Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Charizard tera raid event has concluded, and Game Freak is rolling out the next one: Cinderace. The Galar fire-type starter is not typically available in these games, and as such, will only be available through this raid. The first window to capture this rabbit has closed, but the second one is coming up in just under two weeks. So here’s some go to strategies to help you overcome this tera raid.
First off, the Cinderace raid will be available for two windows, the first was 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.
For your reference, here are Cinderace’s attacks in the tera raid:
- Pyro Ball (Fire)
- Acrobatics (Flying)
- Iron Head (Steel)
- High Jump Kick (Fighting)
- Bulk Up (Fighting)
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.
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, and will use Bulk Up multiple times in the fight to boost those 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 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 is 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 Slowbro using Heal Pulse. Cinderace’s physical attack is high, but its physical defense is pretty average. So the combo should do some real damage, especially if you have Dachsbun use Helping Hand to help boost its strength.
All that being said, Cinderace has one ace in its arsenal that could throw this entire setup off if your Azumarill isn’t powerful enough to take it out instantly: Iron Head. This steel attack is super effective to both Dachsbun and Azumarill, which means they have one major weakness in all of this. If Cinderace survives the Belly Drum+Helping Hand+Play Rough combo, you’ll still be vulnerable to Iron Head. It’s still a really solid combo, but it’s riskier, this time around.
If you want to bring Pokémon who won’t have to worry about any of Cinderace’s moves, 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 Nasty Plot to raise its own special attack. Then it’s just a matter of dishing out a good Psychic to take advantage of the setup.
A common strategy that sprung up in the first raid window had Slowbro acting as a focal point. Slowbro can learn a move called Stored Power, which typically has a base power of only 20, but gains an additional 20 for each stat increase the user has accumulated over a battle. I personally finished off Cinderace quickly by using a Slowbro with Stored Power, Iron Defense, and Nasty Plot, using the latter two abilities three times to increase its stats, then using Stored Power alongside a Helping Hand from a teammate’s Dachsbun to really do some damage. It was effective, and was a go to move for players in the first round of Cinderace raids.
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:
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.
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.