Volcanion, The Steam Pokémon. It lets out billows of steam and disappears into the dense fog. It's said to live in mountains where humans do not tread. It expels its internal steam from the arms on its back. It has enough power to blow away a mountain.
Way back when I was a little kid my sister and I always dreamed of having a Pokémon like Volcanion. You see her favorite types of Pokémon to use were always the Fire-Types , and back then I loved Water Pokémon so we thought it would be the coolest thing ever if there was a mon that was both. We even drew several mockup fakemon. Most of them just looked like a Blue Charizard with Black Flames on its back and arm cannons though. My sister unfortunately passed away many years ago so she never got to see Volcanion or our dream become a reality, but if she were here I know she would agree with me that Volcanion was well worth the wait. It's incredibly powerful and it comes with a water move called Steam Eruption which is just as strong as Hydro Pump and it has a 30 percent chance of burning its foes in battle. Just reading that makes me smile and think of all the people who were afraid of Scald. Wait till they get a load of Volcanion and its Steam Eruption. Oh by the way it also has WATER ABSORB if that wasn't enough to peak your interest. Meaning if some poor soul actually attacks you with a Water-Type move all they'll do is restore your HP. No other Fire Pokémon has that. Like sweet baby Jesus thank you Arceus and the creators of Pokémon for making this fabulous creature.
Water Absorb: The Pokémon heals up to 1/4 of its maximum Hit Points when hit with Water-type moves. This is an absolutely fantastic ability for Volcanion to have, because now it's essentially immune to Water-Type moves altogether, and if you do happen take a Water Type move on a switch-in the only thing your opponent will accomplish is healing off any Steal Rock damage you took on the way in. No other Fire-Type Pokémon in the game today can put that on its resume. Plus given how popular Scald users and things like Azumarill are right now it's just handy to have around for any mon.
- Steam Eruption
- Fire Blast
- Sludge Bomb / Hidden Power Grass / Earth Power
Volcanion makes for a surprisingly good Bulky Offensive Tank in the middle of the game. Steam Eruption is your main STAB move of choice due its high power and 30 percent chance of inflicting burns. I still can't get over that they basically gave us Scald with the power of Hydro Pump lol. Just don't spam them all to early in the game or you'll be in some real trouble. Fire Blast is your secondary STAB of choice. It's great against a wide variety of Pokémon such as Steel-Types like Mega Metagross/Scizor or Ferrothorn and those Grass-Types like Mega Venasaur and Amoonguss. Toxic is superb at luring in and chipping away at the HP of some of your more common switch ins like Latios and Latias. The last slot is up to you. Without Sludge Bomb you'll have a hard time going against Fairy-Types like Mega Altaria and Azumarill. Without Hidden Power Grass Bulky Water Types will be an issue for you because they resist your main STAB Steam Eruption, and in some rare cases like Gastrodon they absorb it entirely and then can turn around and KO you which is no fun at all. Earth Power is mostly for combatting other Volcanion , so it's not quite as useful on this set as the aforementioned moves but it's definitely still worth noting in here.
- Steam Eruption
This Volcanion set is a little bit different than the last one because it focuses more on offense. You still have your ole reliable Steam Eruption as your main STAB to spam with its high power and 30 % burn chance. You also have the choice of Overheat and Fire Blast as your secondary stabs. I prefer Overheat myself because of the increased power+accuracy and due to the fact you're wearing Choice Specs you'll usually only be in the game a turn or two at a time. If you opt for Fire Blast though go for Timid Nature instead of Modest because you'll miss out certain KO's with Timid anyway and Base 70 is a jam packed speed tier. Sludge Bomb as you already know is here to help you fight the Fairy-Type Pokémon like Azumarill and Mega Altaria. The last slot is also your call. It just all depends on what your team needs and whether you'd rather pick off Bulky Water-Types or other opposing Volcanion.
- Mystic Water is a little bit gimmicky in my opinion, but it's a nice lure and alternate option on the Choice Specs set because if you're crafty enough you can trick them into thinking you're packing Specs instead and you can take out your opponent's Pokémon and it provides your Steam Eruptions with a boost to punch holes in your enemy's team. Overall I'd still go with Choice Specs.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Although Volcanion is banned in VGC due to being a "mythical" Pokemon, it is an absolute terror in Smogon Doubles. Despite its mediocre speed, Volcanion has a good stat spread otherwise, and fantastic STAB moves to back it up. With support from the rest of the team, especially in terms of speed control, Volcanion can be the backbone of any doubles team. .
Full Steam Ahead!
Volcanion's speed tier is in bit of an awkward spot, as it is outsped by many threats, but it isn't quite slow enough to thrive under Trick Room. Balancing its speed and bulk ultimately will come down to what forms of speed control are on the team. While max speed is a decent choice, it can still only speed tie with common Pokemon like Jolly Breloom and Bisharp. This set allows Volcanion to outspeed Jolly non-mega Tyranitar by 1, and still stay fairly bulky. The bulk is enough to live an Adamant Mega Kangaskhan's Double-Edge with room to spare, and the rest of the EVs just maximize its damage output. Water Absorb is the only ability, but a fantastic one at that since it can typically switch in safely on any water attack. While Volcanion can hold a variety of items successfully, both Leftovers and Sitrus Berry increase its bulk even more. Sitrus Berry can provide an instant one-time recovery, while Leftovers will heal a little bit turn after turn.
Steam Eruption is its signature move, and a fantastic one at that. As in the singles set, the power of Hydro Pump combined with the 30% chance to burn like Scald makes Steam Eruption arguably the best move in competitive Pokemon. Heat Wave provides strong STAB spread damage to the opponent. The 3rd move for coverage really just comes down to what the team needs Volcanion to be able to hit super-effectively. Earth Power is really only for other Volcanion, as they can potentially wall yours otherwise. Sludge Bomb hits fairies super-effectively, although Volcanion does resist fairy attacks and generally does not fear them. Hidden Power Ice is really just for dragons. While it may be best to leave dragons up to Volcanion's teammates since they typically resist both STAB attacks, HP Ice can still hit them super-effectively. Protect is fantastic in doubles as it can stall out turns of opposing speed control, or keep Volcanion safe while its teammate deals with a threat.
-While Volcanion can live a spread Earthquake from an Intimidated Landorus-T, Shuca Berry can help Volcanion survive any Earthquake otherwise and strike back with Steam Eruption.
Volcanion is a lot tougher to crack than the majority of Fire-Type Pokémon because for one thing it's a Legendary Pokémon and it's also part Water-Type and possesses the ability Water Absorb, but even Legends can fall. Volcanion's biggest threats obviously are Electric , Ground, and Rock-Types. None of them particularly like to switch in to Volcanion's moves by any means mind you , but so many of them like Mega Aerodacty, Thundurus, Mega Manetric, and Excadrill all outspeed you easily and will crush you. It also has a particularly hard time dealing Bulkier Water-Type Pokémon like Gastrodon if you're not packing Hidden Power Grass in your arsenal because it's immune to it's Steam Eruption and it resists all your Fire attacks and can turn around and 1HKO you with a stab Ground-Type move too. Not to mention Dragons like Garchomp and Latias and Latios. Those will be your biggest worries in life because they're your most common switch ins and in the case of Lati siblings they not only can't be hit for super effective damage by your stab moves , but also they can heal off any damage you dish out and KO with minimal effort. There are many others, but those are all the ones I would keep an extra special watch for.
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