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For the last couple generations, Fighting has been one of the best types in the game, and one of the most dominant offensive types in OU. In Generation 4, it got even better with the addition of awesome moves like Close Combat, which brought Fighting-type offense to the forefront. Machamp also picked up a new ability, No Guard, which turned its DynamicPunch into a veritable nightmare. Combine this with the near-complete absence of Psychic- and Flying-type attacks in OU, and Fighting-types like Machamp, Breloom, and Lucario became some of the most notable threats of the 4th generation. Of course, this wasn't limited to only OU. Shortly before the great BL drop that created New UU, the most popular and notable strategy was just to stuff as many Fighting-types onto your team as possible and blast off Close Combats over and over until your opponent died, and it was pretty effective.
However, Generation 5 really stepped it up, bringing the Fighting-type to the forefront in the new games. Not only did it add 9 new fully evolved Fighting-types to the metagame (10 if you include the unreleased Kerudio), but nearly every single one of them is a veritable and legitimate threat. It also brought buffs to Fighting-types in the form of improvements to some of the type's most underutilized moves. Hi Jump Kick went from a disappointing 100 Base Power to a bone-crushing 130 Base Power, and its recoil was also capped at 1/2 of the user's maximum HP, making a miss significantly less dangerous to a healthy Pokemon. Meanwhile, Drain Punch was raised from 60 to 75 Base Power, and its PP was doubled from 5 to 10 (8 to 16), cementing it as one of the best Fighting-type moves available. With all these major changes, it's clear that Fighting-types will thrive in every metagame to come. So without further ado, let's take a look at Generation 5's additions to the Fighting-type!
Oh dearie me, where to begin. Well, let's start with what is likely one of the most rightfully hyped Pokemon of the fifth generation—Terakion. As the physical attacker of the legendary Fighting-type trio, Terakion is quite possibly the most perfect physical sweeper ever made. Its outstanding 128 base Attack and 108 base Speed make it easy for Terakion to dish out the punishment, and on top of that, it boasts the legendary never-before-seen dual STAB of Rock and Fighting, a combination resisted only by Claydol and Goruggo, neither of which is likely to see play in OU any time soon. Since all it needs is Stone Edge and Close Combat to wreck face, it's got enough room to run both Swords Dance AND Rock Polish on the same set, giving it the versatility it needs to choose what stat boost to use. Facing Stall? Bust out a Swords Dance. Offense? Knock 'em over with a Rock Polish. And if it gets both boosts, there's basically nothing that can really stop it. The only issue Terakion really runs into is its weakness to priority. With weaknesses to Mach Punch, Bullet Punch, Vacuum Wave, and Aqua Jet, the only thing Terakion really fears is powerful priority attackers that can cut it down to size.
Speaking of powerful priority attackers, Black/White has brought with it possibly the greatest Mach Punch user ever—Roobushin. With a build that resembles something like an upgraded Machamp, Roobushin has all the tools it needs to knock down teams. A staggering 140 base Attack is made even more impressive considering its impressive array of Fighting-type moves, including Low Kick, Hammer Arm, Superpower, and the newly improved Drain Punch. It's also got access to Mach Punch, giving it the STAB priority it needs to check top threats such as Doryuuzu and Terakion. Stone Edge and Payback easily round out Roobushin's coverage, giving it the ability to put a hole in basically any of the top Black/White threats. On top of that, its impressive 105/85/65 defenses allow it to sponge a hit and respond with devastating force, and Drain Punch just works to make its bulk even more impressive.
If you're looking for something a little more versatile, Kojondo is quite possibly one of the greatest Choice Scarf users ever made. Its impressive 125 base Attack and 105 base Speed give it impressive attacking stats, and while its 65/60/60 defenses leave something to be desired, its ability, Regeneration, allows it to switch in and out repeatedly, regardless of weather or entry hazards. It can easily take advantage of the newly buffed Hi Jump Kick, and Regeneration can also help it heal off the damage from an unforeseen Ghost-type switch-in. Access to U-turn also makes it an excellent scout, as its fast U-turn and Regeneration can allow it to zip in and out of battle effortlessly. Unfortunately, it suffers from a fairly sparse secondary movepool, but most of the time, Hi Jump Kick, Stone Edge, and U-turn provide plenty of utility.
Finally, let's take a look at one of the more oddball additions to the Fighting-type family—Zuruzukin. While it may not be as fast or as strong as its Fighting-type brethren, it's got plenty of advantages to its name. First, its secondary Dark typing gives it unresisted dual STAB in the OU metagame, leaving the rest of its options open to take advantage of either its excellent setup moves or its solid secondary movepool. It has access to Dragon Dance, though its low Speed makes it tough to take advantage of it to the fullest, much like the other slow Dragon Dance users. It can function as a decent Choice Band user, though its low Attack leaves something to be desired. However, its true calling is as an incredibly difficult to take down Bulk Up user. Its 65/115/115 defenses are plenty solid to take hits, especially when backed with Bulk Up and Drain Punch. On top of that, it's easy for the pants lizard to take advantage of Rest, even without Sleep Talk. What's that, status? I'll just take my pants off! No problem. ShedRest can allow Zuruzukin to wake up from Rest immediately, making it quite frustrating to take on if you're short on super effective attacks.
With all the emphasis on powerful offensive Fighting-types, it's easy to forget how incredible Fighting is as a defensive typing. Luckily, Generation 5 hasn't forgotten about the defensive end of things.
Birijion is probably the most effective new defensive Fighting-type. Its Grass/Fighting typing is shared only by Breloom, but unlike Breloom, Birijion actually has the stats that it needs to take advantage of Grass/Fighting's unique resistances. With a fully physically defensive spread, Birijion is basically the greatest Tyranitar counter that has ever lived. It nearly resists the entirety of Tyranitar's physical movepool, and is only weak to Fire Punch, which doesn't do nearly enough damage to KO anyway. Furthermore, Birijion's excellent 128 Special Defense allows it to sponge Ice Beams and Fire Blasts easily. Finally, Birijion's excellent 108 base Speed allows it to outspeed even the fastest Tyranitar without any investment. The only major issue is Birijion's lack of healing options, but it's still got a couple options in that regard, what with the buff to Wish and the newly improved Giga Drain, which received the same buff that Drain Punch did.
Nageki is an interesting Pokemon. Defensively, it's a beast, with solid 120/85/85 defenses, and it's also got a decent 100 Attack with which to hit back as well. Moreover, it has access to STAB Overhead Throw, which allows it to deal damage while simultaneously shuffling the opponent's team, and also making it an excellent counter to Taunt-based setup Pokemon. However, once again, its lack of access to recovery is a major issue, as it has to rely only on Leftovers and potential Wishpassing in order to recover its life. However, its excellent defenses combined with Bulk Up and Rest can make it tough to take down, and Overhead Throw can also make it difficult to set up on, even after a Rest.
With so many new Fighting-types in OU, there's certain to be some hefty new competition from their non-evolved counterparts. Indeed, while Fighting has always been an excellent type in Little Cup, Generation 5 has definitely brought it to the forefront in this new metagame.
If you've been playing Little Cup at all recently, the first Fighting-type that comes to mind is definitely Zuruggu, the pre-evolved form of Zuruzukin. While its evolution may have issues with low Attack and Speed, Zuruggu definitely has no such problems. Base 75 Attack is excellent in LC, and base 48 Speed is plenty for sweeping in LC with Dragon Dance, as all you really need for DD in LC is 14 Speed, enough to outspeed all non-scarfed Pokemon. 75 base Attack is incredible, especially with STAB Crunch and Drain Punch, and its access to Ice Punch lets it OHKO nearly everything in the metagame after a Dragon Dance. Meanwhile, with Evolution Stone, it's got enough defenses to take the common priority attacks in LC and respond with force, even using Drain Punch to heal off all of the damage and continue sweeping. Ask anyone, and they'll probably agree: Zuruggu is THE threat in LC right now, and it doesn't look like that's likely to change any time soon.
While not exactly new, Meditite is enjoying its first legal stint in Little Cup since early Generation 4, and it's definitely proving its power. While its stats may be mediocre, with only 40 base Attack and 60 base Speed, its stats are incredibly misleading. Its real strength lies in its ability, Pure Power. With Pure Power, Meditite can hit an attack stat as high as 28 with an Adamant nature, giving it more power than even Cranidos, the former powerhouse of Little Cup. On top of that, the buff to Hi Jump Kick has made switching into Meditite even harder, as its incredible power means even a resistance might not cut it. Zen Headbutt just serves to amplify this, as it OHKOs nearly every single Ghost-type in LC, and only Evolution Stone boosted bulky Ghosts like Duskull and Pururiru can manage to survive it. To top it all off, Meditite can even pull off Croagunk-style double priority with Fake Out and Bullet Punch, though with Meditite's massive 28 Attack, its priority has quite a bit more sting than Croagunk's. All in all, Meditite is a huge threat in Little Cup, and it's rapidly proving why its vacation from LC in Generation 4 may have been a well-earned one.
While Generation 4 might have been Machop's turf, there's a new sheriff in town here: Dokkora. While Machop may have No Guard and its powerful DynamicPunch on its side, Dokkora's got plenty of neat tricks that give it a leg up on Machop. The most obvious one is that Dokkora's 75 HP and 55 Defense give it an additional boost to its defenses, and while Machop can tie it in either HP or Defense through EVs, it can't do both, making Dokkora easier to switch in than Machop. However, the biggest benefit that Dokkora brings to the table is its access to STAB Mach Punch, something that Machop can only dream of having. While Bullet Punch can allow Machop to hit Ghost-types that would otherwise switch in and ruin its fun, Dokkora can serve as a partial stop to weakened Zuruggu, as well as giving it additional damage output against neutral targets. Finally, its access to Drain Punch allows Dokkora to both do damage and heal up at the same time, making it significantly harder to take down than Machop. While there may not be anything more infuriating than the guaranteed confusion from DynamicPunch, Machop still can't stand up to Dokkora, the new "bulky Fighting-type" of Generation 5.
If Dokkora is forcing Machop out of the picture, Kojofuu is definitely doing the same to Mankey. While the differences between Machop and Dokkora may have been fairly subtle, Kojofuu's advantages are perfectly clear. First, Kojofuu boasts better base stats all-around, as in LC terms, it ties in Speed and Special Defense, and beats it everywhere else. Next, Kojofuu's Regeneration ability allows it to switch in and out repeatedly, something a Choice Scarf user benefits from greatly. Third, with the buffed power of Hi Jump Kick, Kojofuu's primary STAB has 10 more Base Power than Mankey's, giving it a significant damage advantage compared to Mankey. Finally, Kojofuu has a little more versatility. With access to Fake Out, it can use a Life Orb Fake-Turn set to constantly harass opponents with the combination of Fake Out and U-turn, while using Regeneration to heal off the damage inflicted by Life Orb and entry hazards. With a combination of power and excellent harassment options, Kojofuu is another excellent Fighting-type choice in Little Cup.
Close Combat – 120 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – Decreases User's Defense and Special Defense 1 Stage
STILL THE KING. Close Combat was DPPt's gift to Fighting-types, and it's still good. Reliable STAB with 100% accuracy and a monstrous 120 Base Power makes Close Combat one of the best moves in the entire game, even after the buff to Hi Jump Kick.
Hi Jump Kick – 130 Base Power – 90% Accuracy – User receives 1/2 Recoil on miss, capped at 1/2 of the user's HP.
With the incredible buff to Hi Jump Kick in Generation 5, this is definitely a move that's likely to see a bit more use. Not only is it a great damage source for Kojondo/Kojofuu, but it can also be utilized by Blaziken as its first reliable high-powered STAB attack, and with its new Speed Boost ability from Dream World, Blaziken just might become a veritable threat in Generation 5 rather than being overshadowed by Infernape.
Drain Punch – 75 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – User is healed for 1/2 of damage dealt.
While Drain Punch previously might have been regarded as just another terrible move with weak power and low PP, it has received a HUGE buff in Generation 5. Its power was bumped up from a mediocre 60 to a solid 75, making it a more reliable form of damage output, and its PP has been doubled from 5/8 to 10/16. With awesome new users such as Roobushin / Dokkora and Zuruzukin / Zuruggu to its name, Drain Punch has definitely come out of the dark and into the limelight.
Sacred Sword – 90 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – Ignores target's stat changes.
Unaware in move form, Sacred Sword is the signature move of the legendary Fighting trio of Terakion, Birijion, and Kobaruon. While it's largely overshadowed by Close Combat, it's useful for people that want to take a more defensive approach to these Pokemon, as it has 3 times as much PP as Close Combat and doesn't reduce the user's defenses.
Cross Chop – 100 Base Power – 80% Accuracy – Increased Critical Hit Rate.
With the buff to Hi Jump Kick, Cross Chop is even more likely to fade into obscurity. Still, there are a couple Pokemon that rely on Cross Chop for damage output, although all of them wish they had Close Combat or Superpower instead.
Brick Break – 75 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – Removes Light Screen and Reflect when used.
Brick Break? What is? With the buff to Drain Punch, as well as the low Base Power of Brick Break, it's unlikely that this move will see much use outside of Pokemon that really don't have anything better to do with their moveslots. Still, it's a decent move, and the only way to "counter" dual screens, so it has at least got a slight niche.
Superpower – 120 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – Decreases user's Attack and Defense 1 Stage.
Before there was Close Combat, there was Superpower. An unappealing move due to the fact that it gets weaker every time it is used, but due to the fact that it is available as a move tutor to many Pokemon that need it (read: Blaziken, Honchkrow, etc), it's still a solid choice.
Reversal – ?? Base Power – 100% Accuracy – Power increases as Pokemon loses HP.
Reversal provides solid power when fully powered up, being the strongest non-Explosion move in the entire game. That said, its users are extremely vulnerable to priority, damaging weather, Focus Sash users, anything resistant to the move, and anything faster. Still, Reversal can be used by a few notable Pokemon to surprise their normal counters, such as Scyther and Yanmega.
Force Palm – 60 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – 30% Chance to inflict Paralysis.
Hariyama's signature move, this is the Fighting-type Body Slam. What it lacks in power, it makes up for in support, spreading paralysis with ease.
DynamicPunch – 100 Base Power - 50% Accuracy – 100% Chance to inflict Confusion.
Machamp's primary claim to fame, DynamicPunch goes from gimmicky attack with terrible accuracy to lunacy-inducing power when backed by No Guard. DynamicPunch is why Machamp's counters are never guaranteed, and it's a great attack. Just don't use it on anything other than Machamp.
Aura Sphere – 90 Base Power – --% Accuracy – Never misses.
Terrible distribution, but a fantastic move. Lucario usually doesn't use this move due to the power of its Swords Dance set, but Togekiss can use it to ward off Tyranitar very effectively, and many Ubers use it to ward off Tyranitar and Dialga effectively.
Focus Blast – 120 Base Power – 70% Accuracy – 10% Chance to lower Special Defense 1 Stage.
A terrible move, and if it wasn't for its typing and Tyranitar's existence, it would never see use. That said, it's instrumental in making Gengar, Alakazam, and other Ghost- and Psychic-types not just instant Tyranitar bait.
Vacuum Wave – 40 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – Always goes first
Vacuum Wave is the only special priority attack, and it's a solid move on most Pokemon that get it. Pokemon such as Blaziken and Toxicroak can use it to outpace normally faster opponents effectively.
Mystery Sword – 85 Base Power – 100% Accuracy – Uses the target's Defense stat instead of their Special Defense stat.
Mystery Sword is an incredible move on an incredible Pokemon: the signature move of Kerudio, the "fourth musketeer", as it is. Once Kerudio is released, this move is likely to be one of its biggest assets, as it allows Kerudio to target Blissey and other special walls on their weaker defensive stat, making Calm Mind Keruidio incredibly hard to wall. That said, Kerudio technically "doesn't exist", as it is an unreleased Event Pokemon, so until then, we'll just have to wait for Nintendo to get a bit charitable.
Seismic Toss – 100% Accuracy – Deals damage equal to the Pokemon's level.
This move is technically Fighting-type, so it goes here. Stick Seismic Toss on stuff like Blissey and Hypno that has trouble actually hurting things with its attacks, and Seismic Toss will provide a reliable 100 damage every time.
Counter – 100% Accuracy – Deals damage equal to 2x physical damage taken.
Counter is good for those Pokemon that can't help but attract a good hard slug in the face, like Lucario, Weavile, or Gengar. CounterSash is an under-appreciated lead strategy, but one that can provide devastating effects with good prediction.
Bulk Up – --% Accuracy – Raises user's Attack and Defense 1 Stage.
Curse without the drawbacks, Bulk Up is a fantastic move hampered by mediocre distribution. However, Generation 5 has brought a number of solid new users to the metagame, such as Roobushin, Zuruzukin, and Randorosu, so watch out for it as a veritable new threat in Generation 5.
While Fighting-types got a buff in Generation 4 through the physical-special split, they arguably got an even bigger buff in Generation 5. Be sure to try out these solid new threats on your team, as these Generation 5 powerhouses sure pack one hell of a punch.
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