The Best Way To Get Pokémon Scarlet & Violet’s Only Cinderace
Cinderace is coming to Pokémon Scarlet and Violet later this month.Image: The Pokémon Company / Kotaku
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Charizard tera raid event has concluded, and Game Freak has already announced what’s next: Cinderace. The Galar fire-type starter is not typically available in these games, and as such, will only be available through this raid. If the Charizard raid is any indication, it’ll be a tough battle, but based on what we know, there’s some reasonable preparation you can start ahead of the event.
What to expect in the Cinderace tera raid
First off, the Cinderace raid will be available for two windows, the first being from December 30 at 7 p.m. Eastern time until January 1 at 6:59 p.m. Eastern time. It will return on January 13 at 7 p.m. Eastern time, and finally go into the vault on January 15 at 6:59 p.m. Eastern time. So the window is small, but if you prepare ahead of time, you should be able to defeat and catch Cinderace without issue.
Cinderace will be at level 100 (and anyone you bring on the raid should be, too), as all seven-star raid bosses are in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, and will be sporting a fighting tera type. However, as Cinderace is naturally a fire-type Pokémon, it’s also important to make sure whichever Pokémon you’re bringing into the fight can withstand being on the receiving end of a powerful fire attack.
For example, while Corviknight could deal some damage to a fighting type with flying moves, its steel-type would leave it vulnerable to Cinderace’s fire moves. So always remember in tera raids to bring a Pokémon that isn’t weak to a boss’ base typing, because no super effective attack is going to matter if you and your teammates are getting beaten down by that base typing.
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Funnily enough, a lot of the strategies used against Charizard in the last seven-star tera raid will likely be effective against Cinderace, as well. With a fighting tera type, Cinderace will be weak to psychic, flying, and fairy attacks. Given that Game Freak chose to feature a base fire-type Pokémon that’s weak to fairy attacks two tera raids in a row, Azumarill and Dachsbun remain respectable picks to take on Cinderace.
Because of Cinderace’s base type and tera type, some of the same strategies that worked on Charizard will work this time, too.Image: The Pokémon Company / Kotaku
The best Pokémon and moves to bring to the fight for the Cinderace raid
Azumarill was a star player in the Charizard raids because of its water/fairy typing, which gave it resistances to Charizard’s fire attacks and dragon tera type. These typings work in its favor against Cinderace, as well, since it will be resistant to fire attacks and will be able to weaken its fighting tera type. Dachsbun is a fairy-type, and its Well-Baked Body ability makes it immune to fire-type attacks, as well as increases its defense by two stages when an opponent attempts to use one on it.
That defense buff will come in handy fighting Cinderace, because while Charizard was spec’d as a special attacker, Cinderace is inherently a physical attacker. While we don’t know its moveset yet, almost all of the moves the Pokémon is capable of learning are physical attacks. Dachsbun already has a high base physical defense stat at 115 (which can be increased by focused EV training), and the Well-Baked Body ability will give it a nice boost if Cinderace tries anything fire-based. Azumarill’s physical defense isn’t quite as high, coming in at 80, but that’s still a real respectable number.
If you want to just start out with an Azumarill, rather than raise one up from its beginning stage as an Azurill, you can find them in the northwest area of Paldea in Casseroya Lake. Longterm, it’s probably best to raise an Azurill until it evolves. The baby form can be found right at the beginning of the game, in South Province (Area One) by the lake coming from Professor Turo/Sada’s lab.
Dachsbun is found sporadically around the Paldea region in places such as the west area of the desert in East Province (Area Three), the very southwestern area of the map in South Province (Area Six), and in West Province (Area Three) near the entrance to Area Zero. But if you want to raise a Fidough and evolve it into a Dachsbun, you’ll find them in the same area as Azurill as you walk toward the Pokémon Center.
At the very least, the Azumarill and Dachsbun combo is still worth trying, but there are some likely dangers to it fighting Cinderace that weren’t present against Charizard. For those that don’t know, Azumarill and Dachsbun were useful in the last seven-star raid because Azumarill’s Belly Drum and Play Rough combo was capable of one-shotting Charizard. Belly Drum halves the user’s HP for a massive physical attack boost, and Play Rough did physical fairy damage to do huge numbers against Charizard as a dragon tera type. In theory, this strategy should be useful for Cinderace, as well.
The main concern you’d have initially is to keep Azumarill alive long enough to execute Play Rough, which can be done by either having someone ready to use the “Heal up” cheer, or having a teammate use a Pokémon with a healing ability like Hatterne using Heal Pulse. Cinderace’s physical attack is high, but its physical defense is pretty average. So the combo could do some real damage, especially if you have Dachsbun use Helping Hand to help boost its strength.
All that being said, Cinderace may have one ace in its arsenal that could throw this entire setup off if your Azumarill isn’t powerful enough to take it out instantly: Counter. This ability activates when the user is hit by a physical attack, and deals twice as much damage as it received. If Cinderace survives the Belly Drum+Helping Hand+Play Rough combo, Azumarill will likely not be able to withstand Counter. It’s still a really solid combo, but it’s riskier, this time around.
If you want to go a safer route, Sylveon is also an effective choice for a special attacker that won’t have to worry about Counter. Its physical defense isn’t as high as Dachsbun or Azumarill, but its special attack is very strong and will circumvent any physical-based reactive moves Cinderace might have in its bag. If you want to lower Cinderace’s special defense to help Sylveon tear chunks of its health, using moves like Fake Tears can take those down a few stages, and will be good to use each time Cinderace resets stat nerfs throughout the fight, as tera raid bosses do. Once that’s done, Sylveon will be free to drop a Moonblast or two. If you’ve got Dachsbun on your team here, a Helping Hand will also do wonders for your damage output.
Armarouge is resistant to a lot of Cinderace’s hits, and has the Psychic attacks to hit back.Image: The Pokémon Company
Good psychic Pokémon to combat Cinderace
Besides Counter, there are two possible surprise attacks that could throw a wrench into all of this: Iron Head and Gunk Shot. Cinderace is mostly lacking in moves that are super effective against fairy-type Pokémon, as it can’t learn any steel or poison moves that weaken them naturally. However, it can learn Iron Head and Gunk Shot through TMs, and as the Charizard raid already proved through the dragon knowing Focus Blast, these raid bosses can pull from the entirety of a Pokémon’s learnable moveset. If this is the case, a psychic-based offensive is advisable.
Physical defense is not typically the psychic element’s strong suit, but if you go looking, you can find some bulky telepathic ‘mons to power through Cinderace’s physical attacks. Slowbro is a strong start, as it has a base 110 physical defense and is naturally resistant to fire and fighting attacks. It also has good team support moves like Heal Pulse and Psychic Terrain, as well as Amnesia to raise its own special attack. Then it’s just a matter of dishing out a good Psychic to take advantage of the setup.
If you’re not content with resistances and want to play a Pokémon who is immune to much of Cinderace’s attacks, Armarouge and Ceruledge are two strong contenders. To get either of them, you’ll have to evolve a Charcadet using the Auspicious Armor or Malicious Armor respectively. Charcadet is a fairly rare Pokémon, but I’ve had reliable luck finding one in a pit in West Province (Area One) that I’ve marked on the map below:
Charcadet is a rare spawn around swaths of Paldea, but it seems to reliably show up in this spot on the map.Image: The Pokémon Company / Kotaku
Once you track the pre-evolved form down, you can get either of these items by bringing either 10 Bronzor fragments (Scarlet) or 10 Sinistea Chips (Violet) to an NPC found by the fountain in Zapapico City. You can acquire these items by defeating Bronzor/Bronzong (often found around the ruins throughout the southern areas of Paldea) or Sinistea/Polteageist (found more specifically in ruins on the outskirts of Alfornada) in battle, and they will drop them for you to loot. After you bring those to the NPC, they will give you either the Auspicious Armor to evolve Charcadet into Armarouge, or the Malicious Armor to evolve it into Ceruledge.
Both Pokémon have the Flash Fire ability, which makes them entirely immune to fire-type attacks. It comes with an added bonus of increasing the power of their fire attacks, but even with a fighting tera type, Cinderace is not the Pokémon to use fire-type moves on. Instead, you’ll want to take advantage of their psychic abilities. In that case, Armarouge fairs a bit better, as it’s both a natural fire/psychic type, and has access to more psychic attacks like Expanding Force and Psychic. Armarouge is already sporting an exceptional special attack stat, but using Psychic Terrain or a Calm Mind or two will really push its power to a new level.
Ceruledge may not have the psychic typing, but it does have complete immunity to both Cinderace’s fire attacks, and its fighting tera type thanks to Flash Fire and its fire/ghost typing. It also has Psycho Cut, which will weaken Cinderace’s tera type and lean harder into its physical-based build. Use Swords Dance at least once, and you should see it pulling off some high damage.
Do keep in mind that Armarouge and Ceruledge are exclusive to Pokémon Scarlet and Violet respectively, so if you want one or the other, you might need to trade with a friend ahead of the raid.
Reminder: You can only catch one Cinderace
Some of these strategies and tips might change once Cinderace is live and we get a sense of its moveset, but based on what we know now, these are good places to start ahead of the tera raid’s launch at the end of next week. Just like the Charizard raid, you will only be able to catch one Cinderace per save file, but you’ll be able to breed more by putting it and a Ditto in a picnic together. Then you’ll be free to raise baby Scorbunnies and shiny hunt to your heart’s content.