Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Infernape vs. Blaziken: Who do you Choose?








Welcome. Per the request of another awesome NuggetBridge user by the name of  AlphaArroz, I will be talking about a question I've seen asked a lot and give my take on the matter. Infernape and Blaziken are 2 fire-fighting Pokémon introduced in the 3rd and 4th gen competitively. Since they can do very similar, if not the same thing in VGC, people often wonder who is better. Well the wait is over. Without further ado lets get into it. I wanna start by talking about their base stats and after each section, i'll rate each one and give each Pokemon a letter grade. The Pokemon with the best overall grade will be the winner.

My Letter Grade System
"A" is amazing and doesn't need to change.
"B" is great, but could leave a very small change.
"C" is  average and can use some change.
"D" is pretty bad and could use a major change
"F" is terrible and in need of serious change,

BASE STATS
Infernape














Infernape's stats scream a frail, powerhouse, offensive sweeper that can wreck your life if it can. 76/71/71 is very frail so you won't be aiming to survive many hits. But, 104/104/108 for your offenses mean you'll get some pretty nice outspeeds and can do some major damage thanks to your ok movepool because even though you don't get the widest selection of moves, you do get the right amount of moves to do your job efficiently for a BST of 534, which is very respectable since in the 4th generation, GameFreak started to pay more attention to competitive battle because of Wi-Fi connectivity.

Blaziken













Like Infernape, Blaziken's stats scream a frail offensive sweeper that will end your life in a minute. 80/70/70 is frail, but not very different compared to Infernape. 120/110/80 for offenses is very deadly, but the main difference between their offensive stats is that Blaziken will hit harder even on a resisted hit, but Infernape wins in the speed department since Blaziken will need to take advantage of its ability, Speed Boost to be effective while Infernape relies on its natural speed to be effective. Blaziken reaches a BST of 530. While it has better offensive stats, its defenses are what really lower its potential, but doesn't outright kill it.

For their stats, I'll have to give the Blaziken an overall stat letter grade of  "C+". Its stats are fine, but could use some defense buffs and its defenses are a point lower than Infernape Infernape gets a "B-" as well for the same reason but its slightly higher defenses warrants Infernape a slightly better grade

Infernape's Movepool Highlights
 
  1. Flare Blitz
  2. Taunt
  3. Mach Punch
  4. Close Combat
  5. Protect
  6. Hidden Power [Ice]
  7. Fire Blast
  8. Overheat
  9. Grass Knot
  10. Fake Out
  11. Fire Punch
  12. Thunder Punch
  13. Helping Hand
  14. Torment
Blaziken's Movepool Highlights
  1. Flare Blitz
  2. High Jump Kick (Please don't unless you really need it)
  3. Protect
  4. Hidden Power [Ice]
  5. Fire Blast
  6. Overheat
  7. Superpower
  8. Thunder Punch
For movepool, Infernape gets a "B+". 13 viable moves means that Infernape has a pretty nice options when picking a set, but only 6-8 are actual viable. For Blaziken, it gets "A-" While Blaziken has less move options when picking a set, all of its moves are at least somewhat useful. Now, lets go into some moveset suggestions. I'll show 2 sets for each Pokemon can give each one an individual letter grade. First up is Infernape.

AlphaArrowz's Infernape

Infernape @ Life Orb
Ability: Blaze
Level: 50
EVs: 116 Atk / 140 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Fake Out
- Close Combat
- Overheat
- Protect

This set was suggested by AlphaArrowz, so thanks for the set. Since this is his set, i'll use his explanation in the set. "If you wanna run Infernape, mixed is the best way, Blaze is the more popular option, because well a Blaze boosted Overheat deals so much damage. Fake Out and Close Combat is a must, and you can run Overheat or Heat Wave for Fire STAB, now the final option if difficult due to Infernape's ridiculously long list of support moves: Feint, Helping Hand, Will-O-Wisp, Protect, Stone Edge, etc. Feint is usually the final option, but i went for Will-O-Wisp. In testing i found Will-O-Wisp to be useless and only used it once but even that was pointless, this i went for Protect, i do not regret using it for Feint as there was never an instance where i wished Feint was an option. But Feint is perfectly viable. You literally only have two item options, Focus Sash or Life Orb, i prefer Life Orb to increase damage output but Sash is good too to have at least another chance of attacking.
EV spread KOs bulky Kang (120/52 defensive spread) and 252/4 Amoonguss with Overheat. You need Max Speed to speed tie Terrakion, but you can run Naughty nature to boost Attack to OHKO Heatran." -AlphaArrowz. For this Infernape set, i'll give it a "A-". Platying this set, it feels like playing the standard, mixed-Blaziken set, but without the reliance of an ability to give you the outspeeds you need.
My personal set

Infernape @ Life Orb  
Ability: Iron Fist  
Level: 50  
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  
Jolly Nature  
- Protect
- Fire Punch  
- Fake Out  
- Close Combat

I made this set and it was pretty fun to use. As you can see, its a physical attacking Infernape that relies on its natural power. The EV Spread is very simple. Max Attack and Speed allows Infernape to be the fast, offensive threat it needs to be to succeed with this set. Iron Fist powers up Fire Punch and combined with Life Orb, Infernape starts to become a threat. Fake Out can help it's partner either set up or get off a powerful hit onto the opponent. Close Combat is for Kangaskhan. Protect is for protect as Infernape is frail and needs the help. For this Infernape set, i'll give it a "B". Infernape is know in Single Battles as a powerful physical, attacker in Smogon UU.

Aaron Zheng's 2015 Worlds Blaziken
Blaziken @ Life Orb  
Ability: Speed Boost  
Level: 50  
EVs: 4 HP / 56 Atk / 204 SpA / 244 Spe  
Naive Nature  
- Overheat  
- Superpower  
- Hidden Power [Ice]  
- Protect

This is the set that Aaron Zheng used at the 2015 Pokemon World Championships. This was used becuase even though Blaziken is a very difficult Pokemon to use, if used well, it can be a very strong anti-meta Pokemon. Overheat, Superpower, and HP Ice is used to hit all of the common Pokemon in the format like Landorus, Kangaskhan, and Amoonguss. The 56 Attack allows Blaziken to KO 4 HP/ 0 Def Mega Kangaskhan with Superpower. The 244 Speed allows Blaziken to outspeed Landorus-T after one Speed Boost. The 204 Sp. Attack is leftover, but 208 is wasting a point, which is where the 4 HP went. For this Blaziken set, i'll give it an "A-". This set allows Blaziken to get the KO's it needs to, but is a very frail Pokemon and needs to be supported correctly and used correctly. 

I would add a 2nd set, but this is the only Blaziken set that is actually viable, just changing the EV Spread to suit your needs, but it is a good basis on what a set should look like

Now, that we know all the important info about Infernape and Blaziken, I think its time that we see who I believe is better. Before I say who it is, I want to say that each Pokemon has their strengths for the team. If you need a fast, offensive threat that needs to Protect at the right moment, go for Blaziken. If you need a fast Fake Out Pokemon that will move before Mega Kangaskhan, go for Inferape. Now, for an overall score, Blaziken got a 3.2, or a "B-". It has a lot of strengths, but its frailty highly knocked down from its place. For an overall, Infernape got a 3.2 as well. So that means that in my opinion, they both have their strengths and weaknesses, but the function so similar that its hard to decide who's better.

I hope you enjoyed this article. It was really fun to do. I wanna say thanks to AlphaArrowz for the set and article idea as well as freezehaxVGC for suggesting Infernape. I hope you'll comeback for my next article. Bye.

PS. - Tyranitar will be invading my blog in a way. Hope you enjoy how he invades this blog. Bye for real.



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