Anorith has good stats, excellent dual STABs, and reliable offensive moves to back them up, but its prowess in Little Cup is slightly shaky. Its Rock typing gives it a weakness to two of the most popular priority attacks in the game, while its Bug typing gives it a weakness to Stealth Rock. On top of this, nearly all of the Pokemon who can beat it sit comfortably at the top of Little Cup and show no signs of being displaced. Despite all this, Anorith's merits cannot be denied. It is both fast and powerful, with access to boosting moves to stress both points. Although its typing is terrible defensively, it is undoubtedly a godsend offensively. All in all, Anorith has the potential to be one of the best sweepers or supporters in Little Cup, given the right teammates.
Anorith can run a Choice set reasonably effectively due to good Speed and Attack backed up by an excellent STAB combination. In general, an Adamant nature should be used with a Choice Scarf to promote attacking power, while a Jolly nature should be used with a Choice Band to salvage lost Speed. With a Jolly nature and a Choice Band, Anorith reaches 28 Attack and 18 Speed, while with an Adamant nature and a Choice Scarf, it has 20 Attack and 25 Speed. The Choice Band allows Anorith to become a force to be reckoned with in Little Cup, with very little being able to switch into it risk-free. On the other hand, the Choice Scarf set is usually played more as a late-game cleaner and makeshift revenge killer, taking down broken or weakened teams.
X-Scissor is Anorith's main STAB attack and its most reliable form of late-game offense. Rock Slide is used as a secondary STAB move, as sadly Anorith does not get Stone Edge, though the flinch chance somewhat mitigates this loss in power. The remaining two moves are used for coverage purposes; Brick Break helps destroy Steel-types who resist Anorith's STAB moves, while the fourth slot covers the only other type that resists both Rock- and Bug-type attacks: Fighting. In general, the best way to damage Machop and Croagunk without locking Anorith into a weak move is to use a strong neutral attack, as Anorith's movepool is fairly shallow. Double-Edge is very powerful, but causes recoil damage, while Body Slam can allow Anorith to get some lucky paralysis on the opposing team, which can help out against potential revenge killers.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Anorith is one of five Pokemon in Little Cup who can learn the combination of Stealth Rock and Rapid Spin, which combined with its decent Speed, offensive prowess, and resistance to Fake Out makes it a worthy choice for a lead. While more directly offensive than many other supporting leads, it has an excellent support movepool and is one of the most reliable Stealth Rock users in Little Cup. Despite a shorter lifespan than the more offensive Anorith sets, as well as being slightly overshadowed by Kabuto due to a lack of priority, a lead is certainly a viable choice for Anorith to take, and can be a great method of support for your team.
Rapid Spin is the main attraction on this set, being able to remove entry hazards such as Spikes and Stealth Rock. Anorith can also set up its own Stealth Rock to help your team, breaking the opponent's Focus Sash and building up damage over time. One way to use this Anorith is to attack as the opponent sets up entry hazards, and if it has a Focus Sash, use Rapid Spin to not only dispose of it outright but also to remove the entry hazards it set up. X-Scissor is Anorith's main STAB attack, dealing a good amount of damage to most other leads, in particular the frailer leads such as Meowth and Diglett. It can also 3HKO Bronzor through its Oran Berry, something Kabuto cannot do. For the last slot, Brick Break is the best option to take down Pokemon who resist X-Scissor, such as Aron, deal more damage to Kabuto and Meowth, and break screens set up by leads such as Bronzor, although it does leave Anorith helpless against Gastly and Drifloon. Remember that Rock Slide is always available as an alternative secondary STAB for the popular Ghost- and Flying-types of Little Cup.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Anorith has two desirable stat-boosting moves for attempting a sweep: Swords Dance and Rock Polish. This set focuses on the latter move, which boosts Anorith's decent 16 Speed stat to an impressive 32, allowing it to outspeed and OHKO many threats who would otherwise be able to revenge kill it. While slightly better protected against most revenge killers due to its boosted Speed stat and extra Defense EVs, Anorith may often find that it lacks the ability to power through bulky walls such as Bronzor and Gligar. Not only that, but it is still as weak to priority attacks as ever, and has no particularly feasible way of beating Machop and other Fighting-types.
Anorith's two STAB moves make up the core of this moveset once again, while Brick Break provides reasonable coverage against Steel-types. Life Orb is an option if you want to salvage Anorith's lost Attack stat, but it does detract from its ability to survive blows even with the added defensive investment—if you want to increase survivability in this regard, Oran Berry is preferable, but remember that Anorith will lose out on a lot of power. The EVs and nature allow for maximum attacking power while also granting Anorith 16 Speed. The remainder of the EVs grant Anorith two extra points when placed in either Defense or Special Defense, which helps it take hits better and may well be the difference between life and death. Placing them both into Defense is preferable as Anorith is usually better suited at taking physical hits.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While Swords Dance Anorith does not provide the same support exhibited by the Choice sets, it makes up for it with raw power, achieving 40 Attack with an Adamant nature after a Swords Dance boost. Even with a Jolly nature, however, this Anorith suffers greatly from revenge killing, more so than the Choice Scarf and Rock Polish variants, and it is usually not bulky enough to survive neutral hits. Weaknesses to Bullet Punch and Aqua Jet does not help it, either. It is also slightly overlooked as a Swords Dance sweeper in favor of Gligar, who has greater bulk and a better movepool along with that essential 19 Speed, though Anorith has its own share of advantages as well.
Swords Dance is the core of this set, allowing Anorith to boost its Attack stat sky-high, OHKO Croagunk with Life Orb Rock Slide, and occasionally take out bulky Machop with Brick Break with some prior damage. Rock Slide and X-Scissor are necessary STAB moves that complement each other quite nicely, and unlike the Choice sets, the opponent cannot simply switch Mantyke into X-Scissor due to the fear of Rock Slide. Only one slot is left for coverage: Brick Break is generally the best choice, since it easily disposes of Steel-types and can also hit bulky Fighting-types for decent damage.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Anorith's Special Attack is not great, even by Little Cup standards, but it gets a couple of interesting special attacks. Earth Power is an intriguing option that has some utility over Brick Break (especially on the Rock Polish set). By diverting some EVs from Defense to Special Attack, Anorith can not only beat the original targets of Shieldon and Aron, but also OHKO Croagunk. Hidden Power Ice can be used to deal some damage to Gligar. Already mentioned in the set descriptions are Aerial Ace and Crush Claw—Aerial Ace hits the Fighting-types who wall Anorith's STAB moves, though its coverage and power beyond that is poor. Crush Claw has a nice chance of lowering the opponent's Defense as well as having great neutral coverage, but has low Base Power.
On the Rock Polish set, you can lower Anorith's Speed EVs to increase defensive capability if you are sure that Anorith can pull off a Rock Polish boost—76 Speed allows Anorith to hit 30 Speed after the boost, which is still sufficient to outrun every Pokemon of note besides Choice Scarf Diglett. Doing this also allows Anorith to glean another precious point in one of its defensive stats. You should not add EVs to HP unless Life Orb isn't present, which is inadvisable. For the defensive stats, 36 Defense EVs give Anorith one extra point, and 116 gives it two, making either 236 Atk / 196 Def / 76 Spe usable for an extra point in Defense, or 236 Atk / 116 Def / 36 SpD / 76 Spe for an extra point in Special Defense. If you are using Earth Power or another special attack on Anorith, you should move the defensive EVs to Special Attack and use a Naughty or Lonely nature. If you run a Life Orb set, you can run 0 HP IVs to minimize the damage taken from Life Orb.
Checks and Counters
It is very difficult to find a hard counter to the Swords Dance set, although bulky Choice Band Machop comes close. It is really much easier to revenge kill than to straight-out wall this set. Abra and Gastly can both outspeed Adamant versions and KO with their STAB attacks, while Croagunk resists every move it uses and has OHKO potential with one of its many priority moves. Machop and Mankey work in the same way, while Choice Scarf variants can outrun and OHKO with their STAB moves. Diglett can trap and revenge kill nearly any Anorith with Earthquake, Sucker Punch, or a super effective Rock Slide, besides the Choice Scarf and Rock Polish sets. Faster Water-types who can OHKO include Poliwag, Staryu, and Buizel, the latter of whom also has STAB Aqua Jet.
The Rock Polish set is far easier to counter per se—it often does not have the power to beat some of the walls which the Swords Dance set can simply hammer through, despite being faster and thus harder to revenge kill. Bronzor can take an X-Scissor and survive with Oran Berry, and Gyro Ball versions can easily KO after Anorith uses Rock Polish. Gligar also easily survives Anorith's attacks, and can stall with Roost or crush Anorith with a super effective Aqua Tail. Hippopotas has Slack Off and STAB Earthquake, but the weather it brings with it can actually help Anorith by increasing its bulk against special attacks. Defensive Water-types with OHKO potential include Tentacool, Krabby, Squirtle, Omanyte, and Kabuto, although the latter two have to be wary of Brick Break if they are not under the rain. Of these, Tentacool resists Anorith's Bug STAB and can OHKO with STAB Surf, Krabby has its trademark Crabhammer available, and Kabuto can blast Anorith away with Aqua Jet. Bulky Fighting-types such as Machop also make fine counters to Rock Polish Anorith.