On December 18th it was revealed that we would be getting Heatran for the Holidays opposed to the Sinnoh Lake Trio. This is exciting as Heatran is heralded as one of the tankiest Fire-type Pokemon in the game, boasting a total of 10 resistances. Not only does this suggest Heatran is a powerful Raid counter but that it may also be great in the PvP arena. But of course, what we really want to know is how good it actually is. The article below details not only how to smash Heatran but how to best utilize its powers as well.
Fire Spin and Fire Blast is Heatran’s optimal mono-Fire attacking set.
Bug Bite is the worse move in the situations where Heatran is useful.
Iron Head is better for attacking Ice and Fairy-types.
Stone Edge has no role on gym or raid offense, but may be useful in PvP.
Heatran got a ton of hype prior to its appearance in the game master, where it ended up with the inferior Fire Blast. While its DPS doesn’t keep up with Moltres or even Flareon, Heatran is the bulkiest Fire attacker to date. It also has 10 resistances, 6 of which are double resistances.
In the PvP format, Heatran’s resistances and strong stats allow it to establish oppressive dominance in many matchups. It’s held back a bit by mediocre moves and needs team support to cover its weaknesses to Fighting, Water, and especially Ground.
The Heatran Raid looked like an easy fight even before the changes to type effectiveness. Now that the Lava Dome Pokemon takes 2.56 times extra damage from Ground-type attacks opposed to 1.96, Heatran is a cake. Your best counters in any weather will be Groudon and Rhyperior with their double Ground-type movesets. Even at level 33 they dominate competing attackers sans a weather boosted Kyogre at max level. If you lack these two premium Ground-type Pokemon, threat not! Many Ground-type Pokemon make great counters to this raid boss; even Sandslash can duo!
If you like to play by the weather, Machamp, Hariyama, Poliwrath, and Blaziken are of the best in Cloudy Weather. Breloom is also good but has to wary of Heatran’s hot flames. If it’s raining outside, then Kyogre, Gyarados, and Vaporeon are all potent forces, with Kyogre actually raising to Rhyperior’s level of performance!
Breakpoints and Bulkpoints
It’s not mandatory to hit these breakpoints or bulkpoints, but they are the levels where your attacker will have a noticeable improvement in their performance. If you are unfamiliar with what a breakpoint or bulkpoint is, we suggest checking out our guides on breakpoints and bulkpoints. If you’re curious about the breakpoints of other Pokemon or fast moves, you can find them using our breakpoint tool. You can find your Pokemon’s unique bulkpoints using our bulkpoint tool as well.
Weather boosts will also affect the breakpoints of Pokemon. We have noted the relevant breakpoints for weather boosted Pokemon down below. Friendship will also influence breakpoints. This article will assume Best Friend status.
|Groudon||20.5, 25.5, 33 | 22☀️, 26.5☀️, 33☀️||29, 30.5, 35, 40|
|Rhyperior||27, 29.5, 33, 38 | 27☀️, 29☀️, 31.5☀️, 35.5☀️, 39.5☀️|
|Rhydon||27, 29.5, 33, 38.5 | 27.5☀️, 29.5☀️, 33☀️, 37.5☀️|
|Swampert (Mud Shot)||25.5, 36 | 23☀️, 29.5☀️|
|Kyogre||25.5, 28.5, 33, 39.5 | 26.5☔, 29☔, 33☔, 38.5☔|
|Golem (Mud Slap)||27, 29.5, 34, 39.5 | 28.5☀️, 30.5☀️, 35☀️, 39.5☀️|
|Flygon||26, 37.5 | 23.5☀️, 30☀️|
|Machamp||27.5, 35 | 26.5☁️, 31.5☁️||29.5, 32.5, 36, 38.5|
|Hariyama||27.5, 35 | 26.5☁️, 31.5☁️||29.5, 31, 35, 39|
|Gyarados||26, 29, 35 | 25.5☔, 28☔, 31.5☔, 37.5☔|
Heatran in the Meta
Boasting 10 resistances, 6 of which being double resistances, Heatran is poised to serve many different roles in the meta. As a raider, Heatran won’t have nearly the same DPS as Moltres but is far tankier. Fire-types have pretty limited roles as raiders, however, so you may want to hold off on powering up a Heatran until there’s a raid you want/need a powerful Fire-type for; unless of course, you have aims to use it in the Master League.
High PvP Potential
In the Master League, Heatran is surprisingly good. You’d think Heatran’s specialty would be melting Steel-type Pokemon, but it’s actually in taking out Flying-types. With its set of unique resistances and Stone Edge, Heatran has a positive match up against Dragonite, Rayquaza, Salamence, Lugia, and Gyarados. You’d think some of these Pokemon could overcome Heatran with Hydro Pump, but the energy cost and damage output is too low to really threaten Heatran.
Ironically enough, Heatran’s tougher matchups come from Steel-type Pokemon. The troubles Heatran has as a Fire-type lie in the massive 80 energy cost of Fire Blast. Metagross has faster energy gains and Earthquake, and Melmetal has the deadly Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt combo. If using even shields, Heatran has the potential to beat them out with its Fire Spin damage and Stone Edge, but the KO won’t be coming from Fire Blast. Because of Fire Blast’s low utility, it may be better to run Fire Spin + Stone Edge and Iron Head for Heatran’s set. Or you could save some dust and just roll with Stone Edge alone (although this will cause you to lose to Tyranitar).
In the Ultra League Heatran performs similarly to how it does in the Master League, functioning more as a “Rock-type” Pokemon than a Fire-type one. However, Heatran does take on more risk in this league as more optimized attackers carry effective attacks such as Counter, Earthquake, and Surf. If you’re using Heatran in your Ultra League core, try to feature Dragon, Flying, or Grass-types that can counter Heatran’s weaknesses and take advantage of Heatran being able to easily take out Flying, Fairy, and Ice-type threats (and Steel-types, if circumstances allow).
As for the Great League, Heatran is currently ineligible, unless you make a level 14 account and trade Heatran to it for the sole purpose of using Heatran in the Great League. If you put forth the effort to do that, do know that the Great League is filled with even more Pokemon that eat Heatran for breakfast. Ever think you’d lose to a Whiscash? Welcome to the Great League, fool.
Heatran is a welcomed addition to Pokemon GO. Not only is it arguably the greatest Fire-type in the game but it functions well in the Master League on top of it. For those who are more conservative on Stardust, Heatran also makes a great addition to Ultra League teams with Fire Spin and Stone Edge. Heatran will only be around until January 15th, so be sure to stock up while you can!