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Pokémon Sun and Moon are little more than a week away, and we at Gamnesia wanted to celebrate—that’s why, for the eighteen days leading up to the games’ launch, we’ll be revealing our team’s Top Ten Pokémon of each of the eighteen Types! This time we’re looking over all the Fighting-Type Pokémon out there; it took a number of close battles in all of our minds, but we’ve finally put together the list of the brawlers we think most deserve a shot at a title. Also, I wrote a fair chunk of this late at night, so apologies in advance for any Fighting puns that slipped through.
That said, let’s get started with our rankings for the Top Ten Fighting-Type Pokémon!
“When they encounter foes bigger than themselves, they try to throw them. They always travel in packs of five.”
— Pokémon White Version
Starting off, we have Throh, the fighter from Generation V whose name is so blatantly simple that there’s really not much that needs be said about its combat style. It throws stuff, learning moves like Seismic Toss, Vital Throw, Storm Throw, and Circle Throw as it levels up. Its strength somehow seems to be derived from the belts it wears, which it crafts itself using vines. Despite the simplicity of the premise, the Judo Pokémon executes well enough on it to get a place on our list.
9. Pancham / Pangoro
“It does its level best to glare and pull a scary face, but it can’t help grinning if anyone pats its head.”
— Pancham entry, Pokémon Y
Generation VI was a bit light on new Fighting-Types, but it did a fantastic job with the introduction of Pancham and Pangoro. Pancham is a cute little guy who tries to look tough, but at its core it’s a sweetheart, enough so that it has been labeled as the Playful Pokémon. It’s always seen chewing on a leaf, which
X calls its “trademark.” Pangoro, on the other hand, it a pretty impressive beast—a Fighting/Dark-Type known as the Daunting Pokémon, which uses its own leaf to sense its foes’ movements. And yet, while it may be violent in its own right, one thing it will never accept is bullying, which is a laudable tidbit for Game Freak to throw in there.
“It has the habit of challenging others without hesitation to tests of strength. It’s been known to stand on train tracks and stop trains using forearm thrusts.”
— Pokémon Emerald Version
Hariyama is a massive fighter, standing at 7’07” and weighing nearly 560 lbs., and that gives the Arm Thrust Pokémon a ton of bulk to throw behind every single one of its attacks. Based on sumo wrestlers, it often challenges other massive Pokémon to tests of strength so it can see how powerful it is. While its primary attack is, of course, Arm Thrust, it also gets access to a solid number of other Fighting moves and Physical attacks, and its heft ensures that it can take numerous hits before it finally goes down for the count.
“Through yoga training, it gained the psychic power to predict its foe’s next move.”
— Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver Version
Serving as the evolved form of Meditite, Medicham and its line are the first Pokémon to be dual Fighting and Psychic-Type Pokémon, which, while not giving it many resistance or immunities, does cancel out a number of the weaknesses that those two Types usually possess. It is skilled in yoga, giving it an elegant, dance-like fighting style that allows it to avoid attacks and launch its own in a single motion. Come Gen VI, Medicham also gained a Mega Evolution, in which state it can use its mental powers to create four additional, ghost-like arms for use in battle.
6. Mankey / Primeape
“It grows angry if you see its eyes and gets angrier if you run. If you beat it, it gets even madder.”
— Primeape entry, Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Versions
One of the original Fighting-Types in the series, Mankey and Primeape are known as the Pig Monkey Pokémon and are very hot-tempered creatures—especially Primeape, who can only calm down when no one else is nearby. Mankey is sometimes calm, but it can transition into a state of “towering rage” at a moment’s notice with little or no provocation, and when one gets mad its entire colony starts rampaging right along with it. They may be hard to handle, but this fury translates to some powerful battling capabilities and strong Fighting-Type attacks. Adding those to this pair’s simple yet distinctive designs give the Pig Monkeys high marks in our books.
“Although its body is small, its proficient fighting skills enable it to keep up with big bruisers like Machamp and Hariyama.”
— Pokémon X
Designed after the masked luchador fighters of Latin America, Hawlucha is the Wrestling Pokémon introduced in the Kalos region. It has the unique Typing matchup of both Flying and Fighting, granting it a number of attacks from each Type, as well as its signature move, Flying Press—a uniquely dual-type move that acts as both a Fighting and Flying attack, drastically altering the kinds of Pokémon it is effective against. It’s a powerful ability, and mixed with Hawlucha’s unique Typing and excellent design, this Pokémon is one we’d definitely cheer on in a fight.
4. Hitmonchan / Hitmontop
“While apparently doing nothing, it fires punches in lightning fast volleys that are impossible to see.”
— Hitmonchan entry, Pokémon Red & Blue Versions
Hitmonchan and Hitmontop are two of the possible evolutions for Gen II’s Tyrogue, the former modeled after a boxer while the latter takes after practitioners of “Capoeira,” a martial art from Brazil centered around kicks, spins, and high mobility. Each are powerful fighters in their own rights, with Hitmonchan able to cause burns just from grazing an opponent with its punch, while Hitmontop spins so fast it can bore its way into the ground if it isn’t careful—imagine how painful it must be when such swift spins connect with its target! These two Pokémon have been with us for a while, and we’ve grown rather fond of them and their fighting styles over the years.
“It punches with its four arms at blinding speed. It can launch 1,000 punches in two seconds.”
— Pokémon Diamond Version
The absurdly-muscular Superpower Pokémon from the very first generation of games, Machamp is the final evolution of Machop and Machoke, obtainable back then only for those of us with a Link Cable and assistance from our fellow trainers. Getting a Machamp from all that added effort was certainly worth it, however, as this four-armed creature packs a serious punch—it’s said that a solid hit will send opponents “clear over the horizon.” Lest you think that mere hyperbole, Pearl states that a single punch from Machamp can send an entire train flying. And of course, it has speed to match, able to deal out one thousand punches in two seconds, which would simply decimate anything standing its way.
Machamp can learn a number of Fighting-Type moves; it is said to have mastered every form of martial arts, so it’s cool to see this lore brought into gameplay with its wide variety of attacks: throws, punches, chops, kicks, and more are all at its disposal. It’s certainly not a Pokémon you’d want to have to face off against, and its impressive build and powerful strikes make Machamp a favorite in many of our books.
“It is also called the Kick Master. It uses its elastic legs to execute every known kick.”
— Pokémon Crystal Version
You guys didn’t think we’d forgotten dear old Hitmonlee, did you? No, the master of the High Jump Kick is in fact our favorite of the bunch, with its springlike legs allowing it to leap heads and shoulders above the other evolutions of Tyrogue. Hitmonlee’s legs can contract and stretch out like springs, reaching up to twice their normal length to attack distant or fleeing opponents, and it also has “an awesome sense of balance” which lets it unleash a flurry of kicks regardless of the position it finds itself in. That all would be devastating enough on its own, both to the body and morale, but Yellow Version throws in an added, especially painful detail: its feet are as hard as diamonds, ensuring each attack completely destroys Hitmonlee’s opponent.
Legs are obviously the focus of this Pokémon, to the point where its design doesn’t even have a real head; it’s simply a torso with eyes on its top, which is a bit strange. But it’s probably also an efficient form for keeping its center of gravity low, which may be what grants Hitmonlee its incredible sense of balance. Regardless of the reasons, the unique design certainly doesn’t turn us off from this fantastic Fighting-Type, and we are always happy to put the many Kick attacks it learns to good use.
But what Pokémon can rise even higher than Hitmonlee? Which fighter takes the belt in our book? Turns out, this selection was one of the easiest decisions we’ve made in this series:
“A well-trained one can sense auras to identify and take in the feelings of creatures over half a mile away.”
— Pokémon Platinum Version
Introduced in Generation IV, the Aura Pokémon Lucario quickly became a fan favorite due to its awesome design and its major role in one of the eighth
Pokémon movie, Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. Several Lucario have featured prominently in the years since it was first revealed, whether it be in the anime, spinoff or crossover titles like Pokkén Tournament and Super Smash Bros., or even within the main series itself—Pokémon X and Y have you obtain a Lucario to serve as the first Pokémon you Mega Evolve, for example.
Even without all this added importance placed on it, though, Lucario is a pretty amazing creature, capable of reading a special energy of its opponents called Aura to predict their moves and follow them even when they escape its vision. Likely designed after Anubis, the canine Egyptian lord of the dead, it can also use Aura for offensive purposes, as seen with its key Aura Sphere attack. Lucario is also both a Fighting- and a Steel-Type Pokémon, granting it a number of solid resistances and a good variety of extra moves it can learn to take out its foes. To top it all off is Lucario’s aforementioned Mega Evolution, a form that modifies both its design to be more epic and its Aura sensing abilities to be more powerful.
Lucario is an impressive creature no matter what angle you approach it from: an intriguing design and lore, solid Typing and move pool, and plenty of major appearances throughout a number of
Pokémon-related media. This guy is everywhere, and for good reason, because it’s simply an awesome creature. We are thrilled to see it named the champion of our list of Fighting-Type Pokémon.
So there you have it: the battle is over, and the victor of Fighting-Types has been crowned! At least as far as our team’s choices go, that is. Is Lucario truly the best Fighter in the Pokémon series, or is there one that you treasure even more highly? What do you think of our other choices? Give us your thoughts in the comments, and come back tomorrow for yet another Top Ten list for a different Pokémon Type!
And be sure to check out the rest of our Top Ten Type Pokémon lists: