Hawlucha

Hawlucha, The Wrestling Pokémon. Although its body is small, its proficient fighting skills enable it to keep up with big bruisers like Machamp and Hariyama. With its wings, it controls its position in the air. It likes to attack from above, a maneuver that is difficult to defend against.

Overview

Hawlucha stands out as one of the more unique Pokémon introduced this generation. A masked luchador is far from the first kind of Pokémon anyone could have expected from a region with French themed influences, but nonetheless Hawlucha manages to find reasonable popularity. The masked fighter is no pushover in battle either, having all the tools it needs to function as a late-game sweeper thanks to its incredible speed, access to Swords Dance and dangerous Fighting/Flying STAB combination. As with many Pokémon introduced in XY, it even boasts its own signature move in the form of Flying Press, unique in its function as both a Fighting-type move and Flying-type move simultaneously. However, Hawlucha does have several notable flaws that keep the masked bird from seeing more use in standard play. While it is incredibly fast, it's somewhat frail and disappointingly weak without a Swords Dance boost, so it has to rely on finding chanced to set up, which isn't easy given its bulk. Its typing also gives it few resistances to take advantage of for this purpose, so while it's threatening after it sets up, getting to that point is easier said than done. It also faces competition with more reliable sweepers such as Azumarill, Talonflame and Mega Charizard X who are all generally more threatening physical sweepers, which results in Hawlucha often being ignored since it's not diverse enough to effectively fill other roles. That being said, don't let these weaknesses discourage you from calling upon this masked luchador for battle. While it certainly isn't among the best sweepers out there, it's more than capable of pulling its own against the heavyweights of standard play.
Positives
+ Hawlucha has competent stats to function as a sweeper. While base 92 Attack is weak without boosts, base 118 is incredible for a sweeper.
+ Access to Swords Dance is what lets Hawlucha function as as sweeper in the first place, and powerful STAB moves in the form of High Jump Kick and Acrobatics complement this perfectly.
+ While it lacks many resistances, a Fighting and Dark resistance as well as Ground immunity are very useful for helping it find setup opportunities.
+ Unburden is a very useful ability that makes it very difficult to revenge kill Hawlucha without priority after using its item. Unburden is generally the selling point for using Hawlucha at all over another sweeper.

Negatives
- Hawlucha's bulk is rather unspectacular, sitting at 78/75/63. This not only makes it difficult for Hawlucha to set up without taking significant damage, but it also makes it more susceptible to being revenge killed by priority moves.
- As stated previously, base 92 is weak without boosts. If Hawlucha can't find an opportunity to use Swords Dance, its damage output will not be impressive.
- Hawlucha has some useful coverage options, but given its low Attack and reliance on Unburden, it rarely has room for anything besides its STAB moves.
- Lack of Flying Gem means that Hawlucha can't take advantage of a Flying Gem boosted Acrobatics for a quicker setup and early nuke.
- Despite the cool gimmick, Flying Press is generally not worth running due to its low power. Given Hawlucha needs all the power it can get, you're better off with Acrobatics and High Jump Kick.

Abilities

Limber: The Pokémon cannot be Paralysed while having this ability. In theory this isn't a bad ability for a late-game sweeper that relies on its speed. Avoiding random Thunder Wave users has its merit in throwing off attempts to end its sweep, but generally Hawlucha is better off with its next ability.
Unburden: Speed is doubled once the held item is consumed. This is the reason you're using Hawlucha. Hawlucha is already naturally very fast, but it can still be outsped by fast Choice Scarf users, so being able to double its speed after consuming its hold item eliminates the fear of being outsped by any Choice Scarf user. This ability is what makes Hawlucha so dangerous late-game.
Hidden Ability (Available):
Mold Breaker: The Pokémon's moves are not affected by foe’s abilities during battle. This ability isn't bad, but Hawlucha doesn't benefit much at all from this so it isn't worth giving up Unburden. Hawlucha should stick to sweeping late-game when all of its checks are gone anyway.

Movesets

El Fuerte

- High Jump Kick
- Acrobatics
- Swords Dance
- Substitute
Item Attached: Sitrus Berry
Ability: Unburden
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 12 HP / 244 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature

Hawlucha is very one-dimensional, if you run into it this is the set you should expect. The premise of the set it simple, find an opportunity to set up Swords Dance and get into Sitrus Berry range to double Hawlucha's already impressive Speed. Typically this will be done by using Substitute on a forced switch and setting up Swords Dance on the turn that the switch-in breaks the Substitute. After that Hawlucha will need to use Substitute again in order to bring it into Sitrus Berry range, which not only brings its HP back to 75% of its maximum but also activates Unburden. From there Hawlucha will attempt to sweep with its STAB moves. High Jump Kick is Hawlucha's best Fighting-type STAB move, and the higher power than Flying Press is very important on something with a lackluster Attack stat. Acrobatics is used as its Flying-type STAB for its reliable accuracy, and it gets perfect neutral coverage alongside High Jump Kick. Activating Sitrus Berry is important for this though, as otherwise Hawlucha will be stuck with a weak base 55 power move instead of a much more powerful base 110 power Acrobatics. While it might be tempting to run no item at all on Hawlucha to avoid this issue, this is not necessary due to the fact that Substitute and Sitrus Berry synergize very well with both Acrobatics and Unburden, so this should not be a major concern in the first place. Substitute also gives Hawlucha the setup opportunities it desperately needs while shielding it from status while it sets up.

The EV spread is optimized to give Hawlucha all the power and speed it needs, but it needs its HP to be divisible by four so that it can reach Sitrus Berry range and activate Unburden after two Substitutes. For level 100, 12 HP EVs will do this and give Hawlucha an HP value of 300, but for level 50 this doesn't give it an HP value divisible by four. If playing at level 50 Hawlucha either needs to run 20 HP EVs or drop all HP investment and go for an IV of 29 in its HP. Speed is maximized to make the most of its fantastic speed tier before Unburden activates, while the rest is put into Attack to maximize damage output. Jolly nature is also necessary so that it's not outsped by base 110 Pokémon.

Other Options

- Sky Attack with a Power Herb over Sitrus Berry is an option to simplify the setup process, but this requires giving up Substitute which makes it tougher for Hawlucha to set up.
- Substitute can be dropped for Stone Edge to surprise Talonflame and Mega Pinsir on the switch, since they otherwise easily revenge kill Hawlucha if Substitute isn't up. Once again though, Hawlucha really wants the ability to shield itself from status and easier setup opportunities.
- Focus Sash is possible to let Hawlucha set up in front of something that think it has an easy KO on Hawlucha and might seem really solid, but this is generally not worth it in a metagame filled with hazards and residual damage and it makes it much more susceptible to priority.
- Taunt can be used over Substitute for a more direct way to stop priority moves, but it's usually too difficult to justify over Substitute due to the better synergy it has with the standard set.

Countering Hawlucha

While Hawlucha can be difficult to stop once it gets the chance to set up, its reliance on STAB moves make it simple to predict and naturally leads to very reliable answers to the masked fighter. Its mediocre bulk also means that if it can't KO something and doesn't have the safety of a Substitute, Hawlucha is likely getting KOed. Flying-types are generally Hawlucha's biggest weakness, as they resist High Jump Kick and prevent Hawlucha from setting up and therefore reaching maximum power Acrobatics. Bulky Flying-types such as Skarmory and Zapdos are perfect for this as they don't mind High Jump Kick due to Hawlucha's weak Attack, and threaten it back with Brave Bird and Thunderbolt respectively. Offensively, Talonflame and Mega Pinsir put a quick stop to Hawlucha's attempts at sweep with priority Brave Bird and Quick Attack respectively, though they'll need to be careful coming in right away if already set up and happens to be behind a Substitute. A surprise Stone Edge can also take them out if they switch in carelessly though this isn't usually a concern. Even though many of them don't like switching into High Jump Kick, most Electric-types can scare Hawlucha out before it sets up. Mega Manectric in specific has Intimidate to reduce its Attack before it uses Substitute, provided it has Mega Evolved previously. Thundurus, Choice Scarf Magnezone, Raikou and Rotom-W all threaten it as well before it sets up, though Magnezone and Raikou don't like switching into a High Jump Kick. Fairy-types also threaten Hawlucha, with Unaware Clefable being a very hard counter even after it sets up. Sylveon, Mega Gardevoir and Mega Altaria can also Hyper Voice Hawlucha through its Substitute before it can set up, though they don't want to be caught in front of a boosted Hawlucha's Acrobatics. In a similar vein, Hawlucha struggles to break through very bulky threats like Slowbro and Doublade even after boosts, so it can't beat them unless its team can find a way to weaken these threats first. In the case of Doublade though, Hawlucha can't do anything. While Hawlucha doesn't fear Choice Scarf users after it sets up, bringing them in before Hawlucha can set up also scares the luchador out. Landorus-T, Black Kyurem, Hoopa Unbound and Latios all deal with Hawlucha before it sets up, though Kyurem and Hoopa don't want to stay in if Hawlucha gets a Substitute up before they come in.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Not in game

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Not in game

Colosseum/XD:
Not in game

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Not in game

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Not in game

Black/White:
Not in game

Black 2/White 2:
Not in game

X/Y:
Route 10, Friend Safari

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Trade from X/Y

Animé Appearences

Hawlucha has made a few appearances in the anime. Most notably, it is used by Ash during his campaign through the Kalos region

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
838 The Forest Champion The Forest Champion! Enter Hawlucha!! Pics
M17 Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie Pics
P16 Pikachu, What's This Key? Pikachu, What Kind of Keys Are These? Pics
839 Battles in the Sky A Sky Battle?! Hawlucha VS Talonflame!! Pics
840 The Cave of Mirrors! Reflection Cave! Ash and the Ash Through the Looking-Glass!? Pics
841 Forging Forest Friendships! The Trevenant from the Wriggling Forest! Pics
845 Battling Into the Hall of Fame! Team Battle! Competing for the Hall of Fame!! Pics
846 Origins of Mega Evolution! The Tower of Mastery! The History of Mega Evolution! Pics
847 Showdown at the Shalour Gym! Shalour Gym Match! Pikachu VS Mega Lucario!! Pics
848 Splitting Heirs! Clemont VS Bonnie!? A Sibling Battle With Meowstic!! Pics
852 Bonnie for the Defense! Mobilise, Lapras Defense Corps! Bonnie Does Her Best!! Pics
853 Pathways to Peformance Partnering! Dance, Pancham; Charm the Crowd, Fennekin! Waltz Towards Tomorrow!! Pics
854 When Dark and Light Collide! Hawlucha & Dark Hawlucha!! Pics
856 A Race for Home! Serena Gets Serious! The Wild Skiddo Race!! Pics
859 One for the Goomy! Dedenne Does Its Best! All for Goomy!! Pics
861 Green, Green Grass Types of Home! Coumarine Gym Match! Frogadier VS Gogoat!! Pics
862 Under the Pledging Tree! Ash and Serena's First Date! The Vow Tree and the Present!! Pics
865 The Future Is Now, Thanks to Determination! Protect the Future of Science! The Labyrinth of Electricity!! Pics
867 Battling With Elegance And a Big Smile Fennekin VS Delphox! A Gorgeous Performer Battle!! Pics
870 Moment of Lumiose Truth! Lumiose Gym Match! Ash VS Clemont!! Pics
872 Defending the Homeland! A Fight in the Wetlands! Goodra VS Florges!! Pics
S40 Hoopa’s Surprise Ring Adventures Hoopa's Appear Operation Pics
874 So You're Having a Bad Day! The Worst Possible Luck? Bonnie VS Meowth!! Pics
876 A Fashionable Battle! We Will Have a Battle at the Fashion Show! Bagon VS Spritzee!! Pics
877 Fairy-Type Trickery! Laverre Gym Match! The Beautiful Fairy Trap!! Pics
878 Rivals: Today and Tomorrow! A Best-of-Three Rival Battle! Aim Towards Tomorrow!! Pics
879 A Not-So-Flying-Start! The Wind, the Egg and the Noibat! Pics
880 A Relay in the Sky! The Pokémon Sky Rally Challenge! Fly, Noibat!! Pics
881 Lights! Camera! Pika! Pikachu Becomes a Star!? Its Movie Debut!!
"How to Pikachu the Movie! Ready! Action!!"
The Thunderclap Hero! Super Pikachu!!
Pikachu's Thrilling Blooper Award
Pics
882 A Frenzied Factory Fiasco! A Fierce Fight at the Poké Ball Factory! Pikachu VS Meowth!! Pics
M18 Hoopa & The Clash of Ages The Archdjinni of the Rings: Hoopa Pics
887 Adventures in Running Errands! Chespin! Its First Errand!! Pics
892 The Frocking Find in the Flowers Eevee is Shy with Strangers! The Catcher in the Flowers!! Pics
897 From A to Z! The Explosive Birth of Z! That Which Lies Hidden in Kalos!! Pics
907 A Windswept Encounter Noibat and Floette! An Encounter in the Wind!! Pics
909 A Meeting of Two Journeys The Strongest Mega Battle! Greninja VS Mega Charizard!! Pics
910 An Explosive Operation The Explosive Land's Wrath! Operation: Capture Zygarde!! Pics
912 Master Class Choices! The Master Class Trial! What Will You Do, Serena!? Pics
913 An Electrifying Rage! Zapdos and Noivern! A Furious Strike of Lightning!! Pics
919 The Synchronicity Test! Ash and Alain! Greninja VS Mega Charizard Once Again!! Pics
922 A Full-Strength Battle Surprise! Rival Showdown! Ash VS Sawyer!! Pics
923 All Hail the Ice Battlefield! Snowbelle Gym Match! A Battlefield of Ice!! Pics
924 Seeing the Forest for the Trees! The Winding Woods...The Dawn of Evolution! Pics
925 A Real Icebreaker! Ash-Greninja VS Mega Abomasnow! The Giant Water Shuriken Triggers!! Pics
926 A Diamond in the Rough! Find Carbink! Goodra and Dedenne!! Pics
929 Valuable Experience for All! Mega Sceptile VS Raichu! I Received Some EXP!! Pics
M19 Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel Volcanion & The Ingenious Magearna Pics
930 Analysis Versus Passion! Semifinal Full Battle! Ash VS Sawyer!! Pics
931 A Riveting Rivalry! Fierce Rival Battle! Ash-Greninja VS Mega Sceptile Pics
932 Kalos League Passion With a Certain Flare! Fierce Fighting at the Kalos League! Gather, All of My Passion!! Pics
933 Finals Not for the Faint-Hearted! The Finals! Ash VS Alain!! Pics
934 Down to the Fiery Finish Kalos League Victory! Ash's Ultimate Match!! Pics
935 A Towering Takeover! Team Flare Attacks! The Zygarde at the Prism Tower!! Pics
936 Coming Apart at the Dreams! The Shocking Zygarde VS Zygarde! The Breaking World!! Pics
937 The Right Hero for the Right Job! Attack on Lumiose Gym! The Clembot Forever!! Pics
940 Battling With a Clean Slate! We Start at Zero! Clemont's Decision!! Pics
941 The First Day of the Rest of Your Life! One Last Battle with Ash! Serena's Choice!! Pics
942 Facing the Needs of the Many Farewell, Ash-Greninja! Xerosic Strikes Back!! Pics
943 Till We Compete Again A Zero With No End! Till the Day We Meet Again!! Pics

 
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