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I Was browsing earlier and saw that a boatload of Pokemon can learn Focus Punch, and practically any Pokemon can learn Substitute, so can anyone tell me why most of these Pokémon are unviable as Sub-Punchers?

Focus Punch

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this seems more like a thread then a question
Maybe be more specific? Like what Pokémon makes a bad SubPuncher?
Weird subpunchers as in pokemon that are quite unusual but still have a shred or two of viability, I'm guessing. Like SubPunch + Toxic Orb Breloom.
To be honest, I doubt Sub-Punchers are as viable as they were before.
Even if sub-punching is less useful as it was last gen he wants to know of good sub-punchers that can take a foe by surprise, hence "unusual" A.k.A.  "Awkward Sets". Sub Punching is simply just getting a substitute up efficiently, taking a hit, and then hitting them with focus punch. So we're looking for slower pokemon with considerable bulk for sub punching, like Conkelldurr as it gets Guts, Iron Fist, and STAB while it can usually pull off a sub after getting hit once by most moves. Focus Punch itself, while at high power, likes STAB to help with other boosts. So check out some fighting types first before looking into other pokemon for sub punches

2 Answers

0 votes

This is because people use more of fast Pokemon than slow ones.
So for any slow Pokemon its Okay but for fast one's if they first use substitute then the opponent may just break the Substitute after that. So overall at the end you just loosing HP.
Also opponents can see this coming and switch into a ghost type or a resistant Pokemon with Poison,Bug,Fairy,Psychic or Flying type.

0 votes

Firstly, loads of these aren't fully evolved, so that's a factor. You'd usually want the highest stats possible, and on lower stage evolutions most of the time you use the Eviolite as an item, which means you can't passively heal away the Substitute cost of 25%.

Secondly, stat wise, it's just unviable for many of them. Yes Mega Alakazam can learn it, but you may as well hit your opponent with his multitude of spoons instead, it'd do more damage. You also have to consider getting the Substitute up as well, either a threatening Pokemon to set up on the switch (such as Mega Mawile) or a bulky one like Conkeldurr.

Finally, is it worth it? To pull off such a set, you have to dedicate 2 moveslots to a 150BP Fighting attack, whilst sacrificing 25% of your HP and the possibility of simply not being able to set up. In most cases, the Fighting type STAB users have moves that are much better for them, such as Drain Punch to recover Conkeldurr's health or Close Combat on Infernape to quickly KO the opponent. For those that use it as coverage, again they usually have access to more viable Fighting type moves that are more beneficial, or they sometimes don't need the coverage, such as Charizard.


  • Can it sustain the 25% cost? (Healing moves, Leftovers etc.)
  • Does it have the Attack to actually make it worth using?
  • Can it actually set up? (Threatening/bulky?)
  • Does it have better options?
  • Is it worth sacrificing 2 moves for a set up which may not work?
Physical Mega Alakazam 4 Ubers
Special Mega Beedrill 4 Anything Goes