Piplup

Torrent
Boosts power of Water-type moves 50% when at 1/3 HP or less.
Type Tier
Water LC
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
53
- 21 25 -
Atk
51
9 11 14 15
Def
53
9 11 15 16
SpA
61
10 12 15 16
SpD
56
10 12 15 16
Spe
40
9 10 13 14
  • Little Cup

Overview

Piplup has always been in the shadow of other Water-type Pokémon, due to his lack of priority moves, an Electric immunity, or a Ground immunity. However, Piplup's bulk and pure Water-typing give him an advantage over his aquatic friends. He can easily survive a Diglett's Earthquake (unlike Kabuto and Chinchou), as well as weak Hidden Powers. Piplup may have some flaws, but he can be surprisingly useful; one just needs to take advantage of his strengths.

Name Item Nature

Lead

Oran Berry / Focus Sash Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Stealth Rock
~ Hydro Pump / Surf
~ Icy Wind
~ Hidden Power Grass / Hidden Power Fire
92 HP / 12 Def / 192 SpA / 200 Spe

Piplup's bulk, great typing, and access to Stealth Rock make him a great candidate in the lead position. He easily defeats Ground- and Rock-type Pokemon, which gives him a multitude of occasions on which to set up Stealth Rock. Icy Wind is essential to this set. It allows Piplup to break the opponent's Focus Sash on turn one. Then, thanks to Icy Wind's secondary effect of lowering the opponent's Speed, Piplup can outrun the opposing lead and set up Stealth Rock or simply KO the opposing Pokemon. This move is invaluable against leads relying on their Speed to be effective, such as Meowth, Diglett, and Chimchar.

The choice between Hidden Power Fire and Hidden Power Grass is a tough one. Hidden Power Fire gives Piplup the upper hand against Snover, who can otherwise cause some problems, but then leaves him completely helpless against other Water Pokemon, such as Chinchou, Squirtle, Buizel, and Horsea. Hidden Power Grass can also be used to assure the OHKO on Kabuto, Omanyte, and Barboach.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Support

Oran Berry Bold / Calm
Moveset EVs
~ Surf
~ Ice Beam / Hidden Power Electric
~ Yawn
~ Stealth Rock
252 HP / 92 Def / 148 SpD

Piplup has great bulk and a good defensive typing, which gives him a lot of opportunities to set up Stealth Rock. He also has a wide support movepool, making him a great choice for such a role in Little Cup. The primary advantage of having Piplup as a support Pokemon is that he is not only able to set up Stealth Rock, but also able to counter Rain Dance sweepers, a great threat in the Little Cup metagame. Mantyke without a Life Orb will be unable to OHKO Piplup with a rain-boosted Surf or super effective Hidden Power, and Buizel's Return will also fail to KO Piplup. Other Swift Swimmers, such as Surskit, non-Life Orb Horsea, Omanyte, Kabuto, and Goldeen, will be stopped cold by Piplup's incredible bulk. However, repeated assault from the aforementioned threats will wear Piplup down.

Even though Stealth Rock isn't as important in Little Cup as it is in the OU metagame, it is still helpful in checking Little Cup's omnipresent Choice Scarf users. It reduces the lifespan of threats such as Mantyke and Snover, as well as negating the effects of Focus Sash. However, what makes Piplup such a good user of Stealth Rock is the ability to abuse it with Yawn. Yawn is extremely useful in the Little Cup metagame because it forces switches, racking up residual damage from Stealth Rock and scouting the opposing team. Surf is there for a consistent STAB attack, although its damage output is low due to the lack of Special Attack EVs on this set. In the second slot, Hidden Power Electric is preferable to handle Swift Swimmers who will otherwise easily defeat Piplup, but Ice Beam can handle Grass-types, such as Shroomish and Paras.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Piplup's movepool is shallow, so he has very few options apart from the ones already listed. Still, he can run a few gimmicky sets to surprise the opponent. An Agility set could be used, but Piplup is generally outclassed by Chinchou, Mantyke, and Horsea in that area. A physical set could be used with moves such as Waterfall, Pluck, Drill Peck, Brick Break, and Rock Tomb to lure Munchlax, though Munchlax can still come out on top. A Rain Dance set could be used for support, as well as a Toxic + Protect one. On the support set, FeatherDance can be useful to stop physical attackers, such as Mankey, who can switch in on Yawn with impunity. Piplup can use Substitute to ease prediction and scout for status. Also, a Choice Scarf or Specs set is usable with Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, and Hidden Power, but again, this role is generally performed better by other bulky Waters, such as Chinchou and Mantyke.

Checks and Counters

Chinchou, Snover, and Munchlax are probably Piplup's greatest enemies. The first two can take a Hydro Pump and retaliate with a powerful STAB attack. Munchlax can also take a Hydro Pump (although Torrent- and Choice Specs-boosted attacks might leave a mark) and strike back with Return for a 2HKO. Various bulky Grass-types, such as Lileep and Shroomish, can come in on a Water-type attack or Hidden Power (although they have to be wary of Ice Beam) and strike back with a strong Seed Bomb or Energy Ball. Pokemon who are immune to Water-type attacks, such as Mantyke and Paras, can cause Piplup some problems. Most notably, Croagunk can easily come in on any of Piplup's attacks except Specs-boosted Ice Beam and KO him. Porygon can take an unboosted Hydro Pump or Surf and OHKO with Thunderbolt back. Faster Pokemon with a super effective attack, such as Gastly, Drifloon, Staryu, and Voltorb, can revenge kill Piplup.