Since I always rave on about underrated and underused pokes, here's my info on one of my particular favourites....Ninetales.
First of all, why is 'Tales so unpopular? In the 50, 100, whatever number of teams I have rated, I have NEVER seen one. The most popular straight fires are in no doubt, arcy and entei, while hybrids such as chari and houndy are often featured. Heck, I have seen more MAGCARGOS!!! My opinion is that people just don't notice it. Well I will aim to give a decent study of why this is criminal, and how to use this great beast to its utmost advantage.
First of all, let's check its stats.
Maximum Stats: 349 HP (T47)
250 Attack (T86)
248 Defense (T70)
298 Speed (T19)
260 Special Attack (61)
298 Special Defense (T21)
These may not appear awe-inspiring, but take another look? Appear similar? Well they have almost exactly the same formula as those of venu/chari/toise/megan/typh/feral. That is to say, about 300 in two stats, and about 260 (average) in the other three. The only real difference, is that the starters have about about 10 more hp. The best thing is that this has no weaknesses in its stats, and thus doesn't NEED a move, like tenta needs barrier, or a need to receive baton passes. This poke can clearly handle itself. Its stat total of around 1700 is VERY high.
So let's examine the stats in detail. Its attack is average, but not really worth worrying about. Yet if you worry about mirror coaters, return has a high enough base to be used. As it is a fire poke, what is important is the sp attk. 260, is only average, but the only special attack it should use is 'thrower/'blast, which will get STAB, and can always be augmented by sunny day. The fire attacks have respective base damages of e150/180, ensuring good damage.
It's defense is ok at 250, and a decent amount of HP keep it alive long. What is great though, is the 298 sp def - which nicely counters fire's most well known enemy - water. It's second 'excelling' stat is of speed, allowing to get its thrifty, but decent repetoire of moves in. And also, when the chips are down and ninetales faces extinction, can get off a last ditch stabbed flame attack.
So, now we have established that there is nothing to worry about in the stat department, which is fairly generous, we have to assess its weaknesses. Being straight fire, it has the standard weaknesses to water/ground/rock. Three common attack types, but gloom isn't in the air here. The water weakness is partly countered by the great sp def, but the addition of sunny day takes away all hydro power. The second weakness is ground. Now quake used to be common, before the inclusion of skarmory in so many teams. Now, you only need to fear it coming from a stabbed creature, as pokemon such as miltank, snorlax and tyranitar don't tend to use quake anymore. The last weakness is rock. Again, stab is all you need to fear, and only a few pokes can use a stabbed one (tyran,golem,rhydon are all I can think of). As for pokes who don't get stab, rock slide and AP have a low base damage, and in the case of 'slide, poor accuracy. The last way of countering the more popular is AP is simple - spite can be bred on, and is a lovely surprise move.
So, only a few minor problems. Now let's assess its moves.
The standard used to have faint attack, but a non stabbed 60 base damage attack will be doing no harm, particularly only being super effective vs ghosts/psychics, where a stabbed fire attack will do more damage anyway, and d-teamers can be countered by 'Tales having roar.
Flamethrower or Fireblast are requisites here, and as said before, combo well with a sunny day, which protects and abetts offensively at the same time.
Safeguard is a great move, handy for any team, and whips those parafusion pokes into submission. I personally have at least one 'guarder per team, two if it's possible!
Another good thing about it is that you don't have to bother breeding, which is the same for roar, so no wasting tms.
The best move, and reason for choosing 'Tales over say arcy/entei, is the learned move confuse-ray. This IMO is a much better way of protection than attract, and gives 'Tales more survivability (Magmar can learn it, but it has VERY low defense thus needing barrier). As said, spite is a good move to fit in, helping against low pp moves such as the afore-mentioned move AP, and the very annoying heal bell/recover/softboiled moves. For the lazy poketrainer, 'Tales can learn all of flamethrower/safeguard/roar/confuseray so no breeding/tming is needed for a fine set
As for a good item, if you want it as a starter then the obligatory mira berry, while for a middle poke, leftovers or even charcoal work the best.
So I hope this post has changed your opinion over the pokeworld's favourite fox, and I certainly hope to see it in more posted teams!
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A legendary is only legendary if it has a legendary set.