We here at Isle Of Geek are big fans of Pokémon – well, it’s hard to find a geek that isn’t nowadays. Rían and Conor though, they’re not like me. Whereas I’m the type of fan who embraces each generation of Pokémon and the new monsters that come with it, these two are hardcore ‘genwunners’, as the saying in the fandom goes, with only a love for the first generation – or the original 151 to those who may not know that much about the franchise.
That being said, everyone who likes Pokémon has their particular favourites, but for me, it’s impossible to pick just one. So every week, I’ll be selecting a Pokémon at random and posting information about it, like Pokédex entries, ideal movesets, competitive stats etc. And seeing as it’s the first week, I thought I would kick the whole thing off with a much-loved fan favourite. Standing in at 5’07”, staring down the opponent with it’s tail flame blazing and a look on it’s face that says, “Yeah, I was a dickhead to Ash but you know you still loved me.”
And if you haven’t figured it out yet (for shame if you haven’t), allow me to introduce you to the first Pokémon to grace Isle Of Geek’s Pokemon Of The Week – Charizard.
Charizard, the Flame Pokémon and the evolved form of Charmeleon. Charizard can spit fire hot enough to melt boulders and is know to accidentally cause forest fires.
Charizard has always been a fan favourite, and it’s easy to see why. I mean, look at it – it’s a dragon. No one expected, back in the days of Red and Blue Versions (or Green if you lived in Japan), that their tiny, adorable little Charmander would eventually transform into the fire-breathing bad-ass we know and love today. I know for certain how that feels – Charmander was my first starter, and as such Charizard (and Charmeleon of course – can’t leave it out) have always had special little places in my heart.
However, while the anime and Charizard’s general aesthetic appeal have won over a lot of people over the years, competitive play has not been so kind to everyone’s favourite dragon-that-isn’t-a-dragon. For starters, even in the early days of Red and Blue, the first two Gyms were a bleedin’ nightmare if you chose Charmander as your starter. Unless you had a Nidoran with Double Kick or a Butterfree on your team, chances were you’d have a hard time facing Brock and his Rock-types, and then when it got to Misty in her Water-type Gym, having a Pikachu or a Grass-type to hand was pretty much mandatory. Choosing Charmander at the start of Red and Blue was pretty much the equivalent of picking Hard on a game’s difficulty settings.
Charizard scraped through well enough in the first three generations, only really being hindered by Water and Rock-types. However, the fourth generation of games (Diamond, Pearl and Platinum) really did not do this guy any favours. The introduction of entry hazards – moves that cause an opponent’s Pokémon damage or other debilitating effects when they enter the battle – were a help to some and a hindrance to others, with one in particular giving Charizard and whoever used it to breath fire and yell in anger – Stealth Rock.
Stealth Rock is a move that, when used at the start of a battle, deals Rock-type damage to the opponent’s Pokémon when it enters. Rock-type damage. Charizard is a Fire/Flying-type. Both of those types are weak against Rock-types, which means that when Charizard switches into Stealth Rock, a massive 50% of it’s health is already gone. This means that it’s pretty much a necessity to have a Pokémon that can get rid of entry hazards on the same team as Charizard.
A good moveset for Charizard, including Items and Ability, would be;
- Fire Blast – very powerful Fire STAB (Same-Type Attack Bonus) that will destroy a lot of Pokémon in one or two hits, especially when boosted with Choice Specs. Accuracy isn’t great though so Flamethrower can be an alternate option.
- Solar Beam – in Sunlight, this will RUIN any Rock or Water Types that Charizard comes up against, without the one turn sacrificed to charge it.
- Focus Blast – hits bulkier Pokémon like Tyranitar and Heatran that otherwise resist Charizard very hard for a possible one-hit KO.
- Dragon Pulse – good neutral coverage on most opponents and can hit Dragon types that resist Charizard like a ton of bricks.
Ability – Solar Power: you need Sun to run this but it’s better than Blaze. Charizard’s Special attacks are boosted by 1.5x in sunlight, but Charizard’s health is depleted by 1/8th every turn. Well worth it though.
Item – Choice Specs: Boosts Charizard’s Special Attack even more, but limits it to only using one move.
Sixth generation(X/Y, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire) was a lot kinder to Charizard that fourth generation had been. Stealth Rock still existed, and there were a fair few more powerful Rock and Water-type attacks than there had been previously, but with sixth generation came a boost that many Pokémon, Charizard in particular, were desperately in need of – Mega Evolution. And while most Pokémon were blessed with a Mega Evolution to give them better stats, cooler appearances and a lot more power, Charizard (and Mewtwo, but that’s an entry for another time) was given TWO.
Here we have Mega Charizard X.
Cool, isn’t it? The more physically-based of Charizard’s Mega Evolutions, Mega Charizard X has a lot going for it, such as a change in type (it becomes Fire/Dragon after Mega Evolving), serious boost to its physical attacking power and a great ability in Tough Claws (attacks that make physical contact with the opponent get a 33% boost in power). A lot of people were also delighted that Charizard finally became a Dragon-type, even if it was only temporary.
A good moveset to use if you’re running Mega Charizard X would be;
- Dragon Dance – raises Mega Charizard X’s Attack and Speed to even higher levels that they’re already at.
- Dragon Claw/Outrage – both are solid Dragon-type STABs – Outrage has a lot more power, but with Dragon Claw you don’t have to endure confusion, which is a blessing.
- Flare Blitz – one of the most powerful physical Fire attacks going, but Mega Charizard X will sustain a lot of recoil damage from this so be careful.
- Roost – replenishes Mega Charizard X’s health by a maximum of half. Handy if you’re running Flare Blitz or Outrage, which can be a hindrance.
Ability – Tough Claws: gives Mega Charizard X’s physical attacks a 33% boost. Beautiful.
Item – Charizardite X (enables Mega Evolution)
Now, I said that Charizard got two Mega Evolutions and I wasn’t lying. Behold,the specially-attacking, sunlight loving behemoth and my favourite of the pair, Mega Charizard Y.A lot of people will disagree with me on this but I do not care, Mega Charizard Y is undisputedly better than Mega Charizard X, and that reason is Drought. Sure, it stays a Fire/Flying type and retains its massive Rock weakness, but when you have an Ability like Drought, you really don’t need to care. With Special Attack power to only be envied and a great movepool to back it up and Drought only boosting that power further, Mega Charizard Y can strip any team to the bone if it gets the chance.
Onto its moveset:
- Fire Blast – same reason as on regular Charizard, but with the Special Attack boost from Mega Evolution and the 50% boost from Sun, this will hit like an adamantium tank rolling down a hill at top speed.
- Solar Beam – Drought gives Charizard the reason it needs to use Solar Beam. Strong Sun means that the turn it takes to charge Solar Beam doesn’t need to happen and Mega Charizard Y can fire this attack off as much as it wants until the sun runs out, decimating Rock and Water types.
- Focus Blast – more for coverage than anything but is also good for bulkier Rock types like Tyranitar.
- Roost – because replenishing health is always handy.
Ability – Drought: When Charizard Mega Evolves into Mega Charizard Y, the Sun weather condition kicks in, boosting the power of Fire type attacks by 50%. This is excellent on a Special-focused Pokémon like Mega Charizard Y, but the sunlight stops after five turns, so any sweeping will need to be done quickly.
Item – Charizardite Y (enables Mega Evolution)
So there we have it – I may catch a bit of flak for dissing Charizard here and there, but this is a factual analysis, so there are gonna be things that people don’t like. Ah well. If you have any suggestions for a featured Pokémon, don’t hesitate to get in touch!