LC Spotlight: Trubbish

By Goddess Briyella. Art by Andrew.
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Type: Poison
Abilities: Stench, Sticky Hold, Aftermath
Base stats: 50 HP / 50 Atk / 62 Def / 40 SpA / 62 SpD / 65 Spe

Trubbish's Debut

When Trubbish was first introduced in BW, it was mediocre at best and had poor usage. Having notable resistances that came with its Poison typing did help it with tanking hits, however, especially against the highly popular Fighting-types of that era. Being able to restore health with an Oran Berry and use Recycle to continuously do so was also advantageous, as was the ability to stack Spikes to help secure important KOs for its more offensively inclined teammates. However, the sheer power and high usage of Drilbur in Generation V Little Cup made Trubbish practically useless. Not only could Drilbur easily spin away the entry hazards Trubbish may have found time to set up with its Fighting-type resistance, but it could easily OHKO Trubbish with a painful super effective STAB Earthquake as well, while also resisting Trubbish's STAB Gunk Shot. Being so helplessly overwhelmed by what was unquestionably one of the most fearsome and commonly found sweepers at the time made its spot on teams nonexistent, and so Little Cup's little trash bag was left in the dumpster and forgotten about.

Becoming Little Cup's Stall God

However, the transition to the XY Little Cup metagame brought so many advantages to Trubbish while also taking drawbacks away from it that it almost seemed to have been rigged just for Trubbish's benefit. The nerf to permanent weather greatly reduced the threat level and usage of Drilbur, giving Trubbish much more leeway on the battlefield. The unban of Berry Juice from Little Cup gave Trubbish an item to Recycle that is literally twice as good as Oran Berry and often restores its health to full even if it activates from low health. The enhancement to Knock Off greatly increased the relevance of Trubbish's previously overlooked Sticky Hold ability, which guarantees that Trubbish can consistently stall with Berry Juice + Recycle without fear of ever having its recovery system disrupted by item removal. The Knock Off buff also caused Psychic-types to take a massive viability hit, and this, combined with the aforementioned nerf to Sand Stream, contributed to an atmosphere where it's uncommon for Trubbish to be threatened by a super effective STAB attack, as Ground and Psychic are its only weaknesses. Last, but certainly not least, the introduction of the Fairy type this generation has granted Trubbish an advantage against a new kind of enemy, both offensively and defensively.

As was the case with a good handful of Pokémon in XY Little Cup, it wasn't until important Pokémon were banned that Trubbish's greatness was finally realized. Gligar was probably Trubbish's biggest problem due to the obvious type disadvantage as well as Gligar's access to Taunt and Defog to ruin the trash bag's attempts to stall or lay entry hazards. After Gligar was hit with the ban hammer, Trubbish still had Meditite and its Psychic-type STAB attacks to contend with, but it could still function rather comfortably if paired with something that could keep Meditite at bay, like Wynaut or Elgyem. After Meditite's ban, Trubbish became a lot more independent, and being able to OHKO Trubbish without setup became a reasonably rare feat to achieve. Having 17 Speed at maximum makes Trubbish quite fast for a sack of garbage, and this combined with access to Drain Punch lets it outspeed and put some serious hurt on Pawniard, a prominent Little Cup threat, while recovering back lost health in the process (Choice Scarf Pawniard obviously outspeeds Trubbish but it loses to it anyway) and never dreading the item removal that accompanies Pawniard's feared STAB Knock Off. After a long series of many changes and shifts, Trubbish has gone from totally disregarded to viable to Little Cup's most effective stall-based Pokémon that couldn't care less about Knock Off or Fairy-types. It's been quite a turn of events, and Trubbish's development in XY Little Cup brings a whole new meaning to talking trash.

Playing With Trubbish

Trubbish is the epitome of Little Cup anti-meta, thriving as a self-sustaining rebel immune to item removal in an environment where physical offense runs rampant and Knock Off is carried by every team. Being capable of walling Fighting-types that carry Knock Off, beating Pawniard one-on-one, and scaring off important supporters such as Spritzee and Cottonee gives Trubbish more than enough opportunities to Recycle its Berry Juice and stack Spikes for its team. Pokémon that cannot stand up to Fairy-types or are threatened by Fighting-types that carry Knock Off greatly appreciate having Trubbish as a partner to cover their weak points; important examples of Pokémon that fit this description are Mienfoo, Timburr, Scraggy, Ferroseed, Munchlax, Lickitung, Dwebble, Tirtouga, Porygon, and Magnemite. Another great advantage Trubbish has by virtue of the Sticky Hold ability is an immunity to Trick and Switcheroo, meaning that it cannot be crippled by being forced to hold a detrimental item as other stall-based Pokémon can. Trubbish usually must be overcome by force, and its reliable Berry Juice + Recycle combination often makes that a difficult task for the opponent. While Trubbish is rather lacking in the offense department, its 120 base power Gunk Shot is powerful enough in itself to deal decent chunks of damage and should not be underestimated (it was also improved to 80% accuracy in XY). The generous 30% poison chance can also come in handy for wearing down enemies after connecting with a solid hit. Drain Punch is the most conventional secondary attacking option that sports good coverage alongside Gunk Shot and also provides recovery in addition to all the health restoration Trubbish already gets from Recycling its Berry Juice. Munchlax and Magnemite are two other Little Cup contenders that also have access to this combination, but they are weak to Fighting-types and susceptible to Knock Off (Recycle will not restore the item if it is removed) while Trubbish can withstand both with relative ease.

Although many Pokémon find it difficult to defeat it using conventional means, a few physically inclined Pokémon such as Scraggy and Timburr are able to overwhelm Trubbish with force by taking advantage of its somewhat lackluster offensive presence and setting up in its face. Fortunately, Trubbish has room for another move to help combat them if it forgoes Spikes. Trubbish has access to Curse, which can be used to boost its offensive stats and make itself a physical juggernaut in addition to the self-sustaining wall it already is, and Stockpile, which can also be used to boost both defenses simultaneously, making Trubbish harder to bring down altogether. Haze is an alternative to eliminate the enemy's setup attempts entirely. Porygon and Pawniard make excellent partners for Trubbish, as they can deal with the problematic Misdreavus for Trubbish, while Trubbish can wall the Fighting-types that can give Porygon and Pawniard problems. While not commonly seen, Trubbish has the option of using Toxic stall (In XY, Toxic never misses if used by a Poison-type) to wear down enemies while continuously restoring its own health. For more adventurous players, Explosion is an option that lets Trubbish use its 17 Speed to block Rapid Spin and Defog users from removing its entry hazards (both moves must hit a target to work) so that its teammates can still score crucial KOs after Trubbish self-destructs. From that point, a teammate that can eliminate or force out the opposing hazard remover can come in and preserve both momentum and the entry hazards in the process.

Playing Against Trubbish

While it might just be a simple household chore in the real world, it's not always easy to take out the trash in Little Cup. It's hard to not give a well-played Trubbish free turns if you're using Spritzee, Cottonee, Pawniard, Fighting-types, and/or Knock Off, as it can generally put up with all of these comfortably while beating them one-on-one if they don't switch out, and while also keeping its health in good condition. Additionally, dealing with Trubbish usually entails having good entry hazard control so that Trubbish's offensive teammates don't steamroll through your Pokémon with easy OHKOs and 2HKOs after Spikes damage (and quite possibly Stealth Rock damage too). Trubbish's effectiveness can be limited by paralysis or burn status, but it can still do its job reasonably well if afflicted with either one. In most cases, if you want to beat Trubbish, you're going to have to overwhelm it with strong super effective attacks, or set up on it with a sweeper and pray that it doesn't have Haze.

While the huge threat of Sand Rush Drilbur is now a mere relic of the past, Mold Breaker Drilbur still sees decent usage in XY Little Cup to serve as a source of reliable Ground-type offense and entry hazard control; Trubbish and its entry hazards basically auto-lose to Drilbur the same as before, as there is no way Trubbish is surviving that STAB super effective Earthquake, with the only notable difference being that they now tie at 17 Speed (assuming that Drilbur is Jolly). Another great entry hazard control Pokémon that has been rising in popularity for a while in XY Little Cup is Archen, which also carries Earthquake and has Defog to remove entry hazards as well as an immunity to Spikes so that it isn't damaged upon coming in to remove them. Archen has Roost to take care of its own health over time and it also, like Drilbur, takes pitiful damage from Trubbish's attacks and will generally be able to scare it off. Abra outspeeds and cleanly OHKOes Trubbish with Psychic while also suffering no damage from Spikes courtesy of Magic Guard. It has trouble switching in, but it can be brought in after a slow U-turn or Volt Switch, and from there, Trubbish must either switch out or risk certain death. Misdreavus is a severe punishment to Trubbish in that it is immune to Spikes, takes practically nothing from its attacks, and can use it as total setup bait and mow down its entire team after Nasty Plot boosts unless they have a Misdreavus check such as Choice Scarf Pawniard intact. Gastly walls Trubbish in a similar manner, and Tentacool can shrug off its attacks and get rid of its Spikes with Rapid Spin. Trubbish has its checks and counters and is certainly not unbeatable, but it usually does require a bit of planning in advance to get rid of it and its entry hazards, considering the great longevity it has and all of the important Pokémon it can take advantage of in battle.


Who would have thought that this off-putting trash bag creature could have ever become the most active renegade against offensive play in Little Cup? This goes to show once again how new generations of Pokémon can bring many unexpected changes. In just one transition to a new generation, Trubbish went from being totally ignored to being the face of Little Cup anti-meta, and in a metagame almost totally defined by Knock Off, Trubbish refuses to be deprived of its item, defeats the most feared user of the move, and shows that stall in XY Little Cup is very much alive.

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