Pyroar

Pyroar, The Royal Pokémon. The male with the largest mane of fire is the leader of the pride. With fiery breath of more than 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, they viciously threaten any challenger. The females protect the pride's cubs.

Overview

For years, we've wanted a true lion Pokémon. While Entei came close, we never had one that was truly a lion that lead a pride and then bam, Generation VI introduced us to Pyroar, the Pokémon with a massvie gender difference and has the unique Fire/Normal-type. Unfortunately, Pyroar doesn't quite live up to its potential and is generally outclassed by Entei in general. That said, it is still somewhat useable but only in a few limited ways. It's such a shame that it doesn't live to what we all felt it had potential to be. While it can be useful with Special sets, thanks to its high Speed and high Special Attack, there's just so many things that can do what it does so much better.
Positives
+ 109 Special Attack is a fantastic thing.
+ 106 Speed is rather cool, as well
+ STAB Hyper Voice certainly is something
+ Being Normal-type gives it an immunity to Ghost-type moves.
+ It's fast and has Will-O-Wisp. That can be useful, right?

Negatives
- Its movepool isn't generally good - Its ability choices don't really match what it can do
- Its physical Attack of 68 is just terrible
- It has fairly weak defenses that are only shored up by its Hit Points, which are average at best

Abilities

Rivalry: Attack & Special Attack is increased by 25% if the foe is of the same gender; Attack & Special Attack is decreased by 25% if the foe is of the opposite gender. - Urgh. In theory this can help, but it's too situational and can screw you over as often as it can help you.
Unnerve: The opponent Pokémon will never use their held Berry while the Pokémon is in battle - This is actually surprisingly helpful. Considering Sitrus Berries are so common, not to mention that status healing berries and damage reduction berries. When teamed with other Pokémon, it can cause an opponent some grief
Hidden Ability (Available):
Moxie: Attack is raised by one stage when the Pokémon knocks out another Pokémon - This is great, but a shame that Pyroar lacks the physically offensive presence that can truly benefit from this.

Movesets

Lionheart

- Fire Blast
- Hyper Voice
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Flamethrower / Overheat / Will-o-Wisp / Hyper Beam
Item Attached: Choice Specs/Life Orb
Ability: Unnerve
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature

Here we have it, your standard Pyroar if for no other reason than the fact that it really doesn't have many other viable options. Fire Blast is Pyroar's best Fire STAB attack, with a high base 110 power, and a reasonable base 85% accuracy. Hyper Voice completed the STAB combo with being Pyroar's strongest normal STAB with no drawbacks (and also the ability to penetrate Substitutes). From there, you run into issues with Pyroar's limited movepool. Naturally, when your movepool is bad, Hidden Power becomes necessary for coverage, and for Pyroar, this is no exception. Grass is the preferred Hidden Power type, as it prevents things such as Rhydon, Kabutops, and Carracosta from having free reign with Pyroar. From there... Pyroar basically just has to pick a filler attack. Some might consider Dark Pulse given it's pretty much the only semi-decent special attack it has, but sadly, Dark Pulse doesn't really give you much in the way of coverage. Instead, Pyroar can opt for Flamethrower for a weaker, but more accurate alternative to Fire Blast if you absolutley cannot afford to miss. On the flip side, Overheat has some early wall-breaking prowess with its high power, and synergizes well with Specs sets. Just be sure you're packing hazard control because switching in and out to deal with Overheat's special attack drop is just asking for Stealth Rock to shred you. On the more supportive side of things, Will-o-Wisp can be used to bait in and neuter some of Pyroar's best checks and counters, including Regirock who otherwise puts a stop to Pyroar by only being 3HKO'ed by Specs HP Grass. Will-o-Wisp can also be a surprise option on a Specs set against those who might not expect it, although getting locked into it is a bit of a bummer. Finally, the most unconventional option would be none other than Hyper Beam. Under normal circumstances Hyper Beam is pretty bad, because you can outdamage it with Hyper Voice over two turns, and the recharge turn makes Pyroar prone to revenge killing or being set up on. However, with Pyroar's limited movepool, it can be an absolute last resort in a do-or-die situation. I wouldn't recommend it as your first choice, ever, but it's a niche option.

Timid Nature with 252 Speed EVs is pretty obvious for maximizing Pyroar's speed, and that base 106 speed tier is pretty solid for outspeeding things such as Mismagius, Cryogonal, and Scyther. The rest obviously gets dumped into Special Attack to maximize power. Unfortunately for Pyroar, none of its abilities are terribly good, given that Rivalry has the potential to decrease damage, and Moxie is pointless on a special attacker, given Pyroar's attack is so low. Unnverse is sadly the best it gets, and even then it's rather situational. With respect to items, Choice Specs is the most used to maximize Pyroar's power. However, Life Orb is an alternative to allow Pyroar to switch attacks, but between the recoil, poor defensive typing (including the weakness to Stealth Rock), and mediocre bulk, you might find Pyroar dying a bit more quickly than you'd like.

Other Options

Dark Pulse can provide some Dark-type coverage.
Heat Wave is always good to hit both opponents
Incinerate is good, tied with Pyroar's Unnerve ability, to remove your opponent's berries.
Noble Roar can work well thanks to Pyroar's Speed and lower both Attack stats of the opponent.

Snarl can do minor damage and shut down Special Attackers

Double & Triple Battle Options

Pyroar's time to shine came and went unfortunately. It's the only Fire/Normal available at the time of writing, but it's also one of the earlier Pokemon available to players that didn't get the Talonflame treatment. Despite first impressions, Pyroar actually hits harder from the Special side of the spectrum, AND doesn't have Intimidate, but rather.. Unnerve! Pyroar's niche in 2014's WCS was outspeeding and KOing Garchomp without defensive investment 15/16 times. Understanding why Pyroar didn't last long? It if outright OHKOed Garchomp then it might have seen more usage. Here's the set

Leo Kingdom GX

Overheat / Flamethrower
Hidden Power Ice
Hyper Voice / Snarl
Protect
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Unnerve
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 SATK , 252 Speed, 4 HP
Timid Nature

The selling point was that Garchomp and (non scarf) Salamence would be pressured by a Pokemon they would otherwise threaten. The rest of Pyroar's moves showcase what it can do after KOing the Dragon of choice. Overheat was powerful STAB especially with Life Orb, but would render the rest of the set useless without a way to get past the -2 SATK afterwards. And Pyroar can take pride in having STAB Hyper Voice BEFORE abilities are considered, but Snarl is a solid way of slowing down offense that should be considered on any Pokemon that learn it.

Pyroar, all in all, is fairly underwhelming. Its typing doesn't do it many favors defensively, but it does make great Partners with Dragons in general, resisting Ice and Fairy attacks.

Pyroar had a brief moment in competitive history in 2014's limited Metagame, but with Landorus and Heatran close to every team it's going to find that most of its battles will be uphill. It may have to wait until another limited metagame to make more of a name for itself.

Countering Pyroar

The thing with Pyroar is that it has many common weaknesses. Due to its added Normal-type, it is now weak to the increasingly common Fighting-type, and with its physical Defense being mediocre at best and most Fighting-type moves being physical, this is the best bet if you want to one shot a Pyroar. Alternatively, going for Rock-type moves, Ground-type moves or Water-type moves wwill take it out with ease. Rock-type Pokémon are especially the bane of Pyroar's existence, as they resist both of Pyroar's STAB moves: Fire and Normal. Switch in with a Rock-type and go to town with your best Rock moves, even Rock Slide.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Not in game

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Not in game

Colosseum/XD:
Not in game

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Not in game

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Not in game

Black/White:
Not in game

Black 2/White 2:
Not in game

X/Y:
Friend Safari

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Trade from X & Y

Animé Appearences

Pyroar has made a few appearances in the anime. Most notably, it is seen at the side of Team Flare Boss, Lysandre

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
M17 Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie Pics
S37 Pokémon Mega Evolution Special I Strongest Mega Evolution ~Act II~ Pics
S37 Pokémon Mega Evolution III Strongest Mega Evolution ~Act III~ Pics
S41 Pokémon Mega Evolution IV Strongest Mega Evolution ~Act IV~ Pics
897 From A to Z! The Explosive Birth of Z! That Which Lies Hidden in Kalos!! Pics
900 A Fiery Rite of Passage! Litleo and Pyroar! A Fiery Departure!! Pics
936 Coming Apart at the Dreams! The Shocking Zygarde VS Zygarde! The Breaking World!! Pics
940 Battling With a Clean Slate! We Start at Zero! Clemont's Decision!! Pics

 
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