Hariyama, The Arm Thrust Pokémon. Hariyama practices its straight-arm slaps in any number of locations. One hit of this Pokémon's powerful, openhanded, straight-arm punches could snap a telephone pole in two. Hariyama's thick body may appear fat, but it is actually a hunk of solid muscle. If this Pokémon bears down and tightens all its muscles, its body becomes as hard as a rock. It stomps on the ground to build power. It can send a 10-ton truck flying with a straight-arm punch. It loves to match power with big-bodied Pokémon. It can knock a truck flying with its arm thrusts.
Hariyama is quite a memorable and unique Fighting-type, deviating somewhat from the expected role of an all-out offensive Pokémon. True to its sumo origins, Hariyama sports an incredible HP stat standing above the majority of Pokémon in the game. However, much like most other Fighting-type Pokémon, physical strength is Hariyama's forte so it faces heavy competition with the likes of Terrakion, Breloom and many more. That being said, Hariyama still manages to differentiate itself from the competition. Due to its massive HP stat and access to Thick Fat, Hariyama finds itself capable of tanking numerous hits despite its weaker defenses, so it functions well as a bulky offensive pivot. If that alone isn't good enough, Guts lets it take on a more offensive role and function as a status absorber to turn a crippling burn into a notable advantage. Hariyama also boasts the physical movepool to back up the tough demeanor, with options such as Close Combat, Knock Off and Fake Out to bring down its opponents. Unfortunately for Hariyama, a strong appearance and impressive movepool isn't always enough to compete with all the big threats out there. As expected from a sumo wrestler like Hariyama, it isn't the fastest or most agile Fighting-type out there, so it will often find itself striking after the opponent unless it's making use of Fake Out or Bullet Punch. On top of that, Hariyama's Guts set faces stiff competition from Conkeldurr, who boasts a higher Attack stat, less lopsided stat distribution and access to Mach Punch for a STAB priority move. The advantages it offers simply don't match up to the utility that Fighting-types like Keldeo, Breloom, Mega Medicham and many others provide, as being a slow attacker with low defenses really does detract from its incredible HP stat especially with no access to Drain Punch. While Hariyama isn't necessarily a weak choice for a Fighting-type, it lacks many of the same advantages that help other Fighting-types stand out so don't expect to run into it on a serious team in any Single Battle format. Hariyama has a much better time in Double Battles due to its numerous support options with Wide Guard and Fake Out for Trick Room teams, but if you're looking to use Hariyama outside of Doubles, Hariyama is unlikely to be the best fit for you. But if you're looking for someone to help train you for your upcoming career as a sumo wrestler, Hariyama is your best man.
Thick Fat: Fire and Ice-type moves deal 50% damage. Due to its impressive HP stat, Hariyama can make effective use of this ability, particularly when paired with an Assault Vest. This lets Hariyama function as an effective bulky pivot to Fire and especially Ice-type Pokémon. While this isn't the only ability Hariyama runs, this is definitely a useful ability.
Enduring the Burning Cold
- Close Combat
This set takes advantage of the best niche Hariyama has over other Fighting-types as a bulky switch-in for a multitude of threats. Close Combat is Hariyama's strongest STAB move, functioning as the most powerful source of damage. However, the defense drops are bad for a bulky-minded set so be mindful of switching out to avoid wasting Hariyama's bulk as well as taking huge damage in retaliation. Knock Off is a fantastic support option that lets Hariyama hit Psychic-types and especially Ghost-types, with the fantastic utility of removing an opponent's item for otherwise. This is often a safe move to use if you expect the opponent to switch out into something else, though be mindful of what may be coming in since sometimes switching back out in anticipation of this threat is sometimes a better idea. The final two move options can be any combination of Fake Out, Earthquake and Bullet Punch, as they all offer useful utility. Fake Out provides great priority that can land a relatively free hit to get some chip damage or stall out a turn of weather or screens. Earthquake lets Hariyama hit Poison types harder than any of its other moves can, and prevents it from being walled by the likes of Garbodor and Muk. Meanwhile, Bullet Punch provides an alternative priority move that trades the ability to flinch for the ability to be used beyond the first turn Hariyama is sent out. It also can pick off weakened Fairy-types with it but otherwise is better off switching out against them. Remember that Hariyama is primarily used for its ability to switch into multiple weaker hits, so don't be afraid to switch it out regularly even if you switched Hariyama in on the previous turn. The decision between Thick Fat and Guts also changes which Pokémon Hariyama should and shouldn't be switching into, as the former makes it a better check to Fire-types and Ice-types and pairs well with Assault Vest while Guts lets it switch into Ghost-types relatively safely and threaten them back with Knock Off.
Adamant nature is a simple choice, it won't be outspeeding many threats or attempting to sweep so the Speed with a Jolly nature isn't worth it. Maximum Attack investment capitalizes on Hariyama's impressive Attack stat further, with the rest in HP to buff up its overall bulk since the set wants to be able to take multiple hits. However, HP investment can be dropped in favor of full Special Defense investment to help it take special hits more effective since its HP stat is already so high. Hariyama can also forgo a bit of bulk to outspeed slow Pokémon in its range such as Golurk and Torterra, though maximum Speed investment is not recommended.
- Heavy Slam is an alternative to Bullet Punch if Hariyama wants to lure Fairy-types, but it often isn't worth giving up priority and fails to 2HKO physically defensive Mega Audino.
VGC, Double & Triple Battle Options
Hariyama isn't an uncommon sight on some Trick Room teams, it's naturally bulky and offensive with a side of support with Fake Out. It was a popular "Anti-Kangaskhan" method for those going with Trick Room in 2014's VGC.
- Fake Out
With Fake Out pressure, Trick Room getting up first turn is very likely. Knock Off is plain disruptive and can help break down defensive Pokemon easier, like a Sitrus Berry Rotom or Cresselia. Close Combat is it's strongest STAB attack, and the last attack depends on the held item. If Assault vest, then Rock Slide and Feint are neat options and make Hariyama look just like a bigger Mienshao, while Sitrus Berry holders will have access to some more support moves. Helping Hand has priority, so even if Trick Room isn't up, perhaps Hariyama's partner will be fast and strong enough to get the KO thanks to the Helping Hand, and Wide Guard is more just protection from Pixilated and Aerialated Hyper Voices that are bound to head Hariyama's way.
Hariyama partners well with Trick Room setters, so Aromatisse, Gothitelle or even some tricky Gardevoir make great partners for Hariyama. Especially considering the Pokemon listed are weak to either Dark or Steel, which Hariyama scares away with Close Combat easily.
Despite being very useful in Trick Room, priority Brave Bird cares less about who goes first, and more about who's weak to flying. Also, despite Wide Guard being a defensive tactic against some Hyper Voices, Sylveon still likes Trick Room, and will hurt Hariyama is it isn't careful.
Hariyama should avoid being on teams without Trick Room simply because it wants be able to get more attacks off than Fake Out before fainting. No point in being able to take 3 hits before fainting if you've only attacked on the first turn because of priority. Sheer defensive Pokemon like Cresselia and Suicune will trouble Hariyama from start to finish too.
Despite Hariyama's tough look, it's not quite nearly that difficult to take it down. Fairy-types in particular are difficult for Hariyama to deal with since Bullet Punch and Earthquake don't do enough damage to most Fairy-types. Mega Audino and Aromatisse in particular don't mind any of its common moves and can retaliate with Dazzling Gleam and Moonblast respectively, while the former doesn't even fear losing its item. Physically bulky Pokémon in general also give Hariyama some trouble, and numerous Poison-types are among those that can handle a Close Combat or two. Weezing and Vileplume both wall Hariyama though the former wants to avoid burning it unless you know it isn't running Guts. Garbodor also makes for a good switch-in though must be wary of the occasional Earthquake that can 2HKO it. Offensively, many more things threaten Hariyama. However, due the prevalence of Bullet Punch on its sets, weakened or frail Pokémon must be careful when coming in to beat Hariyama. Psychic-types are solid answers to Hariyama, though they don't appreciate switching into Knock Off and also struggle to take it out in one hit if they lack Psyshock due to Hariyama's tendency to run Assault Vest. Mesprit and Xatu in particular are strong options that often run Psyshock, with the latter taking even less from Close Combat due to its secondary Flying typing. By extension, Flying-types in general can threaten Hariyama, with Scyther, Fan Rotom, Archeops and Pelipper serving as reliable answers to KO with their respective Flying STAB moves. Fan Rotom and Pelipper in particular also resist Bullet Punch so they have little to fear from Hariyama besides Knock Off. Beyond specific type advantages, its tendency to not invest much in physical bulk also makes it susceptible to powerful physical hits, which makes revenge killing it with strong physical attackers a safer option. Similarly, Hariyama's low Speed really hurts, especially with Close Combat's defense drops on top of its own poor defenses. This makes revenge killing it much easier, so anything that can outspeed it and hit it with a strong hit can threaten Hariyama, especially after a Close Combat.
In less restrictive formats, the issues become more apparent as the overall power level increases, reducing the effectiveness of Hariyama's niche. More threatening Fairy-types like Mega Altaria, Clefable and Azumarill can freely use Hariyama as setup fodder, and Psychic-types like Mega Metagross and Mega Medicham can easily Mega Evolve in front of it and KO with Zen Headbutt. That same Mega Medicham also joins Breloom and especially Conkeldurr on the list of Fighting-types that generally are more threatening than Hariyama. Meanwhile, Flying-types like Mega Pinsir, Talonflame, Gyarados and Landorus Therian all give Hariyama a bad time and threaten to give them a setup opportunity. Mega Slowbro, Mega Venusaur, Skarmory and Mega Sableye also wall Hariyama completely so it has a very hard time standing up to most big threats.
Locations in Games
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