Gen 3 Ponyta (NU Analysis)


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On a hyper offense team, Ponyta can make a decent anti-lead to fully prevent Glalie from setting up Spikes and disrupting other common leads from performing for the rest of the match with Hypnosis. In most cases, Magby is probably going to be a better fit for your team due to its greater power and coverage, but hitting the right Pokemon with Hypnosis can make all the difference for a hyper offense team. However, Ponyta has no use outside of the lead slot, as it's sorely outclassed by Flareon and Charmeleon in almost every category apart from Speed.

name: Anti-Lead
move 1: Hypnosis
move 2: Overheat
move 3: Body Slam / Toxic
move 4: Hidden Power Grass / Hidden Power Ground
item: Charcoal / Lum Berry
ability: Flash Fire
nature: Naive
evs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

- If it's not hit super effectively by Overheat, put it to sleep with Hypnosis
- Overheat will OHKO bulky Glalie and has a chance to OHKO Roselia with Charcoal
- Body Slam will deal a decent amount to physically frail mons like Flareon and Hitmonchan and has a good paralysis chance
- Toxic will probably be more effective in the long run against more defensive switch-ins, but since Ponyta fits the most on hyper offense teams it'll likely get more mileage out of Body Slam
- Last slot mostly filler. HP Grass is mainly for Relicanth, won't be doing much to other Water-types. HP Ground will really mess with Flareon and can be used after Overheat

- Max Speed is needed to make use of its base 90 Speed and have a chance to Speed tie Vigoroth and Venomoth
- Ponyta is really, really frail so there's not much use in trying to keep it alive out of the lead slot
- If met with a Vigoroth, go for the Speed tie, Overheat will do 80-90% to offensive versions

[Other Options]
- Ponyta is not really useful outside of the lead slot, but if you really want to a super janky CB set is probably the most successful thing you could go for. Overheat / D-E / HP Ground / Quick Attack is probably what it would look like

[Checks and Counters]
- Lead Vigoroth wins the one-on-one 100% of the time. Lum Berry leads like Sudowoodo, Hitmonchan, and Huntail will as well
- Once Hypnosis is burned, a million things are not threatened by Ponyta at all. Bulky Water-types, Flareon, Torkoal, anything faster
I really think Fire Spin should be the primary option for either move 3 or 4, since partial trapping + sleep allows fragile Pokemon (Diglett, Belly Drum and Flail/Reversal users, ...) to enter the battle unscathed.

It can also prepare Sunny Day for other team members, even though that might not be so great given Flareon's popularity and kill off Flail/Reversal users with Quick Attack, if you do not sacrificing right at the start of the battle.

White Herb should be mentioned as an alternative Item.
I agree with Fire Spin as a primary move option option, as the partial trap with sleep and good residual damage can heavily ease prediction. I also feel like Substitute is a completely viable option as well, which makes Diglett counterplay significantly easier as well as a more consistent option versus opposing Venomoth leads that may switch out or go for the sleep speed tie. It also gives a chance to scout lead Hitmonchan sets a bit easier without risking a hypnosis miss, as well as scouting to not "waste" the Overheat use because of the Special Attack drop. White Herb is a valid item as well for that reason.

Mention Diglett as a counter, it traps Ponyta and outspeeds it and prevents it from spreading sleep for the rest of the game.


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Imo toxic ahead of body slam. Long term, toxic on a flareon is way more valuable than the temporary chip. And para on flareon doesn’t actually bother it too much, except I guess hp grass flareon now struggling with rocks.

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