Little Cup Guide to Sandstorm I thought of this about a week ago. I finished all points you will read in 2 days, grammar editing parts and adding little more, I just hadn't got round to finishing the guide with examples and what not. I hope this is a good enough guide to be helpful and your feedback is much appreciated for if I choose to continue and make guides for other aspects of Little Cup. Myself or other players in the tier have used the example sets mentioned throughout the guide. However, feel free to experiment because I only included the most generic. Enjoy reading Sandstorm is quickly becoming a common sighted team. And so I thought of making a guide into the reason why this team is becoming so successful and how to beat or use it. Building a Sandstorm Team All teams start with Hippopotus, the single user of the ability Sand Stream. This Pokemon is also incredibly physically bulky, strong recovery and supporting moves also means it can support the rest of the team. The move Sandstorm should not be used. In generation 4, Sandstorm and Hippopotus were used primarily on Stall teams, aiming to wear down opponents before sniping with such offensive set up Pokemon as Dratini that also possess strong priority. Generation 5 brought a gift to potential stalling in the shape of Eviolite. An extremely useful item that boosts all Little Cup Pokemon defenses by 1.5x when held. This item helped early attempts at stall teams. But as there were still a large amount of strong sweepers; Sandstorm found it difficult to hold its own verses these broken Pokemon. The tier was very unstable as previous generation 4 banned Pokemon had to be re-inspected if they were still too powerful. All of these were eventually re-banned with some new inclusions in the ubers tier such as Scraggy and Gligar. Gligar was the last to be banned for its diverse offensive and defensive sets that if you guessed incorrect, you were going to lose a Pokemon or more. Gligar was also an incredible counter to Sandstorm teams that were seen to rely on certain Pokemon. With Gligar banned, Sandstorm could be used far more effectively with the top Ground type counter gone. SPOT1 Hippopotus, as stated before, is the single user of the ability Sand Stream. It doesn’t have bad stats and is extremely physically bulky with decent support moves. Enjoy. Possible set: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Hippopotas @ Eviolite Trait: Sand Stream EVs: 52 HP / 100 Atk / 212 Def / 100 SDef / 20 Spd Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Slack Off - Roar / Crunch - Stealth Rock The most common additional Pokemon in sandstorm teams are as follows. SPOT2 Rock type Pokemon than enjoy the special defensive boost: Lileep Possible Lileep set: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Lileep @ Eviolite Trait: Storm Drain EVs: 68 HP / 220 Def / 220 SDef Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) - Recover - Stockpile - Toxic - Energy Ball The Grass type of Lileep can also be replaced for Ferroseed. Who uses Grass/Steel typing to resist Water and Grass types aimed towards Hippopotus. The main reason to use Ferroseed is for extra residual damage. Spikes and Leech Seed give amazing annoyance verses bulkier teams. Possible Ferroseed set: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Ferroseed @ Eviolite Trait: Iron Barbs EVs: 164 HP / 108 Def / 228 SDef Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk) - Leech Seed - Spikes - Thunder Wave - Bullet Seed SPOT3 And Pokemon with the ability Sand Rush: Drilbur Possible Drilbur sets: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Drilbur @ Eviolite Trait: Sand Rush EVs: 36 HP / 236 Atk / 212 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Rock Slide - Protect - Swords Dance Drilbur @ Life Orb Trait: Sand Rush EVs: 36 HP / 236 Atk / 212 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Rock Slide - Shadow Claw - Swords Dance These three Pokemon are the base of most Sandstorm teams. Hippopotus and Lileep/Ferroseed cover defensive and special defensive duties respectively. With Drilbur covering dangerous power and thanks to its ability instant doubled speed to be a top threat of today’s metagame. The most common and regarded as best sandstorm teams involve Hippopotus, Drilbur and Lileep/Ferroseed. This gives only three Pokemon to work with when differentiating sandstorm teams. The next three Pokemon need to cover what the first three don’t, as like any other team. The next most common choice is the Water-type. SPOT4 The most common choices are Frillish, Slowpoke, Chinchou and Staryu. Frillish provides strong immunities with its bulk making an extremely adept mixed wall. It’s recovery and different status move choices give extra longevity. Possible set: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Frillish @ Eviolite Trait: Water Absorb EVs: 76 HP / 196 Def / 236 SDef Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Recover - Shadow Ball - Scald - Will-O-Wisp Slowpoke is rather like Frillish as far as resistances and reason why it is used. Slowpoke uses its incredible physical bulk and the amazing ability Regeneration to keep healthy and consistently switch into attacks and thus lives incredibly long in most matches. Possible set: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Slowpoke @ Eviolite Trait: Regenerator EVs: 116 HP / 156 Def / 116 SAtk / 116 SDef Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) - Slack Off - Thunder Wave - Psychic - Scald Staryu is not as bulky as Slowpoke or Frillish. But it is much faster and can utilize its higher speed and better movepool to punish the opponent verses worse match up Pokemon. It also has access to Rapid Spin, an incredibly useful move that can be used because Staryu forces a lot of switches. Possible set: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Staryu @ Eviolite Trait: Natural Cure EVs: 116 HP / 156 Def / 236 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Scald - Thunderbolt - Recover - Rapid Spin Chinchou is the Rotom-W of Little Cup. Its dual STAB gives great offensive and defensive typing with a useful immunity. It is also one of the best Water-type counters because of this. Chinchou can use Choice Scarf well to be a revenge killer too. Possible sets: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Chinchou @ Choice Scarf Trait: Volt Absorb EVs: 52 Def / 232 SAtk / 224 Spd Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Volt Switch - Hydro Pump - Ice Beam - Hidden Power [Fire] Chinchou @ Eviolite Trait: Volt Absorb EVs: 52 Def / 232 SAtk / 224 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Agility - Hydro Pump - Thunderbolt - Ice Beam SPOT5 The next spot is to counter those Pokemon that can sweep Sandstorm teams. The Pokemon sandstorm fears are inside: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Snover – This Pokemon is the largest threat to a Sandstorm team, this is because it changes the weather to Hail rather than Sand, hurting the bulky core residually and stops the abuse of weather. It also has great typing verses Ground and Water and Rock (as long as it doesn’t switch into Rock moves) moves. Timburr – This Pokemon sets up using Bulk Up, and with Sandstorm filled with physical attackers, this Pokemon is hard to stop after just one Bulk Up. Drain Punch is also powerful because it heals residual damage that is taken through Sand. Its ability Guts also means statusing for extra residual damage may hinder your own team more than Timburr. Drain Punch will be boosted in power like the rest of Timburr’s attacks. This will heal the residual damage you attempted to wrack up with status. Payback combined with this amazing move gives almost perfect neutral coverage, resisted only by Croagunk that is easily dealt with by Hippopotus. Mienfoo – Disrupts play and heals off residual damage using its ability. Can also hit extremely hard and has many opportunities to switch in. Bulky Water types – These can be dealt with by Lileep usually. But as the name suggests, Bulky Water types will often status Lileep because Lileep itself is not known for its instant power. Slowpoke specifically can heal while switching out of the danger giving a stall cycle that Lileep cannot win. Ferroseed – This pokemon is incredibly good verses Sandstorm. It is immune to Sandstorm and is a Grass-type. With great residual support moves in the shape of Leech Seed and Spikes, this is why it was mentioned in part of the Sandstorm teambuilding process. Weather based teams – Rain and Sun are rarely seen in Little Cup, but you must be careful not to leave wide gaps. Lileep can generally deal with rain teams thanks to Storm Drain immunity while Bulky Waters attempt to deal with Sun. Chlorophyll Pokemon will cause trouble too. Other counters are either uncommon or work on only specific Pokemon. Thus I did not mention them; please mention any you feel worthy in comments just in case I missed some strong ones. To beat all of the mentioned Sandstorm counters is incredibly difficult. But it won’t stop us giving it a go. Here are some choices that fit well in the team for synergy and thus deal with some Pokemon mentioned. Magnemite’s Electric and Steel typing is incredible for resistances. Resisting both STAB of Snover and KOing back with STAB Flash Cannon off a strong attack that only Bulky Waters will like taking. And those are dealt with through Magnemite’s secondary STAB. Magnet Pull can also trap Ferroseed, and with a neat Hidden Power Fire (if you use it), Ferroseed can be dealt with quickly Possible sets: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Magnemite @ Choice Scarf Trait: Magnet Pull EVs: 240 SAtk / 240 Spd Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Volt Switch - Thunderbolt - Flash Cannon - Hidden Power [Fire] Vullaby is an incredibly overlooked but dangerous Pokemon. Its main focus is to be very disruptive with Knock Off and Whirlwind (it does this very well). It can also deal large amounts of damage to Timburr and Mienfoo. It also does well against opposing Sandstorm thanks to immune to Ground-type attacks. Snover will still cause problems, but doesn’t enjoy switching in with risk of Flying-type attacks. This Pokemon is excellent in dealing with Sun teams that enjoy using Grass type Chlorophyll Pokemon. Possible sets: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Vullaby @ Eviolite Trait: Overcoat EVs: 36 HP / 236 Def / 236 SDef Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk) - Roost - Knock Off - Whirlwind - Brave Bird Chinchou also doesn’t like Snover, but it can deal with Bulky Waters that really are on every Little Cup team. It can also deal with Rain teams well. Its strong dual STAB can also damage Mienfoo and Timburr on their less prepared special defensive side. Not to mention it is a strong Scarfer that covers the opposite spectrum to Drilbur that is also speedy. Volt Switch residual damage can come into play here to gain momentum. Possible sets. Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Chinchou @ Choice Scarf Trait: Volt Absorb EVs: 52 Def / 232 SAtk / 224 Spd Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Volt Switch - Hydro Pump - Ice Beam - Hidden Power [Fire] Chinchou @ Eviolite Trait: Volt Absorb EVs: 52 Def / 232 SAtk / 224 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Agility - Hydro Pump - Thunderbolt - Ice Beam Fire types obviously deal with Snover very well, but tend to not like residual damage at all. I have not tested enough to really say which Fire Pokemon is the best. Ponyta/Growlithe/Houndour/Magby strong options, tell me which you found the best or if you were disappointed. Croagunk can be used with its residual Priority to wear down offensive threats. It heals its HP on Water-type attacks, but most importantly, it strongly deals with Snover. Also enjoys fighting Rain teams for abuse of Dry Skin. Possible sets: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Croagunk @ Life Orb Trait: Dry Skin EVs: 132 HP / 188 Atk / 188 SAtk Lonely Nature (+Atk, -Def) - Fake Out - Vacuum Wave - Sucker Punch - Shadow Ball SPOT6 The final spot is based on personal preference. You can go for a second Pokemon from the list above to stop those that try and beat Sandstorm. Or you can use a Pokemon that beats common Sandstorm cores. Timburr has been mentioned to rip Sandstorm apart, it can also break Snover using its STAB menacingly. It also has high HP with decent defenses. Possible set: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Timburr @ Eviolite Trait: Guts EVs: 116 Atk / 156 Def / 236 SDef Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk) - Bulk Up - Drain Punch - Mach Punch - Payback Mienfoo is disruptive with scouting and healing while still possessing an extremely powerful threat. Regeneration is exceptional like this. Possible set: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Mienfoo @ Eviolite Trait: Regenerator EVs: 156 Atk / 196 Def / 156 Spd Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Drain Punch - U-turn - Toxic - Taunt Summary: Sandstorm is a great type of team because of its ability to be defensive and offensive at the same time. Residual damage from Sandstorm benefits most Pokemon on the team, or doesn’t affect others in the slightest. Stalling like this is very viable if you do not have a straight counter. The core to many Sandstorm teams is very hard to break. This should be the focus of how you play the team. Go to the best counter for a specific Pokemon and keep the switching easy, if you start losing health, feel free to try things with lesser-needed Pokemon. Thanks to the core of a sandstorm team generally not minding sandstorm, you should be able to outlast, or at least severely damage walls before sweeping through with Drilbur or other option Pokemon. Sandstorm may not be the most exciting Little Cup team to play, but it’s certainly one of the best performers. Thank you for reading. Any questions about teambuilding or things you think I may have missed (or if I didn’t explain something very well) should be left in a comment below. Have fun using the loveable Hippo and friends.