The Evolution Cup is a brand new challenge to take on in the Pokemon Go Battle League, so we’ve got the best team recommendations to help you rise to the top.
While the traditional Great League, Ultra League, and Master League keep trainers busy throughout the year, Niantic occasionally throws in a cup with unique rules that make players rethink their best teams.
The latest addition to the Pokemon Go Battle League rotation is the Evolution Cup, which only allows Pokemon that have evolved at least once and can evolve again (aka middle-stage evolutions) to enter.
Trying to figure out which Pokemon meet this criteria and are also under the 1500 CP limit can be quite tricky, so we’ve put together some recommendations for the Evolution Cup below.
Best team for the Evolution Cup in Pokemon Go
One of the best teams you can use in the Evolution Cup is Vigoroth, Hakamo-o, and Dusclops, as these are three of the strongest eligible Pokemon that will give you coverage against most opponents.
Vigoroth is currently looking like the top contender in the Evolution Cup. You’ll also want a Dragon-type like Hakamo-o on your team, while Dusclops is a great option to defeat all the Dragon-types you’ll see.
As always, it’s kind of impossible to say what the ultimate ‘best team’ is, as it really depends on what your opponent sends out, but we’ve rounded up some of the safest options and movesets below.
Best Pokemon for the Evolution Cup
- Fast Move: Counter
- Charged Move: Body Slam and Bulldoze
- Resistances: Ghost
- Weaknesses: Fighting
Vigoroth appears at the top of the Evolution Cup rankings. It has just one weakness, and there really aren’t many Fighting-types that are eligible to exploit it, which means it has free reign to take on most opponents it will come up against (just watch out for Machoke).
Vigoroth also has a great moveset that opens with the Fast Move Counter – which we’d recommend for any Pokemon that has access to it – and rounds out with the low-cost STAB attack Body Slam paired with the Ground-type Bulldoze for extra coverage.
- Fast Move: Dragon Tail
- Charged Move: Dragon Claw and Brick Break
- Resistances: Bug, Dark, Electric, Fire, Grass, Rock, and Water
- Weaknesses: Dragon, Fairy, Flying, Ice, and Psychic
Hakamo-o is probably the rarest Pokemon on this list and it will cost a lot to get it close to 1500 CP, but if you’ve already got one then you’re in luck, as it’s looking like the top Dragon-type in the meta.
Dragon Tail is a brilliant Fast Move that also gets STAB, so make sure Hakamo-o has it. Pair this with the spammable Dragon Claw and you’ve already got a top-tier moveset, although Brick Break is the icing on the cake for some useful Fighting-type damage.
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- Fast Move: Dragon Breath
- Charged Move: Body Slam and Dark Pulse
- Resistances: Dark, Electric, Fire, Ghost, Grass, Psychic, and Water
- Weaknesses: Bug, Dragon, Fairy, Fighting, and Ice
Dragons are going to play an important role in the Evolution Cup, so if you don’t have a Hakamo-o then look toward Zweilous instead. This Dark/Dragon-type Pokemon is already a standout in the Great League and it performs even better in this cup.
The combination of the excellent Fast Move Dragon Breath and the low-cost Charged Move Body Slam means Zweilous can dish out plenty of damage, while Dark Pulse gives it a secondary attack that gets STAB and provides extra coverage.
- Fast Move: Karate Chop
- Charged Move: Cross Chop and Dynamic Punch
- Resistances: Bug, Dark, and Rock
- Weaknesses: Fairy, Flying, and Psychic
Machoke is one of the few Fighting-types that makes a mark on the Evolution Cup meta. It’s also one of the top contenders regardless of type, as it’s able to take down big names like Vigoroth, Zweilous, Sealeo, Lairon, and even Dragonair.
Karate Chop is Machoke’s best Fast Move when it comes to energy generation. If you’ve got an Elite Charged TM, use it to get Cross Chop which can be spammed for decent STAB damage. If not, Brick Break and Dynamic Punch are good backup options.
- Fast Move: Hex
- Charged Move: Ice Punch and Shadow Punch
- Resistances: Bug, Fighting, Normal, and Poison
- Weaknesses: Dark and Ghost
With the over-saturation of Dragon-types in the Evolution Cup, it’s important to have a counter on your team. Dusclops is arguably one of the best, as it has access to an Ice-type Charged Move and key wins over the likes of Hakamo-o and Dragonair.
Hex is the best Fast Move for energy generation (and it also gets STAB). As for Charged Moves, you’ll want the aforementioned Ice-type attack Ice Punch for dealing with Dragons, while Shadow Punch is a cheap STAB attack that’s great for spamming.
Pokemon Go Evolution Cup rules & restrictions
The main rule of the Evolution Cup is that only Pokemon that have evolved once and can evolve again are eligible to enter. They must also be at or under the max 1500 CP limit.
This can make putting a team together quite difficult, although it should work out cheaper than the Master League as you don’t need to fully evolve your Pokemon or level them up too much.
Pokemon Go Evolution Cup start & end date
The Evolution Cup kicks off on Thursday, October 6, 2022, at 1PM PT / 4PM ET / 9PM BST and ends on Thursday, October 13, 2022, at 1PM PT which means you’ve got a week to compete.
It will run alongside the traditional Master League. We’ve got a best team guide for the Master League which might come in handy for that one.