Primeape won’t be a Pokémon you find yourself using too often in Pokémon Go. It’s primarily going to be useful to players in PvP during the Great League categories. If there are any special Battle League cups with specific limitations with maximums of 1,500 CP, Primeape will be an excellent choice. It can defeat Bastiodon, Registeel, Politoed, and even Abomasnow, some of the stronger meta Great League choices. It doesn’t work perfectly in the Ultra League, even powered up with XL candy. If you want to make sure that Primeape does its best in the Great League, you need to give it its best moveset.
Primeape is a Fighting-type Pokémon. It will be weak to Fairy, Flying, and Psychic-type moves, but it is resistant to Bug, Dark, and Rock-type attacks. Because Primeape is weak to Psychic-type moves, that remains its biggest weakness in the Great League due to there being several Psychic-type favorites. You want to make sure to avoid match-ups against Hypno, Deoxys (Defense), Gardevoir, Cresselia, and several others.
These are all of the moves Primeape can learn.
- Counter (Fighting-type) – 8 damage and 3.5 energy (4 damage per turn)
- Karate Chop (Fighting-type) – 5 damage and 4 energy (2.5 damage per turn)
- Low Kick (Fighting-type) – 4 damage and 2.5 energy (2 damage per turn)
- Close Combat (Fighting-type) – 100 damage and 45 energy (100% chance to lower user’s defense by 2 ranks)
- Cross Chop (Fighting-type) – 50 damage and 35 energy
- Ice Punch (Ice-type) – 55 damage and 40 energy
- Low Sweep (Fighting-type) – 40 damage and 40 energy
- Night Slash (Dark-type) – 50 damage and 35 energy (12.5% chance to increase user’s attack by 2 ranks)
When it comes to each moveset category, Primeape has several choices. For the fast move, we recommend you stay away from low kick. It doesn’t do enough damage or provide enough energy to matter. You really want to think about using karate chop and counter. Of the two, you’re better off using counter.
Primeape faces a similar issue when it comes to charged moves. These attacks are under 50 energy, making them great choices for a Pokémon that focuses more on attacking. For the first charged move, you want to go with close combat. It has the highest amount of damage output of any of the choices, despite lowering Primeape’s defenses. But these stats are already pretty low, so dipping down shouldn’t bother you too much, especially if you’ve already drained an opponent of their shields.
The second charged move will be night slash. You can use night slash against Ghost and Psychic-types. As stated earlier, Psychic-type Pokémon will be Primeape’s biggest threat, so having that attack is always good. Plus, you can use it to bait an opponent’s shield, as the attack only costs 35 energy.
Primeape can be an effective Fighting-type Pokémon if you don’t have a shadow Machamp or a Scarfty in the roster. You can use it to defeat a handful of Psychic-type Pokémon, and it’s fairly flexible in most rosters.
The best moveset to teach Primeape is the fast move counter, and the charged moves close combat and night slash.