Overview ######## Ninetales might appear to be outclassed by Mega Charizard Y as a weather setter, but Ninetales has the advantages of holding a Heat Rock and not using up your team's Mega Evolution slot, opening up team options and providing longer-lasting weather to utilize. Being one of the only two Pokemon in OU with access to Drought, Ninetales is in an awkward position, as outside of the previously mentioned advantages, it has nothing significant to boast about. It has a shallow, albeit usable, movepool, relatively mediocre stats, and a weakness to Stealth Rock. Additionally, with the new limitations to Drought, Ninetales's survival is harder to maintain and more important than before. SubSplit ######## name: SubSplit move 1: Flamethrower move 2: Will-O-Wisp / Toxic move 3: Substitute move 4: Pain Split ability: Drought item: Heat Rock evs: 248 HP / 8 SpA / 252 Spe nature: Timid Moves ======== Flamethrower is the STAB move of choice, possessing respectable power in sun and perfect accuracy. The second slot is a toss-up between Will-O-Wisp and Toxic. Will-O-Wisp burns physical attackers, providing an indirect buff to Ninetales's Defense and wearing down the opponent. However, Toxic hits threats that are immune to Will-O-Wisp, such as Mega Charizard X, Volcarona, and Talonflame, effectively crippling them. Substitute is used primarily to scout the opponent and block status at minimal risk. Pain Split gives Ninetales a method of recovering HP lost to Substitutes. It is somewhat unreliable, but can cripple an opponent and give Ninetales a cushion of health to work with for longer. Set Details ======== The given EVs and nature allows Ninetales to Speed tie with base 100 Speed Pokemon such as Mega Charizard X, Salamence, Mega Medicham, Staraptor, and Volcarona and outspeed Kyurem-B, Tyranitar, Dragonite, and Gyarados. Usage Tips ======== Substitute is a great move for scouting Tyranitar as well as other Pokemon that are likely to take advantage of Ninetales. Ninetales can throw out a Substitute on an anticipated switch-in and proceed to safely status the opponent. Pokemon like Kyurem-B or Tyranitar will be unable to get past the Substitute without getting burned, and more defensive Pokemon such as Hippowdon or Politoed can be crippled by Toxic. This set doesn't mind Stealth Rock as much as the RestTalk set, but try to keep the field clear of entry hazards. Pain Split works very well with Substitute, as it reduces Ninetales's HP in a safe way, allowing you to take a safe turn to Pain Split if required. Pokemon with Infiltrator don't care about Substitute and most of them will outspeed Ninetales, leading to a complete waste of HP if they switch in on Ninetales using Substitute. Team Options ======== Ninetales is an integral part of any team based around sun, which makes proper team support mandatory. A Rapid Spin or Defog user is essential due to Ninetales's lack of reliable recovery and weakness to entry hazards. Forretress, Mandibuzz, and Latias are all great choices for this role. Latias deserves a special mention, as it can potentially eliminate some of the faster threats to Ninetales, such as Salamence, Dragonite, Garchomp, Goodra, Terrakion, Mega Charizard X, and Kyurem-B, provided they haven't boosted their Speed. Keep in mind that many of those Pokemon commonly carry a Choice Scarf, so additional caution is advised. Dragonite, Salamence, and Mega Charizard X may also use Dragon Dance on a switch, so you need to catch it before that. Latias also has access to Healing Wish, which may grant a vital team member a second chance. There is no point in using Ninetales without Pokemon to exploit the sunlight it exists for, and as such, Venusaur and Mega Venusaur make for great partners. They share no common weakness with Ninetales, and Mega Venusaur is neutral to Fire- and Ice-type moves. Venusaur is a threatening Chlorophyll sweeper, while Mega Venusaur is an incredibly bulky Pokemon with access to powerful attacks. Mega Charizard X, Talonflame, and Volcarona all make for fantastic sun sweepers. With sunlight boosting their already frightening Fire-type STAB moves to absurd levels along with their access to great boosting moves, they become terrifying sweepers once set-up. As Ninetales possesses a myriad of checks and counters, one must also consider team options to mitigate Ninetales's numerous weaknesses. Heatran is gifted with a great defensive typing and stats, immunity to Fire-type moves, and powerful Fire-type attacks in sunlight. Heatran shares a weakness to Ground-type moves with Ninetales, but can take many physical attacks that Ninetales cannot. Dugtrio can trap and KO a weakened threat such as Tyranitar that greatly hinders sunlight, destroy Heatran and dish out moderate damage to Goodra and Blissey. Fighting-type Pokemon such as Terrakion, Infernape, and Mega Lucario are all good choices to check threats such as Tyranitar, Heatran, Blissey, and Goodra. Mega Charizard Y and Mega Houndoom are both capable partners as well; the former provides an alternative way to set up the sun and hits shockingly hard, while the latter is faster with base 115 Speed, can make full use of Solar Power, and has great coverage in its dual STAB. RestTalk ######## name: RestTalk move 1: Rest move 2: Sleep Talk move 3: Flamethrower move 4: Will-O-Wisp ability: Drought item: Heat Rock evs: 248 HP / 140 SpD / 120 Spe nature: Calm Moves ======== Rest takes the first slot, as it keeps Ninetales alive in order to fulfill its singular role of keeping the sun up for as long as possible, while Sleep Talk prevents Ninetales from being useless when it is asleep. Flamethrower serves as its only attack, sporting decent power in the sun and perfect accuracy. Will-O-Wisp cripples physical attackers, spreads burn for passive damage, and provides a great indirect buff to Ninetales's poor Defense. Set Details ======== The given EVs provide Ninetales with the Speed it needs to outpace maximum Speed Mega Tyranitar, but a spread of 248 HP / 156 SpD / 104 Spe with a Timid nature will give Ninetales enough Speed to outspeed all Kyurem-B that lack a Choice Scarf, allowing Ninetales to neuter Kyurem-B with Will-O-Wisp. The combination of Will-O-Wisp and Flamethrower leaves Ninetales with a severe lack of options against fellow Fire-types, however. Usage Tips ======== Ninetales should rarely be on the field, only coming back in to set the sunlight back up or on something it can wall without effort. Ninetales need not be brought in as frequently with eight turns of sunlight, but when it does switch in, avoid letting it take damage from entry hazards and any strong physical attacks. Outside of setting the sun up, Ninetales's goal is to spread burns before switching safely into something that can better draw upon the sunlight. Team Options ======== As mentioned above, solid team support for Ninetales is vital. Users of Rapid Spin or Defog, such as Forretress, Mandibuzz, and Latias, are all great choices for this role. Latias also serves as a check to faster threats to Ninetales, such as Salamence, Dragonite, Garchomp, Goodra, Terrakion, Mega Charizard X, and Kyurem-B, assuming that they haven't boosted their Speed. However, Choice Scarf is a common item for many of said threats, so be wary. Latias also possesses Healing Wish, which can grant a vital team member a second chance. To give Ninetales's existence a purpose, there must also be teammates to utilize the sun. Venusaur and Mega Venusaur are both fantastic partners for Ninetales, sharing no common weaknesses with it. Venusaur becomes an amazing Chlorophyll sweeper, though Mega Venusaur becomes a very bulky Pokemon with access to powerful attacks and amazing recovery in sunlight. Mega Charizard X, Talonflame, and Volcarona are all absurdly powerful sun sweepers. With access to setup moves on top of sun-boosted STAB moves, they can all become immediate threats. Heatran has great defensive potential, gets a sun boost on top of STAB, and gains further benefit from any Fire-type moves your opponent tosses around. Pokemon to handle Ninetales's extensive checks are very important as well. Heatran is able to tank many physical attacks that Ninetales is unable to, provided they are not Ground- or Fighting-type. Dugtrio traps and picks off weakened threats, wrecks Heatran, and does respectable damage to other checks. Fighting-type Pokemon such as Terrakion, Infernape, and Mega Lucario are all good choices to check threats such as Tyranitar, Heatran, Blissey, Chansey, and Goodra. Mega Charizard Y and Mega Houndoom both hit very hard and are quite difficult to switch into. Mega Charizard has the added benefit of acting as a secondary Drought user, while Mega Houndoom hits incredibly hard with Solar Power boosted Fire-type moves. Other Options ######## Ninetales has few viable moves to deal with threats it can not normally handle. Sunny Day extends the duration of the sun and can be used if Ninetales is active on a turn where sun ends or another weather inducer switches in, allowing your team to keep momentum. When considering Hidden Power, Ninetales has a very difficult decision to make. Hidden Power Ground provides Ninetales with a decent option against Heatran and Chandelure, but leaves it open to Talonflame and Mega Charizard Y. Hidden Power Rock allows Ninetales to check Talonflame, Volcarona, and Mega Charizard Y, but will leave it vulnerable to Hippowdon, Tyranitar, and Garchomp. Hidden Power Ice hits many Dragon-type Pokemon fairly hard, but doesn't function well against the previously mentioned threats. Roar shuffles out threats and prevents Ninetales from being setup bait for Pokemon like Volcarona, Mega Charizard X, and Talonflame. Solar Beam is immediately usable thanks to Drought and dents any Water-types it might come in contact with. Hypnosis puts an opposing Pokemon to sleep, rendering it temporarily incapacitated. However, Hypnosis suffers from awful accuracy, making it a less appealing option for a status move. Nasty Plot exists as a way to boost Ninetales's lackluster Special Attack, but it will still have trouble with Pokemon with good special bulk, and a Nasty Plot set is almost entirely outclassed by Mega Charizard Y. Checks & Counters ######## **Weather Inducing Pokemon** You can change the weather with Tyranitar, Hippowdon, and Politoed. This forces Ninetales to switch out and back in if it wishes to keep the sunlight shining. Choice Scarf Tyranitar can also Pursuit Ninetales on an attempted switch or attack it straight-out with little risk. **Water-types** Gyarados can switch in on any move other than Will-O-Wisp or Toxic, set up a Substitute on slower variants, and proceed to set up if Ninetales lacks Roar. Tentacruel doesn't mind being burned, can spin away hazards, and attack Ninetales at minimal risk. Manaphy doesn't care about much outside of Solar Beam and can use Tail Glow in Ninetales's face. **Fire-types** Heatran is likely the greatest Ninetales counter in existence. It is immune to most of Ninetales's options, gets a great boost from the sunlight, and becomes absurdly powerful if it gets hit by Flamethrower or Will-O-Wisp. Talonflame, Mega Charizard X, and Volcarona are immune to Will-O-Wisp, take little from Flamethrower, and can deal significant damage or even set up if Ninetales lacks Roar or Toxic. **Specially Defensive Pokemon** Anything with significant Special Defense that is relatively unaffected by getting burned is a good counter. Goodra, Chansey, and Blissey all care little about getting burned and take little damage from Ninetales's moves. Goodra threatens Ninetales with powerful special moves, while Blissey and Chansey threaten to status it. Assault Vest Conkeldurr takes Flamethrower relatively well, actually benefits from getting burned, and deals frightening damage in return. **Fast Physical Attackers ** Anything faster than Ninetales with good Attack or priority moves make the poor fox cry bitter tears. Terrakion, Garchomp, Kyurem-B, Salamence, and Dragonite all dislike being burned, but commonly carry a Choice Scarf (or in Dragonite's case, Extreme Speed) and wreck Ninetales with powerful physical attacks.