One of the Pokemon Scarlet exclusive Pokemon, Armarouge is the Fire/Psychic type counterpart to the Fire/Ghost type Ceruledge in Violet. While I personally prefer the design of Ceruledge, as someone who always purchases both versions of each Generation’s mainline games, both of these Pokemon will eventually appear on my teams in their respective versions. As a Fire/Psychic dual type Pokemon, Armarouge shares a typing with X and Y’s Delphox, Zen Mode Darmanitan, and the Legendary Victini. That’s pretty select company for a type combination.
According to the official Pokemon website, Armarouge is a Fire Warrior Pokemon who lives by the principles of a fair fight. This causes the Warrior to challenge any opponent, no matter how much stronger it is than itself. Fortunately, thanks to its sturdy body armor, it serves as a sort of tank in battle, bolstering its own defenses while taking down enemies with its substantial attack power.
Its body armor is the source of its Psychic-type power, and it once belonged to a distinguished warrior. The armor’s psychic capabilities also enhance this Pokemon’s existing fire energy in unleashing attacks. Many assumed that this lore suggests that Armarouge is a Legendary Pokemon and only encountered once per save file. However, as it so happens, Armarouge evolves from a fairly rare, but certainly not unique Pokemon called Charcadet.
Evolving Charcadet into Armarouge requires an evolution item that you need to get called the Auspicious Armor that you get by acquiring certain items dropped by Pokemon when they are caught or defeated. In this case, there’s a man in Zapapico who you trade ten Bronzor Fragments for the armor. You can repeat this task multiple times. It’s also possible to discover Armarouge in five-star Tera Raids, which are available to you when you complete the main story of the game (post-credits).
Armarouge also has a signature move, as many Generation 9 Pokemon have. This special move is called Armor Cannon, a Fire-type special attacking move which lowers the user’s Defense and Special Defense stats in exchange for great power. This attack’s lore suggests that Armarouge “moves both its pauldrons to its hands and puts its arms together to form a cannon, allowing to shoot its own armor out as blazing projectiles.” One would assume that these pauldrons then return to Armarouge on completion of the assault. The Pokemon website shows Armarouge using its signature move on a poor Luxio, which does not seem at all like a fair opponent.
For its ability, Armarouge is given Flash Fire, which is on point for this pocket monster’s design as it allows the Pokemon to absorb a Fire-type move and power up its own Fire-type moves by 50 percent. It actually shares this ability with its Violet counterpart Ceruledge. Considering the literal firepower that both Pokemon exemplify, its the perfect ability for them each to have.
While it’s hard to say that Armarouge will be on the same power level as Victini, it could certainly be a competitive Pokemon, likely more in the vein of Delphox. Like its Violet counterpart Ceruledge, it has a base stat total of 525, which is similar to a fully evolved Starter Pokemon. It has decent defenses with 85 base HP, 100 base Defense and 80 base Special Defense. It has just 60 base attack, but 125 Special Attack. With only 75 Speed, though, it will need a Speed boosting nature to outspeed much.
Fortunately, like Ceruledge, Armarouge has the Hidden Ability Weak Armor, which can be acquired from those found in five-star or higher Tera Raids. You can also use an Ability Patch to unlock a Hidden Ability, although that particular item is a pain to get. With Weak Armor, physical hits will decrease Defense, but increase Speed. Because Armarouge has solid physical defense, this may be a better ability than on Ceruledge, who has its defensive stats reversed. So, you may not need a Speed-boosting nature if you decide to go with a bulkier set based around Weak Armor. But, if you do want to build a more offense minded Armarouge, you’ll certainly want a Timid nature, which boosts Speed by 10 percent at the cost of 10 percent of Attack, which is obviously not an issue for this Pokemon.
As competitive Pokemon in Generation 9 has developed, Armarouge has not proven to be nearly as popular as its Fire/Ghost counterpart from Violet in Ceruledge. That’s not to say Armarouge doesn’t have competitive options, though. It’s still a Top 50 Pokemon by usage in Pokemon Showdown Generation 9 OU, the format with the top played Pokemon in the Generation. It uses its signature move Armor Cannon as its primary attacking move, which isn’t surprising at all. The rest of its moveset is typically centered around Psychic, Aura Sphere, and Calm Mind. Being a Special Attacker, Calm Mind boosts both Special Attack and Special Defense, which is helpful on both offense and defense.
Another way to run Armarouge also involves Calm Mind, but Stored Power rather than Psychic, benefiting from both the Special Attack and Special Defense boosts, and the Weak Armor ability activation. Some Armarouge will even run Endure in order to tank another physical hit for more damage.
In Battle Stadium Doubles, however, Armarouge has actually proven more popular than Ceruledge. This is mostly because the Fire/Psychic type enjoys two Special attacking moves that hit both opposing Pokemon in Expanding Force (Psychic) and Heat Wave (Fire). Also, being that it’s only 75 base Speed, Armarouge can also be a good Trick Room setter, which allows slower but powerful Pokemon such as Torkoal and Kingambit to dish out some serious damage. Torkoal is a great partner for Armarouge, since Drought brings among Sun, powering up Fire-type moves by 50 percent.
So, while Ceruledge has certainly been better on average across various formats, Armarouge has proven its worth in doubles. That’s very fortunate for Armarouge, since official Pokemon competitions (VGC) are in fact double battles. So, we’ll actually be seeing more Armarouge at top-level tournaments than Ceruledge!
Which of the two Armor Pokemon do you prefer: Ceruledge or Armarouge?
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