Volcarona, The Sun Pokémon. When volcanic ash darkened the atmosphere, it is said that Volcarona's fire provided a replacement for the sun. A sea of fire engulfs the surroundings of their battles, since they use their six wings to scatter their ember scales.
Volcarona is one of the new Pokemon brought to us in Black and White and it's one worth remembering. It quickly became one of the most dangerous Pokemon in history to not be outright banned. Its offenses are horrifying, speed great and the rest of its stats above average. Its movepool is basically perfect. Quiver Dance allows Volcarona to go from a solid offensive threat to a team slaying nightmare. Its abilities are also great, Flame Body in particular making Volcarona difficult to assault from either side of the spectrum. Oh, and did I mention Drought Ninetales giving Volcarona MORE power? Volcarona may spend most of its life Quiver Dancing but that doesn't mean it's predictable. Each of its sets have drastically different counters. Its only real flaw is a 4x Stealth Rock weakness but that can be worked around with only a little support. Volcarona is potentially the most dangerous Pokemon you will ever face, only somewhat rivaled by other monsters like Dragonite and Terrakion. Prepare for the solar deity or else you will feel its wrath.
Flame Body: When a move makes contact with Volcarona it has a 30% chance of burning your opponent. This is an amazing ability for Volcarona. With Quiver Dance boosting its Special Defense you generally have to tackle Volcarona physically.. and doing so has a chance of burning you. It also makes spamming Iron Head and Bullet Punches more dangerous as Volcarona can ruin them just by switching in.
Watch your moth young lady!
- Fiery Dance / Fire Blast
So if you see a Volcarona, prepare for this set. While it has many options the generic offensive set is the most common. The idea is to Quiver Dance against something that can't hurt you like Jirachi, Scizor or Latios after a Draco Meteor. After a Quiver Dance you punish pretty much every Pokemon around with your shockingly good STAB moves and coverage. Fiery Dance is a great STAB move, having a 50% chance of boosting your Special Attack. Fire Blast however has stunning power, particularly in sunlight, allowing you to OHKO some things that actually resist it. Bug Buzz is the all around reliable STAB move which hits water types like Politoed harder than anything else. Hidden Power Ground is the best option for the last move as it decimates Heatran while giving you a good shot at getting through Terrakion and Tentacruel. Hidden Power Ice hits Dragonite hard, OHKOing even through multiscale if you have Life Orb but HP Rock also OHKOs Dragonite (needs Stealth Rocks to do so). HP Rock also hits Gyarados. Substitute is a final option to help wear down counters like Landorus and Politoed so Volcarona can either sweep later or let something else take advantage of it. Lum Berry is the primary item choice as it lets Volcarona not instantly be screwed by Thunder Wave, Toxic Spikes, Jirachi Body Slam or random Sleep moves. Life Orb is worth mentioning for the sheer deadly power it brings. Leftovers is the last usable item but it's mostly to be used if you're running Substitute.
A real mothful.
- Fire Blast
So you've used Volcarona in sun, or clear skies. But have you ever used it in Rain? Sounds crazy, but it actually works. Rain Volcarona takes advantage of its ability to check several things Rain teams have trouble with while still being an offensive might on its own. Things like Ferrothorn, Scizor, Virizion, Toxicroak and Celebi that Rain hates to face all crumble before Volcarona. Hurricane has 120 base power, 30% confusion rate and 100% accuracy in the rain which is pretty hard to switch into. Fire Blast is still on the set despite being used in Rain as it lets Volcarona rip through Scizor and Ferrothorn and take a big chunk out of anything that's weak to it. Don't bother with Fiery Dance. In rain it's too weak. Leftovers is the best item here as it lets Volcarona stick around longer but Life Orb and Lum Berry are always usable.
It's that time of the moth again.
- Fiery Dance
Think using Volcarona in the rain is dumb? Fine, try using the sun god in... the sun. Fiery Dance hits like a truck in sunlight, blazing through everything it hits super-effective in one shot. Bug Buzz is as always Volcarona's most reliable STAB move. Morning Sun and defensive EVs pair with Volcarona's Special Defense boosting Quiver Dance to become very difficult to take down without using a rock move. Flame Body works particularly well here as with the added bulk Volcarona can easily come in on Scizor and either scare it off or burn it. EVs hit a defense jump point with the rest in HP, reaching an odd number so Stealth Rocks do less damage. 52 Speed outruns all unboosted Pokemon in standard after a Quiver Dance, while two dances will outrun Scarf Landorus (along with virtually every other Pokemon). Lum Berry protects from status which is important as you aren't sweeping anything when Paralyzed or hit by Toxic, yet Leftovers adds to Morning Sun's ridiculous recovery allowing you to heal over 70% in one turn.
Your MOTHer is so dumb she flies into lights.
- Fiery Dance / Fire Blast
Volcarona is a terrifying offensive force but one problem it has is being slowly worn down by tankish Pokemon. Sure it can Quiver Dance right in Blissey's face, but Blissey will still probably take it out with Toxic or Thunder Wave long before Volcarona collects enough Quiver Dances to beat the pink blob. Chesto Rest helps solve this problem. Quiver Dance until the Blissey, Tentacruel or whatever has you near death. Then Rest, and Quiver Dance further with this new "life". This set is extremely dangerous against stall that relies on residual damage and Blissey / Chansey as Chesto Rest Volcarona has little trouble getting around them. Speed EVs outrun Scarf Rotom and Scarf Adamant base 100s after one Quiver Dance with the rest of the spare EVs placed in bulk. HP hits an odd number so Stealth Rocks does less damage while the remaining 4 EVs is slapped into Special Defense.
EVs & Natures
Swarm, Whirlwind / Will-o-wisp, Solarbeam, Flamethrower, Psychic, Choice Specs and... that's about it.
Double & Triple Battle Options
Not TOO many. Rock Slide and Surf both cripple Volcarona while the only majory thing it can do well is powerful Heat Waves. It's not all bad though. It's pretty fast and hits very hard. Common doubles Pokemon like Cresselia, Metagross, Bronzong and Heatran all suffer to hits from heat Wave, Bug Buzz and Hidden Power Ground. Though Volcarona is not a top-tier Doubles / Triples threat it is completely usable.
Drought Ninetales (except on the Rain set obviously). Sunlight skyrocket's Volcarona's Special Attack so high that with Life Orb and after a Quiver Dance its Fire Blast easily OHKOs Gyarados. Sun also lowers the power of water moves turning Bulky Water types from a slight problem to helpless puddles. Rapid Spin support is also extremely helpful to Volcarona as the benefits of not losing half your health upon switching in is invaluable. Stealth Rocks support of your own are appreciated as many of the things that slow Volcarona down are also Stealth Rock weak.
The most obvious way to work around Volcarona is Stealth Rocks. Using rocks will strip 50% of Volcarona's health every time it switches in. When you hear the words "Special Sweeper" upon your first thoughts of a counter Blissey and Chansey probably come to mind. The pink blobs easily wall almost everything Volcarona can do. While Sun boosted Fire Blasts hurt everything, the blobs can survive a few boosted hits and Paralyze or Poison Volcarona's which will end its sweep. Dragonite is another Pokemon that slows Volcarona down. It easily OHKOs with Choice Band Outrage and even Choice Band Extremespeed after Stealth Rocks. It can Dragon Dance all over Volcarona if it lacks Hidden Power Ice or Rock. Heatran is a great counter but only if the fire moth doesn't run Hidden Power Ground. Gyarados and Salamence are a similar situation as Dragonite. Keep in mind Dragonite and Gyarados can be OHKOed by Quiver Danced Fire Blast in the sun with Stealth Rocks while Salamence is always OHKOed. Infernape resists Volcarona's STAB moves and OHKOs with Flare Blitz if it's sunny.. however boosted Fire Blast can also OHKO Infernape, as can +1 Hidden Power Ground. Infernape does quite well against non-Fire Blast or non-sun Volcarona though. Tentacruel and Jellicent both do decent, resisting or otherwise tanking basically all of Volcarona's moves. Keep in mind that in sunlight neither water type will win as their Scalds will only do about 15% after a Quiver Dance. Choice Scarf Landorus can revenge kill with Rock Slide, Stone Edge or Earthquake (if a Sandstorm is blowing) but it's incinerated by Sun-boosted Fire Blast. Oddly enough Scizor is an OK check as Choice Banded Quick Attack brings the moth down in one shot after Stealth Rocks. Terrakion resists both of Volcarona's STABs and does about 400% damage back with Choice Banded Stone Edge. Volcarona's Fire Blasts in sunlight are so sickeningly powerful that even Pokemon that resist it can be OHKOed with just a little prior damage. Another way of dealing with it is changing the weather. Rain is particular neutralizes Volcarona's deadly Fire Blasts. Politoed can switch in and ravage Volcarona with a Specs boosted Hydro Pump, but keep in mind a boosted Bug Buzz also hurts.
If you aren't interested in standard common Pokemon and want some lesser used Volcarona counters you can try weird things like Thick Fat Snorlax and Hariyama. Hariyama resists almost every move Volcarona runs and Snorlax just has significant bulk. Both can KO with either Stone Edge or STAB normal moves. Rhydon and Rhyperior both easily survive a boosted Bug Buzz or even Hidden Power Ground and demolish Volcarona with Stone Edge.
Don't let the length of this threat list fool you. Volcarona is a very, very powerful Pokemon. Many of the listed "counters" are OHKOed if they switch in on the wrong move. Attack with a Physical move and you risk a crippling Flame Body burn. Try to attack with a Special move and you might not break through Volcarona's incredible Special bulk (after Quiver Dance). When you see Volcarona on team preview immediately make plans to get Stealth Rocks down as quickly as possible. Try to minimize it's chances of setting up by being careful about locking your Choice Scarf Pokemon into HP Ice, or having Scizor use Pursuit. Play carefully and you might be able to bring down the solar titan without taking too much damage.
- Flare Blitz
Yeah, I guess I have to mention Larvesta. It has higher attack than Volcarona so... technically it's "different" than its evolution. Don't get me wrong, Larvesta is still horrible. Its highest stat is a decent 85 attack... decent, not good. The rest of its stats are awful. In fact it's so awful that even if you DID want to use a physical Bug / Fire type you can just still use Volcarona as Adamant Volcarona has about 90% the Attack of Jolly Larvesta but far better stats in every other way. But fine if you REALLY want to use Larvesta in standard play this is probably it. Flare Blitz has ok power while Wild Charge breaks apart most water types. Bug Bite is very, very weak but still hits Latios and Latias harder than your other moves. U-turn works as well as it hits harder but a 4x Stealth Rock weak Pokemon doesn't really like repeated switching. Morning Sun is the final move as even with those awful defenses it doesn't really have any other physical moves to use. I guess you can also use Return as it's Larvesta's strongest move that lacks recoil. The best way to use this... if there is a "right" way... is to try and Baton Pass Shell Smash to it. At +2 Speed and Attack it becomes pretty fast (480 speed) and can finally manage to do real damage. But no, don't ever use this.
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