Nifty Or Thrifty PvP: Halloween Cup 2023

56 Min Read

The “Nifty Or Thrifty” article collection takes a complete take a look at the meta for Cup codecs — the 2023 rehash of Halloween Cup, on this case — notably centered on Pokémon the place it can save you your self some stardust. As a result of for these on a stardust price range — and/or of us attempting to save lots of up some mud for the longer term — it may be daunting attempting to determine the place to spend or not spend it. All of us wish to area aggressive groups, however the place can we get the perfect bang for our buck?

The OG Halloween Cup represented the primary restricted meta many gamers ever participated in. Cups are previous hat for many of you now, and by now you recognize that they usually require all-new team-crafting and consideration of issues chances are you'll not have even advanced but. My purpose is to indicate you which ones of these could also be price pursuing your self, but in addition to arrange you to FACE many of those and know tips on how to deal with them, since there are a number of chances are you'll not have encountered in PvP earlier than.

Now we have loads to get by, so only a fast caveat: within the curiosity of time, I stored this “easy”, with virtually all simulations centered on normal 1v1 shielding matchups and usually with “default” IVs, since there might be a WIDE vary of IV spreads you encounter on the market. So this isn't FULLY complete however gives you an excellent concept of how these Pokémon carry out.

There are numerous new Pokémon to think about this 12 months, and I'll mark all of them with a , and mark issues with an enormous transfer addition and/or buff with a .

And in reality, earlier than we get into the usual run of most cost-effective to costliest choices, there's one all-new addition to the meta that's going to drastically alter the battlefield above all others. I really feel compelled to outline and canopy it first.




Rock Throw | Rock Slide & Moonblast

In previous Halloween Cups, some gamers discovered success by working Tyranitar and/or Crustle with Smack Down, as Rock swats apart potent Flying, Ice, Fireplace, and/or Bug sorts within the meta with tremendous efficient harm, and offers a minimum of impartial harm to darn close to every thing else, whereas the Rock typing very conveniently resists potent Poison assaults too. Add to that excessive bulk and a typing that provides on resistances to Darkish, Dragon, and Bug harm, and you've got the new #1 in Halloween Cup, with a projected performance to match. Keep away from Waters and Grasses and most Poisons (and what little Metal it current right here), and Carbink can rip by nearly every thing else, and places up a stable struggle even in most of these shedding matchups. Maybe even higher, you don't HAVE to dip closely into XLs to have one able to go… one thing like a 14-15-15 works very properly too, giving up shut wins over Tyranitar and Trash Wormadam however gaining stuff like Forretress and even Runerigus as an alternative! You probably have a Carbink to construct, there has by no means been a greater time, virtually no matter IVs.

Now let's dive in to the remaining!

10,000 Mud/25 Sweet




Wing Assault | Poison Fang & Shadow Ball

Ageing like a wonderful wine, Golbat has come a great distance from being only a Silph Enviornment standout… most all GBLers have run throughout the Bat by now too, and this stays one in every of its absolute best metas. It's truly ranked #2 (and #3 for the Shadow model!) regardless of the scary presence of Carbink, simply because it can still handle so much else, terrorizing Fighters, Grasses, Bugs, many Ghosts, and naturally Charmers. Shadow Golbat is an iffy aspect/downgrade, capable of overpower Mawile, Tapu Fini, Incineroar, and even Charjabug, however giving up Azumarill, A-Muk, Skuntank, Scizor, and Crustle to do it. However both means, like a lot of Gotham Metropolis's worst villains, you can also make your opponents have good cause to worry the Bat.




Mud Shot | Ice Beam & Sludge Bomb/Gunk Shot

I sang the praises of Mud Shot being added to Swalot this season, and I nonetheless suppose it's underrated basically now, however I believe THIS is the meta the place it's finally going to have a its big breakoutIce Beam is nice for dusting off Golbat and large Grasses (and even Grounds that usually terrorize Poisons like Swalot), whereas the massive Poison strikes — both Sludge Bomb for a bit extra velocity and consistency that ends in wins over issues like Runerigus and Cofagrigus, Charjabug, and H-Qwilfish, or Gunk Shot for knockout potential versus Umbreon, Tentacruel, Incineroar, and the mirror — lastly turn into extremely related on Swalot now that it has the excessive vitality quick transfer to repeatedly deliver them to bear. No one goes to dismiss Swalot once more as soon as Halloween Cup will get rolling… it lastly turns into the thrifty hero I've all the time dreamed it could possibly be, and I couldn't be happier!




Poison Jab | Fell Stinger/X-Scissor & Drill Runᴸ

Beedrill has discovered itself much less and fewer well-liked as time has gone on, however in Halloween Cup, it stays a potent threat to Fairies, Poisons, and Fighters alike, beating (beeting?) Azumarill/Fini, Charmers, Grasses, Darkish/Poisons, every thing with Counter, after which stuff like Charjabug, Tentacruel and each Qwilfishes, Toxapex, and Greninja too… a powerful résumé! Word that my suggestion this season is Fell Stinger over X-Scissor, the previous of which is best at baiting out (and boosting) the Drill Run that makes Bee particular, and particularly permits wins versus Greninja, H-Qwil, and Swalot. Shadow Beedrill extra successfully beats issues like Azumarill, Swalot, Escavalier, and Charjabug, provides the power to beat Galvantula, Froslass, and Nidoqueen, however does surrender stuff like Toxapex, Greninja, and Pawniard with its lowered bulk. We'll name it a stable sidegrade. Double Bee bother… melissophobiacs, beeware! (Go forward… I'll wait whilst you Google “melissophobiac”. 🐝)



There's additionally ARIADOS as one other low-cost Toxic Bug, however it lacks the Floor protection of Beedrill and thus has to depend on spam with Cross Poison after which huge Bug harm with Lunge and/or Megahorn. I truly like working each of these to overpower issues like Escavalier, Trevenant, and even generally Mawile, although Cross Poison varieties has a neater time with Sableye and, considerably amazingly, even Tyranitar as an alternative.




Smack Down | X-Scissor & Rock Slide

With the arrival of Carbink, Crustle's inventory has positively fallen. Nevertheless it's nonetheless not a bad budget option if you happen to want a Rock chucker in a pinch. The win document is low, however it's nice at knocking out opposing Fireplace, Bug, Ice, Flying, and even some Poison sorts. It may even take out Jellicent, which many Jelli homeowners possible won't anticipate.




Volt Switchᴸ | X-Scissor & Discharge

We'll look once more after we get to Galv itself, however Charjabug crashes into Halloween Cup this 12 months with still-new addition Volt Change as a very healthy alternative to Galv, capable of beat issues Galvantula can't like Umbreon, Mandibuzz, Venusaur, CharmTales, Wigglytuff, and Trashadam, largely all due to having far superior bulk. People who constructed a superb one throughout September Neighborhood Day are going to be very completely happy on this meta, I believe.


Wormadam (Trash)


Confusion/Bug Chunk | Bug Buzz & Iron Head

Historically all the time listed within the “Feelin' Fortunate” part because of having to be pushed to or past Degree 40, in these darkish days of so many excessive XL issues, Trashadam may truly be referred to as considerably thrifty nowadays, so it finds itself right here as an alternative. It has all the time been nifty on this meta and remains as such, and is arguably higher without any XL investment for doing all the identical stuff and successful the mirror, however that's as much as you and your personal XL pile, I suppose. There will not be many Confusion customers on this format, however the truth that it annihilates Fighters and most Poisons helps clarify the success Trashy does see. Its typing helps too, permitting it to wail on Charmers and Froslass with impunity, and even to outlast Azumarill, Tapu Fini, and Fairy Wind Mawile. Bug Bite IS a viable various, extra simply flipping the mirror match and in addition taking down Umbreon, Obstagoon, Tyranitar, and Pawniard, although it provides up many of the good Poisons (Golbat, Toxicroak, Tentacruel, Toxapex, and Haunter, amongst others) and Tapu Fini as properly. Your name!




Shadow Claw | Liquidation & Aerial Ace/X-Scissor

It was round final 12 months, however so awful it by no means made the article. That changes this year. Aerial Ace is best which permits sneaky wins over Azumarill and Forretress, however it's actually the addition of Liquidation that places it excessive now. That brings in new wins like all the key Fires (A-Wak, Incineroar, Skeledirge), after all, but in addition Runerigus and Cofagrigus, Trashadam and Crustle, Swalot, Nidoqueen, Froslass, and Mawile too. There's an edge case for X-Scissor as a option to punch out Greninja and a minimum of threaten quite a lot of Darks, however personally I believe Liquidation and Ace is now one of the simplest ways to go. How about you?




Water Shuriken | Evening Slash & Hydro Cannonᴸ

Additionally technically round final 12 months, however with TWO new strikes underneath its belt, the breakout potential is finally hereEvening Slash is the popular protection transfer (specfically beating issues like Jellicent), however it's Water Shuriken and Hydro Cannon that do the majority of the work, washing away Carbink and a TON of others. Grasses, Fairies, Fighters, and couple Bugs and Poisons sluggish it down, however not a lot else!




Vine Whip | Frenzy Plantᴸ & Sludge Bomb

This nonetheless isn't the perfect meta for Grasses, however Venusaur nonetheless will get a bit of extra utility now with the rise of Carbink and Waters and Grounds that probably could also be introduced in to sluggish Binky down. It has the benefit versus Nidoqueen nowadays too, in addition to the opposite Rocks like Tyranitar and Crustle, and nonetheless overpowers generalists like Umbreon and Sableye, and Charmers after all. Venusaur's inventory is pointing up a bit once more, although there's nonetheless numerous Flying and Poison and Bugs that preserve it very a lot in verify. Shadow Venusaur may even overpower Trevenant (and Cofagrigus), although the loss in bulk means losses like Umbreon and Galvantula too.




Incinerate | Shadow Ball & Disarming Voice/Crunch

In the future Skele will profit from its Community Day move, however greater than most starters, it's also very viable in the here and nowIncinerate burns by all Metal and Ice sorts within the meta, all Grasses however Shiftry and generally Trevenant, and all Bugs however Crustle and Golisopod for considerably apparent causes. Being a Poison-resistant Ghost that offers numerous largely impartial harm means many Poisons go down too, from Nidoqueen to Galarian Weezing to Swalot to Toxicroak to H-Qwilfish. Throw in the usual Appeal hate that comes with Fireplace sorts, and Disarming Voice to threaten even Darks, and Skeledirge is gonna shake up this meta properly. (Technically Crunch could also be barely higher, and might beat Toxapex, however I'll take the Fairy protection as an alternative, personally.)




Fireplace Fang | Blaze Kick & Flame Cost/Darkish Pulse

Much less versatile than Skele however nonetheless fairly good in a meta where Fire can be powerful. Newly added Blaze Kick elevates its efficiency into viability by including on edge circumstances like Golbat, Swalot, Galarian Weezing, and Runerigus to a win column that already included ALL Grass, Ice, and Metal sorts, and principally the identical set of Bugs that Skeledirge handles. Darkish Pulse is ok sufficient, however I lean in direction of Flame Cost as an alternative and its potent combo with high-damage Fireplace Fang… Incineroar may even take down Mandibuzz that means.




Counter | Evening Slash & Obstructᴸ/Cross Chop/Hyper Beam

Night Slash is clearly a should, however what else? Cross Chop is beneficial for wailing on Darks (particularly beating Hisuian Qwilfish and Alolan Muk, and Hyper Beam is the perfect “nearer” for the way it can take out Mandibuzz and Tentacruel. However as leary as I'm to advocate it and can come proper out and say that it's a “sim hero”, Obstruct could certainly be one of the simplest ways to go in case you have it, opening paths to victory versus Mandi and A-Muk, in addition to Skuntank, Swalot, Forretress, and Trashadam.

You can too take into account pre-evolution GALARIAN LINOONE now that Dig is definitely helpful for burying some huge Fireplace, Poison, and Metal sorts within the meta. It's general a bit much less dynamic than Obstagoon, however actually nonetheless worthy of consideration.


Raticate (Alola)


Fast Assault | Crunch & Returnᴸ

With its TRIPLE resistance to Ghost harm, it's no shock that A-Rat is a premiere Ghost slayer, with solely a pair like Froslass, Palossand, and Gholdengo with the ability to fend it off. What could also be a bit extra stunning is that — a minimum of with Return — it additionally outtanks Venusaur, Nidoqueen, each Qwilfish, Skuntank, A-Muk, Toxapex, Tapu Fini, Charjabug, Galarian Weezing, Golbat and plenty of extra, and even outlasts Umbreon by slapping it with fixed impartial harm. (With out Return you do lose issues like Charj, Azumarill, Golbat, Toxapex, Fini, Stank, and G-Weeze.) A-Rat is deceptively cumbersome and so long as it avoids Preventing and Fairy harm, there's little or no that blows it out, making it a superb, low-cost, and fairly protected swap choice to think about.




Appeal | Ice Beam & Disarming Voice

Typically the perfect of the Charmers due to its Regular sub-typing and double resistance to Ghost harm, giving it an enormous leg up within the Halloween meta. And new Disarming Voice provides it some new benefits now too, comparable to beating (non-Hydro Pump) Azumarill. That mentioned, the necessity for a pure Charmer has decreased over time, and thus even the higher ones have only so much use. But when you must choose a Charmer, for my cash, it's Wiggly in Halloween Cup.




Fairy Wind | Meteor Mash & Moonblast/Psychic

As hinted with Wiggly, Clefable is mostly a failure with Charm, however new Fairy Wind is a completely totally different story. Not solely does it now rush to Carbink-destroying Meteor Mash, however it might now reasonably simply outduel Sableye, Mandibuzz, Pawniard, Incineroar, and even Galvantula and Azumarill (once more, except it lands a Hydro Pump) like Appeal Clefable can't. Add to that spectacular wins over Crustle, G-Weeze, and Wigglytuff itself and Clefable is properly price a point out now, in contrast to years previous.

50,000 Mud/50 Sweet




Poison Jab | Brine & Sludge Wave

The highest-rated 50k choice, comfortably in the Top 5 overall, and with a projected performance that backs it up. ‘Pex is a Water that beats all Grasses and even Charjabug AND each different Water sort however Jellicent, whereas additionally washing away Fires and Rocks, and each single Fairy within the format (even people who blunt Poison harm like Carbink and Mawile). Bonuses embrace Umbreon, Mandibuzz, the Darkish/Poisons, Nidoqueen, and even Pawniard and Scizor. (Resisting Metal harm helps fairly a bit.) Past a handful of potent Ghosts, Poisons, and a few Steely Bugs (and Galvantula, for considerably apparent causes), there isn't a lot that Toxapex can't grind down into poisonous mud.




Poison Jab | Poison Fang & Earth Energy

Right here I believe I lean non-Shadow Queen over Shadow Queen, with non-Shadow with the ability to beat issues like Tentacruel, Shadow Mawile, Swalot, and Pawniard, whereas Shadow solely will get one distinctive win (albeit an enormous one: Toxapex). Or you will get difficult with Stone Edge, as an alternative beating Mandibuzz with Shadow or Golbat with non-Shadow… not typically advisable with all you surrender, however may actually work (and has in previous Halloween Cups) on the correct crew.




Incinerate | Poison Fang & Dragon Pulse

The opposite distinguished Poison Fang consumer. I didn't cowl it final time as a result of it actually does take some shenanigans to get it underneath 1500 CP, however it's been lengthy sufficient now that I really feel obligated to level out that, yeah, it's pretty good hereSigh Salandit within the wild WHEN, Niantic?




Dragon Tail | Aqua Tail & Gunk Shot

The skillset of Dragalge interprets actually properly to Halloween Cup: it douses issues like Queen, Crustle and TTar, many and Fires with Aqua Tail, poisons Azumarill (and in addition overwhelms Umbreon) with Gunk Shot, and resists the various strikes of Poison, Grass, Electrical, and Water sorts (and Fighters) whereas beating them down with Dragon Tail. Dragalge is quietly very harmful on this meta, of us.




Poison Jab | Scald & Blizzard/Sludge Wave/Acid Spray

Alright, right here goes JRE along with his loopy, what-is-he-thinking various moveset suggestions. As a result of I believe you must legit take into account Blizzard, which uniquely freezes out Skuntank, Qwilfish, and naturally Flying Golbat and Mandibuzz. When you're on the lookout for extra tried-and-true, each Acid Spray and Sludge Wave have wonderful utility, with the previous permitting a win over Tyranitar and the latter overwhelming Qwil like Blizzard does. Or heck, you may even run with last year's best moveset if you wish to. Tentacthulhu is an eldritch horror in lots of varieties!




Water Gun/Poison Sting | Aqua Tail & Sludge Wave/Acid Spray

Right here once more there are a number of methods to go, although principally all of them embrace Aqua Tail within the first cost transfer slot. The best numbers include an odd Water Gun/Sludge Wave mixture, which extinguishes A-Wak, Skuntank, Runerigus, Escavalier, Forretress, and Qwilfish's Hisuian cousin. Poison Sting is not any slouch both, as an alternative outracing Trevenant, Zweilous, and Greninja, however its different two seemingly distinctive wins — Tapu Fini and (non-Blizzard!) Tentacruel — are matched by Water Gun with Sludge Wave (although not with Water Gun/Acid Spray).


Qwilfish (Hisuian)


Poison Jab | Aqua Tail & Shadow Ball/Ice Beam

This one is fairly easy. Would you like Shadow Ball ot beat Jellicent, Sableye, Mawile, and Qwilfish, or Ice Beam for overcoming Golbat, Mandibuzz, Nidoqueen, and the mirror?




Poison Jab | Crunch & Flamethrower/Trailblaze

Once more, comparatively easy and clear alternative right here. Trailblaze has turn into Stank's go-to now in Open GL, and contributes wins on this meta over Hydro Pump Azumarill, Jellicent, Toxapex, Umbreon (the harm enhance seals the deal right here), and Sableye. However that is nonetheless a reasonably flammable meta, by which Flamethrower burns by Mawile, Forretress, Trashadam, Pawniard, Hisuian Qwilfish, and the mirror match. The tradeoffs are related with ShadowStank too, with Flamethrower burning Trashadam, Wigglytuff, and A-Muk, whereas Trailblaze will get Tentacruel and the mirror (boosted Assault FTW) as an alternative.


Muk (Alola)


Snarl | Darkish Pulse & Sludge Wave

Poison Jab | Acid Spray & Darkish Pulse

You'll be able to combine and match a bit right here, however in my view, Snarl/Darkish Pulse/Sludge Wave is the general finest option to run with non-Shadow, turning it into a reasonably good generalist that may overcome issues like Tentacruel, Runerigus, Swalot, Trashadam, and different Darkish/Poisons (together with the mirror). Conversely, Poison Jab/Acid Spray/Darkish Pulse appears finest for Shadow A-Muk to maximise that Jab harm, which permits constant wins versus (non-Metal) Fairies (together with ones like Azumarill and Galarian Weezing), in addition to grinding down even issues that resist Poison like Sableye, Tyranitar, Crustle, Golbat, and Hisuian Qwilfish.




Bullet Seedᴸ/Poison Jab | Climate Ball (Fireplace)ᴸ & Leaf Storm

There's some good that may come out of Poison Jab right here, however if you happen to're going to run Rose, I believe you wish to simply go for broke with the velocity and Grass harm of Bullet Seed, which not solely slaughters practically each one of many format's Rocks, Grounds, and Waters (solely Tyranitar, Toxapex, and Golisopod escape), but in addition can take out Charjabug, Escavalier, Scizor, Mawile, Toxicroak, Sableye, Charmers, and even Froslass! Poison Jab is a suitable various that loses all these particular mentions to realize Galvantula, Forretress, and Alolan Muk as an alternative, however for my cash? Go for Grass.






Shadow Claw | Shadow Punchᴸ & Sludge Bomb/Shadow Ball

Yep, each Haunter AND Gengar are equally viable, and run roughshod over a big portion of the core meta, together with Fighters, Electrics, Jellicent, many Ghosts (together with the Fires and Froslass), most huge identify Bugs and plenty of extra. Sludge Bomb is best for sniping Fairies (including Azu, Fini, G-Weeze, and Wiggly, amongst others) and outraces Crustle (in Haunter's case, a minimum of), whereas Shadow Ball is best versus Poisons like Nidoqueen, Swalot, Toxapex, Golbat, the Qwilfishes, and Tentacruel. As for Gengar particularly, whereas Sludge Bomb nonetheless uniquely beats Wiggly, Azu, and G-Weeze, Shadow Ball is now capable of beat Tapu Fini (in contrast to with Haunter) and possibly will get the nod from me.



COFAGRIGUS is ok too, although truthfully simply a bit less exciting. The place its bulk permits new wins is issues like Crustle, Tapi Fini, Azumarill, Nidoqueen, PowderTales, and Trashadam, which all give Haunter and Gengar a minimum of situational bother. The place Cofag pales is versus different Ghosts (shedding to most, together with A-Wak, Skeledirge, Jellicent, Runerigus, and Froslass) and others like Golbat, Swalot, and Wigglytuff that it simply can't outrace.




Shadow Claw | Sand Tomb & Shadow Ball

Cofagrigus' cousin Runie, nonetheless, positively stands out from the group. Its Floor subtyping provides it straightforward wins versus Carbink and different Rocks, all Electrics within the meta, and an enormous leg up versus Poison sorts with a double resistance (identical as Haunter and Gengar), permitting it to beat even scary-for-Ghosts Alolan Muk and Skuntank. It handles the Fiery Ghosts, Mawile, CharmTales, Forretress, Trashadam, and even scary Waters like Toxapex, Tentacruel, Tapu Fini, Qwilfish, and Jellicent regardless of their tremendous efficient harm coming again Runie's means. Runerigus is fairly beastly on this meta, of us, and it's solely gotten higher this 12 months due to dominating Carbink like few others can.




Mud Shot | Scorching Sands & Shadow Ball

Similar fundamental story right here, although there are differences. Paulo (as I'll name Palossand henceforth) does some issues with new Scorching Sands that Runerigus can't, overcoming Incineroar, Tyranitar, Swalot, H-Qwilfish, spicy Pawniard, and Runie itself. The place it falls brief compared to Runerigus is in losses to Jellicent and Tapu Fini (two BIG and surprising wins for Runie) in addition to Trashadam, Forretress, and CharmTales. Nevertheless it too, clearly, totally destroys Carbink, and really extra successfully than even Runerigus due to Sands.




Hex | Surf & Shadow Ball

Issues have gotten a lot less complicated with Jelli this 12 months. No extra want for Bubble Beam baits, and no sturdy case actually for any moveset now aside from Hex/Shadow Ball and new-this-year move Surf. It's simply the perfect Jelli has to supply now, with extra constant wins over issues like Azumarill, Froslass, Tentacruel, and now Toxapex. Many Waters, Poisons, Ghosts, Fires, and Fighters all fall earlier than its steadier and extra balanced moveset. It ought to stay a really sturdy presence this 12 months, maybe moreso than ever. (However no, it doesn't ever actually beat Carbink, even when it ran Bubble/Surf.)




Powder Snow | Avalanche & Shadow Ball

Right here once more, I believe it's the tried and true Powder Snow/Shadow Ball/Avalanche you continue to need. Lass is definitely actually good at combating most Poison sorts (although A-Muk and Haunter are problematic for apparent causes), and has optimistic matchups with Grasses (duh), Dragons, Fighters, and even some big-name Darks — Mandibuzz and Zweilous — once more, for reasonably apparent causes. She will be able to additionally outrace Cofagrigus and Runerigus, Charjabug, Wigglytuff, Beedrill, Pump-less Azumarill and others. Froslass, as per typical, is way more harmful than her general win/loss document would suggest.




Hex | Fireplace Punch & Poltergeist

Lengthy story brief, Poltergeist makes it better, with wins over Golbat, Tapu Fini, Crustle, and Tentacruel it couldn't reliably get earlier than. Fireplace Punch is your finest protection with all of the burnable stuff right here (notably the Steely Bugs). 🔥




Lick | Psychic Fangs & Dig

The brand new doggo is certainly a good doggoDig is sadly not fairly sufficient to reliably take down Carbink (although my oh my, does it get close!), however it IS nice at burying many Fireplace (all of them however outside-the-meta Houndoom) and Poison sorts like Toxapex, G-Weeze, Swalot, Nidoqueen, Toxicroak, and Haunter/Gengar, in addition to stuff like Crustle, Escavalier, Mawile, Charjabug and Galvantula, Trevenant, CharmTales, Froslass and extra. This can be a good early alternative to deliver your latest toy.


Marowak (Alola)


Fireplace Spin/Hex | Bone Membership & Shadow Ball/Shadow Boneᴸ

A-Wak has all the time been a bit humorous on this meta, with each Fireplace Spin and Hex being viable, in addition to each Shadow Ball and Shadow Bone. That's nonetheless the case this 12 months, and I encourage working sims along with your at present construct A-Waks and seeing what works finest for you. However I'll present some highlights right here. Shadow works properly with Hex (ideally with Shadow Bone, which outraces Trevenant, Runerigus, Scizor, and the mirror, versus Shadow Ball which solely will get Fini and Nidoqueen) or with Fire Spin (additionally finest with Bone, and notable for wins versus Wiggly, Trev, Scizor, Queen, H-Qwil, and Pawniard… however with out Hex you lose Jellicent, Skeledirge, Runie, and Toxapex). Equally, non-Shadow A-Wak (which typically prefers Ball) works with Hex (particular wins embrace Jelli, Froslass, Toxapex, Qwilfish, and Trevenant) or Fire Spin (particular wins like Queen, Forret, Wiggly, Pawniard, and Skuntank). And I think about somebody will check out Fire Blast variant too… somebody all the time does. Informed you there have been numerous choices!




Volt Change | Lunge & Discharge

Charjabug is the price range model, and whereas it does do some distinctive issues (as talked about up in its part), Galvantula still reigns supreme with its personal distinctive wins versus Froslass, Sableye, Skuntank, H-Qwilfish, Zweilous, and Toxapex. However even higher is Shadow Galv, which does drop Jellicent and H-Qwil, however features Mandibuzz, Trevenant, Trashadam, PowderTales, A-Muk, and infrequently Venusaur too, amongst others.




Counter | Drill Run & Megahorn/Aerial Ace

In a meta stuffed with Poisons and Electrics weak to it, seems that Drill Run is a extremely good transfer to have, particularly when paired with Counter to tough up the Darks too! And it seems that's truly all that Escav must hit a high level performance in opposition to the core meta, beating all of the necessary Darks that aren't airborne (together with all three Darkish/Poisons), all of the Steely Bugs, the key Grasses, Charmers, Froslass, Tentacruel, and extra. Whereas having a second transfer doesn't appear to have have an effect on there, after all there are various shielding conditions and vitality lead conditions the place a second transfer could possibly be key. Megahorn offers HUGE harm now and picks up wins in shieldless matchups in opposition to Umbreon, Galvantula, and Crustle, however Aerial Ace has extensive impartial protection and is tremendous efficient in opposition to (most) Bugs and Grass. Choose your pleasure!




Counter | Foul Play & Energy-Up Punch

Still putting in good work, with Energy-Up Punch enabling Scrafty to beat issues like A-Muk, Escavalier, Fairy Wind Mawile, Scizor, and even Skeledirge (often by boosting Foul Play into KO territory). Even Carbink is winnable if you sniff out the Moonblast and simply preserve pounding away.




Counter | Mud Bomb & Sludge Bomb

You may be tempted by the brand new Mud Shot on this Poison-heavy meta, however no… simply keep on with tried and true Counter to beat (non-Flying) Darks (apart from pesky Sableye and Malamar), Steels, Rocks (sure, Carbink too!), bonuses like Skeledirge, Qwilfish, Shadow Nidoqueen, Venusaur, and PowderTales, and carry the looming menace of Sludge Bomb to maintain even the Fairies trustworthy. I don't suppose Toxicroak actually wants any extra clarification than that, does it?


Ninetales (Alola)


Powder Snow/Appeal | Climate Ball (Ice) & Psyshock/Dazzling Gleam

With SO a lot Poison within the meta anymore, Powder Snow is often finest with Psyshock on this meta, particularly beating Toxicroak, Beedrill, and Swalot and in addition usually outracing Azumarill and the mirror. CharmTales is clearly extraordinarily robust on Darks, beats Jellicent, and has extra constant wins versus Azumarill and Toxicroak and such, however is left fairly susceptible to Poison sorts. It's a mere specialist on this meta anymore.


Granbull (Shadow)


Appeal | Crunch & Shut Fight

Nothing fancy right here… simply straight beatdowns. I simply really feel compelled to checklist it as a prime flight Charmer, however there are few secrets and techniques to what it might (and can't) do.




Thunder Shock | Discharge & Play Tough

The forgotten Electrical with Galv and now Charj taking the limelight, however Deedee still does good things too. Whereas it's true that being weak to Poison dooms it in lots of matchups, its resistance to Darkish boosts it elsewhere, comparable to distinctive wins over Greninja, Guzzlord, and Tyranitar, and it has sufficient bulk to outrace Charmers and stuff like Jellicent and Charjabug itself. On the correct crew, it might nonetheless be very efficient.


Weezing (Galarian)


Fairy Wind | Overheat & Sludge/Brutal Swing

Put merely: you principally ALWAYS need the choice of Overheat, which simply roasts too many issues (Steely Bugs, Mawile, Froslass, Galvantula, Crustle, A-Muk, H-Qwil, Trevenant, and so on.) to depart out. After that? Properly, Sludge beats Azumarill and Tapu Fini, and the new-this-year Brutal Swing as an alternative nets Jellicent (and threatens Ghosts basically, after all). Which one fits YOUR fancy?




Bubble | Hydro Pump & Play Tough/Ice Beam

The query isn't whether or not or to not run it — as a result of possible nearly all of groups will, particularly with Carbink's arrival — the query is what strikes to run on it? I'll begin by saying that it doesn't matter what, you in all probability need Hydro Pump, because it's only a great equalizer and catch-all transfer menace that hardly something of notice resists in Halloween Cup… you principally must have it to beat issues like Froslass, Alolan Ninetales, Alolan Muk, Forretress, and Cofagrigus. The controversy then turns into Ice Beam versus Play Rough. Beam has apparent functions in opposition to Flyers and really extensive impartial protection (and extra readily outraces G-Weeze and Mawile), however Play Tough is a lot better in opposition to Fighters, Waters, and is nearly vital to win the mirror. I'll go away that call in your succesful arms on your personal crew, however anticipate to face down a wholesome mixture of each on opposing groups!

75,000 Mud/75 Sweet




Snarl/Air Slash | Aerial Ace & Darkish Pulse/Shadow Ball

The straightforward, slam dunk moveset is definitely the now-standard Snarl/Aerial Ace/Dark Pulse, proper? Properly, it actually IS potent, dealing with all of the format's Grass, Preventing, and Bug sorts (besides Crustle and the Electrical Bugs) thanks a minimum of partially to newly improved Aerial Ace, in addition to conveniently all Fires however Salazzle and all Ghosts however Froslass (and man oh man, is even THAT super close). To not even point out all of the Poison and different Darkish sorts Mandi can conquer. However there's nonetheless energy in going with a more Flying-centric moveset, buying and selling Golbat, Skuntank, Tentacruel, and Nidoqueen that Snarl Mandi can beat to as an alternative take down Greninja, Guzzlord, Fireplace Fang Mawile (largely due to the addition on this case of Shadow Ball), and the mirror match versus Snarl Mandibuzz. If you end up dealing with down a Mandi, pay shut consideration to what quick transfer is in use earlier than you resolve tips on how to mount a response. Good luck!




Wing Assault | Fly & Payback

Mandi Junior. The largest level in Birdie's favor is outright beating Froslass, and matching a number of the distinctive wins of Snarl Mandi (Golbat, Skuntank, Tentacruel) and Air Slash Mandi (FF Mawile and Mandibuzz itself), representing a contented medium of kinds. Nevertheless, Mandi's sheer bulk does give it wins Birdie can't match like Nidoqueen, Guzzlord, Greninja, Umbreon, and Galarian Weezing. There's greater than sufficient going for Bombirdier on this meta to be price working in case you have a superb one.




Snarl | Foul Play & Final Resortᴸ/Psychicᴸ

Umbreon hardly ever wows with its variety of wins… however what's spectacular is its outstanding consistency. Sure, it constantly shreds all of the Ghosts, new and previous, however what Umbreon does finest is put on numerous issues down. I typically advocate Last Resort to deal with Darks (particularly beating Hisuian Qwilfish, Skuntank, and Greninja, and having a shot within the mirror match), however Psychic works wonderful too (getting sure Poison sorts like Beedrill and even scary Toxicroak). Umbreon places up a superb struggle in opposition to principally every thing right here and not using a regular eating regimen of Fairy, Preventing, or Bug harm, and stays one of many most secure hole fillers you'll discover on this meta (and plenty of, many others).




Dragon Breath | Physique Slam & Darkish Pulse

Nonetheless a powerful choice right here, Zweil operates finest as a Ghost and Dark slayer, beating each Ghost however Froslass and Disarming Voice Skeledirge, and principally each Darkish with out Preventing, Dragon, or Ice harm. As a bonus, Zweil can take out Golbat, Nidoqueen, Greninja, Tentacruel, Charjabug, Venusaur and a few others too. Avoid Bugs and particularly Fairies, however Zweilous is a troublesome, robust out for many anything.




Shadow Claw | Foul Play & Returnᴸ

Yep, Sable is solid, capable of overwhelm each different meta Ghost and issues like Toxapex, Golbat, Swalot, Mawile, Escavalier, Crustle, Trashadam, Incineroar, Tentacruel, Shadow Queen, Toxicroak and way more. Shadow Sable is a bit worse and usually not advisable, IMO.




Shadow Claw | Seed Bomb & Shadow Ball

The inventory goes up this time with the addition of Carbink, Greninja, Charjabug, and Tapu Fini to the meta, all of which Trevor will usually beat (however nonetheless needs to be cautious of their impartial or tremendous efficient {learn as: Gren's Evening Slash} protection strikes). Bugs might be scary however their impartial harm is often not sufficient to outlive Trev's onslaught, and Trevenant often beats different Ghosts too (like Jellicent, Cofagrigus, Runerigus, and even Froslass). Different wins embrace Azumarill (even with Ice Beam), Tyranitar, Fairy Wind Mawile, Shadow Nidoqueen, Venusaur, and even CharmTales.




Hex | Shadow Ball & Mystical Fireplace/Icy Wind

As in Open, Drifblim has deflated a bit bit over time, although the addition of Mystical Fireplace and its Shadow model each add a bit extra intrigue than it's had in different latest Halloween Cups. Mystical Fire particularly provides wins versus Trashadam and Pawniard. Shadow Blim is generally an improve with both Icy Wind (including Runerigus) or with Mystical Fire (including Galvantula, a big pickup); with both, Shadow features CharmTales, Trashadam, and Tapu Fini, although it additionally drops Trevenant and Skeledirge with its lowered bulk.




Bullet Punch | X-Scissor & Evening Slash/Iron Head

The new transfer is Trailblaze, however Scizor doesn't need that. The explanation for the is as an alternative the buff to X-Scissor, which pairs finest with Iron Head for non-Shadow Scizor, geting wins like Guzzlord, Sableye, Pawniard, Evening Slash Scizor, and probably even Azumarill (with out Hydro Pump). Nevertheless, Shadow Scizor has some choices. Iron Head permits it to beat Tapu Fini, Evening Slash outpaces Trashadam, Forretress, and even Galarian Weezing (regardless of being resisted), and X-Scissor can beat Zweilous, Sableye, Umbreon, and Pawniard. One of the best general mixture for Shadow Scizor, in my view, is X-Scissor/Night Slash, which beats every thing I simply listed aside from Tapu Fini, and uniquely is ready to overcome Galvantula as properly. In the long run, I'd say Shadow is general nonetheless higher than non-Shadow, lacking out on Fini however in any other case doing the identical job PLUS Escavalier, Forretress, Trashadam, Weezing, Umbreon, Cofagrigus, and probably that Galvantula win too.




Bug Chunk | Mirror Shot & Earthquake

Sure, it CAN beat Carbink, although it's a hairraising affair. Fortunately, the Golf Ball Of Doom comes with many, much safer wins, to incorporate all Ice sorts, most all Grasses and Fairies (exceptions: Trevenant, Roserade, Galarian Weezing, Dedenne, and Togetic). Different wins embrace Sableye, Umbreon, Guzzlord, Zweilous, Skuntank (have to be very cautious of Flamethrower although), A-Muk, each Qwilfish, Greninja, Tentacruel, Toxapex, Nidoqueen, Tyranitar, Trashadam and extra. Shadow Forret is usually worse, managing to beat out Crustle, FT Skuntank, and Shadow Scizor, however dropping Fini, Froslass, Nidoqueen, Sableye, Qwilfish, and Carbink within the course of.




Snarl | Darkish Pulse & Iron Head/X-Scissor

Spoiler alert: XL Pawniard goes to be a stronger suggestion if you happen to can afford to construct it. However Bisharp has legit use in this meta as properly. Darkish Pulse is a transfer you all the time need, and whereas X-Scissor will get the next variety of distinctive wins — comparable to Galvantula, Umbreon, Hisuian Qwilfish, and even Skeledirge and Alolan Marowak, with X-Scissor getting a key bait in these two to arrange Darkish Pulse — it's with Iron Head that Sharpie knocks out PowderTales, Crustle, and most significantly, Carbink.




Smack Downᴸ | Brutal Swing & Stone Edge

Tyranitar has all the time hung round on the fringe of this meta, not displaying up too usually however generally blowing out whole groups when it does. However the addition now of Brutal Swing makes it considerably higher than it was with the more expensive Crunch. Now T-Tar can do some stuff you'd anticipate of a Darkish sort that it couldn't do earlier than, comparable to beating Jellicent, Sableye, Cofagrigus, and even Rock-resistant Runerigus, all of that are very good pickups that make it much less of a one-trick Smack Down pony. I might additionally wish to level out that whereas the Shadow model is usually extra advisable (and thus additionally extra widespread), I truly like non-Shadow higher, as Shadow T-Tar misses out on Alolan Muk, Toxapex, and Jellicent (although it DOES acquire Charjabug, notably). As Tyranitar is just not one many use in GL in any respect, I'll additionally notice that you may construct one from scratch with only one cost transfer (Brutal Swing, forgoing Stone Edge) and actually solely surrender Umbreon and Toxapex), however that's your name.




Poison Sting | Aqua Tail & Crunch/Sludge Bomb

So first off I'm going to say that I believe you all the time need Aqua Tail for its impartial protection, and tremendous efficient harm versus the format's huge Fireplace, Floor, and Rock sorts, which could be very related protection in opposition to issues that might in any other case give Drap numerous bother. Past that there are circumstances for each Crunch and Sludge Bomb, the previous beating Ghosts (Jellicent, Runerigus, Skeledirge) and a pair key Poisons like Golbat and Tentacruel, and the latter slaughtering Fairies (Aazumarill, even with Hydro Pump, plus Tapu Fini, and PowderTales) in addition to Umbreon and Greninja. Shadow Drapula typically appears most versatile to me with Crunch, because it beats Golbat, Scizor, Toxapex, Charjabug, and a slew of Ghosts (Jellicent, A-Wak, Skeledirge, Runerigus, Froslass, Sableye), whereas Sludge Bomb nonetheless handles Greninja, Azumarill, Fini, Wigglytuff, Alolan Ninetales, and Mandibuzz. However in case your head wasn't already spinning sufficient, IVs can play an enormous half right here too. High rank/bulk IVs is important with non-Shadow Drap, including Galvantula, Trashadam, Skuntank, and even Umbreon, whereas high-ish Attack Shadow Drap can add on Alolan Ninetales (with out Sludge Bomb!) and, critically, Carbink… although at the price of giving up Wigglytuff. Obtained all that? Simply re-read it… like… 7 instances and it'll all sink in. 🤪




Shadow Claw | Shut Fight & Aerial Ace/X-Scissor

You probably have one that matches, yep, you may completely run it. Shut Fight is the must-have, as solely with it might Sneasler beat (JRE takes a deep breath) Skuntank, each Qwilfishes, Alolan Muk, Guzzlord, Incineroar, Mawile, Escavalier, Galvantula, Shadow Nidoqueen, Alolan Ninetales, and sure, Carbink! After that it's only a matter of second cost transfer, so I'll give a shout-out to Aerial Ace which may a minimum of slay Venusaur.

And whereas HISUIAN SNEASEL is relatively weaker, it's actually potent sufficient to think about by itself… and in a bizarre spot the place its second cost transfer prices solely 50k mud, however surprisingly Sneasler's prices 75k, so in case you have the choice, second transfer Sneasel and then evolve. Professional tip there, of us!




Fariy Wind/Fireplace Fang | Iron Head & Play Tough/Energy-Up Punch

It's all the time been Fire Fang or bust on this meta, with there being so many flammable issues round (all of the Steely Bugs, Galvantula and Charjabug, Trevenant, the mirror, and extra). However this 12 months there's a brand new choice: Fairy Wind. Why on earth would you need that, although? Properly, it permits you to now not depend on Energy-Up Punch (which is principally a should with Fireplace Fang) and as an alternative make the most of each Iron Head and Play Rough, which ends up in wins Fireplace Fang can't get like Azumarill, Mandibuzz, Umbreon, Sableye… and Carbink (thanks, Iron Head!). Shadow Mawile is the same alternative: Fire Fang to roast Bugs and Trevenant, or Fairy Wind with each closers to as an alternative wallop Darks and Carbink.




Mud Slap | Shadow Punch & Dynamic Punch

Because the meta has shifted, Golurk — equally to Palossand and Runerigus earlier — has only gotten better. The defend strain is just so-so-, however Mud Slap chunks down a ton of Poison, Rock, Electrical, Fireplace, and/or Metal sorts, to incorporate Toxapex, Nidoqueen, Skuntank, A-Muk, each Qwilfishes, Tentacruel, Toxicroak, Mawile, Forretress, Trashadam, Galvantula, Charjabug, Crustle, Tyranitar, Carbink, Incineroar, A-Wak, Skeledirge and extra. Shadow Golurk is equally viable in case you have a greater model of that to make use of as an alternative.

100,000 Mud/100 Sweet


Tapu Fini


Water Gun | Surf & Moonblast

Admittedly, whereas Fini has been a sensation on the Play!Pokémon circuit, it remains just okay here, principally a lesser (and fewer dynamic) Azumarill. However in case you have it, not an terrible factor to indicate off in case your crew stands to profit.




Dragon Tail | Dragon Claw & Brutal Swing/Crunch

As Fini is an alternate Azumarill, so is Guzzlord an alternate Zweilous. On this case, although, it's actually not a lesser choice, however a sidegrade, beating issues like Galvantula, Qwilfish, and Zweilous itself, whereas Zweil as an alternative takes down Skeledirge, Swalot, Shadow Scizor, and Shadow Nidoqueen.


Moltres (Galarian)


Wing Assault | Historic Energy & Courageous Chook

And eventually… yep, one other various, this time to Mandibuzz and Bombirdier. In contrast to these two, Galarian Moltres (with its increased Assault however decrease bulk) can knock down Guzzlord and Zweilous, although it does battle with Umbreon, Galvantula, Toxicroak, and Qwilfish like Mandi can beat, and Mawile and Froslass like Birdie can overcome. However clearly, G-Moltres is the largest flex of the three, so there's that!


And eventually wrapping up with excessive XL stuff, all of that are preliminary or center evolutions. I'm simply gonna cowl them in bullet type after which deliver this text to a detailed eventually. Buckle up!



  • I've talked about PAWNIARD loads all through this text, and for good reason. It's an general higher Bisharp, beating Carbink much more successfully and including on Guzzlord, Zweilous, Umbreon, Sableye, Hisuian Qwilfish, and CharmTales. (Bisharp's solely distinctive wins are Toxapex, Swalot, and Qwilfish.) I've seen individuals working X-Scissor, however I strongly advocate Evening Slash for widespread use and Iron Head for a lot of Darks and Carbink and such.



  • GRIMER is a enjoyable choice, particularly a purified one with Return for highly effective protection… Poison Jab and all the great it might do, widespread impartial protection with Return, and Mud Bomb for opposing Poisons, Fires, Steels, and Rocks. Shadow is potent too although clearly can't make use of Return.



  • And eventually, NIDORINA stays one of many extra attention-grabbing center evolutions in PvP, with the potent Poison Fang organising an enormous Thunderbolt to zap Greninja, Mandibuzz, and Golbat, or in all probability higher, Dig to as an alternative bury Charjabug, Tyranitar, Toxicroak, Mawile, Hisuian Qwilfish, Pawniard, and Swalot, to call a number of.

So till subsequent time, you may all the time discover me on Twitter with common Pokémon GO evaluation nuggets or Patreon. Keep protected on the market, and catch you subsequent time, Pokéfriends!

(Artwork credit score: “Evening in Lavender City”, by Gary Ng)

The put up Nifty Or Thrifty PvP: Halloween Cup 2023 appeared first on Pokémon GO Hub.

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