VGC 2018 Pokemon Spotlight #7: Incineroar

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Welcome back to the VGC 2018 Pokemon Spotlight, where we take a look at Pokemon who have seen a large amount of success and go through exactly why this is. Today, we'll be taking a look at Incineroar, which thanks to a favorable metagame for this Pokemon and some new moves, has seen a large amount of popularity in the VGC 2018 format. Hope you enjoy and let's begin!

Base Stats & Typing


The Fire/Dark typing is pretty strong. With weaknesses to Fighting, Water, Ground, and Rock types, Incineroar will have to worry about the fact that at least 2 of the moves have been found on most teams which means that Incineroar will have to worry about super-effective attacks most of the time. However, resisting 6 types in the game can give Incineroar multiple opportunities to reliably switch into these attacks which can play to Incineroar's strengths.

Looking at its base stats, Incineroar has some decent bulk which can allow it to stay around longer on the field. A high attack stat gives Incineroar a strong offensive presence which means it can hit much harder against other Pokemon Finally, its speed stat is very mediocre which means its a little to fast for Trick Room but it gives Incineroar just enough speed to do its job.

Notable Moves



Darkest Lariat
Throat Chop
Roar
Throat Chop
Protect
Flare Blitz
Fake Out
Snarl
Low Kick
Knock Off



Incineroar's notable moves play very well into its high attack stat. The choice of dark type moves in Dakest Lariat, Throat Chop, and Knock Off can be helpful where Darkest Lariat gives it a very strong attacking option that like Sacred Sword, ignores changes to the target's defense and evasion stats which can be helpful versus Chansey teams where Throat Chop can help against Trick Room teams to block Roar which can stop Trick Room cold in its tracks. Knock Off can be helpful to get rid of a target's item. Roar gives Incineroar the option to help its team from setting up or from using Trick Room. Flare Blitz is Incineroar its main fire type move to deal a lot of damage. 

Snarl is commonly used on more supportive Incineroar which can lower the target's Sp. Attack stat to give it a more supportive option. Fake Out is amazing as it gives Incineroar the option to stop a Pokemon from attacking that turn which can allow its partner to do whatever it wants to. Power Trip is commonly seen on set-up teams, mainly the ones with Eevee which likes to transition its boosts to Incineroar to boost the power of its Power Trip attack. Low Kick can be useful for heavier Pokemon like Heatran and Tyranitar that won't enjoy a super-effective fighting type move.


Notable Items



Incinium Z
Assault Vest
Figy Berry
Iapapa Berry
Aguav Berry

Incineroar can only reliably run a few items but the items it gets are pretty strong ones. Incinium Z is its signature Z-crystal which turns Darkest Lariat into Malicious Moonsault which is a very powerful Dark type attack to threaten most Pokemon. Assault Vest gives Incineroar the option to use 4 attacks which can give it to add more supportive moves like Fake Out and Snarl. The "pinch" berries can increase its time on the field by allowing to survive more attacks and effectively giving it 150% health if it survives the first big attack.

Now let's look at some sample sets. Please note that while its hidden ability in Intimidate is not yet released, should it be released, Intimidate is a very much superior ability for this Pokemon.

(Update: All sample sets have been updated to include the Intimidate ability.)

Sample Set #1: A Very Dapper Vest

Incineroar
Incineroar @ Assault Vest  
Ability: Intimidate  
EVs: 236 HP / 116 Atk / 76 Def / 68 SpD / 12 Spe  
Adamant Nature  
- Flare Blitz  
- Knock Off  
- Fake Out  
- Snarl

The first set is an Assualt Vest Incineroar that was popularized by Conan Wild (@RazerVGC). Conan talks more about this Incineroar in his team report linked here but to summarize, This Incineroar can survive Earthquake from Landorus-Therian, Kartana's Sacred Sword, Rock Slide from both Landorus-Therian and Tyranitar, Moonblast from Tapu Lele, and even Z-Thunderbolt from Tapu Koko in electric terrain, and bulk of other attacks that aren't super-effective Z-moves. Conan says that Fake Out is key to this set as it increases what Incineroar can bring to its team.

Flare Blitz and Knock Off are meant to be very strong attacks with Flare Blitz being your main fire type move and Knock Off being meant to get rid of troublesome items. He notes that Snarl can slow down special attackers like the Tapu Pokemon, Mega Charizard Y and even Rain teams if you get the option to.

Sample Set #2: Bulky Berry

Incineroar
Incineroar @ Figy Berry  
Ability: Intimidate  
EVs: 188 HP / 172 Atk / 36 Def / 92 SpD / 20 Spe  
Careful Nature  
- Flare Blitz  
- Darkest Lariat / Knock Off
- Fake Out 
- Protect

This second set focuses on a slightly bulkier Incineroar. The main thing I want to point out is this Incineroar is trained to survive Z-Thunderbolt from Tapu Koko in Electric Terrain which is something that in the format, Incineroar is going to need to do in this format to survive. The speed stat allows Incineroar to out-speed 4 speed Celesteela to hit them with a big Flare Blitz. Looking at its move, Flare Blitz is again its main fire type attack. Darkest Lariat or Knock Off is dependent on what you want. Darkest Lariat can be especially useful vs. Chansey as Darkest Lariat can even connect through Minimize and the boost it gets from Defense Curl. Fake Out is the last last move as Incineroar's good bulk allows it to be a very strong Fake Out Pokemon.

Sample Partners

tapu-fini.png zapdos.png cresselia.png
Incineroar's Fake Out can allow Tapu Fini to use Calm Mind, Zapdos to Tailwind, and Cresselia to Trick Room, which can be very helpful for allowing its partner to help either itself or its entire team out.

How to beat Incineroar

Ground Types

landorus-therian.png excadrill.png rhyperior.png swampert-mega.png
Ground types are a nightmare for Incineroar. One of the most popular Ground types and Pokemon in the format in Landorus-Therian is on most teams this year as it's Earthquake does a lot of damage to this Pokemon and the fact Landorus can be found holding a Groundium Z, it can even threaten a OHKO it. Excadrill is found on Sand teams and can deal a lot of damage with Drill Run. Rhyperior can be found on Trick Room teams and Swampert can be found on Rain teams, both of whom can use their super-effective attacks to give Incineroar a hard time.

Rock Types

tyranitar.png stakataka.png terrakion.png
Rock types are also an issue. Tyranitar and Terrakion can threaten with a strong Rock Slide outside of Trick Room while Stakataka does this under Trick Room. Terrakion also can use Close Combat for some very strong damage.

Rain Teams

pelipper.pngpolitoed.png
You can check out on why Rain is an issue for Incineroar in our article linked here, but water types in general can give Incineroar an issue, but teams that run rain actively use steel types like Mawile and Ferrothorn. Although these 2 are weak to Incineroar, the rain option on these teams will threaten Incineroar from even coming to games.

Conclusion

Thanks to its good bulk, strong offensive attacks, and ability to wall off a majority of Pokemon in the format, Incineroar has come to see a lot of success so far in the VGC 2018 format and if it ever gets its hidden ability, Intimidate, expect Incineroar's usage to rise even more than where it already is. Hope you enjoyed and check out the Nimbasa City Post for more VGC information in the future and have a good day!

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