Arcanine, The Legendary Pokémon. Its proud and regal appearance has captured the hearts of people since long ago.The sight of it running over 6,200 miles in a single day and night has captivated many people. Its magnificent bark conveys a sense of majesty. Anyone hearing it can't help but grovel before it. This legendary Chinese Pokémon is considered magnificent. Many people are enchanted by its grand mane.
Arcanine is one of our original 150, and one of the better ones at that. Arcanine has very good stats all around, with its lowest being its still respectable base 80 Defenses, and it also has an excellent movepool to go with these stats. You may be questioning why then, if it has such amazing stats and movepool, is it in the UnderUsed tier? Well, the main problem is its typing. Arcanine's sole type of Fire unfortunately doesn't give it too much, other than a Stealth Rock weakness and a STAB that doesn't hit many of the threats in OverUsed very hard. It also has a problem with Speed, mind you it has a very respectable base 95 Speed, but it just isn't up to par with many of the prominent Pokemon seen in OU. But although these things may prohibit Arcanine from doing well in OU, in UU is where Arcanine really shines. Arcanine can play a variety of roles, from being a powerful physical Attacker or physical wall to being a weather setter. So despite you probably having to run a Rapid Spinner, Arcanine will be a great asset to your team and should definitely be considered..
Intimidate: Lowers the opponent's Attack by one stage upon Arcanine switching in, a very good ability for stopping physical attackers in their tracks, as well as allowing Arcanine to fulfill the role of a physical wall.
It's getting too hot, it needs to be a bit Windie
This set focuses on hitting as hard as possible with Arcanine's great base 110 Attack stat. Flare Blitz is powerful STAB that generally 2HKOs everything that it hits neutrally and OHKOs everything it hits for super effective damage. Wild Charge is Arcanine's main option for hitting Water types, mainly Slowbro, while Crunch hits Ghost types like Chandelure, Cofagrigus and Duskclops. Close Combat deals with Steel, Rock, and Dark types for a lot of damage, KOing quite a few of the outright, while Morning Sun provides Arcanine's only form of reliable recovery. Extremespeed makes up for Arcanine's slightly below average Speed with a priority move that supersedes the commonly seen ones such as Mach Punch and Bullet Punch, and is great for revenge killing low HP threats. The choice for items depends on what you want, less power and recoil, or lots more power but locked into your move. The choice for abilities is solely up to what you need or want, as any of them work fine on this set. The first set of EVs helps even out the bulk of Arcanine, with enough Speed to still outrun common threats like Heracross and Nidoking, as well as foul up Download boosts for Porygon2 with the Special Defense investment, and the second set should be used for Choice Band sets as it maximizes power and speed. The natures are for whether you want to hit harder or hit earlier, either one working for Arcanine's sets.
A Fiery Stripe of Doom
This set allows Arcanine to set up Sun for its team, as well as boost the power of its own moves. Sunny Day obviously sets up Sun for your team, while Fire Blast and SolarBeam maliciously abuse said sun, Fire blast being powerful STAB (although can be switched out with Flamethrower for more accuracy), and SolarBeam no longer requiring a charge up turn and instead fires off a Base 120 power Grass move whenever you feel like. Morning Sun under Sun heals 2/3 of Arcanine's health, providing very good recovery for Arcanine. The item depends on what you want, either longevity, power, or a longer time for Sun. The EVs once again balance out Arcanine's bulk as well as allowing Arcanine to outspeed some threats. THe choice for natures is the typical power vs speed choice, so do with it what you will.
Beware of the Dog
-Flare Blitz / Fire Blast / Flamethrower
This set takes advantage of Arcanine's decent physical bulk paired with Intimidate. Flare Blitz is used for STAB on a physical set, while Fire Blast and Flamethrower can be used on a more Specially oriented set for STAB. Will-O-Wisp and Toxic both provide debilitating status effects, one crippling physical attackers even further, while Toxic can helps break down walls that Arcanine otherwise couldn't get through. Extremespeed is priority that can be used on a physical set, while HP Grass takes care of Water types for a Special set. Morning Sun is there for extra recovery. Leftovers is the obvious item choice as it allows Arcanine to stay out longer and tank more physical hits. The EV spread emphasizes Arcanine's Defense, and the Natures add to that while leaning either for a Physical set or a Special set.
Agility, Body Slam, Dragon Pulse, Flame Charge, Heat Wave, Iron Head, Outrage, Overheat
Double & Triple Battle Options
Arcanine is actually quite good in this format thanks to Intimidate, allowing it to fill either an offensive or defensive role on your team. It has very well rounded stats, allowing it to either serve as a physical attacker or a special attacker as well, with the Special set having the advantage of Heat Wave.
Great partners for Arcanine include any sort of Rapid Spinner as otherwise Arcanine gets shredded by Stealth Rock, so Pokemon like Hitmontop can be very beneficial. Pursuit trapping Pokemon can be useful as well to deal with threats like Chandelure, so Houndoom, Krookodile, or Snorlax can helps Arcanine in that aspect. Anything that can deal with bulky Water types is also useful, so Roserade can be a good choice.
One of the better ways to beat Arcanine is simply through attacking it. Most of the offensive sets do not run Morning Sun, meaning you have a free run at totaling up Stealth Rock damage, as well as recoil from its own moves and Life Orb. Otherwise, bulky Water types generally can handle Arcanine, with Pokemon like Swampert, Slowbro, Suicune and Milotic being at the forefront, though they have to worry about Wild Charge (everything but Swampert that is.) Chandelure can absorb Arcanine's Fire STAB and KO in return with a coverage move, although Crunch can be a problem. Snorlax and Rhyperior, thanks to their respective abilities take very little from Arcanine, and can KO it in return. Flygon also makes for a decent switch in, as it outspeeds and OHKOs, it just has to worry about Close Combat doing some damage.
Things Just Got Pretty Ruff
I’ve always been a dog person, so Growlithe is one of my favourite Pokemon, though when talking competitively, it can get the job done when needed, but is plagued by “overload of decent” disease. Flare Blitz is a great and power STAB, though dealing with the recoil can be a pain if Sandstorm or Hail is in effect. Close Combat is great for Rock Types like Lileep, or hitting for coverage against Dragon Types and other Fire Types. Wild Charge is a great coverage move for Water Types, though it also causes recoil damage (masochism puppy?). Crunch is basically a filler move, that can hit things for neutral damage and not take recoil damage. Toxic is an odd choice, but it’s better if you just want to get something like Lileep, or Hippopotas poisoned. Choice Scarf is a really good option, for revenge killing and to deal with Growlithe’s 16 speed. Choice Band makes you do more damage, but that adds to the recoil damage, and puts you in risk of being revenge killed or set up on, by something like Dwebble that can survive a hit and destroy you after. All of Growlithes abilities are good, but Justified is probably the least useful, due to there not being many Dark Moves in Little Cup. Flash Fire can boost your Flare Blitz to crazy levels if you switch into a Will-O-Wisp or other Fire moves. Intimidate can screw over physical sweepers pretty nicely. Other than the mentioned, there aren’t many other options for Growlithe. You could make it a bulky Eviolite attacker, but it really doesn’t have the defences and speed, to make it useful. Growlithe can be useful in it’s own right due to Close Combat being a great move, but it’s a bit too “over decent” and outclassed by Ponyta to be any better.
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