Metagame Let's Go LC


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Let's Go Little Cup is very different from other modern Little Cup formats, with its lack of many traditional attributes, most importantly items, abilities, and widespread healing, ultimately resulting in an unparalleled offense-heavy metagame where risk-taking is absolutely vital for victory. We've discovered some new sets since the previous thread, so I thought setting up a new one made sense.

Rules: Only Level 5 Pokemon that have not yet evolved and are capable of evolution are allowed. Standard Smogon clauses apply. The use of Candies (AVs) is not permitted- while it was permitted previously, this has been changed.
Banlist: Omanyte​
This is outdated!

LG LC Viability Rankings
(In alphabetical order, this may change once the meta has been tested further)

S Tier (stands for staryu)

A Tier


B Tier


C Tier (unorganised, currently contains Pokémon that have potential niches but are mostly outclassed or struggle in the meta)

D Tier (You probably shouldn't use these)
Everything else.
This only includes Pokemon ranked C or higher.

T0 (>17: Boosted tier)
Ponyta 0 +2 (30)
Growlithe 0 +2 (24)
Goldeen 0 +2 (24)
Dratini 0 +2 (22)
Shellder 0 +2 (20)
Shellder -Spe +2 (18)

T1 (16-17)

Voltorb +Spe
Diglett +Spe

Diglett-Alola +Spe
Meowth +Spe
Meowth-Alola +Spe
Pikachu +Spe
Abra +Spe
Ponyta +Spe
Staryu +Spe

T2 (14-15)

Ponyta 0
Gastly +Spe
Doduo +Spe

Rattata +Spe
Rattata-Alola +Spe
Spearow +Spe
Mankey +Spe
Tentacool +Spe

T3 (12-13)

Rattata 0
Rattata-Alola 0
Spearow 0
Goldeen +Spe
Growlithe +Spe
Ekans +Spe
Kabuto +Spe

Goldeen 0
Growlithe 0
Ekans 0
Kabuto 0
Dratini +Spe
Bulbasaur +Spe
Magnemite +Spe
Seel +Spe

Tier 4 (10-11)

Dratini 0
Bulbasaur 0
Magnemite 0
Seel 0

Drowzee 0
Sandshrew 0
Sandshrew-Alola 0
Shellder 0
Exeggcute 0
Koffing 0
Oddish +Spe
Paras +Spe

T5 (<10)

Shellder -Spe
Oddish 0
Paras 0
Grimer-Alola 0
Rhyhorn 0

Jigglypuff 0
Slowpoke 0

Jigglypuff -Spe
Here's the old thread in case you want to read that

nobody else (at the moment)

We have a channel for the meta in the Let's Go Discord if you're interested in that. To play the format, you can challenge your opponent with /challenge [user] gen7letsgoou @@@ !!Adjust Level = 5, -All Pokemon, +LC, -Omanyte, -Dragon Rage, -Sonic Boom.
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Alright! Time to talk about some of the new discoveries I alluded to. They'll be placed on the VR once I get a council together- like last time, this will probably just consist of the most interested and active players as I can't really afford to be picky.

Level: 5
Adamant / Jolly Nature
- Double-Edge
- Quick Attack
- Double Kick
- Iron Tail / Bite / Reflect
No, this isn't the fully evolved Starter Eevee. Regular Eevee is still pretty good though! It fulfils a similar role to Alolan Rattata, trading a point of speed, U-Turn, and a great secondary STAB for significantly better bulk and useful coverage in Double Kick that allows it to OHKO Alolan Sandshrew. Its last slot has two main options; Iron Tail is somewhat unreliable but lets Eevee deal heavy damage to Rhydon, while Bite lets Eevee reliably dispatch of Gastly. Reflect can also be ran in order to help Eevee and its teammates take powerful hits from the likes of Rhyhorn and Alolan Rattata.

Level: 5
Naive Nature
- Fire Blast
- Dragon Pulse
- Thunder Punch
- Brick Break / Will-O Wisp
Charmander is a potent mixed attacker with great coverage, distinguishing it from the statistically superior Ponyta who lacks in that department. Thunder Punch covers Staryu and other Water-types, Dragon Pulse covers Dratini and is a generally solid neutral move to reliably hit Fire resistant Pokemon like Rhyhorn, and Brick Break clears the ever-present screens while also securing an OHKO on Alolan Rattata. All of this makes Charmander very difficult to switch in on if it finds a good opportunity to hit the field, but one should consider whether their team needs Charmander's coverage before choosing it over Ponyta.

Level: 5
Adamant Nature
- Aqua Jet
- Rock Slide
- Leech Life / Waterfall
- Stealth Rock
Kabuto hasn't been used much but has potential to be one of the best Stealth Rock users thanks to its positive type matchup against other Stealth Rock users, great priority that helps versus many foes including the extremely prominent Diglett, and coverage that lets it notably destroy Exeggcute. There isn't really much else to say about it- it packs a lot of utility while being difficult to check, making it more than worthy of a good ranking.

Level: 5
Adamant Nature
- Crabhammer
- X-Scissor
- Superpower / Facade
- Brick Break
Krabby hasn't been tested yet, but it's got a lot of potential. With a plethora of physical Pokemon throughout the meta, and several being weak to Water, Krabby can be used to check and easily KO most of them with its great Defense and Attack. It also has strong coverage for the likes of Exeggcute and Alolan Sandshrew.

Another thing! As it's extremely annoying to obtain LC-legal Pokemon through Pokemon GO, the main method for obtaining them, I decided to take a look into which legal Pokemon could be caught at Level 5 or lower in-game. This results in a very small metagame, consisting of 21 Pokemon (three of which are Caterpie, Magikarp, and Weedle). I'm calling it No-Go LC! Absolutely not a serious meta, but one that's potentially fun to mess around with. Here are some really basic resources that I might update.
Bellsprout, Bulbasaur, Caterpie, Charmander, Clefairy, Ekans, Geodude, Magikarp, Mankey, Nidoran-F, Nidoran-M, Oddish, Paras, Pidgey, Pikachu, Poliwag, Rattata, Sandshrew, Spearow, Weedle, Zubat
15: Pikachu, Poliwag
14: Magikarp
13: Charmander, Mankey, Rattata, Spearow
12: Ekans, Pidgey, Zubat
11: Bulbasaur, Caterpie, Nidoran-M, Weedle
10: Bellsprout, Clefairy, Nidoran-F, Sandshrew
9: Oddish
8: Geodude, Paras
I wrote this pretty late at night, and then finished in the morning, apologies in advance for spelling and grammar errors, as well as formatting inconsistencies. I also probably called staryu starmie at some point.

Thanks to Eve , CasualPokePlayer , but mostly my fren I-frame the world, I was able to get a dozen or so games done with different teams and experienced a plethora of MUs.
So after this, I wanted to post some thoughts on some pokemon in this tier. Some of these might be good observations, probably not, but it occurred to me that it's not obvious to the casual onlooker how the tier works and what mons beat whom etc.

figured I'd organize this somewhat, so these are what I've been thinking about the rockers in the tier. Because there is no removal in Let's Go, there's really no point in not having a rocker, and the portion of turns per game where someone switches is very impressive when compared to LGPE OU or other generations, so they typically get a lot of value.

Sandshrew alola has the bulk to get up rocks without too much stress, and lots of other utility. It has a very varied movepool that let's you counterpick specific things and compress a lot of roles. It has coverage, setup options, and STAB priority, which is always nice to have in conjunction with other priority on the team. Ice shard notably hits diglet, with a chance to deal 100% even with no boosting nature. It even has creative options like toxic or mirror coat, which can be used to lure in and blow away a pokemon that usually would have nothing to fear from attacking sandshrew, like staryu. My main issue with sandshrew is it's typing, because while being a steel type is rare and valuable, steel ice is still horrendous. It's weak to ground, so can't comfortably set up rocks against other common rockers, and is blown away by practically any mon with fighting coverage. Not resisting rocks hinders it's ability to check a specific pokemon like Exeggcute multiple times too.
Adamant or Nature
In descending viability imo
- Stealth Rock
- Ice Shard
- Earthquake
- Swords Dance
- Ice Punch
- Mirror Coat
- Iron Tail

:ss/rhyhorn: Rhyhorn is another option for a rocker. It's type is pretty polarizing, often being very valuable or pretty sucky, so make sure that you're not stacking weaknesses with other mons when you add it to your team. While lacking priority and setup, rhyhorn has much, much stronger initial attacks with it's higher attack and higher power STABs and coverage, as well as more physical bulk, being the most physically bulky pokemon in the tier. Definitely is by no means outclassed by sandshrew-a or vice versa, it's a sidegrade option that depends on your comp.
Adamant or Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Megahorn
:ss/sandshrew: yeah... this guy. As far as I can tell there's little reason to use this pokemon over rhyhorn. Its biggest claim to fame is not being weak to ground, but in many cases taking around 50% from something doesn't give more value then taking 90%, it's still a 2HKO. Sandshrew doesn't resist anything that it's competition don't, doesn't have priority like it's cousin, and is outclassed offensively by rhydon in every way. I guess it has SD but good luck using it with that base 40 speed.

:ss/kabuto: Eve already talked about this guy but I was going to anyway because this is my favorite rocker in the tier. Kabuto has very high attack and defense with middling other stats, but it lets it accomplish what it needs too. The defense lets it live a plethora of things when at full to get up rocks, aqua jet is STAB and comes from a base 80 attack pokemon, this can be used in lead situations to force out diglet for free rocks, or late game priority to help take down something like voltorb, or nuke diglet. It also has leech life, which is good mainly for Exeggcute, but also has good neutral coverage. Water and bug coverage can be difficult to switch into if you're forcing a switch with ajet, especially with water types like staryu not wanting to get chipped so heavily by a strong rock slide either. Not much depth to kabuto, I'll repost the standard set.
Level: 5
Adamant Nature
- Aqua Jet
- Rock Slide
- Leech Life / Waterfall
- Stealth Rock

The big three
this is how I transition into talking about the 3 dominant pokemon in the meta, because diglett falls under both of these categories. If there is a pokemon with stealth rock that i did not mention, it either means you can tell it's garbage from a mile away(geodude forms) or I just have not used or fought it(cubone, clefairy).

:ss/diglett: This shouldn't be your first pick for a rocker, but if you're role compressing then it can work in a pinch. While not bulky enough to be a popular rocker, diglett is one of the most important pokemon in the meta. It outspeeds the entire unboosted tier sans voltorb, and typically wins exchanges with voltorb, due to its type. It has strong STAB to make up for its low attack and can do large amounts to staryu, letting it become a great wincon once mons that can live a hit are whittled. Its always great to have this mon, because it does so many things in one, outspeeding the star, dealing with voltorb, breaking, sweeping, and priority. Diglett has little to think about when it comes to moves, EQ is a given, rock slide is run for flinch chance and the 1 viable bird in the tier, sucker doesn't compete with much else. Toxic would be rarely clicked, facade or headbutt could be a VERY situational gimmick, protect could win vs a booming voltorb. Mainly its 4 move should be sub, as if they sack a pokemon or click a non attacking move(or a move that does not break the sub, like tbolt or rock slide) sub will give you huge rewards, with them not being able to revenge kill you immediately with priority or a pokemon that wins 1v1.
Level: 5
Happiness: 70
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Sucker Punch
- Substitute/Stealth Rock
:ss/staryu: Staryu have good things good things make it good. Thaz it. This pokemon has 2 weaknesses, is outsped by 2 viable pokemon, has an above average attacking stack, augmented by a way stronger then usual STAB with hydro pump, has the quintessential best coverage in the game with ice beam and tbolt, and has above average 55 base defenses, which are made more valuable with its access to both screens, and recover. It 2HKOs the entire tier, and only needs prediction for a handful of rarely run pokemon. It's very unlikely that you will choose pokemon for your team 6 times and all of those mons would preform better then a staryu would in it's place. The 2 drawbacks I can think of is
A: It's heavily prepped for, if you're fighting a team that staryu has a super above average matchup in, you're probably not playing a serious opponent.
B: Hydro pump is a fickle mistress, leading to staryu being a suboptimal wincon compared to the faster members of the big 3 at times.
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hydro Pump/Surf
- Ice Beam/Blizzard
- Thunderbolt/Thunder
- Recover/light screen/reflect
if you want staryu to be able to do specific things like OHKO opposing staryu, Exeggcute, kabuto, and more, you can opt for less accurate coverage options, on the flip side, if you want it to be a more reliable wallbreaker for other pokemon, or to be counted on as a wincon more often, you can run surf. Pump+traditional boltbeam is recommended though.
:SS/voltorb: Voltorb is, in my opinion and experience, the worst of the big 3 pokemon of the tier. However it's still insanely important because it has a very good thing to brag about: it is the only pokemon in the game to outspeed and OHKO starmie. While maybe not to the levels of staryu and diglett, voltorb is also a great pokemon in it's own right, grass types are easily pressured by ground type(cough) and water type (COUGH) attackers, and ground types are often chipped when they try to get up rocks. This make lategame voltorb very common as a win condition. Unfortunately for it, it has a very crowded but lackluster movepool, and choosing its 4 moves can be important to how viable it is in a match.
Timid(other if explosion)
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Foul Play
- Light Screen
- Reflect
Other viable moves: explosion, taunt, twave, toxic, protect, mirror coat.

Setup sweepers
3 viable pokemon I've had experience with, typically used to wallbreak for the big 3, or vice versa, as they can win once chip is dealt.
Contrary to what the team-builder filter claims, almost every viable pokemon in LGPE LC has both reflect and light screen. I can't think of someone who does not have it. This means that the move can be teched on to any of the 6 pokemon on your team, making it pretty prevalent. Screen usage and strategy can heavily complicate an endgame, as you often will need 1 up to allow your pokemon to not get revenge killed by another. This is worth putting here just cuz setup sweepers like doduo take advantage of screens more then most, because swords dance and priority enable it to flexibly set up in front of a pokemon that can't kill it, and then deal with something that CAN with a boosted quick attack. Same goes with any other setup mon. Setup pokemon enjoying damage reduction is not a new concept, it is just amplified by how insanely widespread screens are.

:ss/shellder: With scarfers and webs not existing, there is no way to alter speed besides boosting, which can make revenge killing mons like shellder a pain, as they also get to run -speed and free-use mix sets. Shellder is very physically bulky with weaknesses to typically special types, which means the mons it CAN set up on, it does so easily. Despite its 1 dimensional moveset and gameplan, shellder is still really good and synergizes well with staryu. It runs pump or surf by preference, ice beam as its best coverage, and either ice shard to beat out sucker punch and provide more utility, or self destruct to nuke a shared check it has with another mon.
Level: 5
Happiness: 70
Brave Nature
- Shell Smash
- Hydro Pump
- Ice Beam
- Self-Destruct/Ice Shard

:ss/dratini: (wait why is this mon so cute aaaaaa) Unlike shellder, dratini cannot boost it's attacking stats, it's just an agility sweeper. However, dratini has AMAZING defensive typing, being weak to practically nonexistent types in the tier and having a boatload of resists. It also has well rounded defensive stats and a muuuuch higher attacking stat then shellder. Dratini relies on its team to weaken pokemon that could otherwise live a hit like staryu, and then set up on basically anything and win with STAB outrage in the endgame. It has great special coverage that it uses out of lack of anything else to use, or facade if you're feeling gimmicky
Ability: Shed Skin
Level: 5
Happiness: 70
Brave Nature
- Agility
- Outrage
- Flamethrower/Fire Blast
- Thunderbolt

:ss/doduo: Doduo is another one of my personal favorites. It is the only viable pokemon immune to ground, so just having it on your team makes your opponent work and think harder, it has unique offensive typing, and it got the move jump kick, which is the PERFECT coverage to tie its moves together. Doduo has a well above average attack stat, STAB quick attack, and 2 setup options. Because it has access to priority, SD is the preferred setup move, but agility can bop teams that only have offensive counterplay. Between its good stab in drill peck, rock and steel covered by jump kick, and quick attack hitting faster mons, the bird can be a menace to switch into.
Doduo Drill Peck vs. Staryu: 12-15 (63.1 - 78.9%) Doduo Quick Attack vs. Staryu: 7-9 (36.8 - 47.3%)
Because of this, doduo is very flexable, and countless times I have either used him midgame to break walls and force switches, or at the end, setting up to +2 and killing the weakened final fast pokemon with STAB quick attack. As for moves, Doduo wants to always run it's 3 main moves, with a setup move as last. This would either be SD, sub, or agility, in that order. Substitute can ease prediction and take advantage of status. Adamant loses out on some important pokemon, but you're using priority on the MOST important pokemon anyway, so it's preference.
Jolly or Adamant Nature
- Drill Peck
- Jump Kick
- Quick Attack
- Swords Dance/Substitute/Agility

Defensive Pokemon

LGPE LC in my experience does not have traditional defensive pokemon. It's not reasonable in this tier to have a pivot or a wall that can comfortably switch in to pokemon like staryu, rhyhorn, doduo, rattata-a to an extent. However that doesn't mean defensive counterplay doesn't exist. Using pokemon with types that let it soft check certain pokemon, (like a voltorb switching in to a magnemite then getting up a light screen) and bulky pokemon like Rhyhorn and Eevee that can live a neutral hit easily and hit back, are essential to not getting overrun. So although I consider pokemon like krabby and eevee defensive pokemon, the following 3 pokemon are the more "dedicated" defensive pokemon that I've played with and against.

:ss/koffing: koffing is not very similar to its usual roles in little cup, mainly because it loses out on its ground immunity, but it still is able to check many many physical pokemon. It has the bulk to take on many hits, like +2 drill peck from doduo for example, and the movepool to support its team pretty effectively. It has clear smog/haze for emergency setup removal, status like taunt toxic and wisp to keep the opponent from doing what they want, and strong STABs, fire coverage, and explosion for an offensive presence.
Level: 5
Happiness: 70
IVs: 0 Atk
- Will-O-Wisp
- Sludge Bomb
- Flamethrower
- Clear Smog/Tbolt
:ss/tentacool: Tentacool was something we used a little too often for how good it is, it's not a staple but it's pretty cool. It is the 2nd most specially defensive pokemon in LGPE LC, but unlike drowzee it has a pretty good move selection. Resisting Staryu STAB is pretty valuable, and although Thunderbolt normally does 60%, making tenta not a counter, it still comfortably wins the 1v1. Tenta has some good STABs, coverage, and mega drain, which lets it win vs staryu and stay healthy easier. It runs either timid or modest, because a spedef boosting nature does not change the damage it takes from staryu. It can be pretty hard to switch into tenta, letting it give you a lot of momentum. (oh, mega drain has 75 base power in this tier, just btw)
Level: 5
Happiness: 70
Timid or Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hydro Pump
- Ice Beam
- Mega Drain
- Sludge Bomb

:ss/Exeggcute: Exeggcute is above and beyond the best grass type in the tier, this lets it switch in pretty well to diglett and voltorb, as sucker punch will usually be futile with the former and Exeggcute dodges the 2HKO on foul play for the latter. 60/80 physical bulk is very impressive, letting it live even x4 effective moves and it also has access to sleep powder, making your opponent have to give up momentum and choose a pokemon to be temporarily put out of commission. It isn't slacking on the special offense stat either, and often runs modest because it has damn good coverage and modest maximizes the hp gain from mega drain. You can also run teleport, but there are not too many pokemon that you 100% wall, so you won't have as many chances to use it as you think.
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Sleep Powder
- Psychic
- Mega Drain
- Sludge Bomb/leech seed/teleport

There's several other pokemon that I have used, and many that I have not, but that's all I'm writing for now cuz I have to go out. All in all a pretty fun tier, not a bad choice for when you want to play a game you know won't be much longer then 20 turns max. If you want teams, or have made a team and want to battle, ask Collette#7737
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