Darmanitan

Sheer Force
Increases power of moves with secondary effects by 30%, but removes the effects.
Zen Mode
The wielder changes forme when below 50% of its max HP.
Type Tier
Fire UU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
105
- 351 414 -
Atk
140
284 316 379 416
Def
55
131 146 209 229
SpA
30
86 96 159 174
SpD
55
131 146 209 229
Spe
95
203 226 289 317

Overview

Darmanitan is one of the strongest Pokemon in the UU metagame, boasting not only a giant base 140 Attack stat but also a Sheer Force boost on many powerful moves. It resides in a good Speed tier, comfortably ahead of notable Pokemon such as Heracross, Roserade, Krookodile, and Adamant Arcanine. However, Darmanitan suffers from a weakness to Stealth Rock, and its most powerful move, Flare Blitz, deals heavy recoil damage. Furthermore, its frailty, weakness to common attacking types, and lack of good resistances means it's hard to switch Darmanitan into battle. Its sweeps are impeded by a few Pokemon that can switch in without care and take any hit from it, and many of those Pokemon can even heal to prevent gradual weakening. Even so, Darmanitan has one of the most powerful attacks in the game and is definitely a force for which one should prepare.

Name Item Ability Nature

Physical Attacker

Life Orb Sheer Force Jolly / Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Flare Blitz
~ Rock Slide
~ Superpower
~ U-turn
252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

This is by far Darmanitan's most dangerous set. Its massive Attack stat combined with Sheer Force and Life Orb boosts rips through slower teams. Flare Blitz is Darmanitan's power move. It deals massive damage even to Pokemon with a Fire-type resistance and plows through any Pokemon without one. Rock Slide gets acceptable coverage beside Flare Blitz, hitting opposing Fire-types for super effective damage. With the Sheer Force boost, Rock Slide is almost as powerful as Earthquake and Stone Edge, and because it gets the Sheer Force boost, Darmanitan will not take recoil damage from Life Orb when using it. This reduces the passive damage Darmanitan takes, as well as allowing it to bluff a Choice set. Superpower rounds off Darmanitan's coverage by hitting Rock-types, such as Rhyperior, as well as bulky Normal-types such as Snorlax and Porygon2. U-turn allows Darmanitan to keep momentum by switching out of hard counters, while also dealing super effective damage to Slowbro, who could easily switch in otherwise.

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

Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf Sheer Force Jolly / Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Flare Blitz
~ U-turn
~ Rock Slide / Earthquake
~ Superpower / Fire Punch
252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

With a Choice Scarf equipped, Darmanitan can run through offensive teams with its heightened Speed. Flare Blitz is incredibly powerful with a Sheer Force boost added to its already high Base Power, and offensive teams often lack a good switch-in to it. U-turn allows Darmanitan to keep momentum on its side and does decent damage to Slowbro, who would otherwise be a great switch-in to Darmanitan. Rock Slide gets decent coverage beside Flare Blitz, hitting for super effective damage on both Fire-types that resist Flare Blitz and Flying-types without inflicting recoil damage. Earthquake gets even better coverage with Flare Blitz, as it hits both Rock-types and Fire-types that resist Darmanitan's Fire-type STAB for super effective damage. Superpower also hits Rock-types hard and comes with the benefit of breaking bulky Normal-types such as Snorlax and Porygon2. Fire Punch can be used alongside Earthquake as a reliable STAB without recoil. However, Darmanitan then lacks a reliable way to beat Snorlax.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

While Darmanitan only has a couple effective sets, it has a huge movepool. Encore can lock defensive Pokemon into a support move and prevent them from walling Darmanitan. Yawn can cripple a potential counter and possibly remove it from the battle due to the resetting sleep mechanics. Will-O-Wisp can ruin physical attackers that might switch into Darmanitan, such as Rhyperior and Swampert. Darmanitan can try a Substitute + Focus Punch set, but it lacks the power of its other sets. Belly Drum is very risky, but also very powerful, and it can turn Darmanitan into a powerful sweeper. Zen Mode is an interesting gimmick, but the low Speed makes it very bad.

Checks and Counters

Slowbro is the number one counter to Darmanitan as it resists Darmanitan's STAB and takes almost no damage from any of its coverage moves once Regenerator is taken into account. Slowking works similarly, but its lower Defense stat means it'll be forced to use Slack Off more often. Suicune and Milotic are two other defensive Water-types that can take hits from Darmanitan with relative ease. However, Suicune lacks a reliable recovery move, which means that it will eventually resort to using Rest. Similarly, Swampert can switch into Darmanitan a finite number of times before entry hazards and U-turn wear it down to Flare Blitz's KO range. Rhyperior also resists Darmanitan's Fire-type moves, and can take a hit from Superpower and/or Earthquake thanks to Solid Rock and its huge Defense stat. Flygon can always serve as a good check to Darmanitan, as it will never be OHKOed by any of Darmanitan's moves (barring a critical hit or prior damage), outspeeds, and OHKOes with its STAB Earthquake. Due to the huge threat Darmanitan poses to nearly every team, its always a good idea to pack at least one Pokemon can can revenge kill it. Azumarill can do so with its STAB Aqua Jet, while common Choice Scarf users, such as Mienshao, can simply outspeed and OHKO.