Riolu

Steadfast
Speed is boosted one stage when flinched.
Inner Focus
Prevents flinching.
Prankster
Moves that do not deal direct damage have their priority increased by one level.
Type Tier
Fighting LC
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
40
- 20 23 -
Atk
70
11 13 16 17
Def
40
9 10 13 14
SpA
35
9 10 13 14
SpD
40
9 10 13 14
Spe
60
10 12 15 16

Overview

Though unseen throughout the entirety of Little Cup, Riolu was granted Prankster from the Dream World, giving reason to actually use this adorable little thing. Prankster grants Riolu a +1 priority boost to all of its moves that don't inflict direct damage. But how does this ability differentiate Riolu from its fellow Prankster abuser Murkrow, who has reliable coverage moves, many more support options, and better stats? The key to Riolu's success comes from its jewel of a movepool, which contains both Roar and Copycat. Through Riolu's unique combination of moves and ability, it has a niche that cannot be filled by any other Pokemon: priority phazing. Thanks to the Dream World, this little cutie is now a force to be reckoned with, providing team support and strong revenge killing capabilities with its Prankster Copycat.

Name Item Ability Nature

Priolu

Eviolite Prankster Impish
Moveset EVs
~ Copycat
~ Protect
~ Drain Punch
~ Crunch / Toxic
196 HP / 196 Def / 116 SpD

Copycat is the crux of the set, giving Riolu a myriad of options to harass the opponent's team. When combined with Protect, Copycat allows Riolu to revenge kill a variety of threats without taking damage. For example, if Dratini locks itself into Outrage, and Riolu uses Protect, it can Copycat Outrage next turn, OHKOing Dratini. The ability to scout with Protect really gives Riolu incredible utility. Likewise, Riolu can use a slow Drain Punch, Riolu's main STAB move and only source of healing (unless it uses Copycat after Recover or another recovery move) and then use Copycat in order to hit twice in a row without interruption. This is very handy against Pokemon such as Scraggy, Drilbur, or Murkrow, who are all 2HKOed by Drain Punch. The same method applies for Crunch, which is Riolu's best way of handling Misdreavus, and its only way of touching Natu.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

The only other sets that have any value at all for Riolu are an Agility and three attacks set or a Bulk Up set, but neither are worth using over Riolu's other options nor the other Fighting-types in LC. Riolu also gets Swords Dance, which can be used to pull off a surprise sweep with Copycat to deal with Riolu's abysmal Speed.

Checks and Counters

Unfortunately, as cool as Riolu and its ability are, there are multiple things that can get in its way. The main way to put a stop to Riolu's Copycat shenanigans is to use a faster priority move to interrupt it, such as Protect, Fake Out, or a failed Sucker Punch. Mienfoo is a very large problem for Riolu since Fake Out breaks Copycat and Regenerator prevents Mienfoo from taking significant hazard or Drain Punch damage. Abra and Solosis are problematic Pokemon as well, as they have Magic Guard to avoid entry hazard damage; Abra also has Protect to interrupt Copycat. However, both are hit hard by Crunch. Opposing Murkrow and Houndour can use Sucker Punch against Riolu to force Copycat to fail, and threaten Riolu with their STAB moves, though games against these two are 50-50; if the Riolu user predicts successfully and uses Protect, Roar, or an attack, Murkrow and Houndour can be forced out again or KOed. In short, the fastest and easiest ways to handle Riolu would be Protect, Fake Out, Sucker Punch, and faster priority; if the opponent lacks any of these, Riolu's sheer diversity and utility match is unmatched.