting moves on a dual-type Pokemon, you might try some of these:  Lava Plume, Heat Wave, Flamethrower, or Overheat for Fire-type moves.  Flash Cannon as a Steel-type move.  Solar Beam is a Grass-type move Heatran can learn that should be super effective against Ground-types.  Metal Sound is a Steel-type status move (lowers the target's Special Defense by two stages) that will help out the special attacks even more.

A Shuca Berry will help protect against Ground-type moves but a better idea may be to have your Heatran hold a Grass Gem to add some extra power to that Solar Beam.

Mix things up a little and toss Heatran in your party.  It may just be the surprise you need to get the edge on your opponents.

PKMN of the Week is available for battles Thursdays from 9:00 PM to 11:30 PM EST/EDT!