Humbling Heatran: A Raid Guide

Heatran

Source: Bulbapedia

Okay, who is planning the legendary releases over at Niantic? We’ve had Giratina, then Cresselia, now its Heatran. I thought we were getting the Lake Guardians because they featured on the Christmas banner but no, we cut straight to Heatran. I’m having mixed feelings about seeing this guy, and not because he just ran away from me.

On one hand,I don’t have to recommend Tyranitar. I wouldn’t, it doesn’t have the moves to effectively bring it down. So we finally get to see some new guys other than using Tyranitar at an endless wave of legendaries susceptible to it. That’s great, this is variety. We get something new as well. The Lake Guardians would have meant using more Tyranitar. Its good they got pushed back.

Then again, to mix it up makes it a little messy. It might have been better to finish the Sinnoh mascots then move on to the Lunar Duo before Heatran. I expect we’ll see all of them by the time we get to Generation 5, which ought to debut in late 2019 or early 2020 depending on when they run out of Sinnoh legendaries.

Now, is Heatran better than Cresselia. Yes, it is but Cresselia is a really low bar. Heatran has a unique Steel/Fire typing that removes the pesky Rock weakness suffered by its fellow Fire types. However this gives it a double weakness to Ground moves that Moltres doesn’t have. However having Steel as one of its types grants it resistances to a lot of types, including Dragon and even makes it a Fairy counter although Meteor Mash Metagross is still the go to Steel type for that.

Heatran has 251 attack, 213 defence and 209 stamina. That’s slightly better than Moltres but Heatran is let down by a subpar moveset. If it had what Moltres had, it would have surpassed it as a Fire attacker but its still a decent legendary if you can’t get a good Moltres. As a steel attacker it doesn’t get a fast move for Steel so its not going to surpass Metagross with Meteor Mash. Its good to have if you can’t get the best of the best.

Typing

Resists Weak To Normal Damage
Bug Ground Fire
Grass Water Electric
Ice Fighting Ghost
Poison Dark
Steel Rock
Fairy
Normal
Dragon
Psychic
Flying

Heatran has 10 resistances, of which 6 of them are double resistances or extra resistance due to it being immune to that particular type in the main series. So be careful, don’t use those moves of those 6 types or you’re gonna have a bad time. Also don’t use the moves from the remaning 4, you’ll still have a terrible time fighting it.

Fortunately, Heatran has one huge weakness to Ground moves, a double weakness in fact. Try to use as many strong Ground Pokemon as you can get your hands on. If not, go with gym attacker stalwart Machamp or a strong Water type to hit it. Water Pokemon also resist Heatran’s fire and steel moves so there’s the added defensive bonus.

Movesets

Fast Move Type Power
Bug Bite Bug 5
Fire Spin Fire 14

Fire Spin benefits from STAB so its the far more dangerous when facing or using Heatran. Bug Bite is annoying as an actual bug bite. I don’t even know why they gave it Bug Bite over a steel fast move. That might have something to do with the fact that it may not have an equivalent move in the main series to use as a steel fast move.

Charge Move Type Power Bars
Fire Blast Fire 140 1
Iron Head Steel 60 2
Stone Edge Rock 100 1

If you’re using Heatran, Fire Blast and Iron Head are the moves of choice. They are the more dangerous moves as a raid boss, benefitting from STAB. Stone Edge is wasted on Heatran, it won’t bring out the best in it so don’t bother with it. Tyranitar ,Rhyperior and Golem utilize it far better than Heatran ever will.

Fire Blast is underwhelming and Heatran would benefit more from having Overheat as its Fire move but a pure Fire Heatran is still within the top 10 pure Fire attackers so its a viable alternative to the flame king known as Moltres.

Iron Head is no Meteor Mash but a moveset with Fire Spin and Iron Head places Heatran as an overall 6th among Pokemon with Steel charge moves. Its strange to see Jirachi outperform Heatran but at least the latter can claim to be in the top 10.

Assembling The Team 

Ground types ought to be the first Pokemon you consider when building your team. After that, you can consider using water or fighting types if you don’t have enough good ones. Personally I’m happy to use more of my roster other than 6 Tyranitars. EX raid? 6 Tyranitars. Cresselia? 6 Tyranitars. Mewtwo? 6 Tyranitars. Giratina? Yep you guessed it. 6 Tyranitars.

1: Groudon 

Groudon

Source:Bulbapedia

Mudshot and Earthquake. That’s the best moveset against Heatran. STAB supereffective against its double ground weakness. Groudon is the current best Ground type out there and if you have powered up a few of them, put it in your team. Its worth the candies and stardust. Even better if Heatran is using Stone Edge, Groudon will wall it and pay back Heatran with interest.

2: Rhyperior 

Rhyperior

Source:Bulbapedia

Forever second to Groudon and Tyranitar as either a Ground or Rock attacker, Rhyperior is not the superior Pokemon. However you may have missed out on Groudon or can’t get enough rare candies to invest in it. On the other hand, Rhyhorn is still available in the wild and its candies are far more common than any legendary.

Sinnoh Stones right now are easier to obtain thanks to it being included as a PvP reward. You could in theory use Rhydon if you can’t afford the candies or have the Sinnoh Stone but Rhyperior is the better choice.

When using Rhyperior, go with the same moves used by Groudon. Mudshot and Earthquake and nothing else. I know Rhyperior gets Surf but its not as good as Earthquake. Just be wary of Heatrans bearing Iron Head, Rhyperior is weak to Steel moves.

3: Kyogre

Kyogre

Source:Bulbapedia

The other member of the weather trio I’d recommend, Kyogre doesn’t get to take advantage of a double weakness but it resists Heatran’s STAB moves and hits back with a tsunami. Kyogre should only use the moveset of Waterfall and Hydro Pump. You could use Thunder but if you have the right Kyogre just spend a Charged TM on it to make it a water attacker. Thunder does neutral damage but it seems like a waste to use that when you have Hydro Pump.

4: Machamp

Machamp

Source:Bulbapedia

We all know Machamp, the OG fighter from Kanto who has been one of the best since Generation 2 or 3. He’s likely to remain so until Generation 5 when he’ll have a real challenge from Conkeldur. Machamp is one of the first choice Gym attackers to the point where defenders try to place their Pokemon such that they don’t leave a easy path for Machamp to clear.

When using Machamp against Heatran, just use fighting moveset. Preferrbly use Counter and Dynamic Punch if you can’t afford to TM Close Combat into the latter. Avoid any of its steel moves.

Honorable Mentions

RhydonSource:Bulbapedia

Rhydon’s stats are not very far off from Rhyperior. Its actually a very expensive evolution given it costs 100 candies and a Sinnoh Stone. If you can’t or don’t want to do it, you can try using Rhydon instead of its evolution.

Rhydon has 222 attack, 171 defence and 233 stamina. Rhyperior has 241 attack, 190 defence and 251 stamina. Its undoubtedly an upgrade on Rhydon but Rhydon isn’t that much worse off. Its worse relative to Rhyperior but remains a handy alternative if you don’t have the big man himself. It only costs 25 candy to evolve , to get those stats for 25 candy is an absolute bargain.

If using Rhydon, go for Mud Shot and Earthquake over the rest. Don’t use Rock Smash and Surf, no matter how tempting it may be.

Garchomp

Source:Bulbapedia

As of now, Garchomp isn’t out but if it were, I’d push it further. Garchomp, like Groudon is able to hit Heatran for that double weakness but Garchomp also resists its fire moves thanks to its Dragon typing. If you’re facing a fire attack Heatran then Garchomp is definitely the best. Stone Edge for the same reason as the other Ground types.

Conclusion

I could have gone on with more Pokemon to recommend but the list would have been far too long. Ground, Water and Fighting are strong in the current meta with plenty of top contenders to use on Heatran. You can use Golem even if its not there. Gyarados or Vaporeon, Hariyama also make good choices if you’re struggling to come up with the right ones. There’s just too many to really list them.

I think Heatran is in that category where it isn’t good enough to be the best but its too good to be ignored. You can definitely find some use for it if you don’t have a good Moltres or Entei to use.

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