Volcarona

Flame Body
30% chance to burn when struck by a contact move. Halves the number of steps required to hatch Eggs.
Swarm
Boosts power of Bug-type moves by 50% when at 1/3 HP or less.
Type Tier
Bug / Fire OU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
85
- 160 192 -
Atk
60
72 80 112 123
Def
65
76 85 117 128
SpA
135
139 155 187 205
SpD
105
112 125 157 172
Spe
100
108 120 152 167

Overview

As one of the few vanguards of two oft-maligned types in OU, Volcarona is one hot Pokemon. Despite what would normally be considered a crippling Bug / Fire typing, Volcarona has the perfect combination of stats, movepool, and typing to make it a top-tier threat. With a whopping 135 base Special Attack, 100 base Speed, great dual STAB, and access to one of the best boosting moves in the game in Quiver Dance, Volcarona has everything it needs to make a huge impact. While it operates best in the sun, it can even take charge in the rain, and still has plenty of tools in sand as well.

That said, even with everything Volcarona has going for it, it's not some kind of magic bullet in the metagame. It's quite frail on the physical side, and while it resists most of the priority attacks in the metagame, it's still hard-pressed to deal with anything it can't kill in one hit or outspeed. It also possesses a crippling Stealth Rock weakness, so if it doesn't sweep the first time through, it rarely gets a second chance. Still, if it gets any space to do its thing, it can make any game a runaway. The game is never over when Volcarona's around.

Name Item Nature

Offensive Quiver Dance

Life Orb / Lum Berry Timid / Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Quiver Dance
~ Bug Buzz
~ Fire Blast / Fiery Dance
~ Giga Drain / Hidden Power Ground
252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

This set makes full use of Volcarona's massive offensive potential. Between an obscene 135 base Special Attack, Quiver Dance, Life Orb, and a STAB Fire Blast or Bug Buzz, Volcarona hits with nuclear force, wiping most foes off the map in one hit. Bug Buzz is the primary STAB, since it's powerful, accurate, reliable, and weather-independent. Fire Blast is the preferred secondary STAB due to its power, but Fiery Dance gives it a 100% accurate Fire-type move, as well as a 50% chance to boost its Special Attack even further. Finally, Giga Drain is the most powerful option against rain teams (and especially Politoed), and can help heal off Stealth Rock damage and preserve Volcarona's decent bulk. However, Hidden Power Ground is an option in the last slot, as it hits Heatran and Tentacruel, two common Pokemon in OU that resist Volcarona's dual STAB.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Hurricane

Leftovers / Life Orb Modest / Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Quiver Dance
~ Bug Buzz
~ Hurricane
~ Fire Blast / Hidden Power Water
252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

While this bug seems like more of a sun-lover, it's perfectly at home in the rain as well. Hurricane gives it a strong attack to use in the rain, plowing through rain teams that think they've effectively neutered Volcarona. Bug / Flying is remarkably effective coverage, and when in the rain, Hurricane is one of Volcarona's strongest tools. Fire Blast may seem like an odd choice, but it wards off Skarmory, Jirachi, Forretress, and other Steel-types that would otherwise wall you in the rain, and gives dual STAB in case of sand. However, Hidden Power Water gets pseudo-STAB in the rain, and also hits a number of notable Pokemon. It KOes Terrakion in the rain at +1 with Leftovers, hits Landorus-T hard, and prevents Heatran from walling Volcarona both in and out of the rain.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Bulky Quiver Dance

Leftovers Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Quiver Dance
~ Fiery Dance
~ Bug Buzz
~ Roost
240 HP / 252 Def / 16 Spe

While Quiver Dance makes Volcarona an absolutely incredible offensive sweeper in its own right, its combined offensive and defensive buff also makes another option available to Volcarona. 85 base HP is remarkably good, and with heavy defensive investment and Roost, Volcarona can buy itself plenty of time to boost up and blaze through the opposing team. While Volcarona is still susceptible to burst damage from offensive teams, defensive investment and Roost allows it to outlast a number of more defensive checks, and with enough Quiver Dances, Volcarona has the power to blow through pretty much everything. To top it off, the durability of this set means that Flame Body has a chance to kick in, and if the opponent's physical Volcarona check gets burned, the game could be over then and there. Bug Buzz is the primary STAB, being the most reliable offensive option that Volcarona has. Fiery Dance gets the spotlight here as well, as it allows Volcarona to keep amping up its offense once it's got a couple Quiver Dances under its belt.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

ChestoRest

Chesto Berry Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Quiver Dance
~ Rest
~ Fire Blast / Fiery Dance
~ Bug Buzz
160 HP / 236 SpA / 112 Spe

This set strikes an interesting balance between bulk and offense—the aim is to absorb some damage and possibly status, rack up a couple Quiver Dances, and then Rest off all the damage and start the sweep like new, having used Chesto Berry to wake up. Against more defensive teams, this set can be devastating, as they simply don't have the firepower to deal with Volcarona quickly. With the offensive investment and powerful STABs, it can easily deliver the pain to opponents once a couple Quiver Dances are up.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

A Choice Specs set with U-turn can be utilized effectively. Volcarona's massive 135 base Special Attack lets it power through pretty much anything, and U-turn can be extremely useful to capitalize on Volcarona's tendency to force switches. However, a Choice set on a Pokemon with a 4x Stealth Rock weakness is rather suspect, so it has to be played with care. A mono attacker with Sunny Day, Quiver Dance, Fire Blast, and either Roost or Morning Sun can be effective, especially against Rain teams. Between Quiver Dance and Sunny Day, Volcarona can almost set up in the face of opposing Water-types, and Politoed fails to put a damper on Volcarona's sweep potential. Finally, a straight offensive set with dual STAB, a coverage move, and Roost can be used for a Starmie-esque set. Volcarona is remarkably bulky, and being able to heal off residual damage can keep Volcarona in the fight for a remarkably long time.

Checks and Counters

With its 4x weakness, Stealth Rock is easily Volcarona's biggest check in OU. It's hard for Volcarona to set up at 50% HP, and even harder at 1% if it's forced out. Keeping Stealth Rock on the field is the easiest way to reduce Volcarona's effectiveness in the long term. Terrakion in the sand is probably the most significant check, as it resists both STABs and has super effective Rock STAB to take it out. It can also outspeed +1 Volcarona with Choice Scarf, or simply sponge an attack and set up a Rock Polish. Heatran is also especially effective, as it's essentially immune to both STABs. However, Hidden Power Ground can be troublesome, and if Heatran is the only Volcarona check on the team, this can make it especially deadly. Chansey can wall Volcarona effectively outside of the sun, but with sun support, Volcarona can muscle through with Fire Blast, so be careful. Toxic on Chansey can make it more effective, putting a death timer on more defensively oriented sets. Snorlax has huge HP and Special Defense, resists Fire with its Thick Fat ability, and can slam Volcarona hard with its powerful STAB Body Slam and Return.

There are some more nonstandard Volcarona counters out there as well. Azumarill in the rain is the ultimate counter to Volcarona, as it has plenty of bulk and a STAB Aqua Jet to deal with Volcarona. Any of the Flying-type Pokemon that resist Volcarona's dual STABs, such as Gyarados, Salamence, and Dragonite, can help deal with it, but they have to watch out for Hidden Power Rock, as well as Volcarona's raw power. Tyranitar can cancel out Drought, lay down Stealth Rock, and OHKO Volcarona with its Rock STAB, but its weakness to Bug makes it a shaky check at best and terrible if Volcarona already has some boosts.

When not carrying Giga Drain, a check against Water-types of all stripes is suggested, especially Jellicent and Keldeo, which also resist Bug. Note that while Timid Scarf Keldeo can outspeed Volcarona, its Hydro Pump fails to OHKO at full HP, and if sun is involved, it fails to even 2HKO. As mentioned before, Tentacruel is an exceptionally good teammate, absorbing Toxic Spikes, spinning away rocks, and sponging Water-type attacks. Rain is often considered a "counter" to Volcarona, but in many cases, rain can be more of a liability against it. Against the standard sets, Volcarona loses its most powerful STAB while the rain exacerbates its Water weakness. However, against sets packing Hurricane and/or Giga Drain, the rain can actually be counterproductive.

Unreleased

Volcarona's Dream World ability is Swarm. While Flame Body is incredibly useful for bulky sets to burn troublesome physical attackers, Swarm can find itself used on more offensive sets. While the Fire STAB is often considered the more potent offensive move, a Swarm-boosted Bug Buzz augmented by a Quiver Dance or two can give Volcarona the punch it needs to get through some of the more troublesome Fire resistances around. It even synergizes well with Substitute sets, which can control the activation of Swarm and turn up the power for a sweep.