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.
Type Tier
Fire NU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
73
- 287 350 -
Atk
76
169 188 251 276
Def
75
167 186 249 273
SpA
81
178 198 261 287
SpD
100
212 236 299 328
Spe
100
212 236 299 328
  • Underused

Overview

While there is no shortage of Fire-types in UU, Ninetales has some unique attributes that help it stand out from the crowd. It boasts one of the largest movepools of any Fire-type, including assets like Nasty Plot, Hypnosis, and Energy Ball. This movepool, combined with Ninetales's decent bulk and Special Attack, allows it to overcome the biggest threats to UU Fire-types: bulky Water-types such as Slowbro and Milotic. These unique characteristics enable Ninetales to step out of the shadows of its more popular Fire-type brethren and take center stage as a powerful special attacker or status inducer.

Name Item Nature

Lure

Leftovers Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Nasty Plot
~ Fire Blast
~ Energy Ball
~ Hidden Power Rock
72 HP / 216 SpA / 220 Spe

This is Ninetales's flagship set, which allows it to act as an effective lure for bulky Water-types such as Milotic and Slowbro while also functioning as a sweeper. With a minor investment in its HP, Ninetales is able to take on and defeat the usual Fire-type counters after a Nasty Plot boost. Fire Blast is Ninetales's best STAB move in terms of sweeping, especially since Ninetales doesn't have maximum Special Attack investment. Energy Ball is Ninetales's most important coverage move, and is the key reason why Ninetales is able to take on Water-types. Hidden Power Rock is for Altaria and opposing Fire-types, like Arcanine and Moltres. Fire-, Grass-, and Rock-type coverage also gets perfect coverage in UU.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Nasty Plot

Life Orb Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Nasty Plot
~ Fire Blast / Flamethrower
~ Energy Ball
~ Hypnosis / Hidden Power Rock
252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

With a single Nasty Plot boost, Ninetales reaches 522 Special Attack, which is just good enough for sweeping mid- to late-game. Switch Ninetales in on a Fire-type attack for a free switch in and begin boosting with Nasty Plot. For which attack to use, Fire Blast is Ninetales's main STAB attack, though Flamethrower is a perfectly fine substitute for more reliability. Energy Ball hits Water-, Ground, and Rock-type Pokemon super effectively. Hypnosis is a valuable (if somewhat unreliable) asset, as it can be used freely as your opponent switches out to a counter, and may grant Ninetales a free turn to boost with Nasty Plot. Hidden Power Rock covers Moltres, Altaria, and other Flash Fire Pokemon, though its coverage is less potent than Hypnosis's crippling effect.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Double Status

Wide Lens Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Hypnosis
~ Will-O-Wisp
~ Energy Ball / Pain Split
~ Fire Blast / Overheat
184 HP / 104 SpD / 220 Spe

Ninetales's support movepool also allows it to pull off a double status set quite effectively. Start off with Hypnosis to sleep a foe then cripple the next switch-in, hopefully a physical attacker, with Will-O-Wisp. Energy Ball and your choice of STAB fill out the rest of the moveset, providing Ninetales with the best coverage it can get should it find an opportunity to pick off a foe. Pain Split can be used over Energy Ball if you feel that being able to heal off damage (albeit, somewhat unreliably) would be helpful.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Choice Specs

Choice Specs Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Overheat / Fire Blast
~ Energy Ball
~ Extrasensory
~ Hidden Power Rock
36 HP / 252 SpA / 220 Spe

One can avoid the shaky accuracy of Hypnosis and the hassle of setting up Nasty Plot boosts by having Ninetales hold Choice Specs. Overheat is more useful early-game, where Ninetales will be switching more often, while Fire Blast becomes a better choice late-game, where Ninetales will want to be sweeping unimpeded. Energy Ball does the same job here as it does on the other sets, cleaning up bulky Water- and Rock- types. Extrasensory, while not commonly seen, does give Ninetales a way to take down Fighting-types such as Hariyama and Blaziken. Hidden Power Rock helps out with other Fire-types as well as Flying-types.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Ninetales has few other viable move choices, although some can prove useful. Dark Pulse has more coverage than Extrasensory but its damage output never exceeds that of a STAB Fire Blast or Overheat. Grudge can be useful against walls and sweepers to drain the PP of one of their attacks. Calm Mind is also available, but Nasty Plot's +2 Special Attack boost is much more useful on a frail sweeper.

Checks and Counters

Chansey is by far the best counter to Ninetales; her massive Special Defense and HP stats make brute force from offensive sets useless, while her ability, Natural Cure, erases any status effects Ninetales would have hoped to inflict. In a similar vein, Altaria has no problem sponging special attacks from Ninetales, and boasts Natural Cure as well. Unlike Chansey, it can also KO Ninetales much faster with a super effective Earthquake. However, one must be wary of switching in Altaria after Ninetales gets a Nasty Plot boost; +2 Hidden Power Rock will 2HKO Altaria after Stealth Rock damage. Clefable can survive a +2 Life Orb Fire Blast from Ninetales and cripple it with paralysis, but must beware of Hypnosis and will have trouble damaging Ninetales significantly. Thick Fat Hariyama will also be able to overpower Ninetales.

Flash Fire Pokemon like Arcanine and Houndoom are also decent answers to Ninetales, especially the Choice Specs set once it has locked itself into a Fire- or Grass-type attack. Blaziken, too, is able to switch in with relative ease and immediately threaten Ninetales with Stone Edge or Superpower. Substitute + Roost Moltres can also handle Ninetales thanks to its ability to outstall the fox. However, Arcanine, Houndoom, and Moltres must be wary of Hidden Power Rock, while Blaziken must beware of Extrasensory. Bulky Water-types are generally good counters as they resist Fire, but they must watch out for a +2 Energy Ball. Milotic can absorb status very well (even better if it is a RestTalk variant), as can the lesser-seen Mantine, which deserves a special mention as it is one of the few UU Water-types that is neutral to Energy Ball while still resisting Fire Blast. Lanturn can also deal with an unboosted Ninetales extremely well, since it can 2HKO any variant after Stealth Rock and eliminate any status problems it might cause with Heal Bell.