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Pokemon of the Week DP: Blaziken

by Ninjomewtwo

Blaziken

Sets

Choice Scarf Sweeper

Item Held
Choice Scarf
Nature
Adamant (+Attack, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP

The only thing that prevents Blaziken for being an unstoppable sweeper is its rather mediocre Speed. Choice Scarf makes up for that, raising its Speed to 388 and allowing it to outrun Pokémon like Salamence and Alakazam that would otherwise cause a lot of problems. Flare Blitz and Sky Uppercut are two quite good STABed moves and along with Stone Edge, they cover a great many Pokémon that could smack Blaziken, including Gyarados and the aforementioned Salamence. Thunderpunch hits Gyarados harder while as well as Slowbro and Starmie. As with any Choice set, prediction is the key to success, so it’s better to wait until your opponent reveals most of their team before sending Blaziken in.

Choice Band Sweeper

Item Held
Choice Band
Nature
Jolly (+Speed, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP

A Choice Band variant of the previous set. Blaziken’s Attack becomes stellar but expect to face some problems as far as Speed is concerned. The moves work just like as in the Choice Scarf set, with Focus Punch being a nice alternative to Thunderpunch now. Its damage output shouldn’t surprise you if you consider the fact that it receives boosts from Choice Band and STAB.

Reversaler

Item Held
Salac Berry
Nature
Jolly (+Speed, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 Defense

With STABed Reversal being an option in Blaziken’s movepool, this set is obviously one of the first that pop in the mind. It’s concept is exactly the same as in every Reversal set. Endure their hit or Substitute down to 1 HP, activate the Salac Berry and start sweeping with Reversal. If you manage to pull off a Swords Dance, Blaziken can deal huge amounts of damage. Fire Punch is here to be used against Pokémon that resist Reversal and are not OHKOed by it. It works really nice as it is further boosted by Blaze when you are down to 1/3 of your max HP.

Blaziken’s main disadvantage against fellow Reversalers like Lucario and Scizor is its weakness to Sandstorm. Tyranitar and Hippowdon can beat it just by appearing in front of it. So, using Blaziken with a Pokémon with Sunny Day on the team is always good. And of course, be sure to eliminate any possibility of Sandstorm/Hail appearing after Blaziken has been sent it. That means you have to take down Tyranitar, Hippowdon and Abomasnow before setting up.

Baton Passer V1.0

Item Held
Leftovers
Nature
Modest (+Special Attack, -Attack)
Effort Points
252 Special Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP

Two of Blaziken’s new moves are used in this set, Agility and Baton Pass. Start up by boosting your Speed and then sweep as much as you can. Then, when they are about to beat you, Baton Pass your Speed boosts away to a counter. Fire Blast is here for STAB and Hidden Power Ice hits those Dragon-types that tend to switch in on Blaziken.

Baton Passer V2.0

Item Held
Leftovers
Nature
Jolly (+Speed, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP

Apart from the newly obtained Agility, Blaziken can also Baton Pass Swords Dance. Sure, Speed issues will arise but with some prediction, you’ll be able to Baton Pass your Attack boosts away. Sky Uppercut may be chosen for STAB but Stone Edge hits Salamence and Gyarados which will otherwise stop you.

Other Possible Options

On the Physical side, Brave Bird is Blaziken’s most noteable option but it won’t offer much apart from knocking Infernape out. Other than that, Brick Break is a more accurate alternative to Sky Uppercut. While Blaziken has options like Earthquake or Shadow Claw, there’s no resaon to use them unless you want to take down a certain Pokémon.

On the Special side, Flamethrower provides some more accuracy than Fire Blast. Focus Blast is Blaziken’s alternative Special STABed move. Hidden Power Grass can be used for KOing Swampert.

Bulk Up is a viable option over Swords Dance sometimes, especially if you are planning to Baton Pass the boosts. Substitute may be also passed, but there are other Pokémon better at it. Finally, Will-O-Wisp will hurt some Gyarados that switch in.

Counters

The most obvious counters to an offensive Fire-type Pokémon would be those bulky Water and Ground-types. Namely, Milotic, Slowbro, etcetera, can receive its hits and knock it out with their STABed Surf. As far as Ground-types go, Hippowdon and Donphan are the best choices. Swampert, being both Water and Ground-type, is obviously a great counter to Blaziken.

Gyarados and Salamence can always come in, Intimidate Blaziken and beat it with their Earthquake/Hydro Pump. They also resist both of Blaziken’s STABed moves. Arcanine with Flash Fire can come in on a Choice Band/Scarf Flare Blitz/Fire Blast and set up as Blaziken switches out. It can also come in with Intimidate and force a switch, but it’s harder to bring it in then. Nevertheless, all of them fear some of Blaziken’s moves, especially Stone Edge.

Finally, Roar/Whirlwind and Haze can stop Blaziken’s attempts to Baton Pass any boosts. However, there are only a few Pokémon that can switch in and use those moves safely like Vaporeon and Suicune.

Opinion & Notes

Blaziken just wishes Infernape was never created. Infernape is just like an improved version of Blaziken and this fact will certainly reduce Blaziken’s use in this generation. On the other hand, Blaziken gained a whole lot of new moves to toy with. Agility, Baton Pass, Flare Blitz and Stone Edge, to name but a few, will help Blaziken overcome some of its problems but its average Speed stat is still hindering it from becoming a great sweeper. However, that can be fixed to a certain extent with Choice Scarf. All in all, Blaziken will still remain stuck in the BorderLine tier, overshadowed by its D/P counterpart, Infernape.

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