With its brilliant Speed stat of 19, a powerful Special Attack stat of 16, and a wonderful offensive movepool, Staryu is a formidable sweeper in LC, especially late-game. It's also one of the best Rapid Spinners, thanks to its high Speed and offensive prowess. It's a versatile Pokémon and is equipped with all of the tools to finish off your opponent's team. Staryu should always be considered to fill up that open slot on your offensive team; it will almost never disappoint you.
Staryu has a fantastic offensive movepool, with moves that give it excellent type coverage. It reaches one of the fastest Speed benchmarks in the LC metagame, that being a high 19. Lastly, it has a decent Special Attack stat of 16, enough to make full use of its brilliant movepool. These qualities make Staryu one of the best late-game sweepers available in Little Cup.
Hydro Pump is the STAB move of choice, as it packs 26% more power than Surf. While the 80% accuracy can be an issue, it gives the crucial power needed to OHKO many opponents, and does enough damage to 3HKO the common Munchlax (including Oran Berry). If you dislike Hydro Pump's 80% accuracy, you have a reliable alternative in Surf, which is still capable of dealing heavy damage to most foes. Thunderbolt offers great coverage in tandem with Surf, hitting Water-types like Mantyke for super effective damage. Ice Beam is used to stop Grass-types such as Paras. Finally, Hidden Power Ground hits Croagunk and Chinchou, two common Pokémon capable of stopping Staryu's sweep.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
With its fantastic 19 Speed, above-average 16 Special Attack, and wide offensive movepool, Staryu is one of the best Rapid Spin users available in the LC metagame. On top of this, it can also double as an effective late-game sweeper once your opponent's Pokémon are weakened, effectively filling two roles at once.
Rapid Spin removes opposing entry hazards, such as Stealth Rock and Spikes, from the field. However, Staryu's efficiency comes primarily from its offensive moves, as it has enough power to threaten Ghost-types that would switch in to block Rapid Spin, such as Gastly and Misdreavus. Surf is the preferred STAB move, as it provides reliable power in the lead position. However, Hydro Pump allows Staryu to OHKO certain opponents, such as Gastly and Abra, and also provides more power for a potential late-game sweep. Thunderbolt provides secondary coverage, hitting Mantyke and other Water-types. For the last slot, Ice Beam hits Dragon- and Grass-types, particularly Dratini and Paras, very hard, while Hidden Power Ground hits Croagunk and Chinchou.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Instead of Staryu becoming a late-game sweeper with Life Orb, it can also be a very strong attacker with Choice Specs equipped, or an effective revenge killer by holding Choice Scarf. With Choice Specs and a Timid nature, Staryu reaches an excellent Special Attack stat of 24, enough for it to deal heavy damage to almost any foe. On the other hand, Staryu reaches a fantastic Speed stat of 27 with Choice Scarf and a Modest nature, outpacing all positive natured base 80 Pokémon who wield Choice Scarf themselves.
Hydro Pump is an excellent STAB move to use, especially if you opt to use Choice Specs. With Choice Specs, it becomes strong enough to 2HKO the bulkiest version of Munchlax, and 3HKO if Oran Berry is still intact. Also, Staryu becomes a frightening Choice Scarf sweeper with Hydro Pump, OHKOing Pokémon like Gastly and Meowth. Surf is another move Staryu can use if you dislike Hydro Pump's accuracy, hitting reasonably hard against Pokémon who are weak to it or pack low defenses. Thunderbolt and Ice Beam are excellent attacks to use in conjunction with Staryu's STAB move, as the former nails Water-types, such as Mantyke, while the latter penetrates Grass-types, such as Paras and Turtwig. Hidden Power Ground rounds off the set very nicely, eliminating Chinchou and Croagunk, two huge threats to Staryu.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
The common Substitute + pinch Berry combination works pretty well on Staryu, as with a boost and its naturally high Speed and decent Special Attack it can be a very threatening sweeper. By using Petaya Berry, Staryu is capable of reaching a Special Attack stat of 24, and with its excellent type coverage, your opponent will have a hard time combating it if they lack a priority user or a Pokémon who is faster than it.
Staryu is also capable of using Gravity to great effect. Not only does it give Staryu's Blizzard, Hydro Pump, and Thunder 100% accuracy, it also helps any teammate relying on a powerful Earthquake, especially Gligar. With Gravity active, Gligar and other Ground-type attackers can use Earthquake without of a Flying or Levitating Pokémon stopping its sweep.
Since Staryu generally forces several switches, Recover can be useful, especially on the Life Orb set. With it, Staryu can heal up 50% of its HP that it has lost from the Life Orb recoil, giving it more longevity to sweep. Pain Split can still be used to some effectiveness on the Life Orb set as well. This gives Staryu the ability to heal itself up to nearly maximum health when it’s running low on HP from Life Orb recoil, and it works very well against the likes of Bronzor and Munchlax because of their large HP stat.
With Croagunk being a common Staryu switch-in because of its ability to absorb Water-type attacks and recover 25% HP, Psychic is a perfectly viable option to use against it, hitting it for 4x damage. Not only does it destroy Croagunk, but other Fighting-types like Machop and Mankey will never like to take Psychic either. Hidden Power Grass is a decent alternative to Hidden Power Ground, as it obliterates Wooper, Barboach, Omanyte, and Kabuto, all of which can be troublesome. Hidden Power Fire may also be used, taking out Snover and also having a chance to deal heavy damage to Croagunk because of its Dry Skin ability.
Checks and Counters
In almost all situations, Munchlax will be able to threaten Staryu, thanks to its great special bulk and access to a powerful STAB Return. Chinchou, although it lacks the defenses Munchlax boasts, resists and is capable of shrugging off Surf, Thunderbolt, and Ice Beam. It can then set up an Agility and attempt to wreak havoc; however, it should watch out for Hidden Power Ground which deals 75% - 91.67% to standard Chinchou. Snover is another excellent counter to Staryu, as it is resistant to Surf, Thunderbolt, and Hidden Power Ground, allowing it to switch in and smack Staryu with STAB Energy Ball. Wooper is immune to Thunderbolt, can absorb 25% of its health upon switching into a predicted Surf, and can hurt Staryu with a STAB Earthquake.
Priority users can cause serious troubles to Staryu, as its mediocre defenses can’t stand up to repeated assaults of priority moves. Fake Out and Vacuum Wave Croagunk and Sucker Punch Houndour are just some of the priority users that can severely damage Staryu. In Croagunk’s case, it’s capable of doing upwards of 70% damage with a combination of a Life Orbed Fake Out and Vacuum Wave, while max Attack positive natured Houndour with Life Orb has a 46% chance to OHKO Staryu with Sucker Punch if Stealth Rock is in play.