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Should Little Cup’s Standard Level be at Level 10?

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by , 21st September 2012 at 12:22 PM (16069 Views)
Here’s something that I just thought of when thinking of the implications of Little Cup being at a higher level. Now, I never played Little Cup before, but I heard that matches were quite fast-paced. Essentially, the matches are for Pokémon at their basest form, meaning that if something can evolve, they are qualified. For example, Bulbasaur is qualified because it can still evolve. However, Unown is not qualified because it doesn’t evolve, despite being in its basest form.

The thing is, Little Cup’s Pokémon have to all be Level 5 to be eligible to compete. The origin of this trend is easy to trace. You see, in Pokémon Stadium 2, there is something called the Little Cup, which only allows the Pokémon who are young to battle. Because Pokémon that hatched from Eggs are Level 5, this means that they essentially become battlers as soon as they hatched. Even then, there were “Little” Pokémon that proved to be too much, like Scyther, Chansey (pre-Gen 4) and Tangela (post-Gen 3), as well as SonicBoom and Dragon Rage (they are too powerful for the environment).

This metagame is largely unsupported after that, but players decided that it’s fun, so they supported the metagame in simulators. Pokémon used are all Level 5, as homage to the old tourney. In Generation 4, offence proved to be the playstyle of choice, because the young ones are generally frailer, due to the way stats work. Generation 5 made things more balanced thanks to certain Pokémon (Frillish and Ferroseed), as well as introducing Eviolite to slow down the metagame to an extent.

However, I thought that it would be interesting if the Level is bumped up to Level 10. Why? Here are my points:

1) Dream World exclusive Pokémon are Level 10 minimum

This one is easy to explain, since it is the main reason I am proposing this change. You see, certain Pokémon cannot access certain moves in conjunction with their new abilities because it’s either Dream World exclusive, or they cannot be bred. For example, Bulbasaur gets Chlorophyll thanks to a certain event, but since it’s male only, it can’t be bred for more. Remember that Dream World Pokémon starts at Level 10! Another example would be Magnemite. Due to its inability to produce offspring, Analytic will not carry over. Not only that, certain moves cannot be learned through other means besides bring back from Dream World (example: Gastly with Sludge Wave, Misdreavus with Inferno), so there’s another point. Basically, one of the advantages of setting the level to 10 is to make more Pokémon available.

2) Genderless/Male only Pokémon cannot learn later-levelled moves

One of Little Cup’s move legality rules involves the level. Say for example: Golett learns Mud Slap at Level 9. Since it can’t produce offspring, it can’t learn this move through breeding. Certain Pokémon are lucky, though. There existed a Pomeg glitch that allows genderless Pokémon to learn moves they normally cannot learn at the level they are at, so we have things like Staryu with Hydro Pump and Baltoy with Cosmic Power. This glitch only exists in Generation 3, so any future Generation genderless and male-only Pokémon cannot have the same privilege, as with any from Dream World. Essentially, the advantage I am pointing out is that the range of move legalities will be increased, though not by too much.

3) Overall bulkiness is increased

This is something I can’t really vouch for, since this is just a theory, but I think that the increase in overall stats means that the overall bulk of a Pokémon is increased. Thanks to this, the pace of the game is slowed down slightly, never mind that Eviolite is already doing that.

However, there may be certain reasons the change is not really feasible, so I will add them too, just for the sake of completion:

1) The simplicity of the metagame is reduced

This is, I believe, the main reason the proposal may be rejected. You see, the higher the level, the more derivative the numerals become. No long could a Pokémon resort in losing a nineteenth of HP when it equips a Life Orb, since at Level 10, the lowest possible HP isn’t 19 anymore. Speed tiers will also become more derivative, so for example, a Diglett will always be outsped by Voltorb if that were true (max 36 and 37 respectively), whereas they have the same Speed at Level 5 (max 20). In some ways, some complexity is good because the Speed tiers are more consistent, but perhaps the appeal of Little Cup is how simple battles are.

2) Breaking the tradition

This is possibly another reason the change won’t be accepted. There are just some things that may not change any time soon because of tradition. For example, Species Clause was something that was implemented a long time ago, and it’s still available now. However, Species Clause had a reason to exist: it increases a team’s variety and prevent any repeats of overpowered Pokémon. Item Clause was implemented because Leftovers were broken, but this becomes an optional. For this change though... it’s hard to say if it is OK. You see, at this time, Pokémon hatched from Eggs at Level 1, so it might be harder to explain this to newer players if you don’t know where this change come from. Perhaps this reasoning could go either way: the tradition to keep them at Level 5 because it is in the spirit of the originals, or a need for change because little Pokémon elsewhere are only available at Level 10 minimum.

Well, that’s it for my opinion article. I typed this in one night, so there may be some things I forgot. Since I am not well-versed with the metagame myself, maybe you will need to think about whether I am reasonable enough, and then tell me about it. If you finished reading this, I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I have writing it.

Thanks for reading.

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  1. TheMissingno.'s Avatar
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    I've seen some LC narrated videos, and I think the tier is kind of lame and boring to watch. It seems like as soon as someone gets a turn to set up the game is pretty much over. That may have been more true in Gen 4, but I haven't seen many Gen 5 LC matches since I tend to avoid them. Not sure if raising the level to 10 would help that at all.
  2. Mijzelffan's Avatar
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    That would enlarge the gap between pokémon with good and bad base stats though.
  3. winstein's Avatar
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    @Mijzelffan; Good point you have there. Still, how much impact the difference would be made is still not known (to me at least), and if the impact is negative. This goes back to the point of how the appeal of Little Cup is simplicity in terms of stats.

    Did you play Little Cup, by any chance?

    Thanks for reading.


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