Tier Fusion: LC Doubles

By Goddess Briyella and Electrolyte. Art by Nerina.
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What's cuter than two Level 5 baby Pokemon battling each other? FOUR Level 5 baby Pokemon! Doubles Little Cup is the metagame where typical Little Cup Pokemon get to pair together and use teamwork to fight. Environments where two Pokemon are on the field per player are drastically different from singles. Doubles Little Cup in particular requires different strategies, different Pokemon, different moves, and lots of synergy. Both Doubles and Little Cup are unique in their own right—but for a real twist, try Doubles Little Cup!

Mini Strategies

A lot of Doubles regulars have proportionally powerful pre-evolutions in Little Cup. A prime example is Pawniard. With Defiant and the movepool of its evolution, Bisharp, Pawniard serves a very similar role in Doubles LC compared to that of Bisharp in regular Doubles. In particular, Defiant counters stat drops imposed by the foe, such as Intimidate, Sticky Web, or Speed-reducing spread attacks. Unfortunately, many Intimidate Pokemon in Doubles LC can pose a significant threat to Pawniard with their coverage attacks, making it a risky maneuver. After the Attack boost, Pawniard can easily overpower threats, especially because its Speed is fairly high by LC standards and it has many powerful moves to choose from. Plus, it gets access to Knock Off, which is one of the best moves in Little Cup.

Foongus is another example of a Pokemon that falls into this category. With an Eviolite, it becomes proportionally bulkier than its evolution, Amoonguss, further helping it shrug off attacks. With Rage Powder, it can easily support teammates by redirecting attacks. Its Spore is also extremely useful for shutting down opponents, especially under Trick Room. With its excellent resistances to top it all off, Foongus is one of the best support Pokemon in the metagame.

Finally, there's Solosis. An extremely high 105 Special Attack stat makes Solosis a monster, and its movepool allows it to hit almost every other Pokemon neutrally. Under Trick Room, its low Speed stat quickly becomes an advantage, allowing it to dish out powerful hits just like its evolution, Reuniclus. Solosis's immunity to passive damage also makes it very difficult to wear down, and it is one of the prime Trick Room sweepers in the metagame.

Stat Control in Doubles Little Cup

Just like in Doubles, stat control is very important in Doubles LC. Stat control allows players to weaken the opponent's team and make it easier to power up their own. Intimidate is very popular, especially because there are many solid Intimidate users in Little Cup. In particular, Snubbull has a nice niche, with a unique pure Fairy typing, high stats, and powerful attacks such as Close Combat to keep Pawniard out. Growlithe has an interesting niche as well, because it can offer both Intimidate and Will-O-Wisp support. It also has a solid physical movepool, with attacks such as Flare Blitz, Wild Charge, and Close Combat, making it great for combating sun. Scraggy is another prime Intimidate user. Like its evolution, Scrafty, it has access to Fake Out, which allows it to further support its partner. It also has access to Knock Off, which is even more useful in Little Cup, making it a powerful offensive force.

Speed control is also important, especially because Speed tiers are so vital in Little Cup. Murkrow is a premier Speed control Pokemon. It has Icy Wind to lower opposing Speed, priority Thunder Wave, priority Tailwind, and even priority Attack control in Feather Dance! Icy Wind is a great way to lower the opponents' Speed stats, and there are many other viable users of the move, such as Chinchou. Tailwind is important as well, effectively doubling the Speed of all your Pokemon. Besides Murkrow, Fletchling and Cottonee can both set up the move reliably. Just watch out for Trick Room!

Protect in Doubles

Protect is just as important as ever, especially because of the frailty of many LC Pokemon. It can also stall weather and field effects as well as rack up status damage. Other forms of Protect are useful as well. Wide Guard is notable, as spread spam is very potent in Little Cup. Tirtouga is one of the best Wide Guard users, and it is a great asset against sand teams with its priority Aqua Jet. Quick Guard is useful as well, especially to combat the ever-popular Fletchling. There are many common Quick Guard users, including Scraggy, Archen, Mienfoo, and Fletchling itself. It can also be used to block the attempts of common threats such as Murkrow, Meditite, and Cottonee.

LC Pokemon With Doubles-Oriented Moves

Due to there being only four moves to a moveset, many Little Cup Pokemon have to work with new strategies and forgo some things that they are used to in order to work in a Doubles battle style. Moves such as Quick Guard and Wide Guard find a place on movesets of Pokémon such as Timburr and Archen, while moves such as Protect, Fake Out, and Feint see higher usage due to the different style of battle. It should also be noted that many common attacks in Little Cup have become spread moves and had their damage decreased, most notably Earthquake, but also other moves such as Rock Slide and Snover's Blizzard. There are also the new field effect moves like Misty Terrain and Electric Terrain.

LC Pokemon With Doubles-Oriented Abilities

Flabebe's only two abilities (Flower Veil and Symbiosis) finally aren't useless. Swirlix's Sweet Veil now protects both itself and its partner from sleep all the time, and Spritzee's Aroma Veil can allow a partner to set up or use support moves without fear of being disrupted by moves such as Taunt or Encore. Additionally, common Pokémon in the tier such as Chinchou and Helioptile can take advantage of their partners using moves such as Discharge and Muddy Water by absorbing the attacks for health, while still damaging both enemies and potentially hitting them with secondary effects in the process. Immunities to Earthquake and Sludge Wave also come in handy, and so on, you get the idea.

Berry Juice in a Doubles Atmosphere

Berry Juice is an item only viable in Little Cup, which basically provides any Pokémon an extra life, and it triggers at 50% health, fully restoring just about any Level 5 Pokémon when taken into activation range. This allows for safer switch-ins and more security when having to take entry hazard damage, and it can even be activated while setting up a Substitute. The addition of this item to this generation of Little Cup is something Doubles is not used to at all, and it is interesting to see how players have adapted to it, and the teams they have formed both to take advantage of the item and to beat opponents who opt to use it.

Little Cup Pokemon under Trick Room

Trick Room has been a great strategy in Smogon Doubles, giving slower Pokemon a speed advantage where they would otherwise be considered nonviable or outclassed by better candidates for teamslots. However, the strategy has never seen any viability or prominent use in Little Cup despite the huge amount of Pokemon there that could benefit from it. Getting to use two moves per turn could be all that's needed to allow overlooked LC Pokémon such as Cubone, Litwick, and Solosis the opportunity to shine, as well as beefing up mons that are already powerful contenders, such as Slowpoke, Timburr, and Foongus.

Weather Wars 2.0

The ability to have auto-weather starters like Snover, Hippopotas, and Vulpix out at the same time that a teammate is able to benefit immediately from the weather can make for some interesting situations that Little Cup has never seen. An instant Solar Beam not requiring a charge, an instant Special Defense boost on Pokemon like Tyrunt and Archen, and an instant 100% accuracy on Blizzard (outside of Snover) are not things Little Cup is used to, and the ability to have these kinds of instant advantages included in battle has brought a new edge to battling with Little Cup Pokemon. Also, Sand Veil and Snow Cloak are not banned in Little Cup, and so these might find use in conjunction with sand and hail teams, respectively.


This was just a short look into the potential of Doubles Little Cup. Both are unique metagames, and when put together make for something even more interesting! New strategies never seen before can come into play, as might some currently banned Pokemon too! So what are you waiting for? There is currently discussion about the tier in the Doubles forums, and matches can be organized in the Doubles room on PS! Go try it out!

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