Alongside Master League, Pokemon Go trainers can now participate in the Premier Cup in GO Battle League. The new competition brings a new set of rules which also changes the meta, so take note.
The Premier Cup is basically Master League without any Legendary or Mythical Pokemon. That's right, every single one of them is ineligible.
Naturally, Master League is dominated by these super powerful species, which doesn't give trainers much of an opportunity to try alternative Pokemon. This is due to the higher CP Legendary and Mythical 'mons can reach.
The Premier Cup gives trainers a chance to look at some different species. However, the new format isn't a diverse as you'd think with a handful of Pokemon rising to the top once again.
Like Master League, there is no limit on CP in the Premier Cup. This means Pokemon that have a high CP will understandably be favored.
Premier Cup best Pokemon
Here are the Pokemon that you'll need to use if you're to compete with the best trainers of the Premier Cup.
It may be expensive but to compete with the top-level trainers you'll need your team maxed out as much as possible. In addition, two Charge Moves become imperative at the upper echelon of GO Battle League.
We have previously analysed Metagross in GO Battle League but the Iron Leg Pokemon becomes an even better option in the Premier Cup. Its max CP of 3,791 is only bettered by a handful of non-Legendary species.
Its dual psychic and steel typing gives it a mightily impressive 10 resistances. Of course, it does have weaknesses still (four of them), but the ratio here makes it a good Pokemon to start with.
Bullet Punch is the clear choice for its Fast Move but there is a little more debate about which Charge Moves to use. Meteor Mash should be your first choice if possible due to its incredible DPE of 2. It should be noted this is an Elite Charge Move, however.
Psychic is always a good move to have but Metagross does have Earthquake available. The latter is very useful for dealing with other steel-types, namely other Metagross you come up against. If you have a high level one with Earthquake, you know you'll be in good stead if the mirror match up does occur.
With a host of Legendary dragon-types, Dragonite gets justifiably overlooked in Master League. The Premier Cup is a different story, though.
Unfortunately the pseudo-legendary Kanto Pokemon is weak against four key typings in Pokemon Go: dragon, fairy, ice and rock. It is doubly weak to ice-type moves, so avoid at all costs!
Its max CP of 3,792 immediately makes it an attractive option but it perhaps doesn't live up to the hype a lot of other strategy guides rate it as. Its weaknesses are a problem.
Meanwhile, its moveset, while strong, isn't very diverse. You can easily end up with a full dragon-type attack arsenal.
Dragon Breath is the best Fast Move and you'd be hard pushed not to have one of your Charge Moves as Dragon Claw. It only deals 50 damage but for 35 energy it allows you to burn through opponent's Protect Shields at an enjoyable rate.
This leaves you with a choice of Draco Meteor, Hurricane, and Outrage for Dragonite's second Charge Move. If you want an option that isn't a dragon-type move then the flying-type attack Hurricane is the way to go. This is the most powerful flying attack in Pokemon Go.
However, ignoring Draco Meteor, which deals an additional 40 damage for the same energy in comparison to Hurricane, is hard to do. There's not much between them due to the difference in typing and that Draco Meteor does cost you some attack stats each time it is used.
Minus Slaking (yawn!), Garchomp has the highest max CP of any non-Legendary Pokemon. You'll want to make the most of its 3,962 CP potential, as in comparison to its outstanding attack stat, its defense and stamina lag behind. That doesn't mean they are bad, though!
With a dual dragon and ground typing, it has similar weaknesses to Dragonite and they're far from ideal. Dragon, fairy, and especially ice attacks will cut through Garchomp with ease.
However, if you can match it up appropriately, you'll really see the benefits. It is resistant against electric, fire, poison, and rock attacks, the first of which only deals 24.4% of its original damage.
Garchomp's moves do require a fair bit of energy so a Fast Move with good energy gains is imperative. Thankfully, the Mach Pokemon has Mud Shot! It might only deal 1.5 DPT, but has energy generation of 4.5 EPT. Making it the clear choice ahead of Dragon Tail.
Outrage is an obvious choice for one of Garchomp's Charge Moves. Earthquake seems a sensible choice for its second one but some will include Sand Tomb. We'd stick our necks out and say Earthquake is better though, as Sand Tomb has an appalling DPE of 0.62. Some will use it to bait Protect Shields which is a strategy you can never be entirely against.
It's difficult to have a list discussing the best Pokemon in GO Battle League without including Togekiss. It has become an essential inclusion in anyone's team.
Its max CP may be relatively low at just 3,332 but this shouldn't deter you from using the Jubilee Pokemon. Now, it does have a glaring weakness against steel, so avoid Metagross, but it is the kryptonite to the abundance of dragon-type species you'll come across.
It also has four double resistances (types of attack that deal only 39.1% of their normal damage) including bug, dragon, fighting and ground. Match Togekiss up correctly and you're laughing!
There's somewhat of a debate on whether to use Air Slash or Charm as Togekiss' Fast Move. The latter is fairy-type that has insane damage. It deals 5.33 DPT but only 2 EPT. Conversely, Air Slash has the basic 3 DPT and 3 EPT. Of the two, and partly due to its fairy-typing, we'd definitely use Charm.
That does leave Togekiss relying on Charm as you won't get many Charge Moves out of it. Nevertheless, you can use Aerial Ace or Ancient as its quicker charging Charge Move. Of the two we'd use Ancient Power as it may be weak but does increase your attack and defense stat each time it is used.
Flamethrower is the best second Charge Move as it gives you an alternative typing option. Dazzling Gleam is Togekiss' hardest hitting move but given it takes 15 more energy than Flamethrower, we'd stick with the fire-type move.
If the Premier Cup was Niantic's way of opening up GO Battle League to more Pokemon it hasn't really worked. All of the above Pokemon will be essential picks and at the higher ranks you won't see too many unique choices.
Maybe the eventual release of some Gen 6 'mons will change this. At the moment though, make sure you have a powerful Metagross and Togekiss at the ready!