Conkeldurr shows what it takes to be an offensive powerhouse when Speed isn't your strongest suit. Its base 140 Attack makes it a real threat to contend with, and with Guts as an ability, burning Conkeldurr will only lead to more destruction. Those stone slabs Conkeldurr holds aren't for show either, as Conkeldurr is just as durable as they are. While base 65 Special Defense may not seem like much, it's backed by base 105 HP and base 95 Defense. Conkeldurr lacks Close Combat, but receives two other attacks that many bulky Fighting-types would beg to have, namely Mach Punch and Drain Punch. BW2 move tutors have also beefed up its arsenal in the elemental punches. All in all, Conkeldurr is one of the main reasons every team should pack a resistance to Fighting-type attacks.
624 Attack and 339 Defense after a Bulk Up is no joke, and Conkeldurr shows why. Drain Punch allows Conkeldurr to tank through the opposition by hitting the opponent hard while recovering lost health. Mach Punch gives Conkeldurr utility in revenge killing threats such as Lucario and Hydreigon, bypassing its Speed issue. The combination of these two attacks and Bulk Up makes Conkeldurr a formidable threat once the opposition no longer holds a good Fighting-type resistance. Guts is icing on the cake since status effects such as burn and paralysis only make Conkeldurr stronger. Just to show how much of a monster Conkeldurr becomes with Guts activated, its +1 Drain Punch OHKOes max HP / min Def Scizor and is inches away from 2HKOing max HP / max Def Hippowdon. The final move is your choice: Conkeldurr can either shut down Ghost-types with a slow Payback, or prevent Flying-types from wrecking its sweep with an explosive Ice Punch. The latter option is usually the preferred move, as it will allow Conkeldurr to tackle top threats such as Dragonite and break Landorus-T and Gliscor with ease. Be warned, though, that Ice Punch does leave Conkeldurr unable to touch Jellicent.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Bulk Up Conkeldurr have to hope that the opponent will accidentally burn, poison, or paralyze them, all while still being susceptible to Spore from Breloom. However, Conkeldurr can guarantee a Guts boost and possess an immunity to sleep by equipping a status Orb, easily allowing it to smash through the opposition after the first turn it is sent out. Conkeldurr can easily revenge kill a weakened threat with Mach Punch or come in on attacks like Tyranitar's Crunch in order to safely activate Flame Orb or Toxic Orb, then begin to hammer away. Drain Punch, while actually not the strongest attack Conkeldurr has on this set, is the only way to keep Conkeldurr alive for a long period of time while still hitting hard, as the residual damage from a burn or poison will quickly eat away at Conkeldurr's HP. Mach Punch can not only aid in allowing Conkeldurr to safely receive the boost from the status Orb, but score hits on faster threats that would otherwise deal massive damage to Conkeldurr such as Terrakion. Payback is the main way any Conkeldurr set will get around Ghost- and Psychic-types such as Gengar, Latias, or Latios. Facade is the strongest attack on this set, and is able to surprise and deal massive damage to threats such as Gliscor and Reuniclus, who would otherwise completely wall this set. Although Facade provides the strongest neutral coverage for Conkeldurr, Ice Punch provides the best answer against Gliscor and Landorus-T, turning 2HKOs into OHKOs.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Conkeldurr boasts the most powerful Focus Punch in the game, and possesses good defenses and low Speed to set up Substitute safely, making a SubPunch set perfect for it. After Conkeldurr sets up a Substitute, no opponent will enjoy what comes next: STAB Focus Punch is so powerful it 2HKOes Skarmory, even with Leftovers taken into account. Mach Punch is a great move to complement Focus Punch as it can KO severely wounded Pokemon, bypassing Conkeldurr's poor Speed. Payback or Stone Edge rounds off the set, complementing Conkeldurr's Fighting-type STAB. While the latter eliminates Dragonite and Salamence, the former makes sure that Ghost-types won't switch into Conkeldurr with impunity, as most will be 2HKOed by Payback without being able to scratch Conkeldurr. Sadly, 0 SpA Jellicent does 26% minimum with Scald on max HP Conkeldurr. To remedy this, you can opt to use a spread of 120 HP / 252 Atk / 136 SpD with an Adamant nature, which prevents Conkeldurr’s Substitute from being broken most of the time (22% - 26.2%).Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Conkeldurr makes for a fierce wielder of Choice Band, reaching a ridiculous Attack stat of 624, and a gargantuan 936 after a subsequent Guts boost, allowing it to check a wide range of threats with its STAB Mach Punch. Superpower provides it with the raw power to muscle through walls, OHKOing physically defensive Vaporeon and Skarmory with Stealth Rock in play after a Guts boost. Hammer Arm deals 75.4% - 88.9% to standard Skarmory, OHKOing it after Brave Bird recoil. Superpower also inflicts 84.3% - 99.3% to standard Hippowdon, while Hammer Arm always 2HKOes.
Offensively, Conkeldurr has a fair number of other options it can use. Low Kick is an option for heavier foes, as it hits Pokemon such as Snorlax harder than Hammer Arm. However, lighter threats such as Jirachi can easily take a Low Kick and set up on the switch or simply attack. If you want Conkeldurr to provide its own paralysis support, Force Palm is an option, as the 30% paralysis rate allows Conkeldurr to cripple faster threats. However, Force Palm is illegal with Mach Punch, and the utility of a STAB priority move coming off base 140 Attack is too much for Conkeldurr to give up for a paralysis chance of only 30%.
Though Guts is generally the superior ability, Conkeldurr can run a Sheer Force set with Life Orb and moves that benefit from the ability. Thanks to BW2 tutor moves, it can take advantage of Sheer Force and recoil-less Life Orb boost to power its elemental punches. However, as opposed to when running Guts, Sheer Force also means that Scald and Will-O-Wisp ruin Conkeldurr completely.
Iron Fist Conkeldurr can also run a great Expert Belt set, as an Expert Belt + Iron Fist Mach Punch takes a good chunk out of most frail threats. Drain Punch also gets a boost, meaning Conkeldurr can recover even more health from it, and thus more easily maintain high HP while still taking a chunk out of the opponent.
Checks and Counters
Switching into Conkeldurr can be very difficult due to its massive Attack stat and near flawless coverage between Drain Punch and Payback. Slowbro and Reuniclus with Psychic are probably the two best counters, taking little damage from Payback on the switch. Thanks to Regenerator and Magic Guard, respectively, they are also very easy to keep healthy. Mew with high defensive EV investement can take a Payback and retaliate with Psychic as well. Gliscor is the next best option, as it can Swords Dance up on Conkeldurr and hit it hard with either Earthquake or Acrobatics, depending on the set it's running. If played correctly, Gengar with Substitute and Disable can halt Conkeldurr, and will completely reverse the momentum of a game to your favor. Skarmory can Brave Bird it or Whirlwind it out, but it's really only a short-term solution, as Conkeldurr will simply get back all the HP lost from Spikes through Drain Punch anyway. Hurricane users such as Tornadus or Dragonite also work as they both resist Mach Punch, but must be wary in case Conkeldurr has Stone Edge. Latios is in the same boat and must be cautious of coming in on Payback, but can really blow Conkeldurr out of the water with Draco Meteor. On the same note, strong special moves boosted by weather such as Hydro Pump or Fire Blast target Conkeldurr's lower Special Defense, and will give him a hard time.
Alternatively, hitting Conkeldurr hard with strong physical moves such as Outrage from Choice Band Dragons such as Dragonite and Haxorus, or Earthquake from Life Orb Landorus, will put a big dent in it. It's advised you have some sort of hazard down though or have Conkeldurr weakened, as these moves will fail to KO if Conkeldurr has +1 Defense. Likewise, if they can get in for free, Pokemon with good Special Attack stats such as Celebi or Rotom-W can hit Conkeldurr hard with their STAB moves, but should only ever consider doing so if Conkeldurr has been slightly weakened previously.