in Articles, Reviews, URPG by ChainReaction01

Last week we took a look at the Pokemon Charizard, and how much of an asset it can be in your Battling and Coordinating career. This week, prepare to tackle the ordeal of earning one…
Charizard is Demanding-level Pokemon, so you’d need to write a very good story to capture one. Normally I’d look at Charmander, as it’s the lowest evolution stage in Charizard’s family, but since Charmander is buyable in the PokeMart if you’re going to pull a Charizard out of a story you might as well do it in style.
First off, any story involving Charizard will need a fleshed-out storyline in addition to developed characters and interesting descriptions. Considering the fact that it can be hard to identify with a very powerful protagonist, I advise you to look at making Charizard an enemy to defeat. Perhaps it’s a dragon that killed the protagonist’s parents in battle, or it’s a legendary wyrm that all warriors aim to defeat. However you involve it in the story, make sure you try to utilise as many of Charizard’s moves as you can. Start with a close-up battle where the dragon can use Slash, Earthquake, Fire Punch, etc, and then have it take flight and use long-range moves like Flamethrower, Solarbeam, and Air Slash.
Charizard also has the potential to be an interesting side-character too. A rival with everything to prove, a quiet mentor reluctant to give out secrets, or a badass bounty hunter who crosses the hero’s path before helping him out later on. If you really need one, Charizard can even act as a flying transport, carrying people or objects from one place to another. Sure, there may be better “pack mule” Pokemon than a fiery dragon, but few could do a better job of protecting valuable cargo than Charizard.
National Park
Charizard is a solid partner for Trainers going into the Park. Considering that high quality posts tend to deter high-damage attacks, Charizard’s double weakness to Rock-type moves isn’t nearly as crippling as it is competitively. Not only that, he has reliable healing in the form of Roost, and a nice wide movepool to hit almost anything that comes along. Charizard’s Fire typing also gives it access to one of the best status-inducing moves in the game: Will-o-Wisp. Burning a target Pokemon gives it a huge bonus to the capture chance, so Charizard can feasibly perform all the way through a battle, from start to end.
Charizard is found in Mount Deckbi, along with both of its previous evolution stages. Since Charmander is a PokeMart option, few people will attempt to capture one. Still, if you feel like it, there are a few things to remember. Firstly, Charmander doesn’t have nearly as wide a movepool as Charizard, so you don’t need to worry about as many tricks. Unfortunately, its lack of sheer size and firepower means the small lizard will be forced to battle cleverly, using the terrain to its advantage. Trainers expecting a straight battle with a Charmander will usually be surprised.
Battling Charizard itself, however, is a different story. These fights will usually be tests of might, as a Charizard will come out swinging. Expect multiple fiery blasts and Solarbeams. If you manage to get up close, Charizard is fine with that too – Earthquake, Brick Break and Fire Punch ensure that Charizard is just as deadly up close as it is far away.
One of the most famous Charizard-users in the URPG is Monbrey, one of the Staff Members. I chased him down and managed to get a few words out of him about his favourite Pokemon. His Charizard is the current NUKEM at a very impressive 91 EMs. Even more impressive, it was Ultimate NUKEM for a period of time, overthrowing the long-time Ultimate: husnain’s Gengar.
So, why do you like Charizard?
It’s half nostalgia from when I first got Pokemon Red as a kid. And it was a total badass back then. Still is a total badass. But given that mine is fully EM’ed, it has got some pretty awesome coverage and can pull out all sorts of strategies people don’t expect. Plus, it’s got the option to fight using either Special-based moves using its base stats, or it can run Swords Dance and fight Physical.
So, it’s got a lot of maneuverability, as a Pokemon?
Yeah, I’ve always found some sort of use for it in most battles. As long as I can avoid the rock moves (laugh).
Are there any real triumphs you’ve had with Charizard that stick out in your mind? Gym Challenges, Tournaments, etc?
There was one match against the Canalave Gym where I managed to set up Special Attack +3 and Sunny weather with my Jolteon. Baton Passed that to Charizard, and he swept. That’s a good example of its all-out power. Another time, I defended my Dojo against a Garchomp by stalling out a burn and surviving a couple of Stone Edges. I used the Burn attack drop, Roost and hell, even Defense Curl.
Wow, impressive. Is there any basic advice you’d give to someone who wants to start using a Charizard?
Figure out what direction you want to play him in before you start using your moves. By that I mean think about if you you should focus on the high-powered Special attacks, set up for a Physical game using stuff like Fire/Thunderpunch, or even walling sometimes. The versatility is good, but you need to know which one to use. And teach him to dodge rocks.
On the other side of the coin, is there anything that Charizard users need to watch out for, besides the obvious Stealth Rock?
Mostly just little things. Don’t underestimate Electricity by forgetting you’re part Flying-type, or alternatively don’t forget Ground-type moves when you Roost. If you take too long setting up your opponent will bring you down.
Lastly, it sounds like Charizard can benefit from team support. Any team-mates in particular you would advise?
A strong water or grass type always helps if you need to counter its obvious weaknesses. Swampert is pretty good at getting both the Rocks and Electrics.
Okay, thanks for your time. Anything you want to add in at the end?
Nope. (laughs)
Final Review:
Charizard has his faults, there’s no doubt. He’ll always have that crippling Stealth Rock weakness, and his just-above-average stats means that he’ll probably need a turn of set-up to wreak true havoc. Still, if you get him out under sunlight, or before tho Stealth Rock even goes up, you’ll find Charizard can pull his weight. Add this to how easy the fiery dragon is to obtain, and you might just have a new star on your team this time next week.

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