Pokemon

GO Battle League analysis: Why Charizard matches the hype

by Paul Cot

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Whether you like it or not, Charizard is one of the most infamous Pokemon in the entire series. However, its hype often doesn't live up to its overall effectiveness in the games. Fortunately, Pokemon Go's Battle League is one place you can rely on this polarizing fire-starter.

With a max CP of 2,889 it can be used in either Great or Ultra League but it is better in the latter. Unfortunately, its max CP means it can't compete with the array of high-level Legendary Pokemon in Master League.

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Underrated typing

We found something similar in our Metagross PvP analysis whereby its typing gave it a lot of advantages. Of course, being a dual fire and flying-type Pokemon, Charizard will have natural weaknesses to electric and water-type attacks. Unfortunately, in addition to this, it is doubly weak to rock-type attacks, so you'll need to avoid them at all costs.

However, come up against an opponent that is using bug or grass attacks and you'll be laughing your way to an easy victory. Both of these will only do 39.1% of their normal damage.

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Elsewhere, Charizard is resistant to fairy, fighting, fire, ground, and steel-type moves. With fairy and steel being some of the more commonly used species in GO Battle League because of their general effectiveness, this is a great resistance to have.

Charizard Pokemon Go
Bulbapedia
The Pokemon Company love Charizard... Despite being more than 20 years old, it is still heavily featured throughout Pokemon.

Varied yet effective moveset

Firstly, let's take a look at Charizard's Fast Moves:

  • Air Slash - 3 DPT, 3 EPT
  • Ember (Elite Fast Move) - 3 DPT, 3 EPT
  • Fire Spin - 3 DPT, 3.33 EPT
  • Wing Attack (Elite Fast Move) - 2.5 DPT, 3.5 EPT

Usually, Elite Fast Moves superior to normal attacks. In this case, though, Ember certainly is not. Therefore, we can disregard it immediately as its inferior energy doesn't compare to Fire Spin which has the damage but slightly higher EPT.

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Meanwhile, Air Slash deals more damage than its flying-type counterpart Wing Attack. The latter does have better energy generation, though. Given the importance of using Charge Moves in GO Battle League, Wing Attack is preferable, but don't waste an Elite Fast TM on it, there are better ways to use it on different Pokemon.

Charizard's Charge Moves are as follows:

  • Blast Burn (Elite Charge Move) - 110 damage, 50 energy
  • Dragon Claw - 50 damage, 35 energy
  • Fire Blast - 140 damage, 80 energy
  • Flamethrower (Elite Charge Move) - 90 damage, 55 energy
  • Overheat - 130 damage, 55 energy


Four of these five moves are fire-types with the exception being Dragon Claw. This makes it a must pick for Charizard, especially when utilizing two Charged Moves.

Getting your opponent's to burn through Protect Shields is vital and Dragon Claw, with a bit of baiting, can allow you to do exactly that. The question then becomes which is the best fire move to go alongside it. Obviously there is little to no point in using two fire-type moves.

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The answer is either Blast Burn or Overheat. Blast Burn is an Elite Charge Move though, so unless you have it already, again, it isn't worth wasting a precious Elite Charge TM on it. This leaves Overheat which is among the very best moves in all of Pokemon Go, at least when it comes to DPE. It is best to use Overheat when Charizard is close to fainting because using it takes away from your attack stat.

Stats

Charizard does have good all-round stats but they are distributed in a way that doesn't favor GO Battle League. Its attack is impressive yet its stamina is relatively low.

  • Attack: 223 (106 of 688)
  • Defense: 173 (185 of 688)
  • Stamina: 186 (203 of 688)

Despite this, because of its typing and decent moveset, Charizard is a useful addition to your PvP team. With the exception of Swampert, it is arguably the best of all the starter Pokemon final evolutions.