Pokemon Scarlet & Violet‘s region is easily the largest in the series. Paldea is positively sprawling, as befits the first truly open-world Pocket Monsters experience. It would have been criminal to find too few Pokemon of any type within its borders, let alone a type as popular as Fire.
Thank goodness that hasn’t happened. There are more than enough Fire-type Pokemon in Paldea to suit our fiery fancies. Who among them ranks the best? Well, that depends on how one qualifies best — in this particular case, we’ll be looking at viable competitive contenders to ignite the Scarlet & Violet fight, with fair consideration to coolness, too.
Updated September 18, 2023 by Quinton O’Connor: With the first half of Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s big DLC expansion now out, we’re looking back at our type rankings lists, to see if there’s anything from the Kitakami regional Pokedex that makes the cut!
There’s something perfect about Scorvillain being a Grass/Fire-type, and not just because it’s a sentient hot pepper plant. Grass catches fire oh so easily, hence the blatant type weakness; we reckon anybody who takes a bite out of Scorvillain will discover that the same thing happens to their tongue in short order.
Scorvillain makes the cut here almost entirely on coolness factor. Competitively, we can’t see it sweeping any circuits with such dainty defenses (and not many methods to circumvent the issue). On the flip side, Scorvillain isn’t weak to Fire, Water, Ice, or Ground; on the Grass side, that’s good for Fire and Ice, whilst on the Fire side, it’s similarly good news for Water and Ground.
Coalossal was a beast in Pokemon Sword & Shield when circumstances aligned in its favor, though maybe not so mighty otherwise. That trend will doubtless continues in Scarlet & Violet — the Rock/Fire coal-themed defensive tank’s ‘Steam Engine’ ability gives it a whopping six-stage Speed increase when struck by a Fire attack (relatively unlikely) or a Water attack (considerably likelier).
Its fairly high HP and excellent Defense make Coalossal capable of enduring hard hits from Attack-based Water moves, though a ‘just decent’ 90 Special Defense won’t stop more Special-oriented strikes from leaving a dent. All the same, Coalossal’s at the very least a good pick for the single-player campaign.
As rad as they are visually, there’s been a lot of hope that Armarouge and Ceruledge would be champion-tier competitive pals. Alas, we won’t be going that far with the praise, but they’re still capable sorts overall. Armarouge’s weaknesses against Ground, Rock, Water, Dark, and Ghost are somewhat offset by a resistance to an impressive seven other types, and its base stat total of 525 is lovely.
Armarouge’s great Special Attack stat is matched by a paltry Attack, leaving numerous all-timer Fire attacks off the menu. Its movepool is dandy enough to scrape by without them, though you’ll need to be cautious with your usage of ‘Overheat, as unless you’re switching out afterward, the reduction to Armarouge’s key offensive stat cripples it considerably.
We like Ceruledge a bit more in the upcoming competitive scene. Fire/Ghost is always a fun one, and the combo’s supported by moves like Flare Blitz and Shadow Claw. Ceruledge is the opposite of Armarouge, in that its Attack utterly eclipses its Special Attack. Granted, Ghost-types don’t have a wide pool of physical moves, but again, Shadow Claw is a winner.
Easy recommendations for filling out the rest of Ceruledge’s moves right now would be Swords Dance and Close Combat. The recommendations will shift with time, though, probably leading to a less conventional approach down the road.
550 for a base stat total turns heads, and 135 Special Attack keeps them tilted. We’re sorry if all the stat-speak is a bit overboard, but at this juncture in the lifespan of Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s meta, it’s going to be a prime consideration. And consider this: Volcarona has an incredible 135 Special Attack. This Bug/Fire Unovan native gets Bug Buzz, Overheat, and the Special Attack booster Fiery Dance.
Volcarona can also set things up with Leech Seed, a nice add for a non-Grass Pokemon. Just be supremely cautious if you know your opponent has a Rock-type on thier team, because that’s almost surely an instant knockout.
We can warmly welcome Unovan fan favorite Fire-type Chandelure back into the fold courtesy of Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s Teal Mask DLC. Joining the new region’s Pokedex, Chandelure brings its fantastic stat spread to the scene, and we can be certain we’ll see at least a few of these on top-tier teams in the year or so to come.
Catch yourself a Litwick, evolve it into Lampent, and evolve that Lampent into the Special Attack all-star Chandelure ASAP by tapping into the power of the Dusk Stone.
None of Skeledirge‘s stats rewrite the book on power, but it leads with a 110 Special Attack that can link up with its signature move, Torch Song, to deal decent damage while building toward higher output courtesy of a boost upon delivering the hit.
Plus, Skeledirge is Fire/Ghost, which we’ve already praised; needless to say, consider not having it on the same tournament-bound team as Ceruledge. This crocodilian Paldean starter is our fave of the fully-evolved batch, but maybe we’re just eager to see a non-bipedal starter remain that way for a change.
It comes as a surprise to Pokemon fans diving into the meta for the first time whenever Arcanine partially dominates Fire-type lists. Growlithe and Arcanine have been a part of the franchise from the beginning, and unlike Charizard and Moltres, its picture isn’t stamped on every child’s schoolbook from here to Kanto.
But Arcanine’s a menace, particularly more so right this instant. Intimidate lowers the opponent’s Attack, but the arrival of the Clear Amulet, a held item that prevents the wielder from suffering Attack decreases from moves and abilities, is circumvented with the powerful pup’s Will-O-Wisp.
In the running for our top spot is Chi-Yu, a Dark/Fire fish (that’s right, no Water to be found here) with sky-high stats and an ability called Beads of Ruin that reduces foes’ Special Defense by a full quarter. All the better, then, that Chi-Yu is solidly a Special Sweeper — that is to say, a Pokemon built from the bottom up to deliver boatloads of Special Attack pain.
Inferno and the ever-reliable Inferno are both great Fire choices, Dark Pulse works well for Dark, and Ruination (a move that’s only used by the four members of the Treasures of Ruin) cuts the target’s current HP in half — situational, but a fantastic way to trim down bulky stall-tactics tanks when necessary.
1 Iron Moth
If ever there were a time to celebrate the existence of Volcarona, it’s the series’ ninth generation. Not only is Volcarona one of the best Fire-types, but Pokemon Scarlet & Violet push the envelope further by introducing Iron Moth, an alternate version of Volcarona that might just be the best in the game.
To begin with, Iron Moth’s stats jump 20 points to 570. Always nice. That includes a slight uptick to the high Special Attack. Fire/Poison’s got eight resistances, and only one double weakness (Ground). Poison still isn’t the most adored of Pokemon’s 18 types, but Poison moves can be, and Iron Moth’s got them in spades.
Iron Moth is a tough, tough Fire-type with all sorts of ways to fill it with Special-based offense in a meta that looks to be heavily focused on the offensive side of the competitive equation, too.