- Prevents paralysis.
- Increases the power of recoil moves by 20%.
- Speed increases when an item is used or lost.
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Hitmonlee is one of the few Pokemon in the game—let alone UU—with the ability Unburden. With its ability, Hitmonlee can double its Speed immediately and become an extremely threatening sweeper, like Yanmega and Sharpedo. That's not all Hitmonlee has going for it: it has a whopping base 120 Attack, a decent base 87 Speed, and great offensive options to utilize them with. Hitmonlee has a surprisingly high Special Defense to boot, which allows it to survive extremely powerful special attacks, such as Zapdos's Thunderbolt and Raikou's Extrasensory, and retaliate with a powerful attack of its own. Unfortunately, the fun ends there; Hitmonlee has an extremely low base Defense of 53, which makes it difficult for it to survive even resisted physical hits. However, with sufficient team support and good play, Hitmonlee can sweep whole teams.
Stacked boosts have always been a force to reckon with in battle. Hitmonlee uses this principle as its strategy for success. By consuming its Liechi Berry, it is able to obtain a power boost of 150%. Using up its item also permits the activation of Unburden, doubling its Speed and allowing it to outspeed the entirety of the UU metagame, including Kingdra in rain and Choice Scarf Raikou. Finally, 1 HP Reversal is a 200 Base Power nuke that can destroy all opponents that do not resist it. All this can be triggered in just one turn by using the move Endure, the catalyst for ultimate destruction. The science behind its power is this: Reversal's 200 Base Power, equivalent to Snorlax's Selfdestruct in this generation, multiplied by 1.5x because of Liechi Berry then another 1.5x thanks to STAB, results in an eventual raw Base Power destruction of 450, which will OHKO all Pokemon that do not resist it.
Hitmonlee is a flexible and versatile fighter, and can use various moves to break down its counters. Stone Edge is a popular choice, as it is able to bombard the Bug- and Flying-type enemies that resist Reversal; Earthquake is another hot option to take down the various Poison-types. If Earthquake is not needed, Close Combat, which is also boosted by its STAB, is an option to crush opponents while Hitmonlee is healthy. These powerful attacks are boosted by its Liechi Berry as well, therefore making no difference if they are used at 25% HP or at 1 HP. If Hitmonlee happens to consume the Liechi Berry, yet not quite at the 1 HP to unleash Reversal, it can spam the relevant coverage move to destroy enemies before it, only using Endure to maximize Reversal when absolutely necessary.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
A Bulk Up set can be used to patch up Hitmonlee's weak Defense stat while complementing its high Special Defense; however, it does not have synergy with its two main attacking moves, Hi Jump Kick and Close Combat, as Hi Jump Kick can cause problems with a miss and Close Combat negates Bulk Up boosts. A Reckless set with Life Orb has a niche thanks to Mach Punch, but is outclassed by Mienshao as a faster and more powerful sweeper. Knock Off is an option to remove items from bulky enemies such as Eviolite Gligar and Porygon2, or Leftovers from common switch-ins such as Suicune, Slowbro, and Crobat. This gives Hitmonlee an easier time beating its checks over the course of the match. However, this sacrifices an important coverage move. Hitmonlee can fulfill a niche as a Rapid Spin user, but is generally a much better offensive Pokemon than a support Pokemon. Close Combat can be used with Limber if you want reliability with power, although it's then outclassed by the other Fighting-types in UU. Choice Band can be used for Hi Jump Kick spam, but not only is it outclassed by Mienshao and Heracross, it is also unhealthy to be spamming Hi Jump Kick with Ghost-types so common in UU.
Checks and Counters
Gligar is a unique enemy, using Eviolite to become an unbreakable wall with a resistance to Fighting-type attacks, and Earthquake or Toxic to finish off 1 HP Hitmonlee. Hitmonlee therefore must enlist the help of its allies to take it out. Psychic-types, such as Slowbro, Mew, Cresselia, and Uxie, can resist a powerful Reversal and strike back with a super effective Psychic. However, they are unable to take more than one hit and must be kept healthy in order to survive. Ghost-types can also attack with Shadow Ball, as Reversal cannot touch them at all. Some of them, such as Sableye and Cofagrigus, can even use Will-O-Wisp to burn and cripple Hitmonlee for the rest of the match. However, note that Froslass and Chandelure should run from Stone Edge. Finally, Poison-types are also able to resist Fighting-type attacks and strike back with Toxic, causing Hitmonlee to be unable to live indefinitely at 1 HP. Qwilfish is especially effective here, as it can Intimidate Hitmonlee and neutralize the effects of its Liechi Berry.