QC: Goddess Briyella / macle / Corkscrew GP: Electrolyte / Legitimate Username Overview ######## Growlithe has access to a very useful ability, Intimidate, giving it a niche as a physical wall in Little Cup. Growlithe has a wonderful total of six resistances, including one to the now much more viable Steel-type. Growlithe also benefitted from Vulpix being allowed in the tier, amping up its Flare Blitz while also making its main recovery, Morning Sun, much more reliable. However, despite these great assets, there are a few flaws to Growlithe. It is susceptible to every single entry hazard, especially Stealth Rock, which strips off 25% of its health just by switching in. Growlithe is also outclassed as a physical attacker by Ponyta and Darumaka, while also being outclassed specially by Houndour. Growlithe also lacks a way to get through the very common Chinchou. Intimidate is also a double-edged sword, as it gives Defiant users +1 Attack instead of -1, which is quite an issue when Pawniard is one of the most common Pokemon in the tier. It also has issues getting past common physical setup sweepers such as Dwebble and Tirtouga thanks to their super effective STAB moves. Despite these flaws, Growlithe is a good physical wall in Little Cup. Physically Defensive ######## name: Physically Defensive move 1: Will-O-Wisp move 2: Flare Blitz move 3: Morning Sun move 4: Wild Charge ability: Intimidate item: Eviolite evs: 236 HP / 156 Def / 116 SpD nature: Impish Moves ======== With both Will-O-Wisp and Intimidate, Growlithe can be very difficult to take down on the physical side. Flare Blitz is Growlithe's main form of attacking, as it is decently powerful. Morning Sun allows Growlithe to recover health, being boosted in Sun; however, it can be shaky under other weathers. Wild Charge gets good coverage with Flare Blitz, hitting the things that Flare Blitz cannot, such as Water-types. Set Details ======== An Impish nature is preferred, as it gives Growlithe as much physical bulk as possible. The given EVs and nature allow Growlithe to reach 25 HP / 21 Def / 19 SpD after Eviolite, making it very bulky, especially when backed up by Intimidate. Eviolite is the item of choice here, as it gives Growlithe overall more longevity than Berry Juice. Eviolite also allows it to take hits, such as Staryu's Scald, much better. Usage Tips ======== Be sure to capitalize on Intimidate, as it is one of the few advantages to using Growlithe, especially when against Pokemon such as Meditite and Timburr. Never switch Growlithe in on a Pawniard or Inkay, as they will be given +1 Attack instead of -1, due to Defiant and Contrary, respectively. Growlithe is one of the greatest stops to the best cleric in the tier, Spritzee, as it resists its STAB Moonblast and can take its other attacks as well. Growlithe is best used after Water-types such as Chinchou and Frillish have been eliminated, as their STAB moves put an end to it. Growlithe should also watch out for other Fire-types, as they wall it to hell and back. As a true testament to Growlithe's bulk, it can avoid the 2HKO from Murkrow after Intimidate, truly emphasizing the great defenses of this little dog. Growlithe is a key stop to physical attackers and is a huge threat to them. However, Pokemon that commonly carry Knock Off are the bane of Growlithe, as it hates the removal of its precious Eviolite. Team Options ======== Chinchou makes for a great partner, as it can take on the Water- and Fire-types that give Growlithe trouble, while in return, Growlithe can handle the Grass-types that give Chinchou problems. Rapid Spin or Defog support is absolutely mandatory, as entry hazards chip away at Growlithe's health all too fast; two great candidates are Tentacool and Vullaby, the latter being especially good, as it can take on Ground-types; however, it will still be stacking weaknesses when paired with either of these. Spritzee has decent synergy with Growlithe, and can pass Wishes and keep it healthy with Heal Bell, something that Growlithe absolutely needs. Growlithe can form a devastating Intimidate core with Sraggy or Snubbull as a teammate. Vulpix increases the power of Growlithe's Flare Blitz and the healing of Morning Sun, but the two of them stack weaknesses. Most Grass-types also have good synergy with Growlithe, handling Water-, Ground-, and Rock-type Pokemon, with Growlithe taking on the Ice- and Bug-types that threaten Grass-types in return. Other Options ######## Growlithe's other ability, Flash Fire, is usable if your team is in absolute need of a way to stop Fire-types, but it is generally far less useful than Intimidate. Roar is an option to phaze opponents, although Growlithe already has issues fitting in all the moves it needs. It does, however, stop Torchic chains that can easily set up on Growlithe, which can come in handy. Flame Charge can aid in a sweep, boosting Growlithe's Speed, but Growlithe is a defensive Pokemon, not an offensive one. If it does choose to run Flame Charge, its set should consist of Flare Blitz / Flame Charge / Wild Charge / Close Combat. However, this is mostly outclassed by Ponyta, though Ponyta has more difficulty setting up, and unlike Growlithe, it lacks a way of getting past Rock-types. A Choice Band can bolster Growlithe's Attack, but this is better left to other Pokemon. Close Combat gets great coverage, but it lowers your defenses, which is not optimal. Howl is the only way Growlithe can boost its Attack, but the boost is often too small and hard to set up. A special attacking set has merit, but again, it is outclassed by other Pokemon. Fire Blast and Flamethrower are alternatives to Flare Blitz if you don't enjoy the recoil. Toxic turns Growlithe into a very nice stall Pokemon. Thief can steal Eviolites and Berry Juices if your item is lost to Knock Off. Sunny Day can can work as an alternative to Vulpix support, though it isn't worth the loss of a moveslot. Justified is an extremely situational ability, but it can net Growlithe +1 Attack for switching into Knock Off. Checks & Counters ######## **Sandstorm and Hail**: Sandstorm and hail both severely reduces the recovery of Morning Sun while also dealing chip damage, which Growlithe absolutely hates. However, Growlithe can somewhat beat Hippoppotas, as it hates the residual damage of Will-O-Wisp. It also hates the repeated hits it has to take, along with its weakened Earthquakes. **Numel**: Numel is very rare, but it is the best counter to Growlithe out there. It cannot be burned and is immune to or resistant to everything else Growlithe throws at it. **Bulky Water-types**: Chinchou, Frillish, and Slowpoke all wall Growlithe to infinity and back, taking next to nothing from its moves, not even Wild Charge. They can all retaliate with Scald and knock Growlithe out. **Timburr**: Timburr can wall Growlithe, as it does not mind Will-O-Wisp thanks to Guts. It doesn't really enjoy Intimidate, but it can still come in on Growlithe and take it on. Its powerful Drain Punches can easily decimate Growlithe, while also helping it heal off the damage from Flare Blitz. **Fire-types**: Fire-types are walled by Growlithe, however, it is also walled by them. This creates a stalemate between Growlithe and other Fire-types. **Munchlax**: Munchlax, especially RestTalk Munchlax, is a great counter to Growlithe. Thick Fat allows it to shrug off Flare Blitz, and it can recover from repeated hits and a burn thanks to Rest. It can take any of Growlithes moves, while slowly wearing it down in return. **Stealth Rock**: Stealth Rock, along with other entry hazards, leave Growlithe prone to being worn down, as it tends to switch a lot. Skeleton (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Skeleton (open) Skeleton (close) Overview ######## Pros: Intimidate gives it great Physical bulk A wonderful 6 resistances, with a huge resistance to Steel, a much more viable attacking type this generation. Has recovery that is now more reliable with Vulpix back in the tier Cons: A weakness to Stealth Rock, along with all other entry hazards. Outclassed as a Physical Attacker by Ponyta and Darumaka, while outclassed as a Special Attacker by Houndour. Lacks a way to get past Chinchou Struggles to switch into stuff such as Tirtouga and Pawniard, due to their typing and abilities respectively. Physically Defensive ######## name: Physically Defensive move 1: Will-O-Wisp move 2: Flare Blitz move 3: Morning Sun move 4: Wild Charge ability: Intimidate item: Eviolite evs: 236 HP / 156 Def / 116 SpD nature: Bold Moves ======== Will-O-Wisp gives Growlithe a niche as a very good defensive wall, crippling any Physical attacker with the combination of Will-O-Wisp + Intimidate. Flare Blitz hits decently powerfully and gives Growlithe a form of attacking. Morning Sun is Growlithe's form of recovery, being a little bit shaky with it relying on weather. Wild Charge gives good coverage alongside Flare Blitz, nailing the Water-types that resist Flare Blitz. Set Details ======== Calm give Growlithe maximum Special Bulk as possible, as with Will-O-Wisp + Intimidate taking care of the physical side, you don't need to run Impish. The EVs allow Growlithe to reach stats of 22 HP / 19 Def / 22 SpD in conjunction with Eviolite, backed up by Intimidate, making it very bulky. Eviolite is optimal over Berry Juice as Growlithe has recovery. Usage Tips ======== Be sure to make full use of Intimidate, switching into Pokemon like Meditite and Timburr. Don't switch in Growlithe on Pawniard or Inkay, as it will give both of them a +1 to Attack, instead of a -1 Attack. Growlithe can go toe to toe with the best Cleric in the tier, Spritzee, as it only commonly carries Moonblast, which Growlithe resists. Growlithe serves best after Water-types, especially Chinchou, are removed from the battle, as Growlithe is outsped and KOed by most of them. Other Fire-types wall Growlithe as well, and most can set up on it. With the given EVs, Growlithe can avoid the 2HKO from Murkrow after Intimidate, a testament to its bulk. Growlithe can take on a ton of Physical Pokemon, such as Meditite, while being a threat to them. Fire now walls Fairy, meaning it can take on Non-Surf Swirlix and Spritzees. It hates Knock Off, try and keep it away from any Pokemon that commonly carry it. Team Options ======== Chinchou makes a great partner, as it can take on the Water-types that give Growlithe trouble, while also taking on Fire-types which Growlithe can't touch, while Growlithe in return can handle Grass-types that give Growlithe problem. Rapid Spin or Defog support is vital, two prime candidates for these are Tentacool and Vullaby, Vullaby in particular is great as it can handle the Ground-types that give Growlithe problems, but they both share a Rock weakness. Staryu is another good spinner that has great synergy with Growlithe. Heal Bell and Wish support is greatly appreciated, as it will be switching a lot, a great partner is Spritzee, who has decent synergy with Growlithe. Combining Growlithe with Snubbull or Scraggy forms a devastating combination of double Intimidates, softening up any Physical attackers a lot. Vulpix is a good partner, as it powers up Growlithe's Flare Blitz for it and making Morning Sun recover even more, but it does however stack weaknesses. Most Grass-types also get good synergy, handling Water-, Ground-, and Rock-type Pokemon, while Growlithe can take on the Ice- and Bug-types that threaten Grass-types in return. Other Options ######## Flash Fire can be used if you are desperate for a way to stop Fire-types, but it generally isn't worth it. Roar can phase opponents, but Growlithe struggles for moveslots as it is, and every move is vital, it does have a niche of stopping Torchic chains, which are easily set up against Growlithe. Flame Charge can boost its Speed to attempt a sweep, but its niche is being defensive, not offensive, if it chooses to run this set, it should run Flame Charge / Flare Blitz / Wild Charge / Close Combat, but it is mostly outclassed by Ponyta, but Groqlithe has a niche of being able to set up much easier thanks to Intimidate, and it has Close Combat to get through Rock-types, which Ponyta cannot do. A Choice Band set has some merit, as it does turn Growlithe into a fearsome attacker, but that is better left to other Pokemon. Close Combat gets great coverage, but it isn't optimal as it lowers your defenses. Howl is Growlithe's only way to boost its Attack, but it often isn't worth it. A Special set could be used, but again, it is outclassed by something else, and Growlithe has a tiny Special movepool. Fire Blast and Flamethrower can be used as alternatives to Flare Blitz, as Growlithe doesn't enjoy recoil too much. Toxic can be used on a stallier set. Thief can be used to steal opponent's items if they choose to Knock Off Growlithe's precious Eviolite. Sunny Day can give its Flare Blitz a lot more power and its Morning Sun a lot more healing, but it isn't worth a moveslot most of the time. Justified has a small niche of getting a +1 for switching in to a Knock Off. Checks & Counters ######## Sand removes its recovery and leaves it prone to being worn down, as does Hail. While obscure, Numel is the best counter to Growlithe, as Growlithe cannot do anything at all too it. Bulky Water-types and Chinchou completely ruin Growlithe Most Special attackers can come in on a Will-O-Wisp and KO Growlithe. Hippopotas is a check at best, as it hates the residual damage of Will-O-Wisp, but it can set up all over Growlithe. Timburr doesn't mind Burn thanks to Guts, so it can switch in and get a boost with ease. Gligar can outspeed and KO, but it, like Hippopotas, doesn't like being burned. Other Fire-types wall it, but Growlithe can wall them in return, so it is pretty much a stalemate. RestTak Munchlax heals off Will-O-Wisp, and with Thick Fat takes nothing from any of Growlithe's other moves. Stealth Rock, along with the other hazards, leave Growlithe prone to being worn down quickly.