Blaziken, The Blaze Pokémon. It can clear a 30-story building in a leap. Its fiery punches scorch its foes. When facing a tough foe, it looses flames from its wrists. Its powerful legs let it jump clear over buildings. It learns martial arts that use punches and kicks. Every several years, its old feathers burn off, and new, supple feathers grow back in their place. Flames spout from its wrists, enveloping its knuckles. Its punches scorch its foes.
Blaziken has had an interesting history. In the third generation of games it was a terrifying mixed sweeper capable of tearing aside even the bulkiest of walls. However it was slow and frail so it never really managed to be a top tier threat. Diamond and Pearl came around and introduced Infernape who pretty much did everything Blaziken wished it could. It seemed like only a miracle could bring Blaziken back into the spotlight of OU. Turns out it got just that when Black and White rolled around and gave 'ken Speed Boost. That simple ability change skyrocketed Blaziken into what quickly became the most powerful non-legend in the history of Pokemon. Apparently Gamefreak thought it still wasn't strong enough and gave it a new Mega form. Aside from the stat boosts Mega Blaziken also could use egg moves that Speed Boost previously wasn't compatible with. Blaziken is a perfect glorious shining example of why speed is the most important stat in all of Pokemon. If you do not pack a counter for it you WILL lose.
Blaze: When HP is below 1/3rd, Fire’s power increases to 1.5 times. Normally this is absolutely useless due to Speed Boost. However it CAN work on Mega Blaziken because you get Speed Boost when you Megavolve regardless and it is the only way to run Speed Boost + Egg moves + 5th gen move tutors at the same time.
This Chicken Has a Kick To It
- Swords Dance
Swords Dance Blaziken is without any doubt the most devastating set up sweeper in the game barring some banned legendaries like Arceus and Mewtwo. This set is simple to use but not so simple to stop. Find something you can threaten like Forretress or Tyranitar. Use Swords Dance as they switch out (or just attack for the KO if you feel they won't switch). After a Swords Dance you have 967 attack counting Life Orb, more than enough to utterly crush even some things that resist your moves. Protect is extremely useful as it guarantees you can rack up a few speed boosts. Flare Blitz and High Jump Kick are usually more than enough to ravage anything they hit neutral, but Knock Off is a viable 4th move to crush through Jellicent, Slowbro, and Latias. Knock Off has 97 base power against any Pokemon with an item which in Competitive Pokemon... is all of them. Life Orb Blaziken actually has a bit more power than Mega Blaziken due to the ability to hold an item, but it does have significantly less bulk. You can run Jolly and 164 Speed EVs to outrun Choice Scarf Keldeo and Terrakion at +2 Speed but for the most part running Adamant is good enough. Just as an example of Blaziken's raw destructive power here are some Swords Dance'd damage calculations.
- Swords Dance / Bulk Up
So you may be finally aware of Blaziken's fiery offensive potential. Next time you see Blaziken you will immediately switch to your defensive Dragonite or Gyarados and smile as it Swords Dances. You've got this you think as you ready your attack on the frail Fire type. However your smile turns to a look of horror as Blaziken Baton Passes out as your miss-fired Earthquake bounces off a now +2 Attack and Speed Zygarde (or Gyarados, Dragonite, etc). You lose. Even if you somehow stop the Baton Pass recipient you still have a Blaziken to later deal with. The beauty of Baton Pass Blaziken is it looks and plays EXACTLY like Swords Dance Blaziken but has completely different counters. The downside is that it isn't quite as good at sweeping as you must either lose a STAB move or Protect, both of which hinder Blaziken's ability to trash teams. One option that isn't often utilized is Bulk Up. If you can Baton Pass a few Bulk Ups to something like Lucario or Garchomp your opponent might as well just quit because they've already lost. Bulk Up + Air Balloon is deceptively hard to KO before it passes its deadly payload to the next sweeper. Bulk Up also prevents Azumarill Aqua Jet from OHKOing so you can Baton Pass away from it. You can move the Attack EVs to HP if you REALLY want to guarantee that +2 pass but the beauty of Baton Pass Blaziken is that it is just as threatening on its own. If it can't sweep you something else will.
I am the hope of the universe!
- Swords Dance
Mega Blaziken actually has less power than its normal form. It does has about 10% greater defensive stats and much more speed. The added speed lets you invest in HP giving it even greater bulk. 96 Speed hits the important 260 Speed range which allows you to outrun the entire Pokemon world when you achieve two Speed boosts. 160 HP improves your ability to take hits by about 13%. There honestly isn't too much to say about Mega Blaziken. It has more speed and bulk than regular Blaziken but slightly less attack (less than Life Orb Blaziken at least). The Attack loss is fairly minimal however and make no mistake Mega Blaziken is very much MEGA. The minor bulk increase and lack of Life Orb recoil means things like Tentacruel and Latias that try to counter you simply fail to KO and die. The added Speed (even with only 96 EVs) means you can outrun fast scarfers in far fewer turns than normal Blaziken. The 4th moveslot options has all been discussed earlier in this article except for one that only Mega Blaziken can utilize. Due to the added bulk Mega Blaziken actually survives some weaker Super Effective hits that normal Blaze can't stomach. Things like Tentacruel + Jellicent Scald and Azumarill Aqua Jet. If ABSOLUTELY required this means Blaziken can Swords Dance up against the former two and not always be countered by the latter. +2 Thunder Punch will OHKO any of them as well as Gyarados if needed, but this is very situational. You are better off just wearing those Pokemon down or hitting them on the switch in with Knock Off and switching out.
Fire Punch, Blaze Kick, Brave Bird, Hone Claws, Stone Edge, Substitute, and Work Up.
Double & Triple Battle Options
Blaziken's main selling points are slightly less effective in Doubles + Triples. High Jump Kick is virtually a 50/50 chance of connecting with Protect. Earthquakes and Surfs are super common while priority moves chip away at the frail fighting chicken. It does have a horrifically powerful Flare Blitz when supported by Drought so at the very least it has that.
lol. Such a thing does not exist. High Jump Kick / Flare Blitz / Knock Off alone OHKOs literally every Pokemon you will likely see except the absolutely most defensive Tentacruel, Gyarados, Salamence, and Dragonite. If Stealth Rocks are down none of them are going to walk away with much health left. Talonflame resists Blaziken's STAB moves and can use priority Brave Bird to OHKO even if it Bulk Ups. Azumarill is technically a counter as it can OHKO Blaziken with Aqua Jet. It can't take too many High Jump kick though and it pretty much guarantees a free Baton Pass on the Bulk Up set. Slowbro, Latias, and Jellicent all beat Swords Dance sets that don't run Knock Off. If it does run Knock Off those three Pokemon are all dead. Quagsire can survive one High Jump Kick thanks to Unaware but even at +0 it will 2HKO you. Beating Blaziken is more about not letting it set up. Something easier said than done. Toxic Spikes + Life Orb + Flare Blitz recoil will very quickly wear down the fire chicken. Priority moves also take out a significant part of Blaze's HP as long as it doesn't resist it. For Example Choice Band Scizor's Quick Attack will always 2HKO while Banded Dragonite's Extremespeed can OHKO it after a round of Spikes + Stealth Rocks, or rocks and two turns of Life Orb.
Kentucky Fried Combusken
- Baton Pass
You may ask, why use Combusken when I can just use Blaziken? Well to answer your question... you should never use Combusken when Blaziken is available. However Blaziken will probably be banned for good while Combusken remains usable in all tiers. Combusken SUCKS as a sweeper. It does have a decent level of toughness with Eviolite and Bulk Up so it can be a decent Baton Passer in its own right. When I say decent I mean awful. It probably won't Baton Pass much but if you do manage to get two Bulk Ups and Speed Boosts you can make something else into a pretty scary sweeper. Watch that Mega Tyranitar shrug off Scizor Bullet Punches and crush the world with nightmarish power. That Garchomp you just Ice Sharded? It doesn't care because now you're dead. Don't bother Mach Punching that Kyurem-B because you already lost. Combusken is an extremely risky Pokemon but one that can have MASSIVE payoff if it works.
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