Exploring Sticky Web Offense in SS LC

By DC. Released: 2020/10/02.
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Sticky Web Offense in SS LC artwork

Art by HeaLnDeaL.


Sticky Web offense, better known as Webs, has been an integral part of the LC metagame since its inception in XY, and SS proves no different. This playstyle falls under the category of hyper offense, or HO for short, an archetype in which the team structure forgoes traditional defensive options in favor of relying solely on its offense to carry it to victory. The purpose of Sticky Web offense is relatively simple: set up Sticky Web and utilize strong wallbreakers to take advantage of the Speed drop and break through the opposing team while preventing Sticky Web from being removed. Then, a fast Pokémon, often referred to as a "cleaner", would finish off the weakened team. Now that we have learned a bit about how Sticky Web offense functions, lets take a journey through its storied history in SS LC.



During early SS LC, before the release of Pokémon Home, Sticky Web offense saw major usage thanks in part to one particular Pokémon known as Cutiefly. Thanks to a naturally high Speed stat and its ability to pressure common entry hazard removers in Vullaby and Timburr with Moonblast, Cutiefly was by far the best Sticky Web setter. Furthermore, Cutiefly brought additional utility with U-turn, providing a free switch in for its wallbreaking teammates, and it could even utilize Sticky Web to set up with Quiver Dance and sweep. Cutiefly's general versatility made it a staple on many teams, offering itself as a naturally good Sticky Web user for its teammates.

Rufflet Dewpider

After the release of Pokémon Home, Cutiefly was given a swift exit from SS LC. The entire Sticky Web offense archetype became less common and more reliant on matching up against teams that were susceptible to it. Dewpider became LC's next best Sticky Web setter, utilizing its bulk and decently powerful attacks to get up Sticky Web for its teammates. However, one Pokémon would change the landscape of post-Home SS LC, ushering Sticky Web offense back to relevancy. That Pokémon was Rufflet, one of LC's strongest attackers at that period of time. The Speed drop from Sticky Web was immensely vital to Rufflet, letting it outspeed checks such as Onix and Ponyta. This allowed Rufflet's Bulk Up and Choice Band sets to shine, capitalizing on the Speed drop to potentially set up and sweep or just fire off an insanely strong attack.

Woobat Abra Mienfoo

Rufflet was banned by a swift suspect test, and Sticky Web offense saw drastically less usage in tournaments and on the Pokémon Showdown ladder, occasionally appearing on teams centered around Grookey and Woobat. After the release of the Isle of Armor DLC, the return of familiar faces rejuvenated the Sticky Web archetype. Powerful wallbreakers like Life Orb Abra and Reckless Mienfoo provided the necessary power needed to combat the rise of bulky cores that consisted of walls such as Mareanie, Ferroseed, and Spritzee. Furthermore, their ability to pressure Sticky Web counterplays like Pawniard and Vullaby made them staples of the current Sticky Web offense. Now that we have understood a bit of its history, lets dive further into the intricacies of Sticky Web offense and analyze its best setter in Dewpider and some of the best Pokémon that benefit from it.

The Sticky Web Conductor


After the banning of Cutiefly, Dewpider established itself as LC's best Sticky Web setter. Its unique typing and bulk allow it to handle metagame staples like Mienfoo, Timburr, and Ponyta. Dewpider's Water Bubble-boosted Surf discourages common entry hazard removers like Vullaby and Timburr from directly switching into it, letting it set up Sticky Web to provide speed control for its teammates. Furthermore, Icy Wind punishes faster switch-ins like Staryu, Vullaby, and Wingull, while Giga Drain provides Dewpider with decent recovery and a measure to deal with Staryu. However, despite its good traits, Dewpider is held back by its middling Speed stat and typing, leaving it vulnerable to common foes like Onix, Vullaby, and Wingull that can outspeed and KO it before it has the opportunity to set up Sticky Web.

The Web Users


A staple of Sticky Web offense since Generation VI, Life Orb Abra has returned to SS LC to cement itself as a premier wallbreaker and cleaner. Sticky Web allows Abra to outspeed would-be offensive answers such as non-Air Balloon Diglett and Choice Scarf Mienfoo. The power of Life Orb-boosted Psychic allows Abra to break past and 2HKO traditional checks such as defensive Porygon and Spritzee after Stealth Rock damage. Life Orb-boosted Dazzling Gleam is extremely potent, being able to OHKO all variants of Berry Juice Vullaby after Stealth Rock damage and 2HKO standard Pawniard. Fire Punch is a new SS innovation, allowing Abra to better bypass the prevalent Ferroseed. Substitute provides Abra with more opportunities to fire off its strong Psychic and Dazzling Gleam and helps it play around Sucker Punch Pawniard, a dangerous foe for Sticky Web teams, whereas Protect blocks First Impression from Trapinch and Fake Out from Mienfoo, preventing Abra from being worn down.


Swords Dance Mienfoo is a natural addition to any Sticky Web offense team, bestowing the team with a tool to threaten traditional Sticky Web counterplays such as Pawniard and Vullaby. Sticky Web provides valuable speed control, letting Mienfoo outpace offensive checks such as Staryu, Ponyta, and especially Abra. After a Swords Dance boost, High Jump Kick is strong enough to OHKO most unresisted foes and 2HKO checks to Fighting-types such as Foongus and Mareanie. Knock Off allows Mienfoo to weaken the aforementioned walls as well as Spritzee to set its team up for success late-game and sweep. Acrobatics synergizes with Berry Juice and provides an accurate attack for Mienfoo to use against the likes of Spritzee, Foongus, and Mareanie.


A new face to the Sticky Web archetype, Grassy Seed Woobat has established itself as one of LC's most fearsome sweepers, forming a formidable duo with Grookey known as the famous "Grookbat" strategy. Thanks to its ability in Simple, Woobat is able to gain a +2 boost in Defense from Grassy Seed activated under Grassy Terrain set by Grookey. Sticky Web from Dewpider provides additional utility, allowing Woobat to outspeed checks such as Onix and Pawniard to repeatedly set up with Calm Mind and decimate them with Stored Power and Heat Wave, respectively. Roost provides Woobat with substantial recovery and is particularly useful under Sticky Web, allowing it to take minimal damage from Onix's Rock Blast.

The Supporting Cast

Onix Pawniard Magnemite

Every Sticky Web team would not be complete without the complementary pieces. Sturdy + Berry Juice Onix, often referred to as SturdyJuice Onix, provides Sticky Web teams with Stealth Rock support and a secondary answer to Defoggers like Vullaby and Wingull. Pawniard serves as a Defog deterrent due to its ability in Defiant discouraging Vullaby from removing Sticky Web with Defog and increasing its Attack. Magnemite combines the utility of SturdyJuice Onix with the attacking prowess and Steel typing of Pawniard, helping it deal with common Sticky Web answers like Vullaby, Wingull, and Staryu. Each supporting member provides certain countermeasures against opposing entry hazard removers, allowing Sticky Web to remain on the field and enabling its various teammates to wreak havoc upon foes.


Diglett Staryu Vullaby Wingull Pawniard

Although Sticky Web offense seems so intimidating, there are certain measures that players can undertake to ensure that their teams will not be easily swept. Arguably, the best answer to Sticky Web in the current LC metagame is Air Balloon Diglett. Air Balloon Diglett's ability to ignore Sticky Web, trap common users like Life Orb Abra and Mienfoo, and threaten Woobat with Final Gambit makes it extremely threatening to Sticky Web teams. Furthermore, the Isle of Armor DLC introduced Staryu to LC, a fast spinner that can threaten Dewpider with Thunderbolt and keep Sticky Web off the field. Traditional answers to Sticky Web also remain plentiful in usage; Vullaby and Wingull's immunity to Sticky Web makes them amazing entry hazard removers, while Defiant Pawniard gains an Attack boost under Sticky Web and becomes difficult for most Sticky Web users to switch into.

Finishing Thoughts

Despite its many ups and downs, Sticky Web offense has been an integral part of the SS LC metagame. It has provided an alternative to traditional balance builds and catapulted innovation, bringing forth new picks like Woobat and Air Balloon Diglett. So, the next time you are looking forward to laddering, go out there and use a Sticky Web team. You will not regret it!

HTML by Ryota Mitarai.
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