Overview: Arcanine is a Pokémon that faces a lot of stiff competition for a spot on teams in the UU tier, with strong Fire-types running rampant such as Victini, Darmanitan, Chandelure, and Houndoom. All are arguably stronger and each has their own benefits, therefore one would ask what makes Arcanine a better choice? Arcanine has a lot of things going for it that other Fire-types wish they had,for example two great abilities in Flash Fire and Intimidate. The former make sit immune to Fire-type attacks, while grabbing a boost for itsFire-type moves. The latter allowsArcanine to become a potent physical wall, boosting its mediocre Defense by lowering opponents' Attack when switched in. Arcanine also has a few other things going for it including a large movepool,;it has access to all the moves it needs to be a successful physical wall, such as Will-O-Wisp, Roar, Morning Sun, and Toxic, which give it access to solid recovery, a phasing move, and two ways to cripple offensive and defensive Pokémon. Arcanine also has a great offensive movepool, with moves such as Crunch, Wild Charge, Close Combat, Flare Blitz, and Extreme Speed. These moves allow it to hit many Pokémon for super effective damage, and if coupled with a Life Orbit can increase its damage output further. Extreme Speed additionally gives it access to a+2 priority attack, which lets it bypass Sucker Punch. Arcanine is not without its flaws though,with a crippling weakness to all forms of entry hazards, making a Defog or Rapid Spin user almost mandatory,and a weakness to 3 common types of attacks in Ground, Rock, and Water-type moves isn't doing it any favours either. Arcanine's main attacking moves- Flare Blitz and Wild Charge -also deal recoil damage to it,so with a Life Orb attached,this adds up very quickly. Even with these faults, it is a top tier contender and a Pokémon to always consider when choosing a Fire-type. Offensive: Arcanine @ Life Orb Trait: Flash Fire EVs: 40 HP / 252 Atk / 216 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Flare Blitz - Extreme Speed - Crunch / Wild Charge - Close Combat This set gives Arcanine the power it needs to deal large amounts of damage to a large variety of Pokémon. Flare Blitz is the main move on the set, and the most powerful one. When coupled with Life Orb and an Adamant nature, Flare Blitz is going to be dealing heavy damage to many Pokémon in the tier. Extreme Speed is a great move many offensive Pokémon wish they had access to, its +2 priority allows it to attack before all other priority moves, such as Aqua Jet from Crawduant and Sucker Punch from Weavile, allowing it to finish them off before they can do the same to Arcanine. Crunch is the preferred option in the third moveslot because it allows it to hit Ghost and Psychic-type Pokémon, such as Mew, Cofagrigus, and Slowbro, but Wild Charge can be used instead to deal more damage to Water and Flying-types. Bear in mind however that Wild Charge won't do enough to most bulky Water-types, so Crunch is the preferred move. Close Combat rounds out the coverage, hitting Dark, Steel, Rock, and Normal-types for super effective damage, and can be a powerful alternative to Flare Blitz when you don’t want to take the recoil damage. Flash Fire is the ability of choice on this set, giving +1 to Arcanine’s Flare Blitz when hit by a Fire-type move. The Speed EVs allow you to outspeed neutral nature Lucario, but make you slower than common strong offensive Pokémon, such as Victini, Terrakion, and Mega Medicham. Defensive: Arcanine @ Leftovers Trait: Intimidate EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SDef Impish (+Def, -SAtk) / Bold (+Def, -Atk) - Flare Blitz / Flamethrower - Morning Sun - Roar / Extreme Speed - Will-O-Wisp This set lets Arcanine take full advantage of its second ability, Intimidate, which lowers a Pokémon's Attack stat one stage when Arcanine is switched in. This means it can come in on a Pokémon that has just boosted using a move such as Dragon Dance, nullify the Attack rise and then Will-O-Wisp it next turn, crippling it. Intimidate also allows it to be switched in on offensive Pokémon like Weavile and Victini, allowing it to recover with Morning Sun while they're forced to switch out. Morning Sun is Arcanine's form of recovery, recovering 50% of its total HP when there is no weather in play, and two thirds of its total HP when thesun is up. Morning Sun is crippled by Sandstorm, Hail andrain, which make Morning Sun only recover a 3rd of its total HP. Thankfully though, in XY Drought, Drizzle and Snow Warning only last for 5 turns, making weather much more uncommon than it was in BW, which is good for Arcanine. Flare Blitz is an important move on the set, allowing it to deal massive damage to Pokémon that are weak to it, and on this set it doesn't have to worry about the recoil damage as it is equipped with Leftovers and Morning Sun. Roar is the preferred move in the third moveslot, as it allows Arcanine to phase set-up-sweepers, and rack up hazard damage on the opponent. Extreme Speed can be used to give Arcanine some priority, but is generally less useful than Roar because Arcanine becomes set-up-fodder to many Calm Mind users, such as Latias and Chandelure. Will-O-Wisp is the final move on the set, letting Arcanine cripple physical attackers with ease. The EVs are self explanatory with max HP and Defense investment, allowing it to take on physical attackers, with the last 4 EVs going into Special Defense. Other Options: Arcanine has a few other options it can utilise, Morning Sun can be used in place of Close Combat on the offensive set, but the coverage Close Combat provides is much more preferable than Morning Sun's recovery. Sunny Day can be used on the defensive set to support sun teams, boost Morning Sun's recovery, and increase Flare Blitz's damage output, but it has trouble finding a moveslot. Agility and 3 attacks can work as an offensive set, but Arcanine would much rather be playing hit and run than set-up-sweeper. Toxic can be used over Will-O-Wisp, but Arcanine doesn't want to stay in on many defensive Pokémon as a return Toxic will cripple a defensive Arcanine. Choice Band can be used, although Arcanine is generally an inferior user of the item when compared to Victini and Darmanitan. Rocky Helmet can be used on thedefensive set, but as Arcanine is weak to all forms of hazards,Leftovers recovery is much preferred. Checks & Counters: Different Pokémon check Arcanine depending on the set that is used, although Swampert beats both sets, only fearing Will-O-Wisp or Toxic from the defensive set, while being able to hit back for super effective damage. Bulky Water-types like Milotic, Suicune and Slowbro wall Arcanine completely and don't fear any move in its arsenal other than Wild Charge,can hit back with super effective moves, and can use Arcanine as set-up-fodder. Any Pokémon with Toxic can completely cripple Arcanine's defensive set. Bulky Pokémon that resist Arcanine's moves asRhyperior, Zygarde, Terrakion and Latias can prove a threat, although physical attacking Pokémon have to be wary of Will-O-Wisp. Keeping hazards on your opponent's side of the field is a great way to check Arcanine as it is susceptibleto all forms of hazards andwon't have many opportunities to switch in. Arcanine's recoil on the offensive set is a large hindrance to it, so many physical walls can stall out its HP with their recovery moves.