Gurdurr might not seem like much at first glance, but it is actually one of the better Pokemon in the tier and not your average NFE. Gurdurr takes advantage of its traits really well, and with them, it can check some of the tier's top threats, such as Zangoose, Skuntank, and Sawsbuck. With Eviolite, Gurdurr can take advantage of its already good physical bulk to its fullest, making it able to tank some of the most powerful hits in the tier and strike back. Gurdurr's offensive prowess is nothing to scoff at either, as a base 105 Attack stat will put a dent in anything without a great amount of bulk itself. Powerful moves such as Drain Punch, Mach Punch, and Ice Punch complement its great offensive stat, allowing it to not only hit hard, but also hit fast; the two aforementioned moves set it apart from the other Fighting-types in the tier as well. However, Gurdurr is not without its drawbacks. Eviolite, while increasing Gurdurr's bulk, also shorten its lifespan, as it prevents Gurdurr from using Leftovers. Gurdurr also falls prey to the many Psychic-types in the tier, as the majority aim at its lower Special Defense stat by attacking with Psychic and can easily switch into any of Gurdurr's attacks. Gurdurr is also weak to the rather common Flying-type moves coming from Pokemon such as Braviary and Swellow, while bulky Pokemon such as Misdreavus can easily wear it down. However, don't let this discourage you from using Gurdurr. While bulky Pokemon can wear Gurdurr down with status, Gurdurr also receives a boost in its Attack stat thanks to Guts, while Bulk Up can help it tank super effective Brave Birds and strike back with even more power.
Gurdurr can take physical hits extremely well, and this set takes full advantage of that. Drain Punch is a great asset to Gurdurr, as it not only provides good STAB, but also lets Gurdurr restore its HP, which is incredibly useful since Gurdurr lacks Leftovers recovery. Mach Punch is also essential for this, as not only does it patch up Gurdurr's Speed to some extent, it's also the reason it can check some of the most dangerous Pokemon in the tier. Sawsbuck and Zangoose are all both super effectively by Mach Punch, and due to their frailty and Gurdurr's great Attack stat, they easily fall to it. Ice Punch rounds out Gurdurr's coverage, as it allows Gurdurr to hit a majority of the other Pokemon in the tier that resist its other moves super effectively or neutrally. For example, Vileplume, Golurk, and Altaria are all hit super effectively, while Misdreavus and Charizard are hit neutrally; these Pokemon either resist or are immune to Gurdurr's Fighting-type moves. The last move comes down to what you want Gurdurr to accomplish throughout the battle. Bulk Up allows Gurdurr to become an extremely bulky attacker by building up its already impressive Attack and Defense stats, though it can be hard for Gurdurr to set up at times. Knock Off, however, gives Gurdurr more utility and allows it to provide more team support by removing the opponent's item, and is especially useful with all of the popular Eviolite users in NU.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While Gurdurr makes do with its role as a bulky attacker with Drain Punch, Mach Punch, and Ice Punch, there are some other moves at its disposal that can work at times. Gurdurr can make use of the well-known Substitute + Focus Punch combination. Due to its great bulk and respectable power, Gurdurr can easily get a Substitute up against physically oriented opponents while hitting really, really hard with a STAB Focus Punch. However, this kind of strategy is not favorable for a Pokemon like Gurdurr, as it lacks Leftovers and a reliable recovery move, which means that Gurdurr will often find itself at low health and might not get many chances to fire several Focus Punches off. In addition, Gurdurr needs to give up on either Mach Punch or Ice Punch for Focus Punch, which means it either loses its only option for handling faster opponents or its only means of hitting Pokemon such as Golurk and Vileplume; replacing Drain Punch is out of the question, as it is Gurdurr's most reliable means of recovery. Facade is an interesting move to use if you can get Gurdurr inflicted with a status condition. In combination with Guts, Gurdurr can hit a wider variety of Pokemon much harder, but unless you opt out on using Mach Punch, Drain Punch, or Bulk Up, Gurdurr will be unable to hit Ghost-types. Gurdurr also has access to a plethora of other Fighting-type moves, but none have better utility than Drain Punch and Mach Punch. However, notable mentions are Hammer Arm and Superpower for more power, as well as Low Sweep and Force Palm for useful added effects for Gurdurr to support its team with; Low Sweep lowers the opponent's Speed stat, while Force Palm has a good 30% chance to paralyze the opponent. Fire Punch and ThunderPunch are also available for use to hit specific targets harder than Gurdurr's preferred moves, but other than that, they don't do much else and are inferior to Ice Punch.
Taunt and Block are more gimmicky than anything else, but can still be of use if used correctly. Taunt will shut off any slower Pokemon, such as Musharna and Duosion, from setting up on Gurdurr, while Block can be used in tandem with Bulk Up to keep setup bait from switching out, allowing Gurdurr to freely set up. Rest is the only other recovery move at Gurdurr's disposal. It can be used in combination with Sleep Talk to take advantage of Guts; however, this means that Gurdurr has to forego two moves, which it typically cannot afford. While Rest does restore Gurdurr to full health, it also puts Gurdurr to sleep, making it much less reliable than Drain Punch.
Checks and Counters
While Gurdurr is a potent defensive and offensive threat, it's not unbeatable. Golurk will have an easy time with Gurdurr if it lacks either Ice Punch or Payback, as it resists Gurdurr's Fighting- and Rock-type moves. Knock Off does hit Golurk for super effective damage, but it's far too weak to do any significant damage. Vileplume is also a full stop to Gurdurr if the latter lacks Ice Punch, as Vileplume's physical bulk prevents it from taking much damage from Payback or Rock Slide while it resists Gurdurr's Fighting-type moves. Faster Flying-types will give Gurdurr hell. Unless Gurdurr has racked up a great amount of Defense boosts, Swellow and Braviary will easily KO Gurdurr with their super effective Brave Bird. Charizard and Rotom-S will take huge chunks out of Gurdurr's health, as it has such poor Special Defense. There are plenty of Psychic-types in the NU tier, and none of them have any particular difficulty against Gurdurr. Faster Psychic-types such as Exeggutor and Gardevoir have no problems coming in on Gurdurr and scoring an easy OHKO on it. While Musharna and Duosion are slower than Gurdurr, that doesn't mean they have a hard time against it. As both of them are slower, Payback only has 50 Base Power, and thanks to their impressive bulk, they can easily take hits from Gurdurr and take the opportunity to set up with Calm Mind. Beheeyem is also another example of this. While it doesn't have the same bulk as Musharna and Duosion, Beheeyem can still take an Ice Punch or Payback while retaliating with an Analytic-boosted Psychic scoring an easy OHKO.
Misdreavus will give Gurdurr some problems if it doesn't carry Payback or has not acquired a lot of boosts to do damage with Ice Punch or Rock Slide. However, Misdreavus can't freely use Will-O-Wisp on Gurdurr as it will only power Gurdurr up, while Payback will hurt a lot. Golbat has a 4x resistance to Gurdurr's Fighting-type moves, will take pitiful damage from Payback, and is only 3HKOed at best by Rock Slide and Ice Punch even with Stealth Rock damage, all due to Golbat's ridiculous defenses. On top of that, Golbat has access to Roost to recover any damage it might have suffered, Haze to remove any of Gurdurr's boosts, as well as Taunt to prevent Gurdurr from setting up at all. While shutting Gurdurr down with these moves, Golbat can wear it down with repeated super effective Brave Birds. Articuno is in a similar position as Golbat. Articuno doesn't resist Gurdurr's Fighting-type moves and lacks Taunt, while it gets demolished by Rock Slide, but it does possess great defenses and can put a stop to Gurdurr with relative ease. In addition, Articuno can remove any possible Bulk Up boosts from Gurdurr with Haze or Roar; however, Articuno needs to be careful of Rock Slide when using Roar, which makes Haze superior against Gurdurr. On top off this, Articuno can strip up to 90% of offensive Gurdurr's health with a super effective Hurricane, while it has a great chance to 2HKO a fully specially defensive Gurdurr. Garbodor can also remove any Bulk Up boosts from Gurdurr with Clear Smog, after which it can set up entry hazards with ease as Garbodor takes pitiful damage from Gurdurr's moves. In a similar vein, Gurdurr can't simply touch Weezing without multiple boosts to its Attack stat, while Weezing can wear Gurdurr down with consecutive Fire Blasts or Thunderbolts; Weezing can remove any boosts Gurdurr might have acquired with Clear Smog as well.