Featured LC Pokémon: Chinchou

By comatthew6. Art by V0x.
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Chinchou made its debut in Little Cup in the days of GSC. But because no one cared about that metagame at the time, there wasn't much to know about it. However, in Generation IV, Chinchou was one of the top Pokemon in the metagame. With its amazing dual Water and Electric typing, great Special Attack and Speed, and decent Special Defense, Chinchou could run a variety of sets in DPP LC. Unfortunately, Chinchou was nowhere to be seen at the beginning of BW LC. Though it has gotten a new move to play with in the form of Volt Switch, as well as being a very sturdy specially defensive wall courtesy of Eviolite, it took a backseat to all of the old and new Pokemon introduced into the metagame. However, after the fourth round of Little Cup suspect voting, Chinchou finally began to shine. Acting as a bulky sweeper or a scout with two great STAB moves, Chinchou easily found itself on a wide variety of teams. It was also a great asset in taking care of popular threats in the metagame, such as Eviolite Clamperl and Choice Scarf Taillow.

Though the Little Cup metagame will certainly be shifting over the next couple of months due to the reintroduction of Murkrow, Misdreavus, and Gligar, there is no doubt that Chinchou will be a mainstay on teams due to the qualities that it brings to the table.

Chinchou's Qualities

There is never a "best" way to start to hype up Chinchou because of its many unique qualities. One of the ways Chinchou is unique lies within its typing. Water / Electric is potentially one of the greatest typings in not only Little Cup, but in any metagame. With just those two STAB moves, Chinchou can hit pretty much every Pokemon in Little Cup—bar most Grass-types—for at least neutral damage. Ice Beam further extends the coverage, giving Chinchou the fabled BoltBeam combination. Its ability, Volt Absorb, is also handy, as it makes a great check to Magnemite and opposing Chinchou. Its stats are quite average overall, and its Defense is slightly lower than its Special Defense. Its usable movepool isn't very expansive, but it still contains a lot of useful attacks, such as Thunderbolt, Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, and Volt Switch.

Playing with Chinchou

The best way to play Chinchou is by utilizing a bulky attacker set. With an Eviolite attached, Chinchou makes the most out of its spectacular STAB attacks by backing them up with coverage moves, and being able to take a hit or two thanks to its boosted defenses. Because the accuracy of Hydro Pump is shaky at best, Ice Beam is always a solid move to score an easy OHKO on the flying scorpion, Gligar. Hidden Power, Substitute, or Volt Switch can also be used alongside those moves in order to give Chinchou great scouting techniques as a bulky attacker. However, if Speed is more important to your team, Choice Scarf Chinchou is not a Pokemon that you should overlook. Because of its great typing, fantastic ability, and diverse special movepool (with Volt Switch as the crown jewel), Chinchou can keep the momentum going for your team by revenge killing Pokemon and Volt Swtiching to appropriate counters at any point in a battle. Keeping the opponent on their heels at all times is something all offensive teams should attempt to do, and Chinchou certainly manages to do this with little effort.

Unfortunately, because of the defensive shift in the metagame, running more offensive sets with Chinchou is a lot harder to do. That's not to say that it's impossible, but attaining OHKOes on most Pokemon becomes much more difficult to do because of the omnipresent Eviolite. The Agility set, a fan favorite back in the days of DPP, has become nearly extinct this time around because of the fact that a Life Orb-boosted Hydro Pump just doesn't pack the same punch as it once did. This is why Chinchou should stick to its guns with Eviolite and Choice Scarf, and have other Pokemon on the team use boosting moves for a mutual advantage.

Playing Against Chinchou

With the addition of Eviolite this generation, tanking Chinchou's attacks became approximately 1.5 times easier. Pokemon that normally take neutral damage from Chinchou's attacks, such as Misdreavus and Croagunk, can avoid 2HKOs and retaliate with strong STAB attacks of their own. In addition, Ferroseed resists both of its STAB attacks and can hit back with Bullet Seed or set up in its face. Lileep is in a very similar boat, sporting even higher Special Defense (in a sandstorm) and an immunity to Water-type attacks. Ground-types can switch in on a predicted Thunderbolt or Volt Switch and shatter your team's momentum, though they must always be wary of Hydro Pump, Scald, and (the albeit, less popular) Ice Beam. Cottonee is another good way to take out Chinchou, as it resists both of its STAB attacks, can set up Substitute, and whittles away Chinchou's health while restoring its own with Leech Seed.

Fitting Chinchou onto your Team

Chinchou doesn't need a whole lot of support to do its job properly. It acts primarily as a bulky attacker that preys on resisted attacks for easy switch-ins, so having perfect teammates is not imperative when deciding if Chinchou should receive a team slot.

In terms of entry hazards, Chinchou can force a good amount of switches during a match, making Stealth Rock very important to its success as a sweeper and scout. Because one of its most common switch-ins is Lileep, Toxic Spikes could help it out even more so. On the other hand, because Chinchou will be switching in and out of the battle multiple times, it is always good to have a spinner on the team. Staryu comes to mind, but the mutual weakness to Grass is off-putting. Chinchou, especially the bulky Eviolite variant, absolutely hates Toxic Spikes, and though they are rare in the metagame, Croagunk does a fine job at absorbing them. They do share a Ground-type weakness, but since all of the newly introduced Pokemon are immune to Ground-type attacks, they should make fine partners.

With the reintroduction of Gligar, Snover becomes a great partner for Chinchou. Not only that, but Snover also removes sandstorm and replaces it with hail; a perfect way to stop Drilbur—another Pokemon that can easily OHKO Chinchou. Fighting-type teammates are also a must, as Chinchou will almost always lose to Ferroseed and Lileep. Scraggy fills this role quite nicely, as it can easily use Dragon Dance at least once against them, and potentially even more times if they are foolish enough to not switch out. In addition, any Choice Scarf Flying-type Pokemon thinking of outspeeding Scraggy after a Dragon Dance and KOing with Brave Bird has to keep Chinchou in the back of their minds, as Brave Birds from Choice Scarf Taillow and Doduo will not have enough power to 2HKO the angler fish.

Get Out There!

Throughout the BW LC metagame, Chinchou has almost always been seen as a great bulky attacker or scout. If you need a Pokemon that can aptly fill one of these roles, look no further than Chinchou, whose unique typing and abilities are second to none in Little Cup. However, with the constantly changing Little Cup metagame, Chinchou might be able to fulfill a different role. With Gligar, Misdreavus, and Murkrow back in the metagame, Chinchou might be able to take on the role of perhaps a cleric on more defensively oriented teams with access to Heal Bell and its respectable bulk with Eviolite.

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