Okay, first of all I want to say that whoever says bad things about Volcarona is spewing Garbador bullcrap. Volcarona is one of the coolest Pokémon of all time (subject to opinion < disregard that, rest assured whoever wrote that was fired), and has really cool typing. But life ain't a walk through the Sitrus fields; there will be roadbumps. Unfortunately, Volcarona's path is bumpier than most. She is plagued by the omnipresent Stealth Rock as well as the likes of Rotom-W and Talonlfame. Life for Volcarona is tough; she can no longer force switches and set up Quiver Dances like she used to. Poor gal, looks like the end of the line for her.
What ho? Is that hope I see on the horizon?
Yes it is, there is indeed hope for the majestic fire moth. This hope resides in a land far away from OU, UU, et cetera. This hope is found in my area of expertise: VGC.
Hold up. VGC is Doubles, right?
Yes it is. This is probably the most ideal environment for Volcarona at the moment, since she has the benefit of a partner Pokémon to help her out. By far the best partners are Swampert and Aegislash. I will explain why in a bit. First, I will analyse the benefits and un-benefits of Vacarona in VGC.
+) Spread Heat Wave is a big plus.
+) She actually has pretty good bulk, and works well with Sitrus Berry or Rocky Helmet.
+) Stealth Rocks are a no-show in VGC.
+) Bug is a very niche, but very useful offensive typing. It lets her target Mega Gardevoir, Cresselia, Weavile, Venuasur, Tyranitar, Gothitelle and Mega Gyarados super-effectively.
+) Flame Body is great in this physically-biased meta, inflicting Burn hax on the likes of Bisharp, Mega Kangaskhan and Mega Metagross.
-) Landorus-Therian is everywhere, and with Landorus comes Rock Slide.
-) Terrakion is also quite popular.
-) Bulky Water types like Rotom, Milotic and Suicune run loose, terrorizing Volca with Scald and Hydro Pump.
-) There are overall better Fire-types to use in most situations. Arcanine has a vast support movepool and Intimidate. Charizard brings the Sun. Rotom-H has better typing.
Is it possible for Volcarona to overcome these negatives?
Of course, with the proper support. The fire moth loves three things:
• Fake Out or redirection to help her set up Quiver Dance
• Wide Guard to stop Rock Slides
• Intimidate support to buff her Defence
Here are some good partners for Volcarona, starting with the best two:
Swampy here has Wide Guard to halt Rock Slides, plus the handy Ground/Water typing that cover Volca's main weaknesses. In turn, she takes care of most Grass types with Bug Buzz after a Quiver Dance.
Aegislash is runner-up. He also gets Wide Guard, plus Steel STAB for Rock-types. However, he can't scratch the bulky Waters and the two share a weakness to Landorus.
Storm Drain is always nice, redirecting the Water attacks for a handy Quiver Dance setup. Gastrodon is nice and bulky and shares the same typing as Swampert, while Cradily also handles Rock-types with Giga Drain. He does share a Landorus weakness, however.
Intimidate + Fake Out all in one neat little package. These two bad boys do about the same thing: Fake Out to allow a Quiver Dance to go up, Intimidate to buff her Defence, and Fighting STAB to handle Rock-types.
Fianlly we get to the two redirectors. Amoongus has the benefit of Spore and Giga Drain for Rock-types, while Togekiss has speed control via Thunder Wave or Tailwind, the Fairy typing and Serene Grace Air Slash – however, she shares a Rock Slide weakness with Volcarona.
So what is the best set for Volcarona?
There's really only two sets Volcarona can run, bulky or offensive.
Majesty (Volcarona)@ Sitrus Berry/Rocky Helmet
Flame Body | Bold
HP, Defence and Sp. Defence investment
- Fiery Dance
- Bug Buzz
Bulky Volca is meant to spread Will-o-Wisp Burns. Fiery Dance is STAB and has a chance to nab a boost, Bug Buzz is STAB and Protect is mandatory. There should typically be no offensive EVs on Bulky Volcarona, as her purpose is to live, and let her teammates handle threats.
Glory Blaze (Volcarona)@ Sitrus Berry/Rocky Helmet/Focus Sash
Flame Body | Timid
Sp. Attack, Speed and possibly HP investment
- Quiver Dance
- Heat Wave/Fiery Dance
- Bug Buzz
Offensive Volcarona is all about KOs. Ther should be little to no defensive EVs on offensive Volcarona, as they cause you to miss out on important KOs and outspeeding foes. Quiver Dance is your obvious setup move. Heat Wave or Fiery Dance is your Fire STAB, or you could run the risky Fire Blast for more power. Bug Buzz is Bug STAB and Protect is Protect.
There you have it. Volcarona, the majestic fire moth that she is, does have a purpose somewhere. Even though she is generally outclassed by most other Fire types, that shouldn't stop you from bulding a team around her or trying to fit her in one.
We will never lose faith, Volcarona.