The best way to get Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Only Charizard

Art of the Pokémon Charizard appears in a screenshot of a tera raid battle in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

Image: The Pokemon Company / Kotaku

Pokemon Scarlet and Purple is bringing back its limited-time Charizard the Unrivaled tera raid this week on December 16. The event will last until December 18, and it’s the only way players can catch the iconic dragon in these games to date. So if you want to add Charizard to your team, you’ll only have a few days to do so before he returns to the vault. But there’s still time to assemble a team of four and defeat them when the raid is live, so here are some tips on how best to counter and catch Charizard.

Charizard the Unrivaled is a seven-star raid, meaning it’s level 100 and harder than most terastallized raid bosses you’ll find in Scarlet and violet main game. So it’s good to know what you’re getting into and prepare a level 100 Pokemon, because everything else will be underpowered.

Some general Charizard boss build facts to keep in mind are that it has a type of tera dragon, meaning that despite the character’s apparent fire/flying strike, it is strong and weak to the same attacks that a dragon-type Pokemon would be. However, it still has a handful of fire-type moves. So even though an ice-type Pokémon can deal extra damage to its tera dragon-type, it will be susceptible to the Charizard’s fire attacks.

Generally speaking, making sure the Pokemon you and your friends are using can resist a raid boss’s base tera type is more important than countering its tera type, as no super effective attacks will have any effect. matter if your ‘mons are one-shotted by a Fire Blast. Dragon-type Pokemon are weak to Dragon, Ice, and Fairy attacks, and since the first two are weak to Dragon and Fire respectively, Pokemon and Fairy-type attacks are your best bet against this Charizard.

A team of Tauros, Haxorus, Dachsbun, and Garganacl are seen battling Charizard the Unmatched in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

Screenshot: The Pokemon Company / Kotaku

Tapping is one thing, but keeping your Pokemon’s defensive abilities in mind is also important. Charizard the Unrivaled is designed as a special attacker, with its moveset consisting of no physical movement. So if you send out a Pokemon with below average Special Defense, there’s a good chance Charizard will knock them out, even if its moves aren’t necessarily super effective.

The full tera raid boss moveset is as follows:

Dragon Pulse (Dragon)
Fire Blast (Fire)
Hurricane (flying)
Focus Blast (Combat)
Overheating (fire)
Tera Blast (Dragon)
Sunny day (fire)
Hell (Fire)

Most of these attacks rely on Charizard’s fire-based bread and butter, but a dragon-type Tera Blast and surprise fighting-type move in Focus Blast are worth watching and planning for. Combat attacks are powerful against many elements: Dark, Ice, Normal, Rock, and Steel. So between fire, flying, dragon, and fighting moves, Charizard is equipped with multiple options to counter a wide range of Pokemon. The biggest gap in his offensive coverage is fairytale, and that’s a weakness to exploit.

An Azumarill stands on a brick path in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

Charizard the Unrivaled is about to meet its match.
Screenshot: The Pokemon Company / Kotaku

As such, the general consensus within the Pokémon community is that Azumarill, a Water/Fairy-type mon resistant to Fire and Dragon attacks, is the go-to choice for defeating Charizard. Players had a lot of success in the first run of this raid, to the point where Scarlet and Purple finished glitch after players complete the raid in a single attack. It remains to be seen if Game Freak will have fixed the issue by the time the raid resurfaces this week, but the strategy itself is still solid. While it is possible to shoot Charizard the Incomparable, it will still require setup, planning, and good support from your teammates to make it work.

The Azumarill strategy revolves around two moves: Belly Drum and Play Rough. Belly Drum halves its user’s HP and, in return, increases their Physical Attack stat by six stages. It’s one of the fastest ways to boost a Pokemon’s stats to max level in battle, and it pairs extremely well with Play Rough, a Fairy-type physical move. Using Belly Drum and immediately following up with Play Rough is a surefire way to at least put a decent dent in this Charizard’s health, if not take it out immediately.

The main weak point of this strategy is that Azumarill’s health will be greatly reduced upon processing, making him vulnerable to Charizard attacks. If your Water Bunny faints, you’ll need to redo the Belly Drum setup when it’s revived. So to avoid this scenario, it’s a good rule of thumb to have at least one person on your raid team playing a support role. You could use the “Heal Up!” encourage each other to replenish your team’s health, or have one of your teammates bring in a Pokemon like Hatterene that knows a healing ability like Heal Pulse that can outplay Azumarill after using Belly Drum. Preemptive use of the “Hang Tough!” cheering to increase your team’s defense is also helpful, as it will give Azumarill some survivability.

A Dachsbun is seen standing on a brick path in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

Dachsbun is your supportive best friend here to cheer you on and help you get out of the raid in one piece.
Screenshot: The Pokemon Company / Kotaku

Having at least one designated support player can make a huge difference to raids; a teammate prioritizing healing and boosting your stats can be the difference between catching a raid boss or being kicked out of their lair. A good fit for this role is Dachsbun, a fairy-type bread dog who can withstand Charizard’s Tera Blast, deal damage with his own Play Rough, and use Helping Hand to bolster his teammates’ attacks.

This is all assuming Charizard manages to survive Play Rough’s initial attack, but players encountered a common bug in the original raid where a one-hit Unmatched Charizard would suddenly regain HP after being pounded by Azumarill. It’s still possible to end the battle when this happens, but you’ll need to make sure you get a few extra hits, which is where those support and defensive plays come in. (Hopefully Game Freak will have solved this problem – and other bugs encountered by players during raids– by the time the raid returns this week, but better be prepared.)

If you and your friends manage to defeat this Charizard, you will be able to catch the beast and add it to your party. However, if you have already completed the raid and caught it, you will only earn the various rewards and loot, as each save file can only catch this Charizard once. These other prices are nothing to scoff at, ranging from high-level Exp. Candies, Tera Shards to change a Pokemon’s Tera type to Dragon, and an Ability Patch to unlock a Pokemon’s Hidden Ability. It should also be noted that Charizard the Unrivaled is bright locked, so if you try to catch a Charizard of a different color, you won’t find one in its raid lair. However, you can use the Charizard to breed and get charmander eggswhich may themselves be brilliant.

Charizard the Unrivaled’s tera raid runs from December 16-18, but nintendo says the specific Charizard “may be featured in future events or become available through other methods”. So if you can’t beat him this time around, or missed the event altogether, it looks like Charizard the Incomparable might also return to the game somehow later on.

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