The “Nifty Or Thrifty” article series takes a comprehensive look at the meta for PvP Cup formats: Great League Remix (2.0!), in this case.
As is typical for the NoT series, I’ll cover not only the top meta picks, but also some mons where you can save some dust with cheaper second move unlock costs or less powering up.
As I try to usually do, I will start with those with the cheapest second move unlock cost and steam ahead until we finally arrive at the most expensive. I will also only be highlighting Shadow versions when they’re particularly relevant… many are worse, and that’s what you can infer if I don’t talk about them.
One more quick thing – here’s the ban list for the meta:
NEW IN SEASON 9: Jellicent and Sableye are banned in Season 9 Great League Remix, but in Season 8 it was actually Toxicroak and Meganium that were banned instead. Otherwise, this list is the same as it was in Season 8.
Alright, with all that out of the way, let’s get into what IS in the format that you may want to use!
10,000 Dust (25 Candy)
Wing Attack | Bubble Beam & Ice Beam
Fitting in this category thanks to the Baby Discount™, as giving a Mantyke a second move costs only 10k dust, and then evolve and it’s only about another 30k to build up to a right sized Mantine from there. Anyway, Pelipper is banned, so here’s your easiest replacement. And yes, Mantine can perform well, though it’s obviously rather dependent on Bubble Beam to work right. But IF it all works out, you can beat ALL Fighters, and nearly all Grounds, Fires, Bugs, Flyers, and even Grasses, plus stuff like Zweilous and Lickitung as bonuses. I do NOT necessarily recommend Mantine to those unfamiliar with it–the timing of baits is very key and takes some practice to get the hang of–but the ceiling it very high here.
Dragon Breath | Aqua Tailᴸ & Crunch
An intriguing wild card option, Gary isn’t the best at any one thing, but it’s cheap and does a number of things very well, handling a subset of Mantine’s hitlist, but subbing out many Grasses and Fighters to instead better handle Psychics (thanks largely to Crunch) and Registeel, while also beating Mantine head to head.
Wing Attack | Poison Fang & Shadow Ball
Sticking with the Flyers for now, Golbat has long been a budget player’s hero in The Silph Arena, and with the buff to Poison Fang has a chance to break out at long last in GBL as well. And GL Remix looks like a good place to get started, holding down Fairies, Fighters, Bugs, Grasses, and Psychics (mostly thanks to the looming threat of Shadow Ball), and even outlasts Diggersby, Drifblim, Sableye, Perrserker, and half of the Castforms.
Wing Attack | Sky Attack & Psychic
Fire Spin | Dragon Claw & Blast Burnᴸ
No Talonflame, no problem? I don’t know that Zard will end up being quite THAT dominant, but it does have a good package for success in this meta. First off, no Azu, Toed, Swampert, Pelipper, Altaria, DD, Bastiodon, Talonflame, G-Fisk, Galv, OR A-Wak to cause it problems. Second, plenty of good Steels, Fairies, Grasses, Bugs, Ices, and even Fighters to roast. Add to that big bonuses like DIggersby, Lickitung, Pidgeot, Drifblim, and Hypno (even with Thunder Punch), and yeah, maybe it WILL end up that dominant after all! Time will tell, but Zard really appreciates what this meta is shaping up to be… and what is banned from participating.
Almost as exciting is TYPHLOSION, but the unique wins it gets (Stunfisk, Sableye, Nidoqueen) are a hair less interesting that the Diggersby, Beedrill, and Fighters (Shadow Champ, SIrfetch’d) that Zard is able to bag. Typh is certainly more than viable, though!
Counter | Blaze Kick & Blast Burnᴸ/Brave Bird/Stone Edgeᴸ
As per usual, Blaze doesn’t operate quite like other Fires, which is both blessing and curse. The blessing is Counter ripping through things like Diggersby, Dewgong, and Darks like Zweilous and Mandibuzz that can cause other Fires some trouble. The curse, however, is less Fire damage means Blaze struggles a bit against Bugs, Grasses, and especially Fairies… Blaze is the Fire that usually loses, badly, to Charmers, and of course it doesn’t appreciate Psychics either. If you’ve used it before, likely none of this is new to you, but it’s good to be reminded of what makes it great… and what also has kept it from more fully breaking out in PvP. (Blast Burn and Brave Bird, by the way, can beat Stunfisk, whereas the otherwise-tempting Stone Edge fails. All are viable but that’s probably the biggest difference between them.)
Water Gun/Mud Shot | Mud Bomb & Blizzard
Ready for a bold claim? You may want to consider Water Gun on your Whiscash in this format. Yes, really. In that configuration, Cash can pick up wins over Mandibuzz, Sableye, Escavalier, and Clefable, matched against only two losses that come with Mud Shot: Zweilous and Drifblim. Now do take that with a grain of salt, as Mud Shot is a bit better still with shields down or in 2v2 shielding, but I found it interesting nonetheless. Perhaps that would fit YOUR team better?
I’ll also point out that while Swampert is banned, pre-evolution MARSHTOMP is not. And though it does have a few nice tricks and would surely throw opponents for a loop, it may be TOO spicy for most… but I’d be remiss to not at least point it out.
Vine Whip | Superpower & Energy Ball
The easiest way to deal with those Grounds and Waters, of course, is Grass. But uh… Venusaur is banned, as is Meganium. So where do we turn next? Actually, the best overall Grass may not one with Frenzy Plant at all. Check out Chesnaught, which has the added bonus of Fighting damage too to take on things like Zweilous, Perrserker, Sableye, Melmetal, Lickitung, and Ferrothorn and living to tell the tale, as well as still doing most everything you’d ask of your Grass type (beating all Waters, Grounds, and Rocks without a noted anti-Grass advantage). It’s a nice versatile option that would be good to build now if you haven’t already!
Beyond Naught, the Grass pickings are kinda slim among the cheap options. Your best one with Frenzy Plant is probably the newest recipient, SERPERIOR, and it’s fine if unexciting. SCEPTILE is similar… does some genuinely nice things, just not enough of them. No, perhaps your best fill-in is actually a Pokémon that’s not even fully evolved….
Vine Whip | Power Whip & Sludge Bomb
Venusaur’s pre-evolution Ivysaur is a cross between Venu and first-in-the-line Bulbasaur that’s flexing nicely in Element Cup right now. Ivy runs with the Sludge Bomb that makes the other two awesome, but of course lacks Frenzy Plant, settling for Power Whip instead. (5 more energy and 10 less power than Frenzy, but still a fine move on its own.) That means that, of course, it does not live fully up to all that Venusaur could do in this meta, but the differences are small, especially when considering that two of those losses are Munchlax and Mew (specifically with Flame Charge), so only the third–Lickitung–is of true, painful consequence. Ivy is just fine here, and certainly the closest you’re gonna get to capturing Venusaur’s normal glory. You still beat the Charmers, the big Grounds, most Waters and Fighters, and even Cresselia and Sableye and Nidoqueen. All in all, it’s really not a bad performance at all for something that can literally say “this isn’t even my final form!”
Water Gun | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Ice Beam/Skull Bash
Would you believe Blastoise is finally one of the top Water options (in this meta)? It’s not really ranked as such (slipping just inside the Top 100 overall), but it puts up pretty good numbers. Blastie doesn’t have the flashiest moves, but combined with its high bulk, it gets the job done not just against Fires and Grounds and such, but also against Steels, Charmers, and things like Drifblim, Obstagoon, Sableye, Froslass, and Beedrill. (Skull Bash beats Mantine, BTW, while Ice Beam hates on Flyers and beats Pidgeot specifically.)
Waterfall | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Drill Peck
Probably the only other (eligible) Water starter worthy of serious consideration, but even Empie is just okay here. Yes, it represents a very hard counter to Charmers, and its Steel typing also blunts the attacks of things like Abomasnow and Hypno, but it’s more of a specialist while Blastoise actually has more widespread usage, at least versus the core meta.
Volt Switch | Wild Charge & Brick Break/Thunder Punch
Overall, both Raichus are rather similar. The key differences? Alolan Raichu resists Psychic and Fighting and has clear advantages versus opponents that rely on that type of damage, leading specifically to wins versus Hypno, Shadow Machamp, and Registeel (Focus Blast). Original Recipe Raichu’s advantage is Brick Break, which is awesome for baiting and for chipping in enough Fighting damage spam to make it feel almost like a Fighter. End of the day that plus Wild Charge brings in wins AhChu struggles to match, like Beedrill, Munchlax, Ninetales, and even Wigglytuff and Clefable. Also not being vulnerable to Ghost and Dark damage (as AhChu is) means KayChu can also beat Mandibuzz, Jellicent, and Sableye much more easily than its Alolan cousin. Either way, both Raichus have solid value, and have already proven themselves even in open PvP formats. They’re well worth your consideration here.
Charm | …does it really matter?
Several cheap options here, though WIGGLYTUFF remains the best, what with its handy Ghost resistance leading to unique wins over Jellicent, Drifblim, Lickitung, Mew, and Hypno, among others. CLEFABLE and even WHIMSICOTT are okay too, but generally fall behind Wiggly overall. In one form or another, however, Charm will likely have a big impact in this meta… for better or for worse.
Counter | Night Slash & Hyper Beam/Gunk Shot
Yes, really, Hyper Beam is a legit option with unique wins against Stunfisk and Pidgeot. (The more common Gunk Shot is a slightly better answer to Charmers and outraces Tropius and Ninetales, so yes, it’s still fine too.) Of course, most of what Goonie does is with just Counter and Night Slash anyway, threatening Steels/Darks and Psychics/Ghosts alike, as well as most Normal amd Ice types and a smattering of others that don’t appreciate its spammy (and high!) damage output. Goonie is easily one of the best “Fighters” here (and super thrifty!), despite its especially glaring weakness to Charm.
There are other true Fighters that can be had cheaply thanks to the Baby Discount™, including Medicham Junior HITMONCHAN and LUCARIO, though they mostly pale in comparison to other Fighters we’ll look at later, and even Obstagoon above. You may see them here and there but I have trouble really recommending them.
Poison Jab | Fell Stinger/X-Scissor & Drill Runᴸ
Wrapping up the 10ks with The Bee, who I finally saw starting to pop up in GBL last season after far too long being underrated. This is a Bug that’s always been able to handle things like Registeel, Cresselia, Escavalier, and even Sunny Castform thanks to Drill Run, as well as still doing standard Bug/Poison things like beating the Charmers, handling Fighters, eating through Grasses, and even stinging most Darks. And it’s only better now after the still-recent buff to Poison Jab… combined with Fell Stinger, it can potentially dust off Melmetal and win the mirror match, though X-Scissor is perhaps still slightly better and more reliable overall for at least dealing decent Bug-type damage when unblocked. Shadow Bee is an interesting alternative to screw with the opponent’s expections, beating things like Froslass, Nidoqueen, Stunfisk, and Sableye, but as the cost of losing to others like Melmetal, Perrserker, Lickitung, and Sunny Castform.
50,000 Dust (50 Candy)
Poison Jab | Poison Fang & Earth Power
It’s amazing what a little move shakeup can do for long-derided Pokémon, isn’t it? The Queen is the new hotness since the last move rebalance, and a true force in PvP, including Remix. She’s SO popular now that you wonder if she’ll be on the ban list next time around, but for now her unique ability to handle Fires and Electrics and Steels and Fairies and Fighters (and others like Lickitung, Pidgeot, Stunfisk, and Tropius) with equal proficiency is extremely valauble. As with Beedrill, Shadow Queen presents an intriguing alternative that can trip up the opponent, flipping things like Cresselia, Ferrothorn, Mandibuzz, and Zweilous to wins, but it gives up several Fires, Sable, Beedrill and others to get there, and I personally slightly lean non-Shadow here. But either Queen has unquestionable viability!
Mud Shot | Rock Slide & Drill Run
So I’ve written about Excadrill before, both in a pre-Mud Shot analysis in Master League and then as part of the GBL S6 Rebalance analysis, but I always noted it was best in ML where it could flex its high CP and somewhat mask its shaky bulk, and that in lower leagues it was completely overshadowed by Galarian Stunfisk. Well guess what? With G-Fisk banned, now Excadrill IS basically G-Fisk here… as close as you can get, at least. It’s still not as good, but it DOES fill mostly the same roles: holding down Charm and Psychics, rolling over Steels (though Registeel can frustratingly escape) and Poisons, still handing U-Fisk, extinguishing most Fires, bringing down (most) Flyers with Rock Slide, and even besting Froslass and Zweilous and such too. This is its best chance to shine out bright without Fisky around, and it looks ready to make the most of it.
Rock Throw/Spark | Rock Slide & Thunderbolt/Magnet Bomb
We have our G-Fisk replacement, and now here is our Bastiodon fill-in. Obviously Probo is not QUITE that good, but it IS close, losing only Sableye and either Mew (which it typically beats with Spark) or Hypno (which it usually takes down with Rock Throw, as simmed above) and matching all of Bastie’s other core meta wins. Probo is FAR cheaper too, which is good since you may not have one built yet (but should have, if you followed my past advice! 😉). If Bastie poundings are your thing, you’ll like Probo. There’s even Shadow Probo if you wanna mix things up.
Spark | Mirror Shot & Wild Charge
So honestly, even I’m not sure how legit this is, but… well, dang. And as a Shadow… dang squared. Electric is a pretty good typing here overall, but Zone is a high risk (albeit obviously high potential reward) option with so many likely-common weaknesses (Fire, Fighting, and especially Ground). That all said, there are plenty of Fairies and Waters and Flyers and Grasses and even Bugs that want nothing to do with it, and it even holds up admirably if Mirror Shot baits fail, so this is certainly at least somewhat legit. If you like piloting Zone in UL and/or ML, I don’t usually recommend it in Great League, but with several of its scarier counters on the ban list, this would be the time if ever there was one!
Counter | Megahorn & Drill Run
You likely already know all the good that Escav can do by now, but here’s a reminder. Not every day you run across a “Fighter” that can also handle Charmers and Psychics, but that’s Escav in a nutshell. If you like it, you’ll likely continue to like it here.
Bullet Seedᴸ | Weather Ball (Fire)ᴸ & Leaf Storm
Hopefully you built one for Great League during its Community Day back in February, because Bullet Seed and Weather Ball are both absolutely key to its success. But it’s the more recent addition of Leaf Storm that has really pushed Rose over the top as a true PvP threat in Great League, and gives it its role in Remix… and specifically wins over Dewgong, Nidoqueen, Obstagoon, Sableye, and often Mew. Beyond that it handles most Charmers, Waters, and Grounds while also toasting Melmetal, Escavalier, Froslass, and most Grasses with Weather Ball. It’s super glassy, but it hits a good chunk on the meta hard on its way out.
What you do NOT want to do is run Roserade with Razor Leaf. Grassholes in general really struggle here, and are all (rightly) ranked far outside the Top 100. Shadow VICTREEBEL and VILEPLUME are okay, hard on Fighters and Charmers and of course most anything Water or Ground, but they’re nothing particularly special here, and don’t have their customary Bastiodon or G-Fisk protective detail. For the sake of all… I recommend NOT trying it.
Powder Snow | Weather Ball (Ice) & Energy Ball
The secret is long out now: Aboma is good in basically every format where it’s eligible, and Remix is no exception. Other than my customary heads up that Aboma can actually beat Shadow Machamp AND Sirfetch’d (those are leads Aboma CAN win with 2x Weather Ball… don’t auto swap out!), there’s not much to point out that you don’t already know. So how about this, then: consider Blizzard instead of Energy Ball. Obviously you lose stuff like Dewgong and Jellicent, but you potentially gain Cress, Hypno, Lickitung, Sable, AND the mirror… and keep Champ and Fetch’d, despite what that shows. (You just need WB, remember.) Blizzard Aboma is an overlooked stud too, especially in this meta with no Azu and Swampert and such to throw Energy Balls at.
Ice Shardᴸ | Icy Windᴸ & Blizzard/Water Pulse
Here’s another one where I recommend Blizzard rather than the second move more commonly used… Water Pulse, in this case. Pulse is a BAD PvP move, and while it does allow wins at times versus stuff like Ninetales, Blizzard brings in a lot more good wins (Cress, Ferro, Sable, Aboma, and the mirror) and pushes Dewgong into more elite territory.
A fun alternative (which requires no Legacy moves) is SEALEO, and here the speedy charging of Powder Snow masks Water Pulse’s deficiences enough that it’s actually halfway decent, providing handy coverage versus Ninetales, Sunny Castform, and Froslass. Dewgong struggles versus all of those, and cannot normally beat Lickitung as Sealeo can either. Dewgong IS better overall, but Sealeo does much of what it can plus some surprising twists that can really mess with the opponent’s head… much of it thanks to having one of the spammiest Body Slams in the game.
Powder Snow | Avalanche & Shadow Ball
The Ice princess that can beat Fighters… and Psychics and many other Ghosts, of course, and even stuff like Dewgong and Escavalier thanks to Shadow Ball. But keep far, FAR away from Charmers, Fire, Waters, Normals, Steels, most Darks… as good as Lass is (and she really can be in experienced hands), she’s got some exploitable vulnerabilities too.
Shadow Claw | Shadow Punchᴸ & Shadow Ball
Eligible and still just fine as generalists, yep!
Hex | Bubble Beam & Shadow Ball
With Grass rather suppressed, this seems a much better meta for Shadow Ball than Ice Beam, and Bubble Beam is actually a good fit with Fire and Ground being rather potent. And yes, JelliBelli is as potent (and bait happy) as ever too. Expect to see several and plan accordingly!
Mud Shot | Stone Edge & Earthquake
The oft-forgotten member of the OG Mud Boy trio, Lord Quag may be the best one here, and especially with good PvP IVs. 👀 Those new wins are against Charmers, Munchlax, Escavalier, and Drifblim, so no slouches! Got a really good Quag? Here’s your chance to smash face with it.
Spark | Thunderbolt & Hydro Pump
While it’s in direct competition with Rainy Castform for the same slot/role and is perhaps slightly worse, there is no doubt Lanturn is sold. It’s a tad slower than Chinchou that’s tearing up Element Cup (no true bait move), but carries itself quite well against Fires, Waters, and Flyers (just like E.C. Chou) and also Charmers and Ices and others too. Like I said, solid performance.
Fire Spin | Weather Ball (Fire) & Overheat/Solar Beam/Returnᴸ
So the question before us is thus: Solar Beam for awesome coverage (particularly a legit win against Jellicent!), or Overheat to overpower and outrace Obstagoon, Drifblim, Sableye, and Pidgeot? Or heck, even a bit of both (plus the mirror match) with Return? Decisions, decisions!
Counter | Rock Slide & Cross Chop
It’s really Shadow Champ for its unique wins over Ninetales, Tropius, Sableye, Sirfetch’d, and Froslass, thanks mostly to Rock Slide. Put simply, it’s the best Fighter here, bar none. I’m a little surprised Champ wasn’t on the ban list, actually.
Others like SIRFETCH’D and PRIMEAPE do a lot of good things too (beating Stunfisk, and Ape can also most easily beat Aboma and also Champ head to head), but they just can’t really measure up to Shadow Champ overall.
Poison Jab/Snarl | Dark Pulse & Gunk Shot
People WILL use it, but honestly A-Muk is just okay here. You may actually want to run it with the buffed Poison Jab, gaining Lickitung, Ninetales, Shadow Granbull, and two Castforms (whereas Snarl instead outraces Froslass and Ferrothorn). But that may be working too hard… this meta just isn’t a great fit for A-Muk.
Confusion | Ice Punch & Shadow Ball (non-Shadow)/Fire Punch (Shadow)
A staple of so many past metas I really don’t feel you need me to say much, but here’s what I can offer. Ice Punch is important in nearly any moveset configuration, and I think with non-Shadow Hypno you pair it with Shadow Ball and don’t look back, nailing Cress, Castforms, and Ninetales that way. With Shadow Hypno, I think the coverage of Fire Punch (paired with Ice) may be best (burning Steels and Wigglytuff and others), but there are lots of ways you can go with Hypno’s moves, and few “wrong” ways to go about it. Hypno is not this meta’s nucleus, but it’s in orbit.
75,000 Dust/75 Candy
It’s not that the 75k and 100k Pokémon aren’t good, it’s just that I’m running out of space (and your brain likely is too!), so I’ll go through these expensive options in rapid fire style!
- MANDIBUZZ is its usual potent self here, but another moveset curveball I want to lob your way. Rather than the standard Foul Play/Aerial Ace, consider throwing Shadow Ball into the mix, with which you can beat Castform, Ninetales, and even Froslass! Guarantee you that Froslass owners everywhere will be floored if they lose THAT matchup!
- There’s nothing at all wrong with ZWEILOUS‘s standard second move choice of Dark Pulse. But in 1v1 shielding and with shields down, Dragon Pulse can actually do slightly better (+Tropius and +Mandibuzz, respectfully). I found that interesting!
- DRAPION has many of the same problems as A-Muk, but an easier time digging out of bad spots and keeping the opponent on their toes with a varied moveset. Sludge Bomb makes it a pretty hard anti-Fairy that can also beat Tropius and other Darks (Mandi, Goonie), while Crunch makes it instead a hard Psychic/Ghost counter (Hypno, Jelli, Blim, Cress), while Aqua Tail makes either able to take out Charizard, Ninetales, and Sirfetch’d.
- Yes, DRIFBLIM wreaks its usual havoc on Grounds, Grasses, Psychics, Bugs, Fighters and more. Oh, and gets Registeel and even Melmetal as a bonus!
- Don’t be shocked to see GLISCOR or GLIGAR! They’re sneaky good in holding down Fighters, Fires, Bugs, Steels, Grounds, Electrics, and a decently wide smattering of others. Study those win/loss lists!
- Its Galarian cousin is banned, but that won’t stop STUNFISK from showing up either. Fires, Flying, and especially Steels fear few things less here, and it conveniently blunts Machamp’s Rock Slide and can beat it too, among others.
- Thinking of FLYGON? Now might be the time to think Dragon Tail. 🤔
- Other Dragons like SHADOW ‘NITE and GOODRA are alright too, but honestly can’t be labeled anything more than “spice” here… though very nice spice, eh?
- LAPRAS works fine, but is really no better than cheaper Dewgong or even Sealeo. Perhaps then you may want to consider running Water Gun for a more unique threat that much better handles Fires (pickups include Ninetales and Castform) and fellow Ices (win vs Dewgong) and can beat Registeel! Shard loses those but gets Mandi, Aboma, Hypno, and Charizard instead.
- Definitely a meta that more favors Air Slash TROPIUS (beats Escav, Ferro, Zweil, Bee) more than Razor Leaf (Sable and Perrserker instead), but if you HAVE to run a Razor Leafer, Trop is probably your best bet.
- If the baits work, FERROTHORN can eke out wins against Lickitung and Froslass, but even if they don’t, Ferro is still a solid Grass that doesn’t really have to fear Psychics, Fairies, Poisons (looking at you, Nidoqueen), or Dewgong/Sealeo. So that’s nice.
- The potential is there for FORRETRESS to be SCARY good… if the baits go well. Otherwise, it’s more just simply scary. It NEEDS those baits to handle most Steels, Grounds, and Waters its capable of (as well as things like Beedrill), but at least if that doesn’t all work out, it still represents a hard counter to Fairies and Psyshics, and can still take out most Darks and Ices too. The ceiling is high, perhaps TOO high, but at least the floor isn’t terrible.
- STEELIX with Thunder Fang isn’t something many would ever expect. Just sayin’. 😉
- Got a good SNORLAX left over from Retro Cup? Good… deploy! Regular Lax uses its bulk to outlast Registeel, Hypno, Obstagoon, Perrserker and such, while Shadow Lax sheds those wins to instead outrace Charizard, Escavalier, Sableye, Stunfisk, Whiscash, and Rainy Castform.
- And speaking of the CASTFORMS, yes, they’re ALL good here. SNOWY is arguable the best overall Ice type here, overpowering a ton of things despite having no coverage. SUNNY is basically Ninetales with slightly more bulk. RAINY is a slightly better Lanturn, trading big Flyers like Mandi and Jellicent to instead beat Grounds (Diggersby, Nidoqueen, Stunfisk, Mud Boys), Steels (Escav, Registeel), and Beedrill and Sableye. And yes, that NORMAL Castform you have left from Retro is viable too if you want to spice things up!
100,000 Dust (100 Candy)
- Yep, REGISTEEL is good, though perhaps not as much as you’d expect. Even with so many of its hardest counters banned, there are still lots of things that are gunning for it, from Fires to Fighters to the Grounds and Waters that remain. Perhaps a slightly better bet is actually REGIROCK, who does lose to Cresselia and Lickitung that ‘Steel can beat, but turns the tables on Fires and the few Flyers (Mantine, Drifblim) that do beat ‘Steel, as well as stuff like Beedrill and Melmetal. ‘Rock actually seems like the best Regi here, to my eyes.
- If you want a big expensive Steel anyway, might I suggest MELMETAL? In all ways except beating Psychics (Hypno, Cress, Mew specifically), it also seems superior to Registeel here, handling Beedrill, Mantine, and Charizard (akin to Regirock), as well as Rainy Castform and Registeel itself.
- I made the same recommendation in Retro Cup but didn’t see it have much of an effect, so I am once again asking for you to consider Confusion on your CRESSELIA. It gains potential wins against Beedrill, Escav, Lickitung, Tropius, Ninetales, Charizard, and Castform as compared to Psycho Cut Cress, which outraces Obstagoon and Zweilous but loses all those others I listed. There’s nothing WRONG with Psycho Cut, don’t get me wrong, but there is nothing wrong with Confusion in this meta either. It warrants your consideration, so consider this your (second) wake-up call.
- Expect a LOT of MEW this time around, at least in part because many folks will have acquired their shiny blue one by now and surely kept it at Great League size if they overpowered their initial one long ago. (Or, uh, MAXED it, like this silly author. 🙋♂️) You can probably also expect a lot of Shadow Claw and some combination of Wild Charge, Surf, Dragon Claw, Flame Charge, Rock Slide, and many others. I won’t bother with a ton of sims, but PvPoke sims it thus, to give you a rough idea of what it can do.
- Other Electrics have looked good so far, and so does ZAPDOS, particularly as a Shadow, where it really gets to flex its uniqueness as a Flyer by beating Ferrothorn and Abomasnow in addition to already handling the major Fighters, Bugs, and most other Grasses utilizing Drill Peck. If you have a good GL Zappy (with Thunder Shock, of course), go nuts!
Here I cover ‘mons that are no less “nifty” than those in the main article above, but require maxing or at least almost maxing out, so they are FAR from “thrifty”! Best acquired in a Lucky trade for good IVs and less investment. I’ll also cover these in bulletized format to bring this article home!
- Don’t mistake the lateness of DIGGERSBY appearing in this article as indication it is not good… quite the contrary! At the time of this writing, it is actually ranked #1 in Remix, and while it puts up good but not mind-blowing numbers overall, it’s hard to argue with the ranking when you look at all that it can handily beat. I’ll let you look over that fine list yourself, but a couple important points to specifically cover. First, you might be surprised to hear it’s just as good with Hyper Beam, with which it can beat Cresselia, Charizard, and Mandibuzz (and is guaranteed to shock and awe them in the process!) in exchange for the Lickitung, Jellicent, and Escavalier that Earthquake beats. The other interesting tidbit is that Diggs performs just as well without being XL, losing Cress but actually re-gaining Lickitung with Beam, or keeping ALL the same wins as XL Diggs and adding the mirror with Earthquake… so that’s nice!
- And speaking of LICKITUNG, it’s still great if you have one, but thankfully not as wholly dominant as in past metas for those who don’t. There are a goodly number of hard counters here… much moreso than we had in Retro Cup, for instance. Licki is still a force to be reckoned with, but you have a few more answers to call upon this time around, and a even a number of its listed wins (Fires, Grasses, and stuff like Zweilous and Stunfisk) are close and within the IV and/or lag margin of error.
- WOBBUFFET has to be maxed, hundo, AND purified, but we all know that one guy or gal that’s actually made that investment, right? And they’ll surely want to use it here. Maybe they’ve even best buddied it too, bringing in a win over fellow arm-and-a-leg-investment Lickitung. It’s not wholly dominant, but Wobb is definitely scary and well worth bringing… for the 1% of you out there lucky enough to have one ready to go. (Darn you to heck, by the way. 🤪)
- An investment many more of us HAVE likely made is SABLEYE, and it is indeed a very good generalist here, of course being especially rough on Psychics but conveniently handling the big name Steels, Bugs, Ghosts, and (less consistently) Fighters too. And good news: once again, you can run non-XL and not miss too much: just super close wins that XL can sometimes get versus Whiscash and Dewgong.
- I’m reluctant to even point this one out, as it will give many (myself included!) renewed hatred for regionals, but for those that have access to it, PACHIRISU is good. Like, really, REALLY good. It’s super bulky, especially for an Electric, and thus can do silly things like outbulk Charmers and Fighters and all the big Steels in addition to being a top-flight Electric doing standard Electric things. Stupid regionals. 😒
- And once again, repeat after me: DO NOT RUN CHANSEY. But if you hate yourself and everyone around you and decide to max one out anyway… well, here’s what it can maybe do, if that’s worth your mortal soul. 😂
And 60+ Pokémon later, we’re done! Hopefully this helps you balance the cost of where to save yourself some hard-earned dust (and candy!). This will be up on GO Hub soon as well, with a handful of other spice options I just didn’t have room for here on Reddit 😬, so keep an eye out for that.
Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter for near-daily PvP analysis nuggets, or Patreon. And please, feel free to comment here with your own thoughts or questions and I’ll try to get back to you!
Thank you for reading! I sincerely hope this helps you master Great League Remix, and in the most affordable way possible. Best of luck, and catch you next time, Pokéfriends!