Prismatic Cup Meta Snapshot
Graphic By: Pa1amon
Written By: Tangent444
In the Prismatic Cup Meta Snapshot graphic, we attempt to distill the Prismatic 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 —
Blue: Quagsire, Lanturn
Red: Talonflame, Blaziken
Green/Black: Whimsicott, Snorlax, Munchlax, Alolan Muk
Brown/Pink: Shiftry, Hitmontop, Alolan Raichu
Purple/Grey: Drifblim, Ferrothorn
The Prismatic Cup meta has a wide variety of viable options, but looks like it will focus on these central figures. A few important details to know about the concentrated meta and the matchup relationships shown:
Lanturn is the hardest counter to Talonflame within the concentrated meta. Quagsire and Alolan Raichu are solid options but play more as checks than counters. Quagsire can lose scenarios shields up if it ends up taking a Brave Bird unshielded, and Alolan Raichu is only a good option when countering Talonflame with even energy and even shields. Lanturn also handles Drifblim with relative ease, whereas Quagsire and Alolan Raichu may not have a win. In exchange for being less reliable against the core flying types, Quagsire and Alolan Raichu can help fill alternative roles. Quagsire covers Lanturn and Alolan Muk, while Alolan Raichu comes from a different color slot and can free up the option to use a different blue Pokemon.
Talonflame handles all of the grass types shown in the concentrated meta with relative ease. Additionally, Talonflame is a strong response to the fighters, but has to watch out for a Stone Edge from Hitmontop and Blaziken, as well as Blaziken throwing a Brave Bird of its own.
The grass types in the concentrated meta are Whimsicott, Shiftry, and Ferrothorn, and all three handle the core Talonflame counters. They come from different color slots and each has a unique dual purpose. Whimsicott takes out Fighters and Shiftry, while Shiftry picks up Hypno and Drifblim. Both Ferrothorn and Shiftry drop matchups to the Fighting types that Whimscott picks up.
Hypno and Drifblim have different typing and color slots, but each fills a similar role of covering fighting types but struggling with dark and ghost type damage. Hypno is the only Pokemon from the yellow slot pictured in the concentrated meta, showing how dominant it has been in usage so far. Hypno tends to run Shadow Ball in this meta due to its power and the seemingly common mirror matchup. The choice of Ice Punch, Fire Punch, or Thunder Punch comes down to what a team needs. Thunder Punch is stronger against Talonflame, but can leave teams more vulnerable to ground and grass types, particularly when Lanturn is also on the team. Ice Punch covers those ground and grass types better, while Fire Punch puts a bigger hurt on Ferrothorn. Drifblim can fill a similar role from the purple/grey slot but struggles more with Lanturn. Drifblim typically wants to use an Icy Wind first when facing Hitmontop, in order to reduce the damage it would take from a Stone Edge and avoid having the matchup getting too close for comfort.
Alolan Muk, Snorlax, and Munchlax all fill a similar role from the green/black slot as Hypno and Drifblim counters that can also find play as pivot switches with relatively safe matchups. Shiftry plays a similar role from the brown/pink slot, with a few extra pickups but also is countered hard by the likes of Talonflame and Whismicott, with which AMuk and the Laxes are able to go more even.
The core fighters are Hitmontop and Blaziken, whose place in the meta is to cover the core Hypno counters. Hitmontop has more bulk that allows it to do these jobs more securely (so long as it does not debuff itself inopportunely with its Close Combat), whereas Blaziken often requires at least one shield when countering Snorlax, Munchlax, and Alolan Muk to ensure it gets the job done. Blaziken has more fight against Whimsicott than Hitmontop does, typically securing the 0S win but getting farmed down if Whimsicott has one shield to play with.
— Alternatives —
Blue: Castform Rain, Empoleon, Jumpluff, Kingdra, Tangrowth
Red: Castform Sun, Charizard, Crustle, Electrode
Yellow/White: Dewgong, Froslass, Pelipper, Kanto Ninetales
Green/Black: Chesnaught, Cradily, Flygon, Meganium
Brown/Pink: Dragonite, Hitmonchan, Noctowl, Sudowoodo
Purple/Grey: Escavalier, Gliscor, Haunter, Probopass, Skuntank
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. In the Prismatic Cup meta where your choices are restricted by color, one of these alternatives might be the exact right fit on your team. 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 and out of your lineup. Typically we try and find options that people may actually have been considering for usage, but this month we are taking a playful jab at the likes of Dewott, Espeon, and Xatu due to their actual inclusion on the meta whitelist. We listed Dewott as a Hypno counter as a fun joke on our Roster Archetype graphic, only to find out it doesn't actually beat Hypno. If Dewott isn't a trash monster, we don't know what is.
Keep an eye out for Pa1amon's Easter Egg hidden in the Graphic!