The best Pokemon to use in Go Battle League’s Kanto Cup

Pokemon Go KantoNiantic

The Kanto Cup is one of the most unique Cups in the Pokemon Go Battle League. With only a small pool to choose from, there’s a very different set of ‘best’ Pokemon to take into battle.

GO Battle League Season 9 is underway and there is yet another unique competition to battle in – the Kanto Cup. While this Cup has appeared in the Go Battle League before, it’s always worth giving yourself a refresher on which Pokemon rise to the top.

You won’t be surprised to hear that in the Kanto Cup, only Pokemon originating from the Kanto region that are under 1,500 CP are eligible. That leaves us with just 151 Pokemon to choose from, and when you remove all the evolutions and weaker options, it becomes a lot less than that too.

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No matter what pool of Pokemon you have to choose from though, we’re still looking for a defensively sound, bulky species. A durable Pokemon along with fast charging and hard-hitting moves is the key to success.

Pokemon Go GO Battle League Season 3Pokemon Company
The Kanto Cup has a unique set of rules to follow.

Best team for the Kanto Cup in Pokemon Go

These are some of the best Pokemon you can have on your team in the Kanto Cup:

  • Hypno
  • Alolan Sandslash
  • Alolan Marowak
  • Wigglytuff
  • Charizard
  • Mew

Like any Cup in the Go Battle League, it’s hard to say what a ‘best’ team looks like as it all depends on the Pokemon you’re going to be up against – and you’ll never know that until you’re already in the battle.

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There are some standouts that will perform well in most situations, though, and we’re going to look into those in further detail below – choosing a good mix of these should give you a high chance of victory.


Hypno PokemonNiantic / The Pokemon Company
Who’d have thought Hypno would be the #1 pick for the Kanto Cup?
  • Fast Move: Confusion
  • Charged Moves: Psychic and Shadow Ball
  • Strong against: Fighting and Psychic
  • Weak against: Bug, Dark, and Ghost

Much like Bronzor was in the Little Cup, Hypno is the king of the Kanto Cup. It has everything on paper to be successful in the PvP format.

That begins with the aforementioned bulk, boasting superb defense and stamina at the 1,500 CP limit. This means that regardless of the matchup, Hypno isn’t going down easily.

Its pure psychic typing makes understanding its strengths and weaknesses pretty simple. It is weak to bug, dark, and ghost, while resistant to fighting and psychic attacks.

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Its moveset also makes for encouraging reading. First off it has Confusion as a Fast Move which provides 4 DPT and 3 EPT.

The energy gains of Confusion might be average at best but fortunately, Hypno does have some Charge Moves with low energy requirements. On top of that, it has a relatively huge selection of Charge Moves which will always keep your opponent guessing. These will cost 50,000 Stardust and 50 Candy to unlock, though.

The Hypnosis Pokemon can use each of Fire Punch, Ice Punch, and Thunder Punch – all of which deal 55 damage and require 40 energy. That’s already a lot of diversity but there’s more.

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Hypno has two psychic moves to choose from – Psychic and Future Sight. The latter has higher damage per energy but Psychic needs less energy, which can prove pivotal in the GO Battle League format.

Then there is Shadow Ball which deals 100 damage for a very reasonable 55 energy. And finally, if you really want to confuse opponents, Hypno can also learn Focus Blast. This is its most powerful move at 140 damage and also its highest energy requirement at 75.

We’d recommend combining one of the punch moves with either Psychic or Shadow Ball. There are all sorts of combinations you can use with Hypno, though.

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Alolan Sandslash

Alolan SandslashNiantic / The Pokemon Company
Avoid fighting and fire attacks and Alolan Sandslash will perform well for you.
  • Fast Move: Powder Snow
  • Charged Moves: Ice Punch and Gyro Ball
  • Strong against: Dragon, Psychic, Normal, Grass, Bug, Flying, Fairy, Ice, and Poison
  • Weak against: Fire, Fighting, and Ground

The dual ice and steel type Alolan Sandslash is another defensively strong Pokemon for the Kanto Cup. If you avoid its double weaknesses of fighting and fire (and its other weakness of ground), then chances are you’ll be matched up well.

It has resistances to all of bug, dragon, fairy, flying, grass, ice, normal, poison, and psychic. Ice and poison are double resistances. So it has ticked two of the most important boxes, stats and typing, so let’s see if it moves work too.

Powder Snow is Alolan Sandslash’s obvious Fast Move choice. It may only deal 2.5 DPT but has a very useful EPT of 4 allowing you to get those Charge Moves out with decent regularity.

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One of those is Ice Punch, which as stated above does 55 damage for 40 energy. That should be one of your moves.

Then there’s a choice between Bulldoze and Gyro Ball. Gyro Ball benefits from STAB but Bulldoze is effective against more types, so it comes down to preference. To unlock this second Charge Move it will cost 50,000 Stardust and 50 Candy.

Alolan Marowak

Alolan MarowakNiantic / The Pokemon Company
Alolan Marowak is understated at 1,500 CP limit in GO Battle League.
  • Fast Move: Hex
  • Charged Moves: Shadow Ball and Shadow Bone
  • Strong against: Fairy, Ice, Fire, Grass, Steel, Poison, Fighting, Bug, and Normal
  • Weak against: Dark, Ground, Rock, Water, and Ghost

The Alolan forms are already proving popular in the Kanto Cup. Much like the Alolan form of Sandslash, Alolan Marowak has strong defense stats and a great dual typing.

It has five weaknesses (dark, ghost, ground, rock, and water) and nine resistances (bug, fairy, fighting, fire, grass, ice, normal, poison, and steel). Of these bug, fighting and normal attacks will only give Alolan Marowak 39.1% damage.

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It has Fire Spin, Hex, and Rock Smash as its Fast Moves but you only really want to consider the first two. Fire Spin hits harder and Hex generates more energy, given the PvP format we’d recommend Hex.

However, Shadow Ball and Shadow Bone are two excellent Charge Moves which are both ghost-types. For diversity purposes, this makes Fire Spin more appealing.

If you really want to maximize Alolan Marowak then you can add a second move for 50,000 Stardust/50 Candy. That move would be either Bone Club or Flame Wheel though, both of which are pretty poor.

Shadow Bone is essentially Shadow Ball but with less damage and less energy required. The former is a Legacy Move, so you’d have to weigh up whether using an Elite TM on it is worth it.

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WigglytuffNiantic / The Pokemon Company
Charm is everything for Wigglytuff.
  • Fast Move: Charm
  • Charged Moves: Ice Beam and Play Rough
  • Strong against: Bug, Dark, Ghost, and Dragon
  • Weak against: Steel and Poison

Whether you like it or not, Charm will always be a factor in GO Battle League. The fairy-type Fast Move deals the second most damage of any Fast Move and therefore, if in the right matchup, will prove very effective, even at the expense of energy.

Of the Kanto Pokemon, Wigglytuff is best positioned to make use of it. The Balloon Pokemon has a curious stat distribution of poor defense but incredible stamina, which essentially balances out the two.

It is the perfect foil for dragon and ghost-type Pokemon and only costs 10,000 Stardust/25 Candy to add a second move. Those moves should be Ice Beam and Play Rough, although you won’t get too many opportunities to use them.

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Pokemon Go CharizardNiantic / The Pokemon Company
Charizard’s diverse moveset will keep your opponent’s guessing.
  • Fast Move: Fire Spin
  • Charged Moves: Dragon Claw and Blast Burn
  • Strong against: Ground, Fire, Steel, Fighting, Fairy, Grass, and Bug
  • Weak against: Rock, Electric, and Water

Over time Charizard has become one of the more diverse Pokemon. Thanks to its recent addition of Dragon Breath, it now boasts decent dragon, fire, and flying-type Fast Moves.

This combined with the spammable Dragon Claw and one of the many strong fire-types moves, gives Charizard a place in a lot of GO Battle League competitions. Similar to Wigglytuff, it also needs just 10,000 Stardust/25 Candy, which is essential to get the full benefit from.

Its stats lean towards attack, which isn’t ideal, but not enough to make Charizard unworthy. Admittedly it is superior in the higher CP leagues, but it shouldn’t be written off for the Kanto Cup. After all, it’s a good wildcard to have.

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It also has far more resistances than weaknesses with bug and grass doing just 39.1% damage. Make sure you avoid rock-type attacks though, because they will obliterate Charizard very quickly.


Pokemon Go MewNiantic / The Pokemon Company
Don’t even bother trying to guess what moves a Mew will be using in Pokemon Go.
  • Fast Move: Shadow Claw
  • Charged Moves: Dragon Claw and Psychic
  • Strong against: Fighting and Psychic
  • Weak against: Bug, Dark, and Ghost

The original Mythical Pokemon is rarely used in GO Battle League and perhaps undeservedly so. Its stats are strong and well-rounded and its pure psychic typing gives it the same resistances and weaknesses as Hypno.

Mew’s biggest strength is its incredible move diversity. If you don’t know already, prepare to be amazed at these numbers. It has 14 Fast Moves and 25 Charge Moves.

This naturally gives Mew a moveset that can’t be predicted. Of these moves, Shadow Claw as a Fast Move and then two of Dragon Claw, Psychic and Wild Charge seem like the best. You should go through all of them and decide what fits best with your team, however.

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Unfortunately, that second move will cost 100,000 Stardust and 100 Candy. So, before you commit Mew to your team, make sure you are positively going to stick with it, otherwise, it will be very expensive.

Pokemon Go Kanto Cup start date & time

The Kanto Cup returns to the Go Battle League on Monday, November 8, 2021, at 1pm PT and runs until Monday, November 22, 2021, at 1pm PT, giving you two weeks to take part.

It will run alongside both the traditional Master League and the Master League Premier Classic, which bans Legendaries and XL Candy – you can see our best team recommendations for that one here.

This means you’ll have two weeks to take part in the Kanto Cup and prove yourself to be one of the greatest Trainers of all time. You can check out the full Go Battle League Season 9 schedule here.

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