Arcanine

Intimidate
Lowers the foe's Attack one stage. Decreases wild encounter rate.
Flash Fire
Grants immunity to Fire-type moves and increases the power of Fire-type moves by 50% when hit by a Fire-type move.
Justified
Raises Attack one stage when hit by a Dark-type move.
Type Tier
Fire UU
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
90
- 25 28 -
Atk
110
15 17 20 22
Def
80
12 14 17 18
SpA
100
14 16 19 20
SpD
80
12 14 17 18
Spe
95
14 16 19 20

Overview

Arcanine is one of those Pokemon that has the BST and movepool to be OU, but its typing and Speed come up just short. This is actually a good thing, however, as in UU, Arcanine has the opportunity to truly shine due to its well-rounded stats, amazing coverage, and impressive versatility. These assets lead to it being able to run a very dangerous physically offensive set, a very sturdy physical wall set, or even a surprising Sunny Day set. However, it's not all peaches for Arcanine. Being affected by every type of entry hazard, with a weakness to Stealth Rock to boot, doesn't do it any favors. Nevertheless, if you play it to its strengths and provide it with the proper support, Arcanine is sure to leave its mark in every battle it takes part in.

Name Item Ability Nature

Offensive

Life Orb Flash Fire / Intimidate Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Flare Blitz
~ ExtremeSpeed
~ Wild Charge / Crunch
~ Close Combat / Morning Sun
72 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD / 176 Spe

This is undoubtedly Arcanine's most dangerous set; not only is it incredibly strong, but it also possesses impressive coverage and strong priority to boot. If this monster gets a single free switch-in and you can predict correctly, something is definitely going down. Flare Blitz acts as the primary STAB move here; its naturally high Base Power, combined with Arcanine's above average Attack and Life Orb, make it absolutely devastating to anything that doesn't resist it, especially if Arcanine manages to get a Flash Fire boost. ExtremeSpeed, in addition to making it much more difficult to revenge kill, gives Arcanine an additional niche in being able to pick off weakened faster opponents, such as Flygon and Azelf. Wild Charge gives this set the ability to hurt the Water-types that commonly like to switch into it, bar Swampert. Crunch is an alternative as it still does heavy damage to Slowbro and Slowking while giving Arcanine a means of getting past Chandelure. Close Combat is Arcanine's best option against Rhyperior and Snorlax and gets a harder hit on Empoleon, Houndoom, and Porygon2; it's also Arcanine's strongest move against predicted Kingdra, Flygon, and Swampert switch-ins. Morning Sun simply acts as Arcanine's reliable recovery move, but using it comes with the cost of giving up a coverage move.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Physically Defensive

Leftovers Intimidate Impish / Bold
Moveset EVs
~ Flare Blitz / Flamethrower
~ ExtremeSpeed / Hidden Power Grass
~ Morning Sun
~ Will-O-Wisp / Toxic
248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD

While it might seem odd to give such an offensive juggernaut a defensive set, Arcanine actually makes for quite a sturdy wall, as it can easily check or counter most Heracross, physical Victini, Cobalion, Darmanitan, Escavalier, Swords Dance Mew, Weavile, opposing Arcanine, and many other dangerous physical threats. Additionally, with Sand Stream now banished from UU, Morning Sun consistently recovers half of Arcanine's HP, making this set all the more amazing.

Flare Blitz is Arcanine's strongest move and is the most immediately threatening thing it can do to repel the Pokemon it switches into, while Flamethrower is a weaker alternative that lacks the recoil. ExtremeSpeed lets Arcanine pick off weakened faster threats, such as Weavile, Azelf, and Flygon, before they can do anything else. Hidden Power Grass lets Arcanine hurt bulky Water-types a bit and always 2HKOes Swampert and Rhyperior, giving Arcanine the potential to net surprise KOs on them. Doing this will sometimes mean the opposition won't have the opportunity to lay down Stealth Rock at all, greatly prolonging Arcanine's lifespan. Morning Sun is Arcanine's reliable recovery move, letting it stick around for a while so it can do its job of supporting the team. The final moveslot is dedicated to a status move: Will-O-Wisp lets Arcanine cripple many of its common switch-ins—namely Swampert, Rhyperior, and Flygon—while Toxic does the same to bulky Water-types such as Milotic and Slowbro.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Sunny Day

Leftovers / Life Orb Intimidate Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Sunny Day
~ Fire Blast / Flamethrower
~ SolarBeam
~ Morning Sun
192 HP / 248 SpA / 4 SpD / 64 Spe

Arcanine makes a fantastic user of Sunny Day, mitigating its weakness to Water-type attacks, boosting its STAB Fire-type attacks, and making Morning Sun recover two-thirds of its HP. This set also gives Arcanine a great way to get past usual counters such as Rhyperior and Swampert with SolarBeam, making it very difficult to play around. Fire Blast is the primary pick for STAB here due to Arcanine's average Special Attack stat, but Flamethrower is also usable if better accuracy and PP are more up your alley. Morning Sun rounds out the set, giving Arcanine a way of recovering HP outside of Leftovers, and as stated previously, becoming even more effective while the sunlight is strong.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Arcanine's well-rounded stats and wide movepool allow it to fill many roles that have not been discussed above. However, many of these are either outclassed by other Pokemon or have some fatal flaw that prevent them from being as effective as the other sets. For example, Arcanine can sport a specially defensive EV spread in order to beat Ghost-types and other assorted special attackers. However, this would require the use of Crunch to damage Chandelure, and on top of that, Arcanine still loses to a great majority of UU special attackers, such as Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Mew, Azelf, Water-types, and others. A mixed offensive set is another example, as Arcanine definitely has the offenses to pull it off, but the fact is that this set does not accomplish a single thing that the pure physical attacker fails to.

Arcanine also has a few individual moves that may be appealing to its user, namely Flame Charge, Howl, and Rest + Sleep Talk. The first two are the only way Arcanine has to boost its stats; however, the boost is quite minimal and the cost of using them is too great, as Arcanine already suffers from a bad case of four-moveslot syndrome. The latter two are an alternate way for it to recover its HP, but with the change in sleep mechanics this generation, Arcanine would be forced to stay in for prolonged periods of time in order to make proper use of them—something it is not too keen on doing. Finally, the use of Arcanine's Dream World ability, Justified, might seem like a good idea at first, but when you consider how much more useful its other two abilities are, it becomes less appealing.

Checks and Counters

Arcanine's offensive set is exceedingly hard to switch into due to its impressive coverage and strong STAB. Slowbro is the best possible initial switch-in, as it only fears Wild Charge and Crunch and has Regenerator to mitigate the damage done by a misprediction. Swampert is a close second, as it takes just under half from the strongest move Arcanine can use on it, Close Combat, and can retaliate with either one of its STABs. Other Water-types such as Milotic and Suicune can also take care of it, but they have to be much more wary of switching into a super effective Wild Charge due to their lack of Regenerator. Rhyperior is also a very solid check, as even Close Combat fails to do too much damage thanks to Solid Rock. Due to Thick Fat giving it a virtual resistance to Flare Blitz, Snorlax makes a decent answer to Arcanine lacking Close Combat. Similarly, Chandelure can come in safely as long as it avoids Wild Charge and Crunch on the switch. Flygon fears being 2HKOed by a combination of Close Combat followed by ExtremeSpeed, but otherwise makes for a great check as it outspeeds Arcanine and can hit back with its STAB Earthquake.

Because they are much less offensively threatening, Arcanine's other sets are nowhere near as hard to switch into. The physically defensive set shares many counters with the offensive one, provided they avoid the move that is meant to catch them on the switch. For example, Rhyperior and Swampert make excellent counters if Arcanine doesn't carry Will-O-Wisp or Hidden Power Grass. Similarly, Milotic switches in fearlessly if Arcanine lacks Toxic. The Sunny Day set will probably catch you off-guard the first time you switch into it, but once the element of surprise has been lost, you should be fine. Snorlax is a hard counter to Sunny Day Arcanine, as nothing on the set even comes close to scratching it. Chandelure and Houndoom also work, as they are both immune to Arcanine's STAB and resist SolarBeam. Flygon is an even better check, as it outspeeds Arcanine, is unlikely to be hit by SolarBeam, and can OHKO with a STAB Earthquake. Finally, as has been previously emphasized, Arcanine absolutely detests entry hazards, so there's also the option of letting them slowly wear it down for you.