The best Fire-type Pokémon of all time, ranked

Make sure you pack your Burn Heal.

Image via The Pokémon Company

Ah, Fire-type Pokémon. Traditionally, these Pokémon are favored by players who prioritize strong attacks, and who can deal with their Starters often not being very useful in the first couple of gyms they come up against.

Featuring many of the most iconic Pokémon to ever exist, Fire-types can often feel like the strongest, and most dangerous, of any Pokémon. But which Fire-type is the best?

Some people value their strength in the games and in competitive play, while others prefer them for their designs, and simply how cool so many Fire-types are. Still, others will value their Fire-types simply for sentimental reasons or because a certain Fire-type was fun to play with.

Here are the 10 best Fire-type Pokémon of all time, ranked from 10th all the way up to the best Fire-type of all time.

List of the best Fire-type Pokémon of all time

10) Fuecoco

Image via The Pokémon Company

Here’s what is currently known about Fuecoco: it’s the Fire-type Starter for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, it’s a crocodile, and it looks like that. That’s all it takes to be one of the greatest Fire-type Pokémon of all time. Seriously, look at this thing. It looks like an apple with a buck tooth, and it’s probably the most adorable Fire Starter since Torchic way back in the third generation.

Despite players not knowing much about Fuecoco, The Pokémon Company has given people some hints, describing Fuecoco as a “laid-back” Pokémon that likes to do things “at its own pace.” This suggests a slower and possibly tankier Pokémon than most Fire-type Starters, which have traditionally been more attack-focused. Whatever style of battling Fuecoco ends up excelling at, however, its design alone warrants a place on this list.

9) Combusken

Screengrab via Bulbapedia

Bear with us here. The middle stage of a three-stage evolution chain is typically the one that’s most overlooked—especially for Starters since it’s the awkward adolescent phase.

Yes, the power boost is nice. But the Pokémon is no longer as cute as its starting form, and by the time you get to the second phase, you really just want to already be at the final form of the Pokémon anyway.

Combusken doesn’t quite follow that script. It’s one of the strongest attacking Pokémon among Starters in their middle evolutionary stage, with both its base Attack and Special Attack stats going up to 85. The second stage also adds the Fighting type to Combusken, and it learns Double Kick upon evolving. Why is that important? In the third generation, those upgrades are incredibly helpful in getting past the first gym, the Rock-type gym in Rustboro helmed by Roxanne and her tricky Nosepass.

Combusken is also a great upgrade for winning some of the generation’s notoriously difficult rival battles. Often overshadowed by the cuteness of Torchic and the power of Blaziken, Combusken is one of the best middle-evolutionary stages there is.

8) Cinderace

Image via The Pokémon Company

Cinderace’s design isn’t for everyone, with the evolution into a uniform-wearing, soccer-playing rabbit coming a bit out of left field (or from outside the touchline, for the British-influenced Galarophiles out there). The Striker Pokémon is mostly here for one reason and one reason only: Pyro Ball.

Pyro Ball, Cinderace’s signature ability, is one of the most powerful moves available in Pokémon Sword and Shield. It plays directly to Cinderace’s strengths, Attack and Speed, and it can effectively one-shot almost every opponent with a weakness to Fire (and many without a weakness to Fire, as well).

The design of the attack is also great, as Cinderace flicks a flaming pebble up with its feet, juggling it around a few times before acrobatically kicking a burning sphere at its opponent. It’s a strong Pokémon with a strong move, and one that’s designed to show off how the Nintendo Switch’s graphical capabilities can enhance the Pokémon experience.

7) Entei

Image via The Pokémon Company

Entei isn’t the strongest Legendary Pokémon in its generation, and in fact many of the normal Pokémon on this list outpace its base stats in several categories. But it isn’t really bad at anything, either, and the Volcano Pokémon’s design still captures the power and presence a Legendary should have.

More than these things, however, the way players captured Entei captures the imagination. Alongside Raikou and Suicune, Entei could be encountered randomly in Johto, unlike the vast majority of Legendary Pokémon with fixed encounter areas. The feeling of roaming through a patch of tall grass, farming some Spinaraks to try and level up members of your party, and instead running into Entei, was one of awe.

For players lucky enough to have a Pokémon equipped with Mean Look, it presented a unique opportunity, however slim, to catch a Legendary early on in the game. Due to its low catch rate and the randomness with which it would appear, catching an Entei was incredibly rewarding, and as such rates were high enough to be one of the best Fire-types of all time.

6) Houndoom

Image via Game Freak

Intimidating and cool, the Fire and dark-type Houndoom was one of the best Pokémon in the second generation. Getting the Pokémon itself was an achievement, as the original Gold and Silver games’ new day and night cycle required its prior evolutionary form, Houndour, to be caught at night. After succeeding in catching a Houndour, players then had to complete a difficult leveling grind for Houndour to reach level 24, when it eventually evolves into Houndoom.

Once it did evolve, however, the fully-evolved form of the Pokémon blew most other Pokémon in the generation out of the water, reaching a base special attack stat of 140. That’s the type of number usually reserved for Legendaries, and it made Houndoom’s Fire attack easily outpace Typhlosion and most other Fire-types.

The only drawback to the Pokémon was the additional dark typing, which didn’t cover up any of the Fire-type’s weaknesses while making fighting type moves super effective against it. Fighting-type moves being somewhat common for many different types of Pokémon to learn, Houndoom users had to be wary of the possibility at all times. But for strength and character concept, Houndoom is tough to beat.

5) Galarian Zen Mode Darmanitan

Screengrab via Serebii

Darmanitan’s normal Unovan form is already a powerful Fire-type Pokémon to contend with. Its Galarian form makes the Pokémon an ice type, except in one situation: when a Galarian Darmitan possesses the Zen Mode ability. Then, it turns into one of the strangest and most powerful Pokémon in history, and one riddled with an identity crisis.

A Galarian Darmitan with Zen Mode turns into a combination of an ice and Fire-type Pokémon when it goes below half of its total HP, a seemingly impossible combination that isn’t explained any better by the snowman-esque creature spouting a plume of Fire from its head. That’s not all it does, however. Its base attack score in Zen Mode goes up to 160. That makes its attack stronger than most of the Legendary Pokémon across the series. It’s an oddball Pokémon, for sure, but its abilities certainly made it stand out as one of the strangest and most powerful Fire-types in the game.

4) Torkoal

Image via The Pokémon Company

Everyone say hello to Torkoal, the little Fire tortoise that could. Torkoal is slow and doesn’t boast incredible attack or special attack stats. What he is good at, however, is defense, and many Nuzlocke challenges in the third generation has gone awry when facing down Flannery’s Torkoal. 

Even when facing down super effective moves, Torkoal can withstand several shots with strong defensive capabilities. And, even though the other tank Fire-type of gen three, Camerupt, has strong defense spread more evenly across both the defense and special defense stats, its combination of Fire and ground-typing makes the Pokémon easy pickings for a water type. Comparatively, Torkoal only has to worry about moves that do two times damage, and not four. Torkoal isn’t the strongest Pokémon ever designed, but its loveable design is only matched by how much of a pain it is to deal with on the battlefield.

3) Ho-Oh

Ho-Oh is a classic Legendary if there ever was one, making a cameo appearance in the very first episode of the Pokémon anime, and serving as a major power-up to your party before taking on the Elite Four in Pokémon Gold and HeartGold. The Rainbow Pokémon is a Fire and flying-type bird Pokémon similar to Moltres in the first generation. Unfortunately for Moltres, however, Ho-Oh is simply better in almost every possible area.

The standout stat for Ho-Oh is its special defense, with a base level of 154, but it also comes with three other base stats over 100. That’s a level of power very rarely seen in Pokémon, and it makes Ho-Oh almost impossible for enemies to deal with if they don’t have any rock-type moves. Combining classic design with overwhelming power, this Pokémon could easily be number one on this list.

2) Charizard

Image via Nintendo

Sometimes, the classics are just better. And anyone who remembers the feeling of opening up a holographic Charizard card for the first time can attest to the enduring legacy of Charizard. Venusaur was a fine Pokémon. Blastoise was a worthy rival to Charizard. But Charizard might just be the only final-form Starter Pokémon in the game’s history that felt like a Legendary itself.

Even some of the most recent Pokémon properties know that the feeling of facing down a Charizard is unlike anything else the sprawling franchise has to offer, making a modified version of the first generation Fire-type the signature Pokémon of Leon, the champion players must defeat in Sword and Shield. With the exception of Pikachu, Charizard is the Pokémon most synonymous with the franchise itself, and it deserves no less than a place as one of the greatest Fire-types of all time.

1) Arcanine

Image via The Pokémon Company

Maybe it’s slightly heretical to rank Arcanine ahead of Charizard, but that’s life. Deal with it.

Arcanine combines one of the best and coolest designs for a Pokémon ever, combining elements of a dog, a lion, and a tiger to create a Legendary-esque Pokémon that more than rivals Charizard in strength. In fact, for those first-generation players that opted for Bulbasaur or Squirtle, Arcanine is a better Fire-type option than Charizard, anyway.

Charizard just barely beats out Arcanine in special attack, special defense, and speed, but all of their base stats are comparable, outside of attack, where Arcanine holds a sizable advantage.

What’s more, FireRed and LeafGreen players that held off on evolving Growlithe until level 49 received the double whammy of Growlithe learning Flamethrower, then evolving into Arcanine and immediately learning Extremespeed, one of the best normal-type attacks in the generation thanks to its power and increased priority, often ensuring Arcanine would move first even when at a speed disadvantage. It might not be the most iconic, but Arcanine proves across the franchise that not all of the most memorable Pokémon in the games are Starters or Legendaries.