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Complete Guide to The Kingdom Cup meta

(Original post from Pokemongohub.net)

The Kingdom Cup is Silph Arena’s fourth themed global tournament, featuring Fire, Ice, Dragon, and Steel type Pokémon. The Cup lasts from April 1st – 30th. Participants can use Pokémon that have at least 1 of the allowed types, there can’t be two of the same Pokémon in the team, and matches can only be held in the Great League format (<1500CP). The official Cup website is available here. This article will guide you on the which Pokémon are on the top tier of this meta, how to counter them, and how they relate to other top tier Pokémon.

Overview of the Kingdom Cup Meta

The Kingdom Cup Meta

This analysis is the simplified version of The Kingdom Cup, which shows you how the meta will revolve in general. There are four groups here: the Bulky Steel-types, the Dragon-types, Lucario, and Charizard.

The Bulky Steel-types are some of the best walls around. Bastiodon leads them with its high Defense and access to Smack Down, intimidating any Fire-types that stand in its way. Melmetal has an advantageous moveset that lets it charge Thunderbolt and Rock Slide very quickly. It also helps it secure an edge over Fire-types, as well as Ice and Flying-types.

While Fighting-type is not one of the four types, The Kingdom Cup still has access to an excellent wallbreaking Fighting-type, Lucario. It can boost with its Power-Up Punch and can charge it fast and hits hard with Counter. It can also hit almost all Pokémon in the meta with at least neutral effectiveness. On the other hand, Charizard functions as a Lucario Counter that can survive its Fast Move but needs shield support. It also has access to the devastating Blast Burn, which is scary even on neutral effectiveness.

Finally, Dragon-types have two different functions. First, Flygon functions as a Steel-type counter with access to Earthquake, as well as a Charizard counter with Stone Edge, as long as it shields the opponent’s Dragon Claw. Second, Altaria and Dragonair are bulky generalists that can wall both Charizard and Flygon as long as they put their respective’s Dragon Claw at bay. Plus points for Dragonair for actually doing a decent job against Bastiodon because of its access to Aqua Tail and lack of a Rock-type weakness, the bane of Altaria’s existence.

There are a few other Pokémon that are also worth noting for use in The Kingdom Cup. To start, let’s mention some Pokémon that function the same as some of the Pokémon mentioned earlier. Magneton is a somewhat lesser version of Melmetal, but with STAB Electric-type moves. It also needs the legacy Discharge to be usable. Blaziken is a weaker version of Lucario, but it does defeat Lucario and have enough energy to charge up Stone Edge (or Brave Bird if you are lucky to have a legacy Blaziken.) Alolan Marowak has the best matchup against Lucario or any other Fighting-type in the meta since it doesn’t fear any Fighting-type moves. However, it does need to shield Lucario’s Shadow Ball.

As for other Pokémon that are worth mentioning, Steelix has the odd distinction of walling Melmetal and Bastiodon but falls flat against Lucario and Charizard. Some of the Water/Ice types like Lapras and Sealeo are good counters to Dragon-types even if they use Water Gun instead of their Ice-type Fast Move but surprisingly struggles against the Bulky Steel-types. Other Dragon-types like Kingdra and Shelgon have their niches but are outclassed by the three other Dragon-types. Finally, Skarmory may not be as threatening as it was in its last appearances, but it can still go toe-to-toe with Altaria, Dragonair, and even Flygon with proper shielding.

Pokémon Overview

Pokemon GO LucarioLucarioFighting Steel
Effective Stats at Level 20.5 (IV 1/15/15)
ATK 143 DEF 96 HP 113
Weaknesses Resistances
Fire Fighting Ground Bug x2 Rock x2 Poison x2
Normal Grass Dragon Dark Steel
Best PvP Move Set for Lucario
Counter Fighting Power-Up Punch Fighting Shadow Ball Ghost
Super Effective Versus
Normal Rock Steel Ice Dark Normal Rock Steel Ice Dark Ghost Psychic
Move Stats
  • Power 8
  • Energy 7
  • Duration 1
  • DPT 8
  • EPT 7
  • Power 40
  • Energy 35
  • DPE 1.14
  • Boost ATK (1 Stage)
  • Power 100
  • Energy 55
  • DPE 1.82
  • Dust cost 10000*
  • Candy cost 25*

Lucario is the top dog (no pun intended) of The Kingdom Cup, being able to not only break the gigantic wall that is Bastiodon but also overpower the meta with its powerful Attack Stat and access to Counter, Power-Up Punch, and Shadow Ball. While it is considered a Glass Cannon given its meager defense, its Steel-typing lets it have a plethora of resistances, most notably Rock and Dragon-type.

Counter: That Steel-typing is a double-edged sword since it does add a Fire, Ground, and Fighting-type weaknesses, meaning it fears Charizard and Alolan Marowak the most. Also, because it’s not that bulky, it’s easy to revenge kill. Once you’ve used your Lucario first, your opponent’s Lucario might swoop in and finish yours off. Even with lower HP, Altaria can even stand in without using Sky Attack.

How to get it: You can get Riolu via 7km or 10km eggs, but they are scarce. Once you do get one, it should have relatively low IVs, not more than 540 CP. Otherwise, you need to trade to get a lower IV one. Remember to unlock the second charge move before you evolve, so the dust cost is 10,000 instead of 75,000.

Pokemon GO BastiodonBastiodonRock Steel
Effective Stats at Level 40 (IV 12/15/15)
ATK 84 DEF 238 HP 134
Weaknesses Resistances
Fighting x2 Ground x2
Water
Poison x4 Normal x2 Flying x2
Ice Bug Rock Dragon Fairy
Best PvP Move Set for Bastiodon
Smack Down Rock Flamethrower Fire Stone Edge Rock
Super Effective Versus
Flying Bug Fire Ice Bug Steel Grass Ice Flying Bug Fire Ice
Move Stats
  • Power 12
  • Energy 8
  • Duration 1.5
  • DPT 8
  • EPT 5.33
  • Power 90
  • Energy 55
  • DPE 1.64
  • Power 100
  • Energy 55
  • DPE 1.82
  • Dust cost 75000
  • Candy cost 75

Bastiodon is one of the bulkiest Pokémon in Great League. With way fewer threats in The Kingdom Cup than it has in Great League, Bastiodon will have an easier time walling Pokémon and use its surprisingly powerful Fast Move, Smack Down. It also has access to Flamethrower for Steel-types hoping to wall it and Stone Edge for bigger and more effective damage.

Counter: Its Rock and Steel typing makes it double weak to Fighting and Ground-types, meaning Lucario and Flygon can not only quickly dispose of Bastiodon; they both resist Smack Down. Though, Lucario should be wary of Flamethrower. Steelix can also wall Bastiodon easily and hit back with either its neutral moves in Gyro Ball and Crunch or use Earthquake, especially in late-game or no shield scenarios, but like Lucario, it still doesn’t appreciate Flamethrower.

How to get it: To make sure you reach 1500 CP, Bastiodon usually needs higher IVs. While hatching one from 10 KM is the best way to get a high IV one (at least 491 CP), you would most likely need to spend at least 262,000 Stardust which might be a steep price for most people, but around 225,000 Stardust if you caught a high-level, weather-boosted one. Shieldon is uncommon, yet it spawns more on certain biomes.

Pokemon GO MelmetalMelmetalSteel
Effective Stats at Level 15.5 (IV 0/15/15)
ATK 119 DEF 108 HP 146
Weaknesses Resistances
Fire Fighting Ground Poison x2
Normal Grass Ice Flying Psychic Bug Rock Dragon Steel Fairy
Best PvP Move Set for Melmetal
Thunder Shock Electric Rock Slide Rock Thunderbolt Electric
Super Effective Versus
Flying Water Flying Bug Fire Ice Flying Water
Move Stats
  • Power 3
  • Energy 9
  • Duration 1
  • DPT 3
  • EPT 9
  • Power 80
  • Energy 45
  • DPE 1.78
  • Power 90
  • Energy 55
  • DPE 1.64
  • Dust cost 100000
  • Candy cost 100

Melmetal may not be as bulky as Bastiodon, but its typing and access to Thunder Shock to quickly charge its Charge Moves; Rock Slide and Thunderbolt, make it a good shield breaker. It can even instill fear in Charizard and other Fire and Flying-types.

Counter: Its unique Steel-typing means it still fears Lucario, Flygon, and Steelix. If you don’t have shields, Charizard with Blast Burn is a nightmare as long as it doesn’t have the energy advantage. Finally, while it does have a good Steel-typing, once it goes half damage, it’s pretty easy to overwhelm it since it just has above average defense.

How to get it: Meltan can easily be obtained via the Mystery Box. The CP you need to evolve varies (around 430-450 CP). You can use Pinap Berries to easily farm up candies since you will need 400 candies to evolve and 100 more candies to unlock a second Charge Move.

Pokemon GO CharizardCharizardFire Flying
Effective Stats at Level 19.5 (IV 0/13/15)
ATK 132 DEF 110 HP 118
Weaknesses Resistances
Rock x2
Water Electric
Grass x2 Bug x2
Fire Fighting Ground Steel Fairy
Best PvP Move Set for Charizard
Fire Spin Fire Blast Burn* Fire Dragon Claw Dragon
Super Effective Versus
Bug Steel Grass Ice Bug Steel Grass Ice Dragon
Move Stats
  • Power 9
  • Energy 10
  • Duration 1.5
  • DPT 6
  • EPT 6.67
  • Power 110
  • Energy 50
  • DPE 2.2
  • Power 50
  • Energy 35
  • DPE 1.43
  • Dust cost 10000
  • Candy cost 25

Charizard is one of the few Pokémon that can actually take Lucario on and legitimately scare would be revenge killers with its access to Blast Burn. Its Fast Move; Fire Spin, might not be ideal, but it’s serviceable enough to use. Dragon Claw is its only other usable Charge Move, but it has good synergy with Blast Burn and can also make Dragon-types think twice on switching into Charizard.

Counter: Sadly, Charizard has terrible defense and bad defensive typing in Fire and Flying. Just switching to Bastiodon is enough, no Charge Moves required. Flygon and Dragonair do need to use their Charge moves but will fear Dragon Claw as well. The same goes for Melmetal, with access to Rock Slide and fearing Blast Burn. Altaria can also easily wall Charizard and might survive a single Dragon Claw but not more.

How to get it: You need to have Blast Burn so if you don’t already have Charizard with Blast Burn for Great League your only option is to trade for it.

Pokemon GO AltariaAltariaDragon Flying
Effective Stats at Level 29 (IV 0/14/15)
ATK 101 DEF 155 HP 141
Weaknesses Resistances
Ice x2
Rock Dragon Fairy
Grass x2 Ground x2
Fire Water Fighting Bug
Best PvP Move Set for Altaria
Dragon Breath Dragon Sky Attack Flying Dragon Pulse Dragon
Super Effective Versus
Dragon Fighting Bug Grass Dragon
Move Stats
  • Power 4
  • Energy 3
  • Duration 0.5
  • DPT 8
  • EPT 6
  • Power 80
  • Energy 45
  • DPE 1.78
  • Power 90
  • Energy 60
  • DPE 1.5
  • Dust cost 10000
  • Candy cost 25

Altaria has always been a solid choice for general Great League play and even Tempest Cup. While it doesn’t have the same threatening presence as it had in other metas, in The Kingdom Cup its combination of bulk and power makes it a great glue Pokémon, as well as beating Charizard, Flygon, and Dragonair, something the top threats don’t have a good grasp against. Dragon Breath and Sky Attack hit hard, and Dragon Pulse is there for other Dragon-types hoping to swoop in.

Counter: Its inability to defeat the top threats convincingly in The Kingdom Cup, namely Lucario, Melmetal and Bastiodon, makes Altaria more of a scavenger that relies on preying on less threatening meta Pokémon. With most players packing at least one of them, Altaria would be put in the corner if they are saved for last. Melmetal and Bastiodon’s Rock moves, as well as Lucario’s pure offensive power, is enough to overwhelm Altaria.

How to get it: You want a Swablu that comes in around 600 CP to save as much Stardust as possible. Catch Swablu in the wild or trade for it. Be aware that evolving costs 400 candy so think about which one you want to use before you start evolving.

Pokemon GO FlygonFlygonGround Dragon
Effective Stats at Level 21.5 (IV 0/12/12)
ATK 103 DEF 115 HP 182
Weaknesses Resistances
Ice x2
Dragon Fairy
Electric x4
Fire Poison Rock
Best PvP Move Set for Flygon
Mud Shot Ground Earthquake Ground Dragon Claw Dragon
Super Effective Versus
Poison Rock Steel Fire Electric Poison Rock Steel Fire Electric Dragon
Move Stats
  • Power 3
  • Energy 9
  • Duration 1
  • DPT 3
  • EPT 9
  • Power 120
  • Energy 65
  • DPE 1.85
  • Power 50
  • Energy 35
  • DPE 1.43
  • Dust cost 75000
  • Candy cost 75

Flygon, while suffering from a lack of overall offensive and defensive prowess, is the wallbreaker you want if you need great coverage. With Mud Shot, it charges its Earthquake very fast, which should threaten the big bulky Steel-types, especially since most of them don’t have a reliable answer against Flygon. You can opt for Dragon Claw as a second Charge Move to bait a shield or overwhelm your opponent with a barrage of Charge Moves or go for Stone Edge to put Charizard in check.

Counter: The problem with Flygon is that it’s surprisingly frail, even though it has a middle of the road bulk. You would not want it to be on the receiving end of neutral Charge Moves, which makes it a shield magnet, something that should be typical in The Kingdom Cup, and meaning it competes for a team slot with Charizard and Lucario. Although, running any two of them makes you at risk of being swept pretty easily. Flygon is also at the mercy of other Dragon-types. While it does have Dragon Claw, other Dragon-types have Dragon Breath which is more than enough to defeat a Flygon if it has little to no energy.

How to get it: You can get Trapinch via 10km eggs, and it’s pretty common. Once you do get one, it should have relatively low IVs, not more than 713 CP. Otherwise, you need to trade to get a lower IV one or catch a lower CP one.

Pokemon GO DragonairDragonairDragon
Effective Stats at Level 34 (IV 1/15/15)
ATK 124 DEF 113 HP 129
Weaknesses Resistances
Fire Water Electric Grass Ice Dragon Fairy
Best PvP Move Set for Dragonair
Dragon Breath Dragon Aqua Tail Water Wrap Normal
Super Effective Versus
Dragon Ground Rock Fire
Move Stats
  • Power 4
  • Energy 3
  • Duration 0.5
  • DPT 8
  • EPT 6
  • Power 50
  • Energy 35
  • DPE 1.43
  • Power 60
  • Energy 45
  • DPE 1.33
  • Dust cost 75000
  • Candy cost 75

Dragonair is similar to Flygon but good against other Dragon-types. While it can’t go against Melmetal, it can do well against other Dragon-types, as well as Bastiodon and Charizard with its Dragon Breath and Aqua Tail combination. You can add either Wrap for excellent neutral coverage, or Dragon Pulse if you think you can charge up for it.

Counter: Because it’s basically Altaria, but with Flygon stats, it gets overwhelmed pretty quickly. Beyond Altaria and Flygon, even neutral damage should overwhelm Dragonair easily.

How to get it: You can either hatch one via 10km eggs or via Raids if it’s available. You would need to power them up at least 19 times (9 times if you got it from a boosted Raid Boss).

Other Meta Relevant Pokémon

Parting Words

For all this analysis to happen, it took hours and days of hard work trying to figure out what will for the meta before meta is even there. I want to give a huge thanks to BinetCauchy, FitzCity and other GO Hub Writers that helped with this project.

Every move stat you see is from our PvP Move Stats in Pokémon GO article. All of the Pokémon stats, moves, weaknesses and resistances are provided by our database. All of the data about Pokémon matchup is by both our testing them in battles and with the help of PvPoke and Pokebattler.

We hope that this analysis will help you win a lot of battles in your Kingdom Cup. If you want a more condensed version of this article in video form, Judd and I did an analysis video which you can watch below.

The Kingdom Cup Guide: Best Pokemon and Meta Analysis

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