Around 70% of people are arachnophobic, and when you look at cute little Spinarak, it's hard to understand why. Although Spinarak has a sizable movepool, it lacks many useful moves and its average stats usually make it fall behind its competition. However, Spinarak has some interesting quirks that can give it the edge over some of the other Pokemon in Little Cup.
Spinarak is the only Pokemon in Little Cup that can Baton Pass a trapping move, something which can set up a match winning sweep. It is also one of the very few Pokemon with access to Toxic Spikes. Add in access to one of the better abilities in the game, Insomnia, and you have yourself a scary little creepy crawly ready to fight.
Spinarak holds the title as the only Pokemon in Little Cup that can trap pass, and this set is designed to make the most of it. Spider Web traps the opponent and allows Spinarak to Baton Pass to a counter who can set up on the victim, possibly resulting in a match winning sweep. This set can sometimes be hard to pull off, but is really quite rewarding when it works.
In the other moveslots, moves aimed to help Spinarak get the trap pass off are used; Bug Bite is the preferred option in the third slot as it can help Spinarak steal the opponent's Berry, either an Oran Berry to restore health, or if you're lucky, a pinch Berry to give Spinarak an extra boost to pass on. Protect should be used over Bug Bite if you use this set as a lead, as it will keep your Focus Sash intact. The last slot is designed to make Spinarak's job easier; Agility is preferred as it lets you get enough Speed to outspeed your opponent, and gives you something useful to pass if you're threatened by the switch-in. Substitute gives Spinarak protection from status and something useful to pass, but nine times out of ten Agility will work better.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
There aren't many Pokemon in Little Cup that have access to Toxic Spikes, which gives Spinarak a niche. Almost every Toxic Spikes user is outclassed by Tentacool, which has significantly higher bulk and added access to Rapid Spin; however, Spinarak finds itself with some interesting options and quirks that set it apart from the jellyfish.
The moves and EV spread given ensure that Spinarak will win as many lead matchups as possible. Toxic Spikes are a given, as otherwise there is little reason to use Spinarak. You will always get at least one layer down, as you can't be put to sleep, while Protect plus Focus Sash means you will never be OHKOed by anything short of a multi-hit move. The only common lead that threatens Spinarak is Shellder, due to its access to Rock Blast. Bug Bite shortens the lifespan of bulky leads, such as Phanpy and Hippopotas, by stealing their Oran Berries, and with the set's bulk, you should be able to get a layer of Toxic Spikes down too, unless they are carrying a Rock-type move. The last move can be used to take out Gastly who is always OHKOed (or 2HKOed by Shadow Sneak) and can't put you to sleep. Shadow Sneak should be used if you are worried about Substitute and want a more reliable move.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Spinarak has a quite good movepool, but it lacks the stats to use most of its other moves effectively. It could work on a Trick Room team with its priority moves and a moveset consisting of Bug Bite, Poison Jab, and Double-Edge. In most cases, however, Spinarak's mediocre Attack will let it down. Spinarak also gets some interesting options such as Body Slam, Poison Jab, Thief, and Swagger, but for the most part you will not get the chance to use them and there are more reliable Pokemon that can perform similar tasks with actual status moves.
Checks and Counters
Anything that can stop Spinarak from setting up make good counters; first off, Taunters shut down almost any set that Spinarak will be running. Almost any user of the move will work thanks to Spinarak's low Speed. Grounded Poison-types will ruin the Toxic Spikes set's efforts, as can Rapid Spinners. Staryu gets a special mention, as Natural Cure will remove its poison status after spinning the Toxic Spikes away. The previously mentioned Shellder will be able to force out any Spinarak set that leads. As for the Baton Pass set, you should concentrate more on beating Spinarak's target than stopping Spinarak itself. As it will most often be passing a Speed boost, your best bet is to use priority users or a Pokemon with Thunder Wave. Phanpy can take most unboosted physical attacks, while Ice Shard will hit recipients like Gligar for super effective damage. Croagunk is known for its amazing amount of priority options, even Seel does well as it can hit most of Spinarak's likely Baton Pass targets for super effective damage.