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Hey all, I recently took an interest in Little Cup... I originally built a few gimmicky teams, but with the help of my friends, I was able to take the number 1 spot after only a few months of playing under the alt Nudge Nudge.
In my opinion, this team represents really what the metagame looked like for a time. Nowadays, I really don't care for it as it really is a bit stale for my tastes. While it served me well for a time, those times are over and hopefully I can find an even better team soon. In any case, let's take a look at the team building process.
When I asked NatGeo to help me start building a team, he asked me what I wanted to work off of. I noted that I liked the core of Slowbro and Scraggy.
I needed someone who could lay hazards and another Pokemon who could maintain momentum and get Scraggy in. Dwebble and Chinchou were chosen for these respective reasons.
At this point, I was lacking a fast all-around Pokemon with a resistance to Grass-type moves. Ponyta was initially chosen.
I was then feeling a little bit weak to Scraggy, so I added a Choice Scarf Vullaby in the last spot. It was a big surprise to many unsuspecting opponents.
The team then started doing well but not really insanely well. After talking things over with Charmander, I really felt like I didn't have my bases covered as well as they could have been. Gastly added a new depth to the team with Hypnosis while still having a Grass-type resistance. Vullaby wasn't making the cut either, so I decided to switch to Taillow.
After reaching about rank 10 with the team, I realized everyone was overtly prepared for DD Scraggy. This made me change Scraggy to Knock Off Mienfoo, which is in my opinion the best Pokemon in the meta. Since the team was now taking a more defensive role, I decided on Lileep instead of Dwebble.
Since Mienfoo has U-Turn, I really felt that the U-turn provided by Taillow was no longer necessary. Because of this I switched it out to Choice Scarf Doduo for the two extra Attack points.
Ibojangles (Lileep) @ Evoilite
Ability: Storm Drain
EVs: 148 HP / 140 Def / 32 SpA / 140 SpD / 16 Spe
Calm Nature (+SpD, -Atk)
-Hidden Power (Fire)
While Lileep is commonly used on sand teams, it actually has a fantastic niche in the current metagame even without sandstorm. Recover and Stealth Rock means it has more longevity than something like Dwebble, while it is a near perfect Chinchou counter (and can also handle Staryu that lack Ice Beam). Hidden Power (Fire) is the perfect move to take out opposing Ferroseed trying to set up, while Energy Ball hits the multitude of Water-types that Little Cup has spawned.
Lileep has an unfortunate weakness to Fighting-types like most hazard setters, but this is really circumvented by other team members, such as Gastly. If I see a Mienfoo or Croagunk etc. in the opponent's lead spot, I will likely go Gastly to try Hypnosis or Substitute on a U-turn. If I'm feeling gutsy I may try to lure a Hi Jump Kick from Mienfoo using this guy, although that requires a stupid opponent.
Ibojangles is a Calm and collected leader of the team. He has an answer to nearly everything, and even when the going gets tough, he has no problem Recovering. I expect him to be one of the ones who sticks around for a while.
Fuzznip (Slowpoke) @ Evoilite
EVs: 116 HP / 236 Def / 36 SpA / 116 SpD
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
Regenerator is arguably the best thing that could've happened to Slowpoke. In conjunction with Mienfoo, Slowpoke maintains a good defensive core while being able to handle other defensive threats with Toxic. Slowpoke is also typically my only answer to Timburr, who otherwise would face little trouble against this team with a Bulk Up and Mach Punch set.
Psychic is used over Fire Blast because I feel Lileep takes care of Ferroseed, and I prefer to hit Fighting-types very hard. However, Scald is often used on the switch as an unsuspecting burn really cripples many threats to this team. Slack Off is non-negotiable, and in conjunction with Regenerator, makes this meta way too easy.
Fuzznip was one of the originals; he was on the very first rendition of the team. He's not afraid to make a Bold move, and although he may have Slacked Off at times, I truly will never forget the influence he had on me.
Rising_Dusk (Mienfoo) @ Evoilite
EVs: 196 HP / 156 Atk / 156 Spe
Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SpA)
-Hi Jump Kick
I've openly said it before that I believe this is the best set in the metagame at the moment. Defensive Mienfoo answers Scraggy very nicely (although I do like my bird more for an initial answer) while providing stability to the team. U-turn allows momentum to be kept, and Knock Off cripples basically every wall in Little Cup. Drain Punch is a fantastic move to round out the set, and, although I'm not Scarfed, Hi Jump Kick still cleans up once Ghosts are gone.
The EV spread for this set was given to me by Charmander, and I believe it is the very best out there. Max Speed really doesn't seem necessary to me, and although I've considered Fake Out, I am very happy with how this set supports the team.
Rising_Dusk is a good friend who is always dependable. Perhaps the odds are against us; Rising_Dusk knows the solution. He has been a mentor for me all the way through, and knows when it's necessary to step up and take charge. And he does it all with a Jolly attitude.
Oglemi (Chinchou) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 52 Def / 228 SpA / 220 Spe
Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
I really, really like this Pokemon. Momentum is vital in Little Cup, and with some prediction, Chinchou secures that every match. I use Ice Beam because this Pokemon is often my best option against DD Dragons, who otherwise could pose a threat. However, HP Grass is insanely fun to run as well.
Late game, this is typically the clean up boy. Magnemite would probably rip through this team if Chinchou didn't easily 2HKO with Surf. I like Surf because of its dependability, although Hydro Pump's raw power can be a godsend.
Oglemi, or Proglemi, as I like to call him, seems to always have things planned out. He's Modest enough to know when not to speak, however, he's willing to chime in for the good of the community. I'm not sure if he surfs, but that would be great for the sake of this RMT.
Chou Toshio (Gastly) @ Oran Berry
EVs: 116 HP / 196 SpA / 196 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
Good old Subnosis Gastly is a monstrous threat to Little Cup. Late game, I find putting something to sleep often means GG. It sports two vital immunities to Ground-types and Fighting-types.
Shadow Ball and Sludge Bomb possess fine neutral coverage, which I prefer over the situational awesomeness of HP Fighting. Hypnosis cripples... well, everything without Insomnia. All around, this guy is one of the best for a reason.
Chou Toshio is one of the best people to get to know. At first glance, he may strike you as Timid, but this is not the case. He can often Substitute and fill in for his friends where necessary.
Fatecrashers (Doduo) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Early Bird
EVs: 36 HP / 236 Atk / 236 Spe
Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SpA)
Doduo is in many ways the random move spammer of the team. Is there a Gastly who needs to be killed? Let's Pursuit it. Is there a defensive Pokemon I need to lure in and cripple? Let's bring out Doduo and use Toxic. Is the opponent's Magnemite dead? Let's spam Brave Bird until I win.
This set is superior for this team over Taillow, as momentum is carried by Mienfoo and Chinchou. I have imagined the expression on the opponent's face when they realize nothing left on their team resists Flying and I start Brave Birding too many times to count.
Fatecrashers is quite an Early Bird, known for updating the queue at 2 AM with a random saying where he tries to be funny. Fatecrashers is often underestimated in that he's an artist, but will always be around for a check and to clean up the opposing team or the list of Analyses.
With the banning of Misdreavus, Gligar, Carvanha, and Meditite, the Little Cup tier has vastly changed. For example, Chinchou's usage has increased by a mile, as it is now able to spam Volt Switch without worrying about pesky Gligar switching in. Other changes include Scraggy not running Ice Punch for Gligar, and Stunky being almost non-existent thanks to the ban of Misdreavus. The point is, Little Cup teams have been shifting around, and Ray Jay's team is a perfect example of what a solid team looks like. Ray Jay's team consists of a defensive core, a pair of U-turn Pokemon (well, U-turn and Volt Switch), and two powerful late-game sweepers who can easily finish off the job when the opposing team is severely weakened. Without further ado, let's analyze the team!
In the majority of cases, Ray Jay leads with Lileep, who has a plethora of resistances and special bulk, and can easily lay down Stealth Rock, a crucial part to the team's success. Most of Lileep's EVs are invested into its HP and defenses allowing it to tank hits easily. Lileep not only has very good tanking abilities, but also has Eviolite to further boost its defenses, while Recover allows for more longevity. Aside from setting up Stealth Rock, Lileep is one of the best switch-ins to Water-type Pokemon, as it is not only immune to all Water-type attacks thanks to Storm Drain, but it also nabs a Special Attack boost, allowing Lileep to threaten Pokemon with boosted Energy Balls and Hidden Power Fires.
Ray Jay's team possesses an excellent defensive core, as well as an effective scouting duo. The Lileep and Slowpoke core is very hard to take down, as they cover each others weaknesses almost perfectly. Lileep takes special hits easily, while Slowpoke is not concerned by physical attacks. They also force switches a lot, which is useful for racking up entry hazard damage in the form of Stealth Rock. Chinchou and Mienfoo are also an amazing core. With Volt Switch and U-turn respectively, they can force many switches, while also making the opponent take some damage from the attack. Chinchou's Volt Switch is especially deadly, coming from a decent Special Attack and further boosted by STAB. Mienfoo, while not as deadly as Chinchou with it's U-turn, has Knock Off, which can make switch-ins think twice before switching in, as they may lose their Eviolite, making it much easier for them to get knocked out.
Gastly and Doduo are the sweepers on the team, designed to sweep the opposing team late-game after their teammates have done their job, weakening the opposing team to the point where either Gastly or Doduo can come in and finish it off. Gastly can easily force a Pokemon out, Substitute on the switch, then proceed to Hypnosis the counter. In case it misses, it can still hit it once more since it is behind a Substitute (provided Gastly is faster). From there, it can fire off powerful STAB Sludge Bombs and Shadow Balls at the opponent, which are by no means easy to take. After Gastly has punched huge holes into the opponent's team, it's time for Doduo to come in and do its thing. STAB Brave Bird hurts everything in the tier that does not resist it, while Return is a safer bet to avoid recoil damage. Pursuit is to checkmate weakened Pokemon, especially frail Psychic- and Ghost-type Pokemon, while Toxic allows Doduo to cripple a wall who is suspecting a Return or Brave Bird.
Even the most solid teams have Pokemon which are problematic to deal with. Ray Jay's team has most threats covered, but there are a couple of Pokemon that will cause the team to struggle. Clamperl is a huge threat, outspeeding every Pokemon bar Doduo after a Shell Smash, and can OHKO every Pokemon with a combination of Surf, Ice Beam, and Hidden Power Grass. Drilbur is another threat to the team. With a Swords Dance under its belt, Drilbur can easily sweep through the team except for Slowpoke, who can only check Drilbur if it has not received prior damage. Luckily, most Pokemon on the team can hit Drilbur for decent damage, making it hard for Drilbur to set up Swords Dance. Snover is a huge threat, being able to hit 4/6 of Ray Jay's Pokemon for super effective damage with its STAB attacks, while the other two are also severely dent or outright KOed by STAB Blizzard.
Ray Jay's team is excellent, and does a great job at showing what the current metagame looks like. Ray Jay's team is very solid, and if you ever faced him on the ladder, you would definitely know how hard it is to get past the two cores in the team. All in all, Ray Jay's team is phenomenal, and gives you an idea of how to succeed in the tier.
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