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Is Hisuian Typhlosion a Good Pokemon?

When the starters of the Pokemon Legends Arceus game were first announced – Cyndaquil, Oshawott, and Rowlet – right away, I decided on Cyndaquil for my first playthrough. This decision was strongly drawn to the idea of playing around with the Fire/Ghost typing that was rumored for Hisuian Typhlosion. Having a starter in a similar vein as the powerful Chandelure seemed quite appealing to me. This actually turned out to be the case, and I wasn’t disappointed in Typhlosion’s regional form. Let’s dig into just how good this Hisuian form starter really could be beyond Legends Arceus itself, diving into just how good Hisuian Typhlosion could be competitively.

Is Hisuian Typhlosion good enough to become the best of the three Hisuian starter final evolutions? It’s safe to say that he’s probably not, as Hisuian Decidueye seems to be by far the most popular of the three among the fan-base. Even Hisuian Samurott, with his neat design and additional Dark typing, has more fans than Typhlosion in Hisui. In any case, the Fire starter is the one I chose for Legends Arceus, and I don’t regret that choice one bit. 

Overall, Typhlosion is a good Pokemon, having exactly the same stat spread as Charizard, without the Flying type, which makes it a better Pokemon defensively. Typhlosion also has the powerful Fire-type move, Eruption, better known today as Torkoal’s premier attack. The issue with Eruption is that its power fades as your Typhlosion’s HP decreases. Torkoal has become a premier user of the move thanks to bringing its own Intense Sun with its Drought ability, powering up its otherwise modest base 85 Special Attack. Typhlosion has 109 Special Attack, making its Eruption hit much harder. In Intense Sun, Fire-type moves have 50 percent more power, and on a Sun-powered team, Typhlosion can be a monster. In the Sword and Shield era, which lacks Typhlosion, Charizard can set its own Sun with Max Flare when Dynamaxed or be paired with a Torkoal. 

However, there are some notable differences in Pokemon Legends Arceus for Typhlosion in Hisui. Out of all three Hisui starters, Typhlosion is the only one that gets a slight change in its base stats. According to Ranked Boost, Hisuian Typhlosion gains 10 Special Attack vs normal Typhlosion, making it 119. This is a nice boost, but the 10 base points he loses elsewhere could prove important. He goes from 78 base HP to 73 base HP, which isn’t all that big a deal, but he loses 5 speed, knocking him down to 95 rather than 100. Will that be a huge deal in competitive play? There’s a possibility that it won’t matter all that much.

Could Hisuian Typhlosion prove to be better than its original mono-Fire type form? It would’ve been incredible for it to exist within Sword and Shield, being able set its own Intense Sun weather with its own Max Flare. Unfortunately, the Hisui forms won’t be in official Pokemon competition until Generation 9 with Scarlet and Violet, in which Dynamax will no longer exist. Still, we can look to the current Sword and Shield metagame to get a glimpse at Hisuian Typhlosion’s future competitive potential.

First off, let’s consider Hisuian Typhlosion’s defensive match-ups. Gaining a Ghost type means it gains both a Ghost-type and Dark-type weakness, but gains an immunity against Normal and Fighting moves. The new typing also cuts damage from Poison by half and Bug type moves by an addition half to one-quarter effectiveness. Essentially, becoming more like Chandelure, and getting a STAB (Same-Type Attack Bonus) Shadow Ball are huge pluses for Typhlosion. Notably, normal Typhlosion has been able to learn Shadow Claw by TM already, so it’s not a huge stretch for the Hisui form to be learn this move by level up, which it does at level 43. 

Hisuian Typhlosion also gains a signature Ghost-type move in Infernal Parade. It’s basically a better version of Hex. This move only has a 60 base power, although it becomes a 90 power move with same-type attack bonus. It can leave the target with a burn, and also has the Hex-like benefit of dealing double damage to a target with a status condition. Hisuian Typhlosion learns this by level up only 3 levels before Shadow Ball, which might be the better move overall. Still, the possibility of leaving a burn is nice. 

Does the Ghost Type Make Typhlosion More Competitive? 

The new dual typing that Hisuian Typhlosion does have significant advantages over its base form. Of course, the Pokemon powers-that-be continues to give fan favorite Charizard perhaps more support than any other pocket monster in the history of the game besides Pikachu. Typhlosion was NU (Never Used) tier in Smogon singles during the Sun and Moon era, typically being run with a Choice Specs held item. It often used Eruption, Flamethrower, Focus Blast, and Hidden Power Grass.

With Hidden Power no longer available to Pokemon other than Unown, it’s very likely that move slot will be replaced with Shadow Ball for the Hisuian form. Typhlosion was somewhat outclassed by Magmortar even in Sun and Moon at the time, but the additional Ghost-typing will afford far more defensive utility. 

If there’s any Pokemon that Hisuian Typhlosion is good against in terms of Sword and Shield era Pokemon, it’s Zacian. Behemoth Blade, Sacred Sword, nor Close Combat does anything to our homeboy. Another super powerful Pokemon in Thundurus can’t use Brick Break or Superpower on it, either. Most notably, Hisuian Typhlosion is also completely immune to the popular Normal-type move Fake Out.

On the downside, gaining the Ghost-type also gives Hisuian Typhlosion a new weakness to Dark-type moves. Notably, there are Pokemon with powerful Dark-type moves in top tier competitive play, such as Dark-type Urshifu’s Wicked Blow, plus the occasional Incineroar with Darkest Lariat or Grimmsnarl with Foul Play. Also, Typhlosion is still weak to Ground and Rock type moves, which Landorus-Therian covers perfectly with Rock Slide and Earthquake. 

So, Hisuian Typhlosion does have to watch out for Landorus-T and Single Strike Urshifu, making him a Pokemon perhaps better suited to switch in for blanking Fake Outs and Fighting-type moves. He can even tank a U-Turn better than most. Offensively, rather than expect Hisuian Typhlosion to still pack Focus Blast (which is really only good against Incineroar), it may instead gain Extrasensory as an Egg Move, as the type coverage of Psychic is much more relevant against mons like Venusaur and Rapid Strike (Fighting/Water) Urshifu.

What is the Competitive Potential of Hisuian Typhlosion in Scarlet and Violet?

Without a doubt, Hisuian Typhlosion simply gaining the Ghost-type has made him a substantially better Pokemon. As soon as he enters the competitive scene with Scarlet and Violet, you can bet there will be plenty of people breeding for a Timid nature and the move Extrasensory; to do this, you can breed with Spoink/Grumpig, Stantler, Oranguru, and Zorua/Zoroark. In a battle between original Typhlosion VS Hisuian Typhlosion, though, there are a lot of upgrades that gaining the Ghost-type has already proven to offer just in my first (and likely only) Legends Arceus playthrough.

There are a couple of unfortunate things that became of Hisuian Typhlosion, however. Thanks to data leaks before the game’s official release, it was discovered that the Hisui form Pokemon already had data with significant changes to their move pools and abilities. In particular, Hisuian Typhlosion loses the Flash Fire ability for Frisk. While Frisk is a good ability, letting you know about the opposing Pokemon’s item, it means this Typhlosion loses that defensive versatility.

The more devastating changes are with Hisuian Typhlosion’s learnset. It lost Eruption, its best Fire-type move. While this isn’t a total loss, as you can still run Flamethrower, Shadow Ball, Focus Blast, and Extrasensory, the damage potential is greatly reduced. It’s not the end of the world for this Pokemon, as we will still have Torkoal to use Eruption, but it makes the Hisuian form lose ground to new Fire-types from Generation 9.

When it comes to competitive singles, Choice Specs Hisuian Typhlosion should make some noise, if not in the top tier of OU, at least in UU it would seem. But, it seems to match up well enough that a clever player can make the new Typhlosion a good defensive switch-in, revenge killer, and potential special sweeper. However, as Pokemon Scarlet and Violet offers two excellent Fire/Ghost types in Skeledirge and Ceruledge, it’s unknown just how Hisuian Typhlosion could fit into the new metagame. It’s possible that with the right support, though, we may still see him even in official VGC doubles.

What do you think of Hisuian Typhlosion?

Updated 2/9/2023

 Pokémon and All Respective Names are Trademark & © of Nintendo 1996-2023 

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Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy. Personal Website: https://www.thephoenixdesertsong.com

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