Introduction // What's up Smogon? I haven't posted much in the last while due to college eating my soul but I'm done now! *insert about a million smile emoticons* I have never really played much Little Cup so I'm way out of my element here, but it looks like a lot of fun so why not. I built a team using a play style that I'm comfortable with (sandstorm), and it's done alright, especially considering I don't know what the f I'm doing in this tier. But help would definitely be appreciated, so please let me know how it looks. Team Building Process // I decided to use a team of four sturdy supporters that can tank hits and aid the rest of the team by laying entry hazards, spreading status, and just racking up damage. This eventually opens the gap for one of my two Sand Rush sweepers to come in and start smashing faces in. After the first sweeper goes to town, the second is usually able to clean up. First, I obviously needed to start with something to get a permanent sandstorm going, so Hippopotas was a non-negotiable inclusion. Next, I needed some team support that would help with setting up hazards, spin-blocking, spreading status, and just generally being able to take hits while supporting the team, so I went with Ferroseed, Frillish, and Lileep. Finally, I needed a win condition, so enter the double rush duo of Drilbur and Sandshrew. And there you go, we have a team! Following a great suggestion from Corkscrew, Ferroseed took a hike because it wasn't doing anything and became a Pawniard! Feel The Rush // Hippopotas @ Eviolite Ability: Sand Stream Nature: Impish (+Def/-SpA) EVs: 132 HP / 20 Atk / 212 Def / 100 SpD / 20 Spe -Stealth Rock -Earthquake -Slack Off -Whirlwind Description: This was the obvious first inclusion, since I wanted to build a sand-based team. The baby hippo is almost always my lead if they don't have Snover, as getting sand up asap is the goal. Hippo uses its bulk to set up Stealth Rock, which greatly helps my sweepers. Earthquake is the obligatory STAB move, and hits fairly hard, despite minimal investment. Slack Off heals my hippo so that it can keep taking hits. In the last slot I picked Whirlwind for three reasons: to stop set up sweepers, to scout my opponent's team, and to rack up residual damage. Eviolite greatly increases bulk, and an Impish nature further boosts its wonderful defense. Pawniard @ Eviolite Ability: Defiant Nature: Jolly (+Spe/-SpA) EVs: 156 Atk / 36 Def / 116 SpD / 196 Spe -Swords Dance -Sucker Punch -Pursuit -Iron Head Description: Ohhh my. This thing. This spot used to be a Ferroseed but upon being suggested Pawniard, and testing it, the switch was made. It's too strongth. It's really nice for beating Snover, but it's also so techy against other Sand teams because it gets a free Swords Dance against Lileep and then curbstomps everything with booster Sucker Punch. Swords Dance doubles attack, should the opportunity to set up present itself. Sucker Punch is STAB priority and is great for revenging stuff. Pursuit helps hit things that try to flee, such as Snover, and also allows me to play mind games with Sucker Punch. If they attack, I could Sucker Punch them, but if they try to run they could eat a Pursuit. Iron Head is a nice reliable STAB that sometimes comes through with a clutch flinch at just the right time. I always feel like I want to run Substitute on this guy but there's just no room, and that's kinda sad. But still, such a beast. Frillish @ Eviolite Ability: Water Absorb Nature: Calm (+SpD/-Atk) EVs: 236 HP / 196 Def/ 76 SpD -Scald -Shadow Ball -Will-o-Wisp -Recover Description: Frillish offers a few important aspects to the team. First, a Fighting-type immunity is always great in LC, plus the ability to block Rapid Spin is essential for keeping my hazards on the field. It was really a toss up between Frillish and Misdreavus, but I decided that based on the rest of the team, the Water immunity and Ice resistance offered by Frillish was the superior option. Scald is a STAB move with perfect accuracy and a 30% chance to burn stuff. Shadow Ball is there as a secondary STAB, when Scald isn't ideal. Will-o-Wisp has shaky accuracy, but it guarantees the burn if it hits, for times when I can't rely on Scald's 30%. However, since Scald does offer a chance to burn, I was thinking about dropping Will-o-Wisp for Toxic to cripple stuff like Slowpoke and Cradily. In the last spot, Recover is there to keep Frillish's health high throughout the battle. Once again, an Eviolite is equipped to increase the ability to take hits, and a Calm nature increases Frillish's nice special defense stat. Lileep @ Eviolite Ability: Storm Drain Nature: Bold (+Def/-Atk) EVs: 228 HP / 220 Def / 60 SpD -Giga Drain -AncientPower -Recover -Toxic Description: Lileep is probably the premier wall on LC sand teams. With the sandstorm offering a permanent 50% special defense boost, as well as Eviolite of course, it can be tough to hurt this thing. Storm Drain is excellent as well, as it gives Lileep a Water immunity, and turns Water-type attacks into special attack boosts. Giga Drain is the primary STAB, with a decent base power, perfect accuracy, and the added ability of healing Lileep every use. AncientPower is the secondary STAB for smashing stuff like Fire, Flying, and Bug types that would chuckle at Giga Drain. It also offers a 10% chance of hilarious results, should it boost all of Lileep's stats. Recover is in the third slot, as between that and Giga Drain, plus Lileep's excellent defenses, it can certainly stick around for awhile. In the last slot, I went with Toxic, as it helps beats all sorts of things, such as opposing Lileep, or even catching something like Mienfoo as it switches in, to shorten its lifespan. I'd really like to fit Hidden Power Fire on this set so that I can smash stuff like Ferroseed and Snover, but dropping one of the other moves leaves me screwed in other situations. An Eviolite is used for the item once again to allow for increased bulk, while a Bold nature patches up the defensive stat not boosted by sandstorm. Drilbur @ Life Orb Ability: Sand Rush Nature: Adamant (+Atk/-SpA) EVs: 236 Atk / 36 Def / 212 Spe -Earthquake -Rock Slide -X-Scissor -Shadow Claw Description: Drilbur is the first member of the double rush core that this is based around. Using the blistering speed provided by Sand Rush, Drilbur smashes holes in the opponent's team until it goes down, and Sandshrew can clean up, or the other way around. Earthquake is the standard STAB move used to shatter the hopes and dreams of those who dare oppose the mighty mole. Rock Slide provides wonderful coverage with Earthquake, giving flying types such as Murkrow and Taillow the what for, as well as stuff like Larvesta. X-Scissor is necessary to batter Grass-type switch-ins, ESPECIALLY Snover that are trying to come in on Earthquake to change the weather. It also at least gives me something to tap Bronzor with. Finally, Shadow Claw hits Ground-immune Ghosts, such as Misdreavus, Drifloon, and Gastly hard. I really wanted to put Rapid Spin on here somewhere but I don't really like the idea of sacrificing coverage. A life Orb is used over Eviolite here as Drilbur needs to be at maximum damage output without taking a turn to set up (hence no Swords Dance), and the recoil is less relevant when you're outspeeding and slaughtering everything anyway. Adamant is used as the speed boost from Jolly would be redundant, and as stated before, Drilbur needs all the power it can get. Sandshrew @ Eviolite Ability: Sand Rush Nature: Adamant (+Atk/-SpA) EVs: 36 HP / 236 Atk / 36 SpD / 196 Spe -Swords Dance -Earthquake -Rock Slide -Night Slash Description: Sandshrew forms the second half of the double rush core with Drilbur. Once Drilbur has suffieciently weakened the opponent's team, and the opportunity presents itself, Sandshrew comes in to finish the job. It only needs one free turn to set up and then it's usually game against a weakened team. Swords Dance doubles Sandshrew's attack with a single use, and when coupled with Sand Rush, gives it both the power and speed necessary to muscle through anything foolish enough to stand in its way. Earthquake is the obvious STAB move, dealing good damage to anything that doesn't resist it. Rock Slide offers great coverage alongside Earthquake, hitting Flying and Bug types hard. Finally Night Slash hits things like Misdreavus, Exeggcute, and Gastly hard, while at least dealing neutral damage to Bronzor. Life Orb is unnecessary on this set since Swords Dance already boosts Sandshrew's attack to massive levels, to Eviolite is chosen to make it easier to set up. Again, just like with Drilbur, an Adamant nature is chosen to boost power, as the speed boost from Jolly isn't as important as the power boost from Adamant. Past Members // Ferroseed @ Eviolite Ability: Iron Barbs Nature: Sassy (+SpD/-Spe) EVs: 84 HP / 36 Atk / 188 Def / 148 SpD IVs: 0 Spe -Spikes -Leech Seed -Protect -Gyro Ball Description: Ferroseed in Little Cup plays a lot like Ferrothorn in OU. It sets up hazards, and walls shit. Spikes is there for additional entry hazard support, as even with Stealth Rock and just a single layer of Spikes, my opponent is suddenly finding it a lot harder to shrug off the blows my sweepers are dealing. Leech Seed is Ferroseed's only means of recovery, and goes well with Spikes as it can force switches. Protect stalls for Leech Seed and sandstorm damage, and can scout choice item users. It also makes me smile on the inside when I make Mienfoo Hi Jump Kick itself in the face. Gyro Ball is just so it has some sort of attacking move, although it works well due to Ferroseed's abysmal speed stat. It's also huge if I can nail a Snover that's trying to switch into Leech Seed with it. Eviolite is for bulk, of course, and a Sassy nature is to reduce speed as much as possible for Gyro Ball. Conclusion // So there you have it, my first LC team. It has performed well so far, but I'm sure it could use improvement. Feel free to suggest anything from simple move-set adjustments, to completely replacing a whole Pokemon. Hippopotas, Drilbur, and Sandshrew are non-negotiable, but anyone else is fair game to be replaced if you feel something else is a better fit. Thanks for reading, and I hope it was enjoyed. Cheers!