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the most powerful item.
So, you know, look out...
Of all of the items speculated in Generation V, the most hyped one for Little Cup would have to be Eviolite. This purple stone, when attached to any Pokemon that is not fully evolved, will increase said Pokemon's Defense and Special Defense by 1.5 times. In other metagames, this item was not nearly as popular due to the fact that most people play with fully evolved Pokemon, resulting in popular, eligible Pokemon to use Eviolite being found in the lower tiers. However, this was not the case in Little Cup, as EVERY Pokemon in the tier has to be at its lowest stage and have the ability to evolve (sorry Male Combee, but nobody likes you). Eviolite suddenly became very hyped in the theorymon stages before BW was even released, and was thought to have the most significant impact on Little Cup. As a result, Eviolite quickly became the most popular item to use in Little Cup, easily removing the Choice Scarfs, Oran Berries, and Life Orbs that many Pokemon returning from the last generation as well as the new threats in BW equipped. Eviolite took Little Cup by storm, and suddenly, it seemed as if every Pokemon in the tier was carrying the damned thing.
Staying away from any tiering arguments that Eviolite creates, I like it. At the cost of some item diversity it really helps out defensive and balanced teams, and I think overall that adds variety. Plus I was out in like Round 1 of the Eviolite-less tournament or something........ (though Nails got "pretty far" with one of my teams ~_~)
While many people despise Eviolite as it makes Little Cup a "slower" metagame, I prefer to play defensively due to both the cunning strategy and persistence it takes to play drawn out matches. Personal preference aside, it is important in balancing the metagame as a whole; for example, Clamperl can no longer OHKO nigh everything and Murkrow that opt to use Life Orb can be stalled out much easier, meaning once broken threats can be dealt with.
Overall, I think Eviolite balances the metagame very well, and contrary to some people's belief, it doesn't make it too hard to knock out a Pokemon. Eviolite gives Little Cup a sense of defense to keep the game running smoothly. Remember that if Eviolite didn't exist in Gen V or was banned, all the new threats like Mienfoo would just destroy everything!
Ah, Eviolite. Who would have imagined that one, quite simple item, would change the entire metagame? It took Oran Berry's place from last metagame, as boosting the user's bulk further by 50% is much better than gaining half of your HP back. I actually like Eviolite; sure, it makes the opponent a lot harder to take down, but hey—all you care about is yourself!
As you can tell by the above quotes, Eviolite has been generally well-received by the members of the Little Cup community. And for the most part, Eviolite has been a godsend to the Pokemon in the Little Cup metagame. It gave a bunch of Pokemon much more potential this generation than they had in the last. A major boost was given to the Pokemon that have access to healing moves, most notably Hippopotas, Lileep, and Slowpoke. Last generation, with the possible exception of Hippopotas, they were nonexistent. With all of the high-powered attacks running around, these Pokemon were hard-pressed to raise their defenses, and the Oran Berries they all carried wouldn't be useful if they could already heal themselves or if they wouldn't be able to survive attacks coming from the plethora of strong Pokemon backed by Life Orb in the fast paced DPP metagame. However, this changed drastically after Eviolite was announced. These Pokemon, once thought of as outcasts, suddenly experienced huge jumps in popularity, and took the metagame by storm.
However, that's not to say that Eviolite is used in Little Cup solely for defense. It has also revolutionized how people use offensive teams in Little Cup as well. Previously, not a lot of Pokemon were able to pull off set up moves simply because there was not enough time to do so. "Attack or be attacked" was a common belief that most players in the DPP LC metagame shared, and setting up was pretty rare considering the abundance of Choice Scarfs and Life Orbs. Immediate attacking power was considered to be more important than boosting to those levels, as one turn could make or break your match.
These factors made Eviolite redefine offense in Little Cup. Those strong, fast sweepers that once dominated the metagame are nowhere to be found, as they have been replaced by bulkier Pokemon with access to set up moves. Gone are the Meowth and Houndour with their Life Orbs, and instead, they have been replaced by boosting Pokemon; most notably Scraggy and the Shell Smashers. Boosting attackers have, for the most part, have replaced sweepers that relied on sheer power to break through opponents' defenses. Because of the nice defensive boost that Eviolite provides, these boosters have the ability to set up while taking hits, something that sweepers did not have the ability to do as efficiently or reliably in DPP.
Pokemon with stat-up moves and recovery moves are all of a sudden unstoppable, I wonder if that has to do with something else....
However, not everyone agrees that Eviolite is necessarily a good thing for Little Cup. These defensive boosts that the held item provides can throw things out of whack at times, and can lead to unbalancing. Because of this, arguments have been made that these Pokemon running Eviolite have essentially broken the metagame because they are too hard to remove from the battle without sacrificing a good amount of your team in order to do so. Out of all of the offenders in Little Cup, Shell Smashers would probably be the most blatant ones. Shell Smash tries to balance its ridiculous boosts to Attack, Special Attack, and Speed, but with Eviolite, it's like the drops in Defense and Special Defense never even happened. Essentially, these Shell Smashers gain all the benefits of boosting with none of the downsides. Thankfully, not a lot of these Shell Smashers use Eviolite, as two of them (Dwebble and Tirtouga) prefer Oran Berry due to Sturdy, and Clamperl uses its signature DeepSeaTooth when sweeping. However, the two remaining Shell Smashers, Shellder and Omanyte, both have solid Defense (and the latter has decent Special Defense in sandstorm to boot) and can retain those stats after using Shell Smash thanks to Eviolite.
In addition, some Pokemon have been dubbed as "too hard to kill" because of Eviolite. Drilbur was on the verge of being broken after it was realized that, with an Eviolite, many Pokemon that normally would have stood a fair chance at beating it head-on could no longer do so because of the defensive buff that Eviolite provided. And even though Drilbur does not have a Life Orb, it could still sweep cleanly through teams with its 19 Attack and Swords Dance. Scraggy was another example of this, and it has been nominated as a suspect twice, though it was never banned. With Dragon Dance, two great STAB attacks in Drain Punch and Crunch, in addition to a variety of coverage moves, Scraggy was a force to be reckoned with. Eviolite made this worse, as its usual counters, Croagunk and Mienfoo, could be beaten with the right coverage move in Zen Headbutt and Hi Jump Kick, respectively. Because of these, as well as a couple of other sweepers, arguments for banning Eviolite have been made because of the offensive Pokemon that wield it, not the defensive ones.
For better or worse, Eviolite is here to stay in the land of Little Cup, and its impact in no way can be understated. In no metagame, past or present, has any one item shaped it so that entire teams are built differently as a direct result of this item. Eviolite is, without a doubt, the most influential thing that has affected Little Cup, and will remain so in the coming generations.
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