OU Spotlight: Heatran

By p2. Art by HeaLnDeaL.
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Heatran in Generation IV

Heatran is one of, if not the most dominant Pokémon in the DPP metagame. With a great movepool, stat spread, and typing, it can fulfill an absurd number of roles and can run many different viable sets including a lead set, Choice Scarf set, stallbreaker set, and defensive sets. Heatran is capable of naturally checking many threats in the metagame such as Scizor, Jirachi lacking Hidden Power Ground, Celebi, and slow variants of Breloom, while its Choice Scarf set gives it much better revenge killing capabilities, allowing it to revenge kill any relevant Dragon Dance user with Explosion, since it outspeeds all of them even when they are at +1. Because of Heatran's large variety of sets, it should always be carefully played around, as the likes of Gengar, Tyranitar, Starmie, and Jirachi can lose to specific variants such as Choice Scarf or ones with resist Berries. An example of a common lure set Heatran runs in the current meta is Passho Berry along with Hidden Power Grass to take out Starmie, effectively removing it.


Heatran in Generation V

Heatran is still one of the best Fire-types available to use in BW; however, the introduction of many threats such as Keldeo, Terrakion, Drizzle Politoed, Landorus-T, and the unbanned Garchomp all hurt Heatran's viability. Despite this, it still checks many big threats in the tier such as Celebi, Ferrothorn, Breloom, Scizor, Latios, and Skarmory as well as taking on Volcarona lacking Hidden Power Ground, which is considered by some to be broken. Heatran is still one of the best Stealth Rock users in the tier, and with the newly introduced Air Balloon, Heatran doesn't need to risk taking an Earthquake from opposing Ground-types when trying to set up Stealth Rock. Heatran's base 77 Speed is also considered much less significant than in DPP, and so Heatran finds itself struggle to pressure offensive teams like it could before. But regardless of this, Heatran is still one of the most viable and versatile Pokémon in the tier, capable of running many different sets and able to fit on any kind of team.


Heatran in Generation VI

The introduction of Fairy-types and numerous other threats such as Mega Charizard X and Y, Talonflame, Mega Sableye, Mega Scizor, and Mega Venusaur was a godsend for Heatran, as it is one few Pokémon capable of consistently handling these threats and quickly found itself as one of the most versatile and dominant Pokémon in the tier. Not all was perfect for Heatran, though, as the unbanning of Manaphy and the rise of other Water-types such as Azumarill and Slowbro aren't too kind to it, as well as the unbanning of Excadrill on top of the extreme dominance of Ground-types in the tier limiting its viability. On top of that, Fighting-types are still very relevant in the tier, with high usage to deal with common Dark-types. Speaking of Dark-types, Heatran also lost its resistance to Dark- and Ghost-type moves, which hurts its defensive utility a lot too, as it cannot as easily deter the likes of Gengar from spamming Shadow Ball. Overall, Heatran has consistently remained one of the most effective and versatile Pokémon during its existence, and although many metagame shifts have hurt it, it is still one of the most dominant Pokémon around.

Heatran's Qualities

Heatran's Fire / Steel typing may look like it leaves a lot to be desired with weaknesses to very common offensive types in Ground, Fighting, and Water, but in the current metagame, these weaknesses are very easy to cover, and the support Heatran provides is incredible, if not unmatched. Heatran's typing and ability provide an incredible 4x resistance to five attacking types and a 2x resistance to four attacking types as well as two immunities. This means Heatran is a very effective answer to common and threatening Pokémon in OU such as Mega Scizor, Serperior, Mega Venusaur, Latios, Clefable, Ferrothorn, Mew, Mega Charizard X and Y, and Electric-types such as Mega Manectric and Raikou. Along with its great typing and ability, Heatran can be very difficult to wear down, boasting an immunity to all forms of passive damage apart from the extremely uncommon hail. Heatran is also one of the best Stealth Rock users in the tier, mostly for its ability to completely shut down slower users of Stealth Rock and Spikes such as Skarmory and Ferrothorn, but also for its ability to beat Mega Sableye one-on-one, which means Heatran can usually set up Stealth Rock easily against it once Mega Sableye has been forced out or weakened. On top of being an amazing offensive utility Pokémon, Heatran fills many different roles, being able to function as a stallbreaker, Choice Scarf user, specially defensive wall, and even a trapper with Magma Storm.

Playing with Heatran



One of the main reasons to use offensive Heatran is for its ability to beat variants of Mega Sableye that lack Special Defense investment, as Fire Blast deals enough damage to force it out and eventually set up Stealth Rock against it. One of the other main reasons to use offensive Heatran is for taking advantage of its decent Speed tier, which just barely trumps Mega Scizor and Mega Heracross, the former of which is capable capable of outspeeding slower variants and OHKOing with +2 Superpower while the latter just straight up OHKOes. More Special Attack investment allows Heatran to actually OHKO Mega Heracross as well, making it an effective check to it. Offensive Heatran also outspeeds other threats such as Adamant Excadrill outside of sand, Metagross prior to Mega Evolution, Bisharp, and Breloom, all of which can heavily damage or beat defensive Heatran. Fire Blast is Heatran's most powerful STAB move that doesn't have an awful drawback or bad accuracy, making it the most reliable option compared to Overheat and Magma Storm. Earth Power hits threats such as opposing Heatran, Mega Charizard X, Tyranitar, and Mega Diancie. Stealth Rock is a solid choice on this set because offensive Heatran pressures common Magic Bounce and Taunt users, making it a reliable choice for setting up the hazard. Flash Cannon can be used to deal more damage to Clefable and Mega Altaria, while Power Herb in conjunction with Solar Beam allows Heatran to lure common Water-types and usually OHKO them. Magma Storm is a great option alongside Solar Beam in order to trap Water-types such as Rotom-W and Slowbro, preventing them from switching out to scout for Solar Beam.



This set aims to take advantage of Heatran's great defensive typing and turns it into one of the more effective stallbreakers in OU. Magma Storm allows Heatran to trap the likes of Chansey, use Taunt on it, and whittle it down until it faints. Toxic also cripples bulky Water-types such as Starmie, Suicune, and Rotom-W that can switch into Heatran with ease and take little damage from Magma Storm and Earth Power. Earth Power is used to hit opposing Heatran, which completely walls this set otherwise.

Utility / Defensive


Defensive Heatran is mostly used for its ability to reliably beat the likes of Mega Venusaur, Ferrothorn, Clefable, and Latios, which Heatran can switch into very easily apart from specific variants such as Thunder Wave Clefable and Surf Latios. Heatran can then set up Stealth Rock, shut down the opposing Pokémon with Taunt, and spread status with Lava Plume and Toxic, crippling the foe's switch-in, which is usually a Water-type such as Starmie, Keldeo, or Slowbro. Lava Plume can also cripple physical attackers such as Garchomp and Landorus-T, which can otherwise switch in comfortably and force Heatran out. The given EV spread ensures Heatran can outspeed everything up to Mega Scizor and Mega Heracross while retaining as much bulk as possible; Heatran notably manages to avoid being OHKOed by Focus Blast from Mega Charizard Y, Mega Gardevoir, and Mega Alakazam.

Choice Scarf


Choice Scarf boosts Heatran's Speed to very high levels, outpacing the likes of Mega Lopunny and Mega Manectric, but sadly, Heatran misses out on everything faster, including Mega Alakazam, Mega Aerodactyl, and more uncommon Mega Evolutions like Mega Beedrill and Mega Sceptile. Choice Scarf Heatran can surprise common checks to it such as Earth Power Mega Diancie, Garchomp, Landorus-T, Keldeo, and Gliscor because they can be picked off or worn down very easily. Keldeo, for example, can only switch into Overheat once without being 2HKOed the next time it switches into Heatran. Choice Scarf Heatran usually functions best as a revenge killer on offense teams, taking on threats such as +1 Dragonite (when running Hidden Power Ice), Mega Metagross, Gengar, Thundurus, Weavile, and Hidden Power Ground Serperior. Maximum Speed investment along with a Choice Scarf ensures Heatran outspeeds the aforementioned Pokémon, and maximum Special Attack investment allows Heatran to hit as hard as possible, heavily limiting the likes of Keldeo and offensive Starmie's capabilities to beat it. Overheat is Heatran's most powerful STAB move, but it forces Heatran to play a hit-and-run role, forcing it out very often. Fire Blast alleviates this, but it is noticeably weaker. Flash Cannon is Heatran's secondary STAB move and hits the likes of Latios, Mega Diancie, and Mega Gardevoir for solid damage. Earth Power hits opposing Heatran and Mega Charizard X, while Hidden Power Ice can be used to revenge kill +1 Adamant Dragonite, Garchomp, Landorus-T, and Gliscor. Stone Edge hits Mega Charizard Y and Talonflame, usually OHKOing them, even with a Timid nature.

Niche Sets

Choice Specs


A Choice Specs set, albeit extremely uncommon, turns Heatran into an incredible wallbreaker capable of 2HKOing nearly everything in the metagame that isn't Chansey. The main use of Choice Specs is to overwhelm Water-types that can usually switch into Heatran safely, such as Keldeo, Rotom-W, Starmie, and Manaphy. Maximum Special Attack investment allows Heatran to hit as hard as possible, especially when paired with Choice Specs. Maximum Speed investment allows Heatran to outrun the likes of Adamant Excadrill and Mega Scizor and Speed tie with opposing Heatran. Overheat is Heatran's most powerful move and has extreme wallbreaking potential, 2HKOing most relevant Water-types that don't lose to Heatran's coverage moves. Earth Power hits Mega Charizard X and opposing Heatran for huge damage, OHKOing both easily. Flash Cannon hits Fairy-types and does solid damage to Ground- and Dragon-types. Hidden Power Grass ruins Rotom-W, Gastrodon, and Seismitoad, OHKOing the latter two and 2HKOing Rotom-W, while Dark Pulse can be used to deal huge damage to Starmie, Mega Latias, and Slowbro with one moveslot.



SubToxic Heatran takes advantage of Water-type switch-ins to cripple them and eventually wear them down with repeated use of Substitute and Protect. Pokémon such as Keldeo cannot reliably beat this set because they get stalled out and faint to poison damage. However, despite this set beating common Heatran answers, it faces a lot of issues. The set cannot touch anything with Magic Guard, and certain Pokémon with Natural Cure such as Starmie and Chansey are more than capable of outlasting Heatran and eventually beating it.

Playing against Heatran


The most common way to handle Heatran is by using Water-types such as Starmie, Keldeo, Manaphy, Rotom-W, Slowbro, and Suicune, all of which can stomach its Fire-type STAB easily and take little damage from its coverage moves apart from Solar Beam. Defensive Starmie is among the best answers to Heatran for its ability to remove Heatran's entry hazards, wear it down with Scald, heal off any damage, and cure itself from burns and Toxic with Natural Cure. Ground-types such as Garchomp and Gliscor are decent answers too because they can take anything Heatran can throw at them and OHKO with STAB Earthquake; however, they need to be wary of burns from Lava Plume, which will cripple them and wear them down very quickly. Ironically, Heatran is also a common switch-in to itself because of its immunity to Fire-type moves, Toxic, and, if it uses Air Balloon, even Earth Power. Fighting-types can also beat Heatran fairly easily, but most are limited to revenge killing it only because they are usually weak to Heatran's STAB or coverage moves. Terrakion can switch in fairly easily, but it fears burns from Lava Plume and Earth Power, while Breloom cannot switch in at all because of its frailty. Conkeldurr is very uncommon in OU, but it is a very solid answer to Heatran because it absorbs status easily and it takes little damage from Heatran's attacking moves.

Get out there!

Heatran has been one of the most dominant Pokémon ever since its inception back in DPP, and it still a top pick two generations later. It fills many crucial roles, which gives it incredible usage in OU. Because of this, it fits on a huge variety of teams; give it a go!

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