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The Play Pokémon Twitter account shared the VG Players Cup Power Rankings on July 13, 2020. These rankings highlight the best new strategies since the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield’s Isle of Armor DLC. Specifically, it considered useful Pokémon and moves for VGC, the official competitive format for Pokémon video games.
The top 10 new Pokemon and strategies, according to the Pokémon Players Cup Rankings, are as follows:
- Politoed and Kingdra
- Expanding Force
- Terrakion and Whimsicott
Amoonguss tops the list, thanks to its utility as a meta-defining support Pokémon. It can redirect moves with Rage Powder or put opponents to sleep with the 100% accurate Spore.
Politoed and Kingdra claim the No. 2 spot on the Pokémon VG Players Cup Power Rankings. Politoed’s Drizzle Ability instantly sets up rain, which increases Kingdra’s Speed thanks to its Swift Swim Ability. Kingdra then becomes a quick offensive threat, especially if it Dynamaxes. Kingdra can also learn Hurricane now, granting it a powerful Flying-type move that is 100% accurate in the rain.
Porygon2 is another predominantly support-oriented Pokémon that appears on this list. Porygon2 has the potential to replace Dusclops as the most prolific Trick Room setter. This is because its Download Ability gives it greater offensive potential and the healing move Recover improves its longevity.
More about the Pokémon VG Players Cup Power Rankings
Galar starters Cinderace and Rillaboom both fare well on the Pokémon Players Cup Rankings, thanks to their newly-released Hidden Abilities. Cinderace’s Libero changes its type to match whatever move it used selected. As a result, it gains a same-type attack bonus on every single move. Rillaboom’s Grassy Surge instantly sets up Grassy Terrain. This pairs especially well with the new move Grassy Glide, which has increased priority under Grassy Terrain.
Expanding Force is a new Move Tutor move from the Isle of Armor. It is a 160 base power Psychic-type multi-target attack whenever Psychic Terrain is in effect. As a result, Indeedee makes excellent use of this move, since its Psychic Surge Ability sets up Psychic Terrain. It can also partner with Pokémon like Alakazam and Hatterene, which can lay down offensive pressure with Expanding Force.
The Terrakion and Whimsicott duo is especially strong, thanks to Terrakion’s Justified Ability. Justified raises Terrakion’s Attack by one stage if it gets hit by a Dark-type move. As a result, Whimiscott can use Beat Up on its partner Terrakion, raising its Attack by a whopping four stages. This huge Attack boost, coupled with the Ability to Dynamax, makes Terrakion a terrifying offensive threat.
Urshifu, Azumarill, and Talonflame round out the Pokémon Players Cup Rankings as strong offensive Pokémon with useful Abilities. Urshifu’s Unseen Fist allows its contact moves to hit through Protect and Detect, easily countering opposing defensive plays. Azumarill’s Huge Power doubles its Attack stat, greatly enhancing its potential as an attacker. And finally, Talonflame’s Gale Wings gives its Flying-type moves increased priority as long as Talonflame is at full HP. As a result, it can start any match with a quick Brave Bird to rack up damage, or an immediate Tailwind to raise partner Pokémon’s Speed.
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.