Pokémon GO Weather Cup (Great League) – Nifty Or Thrifty Analysis

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Hello again, fellow PvPers! My sincere apologies on the lateness of this, but it’s time to dive into the newest GBL Cup!

The “Nifty Or Thrifty” article series takes a comprehensive look at the meta for PvP Cup formats — the Great League version of Weather 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 don’t need a second move at all! Because especially for one-week formats like this, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to compete without breaking our budget.

Just a quick reminder of what Weather Cup is:

  • Great League, 1500 CP Limit.
  • Only Fire, Ice, Rock, and Water type Pokémon are allowed.

Alright, on to the analysis!

10,000 Dust/25 Candy

This category was very sparce for Ultra League Weather Cup, but thankfully expands out nicely here in the Great League version.

SWAMPERT

Swampert WaterGround

Mud Shot | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Earthquake

Just as it was ranked very highly in Ultra Weather Cup, it probably comes as no surprise that Swampert is a Top 5 option here too. Resisting relevant-to-this-meta Electric, Rock, Poison, and Fire damage and taking only neutral from Water and Ice, and little Grass around, there’s a lot of good to being an infamous “Mud Boy” in this meta. And Swampie, of course, with its Hydro Cannons, remains the best of them. And arguably, Shadow is even better with an additional win over fellow Mud Boy Quagsire. Most of its wins are fairly obvious, but some of the more notable, lesser-known ones include Whiscash, Poiliwrath, Politoed, Kingdra, Alolan Ninetales (with either of its fast moves), and Froslass.

WHISCASH

Whiscash WaterGround

Mud Shot | Mud Bomb & Blizzard

Honestly, there’s just not as much going for Whiscash in this meta. It has that constant threat of Blizzard, but its few niches come more from spammy, not-resisted-by-Waters Mud Bomb, beating Quagsire and Jellicent that Swampert usually cannot… but also losing to Kingdra, A-Tails, and both Polis that Swampert can beat. Oh, and losing to Swampert itself too. Yeah, IMO… just go with Swampert, folks.

BLASTOISE

Blastoise Water

Water Gun | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Skull Bash/Ice Beam

Not what I expected, but out of all the Water starters (except the aforementioned Swampert), plain and simple Blastoise looks the best. You won’t catch it sneaking away with any wins you wouldn’t expect of a Water type (Ice Beam could technically do that versus the Grasses, but it’s more theoretical than practical… Skull Bash and its neutral coverage is probably best, getting a win over Politoed as one example), but it goes out and does its job well without any pomp or circumstance, and even has a high win rate versus the entire format. Particular notable is beating all the major Mud Boys, as well as other prominent Waters like Politoed and Empoleon. Speaking of which….

EMPOLEON

Empoleon WaterSteel

Waterfall | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Drill Peck

Now here is a Water starter with a gimmick, with its Steel side adding extra resistance to Ice and Steel, and resistances to things like Rock, Bug, Poison, Normal, and Flying that most Water types lack, as well as taking only neutral damage from Grass. The result is a pretty solid performance, far better than Empoleon usually manages down in Great League. Note in particular that Cradily, Abomasnow, Toxapex, and Araquanid show up on that winlist, while they do not for many other Waters. Empie should enjoy a nice week of usage during Weather Cup.

No other Water starters seem worth it to me, though. I’m a big SAMUROTT fan, but it does not seem primed for great success here. Nor does PRIMARINA with its Charm strats. And don’t get me started on the rest.

MANTINE (Baby Discount)™

Mantine WaterFlying

Wing Attack | Bubble Beam & Ice Beam

Being a Flying Water in this format is particularly hairy, as Ice now deals neutral rather than resisted damage and Electrics get MUCH scarier. It’s all too much for something like Gyarados, but Mantine looks like it could still get things done. Mantine is sometimes a tough one to recommend, as it tends to run with Bubble Beam that requires precise timing for Mantine to reach its full potential. (To bait or not to bait, that IS the question?) But in THIS meta, you can skip out on the head games and drop Bubble Beam for Aerial Ace instead and still keep up a very impressive performance, and actually pick up a win versus Jellicent in the process. (Bubble Beam can sometimes beat Empoleon, so that’s your one major drop.)

CHARIZARD

Charizard FireFlying

Wing Attackᴸ | Dragon Claw & Blast Burnᴸ

In the Ultra League version, Dragon Breath was king. But here in Great League Weather Cup, it’s the much-improved Wing Attack that unsurprisingly gets the nod, consistently outperforming Breath and even the Ice-melting Fire fast moves. It struggles versus Cradily (though more on that in a second), but does overcome Ludicolo (even with Bubble) and Abomasnow, still manages to outrace things weak to Fire (but not Flying) damage like Froslass and Alolan Ninetales, nails Araquanid and Fighting types Blaziken and Poliwrath, and even manages to take down Kingdra.

At first, ShadowZard looks like a downgrade (though it DOES notably beat Cradily now, and even outraces Politoed!), but with good IVs it manages to beat Alolan Sandslash and Abomasnow that lower rank IVs cannot, and actually the only thing that it cannot beat which non-Shadow Zard can is Alolan Marowak. So basically, it trades A-Wak to beat Politoed and Cradily instead. I call that an upgrade!

Talonflame FireFlying

There is also TALONFLAME as an option, but honestly, I just don’t like it nearly as much here. It does beat Zard in the head to head, is more consistent versus Alolan Marowak, and unlike Zard, usually overcomes Whiscash. But it also typically fails to beat Cradily, Froslass, Blaziken, and Politoed, all of which Charizard is capable of beating. As seems the case elsewhere, Talon is still good, but seems a bit eclipsed by new-fangled Wing Attack Charizard.

BLAZIKEN

Blaziken FireFighting

Counter | Blaze Kick & Blast Burnᴸ/Brave Bird

A Fire that doesn’t play like your typical Fire, because Blaziken, of course, comes with Counter. As such, it beats down Bastiodon, Crustle, and Cradily with relative ease; it helps significantly that, quite unlike the Fire/Flying Charizard and Talonflame, Blaziken is a Fire/Fighting type and thus takes only neutral damage from Rock. Blaze also has a much easier time beating Froslass, and sneaks in a win versus even Quagsire. But on the downside, it falls to the Flying Fires, both Polis, Alolan Marowak, Kingdra, and CharmTales, all of which one (or usually both) of the Zard/Talon pair can handle. There are absolutely teams that will prefer Blaze over those Flyers though, despite a slightly lower overall win total. Sometimes it’s very much quality over simple quantity!

Incineroar FireDark

And as Talonflame is a slightly worse Charizard, so is INCINEROAR (with new-ish Fighting fast move Double Kick) a worse Blaziken. Thanks to its nice charge moves (Flame Charge to buff and Dark Pulse for coverage) it can overcome CharmTales, Jellicent, and Kingdra where Blaze cannot… but it also flops versus Bastiodon, Crustle, and Araquanid, which are a pretty big plus for Blaziken and a major strike against Incineroar.

ALOLAN ROCKS

Graveler (Alola) RockElectric

Volt Switch | Rock Blast & Stone Edge/Wild Charge

GRAVELER and GOLEM perform very similarly, though Graveler tends to come out a bit healthier and gets my vote if you have a choice. The one difference between them is that Golem can come packing Wild Charge instead of Stone Edge, swapping out Abomasnow that Edge can… well, edge out, instead charging through the Spark version of Lanturn. Your call!

CRUSTLE

Crustle BugRock

Smack Down/Fury Cutter | Rock Slide & Rock Blast/X-Scissor

Smack Down is the default and probably still best way to go, smashing through not only the vast majority of Ice and Flying types you’d expect, but also stuff like Jellicent. But there IS a case for those who want to shock and awe with Fury Cutter instead, giving up PowderTales, A-Slash, and JelliBelli, but gaining a win over the elusive Abomasnow (believe it or not, Smack Down falls short there) and winning the mirror. Yes, I still plan to go with Smack Down, but not everyone will.

AGGRON

Aggron RockSteel

Smack Down | Heavy Slam & Rock Tomb

I know I know I know. Just hear me out. Aggron remains middling at best with the tempting Thunder or Meteor Beam, but they’re just too slow with plodding Smack Down and its below-average energy gains. Instead, buy yourself more time with Rock Tomb, nerfing the opponent’s Attack and setting up a closing Tomb or relatively speedyHeavy Slam. In this way, you beat everything other movesets can PLUS Cradily, Alolan Marowak, and even Jellicent. That’s in addition to already destroying Bugs (Araquanid, Crustle), Ices (Froslass, Abomasnow, A-Tails), Flyers (Pelipper, Charizard, Talonflame), and Toxapex for good measure. I may regret saying it, but… I think Aggron, for once, has some actual use in this particular meta!

Others worth at least a shout-out include SAMUROTTGOLISOPODBIBARELMARSHTOMP, and Shadow GYARADOS. They all do some interesting things and likely will show on opposing teams here and there. I just have trouble endorsing them here, as all have obvious flaws that can be exploited and, in my opinion, are overall weaker than things listed above. But hats off if you can make them work for you, my friend!

50,000 Dust/50 Candy

LANTURN

Lanturn WaterElectric

Spark | Surf & Thunderbolt/Thunder

Before I even get to the Grasses that dominated Ultra League Weather Cup (and are all once again Top Ten options here in the Great League version), I have to talk about Lanturn. Not only is it ranked #1 and amazingly good in this meta, beating basically everything except those Grasses and the Mud Boys (seriously, that entire loss column is entirely Grasses and Muds), but it’s also going to be incredible (and is again ranked #1) in next week’s Electric Cup.

Not very often you get two consecutive weeks of that kind of goodness in GBL anymore, but… well, there it is. I don’t think there has ever been a better time to build one if you haven’t already, folks.

CRADILY

Cradily RockGrass

Bullet Seed | Stone Edge & Grass Knot

Ranked #1 in the UL version, and while Lanturn pushes past it in this version, nothing else does… Cradily holds on to the #2 spot. And that’s really no surprise when you think about it… or at least, when you look at the numbers.

Here is a Grass that takes only neutral damage from Flying and Fire and also dishes out big Rock damage with Stone Edge, and thus beats not only (most) all Water and Ground types, but also Charizard, Alolan Ninetales (the scary Powder Snow version too), and Abomasnow. And it’s well worth noting that while Shadily is worse overall (losing Aboma, Zard, A-Tails, Crustle, Pelipper, and Shadow Swampert), it does sneak in wins versus Kingdra, Empoleon, and Alolan Marowak, for players who are particularly concerned about those. (But non-Shadow gets my vote 9 times out of 10. Maybe nine and a half, even!) The best news? Unlike Ultra League Weather Cup, which required a literally-impossible-for-many Level 50 Cradily, no such XL concerns here, making for a much more level playing field. Dilly dilly!

ABOMASNOW

Abomasnow GrassIce

Powder Snow/Razor Leaf | Weather Ball (Ice) & Energy Ball

Quite a bit to unpack here, but to preface it all: Aboma is VERY dangerous in this meta. Both Powder Snow and Razor Leaf have use, and… you know what, there’s just no good way to do this, so let’s do a quick list:

  • Powder Snowbama wins the mirror versus Razor Leaf Aboma. It also beats Pelipper and, somewhat amazingly, outraces Crustle too.
  • Razor Leaf Aboma is obviously better at chewing through Waters and/or Grounds, but fails to stand out (with non-Shadow Aboma) with any unique wins.
  • Different story with Shadowbama with Razor Leaf. It is the only version that seems to beat Empoleon and Alolan Ninetales (with Powder Snow OR Charm!). Not surprisingly, it also shreds most Waters in the most brutal fashion, for example turning a super close win over Poliwrath (non-Shadow Aboma is left with single digit HP) into a blowout (Aboma comes out missing less than 20 HP from where it started). If you want to run Razor Leaf Aboma, THIS is how I would do it.
  • Shadowbama with Powder Snow is no slouch either. It maintains the same wins as non-Shadow with Powder except for Crustle, Jellicent, and Poliwrath (very close, as I said, for non-Shadow and just can’t hang with Poli here), and adds on Charizard and Cradily, which is pretty huge!

So, as I said, there is no bad Aboma. Pick your favorite and wreck face. Both regular and Shadow are Top Five options in this meta.

LUDICOLO

Ludicolo WaterGrass

Bubble/Razor Leaf | Ice Beam & Leaf Storm

Here again we have the option of Razor Leaf, which was definitely the better way to go in Ultra League. Here in GL Weather Cup, though? I’m not so sure, and wonder if Bubble might be the better way to go. Razor Leaf does obviously dominate versus Waters (and uniquely beats Kingdra), but the gap is not usually all that large, partly because Ludi double resists Water damage and so can hang in there and throw charge moves to victory, not “needing” Razor Leaf to still grind Waters down in the end. And Bubble adds on its own nice wins against Alolan Marowak, CharmTales, and perhaps most critically, Cradily.

ARAQUANID

Araquanid WaterBug

Bug Bite | Bubble Beam & Bug Buzz

So all the same Grasses you saw in UL Weather (albeit MUCH cheaper!), but there are things that are all-new to the meta with a 1500 CP cap, like Araquanid. It has even more reason to fear Flyers than Grasses do, and has the additional worry of getting smashed by Rocks, but it chews through all the Grasses (even rocky Cradily), and resists Ground to make up for the Rock weakness, which allows ‘Nid to wallop the Mud Boys. Conveniently it also, of course, resists Ice, so it takes down stuff like Froslass, (Powder Snow) Alolan Ninetales, and Alolan Sandslash, despite them all resisting Bug damage.

Resistances also help it overcome things like Poliwrath and even Water Gun Lanturn. Even better, if you have one with top notch IVs, Araquanid can add CharmTales and Empoleon to the win column, and actually has a (long and spindly) leg up in the mirror match. (Usually higher Attack is better in the mirror to win CMP, but CMP matters far less in this matchup than it usually does since Bug Bite does the bulk of the work.)

TOXAPEX

Toxapex PoisonWater

Poison Jab | Brine & Gunk Shot

If you think Araquanid is grindy… allow me to present Exhibit T. Unlike ‘Nid, Toxapex wants no part of Mud Boys, and it also struggles versus some of the big-name Ice types that ‘Nid can handle (like Froslass and A-Slash). But otherwise it does much the same, basically swapping those losses to beat Fires, Pelipper, and ‘Nid itself instead. Other than Bastiodon and Spark Lanturn, there’s actually very little that the two of them can’t handle… perhaps an oppressive duo in the making? One that was NOT possible at the Ultra League level. One last note: I think I recommend Gunk Shot over Sludge Wave simply because it more easily wins the mirror (while still holding down Wave’s other wins in even shield scenarios).

QWILFISH

Qwilfish WaterPoison

Poison Sting | Aqua Tail & Sludge Wave

If you want the speedier, flimsier version of Toxapex, then here ya go! Qwil gets a nice little chance to show off what it’s made of for the first time in a while, spamming it up with Aqua Tail while capably handling the major Grasses thanks to its Poison side, as well as Pelipper and Araquanid and A-Tails and grounded Fires for good measure. It’s a pretty flexible little fella that could really shock and awe unprepared opponents. Those charge moves come SO fast!

TENTACRUEL

Tentacruel WaterPoison

Poison Jab | Acid Spray & Scald

And somewhere in the same orbit with Qwilfish and Toxapex, we have Tentacthulhu. Speedier than ‘Pex but not as blindly fast as Qwil, what Tenta does well is just wear stuff down with Acid Spray, making even underpowered Scald into an effective closer, partly because of the mind games that come with shield-or-don’t-shield Spray. This allows Tentacruel to shine versis things like Froslass and even Empoleon, grinding to victory over them both where Qwilfish and even Toxapex fail. But on the flipside, it falls short versus things like Pelipper and Cradily, which the Sludge Waves (or Gunk Shots) of Toxapex and Qwilfish take out.

SEAKING

Seaking Water

Poison Jab | Icy Windᴸ & Drill Runᴸ

This is as good a place as any to give my boy Seaking a shout-out, as it runs with Poison Jab. Unlike the true Poisonous Waters above, Seaking fails to overcome enemy Grasses (other than sometimes Abomasnow), Araquanid, Pelipper, either of the Polis, and a couple others. But on the plus side, it does typically beat Quagsire and Whiscash (thanks to not taking super effective damage from Ground as the Poisons do) as well as Steels Empoleon and big bad Bastiodon (thanks to Drill Run, a weapon the Poisons can only dream of). This is a true wild card pick in every sense. And it can be a LOT of fun for those willing to think outside the box.

QUAGSIRE

Quagsire WaterGround

Mud Shot | Earthquake & Stone Edge/Sludge Bomb

Known mostly as the most expensive and least used of the OG Mud Boy trio, Quag has akways been better in Limited formats, and that remains true here… while I don’t like it as much as Swampert, Quag is quite good in its own right, and I’d slot it in above Whiscash, at least. Stone Edge offers a great answer to Ice and Flying types, or Sludge Bomb offers a faster coverage alternative that can surprise the heck out of something like Abomasnow or Ludicolo in particular.

Gastrodon WaterGround

GASTRODON looks good on paper as well, and its unique-among-Mud-Boys Mud Slap makes it a great option in certain metas. I’m just not sure this is one of them. Slap will absolutely obliterate things like Bastiodon, Toxapex, Lanturn, Empoleon, Crustle, Alolan Sandslash, and land-based Fire types, without even needing charge moves (which is always a nice perk). But it’s notably less flexible than the other Mud Boys. That may not matter all the time, but NOT being able to dig out of a bad matchup with some handy coverage can hurt. I endorse its usage in a niche role for blowing up those things listed, but get ready for painful farmdowns at times too.

POLITOED

Politoed Water

Mud Shot | Weather Ball (Water) & Earthquakeᴸ

The honorary Mud Boy with its super spammy Weather Balls notably handles a nice swath of the meta the other Mud Boys, though note that it requires good PvP IVs to beat Swampert specifically. Lacking the actual Ground typing of true Mud Boys is much more pro than con in this meta, as Toed can at least stand a little longer versus Grass and outright resists Water and Ice damage (while the Mud Boys take neutral damage), so Politoed easily handles (nearly all) the format’s Ice types. It’s a legit good option here.

POLIWRATH

Poliwrath WaterFighting

Mud Shot | Ice Punch & Dynamic Punch

While Scald is common on Poliwrath now, here I think it’s old reliable Dynamic Punch you want. I also think you want ShadoWrath you want more than non-Shadow, as Shadow can overcome Abomasnow, Shadow Swampert, and Alolan Marowak (as opposed to Politoed, Quagsire, and Whiscash that non-Shadow can beat instead). Either way, it’s not an impressive number of wins, I admit, but Poliwrath is quite unique in being able to pound through Rocks, Steels, Fires, and stuff like Aboma all at the same time. It’s a role player rather than expansive threat, but it can fill a nice role on the right team.

PELIPPER

Pelipper WaterFlying

Wing Attack | Weather Ball (Water) & Hurricane

There is very little in this format that resists Flying damage (only a small handful of Electrics, Steels, and Rocks… NOT to include Cradily, who at least takes neutral damage thanks to its Grass side), so something that can churn it out like Pelipper while ALSO spamming Water damage to drown out the Fires and Grounds (read as: Mud Boys) has serious value. Once again, maximized bulk/high rank IVs is handy for better ensuring a win over Abomasnow (Powder Snowbama in particular), but Pelipper is a fantastic way to threaten Fires, Grasses, most of its fellow Waters, and stuff like Alolan Ninetales and even very nearly Alolan Sandslash too. It’s sure to be a very popular pick at this level, and its ranking just outside the Top Ten is just one sign of that.

JELLICENT

Jellicent WaterGhost

Hex | Bubble Beam & Shadow Ball

Bubble Beamers can be rather hard to evaluate, as that’s a bait move that always sims particularly well. TOO well, usually. But JelliBelli is no ordinary Bubble Beamer, as anyone who’s faced them down in battle can tell you. It has the bulk to hang in there even through one or multiple failed baits and STILL get you in the end with a big Shadow Ball at the most inconvenient time. With high rank IVs, Jellicent can even turn this into a win over Bastiodon, though that’s a bit of a chess game, as very high rank Bastie can hit a bulkpoint that turns the tables and steals the win back. That’s just a very nice bonus on top of the plenty of other good Jellicent does, though. It doesn’t put in eye-popping numbers, but it’s nearly always a threat. A slow, steady, ticking time bomb of a threat.

AZUMARILL

Azumarill WaterFairy

Bubble | Hydro Pump & Play Rough/Ice Beam

If there is one constant, one mantra, that I have learned to trust over the many years of PvP analysis, it is to NEVER count Azumarill out. Even in past GBL and Silph Arena metas where it has no business standing up to, say, Poisons or Electrics or Grasses that crowd in around it, Azumarill always finds a way to hang around in the meta anyway. And Weather Cup is no exception. There ARE multiple viable move combinations, but while it’s worth noting that Ice Beam movesets are most consistent in outracing Swampert, my personal recommendation is Play Rough (necessary to overcome Poliwrath, Politoed, and Shadow Swampert) and Hydro Pump (needed for Bastiodon, Alolan Sandslash, and Froslass, and just for big general closing power). But whatever moves it runs with, Azumarill IS going to show up. Count on it.

KINGDRA

Kingdra WaterDragon

Dragon Breath | Octazooka & Outrage

Conversely, we have Kingdra, which to me seems to always be overhyped. I think that’s the case in this meta as well. It has some play, sure, as it pretty well dominates Water and Fire types that lack super effective coverage, and sneaks away with a win over Cradily too. But that’s really about where the good times end. Teams WILL use it and it CAN ruin peoples’ day, but it’s not something that I think is going to carry teams so much as it will simply support what’s around it as a sorta-kinda-safeish swap. Just know that Octazooka will never go off if you use it, and always go off when you face it. It’s just scientific fact at this point.

BARBARACLE

Barbaracle RockWater

Fury Cutter | Cross Chop & Stone Edge

Hey, when else you gonna use it? It MUST be kept away from Grass damage, but hey, it can overcome some big names like Bastiodon, Crustle, Froslass, A-Tails, Pelipper, Charizard, A-Wak, Toxapex, Empoleon, and even (Powder Snow) Aboma. Spicy! 🌶️

WALREIN

Walrein IceWater

Powder Snowᴸ | Icicle Spearᴸ & Earthquake

Yep, you knew it would be showing up at some point. I’m not so much a fan of regular Wally, but Shadow Walrein looks rather interesting here, as it scoops up impactful wins versus Cradily, Water Gun Lanturn, Bastiodon, CharmTales, and Shadow Swampert (though it also loses close wins that non-Shadow Walrein can achieve versus Abomasnow and non-Shadow Swampert).

DEWGONG

Dewgong WaterIce

Ice Shardᴸ | Icy Windᴸ & Blizzard

Stop simming it with Water Pulse. That lousy move has Gong unfairly ranked all the way down at #75. It is Blizzard that you want, with its added win potential against Swampert, Quagsire, Kingdra, and something you would hope Water Pulse would beat but doesn’t: Alolan Marowak. (Yep, resisted Blizzard wins, and super effective Water Pulse tends not to unless you play things JUST right with move timing. Crazy, right?) In that mode, Dewgong looks far more interesting!

FROSLASS

Froslass IceGhost

Powder Snow | Avalanche & Shadow Ball

You can basically ignore the low number of listed wins. It is the quality of those wins that will have Lass out in force anyway. She solidly beats Abomasnow, Ludicolo, and Cradily (despite the looming Stone Edge threat of Dily, it’s really only a problem if you are completely out of shields), thumps Toxapex, and handles popular Pelipper and Poliwrath too. Some would call that “niche” except for the fact that those things are at the tippy top of this meta. Considering the complete meta picture, I understand why Froslass is ranked kinda low, but don’t stop there. Many of your opponents won’t!

ALOLAN NINETALES

Ninetales (Alola) IceFairy

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

Its name has shown up a lot in this article, so the actual numbers may be a bit of a letdown. But being the only truly viable Charmer in any format does carry value, allowing CharmTales to smash through stuff like Abomasnow, (Razor Leaf) Ludicolo, Jellicent, Froslass, Blaziken and Poliwrath (as Fighters, kinda obvious here, no?), Whiscash and Quagsire, and even grindy Araquanid. You can run PowderTales instead, but I think if you want A-Tails at all in this meta, its for its unique Charm side.

ALOLAN SANDSLASH

Sandslash (Alola) IceSteel

Shadow Clawᴸ | Ice Punch & Bulldoze

So with so many Ice-resistant Water and Ice types in this meta, Shadow Claw is the very obvious fast move of choice, alongside the customary Ice Punch. And despite always giving some consideration to Gyro Ball and Blizzard (the latter of which is very often the best closer to roll with), in this meta I do think the typical default of most players, Bulldoze, is indeed best. That said, Bulldoze’s impact doesn’t show up much for non-Shadow A-Slash (really just sneaking in a win versus Empoleon), but it DOES pay off pretty majorly with Shadow A-Slash with wins versus Spark Lanturn, Crustle, and Bastiodon, and Shadow Slash can outrace (Wing Attack) Charizard as well as a nice bonus. Shadow is my recommendation here if you can manage it!

PROBOPASS

Probopass RockSteel

Spark | Rock Slide & Thunderbolt

Budget Bastiodon? Eh, that’s a mostly apt description, with Probo unable to beat things Bastie can grind down, like Alolan Marowak and Alolan Sandslash. But Probo’s parlor trick is having Electric damage, which allows it to overcome Empoleon and Bastiodon itself. Or perhaps even better? Shadow Probopass, which does drop ShadowBama but gains Kingdra and Alolan Marowak! Maybe better to call it “alternative Bastiodon” than simply “budget”.

LYCANROC (MIDNIGHT)

Lycanroc (Midnight) Rock

Counter | Psychic Fangs & Stone Edge

You can count on one hand (even one that’s missing digits after an unfortunate run-in with a tempermental paper shredder) the number of things in this meta with the mighty CounterLycanroc does a lot of good with it. Despite its obvious vulnerability to all the Water, Ground, and Grass damage in the meta, it manages to knock out stuff like Cradily, Abomasnow, Pelipper, Water Gun Lanturn, A-Tails, A-Wak, Charizard, Kingdra, and Araquanid anyway, along with more obvious wins over Bastiodon, Crustle, Alolan Sandslash and such. Maybe it’s more appropriate to label Lycanroc mere spice, but dang, it’s good spice. 🌶️

ALOLAN MAROWAK

Marowak (Alola) FireGhost

Hex/Fire Spin | Bone Club & Shadow Ball/Boneᴸ

One of those rare metas where Hex is better than Fire Spin? Probably better to call it a sidegrade, with Hex beating Toxapex, Froslass, and Kingdra, and Spin instead burning through A-Slash and Empoleon. Shadow A-Wak does one better by potentially adding Jellicent and even Pelipper to the win column. I lean towards Hex here.

75,000 Dust/75 Candy

So this was a ROUGH week for me personally. Not bad, per se, but very busy and draining. So here we sit, the format having started 24 hours ago at the time of this writing. So here’s what we’re gonna do. There really aren’t a ton of great options in the expensive categories anyway, so we’re gonna blow through bullet style and close this out. Hang on tight!

Bastiodon RockSteel
  • The big one to consider here is, of course, BASTIODON. You either love it or hate it, but either way, you can’t deny its potential to dominate, smashing through Grasses and Ices and Bugs and Flyers and Poisons and Fires left and right. But you know all this already. What you may NOT know is that I think Flash Cannon is the way to go rather than Flamethrower, as it’s super effective versus Cradily (rather than merely neutral like Flamethrower) while still crushing Ices, and it wins the mirror match!
Castform (Rainy) Water
  • RAINY CASTFORM is Lanturn 2.0 without the weakness to Ground damage. That means that, unlike Lanturn, it beats the Mud Boys (and Politoed)! If you’re considering Lanturn, this just solidifies Spark as likely the best fast move. If you’re considering Water Gun Lanturn… run with Rainy instead!
Sudowoodo Rock
  • Yes, I like SUDOWOODO well enough here. Just not quite as much as Lycanroc, if I’m being perfectly honest.
Aurorus RockIce
  • I want to more heartily recommend UL Weather Cup hero AURORUS, but this ain’t no Ultra League, and Aurorus ain’t what it was then. Still viable, absolutely, just don’t expect to trounce everybody this time around. More Lanturn, more Mud Boys, and a little thing called Bastiodon see to that.
Alomomola Water Lapras WaterIce
  • Don’t forget about LAPRAS!

100,000 Dust/100 Candy

Regirock Rock Regice Ice
  • A little surprised I personally haven’t seen them yet, but if you have them under 1500 CP, REGICE and especially perpetually-underrated REGIROCK are both pretty awesome here, with various viable movesets. Smoke ’em if you got ’em!
Tapu Fini WaterFairy
  • Much easier to get under 1500 is TAPU FINI, who looks potentially beastly here! 👀 The obvious flaw, though, is having no real answer to Lanturn, Toxapex, Pelipper, or any of the Grasses. That loss column is enticingly short, but the names on it… oooof. Certainly viable, but may not live up to the big win percentage hype. Tread lightly and carry a quick, stage-exiting hook.
Victini FirePsychic
  • There’s some intrigue with VICTINI, just not sure if it’s enough. Its obvious struggles versus Waters and Grounds and Rocks + losing to Cradily = no bueno. 🥵
Moltres FireFlying Articuno IceFlying
  • OG Birds MOLTRES and ARTICUNO are… eh, okay. Not all that special, honestly, but they’ll probably pop up here and there.

Feelin’ Lucky?

And finally, for our high XL picks….

Bonsly Rock
  • BONSLY is always fun, but honestly, it’s a worse Sudowoodo, who is a worse Lycanroc in this meta. If you have one and wanna deploy it, feel free. Just don’t build one from scratch just for this meta.
Lileep RockGrass
  • Got that super coveted, can’t-even-be-built-anymore Bullet Seed LILEEP?! Yes, use it hereDon’t have the super coveted Bullet Seed Lileep. Rage at the world with me, my friend! Grrrr.
Lombre WaterGrass
  • LOMBRE is MUCH more expensive, perfectly viable Ludicolo Jr. Or perhaps the other way around? It’s good… let’s just stick with that.
Wailmer Water
  • 🎼 “We’re WAILMERs on the moon! 🎵 With high IVs we make Swampert swoooooooon!” 🎶 Ahem. Clearly it’s time for me to wrap this up….

Yep, gonna (mercifully?) end it right here! Hopefully this helps you balance the cost of where to save yourself some hard-earned dust (and candy!) and enjoy this format! Good luck, Pokéfriends.

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 Weather Cup (again!), and in the most affordable way possible. Best of luck, and catch you next time, Pokéfriends!

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