Best currently available attackers! I was talking with a friend who recently got back into Pokemon Go and we were discussing the fact that Heatran can be easily 2-manned with simply wild-caught weather-boosted Rhyhorn evolved into Rhydon for a pretty low investment. This got me thinking about which Pokemon are the best currently available through wild catches/hatching/raids. Excluding trades. Sure Psycho Cut Psystrike Mewtwo puts out some insane numbers in terms of DPS/TDO, but what’s the best currently available Psychic attacker for someone just starting or someone who’s coming back after some time off? For the sake of calculating/estimating which attackers are the best currently available, I’m using level 35 (unless specifically mentioned) as it’s not unreasonable to assume someone could hit level 30 relatively quickly and catch wild Pokemon up to level 35. Someone coming back to PoGo after a hiatus would have a headstart and perhaps exceed 30 in short order. Weather-boost and friendship bonus are not included in these simulations unless specifically mentioned. Pokebattler and Gamepress are my two main points of reference. I’m also going to look mainly at level 5 raid bosses (past and present) as those are the ones that could require optimal teams, especially in short-man situations. I’m not specifically listing the DPS or TDO of these Pokemon, rather I’m looking mainly, but not entirely, at how they’ll perform in raid scenarios using the Estimator metric on Pokebattler. Less deaths = higher TDO. Quicker TTW = more DPS. There are going to be other viable options, this list is not all-encompassing, but I tried to include as many as possible. TL;DR at the bottom. Bug Pinsir is probably your best bet with regards to Bug-typing. Bug Bite/X-Scissor being the best moveset. Where does Pinsir shine? Oddly Pinsir has a very neat niche against Shiftry. Shiftry can be soloed in rainy weather by a team of 6 bug Bite/X-Scissor Pinsir. Yanmega (Bug Bite/Bug Buzz) and Scizor (Fury CutteX-Scissor) also beat the timer. Depending on the moveset of Shiftry, however, dodging may be required so as to avoid rejoining. The above simulation includes no dodging whatsoever, so it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to factor in 25% Dodging of special attacks which results in a pretty solid win at ~164-seconds. That said, bug is only super-effective against grass, psychic, and dark, and against a single-weakness, there are better options against all three. Dark There are three real monsters here in the land of Dark. Tyranitar (with Bite/Crunch), Hydreigon (with Bite/Dark Pulse), and Weavile (with Snarl/Foul Play) are all relevant in terms of dark-type attackers. Godzilla (Tyranitar) tops this list in terms of TDO. Using 5-star Mewtwo as the raid boss, a group of 3-trainers would be able to win relatively comfortably with level 35 Tyranitar in neutral weather without friendship bonus against most movesets. If the infamous 6-star Mewtwo were the boss, a 4th trainer would be required. Worth noting – if Mewtwo has Focus Blast, the battle becomes much more difficult as Focus Blast 1-shots Tyranitar as well as Weavile. Hydreigon wouldn’t do too much better against the move, and Ghost type would probably be a better choice in this instance. Weavile puts out the most raw damage but is rather squishy compared to the other two. Hydreigon is somewhere between Tyranitar and Weavile; more DPS than Tyranitar but not as much as Weavile, less TDO than Tyranitar but more than Weavile. Dragon Getting a fun one out of the way near the top of the list! Palkia is one of my favorite bosses to use in terms of discussing the merits of Dragon attackers. It absolutely highlights the interesting Dragon vs. Dragon weakness. Rayquaza hits a little harder than Palkia, but is doubly-weak to ice. Therefore you won’t frequently use your Dragon counters here. Palkia still hits like a truck, especially with the dreaded Dragon Tail/Draco Meteor moveset. Your best bet here is to probably go with Fairy counters if you’re able, but at any rate, it’s a fun boss to do and a little difficult even if you know what you’re doing. The top three currently available Dragon attackers are Haxorus (with Dragon Tail/Dragon Claw), Dragonite (with Dragon Tail/Outrage), and Garchomp (with Dragon Tail/Outrage). Haxorus leads the charge in terms of DPS, but Dragonite & Garchomp are able to edge it out in terms of TDO. Realistically speaking, if a player is likely to have a team of 6 of these Pokemon, it’s almost certainly going to be ol’ reliable (Dragonite) who has been out since release. Haxorus has been out a few short days at this point and Gible is rare enough that Axew might be more common. Honorable Mention - Salamence with Dragon Tail/Draco Meteor is currently available, and comes in a little behind Garchomp in DPS while also being a little squishier. The difference is fairly negligible. That said, it might be better to hold onto good Bagon in hopes of another chance to evolve Salamence with Outrage as that pushes it closer to the likes of even Rayquaza in terms of DPS. Electric I can’t think of a better electric-weak legendary than Kyogre to use as a gauge for the best currently available electric attackers. Atop the list we see two fairly clear winners in Electivire (with Thundershock/Wild Charge) and Magnezone (Spark/Wild Charge) with Luxray coming solidly in third. Electivire is a very potent electric attacker in that it currently outshines the even legendary Raikou in terms of DPS. The legendary dog is a little bulkier, but Electivire gets the nod in DPS. Magnezone falls behind both in DPS but functions extraordinarily well against Blizzard which tends to lay waste to most Grass-types. Interesting to note that this is one of the rarer occurrences where the field is overall relatively weak. Electric only trumps wateflying and flying happens to also be weak to rock. Due to Rock-Gengar (Rampardos) who will be mentioned later in this list, electric falls severely behind in terms of ability to counter flying. As such, its greatest role is in countering single-water types or WateFlying duals. Fairy Fairy has only recently seen the addition of a fast move in Charm, making it a more reliable Dragon counter. Gardevoir and Togekiss easily top this list with Charm. Granbull is a decent alternative but falls behind both in terms of DPS and TDO. Palkia with Dragon Tail/Draco Meteor ends up being the best gauge here. Unfortunately for the Gardevoir and Togekiss, they fall a bit behind the best fighting counters when facing Darkrai. Gardevoir puts out a little more raw DPS than Togekiss, while Togekiss ends up being a little bulkier. Fighting The world of Fighting Pokemon has recently been rather upturned in Pokemon Go. Machamp has, for a long time, been the absolute best fighting Pokemon available. While Breloom sported a slightly higher DPS, it was much squishier, and required multiple rejoins vs. Darkrai or Tyranitar...Arceus help you if Godzilla had Fire Blast. Breloom would, however, function in a pinch, as would Hariyama. Worth noting – all of these Pokemon require the CounteDynamic Punch moveset. Conkeldurr was long-predicted to relieve Machamp of it’s crown as the top-tier fighting Pokemon when suddenly Lucario was given Aura Sphere out of the blue and dethroned both Conkeldurr and Machamp in an instant. No legendaries come particularly close in terms of besting Lucario, and fighting is very meta-relevant as it’s super-effective vs. five other types; Dark-Ice-Normal-Rock-Steel. The only other typing to share this coverage is ground which sports a weaker move pool. Lucario is king, Conkeldurr is slightly behind in terms of DPS, but brings the bulk. Machamp is still absolutely relevant; it’s not as tanky as Conkeldurr, but it still puts out very respectable numbers and is much easier than either to obtain, bonus if it's boosted by Cloudy weather and closer to level 35. This makes it a very viable Fighting-type attacker and would require significantly less to be useful than a similar ConkeldurLucario. Similar to the issue of Haxorus/Garchomp/Dragonite in the world of Dragon - you might have Machamp, but might not have the other two yet. Fire Blast Burn! A move that has bummed out so many trainers who catch high-IV Torchic in the wild when it’s not Community Day. Of the previously released legendary Pokemon, only Regice truly allows us to gauge the potential of a Fire Pokemon. Articuno/Virizion are both doubly weak to something or they could also be used. In this care we have a very clear winner in Chandelure. Fire Spin/Overheat allows Chandelure to put out more DPS/TDO than even Blast Burn Blaziken. Moltres is a little tankier by comparison as it resists Earthquake, but neither BB Blaziken nor Moltres can currently be obtained through raids or wild-catches. Flareon with Fire Spin/Overheat and Arcanine with Fire Fang/Flamethrower are serviceable replacements as Litwick can be hard to find, but Chandelure passes both pretty handily vs. the ice-robot. Since Heatran is technically currently available, this list would be remiss without him. He is a TDO monster with the addition of Flamethrower, although not right at the top of DPS with Chandelure. Edit - It's been brought to my attention that Moltres is also currently available for the month of January 2020 as a Shadow/Purified Pokemon from the Rocket-Research. Fire Spin/Overheat is the best moveset. Moltres comes in a little behind Chandelure in DPS, but is a bit bulkier. Flying Here’s an interesting niche that we just got a taste of last month. Flying isn’t terribly useful in the current meta, so there were a lot of people scrambling to power up birds that hadn’t been used in a long time. Virizion happens to have a double-weakness to flying. As it was the raid boss for the month of December, many a bird was thrown its direction. The best two currently available were undeniably Honchkrow with Peck/Sky Attack and Unfeazent with Air Slash/Sky Attack. The next closest ended up being Togekiss with Air Slash/Aerial Ace. Big thing to note here is that flying is super-effective vs. Bug/Fighting/Grass. You don’t see those two married up very much in terms of legendary Pokemon. Bug and Grass as both weak to Fire which has better counters, and Fighting is weak to Psychic…where we have Mewtwo. Understandably it’s not currently available, but even Espeon outshines flying here. HonchKrow is the clear winner over Unfeazent in terms of both DPS and TDO. Ghost Ghost is super-effective vs. Ghost and Psychic typing. In this role it is similar to Dragon, but somewhat squishier. The best Pokemon to use for reference is probably Mewtwo again. Gengar is able to make this list once again with the re-addition of Shadow Claw to its list. It tops out the Ghost DPS with Shadow Claw/Shadow Ball. Chandelure puts out slightly less DPS, but is much tankier and is not paired with the awful poison-typing that Gengar picks up. Banette is worth mentioning as it’s pure Ghost typing helps with the weaknesses vs. Mewtwo a little bit but both Gengar and Banette (even without the poison typing) won’t survive long against confusion movesets. Grass Kyogre can again be used here to evaluate the abilities of currently available grass-type attackers. Golem and Rhydon also fit well here as they are both double-weak to grass-type attacks. Roserade with Razor Leaf/Grass Knot and Tangrowth with Vine Whip/Power Whip are the standouts here with an honorable nod going to Sceptile with Bullet Seed/Leaf Blade and Leafeon with Razor Leaf/Leaf Blade. All four choices are fairly easy to obtain. Roserade tops the DPS charts while Tangrowth has some amazing TDO. The niche for grass-type attackers is somewhat limited, but also includes Groudon, Regirock, Suicune, and Terrakion. That said, there are generally better available options to counter these bosses unless clear weather prevails. Ground Boy have we got some choices here. Rhyperior, Excadrill, Garchomp (if you’ve won the Gible lottery), and even regular old Rhydon gets an honorable mention. Heatran is currently in raids for January 2020, and it’s a super-easy 2-man in any weather with any moveset. Heatran can be 2-manned by 2 trainers using a team of 6 level 35 Rhydon (with Mud-Slap/Earthquake) in almost any weather condition, and no friendship bonus. Worth noting here, however, that the rejoins could become tricky and Rhydon is weak to Iron Head, and in snowy weather, you would likely need some dodging if you were going the Rhydon way. RhyperioExcadrill/Garchomp makes this much easier. Rhyhorn is very common in cleapartly cloudy weather and appears boosted by both. It’s very easy to farm up a team of Rhydon/Rhyperior as needed. Rhyperior and Garchomp sit atop the TDO mountain while Excadrill puts out a little more DPS. Interesting to note, however, that vs. Bug Bite/Stone Edge Heatran, Excadrill surpasses all other attackers in DPS and TDO as it double-resists both moves. Ice Ice Baby. Rayquaza is our thermometer for the frozen Pokes. Mamoswine sits alone atop this list as the premier ice attacker in both DPS and TDO. Glaceon and Weavile are solidly in second place. The latter two put out great numbers that still beat the timer for a Rayquaza duo, but are simply not as good as Mamoswine. Mamoswine out-bulks both and isn’t outright weak to Ancient Power. Dragon Tail/Outrage still hits all three like a freight-train, but Mamoswine will survive longer than Weavile/Glaceon. Weavile does have a very high attack, but is just so squishy, especially when compared to the Ice-Pig-Mammoth. Normal Nothing is weak to normal. Regigias, however, is technically available right now, and that’s the best I can truly offer. I was going to leave this section alone, but a Hidden Power (normal)/Giga Impact Regigas would be able to put out some considerable number…if anything were weak to normal. Aside from that you’d probably be looking at Snorlax or Porygon-Z. Poison There really isn’t much of a niche for Poison-type Pokemon right now, I was only able to find one, potential, encounter where Poison-typing might have a niche; Shaymin land forme. It appears as though fire is truly the way to go in this encounter, however, Roserade with Poison Jab/Sludge Bomb manages to crack the top-6. Gengar with Shadow Claw/Sludge bomb garners the 14th position, but is fairly far behind flowery-death. Psychic There are many Psychic-type legendary raid bosses, but not so many that are singly-weak to psychic. Terrakion is probably the best example, however, Machamp and my boy Top-Hat (Galarian) Wheezing are also popular raids, and Machamp is still one of the best fighting-types that can be obtained relatively easily. In all of these matches, the same 7 Pokemon show up over and over again. Alakazam with Confusion/Future Sight, Espeon with Confusion/Psychic, Metagross with Zen Headbutt/Psychic, Azelf with Confusion/Future Sight, Gallade with Confusion/Future Sight, Gardevoir with Confusion/Psychic, and finally, Exeggutor with Confusion/Psychic. Wew. That’s a list. Things to note – I believe Azelf is still available in the wild…although I’ve never seen a wild one myself, Alakazam used to be able to learn Psychic which would be a slight upgrade on Future Sight, and lastly, Psychic itself recently had an overhaul making it a powerful 2-bar charged move again. This, coupled with Confusion being added back to Exeggutor’s movepool, brought Exeggutor some much needed relevance that it hasn’t seen since the earlier days of Pokemon Go. Are there better choices than Eggy? Sure. Is Eggy easy to get? Depends where you are, but for a lot of places with clear weather, the answer is absolutely. Machamp is an easy solo with a level 35+ team of any 6 of the above. Edit - Missed a biggie here - **Latios is available this weekend so it will technically make this list. Rock The two fire-birds, Moltres and Ho-oh are the best ways to gauge the available Rock-type attackers. Rock-Gengar (Rampardos) with Smack Down/Rock Slide sits well atop this list in terms of DPS. It will remain untouched, likely for the remainder of PoGo, especially since Archeops wasn’t granted a rock fast-move. Aerodactyl with Rock Throw/Rock Slide is also a contender, but doesn’t put out the same level of DPS and is just as squishy. Rhyperior with Smack Down/Stone Edge has less DPS than Aerodactyl, but is far bulkier and sports the best TDO of the currently available rock attackers. The newly added Gigalith puts out similar numbers to Rhyperior, and is ever-so-slightly less bulky. Still a very good choice if available. Honorable mention goes to both forms of Golem. Steel Cries in Meteor Mash Metagross. This is a bit of a small niche as well. There aren’t many Pokemon that require a steel-type attacker. Regice is also weak to fire, and there are some great fire attackers out there. Terrakion is also weak to Psychic and that list is pretty large. The best currently available steel attacker is Excadrill with Metal Claw/Iron Head. Metagross with Bullet Punch/Flash Cannon makes this list as a truly dishonorable mention because Flash Cannon is criminally awful. Against Top-Hat Wheezing and Terrakion, it actually does better with its Psychic movesets. Honorable mention, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, Aggron with Iron Tail/Heavy Slam is only a little worse than Metagross without Meteor Mash. Disclaimer – Please don’t use Aggron, especially in a short-manning scenario. Water Last but not least we hit the water-type attackers! Entei and Regirock have been used to gauge these attackers, as well as Golem and Rhydon. The Community Day move Hydro Cannon has made a lot of these attackers relevant…but also excludes them from this list with the exception of Empoleon who will technically make this list because it was available in January 2020. That said, Hydro Cannon Empoleon falls well behind the murder-crab Kingler who with the addition of Crabhammer has come to rival even Kyogre in terms of DPS, if not TDO where the whale-shark-fish-god reigns supreme. Crawdaunt doesn’t pack the same DPS or TDO as Kingler, but still a solid choice. Gyarados with Waterfall/Hydro Pump is a very bulky option that doesn’t put out the DPS of Kingler or Crawdaunt, but it does doubly-resist ground-type attacks and is neutral vs. grass-type in case the boss, Groudon for example, had something like Solar Beam, although in that case, the grass-type attackers would perform better. Short Version Bug Pinsir (Bug Bite/X-scissor) - DPS Scizor (Fury CutteX-scissor) - TDO Dark Weavile (Snarl/Foul Play) - DPS Tyranitar (Bite/Crunch) - TDO Dragon Haxorus (Dragon Tail/Dragon Claw) – DPS Dragonite/Garchomp (Dragon Tail/Outrage) - TDO Electric Electivire (Thundershock/Wild Charge) - DPS Magnezone (Spark/Wild Charge) - TDO Fairy Gardevoir (Charm/Dazzling Gleam) - DPS Togekiss (Charm/Dazzling Gleam) - TDO Fighting Lucario (CounteAura Sphere) - DPS Conkeldurr (CounteDynamic Punch) - TDO Fire Chandelure (Fire Spin/Overheat) - DPS Moltres (Fire Spin/Overheat) - TDO Heatran (Fire Spin/Flamethrower) - TDO Flying Honchkrow (Peck/Sky Attack) - DPS/TDP Ghost Gengar (Shadow Claw/Shadow Ball) - DPS Chandelure (Hex/Shadow Ball) - TDO Grass Roserade (Razor Leaf/Grass Knot and) - DPS Tangrowth (Vine Whip/Power Whip) - TDO Ground Excadrill (Mud-Slap/Drill Run) - DPS Rhyperior (Mud-Slap/Earthquake) - TDO Ice Mamoswine (Powder Snow/Avalanche) - DPS/TDO Normal Regigias (Hidden PoweGiga Impact) - DPS/TDO, but why? Poison Roserade with (Poison Jab/Sludge Bomb) - DPS/TDO Psychic Espeon (Confusion/Psychic) - DPS Metagross (Zen Headbutt/Psychic) - TDO Latios (Zen Headbutt/Psychic) - DPS/TDO (limited availability) Rock Rampardos (Smack Down/Rock Slide) - DPS Rhyperior (Smack Down/Stone Edge) - TDO Steel Excadrill (Metal Claw/Iron Head) - DPS/TDO Water Kingler (Bubble/Crabhammer) - DPS Gyarados (Waterfall/Hydro Pump) - TDO This list will likely have some errors in it, as it’s gotten rather long at this point, and as I locate them I’ll do my best to correct them. Edit - Corrected "Sneasel" to "Weavile." Edit 2 - Added Moltres to available fire-type attackers through Rocket-Research. Edit 3 - It appears as though Hidden Power cannot be Normal-type. Worth noting for Regigigas. Edit 4 - Added some Machamp info. Edit 5 - Added Salamence as an honorable mention Edit 6 - "Psystrike," not "Psycho Cut" for Mewtwo. Edit 7 - Gardevoir needs Psychic, not Future Sight. Edit 8 - Added Latios to the Psychic pool. The other Dragons beat it well-enough that I'm going to leave it off that list. Especially noting that it's only here for a weekend. Edit 9 - Corrected Moltres' moveset to Overheat. Edit 10 - Corrected the rest of Sneasel to Weavile. Edit 11 - Sneasel again... Thanks for sticking around until the end!
Yes, you knew it was coming. Here we go! clears throat With apologies to Britney Spears, I present the chorus to 'Toxic (Cup)': "Oh, the taste of your Licks, And Flying guuuuuys! You're Tox-i-croak, bombin' all night. With a taste of a Poison paradiiiiiise, I'm addicted to Bugs Don't you know that they're toxic? (funky guitar riff) And I love all the mud Though the Mud Boys are toxic!" ANYway, the "Nifty Or Thrifty" article series (also available at Silph.gg) serves a few functions. First, it gives a first blush, comprehensive look at the meta for the upcoming Toxic Cup, particularly from the perspective of which Pokémon are likely worth the cost of leveling up and adding a second charge move (nifty) and which ones would probably work out fine without heavy investment (thrifty), including some alternatives to the more expensive options. For those on a stardust budget--and/or folks trying to save up some dust for the future--it can be daunting trying to figure out where to spend or not spend it. We all want to field competitive teams of six, but where can we get the best bang for our buck and where should we perhaps instead channel our inner scrooge? As the meta is still coming together, I have tried to whittle down without leaving too much out, but as per usual with these, it's likely to be a long read, just to warn you up front! I'll try to keep it entertaining, too. 😃 Before we dive in, make sure to familiarize yourself with what makes up Toxic Cup. It's Poison, Bug, Normal, Ground, and Grass Pokémon, with the exception of Ground/Waters, Tropius, Vigoroth, and Noctowl, all specifically removed because of imblanace they would have introduced. The full list is over here, so check that out before reading on. And that, I think, is all the intro we need. You're here for the Pokémon, so let's get to it!
10,000 Dust/25 Candy
Typically I am going to recommend anything here be double moved, because they all benefit and the cost is so (comparatively) cheap to do so. This category is really where "nifty" and "thrifty" meet in the middle. Golbat Wing Attack | Poison Fang & Shadow Ball Golbat looks very dominant on the surface, and is understandably ranked very highly in Toxic Cup (#2 on PvPoke at the time of this writing). With its unique Flying and Poison profile, it handles the vast majority of Bugs, all Fighters (and psuedo-Fighters, like Escavalier) and Grasses that don't specifically hate on its typings (like Confusion Exeggutor and Rocky Cradily), and the looming threat of Shadow Ball strikes fear into nearly everything (including things that usually fear no Flyer, like Forretress, who can lose handily). Golbat's standard move package is a perfect fit for this meta, giving it an answer to nearly everything it could wind up facing. It should see glory here like it hasn't seen since Twilight Cup, and obviously is one of the cheaper builds in the game. Huzzah! As per usual, though Crobatis just slower and a clear step down. Alolan Raticate Quick Attack | Crunch & Hyper Fang Well so far it's like a Twilight Cup reunion, isn't it? A-Rat could be a big player here again, with very few deadly Fighters to dodge, and while its Dark half doesn't appreciate Bug damage, it outbulks a wide range of Poisons, Normals, Grounds, and of course, Ghosts/Psychics and anything relying those types of moves. It isn't perfect, but A-Rat should once again be a key piece for budget players especially. Bibarel Water Gun | Surf & Hyper Fang Hyper Fang Bros represent! Overall, Bibarel looks merely good, but then you look at the core meta and OH BABY! Obviously all the Grounds loathe Bibarel's Water moves, but Bibarel is quietly solid against the Steely Bugs and many of the most relevant Poisons as well, and beats most everything Flying by just outlasting them in neutral on neutral slugfests. The only natural threats Bib has to worry about are Fighters (which are few) and Grasses (which will be held back by all the other things that hold THEM down). It and the few Waters permitted have pretty free range to roam in this meta, and Bibarel seems positioned as the one that makes the most of it. And you thought it would be just a one hit wonder in Ferocious Cup, didn't you? (Okay, I did too. Glad we were wrong!) Munchlax Lick | Body Slam & Bulldoze The textbook definition of generalist, I have advocated for Munchie before, but in its best chance to ever shine, it (and 95% of other Normals) were completely held back by Vigoroth. That unfortunate damper on Jungle Cup is removed here, and Munchie finally gets to play. And does it ever, including a fantastic showing against the core. Basically, if a Pokémon doesn't have Fighting moves or resist Munchlax's moves, it is very likely that Munchie will simply wear it down and outbulk it.He may not have a set "role", but he should be a fantastic and very safe filler for many teams in March, able to bring spammy pressure at the top of the lineup or soak up some damage and help you stabilize in the back. And yes, big bro Snorlax is quite solid in its own right with the same Lick and Body Slam and the second move of your choice. (Superpower or Earthquake seem like the best here.) But it's obviously much more expensive (can't get the Baby Discount with Munchie and evolve, as it has to be under Level 20 to fit), and Munchie is bulkier anyway. But if you have a Snorlax ready to go, then sure, it's good here too! Wigglytuff Charm | Ice Beam & Play Rough Jungle Cup is when Wiggly first burst onto the scene (like the Kool-Aid Man!) as Charm came out of nowhere mid-month and rocked the meta and the PvP world forever. Anod now, she's baaaAAAaaack! Wiggocalypse II: Wiggocalypto? Call it what you will, but yes, Wiggly looms very large again. Poisons and the few Steels and most Grasses still handle it, but that's really just about it. Keep in mind that Fairy resists Bug and Normal resists Ghost moves which are both widespread here (as well as its more famous resistances to Dark and Dragon). Wiggly can run pretty rampent on an unprepared team, and can singlehandedly hold down Fighters and play whack a mole with the few Darks and Dragons that may try to peak their heads out. YOU may not plan to use one, but you better have a plan for how to fend one off! Crustle Fury Cutter | X-Scissor & Rock Slide Surprising me, at least, Crustle looks best here not with Bug-squashing and Flyer-clubbing Smack Down, but instead with Fury Cutter. And boy, does it ever look good! It still manages to smack Flyers down to earth with Rock Slide spam (only the Glisboys escape and sometimes, just barely, Golbat) and nearly every Bug in the entire Cup (with only Steely Durant and Scizor and Close Combat Pinsir reliably slipping away), and it conveniently resists things that rely on Body Slam (resisted) and other Normal moves, as well as all the various Poison attacks. It's even able to outrace Waters that deal super effective damage to it, like top options Bibarel and Qwilfish. Hunt up a good one, because this sturdy little crab has all the makings of a budget player's hero and is going in as the leading candidate for breakout star of Toxic Cup. Venusaur Vine Whip | Frenzy Plantᴸ & Sludge Bomb So this is as good a time as any to discuss Grass in Toxic Cup. Up until the very late stages of planning out the meta (like, the day before announcement), the infamous Mud Boys (WateGround Pokémon) were still in. It is well documented by now that Grass is the ONLY typing that deals super effective damage to the Mud Boys, so Grass was a critical component of keeping the meta balanced. In the end, it was decided to snip the Mud Boys to make the meta feel fresh and allow things normally trod underfoot to rise up and see play, a decision that I think was the right way to go and gives Toxic unique and exciting potential. But what of Grasses? They remain, but what is their role now? Similar to Jungle Cup, they seem hemmed in on all sides by things that resist their moves and hit them back hard. But again, as in Jungle, they can operate as generalists that conveniently hold down some of the bigger, nastier threats in the Cup. Venusaur features, as it usually does, as the best overall Grass with its combination of overpowered Frenzy Plant and just-as-important Sludge Bomb, allowing it to beat everything listed above south of Golbat: Fairies, Waters, Grounds, most Normals, and even many of the more oddball Bugs (Crustle, Heracross, Galvantula, etc.) get trampled underfoot. It doesn't rule the roost at the top of the meta like it has in many past Cups, but it shows well overall and will earn its place in this meta... and on more teams than you might initially think. Meganium is usually discussed closely in line with Venusaur, so let's do that here too. Unfortunately, without Venu's Poison subtyping, Meg tends to fall prey to Bugs and Poisons much more rapidly, despite its otherwise impressive bulk, and its second charge move (Earthquake) is slower than Sludge Bomb and also unfortunately resisted by Bugs, though it does obviously do well (should you land it) against Steel and the many Poisons here. Meg works on the strength of those turn-around wins with Earthquake, but it suffers more than usual in this particular meta, and the gains are at least somewhat drowned out by the downsides as compared to Venusaur. It's a bit more of a high risk, potentially high reward option in Toxic. Torterra Razor Leaf | Sand Tomb & Frenzy Plantᴸ/Stone Edge Finally, a Cup where Torterror's unique typing is a true strength. While most Razor Leafers suffer against the many Bugs and Flyers and even many of the more meta Grounds here, Torterra's Ground sub-typing means Poison deals only neutral damage (as it does for the Grass/Poisons), AND it actually resists Ground (and Rock) damage. So despite its slow, lumbering ways, Torterra does pretty well against the core meta (for a Grass), and makes it the best pure Razor Leafer available. Yes, it still doesn't want to face Bugs or Poisons, but it at least holds up better and does the job you expect of it outside of that. If you want to go Razor Leaf this month, don't look first to staples like Victreebel and Bellossom and such... look to Torterror. There are some good things to be said about other cheap Grasses like Sceptile with its unpredictable moveset (though Fury Cutter/Leaf Blade/Earthquake looks like the best way to go overall... probably) and Serperior and fan favorite Bayleef, but they really all struggle enough here that I have a hard time seriously recommending them. This is just not a Grass-friendly environment, and while someone can and will make them work, it's an uphill battle. Beyond Venusaur and maybe Meg and Torterra, even I caution against relying on Grass too much this time around. The meta may shake out differently though, so we shall see! Beedrill Poison Jab | X-Scissor & Sludge Bomb Sadly, even with its prominance in the very logo for Toxic Cup, Beedrill looks merely "okay" here. Yes, it is still a top notch Grassassin and beats down the Fighters, can still farm down Wigglytuff (not many things that can), and it shows well against the many meta Normals mentioned above (and can even steal a win from things like Pidgeot), but man, it does not like facing the many Grounds and Poisons in the Cup, or even many of the more relevant Bugs. Beedrill will find a way onto teams and show well at times, but make no mistake: it's a specialist, not a generalist. It is worth noting, though, that it beats Bibarel and Toxicroak, which is a popular core in early discussions. Scolipede Poison Jab | X-Scissor & Megahorn Think of it as a slightly different and probably slightly better Beedrill. With Megahorn rather than Sludge Bomb, it handles itself better than Bee against Poisons in particular, notably beating all the Dark/Poisons while still beating the Fighters and Wiggly and other things you rely on Beedrill for. I don't see it breaking out like, say, Crustle, but Scolipede could perhaps start to make a name for itself here in Toxic. As with Beedrill, it could break up cores centered around some combination of Bibarel, Toxicroak/Fighters, and Wigglytuff. There are a bunch of other Bugs that may or may not emerge as the meta unfolds, with varying second charge move costs. Masquerain is the cheapest and performs about as well overall as more expensive options like Vespiquen, Yanma, and yes... sigh... even Ledian. There are a few more standouts highlighted below, usually with a Poison or Steel subtyping, because anything lacking a secondary typing like that struggles overall in Toxic, at least against the core meta. Partly because of the last group in the 10k category.... Birds, Birds, Birds! Wing Attack/Air Slash | Aerial Ace/Sky Attack/Brave Bird & "Spice Move" Yeah, there are a lot to pick from. So let's pare this down. First off, while they have the charge moves you like to see, you can eliminate anything stuck with Peck as the fast move, as it is a terrible, terrible move and sinks the prospects of anything that relies on it. Oft-spicy pick Farfetch'd doesn't really cut it here, sadly, so really we're left with Swellow, Staraptor, and Tranquill. Quill and Raptor have the appeal of toting a rare Fire move with Heat Wave, and Raptor has the added benefit of Wing Attack and Close Combat too, but as you can see from their win/loss columns, the end results are mixed and probably rather unreliable. (Doesn't help that Heat Wave takes forever and an age to charge up... and has a putrid cost-to-damage ratio of 75 energy for only 95 damage.) Swellow, despite the lack of spice, is probably the best bet, taking its role as straight up Flying damage spammer seriously with no muss or fuss. If you don't have a Legacy Pidgeot (to be discussed later), Swellow may be your best substitute (and wins the head to head on the strength of Sky Attack... just sayin'.)
50,000 Dust/50 Candy
Here is where the rubber meets the road, where the wheat is separated from the chaff, where boys become men, where... where I get on with it. 😅 Anyway, while the 10k moves are pretty easy to justify, 50,000 dust is not something easily tossed away. As is often the case, the majority of eligible 'mons in Toxic Cup fall in this category, and here they are! Toxicroak Counter | Mud Bomb & Sludge Bomb I've mentioned them quite a bit already, so let's start with the Fighters. And the best of the best here is pretty clearly ol' Croak. He's been a bit down on his luck since Twilight, but here he looks to be making a comeback the New Kids On The Block could only dream of. Just look at how it brutalizes the core meta. Most Bugs, Grass, Steels, Normals, Dark/Poisons... they all run crying to their mamas. Toxicroak's unique type combination makes it a pain to deal with. You know how I said Wigglytuff is the bane of Fighters? Well look what happens if it tries to switch in on Croak. If THAT'S not a safe counter to Toxicroak, then all bets are off. Toxicroak's typing and moveset make it an incredibly versatile and powerful threat in this meta, and it's gonna party like it's early 2019 again. Heracross Counter | Close Combat & Megahorn It lacks the sheer number of wins that Toxicroak touts, but make no mistake: Heracross is a dangerous foe in Toxic Cup. It still takes down everything you'd want your Fighting type to beat--those odd losses that show against Munchie and Lickitung are actually wins if you just farm them down with Counter--and beats some things Croak cannot, like Flygon, as well as beating Toxicroak itself one on one. While Croak benefits from the spamminess of Mud Bomb and is a better option to rip down shields, Heracross is a fantastic closer with two devastating charge moves that cover a huge chunk of the meta between them. It continues to be a good candidate to save in the back, or farm something down with Counter and then swap out to bring in for the knockout blow later with its big charges. Escavalier Counter | Aerial Ace & Drill Run/Megahorn Not technically a Fighter, of course, but with Counter it may as well be, threatening the Normals and Steels and Rocks and Darks you'd want a Fighter to handle, and bringing big time versatility with its charge moves. Aerial Ace is probably a must in this meta, and then both Megahorn and Drill Run give it reach against whatever you need to hit harder with super effective damage. (Look over those lists and decide what YOU need most.) The one constant is this: Escavalier is a true threat in this meta, to a wide range of popular picks. If you are still trying to get a good Great League one (as I still am), grind harder! I know I will be! I know, I can hear it now: "where are Breloom and Ursaring?!" Technically, on paper, they show similar overall win/loss spreads to the others listed here, but I'm having a much harder time trusting them. Breloom is just SO fragile and has to contend with an unfavorable Grass sub-typing, and Ursaring's Normal typing does it few favors either, losing to every other Fighter (including the "pseudo Fighters" like Escavalier) and leaving its best second charge move, Play Rough, going mostly to waste. Neither are terrible... there certainly IS something to be said for their simulated performance. But based on past experience watching others try to make them work--and yes, doing so myself--they just don't tend to perform where you expect and want them to. Tread lightly...or, my recommendation, don't tread with them at all. It's (probably) a trap! Durant Bug Bite | Stone Edge & X-Scissor Another Steely Bug, one that plays like an actual bug instead of Swiss Army knife Escavalier. It's best with good old familiar Bug Bite and X-Sicssor, with Stone Edge as the knockout blow that allows it to hit back HARD at a good chunk of the core meta. and can knock Flyers like even Gliscor out of the sky. If you're able to get your hands on one, it's a cheaper alternative to the more expensive Steely Bugs we'll be seeing later, and really does much of the same job. Galvantula Volt Switch | Discharge & Any And here we have anything BUT your standard kind of Bug. Galvantula is an Electric merely posing as a Bug since the welcome buff to Volt Switch. Discharge is the best to pair with it to give you a very rare-in-Toxic full (and GOOD) Electric attacker and make Waters and Flyers all weep (as well as prominent Fighters and Poisons and even some Bugs), and while I cannot at this point nail down THE best second move to go with (they all have merit), I can say that you definately want to unlock that second move slot while we all figure that out as the meta moves forward. Because I fully expect Galvantula to be a part of it no matter how it specifically shapes up. Zangoose Shadow Claw | Close Combat & Night Slash Having had BOTH of its charge moves buffed in recent months, Zangoose has just been waiting for the right meta to bust out, and I think that meta has arrived. Sworn enemy of venomous Seviper, it is fitting that Goose looks poised to do a lot of damage in Toxic Cup. It beats most Normals despite their resistance to Shadow Claw thanks to Close Combat, and rips through many other things that aren't fortunate enough to resist Claw and Night Slash. Obviously Fighters still make it cry, and many Grounds and, ironically, Poisons are able to fend it off, but the list of wins there includes a lot of very relevant, very hard to otherwise handle stuff. Zangoose WILL be a major player this month. Have a plan to stop it, because it will be quick and painful if you don't. Haunter Shadow Claw | Shadow Punch & Shadow Ball Yep, Haunter sneaks in where other Ghosts can't thanks to its Poison subtyping. And it does what you've come to expect: run roughshod over most things that don't resist its movesand/or abuse its typing (and even some things that do). Unfortunately for it, there are a decent number of things that outlast it (Normals, mostly) or just outdamage it, and it's held more incheck than is typical. But yes, it still does its thing well enough to merit a spot on several teams. Props again to Niantic for bringing Shadow Ball back! The Swines Powder Snow | Avalanche & Stone Edge/Ancient Powerᴸ/Bulldoze* I don't see Abomasnow making much impact in Toxic, so here are your token Ice types. That makes them good against other Grounds and of course Flyers; they beat everything part Flying and all Grounds that aren't Garchomp/Gabite, Torterra, or Steelix. But their role kinda ends there. They can handle some Bugs, some Poisons, and some Normals, but none consistently, and they are deathly afraid of the Fighters and anything Water. High neutral damage like that from Haunter slices through them, Grasses tend to beat them out before they pile up enough Ice damage. They're role players... good ones, but no more than that. The right team will want them and benefit greatly, but they're not for everyone. Rhyperior Smack Down/Mud Slap | Surf & Player's Choice Just like last month, the fast move and charge moves contain several viable combinations. Smack Down to abuse Flyers and squash Bugs, or Mud Slap to better knock out Poisons and Steels? I think Surf is a near must, but the second move could be Superpower, Earthquake, the new Rock Wrecker or even a different move based on need. The only advice I will give for now is to say that you probably don't want to have Smack Down and Rock Wrecker or Mud Slap and Earthquake paired together, as you want some diversity among the moves to best handle what should be a very diverse meta. In some form or another, "Perrier" will be deployed by many for the second month in a row (and third time in the last five months). Stay sharp and pay attention to the moves so you know how to best respond! Hippowdon Fire Fang/Ice Fang | Body Slam & Earth PoweStone Edge A classic case of quality over quantity here. Hippo is either hungry hungry for Bugs with Fire Fang (giving it a super rare-in-Toxic Fire fast move) or for Flyers and Grounds with Ice Fang. It's a specialist either way you go, taking out the Dark/Poisons pretty consistently but not much else outside of whatever its Fang type feasts on, but both of those specialzed roles are quite unique in this Cup, and Hungry Hungry Hippo should find a way onto many teams, probably more with Fire Fang which is all the rage in chatter so far, but Ice Fang is really, really good too. Marowak Mud Slap | Bone Club & Earthquake And here we have just a regular old Ground, with just some standard Ground moves. No tricks up its sleeve. And yet, somehow, it still works. Yeah, turns out Poisons and Steels and even several opposing Grounds don't appreciate a steady assault of Ground damage. Marowak does absolutely nothing fancy, just goes about its job like a good soldier. If that sounds like something that helps you, give A-Wak's castoff cousin a call. Muk Poison Jab | Thunder Punch & Dark Pulse You have to like the Electric potential from Thunder Punch, a rare threat in this meta to the Waters and Flyers out and about, but overall [Muk feels a little outmatched here], hemmed in by Grounds on one side, Normals and things that can actually outbulk it on another, and even many Bugs flitting about that can shrug off its attacks. It will fit well on some teams, but if we're being honest, it will be a minority of teams. His versatility is nice, just not the best move package for this particular meta. Alolan Muk Snarl | Dark Pulse & Sludge Wave/Gunk Shot Things look a bit better here than they do for A-Muk's Kantoian cousin. Still need to be wary of Grounds, but Snarl and Dark Pulse make for a potent and rarely resisted combo, and A-Muk has two great door slamming Poison moves to follow it up and the bulk to typically get there. It's never going to really blow anything away, but what it can always do--and still does here--is hang in a lot of fights and grind out wins, or at least help you stabilize and save you a shield or two in the process. Things do not look so good for fellow Dark/Poison Skuntank, who, like Kanto Muk, is just hampered by its available moves here. Flamethrower SHOULD be big, but whether with Bite or Poison Jab, it just doesn't get to it reliably enough to make the impact you want. It needs an energy or shield lead, and that's not something you want to rely on. It has its uses, but A-Muk and especially Drapion (which we'll look at later) surpass Stank in Toxic Cup. Tentacruel Poison Jab | Acid Spray & Hydro Pump Note I didn't mention Acid Spray with either of the Muks, because it really doesn't work with them here. You want a Sprayer, THIS is your guy. Tentacruel has the bulk to use it in multiples, and it also importantly helps set up a crushing Hydro Pump that nothing in this meta really wants to mess with. This is definately one to practice with ahead of time, as Tentacruel IS rather bait dependant and proper guessing on the opponent's part will make it pretty toothless, but if you like playing chess and trying to get the dramatic win, this is YOUR guy too. Qwilfish Water Gun | Aqua Tail & Your Choice Here you're usually just looking to spam Water damage as much as possible with Water Gun and Aqua Tail, which nets Qwil most of its wins already. The only things in the entire meta that resist Water damage are the Grasses and other Waters, neither of which will be fielding many viable candidates, and of course all the Grounds and Rocks will be taking super effective damage. But you DO want a second move here, even if you won't actually be using it all that much, because Ice Beam and Sludge Wave and, yes, even Acid Spray all have some good targets in this meta, and there WILL be things you run across that render the Water damage moot. (Looking at you, Bibarel!) My personal recommendation is probably Sludge Wave, just because of the great closing potential, but it really does come down to what fits your team best. They're all viable, really (though Fell Stinger looks like the worst overall). Lickiboys Lick | Body Slamᴸ & Shadow Ball/Power Whip They're back, and if you dodged Body Slam in Rose Cup, you better be sure you'll be seeing it this time around. Shadow Ball, Power Whip, and even Earthquake are all good followup moves, and all threaten a wide swath of the meta. Shield timing will be key, as any of those can OHKO in the right spot, but also keep in mind that just spamming Body Slam is deadly in and of itself. The Lickibiys are here to stay in PvP now. Shiftry Snarl | Leaf Blade & Foul Play So you remember all I said about Grasses, right? Well, there are a couple Grasses that don't PLAY like most Grasses and may have a better chance at making a dent in the meta as a result. And Shiftry is anything but your typical Grass anymore... it's a Dark that happens to be able to spam Leaf Blade too. That means it rightly terrifies Grounds, Waters, and anything utilizing Ghost or Psychic moves, which covers a decent chunk of the core meta. Shiftry isn't going to dominate like it did at times in Fusion Cup, but it can still carve up an unprepared team in very short order. More of a specialist now, but one to keep in mind whether you plan to use it or just need to make sure you're not slaughtered by it. Exeggutor Confusion | Seed Bomb & Psychic It's nice that everyone can get a Confusion Eggy again, and that makes it another Grass-that's-not-quite-Grass in Toxic Cup. I'll be upfront here: its win spread is ungood. BUT, digging deeper, you see that it beats some huge players in this meta: Toxicroak and Bibarel and Golbat and Haunter and Flygon and Galvantula and Heracross and even Venusaur and Qwilfish. Those are all top tier options in Toxic Cup, and rare is the Pokémon that can take them all down without even breaking a sweat. There are several Confusioners available, but only one that we'll get to down below that I think deserves mention besides Exeggutor. And yes, that includes Venomoth, who loses some of those key matchups (Bibarel most notably) and seems to be, somewhat surprisingly, just a worse Exeggutor here. Ludicolo Bubble | Ice Beam & Hydro Pump And here I go with another Grass... or do I? I am recommending running Ludicolo as a Water. Remember the good things I've said about Water? Ludi can run a full Water moveset, with Ice Beam to keep a lot of things on their toes too. The Grass subtyping is pure liability here, since all the Bugs will be itching to (bug) bite into it, but hey, even Bibarel goes down fast to Fighting. Everything has its Achilles' heel, and I think Ludicolo can overcome its own fatal flaw and make some noise in this meta by shedding its normal "oddball Razor Leafer" identity and embracing its wet and wild side. Grounds, Bugs that DON'T play primarily as Bug damage dealers, and most Normals (including, yes, Bibarel itself) hope that Water Ludi does not come out to play. And thus, I get to end the 50k section with some spice. 🌶️
75,000 Dust/75 Candy
Start the breathing exercises, because now we're getting into some expensive decisions. Pop some antacids (and antivenom) as we push forward.... Gliscor Wing Attack | Night Slash & Earthquake As in Rose Cup, the win/loss numbers really jump off the page, but also like last month, there's a catch, because against the core meta, Gliscor comes back down to earth a little bit. Yes, it easily handles the Fighters and many really good Grounds and Bugs and Poisons, but there are also really good things in all of those categories (and the majority of Normals and Flyers) that shrug it off. And keep in mind that it is still rather bait needy, and turning off baiting paints a much scarier picture. Gliscor is not quite the dominant force it was (and really still is) touted as. A solid choice, absolutely, just not one to necessarily build your team around. Study those matchups hard and decide if it's worth it... and it helps if you already built one last month! A shout out to Gligar too, which is really not all that far behind, but there's more of a gap than there was in Rose. Gliscor is just better here. Steelix Dragon Tail | Crunch & Earthquake Another expensive boi you likely have already built at some point in the past, as Steelix has seen a lot of action in Season 2. And I'm almost sorry to say: new meta, same story yet again. Steelix continues to hate on Flyers, Poisons, Rocks, Grass, Ice, most Bugs... you know, a bunch of the things you'll be facing this month. And yes, it's the same old moveset again too, as Thunder Fang is not the way to go here, unable to beat the Bibarels and Qwilfishes of the world. Steelix is no surprise to anyone at this point, but familiarity doesn't make it any less of a pain to deal with. He'll be up to his usual tricks all throughout March. Ferrothorn Bullet Seed/Metal Claw | Mirror Shot & Power Whip There's a good chance you didn't build one for Sinister or Rose Cup, as its been a spicy but somewhat tepid recommendation before. And this is yet another muted but optimistic assessment this month, and I'm not necessarily advocating building one from scratch now if you haven't already before. But... BUT... like Bernie Sanders, Ferro is once again asking for your donations, and promising to do good things with them. A peek at the core meta shows intriguing but limited success, but safely beating the Waters and nearly all Grounds (and some prominent Normals and Bugs thrown in as a bonus) really isn't a bad deal at all. I lean towards Bullet Seed and its energy generation, but Metal Claw also does similar things and adds on Steelix too. Smoke 'em if you got 'em. Forretress Bug Bite | Mirror Shot & Heavy Slam/Earthquake He's back! A breakout star at the tail end of Season 1, Forret returns to assert itself again. And with a couple new bait moves at its disposal, it won't feel as slow and lumbering as it has in the past. In fact, it can now carry a full STAB moveset with double Steel charge moves, and that actually appears to be the best way to go, crushing Normals and other Bugs and some important Grounds and Poisons while still dominating Grasses, though Earthquake is certainly still a very valid option as well, hurting many of those same things while especially dealing grave damage to Steels (and winning Steelix now, as a shining example). However you slice it, people have been itching to get it back into battle, and the big golf ball Pokémon is going to make its presence known again. Get ready! Scizor Bullet Punch | Iron Head & X-ScissoNight Slash Scizor has always lurked in the background when eligible, hiding somewhere behind Forretress. (Which, in fairness, is pretty easy to do. ) Some have tried to make it work in formats like Jungle Cup, but it just has never had great success. That MAY be about to finally change. Interestingly, in a Cup with a bunch of Grounds and others that resist Steel moves, Scizor looks like it will do its best work with a full Steel moveset, with either X-Scissor or Night Slash chipping in with non-Steel damage and baits. (Both second moves are incredibly close in performance, so whichever you land on, I'd save yourself a TM and settle for, though it IS notable that XS/IH tends to beat NS/IH in the mirror.) Somehow it still beats many of the notable Grounds, along with a smattering of other important Pokes. If you have a Scizor you've been dying to use, this is your meta to try! Pinsir Fury Cutter | X-Scissor & Close Combat I mean, sure, you can. Close Combat makes it interesting, but it's all attack and no bulk, and being in this category, rather on the expensive side as well. Someone will make it work, and it CAN work, but not sure it's worth the cost, personally. Though considering how few Bugs actually DO reach even that kind of win spread, I'd be remiss not to mention it. CONCLUDED IN FIRST COMMENT BELOW.... (darn these Reddit character limits!)
Prince Joffrey & Varya: Joffrey woke up all by his lonesome in his Russian hotel room, then met Varya in the lobby as his tour guide for the day. They toured the "Red Square" in Moscow, to which Joffey proclaimed that "We don't have anything like this in America!", because I guess he thought there would just be a Target and a Walgreens or something. They held hands, kissed, and Varya jumped up and down a lot. They were getting along so well, that Varya decided to give in to staying with Joffrey at the hotel that night. The next morning, Joffrey is looking all Quagmire and discussing their giggidty from the night before. This is where the star of the show comes onscreen..........the nipple tats. Are they bear claws using the nipple as the center? Are they wonky eyelashes that Darcey just can't seem to keep on? Are they a ray of a tribal sun orbiting the central areola? Did he get them in jail? Lost a bet? I can't look away, and can't stop thinking why he was so confident in unleashing these bad boys to an international audience. I mean the other tattoos were just horrible, but these were in a category of their own. I did not pay attention to the details of their conversation about visiting Varya's hometown, because Nipple Tats. I was hoping that he also had a tattoo of dolphins encircling his belly button, but no such luck. Ok, I'll move on..... While Varya was blow drying her hair for 3 1/2 years with one of those crappy hotel hair dryers, she got very jealous over seeing another woman's name "engraved" on Joffrey's comb. (Note to Varya, Joffrey was not married to "Sally Beauty Supply", they just stamp that on all of the combs in the factory in China. Your psycho is showing). Maybe they're well matched after all! I mean if a comb bothers you but the nipple tats left you unphased...... The couple heads to Varya's hometown so Joffrey can see how she lives. Varya owns her apartment, which reminded Joffrey of his nipple tats. I mean, his time in prison. Between the exposed wiring and lack of a sink, she seems to be living in a Fixer Upper before demo day. Joffrey starts getting suspicious that Varya has an ultimate goal of coming to the U.S., being that she's living in shambles without any urgency in completing her project house, and thinks she's banking on moving to America with him eventhough they've only been online dating for 3 months. He's feeling very skeptical, as they unfold the leopard pull out couch to go to bed. Nipple tats. BGL & Assman: Ok, sometimes to do these recaps I have to watch an episode or segment up to 3 times to actually pay attention. All I'm going to say, is I better start getting paid, because it's going to cost a lot in therapy to forget about the things from this week. That being said..... This week opened with BGL and Assman's first morning together as a solidified couple in Nigeria. Their "pillow talk" consisted of Usman being tired, and Babylove calling him lazy. BGL explains that Assman was inexperienced in the realm of oral passion, and she had to teach him the ways. This is when I went into Usman's home bathroom to retrieve the third bucket reserved for vomit...... Sojaboy-toy described their love-making as "70% good, and that's good enough" (Between him and Azan I'm trying to figure out why men from Africa describe things in percentages). And if all of this wasn't enough, BGL has to reiterate her "no condom use" theme by taking a few useless packs of condoms given to her by her friends out of her dusty beat up suitcase,(no judgement there, mine is always covered in dog hair), while the camera panned over her sanitary napkin and mullet dress. She brought up the condomless evening to Sojaboy, who agreed it was a wild time. Next stop on the vomit train was a Nigerian breakfast with the new Goofballs, which consisted of miscellaneous meat, fish, spaghetti, and pancakes. They discuss meeting Sojamom and the difficulties they may have in getting her blessings for marriage. Apparently mother Assman thinks this evil older white lady is bringing her son to the U.S. as a slave, when in reality, she's just trying to have him live in her house, boss him around, make him go "downtown", and take over his music "career". She's way off! BGL ignores the warnings of the Newfballs (my new name for the new goofballs), and is angry that Assman isn't fighting against all odds for their 70% good love. The couple is accompanied by the Newfballs on their way to Kaduna to experience a day in the life of Superstar Sojaboy. BGL is packing up her dusty bags, and heading out of the hotel like Miss America with her flower bouquet and teddybear. Meanwhile, Assman's cell phone is blowing up, and babygirl Lisa is suspicious, as she should be (Yolanda keeps calling to see where he is!). She arrives at the house, thinking it's going to be something out of MTV Cribs, and is shocked to see the tight knit sleeping arrangements, poop buckets, and wobbly toilets. (My new favorite detail was that the wobbly toilet had a fuzzy decorative toilet seat cover? I bet girly Usman put that on there). Sojaboy confessed to his squad that he can already tell BGL is more difficult in person than he expected. He seems apprehensive to introduce her to the music industry bigwigs of Kaduna in next week's episode, though I personally can not wait. Big Egg & Rosemarie's Baby: The cab lands at the hotel in Manila where Ed and Rosemarie will be spending their first night together. Rosemarie has never had a slumber party, and forgot her pajamas. While Ed was in the bathroom possibly doing a mayo treatment, Rose was pulling the covers up so she just looked like the girl from "the Grudge", and pretending she was "fake sleeping" worse than a toddler. Ed was under the impression they would stay up hanging out, watching t.v. and talking, but Rose was fake exhausted from faking understanding Ed's jokes all day, so the King and Queen went to bed. The next morning they woke up and Ed hand fed Rose cornflakes from their room service like she was a goat at the petting zoo. Rose complained that Ed blasted the A.C. at night, which is a fight I can relate to. They stepped out of the hotel with Ed's neon sneakers and hit the streets of Manila for some shopping. Big Egg turned into an omelette from the heat within the first 30 minutes, leaking Hollandaise stains all over his shirt. Rose was grabbing money from Ed's wallet and giving away his change, causing Eggie to have a literal meltdown. I still at this juncture really like Ed and look forward to next week, when he pulls a Paul and asks Rose to take an STD test. Avery & Ashtray: It's the big day- Avery has landed in Melbourne and is meeting Ashole for the very first time. They seemed to be genuinely happy and compatible at the airport, though JackAsh's eyes were wild like he just snorted something. The Zoolander caliber couple set off on the wrong side of the road, holding each other's well-moisturized hands to head to their Air Bnb. Avery claims she wants to stay in different bedrooms so their spirits can connect first, though she loved her black funeral roses from Ashtray's shady florist. Ashole is obviously a narcissist and it seems like every time he talks about Avery, he only mentions how much she loves him. Cant wait to see them pee in the ocean. together.... David & the 1992 Ladies of Ukraine Calendar: I, for one, have been excited to meet David, a 60 year old man from Las Vegas with fabulous 1980s dad hair. His ambitions include traveling the country in an RV, and randomly selling vintage unicycles on the black market out of his garage while demonstrating his sweet cycling skills set to French music (how did this even come up? Do you think production asked him to write down 10 of the most random things about himself and riding a unicycle was one of them??). Also amidst the randomness and a guiding factor for his dating life, was his childhood obsession with Boris and Natasha. Something about that Vampire voice and flat head really does it for him. He has been in a virtual relationship for 7 years with his 27 year old Ukranian beauty, Lana, who he only communicates with over a very expensive paid chat site. Nothing fishy here! (Sidenote: I do a great Natasha impression and will chat for $1.50/minute, if you're listening Dave!). Dave's friends voiced their concern that this woman is taking advantage of him, but it just falls on dead ears. (Every couple on the show has to have at least one intervention with friends). We got to accompany Dave and Lana on a virtual picnic at a local park, where Lana sent several intriguing emojis in regards to their upcoming meeting. He then reveals that they have "intimate" chats, with even sexier emojis, which cost much more than my offer. Dave also has a video chat with Anya, a former Ukrainian fling, who he now considers a close friend. She is skeptical that Lana will not show, seeing as how she has stood Dave up the last 3 times he went to the Ukraine. Seems like he has a few ladies in his Ukrainian stable, and if the 4th time isn't a charm, he can always chit chat with Maria (or Natalie, if he's into Fatal Attraction). Let's hope Dave can soon trade in his unicycle for a bicycle built for two. Stephanie & Erika not Shmerika: S & E are excitedly chatting about the upcoming visit to the land of Oz, while her adorable pug looked on. Erika hopes Stephanie gets along well with her friends while in town, and has a bunch of fun things planned. Stephanie packed up some cute outfits along with lots of antibiotics in preparation for her trip. Nothing crazy to report yet again, but I'm hoping there are koalas in her future. Darcey, just Darcey: Darcey, Stacey, and their friend are relaxing at a spa, day drinking fancy mimosas, and rehashing delusions. There seem to be so many pointless episodes leading up to the pointless meeting of Darcey and Tom, who are not even dating. I'd rather watch her run on the treadmill again for like 10 minutes. Its pretty amazing that most of the couples on the show have to save up and get the chance to meet their significant other, and then men Darcey isn't even dating fly in just to say they're done but appreciate her. Anyway, I'm guessing this episode was about mimosas, and "Girl Power". You know they just want Darcey on to poke fun at her. They may as well dissolve the relationship storyline and film her at the DMV, or a PTA meeting, or on the phone with AT&T. All would be more interesting than what is currently happening. Missing this week was Yolander, who looks like she'll be returning next week. Missing permanently is William's, who doesnt exist.
[The screen fades in to a shot of desert road, similar to Meet the Sniper. Light flute music plays with a soft drum accompaniment. A slow downwards pan to a crushed Bonk! can is punctured by a brass flourish. Suddenly, a Red Bread truck screeches into view from the right, knocking away the can and fishtails, nearly ripping off its rear bumper. It continues down the left lane.] [Cut to a right side view of the van. The camera pans from the rear towards the front while a heavy drum beat plays. The logo is pock-marked with bullet holes and the white paint has been scraped off the sides. The camera continues panning and steadies at the van's open air cab, revealing a sleeping Scout, who is a furry, and the Heavy hunched over at the wheel.] [Interior shot of the cab. The windshield has bullet holes on the left and is completely knocked out on the right. The Heavy's bulk is apparent on the left as compared to the Scout's relaxed pose with his feet on the dashboard. He is wearing a wolf fursuit, but only the boots. Fuzzy dice adorn the rear view mirror. The Heavy continues to drive the van on the right side of the road when the dashboard monitor begins to softly beep.] [Cut to a side view of the right-hand side of the cab. The Heavy looks disapprovingly at the sleeping Scout. He returns his eyes to the road. The dashboard beeps again and the Heavy hits the Scout without taking his glance off of the road. Shaken, the Scout jerks awake.] Scout: Gwaa! Bwaa! What?! What? Oh. 0w0 [The Scout reaches over and with his right hand, and exits out of e621.net, then pushes a button on the monitor. It is a video call from Miss Pauling.] Miss Pauling: Scout, it's Pauling. Tell me you got the briefcase. Scout: Yea, sure!!!!! UwU Miss Pauling: And nobody saw you? Scout: Ehhh. [He raises his paws and shrugs his shoulders] Basically nobody. Miss Pauling: [Her expression darkens] Scout, I'm here right now. Scout: Well that's a funny story... [The cab's rear door abruptly opens and the Soldier steps out, and with his right hand, hastily pushes Scout's snout into his seat. The Scout throws up his paws, the Heavy is startled and momentarily loses control of the van, and the Soldier takes over the monitor.] Soldier: [brightly] Hello, Miss Pauling! We killed everyone and took a briefcase! [He brandishes a BLU briefcase ] Miss Pauling: Not everybody, Soldier. You left seven witnesses, guys. [A bloodied hand can be seen in the background reaching for help. Miss Pauling turns and shoots him with a silenced pistol. The hand collapses.] Miss Pauling: [matter-of-factly] Six. [The camera cuts to a rear shot of the van pulling into a dirt road flanked by rocky cliffs and several Sentries and a RED-owned building in the distance. A dead BLU soldier can be seen draped on the roof of the van. As the van drives in, a wooden prop of a cactus with some desert plants pops up and a painted curtain background falls into place, disguising the entrance.] Miss Pauling: [she continues talking as the camera pans] Look, just keep the briefcase safe okay? [Side shot of the van rolling down a ramp and pulling into a garage. The rear bumper falls off.] Miss Pauling: Have a good weekend guys. [Front shot of the van pulling into the garage. A BLU Demoman's boot can be seen sticking out from underneath of the hood which has a hood ornament reading "SWORD". The Heavy looks harassed and brings the vehicle to a stop. The dead BLU soldier slides off the roof. The Heavy leaves the keys in the ignition and exits the van.] Soldier: [his hand still covering the Scout's snout] Goodbye, Miss Pauling! I'm leaving the van now. (Note: captions read "Mrs. Pauling") [The Soldier disappears into the rear of the van and the door slides closed behind him. Cut shot to the Scout who looks relieved at the hand being removed from his snout. He adjusts his hat and headset with both paws. He looks back at the door.] Scout: Bye bye. Okay then. [The background music stops and the van grows quiet. The Scout turns back to the monitor.] Scout: Hey, hey Miss Pauling! Before you go. Ahh- sweats nervously, Miss Pauling: Uh huh? [She is dragging a body. He stammers and scratches his muzzle.] Miss Pauling: [distracted] Scout? What? Say something. Scout: [regains confidence, he straighten his tail] You're probably real busy this weekend, right? Miss Pauling: [finished with dragging body, she stands up and wipes the dirt from her hands] Funny you should mention that. Um. Looks like I will be... burying bodies all weekend. [she grabs a Fire Axe and brings her face closer to the camera] So you don't go to jail. Scout: [stammering] Oh g-good. So...we're both busy. [Cut to Miss Pauling on the monitor. She looks at him quizzically in silence. He returns the glance awkwardly. Suddenly a siren can be heard in the background with guards shouting. Miss Pauling reacts and turns hurriedly from the camera.] Miss Pauling: Oh! Got to go. [She disappears off-camera. Muffled shots can be heard. The monitor buzzes off. Cut back to the Scout with a pained expression on his muzzle. Side view of cab with the Scout leaning back resignedly.] Scout: Lot of people busy with busywess. (Note: caption reads "business") [Heavy can be seen in the background, checking the fridge's contents. The Spy walks slowly, passing front of the camera left to right, cigarette in hand.] Spy: [smugly] Asking out that dial tone again, I see. Scout: [sitting up and angrily gesturing] Go to hell, Spy. [He drops his demeanor and looks dejected. He looks down, then chuckles sadly to himself. He gets out of the van. The Heavy takes a drumstick from the fridge and tosses it over his shoulder.] [The camera pans slowly with the Scout walking left to right from the van to the table. A medium tempo jazz instrumental starts with flute, piano, and drums. He tosses the keys in the air and deftly catches them. The Soldier attempts to extricate the BLU Demoman's body from the hood of the van. The RED Demoman takes a quick spin on the Teleporter and disappears. The Heavy manages to find a Sandvich and leans contently on the fridge door and takes a bite.] Scout: [gestures to the table which holds another Teleporter, a loaf of bread, and an ashtray] Hey, wook at all this. What have you two eggy-heads been workin' on? [The Medic and the Engineer are discussing something, but turn to Scout when he addresses them. The Scout tosses the keys. They both glare at him, ignoring the keys which clatter to the floor.] Scout: Nice catch. [The Engineer turns to the Medic. He turns to address the Scout, who is a furry, while the Medic steps back.] Engineer: Yeah. Listen now... We've been running some experiments on the Teleporter. [The Engineer gestures with his head to the Teleporter. The Soldier wanders over, interested. The Heavy remains at the fridge door, eating his Sandvich, but observing.] Engineer: Well yeah. Y'all ought to take a look at this. [The flute continues to trill in the background. The Engineer picks up his PDA and activates the Teleporter; it starts whirring into action. The Soldier stands with his arms akimbo. Suddenly, another loaf of bread appears, silently hovering. The Heavy is somewhat intrigued, but the Soldier is utterly amazed, reaching out with both hands to grab the loaf. The furry, however, is unimpressed.] Scout: [disinterestedly while the background drum beats a steady tattoo] Wow. You can teleweport bread. That is...big news. Um. Is the Demo back with the beer yet? Cause I... [He turns back while the Medic breaks open the loaf with a sickening crunch. The interior of the loaf contains pulsating green lumps and teeth. The Engineer winces while the Scout yelps and throws his paws in the air. The background music stops] (Editor’s note: I did not edit that last paragraph other than “hands” to “paws”. It really said “yelps”.) Scout: Whoa! OwO What the hell is that?! Medic: [cheerily, gesturing slightly with a half of the throbbing loaf] Tumors! [Cut to the Heavy. He suddenly looks concerned and stops eating his Sandvich. He eyes it worriedly.] Engineer: [adjusting his helmet] Y'all know what this means right? [The Soldier suddenly grabs the Scout by the neck and slams him onto the table, because he is a furry.] Soldier: Arrghh! We cannot teleport bread anymore! [He nearly chokes the Scout and raises a hand as if to punch his face. The Heavy still leans nonchalantly on the fridge door. The Engineer intervenes raising his hands.] Engineer: Whoa! Whoa... Not exactly, Soldier. [he places his hand on the Soldier's back and smiles] You teleport as much bread as you like. [His smile fades and he removes his helmet. Ominous sounding strings start up. The Heavy looks at his Sandvich, sniffs it, shrugs, and continues eating.] Engineer: That goes for all of ya. If there's something any of y'all wanted to do before ya...Well. Died. Now would be a...good time. [Suddenly, the Spy's voice is heard. The Engineer turns. Cut to the Spy, languidly brandishing a cigarette from its case] Spy: How long before these...tumors kill us? Medic: Vell, let's see. [he gestures, thinking out loud.] Ve all use the teleporter, let's say six times a day... [Cut to the rest of the team, Scout is still rubbing his sore neck, the Soldier stands stoically, the Heavy still leans on the fridge door, Sandvich now half-eaten, and the Engineer replaces his helmet, backwards as usual. Cut back to the Medic] Medic: Times four years. Minus...ve're not bread. Hmm. [He turns abruptly. The Spy is startled] Medic: Three days. Yes. [The strings rise to a crescendo while the camera dramatically zooms to the Medic's face. Deep chimes accent the moment] Medic: We all have three days to live. [The strings slow then stop. Cut back to the team. The Scout and Heavy look worried while the Engineer looks down at the floor. The Soldier, confused, counts off: one, two...] Demoman: Whooooooooo!! Woooooo!! [He appears in a flash from the idle Teleporter. He triumphantly celebrates his arrival with a crate of beer with limes wedged in the necks, his grenades on his vest removed to carry bottles. As his wobbles precariously on the Teleporter as it slows down, we can see that he is also festively clad in a sombrero and novelty Margarita shaped sunglasses while also carrying another beer] Demoman: Woo. [he looks around at their faces] What? [Expiration Date Title Card] [RED BASE: 70 HOURS TIL DEATH Cut to the RED BREAD building. It is now night and a lone Level 1 Sentry guards the entrance. A march-like drum beat plays] [Cut to a close-up of a poker table. A cigar smolders in the ashtray while the Spy unceremoniously drops a metal pail. It is filled with note cards. A literal bucket list.] Spy: This is a bucket. [Cut to a side shot of the mercenaries at the poker table. With the Demoman on the far right in the foreground grasping his bottle, everyone else is arranged counter-clockwise from him: Pyro, Sniper, Heavy, Scout, Soldier, and Spy on the right foreground. Everyone is wearing an odd watch with a large digital display. Half-standing, the Soldier examines the bucket.] Soldier: Dear God. Spy: There's more. Soldier: [astonished] No! Spy: [ignoring him] It contains the dying wish of every man here. [turns] Scout. You fuckin’ furry, you did collect everyone's dying wish? Scout: Oh, you bet! [He salutes. The Heavy slowly folds his arms.] Spy: Excellent. Gentlemen, synchronize your death watches. [Cut to a close-up of the watch. Red embossing tape declares it a "DEATH CLOCK". The display beeps as the various mercenaries set their watches. It reads 70:00:00. 70 hours left to live and counting. Taps-like trumpet-playing is heard.] [ All the mercenaries are expressionless except for the Heavy who is on the verge of falling asleep with his arms folded. The Spy steps from the front of the table and walks from right to left, lit cigarette in his right hand, and the left firmly clasped behind his back.] Spy: We have seventy hours to live. For most men, no time at all. [The camera cuts to a shot of the Spy walking behind Heavy's back. A Payload Pinball machine can be seen in the background. The music swells from mournful to patriotic. He places a hand on the Heavy's shoulder, jerking him awake. The Heavy momentarily looks guilty.] Spy: We are not most men. [The Spy now walks behind the table. The camera pans to a shot showing all the mercenaries gathered around the table intently focusing on his words.] Spy: We are mercenaries. We have the resources. The will. To make these hours count! [he gestures emphatically with his lit cigarette while the trumpets and drum beats swell] Spy: [sudden close-up while the background music cuts off] The clock is ticking, gentlemen. Let's begin. [Reverse shot with the bucket in the foreground. The mercenaries' expressions show varying degrees of interest. The Spy draws a note card from the bucket.] Spy: Our first dying wish is Scout's. [he gestures] He's... [The Spy examines the card. His brow wrinkles] Spy: ...drawn a picture of me getting vored by a Sergal. [The drawing is somewhat crude. The sergal’s cock is drawn in much greater detail than the Spy who is in the maw of the Sergal, becoming disemboweled with blood spurting everywhere.] Spy: [he peers closer] I have something radiating off of me. Scout: Yeah, those are stink lines. [He turns to the rest of the mercenaries in a mock whisper. The Heavy is mildly amused.] Scout: That's why the Sergal vored him. Cause he smells. Spy: [rolling his eyes as he draws another card] Yes I see. Here you've drawn me having... [The camera tastefully remains on his face.] Spy: [somewhat bemused] ...sexual congress with a dragon. [he tosses it and draws another while the Scout giggles] A dragon having sexual congress with me. [toss and giggle] Both of us relaxing post-coitus. [The Demoman confusingly mouths "post-coitus" and the Scout is nearly in tears with laughter.] Spy: [growing more irritated] I'm crying and the dragon has stink lines coming off of it. [he angrily throws the card down] Did anyone besides Scout put a card into the bucket?! [The Heavy and Sniper are slightly amused. The Scout is near breathless with laughter.] Scout: [giggling] Oh man, Classic Scout. Spy: [sighing] Fantastic. This was a huge waste of my time. Soldier: [pulling out a card] You did not read mine! Spy: [another sigh] Does it say you want the bucket? Soldier: [interrupting] Yes! [Disgusted, the Spy slides the bucket over as the rest of the mercenaries get up to leave. The Soldier greedily grabs the pail with both hands. The camera moves to an overhead shot of the now-empty table as the Spy pulls his Cigarette Case from his jacket and draws a cigarette.] Spy: See you all in hell. [he snaps the case shut] [The camera switches to the mercenaries walking down a hallway. The Soldier stops and examines his new bucket next to a sign pointing to the "LAB". Mid-tempo mysterious music plays with rhythmic drums, piano, and plucked strings. The Engineer and Medic walk by pushing Teleporters and piles of bread on two carts to the lab. A loaf of the bread falls off of the pile and Soldier gasps and grabs his bucket more tightly. The camera spotlights the loaf with ominous bass piano notes. A grin appears on his face as he stares at the fallen loaf. The screen cuts to black.] [SPY'S SMOKING ROOM: 58 HOURS TIL DEATH Cut to rear shot of the Spy sitting back in his leather arm chair. The room is dimly lit with moonlight and the warm glow of the fireplace. The Spy swirls his cut crystal glass and takes a drink whilst reading "Dapper Cadavar Monthly" magazine, as the track of the same name plays in the background. Someone knocks on his door.] Spy: Go away. [He flips a page and frowns. The Scout opens the door and peeks in.] Scout: Hey, ah, UwU, you got a second? Spy: Oh, Scout. Please. Go [bleep] yourself. Scout: [nervously] Yeah. Hey that's, that's funny. Um. Anyway I- [The Spy suddenly lunges towards the door, slamming it shut on Scout's body. He leans on it trying to force the furry out.] Scout: [in pain] Wait! Wait! Wait! Ow. Come on, Spy. [The Spy raises his knife, threateningly] Scout: I'm wedging my head through a door here to tell you I'm sorry. Spy: [rolls his eyes and gets off the door, light chimes and strings play] Make it quick. [he lights a cigarette] Scout: [straightening himself out] So, I did write down a last wish. [he brings out a card] I'd uh. I'd like to go on a date...with Miss Pauling. Spy: [turns] You? You're terrible with girls. Scout: What? No. No. No. Spy, look at this. And this. And this here. Spy, look at all of this. [he gestures to different parts of his body and spins around] Heh. No. I'm great with girls. [Scene flashes back to a cheap fast food joint. Scout and a busty, blonde haired fox are standing at a counter with buckets of "Conquistador Fried Giblets" brand chicken drumsticks.] Scout: We both got buckets of chicken. Wanna do it? Blonde fox: [shrugs] Eh, okay. [Scene switches back to Spy and Scout.] Scout: [frantic yet hushed strings play] But you, Spy. You are amazing with ladies. You know, classy ones. The kind that smell good, and can read. And that always have their glasses on just kind of crooked. You know? The ones that don't go for a guy like me. [Spy looks at Scout with a smug grin.] Spy: Hmm, and why is that, do you think? Scout: C'mon, Spy, I don't know. Spy: Well, a mystery we will take to our graves then. Goodbye. [Spy walks away to pour a drink. The bar has several bottles of RED wine, glasses, and a console. He selects a rocks glass to pour a hard liquor.] Scout: Wait. Wait. Ah. [sigh] Okay. Look. Fine. Spy. This never leaves this room [sigh]. You are better than me. All right? I need your help. [Spy stops pouring, looks up, and turns towards Scout.] Spy: I'll do it. On one condition. [The Spy pushes a button on the console and a microphone pops up. He blows into it, causing feedback which reverberates throughout the building. The camera goes from the poker table with the Demoman drinking, the Heavy and Sniper dozing, and the Pyro reading a magazine; to the Medic and Engineer in a lab, with the tumorized bread; and to Soldier carrying away a giant pile of bread loaves in his arms. All perk up to the sound of feedback on the speakers.] Spy: Say that [pushes microphone towards Scout] again. [The strings hold, then fade as the scene cuts to black.] [TRAINING GYM: 51 HOURS TIL DEATH Camera slowly pans into a nearly empty gymnasium. The Scout bounces on his feet on the right, looking nervous. The Spy calmly places a wine bottle on a cart and inspects two wine glasses. Behind him is a crash-test dummy, hanging on a stand. He places down a glass. Ominous bass strings play.] [The Scout coughs and the Spy delicately places the second glass down. He pushes the cart which rolls to a stop in front of the Scout. It also holds a bucket of drumsticks, red roses, a vase, and a box of RED chocolates.] Spy: [nonchalantly] Seduce me. [The Scout looks back, confused, and turns forward, arms akimbo.] Scout: You? Spy: [pointedly] Seduce me. Scout: What, Spy? I ain't gonna... Spy: SEDUCE ME!. Scout: [taken aback] Right! Right. Okay. [He looks down at the cart. He immediately picks up the bucket of fried chicken and lets out a quick sigh.] Okay... [He walks up to the Spy.] H-hey there, good-lookin'... I got a bucket of chicken... Spy: [He slaps the chicken out of Scout's paws.] I'm not one of your fried chicken tramps! I'm a woman! I like my men dangerous... Mysterious... [Spy takes the dummy into his arms and starts dancing with it briefly before holding it in front of him.] You want to be my lover?! Earn it! Seduce me! [He uses the dummy to slap Scout across the face, who looks up at him with a hurt expression in his eyes. Spy simply looks down at him with a smug grin on his face. An upbeat, funky jazz track starts playing.] [The camera cuts to a shot of Spy and Scout in a classroom setting. The word DINNER is written on the chalkboard as Spy says something to the Scout. Later, the Scout can be seen sitting at the head of a long banquet table. At the other end, the Demoman and Sniper can be seen playing the Piano and Saxophone, respectively. Behind him, the Pyro and Spy are holding a bottle of wine and a bucket of chicken. Scout reaches for the bucket of chicken with a grin on his face, but Spy slaps his paw away. The fork flies out of his paw and lands on the Demoman's eyepatch, whose other eye immediately widens.] [Cut back to Spy and Scout in the classroom, only this time DANCING is written on the chalkboard. Back in the previous room, Scout can be seen awkwardly dancing energetically. He points both his fingers at Spy, who merely shakes his head with disgust. The Spy proceeds to show Scout the proper way to dance, while Scout looks on in confusion. He attempts to mimic the Spy's actions, but instead sends the dummy flying into the Reel-to-Reel player behind them.] [In the classroom, the word DEMEANOR is now written on the board as the Spy continues to educate Scout, who is busy drawing a picture of Spy being came on by a Protogen. He hits Scout in the muzzle with the pointer, who reels back in pain.] [Scout can be seen reading a book titled Pick-up Lines for Fast Food Junkies. A can of BONK! is set in front of him. Jump cut to the future, and a pile of books has begun to accumulate around Scout, who has a pencil clenched between his teeth. More cans of BONK! can be seen littered around the room, and he is now reading a book titled Dating Nice Girls. Another jump cut, and the pile of books has been turned into a makeshift throne, which the Scout, who has the Bonk Boy on, reclines in it, a more confident expression on his face.] [Cut to the Scout back at the banquet table, and he extends his “pinkie” out as he holds the chicken. Later, he can be seen gently kissing the hand of the dummy as the Spy watches. The Scout then can be seen dancing around the room with the dummy. He lowers the dummy down, holding onto its back with one hand as he looks up to Spy, who nods his head in approval. The head of the dummy falls off as the music reaches a crescendo, and Spy eyes it with a bemused expression on his face. Cut to black.] [TRAINING GYM : 2 HOURS TIL DEATH Floodlights come to life, illuminating the Scout, who is sitting in a classroom chair in the middle of a wrestling ring. After a brief delay, he raises his paw in front of him to shield his eyes from the bright lights.] Spy: Final Question... [Cut to a shot of Spy, who is silhouetted against the floodlights.] You have a dinner date for seven... what time do you arrive? [He walks across the ring, awaiting Scout's answer.] Scout: Seven. A.M. Case the restaurant, run background checks on the staff. Can the cook be trusted? If not, I gotta kill him. [He makes a gun formation with his right paw. Spy can be seen walking around Scout as the camera rotates around him in the opposite direction.] Dispose of the body, replace him with my own guy no later than 4:30... [Spy looks down at Scout, and after a few seconds of thought, speaks...] Spy: You're ready. Scout: [hopeful] Really? Spy: [chucking softly] No. Everything you just said was insane... and, we are out of time. [He sets a glass of liquid in front of the Scout.] Congratulations. You're a failure. Scout: Oh... [He stands up, bringing the desk with him. He sits back down and slides out of his chair. The Spy rolls his eyes and shakes his head in amusement.] I failed, did I? Spy: [grinning] Yes. Scout: Did I? Spy: Yes... Scout: Did I? Spy: [Annoyed] Scout, where is this going? Scout: Where it's going is I don't need you. I'll put this date on myself! Spy: [An expression of disbelief crosses his face] Yourself...? Scout: That's right, fancy pants, myself! [The Spy's mouth twitches as he stops himself from laughing] So why don't you take your little failure, roll it up sideways, and- [The Spy taps his watch, voicelessly reminding Scout of the death watch] -Okay, crap, I gotta go... [He quickly downs the rest of his drink and begins to walk off-screen, but leans back towards the Spy.] Screw you, though... [He walks by an alarm that's labeled In Case of Briefcase theft, push button. As he does so, he turns around, casually hits the button with his fist, and points at the Spy as he walks away. Klaxons start going off and red alarm lights begin flashing.] [Fade to a shot of the Medic's Laboratory.] [MEDIC'S LAB : 1 HOUR TIL DEATH] [The blackboard has the results of previous teleporter experiments written on it. The camera slowly pans to the left, revealing the Engineer and Medic with a pair of teleporters set up between them. As the Medic inspects the teleporter, the Engineer calls out to him.] Engineer: Y'all ready? Medic: [Turning to the Engineer] Ready! [The Engineer picks up a loaf of bread. The tumors are now plainly visible on the outside. He sniffs it briefly, then recoils backwards, making a noise of disgust. He places the bread on the teleporter, and it disappears in a flash of light. About a second later, it reappears in front of the Medic, and begins chittering loudly, squirming in place.] Medic: Ooh! [The Medic leans forward with interest. The bread grows teeth and roars at the Medic, who lets out a scream of fear as the bread creature leaps at his throat and latches onto it. The Medic continues to scream as he grabs onto the bread creature and attempts to pry it off.] Engineer: Aww hell... [The Engineer walks off-camera as energetic drums start to play in the background. Cut to a shot of Miss Pauling on a scooter, speeding towards RED Base. A body bag and shovel can be seen strapped to the back of it. She ramps off the wooden bush and flies right through the curtain. A look of determination can be seen on her face. She comes to a stop outside a steel plate door and hops off of the scooter, shotgun in hand.] [RED BASE : 40 MINUTES TIL DEATH] [As Miss Pauling walks towards the door, the scooter falls onto its side. The severed hand of what is presumably the BLU Heavy falls out of one of the bags. Miss Pauling briefly turns towards the scooter, as if to set it back upright, but instead continues on towards the door. She places her back up against the wall to the left of the door and glances upwards briefly.] Miss Pauling: [Quickly] You're ready. Alright. [She lets out a deep breath, cocks the shotgun, and pushes the door open, spinning around and bringing the shotgun to Scout's fluffy chest, who's waiting for her there.] Scout: [unconvincingly] Miss Pauling. What an unexpected surprise. Miss Pauling: They took the briefcase... Don't worry, we can fix this. [She pushes past the Scout, who follows her.] We'll get it back, and the Administrator never has to know. [A security camera tracks their movements as Miss Pauling adjusts her glasses.] Scout: You look... You look... aahhhhhh... [Close up of the camera, then cut to a shot of Demoman, Soldier, and Spy in a room full of monitors, watching the two interact. Spy is sitting in the chair in front of the monitors while Soldier and Demoman stand behind him.] Demoman: DRUNK! Soldier: Round! Soft! No, round! Demoman: Blurry! [The Spy shakes his head, lowers his eyes, and brings his fingers to his temple in annoyance. Cut back to Scout and Miss Pauling.] Scout: ...Ravishing. Miss Pauling: [Briefly glancing over at Scout] Uh-huh. You too. [Brief flash over to Spy, whose gaze returns to the monitor.] Hold on... That's the briefcase right there... Scout, you... [She turns to Scout, then she notices something off-screen.] Scout, are we having a prom? [Cut to a shot of the room behind them, which is decorated with ribbons, balloons, streamers, and various themed decorations while rocking jazz music plays. One of Medic's doves can be seen sitting in a birdcage hanging from the ceiling.] Scout: Yeah. Nah. Yeah-ah. Well the... Yeah, the thing is... [Cut to a shot of Soldier, Spy, and Demo watching the monitors. Soldier has a grin on his face, Demo looks concerned, and Spy looks very worried. Suddenly the Engineer bursts in through the door behind them.] Engineer: Guys! Hey fellas, listen! It's just bread that gets tumors! Medic: [Appearing behind the Engineer] It's not even tumors! It's some form of self-aware beauty mark that only metastasizes in an environment of pure wheat. Here, watch this. [The Medic shakes up the jar he's carrying, which contains the bread creature from earlier. It spins around in the jar and comes to a stop.] Ooh, look! It hates me so much! [The bread creature attempts to bite the Medic again as the Soldier leans in for a closer look. The bread creature flips itself in the jar and gnashes its teeth at the bottom of the container, and the Soldier chuckles to himself at its actions. The Engineer walks up to Soldier and Medic and places his arms around their shoulders.] Engineer: [Laughing] So, we're fine. As long as nobody teleports any bread. Soldier: Question. Engineer: What's your question, Soldier? Soldier: I teleported bread. Engineer: You what? Soldier: You told me to. Engineer: [Threateningly] How... much...? Soldier: [Leaning backwards] I have done nothing but teleport bread for three days. [The Medic throws the jar containing the bread creature onto the ground. Shattering glass can be heard.'] Medic: Where?! [He grabs the Soldier by his coat.] Where have you been sending it?! [An ominous rumble shakes the entire base as the group look up at the ceiling. Cut to Scout and Miss Pauling, who are also looking up at the ceiling]. Miss Pauling: Scout... I get one day off a year. And you just wasted it on-- [She looks around her, pausing mid-sentence.] --this! Goodbye! Scout: OwO Wait! Wait! Wait! Ah... [Scout walks towards a door labeled Dining Area.] Why don't we discuss it over dinner...? (Note: captions read "diner")[He opens the door to reveal the maw of a giant bread monster, who lets out a loud roar, all while an epic orchestra plays.] Miss Pauling: [Yelling] What the hell is that!? [The bread monster crashes through the door as Scout pulls Miss Pauling out of harm's way. The two run for the exit as the bread monster lunges after them, crashing through a wall. Scout backs up as one of the tentacles swipes at him. The dove from earlier flies at the monster and is promptly eaten by it. The wooden platform they're standing on creaks from the weight of the monster. Both Scout and Miss Pauling look down at the wood below them. Another jolt knocks them off their feet. Now weakened, the wooden platform collapses, sending the trio plummeting to the dirt below. Miss Pauling tumbles unceremoniously to the ground, helmet falling off of her head. The Scout, meanwhile, bounces off the bread monster and lands on his feet in a battle stance. He glances down to his right, and picks up a long piece of twisted metal with a spike on the end of it to use as a makeshift weapon.] Scout: M-miss Pauling, wun! [Scout motions for her to escape to safety. Miss Pauling climbs to her feet and darts away, pressing herself up against the RED payload bomb. Heavy, Medic, and Pyro rush to the aid of Scout and Miss Pauling. Heavy and Medic pause and look at the bread monster with fear in their eyes.] Heavy: [Turning to the Medic] NOW, DOCTOR! [Medic looks at the Heavy, then flips the handle of his Medi Gun. The healing beam latches onto the Heavy, and the Medi Gun crackles with energy as the ÜberCharge is deployed. Heavy revs his mini-gun up and walks towards the bread monster, firing his weapon. The Pyro can also be seen engulfing the monster in flames. It smashes the cliff face with a tentacle, causing rock to come tumbling down on the Heavy, who endures the debris pounding down on his back.] [Cut to a shot of Miss Pauling watching the battle. The Pyro can be seen dashing back to the battle, having presumably been knocked back by the bread monster. Miss Pauling steps forward and turns to look at the bomb. The camera zooms in on the top of the bomb where the words DANGER: BOMB are spray-painted onto it. A look of realization appears on her face.] [Cut back to the battle, and the Pyro stomps on one of the tentacles. The bread monster turns his attention towards the Pyro, and immediately has its mouth filled with fire. It recoils in pain, letting out a loud roar. Scout can be seen dodging the tentacles, jumping onto one and using his makeshift weapon to impale one of the other tentacles. The Engineer smacks his Sentry Gun with his wrench, upgrading it to Level 2, and he motions for Demoman to join the battle as well.] [Miss Pauling has now removed the panel off of the detonation mechanism of the bomb, and can be seen frantically messing with the wires. Scout, meanwhile, runs up to the side of the bread monster and slams his club into it. He then gets grabbed by a tentacle and is yanked into the air. Just before the tentacles are about to be inserted, the Sniper arrives at the battle, and after a brief moment of aiming, shoots the tentacle holding Scout, freeing him from its grasp. The monster throws Scout at the Demoman, and they both collapse onto the ground. The Scout scrambles to his feet and rushes forward, but is stopped by an uncloaking Spy.] Spy: I think it's going pretty well... [He gives the Scout a pat on the back as a cloud of dust rolls over them.] Now go...! [He waves the Scout off and runs forward into battle. Scout turns back to Miss Pauling.] Scout: Hey, Miss Pauling. Oh, I am so sowwy... Miss Pauling: [Looking up from the wires] God, Scout, what for? Pressing the one button you're never supposed to press? Do you have any idea what's in a briefcase that-- [Miss Pauling spots the watch on Scout's arm] --Oh, oh! Give me your watch! [She holds her hand out expectantly] Scout: Yeah. Exactly! [He removes the watch from his arm and gives it to Miss Pauling] See, that is where this all starts! No, actually, wait... [The Scout is interrupted by a scream, and the Soldier flies into the hangar and lands on the ground.] Soldier: [proudly] HA HA HA! I TELEPORTED BREAD! [Soldier is grabbed by a tentacle, dragged over towards the monster, and then thrown into a pile of broken lumber. The Sniper attempts to take another shot at the monster, but instead is lifted into the air by a tentacle that has grabbed a hold of the barrel of the rifle. He gets swung to one side and loses his grip on his gun. The Sniper tumbles through the gravel briefly before getting back to his feet and taking out his Kukri. He's about to rush forward to attack the monster, but pauses as the RED Bomb trundles into view.] Scout: ...so that brings me to the point of this story, which is I like you, and you should probably be sitting for this... Miss Pauling: GUYS! CLOSE THE BLAST DOORS! [She points at the hangar they just exited from.] [Engineer looks at her, then abandons his Sentry, which is now Level 3, to rush into the hangar. The Medic runs in front of the camera as it focuses back on Scout and Miss Pauling.] Scout: Miss Pauling. Look, my wast few hours I just wanted... [The bread monster grabs a hold of the bomb and swings it around in the air. It lets out another roar.] Heavy: [Struggling to keep the blast doors open] COME ON! Scout: Um, never mind... OnO Miss Pauling: RUN! [The two rush towards the hangar, but they get cut off by the payload bomb being thrown at the blast doors, bending them and denying them access.] Scout: Oh God... [They back up towards the blast doors as the bread monster lumbers towards them slowly. A large fire has broken out behind it. Cut to a close-up of the furry and Miss Pauling. Scout is busy searching for an escape route while Miss Pauling has a look of terror on her face. Scout grabs a hold of her and yanks her off to one side as the bread monster knocks the bomb around. They take shelter behind it. Scout looks at the monster, which lets out a long roar. Fast zoom to the inside of its mouth, and the dove it vored earlier is seen sitting inside it. Scout and Miss Pauling look on, amazed, as the dove takes off and flies away.] [Miss Pauling looks Scout in the eyes, grabs a hold of his arm, and gives him a nod of approval. She lets out a yelp as one of the bread monster's tentacles slams into the ground. Scout grabs a hold of her and, making use of the dance moves he learned from Spy, keeps her safe from harm. They stop as he holds her up and looks at her. She looks back at him for a few moments, then shoots an oncoming tentacle with the gun in her hand. He twirls her back onto her feet and the two start running.] [Cut to a close-up of the timer, which ticks down to two seconds. Scout and Miss Pauling run at the bread monster as she lets out a yelp. The timer ticks down to one second as they leap straight into the open maw of the monster. It closes its mouth as the bomb explodes. A bright flash of light can be seen engulfing the monster, then the screen cuts to black.] [A match is lit, revealing Scout and Miss Pauling pressed up against each other in a dark enclosed space.] Scout: [Struggling] Aaahhhh... Ah... UwU, Miss Pauling, you all right? Miss Pauling: [Opening her eyes] I can't feel anything below my neck... Scout: Oh God... Miss Pauling: Oh. Now I can feel it. Ow. Ow. Scout: Oh God, I am so sorry. This is... Miss Pauling: That... was so... much... FUN! [A smile forms on her face] Scout: [A look of confusion on his face] You're not mad? Miss Pauling: [quickly] I was furious. Oh my God, you set off the briefcase alarm and you were having a prom for some reason. But then there was this monster and we shot it and we built a bomb and I think my leg's broken. Can we do this again? Scout: Yeah, sure! [He smiles, then it quickly turns into a frown] Wait, nah. We can't. I'm going to be dead. Miss Pauling: [Confused] Wait, what? Soldier: [Poking his head into the cavity] Good news! We're not dying! We are going to live forever! [The Heavy lifts up the side of the monster's body, allowing light to flood over Scout and Miss Pauling.] Medic:I didn't say that! I just said we're not filled with tumors! Scout: Oh thank God. [relaxes and chuckles] So yeah, Miss Pauling. I guess it's a date. Miss Pauling: Actually this is my only day off this year. Scout: Oh... Miss Pauling: Oh, but you can ride along with me on some jobs. [brings out a flip notebook] [The camera slowly pulls back to reveal the body of the monster, which now lays motionless. Engineer and Medic are seen at the bottom of the shot discussing something. Spy flicks open his disguise kit, plucks a cigarette out of it, then snaps it closed again. Heavy grabs one of the detached tentacles and heaves it off to one side, then walks over to the Demoman, who is carrying a case of beer under his arm. The Sniper is on the backside of the monster, cleaning his Kukri. As the camera pulls back farther, the Pyro can be seen coming into the shot, who has the small bread monster darting around his legs like a puppy as he tries to keep track of it.] Miss Pauling: Tomorrow...I'm belt sanding the fingerprints off a pile of corpses. Scout: Ah, no. Miss Pauling: Oh! You can help me yank the molars out of a box full of heads. Scout: No to that. Miss Pauling: Well, on Friday I got to kill someone who pressed a briefcase alarm button and...oh. [Cut to black] Miss Pauling: You're already going to be at that one. [The screen then cuts to a text with the Team Fortress 2: Free to Play logo with the sharp tolling of a bell. Another ring comes with the appearance of the text "www.teamfortress.com". The bell rings a third time and the screen blacks out again]
Welcome to the jungle! We've got fun and games. We got everything you want, honey We know the Pokémon names.... This article serves a few functions. First, it gives a perhaps-a-little-too-early look at the meta for the upcoming Jungle Cup, particularly from the perspective of which ones are likely worth the cost of adding a second charge move (nifty) and which ones would probably work out fine without a second charge move (thrifty). Since the meta has not been narrowed down yet, and because Jungle Cup is the first to include the massive Normal typing, this article has taken a while to write as I tried to whittle down without leaving too much out, and it's going to be a long read, I'll warn you up front! But I'll try to keep it entertaining, too. Let's get started! For those on a stardust budget--and/or folks trying to save up some dust for the future--it can be daunting trying to figure out where to spend or not spend it. We all want to field competitive teams of six, but where can we get the best bang for our buck and where should we perhaps instead channel our inner scrooge? Let's start with the more obvious "Nifty" choices:
KINGS OF THE JUNGLE
In the jungle the mighty jungle the Viggy sleeps toniiiiiiight.... These two are quickly forming up to be the core of the meta: you either have them, or you better know how to counter them or at least work around them. Not surprisingly, then, they are both worth second moves, but let's break it down a little more than that.... Vigoroth Body Slam & Bulldoze I think it is already safe to say that Viggy is going to be at the center of pretty much every infographic and meta breakdown you're going to see throughout July. With Counter alone, it immediately becomes the biggest threat to everything part Normal in Jungle Cup, and Body Slam is just a disgustingly powerful PvP move that will basically never be resisted. And on top of all that, Vigoroth has good bulk and a second move that's a rare-in-Jungle Ground type, which can punish Electrics, adding yet another potent use of Vigoroth. Between Counter, Body Slam, and Bulldoze, there is nothing in the Cup that Viggy cannot hit with at least neutral damage, and its high win rate shows that. Nothing in the game resists all of those moves. Vigoroth will be everywhere, and you're going to want one too. And yes, despite the 75,000 dust cost, you want...no, you NEED the second move. This is a big investment right off the bat, but rest easy... as you'll see below, you should have dust savings elsewhere to make up for it! Noctowl Sky Attack (& maybe Night Shade?) I know, based on early discussions you might have expected Forretress or something to be up in this elite company instead. I have my reasons it's not (which we'll get to soon). I think Noctowl deserves this spot. With a default 116 Defense and whopping 167 HP, Noctowl is a flying tank. Better still, it gets the best PvP Flying fast AND charge moves (Wing & Sky Attacks). Those alone are so good you barely need a second move, but since it costs only 10,000 dust, there is no harm in adding Night Shade or even Psychic if you really want to. But if you're looking for a budget friendly beatstick that doesn't lose to much (really only Electrics threaten it) and covers tons of the meta (all Grasses, Bugs, and anything that relies on Fighting rightly fears it), I think a Wing/Sky Attack Owl is gonna be your BFF and will be at the core of the meta throughout July.
10,000 Dust/25 Candy
As per usual, useful 'mons with the comparatively cheap 10,000 second move cost are going to all be recommended for adding those second moves. But also as per usual, I'm going to go into the why. Here we go! Beedrill X-Scissor & Sludge Bomb Let's start with the one that makes me hesitate to anoint Forretress or any other Bug a "King" of the Jungle. Beedrill has the highest projected win percentage among all Bugs in Jungle Cup. I repeat: Beedrill has the highest projected win percentage among all Bugs in Jungle Cup. Okay, yes, that relies a bit on shield baiting with X-Scissor, but the point is that while Beedrill has flittered about the edges of several Cups now (including the still ongoing Rainbow Cup), by golly, this may be his moment to crash full speed ahead into the core meta. Others like Forretress and Scizor and Vespiquen will be buzzing about too (and they're all very good, as we'll see later), but Beedrill now stands among them as a true equal. It still maintains its rep as a Grassassin by beating every Grass except rocky Cradilly and Confusioner Exeggutor, but also beats or ties every Electric except the Alolan Geodude family and the Steel-hardened Magneboys, beats or ties every Normal type that isn't Flying (and even there only loses to Noctowl, Chatot, and Fearow) or part Dark (hello, A-Rat) or part Psychic (and you too, Girafarig) or just a tank on feet (namely Munchlax). Its Poison/Bug typing, a liability in many past Cups, turns into a big advantage here, resisting Bug and Poison attacks and DOUBLE resisting Fighting and Grass. (Though it still needs to watch out for Flying and Rock attacks, its main threats now with Fire and Psychic all but gone.) This all means that it does struggle against Confusioners Venomoth and Dustox, Flying- or Rock-happy types like Scyther, Masquerain, and Armaldo, and ironically, against some of the other top Bugs, like Forret and Scizor (due to their own resistance to Beedrill's moves). If it seems like I'm spending extra time here pointing out very specific losses, it's because I am... because Beedrill beats just about everything I did NOT list. I have hyped Beedrill before, but this... THIS is his moment. And he's cheap! Don't miss out... the train is about to leave the station. Alolan GraveleGolem Rock Blast & Thunderbolt/Wild Charge Lumping these together because their stats, usage, and performance are basically identical at GL level. Their unique typing of Rock & Electric means they double resist Flying (and regular resist common Normal, Electric, and Poison attacks as well), but are vulnerable to Grass, Fighting, and doubly weak to Ground (which there is thankfully not much of in this Cup). That really defines their role as Flying slayers (they HANDILY defeat every single Flyer in Jungle Cup) who can also hang in there against most Electrics (only Brick Break Raichu, Water Gun Lanturn, and Rock-resisting Magneboys outlast it), non-Fighting Normals, and especially Bugs (only Bullet Punch Scizor and Fighting-in-disguise Heracross survive the Alolan Rocks). Keep them away from Fighting and Grass attacks, and the Alolan Rock Boys will take just about everything else to the limit... and they're nice and budget friendly too. Nifty AND Thrifty! Venusaur Frenzy Plantᴸ & Sludge Bomb Venusaur is still the king of Grasses, and despite a more hostile environment than it faced in Rainbow Cup, is still one of the top Pokemon in Jungle Cup. Frenzy Plant may not have as many super effective targets as you're used to, but it and Sludge Bomb still do big neutral (and occasionally super effective) damage to basically everything not named Forretress or Scizor. Venusaur beats Viggy (its Poison-driven resistance to Fighting moves helps tremendously) and basically everything that's not a top Bug or the very best of the best Flyers...Grasses and Electrics and non-Flying Normals all get trampled under its feet. Grass is already being discussed as perhaps the weakest type in the Cup, but Venusaur doesn't believe that crap. Especially if you already have one from a past Cup, there is little reason not to throw him out there again. I firmly believe Venusaur can still more than earn his place among your six. EDIT: And if you lack Venusaur, Ivysaur with Power Whip as a Frenzy Plant stand-in is a solid substitute. It can do virtually everything Venusaur can, just a little slower. It's still a better option than other Grasses below, including... Meganium Frenzy Plantᴸ & Earthquake Yet again, Meganium would be much more interesting were Venusaur not standing in its way. With a strictly worse second charge move, Meg really only has bragging rights over Venusaur versus Electrics, beating them all more consistently thanks to Earthquake (including the Magneboys, a rare loss for Venusaur) and a bit better bulk. But that's really about it. Venusaur does better versus Grasses (thanks to Sludge Bomb), Bugs, and many other picks, and is just better overall. Meg is fine, but it is outclassed (still). Sceptile Leaf Blade & Aerial Ace/Frenzy Plantᴸ That's right... in this case, Frenzy Plant is optional and generally inferior (in PvP, anyway) to already-existing move Leaf Blade, which fires early and often with Fury Cutter quickly charging it up. You can run both LB and FP, which is perfectly viable, but there is also the option of Aerial Ace, which combines with Fury Cutter to give Spectile a quasi-Grassassin role (though it still can force only a tie with ones like Venusaur and loses to most of the Razor Leafers). It is generally too squishy to make use of Earthquake, which is a shame since that would give it extra oomph versus Electrics. As with Meganium, Sceptile is viable, but Venusaur is just better, despite Sceptile having some niche advantages on paper (but seemingly not so much in practice). Torterra Stone Edge & Earthquake The forgotten Grass starter, Torterra is a potential Torterror. Stone Edge and Earthquake are slow to charge with Razor Leaf powering them, but they combine with Razor Leaf to provide excellent coverage: Electric, Bug, Flying, Water, Ground, Rock, Ice, Poison, AND Steel. Its typing can also confuse, with resistances you wouldn't expect of most Grasses, and it TRIPLE resists Electric, beating every single one in the Jungle, usually with Razor Leaf alone. Stone Edge is a must-have, as it hits its two biggest threats in the Cup (Bug and Flying) very hard, and if you're lucky, may KO them before they do the same to Torterra. Earthquake isn't strictly necessary, but is a powerful ability in PvP and superior to Stone Edge in terms of neutral damage/finishing move. As a starter 'mon, the second move still only costs 10k, and is worth it if you decide to trot out Torterror. Raichu Wild Charge & Brick Break Last month, it was a trio of Electric moves (Thunder Shock, Wild Charge, Thunder Punch) that Raichu wanted. This month, you still want KayChu around, but you want to TM that Thunder Punch into Brick Break. BB is not a good PvP move, but it IS a good move on Raichu, giving it punch (that pun NEVER gets old, right? 😉) against a number of things in Jungle Cup, especially (obviously) the many Normal types. Despite a lack of many direct threats to it in Rainbow Cup, Raichu does lose some ground to the Steel-laden Magneboys, but is still a solid option and likely one of the best leads around. Assuming you already have one, a single TM is likely all the investment you need to have it ready to go. I'll give a shout-out here as well to AlolanRaichu (with WC and TP). Many are already pointing out its resistance to Fighting moves (like Vigoroth's Counter) thanks to its Psychic sub-typing, and while that does allow it to force a tie with Viggy and handle a smattering of matchups better than Original Recipe Raichu, AhChu is notably worse outside of that handful of matchups. And again, it only manages to force a tie with the one 'mon that would make you want to bring it over KayChu. I don't think Surfer Dude makes the cut this time around. Munchlax Body Slam & Bulldoze Yep, even though his big brother costs 75k for the second move, Munchie is just a wee little tyke and gets the famed Baby Discount™. The shame of it in this Cup is that its fast moves are either awful (Tackle) or doubly resisted by all other Normals (Lick). Lick is still fast to charge though, which keeps Lax Jr. in the discussion because it has Body Spam Slam. Munchlax is an annoying little shield breaker with the bulk to spam a LOT of Body Slams, and with the occasional Bulldoze it can really put the hurt on Electrics. (In fact, it beats all Electrics except Raichu and Magneton.) You can also consider Snorlax, but Body Slam is a Legacy move for Tubby, meaning there's no way to get the Baby Discount and then evolve. And with its performance being slightly below Munchie anyway, I don't recommend it. Masquerain Silver Wind & Ominous Wind That's right: Masquerain has access to TWO (potentially) stat-boosting moves. And between the two of them, it can hit absolutely everything for at least neutral damage. And oh yeah, also only 10k to add that second move. Add in Air Slash as the fast move for that rare Flying/Ghost/Bug moveset, making it particularly good against Bug, Grass, Dark, Psychic, and Fighting. (And it also resists Bug and doubly resists Grass AND Fighting, BTW.) And those charge moves could flip a match heavily in your favor at any time with a stat boost. If you're looking for a budget-friendly Flying/Bug option, or you're just feeling really lucky with the odds of stat boosts, Masquerain may be for you. (Others are much more expensive, as we'll see in a bit.) Alolan Raticate Crunch & Hyper Fang Tread with caution here. A-Rat has been really good before, but remember that he is doubly weak to Fighting moves and also weak to Bug. It's still nice and bulky and generally does well if it can avoid those types of attacks, but there are a lot of them around to dodge. If you're feeling lucky and want to run A-Rat out there anyway, then there is no reason NOT to pay the low price for a second move, because Crunch and Hyper Fang are both pretty dang good and will pretty much never be resisted. (And Crunch--and its Dark typing--makes it a REALLY good counter to anything Psychic.) Kricketune X-Scissor & Bug Buzz/Aerial Ace Use it for its battle cry alone! Well, that and the fact that it's a very effective Grassassin, taking down every single Grass in Jungle Cup with its triple Bug moveset. Amazingly, it can also take down Vigoroth... but unfortunately doesn't do a ton else. This is a case of having a lot of wins without many of those wins mattering, as it still loses to most of the top tier Electrics, Flyers, and even Bugs. It's not useless by any means, it's just not as useful as you'd like. Pidgeot Aerial Ace & Hurricane There's a caveat here: Pidgeot is at its best only with Legacy Wing Attack. It still does better than most Normal Flyers with Air Slash, but with Wing Attack, only Noctowl is better, believe it or not. Go check... I'll wait. . . . Back? Yeah, like I said, strange but true! Pidgeot is similar to Noctowl in that it's quite tanky, and while it lacks Sky Attack, Wing Attack allows it to quickly get to its potent charge moves. Despite being limited to Flying-only moves, Pidgeot is legit GOOD in Jungle Cup. Yes, really! Staraptor Close Combat & Heat Wave/Brave Bird Lots of Flying/Normal types here, but Staraptor sets itself apart thanks to its charge moves. Heat Wave has good coverage vs Grass and Bug and more importantly exploits the ONLY weakness of Forret/Scizor, though it is awfully slow and a bit underwhelming. Close Combat is better, being much faster and still being SE versus many things in Jungle Cup, and is at least neutral vs Electric, which is more than most Flying types can say for their charge attack options. Only 10k dust to add Brave Bird or the aforementioned Heat Wave, as a reminder. That all being said, the slowness of the charge moves doesn't do Staraptor any favors. Fearow Sky Attack & Drill Run I know, I know... Fearow? I agree it is (rightly) an afterthought in all venues, but consider it has Sky Attack and the powerful (and very seldom seen) Drill Run in its movepool. And that second charge move costs only 10k dust and 25 candy you probably have hundreds if not thousands of lying around. I know, it's friggin' Fearow. But that is a nice moveset package, and affords Fearow more wins than many other Normal Flyers. Bayleaf Grass Knot & Ancient Power Bayleef's overall win percentage doesn't look overly impressive, but it does take down Vigoroth and every Electric (even Magnezone if it shields properly), which is what you'll typically ask of your Grass in this Cup. But the hidden benefit is that it carries a good Rock move in Ancient Power that, if unshielded, allows it to KO nearly every Bug and Flyer that would otherwise have it for lunch (Steely Scizor and Forret being the exception). That may not happen often, but when it does... it will be a GREAT feeling. No other Grass really has that kind of potential. BIG caveat though: Bayleef needs to be maxed (if you didn't already do so for similar reasons in Rainbow Cup), but if you feel like doing that, Mr. Moneybags, you got yourself a uniquely threatening little nifty Razor Leafer there. But it is NOT for the Thrifty.
50,000 Dust/50 Candy
The 10k moves are pretty easy to justify, but here is where the real decision making starts to come in to play. 50,000 dust is not something easily tossed away. There are a few eligible 'mons that are very much worth it, though, and here they are! Heracross Megahorn & Earthquake/Close Combat I've talked about Heracross several times before. Heracross is one of very few Counter users in this Normal-heavy Cup, and I think indisputedly the best not named Vigoroth. Heracross beats every single Normal type that is fixed to the ground, mighty Bugs Forretress and Scizor that typically give other 'mons trouble, and all the top Electric options except Raichu (the Magneboys and Alolan Rocks REALLY get destroyed). The tradeoff for this impressive résumé is that it's a Bug that actually loses to most of the big Grasses in 1v1 shield scenarios (though it still wrecks them all if it can land an unshielded Megahorn). As was the case in Nightmare Cup, Heracross is best pounding on things with Counter and then swapping out to nuke a big charge move later, since none of its charges are particularly fast. But however you use him, Heracross--more than in any past Cup--has a true role in Jungle Cup and is worthy of a second move (both CC and EQ have merit) to pair with Megahorn. Just keep it away from Flyers! Breloom Seed Bomb & Sludge Bomb/Dynamic Punch The only Fighting type here except for Heracross, Breloom is similarly fragile to Flying...and unfortunately fragile overall. But it hits like a truck with Counter, and has a suite of charge moves so impressive that its exclusive move Grass Knot doesn't even make the cut. Seed Bomb is strictly better (especially accounting for Breloom's frailty), and either Sludge Bomb or Dynamic Punch are both huge, even if you're only able to get to them once. Breloom can outslug even heavy hitters like Vigoroth and SnoMunchlax and blows up the major Electrics as well. And while it loses to most of the Grasses and Bugs (though Forret crumbles under the Counter assault), it beats the tar out of many of them in the process. If you like grassglass cannons, Breloom is your guy. Victreebel Leaf Blade & Sludge Bomb I've written about Victreebel several times before, including in a recent spotlight on Razor Leafers, but in short: I am firmly convinced Vic is the best overall Razor Leafer, even in this expanded Cup. The reason is simple, really: Leaf Blade and Sludge Bomb are both very good moves that you can realistically reach even with low-EPT Razor Leaf. Yes, 50,000 dust for a Sludge Bomb (or Acid Spray/Leaf Tornado if you like stat manipulation trickery) you may not get to as often as you'd like can be frustrating, but it's worth it if you plan to run Vic out there, because when you do it can turn several losses into game-changing wins. Check the article I just linked to for my general thoughts on other Razor Leafers, if you want to pursue any of those, but Vic stands above them all, IMO. Vespiquen X-Scissor & Power Gem A new contender in competitive PvP, many have been looking forward to using Vespiquen because not only does it have very good bulk and a solid Bug moveset (Bug Bite and X-Scissor), it also totes around a Rock move in Power Gem. The theory is that while the Bug side handles the Grasses (it does... Vespie is a solid Grassassin), Power Gem can give it reach against things Bug typically struggle with, namely Flying types and other Bugs. And it... sorta does, but not as effectively as you'd probably hope. Power Gem just isn't a very good move, sadly. That being said, in cases like this, the sims don't always tell the full story on the surface. Vespie IS a very solid Bug, so being able to farm some energy in the right matchups and/or dispatch Grasses quickly and effectively means a good chance of having a Power Gem ready to chuck at the next 'mon up. And that has value that sims don't always show. I concur with the general consensus that Vespiquen is a solid option in Jungle Cup, just don't expect to be throwing around Gems as often as you might like... it will take a little strategery (SNL FTW) and planning, but it CAN be pulled off. And that is worth 50,000 of your dust, in my estimation. Yanma/Yanmega Silver Wind/Bug Buzz & Ancient Power Hey, another Bug (TWO Bugs!) with a Rock move! On paper, YanMAGA (yes, picture them both wearing MAGA hats... mwahaha) both sport moves that should push them to the top of the Bug stack. Wing Attack AND good Bug charge moves AND Ancient Power? What could go wrong? Well, sadly they're both pretty squishy, and that alone is why I think their projected win rates both hover at 50% in sims. That can all change in a heartbeat if Silver Wind or Ancient Power trigger their stat boosting magic, but unless you feel luckier than me, I don't think that's worth banking on. You'll get a few minutes of fame in your tournament if it ever works out that way, though! And if you're going for broke with these two, you need both moves, so shell over that 50k dust and make sure the horseshoe up your backside is firmly pushed in there! (Haha, two lasting mental images in one paragraph. You're welcome!) Cradily Grass Knot & Stone Edge Dilly dilly! This goofy flower... rock... thing is a legit contender in this rumble in the jungle. Cradily is uniquely capable of taking down many of the Grasses (including Exeggutor and mighty Venusaur), all Electrics except the Magneboys, and all Normal type Flyers (with the exception of a virtual tie with tanky Noctowl). It does not like most ground-based Normals (especially those with Fighting moves) or most Bugs, but the one-of-a-kind versatility makes it a solid option for your sixth pick as a wild card. Armaldo Rock Blast & Cross Poison Another unique option, and again a viable one, crossing Rock with Bug this time. Fury Cutter and Cross Poison (a low power but very spammy move, especially with FC) keep the pressure on Grasses you expect of your Bug... but its Rock typing means that it's often on the losing side. Armaldo's best role is actually as an anti-Bug, anti-Flyer option, where it performs admirably while its unique typing allows it to resist Normal and Poison attacks and, unique for a Rock type, take only neutral damage from Grass and Fighting. It is unlikely to blow out any matches beyond its speciality, but it usually doesn't GET blown out either. It's another solid option at the back of your team's bench. Zangoose Close Combat & Night Slash Zangoose does not have an overly impressive win percentage in Jungle Cup. But what it does have is unpredictability. Quick, name me Zangoose's potential moves! Aaaaaaaand go! Couldn't do it, right? Hopefully the opponent can't on the fly either. Both fast moves are viable (though my personal recommendation would be Fury Cutter over oft-resisted Shadow Claw), and Close Combat has obvious use while Night Slash can apply some shield pressure. Just don't use Dig, despite the temptation of Ground damage. (It's a trap!) Even I will not give Zangoose a rousing endorsement, but as a wild card to throw the opponent off their game, a la Gyarados in Rainbow Cup, it's worth a look. Lanturn Thunderbolt & Hydro Pump As always, Lanturn balances its Electric and Water halves really well. Unfortunately, Water is much more of a liability than an advantage in the jungle, with few super effective targets and a vulnerability to a wide swath of the meta. It sims at under 50% win rate with wins against Pidgeot, the Magneboys, and the Alolan Rock Boys, but not much else of note. If you have one left from past Cups you can playtest it, but I think it is going to take a back seat to several other Electrics in July. Magnezone Wild Charge & Flash Cannon Bet you thought by now I had forgotten this big boy, huh? While I will discuss why I think I still prefer Magneton later, Magnezone does sim a bit better overall. The reason is superior bulk (on average, 7 more Defense and 8 more HP than 'Ton). That being said, Magnezone is more plodding than you're used to with the other zippy Magneboys. Wild Charge and even Flash Cannon aren't SLOW, per se, but combined with Spark it feels that way after you've used Magneton and Raichu and the like. Zone isn't going to bring the shield pressure you expect with its predecessor, but it does bring home the wins against many relevant Pokemon among each typing, and crashes every single Flying type back to the ground hard. Especially considering its crazy long resistance list (TWELVE single or double resistances that include Bug, Electric, Grass, Flying, Normal, Poison, and Rock), Zone is a very viable, tanky Electric for those that will miss the just-buried Lanturn.
75,000 Dust/75 Candy
So far it's been a pretty "Thrifty" article, with mostly 10k dust options and a few non-critical 50ks. But start the breathing exercises, because there are a few where the 75k second move buy is not just recommended, but I would say necessary if you plan to utilize the below Pokémon. Here we go.... Forretress Rock Tomb & Heavy Slam This floating ball of death remains among the very bulkiest 'mons in the Cup and features nine resistances, including Bug, Grass, and Poison, and takes only neutral damage from everything else except its fatal flaw: a double weakness to Fire. Thankfully, unlike in Rainbow Cup, there is very little Fire to worry about! Forret remains a Grass killer, mowing down EVERY Grass type except a super close loss to a Fighting-heavy Breloom. It also mows down nearly every other Bug (really only Fighting Heracross and Flying-move-laden Scyther and Ninjask can upend it). Overall it performs better against Grasses and Bugs than Bug hero Beedrill up above. BUT it struggles a bit more versus a plethera of Normal types (losing to nearly every Flying one and others with funky Ghost or Fire or Ground moves) and doesn't handle Electrics very well (taking losses against the majority). That all being said, it is still a very solid investment--with a win rate just barely below bait-happy Beedrill--despite the high cost for a second move. Note that unlike last month, Earthquake is not recommended, but Heavy Slam instead rises back to the top. (Keep Rock Tomb for Bugs and Flyers, though.) Hopefully you have one built from Rainbow already and are just a cTM away from having it ready to throw into the breach. Savings! Scizor X-Scissor & Iron Head Super spammy with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor and with the same extensive resistance list as Forretress, Scizor is frailer but applies a lot more shield pressure than its plump Bug/Steel comrade. However, it needs a harder hitting move to close things out in many matchups. Iron Head is the best it's got, and it also gives it a nice move to use when Bug is resisted (and is itself resisted by a LOT less than in Rainbow Cup). It's biggest threat in Fire mostly removed now, Scizor is unshackled to bring good pressure to most everything else in blindingly quick fashion. The FC/XS/IH moveset gives it a projected win rate comparable to Forretress and Beedrill, so while the cost hurts, that second move is well worth it. X-Scissor is very useful but often needs help from a more potent move to seal the deal. Scyther X-Scissor & Aerial Ace/Bug Buzzᴸ Not nearly as sturdy as its already somewhat squishy evolution Scizor, what Sycther has going for it is aerial damage from above. Scyther is by far the best of the small group of Bugs that can utilize Flying fast AND charge moves, so there's a case to be made for Air Slash/X-ScissoAerial Ace, giving you a Flyer that is not as weak to Fighting moves as the Normal Flyers. With this set it still beats all relevant Grasses (that are not part Rock, at least) and nearly all relevant Bugs (Scizor and Venomoth force a tie, and only Air Slash Masquerain and Rock-chucking Armaldo come out on top). The downside is that it loses to many of the Normal picks you'll see, and every single Electric. But it still piles up the damage quickly, and if you want to try it out, once again you need to make the most of both of its typings with related moves. The 75k is a must for Scyther to be seriously considered... and I think he DOES bear serious consideration this time around. (As a parting thought, Fury Cutter is a perfectly viable move too--though I'd make sure to pair it with Aerial Ace--as is Legacy Bug Buzz if you have it.)
100,000 Dust/100 Candy
Good news, everyone! There are not any Legendaries I recommend in July. Put that dust and rare candy away, trainers! Raikou is viable, I guess, but I'd only try it if you already have one. With Shadow Ball being resisted by all the many Normal types in this Cup, Raikou really just becomes a more limited Raichu. And Zapdos and Celebi have interesting typings but their moves continue to let them down. Not only not worth a second move, but probably not worth using at all. Really, it's already been a pretty cost-friendly review. Other than a 75k option here and there, you've mostly been able to tighten the purse strings. And we haven't even gotten to the official "Thrifty" options yet! Well here they are... 'mons you (probably) don't even need to buy a second move for:
Ludicolo Ice Beam Remember how I said Vic was head and shoulders above the other Razor Leafers? Well this may be the one exception. Ludicolo has been waiting for his chance, and this... may be it? It does do what you want your Razor Leafer to, for the most part, but sadly its primary use as an anti-Water goes mostly to waste here. So while it's very okay, it doesn't stand out in any significant way, though being able to launch an Ice Beam or two is nice if you ever get to do it against an opposing Grass or Flyer. I can't really recommend him yet, unfortunately, but you can perhaps hope to mesmerize the opponent with those dance moves. Go, Ludicolo... go! Gloom Sludge Bomb Okay, TWO exceptions. Last one, I promise! Gloom has good bulk and access to Sludge Bomb. Moonblast is available and has some interesting applications, but it and the slow-charging Petal Blizzard are not gonna cut it with the slow-as-molasses-to-charge Razor Leaf. Gloom is exactly that: a Razor Leafer, and a surprisingly sturdy one at that, with bulk comparable to Venusaur. Sludge Bomb isn't fast to charge either, but you should at least realistically get to it once or twice, and it hits most everything hard. But no need for a second move. Set it and forget it... this is probably the thriftiest viable Grass option on the list, as you only need a Level 32ish Oddish and an evolution and voila, you're good to go. That alone nets it a viable 60% win rate in Jungle Cup. Girafarig Thunderbolt Girafarig is a rare Normal that isn't weak to Fighting (neutral instead). And it gets Confusion, which is always nice. But then there's the charge moves. Mirror Coat is an extremely underwhelming move. and Psychic (the move) is as well. That leaves you with Thunderbolt, which is fine to run with Confusion and be done with it. Girafamarigwhatsit doesn't have a great win rate in Jungle, but what it does (threaten Poisons and Fighting and Flying), it does... well, meh again. It DOES manage to shred Venusaur, Beedrill, Venomoth, and actually every other Poison-typed 'mon, for what that's worth. Use it for the lolz in a casual tournament, because this may be your one and only shot!
Crouching Luxray, Hidden Porygon
Get it? Luxray is vaguely tiger-like, and Porygon is roughly dragon-shaped... eh. These are the jokes, kid! Anyway, these two are curious cases. Porygon has some very interesting Legacy moves (Discharge and Signal Beam look particularly tasty) and Luxray has good charge moves in Wild Charge and Crunch, but what really sets this pair apart is the controversial fast attack Hidden Power. A Fighting or Fire or Rock or Ground HP looks interesting on paper, but Hidden Power is just a lousy PvP move, with barely average damage and below average energy generation. I encourage testing with them if you have one ready with an intriguing HP type, but just prepare to be let down, as I have with extensive testing of HP Starmie in the past. Hidden Power really needs a boost....
There are a couple of relevant 'mons that can swing one way or the other depending on available Legacy moves: Magneton Magnet Bomb & Dischargeᴸ HERE'S Magneton... told you I'd get to it. As I've written in several NoTs before, if you have Discharge (and especially if you ALSO have fast-charging Legacy Thunder Shock), Magneton punches way above its CP with super spammy Electric and generally-unresisted Steel damage. (Magnet Bomb allows it to hang in there versus many of the Grasses, for example.) Speedy and less frail than stats alone imply thanks to its TWELVE resistances, Mags should see a bit of renaissance here after sitting mostly on the sidelines since Tempest Cup. BUT, if you don't have Discharge, consider looking instead to Magnezone (up earlier in the article). A Spark Magneton with Discharge and Magnet Bomb can work, but a Thunder Shock one with any Electric move except Discharge just will not cut it. Venomoth Silver Wind & Poison Fangᴸ Venomoth can't even get to a 40% win rate with its current movepool, but feast your eyes on what adding in Poison Fang allows it to do. It is a very good Grassassin (only Confusioners withstand it) that also takes out basically every non-Flying Normal/Bug and every non-Steel Bug. This may end up being its best showing since its feature role in Twilight Cup, but it relies on lowly little Legacy Poison Fang. Moth could get by as a Toxicroak counter way back when without Fang, but that ain't gonna fly this time. Exeggutor Seed Bomb The Legacy move in question here is actually the fast move, Confusion. With it, Eggy is a potent force that quickly picks apart anything part Fighting or Poison and deals big damage to most everything else too. But tread lightly: Eggy has a lot more threats than it did in Rainbow Cup. While it does resist Electric, Fighting, and Grass, it is notoriously weak to Bugs (the famous Mighty Moth Challenge exists because of Eggy, remember?) and also succumbs rapidly to Flying attacks. It isn't simming particularly well, but if you have a Legacy one you want to flex, you can do so without having to invest in a second move (Seed Bomb is all you'll realistically be able to make use of anyway). Test it out and prove me wrong! Pinsir X-Scissor & Close Combat The Legacy caveat here: Pinsir needs the energy generation of Legacy Fury Cutter to succeed in July. With it, Pinsir carries a very respectable win rate (though it is again inflated a bit due to X-Scissor shield baiting). But with good Bug and Fighting moves, it's sort of like a mini Heracross. If you lack 'Cross, Pinsir may be worth a look... but oof on that 75k second move unlock cost. And that's it! As I did last month, I'll be putting my Didn't Make The Cut section in a comment so I don't go over the character limit. 😁 As with all my articles, take all of this with a big grain of salt. I'm not trying to persuade you one way or the other, and of course everybody's dust situations are different. But if you don't have a dust pool/vault resembling that of Scrooge McDuck, then perhaps this can help you balance the cost of where to be thrifty with your hard-earned dust (and candy!). Before I close, a shout-out to the wonderful PvPoke, my go-to simming resource, and the awesome GO: Stadium PvP Discord. (Join today! It's a great place to chat all things PvP.) Too many buddies there to name who have helped me become a better PvP player and writer, but you guys know who you are. And thanks to all of YOU in the Arena who have encouraged me over the last few months and supported my silly little (okay, HUGE) articles. Thank you! Please feel free to throw your own ideas (or disagreements!) into comments. These are just more off the cuff thoughts of one of many PvP players and far from exhaustive. Please, discuss! EDIT: Thanks for the Silver, kind stranger! EDIT 2: Added Ivysaur. And also, thanks for the gold! Very grateful people enjoy these so much.
Welcome to the Sports Betting Odds section of The Vegas Book. If you are new to sports betting and don’t understand how to read betting odds (+150, -110, +2200, etc) we will lay it all out for you and help you learn how the betting odds work. Online & Vegas sports betting odds & lines, betting news & picks for 2020. Covers the most trusted source of sports betting information since 1995. We offer regularly updated information on first goal scorer bets in Forfar to get you the best odds when betting on football. Sky Bet £20 Free Bet with £5 Stake Realbookies.com PPH Software – Run your own Sportsbook for only $10 per head!. Online Sportsbook – Bet at America’s Favorite Sports Bookie – 100% Bonus!. ScoresandStats.com – Get the information you need in order to win big at sports betting. AcePerHead.com – Get 6-Weeks FREE Premium Pay Per Head Service for less than $10.00 Per Head! £40 Bet £10 get £30 in free bets + 10 casino bonus. Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To
Guide to Reading Betting Odds: What they Mean & How to Use Them
Betting Odds 58 views. 10:55. RATING Fergie's LAST 30 Signings At Man United - Duration: 13:51. HITC Sport Recommended for you. 13:51. 12 Year Old Boy Humiliates Simon Cowell - Duration: 5:37. Iain MacMIllan is back to break down the PGA Tour odds for the Memorial Tournament, his five key stats for Muirfield Village Golf Club, and his top three golfers that he'll be betting on this week. SBR brings you Serie A weekly picks, odds and predictions! With our Host Flash and our experts Alex Campean and Tancredi. They will share the best picks and predictions for this week's games ... - - - - TIME STAMPING BELOW - - - - Ariel Epstein and Jared Smith are back again for another Thursday edition of The Morning After! Ariel and Jared discuss the ongoing negotiations in the MLB ... This is a great way to get to know certain players and check recent form when sports betting or trading. WEBSITE: https://www.betformula.co.uk FREE FOOTBALL ...