Charizard (Battledex)

Charizard is easily one of the most iconic Pokémon in the entire series, although being iconic does not guarantee it being useful. Such is the case with Charizard, that has: a terrible typing, Fire and Flying, that makes it double weak to Rock (196% vs normal 140% Super Effective Damage), lacking attack stats, a below average stamina stat that just ensures it will go down easy, and the looming fear of being power creeped by future generations and the likes of Blaziken getting access to Blast Burn.

Its only claim to fame is, in being a starter Pokémon, it gains access to the recent Community Day exclusive move: Blast Burn. Combine Blast Burn with the best Fire fast move in the game, Fire Spin, and you do have a recipe that makes Charizard relevant, even with its stats dragging it down.

Fire type attackers

The following Table compares the stats of the best fire type attackers in the current metagame, Charizard included. As you can see, it does not possess the best of any stat. That being said, the current list of best Fire types go something like: Moltres, Entei, and then a case by case tie between Flareon, Blaziken, and Charizard.

Charizard Overview

Type Chart

WeaknessesResistances
  • Bug x2
  • Grass x2
  • Fairy
  • Fighting
  • Fire
  • Ground
  • Steel

Its main strengths are:

  • Access to the two-bar Blast Burn, which is currently the best Fire charge move in the game, as well as the best Fire type fast move Fire Spin.
  • Flying type is a blessing and a curse for Charizard, with the blessing in this case being a resistance to Ground instead of a weakness, a additional resistance to Fighting, and a double resistance to Bug and Grass instead of a single resistance.

Its main weaknesses are:

  • As mentioned previously, the Flying type is a bit of a curse, as it adds a atrocious double weakness to Rock type moves, as well as giving it a weakness to Electric attacks. In short, the Flying type invites the likes of Smack Down Tyranitar, Golem, and Raikou to come in and ruin its day.
  • Its stat composition is just all around bad. Fire types are not known for high Stamina or Defense but Charizard just takes that to a whole new level. Almost Gengar levels of bad, without the high attack either to make up for the lack of bulk.
  • Its usage has only gone up due to the addition of Blast Burn to its movepool, but it is only a matter of time until it gets outclassed by newcomers like Heatran, or existing Pokémon like Blaziken that ought to be slated to get Blast Burn.

Best Charizard Moves

Charizard has had a lot of different moves, courtesy of being around for every move rework Niantic has done, so this will be a long chart.

Charizard moves in Pokemon GO
Fast MoveCharge MoveCycle DPS (STAB)
Fire Spin FireBlast Burn Fire24.55
Fire Spin FireOverheat Fire24.00
Wing Attack FlyingBlast Burn Fire23.93
Air Slash FlyingBlast Burn Fire23.23
Wing Attack FlyingOverheat Fire23.17
Ember FireBlast Burn Fire23.13
Air Slash FlyingOverheat Fire22.50
Ember FireOverheat Fire22.29
Fire Spin FireFire Blast Fire22.11
Fire Spin FireFlamethrower Fire21.82
Wing Attack FlyingFire Blast Fire20.98
Air Slash FlyingFire Blast Fire20.74
Wing Attack FlyingFlamethrower Fire20.67
Air Slash FlyingFlamethrower Fire20.49
Ember FireFire Blast Fire20.28
Ember FireFlamethrower Fire20.00
Fire Spin FireDragon Claw Dragon19.78
Air Slash FlyingDragon Claw Dragon18.63
Wing Attack FlyingDragon Claw Dragon18.39
Ember FireDragon Claw Dragon17.92

*Keep in mind that STAB cycle DPS calculations just compare the different movesets and they are not Pokémon-specific

  • An important consideration however, is while these are accurate DPS listings, some of these moveset combination are impossible, such as any of the legacy moves with Blast Burn. 
  • Blast Burn outdoes Overheat in any available category with any available fast move. Which makes sense, as Blast Burn is indeed the best available Fire type charge move.
  • As far as being a mixed type attacker, Wing Attack is superior to Air Slash, although not by terribly much. In any case, if you have one, it has some small utility against Grass and Bug types if weather is Windy.
  • Ember is a trophy at best, as is Flamethrower with the advent of Blast Burn.
  • Dragon Claw is best kept to surprise Dragon type attackers in gyms like Dragonite and Rayquaza, if you have it in a gym for whatever reason.

Best Charizard movesets

RoleQuick moveCharge move
Gym offenseFire Spin FireBlast Burn Fire
Gym defense
(speculative)
Fire Spin FireBlast Burn Fire / Dragon Claw Dragon
PvP (speculative)Fire Spin Fire / Wing Attack or Air Slash FlyingBlast Burn Fire / Dragon Claw Dragon

Charizard Counters

Supreme Counters (Italics Denote Legacy Movesets)

  • Tyranitar is without a doubt the best counter to anything that is weak to a few rocks chucked at them. Combine that fact with Charizard’s dual weakness to Rock type attacks and you have a recipe for disaster for the not-Dragon.
  • Omastar with its legacy moveset is a great Rock type attacker, being better than even Golem in some cases, this being one of them due to Omastar’s double resistance to Fire moves. Rock Slide is a better move than Stone Edge, and Omastar’s stats are very similar to Golem, so it is a fine addition to a Charizard raid team.
  • Golem, in both normal and Alolan form, is a great counter to Charizard, having decent moves, a 211 attack stat, and being resistant to all moves save for Dragon Claw, with a  double resistant to Flying type moves in its Alolan form.
  • Kyogre is the first non-rock counter to make the list, being able to beat out other Rock types just because its sheer power and total damage output. The only other high damage dealing counter with less deaths would be the king Tyranitar.

Other Counters (Italics Denote Legacy Movesets)

  • Solrock and Lunatone are basically the same Pokémon in Go, with the main differences being looks, Lunatone having Moonblast, and Solrock having Solar Beam.That is why these two are together, they perform similarly and are decent Rock counters.
  • Raikou takes advantage of that Electric weakness that Charizard has and shows why it is one of the best generalists and electric types in the meta game.
  • Yes, Regirock actually does some decent damage, and matches Tyranitar for the least amount of deaths. if you like Regirock here is a chance to let it shine.
  • Rayquaza does faint a lot but it can dole out decent enough damage, that is if you kept a Rayquaza with its overall worst charged move: Ancient Power.
  • Zapdos used to be on par with Sudowoodo in terms of time, but Thunder Shock for Zapdos day raised its relevance overall, including this battle against Charizard.
  • Sudowoodo, besides being the favorite of a certain Go Youtuber, is a semi-decent Rock type attacker. Nowhere near the others, but it can be serviceable in large groups.
  • Gyarados acts as a weaker Kyogre, and as such is farther down in the rankings then it used to be. That being said, it is still the best non-legendary Water type in the meta and it proves it by being half decent in this fight.

Weather influence

WeatherProsCons
SunnyBoosts its Fire type moves
Partly CloudyBoosts double super-effective Rock type moves
Cloudy
RainyBoosts super-effective Water and Electric type moves
Fog
WindyBoosts its Flying type moves
Snow

Viability in raids

Charizard does well for a non-legendary in raids where it lands super effective hits. Those raids are few and far between however, limiting it in useability. Here’s a list of Raid Bosses to which it is one of the top counters:

*Legacy Raid **Future Raid

Rating

Charizard is essentially a lesser Moltres with a slightly better move. It is a shame that Blast Burn had to have different stats than Frenzy Plant, despite being virtually the same in the main series. If it was FP levels of broken this would be a much different tale, however the reality is it lives in Moltres’ shadow in its own dual typing, while also tying with its fellow non-legendary Fire types.

It does do well as a attacker, and with Blast Burn being what it is, it does make for a good gym generalist. However, in that vein it is a absolutely terrible defender that can easily be wiped by almost any Rock type in and out of the meta game. When a Regi can make short work of a Pokémon, that Pokémon should simply not be in that position.

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