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As you hopefully know, LC is a tier filled only with baby and first-evolution Pokémon, and naturally, like all other tiers, it has some very effective Pokémon and some not so effective. Every now and then, you will verse someone on the LC ladder saying something like: "This team is the baby version of my OU team!" These same people end up scratching their head after a battle wondering why they lost. The reason is that not all LC Pokémon have the same level of success as their fully evolved OU counterparts. However, in this article you will find a few Pokémon that take after their parents, having around the same amount of success in LC as their fully evolved counterparts have in OU.
Staryu and Starmie have the exact same asset, which is the reason why they are both so effective in their respective tiers. That asset is being arguably the best spinner in their respective tiers. Staryu is blessed with a great base 85 Speed, letting it reach the awesome Speed tier of 19 and hence outspeed all unboosted Pokémon with the exception of Voltorb, Elekid, and Diglett. Its base 70 Special Attack is also good by LC standards, and along with its great Speed and good special movepool including Hydro Pump and Thunderbolt, Staryu is a great spinner. Eviolite and Recover help to boost its longevity, allowing it to Rapid Spin throughout the game. Like Staryu, Starmie is also blessed with a great Special Attack and Speed, having base 100 and 115 respectively. Starmie is commonly seen using a more offensive Rapid Spin set than its pre-evolution, using 252 EVs in Special Attack and Speed, a Life Orb, and 3 special attacks (usually Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt). However, due to the release of Keldeo and rain's dominance in general, defensive Starmie sets with Recover, Psyshock, Scald, and a more bulky EV spread have started to rise in popularity. One thing is certain: these two Pokémon are very effective spinners and are quite easy to fit on any team that doesn't have like 3 Water-types.
Our spiky friends over here have both been quite successful in their respective tiers, being two of the best Steel-types and hazard setters. Firstly, they are both able to learn Stealth Rock and Spikes, the best entry hazards available, and they both have the bulk and typing to set them up quite easily. Grass / Steel is a very good defensive typing, giving the two only two weaknesses, the least out of any Grass-types. However, it's one of these two weaknesses that makes Ferroseed and Ferrothorn not as "tough" as they initially seem. Fighting-types are everywhere in OU and LC, with Pokémon like Mienfoo, Croagunk, Timburr, and Scraggy being quite common in LC and Terrakion, Keldeo, Breloom, and Conkeldurr on many OU teams. Not only can Ferroseed and Ferrothorn use their mighty bulk to set up hazards, but they also have other forms of support in Leech Seed to drain away their opponents' health and heal up their teammates, and Thunder Wave to cripple the opponents Pokémon by paralyzing them. Rain is very common in OU, so Ferrothorn is a good Pokémon to fit on your team if you are looking for a Water-type resist.
Unlike the first two pairs of Pokémon in this article, Riolu and Lucario function very differently. However, they share one thing in common: being top-tier threats! Riolu, unlike its older brother, is blessed with potentially the most annoying ability in the game: Prankster. This, in tandem with the move Copycat, grants Riolu the position of the most unique Pokémon in Little Cup. This allows Riolu to have priority on the most recently used move. When combined with Protect, Riolu can both avoid strong hits such as Scraggy's Hi Jump Kick, Misdreavus's Shadow Ball, and Murkrow's Brave Bird and have priority in using them himself. Offensively, these moves can be used to revenge opposing threats, while defensively, Riolu can copy support moves such as Stealth Rock, Spikes, Knock Off, or Recover / Slack Off. Riolu likewise has access to Roar, meaning when all conditions are right, it can use Copycat to give it a priority Roar. Finally, it utilizes its good bulk and defensive typing to take advantage of all these traits to harass the enemy. Lucario on the other hand does not have Prankster but makes up for it in sheer sweeping potential. With access to good priority moves in ExtremeSpeed and Bullet Punch, an awesome base 110 Attack, and decent base 90 Speed, Lucario can threaten to pick off even fast threats in OU like Terrakion and Latios if it has grabbed a Swords Dance boost. Its STAB Close Combat is also extremely powerful, and to round it off, Lucario can run either Crunch or Ice Punch to help cover either the Ghost-, Flying-, or Psychic-Types that resist Close Combat.
When someone looks at Hippopotas or Hippowdon, the thing they probably think of right away would be SAND STREAM! This ability defines a whole playstyle, so naturally, anytime you verse a Hippopotas or Hippowdon, you have to prepare for a few things. Firstly, everything but Steel-, Rock-, and Ground-types will have 6.25% of their health taken off at the end of each turn. Secondly, you have to watch out if your opponent is carrying a Sand Rush Pokémon, which commonly happens if they are using Hippopotas or Hippowdon. Sand Rush Pokémon get their Speed doubled in sand, turning them into very dangerous sweepers; Drilbur and Sandshrew both use it in LC, while Sandslash and Stoutland do so in OU. Sand is not the only reason why these two Pokémon are viable in their respective tiers. They also have immense Defense and a wide array of support moves to go with it, including Whirlwind, Yawn, Toxic, and Crunch. They both can also recover health using Slack Off. All in all, they are both quite good Pokémon, but Hippowdon does face competition as a Sand Stream Pokémon from Tyranitar, and there are also other permanent weather effects in OU with Politoed providing Drizzle, Ninetails providing Drought, and Abomasnow providing Snow Warning. All you have to worry about in LC if using Hippopotas is Snover's Snow Warning. The two hippos also are not slouches offensively as they both pack a powerful Earthquake and can run other coverage moves too. Hippowdon is sometimes seen carrying Ice Fang so it can punish Dragon-types or even Grass-types that think they can hit it super effectively. Hippopotas on the other hand is commonly seen with Crunch, to hit Natu super effectively, which might try to bounce back Toxic or Stealth Rock due to Magic Bounce. It also hits Misdreavus super effectively, one of the tier's biggest threats. Rock Slide is also seen quite regularly because it provides a pseudo EdgeQuake combo with Earthquake and can hit Murkrow super effectively, one of the biggest offensive threats in the tier. Of course it can punish Pokémon like Natu too!
Magnemite and Magnezone both have great Special Attack stats of base 95 and 130 respectively, and they both have the amazing ability, Magnet Pull, which prevents Steel-types from switching out when they are on the field. Since they both have very high Special Attack, Magnet Pull allows them to trap and beat down many Steel-types. Magnezone is a bit luckier that it has more Steel-types to trap than Magnemite with Ferrothorn and Forretress both having a 4x Fire-type weakness for it to exploit with Hidden Power Fire. Magnemite, on the other hand, can trap Ferroseed and Bronzor. Magnemite also acts as a good Snover and Murkrow check, which are two of the biggest offensive threats in the tier. Magnemite resists both their STABs and can hit both of them with its own STAB moves. Flash Cannon hits Snover super effectively while Thunderbolt / Volt Switch hits Murkrow super effectively. The ability to check common Pokemon such as Lileep and Pawniard along with the above traits makes Magnemite one of the most common pivots on a Little Cup team, used as a bulky wall or a strong Choice Scarf Pokemon. Furthermore, access to Magnet Rise lets Magnemite check Hippopotas, Drilbur, and Sandshrew (assuming it has used it before facing either mole), while also allowing it to avoid Bronzor's Earthquake. Magnezone also has some functions aside from trapping Steel-types, mainly being a potent Choice Specs user that can threaten a lot of rain teams with its powerful Electric-type STAB.
Thank you for reading! I hope this article helps encourage OU players to play LC and aids them in teambuilding and vice versa! For those LC players that find it hard building OU teams, you could perhaps try out the OU Pokémon in this article. If you guys use the Pokémon in this article correctly, regardless of if they are LC or OU I am sure you will not be disappointed—unless you're using LC Pokémon in OU, which you should never EVER do. Oh, except trolling with Prankster Riolu in OU; that is actually quite fun!
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