Arcanine, The Legendary Pokémon. Overflowing with beauty and majesty, this strong Pokémon appears in ancient Eastern folklore. The fire burning inside its body serves as the energy to fuel it as it runs great distances. It appears in many legends. Legends tell of its fighting alongside a general and conquering a whole country. There are so many old tales about them that they’re called legendary Pokémon, but there are way more of them around than you’d expect.
The Legendary Pokémon, Arcanine was one of the original Fire types and rumored to have been originally planned to be a legendary Pokémon, hence its title. However, Arcanine is the only Kanto Fire type to age well based on mechanical changes instead of new abilities, like Ninetales, and new forms, like Charizard, slowly getting new abilities to work well with Arcanine's stats until the physical-special split in gen 4, allowing it to truly abuse the 110 base Attack. However Arcanine is overall an average Pokémon, having very good stats, but not really excellent at anything, especially with how specialized most Fire types are.
+ Offensive Stats - Arcanine has overall solid offensive stats on both sides. Arcanine's strong 110 Attack allows it to muscle through a lot of Pokémon without Life Orb and it can really pile on pressure with a Choice Band. While 110 Attack is nice, 100 Special Attack isn't bad either. This allowed Arcanine to be very flexible in the past and can still make use of interesting bait sets with its Special movepool.
+ Tanky - Arcanine does not suffer from the problems of a lot of Fire types, being frail, as it packs some solid defensive stats. 90 HP/80 Defense/80 Special Defense isn't terrible, however it's not as good as it used to be due to power creep. This bulk is compounded with Intimidate though, really aiding Arcanine's physical defensive side, allowing it to even be a defensive pivot.
-Movepool - Arcanine has had a long history of being held back by its poor movepool. Even after the Physical/Special split happened, Arcanine lacked any really useful Physical moves besides Extreme Speed, which it had since gen 2, and Flare Blitz which is still one of four physical Fire options (Fire Fang, Flame Charge and Flame Wheel being the others).
-Average - Arcanine unfortunately lacks anything that makes it stand out in the sea of Fire types. With its average Speed, Arcanine gets passed over for faster Fires for an aggressive option such as Infernape, or for an option with more power such as Entei. As such, Arcanine has a hard time finding the ground it needs to truly be effective on a team.
Flash Fire - Grants immunity to Fire moves and raises Fire moves power by 50% - While Flash Fire is strong ability, as Heatran has proven, Arcanine has Intimidate which is just an amazing ability overall. Flash Fire is a nice choice to give another immunity if you need it but overall is inferior to Intimidate.
Intimidate - Lowers the opposing Pokémon's Attack by one stage on switching in - Intimidate is just an amazing ability, often forcing switches on a lot of threats and puts some Pokémon in poor situations.
Justified - Raises Attack by one stage when hit with a Dark attack - Arcanine's Hidden Ability, Justified would be good if it negated Dark moves like Flash Fire, but as you have to take the damage to get the boost, it is not very effective compared to his other abilities.
Item Attached: Firium Z/Electrium Z
EVs and Nature:
The most average Arcanine set, this capitalizes on its high Attack and decent coverage to muscle through threats. Flare Blitz is the best Fire STAB option and a Firium Z can be used to allow Arcanine to plow through a single threat or cripple one such as Latias. Wild Charge is the next main coverage, hitting Water threats hard. An Electrium Z can be used instead of Firium Z to allow Arcanine to OHKO Water types. Extreme Speed rounds out the set moves with its +2 priority, overriding most other ones, allowing it to pick off threats that are weakened. The last slot is open to either Close Combat for Rock threats that have a free switch in otherwise, such as Terrakion, or Toxic to cripple tanky threats like Hippowdon and Latias that are hard for Arcanine to deal with.
Item Attached: Leftovers
EVs and Nature:
A defensive pivot set, this makes use of Arcanine's solid defensive stats. Morning Sun is perhaps the main move that makes this work, allowing Arcanine to heal up the damage it takes from sponging hits and switching in and out. Will-O-Wisp is the next move, crippling physical threats such as Terrakion and Mega Aerodactyl, as well as having a chance to mess up Gliscor if it switches into it before Toxic Orb activates. Flamethrower is the only attacking move of the set so that Arcanine isn't ruined by Taunt users. Protect is an option to stall for Leftovers recovery or Will-O-Wisp damage, as well as scouting Z-Moves. Toxic is for more damage on tanky threats such as Hippowdon and Swampert, while Roar can be used to phase out boosting sweepers such as Haxorus.
Other Options and Partners
-Choice Band - Arcanine has the stats, access to Extreme Speed, and just enough of a movepool to function a strong user of Choice Band. The only major drawback is having to switch out more, and with Arcanine's Fire typing, Stealth Rocks will wear it down fast.
-Mixed - With its solid mixed stats, Arcanine can run a bait mixed set, or just Hidden Power to nail threats that it otherwise would struggle with such as Gliscor and Swampert.
Haxorus - Arcanine has the ability to bait in physical walls as well as revenge kill, so Haxorus works well with Arcanine with both its major sets. With the Dragon Dance version, Arcanine works as a wall breaker to wear down threats like Gliscor and Hippowdon making it easier for Haxorus to sweep, while a Swords Dance or Choice Band Haxorus set works well with Arcanine's ability to clean up with Extreme Speed or just Flare Blitz through threats.
Celebi - With Arcanine's weakness to Ground and Rock, Celebi is an excellent partner, allowing it to also pivot into Water threats. Celebi notably checks some of the more prominent Rock and Ground types such as Terrakion and Hippowdon, as well as answering some other threats such as Amoonguss, Swampert, and
Jellicent. Finally, Celebi packs a lot of utility moves such as U-Turn to scout and maintain momentum, Stealth Rock, Heal Bell, and Thunder Wave.
Latias/Hydreigon - Both Latias and Hydreigon work well with Arcanine for different reasons. Latias has the ability to switch into Terrakion and apply pressure with its good 110 Special Attack. Hydreigon can do similarly, switching into Earthquakes with Levitate and apply more pressure than Latias and has U-Turn, but is slower which makes it easier to revenge kill. Finally, both can use Defog, which is important for removing Stealth Rock for Arcanine.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Arcanine was great in VGC 2017. Consistently in the top three (and often first) of usage rankings at most tournaments and in every Battle Spot season, Arcanine’s overall offensive and defensive balance fit onto nearly any team. With only a few competitors for Intimidate support, Arcanine’s fire attacks for Kartana and Celesteela and its deep movepool made it an appealing option to fill multiple roles. VGC 2018 has brought many challengers for Arcanine’s spot, such as Landorus-T for Intimidate and fire types like Mega Charizard Y and Heatran to deal with steel types. This “legendary” dog still can shine, as its versatility can help any team in either a support role or an offensive contributor.
Legen-wait for it-Doggy
Item Attached: Mago Berry
EVs and Nature:
252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
The most common Arcanine set from VGC 2017 is still a good starting place to build. Maximum attack with an Adamant nature let its Flare Blitz hit very hard to threaten Celesteela and any other Pokemon that did not resist it. Maximum speed helps it outspeed as much as possible, but some trainers would choose a Jolly nature to ensure that Arcanine (at worst) speed ties any non-Choice Scarf Tapu Lele. Others would add a bit of bulk from speed so that Arcanine could outspeed Pokemon like Tapu Koko after lowering the opponent’s speed by one with Icy Wind or Arcanine’s Bulldoze (148 speed EVs are necessary to achieve this with an Adamant nature). The last 4 EVs in special defense are designed to give Download Porygon2 an attack boost. Mago Berry (or any other 50% “pinch” berry that does not cause Confusion to an Adamant Pokemon) greatly increases Arcanine’s longevity, which can be very useful with Arcanine having multiple moves with recoil. Intimidate is always the ability you want to use here in doubles, as lowering the opponents’ attack is very significant in doubles.
Flare Blitz is Arcanine’s strongest attack. Despite the recoil, it is the move you will typically use the most. Extreme Speed is a great option to pick off weakened Pokemon and it can even go before Follow Me and Rage Powder users (if you outspeed the user). Wild Charge provides some coverage against water types like Tapu Fini or Gyarados, while Protect is great to stall out your opponent’s speed control or terrain, or to simply keep Arcanine safe from threatening attacks.
Item Attached: Choice Band
EVs and Nature:
252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly / Adamant Nature
An underrated set in the doubles meta is Choice Band Arcanine. Max attack and speed make it an offensive threat, and the Choice Band makes Arcanine's attacks really hit hard and open up a fourth moveslot for an attack. A Jolly nature may be preferred to ensure you outspeed as much as possible, but Adamant is acceptable should you want the extra damage and are not as worried about speed. Intimidate is still the ability you will want to weaken your opponents' Pokemon and consistently help your team.
The first three moves are the same as the previous set: Flare Blitz will hit incredibly hard, Extreme Speed is very strong priority with the Band boost, and Wild Charge can threaten water types that think they are safe. Close Combat is typically the last move to replace Protect. Close Combat does massive damage to Pokemon like Mega Kangaskhan and Snorlax, but also gives Arcanine a way to handle Heatran.
Man’s Best Friend
-Flamethrower / Heat Wave
Item Attached: Mago Berry
EVs and Nature:
244 HP / 124 Def / 4 SpA / 76 SpD / 60 Spe
Especially when combined with Intimidate, Arcanine has very good defensive stats to be able to run a support set. 244 HP and 76 special defense EVs with a Calm nature allows Arcanine to survive a Modest Tapu Lele's Life Orb Psychic Terrain-boosted Psychic, or a Shattered Psyche from Modest Lele outside out its terrain. 60 speed EVs outspeeds Adamant Bisharp and Mega Swampert (outside of rain), while the defensive EVs survives Adamant Landorus-T's spread Earthquake even without Intimidate. Mago Berry greatly increases Arcanine's survivability, and can easily be activated by some of these moves it is designed to survivie. Intimidate is still the ability to use, especially on this support set.
Flamethrower provides some decent damage, but Heat Wave can do the same but hit both targets. Snarl is fantastic to chip away the targets and weaken their special attack so that your team can take more special attacks. Will-O-Wisp cripples physical attackers, while Protect can be important to dodge Fake Out or weaken moves like Landorus-T's Tectonic Rage.
Other Options & Team Ideas
-Flash Fire or Justified are options for gimmicky strategies to get either boost, but Intimidate is just so good in doubles and should always be what you use.
-Arcanine is a quality candidate for the Assault Vest. Between Intimidate and the Vest, Arcanine gets boosts to both of its defensive stats, and it has plenty of attacks to fill out its 4 moveslots. Supporting moves like Snarl or Bulldoze are typically on the set, accompanied by a fire-type attack, and then rounded out with coverage moves or Extreme Speed.
-While Arcanine has very good offenses, it is not quite as highly regarded as some other Pokemon. Z moves help give Arcanine a bit more punch. Firium Z, typically paired with Flare Blitz (though some special variants have been used), was very common early in VGC 2017, but some trainers have opted for Electrium Z or Fightinium Z to surprise an opponent with strong attacks.
-Bulldoze has appeared on both support and bulkier offensive sets as a form of speed control. Though not ideal due to the fact that it hits your teammate (and will not hit any opponents off the ground), it can be a valuable option to have in the right team.
-Arcanine has a number of other special fire moves at its disposal. The newest, Burn Up, is unique in that it makes Arcanine lose its fire typing to become typeless. It is also the strongest of all the special fire moves, and has perfect accuracy, but can only be used once every time Arcanine is set out. Fire Blast and Overheat are two other options that are stronger than Flamethrower, but each has its own drawback, especially the accuracy.
-Roar can deny Trick Room and waste the boosts of set up Pokemon. Helping Hand boosts the attack of a partner and is good on support sets. Toxic is not common but was used in 2017 to wear down Porygon2, and may be useful now to help with Pokemon like Cresselia.
-Morning Sun was often found on the defensive set for recovery, but does not see as much use with the 50% berries being so common.
-Flame Charge has been occasionally used to boost Arcanine’s speed while getting a bit of chip damage off. Crunch provides dark-type coverage, but is really only seen on Choice Band sets and Flare Blitz still generally does more unless the target resists fire. Iron Head provides coverage, especially against fairies, but faces similar problems as Crunch as Flare Blitz and Close Combat cover enough of what Iron Head would do. Hidden Power Ice can surprise Landorus-T and Mega Salamence, while Hidden Power Grass greatly damages Mega Swampert and Gastrodon, but both Hidden Powers generally need a boosting item. Dragon Pulse does not have much use, but can be helpful against certain dragon Pokemon that are not 4x weak to Hidden Power Ice.
-Incinerate is not VGC 2018 legal since it is a generation 6 TM, but it can be used on Battle Spot Doubles and other formats to burn up an opponent’s berry.
-The classic fire-water-grass cores are always good to start a team with. Arcanine was commonly paired with Kartana and Tapu Fini in 2017, as well as Gyarados and Tapu Bulu. Even more options like Suicune and Ferrothron are now present in this year’s format.
-Speaking of Tapu Bulu, its Grassy Terrain also helps against Earthquake from Pokemon like Landorus-T. The terrain also helps Arcanine recover from its moves with recoil.
-Teams in need of Celesteela, Ferrothorn, Kartana, or other steel-type checks appreciate Arcanine’s strong fire attacks and Intimidate.
-Intimidate support helps Pokemon with weaker physical defense like Tapu Lele or Mega Gardevoir.
-Sun support boosts Arcanine’s strong fire attacks, as well as weakening water moves. It may be tough to fit both a Charizard and an Arcanine on a team, but some trainers have a support Pokemon like Drifblim or Whimsicott with Sunny Day to help counter rain and boost Arcanine. While Arcanine's Wild Charge can hurt Politoed and especially Pelliper, it still does not appreciate rain matchups, so weather control can be important if you need to bring Arcanine to rain matchups.
-Offensive Arcanine appreciate Tailwind or other forms of speed control to help it attack before threats like Tapu Koko.
Rock Types - While Close Combat helps, Arcanine has a hard time breaking through any Rock type. Mega Aerodactyl has to be wary of Wild Charge coming in but out speeds and easily KOs Arcanine with Stone Edge. Terrakion must similarly be careful switching into Close Combat but also beats Arcanine with Stone Edge. Other Rocks often pack a lot of physical defense as well making it even harder for Arcanine to break them even with Close Combat
Hippowdon - Due to Hippowdon's immense physical bulk, Arcanine has a rough time dealing with it. Hippowdon can also set up Stealth Rock on Arcanine without a lot of concern and just heal up with Slack Off, and just stall out while Flare Blitz recoil wears Arcanine down.
Latias - Lacking Pursuit, Latias is able to sponge Arcanine's Fire STABs as well as most of its coverage, since it doesn't need to run Outrage to muscle through other Dragons such Hydreigon and Haxorus. However Latias is really hard for Arcanine to break with its high bulk and access to Recover.
Locations in Games
Evolve Growlithe (Red/Yellow)
Trade from Red/Yellow (Blue)
Evolve Growlithe (Gold/Crystal)
Trade from Gold/Crystal (Silver)
Trade from FireRed/XD
Evolve Growlithe (FireRed)
Trade from FireRed/XD(LeafGreen)
Evolve Growlithe (XD)
Trade from FireRed (Colosseum)
Evolve Growlithe (HeartGold)
Trade from Diamond/Pearl/Platinum/HeartGold (Soulsilver)
Trade from Black 2/White 2
Black 2/White 2:
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Arcanine has made several appearances in the anime. Most notably, ones were owned by Gary Oak and Marley