Cinderace is one of the best and most consistent offensive Pokemon in the OU metagame. Its high Speed tier, great Attack stat, numerous coverage options coupled with Libero allow Cinderace to consistently overwhelm a large portion of the metagame, as well as offensively checking Pokemon such as Magearna, Kartana, and Rillaboom. Because of its wide array of coverage options, Cinderace can potentially beat traditional Fire-type checks such as Toxapex and Tapu Fini and offensive checks such as Spectrier and Tornadus-T. Furthermore, Cinderace is incredibly hard to effectively wear down due to the combination of its Speed tier, Heavy-Duty Boots, and U-turn. However, Cinderace cannot fit all of its coverage moves on one set, which can hinder it in a disadvantageous matchup if it's not carrying the right coverage move, such as against Toxapex without Zen Headbutt or against Tapu Fini without Gunk Shot. Cinderace is also frail, meaning it's difficult to consistently switch it into even resisted attacks such as Clefable's Moonblast and Heatran's Magma Storm.
name: Offensive Pivot
move 1: Pyro Ball
move 2: U-turn
move 3: High Jump Kick
move 4: Zen Headbutt / Gunk Shot / Sucker Punch
item: Heavy-Duty Boots
evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
U-turn allows Cinderace to pivot out of situational matchups such as against incoming Toxapex and Slowbro while also bringing in wallbreakers such as Nidoking and Rillaboom. High Jump Kick allows it to KO Pokemon like Swampert, Garchomp, and especially Heatran. Zen Headbutt allows Cinderace to overwhelm Toxapex, one of its best checks; therefore, it does not want to drop it unless there is Spikes and Future Sight support. Gunk Shot gives Cinderace a way of hitting Pokemon like Moltres and Tapu Fini for serious damage, while its chance to poison allows it to pressure Mandibuzz, Slowbro, Zapdos, and the aforementioned Moltres. Sucker Punch allows Cinderace to revenge kill Pokemon like Spectrier, Dragapult, and Choice Scarf Latios. Low Kick can be used as an alternative to High Jump Kick to KO Heatran while avoiding the recoil damage of High Jump Kick in case it misses, it lands into Protect from Heatran, or it hits a Ghost-type.
Future Sight support from Slowbro and Slowking is very helpful for Cinderace, as it makes it easy to overwhelm Toxapex as well as wear down Pokemon that lack recovery options such as Tapu Fini, Landorus-T, and Garchomp. Cinderace can be paired with Pokemon like Magearna, Tapu Koko, and Zapdos to create potent VoltTurn cores. Rillaboom pairs well with Cinderace, as it can bait in Grass- and Steel-types such as Ferrothorn and Corviknight for Cinderace, whereas Cinderace can bait in Water-types such as Tapu Fini and Swampert for Rillaboom. Wallbreakers such as Magearna, Spectrier, Nidoking, and Tapu Lele appreciate Cinderace's ability to bring them in safely with U-turn. Spikes support from Ferrothorn is very helpful in wearing down its checks, most notably Tapu Fini and Garchomp, and putting Pokemon like Toxapex in range of being 2HKOed by it. Toxic users such as Melmetal and Landorus-T can be helpful for baiting, crippling, and wearing down Pokemon such as Slowbro and Moltres, making them great partners.
Electro Ball can be used in the fourth moveslot for beating both Slowbro and Toxapex; however, its inconsistent power coming from Cinderace's poor Special Attack makes it worse in any other scenario and doesn't 2HKO Toxapex without Spikes or Future Sight support. Bulk Up can also be an option over U-turn to make it a deadly wincon on specific teams, most notably hyper offense; however, Cinderace cannot fit all the coverage moves that it wants, meaning that it can lose to various Pokemon without the right coverage move, such as Tapu Fini without Gunk Shot and Spectrier without Sucker Punch. Cinderace can use an Adamant nature in case teams have a way of dealing with Pokemon that it would otherwise check such as Latios and Kartana, which outspeed Adamant Cinderace otherwise.
Checks and Counters
**Bulky Water-types**: Pokemon like Tapu Fini, Slowbro, and Toxapex can take very little from Cinderace's attacks depending on the moves it's running. Without Gunk Shot, Tapu Fini takes little from its other attacks, and Slowbro is able to completely wall Cinderace and keep itself healthy with Regenerator, while Toxapex takes very little from it without Zen Headbutt or Future Sight support. However, Toxapex and Tapu Fini are prone to losing against Cinderace if it's running the correct move, and Slowbro has to be wary of a Gunk Shot poison that can potentially overwhelm it.
**Bulky Ground-types**: Garchomp, Landorus-T, and Hippowdon are able to threaten Cinderace out with Earthquake, take advantage of it and set Stealth Rock, and chip it down with Rough Skin damage from the former or Rocky Helmet damage from the latter two; however, Landorus-T and Garchomp cannot consistently switch into Cinderace due to their lack of recovery, and Hippowdon has to be wary of a Pyro Ball burn or a Gunk Shot poison.
**Revenge Killers**: Naturally faster Pokemon such as Tornadus-T and Spectrier and Choice Scarf users such as Landorus-T and Latios can easily revenge kill Cinderace; however, Latios and Spectrier have to be wary of Sucker Punch.
**Knock Off**: Cinderace is very weak to entry hazards without its Heavy-Duty Boots, so Knock Off from Pokemon like Ferrothorn and Clefable can be very detrimental.
**Chip Damage**: Rocky Helmet, Rough Skin, and Iron Barbs from Pokemon like Landorus-T, Toxapex, Garchomp, and Ferrothorn can punish Cinderace for using its contact moves, meaning that it has to be cautious when constantly using U-turn.
**Paralysis**: Paralysis in general can be very detrimental for Cinderace; Zapdos can cripple it on the switch with Static, and Thunder Wave from Clefable, Ferrothorn, and Blissey can limit its offensive presence significantly.
- Written by: [[Zneon, 487629]]
- Quality checked by: [[Jordy, 395754], [Ruft, 295110]]
- Grammar checked by: [[Milak, 262594], [Estronic, 240732]]