Featured LC Pokémon: Frillish

By Dracoyoshi8. Art by *Hen*.
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Back in Generation IV, Little Cup had the stereotype of being a metagame where the only stats that mattered were Speed, Attack and Special Attack. While that stereotype itself was pretty inaccurate, it stuck around. Generation V threw that stereotype out with Evolution Stone and a few Pokemon who proved that power doesn't always come from the window with the introduction of offensive stats. Frillish, or Pururiru if you are unfamiliar with the English names, is one of those Pokemon.

It did not take long for Frillish to take the metagame by storm. Its unique typing combination of Water / Ghost (two of the best types from Generation IV Little Cup) was enough to put Frillish ahead of Little Cup's massive pool of Water-types. The discovery of Evolution Stone sent Frillish's usage skyrocketing; since then, it has maintained a steady place alongside Little Cup's best of the best, including Scraggy, Gligar and Murkrow. Much like Slowpoke, Frillish is one of Little Cup's premier defensive Water-types, and it doesn't look like it will be relinquishing that title any time soon.

Frillish's Qualities

In Little Cup, being a Ghost-type is a good thing, as Misdreavus and Gastly clearly demonstrate. While Water-types have fallen from the limelight, due to the rising popularity of Drought and the Grass- / Steel-type Ferroseed, it's still a respectable typing to have, especially on a defensive Pokemon. So, what happens when you combine the two? You get quite possibly one of the best type combination in Little Cup. With its typing alone, Frillish is either immune to or resists all but two of the offensive priority moves. The immunity to Fighting-type moves is possibly the biggest boon from Frillish's typing. Hi-Jump Kick's and Drain Punch's boosts in Base Power and new powerful Fighting-types make Fighting-type moves far more common than ever before. Being immune to one of the most powerful attacking types in Little Cup is just plain amazing. Being a Water-type gives Frillish access to STAB Scald, which is a great move even without STAB. Don't be fooled, though, Frillish's typing is not all sunshine and rainbows. Scraggy and Pawniard are extremely powerful and common threats who can easily 2HKO or OHKO Frillish with their STAB Dark-type moves.

Frillish's great typing helps make up for its pretty average stats. While base 85 Special Defense is pretty good, base 55 HP and base 50 Defense are fairly middling in Little Cup. However, thanks to the introduction of Evolution Stone, that average Defense stat can end up going a long way. The 50% boost to Frillish's Defense and Special Defense is enough to make it one of the best tanks in the entire tier. Offensively, base 65 Special Attack is just enough for a sweeper. Unfortunately, base 40 Speed is nowhere near adequate for actually pulling off a sweep without the help of Trick Room or Choice Scarf. Finally, if you are using physical moves in your Frillish moveset, you are doing it wrong.

The people at Game Freak must have decided that having two immunities is never enough for a Ghost-type, because, just like Misdreavus and Gastly, one of Frillish's abilities grants it yet another immunity. Water Absorb is one of those abilities that is almost always useful. It gives Frillish not only an immunity, but also the ability to heal from Water-type attacks. Cursed Body is also a great ability. It basically acts like Static, but instead of inflicting paralysis, it inflicts the "disabled" status, which prevents the opponent from using their last move for a few turns. In the Dream World, Frillish gets the ability Damp. That's right. Damp on a Ghost-type. In the same generation from using the same move again. This can allow Frillish to stop Choice item users in their tracks. From in which Explosion and Selfdestruct get nerfed. It's probably for the best; another fantastic ability may have caused the regal jellyfish to explode.

Playing with Frillish

Frillish is pretty much a one trick pony. It does one thing extremely well, and other things not so well. Frillish is happiest and at its best when it is tanking hits and supporting the team. With Evolution Stone, you are looking at a stat spread of 25 HP, 23 Defense and 24 Special Defense; there are few unboosted attacks that could OHKO Frillish with those stats. To increase its longevity, you can give Frillish Recover, making it one of the most annoying Pokemon to face and one of the most fun to use. Will-O-Wisp and Scald allow Frillish to spread burn across your opponent's team. Shadow Ball and Hex are great STAB moves that Frillish has access to. Shadow Ball is preferred when you need consistent power. If you are convinced that you can status most of your opponent's team, then Hex is a powerful option. Ice Beam rounds off its movepool with a reliable way to deal with Gligar and Grass-types who love to take advantage of Drought. Energy Ball is also an option if you need a way to scare off Chinchou.

Aside from tanking, Frillish doesn't have much to offer. With Water Spout in its arsenal, Frillish can be a decent Choice Scarf user, but most players would rather stick to Remoraid for that. Frillish can also support the team by setting up Trick Room, which shouldn't be hard thanks to Recover and that amazing typing. For a Pokemon who lives deep in the ocean, its pool of options is surprisingly shallow.

Playing against Frillish

While it may not have an insane number of options like Scraggy, Frillish can still be tricky to counter. Due to Will-O-Wisp and Scald, most physical attackers can't hit Frillish's lower defensive stat for all that much damage. Scraggy's Shed Skin ability makes it a somewhat more reliable choice. Guts users like Taillow can work in a pinch, but they will still have trouble KOing Frillish after the Evolution Stone boost. Thus, special attackers are the best options against Frillish. Misdreavus can destroy Frillish with two Shadow Balls, but it also has to watch out for Frillish's own Shadow Ball. Chinchou can take it down with a powerful STAB Thunderbolt or even use Frillish as a chance to set up Charge Beam, but has to be wary of Energy Ball. Paras, while slower than Frillish, is immune to Scald, so it can act as a check; just watch out for Ice Beam. Ferroseed can take just about anything Frillish can throw at it, but does not enjoy being burned. The most secure way to knock out Frillish is through Toxic poison, but it can be a long process due to Recover.

Because it's so slow, a weakened Frillish is easy to revenge kill. Scarf Scraggy can take down Frillish with Crunch to net a free boost from Moxie. Sandile can work in the same way. Choice Scarf Chinchou and Electrike can revenge kill Frillish with Volt Change. Any Chlorophyll user, aside from maybe Sunkern, can finish off Frillish quickly while in the sun.

Fitting Frillish onto your Team

Frillish does equally well on offensive teams, stall teams and balanced teams. Its decent Special Attack and moves allow it to maintain some offensive momentum when it's acting as a sponge against priority. The ability to block Rapid Spin and access to Recover and status make it a great addition to a stall team. Lastly, its overall bulk and decent offensive prowess give Frillish just what it needs to work well on a balanced team.

Environmental Factors

Toxic Spikes. If there is one thing Frillish hates more than anything, it's Toxic Spikes. Toxic Spikes just destroys the survivability that makes Frillish so damn good. A grounded Poison-type, such as Croagunk, or a Pokemon with access to Rapid Spin provides security against Toxic Spikes. Additionally, Rapid Spin can keep Stealth Rock and Spikes off the field, which are also thorns in Frillish's side. Frillish also dislikes Drought, so actually pairing it up with Hippopotas or a Rain Dance user is not a bad idea.


Frillish is weak to Dark-, Electric-, Grass- and Ghost-type attacks. Luckily, Ferroseed resists all four. Combined, Ferroseed, Hippopotas and Frillish make one of the most annoying defensive cores in the entire metagame. Hippopotas's access to Slack Off and phazing moves like Yawn and Roar makes it a perfect partner for Ferroseed and its entry hazards. Frillish fits in by covering their weaknesses extremely well, blocking the opponent's Rapid Spin, and being able to spread burn throughout the opponent's team. On offensive teams, Frillish pairs well with Scraggy, who loves to switch in on Dark- and Ghost-type attacks. There aren't many Pokemon who don't work well alongside Frillish. Even other Ghost-types make great choices, putting a new twist on the old "2Ghosts1Cup" strategy.

Get Out There!

For those of you who believe that the best offense is a good defense, Frillish is the Pokemon for you. Frillish is not only an amazing tank, but also a Pokemon who helped break Little Cup's hyper-offensive stereotype. Frillish will be one of those Pokemon that both new and experienced players can get excited about, since it's so easy and fun to use, which is something that can't be said about all Pokemon. So, get out there and have fun!

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