MPL V Coverage

By Decem, maroon, and Ticken. Released: 2019/09/25.
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MLP V art

Art by Ticken.


Monotype Premier League V is the third team tour in Monotype this year and is also the premier event in Monotype each year. This year's MPL follows the same format as MPL IV, which featured current and old generations of Monotype; it also was the first MPL where team names became locked in and teams could retain a player from old rosters. With fewer older players returning to the scene for this MPL, there was a gap for many newer players to be drafted in this rendition. Without further ado, let's look at this year's MPL and its teams!

Teams & Power Rankings

The Power Rankings were made by the Monotype community from the managers, tour players, and Monotype veterans.


Hearthome Honchkrows

Hearthome Honchkrows

USM (2nd), ORAS (5th), BW (3rd), Bo3 (1st)

Goldenrod Gengars

Goldenrod Gengars

USM (1st), ORAS (6th), BW (7th), Bo3 (2nd)

Littleroot Lotads

Littleroot Lotads

USM (5th), ORAS (3rd), BW (2nd), Bo3 (4th)

Two Island Tapus

Two Island Tapus

USM (6th), ORAS (4th), BW (6th), Bo3 (3rd)

Meteor Falls Miniors

Meteor Falls Miniors

USM (8th), ORAS (1st), BW (1st), Bo3 (5th)

Cinnabar Charizards

Cinnabar Charizards

USM (4th), ORAS (7th), BW (4th), Bo3 (6th)

Cherrygrove Cherubis

Cherrygrove Cherubis

USM (7th), ORAS (2nd), BW (5th), Bo3 (7th)

Sunyshore Surskits

Sunyshore Surskits

USM (3rd), ORAS (8th), BW (8th), Bo3 (8th)

Metagame Trends through the Tour


Type usage in MPL V remained similar to recent team tournaments but with some types faltering and gaining usage. One notable change is Grass, which was viewed as a lackluster type at the beginning of the generation; it gained a decent amount of usage in MPL V as an anti-meta type capable of grabbing good matchups against top types like Fairy, Water, and Electric. Many Grass teams started dropping Cradily and putting Stealth Rock on Ferrothorn as well as dropping Tapu Bulu in order to fit in Pokémon such as Decidueye and Whimsicott to take on tougher matchups like Psychic, Dragon, and Dark. Water, a good type that is seen as the most versatile in the metagame, had low usage compared to other team tournaments. This was probably because techs to beat it appeared more often, along with Electric, Grass, and Fairy all being more common. Despite this, Water showed a lot of flexibility in its builds as per usual, with a wide range of archetypes such as rain, balance, and even a few appearances of stall to catch players off guard with Water's wide variety of defensive Pokémon.

Dragon's usage was notably at its peak in MPL V, most likely to combat common balanced types such as Dark, Water, Flying, and Poison with its good number of strong wallbreakers in Kommo-o, Kyurem-B, Dragonite, and other potent offensive Pokémon. Dragalge even made a few appearances in order to help with the Fairy matchup, which was typically an automatic loss for Dragon, because of its presence as a strong wallbreaker with access to Toxic Spikes. In addition to that, Flying's usage also notably increased from Monotype World Cup, as it's one of the most consistent and flexible types, capable of taking on a huge majority of the metagame with its wide array of options. Hyper offensive Flying teams that focused on pressuring the opposition with purely brute force became popular, while Mantine's usage was at an all-time low on balance due to the fact that Pokémon it used to wall such as Keldeo, Greninja, and Nidoking now carried moves to beat it, making its role as a wall rather shaky. Other good types such as Fairy, Dark, Steel, Electric, and Psychic gained consistent usage because of their ability to match up well with the rest of the metagame, while types that struggled in the Monotype metagame because of their unreliability and lacklusterness such as Ice, Bug, Fire, Rock, and Fighting saw little to no usage. Bug in particular getting no usage was surprising, as it was used fairly commonly at the beginning of the generation, although its usage gradually decreased to 0 as time went on.


While ORAS Monotype was an exciting metagame to watch, it was a very unbalanced tier, as many of the teams either were Psychic or were built to have a good chance against Psychic teams. This was largely thanks to the threat that is Mega Medicham; with its ability to even 2HKO Pokémon that resisted its attacks, it was a very dominant force in MPL V. As seen right off the bat from Week 1, people started to use Flying teams to beat down Psychic with Pokémon such as RestTalk Mega Gyarados, Pursuit Mega Aerodactyl, Substitute + Nasty Plot Thundurus, and Assault Vest Tornadus-T. However, Psychic was only used twice this first week, mostly because they were all focused on beating Psychic, though this trend would not stay for very long.

Eventually people started exploring other ways to beat Psychic teams and especially Mega Medicham, such as using Bug and Dark teams, which are naturally strong against Psychic. As the tour went on, people also used Water teams featuring Mega Sharpedo or Mega Gyarados and sets such as Shadow Claw Excadrill on sand-based Ground teams. Psychic teams were even used to beat Psychic, using Pokémon such as Slowbro to switch into Victini and non-Thunder Punch Mega Medicham. In return, Psychic users made new sets to handle the new more aggressive metagame such as Substitute + BoltBeam Mega Medicham and Life Orb Deoxys-S. However, not all of MPL revolved around Psychic and trying to beat it. There were other prevalent types throughout the tournament such as Flying, Water, Ground, and Steel that were also ever present in the metagame, and the niche type Electric also saw a little use.

With the tournament being over, the Monotype council decided to suspect Mega Medicham in ORAS Monotype, which resulted in it being banned. Hopefully the tier is more balanced and players can use more types with more ease now. Only time will tell where the ORAS metagame will end up, and while Psychic took a loss, it still is an amazing type.

Here are some exciting ORAS Monotype games in action!

Psychic vs. Flying

Dragon vs. Water

Ground vs. Bug


As the USM generation comes to a close, we say our farewells to BW Monotype in Monotype Gens, leaving it open to only future MPLs. Throughout its lifespan, there have been many different trends as the metagame becomes more optimized. Types such as Bug and Normal were recognized as high- to mid-level types but have taken a drastic decline in usage, specifically in team tours, due to being less safe against the clear-cut, dominant types. Only six of the seventeen types had more than 5% usage in MPL V, and even more surprisingly, five of the six had more than 10% usage. Why's that? Let's take a look at a couple.

Psychic, at a staggering 20% usage, has always been one of BW Monotype's front runners thanks to its diverse dual typings, versatility, and relatively high BSTs. Types that have a natural advantage against Psychic do not appear often, making it less risky to use than in past iterations; Steel helps keep Psychic in check, however, with its natural resistances and powerful STAB moves.

Another type that has been gaining popularity is the formidable Dragon, as it is easy to keep up the pressure with and only has a few weaknesses, which it can remedy with weakness-reducing Berries, specifically Haban Berry to combat the mirror matchup. It has many offensive tools at its disposal to apply game-winning pressure, but on the flip side, Dragon users need to be sure to play correctly, as it doesn't always have the best defensive countermeasures.

And lastly, Steel is another type that has been steadily rising through the ranks. Steel in nature looks slow and bulky with Bronzong, Ferrothorn, Heatran, Skarmory, etc., when in actuality some teams are quite the opposite. A majority of the types deemed bad for Steel are focused around offense; Dragon, Fighting, Ground, and Water are all bad news for bulkier, passive Steel teams. However, some offensive advancements such as Flying Gem Scizor, Agility Empoleon, and Calm Mind Jirachi with Electric and Grass coverage, to name a few, give Steel a way to win without being too reliant on hax-free matches.

BW Monotype has gone through many variations over the years and while there is still more to discover. MPL V has shown just how skewed the type usage is at the highest level.

Check out some of these replays to see some exciting Monotype BW action!

Psychic vs. Dragon

Fire vs. Dragon

Rock vs. Steel

Highlight Matches

Early Weeks

Eien vs Wincon

This game was marked by interesting teambuilding choices when both of these top players prepared for each other. Both of the Fairy teams ran a tech against Tapu Bulu, a powerful bulky setup sweeper that is huge in the mirror matchup, seeing as nothing can take it out reliably, while Eien's lack of Klefki put him at a disadvantage. Wincon chose to lead with Tapu Bulu, which had a good advantage against Tapu Koko and forced it to switch, catching Eien's team off guard with the instantaneous power of Choice Band. After Clefable fainted, Eien tried to unsuccessfully lure in Tapu Bulu with Hidden Power Poison Mega Diancie, and Klefki got up Reflect and Light Screen, which made it infinitely harder for Eien to break past Wincon's team. Eien finally lured and managed to take out Wincon's Tapu Bulu using Destiny Bond Mimikyu as a last-ditch option. After that, he tried to set up with his Tapu Bulu to achieve victory, though this was rendered useless, as Wincon surprised Eien with Sap Sipper Azumarill. This let Wincon set up screens with Klefki once more, allowing Clefable to secure the win. These are Fairy teams that you would not traditionally see on ladder due to the number of techs both sides brought, showing the difference between what is possible in tours and what is successful on the ladder.

Later Weeks

Clearly vs. Pak

This match in particular was interesting to spectate, as they were viewed as two of the best USM Monotype players with good records throughout the tournament. The matchup was looking unfortunate for Pak, as breaking past Celesteela and Gliscor seemed tough, with Pokémon such as Tornadus-T and Landorus-T also serving as nuisances. At the start of the match, Pak managed to keep up Stealth Rock with his Seismitoad thanks to a few Hurricane misses. Pak then tried to break past Clearly's core through a lot of switching between the team's offensive Pokémon in Excadrill, Landorus, and Garchomp, eventually catching Gliscor off guard with a faster Seismitoad and considerably weakening Celesteela using Swords Dance Excadrill and Stealth Rock damage. With those two enormous threats weakened, Pak could now easily dismantle the rest of Clearly's team by playing aggressively.

BO3 Highlight Match

1 True Lycan vs Attribute

This series between two top players was interesting to watch, while 1 True Lycan bringing a very flexible type in Water in all three generations was an interesting choice.

USM Monotype

At Team Preview, both of the teams had an even chance of winning the matchup, as 1 True Lycan could easily get up Stealth Rock with Mega Swampert and sweep with Kingdra, while Attribute could pull off a win with Dragon Dance Dragonite, Hawlucha, and Grass Knot Thundurus-T. Attribute instantly tried to play aggressively by leading Mega Charizard Y instead of Aerodactyl and unsuccessfully trying to catch Pelipper off guard with Hidden Power Electric in order to disable rain permanently for the rest of the match. After Tentacruel was knocked out, 1 True Lycan played aggressively in order to keep up momentum. 1 True Lycan managed to surprise Attribute's Dragonite by bluffing Choice Band with Crawdaunt and knocking it out with Hydro Vortex under rain when it tried to set up. Thundurus-T tried to set up on Greninja by using Yache Berry to take an Ice Beam, but it couldn't knock out Greninja without the help of Gigavolt Havoc. After that, Kingdra safely outsped and cleaned the rest of Attribute's team.

ORAS Monotype

Poison, however uncommon and considerably worse in ORAS than it was in SM, allowed Attribute to grab a good matchup, seeing as Mega Venusaur was borderline impossible to knock out for 1 True Lycan's Water team. The lack of Pokémon that could put a huge dent in Mega Venusaur, namely Starmie, made the matchup tough for 1 True Lycan. Not only that, but offensive Pokémon such as Gengar, Drapion, and Nidoking all pressured his team alongside it. Attribute managed to surprise Rotom-W by putting it on a timer using Toxic with Crobat, at the cost of a burn. With Mega Venusaur in, Attribute played safely in order to prevent it from getting chipped unnecessarily, trying to avoid burns and using Rapid Spin to clear away Stealth Rock with Tentacruel, although Mega Venusaur eventually got burned. Substitute Gengar was a huge threat to 1 True Lycan's team, wearing things down quickly with its Shadow Ball, and it ended up being a huge contributor to the win alongside Mega Venusaur.

BW Monotype

At Team Preview, hazards played a huge role in this game. Tentacruel can't Rapid Spin Froslass's Spikes against a Ghost team, while Ghost teams don't have access to a Rapid Spin user, which meant that both of the teams would need to play wisely around Spikes or Toxic Spikes as well as the omnipresent Stealth Rock. This match kicked off with Attribute bringing a fairly standard Ghost team, while 1 True Lycan brought Water once again. Attribute started the game off by getting up a layer of Spikes with Froslass in order to apply pressure. When 1 True Lycan set up Toxic Spikes, Attribute made sure that Jellicent only got poisoned over badly poisoned, as being badly poisoned meant that Jellicent couldn't wall things as well, seeing as it had to switch out a lot more often to keep itself healthy. 1 True Lycan then tried to play around Jellicent by switching constantly, with Tentacruel getting knocked out in the process, but he was eventually able to force it out with Sharpedo and knock out Swampert and Sableye in the process. In the endgame, Attribute's Choice Scarf Thunderbolt Mismagius was very threatening with Swampert out of the picture, especially when it managed to crit Vaporeon on the switch. 1 True Lycan managed to force it out with Politoed, and he then took advantage of Spikes's chip damage in order to sacrifice Keldeo and send in Sharpedo safely, accumulate boosts, and win the game with its Life Orb-boosted Crunch.

Final Standings

(Wins - Losses - Ties, # of Points)

  1. Goldenrod Gengars (4 - 1 - 2, 10)
  2. Hearthome Honchkrows (4 - 1 - 2, 10)
  3. Two Island Tapus (2 - 1 - 4, 8)
  4. Cinnabar Charizards (3 - 3 - 1, 7)
  5. Meteor Falls Miniors (3 - 3 - 1, 7)
  6. Cherrygrove Cherubis (2 - 3 - 2, 6)
  7. Sunyshore Surskits (2 - 4 - 1, 5)
  8. Littleroot Lotads (1 - 5 - 1, 3)


Many of the projected teams to make playoffs from the Power Rankings did make it; however, the Littleroot Lotads did not manage to do so, and instead an underrated team in the Cinnabar Charizards took their place. The semifinals matchups were Goldenrod Gengars vs. Cinnabar Charizards and Hearthome Honchkrows vs. Two Island Tapus. While the Two Island Tapus were able to easily pull off the week win and advance into the finals, Goldenrod Gengars vs. Cinnabar Charizards ended up going into a tiebreak. USM Monotype was the metagame automatically added to the tiebreaker; Cinnabar Charizards decided to add BW, which was their strongest slot and the Goldenrod Gengars weakest slot; then, to everyone's surprise, the Goldenrod Gengars opted to put in BO3 rather than another USM slot despite having the strongest USM core in the tournament. Shockingly, both teams ended up losing in the slots they added, leaving it down to the final USM tiebreak match. The Goldenrod Gengars came out victorious, advancing them into the finals.

Goldenrod Gengars vs. Two Island Tapus

Goldenrod Gengars (5) vs Two Island Tapus (3)

USUM: Dahli vs Pak

USUM: Toadow vs trash

USUM: Chaitanya vs MetaRiolu7

USUM: Waszap vs FLCL

ORAS: Finchinator vs Cell

ORAS: Megazard vs Catalystic

BW: EviGaro vs dcae

BO3: Feitan the steam vs Sae | #1 / #2 / #3

The Monotype Premier League V finals were between Goldenrod Gengars and Two Island Tapus. The Goldenrod Gengars had a stronger USM Monotype core, while the Two Island Tapus had a stronger core for older generations. The highlight match of this finals had to be dahli vs. Pak, as they had some of the strongest USM records in the tour. The game between them was Steel vs. Electric, and while it seemed like Pak had a strong type advantage, dahli's team was well equipped with plenty of answers to Electric-types, making this final evenly matched up. dahli was able to win this matchup because Pak did not trap Excadrill with Air Balloon Magnezone, allowing dahli to easily pick up the win. Toadow vs. trash was Grass vs. Psychic; Toadow brought Decidueye, which typically does well against Psychic teams, but trash brought Substitute + V-create Victini, allowing him to easily win the matchup. Chaitanya vs MetaRiolu7 was a Grass vs. Water matchup; Chaitanya did not play well early-game and got rid of most of his Grass-type STAB move carrying Pokémon, but he was able to turn it around due to the chokes MetaRiolu7 made towards the end of the game. Waszap vs. FLCL was Grass vs. Dark; the game was fairly even and came down to how Waszap was able to win with Whimsicott in the end. Next we move onto the ORAS matchups. Finchinator vs. Cell was an interesting matchup; Finchinator decided to opt to use Electric with BoltBeam spam to catch the Flying spam that was happening while also pressuring Psychic with the team's high Speed. Although Cell brought Fighting instead, Finchinator was able to win by continuously pressuring Cell. At Team Preview, Catalystic vs. Megazard seemed pretty one-sided, since Megazard brought Dark against Catalystic's Psychic team. However, with Mega Gardevoir + Life Orb Deoxys-S, Catalystic was able to muscle past Megazard's defensive core and win the match. EviGaro vs. dcae was a pretty even matchup; with both sides having brought Psychic, it was left to who played better, and EviGaro was able to eventually win with Slowbro. Feitan the steam vs. Sae started off as a fairly even BW match with both sides opting to bring rain Water. In ORAS, Sae was able to win with a good matchup, leaving the series to the USM game. The USM game was Fairy vs. Dark, which seems like a pretty good matchup; however, Feitan the steam brought Toxic Spikes Greninja + Curse Alolan Muk, making the game a lot more even. Sae was able to pull through and win the USM match to take the BO3. With all matches being completed, the Goldenrod Gengars were able to come out victorious and win the fifth edition of the Monotype Premier League.

Manager Interviews

After eight grueling weeks of battle, the Goldenrod Gengars and Two Island Tapus were able to surpass all of their opponents and advance to the finals, where one of these teams came out as the MPL 5 champions. We got the inside scoop from the finalist managers and their overall thoughts about their tournament experiences before they faced off. Here are their experiences.

How did you feel about your draft going into the tournament?

We got everyone we wanted pretty much so we were pretty satisfied, and I'm not saying that for the sake of it. We got literally everyone on our ideal 10 except Wincon, but we filled that slot out really well imo.

What were some good moments and hardships your team had this MPL?

Not too many hardships, I got mad once when peachy tried throwing early in the season, and tiebreak was stressful but we pulled through.

Your USM Monotype was one of the strongest in the tournament, but your old gens were not as much. How did you prep for your old gens?

Reused a bunch of teams honestly, I got a couple from Ridley here and there, but a lot of reusing and very little building. Lots of small changes to standard teams.

What are some tips you have for building in USM Monotype?

What I do is generally ignore one matchup completely and build for the other 17 and that helps round out my teams really nicely. Even if I ignore 1 really common matchup I think it's worth it if you're being able to outplay the other ones.

Was there a player in particular (on your team or another's) that really surprised you with their results, and why?

A lot of people had surprisingly good records but no one really impressed me or exceeded my expectations. If I had to pick I'd say Sae and Bitana. Sae was pretty good from what I remember especially after having problems closing out games. I remember more about bitana complaining than his games but he put up a good record so.


Lastly, s/o my team and zap + feitan especially, and Ridley for a bit of outside help I personally did get.

How did you feel about your draft going into the tournament?

Lax: People hated on our draft but we got our good friends along with trusted picks like Sae and Cata.

wanka: I think at a glance, yes. I feel like most people knew we had a good enough team to make the playoffs, but when it came to it we weren't going to be able to stand toe to toe with the Honchkrows or the Gengars. The regular season gave that notion some validity I think given our early struggles, but I had a lot of confidence that we would eventually step up, and towards the end of the season we started clicking. It felt good for everyone to kind of see what we could do as a team firing on all cylinders.

What were some good moments and hardships your team had this MPL?

lax: Hardships was pretty much just trash throwing lul, good moments was seeing how vocal and coordinated the entire team was with each other.

wanka: As a team probably the main hardship was getting over our the consistent ties we had during the regular season. It was definitely a little frustrating for us to have blown some leads after some good moments, and that type of stuff can lowkey make a team go haywire, but credit to everyone for sticking it out and for them. Making it to finals was even better I think because we struggled for over half of the regular season and it showed that those bad ties didn't define them and that they knew they were going to do better. Pak and Sae also had standout performances on our team, which was huge. We spent a solid 51k on these two so getting the win output that those two provided us was second to none. I also think just clinching playoffs the way we did was an awesome moment for our team. The ties definitely were taking their toll and being able to 7-1 that last week and take a huge breath of fresh air was something we all were looking forward too.

What are some tips you have for building in USM Monotype?

lax: SM monotype is pretty stale, but I like to build my teams around what I expect other people to bring by analyzing their trends.

wanka: I personally didn't have that much USM influence for our team, but I still do look at the meta a lot. I think there's a good selection of types to pick from that can have success in the tournament scene and the ladder. That type of meta is stale but ya balanced so our prep was more or less just looking at trends and deciding what good types we can bring.

Was there a player in particular (on your team or another's) that really surprised you with their results, and why?

lax: Cata was the biggest surprise. We thought he was solid ofc but he brought win after win and was a huge presence for our team.

wanka: Cata was the biggest surprise. We knew he was solid but definitely did not expect him to do as well as he did given the need for him to be flexible and play oras as well.

Last but not least, as two of Monotype’s veteran players, how do you think of MPL V compared to past tournaments? Are you two thinking of managing again in the future?

lax: This MPL seemed a lot better than the other ones cuz a lot of teams finessed the draft in the previous years. I'm not gonna manage again because my enthusiasm and caring for it has slowly waned. Might try playing again, though. Also Wanka's selfies motivated the squad.

wanka: I thought this was by far the best MPL so far, I felt like there was a lot of new faces but the competition was at a high level. Don't know if I'll manage again in gen 8, but I feel good about potentially getting back into playing more, so we'll see.

Closing Thoughts

With that, MPL V has concluded and a new champion has been crowned, the Goldenrod Gengars! Congratulations to them for winning a long hard-fought season, and to every team for putting up a fight. Overall MPL V was a good season and the last Monotype team tournament before the release of Pokémon Sword & Shield, which will shake up Pokémon and certainly make MPL VI an interesting tour!

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