Silph Nightfall Team Guide
Graphic and Article by PolymersUp
— Introduction —
Major changes to PGO PvP with the GO Beyond update, but we’re back with the Silph Nightfall Cup Team Guide! Here, we provide a guide to team building in the Nightfall meta based on our understanding of the meta, iterations using PvPoke Team Builder and breaking down team usage compiled by Ytxpikachu. If you’re interested in better understanding the meta and the matchup dynamics within the subset of Pokémon you should be prepared to face, see our Meta Snapshot article and graphic coming soon as well. Lastly 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 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 and tournament-winning teams appear to fill. Faded Pokémon represent alternatives that are in some aspect lower tier options compared to others featured within the same role or don’t completely fulfill the role description in some aspect.
The “Fighter” role is primarily to counter Galarian Stunfisk and Abomasnow and to a lesser extent Normal types. Medicham and Blaziken appear to be the most prevalent picks in this role. Fire Spin Blaziken wins 2S against Shadow Victreebel unlike Toxicroak, but you might need to find Normal coverage elsewhere. Scrafty paired with Golbat is another notable off-meta core.
Grass/Poisons are generally safe with few teams running multiple hard counters and also serve to loosely cover Swampert and Charm users. Shadow Razor Leaf users are better positioned here than in any previous Silph meta. Because Venusaur counters the others in this slot, running it here gives you a bit more flexibility with the Lawnmower slot to pick Gallade or Gliscor (or Gligar) or even go off-script.
The Anti-Froslass role is necessary to counter one of the best safe switches in the meta. These are often soft counters because of the makeup of the meta, but Bite Drapion and Weavile are two of the hardest counters. Galarian Stunfisk is often the pick in this role unless the team is doubling up, which slides Galarian Stunfisk to the Flex slot. Even against Galarian Stunfisk, a two Powder Snow lead for Froslass forces Galarian Stunfisk to bait and land the Earthquake in the 1S, as Froslass now outpaces Galarian Stunfisk to the third charge move.
The Anti-Fighter role exists to slow down or counter Medicham and most other Fighters. Froslass is the predominant pick in this slot but drops Blaziken, Obstagoon and Scrafty, although it does take 2S from Scrafty. Blaziken and Toxcroak can take the 0S against Charm users, and Shadow Machamp can flip some shield scenarios against Fliers and Froslass.
The Lawnmower role is included to keep Shadow Victreebel and other Razor Leaf users from running through your team. Running Venusaur in the Grass/Poison slot opens this up a bit more as many meta picks such as Froslass, Galarian Stunfisk and Psychic Medicham still have play against opposing Venusaur. Gallade and Gliscor can both drop some even-shield scenarios against Venusaur and Shadow Victreebel, but will still bolster your Anti-Grass coverage.
The Flex role is where teams tilt their coverage to fill any remaining gaps or possibly even bait their opponent into bringing or benching certain Pokémon. Swampert didn’t fit well into the above roles but is still an exceptionally strong pick. Medicham, Froslass, Galarian Stunfisk and Blaziken are all included as most teams who double up on one of the above roles include one of these picks.
— Final Thoughts —
Nightfall teams should be built to have adequate answers to Froslass, Medicham, Galarian Stunfisk and Shadow Victreebel. This meta looks fun and balanced with plenty of room to diverge from the above Team Guide, so we look forward to seeing what battlers come up with this month. Best of luck in your tournaments and Happy Holidays!