Since the beginning of Pokemon, the fighting type has been known for its offensive prowess and might. While its history has been a bit rocky, Fighting has always been reliable for its ability to hit hard and fast. If you’re looking for a diverse and powerful type, you’ve come to the right place!
Starting off as one of the original 15 types in Pokemon Red and Blue, the Fighting type has quite a bit of history behind. Always having been known for its physical prowess, the Fighting type was unfortunately held at bay in Generation I with the ridiculous power of Psychic types. Over the generations as Psychic was nerfed and Fighting got new toys to play with, the type continually rose in relevance, peaking in Generation V.
With powerful new ‘mons like Conkeldurr and 4 new Legendaries as well as old staples like Infernape and Lucario, Fighting dominated the playing field along with Dragon and Dark types. While playing king of the hill was fun, it unfortunately all came crashing down with the introduction of Fairy types in Generation VI. Hitting Fighting Pokemon with 2x effectiveness as well as resisting their moves, Fighting had a new obstacle to overcome. Luckily, with a load of new Megas and their already strong backlog of Pokemon, Fighting managed to stay relevant in the new games.
It seems as though that Game Freak has taken their disdain to a new level with Sun and Moon. Introducing 4 powerful Fairy type legendaries in the Tapu Guardians, the powerful setup sweeper Mimikyu, and not transferring over Fighting’s best Mega Evolutions have turned the once all-powerful Fighting type into a laughing stock. Fighting may have been dealt a bad hand this generation, but if you can find the space and need on your team, these feisty fighters can still pack a punch.
By the Numbers
# of Pokemon with this type: 63
# of Fully Evolved Pokemon: 36 (7 Mega Evolutions)
2x super effective against: Normal, Ice, Rock, Dark and Steel
Effective against: Fire, Water, Electric, Grass, Fighting, Ground and Dragon
2x resisted by: Poison, Flying, Psychic, Bug and Fairy
Ineffective against: Ghost
2x weak against: Flying, Psychic and Fairy
Damaged normally by: Fire, Water, Electric, Grass, Fighting, Ground, Dragon, Normal, Ice, Steel and Poison
2x resistant to: Bug, Rock and Dark
Immune to: None
- Mega Blaziken
- Mega Lucario
- Mega Mewtwo X
- Mega Lopunny
- Mega Gallade
- Mega Medicham
- Mega Heracross
Physical – Close Combat, Mach Punch, High Jump Kick, Drain Punch, Superpower, Counter, Brick Break, Hammer Arm, Low Kick, Dynamic Punch Low Sweep, Sacred Sword, Seismic Toss
Special – Focus Blast, Aura Sphere, Vacuum Wave, Final Gambit, Secret Sword
Status – Bulk Up, Detect, Mat Block and Quick Guard
Type in OU
Even with its decline in relevance this generation, Fighting types can still be a valuable offensive asset to an OU team. Two new Ultra Beasts in particular have come out of the woodworks to be major threats in the tier.
The first of these is the infamous Pheromosa. Boasting amazing offensive stats with a Base Attack and Special Attack of 137 each and an insane Base Speed of 151, Pheromosa is the ultimate glass cannon, switching in and out while firing off STAB U-Turns. Save it until the end and you have a great late-game cleaner with STAB High Jump Kick, the aforementioned STAB U-Turn and great coverage moves like Poison Jab and Ice Beam. Add in Beast Boost and you’ve got a monstrous attacker. Pheromosa isn’t perfect, however, as it has ridiculously low defenses. Base HP of 71 and Base Defense and Special Defence of 37 each aren’t going to let Pheromosa take a hit without some serious damage. Furthermore, it must watch out for Pokemon like Alolan-Marowak that just completely wall it, or even worse, flying types that can wreck it with its 4x weakness. Finally, its frailty makes it exceptionally susceptible to priority moves, so I recommend pairing it with Tapu Lele to take advantage of Psychic Terrain’s priority neutralization. Play smart and Pheromosa is a force to be reckoned.
The other Fighting type currently in OU is Buzzwole. While it’s lacking on the Special side, great Attack and Defense (139 each) as well as a decent Base HP (107) allow Buzzwole to be a great bulky physical sweeper. One of my favorite sets is its Sub-Punch set. Set up Substitute on a passive ‘mon or a switch and then spam Focus Punch. Get a Beast Boost to Attack or two and you can cover the rest with great coverage moves like Earthquake and the elemental punches. If you’re not feeling that set, Buzzwole also has access to a variety of great moves like Hammer Arm and even Bulk Up to set up. It even gets Roost if you’re looking for more longevity. The biggest problems for Buzzwole besides its obvious 4x weakness to Flying are its mediocre speed and poor Special Defense, especially being weak to two Special Attack-heavy types like Psychic and Fairy. Watch out for those though, and Buzzwole works great at wearing down an opponents team.
Those aren’t the only two ‘mons viable in OU though. Two Pokemon recently got banned from UU into Borderline, making them good options on your team as well. The first of these was Terrakion, quickbanned for its powerful Attack and decent Speed. Slap a Choice Scarf on there, and you have a great late-game cleaner. It can also run Choice Band and Swords Dance sets, making it a versatile offensive option.
Breloom also recently got quickbanned to BL and retains many of the benefits it brought to the table in Generation VI. Access to Spore as well as Technician with moves like Mach Punch, Bullet Seed and Rock Tomb on top of a 130 Base Attack allow Breloom to hit hard as well as fit niches other Fighting types can’t. Unfortunately, while this Breloom set still hits hard, the presence of the Tapus, especially Koko and Fini which prevent it from using Spore and Lele preventing it from using its main STAB Mach Punch, make it harder to work. To add insult to injury, the last guardian, Tapu Bulu, fills the physically-offensive Grass type niche better than Breloom does.
Other new additions to the type in Gen VII include Kommo-o, Crabominable and Passimian. None of them do particularly well in OU, however, each has carved out its own niche in UU. Kommo-o makes a decent switch in to Grass, Water, Fire, Electric, and Rock, and can use those opportunities to setup Dragon Dance. Unfortunately, its lack of access to a Fighting move stronger than Sky Uppercut is a severe hindrance. Crabominable is an awesome offensive Pokemon, but it is slow and suffers from its frail Ice typing. Finally Passimian sees some use, but is better reserved for VGC or doubles.
Presently, Fighting is very hindered by the fact that none of its Mega forms besides Lucario have been released… Thanks, Gamefreak. This means that OU staples like Mega Gallade, Mega Lopunny, Mega Medicham, and Mega Heracross are unable to threaten the OU meta with their high offensive stats. This will change eventually, but for now we are left wondering what they will make of things once they arrive on the scene.
Type in Mono
Fighting does better in Monotype than it does in OU currently, but it’s still not performing as well as it used to. The aforementioned new threats from OU still dog it in Mono, and to make things worse, every Fighting type Mega Evolution is either banned in the tier or is currently unreleased in Sun & Moon. That being said, the type is still very effective in a Hyper Offensive setting.
Luckily, there are certain Pokemon that come to the forefront in Mono that aren’t as good in OU. Cobalion comes to mind as a great Utility ‘mon, having access to Taunt, Thunder Wave and Stealth Rocks. The Steel typing also helps neutralize the team’s weakness to Fairy types to an extent.
Suicide Sash Lead Infernape also works well, but is better suited to Fire Monotype in my opinion. However, Mixed Attacking LO Infernape is a wonderful asset for Mono-Fighting, hitting threats that would otherwise wall Fighting teams like Jirachi, Doublade and Skarmory hard with STAB Fire Blast. Fill out the rest of its moves with STAB Close Combat, U-Turn and one of the elemental punches (my personal favorite is Thunder Punch for flying and water types), and you have a great mixed wallbreaker for your team.
Special Attack is definitely something that Fighting sorely lacks overall, so using Keldeo in tandem with your mixed Infernape is a good idea. There are a few sets that Keldeo can use including Choice Specs, Choice Scarf and Sub-Calm Mind, so use whichever set fits your team best. Be careful though, the four Tapus are a nightmare for Keldeo to deal with.
Hawlucha is another great Pokemon for Monotype Fighting, providing a good late-game, setup sweeper, especially since most of Fighting’s best setup sweepers were Mega Evolutions. Swords Dance in combination with a 2x Speed Boost from Unburden makes this one scary bird. I’ve seen sets that utilize Power Herb and Sky Attack as well as Substitute-Sitrus Berry sets. It’s up to player preference; either does a good job at activating Unburden.
Besides that, the previously mentioned sets for Breloom and Terrakion work fine. Buzzwole can also fill many roles on a team. Toxicroak makes a decent Swords Dance user as well, but its 4x weakness to Psychic is still not very attractive. Conkeldurr is also a great option if you want a bulky ‘mon that can soak up status conditions with Guts.
Type in Other Metas
As previously mentioned, Passimian, Kommo-o and Crabominable have each made their own mark in UU. Passimian and Kommo-o both have great stats for bulky sweeper sets, especially Kommo-o. With access to Dragon Dance and both Fighting and Dragon for STAB moves, it can be quite the powerhouse in UU.
Crabominable is an interesting specimen. Used as a sweeper on Trick Room teams, its abysmal 43 Base Speed gives it quite the advantage. Add onto that a great 132 Base Attack and access to powerful Fighting and Ice-type STAB moves, and this crabby brawler can put in some work.
The two Ultra Beasts, Pheromosa and Buzzwole, also do well in Ubers. Pheromosa fills mostly the same role as in OU, however, Ubers players have been taking advantage of its access to Rapid Spin as well. Meanwhile, Buzzwole has seen play in Ubers as a powerful Physical Tank.
Mega Lucario continues to be a force to be reckoned with in Ubers. Bringing back its versatility from Generation VI, M-Luke still devastates teams that rely on common Fairy and Dark types like Arceus-Fairy, Arceus-Dark and Xerneas. It’s also great at going up against stall, having ample opportunity to use common Stall ‘mons as setup fodder.
And finally, while Speed Boost Blaziken is still banned to Ubers, it doesn’t seem to be getting much use. It’s classic Protect, Swords Dance, High Jump Kick, Flare Blitz set works just as well as it always has, but besides that, it doesn’t really do much else.
Tips and Tricks
As I’ve said before, Hyper Offense is the way to go with Fighting types. However, Bulky Offense can still work well if built and played right. Just don’t expect it to be easy.
When playing with Fighting types, there are a few things to watch out for. First off, while most entry hazards don’t phase the type much, Sticky Web can be especially troublesome. Unfortunately, without a reliable Defogger or Spinner (and no, Hitmontop is not good enough to be called reliable), planning ahead and trucking through the speed drops is your only option. Having a fast Choice Scarfer like Terrakion helps. Even with Sticky Web getting rid of the Scarf’s boost, Terrakion can still outspeed many threats and help you out in the late game.
Status conditions are also a pain, potentially crippling your Pokemon’s sweeping capabilities. When you need to hit hard and fast, getting Speed and Attack drops from Paralysis and Burns respectively is not ideal. Even Poison can be troublesome if you have a lot of Life Orb users, cutting short their already hampered longevity. Using the occasional Lum Berry, having a Guts Conkeldurr as mentioned previously to soak up the status and having mons immune to certain status conditions are all great ways to counter this.
Finally, with the rise of the Tapus, you’re always going to have to be planning coverage for them (and other Fairy types). Giving ‘mons coverage moves like Iron Head and Poison Jab or using ‘mons like Cobalion and Toxicroak help, but because of their variety, it can be hard to cover for all four of them.
Overall, Fighting types may not be as great as they used to be, but they still have plenty of use in the current metagame. With great offensive stats, diverse dual-types, and access to a wide arrange of moves, the type isn’t going to go down without a fight. Just watch out for those Fairies, and you should be fine adding a powerful fighter to your team in any tier.