Artwork by ishmam.
Alola! It’s Kasoman, and I’m back with the second segment of the VGC 2018 PokéAnalysis series! Today, I will be featuring a classic Pokémon that is still a widely popular choice to both competitive and casual players alike, Charizard! This segment will feature its Y forme of its Mega Evolution. Last time, I did an analysis on Landorus-Therian, and if you didn’t have a chance to read it, you can check it out here.
“Its wings can carry this Pokémon close to an altitude of 4,600 feet. It blows out fire at very high temperatures. When expelling a blast of superhot fire, the red flame at the tip of its tail burns more intensely.”
- Drought – Weather changes to intense sunshine as the Pokémon enters the battle. This lasts for five turns.
Base stats taken from Bulbapedia.
Role in the Metagame
Mega Charizard Y is one of the best megas in the format because it has an option for weather control against archetypes such as Rain and Sand, it has one of the most basic typings in fire, and it has an excellent offensive prowess of a base 159 special attack, combined with a fast base speed of 100. What makes Charizard Y stand out as a Mega Evolution is its flexibility in sets. It is able to run a standard fast offensive set, or it can run a bulkier support set that utilizes the move Tailwind for speed control. All in all, Charizard Y proves itself to be one of the best Mega Pokémon since its debut in 2014.
Terry Newton’s Offensive
Ability: Blaze → Drought
Held Item: Charizardite Y
EVs: 60 HP / 196 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Heat Wave / Flamethrower
– Solar Beam
– Overheat / Flamethrower
- -1 252 Atk Kangaskhan Double-Edge vs. 60 HP / 0 Def Charizard: 67-81 (41.6 – 50.3%) — 0.4% chance to 2HKO
- -1 252+ Atk Landorus-T Rock Slide vs. 60 HP / 0 Def Mega Charizard Y: 124-148 (77 – 91.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- 4 Atk Aerilate Mega Salamence Double-Edge vs. 60 HP / 0 Def Mega Charizard Y: 138-163 (85.7 – 101.2%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
- 252 SpA Aerilate Mega Salamence Hyper Voice vs. 60 HP / 0 SpD Mega Charizard Y: 58-69 (36 – 42.8%) — guaranteed 3HKO
- Heat Wave:
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Heat Wave vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kangaskhan in Sun: 123-145 (67.9 – 80.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Heat Wave vs. 180 HP / 12 SpD Kangaskhan in Sun: 121-144 (59.6 – 70.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Heat Wave vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-T in Sun: 123-145 (74.5 – 87.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Heat Wave vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Landorus-T in Sun: 81-96 (49 – 58.1%) — 96.5% chance to 2HKO
- Solar Beam:
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Solar Beam vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kangaskhan: 92-109 (50.8 – 60.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Solar Beam vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-T: 92-109 (55.7 – 66%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Solar Beam vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Tapu Fini: 124-146 (70 – 82.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Flamethrower vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kangaskhan in Sun: 156-184 (86.1 – 101.6%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Flamethrower vs. 180 HP / 12 SpD Kangaskhan in Sun: 153-181 (75.3 – 89.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Flamethrower vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-T in Sun: 156-184 (94.5 – 111.5%) — 68.8% chance to OHKO
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Flamethrower vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Landorus-T in Sun: 103-123 (62.4 – 74.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Overheat vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kangaskhan in Sun: 225-265 (124.3 – 146.4%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Overheat vs. 180 HP / 12 SpD Kangaskhan in Sun: 220-261 (108.3 – 128.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Overheat vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-T in Sun: 225-265 (136.3 – 160.6%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 196 SpA Mega Charizard Y Overheat vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Landorus-T in Sun: 150-177 (90.9 – 107.2%) — 43.8% chance to OHKO
Normally, one would start off with max special attack and max speed, which is perfectly fine for its simplicity. However, this offensive spread was created by Terry Newton (@UltraTerryy) for a Sun Balance team he piloted in the Battle Spot Doubles ladder in Sun and Moon (you can use it for VGC 2018). The main defensive benchmark is probably a jolly Kangaskhan’s Double-Edge after an intimidate, which is practically a 3HKO on this spread. Because some players would prefer Flamethrower for accuracy, I decided to include offensive calcs for Heat Wave, Flamethrower, and Overheat to help you decide which Fire-type moves you want in your set. Overall, the spread depends on your playstyle and your team’s needs, but this is a great place to start, and I’m personally a fan of this spread.
Ability: Blaze → Drought
Held Item: Charizardite Y
EVs: 252 HP / 132 Def / 100 SpA / 4 SpD / 20 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Heat Wave / Flamethrower
– Solar Beam / Overheat / Hidden Power [Ground]
- 252+ Atk Landorus-T Rock Slide vs. 252 HP / 132 Def Mega Charizard Y: 156-188 (84.3 – 101.6%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
- -1 252+ Atk Kangaskhan Double-Edge vs. 252 HP / 132 Def Mega Charizard Y: 64-76 (34.5 – 41%) — guaranteed 3HKO
- 252+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Mega Charizard Y: 156-187 (84.3 – 101%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
The main goal of this spread is to have enough bulk to safely set up with Tailwind. It allows Charizard to survive a Rock Slide from an adamant Landorus-T 15 out of 16 times without needing an intimidate to weaken the opposing Landorus. The special attack and speed are key investments on their own. 100 EVs into special attack for modest nature allows Charizard to deal the same amount of damage as a max special attack timid Charizard Y, which gives you the luxury of investing more into bulk, as I’ve done in my EV spread. As for speed, the main benchmark is Bisharp of an adamant nature, and the reason why I benchmarked for Bisharp is because there is a possibility it may rise in usage, as a handful of teams out there are not very prepared for it, and Bisharp is good at dealing with Cresselia, Aegislash, Tapu Lele, and Tapu Bulu. It’s especially dangerous that Bisharp’s ability is Defiant, which gives it a +1 attack boost after an intimidate. There are a lot of viable base 100 speed Pokémon in the format, so you may need to adjust your speed investment accordingly. Hidden Power Ground is another option in attacks in case your team struggles against Heatran, and it can also deal decent damage to other Fire-types such as Incineroar and Camerupt.
A popular core from 2015, which is built around Mega Charizard Y, Landorus-T, and Cresselia. Charizard pairs well with Landorus-T because both of them have access to spread moves that deal a lot of damage thanks to their combined offensive prowess. Against opposing Landorus, Cresselia can cover Charizard with with Ice Beam or Icy Wind, as Landorus-T is one of the biggest threats to Charizard Y. Cresselia also has access to Trick Room as a method of speed control, and its especially helpful for those who run a Tailwind Support set as a secondary method of speed control.
If you want an in-depth explanation of this core, you can watch this video done by Jack TheBattler (@JackTheBattler), where he provides a very detailed explanation of what this core can do, as well as how you can EV each of those Pokémon to fulfill certain roles.
FAT, currently known as “Fini, Aegislash, Tyranitar,” is a rising core in the 2018 format because of their combined bulk, as well as their defensive typings. Charizard Y pairs exceptionally well with this core because it gives them another option of weather, and it also provides them fire coverage, completing a fire/fairy/dark core, something that became popular in the 2015 Post-Worlds metagame, which featured Charizard Y, Tyranitar, and Sylveon at the time. What this core does for Charizard is Tapu Fini covers against Landorus-T, as well as being able to take Water-type attacks. Tyranitar deals with opposing Charizard Y exceptionally well thanks to its high base attack and ability to use Rock Slide. Lastly, Aegislash provides Wide Guard support to block incoming Rock Slides from the opposing Pokémon. Terry Newton’s Sun Balance team, which is shared under his set is actually two combined cores of Charizard Y/Landorus-T/Cresselia and FAT.
Although Rotom-W’s Hydro Pump will be weakened in the sun, it is an exceptionally great counter to Landorus-T, as it can deal a lot of damage with Hydro Pump, it is immune to Ground-type moves thanks to Levitate, it’s bulky enough to take hits well, and it can also easily burn the opposing Landorus with Will-O-Wisp since Landorus is a Flying-type. On top of that, Rotom-W deals with Water-types with Electric-type moves. In return, Charizard can cover against Grass-types such as Amoonguss, Tapu Bulu, and Kartana with its Fire-type moves.
Tapu Koko is great for dealing with Water-types with its Electric-type moves, and Electrium Z is one of the most popular items for this Pokémon. Tapu Koko is also a very fast Pokémon, so it is capable of picking up quick KOs against many opposing Pokémon in the format such as Tapu Fini and opposing Charizard Y. In addition to this, Tapu Koko also has access to Dazzling Gleam as a spread move to deal with Dragon-types such as Salamence, and it is also capable of picking up a KO on Landorus with Hidden Power Ice. Tapu Koko also has access to Taunt to prevent other Pokémon from setting up, and it’s especially helpful for the fact both Charizard and Tapu Koko are fast Pokémon.
Checks and Counters
Even though Landorus-T is one of its best partners, if not, the best partner, Landorus-T is also known to be its arch nemesis because of its ability to repeatedly use Rock Slide, especially when holding a Choice Scarf. Many max speed Charizard Y can easily lose to a Landorus-T holding a Choice Scarf, so careful play and speed control is required to play around it. The good news is that Charizard Y can deal a lot of damage to Landorus-T in return, possibly even picking up a OHKO with Overheat.
Mega Kangaskhan is a threat to Charizard because it has access to Fake Out, which helps it deny a possible Tailwind set up on its first turn, and it can deal a lot of damage with Double-Edge thanks to its ability, Parental Bond, combined with STAB. Kangaskhan also has access to Sucker Punch, which helps it pick up a quick KO if Charizard Y has been heavily damaged. Because Charizard Y is a Flying-type, there’s no way it will get protected from the Psychic Terrain.
These are fast Rock-type Pokémon Charizard Y needs to very cautious of because they are almost always guaranteed to pick up an easy KO on Charizard Y. Aerodactyl is also capable of setting up Tailwind, as well as supporting its partners with Wide Guard, which is especially problematic. Nihilego is a special attacker, so it does not need to worry about an incoming intimidate to KO Charizard Y with Power Gem. Terrakion is known to be paired with Whimsicott for Beat Up + Justified shenanigans, and if Terrakion is all set up and ready to wreck havoc, chances are Charizard Y won’t be able to do anything when it enters the field.
Electric-types threaten a lot of damage to Charizard Y, especially fast ones like Manectric and Tapu Koko. In fact, thanks to the Electric Terrain, Tapu Koko easily picks up a OHKO on Charizard Y, no matter how bulky it is. Zapdos is naturally a bulky Pokémon, it has access to Tailwind as a method of speed control, and it can also take advantage of its own bulk by sitting there and using Roost repeatedly. The most common items on Zapdos are Electrium Z, Misty Seed, or Psychic Seed, so Charizard Y is either threatened to get KO’d quickly, or it cannot take down Zapdos quick enough. Rotom-W is both Water and Electric-type, so the only way for Charizard Y to hit Rotom-W is with a super effective Solar Beam, but don’t count on it picking up an easy KO since Rotom-W is also a naturally bulky Pokémon. Manectric has access to Intimidate as its ability, so it can easily cripple your physical attackers that you would need to take it down. Thundurus-T is fast, and has a ridiculously high base special attack, and a handful of them tend to carry a Choice Scarf. Xurkitree, on the other hand, can set up with a Tail Glow, and its bulk is no slouch either. Once Xurkitree is set up with proper speed control, Charizard Y will have a bad time.
/ + / /
Just as an opposing weather can cripple Charizard Y’s damage output, it can’t get any worse if it benefits Water-types, a type Charizard Y wants to avoid. The worst part is that each of the abusers of rain have Swift Swim as their abilities, and they are almost guaranteed to pick up an easy KO on Charizard Y is the opposing Pokémon has both the weather and speed control. Furthermore, Politoed and Pelipper can not only set up the weather, but they also have their speed control methods in Icy Wind and Tailwind, respectively.
Another opposing weather, and it’s a scary one for Charizard to face. Tyranitar has a high base attack stat, and some players who use this archetype would prefer offensive items such as Choice Scarf or Life Orb, and being paired with Excadrill is especially terrifying because of its ability Sand Rush, which doubles its speed in the sandstorm. This version of sand, known as Japanese Sand, has been known for repeated usage of Rock Slide because of the fast speeds involved, which is something Charizard Y absolutely does not want to deal with. Landorus-I is a somewhat strange Pokémon to mention, but a player named Angel Miranda (@AngelJMiranda) decided to use Landorus-I as the abuser to create the American Sand team, and he finished 3rd Place at Georgia Regionals with it back in 2015. Many renditions of this archetype would carry Sludge Bomb this year; however, Landorus-I also has access to Stone Edge, which the original version had, and it is specifically utilized to KO Mega Charizard Y. Mega Salamence, another known abuser of sand, though it doesn’t actually benefit from sand, can repeatedly use Hyper Voice to whittle down Charizard Y, threaten a lot of damage with Double-Edge, possibly even picking up a OHKO, and most of all, Salamence walls Charizard Y thanks to its Dragon and Flying typings. Another thing to be cautious of is that many Salamence tend to carry Tailwind, so it might be near impossible to outspeed the opposing Pokémon with your own Tailwind.
If Charizard Y does not have Hidden Power Ground, it absolutely cannot touch Heatran, and thanks to Flash Fire, Heatran gets a boost for Fire-type moves when hit with Fire-type moves from opposing Pokémon. Furthermore, Heatran has a high special attack stat, so it is no slouch in whittling down Charizard Y with a Fire-type move, especially in the sun.
Although their type matchups do not directly correlate, Tapu Lele deals a lot of damage with Psychic in its own terrain, and if it holds the Psychium Z, it is almost always guaranteed to KO Charizard Y. Tapu Lele also has access to Taunt, which can be problematic for bulky Tailwind variants since it has a base speed of 95.
Charizard has always been a classic Pokémon people come to know and love since the franchise first started, and its popularity in the competitive scene made a resurgence since it got a Mega Evolution in X and Y. Since its debut in 2014, Charizard Y has been one of the best Mega Pokémon because of its offensive prowess, its ability to set up weather, as well as an option in speed control. In 2018, Charizard Y will be consistent as one of the most used Pokémon in the format because of these qualities it has, just like 2014 and 2015.