05/21/22, 13:08
Arcanine Analysis
#058 Growlithe Pokédex Strategy Moves Database Poliwag #060

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This article gives you ideas of how to use Arcanine in battle in the Pokémon Black, Pokémon White and Pokemon B2W2 Games. It lists popular movesets used by competitive battlers, as well as a description on how to use each set to help you understand why the moves were chosen. These popular sets are usually the best to use in battle and so reading this guide will help you in your team building.

Gen 4: Overview

Arcanine is usually used on offensive teams that are looking for some Speedy Fire-type that is able to defeat many Pokémon with its powerful attacks.

Ability Nature Item HP Atk. Def. SpAtk. SpDef. Speed
Intimidate Adamant / Jolly choice band / choice scarf 6 252 none none none 252
There are no current set statistics analysed

Flare Blitz is the primary attack, doing a lot of damage after the Choice Band and STAB boosts to any Pokémon that doesn′t resist it. Thunder Fang is to be used for bulky Water-types such as Vaporeon, Gyarados, Suicune, Milotic etc., since with Choice Band and max Attack EVs, it will 2HKO or OHKO said bulky Waters. ExtremeSpeed is for a powerful priority move that will help Arcanine in some cases, such as when you face a fast sweeper that threatens Arcanine with its STAB attacks, like Dugtrio for example.

Body Slam is for the Choice Band set as Paralysis can help make up for that 95 Base Speed; while Crunch provides more coverage with the Scarf set in the event your HP is too low to use Flare Blitz again.

Ability Nature Item HP Atk. Def. SpAtk. SpDef. Speed
Flash Fire Timid / Modest choice specs / choice scarf 6 none none 252 none 252
There are no current set statistics analysed

Flamethrower is for a constant STAB Fire move that has a lot of PP, while Fire Blast is for a more reliable way of denting your opponent, but comes with the price of less accuracy and PP than Flamethrower. Hidden Power Grass is for stuff like Swampert and Rhyperior, since with Choice Specs and Arcanine′s amazing Special Attack stat, you will score an OHKO on Rhyperior and Swampert, making you have an easier time sweeping the opposition once one of your biggest counters are down. Hidden Power Ice is for Dragon-types such as Dragonite, Salamence, Flygon etc., while Dragon Pulse forms excellent coverage with Flamethrower / Fire Blast.

Overheat makes Special Arcanine a very though Special sweeper since with such a high powered STAB move you′ll get a lot of kills; while SolarBeam is a “better” Hidden Power Grass but you have to use Arcanine on a Sunny Day team for it to work effectively; as without the Sun you′ll have to charge.

Ability Nature Item HP Atk. Def. SpAtk. SpDef. Speed
Flash Fire Naive life orb none 228 none 92 none 188
There are no current set statistics analysed

This sets ability to hit from both ends of the spectrum makes it a great wall breaker since it hits the common walls on their weaker Defense stat. A Flash Fire boosted Overheat from this spread will severely hurt Hippowdon and Donphan, and it will OHKO Gliscor. It even does considerable damage to Physical walls that resist it, such as Slowbro and Swampert, who each take about 50% HP if they have max HP and carry no Special Defense EVs. Flare Blitz functions as a way to eliminate Special walls, specifically Blissey. With the Flash Fire boost, it has a 6/13 shot to OHKO a max HP and Defense Blissey, but those that invest some EVs into Special Attack / Special Defense are surely one-shotted.

Of course, things that resist Fire can shut it down, which is why Hidden Power becomes very important. You can use Hidden Power Grass or Hidden Power Electric to cover Water-types. Hidden Power Electric stops Gyarados, but Hidden Power Grass lets you take on Swampert and Rhyperior. Arcanine can use Hidden Power Fighting to cover Rock-types, specifically Tyranitar. Hidden Power Ground also hits the Rock-types like Hidden Power Fighting does, but it hits Heatran x4 instead of x2 at the cost of less power against Tyranitar, and covers Tentacruel a bit better. Dragon Pulse is there in the case you′re extremely afraid of Dragon-types, while ExtremeSpeed can be used for a useful priority move.

Ability Nature Item HP Atk. Def. SpAtk. SpDef. Speed
Intimidate Bold leftovers 240 none 168 28 none 72
There are no current set statistics analysed

Arcanine is too frail and too sluggish for a full-fledged sweep, he also can′t pose much of a threat to an opponent′s Pokémon meaning they can easily switch-in. Then what? How should one use our little pooch? The answer is startling, as a bulky utility Pokémon to force switches and hit with an assortment of moves! Arcanine makes an excellent defensive Pokémon since it has a base 90 HP stat and base 80 Special Defense and Defense stats. These alone coupled with Intimidate make it an excellent defensive Pokémon.

Will-o-wisp is the most important part here, as most things that switch into Arcanine are either a Physical resist or special Fire / Water-types. The beauty here is that you can cripple those Physical switch-ins with Will-o-wisp. Gyarados, Salamence, Tyranitar etc. and the wide assortment of Ground based walls are crippled by a Wisp, as it cuts their attack in half. The special Water-types that switch-in will have to deal with -12% each turn, which is a bother to the likes of Vaporeon, who pride themselves of being bulky, are suddenly hurt badly. And since people think you are Banded or whatnot, nobody is a fool enough to switch-in a Special wall that isn′t Water-typed.

Hidden Power Ground helps with Infernape and Heatran, Pokémon that are immune to Will-o-wisp. Roar is another move that can aid at Stalling, and it also helps at phazing the dangerous stat up sweepers present on the opponent′s team. Stealth Rock is a huge problem to this set, so the use of Rapid Spin is mandatory. The next move is your STAB of choice. Do you like reliability? Then choose Flamethrower. Extra kick? Fire Blast. Hit and run? Overheat. The choice is yours…

The EVs ensure you survive powerful Physical attacks such as Jolly Choice Band Dugtrio′s Eartquakes and Stone Edges from the likes of Tyranitar, after factoring in Intimidate of course. The EVs also allow you to outspeed Jolly Tyranitar and things that outspeed Jolly Tyranitar by one point, and in addition they allow you to 2HKO most Heatran and Infernape with Hidden Power Ground. Leftovers are used to get some HP on switch-ins and switch outs.

Ability Nature Item HP Atk. Def. SpAtk. SpDef. Speed
Intimidate Adamant life orb / leftovers 6 252 none none none 252
There are no current set statistics analysed

Arcanine′s lack of offensive boosting moves leaves it with Howl. Use Howl to boost your Attack stat after switching into something that′s crippled by Intimidate. Proceed to get a few Howls in and sweep primarily with Flare Blitz and ExtremeSpeed. Being walled by Rock-types leaves Iron Tail which has power but slightly unreliable accuracy. You can opt to use Thunder Fang to hit bulky Waters who want to wall you, like Gyarados.

Alternate EVs: 252 Atk / 76 HP / 180 Spe

Ability Nature Item HP Atk. Def. SpAtk. SpDef. Speed
AgilityNine-Physical Version AgilityNine-Physical Version life orb 108 252 none none none 150
There are no current set statistics analysed

Ever think Arcanine needed a bit more Speed? Well here′s your chance. Use Intimidate to send in Arcanine more easily and set up an Agility. From there proceed to sweep with 455 Attack and 526 Speed. The EVs given allow it to outrun max Speed Scarf Gengar after one Agility.

Ability Nature Item HP Atk. Def. SpAtk. SpDef. Speed
Intimidate Modest life orb 150 none none 252 none 108
There are no current set statistics analysed

Same concept as the aforementioned Agility set, but on the Special side. Fire Blast is preferable because of the extra power. Dragon Pulse to hit Salamence and other Dragons pretty hard. Hidden Power Grass to get rid of Rhyperior and Swampert who love to wall you. Hidden Power Ground to hit Heatran and others for some super effective damage.

Note: Fire Blast does more damage than a 2x super effective Hidden Power Ground if not resisted.

Most Used Set

Arcanine is usually used as a Choice Bander with the following moves: Flare Blitz, Thunder Fang, ExtremeSpeed, and Body Slam / Crunch. With the aforementioned moves you′ll get near excellent coverage and the power to beat a lot of Pokémon. Just so you get a general idea about the destructiveness of this set, here are some damage calculations for an Arcanine using a Choice Band boosted Thunder Fang against a 252 HP / 252 Def Bold Suicune: 41.23% - 48.42% damage...A 2HKO with Stealth Rock down! Even the bulkiest of bulky Waters is 2HKO′ed by this beast…This just shows how much power a Choice Band Arcanine carries, hence this sets extreme usage.

Other Options

Every competitive viable move has been covered.

Usual Counters

Arcanine has many counters in the form of bulky Waters. Most bulky Waters such as Suicune, Gyarados, and Swampert can take Arcanine on depending on the set and what Hidden Power type it′s using. Rhyperior and Swampert quickly come to mind if the set does not include Hidden Power Grass. Even with the move, both are likely to survive if at full health and will easily OHKO with Eartquake. Bulky Waters will always limit Arcanine′s effectiveness, but Thunder Fang at least gives the pooch a chance to fight back, especially against Gyarados. Additionally, Flash Fire users, particularly Heatran, can pose a problem, as, unless Arcanine carries Hidden Power Ground, it does not have anything to deal considerable damage to them should they switch-in on a Fire move.


Arcanine is a really underestimated Pokémon that can function pretty well with any role you give it to do. It is very versatile and has a lot of options for movesets, but it′s let down by its Stealth Rock weakness and not having any way to recover its HP, but that doesn′t mean that you shouldn′t consider him on a team of yours.

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