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[SMOGON] Gen 8 OU (Beta) Cinderace Competitive Analysis
#1
The starter final evos were left as mysteries to those of us who didn't check the leaks, as GAME FREAK did the unexpected and never revealed them, not even the mid evos. Well, I think the wait was more than worth it as we got some really fire Pokemon designs. Today we're gonna check out the hot topic of the new starters with Cinderace, the final evo of Scorbunny. This rabbit soccer player is gonna help you blaze a trail of glory with some heated matches in the current OU Metagame. And with that, let's get started!

BST
 
[Image: 815.png]
Cinderace
Fire
Abilities - Blaze, Libero
HP - 80
Attack - 116
Defense - 75
Sp. Atk - 65
Sp. Def - 75
Speed - 119

Cinderace has an amazing 116 on the base attack and an equally impressive 119 Speed to back it up, it's defenses aren't the best but that's to be expected from glass cannon Pokemon like this. While it is a pure fire type it gets a really decent coverage overall and it's ability Blaze can come in hand in tight situations. It's Hidden Ability Libero, which is currently unavailable, acts like a reverse Protean, where instead of changing the Pokemon's type, the move matches the Pokemon's type instead, thus making every attack STAB. I believe once Libero releases, it will have many interesting uses, but for now we can only use Blaze. So, lets look at the sets.

Fast Boi
[Image: 815.png]
Cinderace @ Choice Scarf  
Ability: Blaze  
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  
Jolly Nature  
- Pyro Ball  
- U-turn  
- Iron Head  
- Double-Edge

Stats and Item

Cinderace should always be used as a fast physical late game sweeper, so without any doubt, you will always max it's speed and attack accordingly. I have gone with the Jolly Nature alongside the Choice Scarf as a means to help outspeed Dragapult, while also helping it outspeed other matchups like Gengar. Choice Scarf (and all Choice Items) will lock you into using the first selected move, so you naturally need to be wary.

Moves

One of two signature moves Cinderace recieves in Sword & Shield is called Pyro Ball. Pyro Ball is a 120 BP move with 90 accuracy, and a 10% chance to burn the opponent. Effectively, it's a safer option over Flare Blitz due to there being no major drawback, except for the accuracy. This is easily Cinderace's best attack, as we'll see later. U-Turn will deal damage and cause the user to switch out of a dangerous situation, and with Cinderace's speed on this set, you will more than likely be going first in most cases. With Fairy Types finding more use due to Dragapult's reign over the meta, Iron Head has become a staple on Physical Pokemon sets that can run it. Cinderace is, again, one of those many that can utilize it. It also has a 30% chance to flinch. Finally, I have opted to put Double-Edge on here. While it isn't a specific counter to anything, it's another powerful attack that Cinderace can utilize on Pokemon that resist it's stronger STAB Pyro Ball. This can easily be swapped for something like Zen Headbutt too.

Damage Calcs

252 Atk Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Ferrothorn: 436-516 (124.2 - 147%) -- guaranteed OHKO
(436, 436, 444, 448, 456, 460, 468, 472, 472, 480, 484, 492, 496, 504, 508, 516)

252 Atk Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Darmanitan-Galar: 584-690 (165.9 - 196%) -- guaranteed OHKO
(584, 590, 600, 606, 612, 620, 626, 632, 638, 648, 654, 660, 668, 674, 680, 690)

252 Atk Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Aegislash-Shield: 254-302 (78.3 - 93.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
(254, 258, 260, 264, 266, 270, 272, 276, 278, 282, 284, 288, 290, 294, 296, 302)

252 Atk Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. +1 252 HP / 0 Def Grimmsnarl: 171-202 (43.4 - 51.2%) -- 6.6% chance to 2HKO after Figy Berry recovery
(171, 174, 175, 177, 180, 181, 183, 186, 187, 189, 192, 193, 195, 198, 199, 202)

252 Atk Cinderace Iron Head vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Mimikyu: 194-230 (76.9 - 91.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
(194, 196, 200, 202, 204, 206, 208, 210, 212, 216, 218, 220, 222, 224, 226, 230)

Soccer Pants
[Image: 815.png]
Cinderace @ Focus Sash  
Ability: Blaze  
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe  
Lonely Nature  
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Def / 0 SpD  
- Court Change  
- Pyro Ball  
- Iron Head  
- High Jump Kick

Stats and Item

So right off the bat, this is starting to look like one of my Unconventional Sets isn't it, well that's sort of the point here. I've discovered a rather niche Cinderace set that works around Blaze. It's IVs in HP, Defense and Sp. Def are all 0 so that you'll be dropped to Blaze% HP as fast as possible, you will also have the Lonely Nature to help with this as more Physically stronger Pokemon tend to run the meta currently. This set is very specific but it works ridiculously well in practice. The Focus Sash will help it to live a hit that would OHKO it at full health. Do keep in mind this isn't a super serious set and is more experimental.

Moves

Remember when I said one of two signature moves? Well I wasn't lying, it's second signature move is called Court Change. In the event that you happen to be facing a trap setter, Court Change can be really useful as you will swap the field effects with the opponent. So say they've set up max Spikes, Rocks etc, Court Change will place those Hazards on the opponent's side instead of yours. I find this to be extremely useful, and unlike Rapid Spin which needs to hit the opponent to work, this is a Status move, meaning Corsola cannot block it. See above for the uses of Pyro Ball and Iron Head. High Jump Kick is a super strong fighting type move, 130 BP, but if it misses it will deal 50% recoil to the user. High risk, high reward, great against a lot of Pokemon if it lands.

Damage Calcs

252+ Atk Cinderace High Jump Kick vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Grimmsnarl: 204-241 (51.7 - 61.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Figy Berry recovery
(204, 207, 209, 212, 214, 216, 219, 221, 224, 226, 228, 231, 233, 236, 238, 241)

252+ Atk Cinderace High Jump Kick vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Hydreigon: 316-372 (96.9 - 114.1%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO
(316, 318, 322, 326, 330, 334, 338, 342, 344, 348, 352, 356, 360, 364, 368, 372)

252+ Atk Blaze Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Aegislash-Shield: 420-494 (129.6 - 152.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
(420, 422, 428, 434, 438, 444, 450, 452, 458, 464, 468, 474, 480, 482, 488, 494)

252+ Atk Blaze Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Ferrothorn: 712-840 (202.8 - 239.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
(712, 720, 724, 736, 744, 756, 760, 768, 780, 784, 796, 804, 808, 820, 828, 840) lol

252+ Atk Cinderace High Jump Kick vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Tyranitar: 532-628 (131.6 - 155.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
(532, 540, 544, 552, 556, 564, 568, 576, 584, 588, 596, 600, 608, 612, 620, 628)

Threats

Dugtrio is back and is no stranger to stopping "OP" Pokemon, its Scarf Set can throw Cinderace for a loop and KO it with a STAB Earthquake. Gyarados and other strong Water Types will naturally pose a threat, and of course, like usual, Dragapult is a threat to just about everything in the meta at the moment.

Team Sets

Cinderace will take care of opposing Ice types with ease so utilizing it alongside Dragapult or Hydreigon can be a great pairing.

On the set without Court Change, a Rapid Spin Pokemon like Excadrill is a great way to get rid of hazards.

Torkoal with Drought can be of use to help power up Pyro Ball even further, and it also gets Rapid Spin. 

Other Options

Realistically, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Cinderace's potential. You can easily opt to run Adamant Scarf, or Jolly Band on it.

And even then you can run Life Orb to have a more open moveset.

If you're really trying to scare off Fairy Types, Cinderace can also learn Gunk Shot.

On the Focus Sash set, you can also run Counter instead of HJK as a nice mixup and possibly OHKO a stronger opponent.
OU MASTER RACE
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#2
Are you sure you didn't misread Libero? According to Serebii it behaves exactly like Protean. "Libero: Changes the Pokémon's type to the type of the move it's about to use." If I've misread it and it works as you say, then Libero is useless in singles as you can just run something with Flash Fire.

Other than that, I'm really stoked to see where Cinderace ends up in OU and VGC.
Just a fossil from the days of olde.
Sword and Shield Trades
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