Although UU does present an array of options when it comes to Fighting-types, Hitmonlee has certain assets that make him a great choice for a team. His base 120 Attack is a huge plus, and it is backed up by powerful attacks such as STAB Close Combat, Stone Edge, and Sucker Punch, all of which allow him to decimate many common Pokemon in the tier. Hitmonlee is also one of the fastest Fighting-types, sitting comfortably above the omnipresent base 80 speed tier, and Limber actually grants the frail Hitmonlee opportunities to switch in.
Even with these advantages, Hitmonlee faces stiff competition for a spot on the team from other Fighting-types. Blaziken's Fire STAB and high Special Attack allow him to destroy Weezing and Spiritomb, common counters for Fighting-types. Toxicroak's Dry Skin gives him more opportunities to switch in, while he can boost both his Attack and Special Attack, aiding his unpredictability. With entry hazards being so popular, Hitmontop is often the Fighting-type of choice because of his ability to Rapid Spin effectively. Although competition between Fighting-types in UU is fierce, Hitmonlee has his perks, which make him a great choice for many teams. Underestimate this "kicking fiend" at your peril.
One of the major benefits of using Life Orb is that Hitmonlee can freely switch between attacks, making him less susceptible to prediction. Since Hitmonlee is already frail, the added power on each attack is a great trade-off for a small amount of recoil. With a base 120 Attack stat, powerful moves, and great coverage, not much can safely switch into this set.
Close Combat is the core move of this set, providing Hitmonlee with a powerful STAB attack that effectively demolishes the many Pokemon who do not have the Defense to handle it. Stone Edge complements Close Combat perfectly, OHKOing common Flying-types like Moltres and giving Hitmonlee a powerful attack to deter Ghost-types from switching in. Earthquake is used to handle bulky Poison-types like Nidoqueen who would otherwise wall this set, and lands an OHKO on Toxicroak, although Blaze Kick can be used to deliver an OHKO to offensive Venusaur. The last slot gives Hitmonlee a strong priority attack, as his Speed is still quite average. Mach Punch is the more reliable option, as it doesn't require your opponent to attack, but Sucker Punch is more powerful and allows Hitmonlee to revenge kill special threats like Mismagius and Alakazam (beware of Substitute).Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Hitmonlee sports the highest base Attack out of all the Fighting-types in UU (tied with both Blaziken and Hariyama), making him a great revenge killer. With Choice Scarf compensating for Hitmonlee's middling Speed, he now has the ability to OHKO faster threats such as Sceptile and Swellow before they have a chance to attack. Although lacking in power, this set focuses on eliminating offensive Pokemon rather than pure wallbreaking.
Close Combat is Hitmonlee's STAB move and serves as his main form of attack. Earthquake is used for Poison-types, such as Toxicroak, Nidoking, and Nidoqueen, who can easily soak up Hitmonlee's STAB. Stone Edge complements Close Combat and Earthquake by hitting Flying-types super effectively, as they can switch in on most of this set with ease. The last slot is mostly filler. Blaze Kick puts the hurt on Venusaur while Mach Punch can be used to hit Pokemon that attempt to attack Hitmonlee with priority, or if the opponent has grabbed a Speed boost.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
When you supplement 120 base Attack with a 120 base Power STAB attack from one of the best attacking types in the game, you know you've got a monster on your hands. Choice Band Hitmonlee hits 508 Attack, enough to easily muscle his way through most of the tier. With the great coverage this set provides, not much can switch in safely. Pokemon that could have easily sponged an unboosted Hitmonlee's Close Combat, such as Regirock and Steelix, now have a chance to be OHKOed with Stealth Rock support, showing how easily Hitmonlee can dispose of the toughest Pokemon in the tier.
Close Combat is Hitmonlee's powerful STAB move and is used to eliminate powerful walls such as Registeel and Milotic. Close Combat does up to 38% to the now popular specially defensive Weezing, meaning that with just Stealth Rock support it has a high chance to 3HKO. Earthquake is, again, used to hit Poison-types and now gets the 2HKO on Nidoqueen, eliminating her as a counter. Stone Edge hits Flying-types for an OHKO and prevents Ghost-types from switching in for free. Mismagius is OHKOed after Stealth Rock, and there is a chance to OHKO Rotom as well. Since every move on this set can OHKO or 2HKO every Venusaur bar the physically bulkiest, Mach Punch is a superior option to Blaze Kick, as it grants Hitmonlee a nifty revenge killing tool. Blaze Kick can still be used if you have trouble with physically bulky Venusaur, however.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Since Hitmonlee is commonly seen holding a Life Orb, opponents will assume he is Choiced if he doesn't suffer recoil after every attack. This set capitalizes on that assumption, allowing Hitmonlee to obtain a surprise KO against an unsuspecting opponent.
Substitute eases prediction, as it allows Hitmonlee to scout the opponent's switch-in and protects him from all forms of status. Close Combat is the crux of the set, and it is complemented by Stone Edge, which delivers a swift KO against Flying-types and provides a way to hit Ghost-types. Rock Slide is a more reliable attack that still OHKOes Scyther and Moltres, but it is weaker against everything else. Sucker Punch has excellent synergy with Substitute, which forces the opponent to attack and therefore ensures it lands.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Hitmonlee can use Bulk Up to boost his Attack stat, but he's better off attacking right from the start. Double-Edge is Hitmonlee's strongest attack against walls such as Weezing, but the added recoil and the fact that it doesn't 2HKO most variants with Choice Band equipped (specially defensive spreads have a chance to be 2HKOed with Stealth Rock) make it a lesser option, especially since it severely limits his coverage.
Hitmonlee has access to Reversal, and it's extremely powerful when set up correctly, but he has trouble using it effectively because of all the priority users running rampant in the tier. He also has trouble setting it up due to his frailty.
Checks and Counters
Pokemon who have a resistance or immunity to Fighting make great counters to Hitmonlee. Weezing, Claydol, Slowbro, and Uxie can switch into any attack and OHKO with Psychic or burn him with Will-O-Wisp. Nidoqueen also makes a decent counter as long as she avoids Earthquake.
The Choice sets are a bit easier to counter, as he cannot switch between attacks. Bringing Rotom or Mismagius in on Close Combat or Earthquake allows them to obtain a free turn to either Substitute or set up Nasty Plot. Take advantage of immunities and the fact that Hitmonlee is locked into one move to set up a dangerous Pokemon.
Priority attacks will seriously injure Hitmonlee, due to his frailty. Some noteworthy examples include Azumarill's Aqua Jet and Arcanine's ExtremeSpeed.