VGC 2017 PokéAnalysis #2: Incineroar


Artwork by All0412.

Alola! It’s Kasoman, and I’m back with the second segment of my PokéAnalysis series! This time, we have an analysis on Incineroar, the fire starter of Alola, and a Pokémon that is overlooked and underappreciated in the VGC 2017 format.


“Incineroar, the Heel Pokémon. This Pokémon has a violent, selfish disposition. If it’s not in the mood to listen, it will ignore its Trainer’s orders with complete nonchalance. After hurling ferocious punches and flinging furious kicks, it finishes opponents off by spewing fire from around its navel.”

Typing and Abilities


Type: Fire/Dark

  • Weaknesses: Water, Fighting, Ground, Rock
  • Resistances: Fire, Grass, Ice, Ghost, Dark, Steel
  • Immunity: Psychic


  • Blaze – When HP is below 1/3rd its maximum, power of Fire-type moves is increased by 50%.
  • Intimidate (Hidden Ability)* – Upon entering battle, the opponent’s Attack lowers one stage. In a Double Battle, both opponents’ Attack are lowered. Pokémon with the Clear Body, Hyper Cutter, or White Smoke ability are unaffected.

* = Not available

Base Stat Distribution


Viable Movepool


Role in the Metagame

Incineroar is often used as a utility Pokémon, thanks to the moves Fake Out, and sometimes Snarl. However, it is outclassed by Arcanine currently because Incineroar’s Hidden Ability, Intimidate, has yet to be released. With Intimidate, Incineroar can easily compete with Arcanine as a more offensive version due to its base 115 attack. Nonetheless, Incineroar is still viable in the format because of its typing, bulk, and movepool. It is one of the few Pokémon that can OHKO Marowak after being intimidated. Incineroar is also one of two Fire-type Pokémon in the format that has access to Fake Out, with the other being Salazzle.

Fun fact: Four players made it to Day 2 of the European International Championships with Incineroar, one of them being 2013 World Champion Arash Ommati (@Mean_vgc), and another being 2016 Worlds Runner-Up Jonathan Evans (@EzraelVGC).

Sample Sets

DISCLAIMER: These are only entry level sets, so you can get into VGC right away. I’m planning to keep future sets I create private until I release a team report for a respective tournament I place well into.


Held Item: Incinium Z
Ability: Blaze
Nature: Adamant
EV: 148 HP / 132 Atk / 28 Def / 68 SpD / 132 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Darkest Lariat
– Fake Out
– Protect

Set Details:
This set utilizes Incineroar’s signature Z-Move, Malicious Moonsault. Intimidate support is nice for this set, but not mandatory, although Incineroar can take more hits with that kind of support. The reason why I chose the Incinium Z as opposed to the Firium Z is because Incineroar can OHKO 252 HP / 4 Def Alolan Marowak after an intimidate, and Malicious Moonsault’s damage output will not be reduced by rain. Have I also mentioned that Malicious Moonsault has the best animation of all the Z-Moves?

Here are some calculations for this set:

  • 132+ Atk Incineroar Malicious Moonsault vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Tapu Lele: 177-208 (100 – 117.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • -1 132+ Atk Incineroar Malicious Moonsault vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Marowak-Alola: 174-206 (104.1 – 123.3%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • 252+ Atk Tapu Bulu Superpower vs. 148 HP / 28 Def Incineroar: 158-188 (83.5 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
  • 252 SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 148 HP / 68 SpD Incineroar: 82-97 (43.3 – 51.3%) — 6.3% chance to 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 148 HP / 68 SpD Incineroar: 55-66 (29.1 – 34.9%) — 4.6% chance to 3HKO [Spread Damage]
    • 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 148 HP / 68 SpD Incineroar: 74-87 (39.1 – 46%) — guaranteed 3HKO [Single Target]
  • Speed creeps uninvested Tapu Bulu by 2

Trick Room Assault Vest

Held Item: Assault Vest
Ability: Blaze
Nature: Brave
EV: 244 HP / 156 Atk / 108 SpD (0 Spe IV)
– Flare Blitz
– Darkest Lariat
– Snarl
– Fake Out

Set Details:
With a base 60 speed, Incineroar can take advantage of its bulk with a Trick Room set. Incineroar’s bulk can be impressive while holding an Assault Vest, allowing it to take a Devastating Drake from a Salamence with ease, as well as even being able to survive a Hydro Pump from a Golduck in the rain. Snarl is the fourth move to further increase Incineroar’s longevity on the special spectrum, as Incineroar is already difficult to take down in one hit. This can also function with an adamant nature if you don’t feel the need to use Incineroar in Trick Room, although a brave nature slightly increases the damage output of Snarl. Credits to fellow Hawaiʻi player Jeremy Whipple (@KOA_Monte) for the concept! Here are some calculations for this set:

  • 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar in Electric Terrain: 79-95 (39.3 – 47.2%) — guaranteed 3HKO
  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar: 58-69 (28.8 – 34.3%) — 2% chance to 3HKO
  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Dazzling Gleam vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar: 36-43 (17.9 – 21.3%) — possible 5HKO
  • 252 SpA Nihilego Power Gem vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar: 86-104 (42.7 – 51.7%) — 5.9% chance to 2HKO
  • 252+ SpA Golduck Hydro Pump vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar in Rain: 162-192 (80.5 – 95.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Salamence Devastating Drake vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar: 96-114 (47.7 – 56.7%) — 85.5% chance to 2HKO

Examples of Partners

Tapu Koko

Tapu Koko can make a good partner because it’s fast, and it covers Incineroar’s weakness to Water-type Pokémon, while Incineroar can deal with Marowak. The main concern for this pair is their weakness to Ground-type moves.

Tapu Lele

Tapu Lele covers Incineroar’s weakness to Fighting-type Pokémon like Hariyama and Phreromosa, while Incineroar covers Tapu Lele’s weakness to Steel-type Pokémon like Celesteela, Kartana, and Metagross. Both also have high offensive stats, as well as the ability to use strong Z-Moves, which provides opponents a lot of offensive pressure.

Tapu Bulu

Tapu Bulu easily deals with Water-types, especially Gastrodon. Thanks to its ability, Grassy Surge, the Grassy Terrain weakens the damage output of Earthquake, which is a move Incineroar is weak to, and is also prevalent on Garchomp. In return, Incineroar covers against Steel-types such as Celesteela, Kartana, and Metagross.


Porygon2 makes an excellent partner for Incineroar because it takes hits well, and it can also set up Trick Room to benefit Incineroar’s slow speed. In addition to that, Incineroar also provides Fake Out pressure for Porygon2 to safely set up Trick Room. Porygon2 also has one of the biggest movepools in the format, sometimes making it unpredictable on what moves it would use.

East Sea
Gastrodon makes an excellent partner for Incineroar because it can redirect Water-type attacks away from Incineroar with its Storm Drain ability, while Incineroar deals with Grass-types like Tapu Bulu and Kartana.


Because Incineroar is a physical attacker, Milotic makes a great partner with its Competitive ability, which boosts its special attack sharply each time a stat gets lowered. This makes it safe for Incineroar to be chosen as a lead when there’s Pokémon with the Intimidate ability on the opposing team.


Araquanid makes a good partner because of the offensive pressure it provides to Rock-types and Ground-types with added Wide Guard support, while Incineroar can deal with Tapu Bulu easily. Araquanid also usually carries the Waterium Z, which provides a lot of offensive pressure to the opposing side.


Gyarados is an excellent partner for Incineroar because it provides support with its Intimidate ability, and it can also deal with Rock-types and Ground-types. Gyarados usually carries the Waterium Z, providing immense offensive pressure towards opposing Pokémon, especially after it sets up with Dragon Dance.


Mudsdale makes an interesting partner for Incineroar because it can deal a lot of damage , and it can easily switch into Rock-type moves, thanks to its bulk as well as its ability, Stamina, which boosts its defense by one stage each time it gets hit. In return, Incineroar covers for Mudsdale’s weakness to grass. Mudsdale also makes an excellent check to Trick Room.


Garchomp can synergize with Incineroar because it can deal with Rock-types by using Earthquake, while Incineroar can deal with Ice-types such as Alolan Ninetales. Both can provide a lot of offensive pressure with their high base attack stats.


Salamence provides support with its Intimidate ability, and also has access to a very powerful Z-Move, which helps provide a lot of offensive pressure to the opponent’s side. Incineroar can deal with Ice-types such as Alolan Ninetales in return.

Alola Form
Alolan Ninetales is a fast Pokémon that can deal with Ground-types, as well as Water-types with Freeze-Dry. It can also set up a quick Aurora Veil to increase Incineroar’s longevity in battle. In return, Incineroar can deal with Marowak, as well as Celesteela, Kartana, and Metagross.


Kartana deals with Water-types, Rock-types, and Ground-types, which makes it an excellent partner for Incineroar. Incineroar also helps deal with Marowak, as well as opposing Kartana, which are both huge threats to Kartana.


Celesteela can deal with Rock-types such as Aerodactyl, Gigalith, and Nihilego with Heavy Slam, while Incineroar can deal with Marowak and Kartana. Incineroar also provides Fake Out pressure for Celesteela to safely set up a Substitute, and Celesteela also has access to Wide Guard, which can block spread moves such as Rock Slide and Earthquake.


East Sea
Because Incineroar is weak to water, these Pokémon are able to deal a lot of damage to Incineroar, possibly being able to OHKO it easily. Rain teams are especially threatening because their damage output is increased, allowing them to OHKO Incineroar, and it also becomes nearly impossible to outspeed Golduck outside of Trick Room. Incineroar’s damage output for Flare Blitz is also lowered by the rain. Gastrodon and Milotic are able to sponge Darkest Lariats from Incineroar while being able to heal themselves with Recover. Gyarados has Intimidate as its ability, and can provide offensive pressure with Waterfall, which has an additional 30% flinch rate. Tapu Fini is probably the worst matchup for Incineroar, as it walls Incineroar completely with its Water/Fairy typing, along with its high defenses.


An Earthquake from any of these Pokémon can 2HKO Incineroar, and Mudsdale can easily OHKO it with High Horsepower. Mudsdale also raises its defense with its Stamina ability, while Krookodile can lower Incineroar’s damage output with its Intimidate ability. Furthermore, Garchomp can deal extra chip damage with its Rough Skin ability since Incineroar is a physical attacker. These Pokémon also typically learn Rock Slide, which provides them a 30% chance to flinch Incineroar.


Hariyama is a very bulky Fighting-type Pokémon with access to Thick Fat as one ability to lower the damage output of Flare Blitz, allowing it to wall Incineroar completely, while having the ability to pick up the OHKO with Close Combat. Haryiama also has access to Guts as an ability, which allows it to deal a lot more damage when afflicted by a status condition, making Intimidate support useless against it. Pheromosa can also pick up a OHKO on Incineroar with High Jump Kick, aside from its shaky 90% accuracy, which can allow Incineroar to pick up a KO in retaliation. Even when intimidated, Pheromosa nearly KO’s Incineroar.


Aerodactyl isn’t guaranteed to 2HKO Incineroar, but the 30% chance to flinch from Rock Slide, as well as the ability to disrupt with Sky Drop make up for its lower attack stat. Gigalith is terrifying to stare down in Trick Room, as it is slower than Incineroar, it 2HKO’s with Rock Slide, and it is also guaranteed to pick up a OHKO with Continental Crush if holding a Rockium Z. Nihilego may have low physical defense, but they normally carry a Focus Sash, making it safe to 2HKO Incineroar with Power Gem.

Closing Thoughts

Incineroar is an underrated Pokémon in the format, and should be considered as an option for both a Fire-type and a Dark-type. It may not have Intimidate, but it can still deal a respectable amount of damage, and it can also provide some useful support for its teammates. If you want a Fire-type with a cool Z-Move, try an Incineroar today!


2 thoughts on “VGC 2017 PokéAnalysis #2: Incineroar

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