Labyrinth Cup Meta Snapshot
Graphic By: Pa1amon
Written By: Tangent444
READ FIRST: If you'd like to join in on a Live Discussion and Meta Breakdown, there will be a Live Stream with our Meta team hosted by PVPSteve on his Twitch Channel on 2/8/20 at 1 PM EST! Make sure to watch along live here. If you missed it, the Replay will be embed here after the stream. Enjoy the article.
In the Labyrinth Cup Meta Snapshot graphic, we attempt to distill the Labyrinth 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.
ª = Exclusive move (might require an Elite TM to acquire outside of special events)
— The Concentrated Meta —
Mandibuzz Snarl or Air Slash + Foul Play or Dark Pulse + Aerial Ace or Shadow Ball
Zweilous Dragon Breath + Body Slam + Dark Pulse
Marowak (Alolan) Fire Spin + Bone Club + Shadow Boneª or Shadow Ball, or Hex + Shadow Boneª + Fire Blast
Galvantula Volt Switch + Lunge + Discharge
Ninetales (Alolan) Powder Snow or Charm + Weather Ball (Ice) + Psyshock or Dazzling Gleam
Abomasnow Powder Snow + Weather Ball (Ice) + Energy Ball (or Outrage) (Shadow or Non-Shadow)
Venusaur Vine Whip+ Frenzy Plantª + Sludge Bomb (Shadow or Non-Shadow)
Jellicent Hex or Bubble + Shadow Ball + Ice Beam or Bubble Beam
Drifblim Hex + Icy Wind + Shadow Ball
Toxicroak Counter + Mud Bomb + Sludge Bomb (or Dynamic Punch)
Vigoroth Counter + Body Slam + Bulldoze
Regirock Lock On + Stone Edge + Focus Blast
Registeel Lock On + Flash Cannon + Focus Blast
Skarmory Air Slash + Sky Attack + Brave Bird (Shadow or Non-Shadow)
Stunfisk (Unova) Mud Shot or Thunder Shock + Mud Bomb + Discharge
Diggersby Mud Shot + Fire Punch + Earthquake (or Hyper Beam)
Whiscash Mud Shot + Mud Bomb + Blizzard
Politoed Mud Shot + Weather Ball (Water) + Earthquakeª or Returnª or Blizzard (Shadow or Non-Shadow)
The Labyrinth Cup meta is reasonably open, but looks like it will focus on these central figures. A summary of some of the matchup notes for these Pokemon:
The arrow from Zweilous to Jellicent and Drifblim is dotted because Ice Beam and Icy Wind push Zweilous to low health, and their resistance to Body Slam may force Zweilous to land a Dark Pulse to secure all even shield wins.
The arrow from Toxicroak to Zweilous is dotted because Toxicroak takes significant damage from Dragon Breath, and when used to counter a Zweilous switch it loses the race to the first charge move, forcing it to use a shield in order to secure the matchup.
The arrow from Jellicent to Vigoroth is dotted because the matchup for Hex Jellicent is not a sure thing, as Vigoroth can steal a 2S win by landing two Bulldoze.
The arrow from Toxicroak to Vigoroth is dotted because Toxicroak needs to be careful about getting hit by a Bulldoze on a Vigoroth with energy, while also struggling to take multiple Body Slams.
The arrow from Alolan Marowak/Galvantula to Toxicroak/Vigoroth is dotted because those matchups are generally positive but also very close matchups that can be flipped more easily by energy or shield advantages. For example, Toxicroak wins 0S against Galvantula by landing a Sludge Bomb.
The arrow from Alolan Marowak/Galvantula to Registeel/Skarmory is dotted because there are a few losing scenarios. Galvantula defeats Registeel in all even shield scenarios with straight Lunge, but the matchup is extremely close in 0S and 1S. Using straight Discharge, it wins 1S more convincingly but no longer wins 0S. Alolan Marowak has a few small lose conditions to Skarmory, such as a potential 0S loss if Skarmory lands a Brave Bird. However, Alolan Marowak to Registeel is a hard counter and you can consider that a clear arrow that ended up dotted because of the other matchups contained in the box.
The arrow from Skarmory to Toxicroak/Vigoroth is dotted because it has a few losing scenarios. The matchup is generally positive for Skarmory who resists all of their Charge moves, but Skarmory loses 2S to Vigoroth.
The arrow from Skarmory to Abomasnow is dotted because Skarmory can start losing to Abomasnow at an energy disadvantage. Shadow Abomasnow can win 1S when +1 Powder Snow, and Non-Shadow Abomasnow can win 2S when +1 Powder Snow.
The arrow from Politoed to Whiscash is dotted because it is a neutral matchup for both, but Politoed tends to have the slight advantage due to Weather Ball being a better Charge move than Mud Bomb.
The arrow from Abomasnow to Diggersby is dotted because Abomasnow has to be careful with Fire Punch from Diggersby. Diggersby with high stat product powered up using XL candy can just hang on to win 0S with Non-Shadow Abomasnow.
The arrow from Abomasnow to Mandibuzz/Zweilous is dotted because Mandibuzz can just hang on to win 0S against Non-Shadow Abomasnow by using Snarl + Aerial Ace. Abomasnow is safer against Zweilous, though the 0S matchup is close if Zweilous has a high enough stat product to reach Dark Pulse and Zweilous wins the 1-0 shield advantage scenario in a big way.
The arrow from Alolan Ninetales to Abomasnow is dotted because the matchup with Powder Snow Alolan Ninetales is closer than you might expect, and Shadow Abmasnow can win 2S by landing an Energy Ball. The matchup is safer for Charm Alolan Ninetales, though it can lose 1S to Non-Shadow Abomasnow with a +2 Powder Snow advantage.
No arrow is shown between Alolan Ninetales and Venusaur because the matchup is extremely fast move dependent. Venusaur outpaces and defeats Charm Alolan Ninetales, but must have shields to block any incoming Weather Balls. On the flip side, Venusaur gets outpaced by Powder Snow Alolan Ninetales, and loses hard outside of a close 0S matchup which looks to be a simultaneous KO (which means it could easily be decided by IVs or extra fast moves squeezed in).
— Wildcards —
Sableye Shadow Claw + Foul Play + Returnª (or Power Gem) (Shadow or Non-Shadow)
Lapras Ice Shardª + Surf + Skull Bash (or Ice Beamª) (Shadow or Non-Shadow)
Dewgong Ice Shardª + Icy Windª + Water Pulse
Sealeo Powder Snow + Body Slam + Water Pulse (or Aurora Beam) (Shadow recommended, but currently must run Frustration)
Ninetales (Kanto) Fire Spin or Emberª + Weather Ball (Fire) + Solar Beam or Overheat or Returnª or Psyshock (Shadow or Non-Shadow)
Talonflame Fire Spin + Flame Charge + Brave Bird
Obstagoon Counter + Night Slash + Cross Chop or Gunk Shot
Froslass Powder Snow + Avalanche + Shadow Ball
Pelipper Wing Attack + Weather Ball (Water) + Hurricane
Mantine Bubble or Wing Attack + Bubble Beam + Ice Beam
Tropius Air Slash or Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade + Aerial Ace
Meganium Vine Whip + Frenzy Plantª + Earthquake
Chesnaught Vine Whip + Superpower + Energy Ball (or Smack Down as the Fast move, if you wanna get spicy)
Lickitung Lick + Body Slamª + Power Whip
Wildcards are Pokémon that perform at a similar meta level as those pictured, but were harder to include in the picture. This could include having a lot of bait or buff/debuff related matchups, variable movesets, or having too many inconsistent matchup relationships compared to other Pokémon that share the same role. Here is a breakdown of their role within the meta and why they were excluded from the main graphic.
Sableye tends to be a strong pick in most metas as a safe switch, and it is current a challenge to reach its full potential due to a lack of spawns to generate XL candy
The big Ice types Lapras and Dewgong tend to always be a threat whenever eligible, and Dewgong in particular has a number of matchups that involve debuffing mechanics. What is currently holding them back is that running one eliminates the likes of Abomasnow, Alolan Nintales, Politoed, and Whiscash all at once. Shadow Sealeo is a new addition to the scene, but can't reach its full potential yet until we have the next event to TM Frustration.
Kanto Ninetales and Talonflame slot into a similar role as Alolan Marowak, but are not pictured because they have a few different matchups, such as not necessarily beating the Counter users but having a much better fight against Mandibuzz. Alolan Marowak is the Fire type seeing more usage early in the meta, but these two Fire types are right behind it.
Obstagoon is tough to show alongside Vigoroth because it has much greater fight against the likes of Drifblim, Jellicent, and Alolan Marowak. Obstagoon is a threat in its own right, but using it eliminates the option to pick any other Dark or Normal types.
Froslass tends to be a threat whenever eligible and merges some of the matchup relationships we see with the Ice and Ghost types. Froslass' biggest drawback is that using her means you are unable to run any of the other potent Ice or Ghost type options.
Pelipper and Mantine are both interesting picks to merge the Water and Flying roles, and the only thing holding them back is that picking them removes the option for picking a variety of other strong picks.
Tropius, Meganium, and Chesnaught are all strong choices as a Grass type that could fill the right role on a team. Tropius merges Grass and Flying roles while Chesnaught merges Grass and Fighting roles. Meganium allows a Grass pick that only uses that Grass typing, which could be important for certain team compositions.
Lickitung would be one of the biggest threats if its XL candy was more readily available. With a Valentine's event and the Kanto Tour upcoming, it remains to be seen if its XL candy will become more available, so keep an eye on Lickitung as the month progresses towards the second half.
— Honourable Mentions —
Whimsicott Charm + Grass Knot + Hurricane (or Moonblast)
Clefable Charm + Meteor Mash + Psychic
Wigglytuff Charm + Ice Beam + Play Rough or Dazzling Gleam
Quagsire Mud Shot + Earthquake + Stone Edge (or Sludge Bomb) (Shadow or Non-Shadow)
Castform (Rain) Water Gun + Weather Ball (Water) + Thunder
Emolga Thunder Shock + Aerial Ace + Discharge or Thunderbolt
Zapdos Thunder Shockª + Drill Peck + Thunderbolt or Thunder (Shadow or Non-Shadow)
Raichu (Alolan) Volt Switch + Wild Charge + Grass Knot or Psychic or Thunder Punch
Dragonair Dragon Breath + Aqua Tail + Returnª or Wrap or Dragon Pulse (Shadow or Non-Shadow)
Linoone Shadow Claw + Grass Knot + Thunder
Hitmonchan Counter + Pick Two of Fire Punch, Ice Punch, Thunder Punch, Power-Up Punch, or Close Combat (Shadow or Non-Shadow)
Hitmontop Counter + Close Combat + Stone Edge
Ferrothorn Bullet Seed + Power Whip + Thunder or Flash Cannon
Bronzong Confusion + Psyshock + Bulldoze
Melmetal Thunder Shock + Rock Slide + Superpower
Jirachi Confusion + Doom Desire + Psychic
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. Other Pokemon not pictured could also have a place in the meta on the right team.
These Pokémon are best left in the trash can.
Regice wanted to make the graphic along with its friends Regirock and Registeel, and thus it ended up on here, as garbage.
Shadow Mewtwo is a fun Pokémon to try and make work. However, just because something is fun does not mean it is not garbage.
Metang made an appearance of Core Breakers as a surprising Regirock + Tropius corebreaker. If you are thinking of using it, think again. You can do better, if you are trying to win matches. However, if you are going for memes, you will have a tough time doing better than Metang. Shadow highly encouraged.
Keep an eye out for Pa1amon's Easter Egg hidden in the Graphic!