In the blue corner we have the leader of PUCL, his thumbs are strong from years of controlling his bike around the battle resort, its THATCH! And in the red corner, we have the fiery menace from Sinnoh, his fists hardened in the forges of the very earth under Stark Mountain, Infernape. I will spare you the gruesome details but needless to say…Thatch wins, something about the heart of a Feraligatr. Infernape will be joining us for a post bout interview to discuss what he could have done differently in this Pokemon of the Week!
Description: The Flame Pokemon
Hidden Ability: Iron Fist
Competitive: [Smogon UU] [Smogon OU]
Evolution: Chimchar -> Level 14 -> Monferno -> Level 36 -> Infernape
Origin: Infernape’s name is a combination of “inferno” and “ape”. Its origins are in Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, who’s reincarnation is found in many modern games. The character is from the Chinese novel, Journey to the West. Its fighting style is based on Muay Thai which is known as “The Art of Eight Limbs”, quite fitting as many of Infernape’s pokedex entries claim it fights with all of its limbs.
Original Appearance: Pokemon Diamond and Pearl
Dex Entry [Diamond]: It uses a special kind of martial arts involving all its limbs. Its fire never goes out.
Okay guys Thatch has probably stopped reading so I can be honest now, Infernape would whoop his butt in the hexagon. I am very excited for this week’s analysis because Infernape is not only a well designed Pokemon it is also powerful with multiple interesting sets. You will see from a few of the anime images here that it wields massive amounts of Fire power. Now I missed the Diamond and Pearl anime so I am not confident in the context of those images but I am confident they look awesome.
Infernape has access to two strong abilities in Blaze and Iron Fist, each lending itself to different sets. What caught me off guard initially was that Infernape has equally strong Special Attack and physical Attack giving you so much room to decide how to execute your offense and potentially catch people, like myself unaware of the Special Attack, off guard. A speed of 108 is just a tad slower than some threats you would like to out speed but still qualifies it as a fast Pokemon in my book. A base stat total of 534 gives it enough room to round it all out with some decent natural bulk while HP is on the low side.
They say Infernape fights with all its limbs but they never mention that it also fights with all the elements, its head, its voice, it even fights when it is asleep. Normally I list the key moves from the movepool but for Infernape it would take too long, so if you want a coverage move checkout the Serebii link and I bet you will find it there. It has access to important moves for a supportive Pokemon that I didn’t expect such as Stealth Rock, Taunt, Encore, and Roar. It also has priority in the form of Vacuum Wave, Mach Punch, and Fake Out.
The most popular set is a Special set running Life Orb to increase its damage output while maintaining coverage. Fire Blast, Grass Knot, and Vacuum Wave are the moves of choice combined with Nasty Plot to tear down the toughest of walls. This set is great because it threatens a lot of Pokemon with massive damage, but also deters switching out due to the presence of Nasty Plot. This set can transition to a mixed set fairly easily by removing the Nasty Plot and adding Close Combat, then replace the other moves as desired. This is the Jack of All Trades set, if you need to cover a bunch of offensive holes on your team throw the coinciding Attack on Infernape and you are ready to go. This Pokemon comes equipped with the power to use the earth itself with moves such as, Earthquake, Stone Edge, and Grass Knot, all moves that don’t make a lot of sense until you remember Infernape is the Monkey King.
We need to stop monkeying around for the next few sets. It is time we go full Physical offensive sweeper. Equip a Choice Band or Choice Scarf and your hard hitting moves will make it almost impossible for any opposing team to switch in on and if they can you can click U-Turn and get out right away with some chip damage and switch priority. Here you can see moves like Thunder Punch, Close Combat, Mach Punch, and Flare Blitz. If your moveset includes at least one move that is Iron Fist boosted then it becomes the preferred ability as you don’t have a lot of bulk to reliably hit Blaze. The alternative to a choice item is to run the same all out offense but run a Life Orb and Swords Dance for the same reasons you run Nasty Plot on the Special set.
Infernape already has some quirky sets I’m a big fan of so I will substitute those here where I normally come up with my own. The first is the Lead-ape. It runs Stealth Rock and a speedy Taunt ideal for the lead match-up. It functions as a suicide lead with a Focus Sash. Once it gets brought down to 1HP it uses Endeavour to bring its opponent down with it and then finishes them off with a Mach Punch. In the best case scenario you manage to hit the next Pokemon with Endeavour as well. In most cases you will set up rocks, prevent their rocks, and weaken one Pokemon which is a lot for a suicide lead. My true favourite set is the defensive set. You boost your defenses as much as you can while maintaining enough speed to stay in the speed tier of your choice. Then you run Will-O-Wisp, Slack Off for recovery, Taunt, and Low Kick. This set truly messes with opponents. You can tank a surprising amount and get off Will-o-Wisps on a lot of enemy Pokemon. Since you can’t be burned it is harder to wear you down barring a Toxic and Taunt allows you to prevent Pokemon from trying to set up on you. I’m sure there is room for improvement here since it is based on the ORAS metagame and I haven’t had time to make changes yet, so if you can think of ways to make it better for Sun and Moon let me know!
Infernape learns the move Fling, based on what I have seen of monkeys at the zoo I think you want to keep your distance once this Pokemon starts seeing red.
Until next time, SumtimesIFly