There once was a wee lad who had to borrow a Game Boy to play the latest video game craze all his friends were into. Obviously, I’m that little boy—er was that little boy. And since playing that first Pokémon game (I actually played Red and Blue equally so no preference there), I’ve had the same favorite Pokémon - Pokémon #136 Flareon. Why? Honestly, I don’t know anymore why I originally picked Flareon as my favorite but I also don’t know why Blue is my favorite color. It could have been the cuteness, though just saying.
Once I knew my favorite Pokémon, it was an easy choice what to do with my first Eevee (thanks Bill!) and of course there was no breeding Eevee to have them all back then. Unfortunately, I learned a lesson at lunch every day—until I started bringing my Mewtwo to lunch—Flareon wasn't very strong.
Thankfully, he has gotten stronger since then. But that led me to writing this segment. So it was in no way related to Twitch Plays Pokémon making my favorite Pokémon the False Prophet and focus of their ire. Honest! I was however quite excited to see that they had successfully evolved Eevee and chosen Flareon…then I found out the details and the hate and the vengeance…perhaps after we’re done here, the “False Prophet” can have his revenge!
How can you take a Pokémon that isn’t one of those commonly used overpowered monsters (i.e. Gengar) and make them the best they can be? Well, you can get a job at Game Freak and work your way up the ranks until you can finally tweak the stats of your favorite Pokémon or add a Mega Evolution that hopefully is stronger than their normal form. OR you could read this article!
With that out of the way, today’s featured Pokémon is my favorite. So where to begin? First, just to cover our bases, Flareon is an evolved form of Eevee that is the result of using a Fire Stone on Eevee. He (mathematically “he” because the Eevee family is almost 90% male) only has two abilities so picking one isn’t too hard. Neither of the choices are bad and neither are that good. Flash Fire (Powers up the Pokémon’s Fire-type moves if hit by one) isn’t all too likely as most trainers don’t fight fire with fire. The alternative is Guts (Boosts the attack stat if the Pokémon has a status condition) which is great if you want to build around it and that’s just what we’re going to do.
Now that we know what ability we’re breeding for our Eevee, let’s look at his stats. As an eeveelution, he has 525 as his base stat total and a stat with 130 and a stat with 110. Flareon’s highest stats are his Attack at 130 and his Special Defense at 110. Sadly, his Defense, HP, and Speed are his three lowest stats. With this in mind, Flareon needs a physical move set to take advantage of that 130 Attack.
Therefore, he needs a nature that boosts his already powerful Attack as well. Since there should be no reason to use a Special Attack move Flareon should have an Adamant nature which will increase his Attack stat and decrease his Special Attack stat.
Weaknesses: Flareon is weak to Ground (2x), Rock (2x), and Water (2x) type moves.
Resistances: Flareon takes ½ damage from Bug, Fairy, Fire, Grass, Ice, Steel type moves.
Immunity: Flareon has no immunities.
Note – We’re assuming this is Gen VI so Gen III-V only moves are ignored)
Flareon’s high attack stat finally has a STAB move that compliments it! So of course, Flare Blitz (Fire, 120 Power, 100% Accuracy, Level 45) will be our first choice no questions there as it’s our highest damage fire move. We need another powerful attack that isn’t fire so we can hit those pesky Dragon/Fire/Rock/Water types.
Last Resort (Normal, 140 Power, 100% Accuracy, Level 41) is Flareon’s highest power move but requires that its other moves be used first. This makes it viable but a hindrance. However, if you can pull off the other moves and utilize Guts, this becomes 280! So yea…definitely worth considering.
Double-Edge (Normal, 120 Power, 100% Accuracy, Level 37) is another good choice but causes recoil damage to an already frail—but beautiful—Pokémon.
Return (Normal, Up to 102 Power, 100% Accuracy, TM 27) is an amazing choice as 102 base Power is pretty high and all you have to do is make Flareon love you which you should be doing anyway! So we’ll make this our second move.
Hidden Power (Varies, 30-70 Power, 100% Accuracy, TM 10) can be useful if you happen to get Grass with your IVs. Grass is best as it does double damage to all three of Flareon’s weaknesses (Ground, Rock, Water). However, it’s a Special Attack that I only mention as it is the only move that can give you such coverage albeit under difficult to manage circumstances. If you do, you’ll want to use a different nature so you don’t hinder your Special Attack.
Giga Impact (Normal, 150 Power, 90% Accuracy, TM 68) is powerful but causes the next turn to be used for recharging.
Dig (Ground, 80 Power, 100% Accuracy, TM 28) also takes two turns and makes you Earthquake fodder. Well, more so than usual that is.
Facade (Normal, 70 Power, 100% Accuracy, TM 42) is important here with the Guts ability as it does double damage if burned, paralyzed, or poisoned. Because of its 140 power while poisoned (held item that we’re getting to), we have to include this. This is too good to pass up here so this will be our third move.
Sunny Day (Fire, TM 11) can be really helpful if Flareon is being used on a team that will take advantage of sunny weather or just wants to be able to counter Rain Dance.
Retaliate (Normal, 70 Power, 100% Accuracy, TM 67) is an option for a revenge killer as it does double damage if a friendly Pokémon fainted last turn. This is an excellent choice for a final move though with Facade it can be redundant.
Will-O-Wisp (Fire, 85% Accuracy, TM 61) can be useful as it burns the target (and cuts their attack in half which helps cover up that weak Defense stat).
Choice Band is a great choice (as it usually is) as it powers up the attack used by 50% but only allows you to use the first move selected. This makes swapping into immunities/resistances pretty easy for your opponent. Power Herb (skips first turn charge-up of some attacks) can be useful with a surprise one turn Dig or Giga Impact so don’t sleep on this one. Leftovers (restores 1/16th such a low Defense stat there may not always be a second turn. Assault Vest (raises Special Defense by 50% but prevents status moves) is a really good choice as Flareon isn’t using status moves (unless we go with Will-O-Wisp) and already has a good Special Defense stat. Focus Sash (prevents OHKO if at full HP) can be a great choice too as Flareon isn’t the fastest or bulkiest Pokémon and this way you can at least make them feel your Flare Blitz, Return or Facade.
Held Item: Assault Vest or Toxic Orb
(For those who like to live dangerously)
Moves: Flare Blitz/Return/Facade/Will-O-Wisp
(or Last Resort if you want to try and pull off this monstrous damage)
Poké Ball: Assault Vest
There you have it, a great Flareon that you may even get a surprise win with. [Results may vary.]
Note: All awesome Pokémon such as Flareon should be in a Premier Ball (best ball!) or a Luxury Ball which makes it easier to raise friendship for Return damage and looks almost as good…almost.
Do you have a favorite Pokémon that isn’t competitively awesome too? Tweet it to @pokemonpodcast and maybe it’ll be featured in PUMP.