Pokemon Team Building: Fighting Pokemon

Now that my retirement’s over I’ve decided to take a shot at offering a bit of guidance to those who might be looking to build a team to play against friends or in a Tournament. Be advised it’s assumed you have Pokemon X or Y as the tips are written with that in mind.

The first Guide is on Fighting Pokemon.

Back in Gen 1 (the original Red/Blue/Yellow/Green) there were mostly pure Fighting Pokemon. The only hybrid being the Water/Fighting Poliwrath, Gens 2 through 6 saw a plethora of new Fighting hybrids enter the arena. Now, some might ask why dual-type Fighting Pokemon are usually preferred over pure Fighting Pokemon. The only pure fighters you’ll see in tournaments are Conkeldurr and in Uber battles Arceus (With Fist Plate Attached thanks to its ability Multitype its type changes to that of whatever plate it’s holding) for various reasons.

The big one being its weakness to thee Psychic type , which one can find in both type and moves on many teams. The dual type Medicham and Gallade are half Psychic, removing their weakness to Psychic attacks. Chesnaught and Breloom are half Grass and suffer an x4 weakness to Flying type moves, the Fighting type’s other weakness but they both have moves, abilities and/or the stats to help offset the type weakness. The Fighting/Steel type Lucario resists both Psychic and Flying type moves due to its typing. The only way to take it down is with Fire, Ground or a Fighting type move.

Now that introductions are out of the way, here are three Pokemon of the Fighting type I would reccommend putting on your team. Click the title for each Pokemon to go to their page on Serebii.net:

Blaziken/Mega Blaziken (Fire/Fighting)

Introduced in the third Gen (Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald), Blaziken is the final evolution of the Fire type starter Torchic. Upon evolving it picks up its signature move Blaze Kick. Despite the introduction of Infernape in the 4th Gen and Emboar in the 5th Gen, Blaziken is the most popular of the three Fire/Fighting type starters. Let’s be honest, it looks badass. According to Serebii.net, it’s the most powerful non-legend Pokemon in the game as of Gen 5 (Pokemon Black/White/Black 2/White 2) thanks to its new Speed Boost Ability (Speed increases by 1 level every turn). The event Torchic currently available has Speed Boost and comes with Blazikenite attached, which is needed for it to Mega Evolve into Mega Blaziken.

Blaziken is my favorite Fighting Pokemon and has been for almost 10 years. It’s very good at what it does as a Mixed Sweeper. Its Attack and Special Attack are about even, meaning whatever it dishes out will hurt. ALOT. Swords Dance + Speed Boost + Life Orb = Team Sweep. It’s that simple.  The other three moves themselves don’t matter as much as long as you have all three of those. Even without a Life Orb (which drains the HP of the user every time they attack in exchange for the power boost) Blaziken is still a contender. If you want to add some bulk replace Swords Dance with Bulk Up. If you want that guarantee Hi Jump Kick will land, go with Hone Claws.

Serebii.net reccommends Flare Blitz though I don’t reccommend it. Flare Blitz has a nasty recoil that will take its toll after a few exchanges unless you’re in a double/triple battle and your partner has Healing Pulse. I reccommend Blaze Kick alongside Hi Jump Kick for STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus). Your 4th move can be anything prettymuch but if you want to assure fliers they have no chance in hell, make it Stone Edge. Or you can make it Protect to scout your opponent’s next move and buy time to get to max speed.

Thus, a Speed Boost Blaziken will have the moves Swords Dance/Bulk Up, Blaze Kick, High Jump Kick and Stone Edge/Protect. Garnish with the Life Orb to prettymuch guarantee a team sweep or Blazikenite to Mega Evolve. Rock and Steel types will flee in terror after the opening round when they realize your Blaziken has Speed Boost. The Sword Dance/Bulk Up/Hone Claws in that opening turn will let most veterans familiar with it know they lost the match. Unsuspecting players will be forced to watch as their entire team is swept away one after the other.

A good partner Pokemon would actually be Gallade or Gardevoir, whose sole purpose is to heal (Mega) Blaziken with Healing Pulse. The new Fairy Type forced teams that don’t usually carry Steel or Posion type Pokemon to get one since they have the type advantage over Fairies. Fairies are also lethal to Dragon and Dark type Pokemon as well so…yeah. An alternative would be Mega Charizard Y, whose Drought summons the Sun and can draw both opposing Pokemon while Blaziken sets up shop. Seriously though Blaziken with the reccommended moveset wasn’t meant to be used with a partner.

As for counters…according to Serebii.net, there aren’t any. No, seriously. One cannot simply wall Speed Boost Blaziken. It hits too hard and fast. Yes Blaziken’s Defense is its weak point but Speed Boost + Swords Dance/Bulk Up/Hone Claws negates that more or less. It’ll take down prettymuch everything with one hit after the boost. Your only hope is to build a team specifically designed to take down a Speed Boost Blaziken and I will be the first to say easier said than done.

I’ll give it a shot though.

Let’s say you realize what you’re up against after the second turn. Immediately switch to a Pokemon with Static and pray Blaziken gets paralyzed before the Pokemon is downed. Afterward, switch to a Pokemon with Haze to remove the stat boosts and then switch to a Pokemon with Skill Swap to remove Blaziken’s Speed Boost. Switch back to your Hazer (if it’s still alive) to reset the 1 speed boost it got in between your swap. This will make Blaziken killable. At this point your opponent will have no choice but to switch out to get Speed Boost back. They will then either risk switching Blaziken back in to eat massive damage or wait until their switch-in faints to safely bring Blaziken back in.

Gallade

Introduced in the 4th Gen, Gallade evolves from a Kirlia that has been exposed to a Dawn Stone. It trades its new Fairy Type for the Fighting type in the 6th Gen and is prettymuch a Physical Gardevoir. It’s Speed isn’t as good as it could be but it can outpace a large pool of commonly used Pokemon. Those who have read my Pokemon Fanfics know how much I like this pokemon.

It’s a pretty decient Sweeper and its signature move (not really signature but with that body it just works) Psycho Cut has a high critical hit ratio. Unfortunately, Gallade is what you’d call a glass cannon. Powerful but extremely fragile. Fairy, Ghost and Flying type Pokemon are cause to switch it out as STAB will likely kill Gallade one hit. To top it off both of its Abilities (Steadfast and Justified) are prettymuch useless. They only activate when very specific conditions are met and they will never activate in serious competitions and in tournaments. Tack a Choice Band and add Leaf Blade, Night Slash and Stone Edge to Psycho Cut. That combo should scare off most of what you will see.

In Double/Triple Battles Gallade’s a pretty good Support Pokemon. Helping Hand + Healing Pulse will boost Gallade’s partner. Psych Up is a clever way of discreetly boosting Gallade’s stats along with its partner(s).  In Triple Battles, opening with Swords Dance + Agility on the other two Pokemon while Gallade uses Psych Up gives it a +2 boost to Speed and Attack. Have one of the other two Pokemon Baton Pass to a Pokemon that has Barrier to get boost Gallade’s defenses and it will mow down everything prettymuch. Of course, there is a bit of setup involved to pull this off and it’s fairly  easy to break up if you know what to do. Overall, Gallade does have its uses in Double/Triple Battles.

Countering Gallade is fairly simple: Aerial Ace will 2HKO coming from a non-flying type so…yeah.

Pangoro

 

Introduced in the 6th Gen (X and Y), Pangoro evolves from Pancham starting at level 32 while a Dark Pokemon is in your party. Simply level Pancham and it will evolve into The Daunting Pokemon, Pangoro. The Fighting/Dark type Pangoro is a wrecking ball. The only thing it fears is fairies (x4 Weakness due to its Fighting/Dark type combination). It also has a weakness to Flying and Fighting type Pokemon (the latter due to it being half Dark) but Psychic Pokemon will flee in terror when it takes to the field. But wait, there’s more: Its signature Ability Iron Fist Boosts Punching attacks by 20%. Power Up Punch now hits for 60 Power instead of 40, Hammer Arm hits for 120 instead of 100, etc. Mold Breaker allows Pangoro to ignore harmful Abilities like Rough Skin or Static while Scrappy allows it to hit Ghost type Pokemon. The only real threat to Pangoro is a Fairy-Type Pokemon.

What Pangoro lacks in Speed it makes up for with its impressive Attack Stat and vicious movepool. Pangoro is likely to go second in almost every exchange so you’re going to want to give it Leftovers or a Lum Berry. As for moves, Punches are the way to go. Hammer Arm is an obvious choice. Add Power Up Punch to attack and boost Pangoro’s attack at the same time or Rock Smash to lower your opponent’s defenses. Let’s not forget Pangoro is also a Dark Pokemon: Payback will always have a base power of 100 due to Pangoro’s low speed so that would make it a good choice. Or you could run with Snarl, which damages but also sharply lowers your opponent’s Special Attack. It might give you the opening you need if your opponent is switching in a Fairy-type.

Your fourth move depends on how you’re going to use Pangoro. If you want to scout your opponent’s roster make it Circle Throw, which damages and forces them to switch Pokemon. Or you could use Parting Shot to switch out Pangoro but lower your opponent’s Attack and Special Attack at the same time. Foul Play is a nasty way to stick it to sets that involve opponents who like to Boost their attack: The more they boost their attack, the more powerful Foul Play becomes.

In Double/Triple Battles you’re going to want to bring in a Pokemon that can cover Pangoro’s glaring weakness to Fairy Pokemon and is also fast. Lucario or Scizor are a few good picks to help with that. If you bring in a Pokemon with Speed Boost, use Entertainment to give Pangoro Speed Boost, which will level the playing field against naturally faster opponents.

To counter Pangoro, simply bring out a Fairy Pokemon. Unless Pangoro has significant Defense, Special Defense and/or Speed stat boosts they will leave immediately to avoid the OHKO. Pangoro is also pretty slow and is weak against Dark type moves due to its own typing so…yeah.

Of course, the most common Fighting Pokemon you will see in competitions is Conkeldurr. Even though it’s slower than Pangoro and more fragile than Gallade, that 140 base Attack is hard to ignore. It will essentially 1-hit most of what you’ll encounter but most folks will dispose of it quickly with a Psychic Pokemon.

A few other Fighting Pokemon I reccommend are Lucario, Poliwrath, Chestnaught, Breloom, Infernape/Emboar, Hawlucha, Meinfoo, Toxicroak and Heracross.

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