The Silph Arena has just announced their new tournament format for February 2020, which is named “The Rose Cup“.

This unique cup features Pokémon only whose main colours are Pink, Purple, Red, or Gray with the exclusion of Water types, Mythical Pokémon, Legendary Pokémon, and Bastiodon.

A Pokémon’s eligibility with shinies is based solely on its non-shiny form’s colour. For example, Sableye and its shiny are allowed, but shiny and non-shiny Gyarados are not.

If a Pokémon has multiple forms (Alolans, regional forms, etc.), each form that matches the allowed colours is eligible. (i.e. Alolan Marowak is allowed but Kanto Marowak is not)


Now that you are familiarised with the ruleset, let’s discuss some important key matchups and see which Pokémon will perform best in the Rose Cup. We will be breaking down the main typings into categories and going through their counters, beneficial matchups and strategies starting with…

The Fighting Types

Medicham will be a fundamental Pokémon for any team composition. Its main role will be taking down Rock, Steel and Ice types which there is an abundance of in the Rose Cup’s meta.

Steelix, Probopass, Magcargo, Rhyperior, Glalie, and Solrock are among many meta Pokémon that Medicham will beat. It’s known for creating enormous pressure for your opponent running Counter + Dynamic Punch, Ice Punch for the moveset.

Medicham will have issues when it comes to its hardest counters which are Alolan Marowak, Sableye, Haunter, Skarmory, Golbat, and Drifblim. With a lot of counters and a lot of beneficial matchups, Medicham will be a structural pick and highly a recommended Pokémon for the Rose Cup.

Keep in mind that with a friendship boost, Medichams max CP goes from 1431 to 1449CP. In this case, some situations could have the statistical advantage between taking down an opponent or even surviving a potentially lethal Charge Move.

Machamp, on the other hand, is also a powerhouse in this meta. It has access to Cross Chop and a plethora of Charge Moves. This makes Machamp a diverse monster that can deal with several highly picked Pokémon.

Currently, Machamp is ranked #1 for overall performance in the Rose Cup with its strongest moveset being Counter + Cross Chop, Rock Slide. However, with how many Charge Moves Machamp has access too, mixing it up can be beneficial in some situations.


The Steel Tanks

Steelix is one of the strongest tanks in the entire meta for this cup. It can withstand hits that will be super effective from Fire, Fighting and Ground types while also having the potential to KO an opponent with Earthquake.

Steelix’s main job in the Rose Cup will be to take down Pokémon such as Alolan Marowak, Wigglytuff, Sableye, Probopass and Skarmory.

Having Dragon Tail + Crunch, Earthquake will give you the best coverage against the meta. One of Steelix’s strongest features if you can manage to get an Earthquake off on its counters, you have the possibility to force your opponent into burning a shield or even one-shotting whoever you face.

Probopass will be another solution to Fire, Flying and Steel types as it has access to Rock Throw and Rock Slide. Running Magnet Bomb as a secondary Charge Move will grant you the ability to take on Charm users such as Wigglytuff and Clefable.

When using Probopass, some key factors to look out for will be the Ground types such as Excadrill and Rhyhorn. Surprisingly its counterpart, Steelix, does have the favourable matchup since Earthquake will take down Probopass if not shielded.

Another thing to watch out for will, of course, be Fighting types, which will have the advantage over Probopass. It shines brightest as an Attacker, meaning if you are out of shields, Probopass can pull you out of rough situations with its natural bulk and resistances.

The Charm Users

Who beats the main Fighting types? of course, the Fairy types, or more well known in the Pokémon PvP community, the “Charmers“. Known for being one of the most hard-hitting Quick Moves in the entire game, with a whopping base power of 20, it almost feels as you are using a mini Charge Move with every attack.

Wigglytuff and Clefable are great at taking down Fighting and Dark types, which there are plenty of in the Rose Cup’s meta. This dynamic duo excel best in taking down Pokémon such as Medicham, Drifblim, Haunter, and Sableye.

The main decision when choosing whether to employ a Wigglytuff or a Clefable onto your team will be that Wigglytuff has access to Ice Beam, while Clefable has access to Meteor Mash. Both moves have their own benefits in the meta.

Wigglytuff’s Ice Beam will be a good alternative to taking down Flying and Ground types, while Clefable’s Meteor Mash will help deal with Ice, Rock and even Fairy types.

With that being said, the other difference will be that Wigglytuff has access to Play Rough and Clefable has access to Psychic. Wigglytuff will have the upper hand when it comes to the Dark types, while Clefable will be better at taking down Poison types.

The choice between the 2 should rely on how you want to construct your team. Finding what your team is lacking is a good indicator for which of the 2 you would want to implement for your Rose Cup team.

The Dark / Ghost Types

Alolan Marowak plays an extremely important role in the Rose Cup. It covers most of the meta, with the exception Water types. Alolan Marowak is able to dominate several top tier picks. It covers all Fighting, Steel, Fairy and most Fire types.


This makes Alolan Marowak a highly anticipated pick. Its weaknesses are Rock, Ground and Ghost. This means Pokémon such as Gliscor, Magcargo, Haunter, Rhyperior and Sableye will all be counters against Alolan Marowak.

Having Fire Spin + Shadow Ball, Bone Club will be the strongest moveset which will cover most meta picks in this format.

Sableye will be one of your main solutions for dealing with Alolan Marowak alongside with countering Fire and Ghost types. With only one typing counter being Fairy, Sableye is one of the safest picks in the meta.

The Charm users will eat Sableye for breakfast, to put it bluntly. A yummy bite-sized treat for our pink friends. With this being said, Sableye does have the potential to be a safe Lead and a safe switch that can put up a solid fight.

Sableye is also our 2nd Pokémon that benefits from the Best Buddy CP boost. As we know now, Pokémon can increase in level by 1. At level 41, a 100% IV Sableye, maxes out 1494CP. Although it may not be much, it is still a small but noticeable buff it can receive to be even stronger then it already is.

Shadow Claw + Foul Play, Power Gem will be your go-to moves for this tournament format.

Haunter with the legacy Charge Move Shadow Ball will be one of the highest hitting Pokémon in the meta.

It has the ability to KO its counters with one Shadow Ball if not shielded. The main Pokémon Haunter will be able to deal with are the Fighting types, Alolan Marowak, Gliscor, Drifblim, and do well against neutral matchups because of its high Attack stat.

Haunter will struggle with other Ghost types and Dark types. Pokémon such as Rhyperior and Drapion will counter Haunter significantly. Haunter is the definition of a glass cannon, meaning it can dish out a tonne of damage but be extremely vulnerable to attacks.

For this reason, Haunter is best used as an initial Lead Pokémon for this cup and almost every other tournament format. It will rely on shields for the early game but will be worth keeping it alive for solid damage against your opponent.

The best moveset to run on Haunter is Shadow Claw, Shadow Ball and Shadow Punch for shield baits and for low energy burst damage.

The Flying Types

The OG flying type, Skarmory, makes its long-awaited return in the meta. Skarmory has been excluded from several tournament formats from either being banned or being non-compatible in previous rulesets. For the Rose Cup, Skarmory excels at taking down the Fighting types, the Charm users, Gliscor, and Vileplume.

Air Slash, Sky Attack + Flash Cannon will give you the best coverage in this meta. The main thing to watch out for when using Skarmory in the Rose Cup will be the use of Rock and Fire types. Other then that, Skarmory is a highly picked Pokémon that can carry a team to victory if played correctly.

Golbat is an interesting one. It has a similar job to Skarmory by taking down most of its counters. It even has the potential to beat certain Fire types such as Alolan Marowak and Blaziken with its use of Shadow Ball.

Golbat is best played as a Lead Pokémon since many other safe Leads get countered by it.
Its main counters will be Rock and Electric types such as Alolan Golem, Aerodactyl and Magnezone.

Wing Attack, Poison Fang + Shadow Ball is the strongest moveset to run on Golbat in the Rose Cup.

The tankiest of the 3, Drifblim poses a threat in Rose Cup. With the use of Hex, Shadow Ball and Icy Wind, Drifblim can cover Fighting types and even Pokémon such as Gliscor and Rhydon with its use of Icy Wind.

Sableye, Drapion and the Charm users will be its main counters to look out for. Drifblim can, in fact, pull you out of tough situations if you have no shields. Its bulkiness can be enough to soak damage while also inflicting devasting blows. This reason makes Drifblim an excellent Defender.

The Alternative Types

There are many other solid typings in the Rose Cup. The ones listed above are generalised meta Pokémon that each play a vital role and overall have the most success. They are the main typings you will see in the Rose Cup. This does not mean that other typings are not as good or cannot perform their roles just as well. They are just what the general meta looks like.

The typings not listed above that still play a crucial role in the Rose Cup are as followed…

The Fire Types

These 3 have the ability to take down high end picks such as Skarmory, Gliscor, Machamp and Nidoking. Blast Burn, which Charizard and Blaziken have access to as a community day legacy move, is an extremely high hitting Charge Move. Even against Pokémon that the move would naturally be not very effective against, it still has the potential to dish out an absurd amount of damage.

In retrospect, when using Blast Burn against a non-shielded opponent, more often or not will take down an opponents health bar with one hit. These Fire types will be important in the Rose Cup and have several beneficial matchups.

The Rock and Ice Types

Rock types play the role of being a counter to Flying and Fire types. As we know now there are several of these typings in the meta and is recommended to chose one for a team composition for that reason alone.

Glalie is a supreme counter to flying types such as Gliscor. However, like Solrock, it will struggle against Alolan Marowak and Skarmory.

The Poison Types

The Poison types can all deal with Fighting and Fairy types well. They also have the benefit to wall Ghost types such as Haunter and Drifblim.

Vileplume has access to Razor Leaf, which is a strong Grass type quick move that will deal solid neutral damage to most matchups. It can also use Moonblast as the Charge Move. This deals huge Fairy type burst damage. Using this move into Fighting and Dark types can single handily take down an opponent if not shielded.

Drapion has a flexible moveset that makes it a versatile pick in the Rose Cup. Running Bite, Fell Stinger and Aqua Tail provides great coverage into most Pokémon. With how versatile its moveset is, Drapion makes an outstanding Lead Pokémon.

Gliscor and Friends

Last but certainly not least. We have Gliscor which has been discussed lots in this article, and his friends. These 3 are tremendously powerful and can win against most matchups but must also rely on baiting your opponent’s shields.

With Fury Cutter, Night Slash and Earthquake, Gliscor can take on Fighting, Rock types and Alolan Marowak. Its counterpart, Gligar, also performs well in this cup. It has access to Wing Attack, Night Slash and Dig which make it good against Fighting, Ghost and even against its brother, Gliscor.

Nidoking wins against Fighting and Steel types. It will require the legacy Quick Move Fury Cutter, in order to be able to take on Fairy types. Poison Jab makes for a good alternative Quick Move that also has its own unique benefits if you do not have a legacy Nidoking.

Having Earth Power and Earthquake as its Charge Moves will be important for shield baiting and taking down Rock types.

Parting Words

Choosing a solid team filled with diversity will be your key for being victorious in the Rose Cup. Constructing a team that has an answer for most problems can mean the difference between a win and a loss.

A good guide on how to build a team for the Rose Cup should have a widespread of typings that can take on most of the meta. While it’s impossible to have an answer for every single hardship that comes your way, choosing Pokémon that can deal with most of the meta will aid in outplaying your opponent.

There are tactics that involve having more than one of the same typing on a team. These can be good in certain situations and play more of a high risk, high reward type of gameplay that can work well with enough game knowledge. This can be risky since a single counter can more often or not ruin this tactic.

There may be lots to take in when it comes to the Rose Cup, but with enough practice and knowledge, you too can be the master of your community and climb the Silph Arenas ranked leaderboards. This will also be great practice for GO Battle League which will drop early this year.

Best of luck in battle Trainers!
-Adam ‘Avrip’

Writer / Editor for the Pokémon GO Hub. PvP enthusiast and tournament organizer in Perth, Western Australia. Collector and enthusiast of rare Pokémon retro memorabilia. Admin of the Pokémon GO Perth & WA Facebook page. Sold my soul to Niantic on 07/07/2016.