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Pokemon Go Great League best team: The top choices for PvP under 1,500 CP

pokemon go great league
(Image credit: Niantic)

Another round of the Pokemon Go Great League is upon us and is set to test trainers with some of the most interesting Pokemon and restrictions in the entire Pokemon Go PVP league. 

The Great League allows only Pokemon that have 1500 CP or less, which automatically limits which ‘mon trainers can use in battle. This restriction also allows for varying team compositions and allows for certain Pokemon that otherwise wouldn’t compete against some of the more powerful ‘mon to shine. 

This round of the Great League in Pokemon Go begins Monday, October 11-25. For two weeks, trainers can duke it out with others from around the world to earn exclusive rewards and to get to a high enough rank to brag to your friends about. With so many Pokemon to choose from in the popular mobile game, we’ve compiled a list of great, pun intended, options both past and present to use in the upcoming format including what moves to have and which Pokemon to look out for.

Azumarill

Pokemon Go Great League best Pokemon:

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Type: Water/Fairy
Weakness: Electric, Grass, Poison

One of the best Pokemon to use in the Great League is Azumarill. It’s great defensive stats and typing make it an amazing option to use. Its Water and Fairy typing gives it just three weaknesses, but it is Azumarill’s Fairy-typing that makes it one of the best choices to take into the Great League. 

Fairy-type moves are strong against the powerful Dragon-type as well as Dark and Fighting types. As you’ll see from the other Pokemon on this list, Azumarill will be able to handle Pokemon like Altaria, Umbreon, Medicham and Scrafty. 

As for Azumarill’s moves, Bubble has to be your go-to fast move thanks to its Water-type and impressive energy generation. For the charged move, Ice Beam must be an option to damage Grass types like Venusaur. Play Rough has to be Azumarill’s second charged move and gives it a supereffective STAB attack Dragon, Fighting and Dark types.

Altaria

Pokemon Go Great League best Pokemon:

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Type: Dragon/Flying
Weakness: Ice, Dragon, Rock, Fairy

With so many weaknesses, you'd be forgiven for not expecting a Pokemon like Altaria to be so popular in Great League. The fact of the matter is, since it's part Dragon-type — and strong Dragon-types are scarce at this level — Altaria is an utter beast. Swablu is a common Pokemon, though you do need 400 candy to evolve one, so you better get searching if you don't have an Altaria already.

Dragon Breath should absolutely be your charged move of choice to, you know, take advantage of the Dragon-type nature of Altaria. It also has 3 EPT and 4 DPT, making it incredibly valuable. You're also going to want one of your charged moves to be Sky Attack because while Flying-type moves aren't always the best, Sky Attack is cheap so you can dish out attacks on the regular.   If you've got a second charged move, trainers can opt for Dragon Pulse to deal extra Dragon-type damage against other Altaria or you can opt for Dazzling Gleam, or the Community Day-exclusive Moonblast, to deal with other Dragon types as well as Dark and Fighting types.  

Skarmory

Pokemon Go Great League best Pokemon:

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Type: Steel/Flying
Weakness: Electric, Fire

Skarmory is a popular choice for two reasons; Steel-types don't have many counters in the current meta, and Skarmory has been in the game for ages, so most people will have one at a decent CP. Like Altaria, the Flying-type aspect isn't as useful, but you'll see plenty of Skarmorys in the Great League.

Air Slash needs to be your choice for the fast move with 3 EPT and DPT, because the other option is Steel Wing and Steel-type moves aren't very good offensively. Sky Attack absolutely must be your first choice charged move because it benefits from Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB: when a move is the same type as the Pokemon, it gets +25% damage) and is the cheapest in terms of energy cost. If you have a second charged move, avoid Brave Bird at all costs and get Flash Cannon

 Alolan Ninetales 

pokemon go great league

(Image credit: Niantic)

Type: Ice/Fairy
Weakness: Rock, Poison, Steel, Fire

Like many other Fairy types in Pokemon Go, Alolan Ninetales is a great option for the Great League. Any Fairy-type who can learn the Fast Attack, Charm is a must-have on any team. Alolan Ninetales can learn Charm, which is great against Fighting types like Medicham and Scrafty while also being a menace for any Dragon types you’ll run into like Altaria. 

When it comes to Alolan Ninetales’ Charged Attack, trainers have options. We recommend ponying up the candy to unlock its second slot so the Ice and Fairy-type can take on different types of Pokemon in battle. Weather Ball Ice is a must in this format. It doesn’t take a lot of energy to use, which is great for eliminating your opponent’s shields and can deal good damage against Dragon and Grass types. For the second slot, a trainer has a choice. They can use Dazzling Gleam to have a powerful Fairy-type attack or they can use Psyshock, a Psychic-type move that also doesn’t take a lot of energy to use but can help take out any Poison types that Alolan Ninetales may be weak against like Venusaur. 

 Alolan Marowak 

pokemon go great league

(Image credit: Niantic)

Type: Fire/Ghost
Weakness: Ghost, Dark, Water, Ground, Rock

Another regional variant from Alola, this version of Marowak has seen a lot of use in the Pokemon Go Great League. While it does have quite a few weaknesses, most of them won’t be a factor in the Great League as most of the most used Pokemon aren’t of those types. 

For its Fast Attack, Fire Spin is the preferred move. It has the most optimal damage and energy gain of Alolan Marowak’s three Fast Attack options. Hex, while gaining more energy, deals less damage and only deals super effective damage to Psychic and Ghost types, which are few and far between in this format.

As for its Charged Attack we recommend the combination of Bone Club and Shadow Ball. The latter is great for taking on other Alolan Marowak you may come across in the Great League while Bone Club doesn’t need a lot of energy to use. This allows for Alolan Marowak to break your opponent’s shields easier and gives the Pokemon a move to deal with Steel and other Fire types. 

The one Pokemon Alolan Marowak doesn’t want to deal with is Umbreon, so we recommend bringing a Fairy type on your team to counter it. Alolan Marowak’s Fire typing also makes it a great pivot when going up against Fairy types as it resists those types of moves. 

Registeel

Pokemon Go Great League best Pokemon:

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Type: Steel
Weakness: Fighting, Ground, Fire

Another Steel-type option here, Registeel is significantly harder to acquire than Skarmory since it's a legendary, but there have been a number of opportunities to add one to your collection. Registeel is even bulkier — and therefore better defensively — than Skarmory, while having a slightly more diverse moveset.

Lock-On is the best energy generator in Pokemon Go with 5 EPT, which means you'll be able to use plenty of charged moves. For those, Flash Cannon is the cheaper of the two best picks and like Skarmory with Sky Attack, it benefits from STAB. If you have enough Registeel candy to give it a second charged move, look for Focus Blast because it deals a ridiculous amount of damage. Just make sure you don't get stopped by a shield or it's a huge move wasted. 

Bastiodon

Pokemon Go Great League best Pokemon:

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Type: Rock/Steel
Weakness: Fighting, Ground, Water

Bastiodon is one of the best defensive Pokemon you can use in Great League (and is another part Steel-type… noticing a trend?) and it can also deal some serious damage. The main thing you want to watch out for with Bastiodon is when you're up against Fighting or Ground-type Pokemon because they'll deal double damage.

Despite it only have 2.66 EPT, Smack Down is your best choice for fast move over Iron Tail. You'll also want Stone Edge as your first choice for the charged move because even though it costs quite a lot of energy, it deals an insane amount of damage, especially against Altaria. If you've got a second charge move, go for Flamethrower to deal with any Pokemon you face that are weak to fire-type moves. 

Swampert

Pokemon Go Great League best Pokemon:

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Type: Ground/Water
Weakness: Grass

As a Ground/Water-type, Swampert only has one major weakness; Grass-type Pokemon. As long as you're not up against a Venusaur, Tropius, or Meganium, Swampert can be crucial in your fight to victory. Even Electric-type moves are stifled thanks to the dual typing of Ground and Water.

Always go for Mud Shot when you're rocking Swampert in Great League, because it offers 4.5 EPT. The DPT isn't too high though, which is why having two charged moves here is important; one that you can repeatedly use in the form of Hydro Cannon (unfortunately a community day exclusive) or Surf. Combine either of those with Earthquake for a devastating pairing. Alternatively, if you are coming up against a lot of Grass-type Pokemon, you can swap Earthquake for Sludge Wave

Probopass

Pokemon Go Great League best Pokemon:

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Type: Rock/Steel
Weakness: Fighting, Ground, Water

Another Rock/Steel type, Probopass is a solid alternative for Bastiodon if you don't have one. It also has the advantage of two potential Electric-type moves, detailed below.

Interestingly, Probopass doesn't have one outright best fast type move. Rock Throw offers higher damage in exchange for less energy generation (2.5 EPT and 4 DPT) while Spark provides the opposite (4 EPT and 2 DPT). If you don't already have a Pokemon to counter Altaria then Rock Throw is the sensible choice, whereas Spark can help to bait shields and deal with some of the other Pokemon you'll come up against. 

For charged moves, you again have two choices. If you've got the candy to have two charged moves then pick up both Rock Slide and Thunderbolt, but if you've only got one, then you'll have to pick between them. Both are negated by Ground-type Pokemon and have similar power/energy requirements (Thunderbolt is slightly more expensive and powerful). Alternatively, pick Magnet Bomb if you want a cheaper Electric-type charged move than Thunderbolt. 

Umbreon

Pokemon Go Great League best Pokemon:

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Type: Dark
Weakness: Bug, Fairy, Fighting

Umbreon is an interesting choice for Great League because of its bulk. It can take a lot of damage because the only Fairy-type trainers have to worry about is Azumarill. And while Fighting-types like Medicham and Scrafty have become more prominent in the Great League Umbreon can still be a great wall against them.

Snarl should be your pick for fast move because it offers 4.33 EPT, even though it has just 1.66 DPT. Feint Attack can be considered for the damage increase of 3 DPT (and 3 EPT) but most of the time, the energy gain will be crucial with Snarl. Three charged moves can be considered; Foul Play is the cheap option so combined with Snarl, you can dish out charged moves on the regular, plus you can compliment that with Dark Pulse for a little extra damage. With the most recent Eevee Community Day, Umbreon can now learn Psychic as a Charged move giving it an option to use against Fighting types. It’s also Umbreon’s best option, aside from Last Resort, to battle Azumarill. e. 

Deoxys (Defense)

Pokemon Go Great League best Pokemon:

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Type: Psychic
Weakness: Bug, Dark, Ghost

Another defensively-minded Pokemon, Deoxys (Defense forme) is the only Psychic-type on this list which instantly gives it a big advantage. The only problem is how tough it is to get one since it has so far only been available in ex-raids. So unless you've either been walking with Deoxys for miles and miles, or made it eat a hundred rare candy, you won't be able to have two charge moves on this bad boy yet.

With that said, you're going to want to go with Counter for the fast move. It has 3.5 EPT and 4 DPT which makes it a solid choice, plus it's a Fighting-type move which is a great "counter" (see what I did there?) to the multiple Steel-type Pokemon mentioned above. For the charged move, choose between either Rock Slide or Thunderbolt. Psycho Boost used to be the best option but it now gives Deoxys a negative attack debuff after use which isn't ideal. 

Venusaur

Pokemon Go Great League best Pokemon:

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Type: Grass/Poison
Weakness: Fire, Flying, Ice, Psychic

Venusaur may be the easiest Pokemon to get on this list if you've been playing for a while, because it's the evolution of one of the Gen 1 starters and has had its own community day. It's a great counter against Pokemon like Azumarill and Swampert, and once again it's somewhat tanky, especially for a Grass-type.

If you want to generate energy quickly to use Venusaur's powerful charge moves, go for Vine Whip as the fast move. It offers 4 EPT (and 2.5 DPT), while the alternative, Razor Leaf, only has 2 EPT but does deal an impressive 5.5 DPT. Great if you want to rely on the fast move, but hard to outright recommend. Frenzy Plant is by far the best charged move if you got it during community day, but if you didn't then Sludge Bomb is a great Poison-type choice. If you've got a second move space and don't have Frenzy Plant, go for Solar Beam.

There you have it, our top ten picks for the best Pokemon Go Great League team. Whenever the meta significantly changes, we'll add any new Pokemon to this list. For now, good luck in the Battle League, trainer!

Pokemon Go Great League Remix

Pokemon Go Battle League Great League Remix 

The Great League Remix offers trainers another way to battle in this format. However, the top 20 Pokemon used in the last season will not be allowed in the Great League Remix. 

If you’re still looking for Pokemon to bring into the Great League, take a look at these 20 Pokemon. These are the most popular picks and can help you in battle:

  • Venusaur
  • Alolan Ninetales
  • Alolan Marowak
  • Azumarill
  • Politoed
  • Umbreon
  • Skarmory
  • Swampert
  • Pelipper
  • Slakoth
  • Sableye
  • Medicham
  • Altaria
  • Deoxys (Defense)
  • Bastiodon
  • Scrafty
  • Jellicent
  • Galvantula
  • Galarian Stunfisk
  • Talonflame

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I'm currently a GamesRadar guide contributor with a specialty in everything Pokemon GO. If you've wanted to know the best way to take down a Rayquaza, there's a good chance you read one of my guides. I previously have written for IBT Media, Newsweek and Screen Rant. I'm a huge fighting game fan and everything Pokemon, but I've grown to love RPGs.