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How to beat Professor Kukui in Pokemon Sun and Moon

Professory Kukui faces the player for champion of the Alola region (Image via The Pokemon Company)
Professory Kukui faces the player for champion of the Alola region (Image via The Pokemon Company)
Shane Foley

Professor Kukui’s team may look scary at first in Pokemon Sun and Moon, but with a couple of tools, any trainer can beat him easily.

He certainly made history as the first professor to serve as a Champion. Trainers will always be guaranteed to face one threat, as Kukui will have the final evolution of the starter that has a type advantage against the player’s. Fortunately, the rest of his team has some common weaknesses.


How do Pokemon trainers become Champion of Alola?

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Here is a full breakdown of Professor Kukui’s team:

  • Lycanroc lvl 57
  • Alolan Ninetales lvl 56
  • Braviary lvl 56
  • Magnezone lvl 56
  • Snorlax lvl 56
  • Decidueye/Incineroar/Primarina lvl 58

Given this team composition, it’s clear that Professor Kukui has one glaring weakness: Fighting-types. Lycanroc gets destroyed by Fighting, Magnezone and Snorlax are vulnerable to Fighting, and Braviary and Alolan Ninetales don’t want to take a Close Combat either.

In terms of which Fighting-types players should bring, it can be a little hard to find them in the Alola region. Fortunately, two of the Ultra Beasts fill this role excellently: Buzzwole and Pheromosa. If players don’t like using legendaries, on the other hand, they can always pick up Kommo-o, who can practically sweep Kukui’s entire team after a Clangorous Soulblaze.

Any Fighing-type will have to worry about a Moonblast from Alolan Ninetales or a Brave Bird from Braviary. Therefore, it’s best for trainers to cover their Fighting-type of choice with a Steel-type; Alolan Ninetales has no move that can hit Steel-types for consistent damage, and all of Braviary’s move are Normal-type and Flying-type (someone forgot to tell Kukui that Braviary learns Close Combat).

Kommo-o can sweep Kukui's entire team after a Clangorous Soulblaze (Image via The Pokemon Company)
Kommo-o can sweep Kukui's entire team after a Clangorous Soulblaze (Image via The Pokemon Company)

There are many Steel-types in Alola that trainers can use, but there’s one in particular trainers might want to favor. On Ula’ula Island, trainers can find Beldum, which evolves into the famous Metagross.

It’s pretty shocking how well this pseudo-legendary does against Kukui. Players can Bullet Punch and OHKO (One-hit knockout) Alolan Ninetales before it has a chance to move. Metagross also has strong matchups against Lycanroc and Braviary, and if it knows Earthquake, Magnezone will have to watch out too.

With these two Pokemon, the only job left is to cover what the starter is weak to. If the player selects Rowlett as their starter, they will need to have an answer for Incineroar. Thankfully, there are tons of Water-types in Alola, and Tapu Fini, Wishiwashi or even Toxapex can take care of Incineroar.

For trainers who pick Litten themselves, they will be facing Primarina. The easiest way to check Primarina is a strong Electric-type attacker, such as Togedemaru, Alolan Raichu, or Tapu Koko.

Finally, Poplio trainers will be going up against Decidueye. Fire-types hard counter Decidueye, but the best possible check is Arcanine. This is because Intimidate will lower Decideye’s Attack stat, so not even a Spirit Shackle will do too much damage.


Edited by Mayank Shete

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