Typing Review: An Overview of Fighting Types for Raids in Pokemon Go

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Fighting is one of the apex types of Pokemon Go, sporting tremendously powerful Pokemon that can destroy just about anything that they're needed for, and their skills are called on pretty frequently at that due to just how great their coverage is. Scoring Super Effective damage on Rock, Steel, Dark, Ice, and Normal Type Pokemon while being the only type to score Super Effective damage on the latter, Fighting is tied only with Ground for most types that it deals Super Effective against. Without a doubt, nothing in the game punches harder than our roster of Fighting Types!

The State of the Type

The current top Fighting Type attackers in the game are already outlined in our Best Attackers by Type list, linked above, so we recommend that you take a look at that to get a better list-breakdown, but these are the current candidates that we'll be working with in this article:

Yup, that's a pretty good lineup!

Right now, the overall top attacker in Pokemon Go among Fighting Types is Terrakion, a Pokemon that went from obscure to great literally overnight with the introduction of Double Kick. Moving down, pokemon like Shadow Machamp, Keldeo, Shadow Hariyama, Conkeldurr, and Lucario all sit close enough to the top to still be very viable. Heck, even a lot of the Pokemon not on this list still frequently are classed as Duo or at least Trio-viable against most relevant Tier-5 raids. Overall, Fighting has one of the strongest and most diverse top lineups among the types.

For Mega Evolutions, our current crown-holder is Mega Blaziken, which is a strong Pokemon to say the least, but it's a bit held back by its poor Fighting Type moveset. This trend continues into the runner-up, Mega Lopunny, which is a bit underwhelming overall. And no, we're not going to talk about Mega Alakazam. We'll have enough to talk about in the Psychic article. For these reasons, the Fighting Type Mega meta isn't super-great, but it's still really solid and destined to get even better, as we'll cover soon.

Fighting Type Moves

As of the publishing of this article, we currently have access to 19 different Fighting Type attacks, divided into 6 Fast Moves and 13 Charged Moves.

Fast Moves Charged Moves
Counter Aura Sphere
Double Kick Brick Break
Karate Chop Close Combat
Low Kick Cross Chop
Rock Smash Drain Punch
Hidden Power (Fighting) Dynamic Punch
Flying Press
Focus Blast
Low Sweep
Power-Up Punch
Sacred Sword

The Good Moves

For Fast Moves, we have three big-names that are genuine stand-outs to look at. First up is the ever-classic Counterwhich has wide coverage and great overall performance for a Fast Move. Because of this fact, Counter the gold-standard against which we generally compare other Fighting Type fast moves, yet it's not the strongest Fast Move in the type. That crown actually belongs to Double-Kickwhich trades off a little base power for improved energy generation, meaning it will generally be the stronger move on most Pokemon, though we don't currently have any relevant Pokemon that pack both of these moves, so they don't really compete with one another directly in practice. Finally, Karate Chop is a move that has performance very close to Counter, though its limited distribution means that it will almost never be seen. 

For Charged Moves, we have to start with Flying PressVery powerful and flexible, this is the move that every Fighting Type in the game dreams about getting. But it's a move that's extremely limited in terms of distribution, to the point where Hawlucha is the single strongest user of the move that we can ever expect to see.  Moving on, Aura Sphere is a step down but still stellar! Most well known for the fact that it rocketed Lucario to the top of the Fighting Type meta on release, this is another move that any Fighting Type would love to have access to, though most don't. Next up is Sacred SwordThis powerful Fighting Type move is also objectively great and easy to use, making it another top pick for the type. Moving on, we come to the moves that tend to have better distribution among Fighting Types, and we start with Dynamic Punch. While weaker than the three big names above, Dynamic Punch is the "gold standard" for Fighting Type Charged moves much like Counter is for Fast moves, serving as the base-line for the type that other moves are measured against. Finally, barely breaking into this part of the list we have Focus Blastwhich is.... useable. It's not great, especially given how unreliable it is (which is appropriate given its main series counterpart), but it's not enough to make a Pokemon inherently bad, so it gets a pass. And on that note, so does SuperpowerWhile a bit weaker than Focus Blast on the charts, its greater ease of use makes it a bit of a side-grade in practice, to the point where it could very well be superior situationally.

The Bad Moves

The less-than-ideal Fast moves start with Low Kickwhich is a pretty mediocre move. It's honestly best to describe Low Kick as "usable at best" as it doesn't necessarily banish a Pokemon off of the Raid Tier Lists if this is their best Fighting Type move option, but it's definitely enough of a step down from the "good" moves that it's a hinderance on any Pokemon using it. Next up is Hidden Power Fightingwhich is a disappointing move that we have to hope to get in the first place, so it barely counts as a move at all. To finish the Fast Moves, we have Rock SmashThis is not a good move, and is a huge disappointment on any Move List, so hopefully we don't see it very often in the future. 

The Charged move list starts with Close Combatwhich is not a good move. It's enough of a hinderance that it can be the factor to hold back a Pokemon, and we're not even near the bottom yet. Cross Chop, Power-Up Punch, Submission, Brick Break, Drain Punchand especially Low Kick are all moves that pretty much doom whatever Pokemon that gets them to non-relevance in raids.

The Future of Fighting Types

Currently Unreleased Fighting-Type Pokemon

Yes, Keldo is on the list above. Yes, Keldeo has been released. This is referring to its Resolute forme which we don't have a unique page for due to being identical to its base forme given our current knowledge. More on that below.

Currently Unreleased Fighting-Type Moves

  • Arm Thrust**
    • Hariyama
  • Axe Kick
  • Body Press
  • Bulk Up
  • Circle Throw
  • Coaching
  • Collision Course*
    • Koraidon
  • Detect
  • Final Gambit
  • Focus Punch
  • Force Palm
  • Hammer Arm
  • High Jump Kick**
    • Hitmonlee
  • Judgment*
    • Arceus
  • Jump Kick**
    • Hitmonlee
  • Mach Punch**
    • Hitmonchan
  • Mat Block**
    • Greninja
  • Meteor Assault*
    • Sirfetch'd
  • Multi-Attack*
    • Silvally
  • No Retreat*
    • Falinks
  • Octolock*
    • Grapploct
  • Quick Guard
  • Revenge
  • Reversal
  • Rolling Kick**
    • Hitmonlee
  • Secret Sword*
    • Keldeo
  • Seismic Toss
  • Sky Uppercut
  • Storm Throw
  • Thunderous Kick*
    • Galarian Zapdos
  • Triple Arrows*
    • Hisuian Decidueye 
  • Triple Kick*
    • Hitmontop
  • Upper Hand
  • Victory Dance*
    • Hisuian Lillligant
  • Vital Throw *
    • Machamp
  • Wake-Up Slap

*: Signature Move
**: Formerly a Signature Move

The Non-Threats

Aside from the Pokemon that aren't fully evolved, we can pretty safely rule out Pawmot, Flamigo, Grapploct, Silvally, Passimian, Quaquaval, and the three versions of Paldean Tauros

Candidates that will only make the cut if we get some new, really good moves that they can utilize are Iron Hands, Hisuian Lilligant, Hisuian Decidueye, Meloetta - Pirouette Forme, Great Tusk, Annihilape, Slither Wing, and Zamazenta - Crowned Shield.

For Signature Moves that probably won't pan out in the future (if we get them at all), we have Mach Punch, Mat Block, No Retreat, Octolock, and Victory Dance. This is because of low stats, odd moves, or other issues with the Pokemon that can utilize them.

The Existing Threats

Pokemon in this section have already been released into Pokemon Go, but their future is still bright. Due to moveset updates or other bonuses, they have the potential to rise on the list to varying degrees.

Note that we may treat select unreleased Mega Evolutions and alternate formes as Existing Threats, where applicable, due to their base-formes already existing in-game.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Counter + Aura Sphere
  • Current Moveset: Counter Counter + Aura Sphere

Move over Mega Blaziken, Mega Lucario is set to absolutely rule this meta when it drops. With a huge 310 Attack stat that's compounded by an outstanding Fighting Type moveset, it's very unlikely that Mega Lucario will ever leave the throne once it takes its rightful place.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Double Kick + Aura Sphere
  • Current Moveset: Counter Counter + Focus Blast

Our current best Fighting Type Mega Evolution is definitely held back by its moveset. However, this is also a Pokemon with the potential to gain access to the best Fighitng Type moveset in the game (Flying Press doesn't count), so it could definitely top the charts with a moveset update! Is this likely? Nah, but it is possible.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Double Kick + Aura Sphere
  • Current Moveset:  Low Kick + Sacred Sword

Looking at Keldeo, the main issue that it has now is its bad Fast Move option holding it back despite its high potential. Well, that's easily rectified, as in the main series this is a monster that can learn Double Kick and Aura Sphere, which would put it above Terrakion in terms of raid performance.

And that's not all! The Keldeo that we have now is missing something. In the main series, Keldeo changes into its "Resolute Forme" once it learns its signature move, Secret Sword. Given this move, it's very possible that Keldeo may someday rival or surpass its quartet brother, so the future is bright for this little Sword of Justice.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Counter + Aura Sphere
  • Current Moveset: Counter Psycho Cut + Focus Blast

Mega Mewtwo X has a huge Attack stat, but a bad Fighting Type moveset. It's still set to be very strong, and may give additional bonuses similar to Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre, but right now it will tend to fall a bit behind.

However, this is... really unlikely. Niantic seems far more interested in giving Mewtwo Psychic support over Fighting, so Mega Mewtwo X will likely always be a sub-par pick despite having the potential to be pretty dominant.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Counter + Close Combat
  • Current Moveset: Counter  Counter + Close Combat

This elusive Legendary Bird of Galar isn't really anything special... but it does have one trick up its non-existent sleeve; a Signature Move by the name of Thunderous Kick. And while it's pretty likely that it will get this move someday, even making it on a par with Aura Sphere only puts Galarian Zapdos about on Shadow Machamp's level. So it's got the potential to be great if everything goes perfectly, but it's pretty unlikely to cause waves at the very top.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Counter + Dynamic Punch
  • Current Moveset: Counter  Counter + Dynamic Punch

Back in Generation 2, Vital Throw was the signature move of the Machop line, so it's possible that we could see the champ rise to new heights again, but not super likely.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Counter + Dynamic Punch
  • Current Moveset: Counter + Dynamic Punch

Hariyama has long been in the shadow of Machamp, always seen as the "bulky yet inferior" pick despite having the exact same moveset. Well, Hariyama had its own Signature Move in the main series, one that's still closely related to it to this day: Arm Thrust. If even a bit more powerful than Dynamic Punch, this move could rocket Hariyama ahead of Machamp, and more importantly, Shadow Hariyama ahead of Shadow Machamp.

Hariyama also had a signature move by the name of Smelling Salts, but it's a Normal type move so we don't really talk about it here.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Counter + Close Combat
  • Current Best Moveset: Counter + Close Combat

Sirfetch'd has its best possible moveset right now, so why the heck is it here? Because it was blessed with a Signature Move with an amazing name; Meteor Assault. Given its solid Attack stat and a strong Meteor Assault in the future, Sirfetch'd does have some potential as a solid Fighting Type, especially if also given the Shadow treatment someday.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Low Kick + Aura Sphere/Sacred Sword
  • Current Best Moveset: Low Kick + Close Combat 

Mega Gallade is one of the "meh" Fighting Type Mega Evolutions, but it doesn't have to be. This is a Pokemon with access to both Aura Sphere and Sacred Sword, which when combined with its high base attack means that it can overcome the handicap of Low Kick and has the potential to become one of the best Fighting Type Mega Evolutions in the game, even rivaling Mega Lucario if it gets Aura Sphere in particular.

However, this is a Pokemon that's been around since generation 4, so the odds of it getting one of these two great moves is pretty slim. Still, it's very possible for Mega Gallade to do much, much better in the future.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Double Kick + Aura Sphere
  • Current Best Moveset: Double Kick + Focus Blast

Yup, another Mega Evolution with untapped potential. Like Mega Gallade, Mega Lopunny can potentially gain access to Aura Sphere, which when combined with Double Kick could allow it to become really good, but this is not very likely at this point in the game. Still, Mega Lopunny did get access to Double Kick, so maybe it does have an even brighter future!

  • Best Possible Moveset: Double Kick + Focus Blast
  • Current Moveset: Counter  Low Kick + Focus Blast

Pheromosa has a great Attack stat, but is held back by Low Kick and Focus Blast. The latter is passable to a degree, but the former is bad. Well, Pheromosa learns Double Kick in the main series, and if given this move it has the very real potential to sit around Lucario for DPS.... if it can get enough energy to launch a Focus Blast before it faints.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Counter + Focus Blast
  • Current Best Moveset: Counter + Close Combat

Oh look, another Fighting Type Mega Evolution that needs a moveset update! Mega Heracross doesn't have a Charged Move that breaks into the top echelon, but its huge Attack stat and great Fast Move means that it has the potential to still be really good if it could only gain access to its best possible Charged Move, Focus Blast.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Low Kick + Aura Sphere
  • Current Best Moveset: Low Kick + Brick Break

Mienshao has a good Attack stat, but is held back by a bad moveset. However, it's yet another Pokemon that has access to Aura Sphere in the main series, so it could be really strong someday. Combine that with the Shadow treatment and it could be really, really good. Not super likely, but possible.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Double Kick + Aura Sphere
  • Current Moveset: Double Kick + Close Combat

Okay, ignore the fact that Hitmonlee can learn Aura Sphere in the main series for a second. Do you see how many "Kick" based moves are listed in the unused moves section, and how many of them were once signature moves of Hitmonlee? This thing could have a signature Fast/Charged Move combo easily and become the new fighting king with that much raw potential!

But let's be honest; it hasn't happened in all of this time, and Hitmonlee isn't exactly at the top of most popularity contest polls, so it probably won't happen. Still, it's possible!

The Future Threats

These are the Pokemon that we don't currently have in-game, but have the potential to join our Top Attackers by Type list if Niantic does them justice. Note that this list won't necessarily order Pokemon according to their potential, as we will take likelihood of a good implementation into consideration as well.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Low Kick + Aura Sphere

One of the fan-favorite Paradox Pokemon, Iron Valiant only has Low Kick for a fast move, but it can definitely get away with that if it's given Aura Sphere as its high base attack means that it could still put out great numbers. On top of that, its Fairy/Fighting typing would make it an outstanding attacker into Dark Types in particular, as it could mix its moveset for optimal results and wield its double-resistance for added bulk.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Counter + Aura Sphere
  • Current Best Moveset: Counter + Dynamic Punch

As Fighting Type attackers, the two versions of Urshifu are identical minus a different sub-typing, so we'll look at both of them here.

Urshifu is set to be pretty underwhelming in the meta right now. Despite having access to the gold-standard Fighting Type moveset, its relatively low Attack stat will relegate it to sit about where Mega Gallade and Mega Lopunny are now, but without the Mega boost to give them added value. This is usable, but not good by any stretch of the imagination. The real potential in the Urshi-duo is if they ever manage to get their hands on Aura Sphere, which will put them right around Terrakion.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Counter + Aura Sphere

Another Pokemon with semi-low stats that could be saved by a strong moveset, Marshadow's status as a Mythical Pokemon means that it's semi-likely to get access to Aura Sphere. And if it does, it's got solid odds of being a Pokemon capable of dethroning Terrakion. However, it's also more well-known for its Ghost Type power due to its signature move, so this also may not pan out.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Counter + Focus Blast

This... is an up-hill battle for Koraidon. Its best possible moveset is decent at best, and its base stats are semi-high, but not great. So how does it break into greatness? Only by virtue of its Signature Move named Collision Course. We have a severe lack of Fighting Type box-Legends, so Koridon very much has the potential to become one of the type's dominant forces in the future.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Counter + Focus Blast

It doesn't have a great Attack stat, and it lacks a truly great Fighting Type moveset.... but it could get some fringe use? Maybe? Probably not.

The Looming Shadows

Right now, the single biggest Shadow threat has to be Shadow Terrakion, as we have precedent for Legendary Pokemon of its caliber taking on Shadow Formes. This thing would likely take the game by storm, and is fairly likely, though also likely pretty far off. Another Shadow that could be important would be if Shadow Conkeldurr showed up to finally try for the belt that it was robbed of so long ago, though Shadow Lucario would rob it of all hope in an instant.

If they were given moveset updates like outlined above, other potentially good Shadows could include Shadow Mienshao, Shadow Sirfetch'd, and Shadow Pheromosa if we ever get precedent for Shadow Ultra Beasts.

The Gigantamax Factor

While not extremely likely, it's possible that Niantic could release the Dynamax/Gigantamax system first introduced in Generation 8/Galar into Pokemon Go. For those unaware, this system turns Pokemon giant, gives them new/overpowering moves, and grants a tremendous HP boost while active. And while the release of this feature isn't super likely, we thought it best to at least list the possible candidates with unique formes just to cover all bases, so these are all of the Fighting Type Pokemon with a Gigantamax forme:

Verdict for the Future

As we've already stated, Fighting is one of the strongest types in the entire game, and the future is definitely bright. This type stands to hold its ground and gain even more power in the future, and Niantic has a ton of moves to play with if they want to, though this is a type that doesn't really need the help. There's a reason that Fighting is generally one of the types that we recommend making a team for when starting out raiding, and that's not going to change in the foreseeable future.

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About the Author(s)

Gamepress Pokemon Go site lead with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization and a background in business management and freelance writing.  A bit of a hermit, but also an outdoors enthusiast who loves cycling and hiking. Long-time Gamepress fan who is very proud to be a part of the team.