Charizard is easily one of the most iconic Pokémon in the entire series, although being iconic does not guarantee it being useful. Such is the case with Charizard, that has: a terrible typing, Fire and Flying, that makes it double weak to Rock (196% vs normal 140% Super Effective Damage), lacking attack stats, a below average stamina stat that just ensures it will go down easy, and the looming fear of being power creeped by future generations and the likes of Blaziken getting access to Blast Burn.

Its only claim to fame is, in being a starter Pokémon, it gains access to the recent Community Day exclusive move: Blast Burn. Combine Blast Burn with the best Fire fast move in the game, Fire Spin, and you do have a recipe that makes Charizard relevant, even with its stats dragging it down.

Pokémon MAX CP ATK DEF STA
CharizardCharizard Fire Flying 2686 223 176 156

Fire type attackers

The following Table compares the stats of the best fire type attackers in the current metagame, Charizard included. As you can see, it does not possess the best of any stat. That being said, the current list of best Fire types go something like: Moltres, Entei, and then a case by case tie between Flareon, Blaziken, and Charizard.

Pokémon Stats Max CP
ATK DEF STA
CharizardCharizard Fire Flying 223 176 156 2686
FlareonFlareon Fire 246 204 130 2904
MoltresMoltres FireFlying 251 184 180 3272
EnteiEntei Fire 235 176 230 3377
BlazikenBlaziken Fire Fighting 240 141 160 2631

Charizard Overview

Type Chart

Weaknesses Resistances
  • Rock x2
  • Electric
  • Water
  • Bug x2
  • Grass x2
  • Fairy
  • Fighting
  • Fire
  • Ground
  • Steel

Its main strengths are:

  • Access to the two-bar Blast Burn, which is currently the best Fire charge move in the game, as well as the best Fire type fast move Fire Spin.
  • Flying type is a blessing and a curse for Charizard, with the blessing in this case being a resistance to Ground instead of a weakness, a additional resistance to Fighting, and a double resistance to Bug and Grass instead of a single resistance.

Its main weaknesses are:

  • As mentioned previously, the Flying type is a bit of a curse, as it adds a atrocious double weakness to Rock type moves, as well as giving it a weakness to Electric attacks. In short, the Flying type invites the likes of Smack Down Tyranitar, Golem, and Raikou to come in and ruin its day.
  • Its stat composition is just all around bad. Fire types are not known for high Stamina or Defense but Charizard just takes that to a whole new level. Almost Gengar levels of bad, without the high attack either to make up for the lack of bulk.
  • Its usage has only gone up due to the addition of Blast Burn to its movepool, but it is only a matter of time until it gets outclassed by newcomers like Heatran, or existing Pokémon like Blaziken that ought to be slated to get Blast Burn.

Best Charizard Moves in Pokemon GO

Charizard has had a lot of different moves, courtesy of being around for every move rework Niantic has done, so this will be a long chart.

Charizard moves in Pokemon GO
Fast Move Charge Move Cycle DPS (STAB)
Fire Spin Fire Blast Burn Fire 24.55
Fire Spin Fire Overheat Fire 24.00
Wing Attack Flying Blast Burn Fire 23.93
Air Slash Flying Blast Burn Fire 23.23
Wing Attack Flying Overheat Fire 23.17
Ember Fire Blast Burn Fire 23.13
Air Slash Flying Overheat Fire 22.50
Ember Fire Overheat Fire 22.29
Fire Spin Fire Fire Blast Fire 22.11
Fire Spin Fire Flamethrower Fire 21.82
Wing Attack Flying Fire Blast Fire 20.98
Air Slash Flying Fire Blast Fire 20.74
Wing Attack Flying Flamethrower Fire 20.67
Air Slash Flying Flamethrower Fire 20.49
Ember Fire Fire Blast Fire 20.28
Ember Fire Flamethrower Fire 20.00
Fire Spin Fire Dragon Claw Dragon 19.78
Air Slash Flying Dragon Claw Dragon 18.63
Wing Attack Flying Dragon Claw Dragon 18.39
Ember Fire Dragon Claw Dragon 17.92

*Keep in mind that STAB cycle DPS calculations just compare the different movesets and they are not Pokémon-specific

  • An important consideration however, is while these are accurate DPS listings, some of these moveset combination are impossible, such as any of the legacy moves with Blast Burn. 
  • Blast Burn outdoes Overheat in any available category with any available fast move. Which makes sense, as Blast Burn is indeed the best available Fire type charge move.
  • As far as being a mixed type attacker, Wing Attack is superior to Air Slash, although not by terribly much. In any case, if you have one, it has some small utility against Grass and Bug types if weather is Windy.
  • Ember is a trophy at best, as is Flamethrower with the advent of Blast Burn.
  • Dragon Claw is best kept to surprise Dragon type attackers in gyms like Dragonite and Rayquaza, if you have it in a gym for whatever reason.

Best Charizard movesets

Role Quick move Charge move
Gym offense Fire Spin Fire Blast Burn Fire
Gym Defense Fire Spin Fire Blast Burn Fire / Dragon Claw Dragon
PvP (speculative) Fire Spin Fire / Wing Attack or Air Slash Flying Blast Burn Fire / Dragon Claw Dragon

Charizard Counters

Supreme Counters (Italics Denote Legacy Movesets)

Counter Fast Move Charge Move
TyranitarTyranitar Rock Dark Smack Down Rock Stone Edge Rock
OmastarOmastar Rock Rock Throw Rock Rock Slide Rock
GolemGolem Rock Rock Throw Rock Stone Edge Rock
GolemGolem Rock Electric Rock Throw Rock Stone Edge Rock
KyogreKyogre Water Waterfall Water Hydro Pump Water
  • Tyranitar is without a doubt the best counter to anything that is weak to a few rocks chucked at them. Combine that fact with Charizard’s dual weakness to Rock type attacks and you have a recipe for disaster for the not-Dragon.
  • Omastar with its legacy moveset is a great Rock type attacker, being better than even Golem in some cases, this being one of them due to Omastar’s double resistance to Fire moves. Rock Slide is a better move than Stone Edge, and Omastar’s stats are very similar to Golem, so it is a fine addition to a Charizard raid team.
  • Golem, in both normal and Alolan form, is a great counter to Charizard, having decent moves, a 211 attack stat, and being resistant to all moves save for Dragon Claw, with a  double resistant to Flying type moves in its Alolan form.
  • Kyogre is the first non-rock counter to make the list, being able to beat out other Rock types just because its sheer power and total damage output. The only other high damage dealing counter with less deaths would be the king Tyranitar.

Other Counters (Italics Denote Legacy Movesets)

Counter Fast Move Charge Move
SolrockSolrock Rock Psychic LunatoneLunatone Rock Psychic Rock Throw Rock Rock Slide Rock
RaikouRaikou Electric Thunder Shock Electric Wild Charge Electric
RegirockRegirock Rock Rock Throw Rock Stone Edge Rock
RayquazaRayquaza Dragon Flying Dragon Tail Dragon Ancient Power Rock
ZapdosZapdos Electric Flying Thunder Shock Electric Thunderbolt Electric
SudowoodoSudowoodo Rock Rock Throw Rock Rock Slide Rock
GyaradosGyarados Water Waterfall Water Hydro Pump Water
  • Solrock and Lunatone are basically the same Pokémon in Go, with the main differences being looks, Lunatone having Moonblast, and Solrock having Solar Beam.That is why these two are together, they perform similarly and are decent Rock counters.
  • Raikou takes advantage of that Electric weakness that Charizard has and shows why it is one of the best generalists and electric types in the meta game.
  • Yes, Regirock actually does some decent damage, and matches Tyranitar for the least amount of deaths. if you like Regirock here is a chance to let it shine.
  • Rayquaza does faint a lot but it can dole out decent enough damage, that is if you kept a Rayquaza with its overall worst charged move: Ancient Power.
  • Zapdos used to be on par with Sudowoodo in terms of time, but Thunder Shock for Zapdos day raised its relevance overall, including this battle against Charizard.
  • Sudowoodo, besides being the favorite of a certain Go Youtuber, is a semi-decent Rock type attacker. Nowhere near the others, but it can be serviceable in large groups.
  • Gyarados acts as a weaker Kyogre, and as such is farther down in the rankings then it used to be. That being said, it is still the best non-legendary Water type in the meta and it proves it by being half decent in this fight.

Weather influence

Weather Pros Cons
Sunny Boosts its Fire type moves
Partly Cloudy Boosts double super-effective Rock type moves
Cloudy
Rainy Boosts super-effective Water and Electric type moves
Fog
Windy Boosts its Flying type moves
Snow

Viability in raids

Charizard does well for a non-legendary in raids where it lands super effective hits. Those raids are few and far between however, limiting it in useability. Here’s a list of Raid Bosses to which it is one of the top counters:

 Raid Boss Fast move to use Charge move to use
ArticunoArticunoIce Flying Fire Spin Fire Blast Burn Fire
ScytherScytherBugFlying Fire Spin Fire Blast Burn Fire
RegiceRegiceIce* Fire Spin Fire Blast Burn Fire
RegisteelRegisteelSteel* Fire Spin Fire Blast Burn Fire
VenusaurVenusaurGrassPoison* Fire Spin Fire Blast Burn Fire
VictreebelVictreebelGrassPoison* Fire Spin Fire Blast Burn Fire
BreloomBreloomGrassFighting* Air Slash Flying Blast Burn Fire
TangelaTangelaGrass* Fire Spin Fire Blast Burn Fire

*Legacy Raid **Future Raid

Rating

 Pokémon CharizardCharizard Flying Fire
Attacker 3.5
Defender 1.0
Generalist 3.5
Overall 2.67
Tier III

Charizard is essentially a lesser Moltres with a slightly better move. It is a shame that Blast Burn had to have different stats than Frenzy Plant, despite being virtually the same in the main series. If it was FP levels of broken this would be a much different tale, however the reality is it lives in Moltres’ shadow in its own dual typing, while also tying with its fellow non-legendary Fire types.

It does do well as a attacker, and with Blast Burn being what it is, it does make for a good gym generalist. However, in that vein it is a absolutely terrible defender that can easily be wiped by almost any Rock type in and out of the meta game. When a Regi can make short work of a Pokémon, that Pokémon should simply not be in that position.