Pokemon Sword & Shield: Best Fire-Type Pokemon For Online Ranked Battles

Fire-types have always been a fan favorite among long-time Pokemon fans. Some regions like Sinnoh are disliked for their lack of these heated Pokemon, but Pokemon Sword & Shield thankfully features many old and new Pokemon with new Fire-type moves and abilities to help them remain in competitive play.

Not all of Galar’s Fire-types are worth using, though, as many still lack the stats to defeat the strongest foes the region has to face. If you plan on using Fire-types in Pokemon Sword & Shield online ranked battles, you’re going to need the very best the game has to offer.

Updated December 20, 2021, by Quinton O'Connor: Pokemon's competitive scene is ever-evolving, and with each notable evolution comes the need for updates to lists of this nature. With Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl now out, some gamers have tilted their attention entirely toward Sinnoh's long-awaited remakes – yet for all intents and purposes, Game Freak is treating Sword & Shield as its chiefly supported online battling venue until further notice. We've added a few recent upstarts in the Fire-type field and (with respect to their everlasting majesty) removed some who have fallen out of favor.

15 Darmanitan

The Ice-type Galarian Darmanitan has definitely taken hold over competitive Pokemon, but the normal Fire-type Darmanitan is hardly worse. This physical Fire-type is all about its Attack stat, getting wiped out by nearly any Rock, Water, or Ground-type moves while beating down nearly any Steel-type without enough defense to survive a Super Effective move.

If you want to try something a little sillier, Darmanitan also learns some highly unusual support moves for Double Battles. Using Yawn to put your foes to sleep or the new Lash Out to punish your opponent's stat-changing strategies will let Darmanitan do a lot more than just damage, even its fists are the real reason to include it in your team.

14 Victini

Psychic/Fire and cute as a button, Victini is making waves recently as a mixed attacker thanks in part to its 100 spread across every base stat. Bolt Strike, a move Victini shares with only one other Pokemon in the entire series (Zekrom), is a high-power Electric attack with a 1-in-5 chance to paralyze the opponent. And Glaciate – a move the so-called "Victory Pokemon" only shares with that other Black & White dragon, Reshiram – might lack Bolt Strike's inherent oomph, but an Ice-type strike with a 100 percent chance to lower a foe's speed is pretty nifty.

You'll want a Fire-type attack as well, of course, and Victini's signature V-create is an almost absurdly powerful option. The only caveat is that it reduces Victini's stats by a stage, but if it does the job, how much can that matter?

13 Alolan Marowak

With a record-setting number of weaknesses, few people likely expected Alolan Marowak to become one of the strongest Fire-type Pokemon, particularly one of the strongest Fire-types in Sword and Shield. Dynamax helps it immensely, letting it survive Super Effective strikes and hit hard with physical Fire and Ghost-type moves.

That said, its main uniqueness is in sharing the Lightning Rod ability with its Kanto counterpart, which makes it immune to Electric-type attacks while drawing them away from allies. This gives this Pokemon a unique bit of invulnerability, meaning you can swap Marowak in against popular fighters like Regieleki and Raichu without sacrificing a turn.

12 Salazzle

The first-ever Poison and Fire-type combination is a well-awaited mix, as Salazzle is extremely difficult to counter thanks to one of the widest Super Effective ranges of any Pokemon. Its same-type moves will take down Grass, Fairy, Bug, Steel, and Ice-type Pokemon with great ease, much thanks to a Speed stat that lets it outrun the strongest members of these types.

You can also use Salazzle to take down slow stallers like Metagross or Celesteela, since it can use its ability Corrosion to inflict Poison ailments on Steel-types. Even if Salazzle dies the next turn, quickly tossing Toxic onto one of these before swapping to a defensive Pokemon will let you focus on defending yourself, rather than wasting your time with weak attacks against indestructible tanks.

11 Volcarona

Undoubtedly one of the best Fire-types in Pokemon in Sword and Shield comes in the form of Unova's unconventional pseudo-legendary Volcarona. This Bug and Fire-type is one of very few Fire-types with remarkable Special Defense, and that bulk doesn't come at a cost of Speed or Special Attack.

This makes it an excellent sweeper, being able to hit all kinds of Pokemon without the risk of fainting in one hit. Add on the rare Quiver Dance move first to raise its Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed further, and you've got an absolute menace that your opponent's legendaries and Ultra Beasts will hardly be able to keep up with.

10 Volcanion

Fire/Water is a rare combo, and Volcanion makes the most of that uncommon opportunity with punishing moves that can crush "stall walls" like Snorlax with aplomb. Steam Eruption has 110 base power and semi-frequently burns the target. There's really no downside to using it, either, so it's strongly suggested. Fire Blast is similarly-powered with a slightly decreased accuracy, but it covers Volcanion's other same-type attack bonus nicely.

There's an item called Heavy-Duty Boots that can complement Volcanion's natural wall-breaking abilities by allowing it to negate all damage from hazards like Spikes when it replaces your active Pokemon in battle. Those switch-in hits shouldn't be taken lightly otherwise, but a suitably-equipped Volcanion laughs it off and carries on with carnage.

9 Arcanine

Arcanine has remained one of the most powerful and versatile Pokemon in the series since the original Pokemon Red & Blue. Already having great physical and special attack options, the dawn of Abilities gave it the powerful Intimidate to lower the Attack stat of any opponent upon entering battle.

Intimidate isn’t as strong as it used to be thanks to many buffs to old abilities that specifically prevent it, but it still manages to hit an alarming number of physical foes in the game to be worth using. Special Attackers, meanwhile, can be decimated through moves like Snarl to fully eliminate their Special Attack.

8 Coalossal

One of Galar’s newest additions to the Fire-type family is Coalossal, a massive pile of rocks with some abysmal speed and a dangerous Fire and Rock-type combination. It might seem weak on the surface, but thankfully its unique ability Steam Engine gives it a greater edge by gaining speed when hit with any Water-type moves from your teammates or opponents.

That said, the key way to avoid fainting to these hits is through Dynamax, as Coalossal’s Gigantamax Form gives it the boost of health needed to survive Super Effective hits. Combined with a Weakness Policy to maximize its offense, this volcanic monster can do far more damage than you’d expect from its Speed and typing.

7 Talonflame

Talonflame has suffered a significant nerf in recent years, but it’s still not enough to prevent its spectacular ability Gale Force from taking over most games. This allows its Flying-type moves to strike at the speed of priority moves like Quick Attack, which includes status moves like Tailwind that boost your entire team.

This essentially means Talonflame can give boosts without any risk of dying first, which is a huge liability for most speedy support Pokemon. Alongside this are some great physical moves like Flame Charge and a naturally high Speed stat, meaning it can function just fine as a speedy aerial attacker.

6 Rotom-H

Rotom might be useless as a Ghost and Electric-type, but it turns out replacing one of those typings with Fire is just what this appliance prankster needs to eliminate the competition. Combining Rotom with an oven in the Rotom Catalogue will give you Rotom-H, a powerful Special Attacker with the additional move Overheat to burn your opponent hard.

This move has a significant setback due to the decrease of Special Attack afterward, but using Dynamax will let you strike even harder without such a deficiency in each strike. This, combined with the Levitate ability to avoid its significant Ground-type weakness, gives it a huge edge among most other Special Attackers.

5 Torkoal

There aren’t many purely supportive Fire-types, and Torkoal stands out by having an ability and defensive combination of stats to counteract most Fire-type threats. Its ability Drought improves Fire-type attacks while decreasing the strength of Water-type moves, meaning they’re hardly a risk to a Torkoal with enough Special Defense EVs while it puts foes to sleep with Yawn.

If you can get this sluggish turtle moving fast with Trick Room, though, you can do even more with it by teaching it Eruption, which deals massive power so long as the user’s health is high. When combined with the Fire-type boost from harsh sunlight, this move can annihilate nearly any Pokemon that isn’t resistant to it.

4 Blaziken

Hoenn's famous fiery fowl is back with a vengeance in Galar's metagame. What makes Blaziken one of the best Fire types in Pokemon Sword & Shield – besides its stylish swagger, obviously – is its sky-high offensive capabilities. Give Blaziken attacks like Flare Blitz and Close Combat, alongside an attack-booster such as Swords Dance, and no one will be around to call it "chicken" at curtain-drop.

If you're feeling bold, fetch a Life Orb and hand it to Blaziken. It takes a tenth of its HP per turn as penance but more than makes up for it by improving the flame-tossing bird's Attack stat by 30 percent. Blaziken is one of those Pokemon that excels at something to such a degree that everything in your preferred build should supplement that certain something at the cost of, well, anything else.

3 Heatran

A much more classic legendary Fire-type that came in the Crown Tundra expansion is Heatran, a Fire and Steel-type Pokemon from Sinnoh. This Pokemon might have an alarming number of weaknesses, but its defensive stats more than make up for it while not taking away from its offense whatsoever.

Heatran can also use many items that few Pokemon can take great advantage of. The best of these is likely the Air Balloon, which helps it float in the air until being hit with an attack. This lets you prevent being destroyed by Ground-type moves like Earthquake immediately, as they’re usually the only kind of attack that’ll break through its defenses and defeat it in one hit.

2 Charizard

Forgetting the nostalgia many trainers have surrounding the Charizard family, it’s clear this Pokemon has remained popular for years due to its great power on the battlefield. As a Fire and Flying-type combination, it suffers from many weaknesses, but its useful range of moves and high speed let it outrun slower Rock-type and Water-type threats.

That said, its Gigantamax Form has undoubtedly improved its status even further, as it can now use the Flying-type Max Airstream to go even faster. Its signature move G-Max Wildfire will also deal tons of damage at the end of each turn, letting you get counter difficult defensive threats like the Focus Sash item or Sturdy ability that prevent fainting in one hit.

1 Cinderace

For those who just wish to hit opponents hard and fast, Galar’s Fire-type starter is likely the most straightforwardly powerful member of the online metagame. In addition to high enough Speed and Attack stats to make Charizard look pathetic, its movepool is one of the widest in the game featuring Bug, Psychic, Fighting, and even Electric-type moves.

This is all on top of the astonishingly powerful Hidden Ability, Libero, which changes Cinderace’s type based on whatever move it just used. This not only means its resistances and weaknesses constantly change, but all attacks gain additional damage thanks to them always being identical to the user, meaning Cinderace’s Super Effective hits will strike even harder.

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