Secret Boss Mod
Flareon is easily the best Fire-type in NU thanks to its great special bulk, good offensive presence, and access to two key moves in Wish and Baton Pass. It is mostly seen in the tier as a specially defensive wall that not only is hard to pin down because of Baton Pass but also keeps itself and its teammates healthy thanks to Wish. As if trying to break through its fiery hide was not tough enough, its offensive presence really cannot be understated, since even without STAB moves its massive base 130 Attack stat makes its physical attacks hit like a train, and its base 95 Special Attack is still well above average by NU standards. The only things keeping Flareon from dominating the tier are its low Speed and Defense, its shallow movepool, and the fact that it loses to the two best Pokemon in the tier one-on-one: Hitmonchan and Huntail. If you keep its downsides in mind, Flareon is more than worthy of a teamslot on any team.
name: Specially Defensive
move 1: Wish
move 2: Flamethrower / Fire Blast
move 3: Protect / Hidden Power Grass
move 4: Baton Pass / Toxic
ability: Flash Fire
evs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Flareon has a secure niche in NU as a special wall thanks to its great Special Defense, reliable recovery in Wish, and access to Baton Pass. As a Fire-type special wall, Flareon has an important role in the metagame as a check and counter to a multitude of threats, including Chlorophyll sweepers, Plusle, and Haunter. Wish + Protect provides reliable recovery, with Protect also allowing Flareon to scout the foe's movesets and bide time for more Leftovers recovery. Flamethrower is recommended as a reliable STAB move, and thanks to Flareon's decent Special Attack stat it hits much of the tier decently hard. Fire Blast can be used instead if you desire more power, but the accuracy can be troublesome when you're depending on Flareon to check certain attackers. Hidden Power Grass can be used in the second slot over Protect to gain coverage on Water- and Rock-types and prevents Huntail and Pupitar from using Flareon as complete setup bait. The last slot is recommended to go to Baton Pass, as it is a major tool Flareon has over many of the other defensive Pokemon in NU, and it allows Flareon to pivot in and out of threats and more carefully pass Wishes to its teammates. This said, Toxic is a good alternative in the last slot, as it is Flareon's best weapon for opposing Flareon and other defensive switch-ins such as Wailord and Pelipper.
A fully specially defensive EV spread best makes use of Flareon's stats and typing, effectively allowing Flareon to check and counter threats like Chlorophyll sweepers throughout the match. There is one key alternate move to consider over the choices provided: Roar. Roar is rarely seen in the NU metagame and is worth strongly considering when using Flareon on heavy stall teams as a way to rack up Spikes damage and prevent bulky setup sweepers like Chimecho from dominating the team. However, Flareon has a tough time using Roar to check many of the prominent setup sweepers in the tier, since many of them beat it one-on-one such as Huntail, Vigoroth, Hitmonchan, and Pupitar.
The amazing thing about this set is that it fits on every team archetype thanks to Baton Pass allowing it to keep up momentum on more offensive teams and its utility and access to Wish giving it a secure place on defensive teams. Flareon is the center of many common defensive cores thanks to the great type synergy it has with many of the physical walls in NU. Sableye and Chimecho are great teammates to pair with Flareon, and together they form one of the sturdiest stall cores in the metagame. Other physical walls that do not have a Ground- or Rock-type weakness make great teammates for Flareon, such as Tangela, Lickitung, and Whiscash. As the cornerstone of this set is Wish, having Pokemon on the team that benefit from its support is a good idea. Setup sweepers that do not have recovery like Huntail, Pupitar, and Kingler are all Pokemon that appreciate Flareon as a teammate.
name: Choice Band
move 1: Double-Edge
move 2: Shadow Ball
move 3: Hidden Power Ground / Overheat
move 4: Baton Pass
item: Choice Band
ability: Flash Fire
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Flareon's Choice Band-boosted Double-Edge is one of the hardest hitting single-turn physical attacks in the metagame. With this fact in mind, Choice Band Flareon finds its place on teams in need of a wallbreaker, and with Flareon's most common set being defensive, this set can easily get surprise KOs that other more popular wallbreakers would miss out on. Shadow Ball and Hidden Power Ground provide great neutral coverage alongside Double-Edge, which is good considering Flareon's physical movepool stops right about there. Overheat can fill the third moveslot to get a stronger hit on a few of the would-be Hidden Power Ground targets, namely Mawile and Metang, even with a Special Attack-lowering nature. However, getting locked into an ineffective Overheat can be game ending. The last slot is dedicated to Baton Pass to allow Flareon to "dry pass" to maintain momentum for its team and scout the opponent's switches.
An Adamant nature is recommended to allow Flareon to hit as hard as possible, but a Jolly nature is also usable to Speed tie with Adamant Hitmonchan. Return or Body Slam can be run over Double-Edge if the recoil sounds unappealing, but the loss in power is noticeable against certain bulky targets like physically defensive Wailord, where both Return and Body Slam miss out on the 2HKO. Other Hidden Power types can be used over Ground. Hidden Power Rock is usable as a way to maintain a super effective hit on Fire-types while gaining a super effective hit on Flying-types such as Pidgeot and Pelipper; however, this would be at the cost of missing out on super effective hits against Rock- and Steel-types such as Mawile and Relicanth. Hidden Power Fighting allows Flareon to maintain the super effective hit on Rock- and Steel-types and gain a super effective hit on Normal-types like Lickitung but loses the super effective hit on Fire- and Poison-types. Finally, Quick Attack is a good safety net option to allow Flareon to pick off weakened sweepers such as Raticate and Plusle, but without STAB it can be pretty weak and dangerous to be locked into.
This set thrives on Spikes support, as most of the Pokemon that are able to comfortably switch into a Double-Edge are damaged by Spikes, making Glalie and Roselia recommended teammates. As Flareon's main role on a team is as a wallbreaker, Flareon should be paired with sweepers that can make use of holes Flareon can punch into the opposing team. This set is particularly effective at luring in and weakening bulky Water-types, such as Wailord and Whiscash, making late-game sweepers like Huntail and Pupitar good teammates. Each of Flareon's moves on this set have immunities, meaning playing with Choice Band Flareon requires expert use of Baton Pass to scout the opponent's team to check for Pokemon that could potentially switch into Flareon for free. With this in mind, Flareon needs good defensive teammates to switch out to should the opponent be able to predict well and switch a Pokemon into a move they have an immunity to. Relicanth, Kecleon, and Mawile are all good defensive Pokemon that can switch into a wide range of the Pokemon that could make use of the aforementioned immunities, such as popular Flying-types like Murkrow making use of Hidden Power Ground, Ghost-types like Haunter making use of Double-Edge, and Normal-types like Raticate making use of Shadow Ball.
name: Special Attacker
move 1: Fire Blast / Overheat
move 2: Hidden Power Grass / Hidden Power Water
move 3: Toxic
move 4: Baton Pass / Protect
item: Leftovers / Charcoal
ability: Flash Fire
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
This set is designed to make the most of Flareon's decent base 95 Special Attack stat and break holes in the opponent's special walls that are typically safe switch-ins to it. At maximum Special Attack investment, Flareon can threaten a 3HKO against specially defensive Wailord with Hidden Power Grass and deal upwards of 75% to Choice Band Hitmonchan with Fire Blast, easily opening holes for a teammate like Huntail to come in later and clean up. Fire Blast or Overheat is needed to hit as hard as possible, with Fire Blast being a consistently powerful option and Overheat being the better option if you are confident in your ability to get Flareon in and out of battle safely. With Charcoal and the EV spread given, Overheat will easily OHKO Choice Band Hitmonchan after Spikes and deal over 50% to specially defensive Kecleon, Swalot, and Chimecho. Hidden Power Water is a good alternative to Hidden Power Grass as a tool to break opposing Flareon and other Fire-types. Depending on which Hidden Power you choose, Toxic is going to be Flareon's best weapon for either Water- or Fire-types. The last slot comes down to how you want Flareon to function on your team. Baton Pass allows Flareon to keep momentum and scout the opponent's switches, whereas Protect can stall for Toxic damage and scout Choice Band users' attacks.
A Modest nature is used to hit as hard as possible, but a Timid nature is usable in order to Speed tie with Adamant Hitmonchan. Sunny Day is definitely usable on this set to power up Flareon's Fire-type STAB attack, weaken the foe's Water-type attacks aimed at Flareon, and support a Chlorophyll teammate; however, Baton Pass and Protect allow Flareon to fit on a wider variety of teams. Hidden Power Electric can be used to maintain a super effective hit on Water-types and gain a super effective hit on Flying-types at the cost of losing a super effective hit on Rock-types.
This set should be paired with another specially offensive teammate to make use of the holes that Flareon is going to punch into the opposing team. Huntail and Seadra, in particular, enjoy the opponent's Water-types weakened enough for them to blast through with their own Hidden Power Grass. Sunny Day Bellossom enjoys this Flareon as a partner in order to weaken various special walls like Kecleon, Lickitung, and Chimecho, as well as providing a decent defensive backbone to switch out to against typical counters like Roselia, opposing Flareon, and Swalot.
An Endure + Flail + Salac Berry set can make the most of Flareon's massive Attack stat and decent Speed, but this is ultimately outclassed by Kingler due to its higher Speed. Iron Tail is an option for physically attacking sets to get a hard hit on Rock-types if not using Hidden Power Ground, but the accuracy is highly undesirable. Finally, a Curse + Baton Pass set is attractive at first glance but requires ace-like prediction, and there are far better options for short-passing in the tier. However, this sort of set can see use on full Baton Pass chains, and Flareon is a dangerous presence on these chains should Special Attack boosts come its way.
[Checks and Counters]
Flareon is pretty hard to outright counter due to Baton Pass, its ability to use special and physical attacks with gusto, and the fact that most of its would-be counters absolutely despise getting hit by Toxic. That said, bulky Water-types such as Wailord and Dewgong are going to be your safest switch-ins on first appearance, as they resist Fire Blast, will be able to tank an attack from the Choice Band set, and can threaten back with Surf. After Water-types, Fire-types are going to be the next best switch-ins to any Flareon set, with a Flareon of your own being able to potentially make use of Flash Fire. Magcargo and Torkoal are also very capable switch-ins to Flareon and can easily force it out should it lack Hidden Power Water or Hidden Power Ground. Relicanth is practically immune to Flareon's physical attacks and Fire-type STAB moves but needs to be super wary of Hidden Power Grass. Specially defensive Kecleon and Lickitung can easily counter special attacking variants of Flareon but need to be careful of straying into the path of a Choice Band-boosted Double-Edge. Apart from defensive counters, Flareon is actually pretty easy to revenge kill. Fast physical attackers like Hitmonchan, Murkrow, Kingler, and Pupitar can easily O-2HKO Flareon. Huntail and Seadra easily 2HKO even maximum Special Defense Flareon, and Huntail OHKOes Flareon with Hydro Pump in the rain. Finally, Diglett gets special mention for being able to trap Flareon and OHKO it with Earthquake.