One of the most popular Pokemon, Charizard has always been a pretty strong Pokemon but has never had in success due to being average, which was until it was gifted with Two Mega Evolutions, both of which have allowed Charizard to actually become a real threat, so let's talk about Charizard and see what exactly it can do. Hope you enjoy and let's begin.

Base Stats & Typing

Before Mega Evolving, Charizard's base stats are very poor. Looking at its defenses, Charizard would need a lot of help that would simply not be beneficial enough to make a difference. Its only redeemable qualities are its Sp. Attack and Speed which means it could be an offensive threat.

Mega Charizard X
Upon Mega Evolving into Mega Charizard X, it gains a massive Attack increase which allows it to be a major physical threat. The Defense stat increase, with a larger increase to its Defense stat and a minor increase to its Sp. Defense stat, which thanks to its Fire and Dragon typing which only gives it weaknesses to Rock, Dragon, and Ground types, all primarily physical moves, can be beneficial to Charizard. It also gains the Tough Claws ability which boosts the power of its contact moves by 30% which allows Mega Charizard X to be an even bigger offensive threat which is also thanks to moves that will be discussed later.

Mega Charizard Y
Upon Mega Evolving into Mega Charizard Y, two things to note is its insanely high Sp. Attack stat and its newly acquired Drought ability to set the sun. Decent increase to both of its defense stats but a larger boost to its Sp. Defense stat makes Mega Charizard Y frailer than its X counterpart, but it also means that Mega Charizard Y does need more support to properly succeed.

Notable Moves

Mega Charizard X
Mega Charizard Y
Flare Blitz
Heat Wave
Dragon Claw
Hidden Power [Ground]
Dragon Dance
Solar Beam
Fire Punch
Thunder Punch

Mega Charizard X
Mega Charizard X is a prime example of a physical attacker and thanks to its Tough Claws ability, all moves used on this Pokemon are given a boost thanks to its ability. It's main choice in fire moves depends on the player. Flare Blitz is a very strong attack but does deal recoil based on damage dealt which will be more thanks to Tough Claws. Fire Punch is also given the boost, but since it doesn't deal recoil, it's very consistent damage. Dragon Claw is a very consistent dragon type STAB move and is great for dealing with opposing dragons like Salamence and Garchomp. Dragon Dance allows Charizard to increase its attack and speed to become an even bigger threat, which can be very dangerous. Thunder Punch is the only coverage move seen on Charizard due to the rise in Misty Terrain lowering the power of its dragon moves, which can hit the main setter in Tapu Fini. Tailwind is great for speed control and allows it to support its teammates.

Mega Charizard Y
Mega Charizard Y is the more popular of the two, which is one you'll see more often than its counterpart. This Charizard has a lot of choices in fire type moves which can do an insane amount of damage in the Sun. Heat Wave is a strong spread move to hit both targets, Flamethrower is its consistent single-target attack, and Overheat can be seen as its "nuke" to KO most Pokemon that can survive Flamethrower and Heat Wave in the Sun. Solar Beam in the sun is appealing to threaten water types like Tapu Fini, Rotom-Wash, and Suicune. Hidden Power [Ground] is mainly used to threaten Heatran, a Pokemon Charizard can't damage without it. Tailwind is great for speed control.

Now let's go into sample sets for Charizard.

Sample Set #1: Physical Sweeper

Mega Charizard X
Charizard @ Charizardite X  
Ability: Blaze   
EVs: 44 HP / 220 Atk / 36 Def / 20 SpD / 188 Spe  
Adamant Nature  
- Flare Blitz / Fire Punch
- Dragon Claw / Thunder Punch
- Dragon Dance  
- Protect

This is a modified version of a Mega Charizard X used by James Baek (@JamesWBaek) on his YouTube channel linked here. The main change I made was to the EV Spread which was to allow this Charizard to survive Earthquake from Adamant Landorus-Therian since Landorus can be an issue for Charizard. After a Dragon Dance, this Charizard can outspeed opposing Mega Salamence and threaten a KO with Dragon Claw. The moveset should depend on personal preference. If you want a consistent fire type move but are worried about the recoil damage, then I suggest Fire Punch but if you aren't, then Flare Blitz is the right answer. For the second slot, Dragon Claw is a strong dragon attack but if most of your Charizard's time on field is going to be spent in Misty Terrain where its power will be halved, then Thunder Punch is the right answer as it can threaten Tapu Fini and even KO it after the boost from using Dragon Dance. Dragon Dance and Protect are essentially mandatory on Charizard to boost its stats and defend against attacks.

Sample Set #2: Special Sweeper

Mega Charizard Y
Charizard-Mega-Y @ Charizardite Y  
Ability: Drought    
EVs: 252 HP / 132 Def / 60 SpA / 44 SpD / 20 Spe  
Modest Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Heat Wave  
- Solar Beam  
- Overheat / Flamethrower
- Protect

This second set is for Mega Charizard Y includes the most standard moves that Charizard was found using all the way back in VGC 2014. The combination of these moves can break through the vast majority of Pokemon in the format barring Heatran which this Charizard cannot touch in the slightest. Having both Heat Wave and Overheat allows Charizard to break through most Pokemon since for example, Aegislash and Mega Kangaskhan can be trained to survive, but you can use Flamethrower instead if your worried about the Sp. Attack drops from Overheat. Heat Wave, but actually ends up falling a helpful amount of the time to Overheat, which can be very valuable. Thanks to its ability in Drought, you do have the option to use Solar Beam for a really strong Grass type move that can hit Pokemon like Rotom-Wash and Tapu Fini, two Pokemon Charizard can't really damage without it among the popular Water type Pokemon in the format. 

The EV Spread is one that is a very interesting one that I recommend. With the HP and Defense EVs, you can survive -1 Rock Slide from Jolly 252 Attack Terrakion as well as the spread move Rock Slide from Adamant 252 Attack Landorus-Therian if its a spread move. the Sp. Defense EVs gives this Charizard a 25% chance to survive Thunderbolt from Timid 252 Sp. Attack Tapu Koko in Electric Terrain, which can be very valuable to keep in mind. The speed allows this Charizard to outspeed neutral nature base 70's, mainly Breloom and Bisharp, and the rest of the points are in Sp. Attack for general power, but you can take out of it to improve the roll, which the 2nd sample set will show just how you can do this.

Sample Set #3: Covering Mega Charizard Y's Bases

Mega Charizard Y
Charizard-Mega-Y @ Charizardite Y  
Ability: Drought  
EVs: 252 HP / 132 Def / 20 SpA / 84 SpD / 20 Spe  
Modest Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Flamethrower / Heat Wave
- Solar Beam  
- Hidden Power [Ground]  
- Protect

This set is nearly identical to the very set, but it has 2 main changes. The goal of this Charizard is while its on the field, to eliminate its bad match-ups too as many Pokemon as possible. The EV Spread remains the same in surviving -1 Rock Slide from Jolly Terrakion, Rock Slide from Adamant Landorus-Therian, and outspeed neutral nature Bisharp and Breloom, but the added points into Sp. Defense allows Charizard to survive a Timid Thunderbolt from Tapu Koko out of electric terrain.

The moves are simple in covering your bases. You have a strong and consistent fire type move in either Flamethrower or Heat Wave to abuse the power fire type moves get from the sun thanks to Drought, Solar Beam for the grass coverage Charizard needs to beat water types on its own, and the final move is Hidden Power [Ground] which is specifically for Heatran as without it, Charizard has no way to beat Heatran.

Partners for Charizard

Sun Abusers

venusaur.png lilligant.png
Venusaur and Lilligant both pairs well with Mega Charizard Y due to both having the Chlorophyll ability which doubles its speed under Sun. This is helpful as access to Sleep Powder means they can put troubling Pokemon to sleep. Its grass type moves can also help threaten problematic Water types. Lilligant can use After You to allow Charizard to attack directly after it thanks to its amazing speed under Sun.

Ground Types

Mega Charizard Y's flying typing allows Landorus-T to freely use Earthquake alongside it with no fear of Charizard taking damage. It also provides the Intimidate ability to help Charizard take hits.

Passive Support

tapu-bulu.png cresselia.png
Both Tapu Bulu and Cresselia provide passive support for both of Charizard's Mega Evolutions. Tapu Bulu can provide the Grassy Terrain to allow Mega Charizard X to take Earthquake better from the ground types that give it trouble and it's grass moves can help against the Rock and Ground that give it trouble. Cresselia's vast arsenal of support moves can help Mega Charizard Y with Skill Swap to reset the Sun and Moonlight to regain a large amount of health under Sun.

How to beat Charizard

Rock Slide Users

landorus-therian.png excadrill.png tyranitar.png terrakion.png
Both of Charizard's Mega Evolutions don't enjoy dealing with Rock moves, especially Rock Slide. Landorus-T with a Choice Scarf can use a fast Rock Slide for a chance to KO. Excadrill and Tyranitar under Sand are especially annoying as Excadrill can out-speed it and threaten a KO while Tyranitar under Sand isn't threatened at all since Solar Beam has to spend a turn charging up. Terrakion can guarantee a KO with Rock Slide unless its Intimidated.

Electric Types

tapu-koko.png thundurus-therian.png zapdos.png manectric-mega.png
These are the 4 most common Electric types which can pose a huge issue for Mega Charizard Y. Tapu Koko, Thundurus-T, and Mega Manectric can out-speed and KO Charizard while Zapdos is bulky enough to survive a hit and threaten a KO with Thunderbolt or its Z-move equivalent.

Rain Teams

pelipper.png politoed.png
Rain teams are a nightmare for Charizard. In the rain, its fire type moves are weakened to the point where the damage they deal is laughable, and having to take a strong water type move which can threaten a KO makes it hard for Charizard to spend multiple turns on the field against them, forcing it to switch out to either set the sun if its Mega Charizard Y or if its Mega Charizard X, wait for the rain to go away.

Walling Mega Charizard Y

heatran.png hydreigon.png salamence-mega.png
As said before, Heatran can safely switch in on Charizard's big fire moves and Solar Beam to safely 1v1 it, but is only threatened by Hidden Power [Ground]. Hydreigon and Mega Salamence both resist its fire type moves and can threaten with big Dragon type moves.

Alternative Options for Charizard

Mega Charizard X

salamence-mega.png dragonite.png
Both known in the past for being very strong Dragon Dance users, Mega Salamence and Dragonite can use the move to increase their attack and speed to become even bigger offensive threats.

Mega Charizard Y

As the only Drought user in the game, Torkoal can also threaten with big fire type moves under Sun like it was able to do in VGC 2017. Thanks to its very slow speed, Torkoal can be seen as the Trick Room version of Charizard.

Thanks to its versatility in moves, stats, and great options for utility, Mega Charizard Y has proven to be a very strong Pokemon that will need to be prepped for throughout the 2018 season. Although its very one-dimensional in use, Mega Charizard Y does provide some niche uses that can allow it to succeed in the format. I hoped you enjoyed this guide. Check back to the Nimbasa City Post for more VGC content and hope to see you soon!

Continuing with the series with the goal to look at Pokemon who have received a large amount of success and take a closer look at them. Today, we'll be taking a look at Aegislash, a Pokemon that has seen success at multiple World Championships and will surely see more success this year as well. Hope you enjoy and let's begin!

If you want to learn some of the technical aspects of Aegislash that won't be covered in this guide, check out this video from Leonard Craft III (@DaWoblefet) linked here as he covers some very important things about Aegislash that are very important and useful to understand. The video mainly covers how Aegislash and other Pokemon interact with both King Shield and its Stance Change ability.

Base Stats and Typing

The first thing to talk about is the reason Aegislash has 2 different base stats which is due to its ability: Stance Change. What this ability does is every time Aegislash attempts to use a damaging move while in shield form, it switches to blade form and its stats changes according to its form. Aegislash can change into shield form if it uses King's Shield.

Looking into its stats while in shield form, Aegislash has some strong defensive stats which can allow it to allow it to survive some big hits, including some Z-moves. While in shield form, Aegislash's offensive pressure isn't anything notable, but since Aegislash can't lose its ability through common methods, this isn't anything to worry about. When Aegislash attacks, it changes into Blade form, it gains amazing offensive stats but very weak defenses at the same times. With its offensive stats being the same number, it gives Aegislash the option to either be a physical attacker, special attacker, or a mixed attacker taking advantage of both stats. Its speed stat makes Aegislash pretty slow, but its not the worst as it allows Aegislash to play a very interesting tricks as a fast Aegislash will surprise its opponents when it picks up KOs they weren't expecting.

The Ghost and Steel typing only gives Aegislash 4 weaknesses in Ghost, Fire, Dark, and Ground type moves but thanks to Aegislash's steel typing, it resistances to 9 typing including the very common Fairy and Psychic type moves that Aegislash does well against. This allows Aegislash to switch into a lot of very common Pokemon and Z-Moves which can greatly help it out. Having an immunity to Normal, Fighting and Dark type moves allows Aegislash to not be affected by Fake Out and essentially walling Mega Kangaskhan which can be helpful, which means Aegislash can deal with a majority of the metagame.

Notable Moves

Shadow Sneak
Shadow Ball
Flash Cannon
King’s Shield
Hidden Power [Ice]
Wide Guard

Aegislash is a very simple Pokemon in that it's moves reflect how it plays. Despite having a high attack stat, its commonly played as a special attacker due to the popularity of the Intimidate ability so if it chooses to use a physical attack, its usually only one attack for coverage. Shadow Sneak is a good priority move to pick up a KO on a Pokemon at low health which can be very helpful. King's Shield is vital on Aegislash due to it being its signature version of Protect and the only move that makes its Stance Change ability useful. Toxic is a niche option that can be useful to wear down Pokemon like bulky Pokemon that are generally hard to KO like Cresselia and Porygon2. 

Hidden Power [Ice] is for Pokemon like Landorus-Therian and Salamence, which can be nice for a surprising KO. Shadow Ball and Flash Cannon are Aegislash's main options for damage as they can do consistent damage to a lot of Pokemon, especially when used in combination with Z Crystals. Because of Aegislash's amazing defensive typing, Substitute only makes sense because it can increase Aegislash's longevity. The final option in Wide Guard is very helpful to block spread moves like Heat Wave and the very popular Wide Guard.

Notable Items

Ghostium Z
Life Orb
Weakness Policy

Aegislash is a very simple Pokemon in that it's moves reflect how it plays. Ghostium Z has become its most popular item due to how it has the ability to KO Pokemon that very much cannot be trained to survive these hits. Leftovers is great for the end-of-turn residual health recovery which works well with Substitute. Due to Aegislash being able to survive certain super-effective hits, Weakness Policy allows it to survive these hits and boost its offensive stats to allow it to become an even bigger threat. The final item in Life Orb can be helpful to improve Aegislash's general offensive power that to the levels a Ghostium Z and Leftovers set can strive to do.

Now, let's look at some sample sets for Aegislash that I recommend.

Sample Set #1: Z-Move Offensive

Shield Aegislash
Aegislash @ Ghostium Z  
Ability: Stance Change  
EVs: 188 HP / 252 SpA / 68 Spe  
Modest Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Shadow Ball  
- Flash Cannon  
- Wide Guard  
- King's Shield

The first set was used by Aaron Zheng (@CybertronVGC) on his YouTube Road to Ranked series. The reason I chose to include this set is that it accomplishes what a Ghostium Z Aegislash should be able to do. The moveset is very standard for Aegislash in VGC. Having both Shadow Ball and Flash Cannon on Aegislash allows it to hit a large majority of Pokemon for at least neutral damage can be very valuable and effective. In the video, Aaron noted that with these Speed EVs, it allows Aegislash to out-speed Kartana under Tailwind, which also means this Aegislash can also out-speed both Kangaskhan and Charizard which can be very effective. Due to this popularity of spread moves like Heat Wave, Earthquake, and Rock Slide, Wide Guard is essential to deal with these moves. The final option is King's Shield which is vital because without it, Aegislash has to switch out change back into Shield Form.

Sample Set #2: Leftovers with "BillaSlash" Option

Shield Aegislash
Aegislash @ Leftovers
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Shadow Ball
- Flash Cannon / Wide Guard
- Substitute
- King's Shield

The idea of this Aegislash is to use its amazing bulk and defensive typing while in shield form to allow it to set-up a Substitute to stay on the field longer, which the Leftovers item will help aid in accomplishing this goal. Shadow Ball is your main STAB option for dealing damage and King's Shield is as said before, the most important move to teach Aegislash. Now I wanna talk about what BillaSlash means. In 2015, the term BillaSlash emerged when Baris Akcos (@BillaVGC) used a very interesting Aegislash, which was essentially this set but had both Substitute and Wide Guard, that he used at multiple European Nationals. The hidden strength of this Aegislash is in the surprise of having both Substitute and Wide Guard which allows this Aegislash to play a very strong support role. The EV Spread is very simplistic, focusing on maxing out Aegislash's HP and Sp. Attack stat to survive multiple hits and hit as hard as possible.

Possible Partners for Aegislash

Defensive Synergy

salamence-mega.png terrakion.png tapu-fini.png tapu-lele.png tapu-koko.png tapu-bulu.png
Since Salamence and Terrakion are both weak to Fairy types, Aegislash can help with this as it's steel type moves can take care of the main Fairy types like the Tapus and Gardevoir. Terrakion in particular can also help Aegislash deal with the Fire and Dark type Pokemon that Aegislash are weak to thanks to its Rock and Fighting type moves respectively. The Tapus can use there Fairy type moves to threaten the Dark types that give Aegislash trouble. Although Tapu Bulu doesn't learn.

Rain Setters

Since Aegislash doesn't enjoy facing fire types, Politoed and Pelipper can set the Rain to allow Aegislash to survive these attacks better while the team's rain setter can use there water type moves to better deal with them.

How to Beat Aegislash

Fire Types

heatran.png volcarona.png charizard-mega-y.png
Due to Aegislash's weakness to fire type moves, these 3 are the most common fire types that will give Aegislash trouble. Since there's most common fire type move is Heat Wave, if Aegislash uses Wide Guard, then it can delay the attack.

Dark Types

hydreigon.png scrafty.png incineroar.png muk-alola.png tyranitar.png
Since Aegislash is also weak to dark type moves, these 5 can hit it for super-effective damage. Hydriegon can attack on the special side while the other 4 hit on the physical side. Because of this, Aegislash only really could damage them for super-effective damage and Muk for neutral if it has Sacred Sword, but since it isn't common on Aegislash, it will surely lose the 1v1.

Ground Types

landorus-therian.png swampert-mega.png excadrill.png
These 3 Ground types can hit Aegislash for super-effective damage. Landorus and Excadrill can use Groundium Z to hit Aegislash for big damage, even through King Shield while also having strong Ground type moves. Swampert also learns Earthquake to hit it for super-effective damage.

Alternative Options for Aegislash

Steel Types

excadrill.png heatran.png celesteela.png
Aegislash isn't a Pokemon that can be easily replaced, but steel types are something you can do. Excadrill, Heatran, and Celesteela all have very strong steel type moves to threaten fairy types while all having decent defensive typings as well.

Thanks to its great defensive typing, simple sets to understand, and a lot going for it that it was able to prove in the past, Aegislash has proven to be a main stay as VGC 2018 progresses. I hope you enjoyed this. Check back to the Nimbasa City Post for more VGC content in the future. Bye!


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