Diglett is one of the most interesting Pokemon in Little Cup history. Sparking generations of talk on the effects of Arena Trap and trapping in Little Cup for years to come. I won't dig too much into the finer points of trapping today, but I do want to touch back on some of the history of Diglett in Little Cup and what has reached this point of contention. Before we dig into that, I want to lay down some ground rules as to what the moderation team and the council expect to see in this thread. We will not be honoring comparisons to other tiers, such as OU. The situations of legality of trapping in other tiers not only has no impact on LC, but is so wildly different from this tier that comparisons to level 100 play just reeks of inexperience. If your talking point isn't rock-solid, you can very much expect an infraction for this. Comparisons to previous generations of Little Cup are encouraged. While I'm not personally a big fan of comparing across generations, if your opinion on trapping has changed across the years, your experience in this area and what makes Diglett broken then, but not broken now, or vise versa, are a point of value to the conversation. I would like to avoid other Pokemon in this type of dialogue though, I don't need to hear about how Fletchling was broken 9 years ago because of Diglett. Furthermore, this is not a suspect of Arena Trap, this is a Diglett suspect test. Our central point of focus is on Diglett, and the short-term effects it has on Little Cup moving forward. If other forms of trapping prove to be problematic, then we'll approach that tactfully, but we are not at that point yet. Finally, Pokemon Home is set to be coming out soon, so we are tiering for what is available to us right now, not what is to be expected to come out in our near future. Once Pokemon Home is released, we will revisit this suspect, along with the most recent bans that we've done and evaluate whether or not they should remain banned with the options available to us. And if by chance Pokemon Home has unfortunate timing and what is essentially a new collection of tier-valuable Pokemon drops on our laps mid-suspect, we will stop and reassess, essentially canceling the suspect test.
Diglett has an interesting history throughout the majority of Little Cup, where it always appears to be in contention for the best Pokemon in the metagame, and for short portions of time, could be considered the best. More often than not, however, Diglett is considered to be a very strong Pokemon who supports an even stronger Pokemon who gets pushed over the edge in terms of viability. Diglett's central focus from year to year seems to be eliminating common threats so a sweeper can complete the game on its behalf. Of course, Diglett is so effective at removing key threats because of its ability, Arena Trap, which prevents grounded Pokemon from switching out. In the past, this was mitigated by quite a few things. Diglett, barring its speed stat, is an extremely underwhelming Pokemon in terms of Base Stat Total. Diglett also does not have a wide range of moves in its arsenal. While the powerful EdgeQuake coverage provides it with something to hit everything, along with some rare Dark options and even rarer Poison options, Diglett can't really do anything to a Pokemon unless it hits for Super Effective Damage or if the Pokemon is weakened considerably. Furthermore, Diglett needs to make the decision of item selection, which gives up something considerably. More damage from Life Orb? Diglett's paper-thin defenses make it extremely weak to priority and even the weakest of scarf users. An Eviolite gives it a hair more survivability, but now you have a hybrid of a Diglett who struggles to kill things and barely survives attacks. That being said, the incredible 20 speed—the highest unboosted speed tier in all of Little Cup—along with the ability to remove key threats such as Rock-, Steel-, and Fire-Types, makes Diglett a force to be reckoned with, but one to be rarely suspected and never one to be banned. So what's changed?
Pokemon has an interesting way of making the competitive formats interesting, by introducing a generation-wide mechanic that is either loved, or hated by the playerbase. Generations 4 and 5 were largely uneventful for Little Cup and thus, were largely uneventful for Diglett. While it remains viable, particularly in the sunsets of those generations, Diglett is far from a universal best Pokemon in those tiers. In Pokemon X and Y, this largely stayed true as well, however; Diglett became more of a star in Little Cup, being able to be paired with other extremely frail Pokemon, eliminate a key threat for that Pokemon and allow them to run through teams. Pokemon Sun and Moon introduced Z-Moves. While items in Little Cup have traditionally been extremely strong, with many Pokemon needing a very good reason to forgo a +1 boost to both defenses, Diglett has always been capable of doing so in order to capitalize on what it is good at. Tectonic Rage was a one-time option which allowed Diglett to shock an opponent, turning a generally poor trap into a free kill. Coupling that with the inability to scout Diglett's item more often than not, it became very challenging in the preview to identify what your opponent wanted to trap. In Sword and Shield, gone were Z-Moves, in came Dynamax. If you were an early bird to the arrival of the previous generation, you understood that Dynamax was universally broken, particularly so in Little Cup, so needless to say this was largely forgotten over the years. Sword and Shield did introduce a Grassy Terrain autosetter to Little Cup, which absolutely had an impact on Diglett and hurt the viability of it, but Diglett remained a titan of the tier. Moves such as Hidden Power and Pursuit were removed. These were both a blessing and a curse to Diglett. While these situations were extremely limited, on the one hand, Diglett could no longer trap Pokemon with an unpredictable Hidden Power. On the other? Diglett could no longer be hit by a sure-fire kill using Hidden Power. More importantly was the removal of Pursuit, which meant Diglett could no longer reliably kill threats such as Gastly, it also meant that Pokemon that wanted to revenge kill Diglett could no longer do so as well. Sword and Shield was also the introduction of the removal of the National Dex, which meant a significantly limited scope of Pokemon to use. While this did not particularly bother Diglett, other options to whack the mole which were available in the previous two generations were now stuck in those metagames. Finally, we reach today. We have a very similar problem in both a new mechanic and a lack of Pokemon options given to us. The Pokemon pool at the time of writing, to put it kindly, is paltry. Pokemon who never sniffed viability due to being generally outclassed are currently top-tier Pokemon.The weaker the options, the stronger Diglett gets, as the baseline power level of the tier is lower, but Diglett's strength remains. Additionally, the generation mechanic, the terastal phenomenon, lives up to its name, as one Pokemon per match is able to switch its type. Diglett is extremely strong with this mechanic as it is now able to change its type (something it never really relied on in the first place defensively) to maximize its offensive options. Switching to an Ice- or Flying-type and deleting a key threat has never been more unpredictable. And while there is counterplay, as something who would normally be trapped immediately can change to a type Diglett loses to, Diglett can bait this out and simply choose not to attack or to switch out entirely. While the community has expressed interest in wanting to retain the mechanic for the time being, the amount of options Diglett has, could potentially have reached an unprecedented level. Couple this with a lack of Pursuit, and we have a Pokemon who is faster than the entire unboosted tier, can change its type to beat yours, and can force decisions to either risk the Pokemon who is currently out, or risk using your terastallization on a Pokemon prematurely. All-in-all, Diglett's current impact on the meta has been seen as suspect-worthy, as it has been one of the most meta-defining Pokemon of the current generation.
The voting requirements are a minimum GXE of 78 with at least 50 games played. In addition, you may play 1 less game for every 0.2 GXE you have above 78 GXE, down to a minimum of 30 games at a GXE of 82. As always, needing more than 50 games to 78 GXE is fine.
The standard LC ladder will remain open. Those who wish to participate in this suspect test will instead use a fresh, suspect-specific alt. All games must be played on the Pokemon Showdown! LC ladder on a fresh alt with the following format: "STQLC [Name]" For example, I might register the alt STQLC Coconut to ladder with. You must meet the listed format in order to qualify.
Participants will have until Sunday, May 14th at 2:00 PM GMT -4 to meet voting requirements and post in the Alt Identification Thread. PLEASE DO NOT POST YOUR CONFIRMED SUSPECT RESULTS HERE - there will be a dedicated thread for identifying your suspect results. Happy laddering!
Stop, hammer time!