BW LC Metagame Analysis

By comatthew6. Art by Moo.
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Round 3 and 4 Coverage of the Little Cup Metagame

During the third round of suspect testing for Little Cup, sun teams were the most prominent and dangerous teams in the game. With the introduction of Drought Vulpix, infinite sun meant that so many sun-abusing sweepers came into the light. Chlorophyll sweepers were the most prominent and dangerous, since their Speed is doubled while sun is active. Oddish, Bellsprout, Petilil, and Cherubi were the forerunners, with the potential to boost both of their attacking stats with Growth. Strong Fire-types were also great, as Houndour and Darumaka could easily sweep through teams with their Fire-type STAB attacks.

Stopping Sunny Day teams wasn't an easy feat, either. Despite the fact that there were two other auto-weather Pokemon in the metagame (Snover and Hippopotas), Drought teams were automatically prepared for them. The former would easily lose to Vulpix, while the latter did not enjoy taking repeated Grass-type attacks. Although it was a very capable mixed sweeper, Carvanha took a back seat since it took 2 turns to double its Speed, while Grass-types could easily sponge Waterfall or Hydro Pump and KO back with SolarBeam or Giga Drain.

Misdreavus was also popular, as Murkrow no longer threatened it, and was immune to the common Fighting-type priority attacks and Fake Out, while doubling as a good boosting sweeper with Nasty Plot. It was also a stable check to Meditite and most other Fighting-types, bar Scraggy. Finally, Meditite could run a variety of sets, be it offensive or bulky, and could pull off a potential sweep by itself.

Round 3 Suspect Test

Round 3 of suspect test voting took a new spin. While the last two tests determined their voters by paragraphs, there was an actual point rating used to determine the voters. The top ten users on the leaderboard and anyone within fifteen points were also granted the rights to vote. Vulpix, a Pokemon deemed broken by many, received a supermajority and was swiftly banned from the metagame. Meditite and Misdreavus, the other two suspects, both received simple majorities, so they could still be used for the next round, but another simple majority would ban them from Little Cup.

Round 4

This round of Little Cup could also be considered the era of Fighting-types, since they ran rampant. Most teams either wanted to, or had to carry at least 2 or even 3 Fighting-types in order to counter others, with Meditite, Mienfoo, and Scraggy all in the top 5 of most-used Pokemon. Misdreavus was also very prominent, as it could counter most Fighting-types with Will-O-Wisp and Shadow Ball. However, people got wise and rediscovered Stunky. Stunky, once seen as an offensive trapper, started running specially defensive spreads with Eviolite, and could easily trap and KO all Misdreavus not carrying Will-O-Wisp, and even win against the variants that did. Mienfoo with Payback worked in the same way as Stunky, as it wouldn't be 2HKOed by Shadow Ball, but unfortunately was more vulnerable to Will-O-Wisp. Scraggy could easily Dragon Dance in Misdreavus's face since it didn't have to worry about Will-O-Wisp, courtesy of Shed Skin, and could easily Crunch for a KO. Speaking of Scraggy, it was another big threat in the metagame; access to Dragon Dance, two great STABs, and Ice Punch for Gligar made for one dangerous sweeper, and every team needed at least two counters for it. Once again, Mienfoo came in handy, since it could sponge a Drain Punch and KO back with two of its own. Timburr and Croagunk also worked in a similar fashion, but they also had priority attacks so they could avoid damage altogether while removing a big threat.

Towards the end of the round, however, there was a breakthrough. Gligar, normally a decent check to Fighting-types, usually only had Aerial Ace for a super effective hit. However, with a Flying Gem or Oran Berry and Acrobatics, it became a huge threat that made Snover a sitting duck in the face of almost every Fighting-type, making it relevant again. Gligar also had access to a STAB Earthquake, in addition to two of the following: Roost, Substitute, and Swords Dance. It could even beat Misdreavus by winning a Speed tie after using Swords Dance as it switched in. This set also made Snover, a usually reliable check to Gligar, only able to revenge kill it, otherwise it would be OHKOed by Acrobatics. Sand Veil made it an even bigger threat than before, since Gligar could set up a Substitute and Swords Dance if a sandstorm was brewing.

Carvanha, if not entirely, was pretty darn close to being broken. The mixed set was dangerous, since the combination of Hydro Pump, Hidden Power Fire, Crunch, and Protect or Substitute could easily sweep through unprepared teams. Unfortunately, Hydro Pump and Dark Pulse were illegal together, so Slowpoke could still sponge a Crunch then cripple Carvanha with Thunder Wave.

Round 4 Suspect Test Vote

For this test, the voting rules changed again. This time, there was a static benchmark of 1250 on the ladder. There were five suspects in this round: Scraggy, Misdreavus, Meditite, Gligar, and Carvanha. For the second time in a row, Misdreavus and Meditite received simple majorities, so they were banned. In addition, Gligar and Carvanha both received super majorities, so they were also kicked out. However, Scraggy did not even receive a majority ban, so it stayed.

Into the Future

As the metagame begins to stabilize, every team needs a way to beat Scraggy with Dragon Dance, since Gligar and Meditite can no longer accomplish this for you. Choice Scarf Taillow, having a very powerful STAB Brave Bird, can easily accomplish this. Since Gligar's banning, Hi Jump Kick is viable to attain potential OHKOs on Mienfoo and Timburr, two Pokemon once known as great checks to it. In addition, a dangerous triple alliance was formed between the aforementioned Scraggy, along with Wynaut and Shell Smash Clamperl—a dangerous combination that can easily sweep through teams if played correctly.

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