Incineroar (ガオガエン, Gaogaen) is a fictional creature from the Pokémon series. It debuted in the series' seventh generation as Alola's final stage Fire-type starter Pokémon, and represents that generation as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Incineroar is a bipedal feline Pokémon, and is categorized within the Pokédex at #727 as the "Heel Pokémon". Incineroar is a dual Fire/Dark-type Pokémon, and is the final evolved form of Litten, after having evolved from Torracat at level 34 onward. As Litten, it is one of the Alola region's three starter Pokémon.
In addition to using a mix of punches and kicks, Incineroar can emit streams of flame from its navel. On a related note, it is typically seen with a "flame belt", which consists of flames ringed around its waist to resemble a championship belt. True to its Pokédex categorization, Incineroar behaves much like a heel in professional wrestling. It is known for being selfish, egotistical to the point of ignoring its own Trainer's commands on a whim, and brutal to the point of even potentially attacking the opposing Pokémon's Trainer.
Despite these inflammatory traits, Incineroar is not exclusively antagonistic. It deeply values the reception of a crowd; its fighting spirit intensifies when a crowd is excited, whereas its focus wavers if the crowd is unenthusiastic. On a related note, Incineroar is especially fond of appealing to children and young Pokémon. Although it plays up its status as a heel by acting coldly toward them, it becomes extremely happy internally upon receiving their admiration. Incineroar also has a sense of honor, as it will lose the desire to fight an opponent that is weaker than itself or injured, similarly to Charizard.
Incineroar's default Ability is Blaze, which increases its Attack and Special Attack statistics by 50% when using a Fire-type move so long as it has a third or less of its Hit Points remaining. Its Hidden Ability is Intimidate, which decreases the opponent's Attack by one stage whenever Incineroar enters a battle. Like Decidueye and Primarina, Incineroar has both a signature move and signature Z-Move. In Incineroar's case, it can learn Darkest Lariat, which can be converted into Malicious Moonsault as long as it holds Incinium Z.
Thanks to Incineroar's above-average Attack stat, respectable defensive stats, potent offensive typing, and the utility provided by both Intimidate and its moveset, it is renowned as one of the most useful Pokémon within the competitive Pokémon metagame's double battle format. However, Incineroar's below-average Speed stat and vulnerability to common attacking types generally result in it struggling in single battles, and thus being placed within that format's lower tiers.
In the Pokémon anime, an Incineroar appears as the main Pokémon of Professor Kukui while under his Masked Royal persona. It developed a rivalry with Ash's Incineroar ever since it was a Litten, and is shown to be incredibly powerful in battle. Ash's Torracat would later evolve into an Incineroar itself after defeating Professor Kukui's Incineroar in their Alola League exhibition match. In I Choose You!, an Incineroar appears under the ownership of Cross, the movie's main antagonist.
As a playable character
Main article: Incineroar (SSBU)
Incineroar appears as a newcomer in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was revealed during an Ultimate-oriented Nintendo Direct on November 1st, 2018, alongside fellow newcomers Ken and Piranha Plant. Its design has received some minor updates compared to its appearance in Pokémon Sun and Moon: its fur has a more detailed texture and its muscles are more defined.
According to Masahiro Sakurai, Incineroar was not initially chosen as the newest Pokémon representative following the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon. Rather, Sakurai almost chose Decidueye to represent Generation VII, but after reconsideration, he instead chose Incineroar because of his desire for a professional wrestling-based character.
Fittingly for a professional wrestling-based character, Incineroar is a super heavyweight that possesses several heavily damaging moves, powerful throws, and even the ability to strike interruptible poses upon successfully using a move. These traits are supplemented by its overall frame data being average, which is atypical of a super heavyweight and even some heavyweights. However, Incineroar is burdened with very slow overall mobility and, by extension, a lack of any strong approach options.
Incineroar's neutral special, Darkest Lariat, has minimal start-up lag in spite of its early hitbox's respectable power, and lingers for a long time. Alolan Whip, its side special, is a versatile command grab: it can be used to KO horizontally or vertically depending on the player's input, and can even assist Incineroar's recovery, thanks to it propelling Incineroar forward and not rendering it helpless. However, it can also fail to inflict any significant damage if the player fails to input properly. Incineroar's up special, Cross Chop, is deadly when it connects on-stage, but risky when used off-stage because of its linear travel distance. Its down special move, Revenge, is a unique counterattack that stores the power of the inflicted attack and applies it as a multiplier to Incineroar's next move. Finally, Incineroar's Final Smash, Max Malicious Moonsault, is based on its signature Z-Move, Malicious Moonsault, and boasts enough power to KO at very low percentages.