Primeape, The Pig Monkey Pokémon. When Primeape becomes furious, its blood circulation is boosted. In turn, its muscles are made even stronger. However, it also becomes much less intelligent at the same time. It is always outrageously furious. If it gives chase, it will tenaciously track the target no matter how far. It stops being angry only when nobody else is around. To view this moment is very difficult.
This week we're bringing back an absolute classic Fighting Pokémon from Red, Blue, and Yellow. That's right we're covering Primeape this week! Or as I prefer to refer to them as "The Original Hat Thief". Now I'm sure you probably thought I was talking about Hitmonlee or Hitmonchan when I said a classic Fighting Pokémon. Which is understandable. It wasn't the best Fighting-Type Pokémon even in its prime, and it certainly isn't the best when we fast forward to the present in Gen VI either. It does have a lot of heart though, and it can be surprisingly useful. It's actually one of the best revenge killers and scarf users in the few metagames where our friend Primeape sees some real action, and it can be one of hell of a wallbreaker too in some instances..so it most definitely has more going for it than people think. If you don't believe me just try it for yourself. I won't lie to you though. I desperately wish it had been one of the lucky Pokémon chosen to receive a Mega Evolution because it could really use some bulk and a secondary typing. If it had that I'd use it on every team. Primeape has always been one of my favorite Pokémon since he helped me defeat Brock in my first playthrough of Pokémon Yellow Version as a kid.
Vital Spirit: The Pokémon cannot be Asleep while having this ability. It's solid ability. It's only good in certain situations though, so overall I don't really recommend taking it.
- Close Combat
This is the set most people run on Primeape, and for good reason. It's the best and one of the only viable scarfers in the entire metagame where it's actually played. Obviously Close Combat should always be your STAB move of choice so you're capable of revenge killing fast threats like +2 Omastar and Jynx. Earthquake enables you to destroy some Poison-Type Pokémon like Garbodor and Skuntank that would otherwise wall you into oblivion, as well as a few Fire-Type Pokémon like Combusken and Magmorta. Stone Edge lets Primeape revenge kill Flying-Type Pokémon like Scyther and Rotom-S..And last but not least, U-turn allows you to maintain the momentum for your team throughout the match and wear down your enemy's Pokémon in the process. It's also worth noting that it OHKO's Malamar and Shiftry after Stealth Rock as well.
- Choice Band: Choice Band can be taken over Choice Scarf if your team is in desperate need of more power. The set still looks exactly the same except the emphasis is on wall breaking instead of revenge killing otherwise faster enemies. It's actually one of the best wallbreakers in the few metagames Primeape sees action in as well, so if you're looking for something different to try out I highly encourage a Choice Band set.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Primeape was a troubling threat for unsuspecting teams in VGC 2015, but unfortunately that hasn’t transferred over to VGC 2016. While the Defiant set could scare away Landorus-T and other Pokemon with Intimidate, the presence of the restricted legendaries minimizes any effectiveness that Primeape had. Even though Intimidate is still common (and largely left uncountered due to the lack of viable Defiant and Competitive Pokemon in VGC 16), Primeape’s stats leave trainers wanting more. While its speed is usable, Primeape’s defenses are poor and its attack is barely passable without a Defiant boost. Despite a nice variety of support moves, Primeape is generally outclassed by other Pokemon who use these moves, and best left to battle in Battle Spot Doubles and other formats where the restricted legends are banned.
The Hat Thief
This set is designed to beat the two most popular Pokemon in Battle Spot Doubles in Mega Kangaskhan and Landorus-T. Max attack with an Adamant nature is necessary to try to fully maximize every bit of Primeape's base 105 attack. 228 Speed EVs with a Choice Scarf will outspeed Adamant Scarf Landorus-T by 1, but the same spread with a Jolly nature will outspeed any possible Landorus-T variant. Defiant will make your opponent pay for bringing Landorus, Salamence, Arcanine, or any other Pokemon with Intimidate, and is generally Primeape's best ability in doubles since Intimidate and Icy Wind are so common.
Close Combat is Primeape's best Fighting STAB move, and can usually OHKO Mega Kangaskhan even without a boost. It can also OHKO other common Pokemon like Heatran, and just puts out a lot of damage if you get a Defiant boost. Ice Punch destroys Mega Salamence and Landorus-T, especially if they tried to Intimidate you. Rock Slide helps you beat Mega Charizard Y, and at the very least it may help you get out of a sticky situation by getting you lucky flinches since you will outspeed so many Pokemon. Gunk Shot is mainly for Sylveon and Mega Gardevoir. Despite the shaky accuracy, it can often OHKO either, depending on their spreads. Poison Jab is an option with much better accuracy, though it will miss out on some OHKOs unless you have a Defiant attack boost.
-Vital Spirit is a great counter to Smeargle's Dark Void spam. Though it won't protect Primeape's teammate, you outspeed non-Scarf variants to try to Taunt it or deal with it otherwise. It will also protect you from Spore against Amoongus or Breloom, but it is generally inferior to Defiant.
There's quite a few ways to defeat Primeape. The most obvious being to use Ghost-Type Pokémon such as Mismagius and Rotom which are entirely immune to both Close Combat and Earthquake, and won't take a lot of damage from Uturn or even Stone Edge. There's also Bulkier Posison-Type like Vileplume and Weezing which are either neutral or immune to your Earthquake attacks entirely and have no problem taking you out since Primeape's bulk is practically nonexistent. Scyther and Rotom-S are also pretty popular in the few metagames where Primeape sees some action and will destroy if you're not using Choice Scarf and you don't catch them first switching in. Also beware of Psychics Mespirit and Claydol because if you run into any Pokémon like that your only option is to Uturn out and wear them down as much as you can. There are many more, but those are the most common ones I've come across.
- Close Combat
It's worth noting that Mankey is at least viable in the Little Cup, as it is the fastest fighting type in the tier, reaching 17 speed unboosted, and with a Choice Scarf, hitting 25. This allows his Scarf set to outspeed Tirtouga after a Shell Smash, among other things. However, it's also one of the frailest fighting types, and unlike fellow top tier titans Timburr and Mienfoo, it lacks Knock Off, which is huge for both coverage and pressuring switch-ins. As a result, Mankey tends to be more of a niche pick.
Close Combat is obviously Mankey's best STAB, which should go without saying. U-Turn allows Mankey to pivot out, which also helps to scout for switches. Earthquake may have some redundant coverage with Close Combat, but it's necessary to ensure that Croagunk and Trubbish don't wall Mankey. It also hits Chinchou reasonably hard as well. The final moveslot is filler, and dependent on what you wish to cover. Gunk Shot deals well with fairy types, most notably Snubbull and Spritzee. Ice Punch lets it deal with Foongus, who otherwise walls it and can beat it 1v1. Finally, Night Slash allows it to deal with Ghost types who're immune/resistant to Earthquake, most notably Gastly and to a lesser extent Pumpkaboo, since Pumpkaboo doesn't appreciate Ice Punch either.
Also worth noting is that it's got two reasonably good abilities; Defiant lets it punish Snubbull and Growlithe if they think that Intimidate will help neuter Mankey, while Vital Spirits lets it absorb Spore from Foongus (although without Ice Punch, you won't be doing too much to Foongus in return). Jolly Nature and 196 Speed EVs let Mankey reach 25 speed with its Choice Scarf attached (17 unboosted), which outspeeds the entire unboosted metagame and lets it outspeed Shell Smash Tirtouga as well. 196 Attack EVs will let it hit 17 attack to maximize its damage output. Finally, it is able to utilize the leftover EVs for a little extra bulk by putting 36 in HP and 76 in defense.
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