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XY: VGC 15 EOYR: Arcanine
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XY: VGC 15 EOYR: Arcanine
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07-25-2015, 10:55 PM
VGC 15 End Of Year Reviews #1 - Arcanine

What can this fluffy canine do for you? Let's see...

[Image: 059Arcanine_AG_anime.png]
Base Stats:90/110/80/100/80/95

Intimidate: Upon entering battle, the opponent’s Attack lowers one stage. In a Double Battle, both opponents’ Attack are lowered.
An extremely potent ability to have in a double battles setting that has become almost a necessity to have on any team.

Flash Fire: Activates when user is hit by a damaging Fire-type move (including Fire-type Hidden Power). Once activated, user’s Fire-type moves deal 1.5 times damage. While this ability is in effect, this Pokémon is immune to damage from Fire-type attacks and Fire-type Hidden Power (accuracy and effect from these moves are ignored). For Fire-type Pokémon with this ability, Will-O-Wisp activates this ability without having an effect.
Can be something worthwhile if you can predict the fire-type attack and switch into it.

Hidden Ability (Available):
Justified: Attack is raised by one stage when the Pokémon is hit by a Dark-type move.
I don't believe there are any fire-types with this ability, but I feel that there are Pokemon that pull of this ability better.

As this Pokemon has access to it, let's focus on Intimidate as our main ability. Since Arcanine is weak to rock attacks like the very popular Rock Slide, and ground attacks like the very popular Earthquake, the attack drop on opponents is welcome to increase its own bulk. Intimidate can also be used to support your team if some of them aren't the most bulky on the defensive side. This ability also lets you hinder strong physical attackers that might put a dent in your team.

Arcanine is also unique in the respect that it is the ONLY fire-type Pokemon in the game to have access to Intimidate.(If you don't count Growlithe)


As a fire-type Pokemon, Arcanine gets many good fire-type attacks through its pre-evolved form, Growlithe, in addition to other interesting attacks.

Heat Wave
Flare Blitz
Helping Hand
Thunder Fang
Extreme Speed

As for egg moves...

Body Slam
Close Combat
Morning Sun
Iron Tail

And now those new ORAS move tutors...

Dragon Pulse
Iron Head

It's a bit odd that Arcanine has dragon-type attacks but... he certainly has them.
Notable TM moves include...

Wild Charge
Solar Beam
Fire Blast

Arcanine's movepool may not be the largest, but having access to strong STAB moves in addition to good coverage in Close Combat and Wild Charge, AND priority in Extreme Speed, gives Arcanine a fairly good offensive presence.

On the support side of things, Arcanine can annoy opponents with Will-O-Wisp and Snarl, support its partner with Helping Hand, and has reliable recovery in the form of Morning Sun. It can even have a little speed control in the form of Bulldoze.


If offense is your preference, there are the standard options.

Life Orb- If you don't have another Life Orb user on your team, Arcanine can do some good damage as it provides some decent coverage and has a strong priority attack. Keep in mind that Arcanine may not last very long if you are using Flare Blitz because the recoil from both the move and the item add up considerably.

Choice Band- Makes Arcanine hit even harder at the loss of the ability to switch attacks. Can be something worthwhile if you really need those OHKOs.

For support...

Sitrus Berry- Can make your Arcanine last even longer to annoy opponents and support your team. I recommend this if you already aren't using Sitrus Berry on another member of your team.

Leftovers- Same as above. Keep in mind that Arcanine does have Morning Sun as well if you REALLY want to keep Arcanine around for even more turns.

Mental Herb- Makes certain that your Will-O-Wisps are fired off without the hindrance of Taunt or Encore. Haven't really seen this, but I imagine that it can work.

Assault Vest- I feel that this isn't worth running since you no longer have access to that all important Will-O-Wisp but its lets you take those Hydro Pumps and Surfs a little easier.

EV Spread and Natures

For Natures, there are a few that Arcanine can run for offense.

For physical attackers...

Adamant(+Atk, -SpAtk)
Jolly( +Speed, -SpAtk)
Brave(+Atk, -Speed)

For special attackers...

Modest(+SpAtk, -Atk)

For bulky support variants...


Coming from base 110 Atk and 100 SpAtk, Arcanine can fill either attacking role, with physical having more coverage but special can hit opponents hard if they rely on Intimidate or if Arcanine is in the sun.

Despite having base 95 Speed, Arcanine can still speed creep on a few Pokemon, like Modest Hydreigon for example, if you decide to run a speed boosting nature. For support, speed can be important and you may not want to sacrifice it.

As an example this is the current spread that I am running on my bulky-support Arcanine.

Nova (Arcanine) (M) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 68 Def / 124 SpA / 4 SpD / 60 Spe
Bold Nature
- Overheat
- Will-O-Wisp
- Helping Hand
- Snarl

Overheat is the strongest fire-type attack available for Arcanine and can hurt the Pokemon weak to it.Will-O-Wisp is there to burn those physical threats. Helping Hand can help turn some 2HKO's into OHKOs. Snarl can cripple special attackers on occasion. If you want more survivability, you could easily replace Snarl with Morning Sun.

Now, what does this spread do for me. The speed allows Arcanine to outspeed 252 Speed Adamant Bisharp by 1 point. This is important because I run this Arcanine on a team with Sylveon. Here are a few calcs on the match-up.

+1 252+ Atk Life Orb Bisharp Sucker Punch vs. 252 HP / 68+ Def Arcanine: 144-172 (73 - 87.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

This means that if they want to reliably OHKO Arcanine, they must go for Knock Off. In that case...

124 SpA Arcanine Overheat vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Bisharp: 222-264 (157.4 - 187.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO

It is important to scout for Focus Sash, so Will-O-Wisp may be your safest option. In that case, you outspeed it anyway to burn it. Works wonders!

The SpAtk investment is actually for this...

124 SpA Arcanine Overheat vs. 252 HP / 124 SpD Mega Mawile: 152-182 (96.8 - 115.9%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO

OHKO-ing bulky Mega Mawile variants 15/16 times can be pivotal since Mega Mawile is fairly common and especially if you decide to run Arcanine alongside a Mega Kangaskhan.

Another random defensive calculation...

252+ Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Double-Edge vs. 252 HP / 68+ Def Arcanine: 166-198 (84.2 - 100.5%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO

Now because the attack is 2 hits, it activates Sitrus Berry. This means that you always survive Adamant 252 Atk Double-Edge from Mega Kangaskhan and possibly have a chance to burn it. Keep in mind this is worse case scenario, so the calculation does not factor in the -1 from Intimidate.

And also...

124 SpA Arcanine Overheat vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Ferrothorn in Rain: 108-132 (59.6 - 72.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

VERY drastic calculation but every little bit helps. Alongside a burn, Ferrothorn doesn't stand a chance. This is important to note if you are using Arcanine alongside Milotic as I am, since that match-up will always be a headache, especially in rain.

Team Options

As I have already discussed above, Arcanine can be a great partner for Sylveon and Milotic, covering a few of their bad match-ups. It can also support Mega Kangaskhan, and help fight it for those of you that are worried about that match-up.

If you need something that has good physical coverage, Arcanine can do that for you. He can also help on the special side if you want Intimidate and something that can take advantage of Sun.


Arcanine is a very unique Pokemon and I'm not suprised that people have already started using it. It can fill in a few offensive holes in your team and fortify a defensive core as well. As the VGC 2015 season goes on, i'm interested in seeing how Arcanine does and if he will live up to his "Legendary" status.

Feel free to discuss the pros and cons to Arcanine, make new spreads, and suggestions and critique are always welcome.

It's awesome! Smile

Friend Code: Coming Soon!
[Image: wunza0.png]
^ Cool Art from Daitengu!