Like in other tiers, many teams in Little Cup are built around cores: generally two to three Pokemon that have good synergy with each other and can work together to defeat the enemy team. The term "synergy" itself can refer to different ways in which Pokemon can support each other. Synergy can be divided into two main types: offensive synergy and defensive synergy, and the best cores will have a little of both. Given that teambuilding can be one of the more difficult barriers to getting into LC, promoting discussion of cores to help create teams will help make the ladder more active!
is what most people often think of when they see the word "synergy": two Pokemon that have good defensive synergy with each other can switch into each others' weaknesses -- and more importantly, be able to switch into the Pokemon that threaten the other of the pair.
Here is an example of a core with good defensive synergy:
Porygon @ Eviolite
EVs: 236 HP / 196 Def / 76 SpA
- Tri Attack
- Thunder Wave
- Shadow Ball
Misdreavus @ Eviolite
EVs: 36 HP / 120 Def / 80 SpD / 240 Spe
- Shadow Ball
- Hidden Power [Fighting]
- Pain Split
Porygon is an excellent bulky mon that can wall much of the tier. Its main troubles are with Fighting-types like Mienfoo and Croagunk that can heavily damage it with super effective STAB moves. Misdreavus helps Porygon deal with this by easily switching into Fighting-type moves and burning the troublesome Drain Punch spammers. Porygon, in return, stops Murkrow from destroying Misdreavus and can take out most Dark- and Ghost-types that trouble Misdreavus such as opposing Misdreavus, Gastly, and Houndour.
Obviously, you can't cover every threat in the tier with two Pokemon. Scraggy gives this pair quite a bit of trouble, so a good addition would be a bulky Fighting-type that can take on Scraggy and other Dark-types to prevent them from muscling through Porygon. Mienfoo is a good choice.
For contrast, here is a core with good offensive synergy:
Drilbur @ Life Orb
Ability: Sand Rush
EVs: 236 Atk / 36 Def / 212 Spe
- Rapid Spin
- Rock Slide
- Shadow Claw
Sandshrew @ Eviolite
Ability: Sand Rush
EVs: 36 HP / 236 Atk / 236 Spe
- Swords Dance
- Rock Slide
- Night Slash
Unlike the previous core, this pair has no defensive synergy at all. Both Pokemon have the same typing and roughly similar defenses! However, these Pokemon have offensive synergy: together they can overwhelm their checks. One of the pair can start attacking to weaken its checks before it faints. The other Pokemon can pick up where the previous left off, KO the weakened check, and finish sweeping the other team. This is an interesting quirk of offensive synergy: often, you don't want Pokemon that attack in a variety of ways, because that will result in having a team with a variety of checks and counters. Instead, you will often want to run Pokemon with similar checks so that one can wear down the checks for the other to sweep.
This core obviously needs Hippopotas to function. It also has trouble with Scarf Snover and Water-type priority, so you're going to need to take that into account when building a team.
These are merely two examples of cores. There are many cores out there that have both defensive and offensive synergy, and you can have more than two Pokemon in a core! (Four should be pretty much the MOST UPPER LIMIT on the number of mons though. More than that and you're hitting into the territory of teams, not cores >_>) You can find more cores in Furai and Elevator_Music's Smog article, http://www.smogon.com/smog/issue20/lc_cores
Keeping these concepts of offensive and defensive synergy in your mind for inspiration, go ahead and start discussing cores above or in the article or post cores in your own!
Good discussion topics include:
- Threats in the tier that can defeat common cores
- Potential teammates for a core to shore up its weaknesses
- Examples/experiences of using a core in a tournament or on the ladder
Final note: please don't turn this thread into merely a list of cores. By discussing how Pokemon can work together within cores, we can learn more about how threats can be dealt with or supported in the metagame.
Do not post a core without testing it; this is not a theorymonning thread.
when posting a core, please include:
- the full sets of the pokemon in the core
- what this core excels at doing
- what this core has trouble with dealing with
- what additional teammates benefit from / support the core