Catacomb Snapshot | GO Stadium
Graphic By: u/Pa1amon
Write up By: u/Tangent444
In the Catacomb Meta Snapshot graphic, we attempt to distill the Catacomb Cup down to the central Pokémon you should be prepared to face and the matchup dynamics within this concentrated Meta. The relationships displayed here are counters (single arrow) and generally positive matchups with a few losing conditions (dotted arrow). Checks and IV-dependent matchups often excluded (no arrow). Thanks as always to PvPoke for supporting simulations. Also if you love discussing Cup Metas, come join in on the daily discussion at GO Stadium and forge new friendships with people as passionate about Meta discussion as you.
The Catacomb Cup is a bit more of a centralized Meta around a small number of powerful, generalist picks . A few important notes about the Graphic:
The relationship between Lapras and Umbreon is generally positive for Lapras, but requires Lapras to go straight Skull Bash until it can finish Umbreon off with Surf, which some less informed players may not think to do.
The relationship between Lapras and Froslass with Beedrill is generally positive. Beedrill has one unlikely win condition with Froslass, which involves Froslass having poor IVs and winning with a double shield bait. Beedrill can win 1S against Lapras if it reaches an Ice Shard bulk point (which cannot be guaranteed) with the sequence (XS)-DR-XS, but otherwise loses in all even shield scenarios.
Vespiquen is pictured according to the moveset Fury Cutter + X-Scissor + Power Gem. The relationship between Vespiquen and Beedrill/Venusaur is generally positive for Vespiquen. Vespiquen resists all of Beedrill’s charge moves, but can lose the 2S scenario if it has two Power Gems blocked. Vespiquen wins big against Venusaur in 1S and 2S but loses the 0S matchup, which means it needs to use at least one shield but it wins by a large margin when using one shield. If Vespiquen is running Fell Stinger, it can drop the 2S Sudowoodo win and 0S Umbreon, and generally isn’t helping it by boosting the power of a low damage Fast move in Fury Cutter. If Vespiquen is running Air Slash, it becomes a harder counter to Beedrill/Jumpluff/Venusaur, but can give up the pictured Dark type wins with Umbreon and Zweilous in some shield scenarios. If Vespiquen is running Bug Bite, it tends to drop the Jumpluff matchup, but can pick up Venusaur 0S.
The relationship between Sudowoodo and Umbreon is generally very positive for Sudowoodo. Sudowoodo can lose the 1S scenario to Dark Pulse Umbreon, though it can still win with a High Stat Product, but still wins 0S and 2S. Sudowoodo wins all even shield scenarios with Foul Play Umbreon.
No relationship is shown between Sudowoodo and Vespiquen/Beedrill, because while Sudowoodo wins 0S and 1S (though Beedrill is very tight), it has a very hard loss to both in the 2S scenario. Similarly, no relationship is shown between Sudowoodo and Lapras/Froslass due to Sudowoodo generally losing the 2S matchup (losing always Lapras in 2Sat even energy, and only having a chance to beat Froslass with very High Stat Product in 2S and occasionally dropping the 1S matchup if Sudowoodo does not have good IVs).
The relationship between Zweilous and Umbreon is generally positive for Zweilous, but no arrow is shown due to a Snarl Breakpoint (93.73 Attack to guarantee) and a High SP 0S Umbreon win. Umbreon with a very High Stat Product can win 0S with the sequence LR-LR-FP with around 2HP, winning shield advantage, but otherwise Zweilous wins 1S and 2S by a fairly large margin. With the Snarl Breakpoint, Umbreon can keep the 0S and 1S matchups very close with shield bait, within a few hit points, though still generally loses.
Pinsir is positioned as a Wildcard due to being hard to place on the graphic without a lot of overlapping and convoluted arrows, along with the potential of self-debuffing with Close Combat. It plays a similar role as Sudowoodo in pressuring Dark types, but with a stronger Venusaur matchup and a much weaker matchup with Vespiquen/Jumpluff/Beedrill.
Breloom is positioned as a Wildcard due to being one of the few relevant Counter users in a Meta where Fighting damage is highly valuable. Breloom is very frail but has the ability to defeat Umbreon, Zweilous, and Sudowoodo. On the flipside, it loses to Lapras and gets walled by Vespiquen, Jumpluff, Venusaur, and Beedrill.
Drapion is positioned as a Wildcard due to being tough to place on the graphic. It’s a Dark type that plays like an Ice type, and is stronger against Grass types than most other Ice types tend to be due to its Poison typing. However, Drapion loses hard to Lapras and Sudowoodo.
Alolan Graveler is positioned as a Wildcard because it has matchup differences from Alolan Golem that are tough to picture. It is more bait dependent that Alolan Golem in securing wins like Lapras, but also has win conditions against Grass types (If it lands a Stone Edge on Venusaur or Jumpluff, it can use both shields and Volt Switch down for the win).
Honourable mentions Skuntank, Alolan Muk, Glalie, Sealeo, Ludicolo, Tangrowth, Scolipede, and Magcargo all have merit within the Meta, and could be good choices for coverage on a team composition where they fit. They are a bit short compared to the big Meta players, but each has their own pros and cons. Other Pokemon not pictured, such as Snowy Castform, could also have a place in the Meta on the right team (i.e you’re going to need a lot of Lapras coverage).
Beartic, Liepard, and Kricketune are best left in the trash can. Did you enjoy Kricketot spotlight hour? Well, this Meta is a great opportunity to leave that new spiffy Kricketune at home, where it belongs. Charm could have a place as the hardest answer to Dark types and being generally unresisted, but you need to line everything up just right and Charm users lose to almost everything outside of Dark types. Beartic suffers from poor stats and a mono-Ice typing leaving it with only one resistance to Ice, and needs to use a shield to get past Umbreon. Liepard has very few viable Charge moves. If running Liepard, be sure to spend 10k dust on the second charge move for Gunk Shot, that way your opponents can literally see that you are throwing garbage at them.
Keep an eye out for Pa1amon’s Easter Egg hidden in the graphic!