The Little Cup C&C Process [PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING]

Berks

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Welcome to Little Cup C&C! Also known as Contributions & Corrections, this forum is the workshop behind every Smogon Little Cup analysis you can find, from Abra to Zorua and everything in between! C&C is an excellent place to start your Smogon career, as with a little metagame knowledge and some writing time you can establish yourself as a valuable part of the LC C&C community! Since you're here, I think it's safe to assume you're considering writing some analyses; just follow this guide, and you'll be a C&C wizard in no time!

[PRE-ANALYSIS CHECKLIST]
  • Have you played LC before?
Now, don't get me wrong here, you don't have to be the Greatest LC Player Of All Time™ to write an analysis. However, it'll be easier on everyone involved if you have some semblance of experience playing Little Cup. This will help you provide your own insight on the Pokemon you're writing about and will also make the work of the QC and GP teams much easier.
  • Have you ever used the Pokemon you want to write about?
Once again, I'm not suggesting you spend hours on end on the LC ladder mapping out the exact scenarios and optimal options for any given Pokemon. Just do yourself (and us) a favor and learn a bit about the Pokemon you're writing about before you ask for an analyses. For example, some things that seem apparent, such as the claim that Archen can beat Fighting-types, are not always true in practice. If you have experience with Archen before you try to write about it, you'll know that to be true, and you'll be able to write accordingly.
  • Does the Pokemon really need an analysis done?
This question is asked at the expense of two different scenarios: unviable Pokemon and analysis revamps. The first one is relatively simple, as if the Pokemon you want to write an analysis for appears on this list then it's no dice. The Pokemon listed there are either banned from Little Cup and are therefore unusable, or they have been deemed to be completely useless, perhaps due to poor stats, horrible typing or movepool, or any other severely hindering factor.

Analysis revamps are more of a gray area. Oftentimes the release of new main-series games or the general progression of the metagame will make the information contained in a certain analysis outdated or irrelevant. Pokemon such as Snivy and Pancham that received huge boosts from the release of ORAS qualified for revamped analyses due to the ridiculous tools the new game brought them. Similarly, if a Pokemon is severely held back by, say, Pawniard, and suddenly Pawniard is banned from LC, that Pokemon may become more viable and may therefore qualify for a revamp. If you think a Pokemon really needs a revamp, then ask about it in your reservation post (explained soon!).

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If you've read through the checklist above and still want to write an analysis, then good for you! You're ready to step into the wonderful world of LC C&C. This list will give you a step-by-step process for consistently creating a solid, informational analysis with guaranteed less unneeded effort and significantly fewer instances of crying in the corner!

THE STEP-BY-STEP, END-ALL BE-ALL GUIDE TO LC C&C ANALYSES

STEP ONE: Reserving Your Analysis

You, a humble user, have taken a liking to LC, particularly because Bunnelby is your favorite Pokemon; let's say you've been playing LC for long enough to know that Bunnelby has been doing some serious work on your teams! You have also decided that you would like to become involved in the best side of Little Cup: Contributions and Corrections! The time has come: you've tested your trusty Bunnelby too many times to count, and, after looking around for an ORAS LC Bunnelby analysis and finding nothing, you decide to get the Bunnelby ball rolling!

The first step to securing an analysis is reservation, which takes place in this thread. The process is easy! Simply make a post outlining 1) the Pokemon of which you'd like to write an analysis; 2) why the Pokemon deserves an analysis; and 3) any possible issues you may have with promptly beginning work on your analysis. The second part of this step is the most crucial one. It is essential that you address any particular strengths or niches that warrant your Pokemon receiving an analysis in detail, so that the QC team will be able to understand and therefore approve your reservation. No need to go too far in depth, though; you'll dive deeper later!

You'll know your analysis is approved when an LC C&C moderator (currently Corporal Levi and Mambo) edits your original reservation post with an approving message. If, however, you come back to your post to find your reservation has been rejected, don't sweat it! It may be that your reservation post failed to adequately let us know about the potential Bunnelby has; in this case, it would be appropriate to make another post for clarification. It may be, however, that the Pokemon you suggested simply does not have enough of a niche to warrant an analysis. While said Pokemon may not be bad enough to be on the list of Unviable Pokemon found in this thread, it could be either outclassed or simply ineffective, to the point that an analysis on it would be pointless. However, Bunnelby happens to have an incredible niche in Huge Power, so your analysis reservation was approved!


STEP TWO: Creating a WIP Thread using TTO

Now that you've got an approved analysis under your belt, it's finally time for you to create an actual thread! Make your way to this forum and locate the blue "Post New Thread" button below your username and alerts. Now click that button!

You now need to create a TTO for your analysis thread. "But, Berks," you ask, "what on earth is a TTO?" I'm glad you asked! TTO stands for Tag, Title, and Outline; it is the very most basic necessities for creating a thread in C&C. The first step is to Tag your thread; this is done using the drop-down menu next to the "Thread Title" box. Select "WIP" to demonstrate that your thread is a Work In Progress—it's nowhere near ready for any other tags yet—and before you know it, you've successfully tagged your thread! That's T number one in the bag, soul brother!

The next T stands for Title, which will be used to identify all of what Pokemon you are analyzing, whether or not your analysis is a revamp, and, later, how much progress your analysis has made. For now, however, your title should simply be the name of your Pokemon: Bunnelby. However, if you just so happened to be revamping the Bunnelby analysis instead of creating a new one, you would add the [Revamp] tag to your title as follows: Bunnelby [Revamp].

That's enough on your Title for now. The piece of the TTO puzzle is Outline! Fortunately for you, C&C analyses follow a rigid format, so all you have to do for this step is copy the outline located in this code box:
Code:
[OVERVIEW]

*Generalize what the Pokemon does in the metagame and as a whole and why you should or shouldn't consider using it on your teams.*

[SET]
name: SET NAME
move 1:
move 2:
move 3:
move 4:
item:
ability:
nature:
evs:

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

Describe what the moves on the set do.

Set Details
========

Describe the other aspects of the set such as what the EVs do and nature/item.

Usage Tips
========

Describe how to use the Pokemon in question.

Team Options
========

Describe some teammates that would be a good idea to pair with this Pokemon.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
=============

List some options for the Pokemon user that are plausible but not always recommended due to either being not consistent enough or too outclassed by other Pokemon in the metagame.

Checks and Counters
===================

**Insert Threat Here**: Describe why the Pokemon is a threat.
and paste it directly into your thread! This will be sufficient for your outline and will allow you to continue work on your analysis, so head to Step Three!

NOTE: Some users like to put a picture of their Pokemon above their outline, along with other extras such as humorous quotes or QC / GP progress trackers. While these are not necessary by any means, they add fun elements to otherwise boring threads. Keep in mind, however, that these extras must go above your outline; anything below the [OVERVIEW] tag is part of the official analysis.


STEP THREE: Bulleted Lists and Actual Content

So you've got yourself a thread, huh? Congratulations! Now comes the hard part: it's finally time to begin adding content to your analysis. Hopefully your time spent using Bunnelby granted you some valuable insight into the Pokemon's inner workings, because it's time to bring to bear all the knowledge you've acquired! Don't worry too much, though, as there's a trick to writing analyses that makes them easy as cake! I like to refer to the technique as the "This-Means-That" Statement; this section of the guide will detail this process for you, and then it will show you exactly how to apply the This-Means-That to each individual section of the analysis skeleton.

The most important factor in C&C analysis is explanation, in that the goal of these analyses is to adequately explain the abilities, niches, and potential of any given Pokemon. This step in the analysis process focuses on bringing out specific, concise statements about the Pokemon's moveset, team options, and so on. It is for this reason that we first write up analyses in bullet list form! What I have found to be a consistently effective method for conveying information in an easy and concise way is the This-Means-That formula, which is as follows:

FORMULA: This fact means that this idea is true about this Pokemon
EXAMPLE: Access to Huge Power makes Bunnelby a threatening wallbreaker.

As you can see, the formula allows a good amount of room for flexibility in phrasing and such, but the basic premise remains the same no matter the order of the pieces. Using the This-Means-That statement is the most effective and simple method I've used in writing bullet lists! However, using it requires two things:
  1. that you can create a list of significant attributes your Pokemon has—for example, that Bunnelby has access to the powerful ability Huge Power.
  2. that you can accurately assess what makes those attributes significant—in the same example, that said access makes Bunnelby a threatening wallbreaker.
Now you know the basic component of writing bullet lists: simply make This-Means-That statements until you run out of significant attributes your Pokemon possesses! Now, while this sounds fairly simple in theory, it can get a little bit more extensive in practice. As such, the rest of STEP THREE will go over exactly what information needs to go where when filling out a WIP thread.

STEP THREE AND A HALF: Filling Out the WIP Skeleton

Things to include in the [OVERVIEW]:
  • What does the Pokemon beat? Notable individual Pokemon, groups, or whole playstyles that this Pokemon shuts down are a good starting point. Using the Bunnelby example, it would be good to list that Huge Power makes Bunnelby extremely difficult for defensive builds to handle.
  • Describe what general role the Pokemon takes and perhaps the teamstyles it fits best on. Again, for example, Bunnelby's middling Speed usually relegates it to use of a Choice Scarf, and its poor defensive stats make it a poor fit for defensive teams.
  • What threatens this Pokemon? Notable individual Pokemon, groups, or whole playstyles that shut down this Pokemon are important to note. Bunnelby, for example, has difficulty with Archen and Gastly, as they are faster than Bunnelby and resist its most powerful attacks.
Filling in the [SET]:
  • The set for your Pokemon is usually agreed upon by you and the QC team, either in your initial reservation post or in the WIP thread. Either way, this part is easy! Simply fill in the given blanks, such as move 1: ________ and item: _________ with the first move and item, respectively, and so on.
Filling in the various [SET COMMENTS]:
  • Moves
    • Write one bullet point for each listed move, including slashed moves.
    • These are usually simple descriptions, especially for obvious choices such as STAB attacks, certain status moves, and boosting moves.
    • Other useful things to mention include coverage the move provides against relevant threats and unique attributes to certain moves, such as its high power or Special Attack drop.
    • Remember, the point to focus on in this section is explaining exactly why a player should use the moves listed.
  • Set Details
    • Write one bullet point each for the item, ability, and EV spread (including Nature). If any of the IVs are anything other than 31, write a point for them too.
    • Even if the Pokemon only gets one ability, you still need to write about it! The same goes for simple EV spreads and for simple items or even the lack of an item. The only set details you don't need to write a bullet point for are standard IVs.
  • Usage Tips
    • Describe when in the battle one should use your Pokemon and why one should use it then. For example, Choice Scarf Bunnelby is best suited to the late-game, when its checks are weakened or removed.
    • Describe the role of the Pokemon. Again, for example, Choice Scarf Bunnelby happens to be an excellent late-game cleaner.
    • Add any other details specific to the Pokemon. Bunnelby, for instance, should not be switched into attacks almost ever due to its poor defenses.
  • Team Options
    • Describe groups of Pokemon that partner well with your Pokemon. This includes listing Pokemon with type synergy, offensive synergy, and/or defensive synergy, depending on your Pokemon.
    • As much as possible, be sure to give general categories in order to give the reader an idea of what kind of teammate a Pokemon prefers, leaving them free to experiment on their own.
Filling in the various [STRATEGY COMMENTS]:
  • Other Options
    • This is the place for any potentially viable thing your Pokemon can run that doesn't warrant its own set. This can be the home of niche moves or entire sets; for example, you could list Super Fang and the Agility Bunnelby set in Bunnelby's Other Options.
  • Checks & Counters
    • This is where you list groups of Pokemon that give your Pokemon issues. The categories are tagged as follows: **Group of Pokemon**: and it should be followed by a descriptive paragraph about what makes the group an issue.
Now that you've filled out all your bullet lists, you can officially move into the QC stage. To begin this process, you'll have to update your Tag and Title; your Tag becomes the blue Quality Control tag, and your Title should now be "Bunnelby [QC 0/3]" (or whatever Pokemon you're writing about).

STEP FOUR: The Quality Control (QC) Process

Congratulations! You've officially finished the hard part of writing analyses, and it's all smooth sailing from here! From here on out, you'll be relying on teams of other users to make your analysis better, and the first of those teams is the Quality Control team, or QC for short.

Essentially, the QC team is made up of users who are well acquainted with the LC metagame and the C&C process. They oversee each analysis and make sure that the information being provided in those analyses is accurate and up to date with the metagame. The current list of LC QC members is as follows:
You'll receive your first QC check when one of these users goes over your thread. They will direct you in adding, removing, reordering, and rewording information throughout every section of your analysis; however, it is not expected that they do all the heavy lifting!

Implementing a QC check is pretty cut and dry, as you should simply be following the directions of the QCer. If, however, you disagree with a change suggested by a QCer, it's okay to ask why! You are absolutely entitled to an explanation of changes the QC team is making to your analysis; what you are not entitled to do is disrespect said QCer simply because you disagree with them. Discussion is permitted, even encouraged, but outright dismissal is not.

After you implement each check, it is crucial that you update your title to reflect the number of checks you have received. This is done to alert the QC team to the amount of progress you've made on your analysis, and to let them know whether or not another check is needed.

As soon as you have received all of your checks but one, it's time to write up your analysis!

Note: It is appropriate to make posts in your thread after you complete some significant step in the process, such as after moving from WIP to QC or after each QC check. However, you shouldn't make bump posts simply because you are impatient; for that, it's better to politely contact a member of the QC team via Smogon PMs or Pokemon Showdown. A good rule of thumb is that you should make an update post whenever you change the title!


STEP FIVE: The Write-up

This step is the point at which your analysis will finally start looking like the real deal! After you have received every QC check except the last one, it's time to write up all the information in your bullet lists into cohesive, efficient paragraphs. This is generally not a difficult process, especially if your This-Means-That bullet lists are well written!

As each analysis and even each writer is different, it's largely up to you how you structure your prose and sentence flow. It generally helps to focus on conveying your information as simply as possible; so-called "fluff" phrases, such as "X Pokemon can certainly pull off a sweep when its checks are weakened" are unnecessary and only serve to clutter the analysis.

Outside of that general information, try to stick to the Smogon Spelling and Grammar Standards while writing up your analysis. This will make future steps much easier for those involved!


STEP SIX: One Final Check!

After your analysis is written up, another member of the QC team will look over your written analysis one last time. This is to prevent errant writing from negatively impacting the information provided the analysis; basically, they're just making sure you didn't royally screw anything up when you write out your analysis. In all other aspects, it'll be exactly same as a regular QC check!


STEP SEVEN: The Grammar-Prose Process

After you've finally received your final QC check, your analysis will be ready for the very last step of C&C! Hooray! Unfortunately, not everyone has the best writing, but fortunately for us, we don't need to! The Grammar-Prose Team is here to make sure your analysis is actually readable but still sounds like something you'd write yourself, and this final step is where they come into the game!

Go ahead and change your thread title and tag reflect the next step: your tag should be the green "Copyediting" tag and your title should read "Bunnelby [QC 3/3] [GP 0/2]". Once you've updated the thread title and tag, go ahead and copy and paste the link to your thread in this thread. This is the Grammar-Prose Queue, the command central for GP checkers.

After you've posted in the queue, it won't be long before a member of the GP Team comes along to post a check in your thread. They will post a marked up copy of your analysis, and their markings will demonstrate what add, remove, and correct in order to get your analysis up to Smogon C&C standards. Implement their checks by following the key they provide, and, once you've implemented the check, update your title and make a post!

Sometimes, a user who is trying to join Smogon's GP Team but is not yet on it will post a check in your analysis thread. These amateur checks, or amchecks, need to be approved by an official GP Team member before you implement them! You can tell whether or not a post is a real GP check by checking the end of the post: if it contains an official GP counter, such as "GP 1/2", then it is an official check!

Even more so than with the QC team, it is absolutely essential that you respect the GP team. They do one of the hardest jobs on Smogon, and they shouldn't have to deal with some punk user who thinks they're all that! As with QC, it is appropriate to discuss issues you may have with the checks you receive, but this discussion must be conducted with respect at. all. times.

After you have received and implemented two GP checks, there is only one thing left to do! Simply update the tag and title one last time: you should now be using the "Done" tag, and your title should now be just the name of your Pokemon. Once you've finished updating those two things, your work is done! Congratulations!


STEP EIGHT: Rinse and Repeat!

Hopefully, you've enjoyed the LC C&C process enough to come back and contribute more! We appreciate all those users who are willing to consistently come back and contribute to LC C&C, and, speaking from personal experience, it's an excellent way to get a foothold in the community! Significant contributions to C&C can also make you eligible to receive the Pre-Contributor and Contributor badges, which are really neat to earn! If any of improving your writing, learning and analyzing the metagame, getting into the community, or potentially earning a badge sound like things you'd enjoy doing, then what on earth is stopping you from reserving your next analysis?!

Now you know everything you need to know about writing a competitive analysis within the Little Cup Contributions & Corrections process! Feel free to contact any QC members if you're struggling with any part of the process; I promise, we're always willing to help! And, hey, even if writing analyses isn't your thing, we'd love it if you'd Stick Around In LC!
 
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