PKMN.NET :: Pokemon of the Week #12: Blaziken :: #12 of Pokémon of the Week - Generation 6 :: Columns
Pokemon of the Week #12: Blaziken by Richard and Blaziken at Sun 30 Mar 2014 00:00:00 UTC

Welcome to the twelfth issue of 6th Generation's Pokemon of the Week! This week, just the same as last year, we'll be celebrating my birthday by discussing my favorite Pokemon! This week, we discuss Blaziken.

Pokemon Overview

Torchic houses a flame sac inside its belly that burns perpetually. Because of this, hugging it feels very warm. It can launch fireballs of up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Upon evolving, Combusken develops strong thighs and legs. Its mastery of kicking allows it to kick 10 times per second, each with devastating power. It cries out in battle to intimidate foes. Blaziken's long, powerful legs allow it to clear a 30-story building in a single leap. When faced with a powerful adversary, it looses hot flames from its wrists and feet, delivering a mix of fiery punches and kicks.

Competitive Corner

Base Stats: 80 HP / 120 Attack / 70 Defense / 110 Sp. Attack / 70 Sp. Defense / 80 Speed
-Mega Blaziken: 80 HP / 160 Attack / 80 Defense / 130 Sp. Attack / 80 Sp. Defense / 100 Speed

Last generation brought the advent of the Dream World and Hidden Abilities, which changed how some Pokemon would be played forever. Some Pokemon, like Scizor, received abilities that were relatively useless, or inferior to choices they already had. Some others like Dragonite received abilities that made them fantastic choices for competitive battling. The metagame changed drastically from fourth generation's OU, and Hidden Abilities were breathing new life into older Pokemon that lacked a niche before.

So among the Pokemon that got good Dream World abilities, which Pokemon hit the jackpot? Some might say Politoed did, as it changed the way OU was played last generation. But before the fields of OU became soaked in rain, a threat loomed in OU that was so dangerous that every team needed at least one dedicated counter to even be considered an OU team, and far more often, required two. From the Dream World, Blaziken was granted Speed Boost, an ability that gave it a 1-stage boost to Speed at the end of every turn. Combine this with access to Protect and Swords Dance, for punishing staying in and punishing switching, respectively, and you've got something to watch for. Add in a base 120 Attack stat, STAB Flare Blitz and STAB on Hi Jump Kick, which jumped in power last generation to 130, and you've got something terrifying. Add in infinite Sunlight provided by Ninetales, and OU simply could not handle such absurdly destructive power, and Blaziken became the first starter Pokemon ever to be banned from OU and sent to the land of Ubers.

So what about this generation? Infinite weather is gone, and with it, the infinite Sun granted by Ninetales, Blaziken's former partner in crime. How's Blaziken handling OU this time around? Well... Blaziken was the first non-legendary Pokemon banned to Uber again this generation. Simply put, Blaziken was still too much for OU this generation, and once again, has been sent to the land of Ubers, where it faces legendary monsters without fear.

The Last Thing You'll Ever See
Blaziken@ Life Orb
Adamant nature (+Attack, -Sp. Attack) / Jolly nature (+Speed, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 Attack / 252 Speed / 4 Defense
Hi Jump Kick
Flare Blitz / Knock Off
Swords Dance
Protect / Knock Off / Substitute

Blaziken's ban to the land of Ubers has not slowed him down one bit. In fact, Blaziken does very well in this arena, almost astonishingly so. If your opponent isn't hauling Giratina on the opposing team, or an odd dedicated counter, such as Slowbro, they're going to have a rough time switching in if you predict correctly, especially if you have Stealth Rock up. Hi Jump Kick is Blaziken's best STAB move, bar none. The raw power of this move alone makes Blaziken a significant threat to anything not immune to it, and can deter many Pokemon from switching in. Flare Blitz is chosen as the secondary attacking move, due to having near identical power to the last move, and providing fantastic coverage. Knock Off is an option, however, as it provides better coverage and allows Blaziken to actually deal a hefty amount of damage to Psychic and Ghost types in the tier, as well as removing the item of anything that switches in, but Fighting/Dark is resisted by Fairy, and leaves you open to threats like Xerneas and Arceus-Fairy. This is the best method of combating Giratina that Blaziken has access to, and just removing the Leftovers it carries will make it a significantly lesser threat throughout the match, opening the way to sweep later on.

Swords Dance is chosen in the third slot because it allows Blaziken a chance at sweeping through opposing teams. The ability to double your Attack and gain a boost of Speed at the end of the turn is truly frightening. This will most likely have to be done on the switch, however, as Blaziken can't take many attacks, even neutral ones, from the behemoths of the Uber tier. The last slot is important. Protect is usually the best option, as it ensures Blaziken's lackluster base 80 Speed doesn't hinder it, but it's also an obvious move that often lands you in prediction wars with the opponent, leaving you to Protect as they either switch, Sub, or boost. Knock Off is a great option here, allowing you to run both of your STAB attacks, as well as having the single best utility attacking move Blaziken has access to. Finally, Substitute can be used as an alternative buffer, protecting from status, and punishing the opponent for switching very hard. It also opens the door for a safe Swords Dance if the opponent doesn't break the Sub immediately when it's created. Be careful with this one, though, as Sub and Life Orb recoil stack up very quickly.

It is important to keep your opponent's team in mind when using Blaziken. If they have Giratina, don't even attempt a sweep unless you're running Adamant nature and have multiple layers of entry hazards up (Stealth Rock and 2 layers of Spikes are needed to ensure a OHKO against 252/252+ Giratina with a +2 Knock Off; 3 layers if you're running Jolly). Be mindful of powerful priority users, such as Arceus. This goes for any Pokemon, really, but I see this happen a lot more with Blaziken: Just because you get a Swords Dance boost and knock out an opposing Pokemon does not mean you have to keep Blaziken in if the opponent then brings in a priority user than will assuredly end your sweep. It actually puts you in a beneficial position to switch out (assuming Blaziken is healthy enough to justify it) and bring it back later once the priority user has been dealt with. Jolly nature should only be considered if you prefer the extra Speed and already have a Pokemon that is Mega Evolving on your team.

Mega Evolution: Blaziken

Blaziken was given a Mega Evolution this generation. An odd scenario has happened with a few Mega Evolutions, and Blaziken is no exception: their non-Mega counterparts, holding a Life Orb, are more powerful. In Blaziken's case, the loss of power when Mega Evolving is so negligible that it's hardly worth mentioning, as it rarely ever changes whether or not a Pokemon will or will not be KO'd by a move. More importantly, the extra base Speed granted from the Mega Evolution allows Blaziken to more comfortably run Adamant nature, which makes it more powerful and faster than Jolly Life Orb Ken. Simply out, if you're not running a Mega Evolution on your team and you are using Blaziken, you should probably be using Mega Blaziken.

And This Is To Go Even Further Beyond!
Blaziken@ Blazikenite
Speed Boost
Adamant nature (+Attack, -Sp. Attack) / Jolly nature (+Speed, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 Aattack / 252 Speed / 4 Defense
Hi Jump Kick
Flare Blitz / Knock Off
Swords Dance
Protect / Knock Off / Substitute

This set runs exactly the same as the standard Blaziken set, but Protect is a bit more essential here. The reason for this is that on the turn a Pokemon Mega Evolves, its Speed is the same as the non-mega version. This initial turn can be crucial to Protect on, to ensure you're not outsped. Not much to say about this one that wasn't said about the previous set. Mega Blaziken has slightly more bulk, and the lack of recoil from Life Orb helps it stick around a bit longer, especially as both STABs can cause tons of recoil. Substitute is more of an option on this set, as it's much safer to be behid a Sub when everything you do isn't chipping an extra 10% off your health. Just read the first set to know how this works.

Stealth Rock support is essential here, as it closes the gap between what would be 2HKOs, turning them into OHKOs. Spikes support is nice as well, though not as essential as Stealth Rock, since many Pokemon that would give Blaziken trouble, such as Latias or Flying Dragons. Sunlight support from Groudon is nice, but needs Heat Rock if it's to be effective, and since Kyogre is much more self-sufficient, and very common, it's hard to keep up. A Rapid Spinner is nice to have around, such as Excadrill, to keep entry hazards from wearing Blaziken down too quickly. Nasty Plot Darkrai makes a great partner, easily brutalizing the physical walls that can wall Mega Blaziken, as well as nearly ensuring that one opponent gets shut down.

In-Game Information

Torchic was distributed as a launch day event for X and Y along with Blazikenite, which is event-exclusive. Aside from this, obtaining a Torchic requires either WiFi, or PokeBank and PokeTransfer. Wonder Trade could also provide you with one as well, as it's something that has been bred quite often. Here's what I would recommend for an in-game Blaziken:


Hi Jump Kick
Fire Punch / Flare Blitz
Stone Edge
Poison Jab

Blaziken has everything you want for an in-game Pokemon. Hi Jump Kick is your high-risk, high-reward STAB attack, dealing out ridiculous amounts of damage, while your secondary STAB is preferrably one that has a lower risk. Fire Punch has good power with no negative side-effect, but Flare Blitz can be used if all you value is destructive power. It's not recommended for the in-game campaign, however, as you'll be fainting your best Pokemon far too often. Stone Edge is recommended for the 3rd slot, useful for saying Flying Dragons, as well as other Flying Pokemon. Poison Jab rounds out the set, bashing the many Fairy types that X/Y throws at you. What's more, Blaziken is one Fighting type that isn't weak to Fairy attacks, due to the Fire type.

My Thoughts

Blaziken is my favorite Pokemon, that's not a closely guarded secret. You've all likely heard my rants before, so this time I'm not going to go into the Blaziken vs. Infernape rant, because honestly, there is something more I'd like to talk about, something deeper and more personal, if you'll indulge me. If you don't like sappy stuff, if you don't like hearing about how a person can become emotionally invested in a fictional character, or if you just don't want to hear me talk about actual personal issues, stop reading now.

I was 12 years old when I got Ruby version, and I was a naive kid with my head in the clouds. I lost myself in the world of Pokemon, especially during our Hoenn adventures. I had discovered a new favorite Pokemon, and any time life wasn't going so well for me, I could go to Hoenn with my buddy Blaziken and battle the Elite Four to make us stronger. The Pokemon series had hit a high point for popularity, especially as the internet became a thing that the majority of the world had access to. I had been a quiet nerd all of my life, and the friends that I lacked in real life were replaced by the friends I had made in my adventures in Pokemon, until I found this site.

In finding, I finally found people like me that I could relate to. I felt accepted and had a fun environment for learning about something that I cared about, even when my real life wasn't going so well. This website brought me personal growth, and members that I could call friends.

Enter 2007 when Diamond and Pearl ushered in a new era for Pokemon. I had begun to learn the deeper theory behind battling and was experimenting with (terrible) teams in a competitive atmosphere. With these new games brought a faster metagame, and a faster Fire/Fighting Pokemon to use in it. This is not an argument about which is or was better, but how it made me feel. As everyone I knew turned their back on Blaziken, it really made me feel alone again. I understand why people did this now, but back then they were hurting something that I cared about, and something I was willing to defend, no matter how stupid it must seem. Blaziken was my friend when I needed it the most, and I wasn't going to let people talk bad about something that meant so much to me. This point in my life defined me - it was for something that many would consider stupid, but I was loyal to a fault, sticking by Blaziken and using him in OU when it would have been beneficial for me as a competitive battler to jump on the Infernape bandwagon. I felt alone again, but this time it was by choice.

I am not so conceded to actually think that my loyalty alone has had any effect on anything, but in an oddly parallel way, Blaziken has grown with me through each generation. As I entered a dark period of my life with teenage depression due to family problems, Blaziken found himself being abandoned by most people that had sung his praises the generation before, with few exceptions. As I struggled through the hard times and began thinking more positively about life, Blaziken fought his way out of UU into a tier full of legendary monsters, facing them down without fear. And now, when I feel like I have finally found myself and life looks brighter than it ever has, so too has Blaziken found new strength within himself that I as a Trainer help draw out of him. Blaziken is more than just a Pokemon to me; He is an extension of who I am, of what I have been through, and a reminder of how life can turn around for you overnight with just a few changes. No matter what the coming years bring for us, we'll be facing it together.

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Captain Jigglypuff on Sun 30 Mar 2014 11:25:59 UTC.
I beat my Pokemon X game with Mega Blaziken alone. As soon as my Combusken evolved, Mega Blaziken took out the remaining Gym Leader and Elite Four with the exception of Olympia, Siebold, and Drasna. Good article!
SirBlaziken on Sun 30 Mar 2014 12:46:37 UTC.
Wow, Rich, this was better than last gen's article for blaziken. You sir are a genius.