Best Fighting Type Pokemon in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Get ready to throw some hands with these Pokemon.

by J.R. Waugh
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Image: The Pokemon Company

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are home to some seriously powerful competitive Pokemon this Generation. Taking place in the Paldea Region, there are certainly familiar faces in the Pokdex roster, but some heavy-hitting new ones as well. This is especially true in the competitive scene, with one of the arena’s most emblematic Types, Fighting, on full display in Scarlet and Violet. Some of the best Fighting Type Pokemon are available in these games, with unique abilities, but some remaining classics carry over, so check out who cuts!

Who Are the Best Fighting Type Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet?

It’s pretty obvious but Fighting Type Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet usually capitalize on offensive strengths, often being physical attackers but with some Special Attack focus in there too. That doesn’t stop some from using their natural bulk to their advantage, but typically, Fighting Type Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet is there to pound their opponents into submission. They are listed below, in no particular order:

Annihilape

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Image: The Pokemon Company

A much-needed, epic final evolution to Primeape, Annihilape is a dangerous Pokemon as long as you protect from its glaring vulnerabilities of Fairy, Flying, Ghost, and Psychic. Annihilape has amazing physical and special bulk and surprisingly high Speed which seems surprising for such a tanky Pokemon. Access to the ‘Defiant’ Ability is also excellent too, punishing players who desperately try to debuff it. Annihilape’s base stats are the following:

  • HP: 110
  • Atk: 115
  • Def: 80
  • Sp. Atk: 50
  • Sp. Def: 90
  • Speed: 90

Boasting bulk similar to that of Swampert (who is absent this Generation) yet out-speeding the Water-Ground Type, Annihilape is dangerous. Access to the unique move Rage Fist, which was noted as carrying over its boost to its base 50 power every time Annihilape got hit even after switching out, makes this an existential threat. Using Bulk Up, Rest and Close Combat for coverage and a Chesto Berry for longevity will make this Pokemon an absolute beast.

Quaquaval

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Image: The Pokemon Company

Quaquaval is one of the Pokemon in this list featuring in another best-of list, being a Water-Fighting Type Pokemon. Quaquaval has access to some pretty great stats, including packing a heavy physical punch, and has a healthy spread of other stats and a reasonably strong move pool. Moxie, however, can send this Pokemon over the edge as a strong contender, punishing players exponentially if Quaquaval is allowed to sweep. Quaquaval’s base stats are the following:

  • HP: 85
  • Atk: 120
  • Def: 80
  • Sp. Atk: 85
  • Sp. Def: 75
  • Speed: 85

While Quaquaval might lack the Speed of other starters, it can catch up with the signature move Aqua Step, boasting a base 80 power and boosting its speed after usage. Choice Band is a handy held item to make up for the lacking Speed while letting you get Attack boosts via Moxie. This, Wave Crash, Brave Bird, Ice Spinner, Close Combat, Swords Dance, and Tera Blast along with an Electric Tera Type can help with this Pokemon’s shortcomings.

Breloom

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Image: The Pokemon Company

A powerful Pokemon hailing from previous Generations, Breloom is as good a Fighting Type as it is a Grass Type. But this is for good reason: Breloom has an interesting Type combo, Grass and Fighting, and while this leaves it drastically weak to Flying-Type Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet, it also has the ‘Poison Heal’ Ability. This allows the Pokemon to recover 1/8 of their max HP every turn, allowing you to wear down your opponent for the gut punch. Breloom’s base stats are below:

  • HP: 60
  • Atk: 130
  • Def: 80
  • Sp. Atk: 60
  • Sp. Def: 60
  • Speed: 70

Breloom’s not the fastest Pokemon by any stretch, being outstripped in this arena by another Poison Healer and classic competitive Pokemon, Gliscor. But the difference is, Breloom made it into this generation, away from many of its worst enemies, to thrive in Scarlet and Violet as a Fighting Type. Along with some investment in its physical bulk, some Substitute, Leech Seed, and Spore action, and a reasonable selection of STAB Fighting moves, Breloom finds new life in this game.

Iron Valiant

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Image: The Pokemon Company

Iron Valiant, Gallade’s Future Paradox form, took its ancestor’s usage of the rule of cool and cranked it to 11. Iron Valiant is a fierce competitor in Scarlet and Violet, with an awesome Fairy and Fighting Type combination. It also doesn’t hurt that the Pokemon has insane options for Special or physical Attacks and excellent Speed. Iron Valiant’s base stats are below:

  • HP: 74
  • Atk: 130
  • Def: 90
  • Sp. Atk: 120
  • Sp. Def: 60
  • Speed: 116

Iron Valiant is surprisingly versatile with viable options depending on what type of offensive output your team needs. There’s access to Close Combat or Focus Blast (if you like missing your target) and Spirit Break or Moonblast for Fairy and Fighting coverage. Fire Punch, Knock Off, and more will easily benefit from the ‘Quark Drive’ Ability boasted by Iron Valiant, boosting its strongest stat in Electric Terrain or Booster Energy. It’s a shame this Pokemon’s Shiny variant is so bland, although not among the worst in the game.

Great Tusk

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Image: The Pokemon Company

Great Tusk is a monster of a Fighting Type Pokemon, and in Scarlet and Violet, you’ll have encountered it initially during the Path of Legends storyline. It sacrifices Donphan’s negligible Special Attack/Special Defense for more Speed, more bulk, and more physical Attack. It doesn’t hurt that it’s got a fantastic typing combo with Ground in the mix, but still encounters a wide array of Special Attack threats. Great Tusk’s base stats are below:

  • HP: 115
  • Atk: 131
  • Def: 131
  • Sp. Atk: 53
  • Sp. Def: 53
  • Speed: 87

Much like other tanks in this list, Great Tusk has surprisingly decent Speed and an awesome move pool. Along with access to the vital Earthquake making it viable in Singles and Doubles with that STAB damage, Great Tusk can use Stone Edge for Flying and Ice coverage, Iron Head against Fairy Types, and Brick Break to punch through Screens or Close Combat for the damage. Protosynthesis will further boost this Pokemon making it a fun addition to Sun teams or with Booster Energy.

Iron Hands

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Not to be confused with the Space Marine faction, Iron Hands is a powerful Future Paradox version of Hariyama, with a cool Fighting Electric Type in Scarlet and Violet. Even cooler? Just check out its insane bulk and offensive capability and strong move pool. Iron Hands’ base stats are below:

  • HP: 154
  • Atk: 140
  • Def: 108
  • Sp. Atk: 50
  • Sp. Def: 68
  • Speed: 50

Iron Hands is not meant to be a fast Pokemon. Whether you use Trick Room or take advantage of Quark Drive to drive its already stats even higher, there’s potential for this Pokemon to be used. If you can survive on its bulk with some Leftovers and throw down a Belly Drum (if you need it) you can focus on rounding out this Pokemon’s defenses in terms of EV investments. Wild Charge, Thunder Punch, Fake Out, Earthquake, Drain Punch, and Rest make reasonable options too along with an Assault Vest to boost a lackluster Special Defense stat.

The majority of the most interesting Fighting Type Pokemon to grace Paldea in Scarlet and Violet are powerful physical attackers, with surprising additions and returns to keep things fresh. Some of these Pokemon have featured prominently among competitors’ lists already, and it’ll be interesting to see how it shapes and influences the competitive scene in Generation IX.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet released on November 18, 2022, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

- This article was updated on December 5th, 2022

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