Darmanitan

Sheer Force
Increases power of moves with secondary effects by 30%, but removes the effects.
Zen Mode
The wielder changes forme when below 50% of its max HP.
Type
Fire
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
105
- 351 414 -
Atk
140
284 316 379 416
Def
55
131 146 209 229
SpA
30
86 96 159 174
SpD
55
131 146 209 229
Spe
95
203 226 289 317

Overview

Darmanitan is one of the most overlooked threats in the 5th generation. It has a great HP stat, decent Speed, and an absolutely massive base 140 Attack. Its ability, Sheer Force, boosts its strongest STAB move, Flare Blitz, to such unbelievable heights that when aided by sun, it can 2HKO nearly everything in the metagame. Why, then, has Darmanitan seen such little use in the Dream World metagame? First of all, its Fire typing, while indispensable offensively, hampers it very much defensively. If Stealth Rock is down, it loses at least 25% of health by just switching in. Although its HP stat is great, its only purpose is to help Darmanitan take more recoil damage from Flare Blitz, as Darmanitan's 55 / 55 defenses make switching in safely almost impossible. Its base 95 Speed stat, while decent, is just below the benchmark set by the numerous offensive powerhouses present in the metagame (namely Genesect, Haxorus, Salamence, Keldeo, Garchomp, and Terrakion), requiring Darmanitan to use a Choice Scarf to bypass these threats. Don't let these flaws discourage you from using Darmanitan, however, as with Drought support, Darmanitan can rip through entire teams, leaving the bloody entrails of even those who resist its Flare Blitz in its wake.

Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf Sheer Force Adamant / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Flare Blitz
~ Earthquake
~ U-turn
~ Rock Slide / Superpower
252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

This is Darmanitan's most effective set, packing enough Speed to outpace the most important threats of the unboosted metagame. Flare Blitz is the most important move in Darmanitan's repertoire, annihilating threats that don't resist it (and even some that do!), making it nearly impossible to switch into. The other moves on this set serve only to make way for Darmanitan to sweep with Flare Blitz unhindered. Earthquake dismantles Flash Fire Pokemon, most importantly Heatran. U-turn is important to scout for said Pokemon, in case they are holding an Air Balloon. It is also great for breaking Sturdy users and holders of Focus Sash, allowing you to switch in a counter and take them out. Rock Slide punches through +1 Dragonite's Multiscale, forcing it to use ExtremeSpeed if it hopes to stop Darmanitan. Superpower is mainly filler, but it can take care of Air Balloon Heatran, who could otherwise switch in on Darmanitan with impunity.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

With its massive Attack stat and excellent coverage, Darmanitan is capable of running an all-out attacking set with a Life Orb or even a Choice Band. However, base 95 Speed is surprisingly low in the Dream World metagame, with common threats such as the very Pokemon that Choice Scarf lets Darmanitan outspeed being able to handle Darmanitan with ease. Choice Scarf really is Darmanitan's saving grace and should be the primary consideration when using it. Finally, don't even let the words "Zen Mode" enter your mind, as the lack of Sheer Force and appreciable Speed make life extremely difficult, especially when it must be at 50% health to function.

Checks and Counters

On the flip-side of Darmanitan's amazing firepower comes its overall frailty. Any Pokemon who can outspeed Darmanitan is almost guaranteed to defeat it. Powerful Choice Scarf users such as Terrakion can easily outspeed it and OHKO with whatever attack it pleases. Due to Darmanitan's Fire typing, Stealth Rock really impedes its ability to switch in over and over. Tyranitar is great for this role, simultaneously bringing in sand and covering up the sun that Darmanitan desperately needs to sweep. Furthermore, Excadrill outspeeds Darmanitan in the sand and has no trouble OHKOing it with Earthquake. Rain is not a pretty environment for Darmanitan either, neutering its most powerful attack. Bulky Politoed has little problem switching into Darmanitan's attacks and forcing it to switch out. Making Darmanitan's Speed a non-issue is also a sure-fire way to stop it. Priority Thunder Wave from Thundurus goes a long way, but it has trouble switching into Darmanitan and may not be worth the sacrifice.