A Beginner's Guide to Cutemons

By FellFromtheSky.
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Author's Note: This is a work of satire and is entirely fictitious. The metagame described below is a product of the author's imagination. Terminology and colloquialisms ordinarily used in a non-fictitious setting are sometimes used to enhance the reader's experience. Any resemblance the metagame discussed below bears to official Smogon metagames is purely coincidental. No Pokémon were harmed during the production of this article.

Cutemons Cubone Cutemons Bidoof Cutemons Delcatty Cutemons Dedenne

Art by Cretacerus.

What is Cutemons?

Oftentimes in competitive Pokémon, one sees an unfortunate dichotomy of cute versus powerful. Fortunately, for those who find the association between cuteness and weakness distasteful, Cutemons was birthed with that exact issue in mind. The aptly named metagame is one in which, simply put, the cutest Pokémon get their chance to shine. Many Pokémon that are simply nonviable in standard metagames—such as Dedenne, Carbink, and Delcatty—find themselves at the top in Cutemons. In addition, Pokémon that are typically considered dangerous threats in other metagames, such as Ferrothorn and Garchomp, sit at the bottom of the Cutemons viability rankings. This drastic shift in viability stems from the fact that, in Cutemons, stats don't matter, only cuteness! One might question how such a system works, but it's actually quite simple and easy to pick up. The goal is still to outperform one's opponent, but in cuteness! Unfortunately, neither Smogon nor Pokémon Showdown currently endorse Cutemons. I ask the site staff daily about it, but so far it doesn't seem like there are any plans to implement the metagame in the near future. But with this article, and after a few more polite inquiries, I believe they will cave in any day now!

Despite being relatively young, several Pokémon have been banned from the Cutemons metagame, and it's important, I think, to understand why such bans were set in place before diving into the metagame. Past bans include Pichu, Cleffa, Togepi, Azurill, and Skitty, all of which were deemed far cuter than was healthy for the metagame. Delcatty, whose function is very similar to the decidedly broken Skitty, was suspected several times throughout the history of the metagame, but, ultimately, the mauve-garbed titan was not banned and has since made itself very comfortable as one of the top-tier threats in the Cutemons metagame.

What is Cutemons like to play?

Due to the nature of the metagame, Cutemons offers players the opportunity to effectively use a variety of Pokémon that are normally poor choices in Smogon's standard tiers. Not only that, but a variety of moves see much greater usage in Cutemons than elsewhere. In particular, moves with the Cute contest condition are significantly more powerful than they are otherwise. For instance, it's often quite shocking for new players to see Aqua Tail being the Water-type STAB-move of choice or Nuzzle being an almost mandatory move on Pokémon with access to the move. Similarly, viable items are significantly different from those in standard metagames. For instance, it's not uncommon to see a cute 'mon holding an item purely because it matches its color scheme or particularly suits it—such as Carbink with a Shiny or Float Stone. It's almost tragic that Cutemons is such a young metagame because, surely, items such as the Pink Bow and Polkadot Bow, as well as the Silver Leaf and Gold Leaf—which only existed in Generation II—and the Sweet Heart—which is restricted to Generation V—would have been extraordinarily powerful in this metagame. Though perhaps it is fortunate the aforementioned bows were replaced by the decidedly less broken Silk Scarf come Generation III, as they would likely have been deemed far too powerful for Cutemons. Also, choosing a Shiny over a standard coloration also effects a Pokémon's viability, as color scheme is, obviously, an important factor in determining cuteness. Despite the self-evident power creep, however, a variety of play styles are viable in Cutemons. Balance and stall-oriented playstyles benefit from the wealth of useful type combinations available to certain cute 'mons like Mawile and Togetic, while more offensive playstyles benefit from the multitude of ordinarily weak moves with incredibly high base cuteness—like Nuzzle and Draining Kiss.



Delcatty in Cutemons can be thought of as a sort of analog to Clefable in OU—versatile and unpredictable. It's so versatile, in fact, it would be impossible to cover everything that it can do in an introductory article. The set detailed here is simply one of its more common, but incredibly effective, utility sets. A Silk Scarf is present for optimum style and grace, while Cute Charm is, unsurprisingly, the ability of choice (though Wonder Skin isn't uncommon either). What might shock newer Cutemons players the most about this set is the complete lack of conventionally useful moves! "Helping Hand isn't even effective in Singles!" one might argue. Well, in Cutemons, base power and typically useful secondary effects are irrelevant; all that matters is cuteness. As such, Sing, Helping Hand, and Wish are obvious endearing choices on a 'mon such as Delcatty, while its trump card is the very adorable Fake Tears—which, while extraordinarily adorable at first, is less and less effective the more Delcatty uses it (tears are only charming in small doses, after all).


Considering it's all pink and ribbons, it's unsurprising Sylveon is an incredible threat in a metagame where cuteness is the primary factor in determining viability. Like Delcatty, the Intertwining Pokémon is incredibly versatile. Also like Delcatty, Sylveon has access to the incredibly threatening Fake Tears, but with, perhaps, an even more winsome typing. The set detailed above is perhaps Sylveon's most effective option, but sets focusing on its options with Pixilate are also quite viable—as the ability to transform something Normal into something magical and Fairy-like is most certainly quite adorable. Scarfed sets (either with Silk, Pink, or Choice Scarf) are rarer than they are on the aforementioned Delcatty, as all except perhaps the Blue Scarf clash with Sylveon's already fabulous ribbons. Even still, there are still dozens of item options for Sylveon; Pixie Plate, Sky Plate, Mind Plate, and Ice Plate are all nice options that match both Sylveon's ordinary and Shiny palette, while several Berries are perfectly lovely options—like the Roseli Berry on the set above.


Originally given the name "Orphon"—a corruption of "orphan"—before the release of Pokémon Red and Blue, Cubone has, perhaps, the saddest and most sympathy-garnering backstory of all 700+ Pokémon. With its darling mask, tragic past, and multitude of tears for its dead mother, Cubone is a star in the Cutemons metagame. Its access to the extraordinarily adorable Belly Drum, as well as its signature item—the Thick Club—makes Cubone a top threat in Cutemons. Teams unprepared to face the little masked marauder will find themselves quickly stunned by its sheer cuteness and, as such, it is absolutely vital that one prepares to face Cubone. Cubone can quickly maximize its cuteness with Belly Drum, before trying its absolute hardest with Endeavor or maybe throwing out a super cute doll with Substitute. Thankfully, while a dangerous threat, Cubone is not a terribly versatile one; typically, it only runs the set detailed above and its coverage, while cute, is somewhat lacking versus important Cutemons threats, like Breloom. Nevertheless, the Lonely Pokémon is still a threat every Cutemons team needs to anticipate, lest they be quickly torn down...


While other top Cutemons threats rely on their access to super cute moves or charming abilities, Carbink is a notable exception. Being extraordinarily adorable, the little carbuncle is versatile and has access to several utility moves it is free to run, as, unlike its OU analog—Mega Diancie—Carbink doesn't have to run Protect. The set seen above is a typical one, with many unlisted options for the its last moveslot, depending on the needs of Carbink's fellow team members. The Shiny Stone is its typical item of choice as it augments Carbink's gemstone-like charm, as do its very sparkly moves: Moonblast, Power Gem, Magic Coat, and Rock Polish (although Heal Bell is a nice option for a more musical touch).

Cute Charm users

Wigglytuff Milotic Minccino

Given the name of the ability, it's no surprise that Pokémon with access to the ability Cute Charm have a distinct advantage in Cutemons. As Cleffa, Skitty, and Igglybuff were banned for their sheer charm, Wigglytuff and Shiny Minccino (its pink coloration gives it an edge over standard Mincinno) are the primary users of this ability, in addition to the aforementioned Delcatty and Sylveon. Cute Charm is, as one might expect, is significantly more powerful in Cutemons, drastically increasing the viability of any Pokémon cute enough to have received such an ability. While significantly more niche than the aforementioned Cute Charm users, Milotic also deserves to be noted for its useful typing and access to Aqua Tail (which has a contest condition of Cute).

Belly Drum users

Zigzagoon Teddiursa Poliwag

One of the most coveted moves in the metagame, the super cute Belly Drum is the ultimate setup move in Cutemons. Unlike in standard metagames, where Belly Drum users typically run a Sitrus Berry to mitigate recoil damage, if a Pokémon is cute enough, then that Pokémon takes no recoil damage, allowing for the use of other, cuter, items—like a Thick Club for the aforementioned Cubone! At the cost of one single turn, a cute 'mon can quadruple its cuteness and, in the right hands, easily out-cute opposing teams.

Friend Guard users

Jigglypuff Vivillon Clefairy

Much has been said on the beauty and magical qualities of friendship over the centuries and one of the most endearing qualities in anyone, or any Pokémon, is loyalty and devotion to one's friends. As such, some of the top threats in Cutemons are those with access to the ability Friend Guard. Jigglypuff and Clefairy are the premier users of the ability, as they can run an Eviolite alongside Friend Guard. Vivillon, however, is a more underrated user of the ability, which can use its winsome smile and multitude of charming wing patterns to easily nab multiple quiver dances.

Nuzzle users

Dedenne Pachirisu Pikachu

As the aforementioned Pichu was deemed to be too cute (and thus too powerful), it was quickly banned. However, its claim to fame, Nuzzle, one of the most adorable moves, sees distribution on its fellow electric rodents—the adorable, part-Fairy, hamster, Dedenne, the ridiculously endearing squirrel, Pachirisu, and the iconic Pokémon mascot, Pikachu. In standard tiers, Nuzzle is a weak move, only useful for paralyzing threats that can somehow dodge status moves. However, in Cutemons, because of the distinctly winsome nature of the move, the aforementioned critters have an unexpected edge that often puts newer Cutemons players off guard.

Elegant Cutemons

Vulpix Umbreon Kirlia

Some Pokémon are simply cute, while others are endearing in other ways. Many of Sylveon's siblings are not cute in the same way it is lucky to be, but have a certain elegance or classiness to their cuteness, like Espeon and Shiny Umbreon. Other Pokémon have this quality as well—Kirlia and Jirachi are good examples. The former combines both the sheer cuteness of its pre-evolution, Ralts, with the elegant demeanor of its evolutions, Gardevoir and Gallade. The latter, on the other hand, is endearing and has access to the very elegant Serene Grace. Another notable Pokémon that brings this classiness to the table is Vulpix, whose petite stature and shy demeanor give it an edge over standard Ninetales as one of the two most viable sun setters in the metagame, with the other being Shiny Ninetales.

Adorkable Cutemons

Trubbish Garbodor Bidoof

Some Pokémon are simply endearing, while others find that their cuteness lies in their grace and elegance. Yet there is another subgroup of cute Pokémon—dorky 'mons! Of these cute 'mons, perhaps the most notable are Trubbish and Garbodor, who, in Cutemons, are comparable to Chansey and Blissey in standard metagames. Both are important on any defensive team, as adorable Fairy-types abound in Cutemons. Trubbish, on the one hand, is forced to run an Eviolite but, with it, is significantly bulkier than its relative Garbodor. Garbodor, on the other hand, has more freedom with its item, but it is more easily out-cuted by common threats like Sylveon and Delcatty. Also of note here is Bidoof, which can either be run with Defense Curl or Amnesia and Simple or serve as a check to the threatening Charm Delcatty and other cuteness-boosting sweepers with the coveted ability Unaware.

What changes did Generation VII bring to Cutemons?

With the dawn of the seventh generation of Pokémon just behind us, many new additions have been welcomed into the Cutemons metagame. In particular, the new starter Pokémon are exceptionally—and, perhaps, unusually—cute. Of them, Rowlet seems to be the most well-loved, but its fellow starters—Litten and Popplio—are also gathering their own following of admirers. Popplio is also notable, because its final evolution, Primarina, is, most certainly, carving a niche for itself in the metagame as an elegant cute 'mon. The Cutemons-playing community was also fortunate to see the addition of two new Nuzzle users, one of which has a nifty part-Steel typing (a rare type in Cutemons, typically present only in Mawile, Aron, and Jirachi)—Togedemaru—and the other of which has an exciting new ability in Surge Surfer, an advantageous Psychic typing, and an attractive island tan—Alolan Raichu. In addition, the new generation also brought about the advent of several new Fairy-types, which is always a powerful and relevant type in the Cutemons metagame—including Mimikyu, Cutiefly, Magearna, and the priority-blocking Tapu Lele. Several other interesting new abilities and moves have also come into existence with the dawn of Generation VII as well—like the aforementioned Magearna's Soul Heart ability and the winsome Pyukumuku's new Innards Out ability. Alolan forms, too, have brought much to the Cutemons table. Alolan Sandshrew and Vulpix are even more adorable than their standard counterparts, while Alolan Ninetales is the new premier elegant cute 'mon. The future is looking bright for Cutemons! Soon, surely, Smogon and Pokémon Showdown will acknowledge this up-and-coming metagame!

HTML by Dominatio.
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