Fighting is one of the Pokemon types that existed in the first generation of Pokemon games. It is an interesting type with a wide range of strengths as well as a wide range of weaknesses. For example, it is strong against Dark, presumably because the superior skill of Fighting Pokemon can overcome the underhanded trickery of Dark Pokemon. However, it is also strong against types such as Rock and Steel, which might be a reference to the idea of martial artists splitting stacks of bricks. With that said, Fighting Pokemon are weak to no fewer than five separate types, which is on top of them being outright incapable of affecting a sixth type, which would be Ghost. Regardless, while Fighting Pokemon have a lot of counters to them, they still have a fair amount of usefulness, which is why Fighting Pokemon still see frequent use on various teams.
Of course, it is important to note that Fighting Pokemon have seen the same variation as Pokemon belonging to other Pokemon types. As a result, some Fighting Pokemon are much more useful than others, particularly since the competitive environment goes through immense changes whenever a new generation of Pokemon games come out. Still, usefulness in Pokemon battles is far from being the sole factor that people use in determining which Fighting Pokemon they like and don’t like. After all, Pokemon is a franchise that is reliant to a great extent on the memorable nature of its designs, meaning that there are plenty of people who like particular Pokemon for how they look rather than the pure mechanics that underlie them. In the end, both approaches are fine. There is nothing wrong with people who choose their favorite Fighting Pokemon based on their appearance. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with people who choose their favorite Fighting Pokemon based on some other factor or even some combination of factors.
Here are 20 of the top Fighting Pokemon listed in no particular order:
There are a number of reasons that Machamp stands out. For example, it was the final Pokemon of the one Fighting line from Generation One that had not one, not two, but three separate evolutions. Furthermore, it was one of the few Pokemon that couldn’t evolve on its own but had to be traded by using the link cable, which can seem more than a little bit primitive in modern times with its ubiquitous wireless-ness. However, what makes Machamp most special might be its unmistakable look, which combines a wrestler with the multiple arms of certain Hindu as well as Hindu-influenced deities. Suffice to say that the Machamp is more than capable of living up to the hype set by its look, seeing as how lore-wise, each one can throw hundreds of punches in a single second. Something that can be more than a little bit nightmarish considering that they are supposed to be able to move mountains.
Blaziken was the Pokemon that started the trend of Fire starters turning into Fire/Fighting Pokemon, which has proved irritating to more than a few Pokemon fans over time but has nonetheless had an enormous effect on the Pokemon fandom. Inspiration-wise, it is clear that Blaziken is based on the chicken breeds that were once used in cockfights. However, whereas those chickens are infamous for their claws, Blaziken is much better-known for the brutal power of its legs, which combine with its flames to enable the use of its characteristic Blaze Kick. In more recent times, Blaziken has seen a further power-up in the form of Mega Blaziken, which is perhaps unsurprising considering its role in the Generation III games that were remade for the Nintendo 3DS.
Infernape was the final form of the Fire starter from Generation IV, thus making it the second example in the trend started up by Blaziken. Whereas Blaziken was based on a real species, Infernape is based on a character from a Chinese novel, which in turn, was based on Chinese folklore surrounding a real Chinese monk who visited India for the purpose of studying Buddhism in a period when that would have been much dangerous than in modern times. For those who are unfamiliar with said character, he would be Sun Wukong, a magical monkey who wreaked havoc in the celestial home of the Chinese pantheon, but was eventually caught and convinced to help a Chinese monk reach India for the purpose of retrieving a complete set of Buddhist scriptures. With that said, Infernape’s fighting style bears little resemblance to that of Sun Wukong, who used a staff as well as a wide range of shape-shifting powers, which suggests that it might be based on the numerous monkey-based martial arts out there as well.
Emboar was the third of the Fire starters that perpetuated the Fire/Fighting trend, which might have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Like its immediate predecessor, its source of inspiration was Chinese, which was similar to how its fellow starters Samurott and Serperior were inspired by Japanese and European sources. With that said, Emboar’s look combines more than one source of inspiration. One would be the standard depiction of soldiers in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which was a Chinese novel based on a real Chinese historical period; whereas the other would be Zhu Bajie, who was one of Sun Wukong’s co-disciples. Whereas Sun Wukong was proud and mischievous but on the whole, brave and unconcerned with material things, Zhu Bajie was a magical pig who was attached to all material pleasures, which is perhaps unsurprising when he had been cursed to be reborn as a pig for being too forward when he was still a member of the Chinese pantheon.
Lucario gets a spot on this list for the simple reason that for a significant period of time, it was one of the most iconic Pokemon out there. In fact, it was so iconic that some people actually mistook it for a Legendary Pokemon, which wasn’t the case because Lucario can evolve from the egg-hatched Riolu. Regardless, it is no wonder that Lucario is such a popular Pokemon, seeing as how it is a bipedal canine Pokemon that is proud but faithful to its trainer, which is on top of the fact that it can use a special power called Aura for fighting as well as other purposes.
Pseudo-Legendaries are Pokemon lines with powerful stats as well as powerful moves that make them capable of living up to their reputation. Most Pseudo-Legendaries have been Dragon Pokemon, with Kommo-o being no exception to this rule. However, what makes Kommo-o stand out is that it is a Dragon/Fighting Pokemon, which is a rather forceful-sounding combination. In the story, the Kommo-o is supposed to be a rather intimidating Pokemon that uses its scales to sound challenges, which can cause weaker opponents to flee for their lives. This makes perfect sense when one realizes that Kommo-o’s signature move is Clanging Scales, meaning that it can make so much noise with its scales that it amounts to a sonic weapon.
Keldeo is an excellent example of a Pokemon that combines multiple sources of inspiration into a single seamless whole. First, it seems probable that it is based on a kelpie to some extent, which is a supernatural creature of the water that sometimes takes on an equine form. Second, it seems probable that it is inspired to a lesser extent by the kirin, which is the Japanese name for a Chinese chimeric monster with hooves that wouldn’t touch the ground because of a sense of justice that refused to cause harm to living beings. Third, Keldeo is d’Artagnan from The Three Musketeers, being the littlest member of the Swords of Justice. For that matter, further proof of d’Artagnan’s influence can be seen in Keldeo’s tail, which resembles the famous plumed hat of the character as well as other French musketeers from the famous novel.
Chesnaught is another example of a Fighting starter. However, whereas the other Fighting starters are Fire Pokemon, Chesnaught is a Grass/Fighting Pokemon, which enables it to stand out from the other Grass starters out there. Appearance-wise, it resembles nothing so much as a mammalian tank, which makes sense because it is a combination of an armored mammal with a knight as well as a chestnut. Behavior-wise, Chesnaught manages to live up to the reputation of the stock character as well, seeing as how it is not just a behemoth that can send enormous weights flying with its momentum but will also shield its allies from harm.
Primarily, Ralts is famous for turning into a Gardevoir, which remains one of the most popular Psychic Pokemon out there because of its usefulness as well as its accessibility. However, it is important to remember that Ralts has one other potential evolution in the form of Gallade, which can be had by using a Dawn Stone on a male Kirlia. Gallade is a Pokemon that fights with not one but two extendable blades on its arms, which can be charged with Psychic power for additional effect. Moreover, Gallade is one of the Pokemon with a Mega Evolution, which makes it even more capable in a fight when paired with the right trainer with the right items.
Technically, Meloetta isn’t a Legendary Pokemon but a Mythical Pokemon, which can be confusing for some Pokemon fans who are used to seeing both groups of Pokemon as one rather than two. In short, Legendary Pokemon can be encountered in the normal course of the game, whereas Mythical Pokemon are exclusive to events, thus making them that much rarer. Regardless, Meloetta is a Normal/Psychic Pokemon under normal circumstances, but it is important to note that it has a second form called the Pirouette Forme, which is a Normal/Fighting Pokemon. Whereas Meloetta’s standard form resembles a singer, its Pirouette Forme has a much greater resemblance to a ballet dance, though some people see flamenco influence as well. Given its name, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Pirouette Forme is indeed standing on one leg, looking as though it is prepared to turn upon it.
In Generation I, there was a pseudo-Gym that made use of Fighting Pokemon and nothing but Fighting Pokemon. Considering that it was situated in the same city as the Psychic Gym, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Fighting Pokemon specialists did not fare so well. On the plus side, said institution provided players with a huge bonus, seeing as how it would offer victorious players with the chance to pick between two Fighting Pokemon that could be found nowhere else in that game. One of the two Fighting Pokemon was Hitmonlee, which is a rather odd Pokemon with an ovoid body that seems to lack a head as well as a neck. Instead, its eyes are set in what looks like its upper torso while its nose and its mouth are nonexistent. However, the Hitmonlee’s most stand-out feature is its powerful legs, which provide it with incredible power as well as incredible flexibility because of their coil-like nature.
Meanwhile, the other Fighting Pokemon that could be picked up in the pseudo-Gym was Hitmonchan, who took the opposite approach to its counterpart. Whereas a Hitmonlee specializes in using kicks, a Hitmonchan specializes in using punches, which are facilitated by the boxing gloves that it wears. Curiously, while Hitmonchan can unleash powerful punches that can penetrate concrete, it needs regular breaks, which furthers its similarities to boxers. Given the circumstances under which Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan were introduced, it should come as no surprise to learn that the two have sometimes been depicted as being rivals, though neither one has ever managed to come out on top of the other on a permanent basis.
Originally, both Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan were Fighting Pokemon with one evolution and nothing but one evolution. Moreover, there was no reason to believe that the two were related, not least because the two Pokemon bore no resemblance to one another whatsoever. However, that changed with Generation II, which introduced Tyrogue, which was a Pokemon that could evolve into either one of those two examples. However, what was even more interesting about Tyrogue was that it had not one, not two, but three separate forms, with the third being Hitmontop. Of course, Hitmontop is based on a top, so much so that a Tyrogue can’t evolve into a Hitmontop unless its Attack and Defense are in perfect equilibrium. However, its other influence is capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art that was created by slaves for the purpose of resisting their slavers. There can be no mistaking capoeira, seeing as how it bears a strong resemblance to dance.
In a real sense, Conkeldurr can be seen as a counterpart to Machamp from Generation V. After all, it is the final form of a Pokemon line with three separate evolutions, which can’t evolve unless it has been traded. With that said, Conkeldurr’s fighting style is very different, seeing as how it swings a pair of concrete pillars with the same ease that a human might swing wooden clubs. Suffice to say that Conkeldurr packs a lot of power, meaning that it is unwise for someone to be on the receiving end of its favorite tools. Amusingly, Conkeldurr is also famous for frequenting construction sites, which is perhaps unsurprising when it bears a fair amount of resemblance to a construction foreman. In the Pokemon setting, Conkeldurr is said to have invented concrete before teaching those construction methods to humans, which is why it continues to help out on construction sites even in the setting’s present.
Medicham is unusual in that it is one of the few Fighting/Psychic Pokemons. However, its appearance is odder still, combining what looks like a primate with a belly dancer as well as what might be a genie. Regardless, Medicham had its uses in its Generation, seeing as how its unusual combination of Pokemon types made it more versatile than most Pokemon out there. Later on, Medicham received a Mega Evolution, which made it even more useful but at the same time, even more unusual when it comes to its appearance.
Heracross look like a bipedal version of the Japanese rhinoceros beetle. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that it is a Bug Pokemon. However, it is a Fighting Pokemon as well, which can be traced to a Japanese tradition. In short, interested individuals should know that a number of Asian countries have insect fighting traditions, which in the case of Japan, sees people sometimes pitting Japanese rhinoceros beetles against one another. In other words, Heracross was a natural choice for a game like Pokemon. Meanwhile, the Mega Evolution of Heracross is based on a Hercules beetle, which is famous for its strength as well as its characteristic pair of horns.
In the real world, there are South American tribes that use the poison of poison dart frogs to coat their projectiles. Some poison dart frogs are more reliant on camouflage than their poison, which is why they have not so noticeable appearances. In contrast, the most poisonous species have bright colors as well as stand-out patterns, including a fair number that look bright blue. Based on this, the source of inspiration for Toxicroak should be no surprise, particularly since it is actually a Poison/Fighting Pokemon. Lore-wise, Toxicroak is supposed to weave in and out of combat, which makes sense because its poison enables it to make even small scratches quite dangerous to its opponents.
Hawlucha is a great example of how well Pokemon designs that combine real animals with human professions can work. In short, Hawlucha is exactly what it sounds like, which is to say, a hawk combined with a luchador. Personality-wise, Hawlucha lives up to its sources of inspiration, being a skilled fighter that likes to show off the elegance of its techniques for the purpose of impressing onlookers. To further cement its luchador inspiration, Hawlucha possesses Flying Press, which is a wrestling move that makes use of its unique capabilities. As a result, while Hawlucha still lacks evolutions, it was very popular and remains so in the present time.
In part, Mienshao is based on stoats, which look cute to us but are exceptional predators when it comes to smaller species of animals. For example, it is common for stoats to pursue rodents into their tunnels, though some stoats will be more successful than others because of their size. Likewise, stoats are more than capable of climbing trees, which makes them a serious threat to birds as well. With that said, the stoat is not the sole source of inspiration for Mienshao, with others including a wide range of martial arts. In particular, Mienshao draws inspiration from whip fighting, which can be seen in how the long fur on its forelimbs are used in a whip-like manner.
Marshadow is a Mythical Pokemon introduced in the latest generation of Pokemon games. Personality-wise, it is a cautious Pokemon, so much so that it will actually observe its surroundings from the relative safety of the shadows, which it can sink into. However, Marshadow possesses the same sort of fighting spirit as other Fighting Pokemon, which can be seen whenever its anger causes its fires to begin burning green in the Zenith Marshadow form. With that said, Marshadow has one other interesting behavior, which is that it will learn how to fight by looking at other Pokemon, though it won’t put those lessons to use until it has become confident that it is stronger than them. Summed up, Marshadow isn’t exactly the most pleasant Pokemon, but it can’t be doubted that it is an outstanding one, particularly since it has a unique move called Spectral Thief as well as a unique Z-Move called Soul-Stealing 7-Star Strike.