Pokémon GO Single-Type Cup Guide: Nifty Or Thrifty Edition

Author’s note

Hey there, dear readers. For those who regularly find me on Reddit, I was somehow “shadowbanned” sometime on Friday. Still not sure what triggered it or how long I’ll be unable to utilize Reddit (I really have no idea when or even IF I’ll be back at the time of this posting, nor any idea what led to this in the first place), so I apologize for the further delays in getting this article to you. I know many have asked, but trust me when I say this was outside my control.

Thankfully we get this format for TWO weeks, so there’s still plenty of time to get into it. Thanks for popping in here to get it, and hopefully we’ll be back up and running on Reddit as well soon. Until then, cheers!

Now on to the analysis!

The “Nifty Or Thrifty” article series takes a comprehensive look at the meta for PvP Cup formats: Single-Type Cup, 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 using as little XL Candy as possible. 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. We all want to field competitive teams, but where can we get the best bang for our buck and where should we perhaps channel our inner scrooge?

A quick reminder of what Single-Type Cup is:

  • Great League, 1500 CP Limit.
  • Only Pokémon with a single typing are allowed. For example, Meganium, as a mono-Grass type, is permitted. But Venusaur, a Grass with a second move typing — Poison — is ineligible.
  • Cresselia and Defense Forme Deoxys are banned.

Additionally, note that this format will be with us for TWO weeks, back to back, including triple stardust the second week AND a Go Battle Weekend July 1st and 2nd with quadruple stardust. This is going to be a format you want to get a handle on in Week 1 so you can take FULL advantage Week 2!

Hopefully this guide equips you for that. Let’s dive in!

10,000 Dust/25 Candy


Meganium Grass

Vine Whip | Frenzy Plantᴸ & Earthquake

A little worrying that our top-ranked 10k option is well outside the Top 10, but don’t worry… there ARE plenty of 10k options to come. Meg occupies the spot I’d normally give Venusaur in kicking off the analysis, and puts in a nice blue collar performance, of course handling all Grass-weak Water, Ground, and Rock types (not named “Samurott”). But it does so much more than that. Being rather bulky, it can outlast all of the format’s Fairies, and can even roll over all Steel types in the format thanks to Earthquake. How many Grasses, mono-type of otherwise, can say that? Darn few. And then it goes out and also takes down Sirfetch’d, Wobbuffet, Dubwool, Lickitung, Umbreon, and most iterations of Mew, to name just a few. Meg might be the best Grass type Single-Type Cup, and it comes cheap. Always nice when “nifty” and “thrifty” decide to team up like this. As an aside, I do NOT recommend Shadow, but will point out that high rank IV Meg can potentially tack on extras like Hypno, Dragonair, Dusclops, and Cofagrigus.

SERPERIOR is similarly bulky (actually slightly moreso than Meg), but it just doesn’t have a great coverage move like Meganium does. Aerial Ace is probably better called Aerial A—uh, another three-letter A-word that I won’t utter here (this is a kids’ show, after all!), and while it can come in handy versus things weak to Flying… well, it still loses to Meganium and Sirfetch’d and others where you’d probably hope to see a Flying move give Serpie a leg up. (Which is ironic, since it… uh… has no legs.)…. SCEPTILE does come with Earthquake, but not the bulk. It CAN bring a ton of pressure in the right spot, but it’s no Meganium. It does outrace a few things that Meg cannot, like Machamp, Primeape, Dusclops, Hypno, and Meg itself, but conversely cannot hold up against things Meg outlasts like Clefable, Lickitung, Dubwool, Wobbuffet, Umbreon, Perrserker, Registeel and others. I suppose you can run it if you want to, but personally I’d just stick with Meg. If you run Sceptile anyway, I might actually recommend doubling down on the blitz-like approach by running Shadow Sceptile. It can take down Registeel, at least!


Samurott Water

Fury Cutter | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Megahorn

And here we have the Water type that can turn the tables on (most) Grasses, thanks to running an all-Bug moveset. This also gives Sammie other advantages, such as beating the format’s prominent Psychic and Dark types. All this while still doing Water things, such as washing away all Rock, Grounds, and Fire types, and even outlasting most of its fellow Water types as well! (Really only ones that deal a lot of neutral damage back — like Seaking, Politoed, and Milotic — hold up under the assault of neutral Bug damage that Samurott dishes out.)

Sammie still has numerous, glaring flaws, not least of which that all that Bug damage is resisted by the potent Fighting and Fairy and Ghost and Poison and Steel types in the meta. But it’s one of the few truly viable Waters in this format (and the highest ranked, all the way down at #32!), and gets at least one thumb up from me. And to sweeten the deal, I’ll also point out that with high rank IVs it suddenly looks much more interesting, with stuff like Politoed, Primeape, and Shadow Granbull moving into the win column.

Other cheap Waters… not so much. BLASTOISE is okay-ish, but absolutely nothing special in this meta…. FERALIGATR is much worse…. And then you’re into stuff like WAILMER, and uh… no thanks.


Raichu Electric

Volt Switch | Brick Break & Wild Charge

So funny thing about this meta: NO Flyers. Seriously, there’s not a single mono-Flying type in the game that fits in Great League. That makes Electric types like Raichu sad, taking away a lot of their better matchups. But there’s still some good to be had. Waters obviously still hate to see Raichu, but there are a number of other things it overpowers, such as all the major Fairies, all the format’s Dark types (thanks, at least in part, to Brick Break), Ninetales and Muk (and their Shadow forms), Vigoroth and Perrserker, Mew, Cofagrigus, and many others. Obviously it would be better with at least a couple Flyers to harass, but it makes do with what it’s got, and stands out as one of the better (and far cheapest) Electric types available.

HITMONCHAN (Baby Discount™)

Hitmonchan Fighting

Counter | Close Combat & Power-Up Punch/Ice Punch

The other big impact that comes with having no Flyers? Fighting types can run somewhat amok. Technically there are no 10k Fighters (that you want to be using, anyway), but you can cheat a bit by double moving a Tyrogue and evolving it into one of the Hitmons, thereby saving 65,000 dust in the process. And despite Hitmontop usually getting all the press (and being ranked higher), I continue to recommend Hitmonchan instead.

It’s basically Medicham Lite, with the same Ice Punch and Power-Up Punch options alongside Counter damage and decent (though noticeably less than Medicham) bulk. PuP/Close Combat pulls the eye-popping numbers (and has the best chance of picking off targets like Meganium, Primeape, Shadow Ninetales, and Shadow Muk), but Ice Punch is workable instead of PuP if you prefer a little less reliance on baiting.

That said, for Shadow Hitmonchan (no longer thrifty that way, but….), I really do think PuP/CC is your best bet to REALLY pile on big fast move pressure; unlike non-Shadow, it can beat down Haxorus, Shadow Machamp, Sirfetch’d, and even Clefable, but it also loses to Shadow Dragonair, Ninetales, Primeape, and Snarl Granbull that non-Shadow can beat. Whichever moves you settle on, I strongly recommend (in yet another meta) giving Jackie Chan some consideration.


Dubwool Normal

Double Kick | Body Slam & Payback/Wild Charge

Not a Fighter, but thanks to Double KickDub masquerades as one, giving it wins like Lickitung, Vigoroth, Umbreon, and Perrserker. But of course, it is NOT an actual Fighting type, so it can also overcome things like Hypno, Mew, Cofagrigus, and Dusclops that terrorize Fighters, as well as bonuses like Dragonair, Samurott, and Shadow Ninetales (and a tie with Meganium by going staight Body Slam). You can run with Payback (as simmed above) or Wild Charge, which gives up Viggy and Clops to pick up Clefable and Politoed instead. Both are viable, as is Dubwool itself.


Greedent Normal

Tackle | Body Slam & Crunch

Remember when Greedent always ran Bullet Seed as really its only viable fast move? Good times. Generally, these days, it now wants the reworked Tackle, and such is the case here. Only with Tackle does its winrate nearly double to include things like Lurantis, Clefable, Granbull, Shadow Ninetales, Shadow Muk, and Dragonair. There’s no one thing Greedent does especially well (though Crunch gives it definite advantages versus Psychics and Ghosts), but it’s a tanky little fella that can round out a lot of teams. Well worth a look to see if you have a good one sitting around.


Munchlax Normal

Tackle/Lick | Body Slam & Bulldoze

Tackle is again a great option now for Munchie, and arguably the best way to go in this meta (and most others, for that matter), with wins only it can achieve like Lickitung, Lurantis, Samurott, Shadow Ninetales, and Dragonair. But there IS a good case for Lick as well. Despite pulling lower overall numbers, it much better handles Ghosts (like Cofagrigus), Psychics (like Wobbuffet), and as a bonus, Normal-resistant Registeel as well, beating them all where Tackle falls short. Either way, I do like Munchie and its better-than-even-Greedent bulk (and better overall performance!) here. A lot.


Swalot Poison

Infestation | Gunk Shot & Any

Before you dismiss this, just look at it. Keep in mind this is a meta that is, in many ways, dominated by Fighters (and quasi-Fighters like Vigoroth and Dubwool) and Fairies, which a good (or in this case, merely decent) Poison type can feast on. (Especially one with such a large maw!) Swalot does that while also chowing down on Grass types (duh), Samurott (kinda neat), Umbreon (now you have my attention), and then Dragonair AND Haxorus just to top it off (👀). Gunk Shot is key to some of those wins, but your choice in second move alongside it is kind of up to personal preference, though personally I lean Ice Beam for the anti-Dragon tech (and neutral coverage) that it brings. Your call, though!


Kricketune Bug

Fury Cutter | Bug Buzz & Aerial Ace/X-Scissor

This isn’t a strong recommendation, but Krick DOES handle itself well enough in this meta. Beats key Dragons, Fighters, Psychics, Darks, Grasses, and a couple bonus Waters. The performance is slightly lower, but I even recommend considering Aerial Ace (a small part of me dies whenever I actually recommend that move, though) for its ability to better dominate Fighters and add on Machamp (regular and Shadow) specifically, though it trades in Dragonair to do it. If you really like Bugs, this is basically one of only two I’d actually consider here.


Clefable Fairy

Fairy Wind/Charm | Meteor Mash & Moonblast

Charm is okay, but Fairy Wind is just better, IMO, able to beat everything Charm can (though some Fighters, like Machamp, DO get a bit dicey) plus Lurantis and Mew. I really don’t have a ton more to say about it, but Clefable should rather easily establish itself as a staple in this meta. Expect to see quite a bit of it… people are chomping at the bit to try it out with Fairy Wind anyway!

50,000 Dust/50 Candy


Machamp Fighting

Counter | Cross Chop & Rock Slide

Here we go, with a glut of Fighting types to kick off this section. I mean, this is a format where eight of the Top 10 are Fighters and/or Counter users. Standing above them all, however, is the OG: Machamp. It is NOT the most dominant in terms of wins and losses, but it is still impressive and very solid. Not only does it beat everything you’d expect (all Dark, Rock, Steel, and Normal types lacking Charm), but also every other Fighter besides the next two I’ll cover below, basically every meta Water and Ground type, and standouts like Shadow Ninetales, Dragonair (including Shadow), and even (Snarl) Granbull. If you review its list of losses, it’s almost entirely hard counters: Psychic, Fairy, and Ghost types. Very little else can stand up to the steady punishment Machamp doles out. Shadow Machamp is an option, but I don’t like what it gains (Sirfetch’d, Shadow Muk, Ninetales) nearly as much as what it gives up (Lurantis, Primeape, Dragonair, Granbull), personally.


Machoke Fighting

Karate Chop | Cross Chopᴸ/Brick Break & Dynamic Punch

Remember this guy, which you built for Evolution Cup and expected to never use again? Well, surpriiiiiiise! Now despite having a better win/loss record, I am NOT about to sit here and tell you that Machoke (at least, the Shadow version) is “better” than Machamp. Choke has no coverage moves to speak of, and thus no prayer against Fairies and Psychics that prey on Fighters. At least Machamp has Rock Slide to throw out big neutral damage as a parting gift in bad spots. Machoke just goes right for the throat and doesn’t worry about coverage. Its raw speed and power overwhelms things that Machamp can’t quite overcome, like Sirfetch’d, Haxorus, Ninetales, and Machamp itself. Machoke aims high, and can be amazing, but the downside of high aim is a harder fall when it doesn’t go to plan. Machamp is safer and still my recommendation between the two… but Machoke may be better equipped to shock and awe the unprepared.


Sirfetch'd Fighting

Counter | Leaf Blade & Night Slash/Close Combat/Brave Bird

On the polar opposite end, we have Sirfetch’d, which can basically run nothing but coverage if it feels like it, and often be better off for it! I think it’s safe to say that the amazing Leaf Blade is a must for its strong, widely unresisted damage, giving Sirfetch’d an impressive performance all on its own. The other moves each have their own standout contributions — Night Slash keeps otherwise fearless Ghosts and Psychics on their toes, and beats Dusclops specifically, Brave Bird is a Hail Mary equalizer that will knock out a ton of things when it lands, like Cofagrigus, and Close Combat is just a big beatstick with the right combination of speed and power to punch out things like Meganium and Shadow Muk — and I think which one you roll with comes down to your team composition and playstyle. No wrong answer among them. It is that unpredicatability that is actually the greatest strength in Sirfetch’d, perhaps in this meta more than any other. Go wild… Sirfetch’d is certainly ready to do so!


Primeape Fighting

Counter | Close Combat & Night Slash/Cross Chopᴸ

The Great Ape wants the knockout power of Close Combat, but has several speedy second move options. Ice Punch doesn’t do all that much here (it usually beats the Grasses anyway, and did I mention no Flyers?), so it comes down to Night Slash or Legacy Cross Chop. I’m trying to mostly stick with 1v1 shielding simulations just to get through this lengthy article, but in this case, that doesn’t really show any difference between the two moves, so I’ll mention that Cross Chop is arguably better with shields down (beating everything Night Slash can plus Haxorus and Perrserker) and it is Night Slash that does better in 2v2 shielding (beating everything Cross Chop does plus overcoming Dark-weak Dusclops and Mew). Long story short, both have their uses, and it kind of comes down to how much you fear things that Night Slash can maim. If Psychics and Ghosts don’t so much worry you, roll with Cross Chop. If not (or if you don’t have Legacy Cross Chop), it’s Night Slash.


Cofagrigus Ghost

Shadow Claw | Shadow Ball & Dark Pulse/Psychic

Well, I expected Grigus would be good in this format, but I never expected this: per GO Battle Log, Cofagrigus is THE most used Pokémon in Single-Type Cup (at the time of this writing). And yes, it is seemingly everywhere in my own battles thus far too. It is undoubtedly the best Ghost in the format, notable for being able to shred the format’s big Fighting and Psychic types and deal widespread neutral damage, really only having to worry about Umbreon and the few other things with Dark or Ghost moves. It handles most Grasses, Waters, Fairies, and things like Registeel too. Shadow Ball is a must, and for the second move I recommend Dark Pulse for being a bit cheaper (helping it outrace Lurantis and some other things), but Psychic is an option if you’re more worried about, say, Poison types and/or really want to kill Fighters as dead as possible. Either one is key to have for hitting those pesky Ghost-resistant Normal types too.


Dusclops Ghost

Hex | Ice/Fire Punch & Returnᴸ/Poltergeist

Not nearly as popular as Grigus, but make no mistake: Clops is still quite good. I still prefer it with Return in this meta for a closer, as that can hit all those annoying, Ghost-resistance Normal types (beating Vigoroth that way, as well as Sirfetch’d and Mew thanks to the relative speed of Return) for big neutral damage, but Poltergeist is fine for your non-purified versions (as it can better overcome Clefable and Hypno). As for the Shadow version, obviously it’s stuck with Poltergeist, but I like it less here anyway, as it struggles versus things like Lurantis, Dragonair, Shadow Muk, Granbull, and even Mew and Primeape that non-Shadow Clops can handle, pikcing up really only Politoed as compensation. Roll with what you have, just note that common wisdom of Shadow and/or Poltergeist isn’t necessarily the only or even best way to go. Good luck!


Muk Poison

Poison Jab | Dark Pulse & Thunder Punch/Acid Spray

ALSO surprisingly high in usage so far is Muk. These days it’s often an afterthought behind its Alolan cousin from somewhere over the rainbow, but the OG has a lot going for it, especially in this meta. Think about it… an inherant advantage against the format’s potent Fairy, Fighting, and Grass types, Dark Pulse to threaten the format’s Ghosts and even Psychics that usually have far less to worry about when facing down Poison types, and plenty of bulk to come out on top in many neutral-on-neutral battles. There are a few nuances to iron out, though. Dark Pulse is basically a must-have, but then it’s Thunder Punch (no Flyers, but plenty of Waters, and widespread neutral coverage) or Acid Spray to pile on ever-increasing Poison Jab damage. I could post about a half-dozen sims here, but instead I’ll just say that Spray seems better on non-Shadow Muk (able to reach for wins it can’t achieve otherwise, including Hypno, Cofagrigus, Vigoroth, and the mirror), while Thunder Punch seems the better way to go with Shadow Muk (beating Hypno, Cofag, Viggy, Ninetales, and Politoed, as opposed to Acid Spray’s nailbiting barely-wins over Mew and Shadow Machamp). But there’s flexibility here, and you can trick out Muk how you want it to work for your team.


Lurantis Grass

Fury Cutter/Leafage | Superpower & Leaf Blade

Technically, it’s actually Leafage that pulls the higher numbers, but it’s actually closer than it first appears. Leafage is not resisted by Ghosts or Fairies like Bug damage is, so it gets unique wins over Dusclops and Granbull. But my recommendation is still Fury Cutter for its effeciveness profile and slightly better energy generation, allowing Lurantis to instead outrace Hypno and Shadow Machamp. And while Cutter shows a loss to Registeel (while Leafage shows a win), in reality, Fury Cutter CAN beat Regi in the same way that Leafage can… just needs one successful bait and then it’s off to the races. I’m still in Camp Fury Cutter, personally.


Ninetales Fire

Fire Spin/Emberᴸ | Weather Ball (Fire) & Overheat

Somehow we made it this deep into the article before getting to any Fire types. But it really is kind of Ninetales or bust… no other Fire type cracks even the Top 50, and it shows in their performances. Ninetales, by contrast, really earns its keep. I was a Ninetales fan long before it was cool just because of its great bulk (especially for a Fire type!) and consistency, so I love metas like this where it can remind everyone of all the good it can do, not only burning through Steels and Ices and Grasses and Bugs and Fairies, but also stuff like Cofagrigus, Sirfetch’d, Primeape, Vigoroth, Dubwool, Umbreon, Mew, Wobbuffet, and many more with strong neutral damage. SO strong that it even gets a breath away from beating Fire-resistant Haxorus! It IS worth pointing out that Legacy Ember, while slightly worse overall (losing Vigoroth and Wobbuffet), does pick up Hypno instead, which is a neat trick. As does Shadow Ninetales, along with Lickitung, though I recommend against it due to struggles versus Umbreon, Sirfetch’d, Vigoroth, and Mew. But whichever variety YOU settle on, Ninetales is the only Fire type you need, folks.


Seaking Water

Poison Jabᴸ | Icy Windᴸ & Drill Runᴸ

Poison for the Fairies, Ground for the Steels and Poisons, and Icy Wind for Dragons and everything else… what’s not to love? The King of the Sea IS fantastic at shredding Fairy and Dragon types, and not surprisingly, Ninetales HATES to see it. But beyond those more specialized roles, it doesn’t do a ton on its own — notable wins include Lickitung, Samurott, Perrserker, Lurantis (neat!), Muk, and with the right IVs, Shadow Muk as well — but that’s okay. Seaking is a great team player, keeping a very wide swath of the meta on their toes and setting things up nicely for its teammates with an Icy Wind or two. Its impact goes beyond the numbers.


Politoed Water

Mud Shot | Weather Ball (Water) & Earthquakeᴸ

Politoed gets more press than Seaking, but as for me? I’m not a huge fan, and while I’ll reiterate that the numbers are rarely ever the full story, in this case they DO tell much of the tale as to why. Ground damage has some nice use cases in this meta, but Water… not so much. Beyond Ninetales, of course, and a couple Steels and Fairies, there’s just not that much for Politoed to do. Not that other things don’t do better, anyway. Heck, you’re almost just as well off running POLIWHIRL… at least it can tie Haxorus.


Granbull (Shadow) Fairy

Charm/Snarl | Crunch & Close Combat

There are many Fairies in the 50k category in this format, but Granbull (especially the Shadow version) stands out as easily the best. Not only can you run it as a standard Charmer with multiple reachable charge moves (Crunch and Close Combat cost only 45 energy, which many Charmers would do unmentionable things for), but you also have the option to bring a LOT of charge move pressure by running Snarl instead. And it is in that configuration that it can drag Vigoroth, Lurantis, Shadow Ninetales, and Perrserker into the win column (and really giving up only Samurott to do it). I like Granbull a lot in this meta, and again based on its usage from GO Battle Log, so do a LOT of other players!


Florges Fairy

Fairy Wind | Disarming Voice & Moonblast/Psychic

There are several other Charmers to pick from, but Florges does things quite differently thanks to Fairy Wind. Between the two, I’d still go with Fairy Wind Clefable if I had the choice, but Florges works well enough… it’s able to at least beat Vigoroth more consistently than Clefable, so there’s that!


Hypno Psychic

Confusion | Shadow Ball & Ice/Thunder Punch

Very important in this meta as a direct answer to the potent Fighters and Poisons, while also conveniently outlasting the big name Fairies and Dragons, and bonuses like Meganium, Ninetales, Politoed, and Vigoroth as well. Most use Thunder Punch, but I think I actually lean Ice Punch here, as not much resists it, and Dragons hate it. (It’s the most consistent way for Hypno to overcome Haxorus, specifically.) That said, Thunder Punch probably IS preferred for Shadow Hypno, as it beats Politoed and Ninetales and the others, being resisted, do not. However, there numerous ways to go with Hypno, as always. Go with your gut, and good luck, my friend!


Perrserker Steel

Shadow Claw | Foul Play & Close Combat

The good news? It resists Fairy and Psychic damage, as well as Poison, Grass, Dragon and a bunch of other relevant things, and melts Ghosts thanks to Shadow Claw and Foul Play too. The bad news? Fighters are a thing, as well as Ninetales, of course. And those are going to be on basically every team. Bring Perrserker to fill a very nice niche, but be prepared for occasional blowouts (in the wrong direction) too.

In some ways, ZANGOOSE is a better Perrserker. While it shows the downside of NOT resisting all that Perrserker can by losing to Dragonair, Clefable, Granbull, and Shadow Muk, it more than makes up for it by beating things Perrserker cannot, including Meganium, Mew, Shadow Ninetales, Vigoroth, and Perrserker itself.


Seviper Poison

Poison Jab | Crunch & Poison Fang

One that surprised me already in Single-Type Cup battles, Seviper is basically mono-Poison Nidoqueen. Only this format makes it even better than normal, as Crunch is a nasty surprise for the format’s Psychics and Ghosts (and anything that resists Poison) while the Poison moves and typing are great against the potent Fighters, Grasses, and of course, the Fairies. And it even manages to overcome Dragonair and Shadow Ninetales too. This spice is nice, and props to those who have already trotted it out there. Good call, I say!

There are other spicy options too like LYCANROCBELLOSSOMZEBSTRIKALICKILICKY (with Earthquake) and others. But for now, I’m going to move on to the more expensive options and try and bring this home!

75,000 Dust/75 Candy

And because we’re running late and long, switching up to bullet form for these final sections. Here we go!

Vigoroth Normal
  • VIGOROTH is Vigoroth. I mean, there shouldn’t be any surprises here anymore. I’ll just point out that, not being an actual Fighter, it can hang in and turn the tables on things like Clefable, Charm Granbull, Mew and such. Expect to see a lot of this guy yet again.
Haxorus Dragon
  • Here comes HAXORUS as another Fighter-that’s-not, and showing off that new Breaking Swipe. It crashes this party HARD and is probably THE best reason to bring your own Dragon or Fairy, as there’s not too much else it truly fears… Ghosts, Shadow Muk, and uh… yeah, that’s about it. Quite frankly I’m surprised I haven’t seen it on more teams as of yet. Must be all those double Fairy lines out there!
Dragonair Dragon
  • This is one of those metas where I lean into the Shadow version of DRAGONAIR, simply because it more consistently overcomes Fighters (Machamp, Sirfetch’d), as well as Hypno, Dusclops, and Dubwool. Non-Shadow works fine too, and outlasts Vigoroth, Lickitung, and Wobbuffet instead, but I think you’ll find yourself liking the extreme pressure of Shadow more.
Falinks Fighting
  • FALINKS is a more expensive Fighting option, and performs fine. Just don’t mess with Megahorn… it’s fool’s gold in this meta, though I would be remiss to not point out that it CAN, at least, topple Hypno.
Luxray Electric
  • As per usual, LUXRAY looks amazing in sims. Also as per usual, it’s probably more sim hero than real-life hero, and even removing a lot of baiting luck in sims shows the cracks. This is a spicy pick that COULD go a long way, but I dunno… it mostly has yet to live up to expectations, and I fear that happening again even in a meta like this where precious little resists Electric and Psychic Fangs strikes fear into the hearts of all those Fighting and Poison types.
Pinsir (Shadow) Bug
  • PINSIR, specifically the Shadow version, is a nice wildcard in this meta. Remember that Bug resists Fighting and is super effective versus Psychics and Darks and Grasses, so Pinsir generally has its way with all of those. But it can also shock and awe stuff like Vigoroth, Lickitung, Perrserker, Dubwool, Haxorus, and even Ninetales thanks to a well-timed Close Combat. There’s more than a little risk of this blowing up in your face, I won’t lie… Pinsir is super squishy and rather bait dependant. But when it works, it should be glorious.
Miltank Normal
  • MILTANK seems very underrated to me. Ice Beam for the Dragons and Grasses, widely unresisted Normal damage spam for everything else, which is a wide and impressive list if you scan it over. Just a few highlights: Clefable, Granbull, Hypno, Shadow Ninetales, Muk (normal and Shadow), and even Dusclops. I like this one quite a bit, yet NOBODY seems to be talking about it. Well… perhaps until now, at least. 🐮
Sylveon Fairy
  • SYLVEON is kinda neat, but honestly, in a meta filled with viable Fairies, it doesn’t stand out as much as you may like, even with the uniqueness of Quick AttackPsyshock is nice in theory, but fails to take down the primary target of Muk, so… boo.
Umbreon Dark
  • And of course, we have UMBREON as basically the sole viable Dark. It definitely prefers Psychic (the move!) for coverage in this meta with so many dangerous Fighters around, and can legit beat Sirfetch’d and Primeape straight up with it, which is pretty neat. (Assuming they don’t read my advice above and have Close Combat, that is. 🤔)

And there are others, like multiple CASTFORMSGOODRASNORLAXMILOTIC, heck even LEAFEON and ESPEON, but I think we covered the most relevant ones. Just got a few left….

100,000 Dust/100 Candy

Registeel Steel
  • REGISTEEL is kind of a no duh, despite all the Fighters gunning for it. When you consider its entire loss list is things with Fighting or Fire damage, Mew, Cofagrigus, and Meganium with its big Earthquake, it becomes readily apparent why it still has room to thrive here. Avoid the obvious losing matchups, and Registeel will find itself in nearly every fight. Big dumb lightbulb remains big and dumb and annoying in this meta. Sorry, folks!
  • REGIROCK is less annoying (not resisting Fairy or Psychic or Grass are big knocks against it), but absolutely still viable if you have a good one. REGICE is probably getting a little too cute, though.
Mew Psychic
  • It’s always hard to write about MEW because it has SO many viable moveset options, which is its greatest strength. This is one of the better metas for it, but HOW you get those wins is up to you, dear reader. What are YOUR favorite moves?
Mewtwo (Shadow) Psychic
  • I feel I also need to mention MEWTWO… the Shadow one from pre-raid days, that is. It can do pretty well here if you can survive it sometimes folding like a cheap chair. It can be overcome, but there’s not much that wants to actually try with the insane damage is spams out.


And finally, the stuff that simply HAS to be maxed out (or very nearly so) to use here. These are all quite good, but the cost may simply be prohibitive to many players:

Pachirisu Electric
  • PACHIRISU remains its normal stupidly, effectively bulky self in this meta, beating things no Electric type should. If you’re lucky enough to have one, you don’t need me to tell you it’s almost always worth deploying, and this meta is no exception. Just keep it away from me!
Chansey Normal
  • Speaking of keeping things away from me: DO NOT RUN CHANSEY. No, seriously. It’s actually not very good here. Please transfer it to the professor as soon as possible.
Wobbuffet Psychic
  • WOBBUFFET is also not great, but it certainly does enough. Consider it a fantastic anti-Fighter with upside.
Grimer Poison
  • Speaking of upside, allow me to present GRIMER in one of the best metas it has ever seen. Plenty of Poison damage to ruin the day of Fairies and Grasses and Fighters everywhere, but with Mud Bomb to also make Steels, Ninetales, and big daddy Muk cry. If I were to invest in a high XL tool for the two weeks of this format, this is definitely where I would do it. Grimer is a good one to have on your bench anyway!
Nidorina [posion]
  • NIDORINA too, for very similar reasons. I wish I had that much XL candy, but my UL Nidoqueen ate it…. 😔
Lickitung Normal
  • And finally, LICKITUNG remains a worthy investment for those who took the plunge already. That said, Power Whip doesn’t have a ton of good targets here, so you’re mostly just using it to finish off Ghosts and the rare Water type that may show up here and there. Still good, just not AS good as you may normally expect.

Whew, we’re done! Hope this is a help, and best of luck in this funky format, folks. Get out there and try to enjoy these two straight weeks with some fun teams!

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, especially those of you who took the time to read it ALL! I sincerely hope this helps you master Single-Type 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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