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Pokemon of the Week DP: Charizard

by Ninjomewtwo

Charizard

Sets

Bellyzard

Item Held
Salac Berry
Nature
Adamant (+Attack, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 Defense
  • Belly Drum
  • Substitute
  • Fire Punch
  • Earthquake / Dragon Claw

First of all you have to be absolutely sure that your Charizard’s HP is a number divisable by four, otherwise, this set doesn’t work. To do this, you need an HP IV of 2, 6, 10, 14, 18, 22, 26 or 30. If you have anything else, you can fix it by getting some EPs out of Defense and Speed. Now, how this set works. Switch Charizard in something that fears it, like a Grass-type. Then, use Substitute as your opponent switches out. Next turn, use Belly Drum as your opponent breaks your Substitute. No you have a huge Attack stat and your Fire Punch is powered up by a Belly Drum, STAB and Blaze. And not only that, the Salac Berry that got activated made your Charizard faster than almost anything. All you have to do now is sweep till something bad happens to your Charizard which is highly unlikely.

CBZard

Item Held
Choice Band
Nature
Adamant (+Attack, -Special Attack) / Jolly (+Speed, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 Defense
  • Flare Blitz
  • Earthquake
  • Focus Punch
  • Rock Slide

Those four moves cover a lot of OU Pokemon like Tyranitar, Salamence, Gyarados and Celebi to name a few. Flare Blitz can hurt a lot but use it with care due to the quite big recoil you are going to get. Focus Punch is mainly there for hitting those bulky Water-type Pokemon and Garchomp on the switch if you can predict it. You can use some other moves like Double-Edge, Dragon Claw or Shadow Claw but these four do the job pretty well.

CSZard

Item Held
Choice Specs
Nature
Modest (+Special Attack, -Attack) / Timid (+Speed, -Attack)
Effort Points
252 Sp.Atk. – 252 Speed – 6 Defense
  • Flamethrower
  • Dragon Pulse
  • Hidden Power Grass / Air Slash
  • Focus Blast

This set can actually work for one main reason and that is surprise. Most players expect a Bellyzard set, a Physical Sweeping set that is. So, they may send out their Physical Wall (Skarmory, Swampert, Forretress). And since most of the Physical Walls have a not-so-good Special Defense stat you may score a surprise OHKO. Hidden Power Grass is so much better than Air Slash, its existence in the set is for those bored to breed for a Hidden Power Grass. Focus Punch may replace Focus Blast in this set for hitting Blissey, Snorlax and Regice harder but it is not so reliable in a Choice Specs set.

Other Possible Options

Sunny Day + Fire Blast + Solarbeam can hurt a lot but can be countered really easily and that’s why it didn’t got mentioned in a set. Swords Dance and Dragon Dance give Charizard some slower but safer ways to set up before hitting. Will-O-Wisp is always good for crippling Physical Sweepers on the switch but you always run the risk of activating Guts and, more important, Milotic’s Marvel Scale. Anything else is mentioned in the sets.

Counters

This is the only thing that prevents Charizard from being a top-class Pokemon. It can be countered too easily for an OU Pokemon. Its main counters are those bulky Water-type Pokemon like Slowbro, Swampert, Suicune, Vaporeon and Milotic. Most of them can Roar/Haze away Charizard’s boosts and KO with STABed Surf.

The Bellyzard set gets stopped by Sand Stream and Snow Warning, that means Tyranitar, Hippowdon and Abomasnow. What is more, Tyranitar’s Special Defense boost and resistance to Fire make it a quite good counter.

Pokemon with the Thick Fat trait are decent switch-ins, especially defensive versions of Hariyama. It can take both Physical and Special attacks (apart from Air Slash and Aerial Ace) and send Charizard away with Whirlwind. Thick Fat Snorlax can switch in on a CB/CS Fire-type move and do some serious damage with Pursuit as Charizard switches out.

A straightforward Rock Slide/Stone Edge by a faster Sweeper like Aerodactyl or Garchomp will always OHKO but they can’t switch in on the Bellyzard set safely.

Finally, Stealth Rock wrecks any Charizard set so be sure to Rapid Spin those rocks away before trying to sweep with Charizard.

Opinion & Notes

Charizard got so damn better in the 4th gen that made me breed for one before beating the Elite Four. The flaming dragon is probably the best Belly Drum user out there combining high Speed and the awesome Blaze ability. The problems Charizard has to face though are in its Defenses. Charizard is weak to common moves like Rock Slide, Stone Edge, Surf and Thunderbolt and neutral to Return, Crunch, Ice Beam, Draco Meteor and Dragon Pulse and that’s gonna give it a hard time trying to survive until it finishes its sweeping. Anyway, I am certainly gonna use Charizard and I recommend it as a somewhat different yet still effective Sweeper.

Note that Fire Punch is only obtainable through Emerald’s move tutor in the Battle Frontier. So breed for your Charizard in your Emerald game pak, not in D/P.

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