I'll admit, when I first saw Volcarona in the Pokedex I thought it was pretty amazing. Base 135 Sp.Atk, base 105 Sp.Def, base 100 speed, and add Quiver Dance access and a cool move in Fiery dance and you have a powerful special attacker. Also, add a good Sp.Def, Quiver Dance, Morning Sun, and Will-o-wisp together and you have a wall that can handle both ends of the spectrum.
But then I realised Volcarona's one main gigantic flaw. It's type combination. It is 4x weak to stealth rock so any defensive hopes are smashed. It also has several common weaknesses like Water and Rock, and on the offensive side of things it really really lacks type coverage. Bug and Fire together just don't give good coverage, and a single hidden power slot isn't going to cover everything that still needs to be covered. And in fact, a lot of the standard tier just walks over Volcarona due to this, as they resist both of its STAB moves. Heatran, Salamence, Terrakion, Gyarados, Tentacruel, Aerodactyl, Dragonite, they all walk over Volcarona if it lacks the right hidden power, and they all need a different one. Flash Fire Arcanine also poses quite a threat to it, being able to hit it on its weak physical defense side with Extremespeed while resisting its STABs.
Due to its type coverage issues, it is often forced out simply because it can't do anything to the foe, which enhances its Stealth Rock problem, but it also makes Fiery Dance less valuable as Volcarona has to stay in to really take advantage of Fiery Dance. And with only 50% chance of increasing your Sp.Atk, it's not that valuable compared to Overheat or Fire Blast. If you get lucky and keep on getting boosts, 3 Fiery Dances exactly equal the power of 3 Fire Blasts. Even then, 2 Fiery Dances are outdamaged by 2 Overheats, and 2 Fiery Dances only just outdamage 2 Flamethrowers and tie with 2 Heat Waves. Volcarona has to survive on the field for a significant amount of time before it really starts paying off to use Fiery Dance over conventional fire moves, and with so much getting Stone Edge these days that's easier said than done.
Last edited by Sceptile Leaf Blade; 20th May 2012 at 6:59 PM.
Master balls are the cheapest thing ever invented. It's more fun catching everything with balls that can fail. 'caught Latios in the wild without master ball ftw'