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Pokémon Spotlight: OU - Volcanion

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Spoovo The Pirate, Nov 19, 2016.

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  1. Spoovo The Pirate

    Spoovo The Pirate Meep! Article Contributor Article Contributor

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    Introduction

    As the final Pokémon introduced in Generation 6, Volcanion certainly has high expectations to live up to. The 'new kid on the block' doesn't disappoint, sporting a unique Fire / Water typing, great firepower — if you'll mind the pun — and solid stats across the board aside from a middling base 70 Speed. What's better, it even has access to Water Absorb, enabling it to come in on a multitude of Water-type Pokémon and recover lost HP in the process. By having resistances to Fire, Bug, Ice, Fairy, and Steel, it makes for a solid defensive typing.

    However, Volcanion has its flaws. As mentioned earlier, its Speed is only 'okay', and its weaknesses to common types like Ground, Electric, and Rock, the latter of which gives it a weakness to Stealth Rock, really hinder it too. Nonetheless, Volcanion is a force to be reckoned with — underestimate it, and it'll erupt.

    Specially Offensive

    Volcanion @ Choice Specs / Leftovers
    Ability: Water Absorb
    EVs: 40 HP / 252 SAtk / 216 Spd
    Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
    - Steam Eruption
    - Fire Blast / Flamethrower
    - Sludge Wave
    - Hidden Power Grass / Earth Power​

    Volcanion's flagship set comes in the form of a simple hole puncher, hitting just enough Speed with its base 70 to outrun stall-based foes and then break through them with its powerful attacks.

    A Modest nature lets Volcanion make the most of its base 130 Special Attack and take chunks out of anything that doesn't resist. Having 216 Speed EVs let it outrun the likes of Crawdaunt, maximum Speed Azumarill, and any Adamant Tyranitar. The remaining EVs are dropped into HP to optimise Volcanion's bulk.

    Steam Eruption is Volcanion's signature move, and you won't find a set without it. Acting as a wonderful fusion of Hydro Pump and Scald, it features the power of the former and the utility of the latter, and it's all but guaranteed to irritate anything that isn't immune to it. Even Pokémon that resist or wall it stand a painful 30% chance of getting burned, which severely hampers their longevity. Just be careful about using it too recklessly, however, as it only has 8 PP.

    Slot 2 contains a Fire STAB in Fire Blast, which is the most popular choice, being just accurate enough to rely on in a pinch. The accuracy conscious and unlucky can consider Flamethrower instead if they don't mind the power drop. Another Fire STAB move to consider would be Overheat, as it hits even harder than Fire Blast but forces Volcanion to switch out after use.

    Slot 3 has Sludge Wave, which stops annoying Fairies like Clefable from switching in too often, and it doesn't force Volcanion to waste precious Steam Eruptions on them. Sludge Wave is chosen over Sludge Bomb because of its increased power, which is a wallbreaker's primary purpose. It also helps secure KOs on two common targets, Azumarill and Mega Altaria, both of which resist Volcanion's STAB moves.

    Lastly, Hidden Power Grass or Earth Power are the best choice for slot 4. Hidden Power Grass allows Volcanion to threaten Gastrodon and other Water-types that can easily switch in on either of Volcanion's STAB moves, while Earth Power hits opposing Volcanion and the occasional Tentacruel. The latter also eases prediction against the common Volcanion + Tyranitar core.

    Finally, the given items for this set are Choice Specs and Leftovers. Choice Specs boosts Volcanion's Special Attack to sky-high levels and gives it the chance to muscle through would-be checks, while Leftovers simply grants Volcanion some passive recovery, which is something all bulky Pokémon appreciate.
    Other Options

    Volcanion has a few more tricks up its sleeve worth mentioning. Choice Scarf patches up Volcanion's mediocre Speed to a maximum of 393. Type-resistant berries such as Shuca Berry can be used to help Volcanion lure in and remove a check, all while potentially bluffing Choice Specs. Similarly, Expert Belt can be used to boost the power of super effective hits while allowing Volcanion to switch moves. Life Orb allows a power boost while also allowing Volcanion to switch moves; however, it comes at the cost of 10% HP per hit.

    Protect can help scout for threats and Choice-locked foes, and it works well in tandem with Leftovers recovery. Solar Beam can be used with Power Herb for a one-turn nuke against a common switch-in. Hidden Power Ice is notable for hitting Dragon-types. Lastly, Rest + Sleep Talk can help mitigate Volcanion's lack of recovery; however, the strategy is unreliable.
    Checks and Counters

    Chansey is probably the strongest answer to Volcanion out there, as it takes any special hit with ease and can simply heal the damage off with Soft-Boiled, meaning there's little Volcanion can do to threaten it.

    Most bulky Dragon-types, particularly Latias, give Volcanion trouble by resisting both of its STAB moves. Volcanion has been known to run Hidden Power Ice almost purely for these pesky Dragons, but that means it has to sacrifice other coverage, and it will struggle to deal enough damage without Choice Specs. Mega Latias, for example, can set up Calm Minds against Volcanion, Recover off any damage, and KO it with Dragon Pulse. Physically offensive Dragons need to be wary of Steam Eruption's burn rate, however.

    Bulky Water-types in general are problems if Volcanion lacks Hidden Power Grass specifically for them. While most are wary of Steam Eruption, the likes of Slowking can switch in repeatedly thanks to Regenerator and force it out every time without too much worry. Gastrodon, Seismitoad, and the rare Jellicent all have the distinction of being able to switch into Steam Eruption without fear. It's also worth mentioning that Volcanion checks itself pretty solidly.

    Spoovo The Pirate -- Author
    E.T. -- QC, Grammar
    Joyverse -- QC
    gengar17 -- QC
    Professor Oak -- QC
    Finchinator -- QC
    Sobi -- Grammar
    Annoying Orange -- Artist
    RedJoker25 -- Grammar

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2017
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