Gen 1 Old Generations Little Cup Discussion - Currently has threatlist for RBY only

Destiny Warrior

also known as Darkwing_Duck
is a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
This thread is for discussion of Little Cup in Generations 1, 2 and 3.

Generation 1

RBY LC in Generation 1 is a very fast-paced metagame. RBY LC necessitates either the uses of glitches, or allowing tradeback moves. This post assumes tradebacks are allowed, since mainstream RBY OU does not permit even the “safe” glitch Pokemon to be used.

Before we proceed to look at the Pokemon, here’s a list of all the users of Quick Attack in the tier:-

Pidgey, Rattata, Pikachu, Vulpix, Eevee

With only 5 users of Quick Attack in the tier, there is an increased emphasis on Speed. The faster you are, the more likely you can strike hard before getting hit yourself. Speaking of hitting hard, let’s look at the Explosion users of the tier:-

Geodude, Grimer, Shellder, Gastly, Voltorb, Exeggcute, Koffing

The only Pokemon in RBY who get Selfdestruct but not Explosion are Snorlax and Mewtwo, who are both illegal in Little Cup so can be ignored.Explosion is a verypowerful move in RBY, with effectively 340 Base Power, and in LC where stats are so low, Explosion will net a KO against anything that does not resist it. Rhyhorn and Geodude are good bets to resist it, thought he prize would obviously have to go to Gastly, who possesses an important normal immunity, and a less useful fighting immunity.

Another interesting move is Agility. As usual, let’s check out the users of this move in RBY LC:-

Pidgey, Pikachu, Growlithe, Ponyta, Doduo, Horsea, Goldeen, Porygon, Dratini

Agility acts as a check to paralysis, and to boot makes these Pokemon outspeed every other Pokemon in the entire metagame!

Now, you’re likely tired of all the hide tags right? Well, let’s move on to the individual Pokemon!


Abra is one of the Pokemon that hugely benefits from tradebacks, and LC gives it a chance to showcase its talents. With Psychic, Ice Punch and ThunderPunch, Abra can hit every Pokemon in the tier for at least neutral damage. For the last moveslot, it can pick betweenBarrier and Counter to either boost its subpar Defense or for a surprise kill on one of the Physical attackers in the tier. Substitute is another move it may run, which can act like a buffer to ease prediction.

Bellsprout is not a very significant Pokemon in RBY LC, with its niche being its access to double status. For risk-takers, Bellsprout can use Swords Dance/Wrap/Razor Leaf/Stun Spore to attempt a Wrap sweep. It is very vulnerable to misses and to faster Pokemon. It also has Growth, but only Grass type moves to abuse it. Invites Gastly in.

Bulbasaur is another undistinguished Pokemon. With mediocre stats and not much of a movepool, Bulbasaur is usually an invitation for Gastly to switch in.

Joke Pokemon.

Charmander isn’t overly useful, being a Fire type, but with its access to Swords Dance and Rock Slide, it can make a small attempt at cleaning up with a Mix Swords Dance set. Don’t expect it to do too much though, its offenses are fairly average.

Clefairy is a fairly potent threat in RBY LC. While it only has 14/15 offenses, STAB Mega Kick, Fire Blast and Blizzard cover for that very well. With access to Amnesia as well, Clefairy can quickly shoot its Special to the moon and will destroy close to everything. The hitch? 13 Speed.

With the lack of items in RBY, Cubone is sadly outclassed by Sandshrew. Cubone does possess quite a few nice Special Attacks, but it is too slow to realize the full benefits of Swords Dance.

Diglett is the go-to for revenge killing. With 19 Speed, it is the fastest unboosted Pokemon in the metagame. It also has Slash, to blast through Reflect users. 15 Atk restricts it from outright sweeping however.

Doduo is a member of the Agility club, but has a fairly small movepool. STAB Drill Peck and Double-Edge sting, but not when they’re hitting a Rhydon, and are your only options. Doduo has Quick Attack as well, for niche situations.

Another member of the Agility club. Dratini has quite an expansive movepool. This includes Hyper Beam, so Dratini makes for a decent lategame sweeper. It also has access to Wrap, to act like a mini-Dragonite. If Dratini gets a free turn, you can be sure you will be in for a fun ride. If you are the user that is.

Drowzee is basically a bulkier, weaker Abra. To compensate, it has access to Hypnosis and Amnesia, making it a viable choice. Drowzee does not require to run ThunderPunch, unlike Abra, as it can simply put Slowpoke to sleep and then boost up with Amnesia.

Member of the Quick Attack club, but it is an open invitation for Gastly to come in. It literally cannot touch Gastly with any move it knows.

Ekans is a very uncommon sight in RBY LC. It has some very useful moves, like Glare + Wrap, but without Agility or high Speed or any kind of boosting move, it just lacks the oomph to sweep teams.

Exeggcute primarly garners usage from its ability to hard counter Pikachu. Exeggcute is also an Exploder, which means that there is no safe switch in to it. Rocks get Mega Drained, and Gastly gets hit by Psychic, so it does not get stopped by anything. For additional unpredictability, Exeggcute has access to double status.

Gastly acts as a primary Explosion cushion in the metagame, with extremely limited coverage. Outside of this, Gastly can explode, and has Mega Drain to cover Geodude and Rhyhorn.

Geodude’s main role is to soak up Explosion. It does not get very much usage, because of Rhyhorn outclassing it. Its only niche is its access to Explosion.

Goldeen has Agility, combined with STAB, Double-Edge and Blizzard, but mediocre Special Attack can hold it back at times. Requires cautious use.

Grimer is another member of Explosion Inc. Grimer only has Poison and Normal attacks to go off his 17 Atk, but Fire Blast, Ice Punch and Thunderbolt are certainly nice additions to its movepool. Grimer lacks boosting moves, but with its high HP can take a hit and KO back.

Growlithe is a member of the Agility club, but just like Doduo, it has problems with Rhyhorn and Geodude. It can’t hit them even neutrally, so they can force Growlithe out easily. They have to worry about the burn chance of Growlithe’s Fire-type moves however.

Horsea is another member of the Agility club, and the Pokemon it gets walled by are Water types. With its only option for them being Double-Edge, Slowpoke will be able to come in and start its setup on Horsea. Once Water types are removed from the equation, Horsea makes for a great lategame cleaner.

Jigglypuff is entirely outclassed by Clefairy. While it has a higher HP stat, it lacks Amnesia and has poorer other stats in general. Not really worth using.

Kabuto cannot truly use its STABs, with its only Rock STAB being Rock Throw and mediocre SpA. Kabuto has to rely on its weak Special side, and as a Water type I would recommend Horsea or Slowpoke over this.

A member of Exploders Inc., Koffing also has a usable Special and excellent Defense. Koffing plays very well as an anti-physical. Koffing has access to Fire and Electric type attacks outside of Poison STAB, so it is bait for Dratini and Rocks to switch in. Use this to your advantage by chain switching.

Tradebacks get Krabby Amnesia, so it finally doesn’t have to flop around like a fish out of water. After an Amnesia, Krabby has dangerous 20/24 offenses, allowing it to attempt a mix sweep with Body Slam, Surf and Ice Beam. Paralysis support is highly recommended.

Machop has fairly limited coverage, but between Submission and Rock Slide it hits everything neutrally. For the last 2 slots, it can run 2 of Light Screen, Meditate, Earthquake and Body Slam. Its Special is slightly below par to use the Special moves it has.

Joke Pokemon.

Magnemite is a strong one-dimensional attacker. It has Agility and STAB Electric moves off 19 Special. Epic win right? WRONG. Magnemite is utterly walled by Rhyhorn and Geodude, and is thus restricted to be a bulky revenge killer. You won’t see much of this guy.

Mankey plays almost exactly like Machop, with the same moveset. The difference is that Mankey does not learn Light Screen, but that doesn’t matter too much since Mankey is frail in any case. I wouldn’t recommend Mankey because it lacks bulk, and it can’t do much that Machop can’t as well.

Breaking away from the mold of later generations, in RBY, Meowth is primarily an Amnesia sweeper. It can also function as a Sleep lead, but Meowth won’t do too much damage unboosted.

Nidoran F
Only saving point is Lovely Kiss. Outclased by the male version.

Nidoran M
Lovely Kiss + Amnesia is sadly illegal. Nidoran M functions as an Amnesia sweeper with Blizzard/Thunderbolt/Reflect to fill out its remaining moveslots.

Omanyte is far better off than its frossil brethren. Omanyte packs a STAB backed by good Special and Defense, making it naturally bulky. Just don’t keep it out against the Razor Leafers. If you can provide some para support, this makes for an excellent sweeper.

Only has double Powder and Spore going for it. I wouldn’t recommend using this.

Not really worth using IMO. It has Agility, but getting walled by Rocks weakens its case a lot. Quick Attack is another nice incentive, but honestly, Doduo is better than this thing.

The mascot of Pokemon. Pikachu makes for a pretty good Agility sweeper in RBY. The only Pokemon that can stop it outright are Exeggcute and Dratini(the latter can use Pikachu for setting up AgilitWrap as well).

It’s pretty fast, which allows it to use Amnesia decently for a Water type. It can play somewhat similarly to Gen 4’s “BellyWag”, only it isn’t as suicidal. If this gets something asleep, and pulls out an Amnesia, you could be in for some trouble. Especially if it decides to use Psychic and you get unlucky.

Mix sweeper, but that isn’t its most attractive quality. That prizes goes to it having Agility +STAB Fire Spin, which makes for a good sweeping tool. Needs to hope for luck against Rocks.

Another Amnesier. Can we like not have UU here please <_<

Only selling point is Super Fang. It can be used to wear down teams for a sweep by another Pokemon, but it generally isn’t worth the moveslot.

Standard physical tank. Rhyhorn takes and dishes out physical hits. Rhyhorn also beats most Electrics, with the exception of Pikachu. Use one on every team, it checks a load of stuff by merely being there.

Needs a lot of para support. Throw out a Swords Dance and sweep off 34 Attack with Sandshrew. Just don’t ever expose it to Special attacks – it crumbles before them.

Seel is your average Water type. It has decent stats all round, but lacks a particular niche that it can fill.

It has a great Defense stat and Explosion, but not much else. Try not to use it, but if you do, remember to use it as an anti-physical and not a sweeper in its own right.

Tobybro, Little Cup style. Unlike Tobybro, Slowpoke will not be packing recovery or Thunder Wave due to the fast paced nature of the metagame, so it can use 3 attacks to catch more threats. Slowpoke also has a unique niche of being a Water type that Pikachu cannot reliably beat, with access to Earthquake that KOes around 50% of the time.

It has Agility, and Normal and Flying STAB, but not too much else. It gets walled by Rhyhorn, which is a significant drawback.

Pretty much outclassed by Shellder. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Staryu is the only Pokemon with non-Rest recovery in Little Cup, though that doesn’t matter too much. Staryu functions as a Special sweeper, with wide coverage. Staryu can also spread paralysis decently, and should be considered for teams.

With 19 Special and 16 Speed in RBY, Tentacool is built to be a sweeper. It has the coverage, and it also has Reflect to slow down physical assaults striking its mediocre 13 Defense. For the more gimmicky layers, it also has Swords Dance + Wrap. If you use that set, remember to provide ample paralysis support, since Tentacool will go down fast on the physical side.

A variety of status options are what define Venonat. There isn’t much else to Venonat really.

Voltorb is another case similar to Magnemite. It has high speed, but limited coverage. Voltorb’s best hope would be to pray for luck and Mimic a Water-type move, though getting a Water-type to stay in on it is difficult. It also has Explosion, for niche situations.

Similar to Growlithe, Vulpix is walled by Rocks. Burns are probably Vulpix’s best bet to function. It has Fire Spin as well, but sadly no Agility/Growth etc. Use it with paralysis support I guess.

Joke Pokemon.

Zubat has a very limited movepool, and will likely not make too much of a difference to a game. Don’t recklessly switch a Rock into it though; it has Mega Drain.

So there we are! The metagame is pretty interesting, especially with the opening up of tradebacks. Discuss the metagame here!
Despite having no knowledge of the early gens, this seems extremely fun. I'm not entirely sure what would be good, but Pikachu seems awesome (biased opinion)
This looks like a ton of fun, I play a lot of RBY and genuinely enjoy every metagame associated with it. It'd probably be a lot more fun to have moves they recieve in GSC but not in RBY to not be transferred over, but regardless i'll likely give this a try!
Since RBY didn't have breeding, is an RBY LC metagame even feasible? There weren't Heart Scales to learn new moves either. RBY LC mons would have like 2 or 3 moves in their movepools, tops. Everything would only have Tackle and Growl lol. The only way to have this metagame would be to allow GSC tradebacks which is not standard RBY fare...and at that point there's no real difference between RBY LC and GSC LC besides a couple of mechanics tweaks + items.

Agility + Wrap is broken. Same with Amnesia.

Err, I have no idea what else to say.
RBY GSC and Advance metagames would not even be recognizable if our current userbase was around to play them.
Since RBY didn't have breeding, is an RBY LC metagame even feasible? There weren't Heart Scales to learn new moves either. RBY LC mons would have like 2 or 3 moves in their movepools, tops. Everything would only have Tackle and Growl lol. The only way to have this metagame would be to allow GSC tradebacks which is not standard RBY fare...and at that point there's no real difference between RBY LC and GSC LC besides a couple of mechanics tweaks + items.

RBY GSC and Advance metagames would not even be recognizable if our current userbase was around to play them.
It's Tradebacks, but note that GSC had PLENTY of influential mechanics changes, probably more than any other gen. (Agility and Amnesia suck, movepools are more fleshed out, with moves like Shadow Ball added to the fray.) Additionally, even a single new threat, let alone several, can change the course of a metagame. (See also: Gen IV CAP versus Gen IV OU.)

To accuse RBY LC and GSC LC of having no real difference besides a couple of mechanics tweaks + items is a bit flawed. Don't we have to deal with Scyther in Gen II LC?


World's Strongest Fairy
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Since RBY didn't have breeding, is an RBY LC metagame even feasible? There weren't Heart Scales to learn new moves either. RBY LC mons would have like 2 or 3 moves in their movepools, tops. Everything would only have Tackle and Growl lol. The only way to have this metagame would be to allow GSC tradebacks which is not standard RBY fare...and at that point there's no real difference between RBY LC and GSC LC besides a couple of mechanics tweaks + items.
It's not really the movepools that are the problem; a good number of the good moves are TMs anyway. It's more the availability of certain mons at level 5 that forces GSC tradebacks to be used. And while all the breeding would occur in GSC, those mechanics differences and mechanics tweaks, in addition to the lack of other things only usable in GSC, actually stand to really make it different from GSC LC. Not like it matters, since all of 5 people will probably play in these old gen LC tiers, but still. It's not really all that similar.

EDIT: Ninja'd. Kinda. Eh, w/e.

Destiny Warrior

also known as Darkwing_Duck
is a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
@j7r: That's the reason I've allowed tradebacks really. Also, there are still pretty big differences, like mechanics(Hyper Beam, Wrap etc.), and a load of new mons(28 to be exact) which change the metagame significantly. Also, items make a big difference.


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I can't really speak much for GSC and RBY LC, but the PO server did add ADV LC a few weeks ago. Omastar is a complete beast in it(not sure if it has been banned yet) and no choice scarfs make speed even more important.
Mankey learned Meditate

Vulpix can get Hypnosis as a GSC tradeback.

Bellsprout can get Lovely Kiss as a NYPC

Cubone, can get Rock Slide

Exeggucute doesn't get Mega Drain in RBY, but in GSC. I think Exeggucute is just a Psychic type and not a dual Grass type.

Ponyta get Double Kick also, and Hypnosis
I have a list of legit movesets and tradeback moves for RBY, and I'm working on GSC, I have them all in my PC on my pokemon Stadium 2 game, if anyone would like to see it?
Wrap is too broken. We are talking about +10% per wrap hit; almost 20% from CH.

As for tradebacks, when I played it, we allowed all moves learned at lv 100, ignoring breeding mechanics, but with GSC trades still banned.

Best mons are Diglett, Staryu, and Exeggcute imo. Then, I used three of Abra, Gastly, Poliwag, Voltorb, Slowpoke, Doduo, Rhyhorn, Meowth...
After playing a couple of matches with Little Cuppers, I've found out that Wrap is broken, I think the two big broken Pokemon in the tier are Meowth and Dratini. Dratini can ravage through everything (iss wrapped my Rhyhorn from 100% - 0%) and Meowth can basically Hypnosis any threats and Amnesia / kill everything.

Destiny Warrior

also known as Darkwing_Duck
is a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
I will agree that Wrap is broken from experience. It's luck based, but it probably is a bit too unhealthy for the metagame.

Meowth, not so much. I've played against Meowth myself, and I think a PAR lead deals with it pretty well. Voltorb in particular outspeeds it, so you can T-Wave it down and cripple it permanently. The thing with dealing with Meowth is, you have to play extremely aggressively, and not give it the breathing space it needs. Keep the offensive tempo up, and go for paralysing it first. Then another Pokemon can crush it quickly.

I find in RBY LC, leads work somewhat similarly to OU. You try to sprea da particular status, and then get moving. Don't try to stay in to win lead matchups; they're honestly not worth the effort. just do its job(PARing / Sleeping something), and get the hell out of there. Amnesia Meowth needs to Hypnosis first(60 acc only, chances are there for you to wake up at once), then Amnesia the next turn, and then rely on not getting walled(Slash + Tbolt gets walled by Rhyhorn, Tbolt + Bubblebeam by a grass-type, Slash + Bubblebeam has issues with Water-types who hit hard).

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