Hitmonchan, The Punching Pokémon. While apparently doing nothing, it fires punches in lightning fast volleys that are impossible to see. Punches in corkscrew fashion. It can punch its way through a concrete wall in the same way as a drill. Its punches slice through the air. However, it seems to need a short break after fighting for three minutes. They are launched at such high speed, even a slight graze could cause a burn. To increase the strength of all its punch moves, it spins its arms just before making contact. A Hitmonchan is said to possess the spirit of a boxer who aimed to become the world champion. Having an indomitable spirit means that it will never give up. ť
For the previous generations, Hitmonchan had very little to boast about. The elemental punches were useless before the physical-special split and whatever it had, Hitmonlee could generally match or better. However, this generation has been kind to Hitmonchan. For a start, the physical-special split means that those elemental punches are actually worthwhile. Additionally, Hitmonchan has been given Iron Fist, which gives a 20% boost to “punching moves”, letting it pack some extra power.
The generation shift has been kind to Hitmonchan, but that kindness isn't enough to make it anymore than a decent Underused/Never-used Pokémon. But, decent is a real step up from the below-average that would've generally described it a generation ago.
Iron Fist: is the ability to use. It gives a 20% boost to “punching moves”, which for Hitmonchan are: Bullet Punch, Comet Punch, Drain Punch, Dynamic Punch, Fire Punch, Focus Punch, Ice Punch, Mach Punch, Mega Punch, Sky Uppercut, and Thunderpunch (as well as: Shadow Punch, Meteor Mash, Hammer Arm and Dizzy Punch, which Hitmonchan doesn't have access too - it's also worth noting that Sucker Punch does not get boosted by this ability, although that doesn't concern Hitmonchan).
Keen Eye: prevents Hitmonchan's accuracy from being lowered (by moves like Sand Attack, which are never used competitively). It's a worthless ability, always go with Iron Fist.
- Close Combat / Sky Uppercut / Focus Punch
Choice Band is a good way to go with Hitmonchan. You're blessed with above average Attack and a further boost from Iron Fist, so you can really pile on the power with the Band boost.
Close Combat doesn't get boosted by Iron Fist, but it is Hitmonchan's most powerful “consistent STAB move.” It does come with the negative side-effect of dropping both of your defensive stats by a stage, but defensive stat drops aren't overly concerning when you need to switch around a lot (a curse that befalls all Choice sets). Sky Uppercut poses the main challenge in the role of “consistent STAB move”, since it does get the Iron Fist boost. 90% accuracy is a little shaky but a fair trade for unharmed defences. Focus Punch is the outsider option. Good prediction makes the move really worth considering, and with an already high innate Base Power combined with an Iron Fist and Band boost, it's Hitmonchan's most devastating option.
The elemental punches are other great benefactors from Iron Fist. Ice Punch is very nice for hitting Flying types, as well as others that fall under its plentiful coverage. Fire Punch is a decent option for Bug types as well. Thunderpunch is an absentee here since Ice covers (most) Flying types whilst Water types are heavily threatened by Hitmonchan's Fighting options.
Mach Punch gets a boost off of Iron Fist, albeit something of a mild one due to its low Base Power. The important thing it does is strike first, and that low Base Power is compensated for by a Band-boosted Attack stat. The main alternative is Earthquake, which is naturally strong and gets an important super-effective hit on Poison types.
Hitmonchan lacks the natural Speed to make sweeping viable, but with the help of Agility, a clean sweep is perfectly plausible. Put in an Agility boost and let loose with a fairly versatile move-pool and a Life Orb boost.
Close Combat is your strongest Fighting option but you may want to consider Sky Uppercut so as not to expose yourself to priority moves (such as Quick Attack and Mach Punch, which can benefit off of Hitmonchan's lowered defences). Ice Punch is again available for its Flying coverage. The final choice is to round out the type coverage, with Fire Punch for Bug types and Earthquake for Poison types.
- Close Combat
Once again, that lack of natural Speed hampers sweeping, but a Choice Scarf does enough to set you ahead and the rest is about exploiting Hitmonchan's natural power and type coverage. Close Combat is probably the favourite here, since you'll be switching about enough to make that defensive stat-drop rather un-inhibiting. Needless to say, Ice Punch, Fire Punch and Earthquake round out the type coverage.
EVs and Nature:
Most of the time it's just Max Speed and Max Attack. Even when you're getting a Speed boost you may as well stick with Max Speed because of the uncertainties associated with Scarf-equipped opponents (although with Agility, you probably can ditch some Speed for HP). Jolly is worth some mild consideration for getting ahead of Nidoking, Jolly Absol, Toxicroak and some others.
Stone Edge, Pursuit, Drain Punch, Bulk Up, Thunderpunch.
Stone Edge is a bit of a “two-for-one” type coverage deal. Fire Punch and Ice Punch cover Bug and Flying types, whilst Stone Edge covers both. The accuracy is a bit shaky and you only get an extra 10 Base Power, but it's worth consideration.
Pursuit can hunt down anything making a run, which is always worth a bit of consideration.
Drain Punch gets STAB and the Iron Fist boost. You get back 50% of the damage you deal, and it's the only source of healing Hitmonchan is likely to get, but it's just not suited for a sweeper with that kind of Base Power.
Bulk Up is an Attack and Defence boost in one. The Attack boost is most interesting as a sweeper, since Hitmonchan can't really exploit the Defence boost, but Hitmonchan doesn't have the natural Speed stat to be able to sweep without something helping its Speed.
Thunderpunch is usable, but as noted earlier, it doesn't really provide anything amazing when it comes to type coverage.
It's got a bit more versatility than most Fighting types, and with Iron Fist giving most of its moves a boost, it does pack plenty of power, but it's still a containable Pokémon. Its versatility poses a lot of problems for counters however, since it can usually get a super-effective hit from somewhere.
Xatu has a nice 4x Fighting resistance but it does pack an Ice Punch weakness; the same goes for the army of Bug-Flying types, Vespiquen probably being the best of that bunch.
Pinsir is nice and sturdy but needs to worry about Fire Punch.
There's a large block of Poison types around, including: Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Swalot and Muk, who have Earthquake problems; Venusaur and Vileplume who have Ice and Fire Punch problems; but probably the best counter available comes from this bunch in the form of Weezing.
As always, it's worth noting statuses as well. Burn cuts its Attack drastically and paralysis cuts its Speed drastically, both hindering its chances of sweeping successfully.
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