Riolu

Inner Focus
Prevents flinching.
Steadfast
Speed is boosted one stage when flinched.
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
  • Little Cup

Overview

Although Riolu may lack the ability to switch into common attacks as well as other Little Cup sweepers, he makes up for it by having excellent coverage moves, good Attack and Speed stats, and resistances to Rock-, Bug-, and Dark-type attacks. Riolu also has the advantage over other Agility sweepers, due to the fact that with only three moves he can hit nearly every common wall in Little Cup for super effective damage. With all that in mind, Riolu is a great choice for any team in need of a strong late-game cleaner.

Name Item Nature

Agility

Life Orb Adamant
Moveset IVs
~ Agility
~ Hi Jump Kick
~ Crunch
~ Ice Punch
0 HP
EVs
196 Atk / 36 Def / 36 SpD / 196 Spe

This is one of Riolu's best sets in Little Cup, and plays in much the same fashion as his older brother Lucario in OU. After a single Agility Riolu reaches a Speed of 30, outspeeding almost every single Pokemon in Little Cup, whether they are holding a Choice Scarf or not. The only exceptions are Choice Scarf Diglett, Voltorb, and Elekid; the former two are never seen with Scarf and Elekid only very rarely. Agility allows Riolu to outrun many Pokemon who could usually KO Riolu before it has a chance to move. Crunch is used to hit the myriad of Ghost-types in LC for a swift 2HKO at the least. The only Ghosts who stand a chance of surviving a Crunch are Drifloon and Duskull, and even they need to invest heavily in Defense and HP to do so. Unfortunately, Close Combat is not available to Riolu and therefore it has to be content with Hi Jump Kick. However, Hi Jump Kick has all the power Riolu needs, doing a minimum of 52% to 220/228 Bronzor, who is often considered to be the best physical wall in Little Cup. Ice Punch hits Gligar for a clean OHKO and also helps against the likes of Phanpy, Hippopotas, Bulbasaur, Chikorita, and Dratini, among others. ThunderPunch may be used to hit Mantyke and Totodile, but it is generally an inferior option due to the lack of coverage against common Little Cup walls.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Swords Dance

Focus Sash / Life Orb Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ Hi Jump Kick
~ Crunch
~ Ice Punch / Quick Attack / Bullet Punch
196 Atk / 36 Def / 36 SpD / 196 Spe

Although this set may be very similar to the Agility set in terms of moves, they function in different ways. Whereas the latter attempts to finish off the opponent's teams late-game when most Pokemon are weakened, this set should be used as a way to muscle through most common walls in Little Cup with ease. Swords Dance is the core of the set, boosting Riolu's already decent Attack stat to monstrous levels. Hi Jump Kick has good power and decent enough accuracy, making it the primary choice for STAB on all Riolu sets. Crunch gives Riolu almost perfect coverage alongside Hi Jump Kick, OHKOing every Ghost-type in Little Cup regardless of Defense investment. The final slot is slightly more problematic however. Ice Punch nails any Gligar attempting to switch in, as well as netting KOs on many bulky Grass- and Ground-type Pokemon in Little Cup. It should be noted however that Ice Punch is useless against Gligar once it has switched in, as even without a boosting item or Attack EVs, Gligar will always outspeed and KO Riolu with Earthquake.

The Swords Dance + priority combo is not one that is widely available in Little Cup, and Riolu is one its best users. Quick Attack nearly always 2HKOes Croagunk before it can KO back with Vacuum Wave. Bullet Punch is often the superior option, however, as no Pokemon is immune to it, and it hits Rock-types for super effective damage. Focus Sash is a great item on Riolu because it allows him to fare well against offense as well as stall; however, Life Orb can be used because it enables Riolu to always OHKO Bronzor after a Swords Dance.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Lead

Focus Sash Inner Focus Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Hi Jump Kick
~ Bullet Punch
~ Crunch
~ Counter
196 Atk / 36 SpD / 196 Spe

With Inner Focus granting it immunity to flinching, Riolu is capable of eliminating many common leads in Little Cup. A combination of Hi Jump Kick and Bullet Punch KOes Snover and Kabuto, whereas Crunch is there to hit Drifloon and Gastly. Counter is a great move on Riolu due to his low Defense stat. Most leads who Riolu cannot beat with only its attacking moves, such as Mankey and Gligar, are taken care of by Counter, as the incoming Close Combat and Earthquake will both leave Riolu on 1 HP.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Rock Slide, Blaze Kick, and Earthquake are all decent enough options on Riolu and allow him to easily KO Pokemon such as Mantyke, Pineco, and Croagunk. However, many of these moves have redundant coverage with Riolu's STAB options, and Rock Slide has low Base Power, meaning that a super effective Rock Slide will hit as hard as a neutral Hi Jump Kick, only with less cost should it miss. Force Palm or Brick Break may be used over Hi Jump Kick as they both have perfect accuracy as well as useful side effects. However, this is not recommended on the Swords Dance set due to missing out on the OHKO on Bronzor.

Riolu may use a Jolly nature on any of the sets provided, allowing him to outspeed every single unboosted Pokemon in Little Cup after an Agility regardless of whether they are holding a Choice Scarf or not. This should be considered a lesser option to Adamant though because the lack of power will really be noticeable, and the only remotely common Pokemon that can tie with Riolu after an Agility is Scarf Elekid. Take note that Riolu will not always be able to 2HKO Bronzor with Hi Jump Kick, or Hippopotas and Phanpy with Ice Punch. Finally, Riolu can run a Choice Scarf set, but this is generally done better by Machop and Mankey.

Checks and Counters

Agility Riolu has huge problems with bulky Ghost-types with Will-O-Wisp, as well as Bronzor. Drifloon and Duskull are good examples of Pokemon who can safely counter Agility Riolu while holding Oran Berry. They can switch into any move Riolu uses, including Crunch due to Oran Berry, and then cripple Riolu with Will-O-Wisp. Bronzor can switch in and at worst 2HKO Riolu with Psychic even with no EV investment. While they may not be counters, Pokemon who can use strong priority attacks, such as Dratini with ExtremeSpeed and Totodile with Aqua Jet, are able to KO Riolu no matter how many times it has used Agility. Swords Dance Riolu is very easily revenge killed, and since it can be outrun, its frailty is even more of a problem. If for some reason Riolu is not using Ice Punch, bulky Ground-types, such as Phanpy, Hippopotas, and especially Gligar, can eliminate Riolu with powerful STAB Earthquakes. Riolu must be very careful of status, most prominently paralysis and burn, and therefore Pokemon with decent bulk who can spread paralysis, such as Chinchou, are very useful when countering Riolu.