Pyroak's great bulk and unique type combination allow it to check Pokemon like Sylveon, Mega Metagross, and Mega Altaria. It also has a huge support movepool with options such as Leech Seed, Roar, Stealth Rock, and Aromatherapy. However, it does not have that much offensive presence, which is further hindered by its low Speed. Its weakness to Stealth Rock and vulnerability to passive damage wear it down, especially as common attacking types in Poison, Rock, and Flying can easily force it out.
Synthesis allows Pyroak to reliably recover health, enabling it to survive longer against many of the threats in the CAP metagame. Lava Plume is the main STAB move on this set and has a 30% chance to burn the foe. The listed secondary attacks make sure that Pyroak is not completely countered by Mega Diancie. Earth Power hits Electric-types such as Cyclohm and Plasmanta, Poison-types such as Mollux, and Steel-types such as Heatran, while Giga Drain hits foes such as Colossoil, Rotom-W, Manaphy, Stratagem, and Slowbro. The last move is dependent on the team. Stealth Rock is used if none of Pyroak's teammates can fit it into their movesets. Leech Seed capitalizes on Pyroak's bulk and ability to force switches to pressure the foe with passive damage. Aromatherapy can be used to remove status ailments from the team, while Roar can phaze setup sweepers and rack up entry hazard damage. This set typically runs two attacks to make Pyroak more self-sufficient and cover more of the metagame. However, running only Lava Plume and two utility moves is an option, sacrificing Pyroak's ability to hit some of its switch-ins like Heatran, Mollux, and Plasmanta for more support for Pyroak's teammates.
Running 248 HP EVs and 252 Defense EVs with a Bold nature maximizes Pyroak's physical bulk, allowing it to wall any physical attacker that cannot 2HKO it and reducing Stealth Rock damage. Leftovers is used because Pyroak needs all the health it can get. Battle Armor is used to prevent critical hits. Pyroak can also run a specially defensive spread of 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD to handle special attackers such as Mega Gardevoir and Syclant, although it becomes more reliant on burns to wall powerful physical attackers. If Pyroak needs to take on both physical and special attackers, a mixed spread of 248 HP / 192 Def / 68 SpD with a Bold nature can be used to avoid the 2HKO from Mega Metagross's Zen Headbutt after Stealth Rock.
Pyroak fits on bulkier teams, as they are usually not too concerned about losing offensive momentum. Teams that need its resistances, particularly those that need a check to Mega Metagross and Mega Altaria, appreciate Pyroak's support. Switch Pyroak in on these threats and anything else that cannot deal much damage to it. When Pyroak needs to attack, it should use Lava Plume to spread burns and its coverage to surprise switch-ins. If running Giga Drain, try to determine when to use Synthesis or Giga Drain as the method of recovery. Pyroak should use Stealth Rock if the opposing team does not have entry hazard control. Leech Seed should be used on predicted switch-ins to wear them down. If running Aromatherapy, use it sparingly and at the most crucial moments, as it has limited PP. If Roar is being used, take advantage of Pyroak's ability to stop setup sweepers and phaze switch-ins for increased entry hazard damage on the opponent's team.
Chansey, Clefable, and Sylveon are great partners for Pyroak, as they can pass Wishes to it. Chansey can also handle Plasmanta, Mega Charizard Y, and Stratagem, while Clefable and Sylveon can deal with Tomohawk and Mega Sableye. As Pyroak is vulnerable to entry hazards, particularly Stealth Rock, a Rapid Spin or Defog user is an excellent partner for Pyroak. Tomohawk, Excadrill, Starmie, and Colossoil provide Rapid Spin support, while Mega Scizor, Kitsunoh, Skarmory, Zapdos, Latias, Latios, and Mew provide Defog support. Wallbreakers such as Kyurem-B, Mega Gardevoir, Mega Medicham, and Manaphy can break through Pyroak's defensive answers such as Mollux, Heatran, and Plasmanta. Cyclohm can check Flying-types that threaten Pyroak, and in return it appreciates Pyroak's ability to check Fairy-types. Water-types such as Arghonaut, Rotom-W, and Slowbro can check Fire-types, while Pyroak checks Grass-types and Electric-types in return. Arghonaut in particular can also check Rock-types.
Pyroak can use Will-O-Wisp to get a guaranteed burn on the foe. Earthquake can be used to hit specially defensive Heatran and Mollux, though it requires a Relaxed nature, which is often not worth the loss in Speed. Substitute can be used on sets with Leech Seed to take advantage of the switches Leech Seed forces and thus make Pyroak annoying to take out. Ancient Power hits both Mega Charizard formes and Talonflame, but those are its only two targets. It may be tempting to run a Swords Dance set with Wood Hammer and Flare Blitz due to Pyroak's access to Rock Head. However, this set is mediocre, as Pyroak has a pitiful base 70 Attack.
Checks and Counters
Residual Damage: Toxic limits Pyroak's stalling capabilities by placing a timer on it. Note that Toxic users that are slower than Pyroak risk Substitute blocking Toxic, though faster Toxic users can cripple Pyroak no matter what move it is running. However, Pyroak does have access to Aromatherapy to remove status ailments. Entry hazards, especially Stealth Rock, can quickly reduce Pyroak's lifespan.
Setup Sweepers: Pokemon like Magic Guard Clefable, Calm Mind Latias, Manaphy, and Refresh Mega Altaria can set up on any Pyroak lacking Roar.
Trick and Switcheroo Users: Being locked into one move via a Choice item completely cripples Pyroak, as it relies on status moves to fulfill its job.
Fire-types: Heatran can switch into Lava Plume—and if it is holding an Air Balloon, Earth Power as well—and can Taunt Pyroak. Mega Charizard Y does not care about anything Pyroak throws at it aside from Leech Seed or Ancient Power and can retaliate with a sun-boosted Fire Blast. Mega Charizard X can use any Pyroak lacking Earth Power, Ancient Power, or Roar as setup bait.
Special Poison-types: Although both Mollux and Plasmanta fear Earth Power, they can take any of Pyroak's other moves and nail it with Sludge Wave or cripple it with Trick and Taunt, respectively. Mega Venusaur can tank Lava Plume due to Thick Fat and retaliate with Sludge Bomb.
Offensive Rock-types: Stratagem forces out Pyroak with its STAB moves, and it can switch into Earth Power if it has Levitate. Mega Diancie can force out Pyroak with Diamond Storm and can bounce back Leech Seed, Roar, and Stealth Rock. Tyranitar and Terrakion also hit Pyroak hard, though they are crippled by burns and can be hit hard by Giga Drain.
Offensive Flying-types: Togekiss has Air Slash to strike Pyroak hard, and its 60% flinch chance due to Serene Grace can help wear it down. Mega Pinsir, Talonflame, and Staraptor can severely dent Pyroak with their STAB attacks. Talonflame can even set up on Pyroak due to its Fire typing preventing a burn, only caring about Leech Seed and Roar.
Mega Sableye: Mega Sableye can set up on Pyroak due to its strong special bulk and Magic Bounce blocking Leech Seed and Roar.
Tomohawk: Tomohawk can Taunt Pyroak, cripple it with Toxic, or just strike it hard with Air Slash, while all Pyroak can hope to do is hit Tomohawk with Leech Seed on the switch or burn it.
Calm Mind Naviathan: Calm Mind Naviathan can set up on Pyroak lacking Earth Power or Roar due to Heatproof reducing damage from Lava Plume and burns, and it can also use Substitute or Taunt to stop Leech Seed and Roar.