Cubchoo has an interesting niche in the Little Cup metagame, possessing good offensive capabilities with its decent Attack and Special Attack stats, and having access to an array of coverage moves. However, Cubchoo lacks in its defensive capabilities and Speed, making it a bit more vulnerable than most attackers. Cubchoo's excellent coverage lets it greatly threaten common Pokemon that switch into it, potentially OHKOing or 2HKOing them with moves such as Play Rough, Rock Tomb, and Superpower. However, Cubchoo's Ice typing gives it very common weaknesses to Steel-, Fire-, Rock-, and Fighting-type moves. Cubchoo also can be greatly hindered by status moves such as Will-O-Wisp, as it cuts Cubchoo's Attack severely. Cubchoo is also vulnerable to all types of entry hazards, which hinders its longevity in battle. Overall, Cubchoo is quite a niche Pokemon in the Little Cup metagame because it has very few opportunities to switch in due to its poor bulk and typing, low Speed, and almost zero defensive synergy, and it has to rely heavily on prediction.
move 1: Ice Punch
move 2: Play Rough
move 3: Superpower
move 4: Rock Tomb / Encore
item: Eviolite / Life Orb
evs: 196 Atk / 196 Def / 116 SpD
Cubchoo's primary STAB move is Ice Punch, which deals a lot of damage to Grass-, Ground-, Dragon-, and Flying-type Pokemon such as Foongus and Fletchling. Play Rough is a very useful coverage move that lets Cubchoo OHKO or deal heavy damage to the Fighting-type Pokemon that switch into it. Superpower is Cubchoo's main coverage move against Dark-, Rock-, and Steel-types such as Pawniard and Tirtouga, as it deals massive damage and can potentially OHKO them if they switch into Cubchoo. Like Play Rough, Rock Tomb is used best to check Fire-types when they switch into Cubchoo so they can take substantial damage and receive a drop in their Speed stat, potentially letting Cubchoo 2HKO them. Instead of Rock Tomb, Encore can also be used to cripple setup sweepers Calm Mind Spritzee that attempt to setup on Cubchoo.
This set is all-out offensive, as Cubchoo's powerful coverage moves can threaten its checks that switch into it, such as Fighting-types and Steel-types. Cubchoo can use Rock Tomb effectively with entry hazards, as it can 2HKO Fire-types and slow them down so Cubchoo can move first, although Ponyta is still faster after one Rock Tomb. Rock Tomb allows Cubchoo to outspeed nearly every Pokemon that it can hit with one of its coverage moves; however, Cubchoo should be wary of Pawniard, as it gains a +2 boost to its Attack thanks to Defiant, and can KO Cubchoo with Knock Off. Cubchoo can be replaced by a Fighting-type Pokemon or a Pokemon that resists Sucker Punch as Cubchoo is very reliant on its item and the +1 Speed boost Rattled gives it isn't worth the lost item. An Eviolite is used to make Cubchoo more bulky, as its defensive capabilities are lacking. Alternatively, a Life Orb can be used to increase Cubchoo's offensive capabilities, threatening many Pokemon that switch into it. Sets running Life Orb work very well alongside entry hazard support, but they make Cubchoo more frail and reduces its longevity. Cubchoo shouldn't really switch into Knock Off despite the Rattled Speed boost, as Cubchoo's item is more valuable than its Speed, and it fares poorly against common Knock Off users such as Mienfoo and Pawniard, especially since the Speed boost doesn't allow Cubchoo to outspeed them anyway.
Cubchoo can be used to take out powerful Flying-types such as Fletchling and offensive Vullaby, as it is bulky enough to take their hits and retaliate with Ice Punch. Cubchoo can also handle Grass-types with Ice Punch, but it has to be careful because most Grass-types in LC have status moves and can target Cubchoo's mediocre Special Defense. Cubchoo can take out Ground-types with Ice Punch if it gets the chance, but it should be careful against top-tier Ground-types such as Drilbur and Diglett, as they both outspeed Cubchoo; however, it has the bulk to take a Rock Slide and OHKO with Ice Punch. Cubchoo should never be switched into neutral special moves or super effective moves, as although Cubchoo may be bulky, it can't take powerful special moves or powerful super effective moves such as High Jump Kick and Shadow Ball. Cubchoo's Ice typing only gives it a resistance to other Ice-type moves, making it very reliant on the support of other Pokemon. Cubchoo should be very careful in trying to avoid status if at all possible, particularly burns, as they can neuter Cubchoo's offensive capabilities and severely cut its longevity. Stealth Rock and other entry hazards are very effective against Cubchoo, as Stealth Rock deals a chunk of damage and Cubchoo's longevity is very important if you're going to use it efficiently. Cubchoo can get a useful Speed boost from Bug-, Ghost-, or Dark-type moves, but it often doesn't have enough bulk to make use of the Speed boost, although it gets a Speed boost from every hit of Venipede's Pin Missile.
Being an Ice-type, Cubchoo heavily relies on support from other Pokemon to deal with its numerous checks. Cubchoo really appreciates Pokemon that can easily switch into Knock Off, as Cubchoo is very reliant on its item. Cubchoo appreciates entry hazard setters and Defog and Rapid Spin users as Cubchoo needs the extra damage when sweeping. Cubchoo also needs entry hazards removed on its side, as they can hinder Cubchoo's longevity, so a perfect Pokemon for this slot would be Drilbur, as it can both set and remove entry hazards. Clerics are very useful to increase Cubchoo's longevity; a good Pokemon for this role would be Spritzee. Bulkier Pokemon in general make excellent partners for Cubchoo. Defensive Pokemon or Knock Off absorbers such as Bronzor and Shellos, respectively, can take care of moves such as Knock Off or super effective attacks that are thrown at Cubchoo. Specially defensive Pokemon such as Munchlax and Lickitung are also of use, as they can tank special attacks such as Scald far better than Cubchoo can. Stalling Pokemon are also very effective, as they can wear out offensive sweepers that are sent out to deal with Cubchoo and can take them out. Cubchoo is often forced out by fast, offensive Fire-types such as Ponyta and Magby, as Cubchoo can't touch them unless it predicts the switch. Seel is a great teammate to deal with these Pokemon, as its typing, Thick Fat, and access to Aqua Jet allow it to check these Fire-types very easily. In return, Cubchoo can help to deal with some Grass-types such as Foongus.
Cubchoo can also opt to run a mixed attacker set with a Life Orb and a Timid nature, alongside Rock Tomb, Surf, Superpower, and Ice Beam. This alternative set should run maximum Special Attack, in order to force physically defensive Pokemon such as Foongus and Vullaby out. This set can also be used to lure out checks such as Ponyta, Pawniard, and Ferroseed, as they can be OHKOed or 2HKOed by Surf, Superpower, and Ice Beam, respectively. Substitute can be used over Rock Tomb on the physical set, as it deals with Pawniard more easily. Finally, Night Slash can be used to deal heavy damage to Pokemon such as Slowpoke, Honedge, Bronzor, and Frillish.
Checks and Counters
**Fighting-type Pokemon**: In particular, Mienfoo and Timburr can both outspeed Cubchoo and beat it with their Fighting-type STAB moves, resisting almost all of Cubchoo's moves with the exception of Play Rough.
**Steel-type Pokemon**: Steel-type Pokemon also pose a threat to Cubchoo, as most commonly used ones such as Magnemite and Pawniard outspeed Cubchoo and can easily take it out with their powerful STAB moves; Bronzor can also be a threat to Cubchoo, as it can set entry hazards and heal itself with Berry Juice while Recycle stalling Cubchoo and then inflicting it with Toxic or attacking its weaker Special Defense with Psychic.
**Fire-type Pokemon**: Most Fire-type Pokemon in the tier are fast, such as Magby and Ponyta, which can easily outspeed Cubchoo and take it out with either Fire Blast or Flare Blitz. However, mixed Cubchoo sets are able to KO Fire-types with Surf.
**Rock-type Pokemon**: Although Cubchoo has coverage moves to deal with Rock-type Pokemon, some fast Rock-type Pokemon such as Onix and Archen can either set entry hazards to damage Cubchoo when it switches in or take it out immediately with a STAB Rock-type move. Cubchoo also needs to be careful of Rock Tomb itself.
**Special Attackers**: Cubchoo has mediocre Special Defense and can be picked off by neutral special attacks, so it is often forced out by powerful special attackers, especially the ones Cubchoo doesn't have coverage moves against, such as Gastly.
**Walls**: Cubchoo can easily be picked off by bulkier Pokemon, as they tend to not take much from Cubchoo's attacks and are able to wear it down. Many walls also carry status moves that hinder Cubchoo's longevity. Bulky Water-type Pokemon such as Slowpoke in particular are a big problem for Cubchoo, as it doesn't have any coverage moves against them and falls victim to Toxic or Scald burns.
**Fast Offensive Pokemon**: Faster offensive Pokemon can really threaten Cubchoo with their STAB moves. For example, Cubchoo doesn't tend to run any coverage moves to hit Gastly and Honedge and will just be left open to their fast and powerful STAB moves, although Cubchoo can run the rare Night Slash and take them both out.