Heatran's key to success in 1v1 is its great Fire / Steel typing which makes it a premier check for popular Pokemon in the metagame such as both Mega Charizard, Mega Mawile, Porygon-Z, Mega Metagross. Adding to that its ability in Flash Fire helps it capitalize its matchup against Fire-types notably both Mega Charizard X and Y, and Volcarona. Heatran has access to the correct combination of moves such as Overheat, Flash Cannon, Rock Tomb, Earth Power, Endure, Taunt, to beat the aforementioned top threats. Heatran is not perfect, even though its typing grants it a lot of beneits it leaves it weak to popular Water- and Fighting-type Pokemon in the metagame such as Mega Gyarados, Mega Blastoise, Terrakion, Mega Heracross, and Mega Lopunny. It also has lackluster offensive stats which puts it in trouble against some Pokemon it can't hit super effectively mainly Hoopa-U, and Dragonite. Finally it's pretty slow compared to the rest of the metagame leaving it vulnerable to faster threats mainly the aforementioned Mega Heracross.
name: Air Balloon
move 1: Overheat
move 2: Flash Cannon / Endure / Taunt
move 3: Rock Tomb
move 4: Earth Power
item: Air Balloon
ability: Flash Fire
evs: 220 SpA / 168 SpD / 120 Spe
Overheat is Heatran's go-to strongest Fire-type move allowing it to beat Steel-types such as Mega Metagross, and Mega Mawile and even hits strongly neutrally. Flash Cannon is used specifically for Fairy-Type Pokemon notably Diancie, and Mega Gardevoir. Heatran can run Endure to be able to beat Specs Hydro Cannon Greninja as it attacks on recharge turns and endure on greninja's attack turns. Rock Tomb is utilized to capitalize on some matchups most importantly against Charizard, and Magnezone. Rock Tomb allows it to slow down opposing Pokemon after Heatran lives a hit, or to break Sturdies. You can also run Taunt which allows you to have an easier time against some bulky Pokemon including Registeel, Mew, Mega Venusaur, and Porygon-2. Earth Power allows you to have an easier time against opposing Heatran and capitalize the matchup against Mega Charizard-X and other Fire-types such as other Heatran. Flash Fire helps Heatran against FIre-type Pokemon such as Volcarona and Charizard, while air Balloon allows you to be immune to Ground-type moves such as Earthquake from Donphan and Metagross-Mega, or Earth Power from Kyurem-Black and Specs Heatran.
168 SpD allows Heatran to live a Mega Charizard Y modest Focus Blast and avoid the 2HKO from Timid Specs Greninja Dark Pulse incase you're running endure, 124 Spe allows you to outspeed max speed Mega Charizard after a Rock Tomb, and the rest of the EVs are in Spa. Hatrean is Modest to maximize damage output
Strategy & Support
You should always use Rock Tomb first turn against any Charizard to scout the mega stone, If it's Mega Charizard X use Earth Power, if its Mega Charizard Y click Rock Tomb again. Also you should use that same move against Magnezone to avoid Mirror Coat. If you're running Taunt always Taunt first turn against Registeel and Mega Venusaur. As Registeel with Amesnia + Overheat Special Drop drop might be a tricky matchup, and Mega Venusaur can replenish health easily with Synthesis and Leech Seed if it isn't taunted. Endure against Greninja turn one since you live two Dark Pulse. If they Hydro Cannon turn 1 attack on recharge turn and keep on enduring on attack turns, meanwhile if they Dark Pulse you avoid the 2HKO and can OHKO with Overheat the second turn. Be wary of Garchomp as it runs Fling most of the time and can defeat Heatran even if it runs Air Balloon. Stall Pokemon such as Mega Sableye, and Mega Slowbro causes a problem to Heatran so a Pokemon that break stall such as Mega Gardevoir is a great teammate. Mega Gardevoir also helps it against bulkier offensive Pokemon such as Mega Gyarados, Mega Heracross, and Choice Band Dragonite. Another great partner is Mega Sableye as it covers Heatran weakness against offensive Pokemon that can either outspeed Heatran and OHKO it such as Garchomp, Mega Gyarados, and Terrakion or easily bulk a hit and retaliate back with an OHKO such as Hoopa-U, and Dragonite. Mega Venusaur also works well with Heatran as it can also pressure and defeat Offensive Pokemon such as Terrakion, Mega Gyarados, Manaphy, and Dragonite thanks to its typing in tandem with Charm.
Choice Specs Heatran with 184 SpA / 72 SpD / 252 Spe with Eruption, Flash Cannon, Earth Power / Dark Pulse, and Ancient Power helps it against Bulky Pokemon notably Mega Venusaur, Mega Sableye, Nasty Plot Porygon-Z while keeping a positive matchup against Steel-type Pokemon like Mega Mawile, and Genesect. EVs allow it to live a 252 focus blast from Mega Charizard Y and 0 Spa Kyurem-Black's Earth Power. Though, without Air Balloon Heatran struggles against ground moves and has iffy matchups against Mirror Coat Magnezone, it also sacrifices the matchup against Earthquake Mega Meta since it outspeed Heatran and OHKO. Adding to that, it's locked into Quiet nature due to Eruption.
If Choice Specs heatran runs 252 SpA and Spe with Timid with Overheat instead of Eruption it can nail the win against Mega Metagross though it worsens the matchup against specially defensive Mega Sableye and Mega Venusaur as it is forced to Flash Cannon due to Overheat Special Attack drop. You can also run Fireblast instead of Overheat so keep the pressure on Sableye-Mega.
Checks and Counters
**Water-Type Pokemon**: Most Water-type Pokemon do not take much damage from Heatran attacks and can easily OHKO so Pokemon such s Mega Gyarados, Manaphy, Mega Blastoise are typical counters.
**Fighting-Type Pokemon**: Popular Fighting-type Pokemon outspeed Heatran and can easily OHKO it notably Mega Heracross, Terrakion, and Mega Lopunny.
**Stall Pokemon**: Non-Specs Heatran cannot take on some bulky type Pokemon even if it runs Taunt, so Pokemon like Mega Sableye, Chansey, and Mega Slowbro can easily tank hits from Heatran. Though Mega Sableye should be wary of Specs Heatran.
**Bulky offensive Pokemon**: Heatran also lose to offensive oriented Bulky Pokemon such as Dragonite, and Hoopa-U as they can easily sponge Heatran hits and deal back heavy damage specially if they run a super effective coverage move.
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