Abra is one of Little Cup's most potent sweepers with a monstrous 105 base Special Attack that is matched by no other Pokémon in Little Cup. It also has a superb 90 base Speed, allowing it to outpace or tie with most of the metagame. Abra can also run an effective dual screen set thanks to its aforementioned Speed and access to Encore. Unfortunately, Abra does have its drawbacks, most notably its paper-thin Defense and low HP. It is also weak to common priority attacks, such as Shadow Sneak and Sucker Punch, and has a shallow special movepool that prevents it from taking full advantage of its amazing offensive stats.
The goal of this set is to use Abra's awesome power while attempting to get rid of its glaring weakness to priority. If Abra manages to get a Substitute up, it has a good chance of taking down Pokémon who rely on priority to take down Abra, such as Carvanha and Croagunk. Substitute can also be troublesome for slower Pokémon, as it turns potential OHKOs into 2HKOs. This can be helpful if, for example, a weakened Munchlax is trying to take down Abra. Munchlax could be relying on only taking one hit from Abra and instead has to waste a turn taking down Abra's Substitute. Psychic is Abra's main STAB attack, which will hit any Pokémon who isn't resistant or immune to it very hard. The exception to this is Munchlax, with its massive HP and Special Defense. Signal Beam provides excellent coverage alongside Psychic, hitting Dark- and Psychic-types for super effective damage. With the excellent coverage that these two attacks provide, there is hardly anything left to hit. Hidden Power Fire provides super effective coverage on Bronzor, while Hidden Power Ground is almost exclusively for Aron, though it also provides good coverage on Houndour and Magnemite. However, Magnemite is already hit hard by Hidden Power Fire.
Encore can be an interesting option on this set, as it can provide an excellent opportunity for one of your other sweepers to set up. For example, if Abra Encores a Gligar's Earthquake, it provides a Pokémon such as Mantyke with a free turn of setup. Encore can also aid Abra in setting up a Substitute if Abra manages to Encore a non-attacking move. Life Orb gives even more power to Abra's already powerful attacks, and due to Abra's 19 HP stat, Life Orb only takes 1 HP due to recoil. Inner Focus allows Abra to take Fake Out, a common attack in Little Cup, without flinching. Abra can then either use Substitute, or if it is running Encore, Encore a move that won't work the next turn.
Timid is the best option for this set because it allows Abra to tie with the majority of non-Choice Scarf sweepers in Little Cup. The purpose of the EVs on this set is to maximize Abra's sweeping potential by maxing Special Attack and Speed. Due to the IV drop from either Hidden Power Fire or Hidden Power Ground, Abra is forced to add an extra 4 EVs in each stat, making it so that Abra cannot gain a point in any other stat. If you choose to run Encore instead of a Hidden Power you want to run a spread of 76 Def / 236 SpA / 196 Spe. 76 EVs in Special Defense as opposed to Defense is also viable.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Abra is the fastest user of dual screens in Little Cup. To go along with this, Abra is also tied for being the fastest user of Encore with Poliwag. On paper, Abra seems to be an inferior user due to its very low defenses, but its high Speed can make it very effective. Abra has the ability to very quickly set up screens, often before the opponent even attacks, giving Abra greater staying power and more time to execute its plan. A fast Encore is also very useful against leads with Stealth Rock, as Abra can set up a screen on the first turn, and if the opponent used Stealth Rock, Abra can Encore, forcing the opponent into a worthless move and allowing Abra to get up its second screen. This set functions very well as a lead if one is trying to set up screens as early as possible as well as there being common moves seen from the lead position that Abra can Encore, such as Stealth Rock and Fake Out.
Psychic gives Abra an attack on this set, and can still hit very hard despite the lack of Special Attack EVs. Light Clay is chosen so that the screens last 8 turns instead of 5, which can make a very big difference thanks to the fast pace of Little Cup. Inner Focus is very useful particularly against Fake Out leads such as Meowth, as Abra won't flinch. This gives Abra an opportunity to either Encore the lead, making it so that Fake Out will fail next turn, or set up its screen of choice. Timid nature is chosen to help Abra reach the magical 19 Speed without hindering its defenses or Special Attack. The EVs given are to improve Abra's bulk while still keeping it at maximum Speed.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Abra can function very well as a Choice user due to the excellent coverage provided by its attacks, and can effectively run Choice Scarf or Choice Specs due to its high Special Attack and Speed. Psychic is Abra's strongest STAB move, and its main attack on this set. Signal Beam provides good coverage alongside Psychic.
Choice Scarf is generally the more reliable option with this set, due to the Little Cup metagame being very centralized around Speed. Choice Scarf boosts Abra's Speed to 28 with a Timid nature, matched only by positive natured 83-92 Base Speed Choice Scarf users, such as Gligar, and neutral-natured 93-100 Base Speed Choice Scarf users, such as Diglett, and surpassed only in Speed by 93-100 Speed Pokémon with a positive nature. However, Modest is also a very viable option due to Abra gaining 2 extra points in Special Attack, which can make the difference between winning and losing a battle. It is important to note, however, that you risk tying with 18 Speed Choice Scarf users such as Gastly. Hidden Power Ground is the superior option on this set due to Abra's ability to outpace a +2 Aron, even with a Modest nature. Trick is slightly less effective on this set, as many Pokémon in Little Cup will hardly mind the boost in Speed. However, it is still useful for Pokémon such as Wynaut who lose their effectiveness when locked into a move. Trick can also be useful for Pokémon who may try to set up on Abra, forcing them to switch out, and not allowing them to sweep as effectively.
Choice Specs is a fun option with this set as Abra has good Speed, which allows it to run the set effectively, and its Special Attack gets boosted to astronomical levels with the Choice Specs boost. Timid is the only nature to use for this set, as it lets Abra tie with other 19 Speed Pokémon, such as Gligar and Staryu. Hidden Power Fire is generally the better option with Choice Specs, as Abra can hit Bronzor for massive damage, being able to OHKO max HP variants if they lack Special Defense EVs. Trick can be very effective on this set, as it can be a pain for physical attackers, who receive no boost in anything useful, and are forced to lock into an attack.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Energy Ball can be used on either the Choice or Substitute sets if your team has a lot of trouble with Chinchou, but it is important to note that a super effective Energy Ball hits with only 25 more Base Power than a neutral Psychic. Energy Ball also provides inferior coverage compared to Signal Beam, so it is generally not advised. Abra also possesses Calm Mind, which gives it the equivalent of a Choice Specs boost, as well as a boost in Special Defense. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to set up and makes Abra vulnerable to revenge killing without a boost in Speed or a Substitute.
Checks and Counters
The Substitute set has surprisingly few counters. One of the best would be Munchlax, who is able to shake off a couple of Abra's hits and kill it with any of its attacks. Mantyke also makes a decent counter with the highest Special Defense stat in the Little Cup metagame. However, the best way to stop the Substitute set from doing significant damage to your team is simply to not let it use Substitute. If Abra is not behind a Substitute, it has many more counters. The main one would be priority move users. Abra is very frail and thus cannot take many priority attacks aimed at it. Virtually any Pokémon faster than Abra when it is not behind a Substitute is a counter because most will be able to KO Abra. An example of this would be Elekid, who can outpace and OHKO with ThunderPunch.
The only Pokémon that can actually counter the dual screen set are Pokémon that have a fast Taunt or can KO Abra behind Reflect or Light Screen. Even better counters would be Choice Scarf Pokémon that can KO Abra without letting it get one of the screens up. The only Taunt users that can match Abra in Speed are Voltorb, Gligar, Meowth, and Aipom. Voltorb will be the most troublesome as it will always outpace Abra, as opposed to the latter two, with whom Abra ties. Abra can be surprisingly bulky behind screens, so not many Pokémon can take it out in one hit. One example would be Carvanha, who can OHKO Abra with Crunch, even behind Reflect. Choice Scarf Houndour is one Pokémon that absolutely counters the dual screen set because it is able to outpace and OHKO Abra with Dark Pulse, not letting it set up either screen. However, other Choice Scarf-wielding Pokémon that can OHKO Abra are great counters such as Gligar, Cranidos, and Stunky.
The Choice set has many more counters if Abra predicts incorrectly. One could switch in a Pokémon who resists or is immune to Abra's attack, forcing Abra to switch out. However, with good prediction the Choice set can be very difficult to beat. Houndour, Carvanha, and Munchlax are probably the set's best counters. The former two can switch in on Psychic thanks to their immunity and either Substitute, Pursuit Abra, or simply kill it. Munchlax can take any of Abra's attacks and KO back.