Evolution Cup Guide: Nifty Or Thrifty, Season of Timeless Travels edition

The “Nifty Or Thrifty” article series takes a comprehensive look at the meta for PvP Cup formats — the return of Evolution Cup, in this case — particularly focused on Pokémon where you can save yourself some stardust. 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 XL investment. Because especially for one-week formats like this, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to compete without breaking our budget.

As a quick reminder, this is a Great League (1500 CP or less) format that features all middle evolutions… things that have evolved once and can still evolve again. It’s a bit funky with a LOT of names not normally seen in PvP, as you’ll see.

As this is an update (mostly a rewrite, as it turned out in the end!) of past analyses on this meta, a couple things to watch out for. You will notice some things marked with a 💥, which indicates something that is new to the meta entirely (or at least new to the analysis article, indicated a big rise in relevance since last time), and some things marked with a ⬆️, which indicates things that have gotten a significant move update that increases their potency in the meta now. Hope that helps!

Without any further ado, here we go!

10,000 Dust/25 Candy

Obviously, every starter Pokémon has a middle evolution, so as you can guess, there is actually a very deep “bench” of 10k options to pick from. But which ones are the most viable? Let’s take a look! We’ll begin with the starters and then move on from there.


Marshtomp WaterGround

Mud Shot | Surf & Mud Bomb/Returnᴸ

One of only two Mud Boys in this format, it’s probably not a huge surprise that Swampert’s pre-evolution is the best of the Water starters (and among the top — if not AT the top — of Water and Ground types in the whole format, for that matter). What may be a surprise is that I think it really wants Return. Marshie really doesn’t have a move with true closing power otherwise, with Surf and its 65 power being the next closest. Generally, its best overall performance comes with Surf and Return, with Return specifically bringing in a win over Togetic that Surf and/or Mud Bomb cannot achieve on their own. There is also Shadow Marshie to consider as well, and in THAT case the best you can do is Surf/Mud Bomb, which cannot beat Vigoroth as non-Shadow can, but outslugs Piloswine instead. There are most definitely teams that will want the Shadow version… or the other side of the coin with the purified version!


Prinplup Water

Bubble | Icy Wind & Bubble Beam/Returnᴸ

I LOVE this little guy and have used him with good success in multiple formats that didn’t care about first-, second-, or third-stage evolutions. Bubble plus Icy Wind is tasty, and Prinplup is more than chonky enough to reach Return in meaningful spots as well (with which it can nab targets like Primeape, Marshtomp, and Nidorina/o. It shows even better with Bubble Beam instead (with on-paper wins against everything Return can beat PLUS Alolan Graveler, Togetic, and Shadow Golbat), but I have a little trouble trusting things that rely on Triple Bs (Bubble Beam baits). Still, there is very solid potential here… don’t overlook Prinplup just because it lacks the Steel subtyping and flashier moves of Empoleon.


Dewott Water

Fury Cutter | Aqua Tail & X-Scissor

Probably tells you much of what you need to know about Water starters in this format when I say that this record is that of the second-best Water starter in Evolution Cup. Dewie DOES do a fair amount of good in there, beating some of the biggest names around like Marshtomp, Sealeo, the Fires, and Zweilous, and while it does not outright beat Grasses, it can at least perhaps scare them into shielding when they don’t want to with its full Bug moveset.


Brionne Water

Charm | Disarming Voice & Aqua Jet

The only Charm user in the format, for what that’s worth. No, it’s not technically a Fairy type (so no STAB) and also has the option of Water Gun (with STAB), but if you’re using Brie for anything, it’s for being the only Charmer around and laying the hurt on anything weak to Fairy damage. There is literally no better way to shut down Zweilous, for example, and you also get bonuses like Piloswine and the new Primeape too, and even Chansey if you play it right.


Ivysaur GrassPoison

Vine Whip/Razor Leaf | Power Whip & Sludge Bomb

You CAN run it as a Razor Leafer, and Ivy actually works surprisingly well that way, with unique wins versus Piloswine and Sealeo. But Razor Leaf is a role likely best filled by other things we’ll cover later, so unless you’re just going for the surprise factor, I think it’s likely still best to stick with Vine Whip, which despite having a slightly worse record, just seems more consistent to me and makes the best use of Sludge Bomb, getting its own unique wins over things like Gloom and the mirror match.


Grotle Grass

Razor Leaf | Body Slam & Energy Ball

As I said, there are things more suited to Razor Leafing than Ivysaur, such as Grotle. A huge part of that is Body Slam with very wide and — for a Razor Leafer — spammy coverage. Ivysaur DOES have an advantage over Fighters and Grasses thanks to its Poison subtyping, but Grotle is just a better pure Leafer overall (shown by how it beats Chansey and Ivy does not, as one example).


Crocalor Fire

Incinerate | Disarming Voice & Flamethrower/Crunch

Your new best Fire type in Evolution Cup, and probably the best starter of any type as well. It all begins with Incinerate, which nothing else in Evolution Cup has… with that alone it puts up as good a performance as any other Fire starter, beating all Bugs, all Grasses but Lombre, all Steels but Lairon, and all Ice types but Sealeo and Arctibax. It is once you start mixing in charge moves that Croc really takes off, with new wins versus things like Golbat, Sealeo, Nidorino, Lairon, and Chansey, Hakamo-O with Disarming Voice specifically (I recommend Voice the most because Hakamo was everywhere last time) and then either Nidorina and Togetic with Flamethrower, or at least a tie in the mirror match with Crunch.


Charmeleon Fire

Ember/Fire Fang | Fire Punch & Flamethrower/Returnᴸ

Work with either Fire Fang for heavy fast move damage, or Ember for more emphasis on the charge moves. But it would seem now that Shadowmeleon is basically a straight upgrade, with new win potential against Chansey, Dusclops, Togetic, and Lairon. That’s probably the way I would go if I ran Charmeleon in this meta.


Combusken FireFighting

Ember | Rock Slide & Flame Charge

It doesn’t have the most impressive overall record, but Combusken checks all the major Fire-type boxes AND beats Crocalor thanks to Rock Slide. In this meta, that makes it better than most of its peers.

Quilava Fire

Worth noting that QUILAVA can do the same thanks to Dig, but it’s slightly less dynamic overall (losing things like Togetic and Lairon that Combusken can beat).


Charjabug BugElectric

Bug Bite/Volt Switchᴸ | X-Scissor & Discharge

Volt Switch is obviously an upgrade from the Spark that Charjabug was stuck with in the past, powering up wins versus Flyers like Togetic and Golbat (and a bonus win against Metang), but it’s NOT the only way to go. Consider Bug Bite that can instead chew through Zweilous, Dragonair, Vigoroth, and the mirror match and surprise the heck out of unprepared opponents. Just something to think about!

I’ll also mention EELEKTRIK, though I really don’t know that I can recommend it, especially with Charj and the next entry on our list around….


Graveler (Alola) RockElectric

Volt Switch | Rock Blast & Thunderbolt/Stone Edge

Uniquely useful in this format, hating hard on Poisons, Bugs, Fires, and Fairy stuff alike while also threatening Waters, fellow Electrics, and even opposing Steels and big beefcakes like Chansey. Normally I ALWAYS recommend both Rock charge moves, but there IS a decent niche for Thunderbolt here, not only to better hold out against Water types, but also to specifically add a win over the next Pokémon in this article….


Lairon SteelRock

Metal Claw | Body Slam & Rock Slide/Rock Tomb

Yes, really. While Aggron remains the butt of many jokes (some undeserved, but many completely understandable) in Pokémon GO, Lairon actually has some use in PvP, as it comes with Body Slam. Even a so-so fast move like Metal Claw can’t hold it back from having a real impact on this meta. It beats much of what A-Grav does, just harder, and beats (Stone Edge) A-Grav in the head to head and much better handles Dragons as well (beating Dragonair straight up, and sometimes Zweilous too). And it conveniently resists ALL of Chansey’s moves and beats it down as well… and can even do it while pocketing 100 energy if you so choose. You love to see it! 😈 It is worth noting that Shadow Lairon is viable too, basically trading away Dragonair to beat out Metang instead, but is especially impressive with shields down, beating out things non-Shadow cannot like Dragonair, A-Grav, Ivysaur, Crocalor, and Charjabug!


Linoone (Galarian) DarkNormal

Snarl | Body Slam & Dig

Speaking of Body Slam, there’s a good chance you forgot that Galarian Linoone is even eligible (while, ironically, OG Linoone is not). If you have one raring to go, this meta is a good one for it. Obviously it MUST avoid Fighters and anything with Fairy or Bug damage, but it dominates Ghosts and just beats down a ton of other things (Ices, Waters, Fires, Grasses, Electrics… and Chansey). Turns out super spammy Body Slamming is still good, and there are few things that spam charge moves better than Snarl. With a REALLY good IV G-Noone, things only get better with Dragonair, Charjabug, Togetic, Nidorino, and Shadow Gloom all potentially falling as well.


Golbat PoisonFlying

Wing Attack | Poison Fang & Shadow Ball/Returnᴸ

Don’t mistake it appearing at the end of this section to mean Golbat is not good here… quite the contrary. There’s nothing else quite like Golbat in this meta, and you can build one dirt cheap even from scratch. You obviously need to beware Ices and Electrics and Rocks, and other things like Chansey and Haunter and Zweilous can fend Golbat off too, but most of the rest of the field is ripe for the picking. You can even consider [purified Golbat]() (with Return) to get around some otherwise troublesome things like Nidorino and Zweil (though there’s a tradeoff to NOT running Shadow Ball, such as losing to Metang). Either way, Golbat is quite solid in this meta, folks.

50,000 Dust/50 Candy


Primeape Fighting

Counter | Night Slash & Ice Punch/Close Combat

Making a big assumption that Niantic remembers that the addition of Annihilape makes Primeape eligible in this format, I know. But it SHOULD be included now, and it SHOULD make a big impact. I’m going to go ahead anf label Night Slash as the key charge move, as it drags things like Crocalor, Vigoroth, and Shadow Dragonair into the win column, but after that the choice is really up to you. Ice Punch provides some nice coverage (beating things like Dartrix and — with shields down — the Shadow versions of Gloom and Dragonair), but Close Combat‘s killing power is superior in 0shield and 1shield scenarios, handling things like Fletchinder (1shield) and Chansey, Crocalor, Hakamo, Marshtomp, Metang, AND Sealeo with shields down. However you trick our your angry monkey, you should get some happy results in this meta.


Machoke Fighting

Karate Chop | Cross Chopᴸ & Dynamic Punch

There’s not much in this format of middle evolutions that has Legacy moves, but Machoke is one such Pokémon, and it needs to have that Legacy move, Cross Chop, for PvP relevance. But thankfully Machoke is better than you probably think in Great League, and has had legit relevance in a couple past formats and will likely see relevance in the future, so this doesn’t have to be strictly a one-week build. And it IS really worth it in Evolution Cup, in both Shadow and non-Shadow form, though Shadow has the slight edge with potential wins versus Hakamo-O, Metang, and the new Primeape where non-Shadow struggles. (Though the two are neck and neck with shields down, and non-Shadow is slightly better in 2v2 shielding with wins vs Crocalor, Arctibax, and Zweilous.) True Fighters are very rare in this meta, but Evolution Cup is a good format for them to make a big impact. Machoke is worth the build.

And one side note: you CAN run it with Brick Break instead of Cross Chop in a pinch, but it is slightly worse, unable to overcome the great evil known as Chansey (with shields down). Still, it’s a viable performance if that Legacy move is just too big a chasm to leap for you personally.


Dusclops Ghost

Hex/Feint Attack | Ice Punch & Poltergeist/Returnᴸ

Another case where the middle evolution happens to be the best in the line, Dusclops has some play in Open formats and certainly in a few Limited ones. And that role has grown a bit since it received Poltergeist as a closing move, having had to previously rely on purified move Return. And while Return is still usually needed to overcome big bad Vigoroth, Poltergeist is otherwise much better, with new wins versus (in order) Arctibax, Charjabug, Crocalor, Fletchinder, Alolan Graveler, Lairon, Marshtomp, Nidorina, Piloswine, AND Sealeo. Yes, losing Vigoroth is unfortunate and that alone may drive people to keep rolling their purified Clops out there, but I think Poltergeist is the new and very clear leader now overall. (And as others have pointed out, you can consider Feint Attack for additional anti-Viggy tech, but I don’t know that I personally recommend the drop in energy generation that comes with it.)


Haunter GhostPoison

Shadow Claw | Ice Punch & Shadow Ball

The case for Haunter is pretty clear: while fragile, it beats a TON of stuff on its way out, to include the Fighters (and Vigoroth) and big name Grass, Steel, Ice, Ghost, Poison, and Electric types found in the meta, among others. Ice Punch is my recommendation for bait/chip damage move, as the coverage is quite sweet for ensuring wins like Vigoroth, Hakamo-O (and Dragons in general), Gloom, and Golbat (and Flyers in general), things that Shadow Punch just can’t quite do. There isn’t much that Ice Punch/Shadow Ball Haunter can’t quite do in general. I don’t really recommend Shadow Haunter here though (or Shadow Dusclops, just to put a nice neat bow on the Ghosts).


Ursaring Normal

Shadow Claw | Close Combat & Trailblaze

Listen, I still don’t feel great about Ursaring in PvP. Many have asked in many varied metas over the years, and I always check and am ALWAYS disappointed. But maybe, juuuuuuuuust maybe, the stars are aligning for one blazing moment in the sun. Thanks to the addition of Trailblaze, Ursaring can now overcome Sealeo, Hakamo-O, Zweilous, Dragonair, Nidorino, and Fletchinder. And yes, I know that list probably doesn’t initially make sense, as everything there but Sealeo actually resists Grass damage, but what’s really happening is the guaranteed Attack buff from Trailblaze is pushing the rest of Ursa’s damage over the top, or allowing it to grab a shield (keeping in mind that Trailblaze replaces Play Rough, which costs 10 energy more than Trailblaze) and follow up with a closing Close Combat that it couldn’t really do in the past. Ursaring is still much flimsier than you might expect and will surely sometimes still disappoint, but there’s legit potential here now that wasn’t there before. Ursaring fans… THIS is your moment!


Sealeo IceWater

Powder Snow | Body Slam & Returnᴸ/Aurora Beam

As proven with Galarian Linoone and others, things with high energy and Body Slam can do good work here, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Sealeo fits that mold. Last year my strong recommendation for closing move was Return, and while that still works out well (winning the mirror, for one thing), Aurora Beam works fine as well (getting its own unique win over Ivysaur, for instance, and being better in general versus most Dragons and Flyers).


Piloswine IceGround

Powder Snow | Avalanche & High Horsepower

The arrow is pointing up this time around with the addition of High Horsepower, solidfying many previous wins and adding on new ones like Metang and the mirror match (versus Stone Edge Swine). In general, this is one of those rare metas where the good that comes with PIloswine’s typing (resistances to Poison and Electric and neutrality to Fire and Rock that most other Ice types do not enjoy) outweigh the bad (weak to Fighting and Water and neutrality to Ice, among other things). Just too many good targets for Piloswine to snipe.


Magneton ElectricSteel

Volt Switch | Magnet Bomb & Zap Cannon/Discharge

Magnet Bomb is pretty much a must, as ‘Ton cannot overcome things like Piloswine and Arctibax without it. But after that? You can stick with more spam via Discharge or big closing power with Zap Cannon… both are pretty close in performance and it kind of comes down to play style. And while most Shadows in this format are overall downgrades, that is NOT the case for Shadowton, which does drop a couple things like Charjabug and Shadow Gloom, but the gains seem worth it: Dusclops, Haunter, Dragonair, Zweilous, and Alolan Graveler.


Porygon2 Normal

Lock-On | Tri-Attack & Zap Cannon

And speaking of Zap Cannon, the Porygon line has been using it since before Registeel made it cool. And yes, Porygon2 is decent enough spice here with Cannon and Tri-Attack to set it up. Very boom or bust choice overall though, as glassy as the Porygons are, but being able to knock out big tanks like Chansey, Dusclops, and Lairon as a Normal type (and things like Haunter, again, as a Normal type) is pretty nice. The Shadow version still does much of that and adds on Marshtomp, Metang, Nidorina, Dartrix, and Shadow Dragonair, though it gives up Sealeo, Golbat, Ivysaur, and Charjabug to do it and comes less recommended as a result.


Gloom GrassPoison

Razor Leaf | Sludge Bomb & Moonblast

Gloom is an unabashed specialist, and its speciality is well known and well established in PvP: Razor Leaf. Interestingly, while many Razor Leafers are run in Shadow form, Gloom works a bit better as a non-Shadow, having an easier time grinding down Magneton that way, but both are, as I said, mostly just specialist options here to chew through Fighters (and Vigoroth) and things weak to Grass. Not a terrible place to claim a niche, though!

Weepinbell GrassPoison

WEEPINBELL is a fun alternative, but it operates best as a Shadow, and Razor Leaf is actually a Legacy move in this case, so chances are you don’t have one to even try out. If you DO, though, it’s worth showing off if you need to scratch that itch.


Rhydon RockGround

Mud Slap | Breaking Swipe & Stone Edge

Barely made the article last time when it ran Surf for baits and coverage, but NOW it comes with [Breaking Swipe](), which makes it a whole new ballgame for Rhydon… new wins like Arctibax, Dragonair, Hakamo-O, and Zweilous thanks to the anti-Dragon tech, as well as Dusclops for good measure. It’s suddenly looking very interesting in Evolution Cup if you can keep it away from Fighters and heavy Grass or Water damage.


Togetic FairyFlying

Steel Wingᴸ/Fairy Wind | Dazzling Gleam & Ancient Power/Aerial Ace

And Togetic didn’t even make the article last time, but now comes with Fairy Wind as one possible option, or even better, a buffed Legacy Steel Wing, which adds further win potential like Vigoroth, Ivysaur, and Shadow Golbat. Handling things like that AND Dragons AND Fighters (and Viggy) AND Chansey?! Sign me up! If you have the Elite Fast TM to spare for Steel Wing, I DO think it’s worth it, as Steel Wing Togetic is suddenly very interesting in PvP in general! 👀

75,000 Dust/75 Candy


Vigoroth Normal

Counter | Body Slam & Rock Slide

Yep, STILL ranked #1 in Evolution Cup, and it’s really not hard to see whyCounter chews through Steels (even Metang), Darks, Ices, and fellow Normals (without having to fear Psychic damage in return from things like Chansey). Things that normally slap down other Normal types and/or Counter users also fall before Vigoroth, with Body Slam wearing down Floette, Brionne, and (Fairy Wind) Togetic. And now the rich get richer with Rock Slide further upgrading Viggy’s performance by reaching for wins versus Fletchinder and Shadow Golbat. (Though without Bulldoze you can lose to Haunter and Marshtomp, so it’s not completely out of the running either.) There ARE ways to fend it off, of course… actual Fighting types do so, as do the format’s big Dragons (not Zweilous, of course, but also not Arctibax) and most Poison types too. But it is undeniably a big threat here, and likely to feature on the majority of teams. Have a plan to take it down, folks.


Zweilous DarkDragon

Dragon Breath | Body Slam & Dark Pulse

Coming in close behind Viggy at #6, we have Zweilous. And again, the numbers kind of tell the story. Unlike Vigoroth, Zweil has a much harder time fending off traditional Dragon and/or Dark counters, with the format’s Fairies (and Brionne) and Fighters pretty much all laughing in its face. And Ice types freeze it out rather effectively as well. But most of the rest of the format is ripe for the picking, to include the Poisons and Ghosts that lord over Vigoroth. I smell core potential! Just watch out for those Fighters.


Hakamo-o DragonFighting

Dragon Tail | Dragon Claw & Brick Break

And slotting in between Viggy and Zweil, Hakamo is #3… and rinse-and-repeat, the numbers tell most of the story as to why. Yet again we see some now-familiar names, but note that Fighters (to include Vigoroth) now enter the win column. Dare I say Vigoroth/Zweilous/Hakamo teams may prove pretty popular? 🤔


Arctibax DragonIce

Dragon Breath | Avalanche & Dragon Claw

Not everyone will agree, and that’s okay, but I still lean towards Avalanche over Icy Wind for this newcomer. Icy can make a couple Dragons easier (beating Zweilous as a specific example), but the pure power of Avalanche just seems more useful overall, with its own special wins like Togetic, Alolan Graveler, and a slight leg up in the mirror.


Dragonair Dragon

Dragon Breath | Aqua Tail & Body Slam

While it doesn’t have any handy subtyping like Zweilous or Hakamo, Dragonair is nonetheless equally dangerous. Like Zweilous, it can handle Golbat and Haunter. Like Hakamo, it can take down Vigoroth and Piloswine. About the only big thing those others can do that Dragonair cannot easily replicate is beating Dusclops… it just lacks the knockout blow potential. But ‘Nair is a fantastic generalist in this meta, giving many oppoents a hard time with its super spam coverage moves. ShadowNair is a legit sidegrade too, with new wins versus Chansey, Lairon, and Dusclops, though you give up Golbat, Magneton, and Vigoroth to get there.

And there are even more Dragon options, but they fail to achieve the same level of success as Zweilous, Hakamo, and Dragonair. FRAXURE has a lot of fun moves but doesn’t capitalize on any particular combination of them…. SHELGON continues to be held back by lousy TwisterGive it Dragon Claw, you cowards!… GABITE isn’t too bad with buffed Dig, but still seems shakier than you’d like.


Metang PsychicSteel

Metal Claw | Psyshock & Gyro Ball/Returnᴸ

You ready for a big surprise? Check out Metang in Evolution Cup! 😱 That’s a mind-boggling result at first, but when you stop and think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. Metang has a typing and/or moves to handle Fighters, Poisons, Fairies, Grasses, Dragons, Ices, AND Rocks, and thus its winlist includes many of the format’s nig names from each of those typings. It DOES lose to Vigoroth and Primeape, can’t handle heavy neutral damage from things like Charjabug and Magneton, and it loses outright to Ghosts, Grounds, and Fires. But overall, this is a shockingly friendly meta for it to flex on. And it doesn’t get anywhere close to XL territory either. This spice is nice!


Mr. Mime (Galarian) IcePsychic

Confusion | Ice Punch & Triple Axel

Confusion is a true rarity in this format, and Mime uses it well here. This year its Psychic (the move!) got nerfed, but it gains Triple Axel to make up for it, which finally brings Hakamo-O into the win column. Vigoroth and its Rock Slide unfortunately escape, but Primeape and Night Slash doesn’t. There’s a lot to like about Mime this year.


Magmar Fire

Karate Chop | Fire Punch & Flamethrower/Scorching Sands

Magmar finally has a true coverage move now with Scorching Sands… but does it want it? I’m not sure. Sands is good tech versus Fires and Poisons, with standout wins versus Crocalor and Nidorino, but Flamethrower does more overall, with wins instead versus Charjabug, Chansey, Ivysaur, Dartrix, and Sealeo. It’s a pretty flammable meta, really. Pick your pleasure, but overall I still slightly lean old school with all-Fire, I think.


We’re in the home stretch, but before I let you go, I wanted to highlight some good stuff that is unfortunately deep into XL territory and may not be acheiveable by many players. Target these in a Lucky trade if you can, and good luck!

Staravia NormalFlying
  • I think I would be remiss not to lead off with new-to-this-article-this-year STARAVIA ⬆️, which takes off with buffed and/or new Flying moves. The major downside? It has to be fully maxed out, making it a project out of reach for many. But if you got one ready, deploy!
Wartortle Water
  • WARTORTLE‘s story is this: its record says much of what you need to know about Water starters in that you just witnessed the winlist of the second-best Water starter in Evolution Cup. Tort does its best and, like its big brother Blastoise, gets a long way on bulk rather than particularly exciting moves. It’s a nice stabilizing force that you don’t want to build around, perhaps, but it can round out many core duos nicely.
Fletchinder FireFlying
  • I’m much more excited about FLETCHINDER 💥⬆️, and if you have a hundo, it works well at “only” Level 41.5, which is nice. It benefits nicely from the Steel Wing buff, now able to beat things like Hakamo-O and Piloswine (and sometimes Sealeo). Note that I recommend Aerial Ace rather than Fly, but they’re relatively close in performance and which one you run with probably comes down to your playstyle. Good luck!
Swadloon GrassBug
  • I would like SWADLOON a LOT better if it wasn’t so danged expensive.

Dolliv GrassNormal Nidorina Poison
  • I SO badly wish I was able to fully max out a NIDORINA, but alas. If YOU are able, my friend, she’s well worth it not just here in Evolution Cup, but in several other Limited formats as well, and arguably even in Open Great League!
Nidorino Poison
  • No Poison Fang (like Nidorina) makes NIDORINO quite a bit less exciting, but yes, it’s still viable too, and at least doesn’t have to be pushed all the way up to Level 50. Shadow ‘Rino is handy too.
Poliwhirl Water Palpitoad WaterGround
  • Technically, Marshtomp is NOT the only Mud Boy in Evolution Cup, as there’s also PALPITOAD. It’s just that Palpie is MUCH more expensive and a bit less exciting. But viable? Sure!
Floette Fairy
  • It’s been mentioned a lot throughout this article, so you’ve probably been wondering when I would cover FLOETTE. So here we go. Yes, it’s a very intriguing and unique option here, even if the numbers are a bit blah. Flo can handle Fighting types (though Vigoroth remains frustratingly out of reach) and dominates all the Dragons, but it also checks Waters and Grounds (to include Sealeo, Piloswine, Marshtomp, and Brionne) that are weak to Vine Whip, and can even hold out long enough to take down stuff like Gloom too. You may even consider a non-XL Floette, which can potentially overpower Chansey AND now Vigoroth too. Ooooooo!
Chansey (Evil Incarnate) Normal
  • You know the drill by now: DO NOT RUN CHANSEY! That said, people will, and yes, it does make sense to do so here, and not JUST for timeout strats. Running with Zen Headbutt these days, Chansey can legit wear stuff down and emerge victorious regardless of the clock. Have a plan to fend it off!

And gonna end it right here (again!). Hopefully this helps you balance the cost of where to save yourself some hard-earned dust (and candy!) and have FUN doing it.

Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter for regular 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 Evolution Cup, and in the most affordable way possible. Best of luck, and catch you next time, Pokéfriends!

Author & tags

PoGO/PvP Investigative Journalist, GO Hub and Silph Arena/Road Contributor, amateur cook, author of 'Nifty Or Thrifty' and 'Under The Lights' article series and #PvPfacts!

Further reading

Popular today

Latest articles

Support us

Buy GO Hub merch

Get your very own GO Hub t-shirt, mug, or tote.