Charmander Discussion - Movepool and Breeding Issues

Well, since I decided to undertake the Charmander analysis, I've been looking into what Charmander can do... I've not seen a single Charmander used by someone who knows what they're doing EVER, which led me to assume that he wasn't very good. Closer investigation shows that his movepool is, actually, pretty impressive.

Apart from a rather large inferiority complex to Magby, (which I'm fully aware of but not discussing here) the biggest problem with Charmander is that his best moves are his egg moves-- which creates some serious problems when compiling his best moves together into usable sets.

Partly as a tool for myself, and partly as a topic for discussion, I'm going to list here what moves can be used together and speculate on some sets that could work based the moves that are compatible together.
NOTE: If this thread in some way violates a rule I may have overlooked, please notify me before closing so that I can back up this information.

Charmander's competive movepool consists of the following:
STAB: Flamethrower, Fire Blast, Flare Blitz, Fire Punch, Overheat
Non-STAB Physical: Thunderpunch, Rock Slide, Crunch / Shadow Claw, Brick Break, Dragon Claw / Outrage
Non-STAB Special: Ancientpower
Non-Attacking: Will-O-Wisp, Swords Dance, Dragon Dance, Belly Drum
NOTE: Moves that everyone gets, like Protect and Hidden Power, are not included. Moves with forgettable coverage, such as Aerial Ace, are ommitted.

From Charmander's movepool, we're able to see that a physical sweeping role fits him very well, and he seems well-suited to hypothetical sets that include Dragon Dance, Swords Dance, Choice Scarf (or even Band), and possibly Belly Drum.

Of those listed above, the ones that are breeding-exclusive are Flare Blitz, Crunch, Outrage, Ancientpower, Dragon Dance, and Belly Drum. Instead of listing illegal combinations, which would probably take longer, I'll instead simply list which moves ARE compatible together, which is what I care about more anyway.

Legal Egg move combinations:
- Crunch + Dragon Dance + Outrage + Flare Blitz (Larvitar, Salamence)
- Crunch + Belly Drum + Flare Blitz (Snorlax)
- Crunch + Ancientpower + Flare Blitz (Cranidos)

From here, we're able to derive some possible movesets for him. I don't have access to Shoddy at the moment, so I can't do anything in the way of EVs or Stat Calcs, but as soon as I have Shoddy again I'll come and add that back in. Please not that these are all speculatory and untested.

Dragon Dancer
Hold: Life Orb / Focus Sash
Nature: Jolly / Adamant
- Dragon Dance
- Flare Blitz / Fire Punch
- Thunderpunch
- Brick Break / Rock Slide / Dragon Claw
Dragon Dance-boosted Flare Blitz is pretty intimidating, any way you slice it. Thunderpunch hits Waters, and in the last slot, you can go with Brick Break for Houndour, Rock Slide for Fire-types other than Houndour, or Dragon Claw for hitting Dragons (resist the other two types) and getting coverage.

Choice Scarf
Hold: Choice Scarf
Nature: Lonely / Hasty
- Flare Blitz
- Overheat
- Brick Break / Rock Slide
- Thunderpunch
FB + Overheat give powerful dual STABs, and you then have Brick Break / Rock Slide for Houndour switchins, and Thunderpunch for Water-types. Has better options than Scarf Cyndaquil outside of Eruption.

Swords Dancer
Hold: Salac Berry
Nature: Jolly
- Swords Dance
- Fire Punch
- Rock Slide
- Substitute / Thunderpunch
Like the DDer, but slower and more powerful. Fire Punch can be used over FB to eliminate recoil, since you have added power already. Added in Sub, which if you can get a free one in, can be used to set up SD.

Choice Band
Hold: Choice Band
Nature: Jolly
- Flare Blitz
- Thunderpunch
- Brick Break / Rock Slide
- Crunch
Basically like other sets, but adds Crunch for coverage.

I'm skipping Belly Drum because let's face it, Charmander is pretty much inferior to Poliwag in every concievable way.

Anyway... discuss.


I did stuff a long time ago for the site
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I applaud you for the amount of work that went into the thread.

But that doesn't convince me at all that I should give up Houndour which does the Choice Scarf set much better, or Dratini who does the DD set much, much better.

The only set that I might test is SD. But then you look at his meddling 52 Atk stat and the fact that he misses the 19 speed mark and then I feel like it would be difficult to even get off a SD, let alone sweep with him. You list Salac better, but you dont have a way to Sub down, or Endure down to it so most of the time your relying on luck
RBG: Ah, thanks... good to know.
...oh, it looks like the Charmander in question was at level 40. =0 Looks like that's pretty much useless for LC... guess I better remove it.

matty: Yeah, that's true, I hadn't really thought about Sub until after I'd gotten away from the computer after writing this. At frist, Sub was only in my mind for a potential Belly Drum set, but yeah, maybe a Sub-Swords Dance set might be good.

The only problem with that is Charamnder's general lack of coverage. =\ Although I guess Fire Punch + Rock Slide can pretty much hit everything important, unless I'm missing anything...?

But yeah, you're right... apart from certain moves, Charmander doesn't really have much of anything that sets it apart from other Scarfers, DDers, and SDers. =\ Its stats are too mediocre.... hm... well I know Ponyta does Band better, but I wonder how a Specs set would fare?
yeah... okay so I've come to the conclusion that pretty much every one of Charmander's viable sets is done better by someone else.

Dragon Dance: Dratini gets Exspeed.
Swords Dance: Totodile (and lots of others, probably) does it better. Priority is almost a must, and Charmander doesn't have that.
Scarf: Houndour has better offenses on both ends.
Band: Ponyta is faster, hits harder, and gets Quick Attack.
Specs: No Fire-type really outclasses him here, but he's probably still too slow to use the Specs effectively...
Belly Drum: Poliwag. Self-explanatory.

=\ Poor Charmander. D: Oh well... at least I have the comparison to other guys to explain why he's so mediocre. Dx

eric the espeon

maybe I just misunderstood
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If it could actually use Quick Attack then Belly Drum could be fun, not brilliant but at least something you could build a team around and use reasonably well. Sadly it comes at Lv. 40. So, not legal in LC.

Being a fire type with DD and SD is nice, but.. Magby hits hard without them + has 19 Speed. And Char can't set up easily against much.
Magby will do most things Charmander can but better, except the obvious SD and DD, though those are both done better by other things, because of higher speed and offensive stats and a larger movepool, and thats pretty much all there is to it.
Yeah, unfortunately. =\ It's too bad Quick Attack is illegal in LC with him, because that would give him a great deal more viability. D: It's funny how you underestimate the little things... I remember when Quick Attack rated as low as other early-game moves like Tackle in my mind, hahaha~

Well, I think I have everything I need to do the analysis. I'll get it up in a few days, possibly a week, because my school schedule is looking like it's gonna be pretty packed shortly. Dx Thanks for the input, everybody.
The thing is Magby still has Mach Punch, which is arguably worse, but still priority.
Shame Magby can't use Mach Punch with Belly Drum...
I know. =\ That, and better speed, probably better offenses... I guess the thing that really kills Charmander is his mediocre stats. Dx
Stats are very limiting in LC, it takes a really good movepool/typing/ability to work with unimpressive stats (Squirtle/Croagunk are some examples of this).

But yep if Charmander had better stats he wouldn't be outclassed in just about every non-gimmick role you thought of. Looks like some good effort though regardless.
If only Char had a Priority STAB Fire Attack, then he'd be equal to Totodile. D:

I was trying to make good LC sets for char awhile back, but it's true, he's usually outclassed. I guess he's comparable to the jack of all offensive trades, but the master of none.

He's got some good speed, but it's just not quite good enough.
Just a tiny little boost in speed would make most of those sets completely viable.

I did notice however, mixed sets on him yeild pretty solid results.
Charamander generally doesn't have the offensive stats to go mixed; Houndour and Magby are much better than Charmander is in that regard. The only success I had with any mixed sets was a special Scarfmander with Rock Slide, which was able to hit its common switchins (Flash Fire Houndour and Mantyke, who is neutral to HP Grass).

We've pretty much decided that Dragon Dance is the best thing Charmander can do, as he's the only DDer that can really reliably deal with Bronzor, but otherwise yeah, he's outclassed by pretty much every other DDer.

I have actually been toying with the idea of Bellymander again... with a Baton-Passed speed boost, he could be halfway decent... maybe...
The only problem with that is Charamnder's general lack of coverage. =\
At least Charmander gets expectional neutral coverage: Fire+Dragon hits everything bar Heatran least neutrally.
I presume your Charmanders haven't been running to a lot of Heatrans lately, have they?

And yes, I DO realize this is about little cup. :P
Er.... yeah, we realize that.

Actually, I've realized since I said that that it's less the issue of coverage and more having mediocre stats + no priority. The sad fact of the matter is that almost anyone with unresisted priority can pick off a Charmander that's switched into SR even once or twice, taken Life Orb damage, or otherwise been weakened in some other highly likely fashion. :0 And forget about living through Aqua Jet.

We've decided that Charmander probably works best as what I'll call a 'support sweeper', that is, someone who removes a certain threat or threats (in this case, Bronzor) so that another teammate can sweep unhindered. In my tests, I've been pairing DD Charmander with Wynaut, for removing enemy priority users, and Aron, who can hit everything in LC with Head Smash and EQ-- except Bronzor. Setting Charmander up early-game and taking out Bronzor clears the way for Aron to sweep later. This is really the way that Charmander should be used, since Flare Blitz + Life Orb recoil tends to make quick work of him. Although in certain situations, I have gotten a late-game DD sweep off with him.

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