pokemon gold and silver gym leaders
The vast majority of the Pokemon you are likely to see defending Gyms can fortunately be divided into five clear categories: Fire types, Water types, Grass types, Snorlaxes, and Dragonites. There are also several miscellaneous choices I’ll talk about at the end. For now, let’s work our way down the list, starting with Fire.
1) Fire Types
Very common: Flareon, Arcanine
Less common: Charizard, Magmar
Countertypes: Water, Rock
Other effective types: Ground
Although generally very powerful, Fire types are usually so easy to defeat that I wonder why people choose to leave them in Gyms as often as they do.
When it comes to choosing attackers, the strategy of defeating Gyms is simple. Whenever possible, you’ll want to use Pokemon who deal extra damage with super-effective attacks while simultaneously taking less damage from the opponent’s most likely attacks due to resisting their types. In this piece, I’ll refer to these attractive choices as countertypes.
For Fire types, you’ve already seen that their countertypes are Water and Rock. This is where defeating Fire gets easy, as there are literally tons of usable Pokemon – those that are fully evolved and with not-terrible stats – that are either Water or Rock types in the current iteration of Pokemon Go. A quick count reveals nineteen Pokemon of either or both of these two types that are at least fully evolved. Since there are so many choices, you’re more likely to have more than one to choose from, giving you a backup plan if one should faint in battle and increasing your overall chances of success.
Additionally, many Water types learn Water Gun, a very fast move that can be used over and over again to rack up fast damage and access your charge moves quicker, and many Rock types have good Defense, further bolstering their Fire resistance.
The biggest things to watch out for when battling against Fire types are their Charge Attacks. Every commonly used Fire type has a base Attack stat way higher than the average among all fully-evolved or non-evolving Pokemon (which is about 175), so taking a charged hit will often deal serious damage even if you resist it.
Finally, although Fire types are usually quite easy to beat (even though you’ll likely take quite a lot of damage while doing it), I’ve listed a few that do have ways to threaten their counters:
a) Arcanine can know Bite, a Dark type Basic Attack that makes it harder to get away with using certain Water types against it. Pokemon like Slowbro and Starmie that are half-Psychic and thus weak to Dark may struggle quite a bit because of this; it’s much harder to dodge Basic Attacks consistently compared to Charge Attacks.
b) Arcanine can also know Bulldoze, a Ground type Charge Attack that is super-effective against most Rock types. It also only takes 25% of the energy bar to use, making it easy for Arcanine to keep tossing it out repeatedly. Ground type moves can be hard to dodge, but fortunately most Arcanine that know this move aren’t deemed good enough to hold a Gym.
c) Charizard’s Dragon Claw is a somewhat powerful Charge Attack that is resisted by neither Water nor Rock types, so you may want to watch closely to dodge it, especially if you’re at a large CP disadvantage (“large” is debatable, but I’d say around 300 or more).
d) Magmar can have Karate Chop as its Basic Attack; due to this being both a Basic and Fighting type move, Rock types may struggle against it.
Fire Type Battling Summary
i) Fire types are offensively powerful, but tempered by having two countertypes with plenty of great representatives.
ii) Since Fire types have such high Attack, it’s important to dodge their Charge Attacks even when you resist them.
iii) There are a few moves among the commonly used Fire types that can threaten some of their counters, so be ready to have a backup plan if you rely on something they have good attacks for.