Blast Burn Charizard and Its Place in the Meta

Blast Burn Charizard and Its Place in the Meta

5/15/2018 UPDATE: A recent game update has revealed that the information in this article was based on was mistaken. Blast Burn was first confirmed in a Japanese Youtube video. After obtaining the move data from the video we updated our site and began analysis. See our update here for information regarding the Blast Burn change. 

Teasing the upcoming Community Day, Niantic confirmed on Twitter that Charizard’s special charge move will be Blast Burn. Following this announcement, Blast Burn’s stats were revealed giving trainers some insight on what to expect. Un/surprisingly, Blast Burn is the Fire-type clone of Frenzy Plant, making it the most powerful Fire-type charge move in Pokemon GO. While the inclusion of Frenzy Plant had allowed Venusaur to beat out Exeggutor for Grass-type damage per second (DPS), things aren’t so simple for Charizard who has the legendary Pokemon Moltres and Entei to compete with.

Using our comprehensive DPS/TDO spreadsheet and GoBattleSim, we are able to get both a general and specific look at how Blast Burn Charizard competes with the best.

Comprehensive DPS/TDO
PokemonFast MoveCharged MoveDPSTDO
Fire Spin
Blast Burn
Fire Spin
Fire Spin
Fire Spin
Fire Spin
Fire Spin
Fire Spin

Looking at Charizard’s comprehensive DPS/TDO ranking, it appears Charizard barely beats out Moltres by 0.094 DPS with Blast Burn. However, how bridgeable the 66.6 gap in total damage output (TDO) is will be matchup dependant -when gyming it will be hardly noticeable, but for raids it will likely hold Charizard back. That being said, regardless of the raiding setbacks, the inclusion of Blast Burn is a huge boon for Charizard as it increases its DPS by 2 points. While it’s not quite enough to usurp Moltres or Entei, hundreds of thousands of stardust saved from a high level Charmander catch can make the difference in what you will actually power up and use. 

To add some perspective to Blast Burn Charizard’s future in the meta, Heatran’s predicted ranking has been included on the above chart. As you can see, whichever Pokemon sits on the Fire-type throne is only keeping it warm for Gen 4; Heatran’s DPS in on par with Molres and its TDO is far superior to our current Fire-type options (and that’s before factoring in Steel-type's added resistances). With this in mind, if you haven’t powered up a Moltres or Entei already, you won’t be limiting yourself by sticking with a few weather boosted Blast Burn Charizard until Gen 4 drops. If anything, sticking with Charizard will save you Stardust and Rare Candy for Heatran.

Blast Burn in Raids

As noted before, Blast Burn Charizard has some setbacks raiding when compared to other options. With the Regi-trio being the only legendaries left for Gen 3, Fire-type's most relevant matchups will be Regice and Registeel. At first glance, it appears Moltres beats out Charizard in both DPS and TDO, but it’s important to keep in mind that these graphs use the average performance of 2000 simulations. Because Blast Burn is a multi-bar charge move and Overheat is a single bar charge move, Blast Burn Charizard’s performance will be more consistent with its average where Moltres’s performance can be more of a dice roll. For example, against Registeel Moltres’s DPS can range from ~13 to ~15, while Charizard never dips below 14. This doesn’t mean that Charizard is the better pick, it just suggests that Charizard is more consistent than and just as powerful as Moltres.

Since Moltres and Charizard have the same typing, we can compare them using a DPS In/Out Graph. In such a graph, the x-axis is the DPS of the enemy when your Pokemon has a Defense of 1, and the y-axis is the DPS of your Pokemon.

The above DPS In/Out Graph is generated for Moltres and Charizard assuming both have half the charge energy left. Some reference points of enemy DPS1 are marked. This should clear up why Charizard is ranked higher in our DPS spreadsheet while Moltres is still favored in simulations against Regice and Registeel.

If you’re curious as to why Entei isn’t doing hot against the Regi's when it’s known for high TDO, in the current game master all Regi’s are programmed to carry Focus Blast and Regice is programmed to carry Earthquake. Because Charizard and Moltres’s resistances to these attacks help pad their TDO, Entei only gets an advantage against Blizzard Regice, making it less versatile in the upcoming Tier 5 raids. That being said, if you have powered up an Entei already, it’s still a great addition to your battle party as long as you keep it away from Earthquake Regice.

Blast Burn in Gyms

When considering Blast Burn’s use in gyming, it’s important to highlight that Fire-types are one of few that resist Fairy-type attacks. In Pokemon GO, this gives Fire-type Pokemon a unique advantage over the common Dazzling Gleam Blissey. Typically Fire-type’s lack of super effective hits holds them back enough where this advantage is heavily diminished (due to experiencing more Dazzling Gleams), but with a clear weather bonus their performance can rival Focus Blast Mewtwo.

With this in mind, at first glance Blast Burn Charizard doesn’t appear to be a great Blissey counter but like Entei, its performance significantly improves with a clear weather boost. While this boost only allows Charizard to rival its competition, Mewtwo, Entei, Moltres, and Groudon are all using single bar charge moves. Not only are multi-bar charge moves better for attacking gyms in general, but depending on the level/motivation of the Blissey, Charizard’s performance will often go beyond its immediate competitors with Blast Burn (while still staying a leg behind Machamp’s DPS).

Closing Thoughts

Blast Burn is a huge boon for Charizard in Pokemon GO, taking its performance to near legendary heights! While Moltres and Entei still stand comfortably above our favorite dragon in general performance and raiding, Blast Burn gives Charizard enough bite to make it a budget replacement for either. In addition, when considering how powerful the Gen 4 legendary Heatran is projected to be, it may be wise to hold onto your Star Dust and Rare Candy for Gen 4 rather than spending it on Entei and Moltres.

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