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Pokémon Go PvP guide: best Great League Pokémon, movesets, and costs

Blow through the ranked PvP mode with some of these Pokémon

A hand holds up a phone with a Registeel’s Pokémon Go summary on it. Photo: James Bareham/Polygon
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Pokémon Go’s new ranked PvP system might seem daunting at first. With limitations on what Pokémon you can use, you might not know where to even start while sorting through your Pokémon.

Luckily, with the help of a post by The Silph Road subreddit user Shark_Eating_Bacon and GamePress’ list, we’ve put together a list of Pokémon to help you make a dent in the Great League.

Note that the Great League picks will vary from the Ultra and Master Leagues. To participate in the Great League, Pokémon have to be 1,500 CP or less. This means you cannot bring your super strong Mewtwo into the league for a sweep. It also means that you need to be careful not to power up your Pokémon above 1,500 CP, or they won’t be able to participate.

For PvP, you should also spend candy and Stardust to unlock a second move for your Pokémon to get more type coverage in.

We recommend using any of the following Pokémon:


  • Quick move: Dragon Breath
  • Charge moves: Sky Attack and Dragon Pulse
  • Second charge move cost: 10,000 Stardust and 25 Swablu candy
  • Best against: Bug-, fighting-, and grass-types
  • Worst enemy: Fairy- and ice-types

Altaria comes at a steep cost of 400 Swablu candy, but it’s undisputedly one of the best Pokémon in the Great League. It’s tanky enough to take hits, it does a lot of damage, and it’s definitely worth having if you have the resources.


  • Quick move: Bubble
  • Charge moves: Hydro Pump and Play Rough
  • Second charge move cost: 10,000 Stardust and 25 Marill candy
  • Best against: Ground-, rock-, fire-, fighting-, dragon-, and dark-types
  • Worst enemy: Grass-, electric-, and poison-types

Azumarill’s fairy typing allows it to take down strong dragon-type threats, and like Altaria, it has bulk to back it up. You can also use Ice Beam as one of the charge moves to help negate its weakness against grass-types.


  • Quick move: Air Slash
  • Charge moves: Sky Attack and Flash Cannon
  • Second charge move cost: 75,000 Stardust and 75 Skarmory candy
  • Best against: Fighting-, grass-, bug-, rock-, ice-, and fairy-types
  • Worst enemy: Fire- and electric-types

Skarmory takes down fighting-, grass-, and bug-types with easy using its great arsenal of flying-type moves. A second move for it might be expensive to unlock, but it does well even without Flash Cannon, so if you don’t have the resources, it’s still a valuable pick.


  • Quick move: Lock-On (Legacy)
  • Charge moves: Flash Cannon and Focus Blast
  • Second charge move cost: 100,000 Stardust and 100 Registeel candy
  • Best against: Rock-, ice-, fairy-, normal-, steel-, and dark-types
  • Worst enemy: Fighting-, ground-, and fire-types

If you had no use for the Registeel you got from raids, now you do. It doesn’t do much damage, but it can take a ton of damage and its steel-typing gives it a good amount of resistances.


  • Quick move: Charm
  • Charge moves: Ice Beam and Play Rough
  • Second charge move cost: 10,000 Stardust and 25 Jigglypuff candy
  • Best against: Fighting-, dragon-, dark-, flying-, ground-, and grass-types
  • Worst enemy: Poison- and steel-types

Wigglytuff is a dragon-type destroyer. It’s here to take down any Altaria you may see. Charm also does a fair amount of damage and will hold its own against any typing that it’s not disadvantaged against.


  • Quick move: Mud Shot
  • Charge moves: Mud Bomb and Blizzard
  • Second charge move cost: 10,000 Stardust and 25 Barboarch candy
  • Best against: Poison-, rock-, steel-, fire-, electric-, flying-, ground-, grass-, and dragon-types
  • Worst enemy: Grass-types

Whiscash will get hit really hard by grass-type moves, but it’ll make a great asset to your team with both ground- and ice-type moves.


  • Quick move: Water Gun
  • Charge moves: Surf and Hyper Fang
  • Second charge move cost: 10,000 Stardust and 25 Bidoof candy
  • Best against: Ground-, rock-, and fire-types
  • Worst enemy: Fighting-, grass-, and electric-types

Bibarel might not seem like much, but it has some pretty strong moves in its arsenal. It’s not the best pick, but many players will likely have a Bidoof and its candy.


  • Quick move: Wing Attack
  • Charge moves: Poison Fang and Shadow Ball
  • Second charge move cost: 10,000 Stardust and 25 Zubat candy
  • Best against: Fighting-, bug-, grass-, ghost-, and psychic-types
  • Worst enemy: Rock-, electric-, psychic-, and ice-types

Poison Fang is great to waste your opponents’ two shields and Shadow Ball packs a punch. Using a Shadow Zubat from a Team Rocket battle will likely help you make a strong bat boy to cause a ruckus in the Great League


  • Quick move: Vine Whip
  • Charge moves: Frenzy Plant (Legacy) and Sludge Bomb
  • Second charge move cost: 10,000 Stardust and 25 Bulbasaur candy
  • Best against: Ground-, rock-, water-, and grass-types
  • Worst enemy: Flying-, fire,- psychic-, and ice-types

Frenzy Plant, Venusaur’s Community Day move, is what makes it so strong. Paired with its tankiness, its a strong contender, if you have one.


  • Quick move: Snarl
  • Charge moves: Foul Play and Last Resort (Legacy)
  • Second charge move cost: 75,000 Stardust and 75 Eevee candy
  • Best against: Ghost- and psychic-types
  • Worst enemy: Fighting-, bug-, and fairy-types

Umbreon doesn’t have much type coverage, but is still strong, due to its high defense stat.

Defense Forme Deoxys

  • Quick move: Counter
  • Charge moves: Rock Slide and Thunderbolt
  • Second charge move cost: 100,000 Stardust and 100 Deoxys candy
  • Best against: Normal-, rock-, steel-, ice-, dark-, flying-, bug-, fire-, and water-types
  • Worst enemy: Bug-, ghost-, and dark-types

If you have a Defense Forme Deoxys and you want to take PvP seriously, you should consider investing in it. It’s bulky as heck and will eat other Pokémons’ charge moves for breakfast while also dishing out damage in a variety of types.

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