Primeape

Vital Spirit
Prevents sleep. Increases wild encounters with higher level Pokemon.
Anger Point
Raises Attack to +6 if struck by a critical hit.
Defiant
Boosts Attack by two stages for every stat drop.
Type Tier
Fighting NU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
65
- 271 334 -
Atk
105
221 246 309 339
Def
60
140 156 219 240
SpA
60
140 156 219 240
SpD
70
158 176 239 262
Spe
95
203 226 289 317

Overview

Meet Primeape, a Pokemon which was late to arrive to the NU tier, yet has still already begun to leave an impact on the tier. While it may not have quite the same power that Sawk has or the same bulk that Gurdurr has, Primeape still stands out against its competition. There are many reasons for this, but the most notable one is its Speed. Primeape is the fastest Fighting-type Pokemon in NU with base 95 Speed, a solid Speed for NU. Additionally, with access to U-turn and a resistance to Stealth Rock, Primeape is one of the best VoltTurn users available. It can also utilize a few support moves, such as Encore and Taunt. One of the only areas where Primeape struggles to perform is facing Ghost-types. Misdreavus is a prime example of a bulky Ghost-type Pokemon that Primeape prefers to avoid. Its bulk is also lacking; this makes it fear priority moves and faster Choice Scarf users.

Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf Vital Spirit Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Close Combat
~ U-turn
~ Ice Punch
~ Stone Edge
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Primeape's most popular set in NU is its Choice Scarf set, and it is undoubtedly its best one. Primeape's largest selling point is its Speed stat which is showcased in this set. With a Choice Scarf equipped, Primeape hits an impressive 475 Speed, allowing it to outspeed the entire unboosted tier. Primeape is also one of the fastest Choice Scarf users in NU. The only common Choice Scarf users with which it ties in Speed are Haunter and Jynx, and some of the only ones to beat it include Charizard, Tauros, and Zebstrika. Close Combat is chosen for the most powerful and reliable STAB in Primeape's movepool. U-turn is one of Primeape's greatest tools, allowing it to force switches to help weaken foes and scout out what the opponent wants to do without risking being KOed. Finally, Primeape rounds out its coverage with Ice Punch and Stone Edge. Stone Edge hits the Flying- and Bug-types that resist Close Combat, while Ice Punch is a more reliable option against Flying-types due to its perfect accuracy.

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

Choice Band

Choice Band Vital Spirit Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Close Combat
~ U-turn
~ Ice Punch
~ Stone Edge
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

When equipped with a Choice Band, Primeape can make up for its middling power while still fully utilizing its great Speed. Primeape can also separate itself from Sawk with its access to U-turn, which allows Primeape to switch out against the Ghost- and Psychic-types that can wall it and bring in a partner to Pursuit trap them. Close Combat is used for a high Base Power STAB move that Primeape can spam late in the game. U-turn is used to scout the opponent's team before Primeape can mindlessly spam Close Combat, while also allowing it to switch out of its checks and counters and wear them down throughout the match. Finally, Ice Punch and Stone Edge are both used for coverage moves. The former hits Flying- and Grass-type Pokemon, such as Altaria, Tangela, and Vileplume, that either resist Primeape's STAB or take little from it. The latter can also hit Flying-type Pokemon and gives Primeape coverage against Bug-types.

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

Encore

Fist Plate / Expert Belt Vital Spirit Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Close Combat
~ Encore
~ U-turn
~ Punishment / Ice Punch
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

This set has many purposes, but one of the main reasons to use it is for its ability to bluff a Choice Scarf. Since the vast majority of Primeape sets are going to be running a Choice item, this set is able to lure in Pokemon that think they would be safe, only to be hit with an untimely Close Combat. Aside from this, Encore is easily one of the greatest support moves in the game, locking the opposing Pokemon into its last used move for three turns. Using Encore, you can lock Pokemon into set-up moves, Stealth Rock, Substitute, and more, basically giving you a chance to ruin the opponent's initiative and bring it back to your side. This makes U-turn a great choice on this set, since oftentimes your opponent will want to switch after being locked into a move. Finally, Punishment and Ice Punch are both great moves on this set. Ice Punch is more consistently reliable, but with Encore, slower Pokemon can be locked into boosting moves and subsequently hit for great damage with Punishment.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Primeape has loads of other options available to it, but many of them are only useful in very niche situations. One thing that can be run on either set is Toxic, as it provides a way to handle bulky physical walls that Primeape would be otherwise unable to break. U-turn is usually Primeape's way of doing this, but Toxic is a more proactive solution. Earthquake can also be used over another coverage move to hit Poison-types, such as Garbodor, but its coverage is otherwise fairly redundant. Primeape also has a solid special movepool with moves such as Overheat and Thunderbolt which can hit physical walls on their weaker Special Defense, but this is not a very viable strategy, as it uses Primeape's poor base 60 Special Attack. Final Gambit could be used, but it's a waste of potential. Primeape could be scouting or hitting hard with Close Combat instead of sacrificing itself, and with Primeape's low base 65 HP, it can't even take out the most common switch-ins. A set with Substitute and Focus Punch also shows potential, though it relies quite a bit on Encore in order to succeed, and the set is still walled by the same Pokemon that wall the above sets. Primeape can also attempt to run a set with Endure and Reversal while holding a Salac Berry. However, this set would require some major support to succeed, but once Ghost-types and priority users are eliminated, its power is immense. A set that does allow Primeape to beat some of its typical checks and counters is one that utilizes Substitute and Endeavor. Due to Primeape's fantastic Speed, this set can work really well, but Primeape misses out on either coverage or the ability to scout. Finally, either set can run Rain Dance or Sunny Day on niche support for weather based teams. Doing so often sacrifices Primeape, allowing a free switch into a weather sweeper.

Checks and Counters

Perhaps the greatest thing about Primeape is that a fast U-turn significantly hinders the ability to counter it. One way to punish Primeape for constantly using U-turn to switch in and out is through the use of Spikes. Another great way of doing this is with Rocky Helmet Garbodor, as it takes minimal damage from U-turn and inflicts major damage to Primeape throughout the course of the battle with both Rocky Helmet and Aftermath. Aside from its constant switching, Alomomola and Tangela both take minimal damage from all of Primeape's attacks and can recover health back with Regenerator. Because Primeape is not the strongest Pokemon, even Regirock can take a Close Combat in a pinch. Bulky Ghost-types, such as Golurk and Misdreavus, also give it troubles. Golurk's biggest fear is Ice Punch, and while it may not want to switch in, it can take one and retaliate with a powerful STAB Earthquake. Meanwhile, Misdreavus serves as a full counter to it; even Punishment is a 4HKO at best, and Misdreavus can just burn Primeape. Finally, faster Choice Scarf wielders and those that use priority moves can strike Primeape and knock it out before it gets the chance to attack.