Team Guide to Sunrise Cup
Graphic and Article by PolymersUp
— Introduction —
Silph Arena Season 3 has burst over the horizon with the advent of the Sunrise Cup. Here, we provide a guide to team building in the Sunrise meta based on our understanding of the meta, iterations using PvPoke Team Builder and breaking down dozens of tournament-winning and well performing teams 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 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. The graphic is intended to be inclusive to a wide range of unique rosters, but there are absolutely balanced teams that break the mold!
Galarian Stunfisk is a force within the meta and deservedly occupies a slot all to its own. Only a handful of Pokémon can hope to defeat it at a 0-1 shield deficit (e.g. Whiscash, Ludicolo, Meganium). With a shield or energy advantage, it can even threaten would-be counters, such as Vigoroth, Swampert and Ferrothorn. Simply put, bring it. While Gal. Stunfisk is an excellent starting point for any team, running another pick like Quagsire over Gal. Stunfisk, for example, is an option; however it’s excluded from the graphic as this can significantly affect decisions on other slots and roles due to the differing matchup coverages.
The (Pseudo) Fighter role is to counter or check Galarian Stunfisk and the meta-relevant Grass types in Ferrothorn and Abomasnow and, in the case of Vigoroth and Obstagoon, have generally close matchups with most Fliers and Mud Boys. As two unconventional Counter users, Vigoroth and Obstagoon also are not as vulnerable to Flying and Psychic damage, and both are relatively safe options against the meta with very few hard counters present. Blaziken, however, is a true Fighting alternative that isn’t quite as safe but wins matchups like Ferrothorn and Abomasnow with greater ease.
The Anti-Mantine role is centered around countering the premier Flier in the meta. Giving your opponent an easy out following a bad lead with a switch to Mantine will surely result in some frustrating matches. Ferrothorn serves as a potent pseudo-Electric with Thunder that can also threaten Galarian Stunfisk and Mud Boys unlike the true Electrics. Shadow Abomasnow picks up some notable one-shield wins against Galarian Stunfisk and Skarmory and is relentless with shield or energy advantage if you didn’t bring a (Pseudo) Fighter or Fire type in a given game.
Fliers often pair well with Galarian Stunfisk serving as checks to the (Pseudo) Fighters and Mud Boys that are Galarian Stunfisk’s principal threats. Ideally, you want to bring at least one Flier that can situationally win against Galarian Stunfisk such as Mantine, Pelipper, Drifblim or Shadow Articuno. Your Flier choices should also have distinct roles within your team, which is why the Flier 1 and Flier 2 roles are separated in this guide. Altaria has the better Electric and Ferrothorn matchups, whereas Skarmory has the best Abomasnow matchup of any Flier. Alolan Marowak is a pseudo-Flier due to its ability to counter Vigoroth and both meta-relevant Grass types in Abomasnow and Ferrothorn. At the expense of the Mud Boy matchups, Alolan Marowak is actually the hardest Grass counter in the meta given that Abomasnow and Ferrothorn both have coverage moves to threaten different Fliers. Despite this, Alolan Marowak is still often found in the Flex role as most teams opt to diversify the Flier role on their team by running two.
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. Wigglytuff, Mud Boys, Fire types, Ludicolo, Snorlax, and even a third Flier are all potential options here.
— Final Thoughts —
The Sunrise meta has noticeable shades of GO Battle League, but hopefully for any newcomers to Silph, you’ll quickly come to appreciate the added depth and nuance in strategy when both team building and team reading prior to battles in a show-6, pick-3 format such as Silph Arena Cups. Despite the central roles of Galarian Stunfisk and Fliers, the meta is well-balanced and avoids a Rock-Paper-Scissor playstyle. We’re excited for the battles in the upcoming weeks and look forward to the rest of the Silph Arena season. Best of luck in your tournaments!