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Make-a-Mega: Arcanine

Introducing Mega Arcanine, the PokéCommunity’s latest Make-a-Mega concept!

Before Pokémon Sun and Moon introduced the Z-Move mechanic to the games, fans all over the world were stunned by the then brand new (and thankfully returning) mechanic of Mega Evolution. Mega Evolution brought with it not only fascinating new forms but a massive boost in power to many Pokémon. Thanks to Mega Evolution several otherwise weak Pokémon like Mawile or Manectric were turned into fearsome threats.

Unfortunately though, some of our favourite Pokémon didn’t receive the Mega treatment and vast amounts of potential went untapped leaving some amazing options behind in the Pokémon arms race. Make-a-Mega is the PokéCommunity’s way of fixing this oversight however, as our regulars select one of these left behind Pokémon and give it a new Mega Evolved design and matching changes to its Ability, type and stats. For the last Make-a-Mega we developed three Mega Evolved forms for Castform and gave it an enormous boost in competitive viability. This time, we have created a fantastic Mega Evolution for Arcanine.

As of Generation Six, Arcanine resides in the UnderUsed tier so it is quite a bit more powerful than most of our previous Make-a-Mega selections. Despite this though, Arcanine is still lacking in some regards and doesn’t quite make it to the big leagues of the OverUsed tier. We at the PokéCommunity have fixed that!

The Original

“They call me a legend.” (Image Source)

#059 Arcanine
Classification: Legendary Pokémon
Type: Fire
Ability: Flash Fire/Intimidate/Justified

Base Stats
HP: 90
Atk: 110
Def: 80
Sp. Atk: 100
Sp. Def: 80
Spe: 95

Arcanine has quite a lot going for it. It has a decent enough type in Fire and an absolutely enormous base stat total of five hundred and fifty-five. It also has a pretty good ability in Intimidate that lowers your opponent’s Attack every time you switch in and two other options that aren’t completely useless either in Flash Fire that powers up Fire moves and Justified that increases Arcanine’s Attack if it is hit by a Dark move such as the extremely common Pursuit or Sucker Punch.

Taking a look at Arcanine’s stats, you might notice that it has noteworthy Attack and Special Attack with a base one hundred and ten for the former and a straight hundred for the latter. This means that any Pokémon that doesn’t resist Arcanine’s attacks or possess extremely high defensive stats is going to have a hard time taking too many hits from this beast.

These potent offenses are then supported by a potent (although admittedly not particularly expansive) movepool. In particular, Arcanine’s pool of physical moves is notable containing a devastating Flare Blitz as well as Close Combat, Wild Charge and Crunch which are powerful coverage options that hit most of the Pokémon that resist Arcanine’s Fire STAB. Also worth mentioning here is Extreme Speed which hits nothing super-effectively but is also the most powerful priority move. Arcanine’s Special movepool is less impressive but is also not to be ignored completely containing dangerous Fire STAB moves such as Fire Blast and Flamethrower as well as potent coverage options in Solar Beam and Dragon Pulse. Compounding these offensive bonuses Arcanine also has access to both Toxic and Will-o-Wisp which can cripple defending Pokémon making it easier for Arcanine to break through them. Arcanine’s devilish offenses are however offset by an extremely average Speed stat that leaves it vulnerable to dangerous threats regardless of its power and coverage.

Thankfully, considering it is unlikely Arcanine will get to consistently hit first, this Pokémon is also quite bulky with ninety HP and eighty Defense and Special Defense. In fact, it is predominately used as a bulky wallbreaker and not as a sweeper on account of its lackluster Speed. With access to Substitute to temporarily prevent damage, Roar to phase out problem Pokémon as well as recovery thanks to Morning Sun, this longevity is further increased. Arcanine also resists several common offensive types by virtue of its Fire typing. Unfortunately for Arcanine however, its type also leaves it weak to Ground, Water and Rock. These weaknesses are offensively prominent, leaving Arcanine vulnerable to the omnipresent threats of Stealth Rock and Earthquake. Despite Arcanine’s decent bulk and recovery, that is going to greatly hamper Arcanine’s staying power.

Arcanine’s faults however, might seem to greatly outweigh its flaws and this is true for the most part. It has high offensive stats, a potent offensive movepool, decent bulk and even Substitute and recovery. Arcanine’s biggest weakness honestly comes in the form of competition. Within its own tier of UU, Entei and Infernape are both alternatives. Entei hits harder with access to Sacred Fire, has comparable bulk and is also faster although it has an otherwise less impressive movepool and no recovery whilst Infernape is close in power but has a better typing and movepool and is much faster despite being far more fragile.

The next tier up, OU, sees even stiffer competition from the bulkier and more powerful wallbreakers Heatran and Volcanion whom also have better types and also Mega Charizard-Y who is arguably the most powerful wallbreaker in the tier. Using Arcanine as any sort of sweeper in OU is also inconceivable since it is severely outclassed in that regard by Victini, Mega Charizard-X and Talonflame. Even RU, the next tier down from Arcanine’s offers competition in the form of Choice Scarfed Emboar. Unlike most of our previous Make-a-Mega Pokémon, it isn’t that Arcanine itself is a bad Pokémon or has any really significant weaknesses that holds it back. Arcanine is simply outclassed by numerous other Pokémon that can fulfill the same or similar roles. So, how has the PokéCommunity helped Arcanine stand out from the crowd?

New and Improved

“I eat legends!” (Image by CDB)

Mega Arcanine
Type: Fire/Fighting
Ability: Contrary

Base Stats
HP: 90
Atk: 145 (+35)
Def: 90 (+10)
Sp. Atk: 145 (+45)
Sp. Def: 90 (+10)
Spe: 90

At first glance, you might have groaned at Mega Arcanine’s typing – after all Fire/Fighting has been quite a common type combinations over the years. However, that’s a type niche left unfilled in the OU tier and one chosen with a good reason. On top of that Mega Arcanine carries the extremely useful ability, Contrary, which it is very well equipped to make use of. With fantastic stats and its already dangerous movepool on top of all that, Mega Arcanine can now stand apart from its competition.

First and foremost, Mega Arcanine possesses truly massive offenses with a base one hundred and forty-five for both its Attack and Special Attack stats. In fact, it has the highest physical Attack of all of the Fire Pokémon in the OU tier whilst also being greater than the majority of the Fighting types. Conversely, it has the greatest Special Attack of all the Fighting types in the tier with only Mega Charizard-Y having higher in the Fire-typed category. This means that Mega Arcanine hits incredibly hard especially when you factor in its movepool which includes dangerous STAB options such as Flare Blitz, Close Combat and Overheat, good coverage like Wild Charge and powerful priority thanks to Extreme Speed. Furthermore, Arcanine can now abuse Overheat in a similar manner to how Serperior does Leaf Storm thanks to its new ability, Contrary which inverts changes to Mega Arcanine’s stats. This means instead of Overheat lowering Mega Arcanine’s massive Special Attack, using the move will actually make it even more powerful. In fact, any attempts to lower Mega Arcanine’s threatening attacking stats will only raise them and make it even more dangerous.

Defensively, Mega Arcanine’s stats have only slightly improved although it will have the capacity to take neutral hits a bit better and it was already quite bulky. The biggest boons to Mega Arcanine in terms of its defenses come thanks to its change in typing and its new ability. Whilst gaining the Fighting type actually leaves Arcanine with fewer resistances than its regular form, it also causes its extremely unfortunate weakness to Stealth Rock to disappear improving its longevity quite a lot. Additionally, Contrary sees Mega Arcanine develop the ability to increase its defenses as it will invert Close Combat’s side effect of lowering the user’s Defense and Special Defense causing those stats to increase instead and making Mega Arcanine much bulkier.

Surprisingly though, despite these huge gains, Mega Arcanine manages to avoid being broken at all. Offensively, Mega Arcanine is still severely outpaced by several other powerful Pokémon such as Mega Charizard-X, Talonflame or Keldeo meaning that those are all better options if you’re looking for a Pokémon to sweep your opponent with – instead it functions as a wallbreaker. Defensively Mega Arcanine is bulky but not quite hardy enough to wall most Pokémon, something made worse thanks to the several new weaknesses brought on by its additional Fighting type, and has to fear numerous common offensive threats such as the aforementioned Talonflame and Keldeo or Mega Gardevoir and Choice Scarfed Landorus. With a Speed stat comparatively low to the rest of the tier, its powerful coverage wouldn’t be much help in fixing that issue.

Mega Arcanine is an extremely powerful Pokémon and whilst it still faces competition from a few other exceptional Pokémon, like Heatran or Mega Charizard-Y, in filling its role, it manages to stand out from a previously extensive list of competition. As a concept, our Mega Arcanine could easily become one of the best wallbreakers in the OU tier were it ever become reality whilst also managing to remain extremely well balanced. Brilliantly designed, fair and fiercely powerful, the PokéCommunity’s Mega Arcanine is truly a Pokémon players the world over would love to have on their teams.

Edited by bobandbill, Nick Wilde and Z25
Put one of our Make-a-Mega Pokémon to use by submitting a potential moveset for our Mega Roserade.