Spheal, in Little Cup, draws a lot of comparisons to Stallrein in OU. Though it doesn't have the same great stats or movepool, Spheal has just enough for it to succeed on a hail team. With hail and Toxic Spikes support, it can stall many a team in the fast-paced Little Cup metagame. Spheal may make you laugh at first glance, but it can turn quickly from adorable to menacing if you let it set up.
The purpose of this set is to stall your opponent out by alternating between Substitute and Protect; with hail falling, Spheal's Ice Body will activate, which combines with Leftovers to recover the HP required for Substitute in the 2 turns granted by said moves. Super Fang should be used in the third moveslot so opposing Ice-types don't beat this set. In addition, Super Fang is a reliable method of dealing damage, as it halves the remaining health of any non-Ghost-type Pokemon. However, Blizzard is a great STAB for Spheal, as it will deal a good amount of damage even with minimal investment. The fourth move is a matter of personal preference. Aqua Ring is the more desirable move, as after one turn of setup, it will allow Spheal to recover more health than it would lose from using Substitute (over two turns). This is vital for Spheal's longevity, as it can now stall out teams for an indefinite amount of time. However, if there is no room on the team for a Toxic Spikes user, such as Tentacool or Pineco, then Toxic can be used to compensate. The EVs give Spheal 23 HP, so Spheal will only lose 1 HP per turn if not using Aqua Ring. The remaining EVs are used to maximize Spheal's defenses, and the rest go into Special Attack.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
There really isn't anything else that Spheal can do well outside of stalling in a hailstorm, as its movepool is pretty subpar. A Choice Specs set may seem appealing, but Spheal's Special Attack stat isn't that great. Spheal fails to reach a Speed stat of 21 with a Choice Scarf, making it an ineffective Choice Scarf user as well. That being said, Spheal does get some other good options. One notable support move is Encore, which eases prediction when switching Spheal out.
One can opt to tinker with Spheal's defenses to suit one's needs. Its normal spread is 36 HP / 196 Def / 76 SpA / 196 SpD with a Bold nature for equal defenses, but you can change the EVs to make Spheal specialized for taking either physical or special hits. The difference is pretty negligible, however. Adding more EVs into HP is fine only if Aqua Ring is being used, as Spheal will lose 2 HP per turn otherwise.
Checks and Counters
By far, the best way to stop Spheal from stalling your team out is to prevent hail from being set up. The obvious method is to use Hippopotas, the only other auto-weather Pokémon in the metagame, but unfortunately, it is directly countered by Snover. Hippopotas, in tandem with one or two of Snover's checks (such as Bronzor, Growlithe, and Munchlax), would make a good core to stop Spheal cold. Skill Link Shellder also gets a mention, as it can damage Spheal through its Substitute with a super effective Rock Blast. Finally, weather moves, such as Rain Dance and Sunny Day, also prevent Spheal from endless stalling.