Primeape

Vital Spirit
Prevents sleep. Increases wild encounters with higher level Pokémon.
Type Tier
Fighting UU
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
65
- 23 26 -
Atk
105
15 17 20 22
Def
60
10 12 15 16
SpA
60
10 12 15 16
SpD
70
11 13 16 17
Spe
95
14 16 19 20
  • Underused

Overview

Primeape can go on a rampage when given some breathing room. Its high Speed and power are nothing to scoff at. Its defenses, however, are really sub-par and will force Primeape to switch out or die more often than not. It relies heavily on sleep inflicting moves like Sleep Powder to come in, which is risky business. In both standard and UU, it can put a great hurting into teams, provided you know how to predict and eliminate its many counters.

Name Item Nature

Choice Band

Choice Band Jolly / Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Cross Chop
~ Focus Punch / Earthquake
~ Rock Slide
~ Hidden Power Ghost / Hidden Power Flying
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Earthquake should take care of Muk and do some more damage to Electric and Fire-types, as well as helping against Grass / Poisons like Vileplume. Vileplume can also be taken care of with Hidden Power Flying and can be quite important for Primeape to beat, as Vileplume provides a switch-in for Primeape every time it tries to use Sleep Powder, and often tries to wall Primeape as it resists Cross Chop. The IVs given are for Hidden Power Flying. Outside of that, there is little reason to use Hidden Power Flying, unless you really want to hurt Heracross and Breloom badly in standard. The rest of Primeape's move's uses in UU are quite easy to tell: Hidden Power Ghost is for Hypno, Grumpig and Misdreavus and Rock Slide for random Fliers.

Name Item Nature

Bulk Up

Leftovers Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Bulk Up
~ Cross Chop
~ Substitute
~ Rock Slide / Earthquake / Hidden Power Ghost
32 HP / 252 Atk / 224 Spe

This works a bit like the standard Raikou: set-up your offense and defense at the same time, protect against status and gain time with Substitute, then hit hard with STAB and a secondary move. Earthquake should only be used in UU, all the others are fair game for both metagames. There will always be something that walls you, but this set requires less prediction and can really screw opponents over in late game, or if they rely on something like Toxic to stop Primeape.

Name Item Nature

Reversal

Salac Berry Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Substitute / Endure
~ Reversal
~ Focus Punch / Bulk Up
~ Hidden Power Ghost
80 HP / 252 Atk / 176 Spe

The fastest STAB Reversal in the game. Coming from a respective 339 Attack, Primeape can be quite a monster with this set, provided there is no Sand Stream up and no Quick Attack (or a similar move) in the way. Even if there is a Quick Attacker, Primeape can always switch out and come back later (as long as there are no Spikes) and launch its Reversal. It's unlikely that something like Quick Attack Fearow or Fake Out Kangaskhan is going to switch into that. Use Bulk Up for an easier set-up, or Focus Punch to do some good damage on something like Skarmory before it Drill Pecks you to death. Endure can be a safer route in some situations, and usually works better with Endure.

Other Options

Primeape can Overheat Skarmory, but its STAB Cross Chop and Focus Punch will be much more useful in other situations, and it's more of a one-time deal anyway as it sharply cuts your Special Attack. It won't even OHKO Skarmory (though Forretress and Scizor will be fried). Thunder or Thunderbolt work against Skarmory as well, and nothing else. Ice Punch, as idiotic as it seems, is good in UU because it hits Gligar and will usually 2HKO it. Thief can be used to steal Leftovers or Choice Band from something that walls you, comes handy in both standard and UU. Screech can force switches or cause massive damage from Cross Chop. With Taunt, you stop status from hitting you, but it's more likely that Primeape will be hit up straight on his weak defenses. This is why you may want to use Counter, with or without Taunt. Taunt / Counter Primeape can surprise the hell out of Gligar, Vileplume, Skarmory, Gyarados and some other things if they come into you.

EVs

For every usual non-Reversal set, minimally 300 in standard to beat Adamant Salamence and everything else with 100 base Speed and no boosting nature. In UU, 296 is a nice number as well to beat Jolly Gligar (rare, but nice anyway), but 308 is preferable for Adamant Fearow and Jolly Kangaskhan. Use 264 Speed minimally for standard Reversal sets, and make sure your HP is not divisible by four when using Substitute with it. For the rest, Primeape should stack its Attack as much as possible.

Checks and Counters

One great counter is Gligar, as it takes neutral damage or not very effective from all Primeape's attacks not named Ice Punch, and has decent Defense. Not a lot can switch in on Primeape in UU matches; utilizing two Pokémon to deal with Primeape is another method you could try. The Choice Band set will lose to a combination of Misdreavus and Muk or Vileplume. In all honesty the best way to beat Primeape is to attack it before it attacks you.