Little Cup Frameworks: Type Spam

By Nineage.
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LifeisDANK's Rufflet

Art by LifeisDANK.


Welcome to Little Cup frameworks! In Little Cup, as in any other metagame, understanding how teams are put together is essential to understanding the metagame. Here, we will look at some common team styles that have proven to be effective in the metagame. By comparing various successful teams built in that style, we can examine what the similarities between the teams are, and, ideally, give newcomers to Little Cup or more experienced players looking to improve their teambuilding a starting point to building teams.

This article will focus on type spam. Type spam teams are offensive teams that use two or more Pokémon that share an attacking type. While most offensive teams go for as many attacking types as possible to avoid being walled by a check to any one type, type spam teams use one user of the type to bring in the check to the type and weaken it, allowing the other to sweep. Type spam teams work especially well in Little Cup for several reasons. First, the metagame is very offensive, which means it is comparatively easier for one Pokémon to wear down checks for another. Second, defensive Pokémon in Little Cup rely on items, most notably Eviolite, to increase their bulk or longevity. However, many offensive Pokémon use the move Knock Off, which can immediately dent these checks, and, again, help wear down a check enough that a teammate which shares the check can sweep. Finally, type spam teams need good pivots to pair with the main attackers, and pivots are among the best Pokémon in Little Cup.

A Brief Look

What do the above four teams have in common? They are all successful type spam teams in Little Cup. Together, these four teams show the four most common types that are used as offensive types to "spam". The teams have been laid out as they have to show the team "skeleton"—that is, by looking down a column, you should see Pokémon that perform similar roles for their respective teams. For example, the fourth position on every team above is a hazard setter. Let's look at how this "skeleton" can be used to build a team.

The Building Process

The type spam teams above can be generalized into the following skeleton:

Type Spam Core / Pivot #1 / Hazard Setter / Pivot #2 or Trapper / Filler

Of course, type spam teams do not always look exactly like this by any means. However, the above teams that fit this skeleton are quite effective, and so a team built using this template can be just as effective. Let's look at how a team could be built using the skeleton as a framework:

1. The Type Spam Core

The most logical way to begin a team based around a type spam core is, predictably, with the type spam core itself. While any two solid offensive Pokémon that share at least one attacking type in order to overwhelm checks to that type can be used to form a type spam core, certain types in LC stand out as especially good candidates for type spam.

2. The First Pivot

Naturally, selecting a type spam core as the basis for a team immediately opens the team up to some Pokémon because weaknesses are stacked by the types that the members of the type spam core share. For example, if a team is built around Mienfoo and Timburr, weaknesses immediately open up to opposing Flying-, Fairy-, and Psychic-types. The third Pokémon on a type spam team should serve as a check to one or more of these threatening types, but can't afford to lose too much momentum for a team because type spam as a strategy is heavily reliant on offensive pressure. Therefore, a pivot, which can switch in and out of battle easily, maintaining some momentum while checking what needs to be checked, makes a good choice. Make sure that the chosen pivot has good synergy with the type spam core- it won't be able to check every threat to your core, but if it doesn't check at least one or two, it will be difficult to finish building the team later.

3. The Hazard Setter

Because type spam cores rely on wearing down checks with offensive pressure, entry hazard support is absolutely essential for success. Usually, Stealth Rock support is enough, but on teams that don't wear down checks quite as well, Spikes support can be run alongside it. Although a hazard setter can be included at any stage in the teambuilding process, including it after choosing the core and the pivot tends to be the easiest: late enough in the process to know what kind of entry hazards are necessary and to know what defensive synergy the hazard setter should provide, but not so late that any weakness that adding the hazard setter opens up can't be covered by other team members.

4. The Second Pivot (or Trapper)

At this stage, the team will have taken shape, with hazards to wear down foes, two main attackers which can wear down checks due to their shared offensive typing, and a pivot to help these two attackers against pressure from types that they are weak to. However, no four-Pokémon core can deal with all of the threats in the metagame, and what a well-built team will most likely face at this point is that there are some Pokémon that can put enough offensive pressure on the team while not being sufficiently pressured by the type spam core. This is a good time to check the threat list below to analyze what roles your team should have Pokémon to fill. There are two ways to deal with such Pokémon in the fifth team slot. First, a secondary pivot can be used. A secondary pivot should have the defensive capabilities to take on the threats to the team that remain, but be able to come in and out of the battle without losing too much momentum and thus hurting the team's type spam core. The alternative option would be to choose a trapper. A trapper can deal with specific Pokémon by simply removing them from the match through use of the ability Arena Trap or the move Pursuit.

5. The Final Pokémon

The final team slot will be the easiest to fill on some teams, and the hardest on others. There isn't one thing that "should" go here, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the final Pokémon should obviously make sense in the context of your team. Make sure you don't have a huge momentum killer or a Pokémon that requires support that your team does not provide. The final Pokémon should synergize, offensively and defensively, with the rest of your team. Second, your final Pokémon should provide any additional support your team needs, but should not expose it to any new weaknesses. That means that just slapping your favorite Pokémon into this role is often going to do more harm than good. Common options in the final team slot include another pivot, Rapid Spin support (due to the offensive nature of type spam as a strategy and its reliance on having Stealth Rock up on the opponent's side, Defog is not a good way to remove hazards), or even a third type spam abuser. Whatever role it fulfills, the final Pokémon should be a comparatively low-risk, high-reward team member.

6. Analysis

Few teams are perfect the first time through. Especially when following a skeleton, it can be easy to fall into the trap of choosing Pokémon that fulfill each role well but fail to synergize together. Below is a checklist of what all Little Cup teams should have. Go through each item on the list, and try to look at whether a Pokémon on your team fills that role, and if not, how the team can be tweaked.

  1. Water Check
  2. Fighting Check
  3. Doduo Check
  4. Mudbray Killer
  5. Electric Immunity (or several resistances)
  6. Pawniard Counter
  7. Stealth Rock
  8. Abra Check
  9. Gastly Check
  10. Shellder Counter
  11. Sticky Web Check (either hazard control or Snivy)

Final Thoughts

This article isn't meant to constrict your building. Instead, it should inspire you. After building a few teams using the skeleton as a reference point, hopefully your creative juices will start flowing and you'll branch out, building more creative and groundbreaking type spam teams. For example, what if one of your type spam Pokémon was a Z-Move user to lure a key check to the other. What about more niche Pokémon, or less used types (Ice-type spam anyone)? Little Cup is a metagame with tons of room for creativity, so hopefully after getting you started, this article encourages you to put that enormous brain to work. Stick around in LC!

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