Defensive play in Little Cup

I see a lot of people now a days saying "stall has no room in a metagame as fast as littlecups" and saying only a few effective defensive teams have been made. And yes, with a lack in hp and defenses, its a lot harder to play defensively but i think it is time to destroy that preconceived notion.

The first thing you have to realize is playing defensively (or playing stall) requires more than just bulky pokemon tanking hits. when i build teams in little cup (and most of mine are stall / very defensive as vader and eric might be able to attest to), i play to accomplish 3 things:

1.) reveal their pokemon early
2.) set up sr/spikes/tspikes/ss
3.) win!

the first one is easy enough to accomplish, you will want to try and playing using solely immunities, resistances, and whatever else you can fight with. My favorite lead is hippopotas for this, with Yawn/Stealth Rock/Earthquake/Slack Off. If i am lucky enough to get a decent lead match-up of houndour vs hippo or diglett vs hippo, etc, i can either eq and take out a crucial part of their offense or just set up sr and begin yawning. its great to be able to force out a set up sweeper with yawn because its creating a two fold effect: you see their team and you pile on entry hazards.

when playing defensively, you really do need to be able to play off immunities and resistances as well as type match-ups. Chinchou or Mantyke can be very good choices, especially the later who has 1-2 immunities (depending on your ability) and can either attack or play more defensively with mirror coat / icy wind.

to set up sr and spikes, you basically need to pick your spots, just like ou. you do have to be a bit more conscious because you can get hit a lot harder. this is pretty easy enough to do, especially if you once again play off resistances.

but its the last one which seems the hardest for people to accomplish and is why stall/defensive teams falter. winning is something that is a lot harder to accomplish than you might think. A lot of players will get sr/spikes/whatever out and see the opponent still has 2-3 sweepers left. "what now?"

You play to win. Stall doesn't have to be full stall. I like adding a sweeper or two that still has great defensive capabilities (manytke) or even a good tank that can set up (lileep =]).


now reflection time X]

1.) how do you play stall if you have ever tried it? do you disagree with what im saying and feel that no matter what, stall just doesn't have a place in lc?

2.) do you now want to try stall out and see if you can stay competitive with it?

3.) do you have a successful stall team that you would like to share, or maybe point out why you feel its good. maybe you play differently than how i shared. we would love to here about them.

defensive/stall is still interesting style of play in lc and i think it deserves more credit than it has received


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I've mentioned Defensive play before, but my style of "defense" is significantly different from yours. I use immunities to put pressure on the opponent to predict heavily, an area where I shine. Using strong choiced Pokemon I proceed to sweep them. Unfortunately, the high number of switches can create an opening for a clever opponent. I have found your style of defensive play to be about the only thing (there are others, but not many) in Little Cup that can be likened to Stall, whereas mine is more akin to Bulky Offense.

That said, you do have to acknowledge that your style of defensive play takes a great deal of skill and is consequently not the best way for a new player to try winning in the metagame. It takes a certain mindset and degree of patience to properly win using your method. However, I do like the notion of setting Spikes and Stealth Rock to increase the pressure on the opponent when they switch and punish them for using Choiced Pokemon. I intend to use something similar in the near future.

The mention of Lileep is also probably the most important in this thread. People fail to realize exactly how good Lileep is under the sand. No, not Curse Lileep. Stockpile/Toxic/Recover Lileep is damn near unbeatable under Sand. Yes, you can bring in your Fighter if it only has one Stockpile. But if Spikes are up, you won't like taking whatever attack Lileep has elected to use. With a bit of support, Lileep is arguably the best Staller in Little Cup. Its stall can be likened to a sweep in that it is aggressively stalling out your HP, not passively some Pokemon in OU Stall which simply strive to survive.


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I don't believe in "Stall" in Little Cup. I believe in bulky SS offense and Protect SS Offense, but actually walling Pokemon in little cup? Not really going to happen.

What you seem to be describing seems to be a little more defensive than I'd think viable for LC, though it does seem possible with Sandstorm and well-placed heavy defensive Pokemon. Pokemon with ridiculous defensive stats (like Mantyke) would make good spots in "stall". I just think a well-timed Dragon Dance from Dratini would rip any stall team apart.
what HeYsUp just mentioned is one of the biggest problems for stall, a stronger attacker that just needs 1 stat up to sweep. i find the best way to handle those threats is to make sure everything either has a strong attack or just roar/yawn. giving free turns does have to be done eventually in setting up entry hazards but you have to be smart with it.

will respond to vader later but yeah, stockpile lileep is the best one imo.
I briefly tried some Sandstall in LC, and it worked reasonably well. Like you, I used a Hippopotas lead, and that was pretty awesome. My main stalling core also consisted of Omanyte, whose boosted SpD in the sand and access of Spikes really helped, Duskull, who I used to spread Burn and block spinners in LC, and Shroomish, whose SporeSeeding dealt a crapload of damage. Between Burn, entry hazards, Sand, and Leech Seed, I could cut off 1/3 of an opposing Pokemon's health just by forcing a switchout. The only problem I had was that my team had no offense, so if I were going to revise the team I'd probably stick two bulky sweepers in the last two slots or something. Overall, stall shouldn't be brushed off in LC, although it does take a certain combination to work well.


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I tried defensive LC before. Hippopotas + Toxic Spikes is a cool way to stall out Pokemon by constantly Slacking Off unboosted hits. However, I run at least 2 offensive scarfers to check Dragon Dancers and whatnot.
I've done Hail stall, based around residual damage from Hail and Tspikes working around opponent's Oran Berry's to put them into priority/clean up range from Gligar. Was quite successful.


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what HeYsUp just mentioned is one of the biggest problems for stall, a stronger attacker that just needs 1 stat up to sweep. i find the best way to handle those threats is to make sure everything either has a strong attack or just roar/yawn. giving free turns does have to be done eventually in setting up entry hazards but you have to be smart with it.

will respond to vader later but yeah, stockpile lileep is the best one imo.
It's sort of ironic that you mention Stockpile Lileep as the "best one", after you mention that it's important to make sure everything has a strong attack or Roar/Yawn :P.

Stockpile Lileep is the perfect example of set up bait for Dratini. Toxic you say? With Shed Skin, Toxic is lolled at. Stockpile you say? You can only stockpile 3 times, while Dratini can Dragon Dance 6 times. Energy Ball? Lol. Lets see those calcs of a +6 Dratini vs a +3 max defense Lileep:


68 Atk vs 42 Def & 26 HP (120 Base Power): 27 - 33 (103.85% - 126.92%)


or even 2HKOing (96% of the time with lefties) with Aqua Tail:

68 Atk vs 42 Def & 26 HP (90 Base Power): 13 - 16 (50.00% - 61.54%)

And if you were curious about energy ball:

12 Atk vs 12 Def & 21 HP (80 Base Power): 4 - 6 (19.05% - 28.57%)

You either need perfect prediction or confusion hax to survive Dratini when you use Lileep.
it all falls back on my first point of defensive teams though, finding out their team. i would be pretty stupid to bring out lileep early and start setting up if i don't know their whole team and know i can play things out well.

so yes, while lileep doesn't fit the criteria, its just naturally a tank and a pokemon that will help you win the game at the end. when using stall, hoping to win asap is a dumb idea, you would find it best to make sure everything is accounted for and pick your spots.
Don't use Stockpile Lileep, use Curse Lileep :\

Its spD is already sky high in sandstorm, and rock slide/seed bomb is resisted by very little. Add berry juice and recover and you're looking at something very hard to take down after 1-2 curses.

Oh, and iirc to show its spD abilities, with max hp/max spD mantykes Ice Beam (no rain, with ss) does about 50%.

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If you want to set up spikes in LC with hippo support, use Omanyte. It has access to Spikes and Toxic Spikes, and it is piss easy to use to switch into Houndour, which barely dents it with Fire Blast and can't manage a 2ko with Dark Pulse, IIRC (if it carries it at all, which is rare).

Hail can actually use Snorunt, which has interesting stats (50-all) and can attempt to abuse Substitute with Snow Cloak to set up Spikes. Budew is also an interesting choice for both teams, as it has decent defenses and reasonable Special Defense. Pineco also does well, for both types of teams, sporting resistance to Fighting, Grass, and Ground, which can deal with common threats to Rock-types in Sandstorm teams and Water- or Ice-types in Hail.

Also, Berry Juice is banned. Just keep that in mind.

EDIT: Toxic Spikes also have some interesting setup candidates. Skorupi is bulky and comes with neat resistances for Sandstorm teams. Omanyte appears once again. Tentacool has the same deal, with resistances to Fighting, Water, and Ice that work well for Sandstorm teams. Venonat makes a pretty excellent lead for Toxic Spikes, especially considering that Compoundeyes Sleep Powder is 97.5% accurate. Finally, there's still Pineco, which works especially well alongside Omanyte to resist all but one of Omanyte's weaknesses and set up complementary spikes.
I've been using stall teams since I started Little Cup a few weeks ago. At first I decided to use a Hail team which did pretty well imo. I found Pineco to be a really good Pokemon to use. I used a set consisting of Payback / Rapid Spin / Explosion or Toxic Spikes / Spikes which did pretty well. Gastly and Misdreavus loved to switch into him so Payback scored an OHKO on them. I used Spikes and Toxic Spikes at first but I found Explosion better as it helped clear threats to my team.

The reason why I wanted to use Hail was Spheal (Didn't notice that Snorunt also had the ability of Ice Body). However one nice thing about Spheal was its access to Encore. If something tries to set up on me I just Encored it forcing switches and racking up residual damage.

For Sandstorm I haven't been doing so well with it. I've been using a Curse Lileep to give the team a little offensive tempo along with a 3 Attack Gligar. I might try out the Stockpile Lileep soon enough.

I think stall is pretty good despite being looked down upon.
I don't think that Stall is a viable option in Little Cup. The only real chance of putting together a average stall team is to base it around Hail.

Stall just can't keep up with the pace of todays metagame due to threats that can literally 2HKO the whole metagame.

Stall was one of the factors that made OU as boring to players as it is. Why incorporate stall into such a fun metagame?
I'm just getting into Little Cup, but stall is my favorite playstyle in OU and Ubers, (where the entire metagame is 2HKOed easily as well) and here's what I think:

Stall in a sense of "Obistall in Ubers" or "Obistall in LC" cannot be played outside OU (and maybe UU, I don't know) and expected to succeed. At its heart, stall in Ubers is not "set up 3 hazards and phaze/force switches", its a strategy to counter offense by playing a solid defensive game, and sometimes this means using scarfers. Every Ubers stall team has at least one scarfer. I'm guessing its probably the same way in LC.


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It seem that we are using the term "stall" to loosely. From what the poster above me said about stall teams in hyperoffensive metagames ("stall teams" don't have to be "set up entry hazards and force other Pokemon out"), it seems that you are interchanging the term stall with "balance" or even "bulky offense". Using a defensive team does NOT mean you are using a stall team. A stall team wins by, you know, stalling the opponent out, not by doing a mixture of sweeping and stalling. That my friends is know as a balanced team.

While I see where it comes from because the level of offensive teams is so high that a balanced team looks like a stall team, it really isn't the case.

If your team is something like this: Hippopotas, Omastar, SD / RP Gligar, Cancea, Curse / Stockpile Lileep, Agility / Specs / Scarf Chinchou (that actually sounds like a great team lol), then you are using a balanced team, not a stall team. Yes, you have spikes. Yes, you have a Pokemon that stalls out other Pokemon (lileep). However that isn't what your team is based around. Your team is based around weakening your opponent with Spikes, SS, and Stealth Rock, and sweeping with one of your Pokemon.

I think focusing this thread on the title, "Defensive Play", would be a good direction to go. Defensive play is completely viable in lc.
I always thought that a stall team would be based around stalling the opponent out, with maybe a scarfer or whatever to help check threats in emergencies in case a wall goes down prematurely. Otherwise, its probably Stall-based Balance. A stall team I imagine would look like something the following:

Hippopotas/Omanyte/Duskull/Lileep/ScarfChou/IDK, Gligar?

The idea is that Chou and Gar support the team rather than the team supporting them, I guess.
I once used a Defensive team, but that was a long time ago.
I used Hail and entry hazards as well as Leech Seed and Sleep, and the whole way it was played was to cause many switches, which delt secondary damage, while also letting me hit the switch-ins.
I had a fair bit of success with it, and I'm a rather poor player, and I'd imagine if a better player had used a similar, but better built team, it could work rather well.
The team was:
Snover, for hail, leech seed stalling, and Ice Shard (I could quickly stall them down into Ice Shard KO range)
Snorunt, for spikes, and just hail stalling, and Ice Shard, just like Snover (this guy was incredibly helpful and actually won me several games)
Paras, for Sleep, berry stealing, and some damage (sleep was really great for causing switches, I actually chose not to use TSpikes because this guy's sleep was so awesome)
Gligar, for physical hit tanking, and SR, decent damage (basic physical hit taker, nott nearly as helpful and I'd imagined it'd be)
Munchlax, special counterpart to Gligar (helpful, but felt very hard to use, protect stalled like snorunt and snover, but not as well)
Wynaut, special threat eliminater (very, very helpful for getting rid of scarfers when my normal counters were gone)
I basically agree with HeYsUp here. You can't pure stall in LC (stats mostly, also due to combinations like Krabby's Water/Normal wrecking everything), but you can certainly play defensive and use Spikes/SR/TS to pressure your opponent into leaving openings for your sweepers.
I think the main reason you can't stall in LC is that everything can be worn down i.e. no pokemon can make use of reliable healing (at least until Recycle is implemented, then we can see how Recycling Oran Berry would work). Also SR>Spikes in most cases, it's hard to get down more than two layers of spikes which is when Spikes really begins to outweigh the usefulness of SR.

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