|Gender Ratio||25% Male, 75% Female|
|Catch Rate||190 (24.8%)|
|Gender Ratio||25% Male, 75% Female|
|Catch Rate||75 (9.8%)|
Vulpix is available on Route 36 and 37 with a 10% rate in the morning and 15% during the day, Route 48 with 9% morning/day and 29% at night, Route 7 with 20% rare in morning/night and 25% during day, and finally Route 8 with 10% rate in morning/day and 5% at night. Vulpix is only available in Soul Silver. Be mindful, low level Vulpix may know Roar, thus making them harder to catch.
Fire Stones may be obtained: from School Kid Alan, on Route 36, by getting his PokéGear number and receiving a call on Wednesdays; at the Pokéathlon Dome for 2,500P on Tuesdays or (after the National Dex) Thursdays and Sundays; from Bill's grandfather, by showing him a Vulpix in SoulSilver or a Growlithe in HeartGold; at the Bug Catching contest (after the National Dex) by winning the first prize.
In a region where Fire-types aren't too uncommon, with options such as Magmar, Flareon and Slugma are available for capture, Cyndaquil is a viable starter option, and legendaries such as Entei, Moltres, and Ho-Oh can be found and caught before the run is over, Vulpix faces some stiff competition from its fellows. However, while most Fire-types focus on striking hard and knocking out the opponent before they can fight back, Vulpix is interesting in that it learns a number of support and status moves commonly associated with Ghost-types, giving it a bit of a niche that no other available Fire-type can fill. In particular, it gets early access to Will-O-Wisp, a move that reliably inflicts burns and cuts physical attackers damage in half, something you may find to offer indispensable utility.
Additionally, Vulpix has the bonus of being on multiple routes, not being too rare (especially if you play with Duplicates Clause activated), and can use a stone evolution to achieve its final form rather early thanks to the Pokéathlon, giving it a 505 BST in a stage of the game where most Pokemon are stuck in middle evolutions.
As a pure Fire-type, Vulpix has the advantages and disadvantages associated with it, giving it great match-ups against some enemies and poorer match-ups against others. Fortunately though, it has a good ability in Flash Fire. While it doesn't need the fire immunity too much, Flash Fire does give it a boost to its Fire STAB, effectively giving it a situational Adaptability boost. Combine with its other boosting moves and there'll be little that can withstand Ninetales' attacks.
Important Matchups Edit
- Gym #3 - Whitney (Goldenrod City, Normal-type): Despite not having a type advantage, Vulpix can still work wonderfully in this gym for support or even taking on Miltank herself. Clefairy isn't too powerful and can likely be taken out with little trouble, especially if you picked up Fire Blast or Flamethrower from the Department Store or Game Corner, respectively. It's likely your Vulpix will be immune to Miltank's Attract due to its high chance of being female. She can also reliably inflict a burn on Miltank, cutting the power of both Stomp and Rollout significantly. Confuse Ray can also help shut down Rollout chains. However, Miltank hits hard before the burn, and a Rollout chain will still sting if it gets going, so you may consider having Vulpix status and then switch out to set the field for something a little bulkier to handle Miltank.
- Rival (Burned Tower): Especially if you evolved and have Flamethrower or Fire Blast, Gastly, Zubat, and Magnemite should all drop with very little problems. They don't have the moves nor stats to really hurt a fully evolved Pokemon nor do they have the durability to take the hits. Similarly, Bayleef should also drop with little trouble, as the worst it can do is Poison you with PoisonPowder. Quilava will take longer, but with Flash Fire, it can be taken down by Ninetales without much trouble, albeit maybe a little slowly. Remember, resisted Flamethrower is stronger than Quick Attack, and that's before factoring in STAB. (Basically, after STAB, its an effective BP 67.5 vs BP 40). Croconaw has Water Gun, but fairly low Special Attack against Ninetales' pretty good Special Defense, so Ninetales can also take it on too if needed, but be sure to keep an eye on HP. Naturally though, it'd be safer to use someone else, if possible.
- Gym #4 - Morty (Ecruteak City, Ghost-type): Vulpix might have some trouble here, but Ninetales' good special bulk will make it much safer. Gastly and one of the Haunters is very similar to the rival's, so should be dealt with similarly. Another likes to spam Hypnosis, followed by Nightmare and Dream Eater, so be sure to use an Awakening right away. Gengar will be much stronger than any Ghost you've faced before, and should be treated as dangerous, but Ninetales' evolution and access to either Flamethrower or Fire Blast will even the fight out if you've evolved.
- Eusine (Cianwood City): Neither Drowzee nor Haunter should pose much of a threat, as you'll be long since used to their type of shenanigans at this point. Electrode can be threatening as it has both Rollout and Thunder, but it can also be taken out relatively quickly. Just watch out for Rollout if it uses Screech first.
- Gym #5 - Chuck (Cianwood City, Fighting-type): Ninetales is not a fan of this fight, though it can provide good support here. Primeape can go down quickly, and be burned to cut its power, but it does pack Rock Slide and Double Team, so it either needs to be burned fast or KOed just as fast. Going for the burn-and-switch is likely safer, too, as Ninetales' Special Attack is not sky high and it might not OHKO even with Flamethrower; Fire Blast is more likely to work, but it has a miss chance. Poliwrath resists most of your options now and packs STAB Surf. So, if Ninetales stays in at all, it should do so to burn it ASAP so that the mon you want to fight it doesn't have to deal with full-powered Focus Punches. (Ninetales can take a hit from Surf if you're properly leveled... or overleveled if you went after Pryce and/or Jasmine first.)
- Gym #6 - Jasmine (Olivine City, Steel-type): Jasmine should be of no issue for Ninetales as unevolved Magnemites pose no threat and Steelix has very bad Special Defense. Just watch for Rock Throw if you happen to miss Fire Blast. Flamethrower works better for this fight.
- Petrel (Team Rocket HQ): Being lower level than Morty, he should be no trouble. But still, his Koffing has SelfDestruct, so be sure to either burn it or outright KO it as soon as possible to ensure you don't take too much damage from it. It's still safer to not use Ninetales at all, should you miss Will-O-Wisp, but you can do so anyway if you have 5+ levels of advantage, as it's unlikely to tank a Fire attack. Raticate has both Hyper Fang for STAB and Sucker Punch for priority. This wouldn't be a problem, except it has Guts, so DON'T burn it. Hit it hard and, when its HP gets low, make sure yours isn't, because odds are it'll try to catch you with Sucker Punch.
- Ariana (Team Rocket HQ, tag battle with Lance): Being paired with Lance, and the grunt paired with her being hilariously underleveled, this should be a breeze. Arbok can use Glare or Crunch, neither of which is overly fun, but can be withstood. Ninetales should straight up fry Gloom before it can act. Murkrow's stats are on the lower side, so it shouldn't pose much difficulty at all.
- Gym #7 - Pryce (Mahogany Town, Ice-type): Seel and Dewgong both have Thick Fat and Rest, so, despite only having Ice-attacks for damage, they can be difficult to bypass. If you're packing it, SolarBeam can inflict significant damage, though the charge time can be a bit annoying. They're doable, but it may be better to use someone else who can also shrug off their attacks but has better coverage for them. Piloswine is another story, as it takes the full force of your Fire-attacks, but can also strike back with Mud Bomb. However, Pilo's Mud Bomb is coming off a kind of shabby Special Attack, so Flamethrower and Fire Blast should KO well before Mud Bomb does. In fact, even a crit shouldn't OHKO a properly leveled and healthy Ninetales. But still, keep an eye on your HP!
- Petrel (Goldenrod Radio Tower): This guy is a total jerk. While his team of five Koffings and a single Weezing should normally pose little problem, they all know SelfDestruct. Or, in Weezing's case, Explosion. Keep your HP high, nuke judiciously, and burn stuff that you can't OHKO. Or, to be safer, use someone with higher physical bulk, especially for Weezing; remember that Will-O-Wisp has "only" 75% accuracy, and chances are your Ninetales won't be able to withstand a bomb move.
- Rival (Goldenrod Underground): Like last time, Ninetales should be able to take on almost anything your rival has to offer. Sneasel and Magnemite should drop with very little trouble. Golbat and Haunter might be able to take a hit and strike back, perhaps annoyingly with Confuse Ray, though they shouldn't hit you too hard. Meganium is, once again, a complete joke for Ninetales and poses the most danger from poisoning. Quilava is almost identical to last time, though can hit slightly harder with Swift, which is still a special move though (and Ninetales has great special bulk). Feraligatr still only has Water Gun for SE options and can't hit very hard with it (about 33% damage assuming same level, perfect IVs both sides, neutral natures, and no EVs). So, Ninetales can take it on too, but it may be better off inflicting a burn with Will-O-Wisp and switching out to someone else.
- Proton (Goldenrod Radio Tower): More Golbat and Weezing shenanigans. Golbat is about as dangerous as your rival's. Weezing is easier than Petrel's as it does not have Explosion, so you should be able to nuke it before it can inflict much damage to you.
- Ariana (Goldenrod Radio Tower): Her levels went up, but her threat level is about the same. The best Arbok can do is Glare or Crunch, but Ninetales shouldn't care about the Intimidate. Vileplume should drop long before it can do anything and Murkrow just lacks the stats to inflict much damage.
- Archer (Goldenrod Radio Tower): His Koffing, as it can't SelfDestruct, will pose no problem to you. Houndour and Houndoom have Early Bird instead of Flash Fire, so Ninetales can use its STAB on them, although this won't be very effective unless you can bait a Fire Fang into its Flash Fire. However, they both have Feint Attack and, in Houndour's case, Crunch to strike back with, and Ninetales cannot burn them. So, unless you have Dig, then this match can be a bit risky for it. Don't expect Dig to do a lot, either, as Ninetales' Attack isn't really high. Do rely on another Pokémon unless you have absolutely no other options.
- Gym #8 - Clair (Blackthorn City, Dragon-type): This is a difficult battle for Ninetales and is best left to the rest of your team. But if Ninetales must enter the fray, know that Gyarados is probably one of its easier targets. A burn will shut down Bite and its special bulk will scoff at the rest of its movepool that so happens to lack a Water attack. Of her two Dragonairs, the one with Aqua Tail can pose a threat for obvious reasons, and Shed Skin means burning it is unreliable, and Ninetales best move to strike back is Iron Tail unless you're packing Sunny Day. The Fire Blast Dragonair is much easier, and can give Ninetales a bit of an edge if you can bait a Fire Blast into its Flash Fire. Finally, Kingdra is something Ninetales should only face if you're desperate. Saying Hydro Pump will hurt a lot is the understatement of the year. You can attempt to PP stall with Sunny Day and items, but this is very risky and it still won't shield you from critical hits. But once the five PP are gone, its Hyper Beams and Dragon Pulses are much easier to handle. However, as Kingdra resists pretty much everything you can throw at it, and TWICE if we're talking about Fire moves, the best Ninetales can do back is burn stall, abuse Double Team/Nasty Plot, and/or Solar Beam + Sunny Day.
- Kimono Girls (Ecruteak Dance Theater): All five of them carry Last Resort, which is non-threatening if you burn first and can't be used before turn 4 anyway. Umbreon is very bulky, but doesn't have much of an offensive presence, so Ninetales should be able to wear it down first. Espeon can strike hard with Psychic and can copy Nasty Plot and Double Team, so avoid them here. Flareon is a physical attacker and is immune to burn, but only packs Fire Blast for STAB. It does have Flash Fire, however, so Ninetales' only recourse here is Dig or, if you evolved your Vulpix really late, Extrasensory. Jolteon is fastand can hit hard with Thunderbolt, paralyze with Thunder Wave, and evasion spam with Double Team, so try to shut it down quickly or at the very least burn it, so that a Ground type can stall it out if it comes to it. Finally, Vaporeon can strike back rather hard with Surf and has the bulk to take hits rather well, although it can be crippled a bit with Sunny Day + Solar Beam; don't even try facing it without that strategy.
- Ho-Oh (Bell Tower, HeartGold only): Vulpix is not obtainable in Heart Gold, so you shouldn't have one in this battle.
- Lugia (Whirl Islands, SoulSilver only): Lugia has incredible bulk and is packing nastiness like Rain Dance + Hydro Pump and Aeroblast. Ninetales must either wait until it runs out of Hydro Pump PP or be carrying Sunny Day in order to take on Lugia. A burn will ensure Lugia can only last eight turns, but if you're actually trying to catch it, then that isn't a good idea. As long as rain isn't in play, Ninetales is best trying to use its STAB on it for damage, though can use other moves once HP gets low if you're trying to catch it. Remember, this is a wild battle, so if things are looking bad, just run.
- Rival (Victory Road): This battle plays out similarly to the previous battles, especially since Golbat and Haunter, the two who might be able to take an unboosted hit, have unchanged movepools. The new addition is Kadabra, who will hit decently hard, can Disable your STAB, and heal off damage, but goes down quick if you happen to have Payback. Meganium is unchanged from the previous battle while Typhlosion can no longer mess with your accuracy via Smokescreen. Feraligatr is quite risky now at it has finally dropped Water Gun for Waterfall, which can come dangerously close to a one-shot with nothing to dampen its power, making Will-O-Wisp then switch risky if it misses, or if it scores a critical hit. However, Sunny Day will cut that power in half, and make it manageable.
- Elite Four Will (Indigo Plateau, Psychic-type): Ninetales can take on both the lead and ace Xatu. Note that they can hit fairly hard with Psychic, so, as with any boss at this stage in the game, care must be taken. Jynx and Exeggutor can also hit pretty hard, but are weak to Ninetales' STAB, so should go down without much trouble. Slowbro finally can be taken on if you're willing to try with Sunnybeam, but as it has Amnesia, this will be best left to another teammate as it can pose a very real threat to the whole squadron, if it gets off too many stat boosts and you have nothing to neutralise them with. You may wish to consider burning it though, since it's also packing Curse to boost its Defense. While it won't cut its damage output, it'll at least put a timer on it.
- Elite Four Koga (Indigo Plateau, Poison-type): Koga's three bugs, Ariados, Venomoth, and especially Forretress, should all go down very quickly. Be warned though that Forretress has Explosion and Toxic Spikes, so it's imperative you kill it ASAP; its double weakness to Fire makes it an easy job for Ninetales, though. Muk is a Minimize and Toxic spamming jerk. It's also packing Gunk Shot for damage. So, if you don't have a Steel type to troll it, drop a burn if you're still using Will-O-Wisp to put a timer on it and reduce its damage. Finally, Crobat is fast and can hit pretty hard with Poison Fang, and can spam Double Team, so burn it too if possible, but don't rely on Ninetales for actual damage unless you have Extrasensory.
- Elite Four Bruno (Indigo Plateau, Fighting-type): All of Bruno's Pokemon use physical attacks almost exclusively and, unlike FRLG, his Machamp does not have Guts, so Will-O-Wisp can cripple everything he has. (Although if you try that, you might not have a Vulpix nor a Ninetales anymore by now.) Hitmontop packs Dig, but if you pack Protect, it drops easily. Do note it also has Technician, so those seemingly weak Quick Attacks and Triple Kicks are a bit stronger in reality. Hitmonlee has a Reckless boosted High Jump Kick, which will really friggin' hurt if it lands it. But beyond that, all it can do is Focus Energy and Swagger. Hitmonchan can only do any real damage with an Iron Fist boosted Thunderpunch, but it will still hurt and it has great Special Defense, so watch out and pick someone more suitable for the fight if possible. Onix can be OHKOed with SolarBeam if you have it, but you SHOULD NOT stay in to set up Sunny Day as it has both Earthquake and Rock Slide, which can easily spell doom for your fox. Machamp has Rock Slide too, and can't miss, but No Guard means your Will-O-Wisp (and Fire Blast if you prefer it over Flamethrower) won't miss either, so it can be crippled with absolute impunity.
- Elite Four Karen (Indigo Plateau, Dark-type): Karen (Indigo Plateau, Dark-type): Umbreon is very bulky, but relies on physical attacks to inflict damage, so a burn or Toxic will wear it down. Vileplume should pose no threat, though watch for Stun Spore if it can take a hit, which it probably will. Likewise, Murkrow's stats are still low, so it should not inflict a whole lot of damage. Gengar can be easily taken on, especially since it lacks a good STAB, but make absolutely sure you are faster first as it knows Destiny Bond. If that move scares the hell out of you, simply burn it and wait as the residual damage will not cause you to lose your Pokemon. Finally, her ace, Houndoom is the hard thing here. Ninetales can only really use Dig against it, as this one does have Flash Fire. However, Dig is unlikely to OHKO and Houndoom can set up Nasty Plot in the mean time to smash stuff with Flamethrower and Dark Pulse. Use someone else against it, period.
- Champion Lance (Indigo Plateau, Flying-type): Offensively, there's not a lot Ninetales can do in this battle. Everything here resists Fire and the majority of its coverage, leaving it with just Iron Tail and Extrasensory to hit with. However, she can provide great support with burns! The lead, Gyarados, and Aerodactyl are probably best avoided though, as they know Waterfall and Rock Slide, respectively. Charizard, while lacking coverage for Ninetales, is also a Fire-type and can't be burned, though the fox can nail it with Toxic or try to bait a Fire Fang to technically remove Lance's Fire resistance with a Flash Fire boost. The level 49 Dragonites know Thunder Wave, Hyper Beam, and Dragon Rush with one having Thunder and one with Blizzard. Ninetales can burn these to weaken their STAB and, if you have it, use Safeguard to stop paralysis. It also resists Blizzard, so it can answer that Dragonite if needed. The last one packs Outrage, which will leave marks if you don't burn it, Safeguard, which will make it impossible to burn if you don't do it quickly, and Fire Blast, which Ninetales can soak up if you try to use a Steel-type wall. All in all though, Ninetales should be running support for your team in this battle instead of leading the offensive charge.
From this point onwards, you can fight the gyms in any order, though you will need to retrieve the Machine Parts from the Cerulean City gym before you have access to the earlier portion of Kanto. Feel free to anticipate or postpone any battles as needed.
- Gym #9 - Brock (Pewter City, Rock-type): If you have Sunny Day and SolarBeam, you can probably OHKO his entire team (and possibly with Energy Ball too). The trick is setting it up as his whole team packs Rock Slide, except Rhyhorn who has Horn Drill instead, and, in several cases, a second SE STAB in either Earthquake, Brine, or Aqua Jet. If you really want to try Ninetales with Sunnybeam, you'll need to burn whatever you come in on to have a chance to set-up. But realistically, don't use Ninetales in this battle. You should have a better answer anyway and you really don't want to risk losing it this late in the game.
- Rival (Mt. Moon, optional): This battle is optional and can be completely avoided, but there's a good chance you'll bump into it anyway. The biggest changes here to the main team is Kadabra and Haunter both evolved into Alakazam and Gengar, respectively. Both of them can hit pretty hard with their STABs, but Ninetales can now pack Dark Pulse for them, letting her more easily deal with them in return. Golbat also picks up Poison Fang, which means it can hit decently hard once again if you don't simply burn it first. However, you might have Zen Headbutt now, so you can use those to take Gengar and Golbat out quicker. Sneasel and Magenton continue to remain jokes for a Fire-type. Meanwhile, Meganium finally gets a new trick up its sleeve in Light Screen, but this shouldn't be an issue unless you miss. The strategy for Typholsion is literally unchanged since, despite all its new nastiness, it can still only use Swift on Ninetales for damage. Feraligatr also remains unchanged, so the strategy there is the same as last time. Though, since you're likely to be above the rival's level at this point, so it's safer to take on or at least attempt to burn. But, it's still not recommended.
- Gym #10 - Misty (Cerulean City, Water-type): Ninetales is obviously not the best choice here. Fortunately though, she's only packing Water Pulse and not Surf, Waterfall, Aqua Tail, or Hydro Pump. Second, if you have Sunny Day, it can make Ninetales relatively safe to use, especially against Quagsire who, despite packing Earthquake and Rain Dance, is also 4x weak to SolarBeam (or Energy Ball if you bred up a Vulpix late game). If you don't have Sunny Day, then most definitely try to avoid Golduck and Quagsire. Lapras' Ice type makes it neutral to your STAB, you can attempt to take it on in a pinch. Starmie can be hit with Dark Pulse, so it's also riskily doable if you have no other choice.
- Gym #11 - Lt. Surge (Vermilion City, Electric-type): After Lance, Lt. Surge will seem easy in comparison. Know that his whole team sans his ace has Double Team. Luckily, they use a lower-powered STAB in Shock Wave, so taking hits won't be a concern. One Electrode, and his Electabuzz, have Light Screen to dampen Ninetales' offenses. The other Electrode can SelfDestruct, so burn 'em just to be safe, or rely on someone else (keep in mind Will-O-Wisp's accuracy is far from perfect). It should only take a hit or two or three to down any given mon except Magenton, who should drop from a single blow.
- Gym #12 - Erika (Celadon City, Grass-type): As a Grass-type Gym, Erika should pose no threat. In fact, most of her team has Sunny Day, so if you really want an easy battle, let her set it up and then reward her with Sun-boosted Fire attacks. Beyond that, the only possible threats are Jumpluff's Leech Seed and Tangela's AncientPower and Sleep Powder. Ninetales resists everything else noteworthy this gym offers.
- Gym #13 - Janine (Fuchsia City, Poison-type): You'd think Extrasensory or Zen Headbutt would work wonders here. And, well, you'd be right. Only problem is, she's packing two Ariados and a Venomoth, who go down even easier to Ninetales' STABs, meaning there's less reason to grab those moves just for this battle. Beyond that, Crobat is the same as all the other bats you've fought. Weezing knows Explosion, so burn or nuke it hard. If you don't managed to OHKO them somehow, one Ariados has Swagger and both have Poison Jab, and Venomoth has Sludge Bomb and Double Team.
- Gym #14 - Sabrina (Saffron City, Psychic-type): First of all, her whole team has Skill Swap, so watch that you don't spit Fire attacks into a Flash Fire by mistake. This can be avoided with Role Play if you decide to get that move. Or by using Dark Pulse via buyable TM in Celadon. Espeon has Calm Mind, so you'll want to take it down as quickly as possible. Or, worst case scenario, drop Will-O-Wisp or Toxic and attempt to stall; just don't use Toxic against anything that carries Synchronize. Mr. Mime has Light Screen, but its offensive presence should be of no worries here. Outside of Skill Swap, Alakazam will be no different than the others you've faced by now. It can hit hard, but as long as you watch your HP, it shouldn't be a problem.
- Gym #15 - Blaine (Seafoam Islands, Fire-type): Flash Fire makes his Overheat spam a blissful joke, especially since everything has a White Herb. If you still happen to have Dig, you can try that on Magcargo, but know it can hit back with Rock Slide and that Ninetales is unlikely to OHKO, so it's best to not try. You can also hit everything with Dark Pulse. Magmar can only hit with ThunderPunch and Rapidash, who has Flash Fire itself, with Bounce.
- Gym #16 - Blue (Viridian City): Blue is the only Kanto gym you have to do in order. And, by in order, we mean last. His lead, Exeggutor, can easily be taken down with a Fire-STAB, and make sure to do so before it gets Trick Room going because Ninetales will not appreciate it. Arcanine is fairly bulky and, while it thankfully cannot use Flare Blitz, it still has Dragon Pulse and ExtremeSpeed. Not to mention, if you try to set-up, it can just use Roar. Rhydon is dangerous and, while it can be Sunnybeamed down, this is too risky if you have other switch-ins as it knows both Stone Edge and Earthquake. Gyarados is dangerous for similar reasons as Lance's, except it can set-up with Dragon Dance. You can try to burn it to cut its power, but this is dangerous. Machamp has Stone Edge and Earthquake as well, not to mention the ever annoying DynamicPunch, but No Guard means you can burn it first without the risk of missing. His sce, Pidgeot, is merely a nuisance compared to the rest of his team. Return can be neutered with a burn, Mirror Move is useless if you one use Fire attacks, Air Slash won't hit too hard, and Whirlwind is merely annoying.
- Rival (Indigo Plateau, optional): Since you'll be grinding up for Red at this point, if you even bother with fighting Silver, chances are you'll be significantly above his level. Still though, assuming you're on par, his team has actually seen some significant changes. Magneton and Sneasel still go down easily, but Golbat has evolved and learned Toxic. Oddly enough, it lost Poison Fang, so it's direct damage threat level has dropped a bit. Gengar and Alakazam sport new coverage, notably Gengar picking up Sludge Bomb, but their damage output is relatively unchanged as far as Ninetales is concerned. Meganium now packs Body Slam, which has a shot of paralysis if it manages to get one off, but should otherwise drop quickly. Typhlosion now packs Rollout, so it can be a threat, so, if you have 'em, use Dig, Confuse Ray, or Double Team to break any chains. Finally, Feraligatr has swapped Waterfall for Aqua Tail, which hits a little harder but misses more often; it still has decent enough accuracy to make Ninetales run away in rightful fear, though.
- Red (Mt. Silver): As the last battle in the game, Red can be very difficult to fight. The match is permanently in Hail mode, so if you have Sunny Day, you may consider using it as soon as you have a safe chance to do so to make conditions more favourable. Red's lead and ace, Pikachu, is holding a Light Ball, so it can hit VERY hard with Volt Tackle and Thunderbolt. A burn will cut Volt Tackle's power significantly, but Pikachu is frail, so it might be safer to go straight for the KO, unless you plan on setting up against it - in which case, definitely burn it first. Lapras' only Water move is Brine, which will be very weak if you have Sun in play and stay above 50% HP. But even without strong sunlight, it can be worn with careful play. Just watch for paralysis from Body Slam. Snorlax packs Thick Fat and a powerful move in Giga Impact, so Ninetales' best option is a burn before switching to someone else, or just staying away from it outright, since Will-O-Wisp can miss one in four times. Though if you must, you can slowly take it down if you don't get critted. Venusaur should pose little threat, although it can use Sleep Powder and Sludge Bomb if you don't outright OHKO it, which is unlikely given its good special bulk and Ninetales' Special Attack being good, but not great. Ninetales is immune to Charizard's worst moves and, if you have Dark Pulse, can whittle it down, though you may need item support to withstand the Air Slash and Dragon Pulse barrage. Finally, Blastoise has Hydro Cannon, making a match-up a bad idea, possibly even with the Sun in play. But if you stall its Hydro Cannon PP out, which can be done with Protect + Substitute, it's stuck with Focus Blast for damage, at which point Ninetales can slowly wear it down. Or much more quickly with Sunnybeam, if you run it.
Depending on where you encounter it will depend on its initial moves. Most routes will likely give it Ember, Tail Whip, Roar, Quick Attack, and possibly Will-O-Wisp or Confuse Ray depending on the level encountered. Route 48, however, will pop it up to the low 20s, giving it Confuse Ray, Imprison, and possibly Flamethrower. Going by level, it'll start with Ember and pick up Tail Whip at 4, Roar at 7, and Quick Attack at 11. Useful status moves start to come in at 14 and 17, with Will-O-Wisp for burns and crippling physical attackers and Confuse Ray for general harassment, respectively. Flamethrower, perhaps the best general purpose special Fire-STAB in the game, comes in as early as level 24. If you don't, or can't, evolve it after that, it'll pick up Safeguard at 27, giving your team anti-status effect support. Payback at level 31 gives it Dark-type coverage, although Ninetales is a little too fast to use it well. Grudge comes in at 41 which, while not a move you'll want to use, can potentially dodge a team wipe. Extrasensory comes in at 44, giving it good Psychic coverage, and finally Fire Blast at 47.
If you do evolve, Ninetales does not learn any moves naturally. However, Ninetales can relearn Ember, Safeguard, Quick Attack, and Confuse Ray with the Move Reminder. And, most notably, it can relearn Nasty Plot, which can let it turn into a very dangerous sweeper.
In terms of TMs, Vulpix doesn't pick up too much coverage. Dig and Iron Tail can potentially allow it to take on Rock-types, but this is better left to someone else. Hidden Power can possibly grant great coverage, but it could also give something useless. It can also learn Dark Pulse and Return for general use. In terms of status-inducing moves, Vulpix can pick up Swagger and Toxic; bear in mind that Swagger is always very risky to use against anything but special attackers, as the Attack boosts don't disappear together with confusion. Finally, it has access to support and defensive options in Sunny Day (which effectively removes the Water weakness and foes' Fire resistance), Protect, Double Team, Rest, Attract, and Substitute. As Ninetales, its coverage expands to include SolarBeam, which, with Sunny Day, can actually make taking on Water-types a viable option. It can also learn Dream Eater, which is useless on its own, but great if you dip your toe into breeding and get Hypnosis. Ninetales also picks up both Hyper Beam and Giga Impact, both powerful moves with a long recharge that make them risky. And finally, it can get Calm Mind. Combine with Will-O-Wisp and Ninetales can become quite tanky with a little healing item support.
From Move Tutors, they get Headbutt, Heat Wave, Ominous Wind, Swift, and Zen Headbutt for additional attacks. Pain Split is a riskier move, but potentially quite useful. Role Play is situational, but can allow it to take on opponent it otherwise wouldn't be able to, such as stealing Water Absorb from a Water-type.
With breeding being available before Vulpix is, you could, if your rules allow it, breed a Vulpix with an extra useful move or two. Many moves that would be quite handy, such as Energy Ball (which, oddly, is a TM that it can't learn this generation) and Flare Blitz, would also come quite late and only be useful if you were breeding during the Kanto portion of the game. However, Hypnosis, which can work with Dream Eater but is fairly inaccurate, from Stantler and Feint Attack from a number of donors, such as Meowth and Umbreon, do give it a couple of potentially early and useful options available no other way.
Recommended movesets: Ninetales has a fair number of options depending on whether you want it to be an attacker, support, or somewhere in between.
Standard: Flamethrower, Dark Pulse, Will-O-Wisp, Nasty Plot / Calm Mind
Sunny Day: Flamethrower, SolarBeam, Sunny Day, Nasty Plot / Calm Mind / Will-O-Wisp / Dark Pulse
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.
Vulpix's stats Edit
|At Lv. 50||At Lv. 100|
|98 - 145||186 - 280|
|41 - 102||78 - 199|
|40 - 101||76 - 196|
|49 - 112||94 - 218|
|63 - 128||121 - 251|
|63 - 128||121 - 251|
Ninetales's stats Edit
|At Lv. 50||At Lv. 100|
|133 - 180||256 - 350|
|72 - 140||141 - 276|
|72 - 139||139 - 273|
|77 - 146||150 - 287|
|94 - 167||184 - 328|
|94 - 167||184 - 328|
|Vulpix Line Ratings|
- What Nature do I want? Ninetales is typically seen as a special attacker and, with its only physical Fire move locked away behind a breeding wall, you'll probably want to stay as such. Therefore, Timid or Modest are the best options, but anything that reduces Attack would be fine. However, it is fast enough it could afford to take a hit to speed to boost its Special Attack or defenses with a nature such as Quiet. But if you get them, Jolly and Adamant aren't too bad, as Ninetales' Attack is only five points below its Special Attack, especially if you can get a Vulpix with Flare Blitz, and it does have a number of physical coverage moves.
- At what point in the game should I be evolved? I would say no earlier than level 24 so you can get Flamethrower, unless you just buy that or Fire Blast from the Game Corner or Department Store, respectively. From there, it depends on how you want to get the remaining moves Vulpix learns. Ninetales has no way to acquire Tail Whip, Imprison, Fire Spin, and Grudge except as Vulpix. Most of its level-up pool is available from either move tutors or TM, so it'll be up to you to judge how much a certain move is worth to level-up to get sooner versus the large stat boost Ninetales has over Vulpix. The most notable difference is with Extrasensory access, which Vulpix gets at level 44 and Ninetales does not.
- How good is the Vulpix line in a Nuzlocke? Ninetales is quick, has decent bulk, and decent power so, while it doesn't excel in any department, it's not awful in any either. Its ability, Flash Fire, lets it win match-ups that other Fire-types might struggle with since many major Fire-type opponents lack good coverage for their fellows. Will-O-Wisp, a move it learns very early, is an indispensable move for crippling attackers or helping stall out opponents, netting it a large number of favourable match-ups and providing a great deal of team support, even in match-ups where its offensive capabilities are near useless. Despite the limited coverage, it's quite flexible and has the right moves to hit most of the opposition. You can tailor its moveset to be a sweeper, a bulky setup user, or a support Pokémon, depending on your teams needs. Ninetales' ability to have a BST of 505 before your fourth badge also makes it quite good during the middle game, though the enemies will catch up after a while. However, there are a few match-ups where it's extremely risky for it to make an appearance at all, most notably against Misty, Brock, Clair, and, Blue's Rhydon and Gyarados, Lance's Gyarados and Aerodactyl, and Karen's Houndoom.
- Weaknesses: Ground, Rock, Water
- Resistances: Grass, Bug, Steel, Ice
- Immunities: Fire (Flash Fire)
- Neutralities: Normal, Flying, Ghost, Dark, Dragon, Electric, Poison, Psychic, Fighting