Flareon, The Flame Pokémon. It's fluffy fur releases heat into the air so that its body does not get excessively hot. Its body temperature can rise to a maximum of 1,650 degrees fahrenheit. It has a flame bag inside its body. After inhaling deeply, it blows out flames of nearly 3,100 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a flame sac in its body.
Flareon gets the distinct honour of being the first UU (Under-Used) Pokémon to be covered by the PotW. Flareon has consistently been the 'worst' of the Eeveelutions and this generation hasn't treated Flareon differently. Whilst most Pokémon received a fairly solid boost with the generation shift, Flareon's gains have been minimal.
Flareon's Attack stat is superior to its Special Attack stat, and as a result Flareon would be expected to be a physical sweeper. However, Flareon's move-pool has always been shallow and its physical attacks were limited in number, but its move pool has become narrower with the loss of physical Hidden Powers and Shadow Ball. In exchange, the only boosts Flareon has seen to its physical move-pool are Bite and Fire Fang (which, even with STAB, is still weaker than Return).
It hasn't been all bad though since Flareon has gained a few new things. Yawn is a new egg move for it and Will-o-Wisp can be obtained through TM. Life Orb and the new Choice Items can also help. Still, when compared to other Pokémon, its gains are minimal.
Really, the one thing Flareon is crying out for is Flare Blitz. Alongside Entei, Flareon is a predominantly physical Fire type who lacks a good STAB move to use with its superior offensive stat. Until it receives that, it'll really have a rough time competing with fellow UU Fire types (as well as fellow UUs in general).
Flash Fire: is actually a very nice trait. It grants a Fire immunity and gives Flareon what is essentially a STAB boost if it switches into a Fire attack.
Flareon has a rough time viably competing but both of its offensive stats are good, an aspect worth taking advantage of.
Flamethrower is the all-round most reliable move available to Flareon. With Flamethrower in use, Fire Fang becomes somewhat expendable. Return out-damages Fire Fang even after STAB, making it a viable option, but Fire Fang can receive the Flash Fire boost, so either one is usable as Flareon's primary physical attack.
The final two move slots can be decided depending on how Flareon's EVs are distributed. Shadow Ball and Bite have essentially the same type coverage, just one is special (and stronger) and one is physical. Pick the one that matches best with the EV distribution.
Hidden Power [Grass] is probably the best non-Fire move that Flareon has, since it handles Water and Rock types, but obtaining it is difficult and on primarily physical EV spreads its damage is unimpressive.
Poor move pool is really the story with Flareon. When moves like Bite and Iron Tail are being given serious consideration, you know you've reached the bottom of the barrel.
EVs and Nature:
Mixed attackers are always torture to create EV spreads for. Since the move set isn't static, the EV spread isn't either. If you go for a primarily Special mixed sweeper, Special Attack should definitely be the focus and likewise, a primarily Physical mixed sweeper should have a focus on its Attack stat.
Flareon's Speed stat is completely expendable. In fact, a Speed lowering nature could be used to salvage its Defence stat. Max Speed does bring its benefits however, since it allows Flareon to get the first strike on slow opponents (including many Rock types).
As far as defensive stats are concerned, they can be forgone. Its Special Defence is decent but letdown by its poor HP, and its Defence stat is pitiful. If you discard Speed EVs you may as well place the excess EVs into its offensive stats.
A Base 130 Attack stat is pretty impressive, especially when backed by a Choice Band, but its move pool makes a Choice Band set really hard to pull off.
The only variation worth considering is slotting in Overheat. A Base 140 STAB move is good even without EV boosts and gels nicely with Choice Band's hit-and-run strategy. Either Fire Fang or Bite could be dropped in its favour.
EVs and Nature:
Since it's a Choice Band set, 252/252 is the best way to go. If Overheat is used, Lonely (+Atk/-Def) would be the preferable nature and a handful of Special Attack EVs would be worth consideration.
Flareon's poor HP and various weaknesses make it a poor choice as a support Pokémon, but it can pull off the duty. Will-o-Wisp does a nice job of making physical attackers cringe (particularly opponents that intended to hit it with Earthquake or Stone Edge) whilst Wish provides healing for Flareon as well as its team. Wish and Protect combine to give Flareon something that's comparable to Recover or Softboiled, giving it reasonable survivability.
EVs and Nature:
This is just about the only move set to consider giving a defensive EV spread. With such poor HP, maximising that stat should be a priority. Special Attack shouldn't be left behind, a stat around 270 should do respectable damage and the nature and leftover EVs can be dedicated to its superior Special Defence. It won't make for a good Special Wall but at the very least it can block Ice Beams and Energy Balls decently.
Fire Blast, Natural Gift, Curse, Charm, Yawn, Roar, Fake Tears, Sunny Day, Choice Scarf, Choice Specs.
Fire Blast can replace Flamethrower for the added power (in exchange for PP and accuracy).
Natural Gift is a one-off physical attack with a loose bit of viability. With the appropriate berry attached it can give Flareon a decent move. The downside is that this is one-off, won't be of particularly noteworthy power and occupies an item slot. Still, when you're as starved for options as Flareon is, moves like this may provide the needed punch.
Curse boosts Flareon's pitiful Defence as well as its good Attack stat, however poor HP as well as common weaknesses severely reduce this move's viability. Even with a Curse, Flareon won't take Earthquakes or Stone Edges well at all.
Since Flareon's primary counters use physical attacks, Charm can bring them to a halt. With Spikes or Stealth Rock, this can force some passive damage through switches and can be combined with Will-o-Wisp to absolutely shut down physical attackers.
Yawn and Roar are Pseudo-Hazing moves. Much like Charm, their main use is to pick up some passive damage.
Fake Tears can scare a few opponents, especially when backed by appropriate Special Attacks (Flamethrower in particular). Once again, like Charm, it can force additional switches and pick up passive damage.
Sunny Day is a decent move. The fact that it temporarily neutralises Flareon's water weakness is a nice bonus and the boost to its STAB moves is helpful. Provided Flareon has team-mates that can benefit from Sunny Day, it's worth consideration.
Flareon can Baton Pass (like all Eeveelutions), but short of stat-boosting berries and Curse, it doesn't have anything worth Baton Passing.
Choice Scarf can give Flareon a much needed Speed boost, since Flareon's Speed is pretty abysmal, however, without Choice Band or Life Orb its Physical (or Special) attacks will lack a lot of power.
Choice Specs is usable but Flareon doesn't have a varied enough Special move pool (or offensive stat) to really accommodate it.
Like most Fire types, Flareon suffers defensively from its common weaknesses. Water Pokémon are everywhere and usually carry STAB moves whilst Rock and Ground moves are popular on physical sweepers. Poor HP and poor Defence do it no favours either, although its good Special Defence does give it some survivability against Special Attacks. Since Flareon is undoubtedly a UU Pokémon, only UU counters will be taken into account.
Flareon's move pool is fairly shallow, and short of Hidden Power it's predictable. Rock Pokémon resist its main moves (Flamethrower, Fire Fang and Return) but need to watch out for Iron Tail (and Hidden Power).
Golem is the most noteworthy UU Rock type. Its huge defence stat easily blocks Return and Fire Fang and with an appropriate EV spread, Golem can stand up to Iron Tail (although Orb or Band boosted Iron Tails will hurt). Golem needs to watch out for Hidden Power [Grass] however, since it possesses a 4x weakness to it. Sudowoodo does a similar job to Golem but doesn't possess its 4x Grass weakness.
The Water/Rock Pokémon have a 4x Fire resistance without an Iron Tail weakness, although Hidden Power [Grass] will hurt. Magcargo also has a 4x Fire resistance (with the added benefit of lacking a Steel or Grass weakness).
Return without STAB isn't particularly threatening, so Pokémon with a fire resistance work fine. Defensive Water Pokémon are obvious candidates for their super-effective STAB attacks, Blastoise, Walrein and Quagsire being notable examples. Fire Pokémon work fine so long as they have a good attack to hit Flareon with, Torkoal being the main defensive one of note. The only UU Dragon is Altaria, but it also works suitably.
Aggron can take on all of Flareon's physical moves but doesn't take Flamethrower well. Bastiodon can take everything Flareon can fling at it fairly easily. Other defensive Pokémon work well so long as they don't hold a Fire weakness (such as Sandslash and Muk).
Flareon is weak to Stealth Rock and takes 25% damage each time it switches in whilst they're active. This damage can rack up pretty quickly since Flareon's only method of self-healing is Wish. Flareon is also exposed to Spikes as well as Toxic, Hail and Sandstorm, so it can lose a large chunk of HP to passive damage.
Flareon really doesn't have the potential to pack surprises. The main one to watch out for is Will-o-Wisp, which can cause serious problems for the physical attackers who form the majority of its counters. Yawn, Roar and stat-dropping moves can be troublesome if passive damage is a factor (Spikes and Stealth Rock particularly).
On the unlikely chance that Flareon ends up against OU Pokémon, similar rules apply. Rock Pokémon, bulky water Pokémon and defensive Pokémon in general.
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