QC Checks: Limitless, Calloflochie, Royalty GP Checks: horyzhnz, Calm Pokemaster Overview ####### Darmanitan, in a nutshell, is an utter powerhouse. Thanks to its extremely high base 140 Attack stat and access to Sheer Force, Darmanitan's attacks hit extremely hard, especially Flare Blitz. A large HP stat complements this very well, as it allows Darmanitan to use Flare Blitz more often. Darmanitan also has a good base 95 Speed, which in conjunction with U-Turn and a possible Choice Scarf allows it to gain momentum for its team extremely easily. It works well as a revenge killer with a Choice Scarf and can even function as an extremely powerful attacker with a Life Orb or Choice Band. These many pros make Darmanitan one of the most feared Fire-types in the tier and a threat everyone must prepare for during teambuilding. However, Darmanitan does have quite a few noticeable flaws. The first is its absolutely terrible bulk, meaning that Darmanitan can almost never switch directly into an attack, even a resisted one. Darmanitan's Fire typing gives it a weakness to Stealth Rock, which when combined with Flare Blitz recoil and possible Life Orb recoil can make it go down quite early in the game. Darmanitan also faces a huge deal of competition from Victini, which has more potential sets, a non-recoil inducing STAB move, better bulk, higher Speed, and a way to beat Water-types in Energy Ball. However, Darmanitan's powerful and spammable Flare Blitz will always give it an edge as one of the most powerful and feared Pokemon in the tier. Choice Scarf ######### name: Choice Scarf move 1: Flare Blitz move 2: U-turn move 3: Rock Slide move 4: Superpower ability: Sheer Force item: Choice Scarf evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe nature: Jolly / Adamant Moves ======= Flare Blitz is Darmanitan's STAB attack, which is extremely powerful when you consider that latter's large Attack stat and Sheer Force. U-turn is used to allow Darmanitan to gain momentum, and it is also great for picking off weakened threats. Rock Slide is Darmanitan's main way to hit opposing Fire-types, something that would otherwise give it trouble. Superpower is used in the last slot to hit Steel-types which take neutral damage from Flare Blitz, such as Empoleon. Earthquake can be used over Superpower if the Attack drop is found to be annoying, though it is weaker, and being Choice-locked into Earthquake is something an opponent can easily take advantage of. Set Details ========== Choice Scarf is the item of choice for this set as it makes Darmanitan extremely fast, allowing it to take out otherwise faster threats. Sheer Force is the best ability for Darmanitan, as it gives a 30% boost to Flare Blitz and Rock Slide. Maximum Attack and Speed are used to make Darmanitan as powerful and fast as possible, while 4 Special Defense EVs makes sure it doesn't give Pokemon with the ability Download a Special Attack boost. A Jolly nature is used to further increase Darmantian's Speed and make it as fast as possible. An Adamant nature can also be used for more power, but Darmanitan then loses to other Choice Scarf users, such as Krookodile, Porygon-Z, Nidoking, and Heracross. Usage Tips ========= U-turn will be the move Darmanitan usually uses most, even more than Flare Blitz, as it allows Darmanitan to easily gain momentum for its team. As such, if you predict a switch into one of Darmanitan's counters, don't be afraid to go for U-turn. It is best to try and have Stealth Rock and Spikes off the field at all times, as they can easily wear Darmanitan down. Finally, with a Choice Scarf, Darmanitan is a great revenge killer, and as such should be used to revenge kill faster threats. Team Options ============ Rapid Spin or Defog support is necessary, as Darmanitan is prone to being worn down by Stealth Rock. Good users of the move include Starmie, Flygon, Mega Blastoise, Crobat, Mew, and Mega Aerodactyl. Pokemon with U-turn and Volt Switch such as Mienshao, Raikou, Flygon, and Noivern can help keep up offensive pressure and momentum. Grass-types such as Roserade and Shaymin can deal with the Water- and Rock-type Pokemon which resist Darmanitan's STAB. Roserade can also set up Spikes for Darmanitan, allowing it to more easily net KOs. Electric-types such as Raikou can also threaten Water-types and keep momentum up with Volt Switch. Finally, Chesnaught and Hippowdon are helpful partners which can absorb the Ground- and Rock-type moves Darmanitan hates. Wallbreaker ############# name: Wallbreaker move 1: Flare Blitz move 2: U-turn move 3: Rock Slide move 4: Superpower / Earthquake ability: Sheer Force item: Life Orb / Choice Band evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe nature: Jolly Moves ====== Flare Blitz is Darmanitan's main STAB attack, and it is very powerful with Sheer Force and its high base Attack stat. U-turn is a great move for gaining momentum and can also be used to pick off weakened threats. Rock Slide is Darmanitan's best option against Fire-types, and it is also boosted by Sheer Force. Superpower is used to hit Steel-types who take neutral damage from Flare Blitz, such as Empoleon. Earthquake is another option over Superpower if the Attack drop is found to be annoying, although it's weaker. It's also easy for the opponent to take advantage of Earthquake if you decide to run a Choice Band. Set Details ========== Life Orb is a great item for Darmanitan, which takes no Life Orb recoil due to Sheer Force, and it makes its attacks even more powerful. A Choice Band set can also be used for extreme power; it does 60% to Slowbro, a common answer to Darmanitan. However, Darmanitan is very prone to being worn down, something that isn't very good for a wallbreaker. Sheer Force is the best ability, as it boosts the power of both Flare Blitz and Rock Slide. Maximum Attack and Speed are used to make Darmanitan as fast and as powerful as possible, while 4 Special Defense EVs ensures that Darmanitan doesn't give Pokemon with the ability Download a Special Attack boost. A Jolly nature makes Darmanitan as fast as possible, something needed when not running a Choice Scarf. Usage Tips ========== Because Sheer Force negates Life Orb recoil on moves that have secondary effects, Darmanitan can bluff a Choice Scarf as long as it doesn't use U-turn, Earthquake, or Superpower, or switch moves on the Life Orb set. Choice Band can also allow Darmanitan to do this, but your opponent will usually notice it's Choice Banded after it fires off its first Flare Blitz. Stealth Rock and Spikes are great at wearing Darmanitan down, and as such they should be kept off the field as much as possible. U-turn is great for gaining momentum, so don't be afraid to use it if you predict a switch into one of Darmanitan's counters. Life Orb and Choice Band Darmanitan are powerful attackers, so try to dish out as much damage as possible before Darmanitan faints. Team Options ============ Rapid Spin or Defog support is necessary in order to keep Darmanitan alive for extended periods of time. Good users of the move include Starmie, Flygon, Mega Blastoise, Crobat, Mew, and Mega Aerodactyl. Pokemon with U-turn and Volt Switch, such as Mienshao, Raikou, Flygon, and Noivern, are also helpful partners, as they can keep up offensive pressure and momentum. Grass-types such as Roserade and Shaymin make great partners, as they can deal with Water- and Rock-type Pokemon for Darmanitan. Roserade can also set up Spikes, allowing Darmanitan to wallbreak more easily. Electric-types such as Raikou can threaten Water-types while also gaining momentum with Volt Switch. Sticky Web support from the likes of Smeargle and Galvantula can be very helpful against faster teams. Finally, Pokemon such as Chesnaught and Hippowdon can also help absorb Rock- and Ground-type moves for Darmanitan. Other Options ########### Darmanitan has a few other options that aren't mentioned. Fire Punch is another STAB move that is boosted by Sheer Force and has no recoil, but it's so much weaker to the point where it usually isn't worth it. Will-O-Wisp can be used to cripple physical attackers, but Darmanitan has trouble taking hits from even burned attackers, and it usually has better things to be doing. Belly Drum can be used, and if Darmanitan is set up, it has the ability to sweep teams. However, Darmanitan's terrible bulk and reliance on Flare Blitz make this hard to pull off. Finally, while Zen Mode may seem appealing, it's very hard to get Darmanitan to 50% health, and even if you do, its Zen Mode form is usually outclassed by Victini. Checks & Counters ############### **Bulky Water-types**: Bulky Water-types easily give Darmanitan the most trouble, as they resist Darmanitan's STAB, and Darmanitan has no way to hit them super effectively. Good examples include Suicune, Swampert, Vaporeon, and Gastrodon. **Bulky Rock-types**: Bulky Rock-type Pokemon, such as Rhyperior, can take most of Darmanitan's moves quite easily. They must be careful of Superpower or Earthquake, however. **Fast Attackers**: Fast attackers such as Mega Aerodactyl, Flygon, Mienshao, and Starmie have no problem OHKOing Darmanitan with their STAB attacks. Non-Choice Scarf variants must be wary of Choice Scarf Darmanitan, however. **Stealth Rock**: Stealth Rock slowly wears down Darmanitan's health throughout the match. Good users of the move include Mega Aggron, Swampert, Rhyperior, Donphan, and Forretress. **Priority**: Priority attacks from the likes of Honchkrow and Entei have no trouble picking off a weakened Darmanitan.