GLC Hitmonbros Fighting Deck

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Jeff Baisch @JeffBaisch3 Monday, May 8, 2023

Flying HitmONE Bros

First off, I want to give a huge shoutout to all of the people in the community for giving me so many wonderful ideas for the deck. This deck is a community build, and I had an amazing time piloting it to a first place finish in CBW’s Webcam #5 tournament.

The Decklist and My Battle to the 4-0

Pictured above is the 60 I chose to play. The deck was an absolute powerhouse, and I never fell behind in prizes in any of my matches. I do think that my draws and prizing were fortunate throughout the entirety of the event as I never had to struggle to get a prized piece of the combo and I was able to open with Hitmonchan in all four matches. I primarily played against decks that required a bit of set up (Psychic, Metal, Fighting), and my quick starts (for which the archetype is known) allowed me to combo without disruption. I was able to beat my Fairies opponent on turn two with Hitmonchan attacks, although, with better sequencing I could have won on turn one. Another important thing to note is that I did not encounter any bench barrier Pokémon in the tournament which might be the main reason why my deck and Lighting Spread took the top two spots. So, when evaluating the deck please take all of these factors into consideration.

Why Play this Deck?

This deck is fun to play and rewards tight and intelligent play. Since the deck doesn’t play any major lock pieces, it generates interactive matches where both players can take actions and enjoy the game. Since it plays few ability Pokémon it doesn’t fold to the Galraian Weezings and Wobuffetts of the format as well. The deck is a feel-good deck all around generating fun and interactive matches while rewarding players for their knowledge of their own deck and the other tiered-decks in the GLC format. There is a bit of a learning curve involved when playing the deck so don’t get frustrated if results don’t come your way immediately. Practice, repetition and knowledge of the GLC format will bring you victories with time.

The Origins

The list is based off of Jeoshua “Babautette” Obladi’s Hitmon-Combo list pictured above. The deck’s main strategy involves chaining attacks from the Hitmon Trio from Sun and Moon’s -Team Up, spreading damage across the board in an attempt to take multiple knockouts. Since each attack must be done concurrently, the deck is full of switch trainer cards and low-cost retreat mons. I won’t speak much more on the original deck as Babautette already did an informative and detailed write up which can be found here.

The BROs

The Hitmons are the key to the deck and take priority over all other attackers in the deck. Hitmonchan’s “Hit and Run” deals 30 damage while allowing it to switch with one of your benched Pokémon. This attack provides a lot of utility allowing you to switch to Lillie’s Poké Doll to stall for a turn, to chain the next combo attack or to simply switch to another mon to protect Hitmonchan so that you can reset the combo on future turns. Hitmonchan is also your main “donker” ending games on the first turn as a combination of Strong energy, Muscle band or Martial Arts Dojo will often prove lethal for the majority of basic Pokémon in the format. Believe it or not, this happens more often than you think. Even if the 30 damage from Hitmonchan doesn’t provide a knockout, it can prove fruitful later down the round as you set up to take multiple prizes with the rest of the combo.

Hitmonlee is next up on the combo chain. His “Special Combo” attack can only be used if you used Hitmonchan’s “Hit and Run” on the previous turn. There’s a lot of nuance involved in determining when to play Hitmonlee. Benching him or switching with “Hit and Run” allows your opponent the chance to knock him and interrupt your combo. I often find myself not playing Hitmonlee until I’m ready to attack with him, but, as always, in-game context and matchup knowledge are key when making decisions like this.

The “Special Combo” attack does 90 damage to an opponent’s bench Pokémon while ignoring resistance and weakness. 90 damage allows Hitmonlee to take out some key support Pokémon like Octillery, Frosmoth, Kricketune, Bronzong, Kirlia, Macargo and many others. With a new addition from SVI (which I’ll talk about later) you can easily hit the 100 damage mark which is key in taking a Grotle, Salazzle or Bibarel off the board. In addition to taking quick knockouts, Hitmonlee can prepare the board for a big multi-prize turn with the next attacker in our combo. Don’t worry too much if Hitmonlee gets knocked out. The deck has many options available to it for recovery, and being down on prizes can be helpful with cards like defiance band and martial arts dojo at the ready.

The last piece of the combo is Hitmontop whose “Finishing Combo” does 60 damage to all of your opponent's Pokémon. This attack is your key to taking multiple prizes and knocking out your opponent’s key Pokémon before they have a chance to set up. With the aid of muscle band, defiance band, martial arts dojo or strong energy, Hitmontop can also deal large amounts of damage to the active. After “finishing combo”, you hope to restart the combo, likely with Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee taking more knockouts as you’ve softened up the board. A second “Finishing Combo” is almost always game over.

What did SVI bring to HitmonBros?

Scarlet and Violet brought a ton of impactful cards to Fighting. When I was looking through the spoilers cards like Annihilape and Lucario jumped out as instant includes while I had to mull some of the other options before sleeving them up for my deck.

The New Hawt Stuff

The single most important card for this archetype from SVI is the new “Fighing Entry” Hawlucha. On the surface Hawlucha seems like nothing special with a mediocre attack and an ability that places only ONE damage counter on two of your opponent’s Pokémon. However, when you pair Hawlucha’s ability with Hitmontop’s “Finishing Combo” which deals 60 to everything on your opponent’s board, a single-prize turn can go to a triple-prize turn real quick. Beside taking more prizes, denying your opponent the chance to set up is an important part of a tempo deck like HitmonBros. Hitting a 70hp Comfey or Turtwig can set your opponent back a ton and disrupt their entire gameplan.

To maximize Hawlucha’s potential in the deck we’re running Ninja Boy and Scoop up net. Ninja Boy allows us to put Hawlucha back in the deck and swap it for one of our Hitmons which is just the best type of synergy. Scoop up net is just one of the best cards in the format to allow our attackers to chain combos and now we get a secondary use out of it with Hawlucha’s ability. While opening on Hawlucha can be a real downer, Ninja Boy and Scoop Up Net give you options to turn that Hawlucha into something profitable down the road.

Earlier versions of the deck were playing “Bratty Kick” Tyrogue from Unbroken Bonds. While the free retreat will be missed, Hawlucha is an upgrade in almost every other aspect.

Ready to Rumble

Scarlet and Violet brought some insanely powerful and efficient attackers to Fighting. Lucario’s “Avenging Knuckle” deals 150 damage for ONE energy if one of your Fighting Pokémon was Knocked Out last turn which will happen frequently as your Hitmons will rarely survive a single attack. It is important to note that Lillie’s Poké Doll does not allow Lucario to deal revenge damage as it is not a fighting Pokémon.

Annihilape is just another insane attacker in this deck. For ONE energy, Annilihape’s attack does 70 times the number of prizes your opponent has taken . This deck can struggle against beefier mons, but Annihilape helps in this regard, able to deal large amounts of damage in the mid to late game to take out a key attacker. Being able to take down Torterra and Wailord with the Hitmon decks used to be a fleeting dream, but now the deck can push out the big numbers needed if your opponent gets set up before you can loop the combo.

The last help to the attacking prowess of the deck is Defiance Band which lets your Pokémon do 30 more damage if you have more prizes than your opponent. The card is a powerful way to boost Hitmonchan or Hitmontop if you find yourself down on prizes while executing the combo. More likely, you’ll use this card with Lucario and Annihilape to make a comeback after your opponent has disrupted your combo. During my 4-0 run in this week’s tournament, Defiance Band was not active once as I played decks that needed time to set up which the HitmonBros love to prey on. I think Defiance Band still deserves a shot in the list because the deck does need help if it falls behind or loses tempo. I wouldn’t fault anyone for playing Focus Sash or U-Turn Board in this slot either.

Let’s go a-Searching

While testing and making changes to the deck, I tried everything to make the deck as consistent as possible. Since Fighting lacks viable draw or card advantage ability Pokémon, I had to turn to the trainers to provide consistency. At first I tried to stuff my deck full of draw supporters, but I found myself unable to put together the cards I needed to successfully loop the combo time and time again. Then I tried the PokéStop/item based-draw engine which did not provide the consistency to chain my attackers effectively. My last list (thanks to tons of input from the CBW community) found consistency in the form of search-based supporters.

A tempo deck which likes to gain incremental advantage over your opponent as the game plays on needs to be able to find the right cards at the right moment. Arven, Korrina and Guzma & Hala are stellar cards in helping you set up that lack conditions. Arven’s utility is unheralded in a deck like this. Arven is akin to a Teammates that you can play in the early game. In this deck it can get you any Ball (Hisuian Heavy Ball being the most important at times), it can hopefully grab a Stadium with Stadium Nav, it can get a Lillie’s Poké Doll for those stall turns, and it can get you a tool to boost damage or a switch. The fact that it can just grab two impactful cards at any moment in the game is insane, but you have to make sure your deck is set up for it to be successful.

All of the other supporters pictured above are already proven in GLC so I won’t talk too much about them. With three of my search supporters being reliant on a Knock Out, I could see cutting one for something else. Pelet has mentioned adding in Ball Guy to help grab Hisuian Heavy Ball or a prize grabbing supporter in the form of Gladion or Peonia. If you do make some changes and find success with them I’d love for you to let me know. You can always find me streaming on Twitch on Mondays at 8:30 or you can find me in the CardBoardWarriors discord. My username for both is AllAboutThatBaisch.


On the whole, my new take on Flying HitmONE Bros is fun and seemingly competitive. If you enjoy early attackers, being on the front foot and a tempo-based playstyle then this is the deck for you.

Deck List

  • 1 Mankey SVI 107

  • 1 Primeape SVI 108

  • 1 Annihilape SVI 109

  • 1 Riolu UPR 66

  • 1 Lucario SVI 114

  • 1 Machop EVO 57

  • 1 Machoke GRI 64

  • 1 Machamp LOR 88

  • 1 Hitmontop UNB 101

  • 1 Hitmonlee TEU 73

  • 1 Hitmonchan TEU 74

  • 1 Hawlucha SVI 118

  • 1 N FCO 105

  • 1 Colress PLS 118

  • 1 Professor's Research SVI 189

  • 1 Guzma & Hala CEC 193

  • 1 Rosa CEC 204

  • 1 Guzma BUS 115

  • 1 Lusamine CIN 96

  • 1 Cynthia UPR 119

  • 1 Tate & Liza CES 148

  • 1 Arven SVI 166

  • 1 Marnie CPA 56

  • 1 Sonia CPA 65

  • 1 Bird Keeper DAA 159

  • 1 Klara CRE 145

  • 1 Raihan CRZ 140

  • 1 Ninja Boy STS 103

  • 1 Korrina FFI 95

  • 1 Teammates PRC 141

  • 1 Level Ball BST 129

  • 1 Evosoda GEN 62

  • 1 Rare Candy SVI 191

  • 1 Nest Ball SVI 181

  • 1 Stadium Nav UNM 208

  • 1 Lillie's Poké Doll CEC 197

  • 1 Escape Rope BST 125

  • 1 Evolution Incense SSH 163

  • 1 Ordinary Rod SSH 171

  • 1 Quick Ball FST 237

  • 1 Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146

  • 1 Scoop Up Net RCL 165

  • 1 Ultra Ball SVI 196

  • 1 Professor's Letter BKT 146

  • 1 VS Seeker PHF 109

  • 1 Trainers' Mail ROS 92

  • 1 Float Stone BKT 137

  • 1 Defiance Band SVI 169

  • 1 Muscle Band XY 121

  • 1 Martial Arts Dojo UNB 179

  • 1 Brooklet Hill GRI 120

  • 1 Silent Lab PRC 140

  • 6 Fighting Energy 6

  • 1 Stone Fighting Energy VIV 164

  • 1 Strong Energy FCO 115