Ninetales

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.
Drought
Summons permanent sun.
Type Tier
Fire OU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
73
- 148 180 -
Atk
76
86 96 128 140
Def
75
85 95 127 139
SpA
81
90 101 133 146
SpD
100
108 120 152 167
Spe
100
108 120 152 167

Overview

While Ninetales may have often been forgotten in VGC past, labeled as "too weak" and "too frail", BW granted it access to an ability that rockets it upwards in usage: Drought. The ability to bring eternal sun instantly makes Ninetales a must-have for any team looking to abuse Sunny Day and its effects. Not only that, but Ninetales powers up its own STAB Fire-type moves with the sun it brings, making it a force on its own. That is not to say that Ninetales is without its downsides, though. With weaknesses to common spread moves such as Surf, Rock Slide, and Earthquake, Ninetales must tread carefully or risk being KOed. Still, Ninetales is quite the force to be reckoned with in VGC.

Name Item Nature

Sunny Day Attacker

Focus Sash / Shuca Berry / Charti Berry Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Heat Wave / Flamethrower
~ Hidden Power Ice
~ Will-O-Wisp / Energy Ball
~ Protect
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

Heat Wave provides Ninetales with a very powerful STAB move, being boosted by the sun and having the possibility of hitting both targets at once. However, if the miss rate of Heat Wave is bothersome, Flamethrower is an appropriate choice in order to stay on the offensive without running the risk of a miss at a critical time. With Hidden Power Ice, Ninetales is able to hit Ground- and Dragon-type Pokemon, who might otherwise give it problems, such as Garchomp and Salamence. It must be noted that, unfortunately, even max Special Attack Ninetales's Hidden Power Ice maxes out at 96% damage on 4/0 Garchomp, making priority or spread move support appreciated. Will-O-Wisp destroys common physical attackers such as Hitmontop and Tyranitar, halving their Attack. However, Politoed gives Ninetales fits, as its Dream World ability, Drizzle, brings eternal rain to the field. With this being such a detriment to Ninetales's attacking ability, Energy Ball gives Ninetales a way to hit Water-types such as Politoed for super effective damage, though it's really only good to hit on the switch, as a return Surf or Hydro Pump OHKOes. Protect gives Ninetales a way to stay relatively safe for a turn, while its partner eliminates a threat.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Sun Support

Iron Ball Quiet
Moveset IVs
~ Heat Wave / Flamethrower
~ Hidden Power Ice
~ Will-O-Wisp / Energy Ball
~ Protect
2 Spe
EVs
252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA

An Iron Ball and a Quiet nature guarantee that Ninetales will be slower than every weather starter that lacks Iron Ball, aside from Hippowdon, who sees little usage. With this in mind players may lead with Ninetales and have little worry of opposing weather being set up. Ninetales needs a powerful STAB to abuse with sun, and Heat Wave does its job in that category. Its accuracy can be a bit underwhelming at times, however, making Flamethrower a suitable alternative to guarantee a hit. Hidden Power Ice hits the Dragon-, Flying-, and Ground-types which Ninetales may have trouble with. Will-O-Wisp cripples physical attackers such as Garchomp, while Energy Ball helps somewhat with the Water-types that plague Ninetales, especially Politoed. In VGC, Protect is the most important move a Pokemon can have, giving the ability to stall out Trick Room, Tailwind, and other effects. With Ninetales it is no different, as the ability to stay alive for a turn while its partner takes care of a threatening Pokemon can be very handy indeed.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Hidden Power Ground gives Ninetales the option to hit one of sun's biggest checks, Heatran, though one must be aware that this renders Ninetales incapable of doing much damage against Dragon-types. Hypnosis may seem attractive at first glance; however, its low accuracy often puts the user at a disadvantage, and Pokemon with more accurate sleep moves such as Spore generally fill this role better. Nasty Plot and Calm Mind are in the same boat, but VGC—and doubles in general—is such a fast-paced metagame that boosting is very hard to pull off, and attacking may lead to a better result. Fire Blast and Overheat may be utilized as an alternative STAB move, though Heat Wave's double-targeting and Flamethrower's accuracy makes them better than such high-risk moves. Psyshock may be looked at to cover Fighting-types, but in the sun, Heat Wave does nearly as much damage anyway, making Psyshock not often worth the moveslot.

Checks and Counters

Chandelure is a near-perfect counter to Ninetales, taking little from its attacks and even boosting its own Fire-type moves by switching in on a Heat Wave. Two common spread moves in the form of Earthquake and Rock Slide bring Ninetales to its knees, making any Pokemon carrying these moves an instant threat. Politoed can bring everlasting rain to the field, nerfing Ninetales's Fire-type moves, and can OHKO Ninetales with a STAB, rain-boosted Water-type move of choice.