Infernape

Blaze
Boosts power of Fire-type moves 50% when at 1/3 HP or less.
Iron Fist
Increases the power of punching moves by 20%.
Type Tier
Fire / Fighting OU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
76
- 293 356 -
Atk
104
219 244 307 337
Def
71
160 178 241 265
SpA
104
219 244 307 337
SpD
71
160 178 241 265
Spe
108
226 252 315 346

Overview

A former superstar of mixed sweeping, Infernape has found new life as a brutal sun-based wallbreaker. Boasting a neutrality to Stealth Rock and a devastating Fighting-type STAB, Infernape isn't your run-of-the-mill fragile Fire-type attacker. When the sun is up, Infernape's Flare Blitz is devastatingly powerful, plowing through even the toughest walls. Furthermore, when in less favorable weather conditions, Infernape can fall back on its coverage moves, U-turn, and STAB Close Combat. Infernape also boasts an exceptional base 108 Speed, which makes it an excellent revenge killer and offensive Pokemon in a crowded speed tier.

That said, unlike some of its contemporaries, Infernape isn't a nuclear weapon. It's more of a smart bomb, and needs precise guidance to function effectively. When used carelessly, Infernape's time to shine can be short. Some prominent Pokemon, namely Latios, Latias, and Dragonite, boast resistances to both of Infernape's STABs, and are durable enough that just spamming Flare Blitz won't be enough to take them down. The prevalence of rain teams also makes it difficult for Infernape to leverage its Fire STAB. However, when used with prediction and finesse, you can be sure that Infernape's sunny days will be here to stay.

Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Band

Choice Band Iron Fist Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Flare Blitz
~ Close Combat
~ U-turn
~ ThunderPunch / Mach Punch
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

A Choice Band turns Infernape into a powerful offensive threat from turn one and an absolute terror on sun teams. Though it faces competition from Darmanitan and Victini, Infernape has several notable advantages over both sun attackers. The first is Infernape's neutrality to Stealth Rock, which allows it to switch into battle more frequently, a rather significant trait for a Choice Band user. The second is Infernape's Fighting STAB; unlike Darmanitan and Victini, Infernape does not have to resort to its coverage moves to deal with the opposing weather starters Politoed and Tyranitar. Instead, it can deter them from switching in with just its STAB alone. Despite its lower firepower (pun intended), Infernape is capable of demolishing most switch-ins, notably bulky Water-types such as Tentacruel, Jellicent, and Rotom-W, with its sun-boosted Flare Blitz. Close Combat is a powerful STAB move capable of dealing heavy damage to the right targets, and is a useful move to fall back on when Flare Blitz isn't ideal. U-turn is primarily used to keep momentum on your side in situations where attacking would prove detrimental (i.e. when Infernape is not operating under sun), though you should focus on attacking when Infernape is in play. ThunderPunch takes care of bulky Water-types that are tricky to deal with, such as Gyarados, which is capable of taking sun-boosted Flare Blitz due to Intimidate, and other Water-types in general when the sun isn't shining. If you're confident in your ability to deal with Water-types, Mach Punch gives Infernape access to semi-powerful priority.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Mixed Attacker

Life Orb / Expert Belt Iron Fist Naive / Hasty
Moveset EVs
~ Overheat
~ Close Combat
~ ThunderPunch
~ Hidden Power Ice / U-turn / Mach Punch
180 Atk / 76 SpA / 252 Spe

The original mix-master ace from DPP returns largely unchanged to the BW2 metagame. This set focuses on Infernape's great coverage and offensive stats to wreck switch-ins and break through defensive cores. Overheat deals a ton of damage in a burst, but should only be used when you're sure it will land on Pokemon that are weak to Fire-type moves, since the Special Attack drop it incurs will leave Infernape vulnerable to certain Pokemon, such as Dragonite. Close Combat is a powerful offensive option that compliments Overheat nicely by targeting some of the Fire-type resists in OU. Close Combat shouldn't be used in the early game on forced switches however, as most of Infernape's checks resist it. Instead, it should be used mid-game to late-game when everything on your opponent’s team is around 50% or lower. ThunderPunch is used for Pokemon that resist Infernape's STAB combination, and is arguably Infernape's most important primary coverage move, as it allows Infernape to heavily damage its checks—Starmie, Jellicent, and Tentacruel—and obliterate Gyarados. Hidden Power Ice extends Infernape's coverage by targeting Pokemon with a quadruple weakness to Ice, such as Landorus-T, Gliscor, Garchomp, and Dragonite. U-turn grants Infernape the ability to scout and offer switch advantage as well as damage Latios and Latias (two fairly good Infernape checks), while Mach Punch can pick off weakened threats such as Terrakion. However, neither option should be used over Hidden Power Ice without justification, as the extra coverage is too important to pass up.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Anti-Lead

Focus Sash Blaze Naive
Moveset EVs
~ Fake Out
~ Stealth Rock
~ Overheat
~ Close Combat
252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe

Lead Infernape has the distinction of having an advantage against almost every single common lead in OU, with the exceptions of Politoed, Rotom-W, and Hippowdon, and is almost guaranteed to set up Stealth Rock, while simultaneously preventing the opponent from setting up their own hazards. Its effectiveness as a lead is largely attributed to Fake Out, since it completely nullifies lead strategies revolving around Focus Sash and Sturdy. Dedicated leads such as lead Terrakion only have a 50% chance of setting up Stealth Rock, and are OHKOed if they stay in. Custap Berry users such as Skarmory and Forretress are placed in a checkmate position, as they're unable to rely on Sturdy to protect them from Overheat or use their Custap Berry. Crustle is the exception to the rule, as Infernape is unable to OHKO it. That said, Infernape is capable of 2HKOing it without activating Custap Berry, limiting Crustle to just Stealth Rock or one layer of Spikes. Overheat and Close Combat round off the set as two powerful STAB moves with decent coverage, and give Infernape utility beyond the lead phase. With Focus Sash, Infernape is near-guaranteed to activate Blaze, supercharging Overheat in the process.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf Blaze Naive
Moveset EVs
~ Close Combat
~ Fire Blast / Flare Blitz
~ U-turn
~ Hidden Power Ice / Stone Edge
36 Atk / 220 SpA / 252 Spe

A Choice Scarf turns Infernape into your run-of-the-mill revenge killer, with excellent coverage and a high Speed. Choice Scarf Infernape still has basic offensive utility, for example, the ability to OHKO Tyranitar and Blissey, but its overall damage output is noticeably lower than that of the other sets, to the point where Infernape will struggle to damage Pokemon that aren't weak to its STAB moves. Infernape has good enough coverage to target most of OU for super effective damage; Close Combat smashes a multitude of Pokemon weak to Fighting, such as Tyranitar, Heatran, Terrakion, and Blissey, and Fire Blast incinerates various Pokemon weak to Fire, such as Celebi, Scizor, Skarmory, and Jirachi. U-turn is a staple on this set, as it practically eliminates the need to predict after you've brought Infernape in on something it can force out, and will usually net you a switch advantage. Hidden Power Ice allows Infernape to revenge kill Pokemon that are 4x weak to Ice, and is effective at stopping Dragon Dance users such as Dragonite and Salamence. Stone Edge offers similar coverage but targets specific Pokemon weak to Rock, namely Volcarona and Gyarados.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Let's take a moment to appreciate how expansive Infernape's movepool is. It has a healthy supply of offensive choices, access to some of the best boosting moves in the game, and a surprisingly long list of support moves. Infernape is capable of using movesets with Nasty Plot, Work Up, Calm Mind, or Swords Dance to decent success, as the extra power boost makes Infernape difficult to wall. The days of sweeping entire teams with it are long gone, however, as Infernape finds itself easily revenge killed in the OU metagame. Vacuum Wave can be used over Mach Punch on pure special attacking sets. Encore can occasionally be used to lock an unsuspecting Pokemon into a useless move and give you a free turn. It's useless in practice though, as Infernape's fantastic coverage can easily force switches. Focus Blast is an option on pure special attacking sets, but its abysmal accuracy and the fact that most special walls take more damage from Close Combat make it a throwaway move option. Slack Off can be used on the mixed set to mitigate Life Orb recoil or heal in general. However, it takes away Infernape's ability to put pressure on the opponent, and comes at the cost of a coverage move, making it difficult to use in general.

Checks and Counters

Unfortunately for Infernape, its fantastic coverage nonetheless leaves certain Pokemon easily able to beat it. Latias and Latios, for example, are the perfect counters to Infernape. They're capable of switching into most of Infernape's attacks, have access to healing moves to keep up defensive pressure, and can threaten Infernape or its teammates with STAB Draco Meteor or Psyshock. They also make for fantastic checks due to their higher Speed stats; as long as either Latias or Latios is still standing, Infernape will have a hard time doing much of anything. The only things either of them has to worry about is U-turn, especially from the Choice Band set, and sun-boosted Flare Blitz, which deals over 60% to both of them. (Note: Latios's comparatively poorer defensive stats make it harder for him to check Infernape.) Other Dragon-types, such as Salamence and Dragonite, can act as decent checks to Infernape, but need to watch out for Hidden Power Ice.

Certain other bulky Water-types possess unique traits that make it difficult for Infernape to beat them. Politoed is a decent stop to Infernape, as long it doesn't switch into Close Combat or ThunderPunch. The rain that accompanies it removes sun and sandstorm, effectively neuters Fire moves, and dramatically lessens Infernape's usefulness in the long run. Jellicent's immunity to Fighting, resistance to Fire, and access to Recover make it a solid counter to Infernape. Jellicent only has to worry about ThunderPunch and sun-boosted Flare Blitz, which can 2HKO it. Tentacruel is capable of getting in Infernape's way with its dual resistances to Infernape's STAB moves, and if rain happens to be up, can avoid being 2HKOed by ThunderPunch with Protect. Gyarados has Intimidate and resistances to both Fire and Fighting, which allow it to easily withstand sun-boosted Flare Blitz, and provide an all-around good check to Infernape in general. That said, its vulnerability to Stealth Rock and quadruple weakness to ThunderPunch make it a shaky check in some cases.

Hippowdon's meaty defenses allow it to wall Infernape both physically and specially. Specially defensive sets can wall every set barring the Choice Band set (Fire Blast and Close Combat fail to 2HKO specially defensive Hippowdon) and physically defensive sets can easily wall the Choice Band set. Hippowdon's Sand Stream also passively nerfs Infernape used on sun teams. Faster revenge killers such as Alakazam and Choice Scarf Keldeo can spell the end to Infernape, and finally, good prediction on your part and passive damage can help defeat Infernape. Since it usually incurs recoil damage from Life Orb or Flare Blitz, switching in the right checks at the right time can quickly whittle it down.