While we wait for the inevitable showdown in Anaheim, let’s talk about a tournament with much lower stakes that has players excited to compete. Welcome to Weakness Cup, an online, double-battle tournament courtesy of the Pokemon Global Link that is restricted to Pokemon with five or more weaknesses (with some Legendary and all Mythical Pokemon being excluded). While this may sound like a format that features only some of the weakest monsters out there, you’d be surprised how many competitive staples have their fair share of weaknesses.
That being said, a lot of these previously viable Pokemon struggle with the other main restriction of the tournament: the allowed items. Held items in the Weakness Cup are restricted to berries that reduce super effective damage and Weakness Policy. Oh, and there’s also an item clause too so choose your berries and your Weakness Policy user wisely.
Hopefully by now I’ve captured your interest, but right now I can expect that some of you might be asking “Well, how do I build a team for this? What should I be expecting?”
To answer them, let’s take a look at some of the Pokemon that will likely dominate this format, split up into various categories based on their prospective roles on a team.
The full list of eligible Pokemon can be found here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).
Fast, Frail Attackers
Greninja is one of the most versatile Pokemon in the game thanks to its Protean ability, allowing it to change into virtually any type it wants. This allows Greninja’s move set to be almost infinitely modifiable, and allows it to carry a plethora of surprise moves. Although Greninja hasn’t seen too much play in doubles, the type coverage it offers for this tournament makes it a fine addition to a team.
A fast Fake Out user is always good for a doubles team, and Weavile’s back to serve that very role. Weavile might be a bit underwhelming without a Focus Sash, but having access to strong Ice-type attacks in a format filled with Grass types is valuable. Knock Off is also a great tool for setting up KO’s on Pokemon that lose their berry.
Breloom isn’t nearly as fast as the previously mentioned Pokemon, but it does get a solid priority move in Mach Punch. Fighting-type coverage in a format full of Dark, Rock and Ice-types makes Breloom a great late game sweeper with Mach Punch’s increased base power thanks to Technician. Spore can also be helpful, but there are a lot of Grass-types that can easily switch in.
Togekiss was one that a lot of people were surprised had more than five weaknesses due to just how bulky it is. Being one of the only viable Fairy-type Pokemon in the format, Togekiss loves being able to redirect the Dark, Dragon and Fighting-type attacks with Follow Me. Plus, Tailwind offers a solid speed control option that even allows Togekiss to go on the offensive with its terrifying Air Slash flinch chance. A Pokemon you’ll definitely see on a lot of high rated teams, probably paired with a set-up sweeper.
One of the game’s most formidable Prankster users still has a place in this format despite also being without its signature Focus Sash. Whimsicott can do a lot of things. It can set up Tailwind, Encore opponents into Protect or a set-up move, Taunt opposing support Pokemon and even threaten some damage with Moonblast. With Terrakion also being present, the classic TerraCott combo threatens to sweep unprepared teams with Whimsicott using Beat Up to boost Terrakion’s attack by four stages. A Pokemon that suffers a lot from how frail it is, but if played right, can be really annoying to play against.
Keeping with the theme of Pokemon who miss their Focus Sashes, Aerodactyl is also a solid support Pokemon for Weakness Cup. Sky Drop can disrupt your opponent’s moves while also setting up some cool combos like Weavile using a boosted Assurance on the Sky Drop target. Also, fast Rock Slide is always a win condition that Aerodactyl can set up from turn one.
A destructive force that thrives in the absence of Fairy-type Pokemon, Hydreigon is a solid Special attacker that only slightly misses holding a boosting item.
The Lati Twins
Normally, players favor Latios since it’s the more offensive of the two, but Latias could be a solid Weakness Policy candidate due to its natural bulk. While these two may not thrive on dropping Draco Meteors in this format, they both have a variety of other useful attacking options coupled with being able to use Tailwind.
Poor Guzzlord. Always having to be associated with the word “weak”. Guzzlord actually wouldn’t be a bad choice for a Trick Room sweeper, as its natural bulk pairs well with a Roseli Berry to cover its Fairy weakness. Its ability to boost its Special Attack turns it into a potent sweeper too.
A lot of people were disappointed with Kommo-o, but it could see some play in this tournament. Like I said, Fighting-types are strong in this metagame, and Kommo-o doesn’t really have to worry about Fairy-types outside of Togekiss. Kommo-o has viability on the physical and special side and could see play as a formidable attacker with its solid stats and impressive move pool.
Trick Room Setters
These two are pretty inter-changeable depending on which defense stat you prefer. Both Slowbro and Slowking are insanely bulky, have solid move pools and can heal off damage with Slack Off and the Regenerator ability. With the help of the Colbur berry, these two don’t have to worry about taking a Dark-type attack in order to set up Trick Room, but they do need to fear Grass and Ghost-types.
This format does lack solid Fire-types, but Chandelure is by far the best while also being a viable Trick Room setter. A monstrous Special Attack stat that is able to fire off strong Heat Waves and Shadow Balls makes Chandelure an offensive powerhouse that is also able to give your team some support.
Trevenant is always a tough Pokemon to deal with, and the amount of Fighting and Rock-types works very well in its favor. Having the ability to spread burns and recover its health with Harvest and Horn Leech, don’t be surprised if your team has trouble dealing with this thing.
Trick Room Attackers
Arguably the best Weakness Policy user in the format, outside of Tyranitar, Gigalith can tear through teams if it’s able to boost. Even without a boost, Gigalith’s excellent Attack works very well with spamming Rock Slide under Trick Room. Its attacking move pool may be kind of shallow, but there’s always the supportive option of Wide Guard which can be a good best-of-one tech to catch opponents off-guard.
The reason this lovable crab makes it onto this list is because the offensive typing of Ice/Fighting is amazing for this metagame. Crabominable has some strong attacking options too, and can easily abuse Trick Room to start sweeping. Don’t sleep on this monster.
Other Offensive Powerhouses
The only Island Guardian in the format is certainly one not to be trifled with. In a format filled with Grass-types, Tapu Bulu can both boost itself as well as other Grass Pokemon without having to worry about losing its Terrain. Grassy Terrain also makes Earthquake a lot weaker, which can help Rock and Fire-type teammates while also recovering some health. As the only terrain-setter, I’d expect to see a lot of Tapu Bulu.
These last two years of VGC have almost made me forget how good of a Pokemon Tyranitar is. Tyranitar has been known in the past to make good use of both Chople Berry (lessens Fighting-type super effective damage) and Weakness Policy, so it seems like a natural fit for this metagame. The combination of Togekiss and Tyranitar looks to be a popular choice considering Tyranitar benefits immensely from Togekiss’ typing and Follow Me support. Another Pokemon I’d expect to see a lot of.
Being able to spam a powerful move like Leaf Storm while also boosting your Special attack with Contrary is what makes Serperior a threat. Serperior hasn’t seen too much play in doubles, but I think it could still make waves in this format.
Finally, we have the only musketeer that I expect to see play: Terrakion. I touched on the TerraCott combination already, but also having a fast Fighting-type that can also use Rock Slide makes Terrakion a pretty strong pick. The TerraCott combo will likely be the main way Terrakion is played though, because a) it’s really strong and b) it’s best-of-one.
So that’s just a bit of a taste of Weakness Cup! This is a tournament that I’m personally a huge fan of and I would love to see more interest in it. VGC and Doubles players should feel right at home, with the item restrictions feeling like enough of a twist to make it more challenging.
This tournament may not have any big prizes or glory on the line, but it seems like a fun format to play for a weekend. Plus, for playing just three games you are eligible to receive the unreleased Mega Stones Altarianite, Ampharosite, Latiosite and Latiasite. Registration begins on the Pokemon Global Link starting July 20th and ends on July 27th. The competition runs from the 28th to the 30th.
Thanks for reading!
Art of Pokémon from Pokémon and Ken Sugimori
Featured Image from Pokemon Global Link