(Approved by blarajan) Teambuilding: Cores in XY Little Cup Note: This thread is an ongoing project that any user may contribute ideas to, and as such, it is updated regularly. Examples of cores are subject to change as the metagame does, to better maintain relevance. In addition, any user-submitted cores that are added and contain Pokemon that end up banned from Little Cup will be consequently removed for obvious reasons. Changes are always prone to happen here and should be expected. Links to threads that go into further detail on moves or playstyles mentioned here are included for convenience. When building a new team for Little Cup, many players (especially newcomers) often wonder where to start or what to consider while putting together a team to use competitively. First of all, it's not a bad idea to try out something you find interesting at first, and then build around it by adding Pokemon that cover its weaknesses. As more teamslots are filled, more weak points are opened, which need to be covered by new mons, and so on, until you find that perfect team of six. It's very important that the Pokemon on your team "have each other's back", so to speak. It's also crucial to consider the main threats in the metagame and to be able to check or counter those reasonably well. When there are Pokemon that work together on a team, it creates a base of synergy among certain key team members, and this is what's called a "core". There are many different kinds of cores. There are 18 different types, and many mons have two types, so the possibilities are quite extensive. Something else that is important to bear in mind is the Pokemon's ability, which can add something important to a core, such as a type immunity in the case of abilities such as Dry Skin and Levitate, which provide a Water immunity and Ground immunity, respectively. Let's have a more in-depth look at cores in XY Little Cup: Basic Resistance Cores The most basic kind of core is one where one Pokemon can reliably wall the weaknesses of a counterpart and vice-versa. Both of these Pokemon have their share of weak points, but you'll find that Ferroseed's weaknesses to Fire and Fighting are both resisted by Mantyke, and Mantyke's weaknesses to Electric and Rock are resisted by Ferroseed in exchange. This is an example of a perfect resistance core. Having these is a good idea if you want to have a team that can work well despite the defensive shortcomings of each individual team member! Sometimes you might decide that by having resistance cores be totally perfect, where all weaknesses of two Pokemon are covered by each other, that your options become rather restricted. Sometimes you might want to use Tirtouga for its powerful Shell Smash or its bulky Support set, or maybe because you want to have that offensive Rock-type presence. Whatever the reason, it's acceptable most of the time to have two mons form an imperfect core, where some or most weaknesses of the two are covered by their counterpart. If you look at this example, Tirtouga's weaknesses to Ground, Grass, Fighting, and Electric weaknesses are covered by Phantump, and Phantump's weaknesses to Fire, Flying, and Ice are covered by Tirtouga, but Phantump's Ghost and Dark weaknesses are not covered. This is alright; Tirtouga at least isn't weak to these types, and also this can be patched up by adding other Pokemon with the appropriate resistances. By adding Houndour to the equation, Phantump's weaknesses to Ghost and Dark are now covered, and Houndour's weaknesses to Ground, Fighting, and Water are already covered by Phantump. While it may seem as though Phantump is now carrying a heavy load by having to cover weaknesses for two partners, it is able to keep itself safely healthy with its Leech Seed, STAB Horn Leech, and/or its Oran Berry + Harvest combination; always keep in mind that the capabilities of each individual Pokemon have a hand in how effective a core is, apart from just their typing. Anyway, you may notice now that by adding Houndour, it does patch up the Ghost and Dark weaknesses, but it also adds a weakness to Rock with nothing to resist it. That is when you can add a Fighting type to help with that, and this process continues until you are able to have six members of your team actively able to watch out for each other in regards to all the defensive points you want to cover for your team. Don't be afraid to experiment! Cores With Synergized Functions A few weaknesses of these three Pokemon are covered by their counterparts here, but what really adds reliability to this core in particular is Regenerator. All three Pokemon have access to it, and this basically allows them all to recover 33% of their maximum health upon switching out, which is what will be done reasonably often if three Pokemon are to cover each other's weaknesses. In addition, Foongus and Slowpoke have an arsenal of disruptive moves to assist in wearing down the opponent's team, while Mienfoo is more offensive and can check some of the things that hurt Foongus and Slowpoke. A core of three bulky Pokemon who share an ability like this is hard to break and can be very effective competitively in the long run. One kind of core that has always been decently popular is VoltTurn (the use of Volt Switch and U-turn). These Pokemon are perfect for this kind of strategy, as they are all reasonably fast enough to U-turn or Volt Switch out to improve the situation and maintain momentum for their team. Larvesta resists Mienfoo's Fairy weakness and Chinchou's Grass weakness, while the weakness to Flying that Larvesta and Mienfoo share is covered by Chinchou. Larvesta offensively threatens the Psychic-types that Mienfoo fears, and Mienfoo resists Larvesta's 4x weakness to Rock in exchange. This is an example of a useful core that is supportive of itself and also has longevity, as Larvesta has access to Morning Sun, Mienfoo has its Regenerator ability, and Chinchou has access to Heal Bell to rid the entire group of troublesome status conditions if needed. The momentum this core works to maintain is a great part of keeping the battle in its favor and is quite effective, keeping itself strong while also applying constant offensive pressure on the opponent. Weather-Based Cores This is a very powerful weather-based core. Vulpix's Drought ability summons harsh sunlight, which all of these Pokemon benefit from; Vulpix's Fire type moves become obscenely strong right off the bat, and Bulbasaur/Bellsprout/Oddish's Speed is doubled so that it can have a speed advantage over foes, dealing considerable damage with its STAB Grass- and Poison-type attacks. The Grass types here resist Water, one of Vulpix's weaknesses, and Vulpix resists the Fire, and Ice type attacks that its Grass-type partner(s) is weak to. In addition to the defensive advantages of this core, Bulbasaur/Bellsprout/Oddish annihilates almost everything that resists Vulpix's STAB. Players will have to use caution when trying to play against this. Bulbasaur is generally the most practical option for a Chlorophyll partner for Vulpix, but Bellsprout can be used for its exclusive access to Weather Ball (Bulbasaur gets it too but not with Chlorophyll), which does considerably more damage than HP Fire in Sun, and Sucker Punch. Oddish has decent bulk and an interesting attacking option in Dazzling Gleam. To read more about this kind of playstyle or to get involved in discussion regarding it, have a look at DTC's Sun in LC thread. These Pokemon form quite an effective weather-based core that is designed to not only make use of Sand, but also to additionally combat Sun offense. Specially defensive Hippopotas counters Vulpix just about entirely, and by extension, auto-Sun (Drought). Drilbur serves as the almost obligatory weather sweeper with its powerful STAB Earthquake, well-rounded coverage options, and the Sand Rush ability doubling its Speed while Sand is active. Lileep gains a welcome automatic Special Defense boost in Sand, makes use of Storm Drain to heal itself with the Water-type attacks aimed at Hippopotas and Drilbur, and is particularly useful when it comes to defending Drilbur from the likes of strong priority users it's weak to such as Carvanha and Tirtouga. Vullaby provides Knock Off support and is immune to Sand's residual damage thanks to Overcoat, while maintaining a comfortable offensive and defensive advantage against Chlorophyll sweepers. Both Lileep and Overcoat Vullaby are additionally immune to Sleep Powder and other powder-based moves. This core does its job incredibly well, but comes at a cost, as it carries a compounded weakness to Ice, which will need patching up by teammates that resist this type of attack. To get involved in discussion on Sand in Little Cup or to just see what the community has to say about it, be sure to visit Chesnaught's Sand in LC thread. Cores Submitted By the XY LC Community These three Pokemon form a somewhat balanced core that can both take hits and apply pressure on the opposition. Growlithe's Intimidate and Will-O-Wisp make it hard for physical attackers to cause any real pain, and Slowpoke is bulky and can also burn foes with Scald and paralyze them with Thunder Wave. Snover rounds out the more offensive part of the core and summons Hail to cause the residual damage necessary to nullify Sturdy on Tirtouga and easily OHKO it while making its Berry Juice obsolete. Submitted by Pen Ink. These three form a core with a nice balance of offense, support, and utility. Mienfoo's powerful STAB, access to the newly buffed Knock Off, and U-turn allow it to serve as a very useful offensive pivot that is difficult to prevent from doing its job. Murkrow not only laughs at the Psychic attacks aimed at Mienfoo from the likes of Abra, but it also performs quite well itself, able to pose a deadly offensive threat with Life Orb and also able to run a variety of other usable sets that make use of its Prankster ability. Staryu's impressive Speed and coverage allow it to put the hurt on many foes and beat them out one on one, while also having the option of getting rid of Stealth Rock with Rapid Spin, to help Murkrow function better. In addition to the power and support these three Pokemon possess, they all are also able to recover lost health: Murkrow has Prankster Roost, Staryu gets Recover, and Mienfoo has Regenerator. Submitted by Sage of the 6. With a Focus Sash equipped, Spinarak can comfortably set up Sticky Web (for more information on this new entry hazard, be sure to check out Chieliee's Sticky Web thread) against anything not carrying Fake Out or Rock Blast. It also has Toxic Spikes to soften up the opposing team, and also a surprisingly strong STAB Megahorn this generation. After Sticky Web is set up, Mienfoo's 16 Speed becomes enough to clean house, and with the sheer power of its STAB High Jump Kick, it is able to outpace and OHKO most of the metagame fairly easily. Knock Off is also amazing to hit Ghost-types this generation; Misdreavus can't really check Mienfoo this generation like it could in the past. Submitted by Raseri. This particular core is a bulky one that relies on its own support and also can function relatively well offensively. The set used for Chinchou here is Hydro Pump/Volt Switch/HP Fire/Heal Bell, while Intimidate Snubbull runs RestTalk with Play Rough and Earthquake. The longevity of Snubbull while still maintaining an offensive presence and lessening that of its opponents with this set is incredible. Chinchou threatens the mons that can give Snubbull problems, such as Honedge and Skrelp, and can also use Heal Bell to rid Snubbull of its self-induced Sleep status if it has to switch out prematurely while asleep. These two together reliably check an amazing amount of Pokemon. Submitted by Chieliee. Growlithe keeps physically inclined attackers at bay with Intimidate and Will-O-Wisp, while also threatening Grass-types. Pure Power Meditite's high offensive power and access to Bullet Punch allow it to function well to help soften up the opponent's team while maintaining its own survival with healing from its powerful STAB Drain Punch. Its Fighting resist also comes in handy to assist it in taking down the Fighting-types that threaten Carvanha. After the opponent's team is weakened and their priority users are eliminated, Carvanha cleans up nicely with little that can stop it. Submitted by Ray Jay. Pawniard and Spritzee form a solid resistance core that functions well both offensively and in longevity even if the opponent has Sticky Web in play. Spritzee soaks up the 4x super-effective Fighting type attacks aimed at Pawniard, and Pawniard walls both of Spritzee's weaknesses in exchange. Both are also capable of setting up and delivering painful hits with their respective STAB attacks. Spritzee's commendable bulk and access to Wish provides itself and Pawniard security throughout battles, as well as benefiting the rest of the team. Spritzee is so slow that it doesn't mind Sticky Web; Pawniard not only doesn't mind it, but it also gains +2 Attack (practically a free Swords Dance boost) when it comes in on it due to its Defiant ability activating on the Speed drop. While this does slow Pawniard down, it can override its lowered Speed with a chaotically strong +2 STAB Sucker Punch. This is one of the more creative cores in this thread that functions well on many levels, using Pokemon that don't often get the spotlight. Submitted by Cherub Agent. These two form an unexpectedly well-functioning resistance core. Koffing easily resists the Fighting- and Fairy-type attacks aimed at Scraggy, while Scraggy is totally immune to Koffing's sole weakness to Psychic. Koffing's access to Clear Smog and Will-O-Wisp allows it to also fight back against setup sweepers and Baton Pass chains, two prominent threats that swarm throughout the current Little Cup metagame, while Scraggy can further soften up opponents via STAB Knock Off, while also having the capability to set up with Dragon Dance and restore its own health while hitting hard with Drain Punch or demolishing the opposition with High Jump Kick. Very brilliant core. Submitted by blizzardy. This core has a focus on specifically taking advantage of the Sniper ability (causes critical hits to deal 2.25x damage) by passing Focus Energy and Speed boosts to Remoraid with Torchic. An interesting resistance factor of this combination is that Remoraid can more or less shrug off any Water-type attacks aimed at Torchic's weakness to them. If holding a Scope Lens, all of Remoraid's attacks will score critical hits 100% of the time, and it has access to a vast movepool with which to hit numerous types of enemies for super effective damage to boot, including but not limited to Fire Blast, Hydro Pump, Charge Beam, and Seed Bomb. Other Water-types that don't have a neutrality to Grass are annihilated by Sniper-crit Seed Bomb, Grass- and Steel-types are OHKOed by Sniper-crit Fire Blast, and Charge Beam after getting the Sniper-crit OHKOs Mantyke and Tentacool (after Stealth Rock); though HP Electric can be used for its greater accuracy. In addition to the increased damage output, critical hits also bypass any defensive boosts or screens the opponent has. While powerful, this strategy must be played with extreme care since Remoraid is very frail and cannot take hits. For more examples of how Baton Pass can be used to good effect in a team, check out Renwit355's Baton Pass thread. Submitted by Darkamber8828. This core may initially appear to bring an issue of overlapping types, which can oftentimes lead to the stacking of weak points. However, the defensive core these two Pokemon form actually share no weaknesses whatsoever, and they actually cover each other very well in addition to them both being specially bulky. Chinchou is immune to (and recovers health from!) the Electric-type attacks that Mantyke is 4x weak against, and Mantyke is immune to Chinchou's Ground weakness. This also serves as a great counter-core against teams that make use of Drought/Chlorophyll for Sun offense, due to Mantyke's access to Rain Dance and Swift Swim, and also due to Chinchou's ability to serve as a status spreader with Thunder Wave as well as a Volt Switch pivot. Both of these Pokemon also can make use of Scald to threaten the physical attackers that might try to hit them on their weaker defensive stat, applying pressure with the burn chance. Submitted by Ssin. Amaura and Misdreavus cover quite a few notable weak points for each other. Misdreavus is immune to the Fighting-type attacks that Amaura is 4x weak to, while also being immune to Amaura's Ground-type weakness. Additionally, Misdreavus has both Taunt to prevent status moves and hazard laying attempts and Will-O-Wisp to help Amaura better handle the physical attacks aimed its way. In exchange, Amaura counters Murkrow by resisting Brave Bird and bypassing its Sucker Punch by way of Nature Power, a non-attacking move that converts to an attacking move, while being further converted to Ice-type with Refrigerate, picking up the 1.3x power bonus along with STAB in the process. Submitted by Chesnaught. This group of three performs well together by using a mix of the ever-prominent VoltTurn strategy and Wish/Aromatherapy support, while also playing somewhat well as a resistance core. All three have a means of self-sustaining health: Larvesta has Morning Sun, Magnemite has Berry Juice with Recycle, and Spritzee has Wish, which has the added advantage of healing the other two if necessary. Spritzee's weakness to Steel is resisted by both Larvesta and Magnemite, while Magnemite is also handily immune to Spritzee's Poison weakness. Both Larvesta and Spritzee resist Magnemite's Fighting weakness, while Magnemite resists Larvesta's weaknesses to Flying and Rock. This is an example of a potent core that makes excellent use of many different approaches and combines them into one while not taking away from the overall effectiveness of it. Submitted by Expulso. These are only a few examples! Do you have an idea for a good core? Have you used a core that you find to work well and would like to share? Discuss! ♥ (If you'd like to share an idea for a core in a post below, I may include it with the ones above. You'll be credited, of course.) Have fun teambuilding!