Growlithe Line
Type Fire
Abilities Intimidate, Flash Fire, or Justified (HA)
Gender Ratio 75% Male, 25% Female
Catch Rate 190 (24.8%)
Evolution Fire Stone
Type Fire
Abilities Intimidate, Flash Fire, or Justified (HA)
Gender Ratio 75% Male, 25% Female
Catch Rate 75 (9.8%)

Growlithe is available at Mt. Pyre in the exterior area and summit areas, exclusively as a rare Dex Nav encounter. It also only appears after Groudon or Kyogre has been defeated.

A Fire Stone can be found in the Fiery Path. Further Fire Stones may be exchanged with the Treasure Hunter near Mossdeep City for Red Shards, or obtained from the Secret Super Training "The Fire Stone Cup Begins!".

If you are Nuzlocking ORAS and have captured a Growlithe, then congratulations! You have just acquired one of the most difficult to obtain Pokemon in a standard Nuzlocke! As you can guess by Growlithe's singular location, obtaining him means purposely Repeling through a mandatory area of the game and skipping an encounter while getting lucky enough that a Dex Nav encounter doesn't happen. Then you have to come back after clearing most of the game and do it again to reach where Growlithe appears and hope that he actually appears instead of something else.

So if you don't have one and want one, good luck! ..Or do an Egglocke or Wonderlocke.

In a region where good Fire-types are hard to come by until after beating Groudon and Kyogre if you didn't pick Torchic, Growlithe is a good find. Granted, other options become available at the same time, such as Ponyta over at Jagged Path, but they'll be just as difficult to acquire. Besides, Growlithe and Arcanine are good Pokemon to have, sporting a great deal of flexibility by having a good balance of offense, defense, and speed all wrapped up in a whopping 555 BST package. Yes, Arcanine's base stats are higher than your starter's outside of Mega-Evolution.

Of course, the real downer to this great Pokemon is how late he comes, even if you get your hands on one. You'll only have one more gym to do before tackling Victory Road and the Pokemon League, so Growlithe will only be making it to your team either because of a death or because someone on your team just can't pull their weight anymore. Also being so late, he misses out on the many battles where he would have had an excellent match-up. And, if you're playing Omega Ruby, it also misses out on trolling all the swimmers when Groudon's harsh sunlight is covering most of the water routes.

But hey, if you get the chance to get one, go for it! After all, who doesn't want a big, majestic, fire-breathing tiger-dog on their team?

Important Matchups Edit

  • Gym #8 - Wallace (Sootopolis City, Water-type): Sadly, the first available match-up for Arcanine (no really, you should evolve before tackling any major battles this late) is also one of his weakest. If you've picked up Wild Charge or Sunny Day, Arcanine can hit everything rather hard (and should be able to take on Luvdisc even without those, but it's better you don't try just to be on the safe side), but the recoil plus return Water-attacks make Wild Charge a very dangerous strategy. Sunny Day is safer, but some of Wallace's Pokemon carry Rain Dance, making it not as safe as you'd like. Thunder Fang also works in a pinch, but the low base power means it'll be dangerous by virtue of the lack of OHKOs. If you have Intimidate, you can swap Arcanine in on the free switch in Switch mode to weaken Whiscash, Sealeo, and Seaking before switching out (or if you're feeling ballsy, try hitting them with Will-o-Wisp). Ironically though, Milotic is probably the safest here if you stall the Hydro Pump PP out with another teammate or with Protect + Substitute, though this isn't recommended.
  • Wally (Victory Road): Wally's lead, Altaria, is a little problematic as Arcanine has no way to hit it super-effectively. However, Altaria lacks the power to strike back too hard. Safeguard + Cotton Guard means it can stall Arcanine out, however, unless you've managed to pick up Snarl from a Mirage Cave. The next mon, Delcatty, can be annoying with Sing and Charm, but it can't do much beyond that with its hilariously weak attacks. Roselia drops quickly and easily, though watch out for Leech Seed, Toxic, and Poison Point. Magneton will take two hits no matter what due to Sturdy, so be ready to take a Screech or Discharge plus potential paralysis. Either of those will make Wally's ace, Mega-Gallade, much more dangerous. Arcanine can take it on but, with Gallade being mega-evolved and Arcanine having no way to hit it super-effectively, it's a dangerous prospect. Intimidate and Will-O-Wisp will significantly improve your odds, though do watch for Swords Dance. If your Arcanine is faster and worst comes to worst, you can always go for a revenge KO after a Close Combat stat drop or two.
  • Elite Four Sidney (Ever Grande City, Dark-type): Mightyena will annoy any physically-inclined Arcanine with Intimidate, though the biggest threat it'll pose will be Swagger if you can't cure the Confusion. Also, watch for Sucker Punch if both Arcanine and Mightyena drops to low HP and you do not have Extreme Speed. The next two, Shiftry and Cacturne, should drop with no trouble at all. Shiftry will go for Fake Out for chip damage and, if you're physical, you might take more chip damage from Cacturne's Spiky Shield. Leech Seed can also be annoying. Sharpedo's only Water-STAB is Aqua Jet, which hits less hard than Crunch. (Effective BP 100 vs effective BP 135 after STAB and super-effective). So, if the A.I. makes it think Aqua Jet is the better option, then Arcanine might actually be a safer bet here than anything that takes neutral to both Crunch and Aqua Jet. Though do watch for Rough Skin if using physical moves, especially Wild Charge. Absol, Sidney's ace, is a neutral match-up, one which Arcanine should come out on top due to better bulk and good power. Though, do watch for crits, as this Absol has Super Luck and lots of high-crit ratio moves.
  • Elite Four Phoebe (Ever Grande City, Ghost-type): If you're packing Crunch or Snarl, then Arcanine matches rather well here. Without them, it's a very neutral set-up where Arcanine can be quite useful, but you'll have to keep a closer eye on things. The lead, Dusclops, can rack up damage fairly quick with Curse and Future Sight being thrown on top of confusion and Shadow Punch if allowed to survive long. Switch out if Cursed, ESPECIALLY if you rely on Flare Blitz. Banette number 1's main gimmick is burning stuff, something Arcanine scoffs at, so he should manage to come out on top here. Sableye will likely lead with Fake Out and then go for Power Gem. This can hurt, but coming off base 65 Special Attack, it shouldn't hit too hard, but keep an eye on things because Foul Play can definitely hurt. Banette #2 loves Toxic and can Grudge your PP away, so while it can be defeated, watch for tricks. Phoebe's ace, Dusknoir, is of no issue if you're cleared of status, as unboosted Hex is a mere BP 60 (equivalent 90 after STAB) and Dusknoir's coverage lacks any way to hit Arcanine hard, especially if burned.
  • Elite Four Glacia (Ever Grande City, Ice-type): Arcanine will have a field day in this match, as it can pretty much outright destroy most of her Pokemon with very little risk to itself. In fact, if you're Flare Blitzing, recoil will likely be the bigger danger. If you miss or fail to OHKO though, lead Glalie can set up Light Screen, Hail, and attack with Crunch. Glalie #2's only options are to be annoying with Hail and Protect, as it cannot hurt Arcanine in any meaningful way. Froslass #1 can summon hail and drop a Confuse Ray, but lacks any real damage output. Froslass #2 can be a possible threat with Shadow Ball, though even if you fail to OHKO, you'll most certainly 2HKO. Walrein is where Arcanine's fun stops, as secondary Water-typing + Thick Fat means it resists Arcanine's Fire-STAB. And since it can hit back with Surf, trying to take it on with something like Wild Charge isn't safe. Let Arcanine take a well deserved break in this match-up.
  • Elite Four Drake (Ever Grande City, Dragon-type): After Arcanine's happy fun times with Glacia, it'll likely be sad against Drake, as everything resists its Fire-STAB. So, if you have Intimidate and/or support moves and no Outrage, it's better off supporting your team or sponging hits so you can heal. But with Outrage, it can be quite a threat to the team, but this is a risky move, so be careful. The lead Altaria is almost identical to Wally's, though swaps Safeguard for a Moonblast, which Arcanine shrugs off. Flygon #1 packs both Earthquake and Rock Slide while Kingdra has Surf, so avoid these match-ups entirely. Flygon #2 is a special attacker, operating off its lower Special Attack stat which it supports with... Screech. Arcanine should be able to take this one on, even without Outrage, as the worst it can do is Boomburst, which hits harder than its STAB Dragon Pulse. Salamence has Intimidate, making physical Arcanine more problematic, and, by virtue of being a Salamence, hits hard and hits fast. However, it has no super-effective moves and it's purely physical, so Arcanine can tank, cripple, and, if needed, try to fight it.
  • Champion Steven (Ever Grande City, Steel-type): Despite being a Steel-typed specialist, Arcanine's match-ups are a bit mixed here since Steven is more of a mineral-typed specialist. The lead, Skarmory, can and should be taken down quickly. Special attacks work better here, but it'll need a 2HKO regardless because of Sturdy. It'll likely lead with either Spikes or Toxic, the former probably more annoying. Claydol doesn't have particularly good offensive stats, but it does pack STAB Earth Power and can set up both Reflect and Light Screen, making a fight against it potentially rough. Aggron is full of Nope! for Arcanine with both Stone Edge and Earthquake. Arcanine can take a hit from it, but he's not going to want to. And, even if you've somehow gotten Close Combat, Sturdy ensures it'll be a 2HKO minimum. Cradily is a more defensive Pokemon, but can strike with Ancient Power and be annoying with Confuse Ray. Arcanine can likely take the hits, but watch for the massive stat boosts. Armaldo is the opposite, being able to hit rather hard with Rock Blast while Arcanine may have trouble 2HKOing it since it lacks any sort of super-effective move besides Hidden Power. It can be fought with both Intimidate and Will-o-Wisp, but watch for crits if you try that. Metagross, being a pseudo-legendary Mega, is dangerous virtually no matter what. Intimidate will fail until after Mega-evolution due to Clear Body. However, being a Fire-type, you can try to bait a Steel-typed move to safely switch Arcanine in. After that, Arcanine should be able to defeat it quickly due to the type-advantage, especially if you burn first for safety, but Tough Claws boosted Zen Headbutt and Giga Impact will hurt if not weakened in some fashion, especially if Metagross got an Attack boost from Meteor Mash.

Post-Game Edit

  • Rival (Route 103): There should be a huge level discrepancy in this battle should you count it as part of your run (which you might not since it's after the credits roll and you get forced healing, which may bring back dead teammates), so there should be no trouble here. Due to this, Arcanine should flat out OHKO everything that doesn't resist its STAB or it doesn't miss. But to be on the safe side, watch out for Thunderwave from Raichu, Rock Tomb from Breloom, Earth Power and Rock Slide from Magcargo, Surf and Bulldoze from Wailord, and Earthquake and Rock Slide from Swampert. In fact, it'd be better to pass on facing Magcargo, Wailord, and Swampert, just to be safe since losing a mon to Brendan would be embarrassing and awful.

Moves Edit

Growlithe is only ever encountered at level 31, which means it'll have Fire Fang, Take Down, Flame Burst, and Agility upon capture. From there, Growlithe's useful moves will include Flamethrower at 34, Crunch at 39, Heat Wave at 41, Outrage (though risky) at 43, and Flare Blitz (also risky, but worth the OHKOs) at 45. Via move relearner, Growlithe can also relearn Roar and Reversal, which can both be situationally useful. As Arcanine, it'll almost stop learning moves by level-up. The lone exception is Extreme Speed at 34, which is perhaps the best priority move in the game. It can also pick up Thunder Fang from relearning if you need to hit Water-types and don't have access to Wild Charge.

Joining late in the game, you'll have many useful TMs for Growlithe already. Fire Blast, Flame Charge, and Overheat all give additional STAB options. Dig gives it a way to hit Rock-types super-effectively while Wild Charge lets it attack Water-types. For defensive and support options, Will-o-Wisp is a great way to cripple physical attackers, especially when paired with Intimidate. Snarl deals Dark-type damage and reduce the opponent's special attack. Sunny Day boosts the power of its STAB while providing your team with some protection against Water-attacks. Growlithe also learns moves such as Safeguard, Double Team, Protect, Substitute, Rest, Sleep Talk, Toxic, and Swagger which can be useful in the right situations or on the right sets. Once you've evolved, Arcanine can learn addition moves such as Solarbeam, which always pairs well with Sunny Day, and Bulldoze for Rock-types. There's also always the awesome-but-impractical Hyper Beam and Giga Impact if you need to finish a battle with style. If you luck into a female Growlithe and dip your toe into breeding, Growlithe can learn Close Combat (from Zangoose) and Howl (from Poochyena), although it's very unlikely anyone will ever get the stars to align to be able to do this in a regular Nuzlocke.

Recommended movesets: Arcanine has many options and, with his near-evenly distributed stat spread, the ideal moveset will depend on a combination of his actual in-game stats and what role you'll need to fill (likely as a replacement, unfortunately.)

Physical: Flare Blitz or Fire Fang / Crunch / Wild Charge or Thunder Fang or Extreme Speed or Bulldoze / Another pick of slot 3 or a support move, such as Will-O-Wisp

Mixed: Special Fire-STAB of choice / Crunch / Bulldoze, Wild Charge, Thunder Fang, Snarl, Flare Blitz, or Extreme Speed / Another choice of Slot 3 or Sunny Day or a support move

Special Sunny Day: Fire Blast or Flamethrower or Heat Wave / Sunny Day / Solarbeam / Extreme Speed or Snarl or support move

Tank/Stall/Support: Fire-STAB of choice / Will-O-Wisp or Toxic / Snarl / Rest, Safeguard, Substitute, Protect, Extreme Speed, Double Team, or other support/coverage move

Of course, there's a lot of other ways to mix and match moves, or put in some other moves such a Protect, Substitute, Toxic, and so forth. Or Outrage somewhere if Drake scares your team or you plan on Nuzlocking Delta Episode and need to take on Zinnia.

Other Edit

Growlithe's stats Edit

Stat Range
At Lv. 50 At Lv. 100
HP: 55
115 - 162 220 - 314
Attack: 70
67 - 134 130 - 262
Defense: 45
45 - 106 85 - 207
Sp.Atk: 70
67 - 134 130 - 262
Sp.Def: 50
49 - 112 94 - 218
Speed: 60
58 - 123 112 - 240
Total: 350   Other Pokémon with this total  
  • Minimum stats are calculated with 0 EVs, IVs of 0, and a hindering nature, if applicable.
  • Maximum stats are calculated with 252 EVs, IVs of 31, and a helpful nature, if applicable.

Arcanine's stats Edit

Stat Range
At Lv. 50 At Lv. 100
HP: 90
150 - 197 290 - 384
Attack: 110
103 - 178 202 - 350
Defense: 80
76 - 145 148 - 284
Sp.Atk: 100
94 - 167 184 - 328
Sp.Def: 80
76 - 145 148 - 284
Speed: 95
90 - 161 175 - 317
Total: 555   Other Pokémon with this total  
  • Minimum stats are calculated with 0 EVs, IVs of 0, and a hindering nature, if applicable.
  • Maximum stats are calculated with 252 EVs, IVs of 31, and a helpful nature, if applicable.

Growlithe Line Ratings
0.5 Stars
3.5 Stars
4.5 Stars
3.5 Stars
Type Usefulness
3.5 Stars
Team Role
4.5 Stars
Offensive Utility
4.5 Stars
Defensive Utility
3.5 Stars
4 Stars
Fun Factor
5 Stars

4 Stars
  • What Nature do I want? With its near-evenly distributed stats and great movepool versatility, Growlithe can benefit from nearly any nature. So, if you manage to get one, pay close to attention to both it and his actual stats to see what kind of role it'll be most effective in. And remember, since the stats are so similar, IVs can be a bigger influence than nature. For example, a 31 Attack and 0 Special Attack Growlithe would still hit harder with physical moves if it's Modest, even though that is the least ideal physical attacking nature.
  • Which Ability do I want? Of them all, Intimidate is probably the most useful since, by the time you get Growlithe, there will not be many Fire-types left to battle who are not a Delta Episode Camerupt and the utility of lowering the opponent's Attack on switch-in is hard to overlook. Flash Fire isn't bad, however, as not only does the immunity allow for safe switch-ins at times, but it also acts as a sort of Adaptability for Growlithe once it's active. Justified, while very difficult to get, has offensive utility instead, namely against Sidney and his Dark-types. However, it is the most situational of the three.
  • At what point in the game should I be evolved? No later than 45 for Flare Blitz. You can evolve much sooner if you'd prefer to avoid that move, at which point 39 for Crunch if doing mixed or physical or 34 for Flamethrower is purely special and you don't have the TM. Extreme Speed is good, but can be relearned with a Heart Scale, so it's not important to evolve in time for it.
  • How good is the Growlithe line in a Nuzlocke? Being incredibly rare and late to the party, Arcanine still fares pretty well. While the first major match-up for it is virtually a death sentence, he ranges from having some utility to being able to single-handily sweep large portions of the other teams in the remaining major main-quest match-ups. So, even though there's not much game left when it appears, you'll definitely get mileage out of Arcanine.
  • Weaknesses: Ground, Rock, Water
  • Resistances: Grass, Bug, Steel, Ice, Fairy, Fire (Intimidate or Justified)
  • Immunities: Fire (Flash Fire)
  • Neutralities: Normal, Flying, Ghost, Dark, Dragon, Electric, Poison, Psychic, Fighting