- Prevents paralysis.
- Increases the power of recoil moves by 20%.
- Speed increases when an item is used or lost.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Hitmonlee at first glance might look like a simple Fighting-type Pokemon, but there are things that Hitmonlee is capable of doing well compared to its competition. Its base 120 Attack is wonderful, and is above average compared to other Fighting-types, and unlike most other powerful Fighting-types, it also has a very useful Speed stat, which allows it to outspeed threats such as Rotom-C, Gallade, Magmortar, and Kabutops. Hitmonlee also has a good offensive movepool to utilize, including its powerful STAB and coverage options such as Earthquake and Sucker Punch, as well as two great abilities in Reckless, which makes its Hi Jump Kick hit incredibly hard, and Unburden, which makes it one of the best late-game sweepers available to use in RU. However, Hitmonlee has a few major flaws. Although it has impressive coverage, it is fairly helpless against Psychic- and Ghost-types, especially considering that hitting Ghosts with Hi Jump Kick causes a lot of recoil damage. Hitmonlee is also extremely frail on the physical side, making it very vulnerable to priority moves and hard to switch in.
Although Hitmonlee is relatively fast, it can still find itself outpaced by many Pokemon, and it also can easily be revenge killed by Choice Scarf users due to its low bulk. However, it can fix these problems with Unburden, which raises its Speed to 546 and allows it to outrun practically every Pokemon in the metagame, including all relevant Choice Scarf users. Be sure not to activate Unburden too early within the match, because there are usually many Pokemon that need to be eliminated before Hitmonlee can clean up, particularly Ghost-types, Psychic-types, and priority users.
Although Close Combat is the weaker of the two STABs Hitmonlee has available, it has perfect accuracy and is not lacking in power by any means, while the defense drops from the move are rather irrelevant because Hitmonlee won't get outsped and will get defeated by priority regardless because of its frailty. Hi Jump Kick offers a bit more power, but its 90% accuracy can ruin the chance of a late-game sweep. Stone Edge covers Flying-type Pokemon and also hits bulky Pokemon such as Rotom or Uxie harder than anything else Hitmonlee has. Although a priority move may seem useless with Unburden, it can still be useful for activating the ability. Mach Punch is preferred for this slot, as a Fighting Gem-boosted Mach Punch can finish off faster foes, and after Unburden activates, it can help Hitmonlee avoid getting hit by other priority moves. If you really need to activate Unburden, Fake Out with a Normal Gem guarantees the foe cannot strike unless it is a Ghost-type. However, be warned that this pretty much takes your item slot away, removing Hitmonlee's boosts on its main attacks. For the last filler slot, Return hits Psychic-types harder than any of Hitmonlee's other moves, while Earthquake hits Qwilfish hard, although neither do that much to their respective targets.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Even when compared to other Fighting-types, this set boasts a lot of power and coverage. Hitmonlee's oft overlooked ability, Reckless, boosts some of Hitmonlee's moves, including Hi Jump Kick, making it very difficult to switch into. While Medicham is more powerful, even with Reckless factored in, Hitmonlee's Speed stat is higher and it arguably has better coverage. Factoring in the STAB boost and Reckless, Hi Jump Kick hits a whopping 234 Base Power, which is so powerful that it 2HKOes 252/252+ Tangrowth after Stealth Rock! Because Hitmonlee's Hi Jump Kick is so powerful, coverage moves will generally do less damage even factoring in super effective damage. Sucker Punch is a fairly strong priority move Hitmonlee can use, and it can also hit Psychic-types hard if they decide to attack Hitmonlee. Mach Punch is an alternative priority, as it is more reliable and gets a STAB boost, though it doesn't offer extra coverage. Double-Edge is also boosted by Reckless, and with 144 Base Power after the boost, it gets a strong neutral hit on Pokemon such as Slowking and Uxie. Stone Edge can be used instead to hit Flying-types and Rotom hard, but beware that most of these Pokemon outpace Hitmonlee. Finally, Earthquake hits Poison-types such as Qwilfish for super effective damage that would generally be able to take a Hi Jump Kick relatively well.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although a combination of Endure and a Berry looks very out of date, Hitmonlee's unique traits, including Unburden, means it does not have to rely on a Salac Berry to outpace its foes. After a boost from Unburden and Liechi Berry, Hitmonlee becomes a very fearsome sweeper. With the boost from Liechi Berry, it reaches a staggering 558 Attack, meaning Hitmonlee can hit anything it faces hard. Not only this, but after an Unburden boost, Hitmonlee hits 546 Speed, which is good enough to outspeed everything unboosted in RU and every relevant Choice Scarf Pokemon as well. Endure pairs well with Unburden and Liechi Berry because it allows Hitmonlee to survive an attack that would normally KO it with 1 HP, gain both boosts, and proceed to sweep with a STAB 200 Base Power Reversal.
Because of how hard Reversal hits, the only time its coverage moves will see usage is both when they hit a Pokemon for super effective damage and when Reversal is not very effective. Stone Edge gets coverage on Flying-type Pokemon and Earthquake gets coverage on Poison-types. Furthermore, the combination of these three moves hits every Pokemon in RU for at least neutral damage. However, due to Poison-types not being overly common, Mach Punch can be used to potentially finish off priority users such as Kabutops, though note that it may not KO the opponent unless it is super effective or the opponent has a bit of prior damage.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Hitmonlee has access to, for some reason, Rapid Spin. Although Rapid Spin is useful for obvious reasons, Hitmonlee is already extremely vulnerable to Ghost-types as it is, meaning that if it decides to use Rapid Spin it will likely end up extremely weakened or burned. There are far more reliable spinners in the tier that are capable of defeating most Ghost-types with ease, particularly Kabutops. Hitmonlee can use a Choice Scarf to revenge kill foes with a Reckless Hi Jump Kick, which OHKOes even healthy foes, but Medicham's higher Attack, Trick, and Hitmonlee already having Unburden make this set not worth it. A Choice Band set also features similar competition with Medicham, especially considering Hitmonlee's coverage makes it threatening. Considering Hitmonlee is vulnerable to paralysis, it could use Limber to prevent this. Although it's a good ability, it is ultimately less useful than Unburden or Reckless. Return is a bit stronger against Psychic-types than Stone Edge, as well as more accurate, but Hitmonlee isn't defeating most Psychic-types in the first place. Blaze Kick hits Amoonguss harder than anything else Hitmonlee has, but doesn't offer anything else.
Pursuit is usually a good option for trapping Ghost- and Psychic-types, but there is rarely an instance where these Pokemon will be switching out from Hitmonlee, as most Pokemon of this type are Hitmonlee's best counters. Bulk Up is Hitmonlee's only setup move, and Hitmonlee has a decent special bulk to use along with it. However, Gallade's access to Drain Punch and an even better special bulk make Bulk Up outclassed in this regard. Finally, there are many interesting strategies to activate Unburden, such as using a Lum Berry to cure status, a ChestoRest strategy, activating a Focus Sash as a lead, or even using Fling and a heavy item to hit Ghost- and Psychic-types with a super effective attack. However, these strategies are somewhat gimmicky and you can never guarantee Unburden will activate for various reasons.
Checks and Counters
Without resistances to its STAB moves, Hitmonlee is tough to deal with, especially considering Unburden makes revenge killing it difficult. Fortunately, the Pokemon that wall Hitmonlee do so extremely well. Ghost-types are among the best counters, being immune to its Fighting STAB and not being weak to anything Hitmonlee has other than Sucker Punch. Misdreavus, Rotom, and Spiritomb are good Ghost-types, and can all use Will-O-Wisp to make Hitmonlee much weaker and then hit it hard with their STAB moves. Golurk doesn't have Will-O-Wisp and is a bit vulnerable to Sucker Punch, but it easily OHKOes Hitmonlee with a STAB move of its own. Psychic-types such as Slowking and Uxie also wall Hitmonlee fairly well, and can hit back with their STAB moves or paralyze it, though be warned that a Reckless-boosted Double-Edge can leave its mark. Alomomola can easily wear Hitmonlee down thanks to its high physical bulk, Regenerator, and Wish, and Hitmonlee's low bulk means that Waterfall hurts somewhat badly. Although rare, Weezing almost completely walls Hitmonlee thanks to its typing, Levitate, and Will-O-Wisp. Poliwrath has good physical bulk and can phaze Hitmonlee out of its Unburden boost by hitting it with Circle Throw, although note that a Reckless-boosted Hi Jump Kick hurt too badly for Poliwrath to deal with. Scolipede performs well against any Reckless variant thanks to its 4x resistance to Fighting and can OHKO Hitmonlee with Earthquake after Stealth Rock and Life Orb recoil, although it must be careful about Stone Edge. Hitmonlee's extremely low physical bulk makes it easy to KO with priority moves. Entei will always outspeed and OHKO Hitmonlee with ExtremeSpeed thanks to its +2 priority, and other Pokemon can hit it with a STAB priority move of their own as long as they aren't weak to Mach Punch, such as Feraligatr.