Kanto Cup Meta Snapshot
Graphic By: u/Nesabethan
Written By: u/Tangent444
In the Kanto Cup Meta Snapshot graphic, we attempt to distill the Kanto 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 dynamic of the Kanto Cup Meta is fairly open, with a number of viable Pokemon.
ª = Exclusive move (might require an Elite TM to acquire outside of special events)
— The Concentrated Meta —
Hypno Confusion + Shadow Ball + Thunder Punch or Fire Punch or Ice Punch
Alolan Muk Snarl + Dark Pulse + Sludge Wave or Gunk Shot
Alolan Marowak Fire Spin + Bone Club + Shadow Boneª or Shadow Ball, or alternatively Hex + Shadow Boneª + Fire Blast
Snorlax Lick + Body Slam + Superpower or Earthquake
Lickitung Lick + Body Slamª + Power Whip
Wigglytuff Charm + Ice Beam + Play Rough or Dazzling Gleam
Machamp Counter + Rock Slide + Cross Chop or Close Combat
Primeape Counter + Night Slash + Cross Chopª or Close Combat
Alolan Golem Volt Switch + any of Rock Blast, Stone Edge, Wild Charge
Alolan Graveler Volt Switch + Rock Blast + Stone Edge
Dewgong Ice Shardª + Icy Windª + Water Pulse or Aqua Jetª
Lapras Ice Shardª or Water Gun + Surf + Skull Bash
Alolan Sandslash Powder Snow + Ice Punch + Bulldoze or Gyro Ball
Alolan Raichu Volt Switch + any of Thunder Punch, Wild Charge, Psychic, Grass Knot
Dragonair Dragon Breath + Aqua Tail + Dragon Pulse
The Kanto Cup Meta looks like it will focus on these central figures of the Meta. A summary of some of the matchup notes for these Pokemon:
Alolan Marowak --> Wigglytuff is shown as a dotted arrow because, surprisingly and perhaps not known by many, Wigglytuff wins 0S with Dazzling Gleam (and this is a matchup where both players often don’t shield).
Snorlax/Lickitung --> Hypno is shown as a dotted arrow because Hypno with Focus Blast can flip 0S if it comes in first and has +1 Confusion energy. Focus Blast may be rare here, but it is worth keeping an eye out for when using Snorlax or Lickitung to counter a Hypno switch.
Machamp/Primeape --> Alolan Muk is shown as a dotted arrow as aMuk wins 0S by landing a Sludge Wave (assuming it has good enough IVs to survive that long against Shadow Machamp).
Machamp/Primeape --> Alolan Graveler/Golem is shown as a dotted arrow as aGolem with Wild Charge and a +1 Volt Switch energy advantage wins 0S.
Alolan Graveler/Golem --> Alolan Muk is shown as a dotted arrow as aMuk flips aGrav in 0S with +1 Snarl of energy advantage, and flips aGol in 1S and 2S with +1 Snarl of energy advantage if aGol is going straight Wild Charge.
Alolan Graveler/Golem --> Lapras/Dewgong is shown as a dotted arrow because Lapras can flip aGrav and aGol 1S with +1 Ice Shard of energy advantage, and Dewgong can flip aGrav 0S with +2 Ice Shard of energy advantage. Lapras may also have the fast move Water Gun, which could flip the matchup to Lapras' advantage.
Dewgong --> Alolan Muk is shown as a dotted arrow as aMuk flips 0S with +1 Snarl of energy advantage. It can also make Dewgong struggle more if it can clear debuffs by switching.
Alolan Sandslash -> Alolan Muk is shown as a dotted arrow as aMuk flips 0S with +1 Snarl of energy advanatge, and flips 1S with +1 Snarl of energy advantage if aSlash is going straight Ice Punch and not landing a Bulldoze.
Alolan Raichu --> Lapras/Dewgong is shown as a dotted arrow as Dewgong can flip aChu in 1S with +1 Ice Shard of energy advanatage, as long as aChu isn’t baiting with Thunder Punch. Lapras can flip aChu in 2S with +2 Ice Shard, if aChu isn’t baiting (though this is a bit of an unlikely scenario).
Dragonair --> Alolan Raichu is shown as a dotted arrow as aChu wins 0S if carrying Psychic, and has a BDW in 1S if also carrying Thunder Punch.
— Honourable Mentions —
Blastoise Water Gun+ Hydro Cannonª + Skull Bash or Ice Beam
Venusaur Vine Whip + Frenzy Plantª + Sludge Bomb
Beedrill Poison Jab + Drill Runª + X-Scissor or Fell Stinger
Golbat Wing Attack + Poison Fang + Shadow Ball
Victreebel (Shadow) Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade + Acid Spray or Sludge Bomb
Muk (Kanto) Poison Jab + Thunder Punch + Dark Pulse
Charizard Fire Spin or Dragon Breathª or Wing Attackª + Dragon Claw + Blast Burnª
Raichu Volt Switch or Thunder Shock + Wild Charge + Brick Break or Thunder Punch
Electrode Volt Switch + Discharge + Foul Play
Magneton Thunder Shock + Discharge + Magnet Bomb
Poliwrath Mud Shot or Bubble + Ice Punch + Dynamic Punch
Gengar Shadow Claw + Shadow Punchª + Shadow Ball or Sludge Bomb or Focus Blast
Haunter Shadow Claw + Shadow Punch + Shadow Ball or Sludge Bomb
Ninetales (Kanto) Fire Spin + Psyshock + Overheat or Flamethrowerª or Solar Beam
Ninetales (Alolan) Charm or Powder Snow + Psyshock + Ice Beam
Clefable Charm+ Meteor Mash + Psychic
Mewtwo (Shadow) Psycho Cut + Psystrikeª + Shadow Ballª
Dragonite (Shadow) Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw + Hurricane or Outrage or Draco Meteorª
Pidgeot Gustª or Wing Attackª + Aerial Ace + Brave Bird
Gyarados Dragon Breath or Waterfall + Aqua Tailª + Crunch or Outrage
Mew Pick a Fast move (Shadow Claw) + Pick two Charge Moves (e.g. Surf/Psyshock/Wild Charge/Flame Charge/Focus Blast)
Honourable mentions 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, but each has their own pros and cons. Alternatively, some Honourable Mentions such as Mew were too challenging to place of the graphic due to moveset variations. Other Pokemon not pictured could also have a place in the Meta on the right team.