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Pokemon of the Week DP: Infernape

by Ninjomewtwo

Infernape

Sets

Swords Dance Sweeper

Item Held
Life Orb / Expert Belt
Nature
Jolly (+Speed, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP
  • Swords Dance
  • Flare Blitz
  • Close Combat
  • Stone Edge / Thunderpunch

If Infernape manages to pull off a Swords Dance, you have a monster under control. Two STABed attacks with a base power of 120 each are enough to persuade your opponent that their Physical Wall can get easily 2HKOed if it switches in. Flare Blitz and Close Combat are here obviously for their massive power. Stone Edge is prefered to Thunderpunch for hitting Salamence and Gyarados (both of them are OHKOed after a Swords Dance, taking Intimidate into account). Thunderpunch is just a substitute over Stone Edge if you don’t like its 80% accuracy and its maximum 8 PP. Life Orb is probably the best item for this set but since recoil damage tends to kill Infernape more often than its opponents do, Expert Belt gets a mention. Expert Belt also gives the needed boost to OHKO Salamence and Gyarados with Stone Edge (after a Swords Dance and Intimidate).

Nasty Plot Sweeper

Item Held
Life Orb
Nature
Timid (+Speed, -Attack)
Effort Points
252 Special Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP
  • Nasty Plot
  • Flamethrower
  • Grass Knot
  • Hidden Power Ice / Focus Blast

Special Sweeping Infernape here. It does the same job as the set above but with special moves this time. Nasty Plot once, then proceed to clear the field. Grass Knot takes care of all those bulky Water-types that will come to wall you. After a Nasty Plot, Suicune, Swampert, Slowbro, Milotic, Hippowdon and Donphan are OHKOed by a Grass Knot and so is Gyarados if it switches in on Stealth Rock. Hidden Power Ice is far better as it can OHKO the Dragons but Focus Blast is listed here for those who don’t feel like breeding to get the perfect Hidden Power. Flare Blitz’s absense from this set makes Life Orb the best item choice.

The Showstopper

Item Held
Life Orb
Nature
Hasty (+Speed, -Defense) / Naive (+Speed, -Special Defense)
Effort Points
252 Special Attack – 232 Speed – 26 Attack
  • Nasty Plot
  • Flamethrower
  • Grass Knot
  • Close Combat

The most common set for Infernape and the best way to stop walls is this. Nasty Plot makes most people believe that you’ve got a Special Infernape and using Close Combat on the switch as they bring their Blissey in is really funny. Nasty Polt boosted Flamethower and Grass Knot can take care of a great deal of defensive Pokémon, namely Suicune, Skarmory, Forretress, Slowbro, Swampert, Hippowdon, etc. As the name suggests, this guy completely ends the show. 232 Speed EPs with a Hasty/Naive Nature allow you to outrun Adamant Dugtrio, assuming max IVs. If 31 IVs in Speed is not the case, take some EPs from Attack. The main problem this set faces is against Salamence so Stealth Rock support is necessary.

CB-Ape

Item Held
Choice Band
Nature
Jolly (+Speed, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP
  • Flare Blitz
  • Close Combat
  • Stone Edge / Thunderbolt
  • U-Turn

Standard Choice Bander. If you are not so good at prediction wars, better leave this set as even one mistake means Infernape is stopped. Flare Blitz, Close Combat and Stone Edge/Thunderpunch are used for the same reasons as in the first set. U-Turn in case you want to hit and switch to a counter. Even though there are many better Choice Banders out there, Infernape can work quite well if you can predict your opponents’ switches easily.

Other Possible Options

Mach Punch is always a good option for KOing faster Pokémon like Weavile but they are not likely to stay in anyway. Calm Mind and Bulk Up are alternative forms of setting up but Nasty Plot and Swords Dance are better and faster. Aerial Ace, Shadow Claw, Earthquake and Poison Jab are Infernape’s other noteable physical moves but the moves listed in the sets offer better type coverage. Blaze Kick is an alternative over Flare Blitz if you don’t like its recoil damage. Same for Fire Blast, it can replace Flamethrower if you want some extra power. Infernape can use Sunny Day + Solarbeam but it has really low Defenses to use it effectively. Fake Out and Slack Off are just worth mentioning but they are not gonna be used much.

Counters

Bulky Water-type Pokémon like Slowbro, Swampert, Suicune, Vaporeon and Milotic can wall the physical sets but all fear Grass Knot. The same can do Ground-types like Donphan and Hippowdon but they fear Grass Knot even more. Salamence and Gyarados can beat an Infernape caught without a super-effective move against them. A Cresselia with a proper EV spread and Psychic can switch in and OHKO Infernape as well.

Jolly Dugtrio can come in after something got KOed, trap and kill Infernape with Earthquake. Choice Scarf Heracross can also OHKO with Stone Edge but if the move fails, Infernape will OHKO it. Timid Gengar starts (regardless of Choice Scarf) can also put Infernape to sleep with Hypnosis or KO it with Psychic.

Infernape fears Thunder Wave too. A Thunder Wave in the early stages of the battle will render it useless and is probably your best bet to ensure that Infernape won’t destroy your team later on.

Finally, faster sweepers like Aerodactyl or Pokémon using Dragon Dance/Agility always pose a threat to Infernape and will force you to switch out and lose your boosts unless you want to stay in and get a strong blow by a Stone Edge/Earthquake.

Opinion & Notes

One of the best additions that D/P brought to the OU Metagame, Infernape is a really fearsome Pokémon. Being able to hit with both physical and special moves makes it really unpredictable. What’s more, the fact that it can take down a lot of Pokémon that are considered to be counters just after a single attack boost makes it stand out in the OU tier, something that not many Fire-type Pokémon can do. The only problem it faces that makes it inferior to other sweepers is its durability. In this field, Infernape is completely outdone by Metagross, Tyranitar and Gyarados. Still though, Infernape is the best Life Orb user and it can abuse it to a great extent. So, set Stealth Rock with another Pokémon, find a chance to use your stat-boosting move and after that you can rest assured that most of your opponents team won’t be able to even move.

Note that Thunderpunch is an egg move.

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