Challenge Cup: Rotom-S @ Air Balloon

By Lady Salamence. Art by RitterCat.
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Young children, COPPA-banned or not, let me tell you a tale: a tale of a mysterious game, a game called Challenge Cup, or for our lazy brethren, CC. For a long time, even before the silly PO server you play on existed... yes, even before Super's server... Challenge Cup existed. Anyway, a number of authority figures on the server are into this, such as Zacchaeus, Limi, Hugendugen, Alucard, jrrrrrrr, Antar... Oh the list goes on and on; anyway, they play this extremely fun tier, and rumor has it that even Solace is good at it, which must be a falsehood because... What? Oh my, you don't know what Challenge Cup is?

What is Challenge Cup?

Challenge Cup is a game where your pre-made, silly Charizard teams will not work. See, Challenge Cup is set up to give you completely random Pokemon, and they'll be different every time. That means if you manage to get your hands on an awesome Dragon Dance / Fire Punch / Aqua Jet / Fly Dragonite, you're likely never to see it again, unless you're as lucky as someone who jumps off the Empire State Building and lands on a 20-foot high stack of mattresses. Or you can be unlucky enough as I was recently to have a Challenge Cup game practically won, only to discover that your last two remaining Pokemon have no way to damage that Nidoran with 5 HP left.

Pokemon Online and Pokemon SHOWDOWN Challenge Cup

Unless you access Smogon solely through an iPhone or whatever people use these days, or have moral qualms about using a Pokemon simulator, there are two very accessible ways of playing Challenge Cup: Pokemon Online (PO) and Pokemon SHOWDOWN (PS). And there is also one very big difference between them: PS has moving sprites and better sounds! Nah, that's a side point, but it's still pretty cool. PS is most definitely more competitive than its downloadable cousin, PO. Almost every set you can get in PS Challenge Cup is slightly competitive, except for maybe some Baton Pass sets and the cursed Air Balloon Rotom-S. The PO version of Challenge Cup is a lot less competitive, but no less fun. Everything is literally random, as what a number of people I've seen comment to be "truly Challenge Cup."


Now there is a different way to play Challenge Cup, and as a bonus, it's probably the only way to play Challenge Cup... on WiFi. This is thanks to Antar, the creator of CC4WiFi; in the words of the creator, "It's Challenge Cup. For Wi-Fi." It's pretty much PO Challenge Cup, with two glaring differences: It's on Wi-Fi, and each Pokemon has at least one "attacking" move.

Wyoming Tournament

Now, there are a lot of script tournaments on PO, or small IRC Challenge Cup tours. However, once a year, a great tournament is run. The Wyoming Tournament is a Forum CC Tournament, last hosted by elDino and won by extra. There's not much to say about it, except that it has a sick-ass logo and got more than 160 participants last running.

"Good" Challenge Cup Strategies

If you pay any attention to the CC ladder, or to the comments in the Tournaments channel when a CC tour is in the signup phase, you'll notice that Great Sage is usually high up on the ladder, or the terror of some of the tournament participants. Obviously, if Great Sage can do that, there must be ways to turn even a bad matchup into a easy win. The best way? Double Team and Minimize, by far. Should you avoid the first three attacks, leaving you at +3 Evasion, as long as you have something with high PP and can hurt everything on the opposing team, you pretty much have the game won. Unless they have Aerial Ace. It's horrible, but rare. Not sure why. Or, a different strategy, if you're a moderator, you can use the command [Smogon Server Moderators have suppressed this message.] Certainly, there are other strategies, but they are probably less common than Double Team and Minimize, or [Smogon Server Moderators have suppressed this message.]


I hope you found some interest in Challenge Cup, and remember, playing it is only a Find Battle Button click away. Also, avoid Wobbuffet like a disease; it's horrible in Challenge Cup. Most of the time.

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