Pokemon

Pokemon GO Battle League tips - How to win

by Paul Cotton
Pokemon Company

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Pokemon GO Battle League Season 1 has officially started and if we have learnt anything so far it's that winning battles aren't easy.

Pre-season has given players a chance to become acclimated with the new GO Battle League mode. Trainers compete with one another from all over the world in an attempt to ascend the Pokemon Go battle ranks.

It looks like trainers have brought their A-game but winning battles, at least on a regular basis, is proving tricky. With the competition so fierce and the best rewards exclusive to those who win four of five battles, winning is imperative.

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Here we offer some tips to help you win as many battles as possible. After all, the difficulty of the matches so far suggests trainers will need every advantage they can get hold of.

These tips will focus on general gameplay, rather than which specific Pokemon to use. We have other guides for this broken down by Great, Ultra and Master League.

Type variety

The first one may be obvious to some but it's so important it can't be said enough - make sure your three Pokemon are of a variety of types! Doing anything but will leave your team open. Sure, you could get lucky but this is far from a strategy that will work in the long-term.

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Which Pokemon to start with?

There's no correct answer to the question because no matter which you choose, you can be vulnerable should your opponent pick its weakness. Nevertheless, you can minimize that risk.

Normal and electric-types only have one vulnerability - fighting and ground attacks, respectively. So, from an odds standpoint, it may be wise to start with one of these.

Tyranitar goes against this logic but this is one species that's performed well for us as our starting Pokemon. There is more to consider than just typing, however.

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Attack or defense?

It's complicated but the way CP is calculated weights attack over defense and stamina. This means you can fit 'more' defense and stamina stats in a Pokemon with CP bordering on the league limit.

Also, with so much damage being dealt by Charge Moves, a bulky Pokemon is important in order to absorb that damage. A species' attacking prowess is more affected by the actual moves rather than attack IVs anyway.

Moves

Damage is obviously an integral part of which moves are best. However, with Charge Moves playing such a vital role, Fast Move's energy per second is a very important statistic.

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For example, if we take a Gyarados with Hydro Pump and compare it to a Scizor with Night Slash, then they are very different in a PvP setting. Night Slash will allow you to build up Charge Moves a lot quicker than Hydro Pump.

This is because Night Slash requires less energy to earn whereas the more powerful Hydro Pump. It actually charges more than twice as quickly.

Moves for PvP
Moves for PvP
You should consider the type, power and energy of moves when deciding your team...

This is noteworthy because you may not have enough time to build up a move like Hydro Pump. In addition to that, moves like Night Slash force your opponents to burn through their Protect Shields - well, either that or take damage.

We'd recommend researching the whole concept and as many moves as possible so you can understand where your Pokemon's move set stands in a PvP scenario.

More advanced tips

Here are tips of the more advanced variety summarized:

  • If you can faint a Pokemon without using a Charge Move, do so, unless it's a weak move
  • Don't use a weak Charge Move immediately, delaying can trick your opponent into burning a Protect Shield as they'll think it's more powerful than it is
  • Don't switch your first Pokemon immediately unless you have a significant type disadvantage
  • Charge Moves do stack
  • Weather boosts don't apply to PvP

These tips are all well and good but they don't help you decide which three Pokemon to send into battle. Which species you should choose depends on what league is currently active.

The Great League is open now until March 27 and here's some of the Pokemon that make up the best Great League team.

There's plenty to more to learn about GO League Battles but these tips should put you in a good position to rack up a few wins. Pokemon Go's Battle League starts with Great League, with the Ultra and Master League periods coming in the following weeks.