Nifty Or Thrifty PvP: Spring Cup (World Of Wonders Edition)

The “Nifty Or Thrifty” article series takes a comprehensive look at the meta for PvP Cup formats: Spring Cup in this case, which we get for two weeks in a row from March 8th to March 22nd, 2024. 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 and/or leveling up! Because for those on a stardust budget — and/or folks trying to save up some dust for the future — it can be daunting trying to figure out where to spend or not spend it.

As per usual, we’ll start with those with the cheapest second move unlock cost and steam ahead until we finally arrive at the expensive Legendaries. I do try and put extra emphasis on the thriftier stuff, especially for formats like this where you may not use some of these things much in the future. (For a rough guide to reusability, though, I will rank things with ♻️s, with three being solid in other Great League formats, two being okay in at least certain Cup formats, and only one being something that, honestly, you’re unlikely to use again.) I will also use 💪 for things are much more powerful in the meta this time around (generally due to new or buffed moves) and 💥 for things that are brand new to Spring Cup this time.

A quick reminder of what Spring Cup is:

  • Great League, 1500 CP Limit.
  • Only GrassWater and Fairy type Pokémon are eligible.
  • Toxapex and now Mantine are banned, and it’s not hard to see why! Thank goodness.

You may notice this particular edition of “Nifty Or Thrifty” (famous by now for always pushing the Reddit character limit) is going to be a little bit more truncated than most of these writeups you’re used to. (Of course, I say that going in and then will likely STILL take up all the characters, but…. 😅) This is simply a somewhat consolidated meta. It’s not a small format, per se, with still over 250 eligible Pokémon. But there are some very clear tiers of Pokémon that are very good and competitive and those that are not even viable… and not many groups in between. Drift very far beyond the top recommendations and you can find yourself in Rock Paper Scissors hell quickly. Very few Fairies look likely to make an impact, so this will often come down to Water vs Grass. And you can probably guess which is more likely to come out on top in THAT scenario.

Anyway, let’s dive in and see what we’ve got, shall we?

10,000 Dust/25 Candy


Venusaur GrassPoison

Vine Whip | Frenzy Plantᴸ & Sludge Bomb

Long time readers will know why I’m leading another “Nifty Or Thrifty” off with my boy Venusaur, but even first time readers can understand why a Poisonous Grass type with good moves deserves a mention here: at least on paper, it has advantages versus Waters AND opposing Grasses and Fairies thanks to its Poison side (and Sludge Bomb). The problem is that most things that look likely to impact the meta have similar special qualities, with more than enough Ice, Flying, Bug, Steel, and opposing Poison damage out there to keep Venusaur somewhat in check. This may even be a format to consider a higher Attack Venusaur, as it beats all the same things (in all even shield scenarios) PLUS usually wins the mirror, or Shadow Venusaur which can overcome Trevenant but drops Pelipper to do it (and drops a handful of others in other shielding scenarios). Whichever way you go, Venusaur remains a very strong and flexible pick, as always.


Serperior Grass

Vine Whip | Frenzy Plantᴸ & Aerial Ace

As has been the case many times before, all it took was one move tweak to shoot the Grass Snek into PvP relevance. In this case, that tweak was the buff to Aerial Ace, which seems forever ago now (it was actually only last September), but was still after the last edition of Spring Cup. That has it now moving into the Top 10 and projecting as the top Grass starter, leapfrogging my boy Venusaur. They both have their place, with Venusaur obviously handling itself much better against Poisons like Tentacruel and… well, opposing Venusaurs, but Serperior with its speedier Ace can better outrace stuff like Walrein and even Poisonous Qwilfish, and is much better this year versus opposing Grasses and even Bugs thanks to a cheaper Ace too. I’m still partial to Venusaur myself, but I absolutely understand the appeal of the Grass Snek, and you should too.

Meganium Grass

You feel like MEGANIUM ♻️♻️ shouldn’t work as well in this meta, and indeed it loses to stuff like Tentacruel and Venusaur just like Serperior, but without any notable pickups. But its bulk and good enough coverage moves keeps Meg in the running as well. Earthquake does give it some unique play versus Steels, shown most brightly by beating Ferrothorn and Mawile if it can land an Earthquake on them (such as in 0v0 shielding). But even then it’s giving up things Venusaur and Serperior can beat like Qwilfish, Alolan Ninetales, and Araquanid. I just don’t think this is Meg’s meta.

I think that’s about it for Grass starters, though. CHESNAUGHT and HISUIAN DECIDUEYE can beat Ferrothorn (which IS a big deal, as we’ll see later) but nothing else special. Newly interesting regular DECIDUEYE is okay but not as impressive as you might think, even when running ALSO newly interesting (and widely unresisted) Astonish. And even non-starters like LEAVANNY and WHIMSICOTT mostly fall flat. See what I meant about this being a rather condensed meta?

Speaking of which, on to the other typings….

EMPOLEON ♻️♻️♻️ 💪

Empoleon WaterSteel

Steel Wing | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Drill Peck

Last time, Empoleon was rather on the fringe of the Spring Cup meta, notably able to consistently handle Galarian Weezing. But that was then, and this is now, with the number of wins and losses basically flipping thanks to the addition of Steel Wing to Empoleon’s arsenal. The ONLY thing that old Waterfall can beat that Steel Wing cannot is Mawile in 2v2 shielding. But Steel Wing gains nine other wins in 2shield, seven in 1shield, and 5 in 0shield matchups, with no other notable losses. These include things like Dewgong, Cradily, Tropius, Jumpluff, and Pelipper in most scenarios, as well as others like Ferrothorn, Venusaur, Tentacruel, Walrein, and Abomasnow more situationally. In short, it now solidly beats all the Fairies but Dedenne and, on occasion, Mawile, as well as basically all Ice types, and even the majority of Grass types now. And Shadow Empoleon is even a further improvement on that, with new wins like Pelipper and Walrein in 1shield, Ferrothorn, Trevenant, and Venusaur in 0shield, and Trevenant, Venusaur, Araquanid, and that elusive Shadow Mawile in 2shield, with just a couple losses (Ferro in 1s, Pelipper and Tentacruel in 2s). The Shadow version is also overall better in Open GL now too, so this is a great time to build one if you haven’t already.


Feraligatr Water

Shadow Claw | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Ice Beam

Another great opportunity to try out one of the season’s shiniest new toys. Feraligatr is note quite as impressive here as Empoleon, but certainly does a LOT of good now thanks to widely unresisted Shadow Claw. Not only does it slice through Galarian Weezing and Trevenant thanks to Shadow Claw, but it also handles key Water types like Dewgong and Pelipper, and even a surprising number of Grasses now with Claw + Ice Beam, to include Venusaur, Tropius, Abomasnow, and Jumpluff. It may not beat everything, but Feraligatr now at least has play against just about everything.


Swampert WaterGround

Mud Shot | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Earthquake/Sludge Wave

There is perhaps no better single sign of how this meta is shaping up than looking at how tepid Swampert is. I mean, it CAN get a bit better, with either Sludge Wave to potentially add on things like Abomasnow, or going with Shadow Swampert and instead adding wins versus things like Walrein. But it’s just an uphill battle with so few good targets for Ground damage and SO many Grasses (and even many of the big name Waters) that can cross Swampert off without too much fuss. Swampert will show up, absolutely, but this is the most uphill battle it’s had to face in a while.

Whiscash WaterGround

Not too surprisingly, even with the threat of BlizzardWhiscash struggles even worse than Swampert. Swampie may work on the right team, but in this case, I think you want to mostly avoid. Scald isn’t the answer to prayer Whiscash was looking for in Spring Cup, at least.


Samurott Water

Fury Cutter | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Megahorn

At least Sammie has Bug moves going for it, bad versus Fairies but decent against Waters and even a little scary for Grasses, capable of handling ones like Venusaur, Cradily, and Abomasnow, I might even recommend considering Sammie over Swampie here. What a weird meta, right?


Quaquaval WaterFighting

Wing Attack | Close Combat & Aerial Ace

Any Water type that doesn’t rely on Water damage is worth at least a look in this meta, since Water damage is resisted by so much. And despite being ranked down at about #50, Quaquaval outperforms much of what is ranked above it. Akin to Ducklett in Little League (and Mantine, which was banned from this meta for similar reasons), having a full Flying moveset (Wing Attack and Aerial Ace) is a pretty big deal in a Water and Grass filled meta, dealing neutral to the former and super effective damage to the latter. This allows Quaquaquaval to not only take down fellow Waters like Dewgong, Walrein, Sealeo, Qwilfish, and Flying-weak Araquanid and Poliwrath, but also the majority of Grass types, including Trevenant, Venusaur, Cradily, Abomasnow, and even Hisuian Electrode and Ferrothorn! Of course, Close Combat helps with several of those, especially those that are part Ice, Rock, or Steel (and it can beat Mawile and Powder Snow A-Ninetales with it too), but make no mistake: it’s the Flying moves that really give Quaquaquaval a big leg up here. Yes, Quaquaquaquaval is unlikely to really take off in PvP until it gets Hydro Cannon one day, but until then, Quaquaquaquaquaval is a cheap and still potent enough investment in the here and now.


Golisopod WaterBug

Shadow Claw | X-Scissor & Aerial Ace

With the buff to Aerial AceGolisopod is on the rise in Spring Cup. In some ways, you can almost think of it as an alternate Shadow Claw Feraligatr now, with Golisopod more consistently beating Dewgong, Abomasnow, Ferrothorn, Hisuian Electrode, and thanks to taking only neutral from Razor Leaf, Shadow Victreebel, while the Gatr is better equipped to outrace Jumpluff, Tropius, Venusaur, Shadow Mawile, and Alolan Ninetales.

That’s right… really no Fairies to speak of. This is about as good as it gets for Charmers (even with WIGGLYTUFF‘s new moves), and even with Seed Bomb added now, WHIMSICOTT is still fringe at best.

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Weezing (Galarian) PoisonFairy

Fairy Wind | Overheat & Brutal Swing/Sludge

Getting this out of the way right from the top of this section, because G-Weeze is an absolute menace in this meta, with a big fat Fire move (Overheat) and a resistant typing to burn all the Grasses. (It can literally beat every single one in all even shield scenarios except Cradily with shields down and Exeggcute — not Exeggutor, but Exeggcute — in 2v2 shielding.) It’s similarly dominant over other Fairies aside from Carbink, and wet Fairies Azumarill and Tapu Fini (who are almost completely unviable anyway thanks to all the Grasses around). And then it goes out and beats things like Araquanid and either Jellicent (with Brutal Swing) or Poliwrath (with Sludge) too. The majority of Water types CAN take it down, thanks in very large part to absorbing the Overheat that otherwise makes it so scary, but this is Galarian Weezing’s meta, folks. Just put the crown on it now, and I hope to Arceus you have one to use yourself. Good luck!

ABOMASNOW ♻️♻️♻️ 💪

Abomasnow GrassIce

Powder Snow/Leafage | Energy Ball & Icy Wind/Weather Ball (Ice)

Not that it needed to get better (Abomasnow was already meta last time), but Icy Wind now gives it new opportunities, and is particularly a major improvement for non-Shadow Aboma with new wins like Cradily, Ferrothorn, and the mirror match, though it does sometimes give up Pelipper now that it lacks the speed of Weather Ball (Ice). There is ALSO intrigue now with the fast move, as Leafage obviously applies a lot more pressure to Water types, basically giving up some Grass wins like Venusaur, Trevenant, and Jumpluff (as well as Pelipper) to instead take out Water types like Dewgong and Poliwrath, as well as Ice-resistant Alolan Ninetales (with Charm OR Powder Snow). That kind of tech could really confuse and dominate unprepared opponents used to Ice-heavy Abomas.

CRADILY ♻️♻️♻️

Cradily RockGrass

Bullet Seed | Grass Knot & Rock Slide/Stone Edge

Cradily is very interesting with its Rock Slide (or Stone Edge) that can smash Flying and Ice types that terrorize most other Grasses, though one could argue it’s sort of budget Ferrothorn here. You can roll with Shadow or non-Shadow, with Shadow better able to overpower things like Sealeo, Alolan Ninetales, and Qwilfish, and non-Shadow outlasting Walrein and Venusaur instead.

JUMPLUFF ♻️♻️♻️ 💪

Jumpluff GrassFlying

Fairy Wind | Aerial Ace & Acrobaticsᴸ/Energy Ball

It’s simple, really: Aerial Ace is now better, and thus Jumpluff is improved as well, with new win potential like Tropius, CharmTales, and Hisuian Electrode. While the natural inclination is to run Ace alongside Energy Ball for maximum coverage, it actually seems like it may work best with Acrobatics instead, forgoing all Grass damage but giving up only Spark Lanturn to instead gain things like Cradily and Poliwrath (and surer wins over Grasses like Tropius and H-Electrode) instead. Turns out you don’t even NEED Grass damage for Jumpball to come out on top versus most all the Waters anyway! (And yes, Shadow is very similar.)


Pelipper WaterFlying

Wing Attack | Weather Ball (Water) & Hurricane

Sticking with Flyers for a moment longer, as Pelipper is quite good. Not quite Mantine levels of good, but then again, Mantine isn’t in this year and Pelipper is, still putting in a very solid performance even as the meta shifts all around it. In some ways, it may be even a bit better, as it can beat rising Feraligatr, Empoleon, and Quaquaval in addition to giving up basically no ground on what it could do last time in Spring Cup. Especially with Mantine now absent, expect to see a LOT of Pelipper this year.


Araquanid WaterBug

Bug Bite | Bubble Beam & Bug Buzz

Famously nasty versus the Icy Waters that are a big deal in this meta, Araquanid chews through most Grass types too, including even Ferrothorn despite dealing no better than neutral damage throughout. (It can even handle ThunderThorn! ⚡ FerroThor, literally Grassy God of Thunder? 🔨 Eh, I’ll figure that out by the time we actually get to Ferrothorn.) ‘Nid’s biggest issues are Flyers, Electrics (Lanturn, at least), Poisons, Fairies, and then Ghosts and Steels, roughly in that order. Most everything else just gets chewed up, quite literally. And yes, I think you’re best sticking with Bubble Beam to aid in grinding things down rather than the new and improved Water Pulse, which doesn’t do much for it in this meta.

WALREIN ♻️♻️♻️

Walrein IceWater

Powder Snowᴸ | Icicle Spearᴸ & Earthquake

Araquanid is of course the bane of Wally’s existence, resisting everything it’s got to throw at it, but overall this should be one of Walrein’s better showings. It certainly does not relish facing down Grass types, but it gets the job done more often than not, and Earthquake conveniently dooms big Poison types like G-Weeze, Tentacruel, and Qwilfish, and even bonuses like Steely Mawile. ShadoWalrein is not without its merits (outdueling Cradily and CharmTales), but it gives up more than it gains, with new losses versus stuff like Qwil, Mawile, Aboma, and Trevenant. I think my recommendation is to avoid Shadow for this one, but Wally overall definitely gets a big thumbs up.

DEWGONG ♻️♻️♻️ 💪

Dewgong WaterIce

Ice Shardᴸ | Icy Windᴸ & Drill Run/Blizzard

Much better now with Drill Run… or is it? While Drill Run is still great for taking out Poisons like Tentacruel and Qwilfish and Steel types like Mawile here and there, but perpetually underrated Blizzard can simply overpower stuff like Ferrothorn in 1shield, Jellicent and enemy Dewgongs in 2shield, and Cradily with shields down. It’s fine to go with Drill Run, and I imagine 99% of players will. But some of those sneaky wins with Blizzard could do a LOT of good for you if you’re feeling frisky.


Sealeo IceWater

Powder Snow | Body Slam & Aurora Beam/Returnᴸ

Good old Powder Snow is the way to go with all these Grasses and/or Flyers around. Body Slam is a must, but after that is kinda up to you. Aurora Beam to finish off Grasses like Trevenant, Shadow Vic, and Cradily, or Return to instead blow away Tentacruel and things like the mirror match? But despite its big buff this season, I would still stay away from Water Pulse in this meta… as I’ve mentioned before, Water damage is just resisted by far too much in Spring Cup.


Tentacruel WaterPoison

Poison Jab | Acid Spray & Sludge Wave

PvPoke currently has Tentacruel ranked JUST outside the Top Ten, at a very robust #11 (at the time of this writing). And that seems about right… when run with Scald, anyway. But in my humble opinion, Sludge Wave is the way. There really isn’t much here that resists Poison, and a LOT of things that resist Water. More specifically, Sludge Wave can wash away things like Walrein, Trevenant, Venusaur, Araquanid, and even Jellicent and Ferrothorn across various shielding scenarios, while Scald barely gets them wet. Trust Uncle JRE and go with that all-Poison set… you won’t regret it.


Qwilfish WaterPoison

Poison Sting | Aqua Tail & Sludge Wave

In THIS case, however, you do want the spammy Water charge move rather than all-Poison, partly because Aqua Tail (recently buffed, remember!) is just SO good at stealing shields and setting up Sludge Wave, but also because Acid Spray just doesn’t harmonize with Poison Sting nearly as well as it does Tentacthulhu’s Poison Jab. Aqua Tail is a key piece in setting up wins over things like Trevenant, Venusaur, Cradily, and Mawile that you usually lose to otherwise, among others. Tentacruel is your slow plodder… Qwilfish is a spammer’s delight. Which one suits YOU better, trainer? Or… perhaps both? 😈

LANTURN ♻️♻️♻️

Lanturn WaterElectric

Spark | Surf & Thunderbolt

No alternate Water Gun moveset recommendations here… you want to just go with Spark. You beat basically every non-Ground Water type out there except Ludicolo and Shadow Poliwrath, plus any Fairies you’ll see except the occasional Dedenne and rare Whimsicott (both Electric-resistant) and Carbink. The problem, of course, is Grasses, which Lanturn has NO answers for. But still, effectively handling basically 2/3 of the meta ain’t bad at, and Lanturn dominates in many of those matchups. It’s farm or BE farmed with this one.


Ninetales (Alola) IceFairy

Powder Snow/Charm | Weather Ball (Ice) & Psyshock

This is one of those rare occasions where I think Dazzling Gleam doesn’t have a great use case, and I’d recommend running with Psyshock instead, regardless of fast move, for the extra pressure it brings to the big Poison types here. There are, of course, differences a-plenty between the fast moves, with Powder Snow hitting Grasses hard (beating Trevenant, Venusaur, and Shadow Victreebel), while Charm instead knocks out other Ices like Walrein and Dewgong, and big Waters like Jellicent and Araquanid. But even better is Shadow PowderTales, which beats everything non-Shadow can except sometimes Dewgong, and ADDS Cradily, Qwilfish, and even Ferrothorn. (Whereas Shadow CharmTales is more of a sidegrade, losing Walrein and Jellicent to gain Pelipper and PowderTales instead.)


Dedenne ElectricFairy

Thunder Shock | Discharge & Play Rough

On the one hand, lots of Waters and/or Flyers to pick on! But on the other hand, lots of Grasses and Poisons to ruin your day, too. In the end, the numbers reveal that dichotomy, with every Flyer but Jumpluff and the vast majority of (non-Ground) meta Waters showing in the win column, but nearly all Poisons and/or Grasses in the losing column (though it does beat Fairy-weak ones like Shiftry and Chesnaught, at least). I don’t know that I’d build a team around it, but there will be some teams out there with a hole best filled by this little fella.

KLEFKI ♻️♻️ 💪

Klefki SteelFairy

Astonish | Foul Play & Play Rough

And while we’re on the topic of funky Fairies, look at what humble Klefki can do here! The long-awaited Astonish buff has done it a lot of good. This being one of the rarer regionals in the game (at least until after GOFests this year), I have none to try out myself, but I like what picture the sims paint, at least. Got one and always wanted to use it? This may be your best shot. 🔑


Shiftry GrassDark

Snarl | Leaf Blade & Hurricane

Foul Play just doesn’t do much for you in this meta. Even against most of the Steel types here, I think Hurricane is just better… Mawile resists both and Ferrothorn takes neutral from both, and Hurricane obviously shreds any Grasses it manages to hit. Shadow Shiftry in particular is actually pretty scary in the right hands, outracing equally scary stuff like Jumpluff and Walrein that its non-Shadow version just can’t beat in time.


Roserade GrassPoison

Poison Jab/Bullet Seedᴸ | Weather Ball (Fire)ᴸ & Leaf Storm

The differences between the fast moves couldn’t be more obvious. Poison Jab beats Grasses (Trevenant, Venusaur, Jumpluff, Tropius), while Legacy Bullet Seed beats more Waters (Dewgong, Jellicent, Qwilfish)… oh, and outraces Abomasnow (thanks to Weather Ball), the one odd outlier. Either way, Rose is a pretty underrated threat in this meta, consistently beating BIG names like Ferrothorn, Tentacruel, Araquanid and more. Well worth a look!


Electrode (Hisuian) ElectricGrass

Thunder Shock | Energy Ball & Wild Charge

As with Dedenne earlier, this is an Electric type that does not want to see Poison, but it looks better than I expected going in, managing to outrace things you might not expect like Sealeo, Cradily, Mawile, and Tentacruel, at least with proper move timing. Because of course, as wonderful a weapon as Wild Charge is, used at the wrong time, it can spell disaster. If this is a Pokémon you’re already comfortable with, you might really enjoy it here.


Vileplume (Shadow) GrassPoison

Razor Leaf | …does it matter?

Obviously Shadow Victreebel is the one that comes to mind first, really being where the whole “Grass hole” thing came from anyway. But I continue to point people to Shadow Vileplume and Shadow Gloom, who have a bit more bulk and can hang in there to beat Cradily and Pelipper on top of everything Shadow Vic can do. Not saying they’re strictly better — Vic certainly has more enticing charge moves — but they are at least worthy of your consideration.


Seaking Water

Poison Jab | Icy Wind & Drill Run

Especially if you have one with a bit of extra Attack (which can potentially add Pelipper and Walrein to the win column), Seaking could be a lot of fun here, with Poison Jab and Icy Wind to keep Grasses and Flyers on their toes (beating not just Tropius and Jumpluff, but Abomasnow too!) and Drill Run for wide neutral coverage and a way to slam the door on Poisons and Steels (beating Mawile and Galarian Weezing specifically). I could see Seaking throwing a wrench in the works of a lot of opposing teams!


Jellicent WaterGhost

Hex | Ice Beam & Shadow Ball

Just for this one meta, you may want to look back on a time before Surf was an option and just run both closers: Shadow Ball and Ice Beam, which seems like it may be the best of both worlds here. With SO many things that resist Surf in this meta, it’s just not as worth it… Beam/Ball really beats everything Beam/Surf or Ball/Surf sets can anyway besides Walrein in 1shield and Tentacruel in 2shield, and combines their success, beating Jumpluff and Tropius with straight Ice Beam, and Araquanid and Dewgong straight Shadow Ball. There is basically nothing that Surf brings to the table… TM it away for this meta, I say.


Barbaracle WaterRock

Fury Cutter | Cross Chop & Stone Edge

This is a weird one, I will readily admit, but the buff to Brick Break makes it much more interesting. There is no one thing Barbar does best, but what it DOES do is disrupt and deal a lot of neutral damage to a lot of different things. Could be just the kind of spice you’re looking for! 🌶️


Bruxish WaterPsychic

Confusion | Psychic Fangs & Crunch

Got a Bruxish you built a while back for Psychic Cup and figured you wouldn’t be needing again? Well good news… it has a lot of potential here! Just TM that Bite away to Confusion and that Aqua Tail (not very good here, for the same reasons Jellicent really doesn’t really want Surf) and go slay all those Poisons (yep, including G-Weeze) and Ices (even Aboma!) and a cluster of other Grasses and Waters and Fairies too. This is a GREAT spice pick with serious upside for your consideration here at the end of the 50ks! SLOWBRO, especially ShadowBro, is fine in this role too, just not to the same awesome extent.

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CARBINK ♻️♻️♻️ 💥

Carbink RockFairy

Rock Throw | Rock Slide & Moonblast

If ever there was a sign of how stupidly powerful Carbink can be in PvP, here we throw it into a meta made up mostly of things that slice through Rocks (Water AND Grass types), and where even the most viable Fairies are half Steel and therefore resist all of Carbink’s moves, and yet it STILL goes out and puts on a clinicBruh. It does lose to new big names Empoleon and Feraligatr, but look all the good it can do. Carbink is going to be everywhere this time around, folks. The best ways to beat it are with Steel damage or a particularly relentless barrage of Grass, Water, or Ground damage, but it is NEVER an easy out, as many players can attest by now. Good luck!


Ferrothorn GrassSteel

Bullet Seed | Power Whip & Mirror Shot/Flash Cannon

One of few things that DOES dominate Carbink is Ferrothorn, resisting all of Binkie’s moves and slamming it with all super effective charge moves. (Double super effective in the case of the Steel moves.) But beyond just Carbink, the utility of Ferro’s Grass side should be obvious in this Watery meta, though Ferrothorn has the extra advantage of taking only neutral damage from Ice — making things like Dewgong, Walrein, and Lapras much more surefire than other Grass types — and actually resisting Poison, which has huge and obvious advantages in Spring Cup as well. And conveniently, Ferrothorn also double resists Grass damage and thus it beats down most other Grasses too. It DOES suffer some HARD losses, such as Fire-wielding Mawile and Galarian Weezing (though even in that latter case, it can turn the tables with a well-timed Flash Cannon), and CAN be worn down by Trevenant, Araquanid, and a cluster of Flying types. (Despite that threat, I still generally recommend a Steel charge move rather than Thunder to cover Fairies and other Grasses instead of doubling up versus Waters/Flyers.) Ferrothorn is STILL ranked #2, and really only because Galarian Weezing is in the way of getting to #1.


Trevenant GhostGrass

Shadow Claw | Seed Bomb & Shadow Ball

It’s not perfect by any means. Trevor still trembles in the face of Ice, Fire, Flying, and even (neutral) Bug and Poison damage. But there is NO denying that it’s better than even its numbers show, with the number of relevant things that resist Ghost damage being something that even Chubbs from Happy Gilmore could count on one mangled hand. Trevor may not always win, but it similarly mangles a LOT of the meta. It WILL be a common encounter in this meta.


Mawile SteelFairy

Fire Fang | Power-Up Punch & Iron Head

Another meta where it doesn’t really want Fairy Wind, as Fire Fang burns through Grass and Ice and Steel types, and Iron Head is likely your best coverage for how hard it also hits Ice types and the pretty wide neutral damage it does. The end results are quite nice, in regular and Shadow form. Lots of burnable things here, and resisting Grass and Flying and Ice damage is just icing on the cake. Waters are your biggest foe though, so be wary.


Tropius GrassFlying

Air Slash | Leaf Blade & Aerial Ace

Less versatile than fellow Flying Grass Jumpluff, but this is still a good place to deploy it as a Grass killer that also beats up plenty of Waters with spammy Leaf Blades. I’ll admit it’s a niche role, but the right team can REALLY benefit from filling niches like this.

LAPRAS ♻️♻️♻️

Lapras WaterIce

Ice Shardᴸ | Surf & Dragon Pulseᴸ/Ice Beamᴸ/Skull Bash

Want some deep cut secret tech? Give Legacy Dragon Pulse a look, as it’s pretty awesome in a meta with so many Water and/or Ice types that resist Ice damage (beating Walrein and Dewgong specifically). That said, old reliable Ice Beam is fine too, beating Galarian Weezing and Cradily instead.

100,000 Dust/100 Candy


Kartana GrassSteel

Razor Leaf | Leaf Blade & X-Scissor/Aerial Ace

The only Legendary I think is really worth mentioning here (sorry, Tapu Fini, but no), Kartana adds a new flavor of Razor Leafer thanks to its handy Steel subtyping. It has a whole arsenal of cheap, cheap charge moves, and while my recommendations are X-Scissor or Aerial Ace for opposing Grasses and Night Slash for the Ghosts and wide neutral coverage, there’s really no wrong way to go.

Alright, that’s it! May all your sets avoid RPS in Spring Cup!

Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter for regular 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 show your own true colors in Spring 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!

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