[Overview] <p>With the re-emergence of the rest of the 491 Pokemon in the VGC 2012 metagame, Heatran looks to establish itself as the premier Fire-type Pokemon. Unfortunately, with the omnipresence of Fighting-, Water-, and Ground-type attacks, along with Heatran's low Speed stat, it is easily knocked around like a pinball in a pinball machine. This problem is made worse with an increase in hyper offensive playstyles, coupled with hard-hitting attacks present in the metagame. However, Heatran's tendency to get slapped around doesn't take away from the fact that it possesses two of the best Fire-type attacks in this metagame; Heat Wave and Eruption. It has a phenomenal Special Attack stat that will punch through anything, given the right opportunity. If you're willing to gamble on this glass cannon, it will yield huge dividends.</p> [SET] name: Attacker move 1: Heat Wave / Eruption move 2: Earth Power move 3: Hidden Power Ice move 4: Protect item: Shuca Berry / Chople Berry ability: Flash Fire nature: Modest / Quiet evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>With Heatran's sky-high Special Attack, Heat Wave and Eruption have the potential to knock out both opponents in one shot, or at least deal massive damage to those who don't resist, or are immune to Fire-type attacks. Heat Wave is a safer bet; with Heatran's tendency to get hit for massive damage, Heat Wave will consistently hit opponents for significant damage. However, Eruption is the high-risk, high-reward option, which allows Heatran to engulf its opponents in flames straight from hell. One must note, though, that Eruption will get steadily weaker as Heatran’s HP drops. Earth Power gives Heatran an option to hit opposing Fire- and Rock-types, who would otherwise take little damage from Heat Wave and even Eruption. Hidden Power Ice allows Heatran to hit opposing Dragon-types—who resist Fire—super effectively, whereas Protect allows Heatran to defend itself from super effective attacks.</p> [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] <p>Shuca Berry is used to partially neutralize Ground-type attacks aimed at Heatran; however, as Heatran possesses a 4x weakness to Ground-type attacks, there is still the possibility that Heatran will be KOed. Chople Berry can also be used to neutralize powerful Fighting-type attacks that are popular in this metagame. 252 Special Attack EVs ensure Heatran hits its opponents as hard as possible, while 252 Speed EVs allow Heatran to be as fast as possible. The 4 leftover EVs are then placed into HP to give Heatran little bit of extra bulk. On the note of natures, if using Eruption, Heatran must run a Quiet nature; otherwise, Heatran is free to run whatever nature it wants. A Modest nature is recommended to further boost Heatran's Special Attack.</p> <p>Heatran greatly appreciates Helping Hand support in conjunction with Heat Wave and Eruption. Cresselia, Dusclops, and Dusknoir can all provide Helping Hand, allowing Heatran to achieve KOs with its spread moves, when it otherwise could not. Furthermore, all three of these Pokemon can also use Trick Room, allowing Heatran to either run a set with the lowest Speed stat as possible, or still operate under regular conditions by negating opposing Trick Room. Psychic-type attacks are well appreciated with the plethora of Fighting-types that lurk in every corner of VGC 2012. With the popularity of rain teams, Zapdos, as well as other Electric- and Grass-types, will be appreciated. Ninetales can also help get rid of rain and put in place more friendly conditions that Heatran can take advantage of. Finally, Sableye may seem like an odd choice, but it has access to priority Will-O-Wisp that boosts Heatran’s Fire-type attacks, courtesy of Flash Fire, as well as Fake Out, that lends Heatran a free turn to do whatever it wants.</p> [Other Options] <p>With its slow Speed stat, Heatran greatly appreciates Tailwind support, which Latios, Zapdos and other such Pokemon can provide. On the other side of the spectrum, if using Trick Room, it is recommended that you use a 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD spread on Heatran, a Speed hindering nature, and 2 Speed IVs (in order to achieve a 70 Base Power Hidden Power). Fire Gem can also work well, giving Heatran a much stronger Fire-type Attack for one turn. Air Balloon can be used to give Heatran immunity to Ground-type attacks; be warned, however, that it should only be used if you are planning to lead with Heatran, as switching it in on an off-chance attack ruins Heatran’s advantage.</p> <p>As for alternative move choices, Dragon Pulse can be a much more effective option to hit Dragon-types over Hidden Power Ice. Heatran can also opt to run Will-O-Wisp to burn the Fighting-types that will inevitably switch into it. Substitute may be a nice option, especially when your opponents will undoubtedly be using Protect against Heatran’s super effective attacks, giving Heatran plenty of opportunities to set up. Overheat can work as an alternative over Heat Wave and Eruption, hitting one opponent for massive amounts of damage. Since switching is very difficult in this metagame, Overheat will maim Heatran afterwards, lowering its Special Attack stat by two stages. Finally, Explosion can be used as a surprise, dealing final blows to its enemies, while Heatran sacrifices itself. </p> [Checks and Counters] <p>Since Fighting-types are a staple on most VGC teams, it’s not very hard to counter Heatran. Hitmontop can employ either Mach Punch, or Close Combat to quickly dispose of Heatran, and so can most other Fighting-types. Tyranitar also walls most of Heatran’s attacks, with the exception of Hidden Power Ice and Earth Power. However, as sandstorm boosts Tyranitar's Special Defense, it usually does not take as much damage from Heatran as one would expect, and it can KO back with a Low Kick or Earthquake. Rain teams also wall Heatran, with the rain neutralizing Heatran’s STAB Fire-type attacks. One must beware of the rare Explosion, however, as it can still deal severe damage to any rain team. Yache Berry Garchomp can survive a Hidden Power Ice and fire back an Earthquake to dispose of Heatran quickly. Finally, Gyarados is probably the supreme Heatran counter, only needing to watch out for Will-O-Wisp, while taking little to no damage from Heatran’s attacks. It even has the added advantage of neutralizing Heatran’s Explosion through Intimidate.</p> [Dream World] Heatran receives Flame Body as its Dream World ability; needless to say, Flash Fire is an infinitely better ability, giving Heatran an immunity and the ability to power up its Fire-type attacks, while Flame Body provides no benefit whatsoever, exposing Heatran to Fire-type attacks, while giving the small chance to burn physical attackers, who would normally KO Heatran anyways, due to Heatran's crippling weakness to Fighting- and Ground-type attacks.