History of Little Cup
November 16, 2010
A vote determined that initial Little Cup would have Scyther, Sneasel, Tangela, Yanma, and Berry Juice banned. Eviolite was on the ballot but did not get banned.
BW had been out for two months, and Little Cup was ready to get rolling. A group of eight people (another eight qualified but were disqualified due to insufficient reasoning) PMed Vader and Dubulous with votes and reasoning regarding an initial banlist. These were the bans that every person could say, without doubt, were needed to have a playable metagame. The first two were unanimous. No one was letting Scyther in LC, as its stats had people drawing comparisons to Arceus, the ability Technician made Quick Attack and Bug Bite insanely powerful, and its armada of moves allowed it to instantly tear pretty much every Pokemon to shreds. Sneasel was the fastest Pokemon in the tier, had above-average defenses, had Swords Dance to boost its high Attack stat, and had STAB priority in Ice Shard to make attempting to stop it with Choice Scarf users futile. The other three bans were not quite so unanimous but were still deemed necessary by a majority of the voters. Tangela was banned for its ability to effortlessly tear apart the majority of the tier with a Sunny Day set and use Sleep Powder to neuter the few counters it had. Yanma followed the trend with ridiculous raw power and access to Speed Boost boosting that same stat that made it impossible to revenge kill. A set with Compoundeyes as its ability and Hypnosis could also rip apart all Pokemon that could check or counter its signature Speed Boost set. Berry Juice would almost always fully restore the HP of every Pokemon in LC, making heavy offense far too powerful. No one even gave Dragon Rage and SonicBoom a second look, a move OHKOing all or most of LC is like having no OHKO clause and OHKO moves being perfectly accurate. Really, this banlist is self-explanatory and got the most broken Pokemon out of Little Cup so as to not begin the tier in total chaos. Oh, and briefly on Eviolite—some people thought it might make some Pokemon too difficult to KO, but there were more pressing matters at hand, so it fell by the wayside, awaiting further trial.
January 18, 2011
After Round 1 of suspect testing, the ability Moody was banned. Eviolite, Meditite, and Scraggy were suspected but ultimately did not get banned.
Little Cup had kicked into gear, and about that time people discovered the horror of Moody in all tiers. The ability ruined battles with its reliance on pure luck, making teams with the otherwise mediocre Bidoof and Remoraid impossible to effectively combat. Moody centralized the metagame to an unhealthy extent and made it almost unplayable. The other suspects that were brought up consisted of Eviolite, Meditite, and Scraggy. Scraggy could boost up to KO a ton of Pokemon, but people found ways around it. Eviolite stood the test and was found to bring about a healthy, more diverse metagame. Meditite was extremely powerful, but it wasn't so over the top that it was deemed broken. The voting system remained the same: any willing persons were able to submit their votes to Vader and Dubulous, and sufficient reasoning granting them a say in the vote.
March 25, 2011
After Round 2 of suspect testing, Murkrow was banned. Meditite was on the ballot but did not get banned.
This next suspect period, the menace that was Murkrow made its presence felt hard, as it had a plethora of sets—such as a near uncounterable FeatherDance set that had Prankster giving its moves priority, a mixed set that lacked safe switch-ins due to Murkrow's high offenses, a Substitute set that was impossible to revenge kill, and a Calm Mind set that could pull off an easy sweep—that made it very unpredictable. The fact was, it didn't just have one broken set, it had more than four! STAB priority in Sucker Punch and reliable recovery in Roost made it difficult to revenge kill even if it wasn't sporting Substitute. Meditite had its trademark ridiculous power, but Murkrow was so dominant, so overcentralizing, that it wasn't the foremost thing in people's minds. The voting process this round was different, with Vader and Dubulous handpicking ten users that demonstrated proficiency in battling and knowledge of Little Cup. These users did a simple vote stating their positions on the suspect's tiering.
May 18, 2011
After Round 3 of suspect testing, Vulpix was banned. Meditite and Misdreavus did not receive enough support for an outright ban and so were automatic suspects for the next round.
Sun teams were taking the metagame by storm. Vulpix had obtained the ability Drought, and with no Drizzle around to neuter it, there was very little stopping the common Pokemon on sun teams from bringing the metagame down on its knees. These Pokemon consisted of two main groups—Chlorophyll sweepers and Fire-types. Chlorophyll sweepers were for the most part impossible to outspeed and could boost their offenses by +2 each with Growth. Many also had Sleep Powder to cripple their opposition, Giga Drain to recover their health, and a Hidden Power to patch up missing coverage. Some even had Weather Ball. Fire-type Pokemon have their STAB moves boosted in sun, allowing them to power through even Pokemon that resist Fire-type attacks. Between these two groups of Pokemon, sun was for all intents and purposes unstoppable. There were two other big kahunas this round, Meditite and Misdreavus. Meditite had been suspected numerous times before and for good reason, having a ridiculous amount of power and solid defenses with Eviolite. Misdreavus had diversity somewhat comparable to Murkrow, with few counters or even checks available. Both barely failed to reach the necessary supermajority mark, however, so their time for being banned had yet to come. The voting system for this round changed again, this time being the top ten on the ladder and any users who got within ten points of it.
Notable Threads: np: LC - Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting - now with alt verification by Vader and Little Cup Round 3 Voting by Vader
July 15, 2011
After Round 4 of suspect testing, Carvanha, Gligar, Meditite, and Misdreavus were banned. Scraggy was on the ballot but did not get banned.
While the previous suspect rounds had been quite conservative in terms of bans, everyone seemed to decide this round that a purge of broken Pokemon was needed. In an unprecedented event, four Pokemon were deemed broken and got banned all at once. Carvanha had insane power coupled with Speed Boost making it more and more difficult to outspeed with each passing turn. It could even run a mixed set and wreck its standard set's counters. Gligar defined tank, having excellent defenses that made it a hard stop or at least check to a ton of physical threats, and it was ble to sweep with Acrobatics + Flying Gem with minimal support. Meditite's ban was a long time coming, being voted on every previous round and attaining a simple majority in the last one. Meditite was so powerful that it outright murdered most of the metagame with STAB Hi Jump Kick, and KOing it was not easy either when it had Eviolite boosting its defenses. Misdreavus also came in off a simple majority. It had a ton of sets, each having very few counters, and there was not one Pokemon that could beat more than one of its main sets (Nasty Plot, SubWisp, Calm Mind, Choice Scarf, and defensive). Blazing Speed, priority Sucker Punch, and high offenses pushed it way over the edge. Scraggy got yet another vote to not be banned, this time much more solidly with metagame shifts making it much less potent. The voting requirements were a rating of 1250 or higher on the ladder.
January 12, 2012
The new Little Cup council decided that Gligar, Misdreavus, and Murkrow would be unbanned.
Smogon tiers were moving to a council system, and Little Cup was no exception. A council of Aerrow, Crux, Elevator Music, little gk, macle, Ray Jay, and Vader was established. This was after a massive four Pokemon had been banned in the last round. This council undid two of those decisions, leaving only Carvanha banned. These Pokemon had been borderline when they were voted on, so they were given a second chance. The basis for this was that these Pokemon had a few counters and a decent amount of checks, so they might not be as overkill as previously thought if people would just adapt to them. As such, a new metagame was formed, and as expected, people began to adapt to these threats without the decision to ban them being in their own hands.
Notable Thread: np: LC - Hello Goodbye by Vader
April 2, 2012
After reevaluating the three unbanned Pokemon, the council decided to ban Gligar and keep Murkrow and Misdreavus. Meditite and Berry Juice were proposed to be unbanned but ultimately were not.
Note that iss replaced Crux on the council this round. Anyway, this round ended up solving much of the conundrum of what to do tiering-wise in LC. Gligar proved itself broken once again, with its trademark AcroBat set that tore the metagame to shreds, brutally effective Toxic + Taunt stalling set, and defensive set that was the worst nightmare of many a physical attacker pushing it over the edge in an actually not-so-decisive 4-3 vote. Baton Pass also contributed to the ban, as Gligar could easily pass its Swords Dance boosts to a teammate. Meditite had not been directly unbanned but was given a discussion; this discussion led to the decision to keep it banned, as its insane power, stellar bulk with Eviolite, and ability to hit every Pokemon in the tier for at least neutral damage did not describe a balanced Pokemon. Berry Juice had mixed opinions at first, with the prevailing thought being that it would have a big effect but not so much so that it was actually broken. After playing some games with Berry Juice and seeing arguments from Heysup and Vader, the entire council decided that it was best for Berry Juice to stay banned.
May 24, 2012
Drilbur, Murkrow, and Scraggy were discussed as suspects, but none of them were banned.
Just to make sure the metagame was as balanced as could be, Drilbur, Murkrow, and Scraggy were evaluated to see if they were broken. No one really thought so, however, and the consensus ended up being that the metagame was balanced. All suspecting was discontinued so as not to ruin this state of balance, and because Little Cup is not ever-changing, unlike other tiers, there was no reason to continue. The council remained in existence just in case something came up. This marked the end of Little Cup suspect testing for the foreseeable future.
September 24, 2012
Drilbur and Murkrow were put up as suspects, but neither were banned.
Both Drilbur and Murkrow had been suspected multiple times, but since nothing seemed broken in the tier, the council put up discussion threads for Drilbur and Murkrow to give them one last closer look. The council itself had just been reformed, with Vader and Aerrow leaving the council to act as more objective leaders. This left Ray Jay at the head of the council and two vacant spots. The vacant spots were to be rotated and were filled by comatthew64 and MarceloDK for that vote. A 7-0 do not ban vote for Murkrow and a 5-2 one for Drilbur ensured both suspects were in Little Cup to stay. The current council has changed a bit, as Ray Jay stepped down, leaving Elevator Music in command of the tier. little gk has also stepped down. The rotating seats have been changed to permanent seats and are occupied by Charmander and Hawkstar. The empty spot little gk left was filled by prem. Aerrow also stepped down as a tiering head and moderator. With that, Little Cup tiering was truly finished for the time being.
Notable Thread: LC Tiering Megathread