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Raises Attack 1.5x when inflicted with a major status condition.
Increases power of moves with secondary effects by 30%, but removes the effects.
Raises the power of punching moves by 20%.
Conkeldurr shows what it takes to be an offensive powerhouse when Speed isn't your strongest suit. Its 140 base Attack means that every hit from Conkeldurr is going to hurt, and with Guts as an ability, burning Conkeldurr will only lead to more destruction. Those stone slabs Conkeldurr holds aren't for show either, as Conkeldurr is just as durable as they are, if not more. While base 65 Special Defense may not seem like much, it's backed by 105 base HP and 95 base Defense. Conkeldurr lacks Close Combat, but holds two attacks that many bulky Fighting-types would beg to have, namely Mach Punch and Drain Punch. Conkeldurr is one of the main reasons you should have a Fighting-type resistance on your team.
Conkeldurr @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 Atk / 120 Hp / 136 SpD
Adamant / Brave Nature
- Bulk Up
- Drain Punch
- Mach Punch
- Payback / Stone
624 Attack and 339 Defense after a Bulk Up is nothing to screw around with, and Conkeldurr shows why. Drain Punch allows Conkeldurr to tank through the opposition by hitting the opponent hard while recovering lost health. Mach Punch gives Conkeldurr utility in revenge killing threats such as Lucario and Excadrill, bypassing its Speed issue. The combination of these two attacks and Bulk Up makes Conkeldurr a formidable threat once the opposition no longer holds a good Fighting-type resistance. Guts is icing on the cake since status effects such as burn and paralysis only make Conkeldurr stronger. Just to show how much of a monster Conkeldurr becomes with Guts activated, its +1 Drain Punch OHKOes max HP / min Def Scizor and is inches away from 2HKOing max HP / max Def Hippowdon. The final move is your choice: you can either shut down Ghost-types with a slow Payback, or prevent Flying-types from wrecking your sweep with an explosive Stone Edge. Payback is usually the preferred move though, as it will allow Conkeldurr to set up on Ghost-types such as Dusknoir. Also, since these Ghost-types often carry Will-O-Wisp, Conkeldurr can frequently receive an Attack boost from Guts.
There are a lot of ways to EV Conkeldurr. When using Payback, a Brave nature with a 0 Speed IV is recommended as this will allow Conkeldurr to use Payback at maximum power against most of its opponents, although this will also mean that Wobbuffet can outspeed and Encore Conkeldurr. An Adamant nature can be used with Stone Edge since the Speed drop is unnecessary. The current EV spread mimics Machamp's durability to an extent, trading slightly inferior Special Defense for superior Defense. If you want more specific EVs, a spread of 68 HP / 224 Atk / 216 SpD Adamant allows Conkeldurr to take a Timid Chandelure's Overheat. While less effective, 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 SpD Adamant can also work as it retains Conkeldurr's maximum power while buffing Conkeldurr's weaker defensive side. With this spread, Crocune will fail to 4HKO Conkeldurr so long as sandstorm isn't in play. This allows Conkeldurr to comfortably obtain two Bulk Ups and follow up with Drain Punch to recover the health lost from Scald. If Crocune decides to Calm Mind, it would need to Calm Mind six times to KO Conkeldurr. A Careful nature with that same spread will allow even easier set-up, but will also result in a critical loss in power. Max HP is never a bad option as it keeps Conkeldurr sturdy on the specially defensive side while further improving its physical bulk. After a Bulk Up, Skarmory's Brave Bird will fail to 2HKO Conkeldurr. This allows Conkeldurr to Bulk Up while Skarmory switches in, Bulk Up twice more, survive the second Brave Bird assault, and follow up with Drain Punch, which will 2HKO Skarmory. Therefore Skarmory cannot effectively counter Conkeldurr, since it might take heavy damage using Whirlwind to force Conkeldurr out to little advantage, and cannot use Roost since this increases the power of Drain Punch significantly. One can choose to be more defensive, though keep in mind that Conkeldurr will then not be much of a threat until it uses Bulk Up a few times. 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD Careful spread allows Conkeldurr to set up on Pokemon such as Vaporeon easily. Scald won't even 4HKO Conkeldurr, while +1 Drain Punch can fully recover Conkeldurr's lost health.
Conkeldurr's main issues are Pokemon that resist or are immune to Fighting-type attacks. While Payback or Stone Edge can alleviate the problem, neither is a complete solution. If Conkeldurr is using Payback, make sure to pack Pokemon that can take down Flying-types. If Conkeldurr is running Stone Edge, its teammates need to be able to handle Ghost-types. Stealth Rock is highly recommended to deter Flying-types such as Thundurus and Zapdos from wrecking Conkeldurr. Spikes or Toxic Spikes are never a bad idea, as both prevent Conkeldurr from being stalled out by Hippowdon. Scarf Tyranitar is a great Pokemon to pair alongside Conkeldurr, as even though the sandstorm nullifies Leftovers recovery, Tyranitar eliminates many of Conkeldurr’s checks. Conkeldurr can take some special attacks, but it doesn't like facing a special sweeper while trying to set up. Chansey or Blissey can help absorb powerful special attacks but must beware of Psyshock. Conkeldurr’s team should have some way of weakening the opponent’s physical walls. Infernape is never a bad Pokemon to use for this purpose. Gengar can help a lot since it hits many Psychic-types hard with STAB Shadow Ball; in return, Conkeldurr keeps Tyranitar away from Gengar.
Substitute + Focus Punch
Conkeldurr @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Hp / 4 SpD
Adamant / Brave Nature
- Focus Punch
- Mach Punch
- Payback / Stone Edge
Conkeldurr boasts the most powerful Focus Punch in the game. Conkeldurr's good defenses and low Speed allow it to set up Substitute safely. After Substitute is set up, the opponent is not going to enjoy what could possibly come next. STAB Focus Punch has so much power it 2HKOes Skarmory after Stealth Rock, even with Leftovers taken into account. Mach Punch is a great move to complement Focus Punch as it can KO severely wounded Pokemon while ignoring Conkeldurr's poor Speed. Payback or Stone Edge finishes the set off to complement Conkeldurr’s Fighting-type STAB. Payback makes sure that no Ghost-types will be willing to switch into Conkeldurr, as even an unboosted Payback can 2HKO Dusknoir, while Dusknoir won’t even be able to break Conkeldurr’s Substitute with Shadow Punch. Sadly, 0 SpA Jellicent does 26% minimum with Scald on max HP Conkeldurr. You can opt to use 120 HP / 252 Atk / 136 SpD with an Adamant Nature though, since Conkeldurr’s Substitute will not be broken most of the time (22% - 26.2%). Stone Edge helps keep switch-ins such as Zapdos and Salamence out of the picture.
Offensively, Conkeldurr has many more options he can utilize. Drain Punch is one of them, and it can go in the third slot so Conkeldurr can play more of a tanking role as well as recovering off any HP lost from using Substitute. However, Mach Punch is the better choice, as it can pick off Pokemon that have been severely dented by Focus Punch, and STAB priority coming off a base 140 Attack stat is too good to pass up. Conkeldurr has access to Earthquake, but in terms of coverage, it is rather redundant with Conkeldurr’s Fighting STAB. Force Palm may be used in hopes of paralyzing faster threats. However, since you should be carrying Mach Punch, Speed isn’t a very big concern. If you really want to buff up your attacks, Life Orb is an option; however, it does not change any significant 2HKOs into OHKOs. If you feel Conkeldurr should start abusing its ability without relying on the opponent’s ability to status, a Flame Orb can be used to activate your Guts boost. However, the combined loss of HP from burn damage and Substitute damage means Conkeldurr needs to rely on Drain Punch to stay alive, which forces it to lose the utility of priority in Mach Punch. If you find Stone Edge's accuracy unappealing, Rock Slide can be used instead, although the power drop can be just as unappealing.
Since this Conkeldurr variant lacks any sufficient means of HP recovery, Wish support greatly aids it in recovering any health lost by status or Substitute use. As Conkeldurr lacks an immunity it can switch into, it is best to pair it up with Pokemon who can set up Wishes as well as lure in something Pokemon that struggle against Conkeldurr. Alomomola and Vaporeon work well because of their reasonable bulk and enormous base HP stats, allowing Conkeldurr to benefit fully from the Wish. Chansey and Blissey also do a fantastic job at passing Wishes, and both can easily come in on any special attacks aimed at Conkeldurr. However, Conkeldurr is probably best paired with either Jirachi or Latias, as they both can lure in Dark-type attacks, such as Tyranitar’s STAB Crunch, enabling a safe switch to Conkeldurr to resist the attack and receive the Wish. However, Jirachi, unlike Latias, resists both Psychic and Flying attacks aimed at Conkeldurr, and its higher base HP makes it the superior candidate for passing Wishes.
Though not absolutely necessary, a Dual Screen user can provide Conkeldurr with increased bulk to allow longer-lasting Substitutes. Cresselia does a fantastic job of this, as it offers almost unmatched bulk and can set up both screens with ease. It also resists any Psychic attacks aimed at Conkeldurr, easily shrugging them off and immediately setting up. Conkeldurr also resists any Bug or Dark attacks Cresselia may lure, giving it safe opportunities to switch in. Reuniclus also makes a great partner for setting up screens, as its nice bulk coupled with Magic Guard allows it to easily set up. Xatu also does a decent job of setting up screens, and needn’t fear getting Taunted due to Magic Bounce. Conkeldurr can also absorb any Rock attacks Xatu may attract, while Xatu absorbs any Psychic attacks aimed at Conkeldurr.
As far as counters go, there is no "solid" method to beat this Conkeldurr variant. The closest things to counters are Pokemon that can take a few Focus Punches, break Conkeldurr's Substitute, and continue to wear it down. Skarmory can slowly wear Conkeldurr down with STAB Brave Bird; however, it is still 2HKOed by Focus Punch, and if the opponent incorrectly predicts when using Roost, it will almost always result in an OHKO. Poison Heal Gliscor is probably the best counter, as with physical investment, it can come in and survive most of Conkeldurr’s moves, Fling a Toxic Orb onto it, and wear down Conkeldurr with STAB-boosted Acrobatics, preventing any Substitutes with Taunt. A problem with the Sand Veil Gliscor variants is that they must be careful when Roosting, as a neutral Focus Punch can put a serious dent into Gliscor. Bulky Psychic-types can come in and wall this Conkeldurr set if it opts for Stone Edge over Payback. Cresselia and Reuniclus can all come in on any Fighting moves, break the sub with STAB Psychic attacks, and continue to whittle down Conkeldurr or set up on the switch. If Conkeldurr is carrying Stone Edge over Payback, Golurk completely walls Conkeldurr, and can set up on the switch or slowly wear Conkeldurr down with Earthquake.
Conkeldurr @ Choice Band
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Hp / 4 SpD
Adamant / Brave Nature
- Hammer Arm / Superpower
- Stone Edge
- Mach Punch
With a Choice Band and the EVs listed, Conkeldurr reaches a ridiculous Attack stat of 624, and a gargantuan 936 after a Guts boost. To show just how terrifying a threat this variant can be, Mach Punch deals 95.3% - 113% to a 0 / 0 Excadrill, meaning Stealth Rock, one layer of Spikes, or a Guts boost ensures a KO. After the Guts boost, Superpower OHKOes 252 / 252 Vaporeon, as well as the "standard" Skarmory with Stealth Rock in play. As for Hammer Arm, "standard" Skarmory takes 75.4% - 88.9%, meaning it will definitely be KOed after Brave Bird recoil. Superpower also inflicts 84.3% - 99.3% to the "standard" Hippowdon set, while Hammer Arm always 2HKOes. However, if opting for Hammer Arm over Superpower, Speed EVs need to be invested if you want to outspeed Hippowdon after the Speed drop, and avoid giving the opponent any opportunities to Slack Off the damage. In the case of 252 / 252 Hippowdon variants, Superpower will inflict 78.1% - 92.1%, meaning entry hazard support may be required to ensure an OHKO. The last two slots offer Conkeldurr coverage against various threats. A Max HP / Max Def Spiritomb with a positive nature takes 42.8% - 50.3% from an unboosted Stone Edge, while with the Guts boost it inflicts 63.8% - 75.3%. A 252 HP / 228 Def Dusknoir even takes a significant 76.9% - 90.5% from Payback if running a Defense-boosting nature.
To show just how devastating this Conkeldurr variant can be, here are damage calculations on how much Mach Punch inflicts on various threats:
Without a Guts Boost:
Mach Punch v. 0/0 Lucario: 108.9% - 129.18%
Mach Punch v. 0/0 Terrakion: 78.02% - 91.95%
Mach Punch v. 0/0 Mamoswine: 75.62% - 89.75%
Mach Punch v. 0/0 Infernape: 51.54% - 60.75%
Mach Punch v. 0/0 Flygon: 45.18% - 53.82%
Mach Punch v. 0/0 Haxorus: 43% - 50.51%
After the Guts boost:
Mach Punch v. 0/0 Mamoswine: 113.85% - 134.63%
Mach Punch v. 0/0 Infernape: 77.13% - 91.13%
If you find the lack of Leftovers unappealing, Drain Punch is an option that can be used in the third or fourth slot. Though a Drain Punch won't net you as many KOs as Superpower or Hammer Arm, the Guts boost helps recover any damage taken from attacks or status. Said Drain Punch also hits a positive-natured 252 HP / 152 Def Hippowdon to the point where Conkeldurr can recover around 100 HP, allowing for greater survivability.
Another method to help Conkeldurr recover health is to pair him up with Wish support, as damage from entry hazards from constant switching, as well as status, can really take its toll on Conkeldurr. Jirachi does this job best, as its relatively high base HP allows Conkeldurr to recover more health; in addition, Conkeldurr can safely switch in on any Dark attacks Jirachi may lure. Another great partner for Conkeldurr is Ninetales, as the permanent sun lessens the threat of bulky Water-types, such as Quagsire and Jellicent.
Once again, Gliscor makes the most effective counter to this set, as its high physical bulk and resistance to Conkeldurr's Fighting STAB allow it to take virtually anything this set can dish out. Skarmory also outspeeds Conkeldurr, but despite its great physical bulk, it should be careful when Roosting. It can still slam Conkeldurr for 58.5% - 69.6% with STAB Brave Bird, though.
When countering Conkeldurr, one must always carry Pokemon who can take advantage of its weak points. If Conkeldurr is statused, a weather changer such as Abomasnow or Hippowdon can cause Conkeldurr to rack up even more residual damage, and though status means Guts is activated, poison or burn damage combined with sandstorm or hail will quickly wear down Conkeldurr to the point that a faster threat can easily KO it. Since a Choice Band forces Conkeldurr to lock itself into one move, you can bring in a Ghost type if it locks itself into Mach Punch, Hammer Arm, or Superpower, allowing you to set up on the switch.
Offensively, Conkeldurr has a fair number of other options it can use. Low Kick is an option for heavier foes, as it hits Pokemon like Snorlax harder than Hammer Arm. However, lighter threats such as Jirachi can easily take a Low Kick and set up on the switch or simply attack. If you want Conkeldurr to provide its own paralysis support, Force Palm is an option, as the 30% paralysis rate allows Conkeldurr to cripple faster threats. However, Force Palm is illegal with Mach Punch, and the utility of a STAB priority move coming off base 140 attack is too much for Conkeldurr to give up for a paralysis chance of only 30%.
Though Guts is generally the superior option in terms of ability, Conkeldurr can run a Sheer Force + LO set consisting of moves which benefit from the ability. However, the only decent moves that Conkeldurr can run along with Sheer Force are Force Palm, Poison Jab, and Rock Slide, all of which are not too powerful even after the boost, with Force Palm only reaching 78 BP before STAB. Sheer Force also means that Scald and Will-O-Wisp ruin you completely, something that is not a problem when running Guts.
Conkeldurr can also run a set that revolves entirely around Guts by using either a Flame or Toxic Orb. This allows it to take advantage of the Guts boost without fail, instead of relying on the opponent to status it. However, this means Conkeldurr will not receive HP recovery (no Leftovers), and must run Drain Punch to recover off any damage acquired from status or rely heavily on Wish support.
Checks and Counters
Skarmory makes a nice counter due to its immense physical bulk and access to STAB Brave Bird, as well as the ability to phaze Conkeldurr out, nullifying any boosts it may acquire. However, one must beware of Guts-boosted Hammer Arm coming off the Choice Band set, as any Stealth Rock damage plus Brave Bird recoil equals a dead Skarmory. Skarmory should be wary of when to Roost, as any of Conkeldurr's boosted Fighting STAB moves really hurt once it rid itself of its Flying-type. Another physical wall, which counters Conkeldurr to a lesser extent, is Hippowdon, and though it is not as effective as Skarmory, it can still take most of Conkeldurr's moves, attack with Earthquake, and Slack Off any damage. The permanent sandstorm it summons also allows for bonus residual damage on Conkeldurr, making it easier to take out if it's not carrying Drain Punch. Though Poison Heal Gliscor is often thought to be a great counter for Conkeldurr, the reality is rather different. The Gliscor user must correctly predict Conkeldurr's move in order to win, using Taunt in the case of Bulk Up and Swords Dance in the case of Payback. Notably, however, Swords Dance Acrobatics Gliscor with a Flight Gem is an excellent counter.
Ghost-types, such as Gengar, can easily come in on a predicted Fighting move and either attack Conkeldurr’s weak Special Defense with STAB Shadow Ball or set up on the switch in the case of the Choice Band variants. However, one must be careful when switching in physically frail Ghost-types, as a predicted Payback coming off Conkeldurr's Attack stat can still KO despite the fact that it is not at full power. Bulky Ghost-types such as Dusknoir can easily take anything that Conkeldurr can throw (bar boosted Payback) and steadily wear it down or set up. Spiritomb also causes a great problem for Conkeldurr, as its nice bulk and low speed mean it can take any of your attacks, and usually won't be receiving full Payback damage, allowing it to easily Pain Split off any damage. Calm Mind variants also pose a great threat towards Conkeldurr, as they can set up, Pain Split to regain health, and attack Conkeldurr's weaker defensive side.
Conkeldurr gains the ability Iron Fist through Dream World, which can be a great option offensively for Conkeldurr. Once released, it can be swapped with Guts on the SubPunch set, as the Substitute can block status while Iron Fist boosts both Focus Punch and Mach Punch. Even a 0/0 Heracross takes 71.5% - 84.4% from an Iron Fist-boosted Focus Punch, as well as an additional 19.2% - 22.8% from Mach Punch. This means that if Stealth Rock is set up, a Focus Punch followed by Mach Punch will KO Heracross. Iron Fist Conkeldurr can also run a great Expert Belt set, as an Iron Fist + Expert Belt Mach Punch OHKOes Excadrill. Drain Punch also gets a boost, meaning Conkeldurr can recover even more health from it, and thus more easily maintain a healthy HP while still taking a chunk out of the opponent.