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Hi everyone, this is blarajan bringing you an RMT that I've co-written with soviet (or Ban Nattorei on the server). soviet approached me to build a team as soon as he saw that Murkrow, Gligar, and Misdreavus were being moved back into Little Cup. He really wanted to get into the Little Cup metagame, and the introduction of these monsters interested him enough to make that attempt. I had also been a bit out of the Little Cup scene, since to be quite frank, it was boring as hell beforehand. This was all of the motivation I needed to get back in, so I happily worked on a team with him. What came from our teambuilding was a variety of great EV spreads, a cool offensive pair, and a team that's sitting pretty at number one on the ladder. Many users can attest to the team's effectiveness. I personally think this is one of the best teams I've ever built, and it's been really solid when handling the rest of the meta. It's been a lot of fun to play and to try out. However, it's also gotten a bit stale—because almost all of the Little Cuppers have SEEN it, and because I've used it so much. But here we go!
First, we began with Gligar. This was the Pokémon that soviet chose originally, due to its bulk, speed, and offensive prowess. We decided to use a Flight Gem Acrobatics set, because the offense that gave was too good to pass up. After Earthquake / Acrobatics / Roost, we were unsure how to proceed. We initially used U-Turn, for the offensive momentum. However, that was underwhelming, so we tried Swords Dance. Finally, we decided to make it SubRoost, in order for it to handle Sucker Punch from Murkrow better, and to be more threatening defensively. We haven't looked back since.
As amazing as Gligar is, it does have some issues with a lot of Pokémon in the metagame. After thinking about it, we decided an amazing Gligar partner was Scraggy. It was able to beat a lot of Gligar's checks (Bronzor, Staryu, Misdreavus, etc), and is an amazing sweeper in its own right. They complemented each other perfectly, so we decided here that we would make this our main offensive duo.
The next Pokémon we chose was Bronzor. We needed our own Gligar check, because we thought it would be the dominating force of the metagame. Bronzor hard counters Bronzor, while being an excellent check to Murkrow, Drilbur, Hippopotas, and really, like 80% of the metagame. It tanks pretty much everything it needs to. It also gives us Stealth Rock, which helps a lot, especially with Murkrow and Misdreavus, who hate passive damage. It's an excellent defensive pivot, and we felt it helped our team the best at this point.
We took a look at our team and went...well, we don't really like fast Pokémon. +1 Scraggy, Houndour, Omanyte post-smash, Scarf Snover...none of it. We thought about Mienfoo, but threw that idea away because we all know Mienfoo is a shitty Pokémon. We decided on Croagunk. Access to Vacuum Wave gave us a solid check to those Pokémon, and its own special bulk let us tank Misdreavus really well. Croagunk brought a lot to the table, and we realized we couldn't do without it.
To be honest we're not really sure why we chose Misdreavus, but we did. Misdreavus fell into that “too good not to use” category. It blocked spin, was offensively powerful, was bulky, tanked random hits, etc. We tried Nasty Plot Misdreavus, but that wasn't really that good. We then moved to Substitute, which worked better, but Misdreavus died too quickly using it. Finally, we tried Will-O-Wisp, and fell in love.
Honestly at this point we didn't really know what to do. We pretty much covered everything with these Pokémon so the last slot was mainly...filler? We debated between a lot of things here, like Scarf Snover, Houndour, and a bunch of other stuff. We noticed that our team was pretty slow at that point (nothing outsped the 19 speed tier), so we wanted a revenger. We also noticed a bit of a weakness to SubKrow. We put two and two together...and the legend of Scarf Shellder was born.
Croagunk (M) @ Eviolite
Ability: Dry Skin
EVs: 212 HP / 28 Atk / 36 Def / 108 SpA / 116 SpD
Quiet Nature (+SpA, -Spe)
- Fake Out
- Sucker Punch
- Vacuum Wave
- Dark Pulse
Soviet: Despite the team being based around Gligar, Croagunk is the star of the show. This Pokémon is just so good. When we were teambuilding, we really needed a mon to stop all of the faster threats of the meta, and Croagunk really delivered. The combination of Fake Out + Vacuum Wave does a number to any Shell Smasher, Scraggy, Houndour; you name it. One of the reasons we decided to use Croagunk is, using this spread I created, it is a great counter to Misdreavus. It recieves 50% max from a Shadow Ball while 2HKOing after rocks with Dark Pulse / Sucker Punch. On top of being a great offensive asset to this team, the typing coupled with the resistances and immunity to water make it an incredible defensive force as well. The reason I chose these EVs is because I needed to create a very bulky set to switch in and out of fighting moves to check the things it needed to while still having great offensive presence. The analysis spreads really weren't good at all, because they were unnecessarily offensive; as well, the Life Orb set dies so fast, because what Croagunk mainly does is use Fake Out + Vacuum Wave. That's an extra 20% HP that will never be gotten back on a Pokémon this team does not function without. This knowledge in hand, we decided to use an Eviolite set designed at taking lots of abuse while still hitting hard. I remembered from my experience of playing before The Big 3 were banned, that Croagunk is actually a decent check to all kinds of Misdreavus, so I decided to use that as a baseline. The spread ensures that Misdreavus Shadow Ball does 50% max (which is actually a very rare damage roll), so that really covers just about any other special attacker in the tier. Something else I was experimenting with, was a spread of 132 HP / 36 Def / 108 SAtk / 116 SDef / 116 Spd Modest (+Satk, -Atk) utilizing Icy Wind instead of Sucker Punch. This really transforms Croagunk from a bulky priority abuser into a late game cleaner.
Blarajan: Using this Croagunk has been absolutely amazing, let me tell you that. It's my go-to mon for a lot of current threats in the metagame. The moves we chose were Fake Out / Vacuum Wave / Dark Pulse > Drain Punch / Sucker Punch. Fake Out provides free damage that allows us to obtain many KOes we wouldn't have. Generally, Fake Out + Vacuum wave takes out a -1 Omanyte. Likewise, Fake Out helps us stall out an extra turn to accumulate Toxic damage from Bronzor. I can't even describe how many instances this has saved me. If I land a toxic on a Murkrow, or a Scraggy (and Shed Skin decides to be reasonable), Mienfoo, or anything, Fake Out lets me let them accumulate more damage for free. But really, Vacuum Wave is the best part of using Croagunk. Many of the current threats in the meta are weak to fighting, plain and simple. Houndour, Scraggy, Snover, Omanyte, are all hit by Vacuum Wave for super effective damage, making Croagunk a really good check to a lot of faster Pokémon that give me a hard time. Sucker Punch / Dark Pulse complement this nicely. The main thing that I love about this Croagunk is how much it beats Misdreavus. Generally, Misdreavus thinks I'll use Sucker Punch, so it Will-o-Wisps, Substitutes, or Nasty Plots. Using Dark Pulse allows me to get about 50% on it for free. Then, Sucker Punch lets me finish it off as it is scared of Dark Pulse. Dark Pulse is cool as well as it allows me to hit Slowpoke for a lot of damage. Croagunk's Fighting resistance makes it a great check to Mienfoo and Scraggy, while its ability to absorb Toxic Spikes have made it an invaluable asset to stall. The given spread makes it really bulky, and makes its Vacuum Wave really powerful. Overall, it's definitely the star of the show.
Bronzor @ Eviolite
EVs: 228 HP / 4 Atk / 148 Def / 4 SpA / 68 SpD/ 16 Spe
Impish Nature (+Def, -SpA)
- Stealth Rock
- Hidden Power Ice
Soviet: I think Bronzor is the most replacable Pokémon on this team, because it doesn't provide much offensive pressure and has no reliable recovery. This lets multiple threatening Pokémon, such as Scraggy, have an essentially free switchin to set up, and this can be very devastating if our checks are dead. Despite these flaws it really is crucial to the success of this team. It is the only purely defensive Pokémon on this team, and as such is the initial switch for so many mons. On top of being a great pivot, Bronzor has a useful movepool in Toxic and Stealth Rock. Both of these moves are really important, as they provide passive damage that breaks opposing cores easier. Stealth Rock checks multiple mons, such as Larvesta and LO Murkrow, as well as really helping Shellder. Stealth Rocks turns multiple crucial 3HKOs (Misdreavus, Staryu) into 2HKOs, and that really ties the offense of this team together. The EVs for Bronzor aren't really that flexible to be honest, so there will more than likely not be any variation between the EVs of this Bronzor and that of others. Basically, we maximize HP to tank the hits better, as well as mixing the defenses to provide an optimal balance, putting the rest (4 EVs) into each offense to make it hit slightly harder.
Blarajan: Bronzor is way too fucking good, seriously. It is the Pokémon that soviet thinks is the most expendable on our team, but I have to disagree. I have never gone a match without using Bronzor's amazing typing and defenses to tank something, or at least to get SR up. Bronzor is our Gligar counter, and honestly gives zero shits whatsoever about what it does. Checks Hippopotas, Drilbur, Misdreavus, Croagunk, tanks hits from Scraggy all day if it has to, smashes Shellder, beats Murkrow without Heat Wave, etc. The reason Bronzor is so good is because we decided that Psychic sucked and gave it Toxic. Toxic allows Bronzor to at least threaten everything it cannot hit (and there are a lot of things it cannot hit). Toxic means it can whittle down the aforementioned Pokémon even if it can't really do anything to them. Likewise, I can't even tell you how many times I have Toxiced a Scraggy in a pinch and lucked their Shed Skin until they died...Bronzor has been an invaluable tank and honestly this team can't function without it. Since one of the biggest threats of my team, Mienfoo, loves to come in on Bronzor, getting the Toxic off on it really helps whittle it down. Same with...everything, like Cradily and Hippopotas. Plus it hits what it needs to hard enough. It always breaks Murkrow's Substitute with HP Ice and 2HKOes Gligar, which is all that's really for. Earthquake hits Croagunk and helps whittle things down with Toxic damage. But honestly, Bronzor just sits on its ass. It doesn't even need attacks and I'd still use it.
Shellder (M) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Skill Link
EVs: 36 HP / 156 Atk / 36 Def / 76 SpD / 196 Spe
Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SAtk)
- Icicle Spear
- Rock Blast
- Razor Shell
- Ice Shard
Soviet: blarajan is always telling me how Shellder is probably the most replacable Pokémon on the team, but that just isn't the case. Since most offensive teams are fairly frail, they can be potentially swept by fast, hard hitters. To remedy this, a scarfer is fairly necessary on an offensive team. As you can see, this team isn't "fast" per say, with nothing outspeeding the important 19 speed tier. When teambuilding, we noticed a trend; we are actually very weak to fast things that were basically un-revengable by our team, as well as a weakness to various Pokémon with substitute (Murkrow, Gligar, etc.) so we added the Legend, the B0SS, Scarf Shellder. This thing really is a monster, revenging half the tier as well as hitting deceptively hard with it's STAB moves. The main boon of this though, is it can revenge almost anything in the tier, as well as being somewhat hard to switch into when it choses the correct move. Max Satk / Speed Misdreavus is 2HKO'd after Stealth Rock with Rock Blast. The EV's were chosen so Shellder would hit 21 Speed after the Scarf boost, enabling it to outspeed any non-Scarfed Pokémon in the tier. The HP/Def EVs are to maximize Physical Defense with the amount of EVs left over, while the SDef EVs are to allow it to take various special hits better, such as Croagunk Vacuum Wave or Snover Blizzard / Ice Shard. When looking at this spread you'll notice the Atk isn't max, but when you go through and run the calcs, it actually doesn't matter; The damage is exactly the same.
Blarajan: Honestly, I don't have much to say about the king. He, not Bronzor, is definitely our most expendable member of the team. We needed something to beat Sub Murkrow, and it takes out Gligar just fine, which is cool. It outspeeds all non scarfed Pokémon with 21 speed, meeting the minimum requirement of a revenge killer. It can OHKO Hippopotas and Dwebble through Oran with Icicle Spear and Rock Blast respectively, assuming one critical hit or max damage roll of the five (which is really useful...one of the only Pokémon that can stop Crustle from setting up entirely). Outside of that, I really just hit things with Icicle Spear and let it die. It does what it has to, and that's about it.
Scraggy (M) @ Eviolite
Ability: Shed Skin
EVs: 236 Atk / 36 SpD / 212 Spe
Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SAtk)
- Dragon Dance
- Drain Punch
- Ice Punch
Soviet: This thing is easily the best sweeper in the tier; the combined bulk as well as the incredible attacking prowess really push this thing over the edge. This mon forms the main offensive core of the team, together with Gligar. The synergy they have together is they each remove each others checks, with Gligar taking care of the fighting types, while Scraggy takes care of the bulkier mons like Bronzor, Slowpoke and Hippopotas. This thing is just so bulky, it really has amazing set up opportunities, and due to the small amount of checks, it sweeps incredibly easily. Something I occasionally think about is using Zen Headbutt over Crunch due to the recent spike in Croagunk usage. The leftover EVs were put into Sdef because most of the things Scraggy has opportunities to set up on attack from the Special side.
Blarajan: There's so much that can be said for Scraggy, it's ridiculous. It is without a doubt the best set-up sweeper in the tier, unquestionably so. The sheer amount of teams that are Scraggy weak is ridiculous. At +1, Scraggy is only really beat by Croagunk and Mienfoo. Anything else (including the big 3) is pretty much just decimated by the appropriate move. Ice Punch smashes Gligar and Murkrow, while Crunch decimates Misdreavus. The greatest part about Scraggy is the sheer amount of Pokémon it can set up on. One of the most common defensive pivots in the current metagame, Bronzor, is pure set-up bait. Misdreavus, Chinchou, Staryu, and many other threats are set-up on just as well. By running the 36 EVs in Special Defense instead of Defense, Scraggy is able to tank hits from these behemoths incredibly easily, and set up on them accordingly. It is one of my main Misdreavus checks, as well, and kind of just destroys the entire tier. If my opponents have Croagunk, then I just use Ice Punch when I bring in Scraggy early game. If they have Mienfoo, I make a lot of double switches to Gligar, or use Drain Punch. When these two are eliminated, Scraggy WILL sweep you...no questions asked.
Misdreavus (M) @ Eviolite
EVs: 240 SpA / 240 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Shadow Ball
- Hidden Power Fighting
Soviet: Misdreavus is just a really great Pokémon to help push our offense. It has an amazing typing to abuse in that, it gets a good spammable STAB on top of an immunity to fighting really tie Misdreavus together as a Pokémon. We have debated what the last slot should be, and it was really never set in stone. We started with Nasty Plot so Misdreavus could function as a 3rd set up sweeper, but that never really worked out so we moved to Sub, and likewise, it didn't work either. Then Rajan tried Will-o-Wisp and it has been the best so far. It really lets us cripple a physical attacker, as well as avoid annoying Sucker Punches from Croagunk. Another boon from its typing is that it functions as our teams spinblocker. Even though we don't have spikes on this team, Stealth Rock is amazing. The extra damage it provides helps us wear down key threats like Murkrow and Larvesta as well as breaking sashes and Sturdy. Due to the good defenses Misdreavus boasts when utilizing Eviolite, it is often our first switchin to things such as Mienfoo, to scout for Hidden Power Ice, or Chinchou, if we don't want to predict too hard about it's move. The EV spread was chosen to increase the offensive power as well as hitting the crucial 19 speed tier.
Blarajan: Misdreavus is a pretty cool Pokémon. Even with a fully offensive spread such as ours, its defenses with Eviolite are fantastic, and allow it to tank pretty much any neutral hit. It is also incredibly strong, able to almost always smash something with its attacks. We opted for Thunderbolt because we considered hitting Staryu and Shellder and such more important than having Nasty Plot or Calm Mind or Pain Split or something like that. This comes in handy due to Misdreavus's Ghost typing. As a Ghost-type Pokémon, Misdreavus has the ability to block Rapid Spin. The common Rapid Spinners, Staryu and Tentacool, both fall prey to Misdreavus's Thunderbolt. Also, after going between a lot of moves, such as Nasty Plot and Substitute, we settled on Will-o-Wisp for our final move. Will-o-Wisp allows us to burn irritating attackers that might switch in and we can't really hurt, such as Hippopotas or Gligar. Likewise, it lets us get around Croagunk's Sucker Punch, which is its main usage. I also tend to burn Scraggy in a pinch instead of HP Fighting it, as HP Fighting doesn't OHKO at all. Misdreavus's combination of incredible bulk and ridiculous offensive prowess makes it an incredibly valuable slot on our team. Also, it's really cool, because a LO Shadow Claw from Drilbur only does like 60%!!
Gligar (M) @ Flying Gem
Ability: Hyper Cutter
EVs: 236 Atk / 236 Spe
Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SpA)
Soviet: The boss this team was made around. Gligar is an amazing Pokémon that has incredible versatility. It has good speed, great bulk combined with an excellent typing and great attacking stats. The main thing we use Gligar for is the amazing virtue it has as a sweeper, but it is also an amazing pivot, coming in on a plethora of threats in LC, such as HP Ice-less Mienfoo, Chinchou using Volt Switch or even Croagunk. This thing just has so many opportunities to come in and set up a substitute it is not funny. Another major boon is there are perhaps only 4 Gligar counters in the entire tier, Porygon, Slowpoke, Bronzor and Hippopotas, all of which are efficiently taken out by Scraggy. The reason this team works is because the duo of Scraggy and Gligar is just amazing, the only thing in the tier that can beat both of them is Scarf Mienfoo with HP Ice, which is handled perfectly by Misdreavus. Despite being one of the best offensive mons in the tier, it is also one of the best defensive as well, even without the help of Eviolite. This really brings it together as a Pokémon no team can go without. The spread is basically to make it the most efficient sweeper, maximizing Attack and Speed so it hits the crucial 19 Speed tier.
Blarajan: Gligar is a boss, end of story. He's the Pokémon we wanted to base our team on, and boy he did not disappoint. We immediately knew that we wanted to use a Flying Gem Acrobatics set, meaning Acrobatics and Earthquake were locked in stone. The issue, then, was finding the best final two moves. Due to Gligar's incredible defensive stats and typing, we knew we wanted it to last, so we threw on Roost. I didn't think Swords Dance was that great because of Bronzor, so I decided to use Substitute and fell in love. SubRoost Gligar is the perfect combination of offensive and defensive prowess. I can't even explain how many times this thing has brought me back from a bad game. Using Substitute gives me a safety net when I predict a switch, meaning Gligar can do heavy damage to like everything that isn't Bronzor or Hippopotas. Substitute also serves the important function of acting as a buffer against speed ties. The 19 Speed tier defines the metagame, and using Substitute means I don't necessarily die if I lose the speed tie. Gligar is my main out against Mienfoo, who gives my team a hard time. Likewise, it cleans up end game realllllly well due to its speed. If the opposing team is weakened, and their Bronzor is dead...and you're behind a Substitute? You're golden. In fact, the fear of SubGligar and SubKrow is the reason we have a Shellder on our team. It's just such a good Pokémon, and pairs really well with Scraggy. The pair eliminate each other's counters and sweep so well it's ridiculous.
And that's the team! It's been a ton of fun to use, and we hope you enjoyed it!
Easily the most dominant playstyle and arguably the most dominant team within the tier, blarajan and soviet's LC team defines the revolution that took place within the meta after the unbanning of Murkrow, Misdreavus, and Gligar. Blarajan and soviet (referred to as "the dynamic duo" from this point on) decided on focusing on the last Pokémon in that set: Gligar. While Gligar is a stellar Pokémon defensively, it really shines offensively due to its bulk limiting its number of true counters. Furthermore, its counters are all setup fodder for Scraggy, who actually became only more dangerous with the three new unbanned Pokémon roaming the tier. Thus, the dynamic duo gave rise to what is now one of the most prevalent team slates in LC. With two heavily offensive Pokémon that already ripped through other teams, the dynamic duo only had to place four checks to the big threats of the meta within the other slots to quickly rule the tier.
The dynamic duo's team was off to a good start even with only Gligar and Scraggy. Gligar, due to its massive damage output with Flying Gem Acrobatics, does not even need a set-up move such as Swords Dance; rather, the dynamic duo opted for a set focused on Substitute and Roost to beat defensive Pokémon that think their minute damage can stall it out. Gligar's main problem is Bronzor, and Scraggy sets up on Bronzor all day. If it gets a Dragon Dance, there are only a few things that can risk coming in, such as Mienfoo and Croagunk. This brings the pair of Pokémon full circle, as Gligar can take any move from Mienfoo and Croagunk bar the extremely rare Hidden Power Ice or Icy Wind, respectively. Besides these two threats, the team uses offensive Pokémon to maintain momentum, but bulkier EV spreads that aim to allow repeated switch ins to the threats they are delegated to handle. A good example of this is Shellder, for which the dynamic duo opted to take out a point in Attack and put it into Defense, allowing it to live opposing Gligar's Acrobatics (even with a Flying Gem) and still OHKO. Another example is their Croagunk set, which has become the staple Misdreavus counter. By going mixed and emphasizing priority, Croagunk does not become useless after a Will-O-Wisp and also does not have to invest in Speed, all while still acting as a reliable Scraggy check. Unfortunately, it is unable to use Drain Punch on its current moveset due to legality issues, but as a certain teen pop sensation might put it, "nobody's perfect."
Misdreavus, despite being a Pokémon both players claim "pushes their offense," has tons of utility outside of putting the pressure on opponents. Besides just blocking Rapid Spin, it sponges hits from the likes of Staryu due to its massive Special Defense stat, something no other team member can really boast. It also has access to Will-O-Wisp, which greatly hinders Mienfoo and paves the way for a Scraggy sweep. Bronzor is the most defensive Pokémon on the team, and despite being set up fodder for opposing Scraggy, serves as a hard stop to opposing Gligar. It serves as the hazard setter for the team, and acts as a check to Substitute + Roost Murkrow, which is moderately important due to the fact that Misdreavus does not enjoy repeatedly switching into Brave Birds. It also acts as the team's best bet against opposing Choice Scarf users that try to revenge Gligar, such as Shellder and Snover. Croagunk was already discussed as an important offensive Pokémon, but since it serves as the glue of the team, is also notable defensively as the team's best way to handle Misdreavus and Scraggy.
Due to how dangerous Scraggy is, it is only natural that any team must play carefully against it. Despite being one of the best teams around, the dynamic duo's team is no exception. Most notably, Scraggy can consistently beat Shellder one-on-one if it stays healthy, so the dynamic duo has to keep Croagunk very healthy in matches against Scraggy. This becomes problematic since Croagunk lacks Drain Punch to keep itself healthy, but is counteracted by the fact that if the dynamic duo sets up their own Scraggy, they can easily win most matches. Houndour and Larvesta are both pretty big threats to the team, but both are weak to Stealth Rock. Nevertheless, Houndour has incredible STABs that threaten out nearly every Pokémon on this team in some way or another. It can even trap Misdreavus if need be, and with Shellder out of the way, can wreak absolute havoc. If Bronzor goes down after being trapped by Magnemite, then Snover or Shellder can cause problems for this team, especially if Shellder gets a Shell Smash and stays healthy. This team also relies heavily on Croagunk. It is responsible for checking Choice Scarf Chinchou, all Rain Dance teams, Scraggy, Misdreavus, and Staryu if the dynamic duo's Misdreavus goes down. Any of the aforementioned Pokémon can capitalize on damage done to Croagunk early on, so the team requires strategic play to keep Croagunk in a good condition.
The dynamic duo has made a team that has been an integral part of the new metagame. This team has only relatively few (and mostly uncommon) weaknesses, which allowed it to dominate the ladder for quite some time. Surely we will see teams in the future that use similar cores, just as we will see teams that are meant to counter this team. Good work, blarajan and soviet. You've birthed a beast, one to be remembered as the staple offensive team at the beginning of the meta for eons to come.
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