During the month of September Entei will be available as the quest reward Pokemon in Pokemon GO. Additionally, on September 8th trainers will have a shot at capturing Moltres during the 3-hour Moltres Day event. Entei and Moltres currently reign supreme as the two greatest Fire-type Pokemon available. Their prestige and the free candy may tempt you to power them up but before you invest, you should be aware that Gen 4 may bring a spicy new Fire-type Pokemon that could power creep on these legendary Fire-types. Additionally, the potential for Fire-type starter Pokemon like Blaziken to receive Blast Burn may also dwarf their power. While ultimately neither are “bad” investments, you may want to consider the points in this article before spending your hard earned stardust.
If you’d like an audio version of this article, check out this video.
If you're curious about Sky Attack Moltres, we have an analysis on that coming out Friday. Spoiler: it's good but it doesn't do a whole lot for Moltres.
The Current Meta
Previously, powering up a Fire-type Pokemon would have been reasonable as they are of the greatest counters to the Articuno, Regice, and Registeel raids. At this time their only relevant use is for Tangela solos which you don’t really need to power up Entei or Moltres for; Blast Burn Charizard, Flareon, and Rayquaza all work great. Looking towards the future raid scene of Gen 4, there doesn’t appear to be any tier 5 raid bosses which using a Fire-type would give you a great advantage.
If you had powered up an Entei or Moltres back when Regice first came out, don’t fret. It’s just that now our Fire-types most relevant raids are behind us and future raids don’t look too promising for them, you may want to hold off on powering any more up.
Gen 4 is bringing a strong candidate for Fire-type power creep in the form of Heatran, the lava dome Pokemon. Heatran shares the same attack stat as Moltres but has much higher bulk. To further add to its defense, Heatran also has a Steel sub-typing which gives it doubled up resistances to Grass, Bug, Steel, Ice, and Fairy-type attacks. Unless Niantic completely burns Heatran’s chances by giving it poor attacks, Heatran is set to surpass all Fire-type Pokemon currently released.
This being said, one fault in Heatran’s armor is its doubled weakness to Ground-type damage. While Fire-types don’t face Ground-type damage often, Regice did carry Earthquake. Against these attacks Moltres or Blast Burn Charizard will likely serve you better. However, with no conclusive release date for Heatran, don’t pass up any great opportunities to solo, duo, trio, etc a new raid for the sake of holding out for Heatran!
Blast Burn Blaziken
When Blast Burn Charizard was released for May’s community day event, it was powerful enough to make leveling up an Entei or Moltres questionable. It didn’t beat them outright in damage, but it came close enough to their level of strength that if you had caught a high level Charizard you may as well not power up Entei or Moltres. If Blaziken’s future community day also gives it Blast Burn, Blaziken will outright surpass Entei and Moltres.
If you’re unfamiliar, Frenzy Plant, Blast Burn, and Hydro Cannon are special attacks that all starter type Pokemon can learn in the main series games. Therefore, it stands to reason that Blaziken would obtain Blast Burn for its community day event. The potential for Blaziken to get Blast Burn will be most telling with Chikorita’s community day. If Meganium receives Frenzy Plant it will be likely that starter type Pokemon will always receive one of these attacks. If it doesn’t then anything could happen.
If you’re curious about other “starter” type Pokemon and their exclusive moves, check out this article.
Just like with Raikou, Gen 4 presents new Pokemon that power creep on the current best. Unlike Raikou, these new Fire-type Pokemon may outright surpass old favorites rather than just compete with them. Beyond the addition of new stronger and better Pokemon, the potential for Blaziken to obtain Blast Burn through a community day event also presents a problem for our Fire-type legendaries to maintain their status. For these reasons presented, along with the low current and future raid viability of Fire-types, you may want to hold back on powering up Entei or Moltres. That said, don’t let the future hold you back from participating in any raid challenges you may need them for. Even though Heatran and Blast Burn Blaziken have the potential to beat out Entei or Moltres, it may be awhile before we actually get them.
Don’t let your memes be dreams! Just be mindful of the foreseeable future before spending your hard earned stardust.