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Flame Orb

Description

Inflicts the holder with the burn status at the end of the first turn in which the holder was sent out. The burn status occurs after the holder would take burn damage, so the holder takes no burn damage on that first turn.

Competitive Use

The Flame Orb might seem like a horrible item at first, but it's actually quite useful on certain Pokemon. If held by Heracross, Conkeldurr, or some other Pokemon with Guts, it will activate the ability and increase Attack, giving what is effectively a Choice Band boost while retaining the ability to switch attacks, for the price of 12.5% of HP per turn. In addition, it also doubles the power of Facade, which gives Pokemon such as Ursaring and Swellow an extremely powerful STAB attack while allowing Heracross and other Pokemon a reliable attack that is as strong as a super effective Hidden Power on neutral opponents.

Toxic Orb is an alternative that can do everything above as well, but the poison status inflicted by Toxic Orb causes less damage in the short-term while the burn status inflicted by Flame Orb causes less damage in the long-term—after 3 turns they will both have done the same amount of damage to the holder, before which Toxic Orb does less, and after which Flame Orb does less, owing to the increasing damage from Toxic poison. For this reason, Guts Pokemon that switch out often, such as Swellow, will typically use Toxic Orb, while those that try to stay in and sweep, such as Ursaring, will prefer Flame Orb.

Another great Pokemon to use Flame Orb with is Sigilyph, which takes no damage from the burn thanks to Magic Guard, and can use Psycho Shift to switch the burn over to the opponent, simultaneously crippling the opponent and shielding Sigilyph from paralysis, sleep, and freeze. Other Pokemon with Magic Guard can employ the same strategy, and despite lacking Magic Guard, both Latias and Cresselia can employ similar strategies in the higher tiers.

Other abilities that can be used to take advantage of a burn include Marvel Scale, Quick Feet, and Flare Boost. However, because none of these abilities prevent the Attack decrease from burn, they are typically seen as less usable. This matters least for Flare Boost as it happens to boost Special Attack rather than Attack, but since only Drifblim gets the ability it is still somewhat wasted, as Drifblim is not exactly the greatest attacker ever even with the boost. Marvel Scale, too, is a defensive ability, so the damage from burn is rather counterproductive, hence why nobody uses Flame Orb Milotic.

Location

Battle Subway, 16 BP.