Ever since the early days of generation one, where the unhealthily obsessed character, Bill, first introduced us to the indecisive Pokémon, Eevee has been amongst the Pokémon community’s favourites. So what is it about this Pokémon that endears us to it so? Its fantastic typing? Its expansive movepool? Why is there so much hype over a Pokémon that’s outclassed by Bidoof?
A notable member of the Little Cup (LC) tier on Smogon, Eevee is a very versatile Pokémon. It possesses the somewhat unique ability to be steamrolled by each and every other Pokémon in the LC meta by a number at least equalling the number of its evolutions. That’s right! There is nothing Eevee does that other Pokémon don’t do better!
Eevee on the Offensive
Let’s start by looking at Eevee’s formidable offensive stats. Possessing a spread of 55/45/55 for its Attack, Special Attack and Speed, at first glance Eevee doesn’t look half bad for an unevolved Pokémon. It even packs an excellent ability in Adaptability which boosts its same-type attack bonus (STAB). This first glance is misleading: Eevee sucks. First and foremost, Eevee is limited by its pure Normal typing. It hits nothing super-effectively and even though it can hit hard with a 2X powered Double-Edge or Return to deal some hefty neutral damage, it’s completely walled by Rock and Steel. Ghosts can also cause problems if you’re not smart enough to use a set with Bite. Sadly for our little Eevee, all three are common in the LC meta.
“But that’s okay!” you might say, “Normal types always have a wide variety of different typed moves for coverage!” You would be wrong. You see, a big part of Eevee’s appeal is its pool of evolutions. What people forget is that these evolutions also cause little Eevee to have a painfully limited movepool. Eevee simply cannot have access to the usual coverage options. Otherwise, its specialised evolutions would end up having access to moves that would make absolutely no sense.
“Well there’s nothing better,” you might contend, but once again, that would be a fallacy. As far as offensive Normal types go in Little Cup, there’s the likes of Bunnelby, Aipom, Porygon and Rattata. All four of these Pokémon hit harder than Eevee, are able to cover their weakness better and (with the exception of Porygon, who doesn’t need to be) are all faster. That’s right, even the likes of Rattata are in the top percentage of LC Normal types when compared to Eevee.
Eevee on the Defensive
So obviously, Eevee is no offensive Pokémon. Perhaps however, it shines in the defensive side of things? With a defensive spread of 55/50/65 for its HP, Defence and Special Defence, it’s certainly bulkier than most of the offensive stars mentioned above. Compared to the exceptionally frail Bunnelby, Eevee can even survive Fletchling’s Acrobatics after Stealth Rock damage. This might sound good to you, but we need to remember that Eevee still lacks any resistance to other types outside of its immunity to Ghost attacks. It’s also going to be absolutely slaughtered by the potent Fighting type threats of the LC meta-game such as Riolu, Mienfoo and Scraggy. Not to mention the multitude of other Pokémon with access to Fighting-typed coverage moves – including its offensive betters previously mentioned.
It’s not like Eevee is your only option defensively either (in fact calling it an option next to the Pokémon I’m about to mention is rather generous). Lickitung, Munchlax and (again) Porygon are much better alternatives. All three possess much better defensive stats than Eevee and far better abilities and/or movepools to serve as defensive Pokémon or bulky attackers. Porygon in particular stands out as a phenomenal defensive Normal type, thanks to its reliable recovery and access to Psychic to punish Fighting types switching in.
There’s too much Eevee love! There’s just too much! (Image Source)
Yes, Eevee is well loved by Pokémon fans the world over, but it certainly doesn’t deserve its love from a competitive standpoint. In fact, it seems clear that the only real crowd-winner of Eevee is its evolution gimmick (allowing it to evolve in to one of eight equally outclassed Pokémon) and its cute design. If you really want a Normal-typed champion to compete in Little Cup battles, look no further than Porygon. It’s amongst the greatest bulky attackers, possessing fantastic defensive stats when boosted by Eviolite and a murderous Special Attack combined with access to good abilities. It’s even got an “on” at the end for you eeveelution fanatics. Unfortunately though, the beloved Eevee kind of sucks… and by kind of, I mean you couldn’t pay me enough to use it.
Edited by Astinus, bobandbill and curiousnathan.
Credit for featured image to Pokemon Zeta.