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Nifty Or Thrifty: Premier Cup (PvP Meta/Budget Review)

It's me, that PvP article guy again! I've been writing the "Nifty Or Thrifty" article series for a long time--it's actually the series that got me started, 150ish PvP articles ago, way back in February 2019--but I believe this is the first time it's shown up here on The Road. So, by means of introduction, the "Nifty Or Thrifty" series takes a comprehensive look at the meta for upcoming Cup formats--Premier Cup, in this case, now less than two weeks away!--particularly focused on Pokémon where you can save yourself some stardust. Normally I write this for Great League, where things do not often have to be maxed out, but of course here we're talking Master League, so yeah, everything will be maxed. Therefore I will spend extra time on those with cheaper costs for adding a second charge move, as it's really the ONLY place where we can hope to get "thrifty". Because 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, but where can we get the best bang for our buck and where should we perhaps instead channel our inner scrooge?
We've got a lot to cover, so let's not waste any more time. Here we go, organized by Pokémon with the cheapest cost for adding a second move and moving on through from there.
(Do note that most of the linked simulation results below assume maxed out, 15-15-15 IV Pokémon on both sides of the equation. Your mileage obviously may vary depending on IVs on either side of a particular matchup, so watch out for the close matchups especially... a score of 500 is a tie, below is a loss, and above is a win. The closer the number is to 500, the closer the result!)

10,000 Dust/25 Candy

SWAMPERT
Mud Shot | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Earthquake/Sludge Wave
Likely the most common "cheap" Pokémon you'll see in the Cup, and the reason is simple: Swampert is a big player, and holds one of the best records against the core meta. The so-called "Mud Boys" (WateGround Pokémon) famously have only one weakness--a double one to Grass--and resistances to Steel, Electric, Fire, Poison, and Rock moves (all very relevant in Master League), and therefore can run absolutely rampant against unprepared teams. Swampy is the only one that has the stats/CP to play with the big boys. While it has no great answers for two thirds of the "axis of evil" of Premier Cup (Dragonite, Togekiss, and Metagross), Swampert abuses Metagross, as well as other Steels, Electrics, Fires, and Grounds that are likely to appear, and can even stand toe to toe with things like Machamp and Gardevoir and simply outslug them. And while Flyers like Dragonite and Togekiss evade it, Swampy can at least make Togekiss play honest if it's packing Sludge Wave (and usually has time to fire off two of them, so no baiting necessary). Wave is a little risky though, as Swampert barely beats Metagross without the generally preferred Earthquake... Hydro Cannon often gets the job done against most opponents, and does against Gross, but Earthquake is a great finisher against Gross (that's a difference of well over 100 HP!) and others like Snorlax and can OHKO things like Magnezone and Electivire. And again, the second move is only 10,000 dust... you've already invested enough to max out your Swampert, so what's another 10k? Swampert is the textbook definition of "getting the bang for your buck" in Premier.
EMPOLEON
Waterfall | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Flash Cannon/Blizzard
Empie can do your standard Water things, walloping Fires and Ices (Water resists Ice, but not the other way around!) and Steels and Grounds, which a smattering of other Water types can all handle as well. But Empoleon has something other Waters don't: a Steel subtyping. That means it resists Charm and can therefore beat Togekiss and Gardevoir, which is very handy and puts it a cut above the vast majority of other Water types that can play at this level. And it really does all that with just Hydro Cannon... Flash Cannon or Blizzard SHOULD be added, especially being so cheap to do so, but their applications will be more for shieldless scenarios.
GYARADOS
Waterfall/Dragon Breath | Crunch & Hydro Pump
So everybody already knows that Gary is a player in Ultra and Master League, right? And Dragon Breath is the way to roll, right? Well, strictly by the overall numbers, yes, that looks like the better move than Waterfall. But I'm here surprising even myself by actually recommending you give strong consideration to Waterfall instead. Why? Because it seems better against the core meta--the Pokémon you are most likely to face--than does Dragon Breath. Waterfall wins all the same matchups there that Dragon Breath does--and usually with more remaining HP--and adds on wins against Rhyperior, Snorlax, and Gengar. I know, I've been convinced Breath is the move to go with in PvP too, but with the pool excluding Legendaries and Mythicals, Waterfall seems to pull ahead. May the Fast TMs be ever in your favor.
TORTERRA
Razor Leaf | Sand Tomb & Frenzy Plantᴸ/Stone Edge
If you have played PvP for any amount of time, you have surely run across a Razor Leafer at some point. It is an extremely punishing fast move that often tears things apart without needing to trouble itself with charge moves... Razor Leafers tend to laugh at shields. Most don't get big enough for Master League though... but Torterra does. It has the CP, bulk, and typing that allows it to hang in there and earned it my first ever Master League spotlight article. And there is one charge move it has that comes frequently enough that it does make an impact: Sand Tomb. It is very nasty here, as it lowers the Defense of the opposing mon--even if shielded!--and makes subsequent Razor Leafs all the more deadly, typically making each one deal 3-4 more damage, and that adds up FAST. That makes "Torterror" a major force in Premier, absolutely obliterating things weak to Grass, but also Electrics (with its Grass/Ground typing--the only such Pokémon in the game, by the way--it TRIPLE resists Electric damage) and other relevant things like Snorlax, Gardevoir, and Machamp.
SCEPTILE
Bullet Seed | Earthquake & Leaf Blade
I'll keep this one simple: it's all about that Earthquake. If Sceptile is able to bait a shield with Leaf Blade (tied for cheapest move in PvP and highest damage output of any 35-energy move, at 70 damage a pop!) and then land a Quake, it does some very nice things. If it doesn't... well, at least it can still shred a few things with Blades, or just forgo baiting and double Earthquake the Electrics. You get Rhyperior and Swampert and such ether way, which is nice. This is more of a high risk/high reward option, I admit, but if you're comfortable with using Sceptile in the lower leagues, yeah, you may like it here too.
I did look at other Grass starters, but they just struggle up at this level. VENUSAUR and MEGANIUM are the most promising, each doing normal Grass stuff (Rhyp, Swamp, etc.) and Venu having a small anti-Charm, anti-Fighting niche and Meg Earthquaking Electrics, but they just can't really do anything beyond that. Too bad.
TYPHLOSION
Shadow Claw | Blast Burnᴸ & Solar Beam/Overheat
With obvious applications against things like Metagross (and other Steel), Fairies, and Ices, Fire types are an intriguing option in Premier, but suffer from not having a lot of (non-Legendary) members that crest 3000 CP. Three of the best ones--all starters--don't even get that high. Typhlosion is probably the best of those three thanks to Shadow Claw, which is very widely unresisted here and a good move on top of that. It does all the things I mentioned before (beating Steel, Fairies, Ice, and of course other things like Grass), plus has advantages over other Fires like Charizard and just outdamages others like Conkeldurr. And don't forget the ever-present threat of Solar Beam which can win Typh things that NO Fire type has any right to, or at least force shields against things that have little to fear from other Fires.
CHARIZARD
Fire Spin/Air Slash/Wing Attackᴸ | Dragon Claw & Blast Burnᴸ
Charizard doesn't have Shadow Claw, but has its own advantages. It's typically run with Fire Spin, but Legacy Wing Attack and even Air Slash have legit play here and may be even better than Spin, giving Charizard wins against other Fire types while still holding up against the Steels you'd most want Fire Spin for and really only giving up a barely there win over Snorlax and holding all other wins, usually with about the same remaining HP too. (And the energy gain of Wing Attack in particular gives Zard its best chance of beating Glaceon...believe it or not, even super effective Fire Spin is arguably less reliable.) Charizard is a solid option this time, and with no Dialgas or Melmetals or the like in sight, I think it's actually with a Flying fast move this go-round.
BLAZIKEN
Counter | Blaze Kick & Stone Edgeᴸ/Blast Burnᴸ
All of you who made yourselves a Stone Edge Blaziken with your precious Elite TM, pat yourselves on the back. It looks like potentially the best version of Blaze here, beating all the same things as Blast Burn minus a super close loss to Typhlosion (BB is 5 energy cheaper than SE, and that makes the difference there), and gaining a win over (Dragon Breath) Gyarados and a legit threat to things like Togekiss and Dragonite. Blaze is a bit boom or bust, as many of its wins rely on baiting a shield with spammy Blaze Kick, but the boom potential is quite high for anyone brave enough to max one out.
ALOLAN GOLEM
Volt Switch | Rock Blast & Stone Edge
This might be the first real "huh?" moment in this article. A-Golem is probably not one you've given serious thought to for Premier Cup, but maybe you should, as not only does it have a cheapo second move cost, but a rock solid (total dad joke there!) performance that includes wins over Dragonite, Togekiss, Gyarados (yes, even if it has Waterfall), Electivire, potentially Magnezone, and of course the Fires and Ices that want nothing to do with Rock damage. It's not the longest list of wins you'll find, but it's a darn good list for the lowest dust cost you can find in Master League. If you're hurting for affordable options, A-Golem might be JUST what you're looking for. I recommend it over one that IS generating a little more buzz: Aggron, which does better against the Faires but generally worse otherwise.
LUCARIO
Counter | Shadow Ball & Power-Up Punch
I know, I know... "but JRE, Lucario's second move costs 75,000 dust!" True... but Riolu's second move costs only 10,000 thanks to the infamous Baby Discount™, and it only makes sense to buy that before evolving, so don't forget! Once you do, Luc becomes potentially the cheapest Fighter you can use in Premier (depending on how far you have to level up a good Machamp). And while not the best of the best, Luc puts in a solid showing for something that maxes well below 3000 CP, taking out all the major Steels (including Metagross), Ices, Snorlax, and conveniently Typhlosion as well. It's not the most expansive set of wins, but Luc does exactly what you want a good Fighter to do most and is a legit team player in Premier.
OBSTAGOON
Counter | Night Slash & Hyper Beam
Yes indeed, it's more than viable, I'd say even moreso than Lucario. Goonie doesn't have a ton of great super effective targets for Night Slash, but it's a widely unresisted move that can go off for a big Attack boost at any time, and sets up a closing Hyper Beam nicely (which is necessary against Gyarados, Glaceon, Electivire and leads to blowouts over Snorlax, Rhyperior, and others). Candy shouldn't be an issue here, but whether all that dust is worth it is your call. Just keep it FAR away from Fairies and other Fighters.

50,000 Dust/50 Candy

TANGROWTH
Vine Whip | Rock Slide & Power Whip/Solar Beam
While other Vine Whippers fall short in Master League, one of my clever Patrons pointed me to Tangrowth. It wasn't on my intial list, but it would seem that was an unfortunate oversight. Growth creeps above the 3000 CP threshold and looks quite solid here in Premier. That is thanks not just to solid Grass damage (with Power Whip being a close approximation of the broken Frenzy Plant the starters get), but also the threat of newly added Rock Slide bringing it wins like Charizard that Grasses simply shouldn't be able to get (and being the preferred weapon against things like Gyarados too). If you're looking for a Grass that can bring serious pressure to shields and doesn't have the bust potential of Sceptile, Growth might be just your speed.
ARCANINE
Fire Fang | Wild Charge & Crunch/FlamethroweBulldozeᴸ
There's one Fire type that works here outside the starters, and it's one that can really keep the opponents guessing! I have long been an Arcanine groupie, so it warms my heart to see that, yes, it is quite viable in Premier Cup. And the crazy part is that the vast majority of its performance hinges not on its Swiss Army like toolkit of charge moves (though Wild Charge pulls its weight against Flyers and leads directly to a win over Charizard), but instead on Fire Fang. Look at all those things it can beat with just fast moves, pocketing a ton of energy to throw at whatever follows. Note that list includes the popular Magnezone and Togekiss, and can even include mighty Metagross as long as Arcanine shields the non-Mash charge move. Arcanine is a good boy! Scratch him behind the ears and consider making him YOUR best friend in Premier.
RHYPERIOR
Smack Down/Mud Slap | Surf & SuperpoweRock Wreckerᴸ
Ready to have conventional wisdom flipped on its head again? The overall best moveset for RhyPerrier does not include Community Day move Rock Wrecker... the best overall looks to be Smack Down (which does plenty of Rock damage on its own!) with charge moves Surf and Superpower, which ends up looking like this. Smack Down alone takes down all the Flyers (Nite, Kiss, Gary) and Fires you care about, plus Gardevoir, Glaceon, and Gengar (Triple G!), while SuperpoweSurf add on Snorlax and Magnezone (regular AND Shadow for each).
That all being said, there is a good case for the perhaps more standard Mud Slap/WreckeSurf. While it sheds Dragonite and Glaceon and even Snorlax, it gains one big, prominent name: Metagross, being able to simply Slap it to death. That is no small thing, though is it worth what you give up? Look over those sims--and create your own by playing around with various movesets--and decide for yourself. You know your OWN team best, after all, not me or anyone else!
And yes, I did look over the somewhat similar EXCADRILL, and while it plays somewhat like Mud Slap Perrier, it just doesn't do as much. If you have one already maxed, then yes, it IS viable, but given a choice between them, I think it's Rhyperior all the way.
MAMOSWINE
Powder Snow/Mud Slap | Avalanche & Bulldoze/Stone Edge
Yes, as you may have guessed, sets with Powder Snow are generally best, with Avalanche combining with Stone Edge to hate on Fires (and DB Gary) or with Bulldoze to take out Magnezone(s). Either way, other Grounds, Flyers (though Dragonite usually remains frustratingly out of reach), most Electrics and Fires, and things like Gengar and Snorlax want nothing to do with it. Alternatively, as with Rhyperior, you can run a Mud Slap variant to hate HARD on Electrics and Metagross, and then take your pick of charge moves to threaten others as you see fit.
HIPPOWDON
Ice Fang/Thunder Fang | Body Slam & Earth Power
I don't know that I'd recommend maxing one of these just for Premier Cup, but there are crazier things, I suppose. With Ice Fang it does abuse Dragons and Fairies and also manages to beat Snorlax, Scizor, and the big Electrics too. And wth Thunder Fang it trades the Dragons for Charizard and Gyarados (regardless of fast move). Again, not the greatest long-term use of dust, perhaps, but Hungry Hungry Hippo is a good enough flash in the pan for this format to at least consider.
GENGAR
Shadow Claw | Shadow Ball & Sludge Bomb
Oh, how I wish it was getting Shadow Punch in time for Premier Cup, but alas, it'll be a few short weeks too late. Instead, we'll have to make due with Shadow Ball and Sludge Bomb, which is obviously a step down but certainly still viable, handing Metagross, Charmers, and Fighters their lunch money, along with Gyarados and Typhlosion, which would seem to be things Gengar would want to avoid, what with their Crunches and Claws. It's a nice little niche to occupy, and one that will surely benefit some teams when Premier rolls around.
MAGNEZONE
Spark | Mirror Shot & Wild Charge
'Zone has already been touted quite a bit as a top Premier Cup option, and I have friends who have already maxed theirs in preparation. And by the numbers, it's easy to see why. But I also see some red flags. Mirror Shot is largely responsible for those high numbers, as they just tail off without its bait potential. Now MS is not JUST a bait move, in fairness--it beats some good, relevant things with it--but if you turn off baiting... well, the results speak for themselves. The truth likely lies somewhere between those reduced numbers and the max potential result (with baits bringing in wins against Nite, Glaceon, Lax, and Shadow Gross & Zone). I am not trying to say Zone is bad, just that it requires some practice time to feel out when to bait and when to just go for broke. It's not one to pick up the day before you compete and expect to already have mastered. Practice makes perfect!
TOGEKISS
Charm | Flamethrower & Ancient PoweAerial Ace
Togekiss, on the other hand, you pretty much CAN pick up and use right away. As a Charmer, the name tells you everything you need to know: Charm stuff to death, and typically plan to pocket energy to throw a charge move at whatever follows. Flamethrower is probably the closest Kiss has to a "must have" move to have an answer to Metagross that is one of the very top counters to Togekiss. Beyond that, Ancient Power or Aerial Ace is kind of a matter of preference... Power can threaten Fires, but Ace puts out higher neutral damage for the same cost AND gets STAB on top of that. Whatever you roll with, there are literally no better counters to Dragonite (and only Dragonite itself is a better counter to Garchomp) and the Fighters... and also getting things like Swampert and Gyarados and Snorlax and fellow Charmer Gardevoir are very nice bonuses. There is a reason everyone and their mother are talking about running Togekiss... it is a VERY hard counter to some very good things, and almost singlehandedly keeps the Dragons from running amok.
MACHAMP
Counter | Rock Slide & Dynamic Punch/Close Combat
Another one where you may be wondering why I'm recommending the moves I am. "Where's Cross Chop? Isn't that Machamp's best Fighting charge move?" Yes, it likely is... in Great and Ultra League. In Master, you usually want raw power over more bait-y moves, and few Pokémon exemplify that more. Just look at a move like Close Combat compared to Cross Chop. Close Combat and Dynamic Punch can get wins like Garchomp, Conkeldurr, the mirror (vs Cross Chop Champ), and big prizes Swampert and Metagross that Cross Chop cannot reliably replicate. The ONLY things in the core meta that can overcome DP or CC Champ in 1v1 shielding are Gengar, Gardevoir, Togekiss, and Dragonite, and Rock Slide can turn even those last two around quick. I will say that in my own personal experience, I like DP over CC just because the self-nerfing that comes with CC really hurts sometimes, but it's more just a matter of preference than anything.
HERACROSS
Counter | Close Combat & Megahorn
Heracross lacks Machamp's awesome Rock Slide coverage, but it has Megahorn instead, which is a nice move with unique coverage all its own. Putting Horn together with the Fighting moves, Cross lies somewhere between Champ's max potential and the other Fighters... it is better than Conkeldurr and Lucario and XC Champ, and worse than DP or CC Champ. One big plus is that its Bug typing makes Heracross resistant to Fighting moves, so it beats all the other Fighters one on one. Beyond that niche--and having a good answer to stray Psychics thanks to Megahorn--it mostly just operates as your standard Fighter, albeit a very solid one.
HARIYAMA
Counter | Heavy Slam & Close Combat/Superpower
So good is Fighting in this meta that even a Fighter that tops out below 2900 CP is still quite good. Heavy Slam is really just here to provide neutral coverage... the Fighting moves are all Hairy Yama will need most of the time. His HP is so high that he can shrug off the self-nerfing of Close Combat and Superpower better than most, beating all the Steels, Normals, Ices, and Rocks you need a good Fighter to beat, plus Typhlosion and Swampert, and Hairy outbulks the other major Fighters too. If you can't or don't want to build a Machamp, Hairy may be your next best bet.
ESCAVALIER
Counter | Drill Run & Megahorn
Escavalier has already made a name for itself in Great and Ultra Leagues, getting better and better over time as first Megahorn was buffed, and then Drill Run's cost was reduced. Combine all that with Counter, the best fast move in PvP, and it's easy to see why it's been a force in the lower Leagues. Can it do the same here? Despite maxing out below 3000 CP, it would appear that yes, it most certainly can. Counter takes out Ices and Shadow Magnezone (though that last one only shows up if you go straight Counter), Drill Run adds Steels and Rhyperior and Gengar, Megahorn adds Gardevoir and Snorlax, of all things, and the combination of it all puts together adds Swampert as a sweet cherry on top. It is perhaps not the most impressive volume of wins, but the quality of the wins it does get is impressive.

75,000 Dust/75 Candy

I am going to try to cover these a bit more succinctly, as I have a Reddit character limit to account for AND these are obviously not thrifty picks anymore. So strap in for the final push!
DRAGONITE
Dragon Breath | Dragon Claw & Hurricane/Draco Meteorᴸ
Nite's future looks bright, with a ridiculous win percentage in Premier Cup, one that remains robust against the core meta, beating everything except hard countering Charmers, Ice, Metagross, and Shadow Magnezone. (Even regular Zone falls short.) Perhaps even more impressive is that Dragonite can do all this with just Dragon Claw if it wants to, with the sole exception of Scizor (barely!). Dragonite is--and should be--perhaps THE top option in Premier Cup, doing a ton of things very, very well.
GARCHOMP
Mud Shot | Outrage & Earthquake/Sand Tomb
Sand Tomb is obviously primarily a bait option, but amazingly, even if the baits go awry, Chomp still does well (and the sky is the limit if the baits DO work!). You can forgo all that and just go for the throat with big moves Outrage AND Earthquake... Mud Shot charges them both fast enough for that to be a legit possibility. Whatever you roll with, expect to have a leg up on Electrics, Grounds, Steels, Fighters, and Fires, but be ready to swap quickly at the sight of any Dragons, Charmers, or Ices. This is also one of the best cases for considering Dragon Breath on Gyarados, as DB Gary consistently terrorizes Chompy even more than Dragonite does.
HAXORUS
Counter | Dragon Claw & Earthquake/Night Slash
If you have somehow managed to find a good one AND max it, you're gonna like what it can do. Sort of an unholy mix of Nite, Chomp, and a Fighter. It beats Steels, Fires, Electrics, Ices, AND things like Snorlax and Rhyperior, and then Scizor (with Night Slash) or Machamp (with Earthquake). I lean towards Earthquake and the surer win over Machamp personally, but there's not really a "wrong" way to go.
METAGROSS
Bullet Punch | Meteor Mashᴸ & Earthquake/Psychic
The Steel moves do most of the work, handling Fairies, Ices, Fighters (sometimes, at least), Dragonite and Rhyperior and others. For the second move, while Psychic seems to be all the rage to really beat on Fighters, I continue to beleve in Earthquake, which gives Metagross an important leg up against Steels like Magnezone and, of course, enemy Metagrosses (Metagreese?). Its ability to handle Fairies and Dragonite in particular make it a BIG player in this meta, one you should expect to see on the majority of teams.
SNORLAX
Lick | Body Slam & Superpower
Normal and Shadow are both very viable and very good, beating most things that don't wail on it for super effective damage (Fighters) or resist its moves, to include Metagross, Gardevoir, Ices, Electrics, and anything that relies on Ghost damage. If you REALLY want to go nuts, though--and had the foresight to TM away Frustration during the short window we had to do so--Shadow Snorlax is basically a straight upgrade, gaining wins over Togekiss, Garchomp, Rhyperior, Gyarados, and Charizard without giving up any core meta wins regular Lax achieves. If you want to break the piggy bank wide open, that might be the place to do it.
ELECTIVIRE
Thunder Shock | Wild Charge & Ice Punch/Thunder Punch
The only pure Electric that has legit play here, and that's a nice thing since Electrics are weak only to Ground damage and resist three very relevant types (Steel, Flying, Electric). Vire has the intriguing Ice Punch, but against the core meta, Thunder Punch is actually slightly better, getting all the same stuff plus Metagross. Vire beats Fires, other Electrics, Lax, and even the Steels... and Gyarados, but surely you already knew THAT one. It's a steady option that does a bit more than "just Electric stuff".
MAGMORTAR
Fire Spin | Fire Punch & Psychic/Brick Break
Did you even KNOW that Mags gets Psychic? Yep, it's true, and combined with the Fire moves, it does alright for itself, taking out the things you'd expect your Fire to beat (Steel, Ice, Fairy, etc.) plus the other Fires too. Alternatively, you can replace Psychic with Break Break to trade in Typh and Conk for regular and Shadow Magnezone instead (as Fire Punch is just a hair too slow to get that job done).
MILOTIC
Waterfall | Surf & Hyper Beam
Here's a Water type I bet you completely forgot about. But Milotic can break the 3000 CP threshold and puts in quite the impressive performance! Not only does she beat the Fires and Grounds and Ices and Steels you might expect, but Milly also overpowers Machamp, Gardevoir (and leaves Kiss with less than 5 HP too), Snorlax, Gengar, and fellow Water Gyarados. And she can do all that except Gary with JUST Waterfall and Surf. (Hyper Beam adds wins against other Waters, like Gary and Cloyster and such.) Nothing fancy, just big bulk wearing opponents down. Milotic should be on your radar, and I assume it hasn't been to this point, amirite?
LAPRAS
Ice Shardᴸ/Water Gun | Surf & Blizzard/Skull Bash/Ice Beamᴸ
Lappie doesn't max out anywhere NEAR 3000 CP (doesn't even break 2700!), but it has such great PvP stats and moves that it finds a way to compete in Premier anyway. Dragons, Flyers, Fires, Ices, Grounds... they all have a long-standing restraining order out for Lapras. So good is Lapras that it even hangs in and competes with Water Gun, trading in the Gyarados and Swampert wins it gets with the more standard Ice Shard for Gardevoir, Typhlosion, and Scizor instead. And that is perhaps one of the best things going for Lappie... unlike Milotic and others that have no real surprises up their sleeves, Lapras can come at you with quite a wide array of moves and keep the opponent guessing every time they have to make a shielding decision. Use that, run with it, and consider being bold enough to dust off your favorite Lapras for the biggest of big leagues. It will earn your trust yet again.
TYRANITAR
Smack Down/Bite | Crunch & Stone Edge/Fire Blast
Keeping this one simple: with Smack Down, Tyranitar is basically a worse Rhyperior, gaining Dragonite but losing Togekiss and any realistic shot at Metagross. With Bite it gets Metagross but trades in Dragonite and Magnezone to do it. Maybe that has a role on your team, but it seems to me you can probably do better and cheaper elsewhere.
Just gonna do some QUICK HITS for the rest:
Other fun spice options to look at on your own time include (but are not limited to!) Feraligatr, Shadow Flygon, Golurk, and Gliscor.
And before I ramble on any further... that’s a wrap! As with all my articles, take all of this with a big grain of salt. I am not trying to persuade you on using any one 'mon or any one team, and of course everybody’s dust situations are different. But perhaps this can help you balance the cost of where to save yourself some hard-earned dust (and candy!).
Before I go, continued thanks to my PvP friends, local and around the world, who have lent their own ideas and suggestions over the last year and a half and helped teach me to be a better player and student of the game.
Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter for near-daily PvP analysis nuggets, or Patreon which now has a tie-in exclusive Discord server you can access to get straight through to me. And please, feel free to comment here with your own thoughts or questions and I'll try to get back to you!
Thank you for reading! I very much appreciate you taking the time, and sincerely hope this helps you master Premier Cup, and in the most affordable way possible. Best of luck, and catch you next time!
submitted by JRE47 to TheSilphRoad [link] [comments]

[OC] Chronicles of the Siren War [Chapter 59]

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A/N: Please consider supporting my writing efforts on Patreon. You can follow this story and be alerted when new chapters release via fanfiction.net.
Special thanks to Tobi from the discord server for a double visual accompaniment today as well! They are not perfect representations of in chapter events, but they set a great scene nevertheless!
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“Well, what do you think?!” Houston asked gaily, taking Fredrick by the hand and leading him aboard her mint condition hull. Modifications had clearly been made in the absence of a physical crew, leaving the ship sleeker and more evasive while maintaining its substantial firepower. The three triple 203mm batteries aboard the vessel were mimicked by the girl’s rigging, a complex system of hydraulics and tubes connecting her miniature guns to her waist. They sat aboard large steel-gray and red stabilizing fins that would help her maintain balance in open ocean combat, and were completed by a small, grinning Cheshire cat decal above the letters USN. She carried a pistol in her hand, a replica of one of her 40mm Bofors batteries.
“I think the smile on your face says it all,” the young cook replied, tilting his head to steal a glance at the exposed skin between her shoulder blades. Just below her collar, a vibrant rigging mark in the shape of Texas’ lone star still glowed, fading slowly in the wake of the ship’s new construction. As soon as they were aboard Houston activated her engines, pulling the cruiser out of dock so that Minneapolis could begin work on her own hull.
“Hmm, you’re rather sweet, Frederick. I’m glad you’re back safe and sound too,” Houston told him kindly, walking around her deck as she inspected her guns and fittings with pride. Many parts of the ship came to life under her touch, pivoting and changing elevation as if partaking in a firing exercise.
“I could say the same, Miss Houston.”
“Oh come on, all I did was laze around and help look after the kids!”
“Doesn’t mean something couldn’t have happened. It’s war, after all,” Miles reminded her, though it certainly wasn’t necessary. She spun on her heel to face him, her large Union Navy tattoo plainly visible on her upper right thigh. “Be safe tomorrow too, Miss Houston. It would be a shame to come home all this way just to…” The young man could not quite bring himself to say ‘lose you’, but Houston seemed to understand his meaning all the same. As her rigging shimmered and vanished, she reached out and took his hands in hers.
“You cut yourself. Be careful in the kitchens,” she observed, fingering a tender wound that would surely leave a bright pink scar atop one of his knuckles.
“And Lord willing, that's all the action I’ll see in this war,” Miles replied, taking a deep breath and squeezing her fingers tightly. “The way the Commander spoke, it sounded like the largest fleet ever assembled is coming for us.”
“And you’re worried about me,” Houston finished quietly. It was not a question.
“I’m worried about Hatsuharu and Yuugure and all the rest too, but at least they’ll be on the island. I can do something if it comes down to it. You’ll be very far away,” he worried as Houston found herself a suitable location in the bay just north of the base and dropped anchor next to the California.
“But I’ll be thinking of you!” She promised happily, though those words only served to draw Fredrick’s face tight in a frown. “Fredrick-”
“Just be careful,” he insisted. “It’s a beautiful ship; it would be a shame to lose it again.”
“Yeah it would, wouldn’t it?” Houston agreed thoughtfully as a pair of gulls settled on the top of her aft crow’s nest. “But Fredrick, I’m already on borrowed time. I can feel it in my cube, in my bones. I was supposed to die at Java, without having ever met you.”
“Miss Houston?” Fredrick whispered, feeling a small pit of fear worm its way into his guts. The air about her had changed significantly, revealing a sober and almost world-weary woman underneath her metallic cat ears and vibrant pink hair.
“Fredrick, have you ever lain with a white woman?” Houston asked before seeming to remember herself. She tittered at his shocked expression. “No, I didn’t think so given you are barely allowed to speak with them. What about any woman?”
No more adequate an answer was forthcoming from the young man as he found himself rooted to the spot, Pacific breezes ruffling his uniform. Houston took his hands again and stepped close to him. “Second chances shouldn’t be wasted, don’t you think, Fredrick?”
“I uh, but aren’t you… what I mean to say is the Commander-”
“Is an exceptional and handsome man!” Houston agreed readily. “He’s kind, reserved, and saved my life. He’s competent too, and I think he’ll see us through the battle tomorrow. That doesn’t mean I want to go to bed with him. Not every girl in this fleet has dreams of glory. I just want to live this life I’ve been given. I’m happy to take you back to the docks right now, Fredrick, but I don’t want to leave you tomorrow with just a peck on the lips. Come live a little with me, ravel up my ball of yarn?” she suggested with a cute swipe of her fingers against his uniform.
When he leaned closer, Houston sealed her request with a brush of her thin, soft lips against his own. The boy’s mind may not have known how to respond to her, but his body needed no such training or consideration. He allowed his lips to part in invitation, one she greedily but gently accepted. The two fumbling lovers embraced, with Houston gasping against his mouth and pulling back as his left hand brushed against her rigging mark. “Did I hurt you?” Fredrick asked quickly, swallowing heavily as he noted the growing flush in Houston’s cheeks. The girls back home, the ones he was allowed to long and lust after, did not blush like that.
“No, not at all. It was just intense!” Houston gasped, gathering herself and reaching over her shoulder. She took his hand and returned it to her back. “Be gentle, please.”
Miles was more than happy to oblige, experimenting with feathery brushes of his fingers and the comforting cover of his large palm over the area, sheltering it from the wind and warming it with his own body heat which was steadily rising thanks to their ongoing kiss. When the sensations from her rigging mark simply could not be withstood any longer, the electric shocks turning to warm pulses of longing thanks to his easy touch and unassuming manner, Houston took his cheeks in her hands. She could feel the slight beginnings of stubble under her palms. Bright green eyes met dark brown and delightful laughter bubbled up from her chest. “Fredrick, I didn’t want to do this so soon but it seems Akagi and Kaga decided not to wait around. Would you make love to me; show an unordinary girl an ordinary life?”
Houston’s second proposition was no more answerable than her first, but again the young man’s body knew the correct reply. He had no way, no words to explain to her just how unordinary their union would be. But he considered the coming battle, considered the fact that she might be lost. There was only one course of action to be taken. Without a word he shrugged off his jacket and shirt, laying them down on the deck for her. Houston laid herself down graciously, throwing him a coy yet innocent smile that beckoned him to oblivion. He was powerless to stop it as she freely bared herself to him, save her choker. As the base prepared for war and a New Orleans class hull came to life at dock, no one took the time or effort to glance out to sea as Houston felt herself come alive again.
-----
“Don’t you want to be down there with her?” West Virginia asked Javelin. The two of them were seated near one of the base’s fixed AA batteries, about halfway up the slope to the dorms and radio tower. Mountains of shells were ready and waiting to be fired, courtesy of the bulins and Akashi.
“I feel like I’ve done nothing but remain at her side since she arrived here,” Javelin replied sadly, recalling Zed’s desperate flight from her own faction. “She’s one of my best friends. I can’t let this be anything but her decision. Sometimes it feels like she and Laffey are my sisters, even though I love Jupiter and the others dearly as well.”
“Mmm,” the stoic battleship agreed, fingers resting on the neck of her guitar. “So your focus is evasion?”
“Yep yep!” Javelin affirmed, playing with her blueish-purple hood and adjusting the small crown atop her head. “Don’t count me out when it comes to submarine warfare or gun battles either. I wish I could do something about my torpedoes though. Those new girls from the Sakura have such amazing armaments.”
“Yeah, but their guns couldn’t even tickle me if they tried,” West Virginia countered. “Based on what happened with Downes and Laffey, at least what I understand of it, keep training and keep focused. When the Commander grants you that power, or when you feel the need to claim it for yourself, I think you’ll acquire the strength you need.”
“You make it sound like magic,” Javelin replied with a smile. West Virginia’s eyes softened slightly.
“Not sure what else to call it. Not even Commander Thorson or the minty kitty really understand those cubes. They know how they work to an extent but the rest might as well be magic. But that’s good. If they’re shooting at you and missing, that gives me an opening. You’ll find that us Colorado’s aren’t the fastest or most maneuverable. And I don’t have as many barrels as Pennsylvania or Tennessee. But…”
“But?” Javelin prompted.
“Woe to any ship that tries to face me woman to woman, even a carrier if I can see her. Did you know I used to have torpedo tubes?”
“No! Really?!” the Royal destroyer demanded excitedly, tapping her namesake weapon against the ground. The battleship gave her a full smile that time.
“Yeah, really. When I was injured at Pearl Harbor and they wanted to rebuild me, I told them to get rid of them. A fast little demon like you is perfect for that sort of thing. Me? It would take so long to turn and fire the other tubes it would be pointless, to say nothing of my main battery rotation speed. But don’t worry. I’ve made up for it.”
“Uh huh, how so?” Javelin was eager to learn more about her battle buddy, having never seen a Colorado-class hull before their arrival at Thorson’s base.
“You won’t tell Tennessee?”
“Why would I do that?”
“Because we were redesigned to be better than her,” the battleship replied neutrally. Javelin shrugged.
“She doesn’t care. No offense, but I’d still bet on her in a fight with you. She’s merciless!” The destroyer’s tone was one of approval.
“No arguments there, at least not right now. But she’s only got sixteen 28mm guns and fourteen Oerlikons.”
“Right. And you?” Javelin tapped the AA battery with the tip of her spear to accentuate the point. West Virginia struck a chord on her guitar.
“Forty 40mm Bofors, forty three Oerlikons, and of course the eight 406mm guns. Just focus on the seaborne threats when we fight. My sisters and I know how to provide a protective AA envelope. With Cleveland on our side our odds are even better. Maybe it’s because she’s a cruiser but I just can’t beat her precision.”
“With so many guns you won’t have to! But do you really think we can win? It sounds like the enemy has as many aircraft as they want.” For the first time, true worry crept into the young woman’s voice. West Virginia placed a hand on her shoulder.
“We have unending firepower and resolve too. I’m sure you’ve seen plenty over in the Atlantic, but don’t underestimate the will of those who lived through Pearl Harbor. I remember the smoke and the flames, the screams of dying men. Oklahoma and Nevada didn’t make it. Downes and Cassin were torn to pieces. But in the end they failed. Even if they destroy Enterprise and her sisters tomorrow they will have failed if they can’t kill us.”
The conviction in West Virginia’s words, especially given her typically mild manner, gave Javelin pause. She remained silent as a squadron of P-40’s flew by overhead, now a sight on the base almost as common as the flocks of seagulls. Far out to sea she could see Yamashiro and Fusou’s float planes returning from a scouting mission. The battleship continued.
“Those of us who didn’t perish in those fires are now stronger than they could possibly imagine. I went all the way across the country and back, met the people I’m defending. Colorado dismissed her entire crew in the wake of the attack and rebuilt herself with her own hands. Maryland hasn’t ceased sharpening her skills since that day. If she ever finds the ones who killed Oklahoma they’ll wish they were already dead. And I know I don’t need to speak for Pennsylvania and Tennessee.” As a group of three Fulmars rocketed out to sea to join in the scouting mission, West Virginia struck a harsh chord on her guitar. Javelin’s foot was tapping soon after.
Send them over the waves, her sentinels. They’re reporting the news, position of our foes. This battlefield’s been chosen, Thorson orders advance! Time to alert our sisters, they’re soon in range.
“Midway! We meet at Midway!” Javelin added happily, bobbing her head from side to side. The battleship threw her a favorable look and continued. A passing bulin stopped to sit and listen.
Call all women to deck, keep the fortress strong. Head out into the sun, descending on our foes. This is the crucial battle, in the heat of our war. To sail and sink our targets, out in the waves.
“Midway!”
Display our might, order and chaos, battleships at war.
“We meet at Midway!”
We’ll win the fight, tactics are crucial.
“Naval war!” Cleveland cut in from the stairs as she and the Portland class sisters headed to the Sakura dorms to spend some time in the onsen.
Far from shore a Pacific war, Shells are raining from the skies. It’s a Dreadnought day, it’s our naval way, A blood-red sun is on the rise.
West Virginia wailed on her guitar for a few chords, allowing some of her pent up frustration and battle energy to seep into her music before transitioning to working her fingers along the strings individually. By the time she and Javelin repeated the chorus another couple of times and struck the final note, they’d garnered a small audience, including several manjuu, who dispersed or hopped away after polite applause. When they were alone again the battle partners looked at one another. The USS Minneapolis sounded her horn from the docks below, another weapon in Thorson’s arsenal.
“I think this is the beginning of something beautiful,” Javelin declared. West Virginia smiled thinly behind her collar.
“You’re my favorite tea-drinking Royal, that’s for sure.”
-----
“Come on, sis. Tomorrow’s going to be a big day. Live just a little bit?” California insisted as she and Tennessee strolled along the beaches to the east of the docks. Since arriving at the base, the beach had become, unsurprisingly, California’s stomping ground. She strode through the shallows, kicking up the seafoam remnants of waves with her bare feet, her body clad in a dark blue bikini with gold trim. From her feminine hips hung a sheer shawl designed after her state’s flag, the bear and golden star accenting her behind.
“Easy for you to say. Tennessee doesn’t exactly have any beaches,” the elder sister replied.
“And since when did you care about your home state?”
“Never.”
“Then you have no excuse! Come on, Tenn; the water’s great!”
“We’re boats, of course it is,” she sighed, nevertheless caving and joining her sister, if only to stem the tide of good-mannered nagging. Her uniform vanished and was quickly replaced by PT shorts and her black sports bra. California groaned.
“You have absolutely no fashion sense, sis, you know that?”
“I’m a machine of war, Cali. I don’t need fashion sense.”
“Mhm, your partner doesn’t seem to mind admitting she’s more than a boat,” California countered coyly, pointing with discretion towards the dry sand of the beach and the tropical tree line just beyond. There sat Downes and Ooshio, the former having long discarded her jacket and oversized t-shirt.
“I’m going to have to talk to her about that,” Tennessee said quietly, seeing that Downes had managed to connect her studded leather collar to a bra in similar black material, complete with metallic studs along the straps and over her nipples. The battleship didn’t bother looking close enough to see if she’d changed her underwear to a similar material, or if she was just indulging in rank hedonism on some sort of brave whim. Regardless of her own thoughts on the matter, the ensemble was having the desired effect on its intended recipient. Tennessee watched with a hardened expression and clenched jaw as a flushed Ooshio ran her fingers tenderly over Downes’ exposed musculature, the Union destroyer leaning against a palm tree and her new girlfriend resting among the sand and grass. Despite the lewd situation the two of them were deep in discussion, with Downes waving her hands about animatedly. No doubt she was in the middle of one tale or another. Catching Tennessee’s eye, the ashen-haired girl waved from the shade, prompting Ooshio to look their way as well before promptly turning red again and burying her head in the crook of Downes’ neck.
“Aww, she’s so cute! And she was looking straight at your abs by the way,” California laughed. She didn’t know Downes well, but the young woman had always struck her as a dominant and protective type. “It’s a good match, don’t you think?”
“I think I need a new sparring partner,” Tennessee growled.
“That’s not fair, sis! She can have her fun and still train with you.”
“And what about you?” The elder sister pulled her cap over her eyes. “You have yourself someone to watch your back?”
“Other than you, you mean?” California smiled as a wave lapped at their bare ankles.
“Yes, other than me.”
“Yep, brand new ships too!” California insisted, pointing at the Houston and Minneapolis far out in the bay. Tennessee nodded.
“Good.”
“When are you going to talk to him, Tenn, seriously?” California’s tone grew worried. “If the worst happens-”
“There’s nothing to talk about, Cali!” Tennessee insisted sternly.
“You can lie to the others but not to me. I see right through you. I’m your sister,” the younger replied, holding Tennessee’s gaze.
“Look,” the battleships gaze out to the northern ocean. “If both of us survive tomorrow, there will be nothing that needs to be said.”
“Your state may not have beaches, but you’re more stubborn than a Tennessee mule,” California relented, throwing her hands up. “Oh well, I’ll just have to make sure you two hardheads live to tell the tale!”
“Just stay behind me, sis. Everything will be fine.” Tennessee wrapped her arm around California’s shoulder and pulled her closer. The sisters continued along the shoreline, silence supplemented by the song of gulls, the rustling of palm fronds, and the roll of the surf.
California smiled as she rested her head on Tennessee’s shoulder. “Yeah, we’ll be fine.”
-----
As Z23 stumbled out of the conductive matrix, gasping for breath, a rush of relief and weakness washed over her. Her collapse was forestalled by Thorson’s arms. When the waters had risen above her head and her world went dark, horrific flashes of the past returned. His warmth banished them.
“Zed, you alright?” he demanded quietly. Their corner of the labs was deserted and quiet, with bulins occasionally entering through the main doors far at the other end to pick up ammunition or oil for the ships ready to sortie.
“It is done, mein Kommandant.”
“Shall we go see her?” Thorson suggested, relieved and pleased to feel the give of her body against his arms. The girl of skin and bones who he’d bathed weeks before was gone. Her cheeks were rosy, her hair had grown flaxen and lustrous, and her chest finally looked at home on her slim, fit frame.
“In a moment, Kommandant. I am still weak,” she explained as the Iron Cross of her rigging mark still glowed almost angrily with a bright blue light.
“No problem,” he smiled, pushing up quickly with his legs into a standing, bridal carry. Zed gasped and held on tight, finding her arms wrapped around his neck and her lips brushing against his fabric-covered clavicle. He could feel her exhale against his pulse point. Her lips followed after. When he glanced down at her, she craned her neck and offered him another kiss, which he accepted willingly.
“I would be loath to head into battle knowing Laffey and Javelin had received your affections in such a way without me,” she whispered as he carried her to the nearest door that led to the docks outside. Her words saw him halt and give her another, longer kiss. This one she was strong enough to receive and relish. Downes’ bravery had broken his resolve with regards to his more mature destroyers. The looming specter of death by kitsune was also a factor, if he was honest with himself. “Mein gott, Kommandant… I did not know you felt such-”
“I remember when you first came to us,” was all he said as he turned and pushed his back against the door and carried them out into the sunlight. A gleaming, sleek hull of Germanic make sat in the waters before them, devoid of any hint of siren taint. She was narrow enough to fire her torpedoes to starboard or port from two fixed quad torpedo batteries in the middle of her hull. To her stern sat depth charge launchers and other anti-submarine armaments common in the Atlantic, and her four 5.9 inch cannons completed the look. Placing Z23 on the docks, Thorson stood back as she activated her rigging and placed her hand against the cool steel. Atop her mast appeared an ancient flag, one Thorson only knew from his studies of the wars of the European continent, the North German War Ensign. “How long since that flag has flown?” he couldn’t help but wonder.
“1919, mein Kommandant,” she replied sadly. “That was the year my people’s spirit was broken. They still believe the Fuhrer commands them… we would never recover if they knew the truth.”
“About the sirens?”
“Ja, Kommandant. If it is too much I can-”
“I think it suits you far better than Akashi and Fusou’s splinter faction colors, Zed,” Thorson assured her.
“It is a shame that the Ironblood and Union were never allies. Such a force would be unstoppable,” Zed insisted quietly, her expression one of contemplation as opposed to practical conquest.
“Maybe that’s for the best then, at least until we face the sirens directly. I know we have to fight this battle first, but I haven’t forgotten what they did to you and the others. I’ll help them if I can, Lord willing.” Zed took his hand.
“Danke, for standing by me until I was ready to stand on my own again, Kommandant. You should go and be seen among the rest of your fleet. I will take her to sea and begin maintenance drills at once.”
“Don’t be late for dinner Zed, that’s an order,” Thorson commanded, removing her beret and ruffling her hair softly. She smiled and took her headgear from him before turning back to her reforged vessel.
“You may call me N-Nimi, if you wish. I would never deny your orders, Kommandant. I will be alright, I promise.”
“That’s what I’m counting on out there!” Maryland shouted, walking along the narrow strip of cement dock that separated the lab’s dry-dock from the building itself. She laughed at the expression on Thorson’s face. “Don’t worry, I didn’t hear anything. Two of you look cute together though. Commander, I’m going to spend some time getting to know my battle partner one on one. Do as she says and run along now?”
“You big seven are something else,” Thorson laughed, straightening his cap.
“And tomorrow you’ll be happy you have us, sir. See you for dinner. Let’s go, little one.”
“Of course, Maryland. Allow me to show you around my armaments, radar, and sonar,” Zed agreed with pride in her voice that could only be described as German, leading the battleship onward. Thorson was left behind to appreciate the ship as it let out a blast on its horn and took to the sea, the dry-dock filling itself thanks to the prompt action of the bulin crews. He didn’t know how to describe the worry in his chest, but he thought it might be something close to the sorrow of a father sending his son off to war.
“Godspeed, Nimi.”
-----
“Tono-sama, it is good to see you,” Fusou said quietly from her seat atop one of the cushions on the sheltered deck that oversaw the rest of the onsen. She was quickly drowned out by Yuudachi and company, who reacted quite strongly to Thorson’s state of dress. The three destroyers were doing their nails along with their battleship counterparts.
“Yamashiro-san, I can smell him all over you, you know? And please stay still. Shikikan, can you not walk around with your chest out like that. It makes this difficult!” Shigure insisted as Yamashiro moved her fingers in an effort to turn at the waist and catch a glimpse of Thorson’s towel-clad figure. He nodded to his battleships.
“Just following Akashi’s rules, no shirt no shoes for me at least. Can’t just snap my fingers and summon a pair of swim trunks like you lot. This looks fun.”
“Arizona-san, not you too nanoda!” Yukikaze groaned, watching the Union battleship’s face soften and eyes sparkle as she let her gaze run over Thorson’s war-forged body.
“Oh my sweet little Yukikaze, when you’re grown and you find the right man you’ll understand too. Would you like a bow in white, red, or black? We have plenty of colors to choose from,” Arizona asked caringly. She brushed Yukikaze’s short, snowy hair as the Sakura destroyer sat between her legs, looking over silk ribbons to accentuate her look.
“Yukikaze the Great does not need a man, nanoda! But she would like this black ribbon please,” the kitten requested, holding out a black strip of fabric trimmed with white lace. Arizona leaned over and pecked the girl on her head, the teardrop hairpin she’d received from Yamashiro months before glinting brightly in the late afternoon sun. “He he heeee~” Yukikaze tittered, closing her eyes and relenting against the onslaught of Arizona’s kind attentions. Nearby, Yuudachi and Pennsylvania had no such compunctions.
“You thinking what I’m thinking, pup?”
“Meat. Tasty looking meat, wan~!” Yuudachi replied immediately, licking her chops as she and Penny looked at Thorson. Fusou couldn’t help a giggle as Thorson proved more adept at handling open affection from his ships than when he’d first opened up to the idea.
“I like the green. It matches your eyes,” he said to Pennsylvania before turning to Yuudachi. “And that’s quite the colorful ensemble you have there.”
“Do you like it, Shikikan?” The snow white inu asked happily, almost flashing the entire crew as she hopped up quickly, her breasts bouncing as she held out her nails for him to examine. They were a mix of pink and baby blue. On another girl they’d be gaudy, but they seemed to fit Yuudachi quite well. He gave her a firm pat between the ears.
“I do. It’s perfect for you. Glad to see you’re all making the most of this time. Now why don’t you finish up with Penny, yeah? She deserves to look good too, right?”
“Wan~! Pennsylvania-san, can we take him to bed together tonight?”
“Nope. If I’m spending a night with him he’s mine and mine alone. You work up the courage yourself if that’s what you want. Now get back here and paint my left hand, would you?”
“Okay! Maybe later, Shikikan!” Yuudachi told him, returning to her cushion and nail polish as Thorson allowed himself a relieved laugh and sat next to Fusou. She readily leaned against him and inhaled.
“Shigure is right, tono-sama. I can smell my sister all over you. It will take days to come off.”
“N-Nee-san!” Yamashiro squeaked as Shigure wiggled her armored ears.
“You should not have taken him so many times if you were going to be embarrassed about it,” Fusou replied serenely. “Though somehow I doubt he minded?”
“Way to put me on the spot, Fusou,” Thorson said quietly, wrapping an arm around her plush waist and making sure she knew he’d absolutely not had his fill of Fusou-class battleships in his bedroom. “For now I just want to make sure everyone’s alright.”
“See for yourself,” the shrine maiden insisted, gesturing to the pools beyond. The kitchen staff and other Asashio class sisters were clustered together in the water having a polite conversation. Ark Royal could be seen in a one piece suit, taking each of the flavored kittens for their turn at swimming. Mutsuki and Mikazuki were sitting at the side of the pool, splashing their feet in the warm water as Ark supported Kisaragi’s belly and instructed her in freestyle.
“She’s really good with them,” Thorson said quietly, unable to help but consider shipgirls as mothers. He’d already taken many as lovers; it was the natural progression of things.
“She is indeed. Tomorrow will be trying for them,” Fusou observed sadly.
“We won’t let them hit the island,” he promised, earning nods of approval from destroyers and battleships alike.
“Someone has to put Akagi and Kaga in their place,” Shigure insisted. “Their aims were noble, but they sacrificed too much, and were too willing to sacrifice others.” Following that surprisingly mature proclamation from the black dog morph, Yamashiro hugged her tightly.
“Have faith in tono-sama. He will see us through.”
“Not like I have much of a choice at this point. I defected to come find you, remember? With Yuudachi and Yuki gone that Sanctuary was awful. Now stay still please, so I can finally finish your fingers and we can move onto your toes. Oh don’t blush so much! I’m sure he saw your toes and a whole lot more when you two were breeding like cats!”
“Quiet with the little ones around,” Fusou insisted sternly with a whip of her thin, black tail.
“Haha, baka-inu,” Yukikaze teased, only to have Arizona pinch her cheek just hard enough to be uncomfortable.
“Bad kitty,” she chided softly. When Yukikaze’s lower lip began to quiver, Arizona took her into a surrounding embrace and kissed her ears. “There there, I still love you, little one. It’s just good to be polite to our friends. Here, let’s get this bow on so you can look your best for the battle tomorrow. There we go!”
Thorson gave them all a broad smile as order and peace was restored, with Yuudachi standing up to brush Penny’s hair. Even the usually stoic battleship seemed happy to indulge in her feminine side around him and her friends. He couldn’t help but point it out. “We’ve come a long way since that night you arrived here,” he told her. She nodded.
“And the journey has only begun, sir.”
“Hey Michishio, can we have meat for dinner?” Yuudachi wondered loudly. The shrine maiden’s manjuu chirped happily and she nodded. “Hooray! Wan~!”
“Yeah, would be a shame to have it all end now,” Thorson agreed.
-----
Following a wonderful spread at dinner, testament to hard work by Fredrick and the girls, the base finally descended into peaceful tension. The afternoon’s frolicking gave way to training and meditation, with Downes, Tennessee, and many others sparring hand to hand around the Union dorm’s annex. Fusou, Yamashiro, and many other Sakura left for the shrine to pray to the gods for victory. Some shipgirls, like Minneapolis, simply headed out to their hulls, wanting to settle in before the battle. Knowing he was very unlikely to find sleep that night, Thorson headed back to the onsen. While the view of his girls in towels and bathing suits was certainly easy on the eyes, the sound of running water, the view of steam and lanterns in the night, and the softness of the cushions Akashi had provided all recommended the onsen as more than just a place to see and be seen. When he emerged from the men’s room he found a pair of white rabbit ears popping out from behind the rocks that lined parts of the onsen’s border.
“Hey Laffey,” he called quietly, smiling as they twitched and she turned to face him. She hummed and stood, completely unfazed as he looked at her naked body, glistening with water and moonlight.
“Commander has come to spend the night with his first love, yes yes,” Laffey declared, collecting her towel and flask. She tied it around her chest and concealed her matured form from him once more, proof of her retrofit. Silently she followed him up to the lounge area and promptly sat in his lap. After a swig, she offered him the flask.
“How could I ever forget my first ship,” he whispered, feeling the burn of warm bourbon slip down his throat. “This is it for tonight. We can’t be drunk tomorrow morning, or hungover.”
“Laffey understands well, yes yes. Commander yearns to defeat the evil foxes and their fleets. Laffey will assist.”
“Thanks,” he murmured, kissing the back of her head and leaning back against one of the pillars that held up the structure. Laffey took the opportunity to press herself back against him.
“Does Commander ever wonder why Laffey has not sought him out at night?” she asked, displaying a maturity he was unaware she possessed.
“No.”
“Why, Commander?”
“That’s why,” he said quietly pointing to two figures that had just entered the onsen from the women’s showers. Javelin was gleefully leading Zed by the hand towards the warm water. As they approached, the former allowed her towel to fall away from her lithe, evasive body freely. She hopped into the water and sighed happily as it enveloped and soothed her. Zed was left standing nearby, holding her towel tightly to her figure. Thorson smiled thinly. “She’s come a long way.”
“Laffey loves Zed and Javey. She is afraid we will face Ayanami tomorrow, yes she is.” The bunny took another swig as Zed finally stepped into the pool, quickly removed her towel and dropped the rest of the way so as to not expose herself. Javelin laughed anew and hugged her, complimenting her on her bravery and figure before pointing to Thorson and Laffey. The Ironblood almost fainted on the spot.
“If we can avoid her, we will. You know I don’t want to kill them… not her at least,” Thorson promised. Laffey nodded.
“But she may try to kill Commander, and Laffey cannot have that, no no. This cannot be the last night Laffey sleeps together with Commander and her friends.”
“And who decided that?” he wondered, taking another swig. Without warning Laffey turned and kissed him hard, claiming her share of the alcohol before pulling away to look at him with sleepy, red eyes.
“Laffey decided when Zed decided to fight again, yes yes.”
“Mission accomplished,” Thorson sighed with relief, resting his head back against the wooden beam. Laffey nodded in agreement before returning to her position and taking another sip.
“Mission accomplished, yes yes. Laffey and her Commander have a new mission now. Laffey is stronger. Laffey is wiser. Laffey is drunker. Laffey is ready, yes she is.”
“Then I’ll be taking that,” Thorson declared, snatching the flask away, capping it, and tossing it towards a nearby kotatsu. Laffey didn’t have time to protest before both his arms wrapped around her. The trade was adequate, and by the time Javelin and Zed finished their soak and joined them she was fast asleep. A quick rearranging of cushions later, the three girls were snuggled soundly under a kotatsu along with Thorson. Though his nerves mounted and grew with each passing moment, the sounds of the island at night and the soft breathing of the girls who trusted him lulled his eyelids closed with the help of the bourbon. And so on the eve of Midway, even Andrew Thorson found sleep.
-----
“Hey, nee-san?”
“What is it, Hiryuu?”
“Is it wrong that tonight feels… beautiful?”
“You aren’t often known for sentimentality, little sister.”
“Can’t help it. Tomorrow, no, it’s surely long after midnight. Today there will be fire, blood, and chaos. Today we finish what we started back in December. But for now, the moon is beautiful. Watching it set in the west as the sky begins to turn red in the east? There’s nowhere I’d rather be right now.”
“The world has seemed… brighter, these last few days. But do not allow it to cloud your focus. Ready your talismans and cards. This will be the greatest game of hanafuda we ever play.”
“I’m as ready as I’ve ever been, Soryuu-nee. We’ll secure victory for the Sakura today. We’ll fulfill our destiny!”
“Yes… yes we will.”
“The time for preparation is over. This is Akagi of the first carrier division! All carriers ready your aircraft. All ships prepare for battle! Our first target is the airfields at Midway.”
-----
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Nifty Or Thrifty: TSA Season 2 Continentals (Part 1)

Howdy, folks. First off, if you're reading this for the purposes of prepping for Continentals, congratulations! Very likely you got this far by ignoring my advice, so uh... what are you doing here? 😂
The "Nifty Or Thrifty" article series takes a comprehensive look at various condensed metas--Silph Arena Continentals, in this case--particularly focused on Pokémon where you can save yourself some stardust. More than likely, you got this far by splurging a bit, but with the way this format has been formulated, you may still need some cheap options in certain slots.
I won't rehash what the folks at Silph already wrote about it, but I'll just say that this is a whitelist format, with a specific group of Pokémon to select from for each of your six team slots. As just one example, in Slot #3, you can select Azumarill OR Registeel OR Skarmory OR Altaria, but only one. That will break up some GBL and former Silph Cup cores for sure! Read more about the specifics over here.
So, I will be mixing up the format of this article a bit to match. Instead of listing all the Pokémon with a 10k cost to add a second move, then 50k, and so on, I will instead go slot by slot and list the eligible 'mons I think are most worthy of consideration, going from 10k on down through 100k in each of those sections. And instead of my usual section split out for each (10k, 50k, and so on), I will instead mark each one with some 💸s. One is 25k, two is 50k, three means 75k, and finally four 💸 means you're dealing with a Legendary/Mythcal and its 100k second move cost. Make sense? Hope so, because we've got a lot of ground to cover, so let's gooooo!
Today, for the purposes of splitting this massive meta into bite size chunks, I will be looking ONLY at Slots 1 and 2. I will have two more sections this week covering Slots 3 and 4, and then finally 5 and 6, so stay tuned throughout the week for those. Hell or high water, I WILL have them all out before the weekend, as that's when Continentals begin! 😬

SLOT #1 - Fire/WateGrass

CHARIZARD 💸
Fire Spin/Wing Attackᴸ | Dragon Claw & Blast Burnᴸ
Always a threat when it's in a meta? Blast Burn. And usually the best pure Blast Burninator around? Charizard, the only one that flies, and carries a great bait move to boot. Continentals Zard comes in two main flavors: Wing Attack or Fire Spin. The former gets Poliwrath, Noctowl, and Flygon, while the latter instead nets Perrserker, Alolan Muk, Galvantula, Froslass, and Cradily. Either way, Zard can burn through most Steel, Grass, Charm, Fighting, and Bugs, and outslug a number of other things in neutral on neutral battles. Charizard certainly has a place in this meta, and remains a budget player hero.
BLAZIKEN 💸
Counter | Blaze Kick & Blast Burnᴸ/Stone Edgeᴸ
Here, again, we have a choice: Blast Burn or Stone Edge? By the numbers, Blast Burn is better, picking up wins over Noctowl, Stunfisk, and of all things, Quagsire. However, Stone Edge is obviously much better counter coverage, best exemplified by the fact that it can eke out a win over even Altaria. Like Zard, Blaze terrorizes Steels, Grasses, and Bugs, but struggles against Charm (for obvious reasons) and Fighters, trading most of those for extra hate against Darks and Ices. On some teams, it will fit better than Zard... all depends on which extra niche sounds more appealing to you and your team.
SCEPTILE 💸
Bullet Seed | Earthquake & Leaf Blade
I won't try to hide it... several of Sceptile's impressive number of wins come from successfully baiting out a shield with Leaf Blade and striking the killing blow with a followup Earthquake. But certainly not all. It obliterates Waters and Muds and some other notable names (like AhChu and Probopass) with just Leaf Blade spam, and can just forgo baiting and double Earthquake a notable list as well. But yes, for FULL success, you're going to want to nab a shield. That's not TOO difficult a prospect as quickly as Sceptile throws charge moves out there, but it is just a fact of how you gotta play it.
CHERRIM (SUNNY) 💸
Bullet Seed | Weather Ball (Fire) & Solar Beam
Cherrim is a great core breaker. It beats Azumarill and Registeel, as well as most all Waters, Muds, Steels, Grasses, and even stuff like Obstagoon and AhChu and Flygon. And it's cheap to add a second move too! What's not to love? You have to like the value of getting the Grass and Fire roles (mostly) rolled into one when you consider something like Cherrim is the ONLY pick you can go with in this slot.
SERPERIOR 💸
Vine Whip | Grass Knot & Aerial Ace
With the other Vine Whipping Grass starters not on the guest list, Serperior still sneaks through and gets a chance to show its stuff. Obviously it pines for its future with Frenzy Plant, but Grass Knot is still a good enough approximation, and Aerial Ace adds some handy coverage that allows it to do not only standard Grass stuff, but also handle the Fighters that look rather dangerous in this meta. As you'll see in a bit, that's a very good secondary role to have here.
BLASTOISE 💸
Water Gun | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Skull Bash
🎶 It's all about that bulk, 'bout that bulk, go turtle! ♫ Sorry, sorry... but in all seriousness, it IS all about that bulk. Blastoise is the bulkiest Hydro Cannon Pokémon in the game, and numbers 2-4 really aren't all that close. So while it lacks the fancy Ground moves of Swampert and the Ice and Dark shenanigans of Feraligatr and the useful subtyping of Empoleon, Blastoise trails only Swampy (who is, of course, not IN this format) in overall effectiveness, doing everything you'd want a Water to do in dousing Fires, Grounds, and Steels (yes, even Registeel). But it also handles other Waters well by either outbulking them in ineffective-on-ineffective Water fights or slapping them with an unresisted Skull Bash. In this way, it does something Swampert and the other Mud Boys like Quagsire only dream of: beat Azumarill. That's right... Blastoise can handle Regi AND Azu in addition to the standard Water role AND taking out things like Charmers and Mud Boys and Ghosts and outbulking even things like Noctowl and Alolan Muk. If you want a good, solid Water that will always put up a fight, without having to rely on Azu itself, Blastoise would like a word.
EMPOLEON 💸
Waterfall| Hydro Cannonᴸ & Flash Cannon
The other Hydro Cannon user worthy of your consideration, though it may not look like it on the surface. It's true, Empoleon does not have the breadth of varied wins that Blastoise does, but what it does have, thanks to its handy Steel subtyping, is built in resistance to Fairy, Dragon, Flying, Psychic, Normal, and other useful resistances that allow it to beat Altaria, Skarmory, Munchlax, and even Cradily, none of which Blastoise can overcome, as well as convincingly taking down Charmers and Noctowl and such. It's not all sunshine and roses, as Steel adds worrisome vulnerabilities to Fighting and Ground that other Waters don't have to contend with, and Empoleon cannot overcome Azumarill or Registeel as Blastoise does (though it does at least TIE Azu), but with the right team around it, Empie could be a critical component of tournament winning teams.
PRINPLUP 💸
Bubble | Icy Wind & Hydro Pump
Yes, really. With the caveat that it needs to land a Hydro Pump to do so, Empoleon's pre-evolution can use Pump to close out wins over Azumarill, Registeel, Munchlax, Probopass, Obstagoon, Froslass and others. And it's not JUST a one trick pony... Icy Wind is enough alongside Bubble to take out all the big Fires, everything Flying but Altaria and DB Gyarados and TS Zapdos, plus Quagsire and Blastoise (shaking off a Skull Bash along the way) and Alolan Muk and Flygon and Sableye and even Shiftry. No beating around the bush: this is a bold pick, definitely spice, and you may not be looking for that with championships dangling out there in front of you. But hey, it wouldn't be me if I didn't point to SOME potential spice, now would it? 😉 And Prinplup is much more than just spice in the right hands.
WAILORD 💸
Water Gun | Surf & Hyper Beam
Wailord is shockingly decent in this meta. For one thing, it rather easily tops Azumarill and Registeel, outbulks most of the other Steels and Charmers, obliterates all Fires beats all Grounds but Garchomp and Torterra and all Rocks that aren't part Electric or Grass, outlasts all Ices but Lapras and Aboma, and even overcomes wild cards like Obstagoon and Sableye and A-Muk and Mantine and Haunter. Well, okay, that was like, six or seven or ten things. But look over the sim overview I linked to: it's a GOOD list, and Wailord can be built dirt cheap.
NINETALES 💸💸
Fire Spin | Psyshock & Overheat/Solar Beam
It's like Rainbow Cup all over again, because I think that Ninetales just may be the very best Fire type in this meta. It has the best numbers against the core meta, beating all the meta Ices, Steels (aside from Empoleon), and Grasses (with the sole exception of EQ Sceptile), plus all the Charmers too. If that's not enough, well, it also gets Noctowl, Obstagoon, Hitmontop, Munchlax, Galvantula, Alolan Muk, and oh yeah, fellow Fires Sunny Castform and Charizard. Just scan through that list in the link, because it's a VERY good list.
TANGROWTH 💸💸
Vine Whip | Rock Slide & Power Whip/Sludge Bomb
With the low number of Grass starters allowed, Tangrowth shoots up the Grass rankings as the best Vine Whipper available, with the bonus of having an excellent coverage move with Rock Slide. It can go full speed ahead into the Grass role with Power Whip, and while that is probably the best play, it also has the option to be more of a gimmick mon with Sludge Bomb instead. SB technically gets more wins (all against Grasses like Cherrim and Shiftry and the mirror) while not showing any new losses as compared to PW, though a number of formerly safe Water wins get scary close now. I'm going to recommend Power Whip, but there's a case there for Bomb if you want to really mess with your opponents' expectations.
BELLOSSOM 💸💸
Bullet Seed | Leaf Blade & Return/Dazzling Gleam
Plays a bit like Sceptile with the same insane Bullet Seed/Leaf Blade combo, but with significantly more bulk. That means it can also better guarantee a slow charging, closing move comes into play, and gives Bell better overall results than Sceptile. While Sceptile does much better against Steels, certain Fires (A-Wak and Castform), and things like A-Muk thanks to its Earthquake, Bell wins all the same things, and usually with more left in the tank, and beats other bulky opponents like Lapras and Mantine and Munchlax--and outlasts hard hitting opponents like Shiftry, Obstagoon, and Alolan Ninetales--that Sceptile cannot manage. Dazzling Gleam gets it Zweilous, while Return instead gets Victreebel and Galvantula, but all the rest comes with just Leaf Blade. Bellossom is one of the best Grass options in this format, and arguably the best one that's not a Razor Leafer (though heck, it can even do that, if that's more your cup of tea).
PARASECT 💸💸
Fury Cutter | X-Scissor & Solar Beam
I'm including this one mostly because I've seen a lot of chatter on it, so I wanted to take a peak into whether or not it was warranted. On the surface, yes, it looks viable, but this is another bait-heavy option that often relies on getting a shield with X-Scissor before building up to a devastating Solar Beam. That's how it gets some of the flashier names, like Melmetal, Galvantula, Hitmontop, Munchlax, and of course Azumarill. But interestingly, it can get all those other wins with X-Scissor alone. The fact that FC/XS gets all Grasses but Cradily and Bug-weak things like AhChu, Obstagoon, and even Zweilous is probably not surprising, but that it can also take down things like Stunfisk, Rainy Castform and Lanturn, Blastoise, Flygon, and even Quagsire without any Grass damage at all probably is a bit of a shock. The folks that have been buzzing about Parasect MAY be on to something. Are YOU bold enough to try it out?
LUDICOLO 💸💸
Razor Leaf/Bubble | Ice Beam & Energy Ball
There are two main variants you can run of everyone's favorite dancing pineapple, though both utilize Ice Beam and Energy Ball as Ludi's defacto best charge moves now. Razor Leaf Ludi is a very, very good RLer, toppling every single Water but Tentacruel, every Ground but Gligar, and every Rock but Crustle and Probopass, and every Ice but Aboma, AND conveniently most Fighters, Munchlax, AhChu, and all Ghosts but A-Wak and Drifblim. Bubble Ludi looks worse, giving up most of the Waters and Ghosts and Fighters and Munchlax and AhChu, but gaining Altaria, Probopass, Togekiss, and the majority of Fires. Whichever one of those fits your team better, it's a nice one to consider for its versatility in a format where you want to squeeze as much out of each team slot as possible.
SEAKING 💸💸
Poison Jabᴸ | Icy Windᴸ & Drill Runᴸ
Oh, I have been WAITING for this one. I finally get to cover Seaking in a Nifty Or Thrifty! And yes, it's really good here. The overall numbers look a bit so-so, but of course, triple Legacy Seaking can famously beat Azumarill, Registeel, AND Altaria, and everybody's team is all but guaranteed to have one of those. The King also takes down all Fires (well, except Moltres), every Fairy except sometimes Granbull, nearly all Flyers (Golbat, Skarmory, Dragonite, Moltres and Zapdos and a couple total fringe options are the few exceptions), most Waters (Lanturn and Rainy C and Mud Boys are the ONLY exceptions, and even Quagsire loses!) and even many prominent Grasses, including Cherrim, Ludi, Parasect, Shiftry, and Bellossom (with their ideal movesets). I think I've thrown enough names at you there... take a look again at the core meta results and decide if Seaking has a place on YOUR team. If you have one, it's a very strong contender for your #1 slot.
RAINY CASTFORM 💸💸💸
Water Gun | Weather Ball (Water) & Thunder
I'm just gonna drop the numbers... and the mic. If it isn't Grass, Electric, or Dragon, it's going to have a rough time with Rainy C. In fact, the only losses Rainy suffers to anything on that list that ISN'T Grass or Electric or a Dragon is Machamp, Obstagoon, Melmetal, and Alolan Ninetales. And that's it. Weather Ball is just nasty, and what it can't finish off, Thunder likely can. That includes Azu and Regi and Skarmory and Stunfisk and A-Muk and Poliwrath and Charizard and Flygon and Haunter and A-Wak and a whole host of others. This first team slot is PACKED, if you haven't been able to figure that out already, but here is yet another very potent contender.
SUNNY CASTFORM 💸💸💸
Ember | Weather Ball (Fire) & Solar Beam
I mean, it's fine, and Weather Ball is again pretty nuts. Grasses and Steels and Charmers and Ices certainly don't like it. The balance of wins and losses is very close to Rainy... except the wins and losses flip around the other way. Fire just isn't a fantastic typing, much more niche than the WateElectric combo that Rainy brings to the table. It's a good enough Fire type, but others that can do more like Charizard and Ninetales and Blaziken are just better thanks to their more versatile moves. Make no mistake, Solar Beam can and HAS snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for players in many past tournaments, but especially up at this level of play, it's not something you want to bank on too much. I think Sunny is best left cheering from the sidelines this time.
SUICUNE 💸💸💸💸
Snarl | Bubble Beam & Hydro Pump
Many Pokémon are a blunt instrument, where tap-tap-tapping faster than the opponent will get you victory. And then there are Pokémon like Suicune, which is a scalpel that can reap utter devastation in the right hands. If you're already considering it, you probably used it in Ferocious Cup to great effect. If you didn't... well, honestly, it's probably too late to learn it now. Suicune requires precise timing on the Bubble Beam baits and springing Hydro Pump at just the right time. If you can pull it off, it's deadly, but done wrong, it can all blow up in your face. Someone will make it work. Is that you? Only you can answer that question.

SLOT #2 - Ghost/Normal/Fighting

MUNCHLAX 💸
Lick | Body Slam & Bulldoze
There unfortunately aren't many viable 10,000 second move Pokémon in this slot, so may as well start with the best of them. I mean, even with just Body Spam, Munchie impressively can beat things like Mud Boys and A-Muk and Skarmory and several big Grasses and Waters and Ghosts and Fires and even Altaria. But with Bulldoze it becomes a Steel killer too, adding on Registeel, Probopass, Perrserker, and Jirachi, as well as Froslass (and shoring up Sableye)--giving it wins now over ALL Ghosts--and Lanturn. There are many roles that Munchlax can play, and it makes a nice, safe lead or swap in option that can at least put up a fight against nearly anything.
ALOLAN RATICATE 💸
Quick Attack | Crunch & Hyper Beam
Sort of a lesser Munchlax, with the caveat that it wins the head to head and better handles Darks and Psychics, where that matters. But aside from that and being able to tie Azumarill, maybe, this is really just budget Munchie. Of note: unlike many past metas, Hyper Fang doesn't get it done... it is Hyper Beam you likely want here, if you want A-Rat at all.
NOCTOWL 💸
Wing Attack | Sky Attack & Psychic
The best pure Flyer here, as expected, though that only goes so far. Yes, Grasses and Bugs hate it, as do Ghosts, and there are several other notable and perhaps surprising wins like Munchlax, Togekiss, Flygon, Hitmontop, Sableye and Poliwrath (despite their super effective Power Gem and Ice Punch... Noctowl is a TANK, remember), and even Azumarill and its Ice Beam aren't enough. Those are all very good things, but that loss column is distressingly--and surprisingly--long as well. One could argue this just isn't a very Flying-friendly meta, and Noctowl has as much success as it does in spite of it. I would still endorse it more fully if it didn't take up your precious second slot, but in this format? Despite all the good Mr. Owl can do, you may want to look elsewhere.
LUCARIO 💸
Counter | Power-Up Punch & Close Combat/Shadow Ball
Looking for a budget Fighter? Look no further. Find a Riolu with most IV spreads, second move it for the 10k Baby Discount™, evolve it, and at most you'll only have to power it up by half a level (if even that!) to have the perfect Great League Lucario. It used to be that Shadow Ball was standard, but now it's been almost unequivocally replaced by Close Combat, which--combined with Power-Up Punch--wins all the same matchups, PLUS stuff like Skarmory, Noctowl, Flygon, Galvantula, Rainy Castform, and Sableye, plus a slew of other stuff you see in those links yourself. It IS worth noting that, yes, PuP is often used for baiting, but even without baiting, its performance at least doesn't fall completely off a cliff, which is nice. Chances are you've gotten this far with SOME potent Fighter already built, but if not--or if it isn't allowed like, say, Medicham or Scrafty--Lucario can be built on the cheap and get you most of the same Fighting performance you'll get from others. And Fighting is quite big here, as we'll see very soon....
PRIMEAPE 💸💸
Counter | Night Slash & Close Combat
You really for an absolute shock? Primeape may be the best Fighter in this format. No, stop laughing. I'm quite serious. Just LOOK at that list... it's quite extensive. Now, it doesn't include Azumarill or Altaria, but Primeape can do all the things you want your Fighter to do, AND can beat all the other Counter users but Hitmonchan and Heracross, AND has a solid threat to Psychics and Ghosts in Night Slash that MUST be respected and can go off for a huge damage boost at any time. Again, look at that list and tell me what's not to love. Well, I'll beat you to it: a number of wins DO require getting a shield with Night Slash and setting up a closing Close Combat, but in reality, that's true of most all the big Fighters here (Lucario and Hitmonchan with PuP, Machamp with Cross Chop, Blaziken with Blaze Kick, etc.), so I don't consider that a damning strike against Ape. You may feel safer with Machamp or Blaziken or one of those other tried and true options, and that's fine. They're great too. But if you're the go big or go home type, give Primeape a good, hard look. I think it could legit win you the whole enchilada this go-round.
MACHAMP 💸💸
Counter | Rock Slide & Cross Chop
Speaking of the tried and true, Machamp is a well-known commodity now. That's a good and bad thing--good in that it's easy to use and you likely have a good feel for it, bad in that the opponent is unlikely to be surprised. I did look over various other moveset combinations, but there really aren't any that can match Cross Chop/Rock Slide, which gives Machamp great, shield-pressuring Fighting damage output and a very good coverage move that allows it to force shields on things that normally would never have to shield a Fighter, and can legit steal away wins. But beware... Machamp is a bit squishy down at Great League level, just barely less so than Primeape, and while it can outslug many things, that health bar must be watched closely.
POLIWRATH 💸💸
Mud Shot | Dynamic Punch & Hydro Pump/Ice Punch
Poli's normal Mud Shot/Ice Beam/Dynamic Punch moveset looks surprisingly tepid in this meta. Sure, Steels and Darks and Ices still loathe it, with Ice Punch hurting Dragons and Grounds and making Flyers play honest too. But Poliwrath may be best forgoing all that for pure power with Hydro Pump instead, trading away Altaria, Zweilous, and Haunter for potential wins over A-Wak, Beedrill, Stunfisk, Sableye, and others instead. Poliwrath lags behind Fighters with Counter in the pure Fighter role, but it has options those others can only dream off. Despite the obvious downtick in overall success, it should and certainly will still find a welcome spot on teams in Continentals. Is yours one of them?
ZANGOOSE & PERRSERKER 💸💸
Shadow Claw | Close Combat & Night Slash/Foul Play
Everyone's talking about the new hotness Perrserker, and why it shows up in this slot, and I'm just over here like, "hey guys, have you seen how Zangoose is just flat out better anyway?". Because yes, Perrserker is fine, but when you compare it to Goose... well, there doesn't appear to be much comparison. But that's what I do, so here we go. Both reliably beat most Ices, Rocks, Psychics, and--somewhat curiously--Grasses. Perrserker uses its Steel typing to do better against Dragons and Fairies (uniquely beating Altaria, Togekiss, and Alolan Ninetales, for example), as well as Flyers (Noctowl, Skarmory) and Grass (Shiftry, Victreebel). Zangoose and its Normal typing, by contrast, does better against Ghosts (uniquely winning A-Wak and crushing Haunter as opposed to Perr's barely-there, less-than-10-HP victory) and Grounds (Flygon, Marshtomp), winning there where Perrserker cannot. Goose also has a better overall Dark move, with Night Slash clocking in 10 energy cheaper than Foul Play and, of course, carrying that looming boost threat. Largely on the speed of Slash, Zangoose also uniquely defeats Flygon, Blastoise, Galvantula, Munchlax, Melmetal, Quagsire, Obstagoon, Alolan Raichu, and Registeel and the head to head versus Perrserker. As with many other Night Slashers, Zangoose's performance DOES take a hit if it misses baits, but not too drastically, missing out on Flygon, Munchie, Melmetal, Zweilous, and Goonie, but actually gaining Sunny Castform by going double Close Combat as a small consolation prize. Anyway, end of the day, both are useable and have the kind of versatility you like to see here, though I think Goose is your better--and underrated--option.
ALOLAN MAROWAK 💸💸
Fire Spin | Bone Club & Shadow Ball/Fire Blast
You may think there are no surprises left with A-Wak at this point. It's been a staple of a ton of Silph Cups to this point, and this season in particular. But while the standard Fire Spin/Bone Club/Shadow Ball set has the best overall results and does well against the core meta, it is NOT the only option. Because there is a real case for Fire Blast too. Shadow Ball is a better move overall, and it alone gets A-Wak Ludicolo and Fighters Machamp and Hitmontop, but Fire Blast is more of a home run, with unique potential wins against Lapras (well, SB can do it with very high Attack, but....) and Noctowl and Cradily. Now would I necessarily recommend Blast over Ball? I don't know... that's a pretty bold move. But if you like bold moves, Fire Blast A-Wak looks like one you could pull off to great effect. It's a legit alternative.
FROSLASS 💸💸
Powder Snow | Avalanche & Shadow Ball
I know she's a fan favorite, and folks will be bringing Lass no matter what I say, but honestly, she's a little underwhelming in this meta. Yes, Dragons obviously flee in terror, and most meta Flyers want nothing to do with Lass either, but her other best roles--taking out Grasses, Ghosts, Grounds, Psychics--are inconsistent. She can beat A-Wak, but not Haunter. Vine Whippers and Bullet Seeder Grasses tend to fall, but Shiftry and Razor Leafers generally do not. Even against Fighters, one of her biggest claims to fame in past Silph formats, she can take many but not the likes of Machamp, Primeape, and Blaziken, who all have moves that pretty consistently turn the tables. Don't get me wrong... I DO get the appeal. Froslass does a number of very good things and is lethally dangerous in the right hands. But for me, she just doesn't do quite enough to get a rousing endorsement from me for the coveted second team slot.
THE LICKIBOYS 💸💸
Lick | Body Slamᴸ & Power Whip/Earthquake
Really, they're mostly just worse Munchlax. Lickitung's biggest claim to fame is trading in Registeel for an Azumarill win thanks to Power Whip, and holding on to Altaria, but otherwise it basically is just worse. Lickilicky has Earthquake which allows it to hold (barely) Registeel, and notably it alone among the three Body Slammers can sneak a win over Obstagoon and Stunfisk, but it also cannot match Munchie in overall performance. I think if you use the Lickis, it's because you like them and/or have a shiny to show off. They're not bad, just outclassed, IMO.
HITMONCHAN 💸💸💸
Counter | Close Combat & ________ Punch
Before I say anything else, note the potential for big cost savings here if you've hatched a good Tyrogue (with Defense being its highest stat IV)... second move for only 10,000 dust and THEN evolve to 'Chan, level up to Level 23ish, and you're done. Otherwise it's 75k for the second move, so if you trade for a Chan and THEN have to second move... ouch. Anyway, however you get there, a double moved Chan wants Close Combat for sure, and then you can trick it out with really any Punch move for extra coverage and baits. The "best" of the Elemental Punches is probably Ice, as it alone can get Altaria, but otherwise they basically all work the same in the end. Even Power-Up Punch is a consideration, unable to get Altaria but making Sableye and Serperior much easier. While your selection of second move may not actually lead to many new wins, the fact that it has such a large pool of options is a good way to keep the pressure on the opponent. Chan remains a solid but seemingly always underrated Fighting option.
GALLADE 💸💸💸
Confusion | Leaf Blade & Close Combat
Not really a true Fighter, though here it counts among them. Not really a true Psychic either. Gallade is really more of a generalist. Its best role is actually as a quasi-Grass thanks to Leaf Blade, beating most of the big Waters and Grounds of note (though not quite that darn little Azumarill). It also manages to whoop Obstagoon and most of the biggest Steels like Probopass, Melmetal, and Regi with Close Combat, and beats Haunter and ALL eligible Fighters thanks to Confusion damage. Gallade isn't the best Fighter or Confusioner or Grass, but the fact that it can masquerade pretty well in all those roles gives it great value when you want... well, great value from each of your carefully selected team picks.
SNORLAX 💸💸💸
Lick | Body Slam & Superpower
Snorlax is the patron saint of varied movepools. You can run with big closing moves like Earthquake and Outrage and Skull Bash, but it does generally work best with Body Slam and, these days, as a quasi-Fighter itself thanks to Superpower, which gets it TEN wins more than Body Slam alone... basically all Steels, Rocks, Darks, and little bro Munchlax. Snorlax and Munchlax are actually very close in performance, with Munchie a little more solid against Steels, Fires, and Electrics, and its slight bulk advantage giving it things like Altaria and Sableye, whereas Snorlax does much better against Darks and Rocks and outracing Melmetal while Munchie cannot. They're both excellent generalists, depending on which fills that hole on your team a little better. The cost difference SEEMS large, but do keep in mind that Munchie has to be leveled up to about 30 (and 20 to 30 is, how about that, 75,000 dust), so there's a decent chance Snorlax COULD actually be cheaper to build from the ground up if you have one in the mid to upper teens for its level. Something to consider.
SABLEYE 💸💸💸
Shadow Claw | Foul Play & Power Gem/Return
Another popular pick that just underwhelms. I've included it because Sable always generates hype, though it seems a little outmatched here. Beating things like Registeel and Probopass without dealing any super effective damage is quite nice, and it has a smattering of other eye-raising wins (A-Wak, AhChu, Haunter, Poliwrath, Charizard, Lapras, Beedrill, etc.), but it just doesn't seem to me like enough to justify burning a slot on it. You want your scrappy little wild card to do a bit more than Sable seems capable of.
GOLURK 💸💸💸
Mud Slap | Shadow Punch & Dynamic Punch
Honestly, if you're going to burn this slot on a Ghost, why not go for an unpredictable one? Beating a varied mix of Pokemon similar to Sableye, but with more pain being brought to Steels and Electrics thanks to Mud Slap hijinks, and also better results than Sable against Fighters and quasi-Fighters like Machamp and Obstagoon (and beating all the ones you care about except funky Poliwrath and Gallade). Again, if you're going to take a chance on a Ghost in this slot, why not do it with something that will keep the opponent on their toes?
And that's list of what I personally think--based on nearly a week of analysis--are the most impactful and reliable Pokémon for your first two team slots. I did look at EVERY eligible Pokémon for these slots, so if it's not listed above, it just didn't make the cut. They're not all trash or anything, but many (Typhlosion, Feraligatr, Milotic, Linoone, Hitmontop, Drifblim, and more) are just markedly worse--and often more expensive!--versions of things I DID highlight.
As I said at the start, I will be covering Slots 3-6 in other writeups this week, and I've already begun writing! So until then, you can always find me on Twitter for near-daily PvP analysis nuggets, or Patreon which now has a tie-in exclusive Discord server you can access to get straight through to me. And please, feel free to comment here with your own thoughts or questions and I'll try to get back to you!
Thank you for reading! I very much appreciate you taking the time to read all this and sincerely hope it helps you start crafting your team. Some of you may not need my help, but I am willing to bet many are still scrambling a bit, and that's why I do this! Good luck as you begin prepping, and check back throughout the week for more. Until then, good luck, my friends!
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Nifty Or Thrifty: Premier Cup

As always, the "Nifty Or Thrifty" series takes a comprehensive look at the meta for the upcoming Cup formats--Premier Cup, in this case--particularly focused on Pokémon where you can save yourself some stardust. As you all know, normally I write this for Silph Arena Cup formats in Great League, where things do not often have to be maxed out, but of course here we're talking Master League, so yeah, everything will be maxed. Therefore I will spend extra time on those with cheaper costs for adding a second charge move, as it's really the ONLY place where we can hope to get "thrifty". Because 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, but where can we get the best bang for our buck and where should we perhaps instead channel our inner scrooge?
We've got a lot to cover, so let's not waste any more time. Here we go, organized by Pokémon with the cheapest cost for adding a second move and moving on through from there.
(Do note that most of the linked simulation results below assume maxed out, 15-15-15 IV Pokémon on both sides of the equation. Your mileage obviously may vary depending on IVs on either side of a particular matchup, so watch out for the close matchups especially... a score of 500 is a tie, below is a loss, and above is a win. The closer the number is to 500, the closer the result!)

10,000 Dust/25 Candy

SWAMPERT
Mud Shot | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Earthquake/Sludge Wave
Likely the most common "cheap" Pokémon you'll see in the Cup, and the reason is simple: Swampert is a big player, and holds one of the best records against the core meta. The so-called "Mud Boys" (WateGround Pokémon) famously have only one weakness--a double one to Grass--and resistances to Steel, Electric, Fire, Poison, and Rock moves, (all very relevant in Master League) and therefore can run absolutely rampant against unprepared teams. Swampy is the only one that has the stats/CP to play with the big boys. While it has no great answers for two thirds of the "axis of evil" of Premier Cup (Dragonite, Togekiss, and Metagross), Swampert abuses Metagross, as well as other Steels, Electrics, Fires, and Grounds that are likely to appear, and can even stand toe to toe with things like Machamp and Gardevoir and simply outslug them. And while Flyers like Dragonite and Togekiss evade it, Swampy can at least make Togekiss play honest if it's packing Sludge Wave (and usually has time to fire off two of them, so no baiting necessary). Wave is a little risky though, as Swampert barely beats Metagross without the generally preferred Earthquake... Hydro Cannon often gets the job done against most opponents, and does against Gross, but Earthquake is a great finisher against Gross (that's a difference of well over 100 HP!) and others like Snorlax and can OHKO things like Magnezone and Electivire. And again, the second move is only 10,000 dust... you've already invested enough to max out your Swampert, so what's another 10k? Swampert is the textbook definition of "getting the bang for your buck" in Premier.
EMPOLEON
Waterfall | Hydro Cannonᴸ & Flash Cannon/Blizzard
Empie can do your standard Water things, walloping Fires and Ices (Water resists Ice, but not the other way around!) and Steels and Grounds, which a smattering of other Water types can all handle as well. But Empoleon has something other Waters don't: a Steel subtyping. That means it resists Charm and can therefore beat Togekiss and Gardevoir, which is very handy and puts it a cut above the vast majority of other Water types that can play at this level. And it really does all that with just Hydro Cannon... Flash Cannon or Blizzard SHOULD be added, especially being so cheap to do so, but their applications will be more for shieldless scenarios.
GYARADOS
Waterfall/Dragon Breath | Crunch & Hydro Pump
So everybody already knows that Gary is a player in Ultra and Master League, right? And Dragon Breath is the way to roll, right? Well, strictly by the overall numbers, yes, that looks like the better move than Waterfall. But I'm here surprising even myself by actually recommending you give strong consideration to Waterfall instead. Why? Because it seems better against the core meta--the Pokémon you are most likely to face--than does Dragon Breath. Waterfall wins all the same matchups there that Dragon Breath does--and usually with more remaining HP--and adds on wins against Rhyperior, Snorlax, and Gengar. I know, I've been convinced Breath is the move to go with in PvP too, but with the pool excluding Legendaries and Mythicals, Waterfall seems to pull ahead. May the Fast TMs be ever in your favor.
TORTERRA
Razor Leaf | Sand Tomb & Frenzy Plantᴸ/Stone Edge
If you have played PvP for any amount of time, you have surely run across a Razor Leafer at some point. It is an extremely punishing fast move that often tears things apart without needing to trouble itself with charge moves... Razor Leafers tend to laugh at shields. Most don't get big enough for Master League though... but Torterra does. It has the CP, bulk, and typing that allows it to hang in there and earned it my first ever Master League spotlight article. And there is one charge move it has that comes frequently enough that it does make an impact: Sand Tomb. It is very nasty here, as it lowers the Defense of the opposing mon--even if shielded!--and makes subsequent Razor Leafs all the more deadly, typically making each one deal 3-4 more damage, and that adds up FAST. That makes "Torterror" a major force in Premier, absolutely obliterating things weak to Grass, but also Electrics (with its Grass/Ground typing--the only such Pokémon in the game, by the way--it TRIPLE resists Electric damage) and other relevant things like Snorlax, Gardevoir, and Machamp.
SCEPTILE
Bullet Seed | Earthquake & Leaf Blade
I'll keep this one simple: it's all about that Earthquake. If Sceptile is able to bait a shield with Leaf Blade (tied for cheapest move in PvP and highest damage output of any 35-energy move, at 70 damage a pop!) and then land a Quake, it does some very nice things. If it doesn't... well, at least it can still shred a few things with Blades, or just forgo baiting and double Earthquake the Electrics. You get Rhyperior and Swampert and such ether way, which is nice. This is more of a high risk/high reward option, I admit, but if you're comfortable with using Sceptile in the lower leagues, yeah, you may like it here too.
I did look at other Grass starters, but they just struggle up at this level. VENUSAUR and MEGANIUM are the most promising, each doing normal Grass stuff (Rhyp, Swamp, etc.) and Venu having a small anti-Charm, anti-Fighting niche and Meg Earthquaking Electrics, but they just can't really do anything beyond that. Too bad.
TYPHLOSION
Shadow Claw | Blast Burnᴸ & Solar Beam/Overheat
With obvious applications against things like Metagross (and other Steel), Fairies, and Ices, Fire types are an intriguing option in Premier, but suffer from not having a lot of (non-Legendary) members that crest 3000 CP. Three of the best ones--all starters--don't even get that high. Typhlosion is probably the best of those three thanks to Shadow Claw, which is very widely unresisted here and a good move on top of that. It does all the things I mentioned before (beating Steel, Fairies, Ice, and of course other things like Grass), plus has advantages over other Fires like Charizard and just outdamages others like Conkeldurr. And don't forget the ever-present threat of Solar Beam which can win Typh things that NO Fire type has any right to, or at least force shields against things that have little to fear from other Fires.
CHARIZARD
Fire Spin/Air Slash/Wing Attackᴸ | Dragon Claw & Blast Burnᴸ
Charizard doesn't have Shadow Claw, but has its own advantages. It's typically run with Fire Spin, but Legacy Wing Attack and even Air Slash have legit play here and may be even better than Spin, giving Charizard wins against other Fire types while still holding up against the Steels you'd most want Fire Spin for and really only giving up a barely there win over Snorlax and holding all other wins, usually with about the same remaining HP too. (And the energy gain of Wing Attack in particular gives Zard its best chance of beating Glaceon...believe it or not, even super effective Fire Spin is arguably less reliable.) Charizard is a solid option this time, and with no Dialgas or Melmetals or the like in sight, I think it's actually with a Flying fast move this go-round.
BLAZIKEN
Counter | Blaze Kick & Stone Edgeᴸ/Blast Burnᴸ
All of you who made yourselves a Stone Edge Blaziken with your precious Elite TM, pat yourselves on the back. It looks like potentially the best version of Blaze here, beating all the same things as Blast Burn minus a super close loss to Typhlosion (BB is 5 energy cheaper than SE, and that makes the difference there), and gaining a win over (Dragon Breath) Gyarados and a legit threat to things like Togekiss and Dragonite. Blaze is a bit boom or bust, as many of its wins rely on baiting a shield with spammy Blaze Kick, but the boom potential is quite high for anyone brave enough to max one out.
ALOLAN GOLEM
Volt Switch | Rock Blast & Stone Edge
This might be the first real "huh?" moment in this article. A-Golem is probably not one you've given serious thought to for Premier Cup, but maybe you should, as not only does it have a cheapo second move cost, but a rock solid (total dad joke there!) performance that includes wins over Dragonite, Togekiss, Gyarados (yes, even if it has Waterfall), Electivire, potentially Magnezone, and of course the Fires and Ices that want nothing to do with Rock damage. It's not the longest list of wins you'll find, but it's a darn good list for the lowest dust cost you can find in Master League. If you're hurting for affordable options, A-Golem might be JUST what you're looking for. I recommend it over one that IS generating a little more buzz: Aggron, which does better against the Faires but generally worse otherwise.
LUCARIO
Counter | Shadow Ball & Power-Up Punch
I know, I know... "but JRE, Lucario's second move costs 75,000 dust!" True... but Riolu's second move costs only 10,000 thanks to the infamous Baby Discount™, and it only makes sense to buy that before evolving, so don't forget! Once you do, Luc becomes potentially the cheapest Fighter you can use in Premier (depending on how far you have to level up a good Machamp). And while not the best of the best, Luc puts in a solid showing for something that maxes well below 3000 CP, taking out all the major Steels (including Metagross), Ices, Snorlax, and conveniently Typhlosion as well. It's not the most expansive set of wins, but Luc does exactly what you want a good Fighter to do most and is a legit team player in Premier.
OBSTAGOON
Counter | Night Slash & Hyper Beam
Yes indeed, it's more than viable, I'd say even moreso than Lucario. Goonie doesn't have a ton of great super effective targets for Night Slash, but it's a widely unresisted move that can go off for a big Attack boost at any time, and sets up a closing Hyper Beam nicely (which is necessary against Gyarados, Glaceon, Electivire and leads to blowouts over Snorlax, Rhyperior, and others). Candy shouldn't be an issue here, but whether all that dust is worth it is your call. Just keep it FAR away from Fairies and other Fighters.

50,000 Dust/50 Candy

TANGROWTH
Vine Whip | Rock Slide & Power Whip/Solar Beam
While other Vine Whippers fall short in Master League, one of my clever Patrons pointed me to Tangrowth. It wasn't on my intial list, but it would seem that was an unfortunate oversight. Growth creeps above the 3000 CP threshold and looks quite solid here in Premier. That is thanks not just to solid Grass damage (with Power Whip being a close approximation of the broken Frenzy Plant the starters get), but also the threat of newly added Rock Slide bringing it wins like Charizard that Grasses simply shouldn't be able to get (and being the preferred weapon against things like Gyarados too). If you're looking for a Grass that can bring serious pressure to shields and doesn't have the bust potential of Sceptile, Growth might be just your speed.
ARCANINE
Fire Fang | Wild Charge & Crunch/FlamethroweBulldozeᴸ
There's one Fire type that works here outside the starters, and it's one that can really keep the opponents guessing! I have long been an Arcanine groupie, so it warms my heart to see that, yes, it is quite viable in Premier Cup. And the crazy part is that the vast majority of its performance hinges not on its Swiss Army like toolkit of charge moves (though Wild Charge pulls its weight against Flyers and leads directly to a win over Charizard), but instead on Fire Fang. Look at all those things it can beat with just fast moves, pocketing a ton of energy to throw at whatever follows. Note that list includes the popular Magnezone and Togekiss, and can even include mighty Metagross as long as Arcanine shields the non-Mash charge move. Arcanine is a good boy! Scratch him behind the ears and consider making him YOUR best friend in Premier.
RHYPERIOR
Smack Down/Mud Slap | Surf & SuperpoweRock Wreckerᴸ
Ready to have conventional wisdom flipped on its head again? The overall best moveset for RhyPerrier does not include Community Day move Rock Wrecker... the best overall looks to be Smack Down (which does plenty of Rock damage on its own!) with charge moves Surf and Superpower, which ends up looking like this. Smack Down alone takes down all the Flyers (Nite, Kiss, Gary) and Fires you care about, plus Gardevoir, Glaceon, and Gengar (Triple G!), while SuperpoweSurf add on Snorlax and Magnezone (regular AND Shadow for each).
That all being said, there is a good case for the perhaps more standard Mud Slap/WreckeSurf. While it sheds Dragonite and Glaceon and even Snorlax, it gains one big, prominent name: Metagross, being able to simply Slap it to death. That is no small thing, though is it worth what you give up? Look over those sims--and create your own by playing around with various movesets--and decide for yourself. You know your OWN team best, after all, not me or anyone else!
And yes, I did look over the somewhat similar EXCADRILL, and while it plays somewhat like Mud Slap Perrier, it just doesn't do as much. If you have one already maxed, then yes, it IS viable, but given a choice between them, I think it's Rhyperior all the way.
MAMOSWINE
Powder Snow/Mud Slap | Avalanche & Bulldoze/Stone Edge
Yes, as you may have guessed, sets with Powder Snow are generally best, with Avalanche combining with Stone Edge to hate on Fires (and DB Gary) or with Bulldoze to take out Magnezone(s). Either way, other Grounds, Flyers (though Dragonite usually remains frustratingly out of reach), most Electrics and Fires, and things like Gengar and Snorlax want nothing to do with it. Alternatively, as with Rhyperior, you can run a Mud Slap variant to hate HARD on Electrics and Metagross, and then take your pick of charge moves to threaten others as you see fit.
HIPPOWDON
Ice Fang/Thunder Fang | Body Slam & Earth Power
I don't know that I'd recommend maxing one of these just for Premier Cup, but there are crazier things, I suppose. With Ice Fang it does abuse Dragons and Fairies and also manages to beat Snorlax, Scizor, and the big Electrics too. And wth Thunder Fang it trades the Dragons for Charizard and Gyarados (regardless of fast move). Again, not the greatest long-term use of dust, perhaps, but Hungry Hungry Hippo is a good enough flash in the pan for this format to at least consider.
GENGAR
Shadow Claw | Shadow Ball & Sludge Bomb
Oh, how I wish it was getting Shadow Punch in time for Premier Cup, but alas, it'll be a few short weeks too late. Instead, we'll have to make due with Shadow Ball and Sludge Bomb, which is obviously a step down but certainly still viable, handing Metagross, Charmers, and Fighters their lunch money, along with Gyarados and Typhlosion, which would seem to be things Gengar would want to avoid, what with their Crunches and Claws. It's a nice little niche to occupy, and one that will surely benefit some teams when Premier rolls around.
MAGNEZONE
Spark | Mirror Shot & Wild Charge
'Zone has already been touted quite a bit as a top Premier Cup option, and I have friends who have already maxed theirs in preparation. And by the numbers, it's easy to see why. But I also see some red flags. Mirror Shot is largely responsible for those high numbers, as they just tail off without its bait potential. Now MS is not JUST a bait move, in fairness--it beats some good, relevant things with it--but if you turn off baiting... well, the results speak for themselves. The truth likely lies somewhere between those reduced numbers and the max potential result (with baits bringing in wins against Nite, Glaceon, Lax, and Shadow Gross & Zone). I am not trying to say Zone is bad, just that it requires some practice time to feel out when to bait and when to just go for broke. It's not one to pick up the day before you compete and expect to already have mastered. Practice makes perfect!
TOGEKISS
Charm | Flamethrower & Ancient PoweAerial Ace
Togekiss, on the other hand, you pretty much CAN pick up and use right away. As a Charmer, the name tells you everything you need to know: Charm stuff to death, and typically plan to pocket energy to throw a charge move at whatever follows. Flamethrower is probably the closest Kiss has to a "must have" move to have an answer to Metagross that is one of the very top counters to Togekiss. Beyond that, Ancient Power or Aerial Ace is kind of a matter of preference... Power can threaten Fires, but Ace puts out higher neutral damage for the same cost AND gets STAB on top of that. Whatever you roll with, there are literally no better counters to Dragonite (and only Dragonite itself is a better counter to Garchomp) and the Fighters... and also getting things like Swampert and Gyarados and Snorlax and fellow Charmer Gardevoir are very nice bonuses. There is a reason everyone and their mother are talking about running Togekiss... it is a VERY hard counter to some very good things, and almost singlehandedly keeps the Dragons from running amok.
MACHAMP
Counter | Rock Slide & Dynamic Punch/Close Combat
Another one where you may be wondering why I'm recommending the moves I am. "Where's Cross Chop? Isn't that Machamp's best Fighting charge move?" Yes, it likely is... in Great and Ultra League. In Master, you usually want raw power over more bait-y moves, and few Pokémon exemplify that more. Just look at a move like Close Combat compared to Cross Chop. Close Combat and Dynamic Punch can get wins like Garchomp, Conkeldurr, the mirror (vs Cross Chop Champ), and big prizes Swampert and Metagross that Cross Chop cannot reliably replicate. The ONLY things in the core meta that can overcome DP or CC Champ in 1v1 shielding are Gengar, Gardevoir, Togekiss, and Dragonite, and Rock Slide can turn even those last two around quick. I will say that in my own personal experience, I like DP over CC just because the self-nerfing that comes with CC really hurts sometimes, but it's more just a matter of preference than anything.
HERACROSS
Counter | Close Combat & Megahorn
Heracross lacks Machamp's awesome Rock Slide coverage, but it has Megahorn instead, which is a nice move with unique coverage all its own. Putting Horn together with the Fighting moves, Cross lies somewhere between Champ's max potential and the other Fighters... it is better than Conkeldurr and Lucario and XC Champ, and worse than DP or CC Champ. One big plus is that its Bug typing makes Heracross resistant to Fighting moves, so it beats all the other Fighters one on one. Beyond that niche--and having a good answer to stray Psychics thanks to Megahorn--it mostly just operates as your standard Fighter, albeit a very solid one.
HARIYAMA
Counter | Heavy Slam & Close Combat/Superpower
So good is Fighting in this meta that even a Fighter that tops out below 2900 CP is still quite good. Heavy Slam is really just here to provide neutral coverage... the Fighting moves are all Hairy Yama will need most of the time. His HP is so high that he can shrug off the self-nerfing of Close Combat and Superpower better than most, beating all the Steels, Normals, Ices, and Rocks you need a good Fighter to beat, plus Typhlosion and Swampert, and Hairy outbulks the other major Fighters too. If you can't or don't want to build a Machamp, Hairy may be your next best bet.
ESCAVALIER
Counter | Drill Run & Megahorn
Escavalier has already made a name for itself in Great and Ultra Leagues, getting better and better over time as first Megahorn was buffed, and then Drill Run's cost was reduced. Combine all that with Counter, the best fast move in PvP, and it's easy to see why it's been a force in the lower Leagues. Can it do the same here? Despite maxing out below 3000 CP, it would appear that yes, it most certainly can. Counter takes out Ices and Shadow Magnezone (though that last one only shows up if you go straight Counter), Drill Run adds Steels and Rhyperior and Gengar, Megahorn adds Gardevoir and Snorlax, of all things, and the combination of it all puts together adds Swampert as a sweet cherry on top. It is perhaps not the most impressive volume of wins, but the quality of the wins it does get is impressive.

75,000 Dust/75 Candy

I am going to try to cover these a bit more succinctly, as I have a Reddit character limit to account for AND these are obviously not thrifty picks anymore. So strap in for the final push!
DRAGONITE
Dragon Breath | Dragon Claw & Hurricane/Draco Meteorᴸ
Nite's future looks bright, with a ridiculous win percentage in Premier Cup, one that remains robust against the core meta, beating everything except hard countering Charmers, Ice, Metagross, and Shadow Magnezone. (Even regular Zone falls short.) Perhaps even more impressive is that Dragonite can do all this with just Dragon Claw if it wants to, with the sole exception of Scizor (barely!). Dragonite is--and should be--perhaps THE top option in Premier Cup, doing a ton of things very, very well.
GARCHOMP
Mud Shot | Outrage & Earthquake/Sand Tomb
Sand Tomb is obviously primarily a bait option, but amazingly, even if the baits go awry, Chomp still does well (and the sky is the limit if the baits DO work!). You can forgo all that and just go for the throat with big moves Outrage AND Earthquake... Mud Shot charges them both fast enough for that to be a legit possibility. Whatever you roll with, expect to have a leg up on Electrics, Grounds, Steels, Fighters, and Fires, but be ready to swap quickly at the sight of any Dragons, Charmers, or Ices. This is also one of the best cases for considering Dragon Breath on Gyarados, as DB Gary consistently terrorizes Chompy even more than Dragonite does.
HAXORUS
Counter | Dragon Claw & Earthquake/Night Slash
If you have somehow managed to find a good one AND max it, you're gonna like what it can do. Sort of an unholy mix of Nite, Chomp, and a Fighter. It beats Steels, Fires, Electrics, Ices, AND things like Snorlax and Rhyperior, and then Scizor (with Night Slash) or Machamp (with Earthquake). I lean towards Earthquake and the surer win over Machamp personally, but there's not really a "wrong" way to go.
METAGROSS
Bullet Punch | Meteor Mashᴸ & Earthquake/Psychic
The Steel moves do most of the work, handling Fairies, Ices, Fighters (sometimes, at least), Dragonite and Rhyperior and others. For the second move, while Psychic seems to be all the rage to really beat on Fighters, I continue to beleve in Earthquake, which gives Metagross an important leg up against Steels like Magnezone and, of course, enemy Metagrosses (Metagreese?). Its ability to handle Fairies and Dragonite in particular make it a BIG player in this meta, one you should expect to see on the majority of teams.
SNORLAX
Lick | Body Slam & Superpower
Normal and Shadow are both very viable and very good, beating most things that don't wail on it for super effective damage (Fighters) or resist its moves, to include Metagross, Gardevoir, Ices, Electrics, and anything that relies on Ghost damage. If you REALLY want to go nuts, though--and had the foresight to TM away Frustration during the short window we had to do so--Shadow Snorlax is basically a straight upgrade, gaining wins over Togekiss, Garchomp, Rhyperior, Gyarados, and Charizard without giving up any core meta wins regular Lax achieves. If you want to break the piggy bank wide open, that might be the place to do it.
ELECTIVIRE
Thunder Shock | Wild Charge & Ice Punch/Thunder Punch
The only pure Electric that has legit play here, and that's a nice thing since Electrics are weak only to Ground damage and resist three very relevant types (Steel, Flying, Electric). Vire has the intriguing Ice Punch, but against the core meta, Thunder Punch is actually slightly better, getting all the same stuff plus Metagross. Vire beats Fires, other Electrics, Lax, and even the Steels... and Gyarados, but surely you already knew THAT one. It's a steady option that does a bit more than "just Electric stuff".
MAGMORTAR
Fire Spin | Fire Punch & Psychic/Brick Break
Did you even KNOW that Mags gets Psychic? Yep, it's true, and combined with the Fire moves, it does alright for itself, taking out the things you'd expect your Fire to beat (Steel, Ice, Fairy, etc.) plus the other Fires too. Alternatively, you can replace Psychic with Break Break to trade in Typh and Conk for regular and Shadow Magnezone instead (as Fire Punch is just a hair too slow to get that job done).
MILOTIC
Waterfall | Surf & Hyper Beam
Here's a Water type I bet you completely forgot about. But Milotic can break the 3000 CP threshold and puts in quite the impressive performance! Not only does she beat the Fires and Grounds and Ices and Steels you might expect, but Milly also overpowers Machamp, Gardevoir (and leaves Kiss with less than 5 HP too), Snorlax, Gengar, and fellow Water Gyarados. And she can do all that except Gary with JUST Waterfall and Surf. (Hyper Beam adds wins against other Waters, like Gary and such.) Nothing fancy, just big bulk wearing opponents down. Milotic should be on your radar, and I assume it hasn't been to this point, amirite?
LAPRAS
Ice Shardᴸ/Water Gun | Surf & Blizzard/Skull Bash/Ice Beamᴸ
Lappie doesn't max out anywhere NEAR 3000 CP (doesn't even break 2700!), but it has such great PvP stats and moves that it finds a way to compete in Premier anyway. Dragons, Flyers, Fires, Ices, Grounds... they all have a long-standing restraining order out for Lapras. So good is Lapras that it even hangs in and competes with Water Gun, trading in the Gyarados and Swampert wins it gets with the more standard Ice Shard for Gardevoir, Typhlosion, and Scizor instead. And that is perhaps one of the best things going for Lappie... unlike Milotic and others that have no real surprises up their sleeves, Lapras can come at you with quite a wide array of moves and keep the opponent guessing every time they have to make a shielding decision. Use that, run with it, and consider being bold enough to dust off your favorite Lapras for the biggest of big leagues. It will earn your trust yet again.
TYRANITAR
Smack Down/Bite | Crunch & Stone Edge/Fire Blast
Keeping this one simple: with Smack Down, Tyranitar is basically a worse Rhyperior, gaining Dragonite but losing Togekiss and any realistic shot at Metagross. With Bite it gets Metagross but trades in Dragonite and Magnezone to do it. Maybe that has a role on your team, but it seems to me you can probably do better and cheaper elsewhere.
Just gonna do some QUICK HITS for the rest:
Other fun spice options to look at on your own time include (but are not limited to!) Feraligatr, Shadow Flygon, Golurk, and Gliscor.
And before I ramble on any further... that’s a wrap! As with all my articles, take all of this with a big grain of salt. I am not trying to persuade you on using any one 'mon or any one team, and of course everybody’s dust situations are different. But perhaps this can help you balance the cost of where to save yourself some hard-earned dust (and candy!).
Before I go, continued thanks to my PvP friends, local and around the world, who have lent their own ideas and suggestions over the last year and a half and helped teach me to be a better player and student of the game. And my thanks to all of you, for your own encouragement, support, and patience throughout now TWO Seasons of Silph Arena play. 😍
Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter for near-daily PvP analysis nuggets, or Patreon which now has a tie-in exclusive Discord server you can access to get straight through to me. And please, feel free to comment here with your own thoughts or questions and I'll try to get back to you!
Thank you for reading! I very much appreciate you taking the time, and sincerely hope this helps you master Premier Cup, and in the most affordable way possible. Best of luck, and catch you next time!
submitted by JRE47 to TheSilphArena [link] [comments]

this took way too long and everyone is gonna forget about this post in like 2 days

when tyler said “[Intro] Bitch, fuck! (Uh, uh, fuck) You have a question?
[Verse 1: Tyler, The Creator] How many cars can I buy 'til I run outta drive? How much drive can I have until I run outta road? How much road can they pave until I run outta land? How much land can it be until I run in the ocean? Niggas go with the motions and all the plans See, I was never into the beaches and all the sands See, I was in the woods with flowers, rainbows, and posies Fallin' outta my pocket, but y'all want to know if I swam to cool down How much cooler can I get until I run out of fans? How many fans can I have until they turn on the AC? If the AC blow up, then I'm TNT, I'm gone
[Bridge: Rex Orange County] I'm gone and I'm finished And I ain't seen my friends in a minute Guessing nothing lasts forever Yeah, nothing lasts forever Nothing sticks together Sick of sitting in doubt Please let me figure this out
[Verse 2: Tyler, The Creator] Shout out to the girls that I led on For occasional head and always keepin' my bed warm And tryin' their hardest to keep my head on straight And keepin' me up enough 'til I had thought I was airborne How many raps can I write 'til I get me a chain? How many chains can I wear 'til I'm considered a slave? How many slaves can it be 'til Nat Turner arise? How many riots can it be until them Black lives matter? Niggas click-clack splatter, (Pew) pew that nigga Life a game of basketball, you better shoot that nigga 'Cause if that cop got trigger, he better pull 'Cause when I get pulled over, I usually play it cool 'Cause I know what I'm drivin' is usually paid in full And my ego and possessions, will not let me be one (Nah) Because I got a mansion, my mansion got some rooms Them rooms got some windows and my windows got some views Them views get some stares and my backyard does too And if you walk to the bottom you'll prolly see a pool You better not drown, keep them ten toes up 'Cause if them ten toes down, that mean that you fucked up And that's what I swim in
[Outro: Rex Orange County] And if I drown and don't come back Who's gonna know? (Maybe then I'll know) And if I crash and don't come back Who's gonna know? (Maybe then I'll know) And if I fall and don't come back Who's gonna know? (Maybe then I'll know) I'm wondering if I don't come back Maybe then I'll know Don't come back Don't come back Ayy, don't come back Don't come back No, no
[Verse 1: Tyler the Creator] Ayo Let's take it back to them days Counting sheep on Sadie Hannah's floor Carpet was my baby mama 80 dollar profit from the coffee I poured Rent-A-Center calling everyday Nobody home, they're knocking on the door Now I skrrt, skrrt, skrrt, skrrt (Skrrt!) In toys I only dreamed that I could afford Now I roll through Okaga
[Chorus: Frank Ocean & Tyler the Creator] I ride to California (Yeah) These frog oval goggles I'm leanin' out the window OJ shinin' on me (Oh, ooh) Simp sun shinin' on me (ayy, yeah) Slick circles float roll Out this world Yeah, yeah
[Bridge: Tyler, The Creator] Run it, run it, run it, run it I rock, I roll, I bloom, I grow (I grow) I rock, I roll (What you say?), I bloom, I grow (I glow) I rock, I roll (Let 'em know), I bloom, I grow (I glow) I rock, I roll (One more time), I bloom, I grow (Let's go!)
[Verse 2: Tyler, The Creator] Ain't nobody fucking with T, but that just may be my ego But don't be too cool, you might freeze Because niggas get stuck in the cold (Man, look at this ice) Shit weighs a ton Water your garden, my nigga (Stunt on these niggas!) Tell these black kids they could be who they are Dye your hair blue, shit, I'll do it too (What the fuck?) Look, I smell like Chanel I never mall grip with my manicured nails I coconut oil the skin I keep the top low 'cause the follicles thinnin' But other than that, man It feels like I'm winning (I'm winnin', nigga) Went from statistic to millionaire CNN doubted 'cause my skin is dark Then they forget when I get in my car
[Chorus: Frank Ocean] These frog oval goggles I'm leanin' out the window OJ shinin' on me (Oh, ooh) Simp sun shinin' on me Slick circles roll float Out this world Yeah, yeah Run it, run it, run it, yeah (Ohh, ohh!)
[Bridge: Tyler, The Creator] I glow (I glow) I rock, I roll (What you say?), I bloom, I grow (I glow) I rock, I roll (Let 'em know), I bloom, I grow (I glow) I rock, I roll (One more time), I bloom, I- (Let's go!)
[Verse 3: Tyler, The Creator] Flower boy T, nigga that's me Rooted from the bottom, bloomed into a tree Took a lil' while, nigga makin' leaves Keep it in my branches so my family can eat Favorite color green, energy is skrong Giving niggas life, birdies and the beez Droppin' them seeds, not what you want You don't know what I keep in the trunk
[Interlude: Tyler, The Creator] Ah, shit!
[Outro: Tyler, The Creator] Ahh, ahh Ahh Run it, run it, run it, run it Run it Run it Run it
[Tyler, The Creator] Sometimes, I sit in my room and think about us
[Shane Powers] "It's Golf Radio, you're on the air with Shane Powers Taking requests... Uh, What’s uh, pick that one... What's uh... What's your name? Hello? Um, okay, well, since you want to be Mr. Fucking-Secret-Agent, what song you wanna hear?"
[Wyatt Navarro] The one about me
[Intro: Tyler, The Creator] Okay, okay, okay, okay Okay, okay, oh
[Verse 1: Tyler, The Creator] You live in my dream state Relocate my fantasy I stay in reality You live in my dream state Any time I count sheep That's the only time we make up, make up You exist behind my eyelids, my eyelids Now I don't wanna wake up
[Pre-Chorus: Tyler, The Creator] 20/20, 20/20 vision Cupid hit me, Cupid hit me with precision, I Wonder if you look both ways When you cross my mind I said, I said I'm sick of, sick of, sick of, sick of chasing You're the one that's always running through my day dreams, I I can only see your face when I close my eyes
[Chorus: Kali Uchis & Tyler, The Creator] Can I get a kiss? And can you make it last forever? I said I'm 'bout to go to war And I don't know if I'ma see you again Can I get a kiss? (Can I?) And can you make it last forever? (Can you?) I said I'm 'bout to go to war (I'm 'bout to) And I don't know if I'ma see you again Ugh, switch it up
[Verse 2: Tyler, The Creator] I said, okay, okay, okay, okie dokie, my infatuation Is translatin' to another form of what you call it? (Love) Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, I ain't met you I've been looking, stop the waiting 'Fore I stop the chasing, like an alcoholic "You don't understand me", what the fuck do you mean? It's them rose-tinted cheeks, yeah it's them dirt-colored eyes Sugar honey iced tea, bumblebee on the scene Yeah, I'd give up my bakery to have a piece of your pie Uugh!
[Pre-Chorus: Tyler, The Creator] 20/20, 20/20 vision Cupid hit me, cupid hit me with precision, I Wonder if you look both ways When you cross my mind I said, I said I'm sick of, sick of, sick of, sick of chasing You're the one that's always running through my day dreams, I I can only see your face when I close my eyes (So)
[Chorus: Kali Uchis] Can I get a kiss? (Can I get a kiss?) And can you make it last forever? (Make it last forever) I said I'm 'bout to go to war ('Bout to go to war) I don't know if I'ma see you again (See you again) Can I get a kiss? (Can I?) And can you make it last forever? (Can you?) I said I'm 'bout to go to war ('Bout to) And I don't know if I'ma see you again
[Outro: Tyler, The Creator & Kali Uchis] Okay, okay, okay, okay Okay, okay, okay, oh La la, la la la la, la la La la, la la la, la la Okay, okay, okay, okay Okay, okay, okay, oh La la, la la la la, la la La la, la la la la One more time?
[Verse 1: Tyler, The Creator] Yo, who dat boy? Who him is? Him that ni-guh, I swear Stand out guy, him don't need no chair Well, where the fuck him at? 'Cause nigga, I'm right here I don't shop at the mall, all y'all just Dumb mothafucka, I'm a goddamn artist You can give me some markers and I'll draw you a closet And you know that it's GOLF, bitch, gonna make the deposit Nigga fresh to death like he got dressed in a coffin Cons, overalls, and a striped shirt The boy drips swag like a broken faucet It's runnin', nigga, I'm runnin' shit That cherry be the bomb like he ran in Boston Won't stop 'til the cops surround him One nigga jiggy and the other awesome With his fuckin' face blown off, that's how they found him It's Young T
[Chorus: Tyler, The Creator & A$AP Rocky] Who dat boy? Who him is? Who dat boy? Who him is? Nigga, who dat boy? Who him is? Who dem boys? Nigga, who dem is, nigga? Why you niggas feel like that? Mad 'cause a nigga neck chill like that You mad 'cause a nigga push wheel like that? Why you puttin' bad vibes in the air like that? Nigga, who dem boys?
[Verse 2: A$AP Rocky] Who dem is? Nigga, who dem is? Who else step in this bitch this jig? Who else your bitch say got a bick this big? Who else came through with a wrist this flick? Nigga, Guess my pants, do my dance Spin around, bitch, you could kiss my ass Never seen a nigga in this much Raf Still doin' math when I miss my class Was it Summertime '06, had the Number (N)ine Nigga, never mind, was another time before Vince Had the Gucci gold tips with the letterman Nigga, dollar sign was my favorite number at the time Fresh freshmen 'til they skipped my ass Senior citizen, don't forget my pass Been that nigga and you knew that there Make the dick disappear, how she do that there?
[Chorus: Tyler, The Creator & A$AP Rocky] Who dat boy? Who him is? Who dat boy? Who him is? Nigga, who dat boy? Who him is? Who dem boys? Nigga, who dem is, nigga? Why you niggas feel like that? Mad 'cause a nigga's neck chill like that You mad 'cause a nigga push wheel like that? Why you puttin' bad vibes in the-?
[Verse 3: Tyler, The Creator & A$AP Rocky] Fuck the rap, I'm tryna own a planet From my other fuckin' business ventures These niggas these days Actin' like some bitches, like they're fuckin' with ya (yeah) Teeth is glistenin', Jesus, Christmas He just shittin', she exquisite, bitches be expensive (Yeah, let 'em know, nigga) And I don't even need attention WANG$AP on the bumper sticker, fuck you niggas Fuck global warming, my neck is so frío I'm currently lookin' for '95 Leo My mom say she worried because I'm so ill I should stay in bed, but got too much bread To make, she said watch my weight So I stayed home and start eatin' some meals Get out of my way-way, boy that's McLaren That's 0 to 60 in 2 point nueve, I'm gone
[Outro: Tyler, The Creator] Fuck
[Intro: Tyler, the Creator] Shit
[Verse 1: Tyler, the Creator] My mother warned me that some niggas ain't my right hand To trust her, only my heart and that elder white man His name is Clancy, I fancy him, gotta give him props He half the reason why dealerships even let me cop So now I'm speedin' and tryna drive away from the fact That she was right, so I triple left, tryna double back The streets are filled with some clues Like how I ain't notice that? (How I ain't see that?) Fuck it, I seen some familiar stuck in the cul-de-sac I pull up, get out, what up? I wanna help But what you want for some, some niggas Really don't want for themself Now do I stay? Do I go? That's my dilemma And traffic is picking up, if I don't leave I'ma get stuck (Skrt) So I speed off, we talk barely and it seems awkward And I heard through some words that you're off it I got too much drive, don't wanna steer off path And crash and get distracted But I listen to that weather man 'cause it might rain Keep my windshield wipers prepared 'Cause y'all throw so much shade And I got jacket in trunk, but that's in the front I also got power for both of us if you're ever in need of jump Just let me know, my nigga
[Chorus: Jaden Smith & Tyler, the Creator] I had to switch gears on 'em Fishtail in the rearview mirror on 'em (Skrrrrrt!) I had to switch gears on 'em You know, swerve, left turn, steerin' wheel on 'em Nigga that's a pothole, watch out for the pothole Watch out for the pothole, watch out for the pothole Look out for the pothole, watch out for the pothole Watch out for the pothole, watch out for the pothole
[Verse 2: Tyler, the Creator] Snakes in the grass, but I walk I got some new boots, on the back it says GOLF So I be prepared for their bites, they're all talk I left the condom in the grass so fuck off Watchin' Clarence in a mansion with nobody in it Young successful nigga, ride McLaren with no windows tinted I drive by piggies when I'm in it 'cause it feels amazin' The irony is I stopped eatin' bacon Don't get it twisted, nigga, I'm still hungry, oh he lonely All my friends talk about their hoes and tenderonies But all I can show 'em is a couple cars and more things That I've made in the couple past month, he's on, please Everyone is a sheep, me, a lone wolf Nobody gon' make a peep 'cause everyone wants some wool Since everyone is a sheep, not everyone here is cool Man I'd rather drown in a pool by myself Than fuck with their fleece See, man, T-Man fans be seesaw Wind blows, they go, which way, who knows? One day, "Fuck no," the next day, "Okay" But fuck y'all, I know that T is four for four I just want that garden and that Batmobile Good health, success, time on earth worthwhile Find somebody who love me and raise a couple of lizards But my vehicle's good for now, that's in a couple of miles Now keep it pushin', nigga
[Chorus: Jaden Smith & Tyler, the Creator] I had to switch gears on 'em Fishtail in the rearview mirror on 'em (Skrrrrrt!) I had to switch gears on 'em You know, swerve, left turn, steerin' wheel on 'em Nigga that's a pothole, watch out for the pothole Watch out for the pothole, watch out for the pothole Look out for the pothole, watch out for the pothole Watch out for the pothole, watch out for the pothole
[Outro: Tyler, the Creator] Fuck, okay, next one Do-do-do-do-do-do Gotta watch out for the potholes Ooh, said watch out for the potholes Haha
[Chorus: Estelle] Don't kill a rose Before it could bloom Fly, baby, fly Out the cocoon
[Verse 1: Tyler, the Creator] You don't have to hide I can smell it in your eyes That there's something more to say, baby Them words Damn, run me back, yeah
[Bridge: Estelle & Tyler, the Creator] If I could, if I could If you could Find the words to say Find the words to say Find the words In the garden Shed Go
[Chorus: Estelle] Don't kill a rose Before it could bloom Fly, baby, fly Out the cocoon
[Verse 2: Tyler, the Creator] Ayo Garden shed, garden shed, garden shed, garden shed For the garden That is where I was hidin' That was real love I was in Ain't no reason to pretend Garden shed, garden shed, garden shed Garden shed for the garçons Them feelings that I was guardin' Heavy on my mind All my friends lost They couldn't read the signs I didn't wanna talk and tell 'em my location And they ain't wanna walk Truth is, since a youth kid, thought it was a phase Thought it'd be like the phrase; "poof," gone But, it's still goin' on Big fan of the beige tan Polka dot nose, how it goes Had to keep it on the subwoofer A couple butterflies wanna float But I was always like, "Eh" Barely interested, but bagged just to brag to my boys like, "Bruh" This is a crucial subject matter Sensitive like cookin' batter 'Til the temperature that's risin' Steppin' on that ladder, tryna Grab the rings of Saturn, I'ma Planet by the time you hear this Shit and chatter 'bout the heat It will not fuckin' matter
[Intro: Rex Orange County & Corinne Bailey Rae] When you're having fun, fun Time flies, time flies, time flies When you're having fun (time flies) Out the window (it goes, goes, goes)
[Chorus: Rex Orange County] Find some time Find some time to do something Find some time Find some time to do something Find some time Find some time to do something Ah
[Verse 1: Rex Orange County & Anna of the North] Boredom got a new best friend (Boredom, boredom, best friend) 'Cause boredom got a new best friend (oh, oh, oh) Boredom got a new best friend Na-na-na, na-na-na, oh-na-na-na Oh, oh, oh
[Chorus: Rex Orange County & Anna of the North] Find some time Find some time to do something Find some time (Find some time, oh)
[Verse 2: Tyler, The Creator] Boredom, boredom, boredom, boredom Boredom, boredom, boredom Boy, my bedroom floor is a cereal burial, I'm serious I ate 'em all, dry boxes, bodies, yeah I caught 'em If we're talkin' 'bout real meals, ask my stomach, he ain't saw 'em I've been in this fuckin' room so long My eyeballs are turning to drywall My friends suck, fuck 'em, I'm over 'em "Hi y'all, y'all ain't hit me all-day What the fuck is the problem? Is it me? 'Cause I'm not solved, I'm... bored."
[Chorus: Rex Orange County & Anna of the North] Find some time Find some time to do something Find some time Find some time to do something Find some time Find some time to do something (Oh)
[Verse 3: Tyler, The Creator] Bored and getting desperate as hell (Desperate, using, texting, amusing) Cellular not amusing and I hope someone will Message me with some plans that are amusing as well 'Cause I haven’t seen the exit of these walls since before this morning Morning, morning, morning, morning (Morning, oh, what the fuck?) Got some cars I can handle but nowhere for performance My stomach angry and yellin', I need some food, I could order But I hate eating solo Need someone, we can loiter in parking lots As sunsets at the border, yeah Ringy dingy dong, I can't be alone I been starting to feel like I don't know anyone So now I'm staring at my ceiling fuckin' blowing Like I have no idea where I'm going Tick tock (Damn, gotta get outta here)
[Chorus: Rex Orange County, Anna of the North and Tyler, the Creator] Find some time Find some time to do something (Hey, can y'all help me right quick?) Find some time Find some time to do something Find some time Find some time to do something(Tick Tock) (Ti-Ti-Tick Tock) (Oh)
[Bridge: Tyler, the Creator & Anna of the North] 'Cause boredom got a new best friend Tick tock Boredom got a new best friend 'Cause boredom got a new best friend Tick tock
[Outro: Rex Orange County] Find some time, find some time Gotta find some time, find some time Gonna find some, find some time Gotta find some time, find some time Gonna find some, find some time Gotta find some time, find some time Gonna find some, find some time Time, time, time, time Time, time, time, time Time, time, time, time Time, time, time
[Shane Powers] "Ride's over, we got some tickets to see s-"
[Intro: Shane Powers] Right now we got some new music only here on Golf Radio! (God I love this sample) We're going to dance And exercise And have some fun
[Chorus] I ain't got time for these niggas Better throw a watch at the boy Had my boys in this bitch, looking like a seminar Who the fuck you talking to, motherfucker? Boy, I ain't got time for these bitches Better throw a clock at these hoes Have these hoes in this bitch looking for a water hose Who the fuck you talking to, motherfucker? Boy, I ain't got time
[Verse 1] Boy, I need a Kleenex How I got this far? Boy, I can't believe it That I got this car, so I take the scenic Passenger a white boy, look like River Phoenix First, happy birthday! You bitch ass nigga, yup I'm thirsty Them little shots that you threw, they ain't hurt me I ain't fuck with you bitch ass in the first place
[Chorus] I ain't got time for these niggas Better throw a watch at the boy Had my boys in this bitch, looking like a seminar Who the fuck you talking to, motherfucker? Boy, I ain't got time for these bitches Better throw a clock at these hoes Have these hoes in this bitch looking for a water hose Who the fuck you talking to, motherfucker? Boy, I ain't got time
[Verse 2] Nat Turner would be so proud of me 'Cause all these motherfuckers got they style from me I bet they all looking from the crowd at me And if I ask them, they would bow at me But you're a house nigga, so you don't know How that shit go, with my big lips and my big nose And my big dick and my short hair 'Cause you already know how slow my shit grow
[Bridge] (Hey) Tick, tock Tick, tock Tick, tock Tick, tock
[Verse 3] Been the man with a pickle plan, niggas know the dill When I sell the carnival, I bet I get a 100 mil' Next line will have 'em like "Whoa" I've been kissing white boys since 2004 One me, two feet, three M's Four, five, six years ago sucked Seven figure conversations with Converse finalized 'Cause Vans fucked up I'ma read commas, you gon' leave comments Saying what I shoulda did, but you ain't did nada You ain't important I'ma keep sporting All smiles over here Shout out to The Garden (Tick-tock) (And that's a fact boy!) And I just handle all my business like a chessboard (Tick tock, tick, tock) And at them Golf boys? That's my motherfucking set, boy Hard pill to swallow like some thick soda Walk weird 'cause my pockets look like thick Yoda With a Skywalker, riding 'round solar Anakin skin Sprite, and my tint cola Getting neck from abroad like some big shoulders Till I bust like that 9 in ya heat holster Everything I say is hot, bitch I speak toaster And the bread orthodox like I eat kosher Shout out to (shhh) they gave a big loaf of Green bread, got me chilling like a clean sofa What's that thick odor? Young Millie T A young, focused black boy, oh silly me (I ain't got time!)
[Verse 4] Better talk shit 'Cause I'm either in my Cons or my Golf shit Pants got a lil flood, nigga pipe down I'm Lil Boosie, Lil Boosie, way I wipe down (Boy I ain't got time!) Yeah right now 'Cause niggas dying every day and I ain't light brown And i-D ain't wanna give a nigga no post So I went and did a 12-page spread in Vogue (Nigga I ain't got time!)
[Outro] Listen, man, I'm that boy All you little niggas clones Boy I fill that void You better kill that noise Turn around and remap route When they see that boy with them big ears and that gap tooth Bitch Tick, tock Tick, tock Tick, tock Fuck, hello
[Part I: 911]
[Intro: Tyler, The Creator] (Call me, call me, call me) Uh (Call me, call me, call me) Uh (Call me, call me, call me) Uh (Call me, call me, call me) (Call me) How you doin'? (Call me) My name is Lonely, nice to meet you Here's my number You can reach me, woo!
[Chorus: Tyler, The Creator] (Call me) 911, call me some time (You should call me) 911, call me some time 911 (You should call me, oh) 911 (Call me)
[Verse 1: Tyler, The Creator] Aw, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah My thirst levels are infinity and beyond Sippin' on that lemonade, I need a Beyoncé Can't see straight, these shades are Céline Dion Sucks you can't gas me up, shout out to Elon Musk, yeah, I got a sold-out show Crowd wild out but don't matter 'cause you not front row I've been lookin' for a keeper, listen to the speaker If you fit description, hit me on my beeper At that 911
[Bridge: Steve Lacy, Anna of the North & Tyler, The Creator] Call me some time (ring, ring, ring) Please bang my line, you know I'll answer (click) Call me some time (ring, ring, ring) Please bang my line
[Chorus: Tyler, The Creator & Anna of the North] Call me 911, call me some time You should call me 911, call me some time 911, (you should call me, oh) 911, (you should call me)
[Verse 2: Frank Ocean] Chirp, chirp Chirp, chirp Woke up in the 'burbs, 'burbs, with the birds, birds Where you used to come and get me with the swerve, swerve These days you gotta find time Even the nightline Work line Dial nine
[Verse 3: Tyler, The Creator] Five car garage Full tank of the gas But that don't mean nothing, nothing Nothin', nothin', without you shotgun in the passenger I'm the loneliest man alive But I keep on dancing to throw 'em off I'm gon' run out of moves 'cause I can't groove to the blues If you know any DJs, tell 'em to call me at 911...
[Part II: Mr. Lonely]
[Intro: A$AP Rocky, ScHoolboy Q, Lionel & Tyler, The Creator] I can't even lie, I've been lonely as fuck Old lonely ass nigga I can't even lie, I've been lonely as fuck Forreal, you need to go somewhere, like, get some bitches or something I can't even lie, I've been lonely as fuck Old weird ass nigga I can't even lie, I've been Lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely
[Verse: Tyler, The Creator] They say the loudest in the room is weak That's what they assume, but I disagree I say the loudest in the room Is prolly the loneliest one in the room (that's me) Attention seeker, public speaker Oh my God, that boy there is so fuckin' lonely Writin' songs about these people Who do not exist, he's such a fuckin' phony One thing I know, is that I wanna Win so bad, but I'm not Chicago Heart is low, it's real low, it's so low You can't lift me up, I'm like Gallardo From the start it's been real dark It's been so dark, I guess that you could call me charbroiled, huh I'm playin' like Hasbro I'm really Saari, call me Arto Crashed the McLaren, bought me a Tesla I know you sick of me talkin' 'bout cars (skrrt) But what the fuck else do you want from me? That is the only thing keepin' me company Purchase some things until I'm annoyed These items is fillin' the void Been fillin' it for so long I don't even know if it's shit I enjoy (ohh) Current battle as an adult My partner is a shadow I need love, do you got some I could borrow? Fuck it, I could find some tomorrow But that never comes Like a vasectomy, what have I done? I got the talent, the face and the funds Found myself long ago but I haven't found someone (who) Mirror, mirror on the wall (who) The loneliest of them all (me) Cupid actin' stupid Do you got another number I could call? Never had a pet I've never had a pet There's more fish in the sea But I never had a goldfish to begin with I never had a dog So I've never been good with bitches 'Cause I never threw a ball, fetch I never had a pet, that's where it stems from, I bet Treat me like direct deposit Check in on me sometime Ask me how I'm really doin' So I never have to press that 911
[Outro: Jasper] Ohh! Damn! Damn!
[Intro: Lil Wayne] Mula!
[Verse: Lil Wayne] Like Adam in the Garden of Eden My bitch got an apple bottom and she swallow my seeds Follow my lead, fire I breathe, water my seed And sit back and watch money grow on trees Droppin' seeds like classes, these hoes drop they asses I drop a seed in her panties if it smell like pansies I'm a banshee in her panties, nigga, ask your mammy Never played golf, but got a driver and a Caddy Whole squad slammin' like Onyx, you know Sticky Fingaz Some drop science, I'm droppin' English Even if Tyler named the song "Flower" No seeds in the bud, still don't trust bugs I'm down
[Outro: Tyler, The Creator & Lil Wayne] Droppin' seeds on these niggas, they can't fuck with the boy (Mula!) I'm droppin' seeds on these bitches for the love of the sport I'm droppin' seeds, got this garden, flowers poppin' of course I'm droppin' seeds, motherfucker, Weezy Baby the boy, yugh!
[Intro] Say some more, never want to talk about it Feel a way, woah Feel a way, woah Feel a way, November...
[Chorus] Take me back to November Take me back to November Hawaiian shirts in the winter, cold water, cold water Yeah, take me back to November, wassup Can we go back to November? Take me back to November Hawaiian shirts in the winter, deep thoughts, deep thoughts Naw, take me back to November, wassup
[Verse 1] What if Clancy fuckin' me over? What if "Who Dat Boy" is rhetorical and this shit is over? What if I'm hustling backwards? What if my accountant ain't payin' my taxes? Fillin' his pockets and IRS show up asking me questions I couldn't answer 'cause I was too busy tryna make classics Boy ain't got no motherfucking classics What if my music too weird for the masses? And I'm only known for tweets more than beats or All my day ones turn to three, fours 'cause of track seven Fuck, what if I get stuck? What if I got comfortable? I gotta keep it buck fifty What if I lost it all and ended up back in Ladera At them shitty apartments that's across the Bank of America Damn, I would be hurtin' Writing all of these songs cause Wi-Fi wasn't working Last year in total, I put out two verses But five-seven figures since then, life's kinda perfect Oh is it really? Oh is it really? Bitch you know the dealy Really hilly willy tilly silly, hold that billy how I Milly Rock When they can't relate him, when they start to hate him They don't drive these cars so what's their ultimatum? Tell me, what's your November? Is it a person? Mine was the summer '06, I remember the... (horn) What if I thought the brake was the gas? What if I crashed? What if these deep thoughts was my last? Let me pull over, quick!
[Chorus] And drive back to November Take me back to November Hawaiian shirts in the Winter, cold water, cold water Yeah, take me back to November, wassup Can we go back to November? Take me back to November Hawaiian shirts in the Winter, deep thoughts, deep thoughts Naw, take me back to November, wassup
[Interlude: Jasper Dolphin, Taco, Kilo Kish, Christian Clancy, Syd, Lionel, Vince Staples, Julian Conesugra] My November was those Odd Future Sundays, where we used to just skate all day My November, and I was performing and Lil Wayne rapped with me, I think I cried that night My November was awesome, I booked my first feature film My November was when I was gifted this Getz and Gilberto album My November was seeing Erykah Badu perform My November was... my brother took me to my first concert ever, which was to Kanye West's Glow in the Dark... My November was summer 2015 when I fell in love with someone who fucked my whole world up, showed me life through a different 2014, Miami 43rd Street, every day was November
[Bridge] Take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back I ain't doin' fine, lost my mothafuckin' mind Time travel back and help me find Take me back, take me back to November, this I know Take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back to November, this I know "My November is right now"
[Verse 2] I wrote a song about you, I want your opinion Opposite of my heart rate, it slows down at the ending 'Cause the love I got for you has exceeded appearance, the lyrics are Matter of fact, I'ma just call you, so you can hear it If you do answer, I'll play it to state facts Although I already know the response you gon' say back At that point I'll hang up, disappear and just stay back And if you don't I'll leave a voicemail with the playback
[Outro] Hello, no one is available to take your call Please leave a message after the tone [beep]
[Intro] Da na na na na, da na na na na Da na na na na, my baby You've been on my mind (How ya feel?) I'm losing my mind because I hope that we can be more than just friends
[Chorus] Fireworks, I feel like glitter And every time you come around, I feel like glitter (How ya feel?) You're the one that I needed in my life (How ya feel?) You're the one that I needed in my life
[Verse 1] Ayo, mirror mirror on the wall, who the brightest of them all? I never been the darkest one 'cause my self esteem is tall So I never seen eye-to-eye with y'all niggas, ayo Uno peso, never paid attention to what niggas gotta say-o So I keep that buck, I ain't give no fuck They ain't build me up so I block 'em like Lego Feelin' glitter, feelin' good and great Got the burner, got the heat, like wait Got the shit, it's all up on that hip I'll use it on myself on the day you dip Got that 4, 5, 7, track 8 for me Baby doll, I hope you agree Because you light my
[Chorus] Fireworks, I feel like glitter (I don't even know what that means) And every time you come around, I feel like glitter (How you feel?) You're the one that I needed in my life (How you feel?) You're the one that I needed in my life 'Cause I love having you around (I love) 'Cause I love having you around
[Verse 2] Yeah, look at my face, look at that joy This is one sided, yeah, I can't lie We ain't gon' work out, we a fat boy Yeah, sumo, got it, memo Pale skin see-through, must be a window 'Cause you ain't an L, could be a DJ When I see you my heart beat changes tempo Yeah, simple, that's what I want but I can't That's who you are but I ain't (how ya feel?) We can track 10 skiptrace, I'm caught in your quicksand, wait Please don't save me
[Bridge] Ooooh (Please don't save me, yeah) How ya feel? (Rose tinted cheeks) How ya feel? How ya feel? How ya feel? How ya feel? How ya feel? (Scum Fuck Flower Boy) How ya feel? (Scum Fuck Flower Boy) How ya feel? (Scum Fuck Flower Boy) How ya feel? How ya feel?
[Outro] We didn't get your message, either because you were not speaking or because of a bad connection Fuck” i felt that
submitted by someweirdgamerYT to okonmabuddyretard [link] [comments]

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Yes, the Baby Pool Shower Game, not a swimming pool! Hosting a baby pool is a great way for your friends, family and co-workers to share in the joy of your pregnancy and a new life. Loved ones near and far can all get into the action! A baby pool is a game where each participant guesses what the birthday, gender, length and weight of the Tips on planning a baby betting pool for the baby's due date or gender for a fun virtual baby shower game. But parents-to-be are now using online baby pool games to get family and friends across the country to join in the fun. Plus, online baby pool games are a great way to get the baby’s father and his friends involved, too. With our free online baby pool game, you can add any product from anywhere on the web to your registry and have a baby guessing game to have everyone chip in on those big ticket items. Baby betting pools make your pregnancy and baby registry more fun! ANNOUNCE. Everyone is waiting for the beautiful photos of your newborn. See who will get # Setting up a baby betting pool is a way to get your friends and family involved with your pregnancy 1.The baby betting pool works like other betting pools, such as for sports game, but the participants are betting on the baby's actual birth date and possibly other information -- such as the sex, length, weight and time of birth 1. This website gives you an easy, interactive way to participate and join in the fun of the baby guessing game. And it's completely free! WhatsInMyBelly.com allows you to set up a baby pool and invite friends and family to join in. Think of it as a combination of fantasy football and childbirth.

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How to setup a baby betting pool on UntilItHappens.com

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