Cutemons That Don't Suck

By Treecko and Raseri. Art by paintseagull.
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Introduction

If you didn't know any better, you might look at some of the most cute and innocent Pokémon designed and be completely unaware of their competitive value. Some of the most menacing Pokémon known to man can fall to something you just want to cuddle with. Every tier has its fair share of cutemons that everyone loves, and they're often some of the most competitive Pokémon around!

Ubers: Shaymin-Sky

Ubers is a place filled with Pokémon that would leave the average person terrified upon a real-life encounter. You have everything from big, strong dragons, such as Giratina, Kyurem-White, and Rayquaza, to Pokémon that like to prey upon your mind, such as the genies—Landorus, Tornadus, and Thundurus—and Darkrai. Amongst all of the big, scary Pokémon in Ubers, one Pokémon stands out as by far the cutest: Shaymin-Sky. One look at this hedgehog / dog (or as I like to call it, hedgedog) and your lip will quiver for a whole new reason. Instead of being terrified, you'll just want to go pet it so badly that you won't be able to contain your excitement. When Shaymin-S enters the battlefield, it shows its serious side, growling at the opponent with its tiny mouth. Moreover, it's covered with cute tufts of fur that you can't help but to want to ruffle! Another things that makes Shaymin-S so cute is its color scheme. Shaymin is colored predominantly white and green, which is really easy on the eyes, especially compared to such intricate designs as Reshiram or Zekrom. On top of that, it has a cute red scarf adorned around its tiny little neck. Ubers may be a scary place, but the tier redeems itself with our resident hedgedog!

Shaymin-S, an equally cute flying forme of the little UU hedgehog, is a legitimate threat in Ubers. In fact, it was the only Pokémon to be banned unanimously from OU! Skymin is a threat in Ubers because it is incredibly fast and can use the Air Slash to flinch the opponent 60% of the time. Skymin's Seed Flare also has a staggering 80% chance to lower the opponent's Special Defense by two stages. All of this is thanks to its amazing ability, Serene Grace, which is the same ability that makes Jirachi the most annoying cutemon ever (more on that later). Skymin also has Earth Power to take down threats that can tank both of its STAB moves, such as Heatran and Dialga. Skymin is actually faster than Darkrai, meaning it's one of the few Pokémon that can potentially take it out without ever being threatened by sleep. To top it off, Skymin has access to Growth, turning it into potentially one of the most dangerous sweepers in the tier when partnered with Groudon. A sun sweeper set, though rare, is incredibly powerful, but it is also just as hard to set up because of Skymin's modest defenses. Who would have thought that a flying hedgehog would be one of the scariest Pokémon ever created?

Honorable Mention: Manaphy

Manaphy missed out in this spot because while it may be both cute and powerful, Skymin edges it out in both categories.

OU: Jirachi

Jirachi is such a cute Pokémon for a few great reasons. To begin with, it's a small, fairy-like creature, which automatically grants it points in the cute department. It also has a head that is about the size of the rest of its body which, while normally might sound odd, Jirachi is able to pull off thanks to how tiny of a Pokémon it is. However, Jirachi's appearance alone didn't land it with a spot on this list. The main thing that makes Jirachi so adorable is that it grants wishes for people. The strange tags hanging from its lovable, over-sized head are actually wishes that people write down which Jirachi will eventually fulfill. It's Jirachi's adorable love of the people around it that makes it one of OU's cutest Pokémon. If you were looking for an adorable Pokémon that always has your back, your wish has been granted!

Jirachi is as versatile as it is cute. It can function as a special wall, a Choice Scarf user, a ParaFlincher, or even a Calm Mind sweeper. If you can think of it, Jirachi can do it. Jirachi is one of the scariest Pokémon to face because it can be very hard to tell exactly what it is trying to do. The Substitute + Calm Mind set is a great sweeper that functions best on rain teams. Thunder has the same chance of paralysis as Body Slam, so it's safe to say that Speed won't be bringing Jirachi down. The specially defensive set can take on powerful threats, such as Latias, Latios, Kyurem-B, and Gengar, some of OU's most frightening offensive Pokémon, very easily. The Choice Scarf set has been rising in popularity lately because of the amazing Healing Wish, as well as its ability to outspeed +1 Haxorus. Healing Wish really became popular after SPL, where a lot of top battlers used it very effectively to net surprise wins. The ParaFlincher set is by far the least cute thing Jirachi can do, as it turns our adorable little Wishmaker into a hax machine whose sole purpose is to steal wins from competent battlers. Remember: There is nothing cute about ParaFlinch Jirachi.

Honorable Mention: Latias

While Latias is undoubtedly a great threat in OU, Jirachi just slightly outshines it thanks to its sheer level of versatility that Latias just can't quite reach.

UU: Porygon2

Unlike most of the other Pokémon on this list, Porygon2 is not your typical fluffy cutemon. The things that make Porygon2 so cute are primarily its unique quirks. Upon evolution, Porygon2 loses all of its awkward, sharp features and trades them in for rounded ones. This automatically makes it cuter and more friendly in appearance—because who would want to approach a sharp-edged virtual duck? It also has a very nice color scheme, consisting mainly of a light, almost pink shade of red and a nice baby blue. However, what really sets Porygon2 apart from the other Pokémon on this list is the fact that it looks like a duck! Ducks are silly and act very cute, and Porygon2 is no exception; it has a funny, rounded head with a beak-like mouth. Ducks are cute enough on their own, but a virtual pink-and-blue duck is especially adorable. Trust me when I say that Porygon2 is all it's quacked up to be!

Porygon2 is a digital duck. Everyone knows that ducks are incredibly cute, and the internet is where all of us waste our time, so why not combine the two? Porygon2 plays a key role in the UU metagame as a counter to some of the strongest special attackers in the tier, such as Chandelure. Porygon2 also has the bulk to act as a pivot against threats such as Choice Scarf Flygon and Rhyperior. It can also be a nifty offensive tank because it is decently powerful and can deter a lot of threats from setting up on it, while dishing out pain to the majority of the metagame. It has three cool abilities to choose from, each of which can be very useful for it. Trace allows it to act as a great check to Chandelure, as Porygon2 can copy Chandelure's Flash Fire to grant it an immunity to both of its STABs. Only Choice Specs Hidden Power Fighting can really break it. Download allows it to do massive damage if it comes in on physical threats, such as Rhyperior or Swampert. Finally, Analytic gives Porygon2 a decent boost in power against almost any offensive threat because it is quite slow. Porygon2 can also pull off a surprise Trick Room set, as it's one of the few viable setters not weak to Pursuit. It can really catch opponents off guard, but is not nearly as consistent as its other sets and should only be used on dedicated Trick Room teams.

Honorable Mention: Azumarill

There aren't very many cute Pokémon in UU, but Azumarill is one of the few that can compete with Porygon2 in terms of cuteness. In the end, Porygon2 was chosen to be featured because of its unique quirks.

RU: Cinccino

Cinccino is undoubtedly our cutest fully-evolved Pokémon on this list. To begin with, it's a tiny chinchilla that slaps around its foes with its tail, spits seeds at them, and throws rocks at them. Some of its other attacks include running into the foe and then fleeing and slapping it in the face to wake it up! Keep in mind that when it slaps the foe in the face, Cinccino is doing so with its tiny hands! Naturally, as a chinchilla, Cinccino has cute tufts of fur around its tail and by its ears that you just have to pet. Cinccino also has a tiny nose and mouth, along with its big, round eyes that just make your heart melt. In addition, in the anime, Cinccino is known to hate dirty things, so it will clean and polish anything it finds that is dirty. Our chinchilla is easy to pet, easy to clean, and easy to love. We've all seen puppy dog eyes before, but Cinccino's chinchilla eyes are just as heartwarming!

Cinccino is cool in RU because all of its main attacking moves hit multiple times. Being able to break through Substitutes and OHKO through Focus Sash means that the opponent is rarely safe to set up against Cinccino. It is one of the few Pokémon that can stop Smeargle from setting up any hazards because Tail Slap can knock him out right through his Sash. It also has a lot of good matchups against Hail teams, because Snover is clearly beaten and can't even get a chance to strike back. Walrein can't set up Substitutes because Bullet Seed blasts right through them, and Rock Blast destroys any other Ice-type on the team! To top it off, Cinccino has U-turn to quickly escape from any would be counters! On the downside, Cinccino is really frail, so even weak attacks from defensive Pokémon can usually 2HKO it easily. It can't switch in on anything, nor can the user afford to mispredict at all. Cinccino also relies on an inaccurate STAB move, which only bad things can come from. Don't let a few downsides stop you from using the cutest Pokémon RU has to offer, as your opponent might just not be able to work up the strength to hurt it!

Honorable Mention: Lanturn

Lanturn is definitely a cool Pokémon in RU, but it ultimately just cannot compare to the cuteness that Cinccino has to offer. Good luck trying to pet an electric fish.

NU: Musharna

Quite the mushy Pokémon, Musharna wins out the title of the most cute and viable Pokémon for NU. Musharna truly has a lot of things going for it in the cute department. To begin with, she is a fat, pink blob that would make the hearts of even Kanto's Cycling Road bikers melt. Our friendly tapir was also blessed with the perfect pink and purple color scheme that would make any little girl want to own it. Musharna generally just looks incredibly peaceful. While she's floating along, Musharna appears to be sleeping, and the pink smoke that escapes from it looks like tangible happiness. On top of all of this, Musharna's cuteness can be used for actual functional purposes! If you're having trouble sleeping at night, just cuddle with Musharna, and she will put you asleep with its dream mist. As long as you show her your care, Musharna's love will never tapir out!

Musharna is one of the most versatile Pokémon in the history of NU. She is capable of being a wall, sweeper, pivot, cleric, and just about anything else you can think of. This is because she has amazing stats in NU, with great bulk and Special Attack. On top of this, Musharna has a great supporting movepool to shut down most of the metagame. Musharna is most commonly played as a wall with Psychic / Moonlight / Heal Bell / Thunder Wave right now. The pink, dreaming tapir is a great answer to nearly any physical attacker, and she is a hard counter to both Sawk and Gurdurr. Other sets that Musharna can run include Calm Mind, which isn't as good right now because of the presence of Mandibuzz and Scolipede; Choice Specs, which destroys counters with Trick, and still wrecks with STAB Psychic; Offensive Trick Room, which is the best chance Musharna has at cleaning up late-game; and Baton Pass, because Musharna can just as easily pass its Calm Mind boosts as she can utilize them herself. Musharna is definitely one of the best Pokémon in Neverused, and will always remain that way unless we get Slowking or something! And think, Musharna does all this while cuddled up and sleeping!

Honorable Mention: Stunfisk

Stunfisk would be the featured Pokémon in this article if Raseri would have let me do it, but it just didn't live up to Musharna's viability in NU. Musharna is one of the best Pokémon in the tier, and unfortunately, while Stunfisk might be cuter to some (most) people, it just isn't good enough to make the cut.

LC: Dwebble, Snover, and Tirtouga

Little Cup is the resident home of some of the cutest Pokémon in the game, and as such, it wouldn't feel right to choose just one cutest Pokémon for the tiny tier. Instead, we've chosen the top three Pokémon that exemplify what it is the be both cute and threatening at the same time.

Dwebble (\('o')/) is our only Bug-type Pokémon on this list, and he was also one of the easiest ones for us to pick. First off, he has adorable eyes that stick out from his face, and they make Dwebble look sort of awkward and totally endearing. Dwebble's small mouth is also cute, especially when he gets angry. His little, unaware smile turns into a bit of a tiny scowl when he gets mad, and you can't help but to feel bad for the little guy when he does it! Though, probably the cutest part about Dwebble is his personality. He always finds himself a shell that he totes around with him wherever he goes. Dwebble uses the rock as a sort of portable home! What's even cuter is that when he gets scared, Dwebble can always hide away underneath his cute shell so that nothing can get to him. If you were ever concerned about his safety, worry not. Dwebble always has a place to hide out, and even if for some reason he did not, our crab friend is very territorial and will not hesitate to attack if he is threatened. If you give Dwebble the chance, he'll crawl right out of his shell and into your arms!

Dwebble is super cool in Little Cup because he has both Stealth Rock and Spikes, a quality which very few Pokémon can boast. He works great as a lead because nothing can OHKO him due to Sturdy, and he can get up 2 layers of hazards really easily. Outside of spamming hazards, Dwebble also has Shell Smash that can make him a good sweeper in a pinch. With both Bug- and Rock-type STAB, it can be a challenge to counter Dwebble without a Fighting-type! The biggest mystery with Dwebble is predicting his set; a wrong move and you can either allow lots of hazards up or potentially get swept! Unfortunately, Dwebble doesn't have many resists to work with—just Normal and Poison, neither of which is very common or good in Little Cup. Because of this, his decent bulk is forgotten, and he is exclusively used offensively. Heavy offensive teams really appreciate what Dwebble has to offer; he allows a playstyle to flourish!

Snover is another seemingly odd choice, and while its viability in Little Cup may have been a significant factor in its placement on this list, there's still no denying that our stupid tree that won't break is a cute one. To begin with, Snover has cute, beady eyes at the top of its face. In fact, its eyes are so far up that the top of its head almost covers them! It's easy to imagine an awkward little Snover, stumbling around because it can't see past its own head. Snover also has a stout figure with a head nearly as large as its body—not very much unlike a cute Furby! Its arms also stick out to its sides like little tree branches that rustle against your body when you lean down to give it a hug. On top of it all—literally—you will find a mountainous, hat-like head. All in all, its combination of stubby body, bristly arms, and cap-like head might look cold, but they melt any Pokémon trainer's heart!

Snover is always bringing Christmas cheer to Little Cup, with snowfall and gifts of Blizzards to single-handedly destroy what used to be the most dominating strategy in the metagame. The presence of Snover is all that stops Little Cup from being a sandfest; without our little Christmas tree, every team would be packed with Drilbur and Sandshrew, with a primary focus of winning Speed ties against each other. Despite having seven weaknesses, Snover's typing is a big part of what makes it so great, as it carries two key resistances that make it shine in Little Cup, Ground- and Water-type. Snover resists Earthquake and can respond with either Blizzard or Giga Drain. The Water-type resistance lets Snover defeat both Staryu and Chinchou, both of which are very common Pokémon that have no way to defeat Snover without Hidden Power Fire. Snover also outspeeds the entire unboosted metagame with a Choice Scarf, which allows it to revenge kill both Sandshrew and Drilbur. Basically, a team with a well-played Scarf Snover should never fall against a team using Sand Rush! Snover can also run a bulky Eviolite set. Although it does not destroy Sand teams as well as its Choice Scarf set, it fares quite well against a lot of other threats in Little Cup, as it doesn't have to lock itself into a single attack and can defeat a lot of slower Pokémon quite easily between Blizzard and Giga Drain. Snover has really been rising in popularity lately, and I'm sure a good part of it is because of how it brings Christmas cheer to blarajan, the resident Little Cup player.

We end our list with a Pokémon that is cute due to both its appearance and demeanor. Just by looking at Tirtouga, you can tell that it tries to be a tough little guy, scowling at its opponent and swimming in an intimidating stance. The thing that's so cute about this is that Tirtouga isn't intimidating at all! Playing the tough guy act and not pulling it off happens with a lot of Pokémon, but rarely does a Pokémon make this look so adorable all the while. Other very cute features of Tirtouga include its tiny face that you could quite easily hold up to your neck while you cuddle it closely. Tirtouga's tiny hind legs flap rapidly in the water while it tries to swim, causing it to look like a tiny propeller. Finally, much like Dwebble, if Tirtouga can't intimidate its foes with its cute grimace, it can always hide from the scary Pokémon that threaten it by withdrawing into its shell. This turtle can easily swim out of the ocean and into your heart!

Tirtouga is a one-dimensional Pokémon in Little Cup, but it excels in that single dimension so much it stretches to infinity! Tirtouga is a Shell Smash sweeper, pure and simple, and it can destroy most of the metagame if given a chance to set up. There are two main ways to sweep with Tirtouga, the offensive Shell Smash set with Splash Plate and the bulky Shell Smash set with Eviolite. The former is far stronger, as it can even OHKO Mienfoo at +2, while the latter is less reliant on Rapid Spin Support because it uses Solid Rock instead of Sturdy. A part of what makes Tirtouga so great is that it beats a lot of the Pokémon that are most threatening to Sandstorm teams, particularly Snover, who is outsped and OHKOed at +2. The only way to really stop a boosted Tirtouga is with extremely bulky Pokémon such as Lileep or Pokémon that resist both of its STABs, such as Croagunk and Ferroseed. The bulky set can set up a lot easier than the Splash Plate set because it has good defenses even by Little Cup standards. It can even set up against Eviolite Drilbur! Tirtouga is one of the best sweepers Little Cup has to offer, and also the cutest little turtle ever designed, closely beating out the one from Finding Nemo.

Honorable Mentions: Misdreavus, Hippopotas, Treecko

Just like our list, we have three honorable mentions for Pokémon that just missed the cut. Misdreavus is a very deadly Pokémon in Little Cup, and it's quite cute as well. However, its cuteness wasn't quite enough to allow it to outshine Dwebble, Snover, and Tirtouga. Hippopotas is the same case; while it is a very dominant force in Little Cup—it single-handedly allows for a deadly playstyle—its cuteness wasn't convincing enough for us to include it. Finally, while we all know that Treecko is undoubtedly the cutest Pokémon ever designed, Raseri vetoed it from the article. When I brought it up, his response was something along the lines of "nnnnnnnnnnnnnnn."

Conclusion

Throughout the many tiers of competitive Pokémon, there are plenty of Pokémon that are both competitive and cute for you to choose from. Remember the next time you click the "Look for a battle" button or enter the Union Room that there's always room for more cute on your team, and you don't even have to lose your battles in order to have it!.

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