Ponyta's lacking movepool and illegal move combinations really hold it back from its potential to become a devastating sweeper. Ponyta would definitely benefit from a larger selection of attacks, but it does have a few decent moves it can use to make use of its excellent offensive stats, most notably Flare Blitz. Possessing a lightning-fast base 90 Speed makes Ponyta one of the fastest Fire-types in LC (Magby can tie it), and its fabulous base 85 Attack makes it the most powerful Fire-type available, especially once it fires off death-inducing Flare Blitz attacks. Even though Ponyta's attack choices are greatly hindered, it should never be looked down upon, since this blazing pony might just cause the opponent to go up in flames.
Ponyta's small movepool really hinders this set's effectiveness, but it should never be looked down upon because of this. Even though Ponyta lacks strong physical attacks, this flaming pony still has potential to become a very dangerous threat on the field with its fantastic base 90 Speed and high base 85 Attack.
With a Choice Band, Flare Blitz becomes one of the strongest attacks in LC, having enough power to OHKO defensively frail Pokemon like Aipom and Gastly. If Ponyta gets the chance to activate its Flash Fire ability and is carrying a Choice Band, Flare Blitz becomes ridiculously powerful, having enough power to actually 2HKO the standard wall Munchlax even when it has consumed its Oran Berry. Return becomes Ponyta's second strongest attacking option due to its lackluster movepool, but it's definitely a great attack to use against Pokemon who resist Ponyta's Flare Blitz. Iron Tail hits the Rock-types that will love to switch in on Ponyta to absorb Flare Blitz or Return, such as Geodude and Onix. Lastly, Double Kick is a great attack to use against Pokemon like Kabuto, Houndour, Munchlax, and Shieldon for super effective damage.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Ponyta is a great candidate for utilizing Choice Scarf thanks to its excellent Attack and respectable Special Attack. With Choice Scarf and a neutral Speed nature, Ponyta reaches 27 Speed, tying at worst with Choice Scarf Gastly, while outrunning Pokemon such as Choice Scarf Houndour, making Ponyta a potent revenge killer.
Flare Blitz is your main STAB move, forcing out Pokemon such as Bronzor, Snover, and Oddish, while dealing an immense amount of damage to the majority of other Pokemon who reside in Little Cup. Hidden Power Grass is an absolute necessity, as without it, Ponyta is walled by Rock-types such as Kabuto and Omanyte. With Hidden Power Grass, Ponyta can OHKO both of the aforementioned Pokemon, making it an excellent move to use on this set. With Overheat, Ponyta can strike the Pokemon who come in expecting a physical attack, only to be scorched by a blazing Overheat. With Return, Ponyta can dish out respectable amounts of damage to the Pokemon who resist the combination of Fire- and Grass-type moves, such as Houndour, who can come in on Ponyta's Fire-type attacks due to its ability, Flash Fire. Return also has the additional benefit of hitting Munchlax, who resists Flare Blitz and Overheat due to its ability, Thick Fat. Hypnosis is an alternate move choice over Return, as it gives Ponyta the opportunity to possibly put an opponent to sleep. However, Hypnosis's unreliable 60% accuracy makes it a risky option, making Return the superior choice.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
With an excellent base 85 Attack, a lighting fast base 90 Speed, a respectable base 65 Special Attack stat coupled with decent defenses, Ponyta can act as a fluent mixed sweeper, capable of dealing an immense amount of damage to most Pokemon who reside in Little Cup. This set allows Ponyta to act as an eloquent sweeper without the restrictions that Choice Scarf and Choice Band hold on it, while maintaining the power needed to score certain KOs when equipped with Life Orb, which Ponyta would otherwise miss out on without the power boost provided by Life Orb.
Fire Blast is Ponyta's main STAB move for this set, causing respectable amounts of damage to most Pokemon, scorching Pokemon such as Bronzor, Paras, Magnemite, Snover, and Treecko. Hidden Power Grass complements Fire Blast by hitting Rock-types such as Rhyhorn and Onix and Water-types such as Wooper who try to absorb Fire Blast. Quick Attack is incredibly useful, as it can pick off weakened adversaries. Coming from Ponyta's high Attack stat and further boosted by Life Orb, Quick Attack can be used to dispose of faster Pokemon with ease, making Ponyta a great revenge killer and a check against fast frail threats like Elekid and Diglett. Return gives Ponyta a more powerful Normal-type attack, allowing it to deal consistent damage to Pokemon who resist Fire Blast and have lopsided defenses, such as Mantyke.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Ponyta is seen as a very fast sweeper thanks to its very high base 90 Speed, but why would one want to use Agility on something that is already fast? The reason is because after an Agility boost, Ponyta reaches an insanely high Speed stat of 32, allowing it to outpace practically everything in the LC metagame. It's definitely a force to be reckoned with because of its excellent offensive stats and a high-powered STAB Flare Blitz.
Sadly, Ponyta really lacks a good movepool to make use of its great offensive stats. For this reason, this set will be taking advantage of both special and physical attacks, making it more effective as a sweeper. Flare Blitz is the main choice in the means of a strong, high-powered STAB attack, and can easily decimate Pokemon who are defensively frail, like Meowth. Ponyta becomes devastatingly powerful with Flare Blitz if it has the chance to switch into a Fire-type attack to activate its Flash Fire ability, skyrocketing its power. Double Kick is a nice attack to put the hurt on Houndour and Munchlax, the former always trying to switch into a Flare Blitz to boost its own Fire-type attacks, while the latter resisting Flare Blitz and retaliating back with Earthquake. Either Hidden Power type is used for more type coverage and hitting things that cause Ponyta trouble super effectively. Gligar doesn't mind switching into Ponyta because of its excellent physical defense and can easily threaten Ponyta with Earthquake, making Hidden Power Ice a primary option to avoid this problem. Not only does it get rid of the flying scorpion, but it hits other Ground-types super effectively, as many of them boast high Defense and won't mind switching into Ponyta's physical attacks at all, like Hippopotas. On the other hand, Hidden Power Grass hits Water-types that will attempt to absorb Flare Blitz, like Chinchou, and also hits the aforementioned Ground-types super effectively. So it's really up to personal preference, if you want Gligar out of the picture or the Water-types that can cause a bit of problems.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
With access to status-inducing moves such as Will-O-Wisp, Hypnosis, and Toxic, Ponyta can effectively pull off a double-status set reasonably well. With Ponyta's blistering Speed, it can quickly put a foe to sleep then burn or poison the incoming Pokemon with Will-O-Wisp or Toxic, respectively. Ponyta's common switch-ins like Onix, Rhyhorn, and Kabuto, absolutely hate being poisoned or burned, making Toxic and Will-O-Wisp respectable options for wearing down and crippling the aforementioned Pokemon.
Double-Edge is an alternative over Return to hit Pokemon who resist Fire-type attacks harder, but the recoil damage makes it an unattractive choice considering the other passive damage Ponyta is usually already suffering. Flamethrower is a reliable option over Fire Blast if you dislike the imperfect accuracy that Fire Blast has. Flamethrower's perfect accuracy could be the difference between winning and losing a game. Keep in mind that Ponyta really appreciates the extra power that Fire Blast provides.
Overheat is an alternative over Fire Blast on mixed attacking sets. Overheat has a slightly higher Base Power than Fire Blast, making it a viable option. On Choiced sets, Fire Blast is usually preferred over Overheat as Overheat will force you to switch out on the following turn due to the Special Attack drop, meaning Ponyta will take more damage from Stealth Rock the next time it comes back in. Fire Blast also deals more damage than Overheat over the course of two turns, making it the superior option for sweeping. Flame Wheel is an option over Flare Blitz on physical attacking sets if you dislike the recoil damage given from Flare Blitz. Also, if you use Flame Wheel, you are then able to use Quick Attack as it isn't an illegal move combination, unlike Flare Blitz and Quick Attack.
With Sunny Day support, Ponyta makes for a rather effective SunnyBeam user. SolarBeam gives Ponyta a more powerful Grass-type attack to hit Rock- and Water-types with. Sunny Day also powers up Ponyta's main Fire-type moves of Flare Blitz and Fire Blast to phenomenal levels, making them extremely dangerous attacks. Despite having low PP, Bounce can be used to strike Fighting-types such as Machop super effectively. Bounce's 30% chance to inflict paralysis may also come in handy as well, making it a decent option on most sets.
Checks and Counters
Ponyta's lackluster movepool leaves it with slightly poor coverage, opening it up to a number of counters. Not to mention that it's terrible Stealth Rock weakness can be used to your advantage. Bulky Pokemon are capable of withstanding moves that Ponyta throws at them, and can retaliate back with a KO. Munchlax, Onix, Hippopotas, Chinchou, and Mantyke are prime examples of Pokemon who can counter Ponyta because of their great bulk and having moves that hit Ponyta super effectively.
Omanyte and Kabuto boast a 4x resistance towards Fire-type moves, allowing them to destroy Ponyta with Surf and Aqua Jet, respectively. It should be noted that the former should be wary of Hidden Power Grass, and the latter as well on the switch. Strong priority users like Houndour and Buizel can definitely be seen as potential revenge killers. Houndour can switch into Ponyta's Fire-type attacks to activate Flash Fire, while still being able to KO Ponyta with Sucker Punch. Buizel's Fire-type resist gives it many opportunities to switch into Ponyta and threatening it with a deadly Aqua Jet.