done and ready for upload 1. [jump="overview"]Overview[/jump] (Charmander) 1.2. [jump="banlist"]Rules[/jump] (Charmander) 1.3. [jump="information"]Information[/jump] (Charmander) 2. [jump="strategy"]Strategy[/jump] (Charmander) 2.1. [jump="offensive"]Offensive[/jump] (Charmander) 2.1.1. [jump="general"]General[/jump] (Charmander) 2.1.2. [jump="sand"]Sand[/jump] (Charmander) 2.1.3. [jump="hail"]Hail[/jump] (Charmander) 2.1.4. [jump="rain"]Rain[/jump] (prem) 2.1.4. [jump="sun"]Sun[/jump] (Charmander) 2.1.5. [jump="trickroom"]Trick Room[/jump] (comatthew6) 2.2. [jump="defensive"]Defensive[/jump] (Ray Jay) 2.2.1. [jump="general2"]General[/jump] (Ray Jay) 2.2.2. [jump="sand2"]Sand[/jump] (Ray Jay) 2.2.3. [jump="hail2"]Hail[/jump] (Ray Jay) 3. [jump="team"]Standard Team[/jump] (prem) 4. [jump="addres"]Additional Resources[/jump] (On-site) 5. [jump="conclusion"]Conclusion[/jump] (Charmander) [a]overview[/a]Overview [a]banlist[/a]Rules Little Cup is a game introduced in Pokemon Stadium 2 that has been played ever since. The reason it is so different from any other metagame you can imagine is its ruleset, which consists of following: Pokemon All Pokemon must be at level 5 All Pokemon must be the first of their evolutionary line and able to evolve In addition to these restrictions, the list of bans and clauses in Little Cup includes as follows: Carvanha Gligar Meditite Misdreavus Scyther Sneasel Tangela Vulpix Yanma Abilities, Items, and Moves Abilities: Moody Items: Berry Juice Moves: Dragon Rage, Sonic Boom, Sheer Cold, Fissure, Horn Drill, and Guillotine Battle Mechanics: Sleep Clause: Only one Pokemon can be put to sleep by an opponent's attack at a time, per team. Self-KO Clause: If a Pokemon uses Explosion or Selfdestruct and is the last Pokemon on their team, the player whose Pokemon used Explosion or Selfdestruct loses, regardless of the number of Pokemon on the opposing team. Evasion Clause: Moves and items that boost evasion such as Double Team and Bright Powder are not allowed. [a]information[/a]Information Other than the set rules, there are tips and pearls of knowledge that every aspiring Little Cup player should know. With the release of Black and White came Eviolite, and item that has forever left its mark on Little Cup. Eviolite raises both defenses of a Pokemon that is not fully evolved by 50%, which, by the rules of Little Cup, affects every eligible Pokemon. Since it was released, Eviolite has easily become to most popular item in Little Cup, often assisting all six Pokemon on a team. Now, Little Cup has become more diverse, as both stall and offensive are perfectly viable. Since Little Cup is played at level 5, you are probably asking yourself how genderless Pokemon can inherit moves learned after level 5. The way they do this is through a glitch in Pokemon Emerald called the Pomeg Glitch. This mysterious blessing works by allowing you to faint Pokemon in your party and battle with eggs. First, you must have only one Pokemon and one egg on your party. Note that the Pokemon must have have HP EVs for it to work. Using any method, get the Pokemon in your party to have very low health; Endure and Substitute are commonly used to achieve this. Next, use Pomeg Berries on that Pokemon to lower its health to below zero. The game will display it as ?35 or something similar. Afterward, you must use a healing item, such as an Oran Berry or a Potion, on that Pokemon. Its health will become zero and it will faint, leaving you with a fainted Pokemon and an egg in your party. When you engage in battle, the egg will be sent out as the Pokemon inside with a different color palette. Now, you can battle with your egg, teach it new moves, and even evolve it (which you shouldn't do if you plan it use it in Little Cup), and it will hatch at level 5! [a]strategy[/a]Strategy Like other metagames, Little Cup has some guidelines a good player will always follow. It is important to note that setting up with boosting moves such as Swords Dance, Substitute, and Reflect generally isn't as effective as outright attacking the opponent. The reason for this is the high damage output of attacks in Little Cup. Besides the fact that Eviolite is usually always better, low HP stats at level 5 make Leftovers almost always heal only 1 HP. For example, a Pokemon with 25 HP will only heal 1 HP from Leftovers per turn, effectively making the healing rate 4% instead of 6.25% per turn. This escalates with Pokemon that have more HP. Pokemon that have less HP want to use Oran Berry instead, as it heals about half of their HP. [a]offensive[/a]Offensive Offensive play is usually considered the most popular playing style in Little Cup, but it is debatable whether or not that has changed over the years, as stall and balance have gotten their fair share of use after Eviolite joined the game. Offensive teams in BW are less prevalent than they ever were, but they are still very effective. One thing is for sure though: offense has and always will fall to priority moves, especially from new threats such as Timburr and Mienfoo. [a]general[/a]General Offensive teams that don't use a special theme, such as weather or team effects, are usually called general or standard offensive teams. Such teams rely on fast, powerful Pokemon with high-powered attacking moves to steamroll the opponent's team. Scouting is also important on general offensive teams, as switching in to an attack is usually not an option due to frailty of offensive Pokemon. If a switch is predicted, U-turn or Volt Switch allows Pokemon to damage the opponent's switch-in and shift to a teammate that can counter the opponent, which is an excellent way to maintain offensive pressure while doing reasonable damage. Mienfoo is a prime example of a great offensive Pokemon; its high Attack stat, ability to heal while it scouts due to Regenerator, and potential to aid your offensive team by knocking off the opponent's Eviolites make it almost necessary on any offensive team. In addition, Mienfoo with its own Eviolite is a great Scraggy check. Staryu is another example of a must-have when playing offensively; its ability to remove entry hazards from your side of the field makes it very useful, as your Pokemon can switch in and scout unharmed. It is also very fast and powerful, utilizing its good coverage and stats to be a great sweeper. Staryu has excellent typing for an offensive team sporting resistances to common types such as Ice and Water and only two weaknesses. When it comes to building your team around a sweeper, Scraggy is one of the best choices. With Dragon Dance boosting its Speed and Attack, excellent coverage with its STAB attacks alone, and two of the best abilities in the game, it is no surprise that almost every team dedicates a Pokemon to defeating this offensive behemoth. The most popular Scraggy set is an exception to the rule of little to no setup, utilizing Dragon Dance to power up and Hi Jump Kick, Crunch, and Zen Headbutt, Drain Punch, or Head Smash to sweep. With the ability Moxie, Scraggy becomes unstoppable after a single Dragon Dance and KO, as its attack boosts to +2, enough to defeat even the bulkiest Mienfoo with Hi Jump Kick. When using an offensive team, there are certain threats that need to be checked. Pokemon such as Houndour, Mienfoo, Shelmet, and Clamperl can blast through unprepared offensive teams, so it usually smart to carry a Pokemon that can check such threats. Choice Scarf Taillow and Doduo reach 27 Speed—enough to outspeed all the aformentioned threats—with an Adamant and Jolly nature, respectively. Furthermore, they have Brave Birds powerful enough to OHKO all the aforementioned threats (assuming Clamperl has already used Shell Smash) and more; however, note that Stealth Rock or Spikes must be up for Shelmet to be OHKOd by Brave Bird. Another example is Rain Dance Mantyke. Because of its typing, Mantyke can set up Rain Dance on about any Pokemon that can beat offensive teams and sweep with Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, and Hidden Power Grass or Electric. It must, however, be wary of Stealth Rock. It can be paired up with Staryu, which can take advantage of rain and spin away entry hazards. [a]sand[/a]Sand Offensive sandstorm is played exactly how you think it is: set up weather, lay down some hazards, and sweep. Really, there isn't much strategy involved in a good sand team. Because it must always follow basic procedures, such as setting up sandstorm and entry hazards, there isn't much wiggle room to do anything else, especially since one turn of opposing setup can cost the game for your team. The reason that regular sand sweepers can't let any setup in from the opponent is their typing; Rock-, Ground-, and Steel-type Pokemon usually lose to Fighting-, Ground-, Water-, and Grass-types, which, barring the last, are all common types in Little Cup. As the only permanent sandstorm inducer in Little Cup, Hippopotas is required on any successful sandstorm team. Usually, it is best to run a defensive Hippopotas set so it can check Scraggy and lay Stealth Rock down, which will aid your offensive team. You can, however, experiment with an offensive set. Hippopotas has good offensive coverage with moves such as Earthquake and Rock Slide, so a Choice Band will make it a threat to be dealt with. Offensive Eviolite Hippopotas is also viable, with max HP and Attack, while the rest of its EVs are dumped into its defenses. Either way, Hippopotas is always the most important Pokemon on any sand team, as without it, you will never be able to apply offensive <em>or</em> defensive pressure, so don't try using the move Sandstorm and a Soft Rock instead because setup is too tedious to work. So, if there are so many requirements for sand teams, why are they used? Simply put, the sweepers. Sand has some of the best, if not the best, sweepers in Little Cup. Drilbur is an excellent example of a Pokemon that excels when in a sandstorm. The powerful mole requires no setup other than the mere presence of sandstorm, and it is powerful enough to rip apart anything that is not a physical wall. Excellent Attack and phenomenal Speed in sandy weather (due to Sand Rush) make Drilbur almost impossible to stop once it gets going. Another great aspect of the mole Pokemon is its impressive bulk with an Eviolite. Eviolite Drilbur can comfortably survive Energy Ball from Lileep, proceeding to set up Swords Dance and KO Lileep with X-Scissor. [a]hail[/a]Hail Hail on the offensive is a very deadly strategy that can quickly win a game, and is almost unstoppable if played correctly. The idea revolves around abusing Ice-type moves, which have very good type coverage. Specifically, under hail, Blizzard will never miss, making sweeping much less of a challenge. In addition, many Pokemon that can take advantage of hail such as Vanillite are strong defensively, so hail teams are usually well balanced. Obviously, Snover is required on any successful hail team, as it is the only way to set up a permanent hailstorm. The good thing about Snover is it can run many sets successfully, such as Choice Scarf, Eviolite, and Life Orb. It can be a wall breaker with Wood Hammer and Blizzard to destroy almost any Pokemon that is not Steel- or Fire-type. Snover can also use Ice Shard to beat frail Flying-types such as Doduo and Taillow. This means that all offensive hail teams are diverse and carry one of the best weapons: the element of surprise. Wi-Fi Clause (team preview) diminishes this to an extent, but your opponent will never know what sets you are running. Vanillite, Smoochum, and Snorunt are all powerful Pokemon with STAB Blizzard. They work well on offensive hail teams, especially with Choice Scarf or Choice Specs. Choice Scarf lets them "spam" Blizzard without having to take a hit from their quickly-defeated opponents. If Stealth Rock and Spikes are incorporated into this plan (Snorunt can set up Spikes), it becomes almost flawless. Choice Specs trades blazing Speed for overwhelming power, which is fatal against slower teams and stall. Clamperl with DeepSeaTooth can use Blizzard on hail teams, which OHKOs even the bulkiest of Lileep. In addition, the shellfish has good synergy with Snover. Hippopotas, while losing to almost any Pokemon on a hail team, can switch in on a harmless attack and take away the hailstorm using its ability Sand Stream. Fire-type Pokemon resist most moves from a hail team and can attempt to sweep against one. However, any good hail team should have a Water-type Pokemon such as Clamperl or Slowpoke to stop them. Steel-types such as Magnemite have Flash Cannon to do heavy damage, and resist Ice and Grass to boot. Therefore, using Timburr on a hail team is as good choice to beat Steel- and Rock-types your team might have trouble with. Timburr also has good synergy with most Ice-type Pokemon. [a]rain[/a]Rain Offensive Rain is an uncommon strategy in Little Cup, mostly because it lacks a Drizzle user. Thus, they must consistently restart the weather over time due to turn limit and either Snover or Hippopotas switching in. Furthermore, despite Swift Swim abusers having double STAB Water-type attacks, the general lack of overpowering rain abusers is a problem. While Hippopotas normally cannot switch into anything besides a Fighting-type, it can instantly remove the rain, and allow Drilbur to sweep in the sand. Snover is an even greater threat, as it can normally switch in on any Water type unthreatened and retaliate with a STAB Giga Drain, taking nearly zero damage from the affair. Even without a permanent weather starter, rain can be a very effective strategy if used correctly. There are few good Pokemon to set up rain. While one might think that rain teams require a Damp Rock to start weather, Eviolite is generally the better item. Bulky Water-types, such as Staryu and Chinchou, are great users of Rain Dance, being able to fire off rain-boosted STAB Hydro pumps and perfect accuracy Thunders in the Rain—even STAB in Chinchou's case. Bronzor and Mienfoo are other great examples of Rain Dance users, the former having great typing and the ability to use Stealth Rock, and the latter being able to check many threats to a rain team, such as Lileep and Ferroseed. There are only a few viable Swift Swim abusers, many of whom can set up Rain on their own; howeverm most are special attackers because of the difference in base power between the physical Water STAB, Waterfall, and the special variant, Hydro Pump. Omanyte and Horsea are great rain sweepers with their Eviolite-bolstered bulk, a powerful STAB in Hydro Pump, and high Special Attack. Kabuto and Mantyke are acceptable replacements, but Mantyke is not nearly as strong as the previous two, and Kabuto is limited in power due to its physical inclination. Because of this, a good rain team needs several physical attackers, preferably Fighting-types to combat Lileep and Ferroseed, two of the best rain counters. [a]sun[/a]Sun Sun in Little Cup is very different from sand and hail, and leans more toward rain's strategy when used in battle. A sun team usually wants Grass-type Pokemon with Chlorophyll, such as Bellsprout, and Fire-types, such as Ponyta, to abuse its effects. In addition, any good sun team should have Pokemon to check Hippopotas and Snover, which can both easily change the weather to harm your team. A good example is Choice Scarf Chinchou, as it outspeeds Snover and can KO it with Hidden Power Fire when Stealth Rock is on the opponent's field, and it can KO Hippopotas with Hydro Pump when Spikes are down. Unfortunately, Hydro Pump is weakened by the sun, so it is important to think about when Sunny Day should be in effect if using Chinchou. The problem with sun is that it is extremely difficult to fit Heat Rock on your team without hindering a Pokemon's offensive or defensive capabilities significantly. For this reason, sun is only recommended for experts. Such teams have problems with Fire- and Steel-types, namely Larvesta and Bronzor, which wall Grass-types without a Fire-type move to no end. Fire-type Pokemon can easily be defeated by Pokemon which outspeed them, such as Diglett, which outspeeds all unboosted Fire-type Pokemon. Thus, Scraggy is a good teammate to set up on bulky Pokemon, which sweepers have trouble with. Wynaut can also help remove them with Encore and Counter or Mirror Coat. Aside from sweepers, some Pokemon must be present to set up Sunny Day. Bronzor is very bulky without Eviolite and can wall Ground- and Flying-types which try to KO other Pokemon. Oddish has good defenses and can set up Sunny Day to not only help its team but also abuse it. Sleep Powder and Morning Sun make it a very good supporter, and it can do damage when it needs to. Usually, Sunny Day sweepers will have a very powerful move such as Flare Blitz or SolarBeam and two coverage moves, so they can fit the weather-inducing move into their arsenal, which can give them use other than playing the role of a death fodder when the sun runs out and they have low health. [a]trickroom[/a]Trick Room Because of BW's lack of focus on Speed, Trick Room has been often disregarded as a legitimate playstyle in LC. However, that's not to say that it cannot succeed in Little Cup—it certainly can with the right tools. The focus of Trick Room in any tier is to run several slow Pokemon that can tank attacks and set up Trick Room multiple times, or that have incredible attacking potential. The first thing to do when building a Trick Room team is to establish a defensive core with which to set up Trick Room. Bronzor is quite possibly the best user of Trick Room, as it has incredibly low Speed and great defenses. It can easily set up Trick Room and, because it only has one weakness, it can switch off to an appropriate Pokemon for sweeping. Many other Trick Room supporters are available as well, including, but certainly not limited to, Duskull, Exeggcute, Frillish, Natu, Porygon, and Slowpoke. After deciding on two or three supporters, one must now determine which sweepers function best in Trick Room. This should be a little dependent on the typing of the supporters to maximize synergy so that the sweepers are not swiftly OHKOed by a super effective attack on the switch. Luckily, this is rather easy, as Little Cup has a plethora of options to use for any Trick Room team. Because of a lesser focus on Speed this generation, it will be imperative that Trick Room sweepers have incredibly low Speeds. For that reason, any Pokemon above a base Speed of 53 should not be considered, as only Pokemon with base 52 Speed and below can reach a minimum Speed of 9 or below. A physical sweeper, special sweeper, and mixed sweeper should be used to make sure all bases are covered when sweeping. As for a physical sweeper, there are a few options. First is Timburr: with an incredibly low Speed, high Attack stat, decent attacking options, and solid bulk, it can eliminate a swath of Pokemon after setting up a Bulk Up. However, that's not to say that there aren't other physical sweepers that are just as good. Bagon has an incredible Attack stat and can crush the opposition with Outrage. Grimer, a Pokemon that is often overlooked in Little Cup, has amazing potential in Trick Room with its base 80 Attack and 25 Speed. Krabby has an Attack stat of 105, one of the highest in the tier, and with its low Speed, can crush Pokemon with Crabhammer and Return. Slow special sweepers, which aren't nearly as common as slow physical sweepers, are also needed on Little Cup Trick Room teams. Solosis is probably the best example of this, with its strong Special Attack, low Speed, and incredible ability in Magic Guard, allowing it to equip a Life Orb without any repercussions. Magnemite has a phenomenal typing with great Special Attack and low Speed, and access to a variety of moves in Thunderbolt, Flash Cannon, and Hidden Power. It can also attempt to raise its Special Attack with Charge Beam. Porygon, while usually used as a supporter, can also act as a special sweeper, with the potential of increasing its Special Attack courtesy of Download. Finally, Clamperl with a DeepSeaTooth can reach an incredible Special Attack stat of 34,scoring a 2HKO or better on the vast majority of the metagame. The hardest part of building a Trick Room team is finding a mixed sweeper that can handle a variety of threats to finish off teams at the end of a match. Because Trick Room will only last for three turns after the supporter switches out, with no way of extending Trick Room, it might be a little difficult to find a suitable sweeper that can handle mixed defensive threats, such as Lileep and Ferroseed. Out of all of the viable Pokemon in Little Cup, Croagunk is the most reliable option for this role. Though its attacking stats aren't particularly high, it does have an incredibly broad movepool, with great physical and special attacking options. In addition, Croagunk has access to a plethora of priority attacks, making it useful outside of Trick Room. While Trick Room has the potential to be very destructive, it does have some pretty hard counters that can be exploited. For one, strong defensive Pokemon, such as Bronzor, will not be OHKOed or even 2HKOed by most sweepers, and can inflict damage with Psychic or stall out Trick Room with its Oran Berry and Recycle. Another easy method of countering Trick Room teams is to use Protect on a couple of Pokemon. Because Trick Room only lasts for five turns, stealing even a single turn is a massive blow. Another option to prevent Trick Room teams from succeeding is to simply prevent the opponent using the move in the first place. Because Trick Room has the lowest possible priority at -7, all moves other than Trick Room will go before it. This way, one can easily Taunt the Trick Room user or phaze it out with Whirlwind or Roar. However, it should be noted that Whirlwind and Roar are quite rare in Little Cup and do not see much use outside of this purpose. [a]defensive[/a]Defensive Although offensive teams have dominated Little Cup in the past (and continue to do so), defensive teams and Pokemon are still very important to the tier. Due to the addition of Eviolite, once-bulky Pokemon are now even bulkier; this allows meaningful defensive play in a tier once all but overrun by hyper offense. Defensive play's role in Little Cup cannot be overstated, due to certain sweepers, such as Drilbur, possessing a purely defensive set of counters. [a]general2[/a]General When it comes to playing defensively, certain things must be immediately noted. "Defensive" does not necessarily mean heavy, 6 Pokemon stall as it does in some other tiers, due to the fact that some Pokemon are simply too powerful to be "stalled out" in a traditional sense (read: Clamperl). Rather, defensive play emphasizes a conglomeration of stalling, defensive pivots, offensive pivots, and type-based immunities. Stalling is still important to any defensive Little Cup team; perhaps this is doubly so due to the relative famine of spinners. Tentacool and Omanyte are two of the best choices for any Little Cup defensive team, as they set up Toxic Spikes and possess decent typing (Tentacool also has Rapid Spin; Omanyte has Stealth Rock). Other notable users of entry hazards include Ferroseed, which uses Spikes and has Leech Seed; Bronzor, which uses Stealth Rock and counters the devastating Drilbur; Shelmet, which uses Spikes and counters all Scraggy without Head Smash or Taunt; and Lileep, which uses Stealth Rock and counters Chinchou. Due to the lack of spinners, a Ghost-type for spinblocking isn't a necessity; however, Frillish is the best choice to fill such a slot if a spinblocker is desired, due to its bulk and usefulness. Toxic Spikes can be eliminated by only three commonly seen Pokemon: Staryu, Croagunk, and Tentacool (note that Croagunk cannot eliminate other hazards). Staryu is a pain to defensive teams, as it brushes off repeated switch-ins with Recover, possesses fair coverage, and Rapid Spins. Pokemon such as Ferroseed or Lileep serve as a defensive team's best chance against it, soaking up any move it attempts to use and stacking hazards right back up as it switches out. Croagunk is common on offensive teams as an answer to Scraggy, but is a hindrance to stall since it absorbs Toxic Spikes. This is where Exeggcute, a defensive staple, comes into play. There's not much that's initially exciting about Exeggcute, save its Dream World ability, Harvest. Harvest allows Exeggcute to repeatedly use an Oran Berry while dealing damage and spreading Sleep Powder to opponents unaffected by Toxic Spikes, such as Ferroseed or Bronzor. Most offensive teams lack a true counter to Exeggcute; rather, they have to attempt to force it out through luring in a Leaf Storm from it. Either way, it is a nearly perfect answer to opposing Croagunk, as Sleep Powder and Substitute mean it will almost never have to take a Sucker Punch. Finally, Tentacool (typically only seen on opposing defensive teams) removes Toxic Spikes, but it cannot switch in repeatedly due to its lack of reliable recovery. Exeggcute also handles Tentacool nicely, as does Ferroseed. Pivots are important to any defensive team, just as they are to offensive teams. For example, if the opponent is using an Exeggcute of their own, a defensive team could quickly find itself in trouble if it does not have something to handle it. Vullaby stands as a nearly complete counter to it, and, on defensive teams, can absorb the Sleep Powder and still force it out. In the same vein, opposing Choice Scarf Flying-types typically do a number on even defensive teams if Bronzor is out of the picture; for this reason, Chinchou can see use. Chinchou has the added bonus of absorbing Electric-type attacks and acting as a cleric with Heal Bell. Offensive pivots were also noted earlier as options on defensive teams. A good example of this is Houndour, which, although it is typically a devastating offensive sweeper, can use a Life Orb set well on a defensive team since it weathers Fire- and Grass-type attacks aimed at Ferroseed and Frillish, respectively. [a]sand2[/a]Sand Completely defensive sandstorm teams are quite rare in Little Cup, due to the fact that Drilbur dominates sand play offensively. However, it is common for a sandstorm team to exploit particular defensive cores, as good resistances combined with residual damage from sandstorm and poisoning combine to weaken teams in preparation for Drilbur's sweep. Lileep is one of the biggest bosses of sandstorm defensively. Garnering a boost to its Special Defense in sandstorm thanks to its Rock typing, Lileep also absorbs Water-type moves handily thanks to Storm Drain. These traits are abetted by a precise movepool, including Stockpile, Toxic, and, of course, Recover. In fact, if a team's physical Pokemon have all been weakened, Lileep has no trouble walling entire teams late game. Lileep is commonly used alongside Pokemon such as Frillish, which is notable for possessing important immunities to Water- and Fighting-type moves. Frillish also can use Will-O-Wisp or Scald to help Lileep stall or catch offensive Pokemon with a burn, complementing both Lileep and Frillish's naturally high Special Defense. Ferroseed also sees some use instead of Lileep, due to the fact that it sets up hazards, can use Protect + Leech Seed, answers opposing rain teams, and can handle opposing Drilbur with Bullet Seed or Seed Bomb. Defensively, Hippopotas itself is no slouch either; in fact, it's one of the best checks to the ever-so-threatening Gastly. Tirtouga, although a bit more rare, becomes a defensive behemoth in the sand, gaining a Special Defense boost that works in tandem with Solid Rock nicely. Finally, Larvesta is worthy of note on a defensive sand team, as it is a solid check to Snover (keep in mind that Morning Sun will not heal a full 50% in the sand, though). [a]hail2[/a]Hail Defensive hail might be the most uncommon team archetype in the metagame. The most important Pokemon to these teams is obviously Snover, which, due to fair coverage with Blizzard, causes a lot of switches. This can be combined with Substitute and Leech Seed, which causes residual damage to stack up. Snover synergizes nicely with Tentacool, and the latter brings a lot to the table for hail stall, most notably Rapid Spin and Toxic Spikes. Although this core has no problem sponging hits, it is difficult to keep it healthy, since neither Pokemon has access to reliable recovery; therefore, a user of Wish is recommended. Lickitung is a good choice here, as it also can remove status through Heal Bell. Spheal plays much like Walrein does in upper tiers, but since Leftovers only heals 1 HP for Spheal per turn, the strategy does not quite work as nicely in LC. This also means Spheal misses out on using Eviolite. Nonetheless, a moveset of Substitute, Protect, and Aqua Ring achieves nearly perfect hailstall, providing you can find the chance to set up. Unfortunately, the wealth of Fighting-types in LC make this strategy nigh impossible to execute flawlessly. Aside from the aforementioned Pokemon, Staryu can be used as an alternative user of Rapid Spin, and Chinchou (which can utilize Blizzard) has access to Heal Bell. Sadly, the options for defensive hail teams basically ends here. Perhaps a more gimmicky set with a user of Snow Cloak could be attempted, but most Ice-types with the ability are startlingly fragile. The biggest disadvantage of any defensive hail team is its weakness to Fighting-types. Any team attempting this strategy must pack numerous Fighting-type checks and hope for the best. [a]team[/a]Standard Team To give an idea of what a general Little Cup team looks like, a team has been comprised of standard Pokemon with a balanced playing style. <img src="/download/sprites/bw/589.png" alt="" /> Scraggy @ Eviolite Ability: Moxie EVs: 236 Atk / 36 Def / 212 Spe Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA) - Dragon Dance - Crunch - Taunt - Hi Jump Kick Scraggy, one of the most feared sweepers in Little Cup, is a great physical sweeper. After a single Dragon Dance, it will have 21 Speed and 27 Attack. Crunch and Hi Jump Kick are its main STAB attacks; while the former is reliable, the latter is extremely powerful. Taunt is used to prevent Pokemon such as Shelmet from stopping Scraggy's sweep. Moxie allows Scraggy to sweep with relative ease; with an Attack boost after every KO, this offensive behemoth becomes a nightmare to deal with. <img src="/download/sprites/bw/441.png" alt="" /> Bronzor @ Eviolite Ability: Levitate EVs: 220 HP / 72 Atk / 148 Def / 68 SpD Impish Nature (+Def, -SpA) - Stealth Rock - Gyro Ball - Earthquake - Hypnosis Bronzor is very useful in the Little Cup metagame, as it is one of the best checks to Drilbur. With its typing, ability, and bulk, it can easily beat the sand-dwelling mole, which would otherwise sweep this whole team. Bronzor also provides Stealth Rock support, which helps in providing residual damage, and Hypnosis helps it cripple any Pokemon that would otherwise cause trouble. Earthquake is great for hitting opposing Chinchou and Magnemite, and Gyro Ball is an excellent STAB attack that allows it to damage Drilbur and other threats. Levitate allows Bronzor to avoid Ground-type moves that would otherwise hit it super effectively. <img src="/download/sprites/bw/170.png" alt="" /> Chinchou (F) @ Eviolite Ability: Volt Absorb EVs: 56 Def / 232 SpA / 220 Spe Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk) - Volt Switch - Hydro Pump - Hidden Power Grass - Thunderbolt Chinchou serves as a great Water-type check and bulky attacker. Volt Switch allows it be a great scout on its common switch-ins, while Thunderbolt is a handy Electric STAB attack due to its consistency. Hydro Pump is a powerful STAB attack that allows Chinchou to hit many threats hard, and Hidden Power Grass allows it to defeat opposing Chinchou. Volt Absorb means Chinchou can check Magnemite and opposing Chinchou even better, as it is not only immune to Electric-type moves, but also benefits from them. <img src="/download/sprites/bw/557.png" alt="" /> Drilbur @ Eviolite Ability: Sand Rush EVs: 60 HP / 156 Atk / 36 Def / 212 Spe Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SpA) - Swords Dance - Rock Slide - Rapid Spin - Earthquake Drilbur, while commonly only seen on sand teams, is a useful Rapid Spin user. With its high Attack and Speed, it can easily outspeed and severely damage much of the metagame. Rapid Spin is used to give Larvesta and the rest of the team a much easier time switching in, which is important due to the prevalence of Spikes and Stealth Rock. Drilbur can also pull off a late game sweep using its high 18 Attack and 17 Speed. After a Swords Dance, this mole can run through most teams with the stellar coverage of Rock Slide and Earthquake; finally, Sand Rush allows Drillbur to take advantage of a potential sandstorm caused by the opponent. <img src="/download/sprites/bw/360.png" alt="" /> Wynaut @ Eviolite Ability: Shadow Tag EVs: 76 HP / 140 Def / 136 SpD / 92 Spe Calm Nature (+SpD, -Atk) - Encore - Destiny Bond - Counter - Mirror Coat Wynaut is useful for ensuring Scraggy sets up. With its great bulk and Shadow Tag, Wynaut can easily trap and Encore any defensive Pokemon, allowing Scraggy to set up. Encore is used for its astounding utility against all Pokemon; Counter and Mirror Coat allow Wynaut to easily remove any threat. Destiny Bond is a great move, even on slow Pokemon such as Wynaut, forcing the opposition to decide between keeping their Pokemon alive and allowing Wynaut to live. <img src="/download/sprites/bw/666.png" alt="" /> Larvesta @ Eviolite Ability: Flame Body EVs: 76 HP / 156 Atk / 84 Def / 76 SpD / 116 Spe Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Morning Sun - Flare Blitz - Will-O-Wisp - U-turn Larvesta is a great bulky attacker that can check the many fighting types in LC. Its unique typing allows it to resist moves from many threats, such as Mienfoo's Hi Jump Kick and Snover Blizzard, and its 18 Attack allows it to hit with great force. Morning Sun gives it somewhat reliable recovery, and Will-O-Wisp allows it to cripple many physical attackers. U-turn is a great scouting move, forming the great "Volt-Turn" combo when in tandem with Chinchou, and Flare Blitz is a powerful STAB that does massive damage to anything that does not resist it. [a]conclusion[/a]Conclusion At the end of the day, it's extremely important to remember that prediction is the key to victory. While having a good team is crucial as well, your team will be nothing without prediction. Though it sounds incredibly cliché, the best way to get good at Little Cup is to practice, for practice is the key to knowing both the game and the opposition. Even the experts don't have some secret strategy to win every game; they just know that practice makes perfect. Like in any tier, the more you play, the better you get; hopefully, after this reading this article, you'll be able to build yourself a nice team and start out with your best foot forward. [a]addres[/a]Additional Resources If you're in need of additional help, check out the Speed Tiers and Threat List articles, or join #littlecup on IRC to talk with the experts!