Charizard vs. Articuno: Which Pokémon is Better?

If you followed the Pokémon anime series as a kid, then I’m sure you are familiar with the epic battle that occurred between Charizard (non-legendary) and Articuno (legendary) in the 410th episode of the series. It was essentially an epic battle between fire🔥 and ice❄️.

I remember being glued to the TV for the entire episode not knowing what to expect. Even though Charizard proved to be a powerful Pokémon in the series, I never thought it would be able to defeat a legendary🤯. Some fans speculate that Charizard’s victory was simply for the sake of the story’s continuity. Or it could just be Game Freak playing favorites when it comes to Charizard, seeing how it’s constantly getting upgrades with each new game.

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Given my experience playing Pokémon video games for over a decade, I was curious to know who would have truly won, if the battle had happened on the video game as opposed to the anime. That is why I came up with this article. In it, I will analyze and compare both Pokémon’s strengths and abilities, to objectively determine which Pokémon is more powerful. Keep reading to see how I arrived at my final verdict☺️.

Charizard vs Articuno – How They Compare.

Before we go into the details, here is a summarized table of how the two Pokémon compare:





  • Fire/Flying type Pokémon
  • Ice/Flying Legendary Brid


  • HP: 78
  • Speed: 100
  • Attack: 84
  • Special Attack: 109
  • Defense: 78
  • Special Defense: 85

Total Base Stat: 534

  • HP: 90
  • Speed: 85
  • Attack: 85
  • Special Attack: 95
  • Defense: 100
  • Special Defense: 125

Total Base Stat: 580


Fast moves:

  • Air Slash
  • Dragon Breath
  • Ember
  • Fire Spin
  • Wing Attack

Charge moves:

  • Blast Burn
  • Dragon Claw
  • Fire Blast
  • Flame Thrower
  • Overheat

Fast Moves:

  • Frost Breath
  • Ice Shard

Charge moves:

  • Ancient Power
  • Blizzard
  • Hurricane
  • Ice Beam
  • Icy Wind


  • Solar Power (hidden)
  • Blaze
  • Snow Cloak (hidden)
  • Pressure

What are the differences between Charizard and Articuno?

Charizard vs. Articuno- Which Pokémon is Better?
Articuno Pokémon GO Raid Battle. Image source: Nintendo

As I already mentioned, Articuno is a legendary bird, whereas Charizard is a non-legendary Pokémon. So, needless to say, there are some significant differences between them. For instance, by definition, according to Pokémon lore, Articuno is meant to be a much stronger Pokémon compared to Charizard. But to objectively determine this, we have to compare them in the following aspects:

Pokémon Type

As you may know, Charizard is a Fire/Flying type Pokémon whereas Articuno is an Ice/Flying type. Given my love for the game and the franchise as a whole, I have spent years studying various Pokémon types. I’ve therefore come to have a good understanding of each one’s strengths and weaknesses.

Charizard being primarily a 🔥fire-type means that it’s not only strong against Steel-, Ice-, Bug-, and Grass-types, but it is also neutral to several other types like Ghost-types. Of course, it has some vulnerabilities too, the biggest threats being Rock- and Water-types. Articuno on the other hand is primarily an ❄️Ice-type meaning that it is strong against Grass-, Dragon-, Ground-, and Flying-types. It is, however, extremely vulnerable to Fire-, Steel- and Rock-types.

Given that the secondary type for both Pokémon is flying, it cancels out Charizard’s weakness to ground types but makes both of them twice as vulnerable to rock types. Additionally, the secondary type introduces a new vulnerability to Electric-types for both of them as well.

Overall, however, Charizard has a type advantage over Articuno in this category. This is not just because Ice is weak to Fire, but also because Charizard’s type has fewer vulnerabilities compared to Articuno’s, which if used properly could give it an upper hand in battle😌.


Charizard vs. Articuno
Charizard stats. Image source: Pokemon

Another difference is in the stats. Of course, this should come as no surprise given that one is legendary and the other isn’t. Therefore, as you would expect Articuno, has a higher base total of 580. But this is surprisingly not a significant difference from Charizard’s base total of 534🤨. This means that even though Articuno may have more strength it isn’t by such a great margin. The same can be said for the Attack stats with Articuno having a base of 85 and Charizard a base of 84.

Where the two differentiate, however, is in the HP, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed stats. While analyzing, I found that, on the one hand, Articuno had significantly higher HP, Defense, and Special defense stats. On the other hand, Charizard has higher Special Attack and Speed stats. Side note: the speed stats make sense considering in the anime, it was the speed that enabled Charizard to take Articuno by surprise and perform the seismic toss that won the battle🫡.

Based on the stats, however, Charizard seems to be better suited for an offensive playstyle since its higher attack and speed stats means it can deal a great deal of damage. Articuno seems to be better suited for a defensive playstyle. Its high HP and Defense stats means that it can take hits even from super-effective attacks.

Overall, though, I would have to say that Articuno wins this category by a small margin because it has a higher base total and better stat distribution. But both Pokémon can be equally useful and effective in battle depending on your playstyle preference and your skill as a player.

Moves and Abilities

Pokémon Go Articuno Evolution. Image source: Pokemon

By the latest 9th generation of the Pokémon game series, both Charizard and Articuno can learn quite a number of moves. Although it’s not surprising that Charizard has slightly more moves in its pools. But let’s focus on what each one’s best move set is.

For Charizard, the best move set would be using Fire Spin as a fast move and Blast Burn as a charge move. The reason is, Fire Spin generates a decent amount of energy per second and causes the highest damage per second among its fast-move options.

Blast Burn on the other hand is one of its most powerful charge moves that has the least energy cost while dealing significant damage per second. What’s more, because the two moves are fire-type they get STAB as a boost. You can also add Wing Attack as a fast move depending on the Pokémon types you’re facing.

When it comes to Articuno, its best move set involves using Ice Shard and Frost Breath as fast moves and Ice Beam as a charge move. I know Ice Beam might not be its best charge move, but it still deals a significant amount of damage per second without costing too much energy.

Comparing their moves, I would have to say that Charizard wins. It’s the best move set, deals more damage but saves up more energy compared to Articuno’s. For example, for the same amount of energy cost, a Blast Burn has 40 DPS whereas an Ice Beam only has about 37.2 DPS. Not to mention, Charizard has significantly more fast moves compared to Articuno.

Final Verdict: So, Which is better? – Charizard vs. Articuno

All things considered, Charizard appears to be the better Pokémon. It is worth noting, that while Charizard is considered to be among the best of its kind when it comes to fire-type Pokémon, Articuno is largely considered the weakest of the legendary birds. That would explain why their stats are not so far apart. Nor does it seem so far-fetched that Charizard could win a battle against Articuno.

Ultimately, choosing the best Pokémon between them, however, will mostly depend on your preferred playstyle. If you are an offensive player, then you are better off choosing Charizard. But if you consider yourself a defensive player, then Articuno would make a great Pokémon to use.

FAQ Section

Which is more popular Charizard or Articuno?

Charizard is more popular among fans. While some players believe in Articuno’s might, based on different forums like Bulbagarden and Serebii, most players seemed to be more inclined toward Charizard. However, it boils down to who you ask and personal preference.

Can Charizard beat a legendary Pokémon?

Yes, if that legendary Pokémon is Articuno, given that in the anime series, Charizard was the first non-legendary to defeat it, a legendary Pokémon. However, it also depends on which legendary you put Charizard up against. For example, it may have been able to defeat Articuno, but could it defeat a legendary like Arceus? So, it really depends on the legendary Pokémon that Charizard faces.

How did Charizard beat Articuno?

In the anime series, Charizard used the seismic toss. After that Articuno collapsed while Charizard managed to stand up, winning the battle for it and Ash.

In what episode does Ash’s Charizard defeat Articuno?

The epic battles take place in season 8 episode 43 of Pokémon the series: Ruby and Saphire. The episode was tagged “The Symbol of Life”.

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