Kangaskhan

Early Bird
Reduces sleep time.
Scrappy
Can hit Ghost-types with Fighting- and Normal-type moves.
Inner Focus
Prevents flinching.
Type Tier
Normal NU
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
105
- 27 30 -
Atk
95
14 16 19 20
Def
80
12 14 17 18
SpA
40
9 10 13 14
SpD
80
12 14 17 18
Spe
90
13 15 18 19

Overview

Kangaskhan is an example of a Pokemon that has several advantageous traits. Its stats are an indication of its great balance, as it has enough power to get past multiple foes and enough Speed to outpace the ever-dangerous Sawk and many other common threats in NU while having a great bulk that allows it to take a multitude of hits. While there are more powerful, faster Normal-types such as Tauros and Sawsbuck, Kangaskhan's access to Scrappy means that Ghost-types cannot wall its STAB, giving it near-perfect coverage with two moves and limiting the number of Pokemon that can switch into its STAB. Kangaskhan also has a very wide physical movepool that helps it cover many relevant threats in the metagame and gives it a bunch of priority options, including Sucker Punch and Fake Out, allowing it to finish off weakened foes and dangerous weather sweepers, a feat that no other Pokemon in the tier can accomplish as easily. Despite these multiple perks and its wide movepool, however, Kangaskhan has almost no way to get past physical walls such as Alomomola and Tangela outside of hitting them with Toxic, and it has no way to boost its decent Attack outside of the underwhelming Work Up. Despite these flaws, Kangaskhan can fill multiple roles effectively and is a good addition to any team.

Name Item Ability Nature

All-Out Attacker

Silk Scarf / Life Orb Scrappy Jolly / Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Double-Edge / Return
~ Earthquake / Drain Punch
~ Fake Out
~ Sucker Punch
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

This set takes advantage of many of Kangaskhan's traits—its Speed tier allows it to outpace many dangerous Pokemon, including Sawk, Pinsir, and Gardevoir, and it does an excellent job at checking sweepers due to a few priority options, powerful moves, above-average bulk, great coverage, and to top it off, a very useful ability that means, unlike other Normal-types, it cannot be easily stopped by Ghosts.

Kangaskhan's Attack stat isn't monstrous on its own, but Double-Edge more than makes up for it with its excellent 120 Base Power, and in conjunction with a boosting item, it can do massive damage to the opposition. However, if one plans on utilizing Kangaskhan's bulk, or just simply doesn't appreciate the massive recoil damage, Return is a suitable replacement, though the loss in power can be noticeable. Earthquake hits Rock- and Steel-type Pokemon for super effective damage and gives Kangaskhan near-perfect neutral coverage. While Drain Punch is a much weaker alternative, it hits the same Pokemon as Earthquake and can recover recoil damage sustained from Double-Edge. Fake Out works well because it essentially gets a "free hit" on the opponent, as nothing is immune to it at all. Finally, Sucker Punch is another priority move Kangaskhan has access to, and a combination of it and Fake Out can stop a sweeper if it is somewhat low on health, which is a nice tool to have just in case a check for the said sweeper has gone down.

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

Choice Band

Choice Band Scrappy Jolly / Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Double-Edge
~ Earthquake
~ Sucker Punch
~ Return
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Though Kangaskhan may lack the raw Attack stat of Choice Band users such as Braviary, it makes up for it in many aspects. The first is its access to Scrappy, which ensures that nothing can switch into its main STAB without taking damage, giving it a significant advantage over other Normal-types which must be extremely careful about Ghost-types. Kangaskhan's base 90 Speed is also invaluable in a metagame filled with Gardevoir, Sawk, Braviary, and Pinsir, which all sit at either base 80 or 85 Speed. While Kangaskhan's Attack may not be quite as high as other Pokemon in the tier, it still hits rather hard due to its access to powerful moves, and is therefore still a huge threat.

Sitting at 120 Base Power, Double-Edge hits very hard and is the main move Kangaskhan will be using. Earthquake hits Steel- and Rock-types for super effective damage, and a combination of it and Double-Edge covers almost every Pokemon in the tier. Aside from these two moves, however, Kangaskhan can also utilize Sucker Punch to catch faster foes as a revenge killer of sorts, but be wary of using it mindlessly, as being locked into it is dangerous due to the nature of the move. Finally, Return is preferred for the last slot, because although Kangaskhan already has Double-Edge, it still hits fairly hard and doesn't cause recoil.

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

SubPunch

Leftovers Scrappy Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Substitute
~ Focus Punch
~ Sucker Punch
~ Return
40 HP / 252 Atk / 216 Spe

At first glance, Kangaskhan looks like a generic SubPunch user, but thanks to Scrappy, Ghost-types cannot switch into Focus Punch without taking massive amounts of damage. Some Ghost-types such as Misdreavus may also be incapable of harming Kangaskhan if they opt to use only their Ghost-type moves, thanks to its immunity. Setting up a Substitute is usually not too difficult for Kangaskhan thanks to its wide coverage and the number of switches it can force. A Substitute also helps Kangaskhan avoid status which damages Kangaskhan's bulk or its offensive presence. Despite not getting a STAB boost, Focus Punch hits very hard and has the advantage of hitting Rock- and Steel-types, the only two resistors of Normal-type moves, for super effective damage. Sucker Punch hits faster foes for a lot of damage and is useful in conjunction with a Substitute because the foe will often be forced to attack in order to break it, making the move always succeed. Return is used as the STAB option, which after STAB actually is stronger than Focus Punch.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Kangaskhan has a wide movepool, but not much of it is usable. It has two useful moves in Body Slam and Wish, with the former's chance of paralyzing the foe adding utility and the latter healing 50% of Kangaskhan's or its partner's HP, which goes well with its high 105 base HP. However, both of these moves are illegal with Scrappy, which is the huge advantage Kangaskhan has over other Normal-types, and the role of a supporting Normal-type gets serious competition from the bulkier Lickilicky. Aqua Tail hits Golem harder than anything else Kangaskhan has and still hits other Rock-types hard, but its unreliable accuracy makes Earthquake the superior choice more often than not. Kangaskhan has other Fighting-type moves to consider such as Hammer Arm or Low Kick, but this is another case in which Earthquake generally hits Pokemon harder (though many Rock-types are hit at maximum power by Low Kick due to their heavy weight), and Drain Punch's recovery can be hard to pass up on. Ice Punch is useful for Torterra and certain other switch-ins, but that is virtually it. Crunch hits Solrock and Lunatone hard, but these two Pokemon are rare and are generally not worth using a moveslot for. Knock Off is an interesting support move for getting rid of Eviolite held by counters such as Gurdurr and Tangela, but Kangaskhan rarely has room for such a weak move. Circle Throw is an interesting option for phazing, but the lack of STAB and Kangaskhan's access to many other Fighting moves usually makes this a mediocre choice. Finally, Early Bird isn't completely useless, as it can allow Kangaskhan to use Rest and wake up faster than usual, but this usually isn't worth losing Scrappy.

Checks and Counters

With Scrappy disabling Ghost-types from walling it, Kangaskhan is a bit more difficult to counter than other Normal-types. However, Regirock stands out as the best counter, as its massive physical bulk makes it hard to wear down, and it can heal off almost all damage with Drain Punch or take the opportunity to set up Stealth Rock. From there, most Pokemon that have a good physical bulk work, as Kangaskhan has very few tricks to get past them. Gurdurr can take Kangaskhan's attacks and retaliate back with Drain Punch or pick off a weakened Kangaskhan with Mach Punch. Alomomola's massive physical bulk allows it to stall out Kangaskhan with Wish, Protect, and Toxic, and thanks to its massive HP, Double-Edge recoil is much greater. Tangela's physical bulk is also great, and it can use Leech Seed on Kangaskhan to heal its HP or just cripple it with Sleep Powder. Its Giga Drain also always does enough to break Kangaskhan's Substitute in case it cannot use Leech Seed. Cradily can easily counter Kangaskhan sets without Fighting-type attacks, taking Earthquakes very well and stalling it out with Toxic and Recover or chipping at it with Giga Drain. Metang is also a great check to Kangaskhan and can counter it completely if Kangaskhan uses Drain Punch over Earthquake. Metang can then hit it back with Meteor Mashes or cripple it with Toxic. Piloswine has great physical bulk as well, but it must watch out for Focus Punch, which can do quite a bit of damage. However, Piloswine's access to Icicle Spear means it usually comes out on top. Primeape can outspeed and OHKO all variants of Kangaskhan. However, it takes massive damage from Double-Edge and is rather vulnerable to Fake Out. When Kangaskhan is locked into a Normal-type move, Steel-types such as Probopass and Bastiodon and Rock-types such as Golem can take hits and hit back with their own STAB moves or cripple Kangaskhan with a status move. In general, hitting Kangaskhan with any status move makes it a lot easier to play around, as it either loses power with a burn or Speed with paralysis, and Toxic makes it get worn down much faster.