GO Battle League Season 5: Legendary Pokemon reward, new cups, changes

Paul Cot
Pokemon Go Battle League promotional art.

Niantic have announced the details for GO Battle League Season 5 revealing new cups, an array of changes and perhaps most excitingly that Legendary Pokemon are returning as rewards.

Season of Pokemon Go’s GO Battle League will start on Monday, November 9, 1pm PST (4pm EST and 9pm GMT). While no information was given about when Season 5 would conclude, we assume it will be eight weeks, the same as last season.

Niantic have shared details about the new cups (more on that below) but didn’t mention anything about the ever-present Great, Ultra and Master Leagues. As a result it isn’t clear whether they will run concurrently alongside these new cups, whether they will feature separately or won’t feature at all. Should it be the latter it would mark a massive change in the GO Battle League format.

Kanto Pokemon GO Battle League
One of the new cups in Season 5 of GO Battle League will only feature Kanto Pokemon!

New cups

The new cups that will feature are the Little Cup, Kanto Cup and Catch Cup. The rules and times of each of them are as follows:

  • The Little Cup will run from Monday, November 9, 1pm PST to Monday, November 16, 1pm PST. Only Pokemon that are able to evolve and have not evolved even once are eligible. The CP limit is 500.
  • The Kanto Cup will run from Monday, November 16, 1pm to Monday, November 23, 1pm PST. Only Pokemon with a Pokedex number between #001 and #151 are eligible. The CP limit is 1,500.
  • The Catch Cup will run from Monday, November 23 1pm to Monday, November 30, 1pm PST. Only Pokemon that have been caught since the beginning of Season 5 are eligible. The CP limit is 1,500. Mythical Pokémon—such as Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, and Victini—are not eligible for the Catch Cup.

GO Battle League like never before

As you can see this is certainly going to freshen up the Pokemon Go GO Battle League scene. Trainers are going to have to strategize like never before.

The Little Cup will make those previously useless Pokemon perhaps more important than ever. It will be fascinating to see what the meta for this come ends up being. We’ll certainly see plenty of variety in teams to begin with, which is only a good thing!

Meanwhile, the Kanto Cup will be a little more predictable as only Kanto Pokemon can feature. The likes of Charizard, Clefable, and the various Legendaries will likely be regularly seen.

Finally, the Catch Cup is maybe the most interesting and unique of all. Trainers will no longer be able to rely on their older, most trusted Pokemon. Instead, only Pokemon that have been caught after the Season 5 start date, November 9, will be eligible.

Legendary Pokemon rewards

It’s fair to say trainers have been less excited about GO Battle League’s rewards than when the mode was first introduced. This is because Legendary Pokemon, such as Darkrai and Giratina, were given out as rewards. Well, now they’re back – Legendary Pokemon that is.

Starting from Rank 7, you’ll have the opportunity to earn an encounter with a Legendary ‘mon. This will be earned by winning battles. The Legendary Pokemon you’ll encounter will be the same as what is currently featured in five-star raids.

Other changes are as follows:

  • To reach rank 2, you must complete a certain number of battles
  • To reach ranks 3 through 10, you must win a certain number of battles
  • If you finish Season 5 at rank 7 or higher, you’ll receive an Elite Charged TM rather than an Elite Fast TM.

Walking requirement

Trainers will be delighted to hear that there will no walking requirement for GO Battle League Season 5. There had been murmurings that it would be reintroduced but with continued uncertainty surrounding the global health crisis, Niantic has made the correct decision to keep it removed.

If you feel GO Battle League has become stagnant over the past two or three seasons, then Season 5 should reinvigorate that excitement. Expect to see fresh Pokemon, hard-thought strategies, and trainers battling hard to get hold of those Legendaries!