Featured LC Pokemon: Mienfoo

By ShinyAzelf and comatthew6. Art by Yilx.
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The introduction of Pokemon Black and White came with many new Pokemon in the Little Cup tier, and of those, only a handful (though a handful holds quite a number of Little Cup Pokemon!) of them could be labeled "threatening". Mienfoo is one of those Pokemon; it's seen on almost every team. It is one of the best checks to arguably the most threatening sweeper, Scraggy, which easily rampages through teams after a Dragon Dance or two. Mienfoo is diverse and has a number of useful qualities, which is why it has been one of the most used Pokemon in Little Cup ever since day one.

Mienfoo's Qualities

When you look at Mienfoo's stats, you immediately notice an above average Attack stat, coupled with a decent Special Attack and Speed stats. Most people will abuse its best stat to the fullest, choosing a physical attacking set. With an Eviolite, Mienfoo takes hits well, and is one of the most effective bulky physical attackers out there. It can also take advantage of its bulk and Baton Pass, Swords Dance, Bulk Up, or even Calm Mind boosts to powerful sweepers such as Scraggy and Houndour. The additional bulk is useful as it gives Mienfoo the ability to check powerful sweepers such as Dragon Dance Scraggy, which is easily eliminated by Mienfoo even after a Dragon Dance, while Mienfoo can easily heal off the health loss with a combination of U-turn and Regenerator.

Playing with Mienfoo

Mienfoo's main sets are Bulky Attacker and Choice Scarf. The Bulky Attacker set focuses on tanking hits well while dishing them out just as easily. Bulky Mienfoo is not easy to knock out, thanks to a combination of relatively high bulk, Eviolite, and Regenerator, which easily allows Mienfoo to heal itself back to full health just by switching. You can also slap a Choice Scarf on Mienfoo and revenge kill many Pokemon with a powerful STAB Hi Jump Kick. Though it is not as bulky, Choice Scarf Mienfoo can abuse Regenerator even more easily by constantly spamming U-turn, healing itself while scouting the opponent, allowing Mienfoo and it's teammates to gain momentum. Mienfoo also has access to STAB Drain Punch, allowing it to heal while dealing damage, making it a great option on any Mienfoo.

Playing against Mienfoo

Because Mienfoo has access to Regenerator and U-turn, it can be quite hard to play against since it can continuously switch out and heal itself at will. However, there are a few Pokemon that fare well against it. Arguably, the two best checks to Mienfoo are a pair of Flying-types: Doduo and Taillow. Their STAB Brave Birds easily do enough damage to KO Mienfoo, but it should be noted that Mienfoo's Fake Out, Stealth Rock damage, and Brave Bird recoil will quickly add up. Koffing, though fairly uncommon in Little Cup, also plays well against Mienfoo, since it has a good amount of physical bulk, can burn Mienfoo with Will-O-Wisp, and can heal itself with Pain Split. Slowpoke, though fearing Knock Off, can easily wall Mienfoo otherwise and hit it with Psychic, Thunder Wave, or Toxic. Ghost-types such as Gastly and Drifloon also fair relatively well against Mienfoo, being able to finish a weakened Mienfoo, or set up a Substitute.

Fitting Mienfoo on Your Team

Mienfoo absolutely loves having Psychic-, Ghost-, and Flying-types removed, since it struggles to beat them one-on-one without Payback or Stone Edge, respectively. Offensive synergy is very important, since it needs the likes of Slowpoke, Gastly, and Taillow gone before it can reach its greatest potential. However, defensive synergy is just as important, as with Regenerator, Mienfoo has great longevity, and can constantly gain momentum for the team. Mienfoo is a great Pokemon on defensive teams because they often have trouble with Dragon Dance Scraggy, which is completely countered by Mienfoo. On teams that set up a lot of entry hazards, Mienfoo can also force the opponent's Pokemon to switch in and out, while Mienfoo heals with Regenerator and gains momentum for the team.

Environmental Factors

Stealth Rock is a must when using Mienfoo, since it will severely limit the number of switch-ins that its typical checks, Taillow and Doduo, will have before they faint. Dwebble is an excellent supporter because of Sturdy, which means that it will almost always get Stealth Rock and at least one layer of Spikes down before it faints. Toxic Spikes is also a welcome addition on more defensively-oriented teams featuring a bulkier Mienfoo, and Tentacool can use the move efficiently and can also use Rapid Spin.


A defensive Pawniard with Pursuit is a great teammate for Mienfoo to have, since it resists both Normal- and Flying-type attacks, and gets STAB on its Pursuit. This way, Taillow and Doduo will have to think twice before switching in on Mienfoo. Pawniard is also a good Ghost-type trapper, as long as Gastly and Drifloon don't have Hidden Power Fighting and Frillish doesn't have Will-O-Wisp. Also, since Pawniard attracts Scraggy, Mienfoo can switch in on Dragon Dance and KO Scraggy with Hi Jump Kick, as long as it's running a bit of bulk, has not taken prior damage, and Scraggy lacks Hi Jump Kick. Choice Scarf Chinchou serves as a great teammate, being able to alternate between Volt Switch and Mienfoo's U-turn to rack up entry hazard damage, healing Mienfoo and dealing with Mienfoo's biggest nemesis: Slowpoke.

Get Out There!

Mienfoo is, without a doubt, one of the biggest threats in the tier. The combination of checking weakened Pokemon, its fantastic ability Regenerator, scouting, and spreading status is too much for most Pokemon to handle, and it has been proven that Mienfoo is a very tough Pokemon. So what are you waiting for? Replace Caterpie with Mienfoo, and see how much more effective your team becomes!

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