VGC 2017 Pokemon Spotlight #3: Arcanine

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Welcome back to another edition of the Pokemon Spotlight, where the goal is to cover a Pokemon that's having success in the VGC 2017 format and tell you everything you need to know about it. Today, we'll be talking about Arcanine, which has been having a lot of success recently, even appearing on both of the teams in the finals of the London International. Its a really strong Pokemon and I hope you enjoy.

Video Link: here


Looking at its stats, Arcanine has some really solid stats for a offensive and defensive Pokemon. 90/80/80 is decent, but with its Intimidate ability and access to moves that can lower the opponent's attacking stats, it can turn Arcanine into a really bulky Pokemon very easily. At base 95 speed, Arcanine is actually one of the faster Pokemon in the format since a lot of Pokemon are on the slower end of the spectrum. 110/100 for offensive stats are very nice as it allows Arcanine to act as a physical attacker, special attacker, or even a mixed attacker if need be.

Notable Moves - Some moves that you may see on an Arcanine you might face.
  1. Extreme Speed - Strong priority move to either break a Focus Sash or pick-up a KO
  2. Roar - Forces a Pokemon to switch out. -6 priority so it goes before Trick Room
  3. Protect - Blocks an attack and weakens the power of Z-Moves
  4. Flamethrower - Standard, 100% accurate fire type move
  5. Overheat - Very powerful fire type move to nuke a target
  6. Will-O-Wisp - Useful to weaken the power of physical attacking moves
  7. Wild Charge - Strong physical Electric type moves to damage Water types
  8. Snarl - Useful to weaken the power of special attacking moves
  9. Burn Up - Strong fire type move that removes the type of the user
  10. Close Combat - Fighting type move to handle threats like Porygon2 
  11. Flare Blitz - Strong physical fire type move
  12. Heat Wave - Strong fire type spread move
  13. Morning Sun - Useful to gain HP, heals more in the Sun and less in other weathers
  14. Helping Hand - Useful to power its partner's move
  15. Crunch - Useful for hitting Pokemon like Alolan Marowak and Oranguru
Now I wanna go into some sample sets that I would recommend trying on Arcanine.

Arcanine @ Sitrus Berry  
Ability: Intimidate  
EVs: 148 HP / 4 Def / 164 SpA / 28 SpD / 164 Spe  
Timid Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Will-O-Wisp  
- Flamethrower  
- Snarl  
- Protect

This is a supportive Arcanine used by Till Bohmer (@Dark_Psiana) to finish 12th at the London International. If you wanna learn the ways of a supportive Arcanine, which is meant to use Will-O-Wisp to weaken physical attackers like Garchomp, as well as Intimidate them to weaken further, while also using Snarl to weaken special attackers so no one was safe. You also have Flamethrower to have a strong stab move. The EV Spread allows Flamethrower to have a 93.8% chance to 2HKO a 180 HP / 148+ SpD Celesteela with Flamethrower. It also allows Arcanine to have a 6.3% to survive 252 SpA Nihilego Power Gem and is 2HKO'd by -1 Earthquake from Garchomp thanks to the Sitrus Berry. The speed EVs also allows Arcanine to outspeed max speed Xurkitree. I'll link his team report here so you can get a better detail of Till's mindset with his Arcanine,

Arcanine @ Life Orb
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 28 HP / 180 Atk / 4 Def / 44 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Wild Charge
- Crunch / Extreme Speed
- Protect

This is an offensive Arcanine that takes advantage of its attack stat and allows it to take center stage and get off a major amount of damage. The attack EVs allows Arcanine to OHKO 252 HP / 0 Def Celesteela with Flare Blitz. A -1 Wild Charge can OHKO 0 HP / 0 Def Gyarados, and Crunch to OHKO 252 HP / 4 Def Alolan Marowak. The defensive EVs allows Arcanine to survive -1 Bonemerang from 252+ Alolan Marowak. and it can survive 252+ Tapu Lele Psychic in its Psychic Terrain. The moveset is pretty standard. Flare Blitz is STAB, Wild Charge is for hitting water types, and Crunch is for hitting Pokemon like Alolan Marowak and Gengar, but Extreme Speed is great for knocking out Pokemon at a low amount of HP or breaking Focus Sashes. A simple 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe is also great if you need the extra damage output in exchange for no bulk, only relying on Arcanine's natural typing if you want to.

Potential Items - Here's some items you could try on your Arcanine
  1. Life Orb - Increases Arcanine's damage output
  2. Sitrus Berry - Heals up Arcanine when its HP is under 50%
  3. Leftovers - Gives Arcanine residual healing each turn
  4. Choice Band - Majorly increases Arcanine's damage output, but locks it into 1 move
  5. Charcoal - Powers up Arcanine's fire type moves
  6. Firium Z - Turns Arcanine's fire type move into Inferno Overdrive to nuke targets

Potential Partners - Some Pokemon that work well with Arcanine
  1. Gastrodon - Its Storm Drain ability absorbs up super-effective water moves for Arcanine
  2. Porygon2 - Arcanine provides Intimidate to help Porygon2 set up Trick Room
  3. Celesteela - Arcanine provides Intimidate to help Celesteela perform its job
  4. Garchomp - Arcanine can Intimidate threats and weaken them for Garchomp to shine

How to beat Arcanine
  1. Gastrodon - It can fire off water type moves to easily handle Arcanine
  2. Garchomp/Mudsdale/Krookodile - It can use Earthquake to KO Arcanine
  3. Pelipper/Politoed - Both provide the Rain to weaken Arcanine's fire moves
  4. Gyarados - It can Intimidate Arcanine and use both Waterfall and Hydro Vortex to KO Arcanine
  5. Gigalith - It can use Rock moves to handle Arcanine
  6. Arquanid - It can use Liquidation and Hydro Vortex KO Arcanine
  7. Tapu Fini/Milotic - As bulky water types, they can handle Arcanine's moves and use water moves to KO Arcanine
  8. Alolan Marowak - It can use Bonemerang to KO Arcanine, although Arcanine can Snarl it for super-effective damage
  9. Golduck - It can outspeed Arcanine and use strong water moves. Commonly seen on Rain team
  10. Nihilego - It can use Power Gem to KO Arcanine
In conclusion, Arcanine is a great support Pokemon. While it isn't the type of Pokemon that can be slapped onto any team and find success instantly, it can perform well on the right teams. It's found the right mix between bulk and offense to be a threat in the metagame, so I would expect to see it on teams in the future. Hope you enjoyed this. Check out my older articles and I'll see you guys next time. Bye!


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