First Look Marsh Cup & Team Guide
Graphic by PolymersUp
— Introduction —
Silph Arena Season 3 continues with the Marsh Cup for November. Here, we provide a guide to team building in the Marsh meta based on our early understanding of the meta. If you love discussing Cup metas, come join in on the discussion at GO Stadium and forge new friendships with people as passionate about breaking down metas as you. So let’s get to it!
— Team Guide —
This guide (link to image) is essentially a team building template, sometimes referred to as a roster archetype. The graphic is broken down into the 6 team slots and the respective roles that the vast majority of well-balanced teams appear to fill. Faded Pokémon represent alternatives that are in some aspect lower tier options compared to others featured within the same role. The graphic is intended to be inclusive to a wide range of unique rosters, but there are absolutely balanced teams that break the mold!
Spooder hype! Galvantula is a force within the meta and deservedly occupies a slot all to its own. Simply put, bring it. While Galvantula is an excellent starting point for any team, running another pick, such as a Grass type with similar coverage, is an option; however it’s excluded from the graphic as this can significantly affect decisions on other slots and roles due to the differing matchup coverages. Galvantula typically runs Lunge and Discharge, but Energy Ball instead of Discharge is an option to provide better coverage for Ground types, but weakening its matchups with most things that Fly, Alolan Marowak (which is an honourary Flier), Bug/Steel types, and Poison types such as Beedrill.
Spooder Mud, Spooder Mud, does whatever a Spooder Mud can! A strong core already in Open Great League, Mudbois are the ideal core teammates for Galvantula in the Marsh. Mudbois cover most of Galvantula’s counters, while Galvantula slows down the Grass types and Bulky Waters that counter the Mudbois. Unlike Galvantula, there are sidegrade options for Mudboi between Whiscash, Swampert, and Quagsire. Choose whichever fits your team and play style best. Quagsire has options to choose from between Sludge Bomb, Stone Edge, and Earthquake. Not shown on the graphic, but Carracosta fills a similar niche as the Mudbois—double weak to Grass; goes relatively even with Sableye; Water type that beats Galvantula (albeit in a different way than the Mudbois). It drops Whimsicott and the Mudboi head-to-head matchups, but has better Lapras, Dewgong, Forretress, Wormadam (Trash) and Froslass matchups compared to Whiscash. Certainly a good early spice candidate, but Carracosta could be hard to bring in the Mudboi slot given its losses to other Mudbois and Whimsicott.
With Spooder being a centralizing figure in the Marsh meta, you will need to come with at least one strong counter. Whimsicott, Alolan Marowak, and Crustle are all strong options to fill this role. Whimsicott also fills a dual role of being able to defeat the Mudbois in certain shield scenarios (two shields might be needed) while also being one of the strongest Sableye counters. Alolan Marowak covers the Bug/Steel types and Grass types that Whimsicott struggles more with, but performs worse against Water types and Sableye. Crustle is a mixture of the two, but like Alolan Marowak it struggles with Water types. Looking for something spicy? Golurk is a wall to the standard Galvantula set of Discharge and Lunge, and with good stat product it can farm down a Galvantula with just the fast move (watch out for Energy Ball Galvantula though). Runerigus could also jump into the Meta scene in this role, depending on if it gets a good moveset upon release.
The third role was targeting Spooder, which naturally means the fourth role will be targeting the Mudbois. Grass is the natural answer to them, though bulky waters could also be used. The strongest Grass choices are the ones that can also answer Galvantula. This looks like an opportunity for Cradily to break out, as it has win conditions against Galvantula with Stone Edge, however it loses to other Grass types due its Rock subtyping. Tangrowth is faster with Rock Slide, although less bulky and it has to be careful not to get hit by a super-effective Lunge from Spooder. Jumpluff is a very bulky Grass type that keeps the matchup with Galvantula close. Ferrothorn has the worst Galvantula matchup, but is the strongest wall to the Mudbois while also walling Whimsicott. As for the bulky waters, Lapras and Dewgong have more fight against the Grass types than Azumarill does, while Azumarill is stronger against Alolan Marowak and Sableye. The Meta feels a little bit stacked against Azumarill, but you should never count out Azumarill from having a presence whenever it is eligible. Of the bulky waters, Rainy Castform has the worst grass matchups (lacking a coverage move) but besides Spooder and grass has generally solid matchups across the rest of the meta.
The fifth role is used to address Whimsicott, which may not have been covered by the previous roles. Whimsicott is a big threat to Galvantula and can also defeat the Mudbois with 2 shields, or at least take away most of their health before getting knocked out by a charge move. That positions Whimsicott as one of the few strong answers to the Spooder Mud core, while also countering Sableye (which we will see soon is a strong pick). If you picked Alolan Marowak as a Galvantula counter, or Ferrothorn as a Mudboi counter, you could skip this role and pick a flex instead. If not, you will want to focus on the Bug/Steel types (which offer some of the strongest walls to Grass in the Meta), Poison Jab users Beedrill or Skuntank (which Whimsicott is double weak to, allowing it to be farmed down for around 70 energy from full health), or use this opportunity to pick Alolan Marowak if you skipped it as a Spooder counter.
The sixth role is likely to be filled by one of the strong Ghost or Dark generalists, though this role could instead be used as a flex to double up on any of the previous roles. Sableye is positioned as a strong generalist that mainly only fears Whimsicott, and also plays its own role as a strong counter to other Ghost types. Alolan Muk plays a similar Anti-Ghost role (though it can lose to Froslass) and has win conditions against Whimsicott, however it performs worse against Mudbois. Froslass has strong matchups across the field, but has to watch out for all the Rock and Fire moves that are being used for Galvantula coverage and loses the head-to-head with most other Ghosts. Haunter and Gengar are glass cannons that apply a lot of shield pressure but need to watch out for Mudbois, Wormadam Trash, Alolan Muk, and Sableye.
— Final Thoughts —
The Marsh meta has noticeable shades of GO Battle League Season 4 with the rise of Galvantula, and has some similarities in type restrictions that you will see in the upcoming Halloween Cup with Bug, Ghost, and Poison. Hopefully for any newcomers to Silph, you’ll quickly come to appreciate the added depth and nuance in strategy when both team building and team reading prior to battles in a show-6, pick-3 format such as Silph Arena Cups. We’re excited for the battles in the upcoming weeks in this second tournament format of the season. Best of luck in your tournaments!