Graphic By: Mikeiff

Written By: Tangent444

Special thanks: Nesabethan, NHoff, PolymersUp, Twastell, and everyone else on the GO Stadium team



In the Glacial Cup Meta Snapshot graphic, we attempt to distill the Glacial 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 are 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 Concentrated Meta —

  • Dragons: Zweilous

  • Ices: Abomasnow, Froslass

  • Poisons: Beedrill, Drapion

  • Psychics: Hypno, Malamar, Mew

  • Waters: Empoleon, Poliwrath, Whiscash


The Glacial Cup meta has a variety of viable options, but looks like it will focus on these central figures. While the meta is concentrated on these central figures, a high number of matchups are not hard counters and can be flipped with energy or shield advantages. A few important details to know about the concentrated meta and the matchup relationships shown:

  • Beedrill wins all even shield scenarios with Malamar, but the arrow is dotted because Malamar can flip the two shield scenario with just a single Psycho Cut of energy advantage, or with a single move sneak the matchup can flip so be weary.

  • Beedrill to Drapion is a very solid matchup, but the arrow is dotted because things get complicated when both Beedrill and Drapion are Shadows. Shadow Beedrill struggles to take a Crunch and subsequent Poison Sting damage, whereas non Shadow Beedrill is more reliable in the matchup.
  • Drapion forces Malamar to throw Superpowers to win, as it resists Malamar's Foul Play. The arrow is dotted because Malamar can flip the script on Drapion if it is given enough opportunity to switch in and out and clear its Superpower debuffs.
  • The three Dark types all hard counter Hypno, but the matchup with Mew is a bit more complex and hence the arrow is dotted. While all three Dark types have an advantage, all three need to watch out for Mew's unprediactable moveset.
  • Hypno to Beedrill is dotted because Hypno needs to watch out for getting hit by too many X-Scissors.
  • Froslass to Beedrill is dotted because Froslass does not want to take a Drill Run from a Shadow Beedrill. A Froslass with very strong IVs can take a Drill Run from a non-Shadow Beedrill, but Shadow Beedrill has win conditions that Froslass needs to be careful around.
  • Froslass to Abomasnow is dotted because, while Froslass has an advantage due to its Ice resistance, it needs to watch out for getting hit by an Energy Ball. Particularly, an Energy Ball from Shadow Abomasnow can spell lights out for Froslass.
  • Beedrill to Abomasnow is dotted due to the impact of Shadows. The matchup is very favourable to Beedrill, but Shadow Abomasnow is able to defeat Shadow Beedrill in the one shield scenario due to Shadow Beedrill being unable to take a Weather Ball effectively.
  • Drapion to Abomasnow is dotted due to the impact of Shadows. A Shadow Abomasnow can defeat a Shadow Drapion in the two shield scenario by simply outpacing it and landing the third charge Weather Ball before Drapion can get three Crunches. Shadow Abomasnow can also do this to Non Shadow Drapion if it has enough Attack for a Powder Snow breakpoint (121.38 Attack is needed to guarantee the break point).
  • Whiscash to Empoleon is dotted because Empoleon can often win the one shield scenario by the smallest of margins. Whiscash wins all other even shield scenarios and leaves Empoleon at the brink of defeat in its only losing scenario, so the advantage it has earned a dotted arrow.
  • Whiscash defeats Beedrill in all even shield scenarios with only Mud Bomb spam, but the zero shield scenario is incredibly close and Beedrill can overcome it if Whiscash loses about 5-10 HP in chip damage from other matchups, which is why we dotted the arrow.
  • Whiscash and Empoleon have favourable matchups with Drapion, but the potential for Crunch debuffs means that these matchups are far from perfectly reliable. Whiscash uses super effective Mud Bombs to take down Drapion, but the lack of power on the move means that Drapion can put pressure on Whiscash if the first Crunch activates a debuff and Drapion starts ahead with an energy advantage. Empoleon uses its Steel typing to resist Poison Sting, but the slow speed of its charge moves allows Drapion to find potential paths to victory.
  • Abomasnow and Froslass have generally positive matchups with Zweilous, but the arrow is dotted because Froslass needs to watch out for Dark Pulse, and Abomasnow's lack of resistance to any of Zweilous' moves makes the zero shield scenario dicey.


— Alternatives —

  • Dragons: Dragonair, Dragalge, Flygon, Kingdra

  • Ices: Alolan Sandslash, Lapras, Dewgong, Sealeo

  • Poisons: Venusaur, Alolan Muk, Ariados, Skuntank

  • Psychics: Alolan Raichu, Bronzong, Jirachi, Galarian Rapidash, Lugia

  • Waters: Barbaracle, Quagsire, Politoed, Samurott, Milotic, Mantine, Pelipper, Gyarados

Alternatives all have merit within the meta, and could be good choices for coverage on a team composition where they fit. They appear to fall a bit short compared to the big meta players in terms of usage, but each has their own pros and cons. Some of the alternatives are just as strong as the Pokémon pictured, but their matchup relationships were too complex to include. Other Pokémon not pictured could also have a place in the meta on the right team.


Trash Can


This Pokémon are best left in the trash can and out of your lineup. This month our trash can pick is Nidoqueen. While Nidoqueen is one of the strongest picks in Great League with the recently improved Poison Fang, and her coverage with Earth Power is superb, the Queen struggles in a meta that features three types she is weak to: Ice, Psychic, and Water. This leaves her as a risk, and a few matchups like Empoleon and Alolan Sandslash, she will leave the opponent with almost all their HP remaining just as long as they block the Earth Power. Add in the rise of the Water/Ground types to counter other Poisons, and we have a very hostile environment for Nidoqueen. This is a pick best left off your roster.