TL;DR

Great chance for new players (2023) to get a cheap fire team that works great. If you already have Chandelure (Dec 2022 CD) or better, not much need to bother.

Among starters only, Blast Burn Delphox is (and will be) the 2nd best, only behind Blaziken and tied with Emboar. But much better options exist: Reshiram, Shadows, Volcarona/Darmanitan/Chandelure.

Keep reading for:

  • Fire-type attacker charts
  • Comparisons of Delphox vs. all starters and Flareon
  • Does Mystical Fire have any relevance in raids? (Delphox and other Pokemon)
  • List of my previous analyses, in Appendix
    • Brief note about Shadow Mewtwo at the end of the article

Introduction

Fennekin Community Day takes place this Sunday, May 21, from 2pm to 5pm. Any Delphox evolved before 10pm will learn its CD move, Blast Burn. Additionally, Mystical Fire will also be added to Delphox’s permanent move pool, which can be learned via evolution or by regular TMs even after the event.

Blast Burn was a huge addition to fire-type raid attackers when it was first given to Charizard and Blaziken years ago. But today, as the 6th fire-type starter gets Blast Burn, is it notable anymore? We’ll see.

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Blast Burn Delphox among Fire-type attackers

Fire attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE and ASTTW.

Charts of ASE with and without dodging are here. (They’re now separated from the ASE/ASTTW chart, in an attempt to improve readability.)

Compared to its fellow starters, Delphox (Fire Spin/Blast Burn) is worse than Blaziken, but comparable or better than Emboar, and better than all other starters.

  • ER and DPS charts of all starters and a few similar options are here.
    • This includes some future Blast Burn starters (Incineroar, Cinderace, Hisuian Typhlosion with speculative moves).
  • Comparison plots in the next section.

Unfortunately, Blast Burn Delphox is well below Reshiram, Shadows, the non-legendary trio Volcarona, Darmanitan and Chandelure, and the “outclassed legendary trio” Moltres, Entei and Heatran.

  • L30 Reshiram > L50 Delphox
  • L35 Shadow Blaziken > L50 Delphox
  • L40 Chandelure = L50 Delphox¬†(edited to fix, wrote > before)

Even though Delphox is also getting Mystical Fire, it’s worse than Blast Burn. It’s the best non-legacy move on Delphox, though, replacing Overheat.

  • More on Mystical Fire in later sections.

Delphox vs. all fire starters (and Flareon)

Delphox vs. all Gen 1-8 Blast Burn starters and Flareon (L40 best friends)

Note that these are only when compared to Delphox, and doesn’t necessarily give a strict order among the other starters themselves.

In general, here’s a “tier list” of released Blast Burn starters and Flareon (an “honorary starter” and a severely underrated budget option):

  • Blaziken
  • Delphox, Emboar
  • Charizard, Flareon
  • Infernape, Typhlosion

Gaps between tiers are very small, but rather consistent (outside of typing advantages).

Note that Delphox is the bulkiest Blast Burn user right now, in a stark contrast to Blaziken. Only Incinerate and Skeledirge out-bulk it.

As for starters that have not received Blast Burn yet:

  • Incineroar and Cinderace (Gen 8) will likely slot inbetween the Delphox-Emboar tier and Charizard-Flareon tier.
  • The same goes for non-shadow Hisuian Typhlosion and Skeledirge (Gen 9) if they get the best possible moves, though H-Typhlosion may be underrated and Skeledirge may be overrated. I can’t run sims on them yet.

This means Delphox is the 2nd best Blast Burn starter in all (currently known) generations, only behind Blaziken.

Verdict

For new players who started in 2023, this is a great opportunity to get a team of decent, cheap fire attackers.

However, long-term players probably have Chandelure from last year’s CDs, or something better. Those are well above Delphox… So not much need to bother with this CD.

  • Dedicated players can also still farm Shadow Blaziken, which is available in Rocket grunts right now. Here’s an analysis on it.

For variety lovers aka “Unique 6” players, Delphox is the #17 non-mega*, #9 non-mega non-shadow, and #5 non-mega non-shadow non-legendary**. Unless you’re really thrifting, still not much need.

  • (*) Excludes a few expensive but outclassed options, such as Shadow Houndoom and Apex Purified Ho-Oh.
  • (**) Includes Volcarona.

Mystical Fire?

As mentioned above, Delphox won’t really appreciate it for raids, because it’s much worse than Blast Burn.

However, Mystical Fire is actually a good move, just not an overpowered one. Paired with common fire-type fast moves, it’s only slightly worse than Blaze Kick, and better than Overheat (the most common charged move on good fire attackers).

This means a few other Pokemon can possibly make use of it: Volcarona, Darmanitan, Chandelure, and future Blacephalon.

Equivalent Rating (ER) and DPS of Blacephalon, Volcarona, Darmanitan and Chandelure with Mystical Fire and Overheat. Table sorted by ER. (Fire Spin on Blacephalon is speculative)

Reminder: Although all these Pokemon can theoretically get Mystical Fire in Go (because they learn it in the MSG), that does NOT indicate whether it will or will not happen in this game.

As you can see, Mystical Fire isn’t a huge improvement from Overheat, with DPS differences between 0.7% and 4%. This means it won’t make a full tier’s difference for these Pokemon. However, it’s still a small upgrade while also making them much more consistent.

  • Reshiram can also learn Mystical Fire, but it already has the much better Fusion Flare.
  • Fire Spin/Mystical Fire Blacephalon will probably still perform worse than Fusion Flare Reshiram in practice, despite higher DPS. (Blacephalon has its own signature move Mind Blown anyway, if you’re willing to wait another few years.)

Edit: As u/MathProfGeneva pointed out, Moltres and especially Shadow Moltres can also learn Mystical Fire in the MSG. It would be a small upgrade for both, against ice and steel types.


What’s next?

Not planning to write another analysis on Shadow Mewtwo or any other Pokemon in shadow raids, because I already wrote an in-depth Shadow Mewtwo analysis, as well as a tier list of all shadows for raids.

  • I still stand by my opinion: No, whaling out 6 Shadow Mewtwo is not a priority. Not even worth it for those with limited resources (and thus other priorities). Primarily because psychic types are rarely used in the first place.
  • Because I always get disagreements and accusations whenever I talk about my views on Shadow Mewtwo… I’ll stop right here.

I might have to scale down the frequency and depth of my analyses soon. More details and explanations to come, hopefully by my next article (June CD?).

If I feel motivated (and free) to work on something before then, it will likely be a “landing page” under my profile that links to all my articles, replacing the appendix below.

Appendix: Past analyses on other types