Pokémon Go's Great League has become more relevant with the arrival of the Go Battle League.
For two weeks in every Go Battle League each season, the Great League will be the focus - meaning you have to come up with the most effective team possible at under 1500 CP.
The Great League is one of the most creative because of this low CP requirement. This rules out almost all of the commonly known best Pokémon, which only come in their own because of later evolutions or higher CPs, giving otherwise overlooked creatures some time to shine.
Of course, you have to consider specific types and moves that will work effectively against other Pokémon, and this page explains our Great League recommendations based on the current Great League meta, allowing you to piece together an effective Great League team.
Things to know about putting together a Great League team in Pokémon Go
A side benefit of the Great League is putting a team together is cheaper and easier than other leagues, meaning if you want to make inroads through the Go Battle League ranks without spending a lot of Stardust, you can.
Though there are fewer Legendaries and Mythicals to consider (though one or two are worth exploring, as your list below explains) you'll be leaning on more common catches which, given the restrictions, start to shine.
And if you don't have our recommended Great League choices, chances are you can find them pretty easily in the wild. It also makes Community Day, which offers an easy source of strong Pokémon that fare well at lower CP levels, a more attractive proposition.
No matter what League you participate in, remember you are after Pokémon with a decent amount of bulk (the ability to survive charged moves - type weakness depending - so you can fire off a few of your own) and those that best counter or expose weaknesses in the current meta (which is a term for what the community is using at present).
Though there are specific Pokémon and types that dominate the meta, remember with the Go Battle League (and player versus player battles in general) you'll be going in blind; so even if you cover yourself with a wide range of offence and defense options, no team is invincible.
Still - even with a few of the below Pokémon in your team, you should be able to fare better than if you just selected those as close to the 1500 CP cap as possible.
Our Pokémon Go Great League recommendations, from Altaria to Whiscash
There is no one 'best' team you can choose - since, as mentioned previously, you don't know what you are up against - and not everyone has access to every type of Pokémon.
Instead, here is a general list of recommended Great League Pokémon to build a team from, with a wide range of sources that should suit all players, whether you've been collecting creatures since day one or just started playing.
Remember you are only allowed one of each in the Go Battle League, and ideally you'd want to build a team with different type strengths and defense. For example, if you build a team with Altaria, Skarmory and Azumarill, you'll be especially open to Electric types.
Our Pokémon Go Great Team recommendations in no particular order:
Type: Dragon / Flying
Recommended moves: Dragon Breath (Fast), Sky Attack (Charged)
Altaria Weaknesses: Ice (x2), Dragon, Rock, Fairy, Electric
If there is one Pokémon you probably should have in your Great League team, it's Altaria. Dragon types are among the most powerful in Pokémon, and this two-evolution creature means it performs incredibly well at lower CPs, and can steamroll a lot of Pokémon (unless, of course, they have good counters - which this list also covers).
It's worth saying though Swablu is fairly common, evolving it into Altaria requires 400 Candy to evolve - so it doesn't come without some work.
Type: Water / Fairy
Recommended moves: Bubble (Fast), Ice Beam (Charged)
Azumarill Weaknesses: Electric, Grass, Poison
If everyone has an Altaria in their team, then you'd want a strong counter, and Azumarill's Ice Beam fits that bill.
It's not cheap - because it has a low max CP, you need to put a lot of Stardust into it - but it's also effective against other meta popular types, such as Deoxys Defence, Alolan Marawak, and flying types in general.
But be aware it's got several common weaknesses, such as grass, which is an uncommon but common enough type you might regularly come up against.
Type: Grass / Poison
Recommended moves: Vine Whip (Fast), Frenzy Plant (Community Day only) or Solar Beam or Sludge Bomb (Charged)
Venusaur Weaknesses: Fire, Flying, Ice, Psychic
Many starter evolutions are recommended for the Great League - they're common, are the subject of Community Days (with often improved moves) and usually rank on the upper end for their type.
As a result, Venusaur comes recommended, especially as it can help counter the likes of Azumarill and Whiscash.
It has a few meta weaknesses of its own - such as flying and psychic - to be wary of, but it's otherwise strong enough to seriously consider. Also, if you don't have the Community Day-only Frenzy Plant, Solar Beam and Sludge Bomb are good alternatives for Charged moves.
Recommended moves: Lock On (Fast), Flash Cannon (Charged)
Registeel Weaknesses: Fighting, Ground, Fire
Legendaries are harder to catch than most - and unlocking a second charge move for them is very expensive - but between the many opportunities players have had to get a Registeel, and Steel coming highly recommended in the Great League thanks to few meta weaknesses and staying in fights for longer, it's well worth investing in.
Though it's a good counter against Altaria in particular, it's otherwise a good way to balance out your team defensively.
Type: Steel / Flying
Recommended moves: Air Slash (Fast), Sky Attack (Charged)
Skramory Weaknesses: Electric, Fire
Another Steel type (again, useful since it has few weaknesses against popular types in the Great League meta, and can hold its own against the mighty Altaria) but what makes Skarmory unique is its great Flying moves.
Skarmory is fairly common, so if you're been playing regularly you should have picked up a few by now - making this an attractive cost-effective alternative.
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Psycho Boost or Rock Slide (Charged)
Deoxys (Defence) Weaknesses: Bug, Dark, Ghost
Probably the hardest Pokémon to get on this list, since it was one of four EX Raid forms that came and went with little warning (and, as a Mythical, cannot be traded).
But if you have a Deoxys (Defence), the stats at lower levels are excellent and unusual move combination for its type (its fast move Counter is fighting) makes it a winner - especially when it's not weak against much in the current meta.
Type: Fire and Ghost
Recommended moves: Hex (Fast), Shadow Ball (Charged)
Alolan Marowak Weaknesses: Water, Ghost, Ground, Dark, Rock
As a raid exclusive this is another hard one to come by, but good stats, access to powerful ghost moves and unusual dual typing that makes harder to take down, and Alolan Marawak can really surprise the common match-ups you're bound to come up against.
It's particularly useful against fighting (Hariyama) and psychic (Deoxys Defence), and, if you want to increase its effectiveness further, throw in a second Charged move in the fire type, and you can pick off grass and steel, too.
Pokémon Go in 2020 continues to add new features, such the arrival of the Go Battle League - which is currently highlighting the Master League - and soon, Clone Pokémon. We've also recently had the Buddy Adventure feature, which introduces a variety of perks - including finding Souvenirs - as well as a new trade evolution feature. 2019 saw the release of the first Gen 5 Pokémon, along with new regional exclusive Pokémon, Egg charts, and the introduction of the Unova Stone. Pokemon Go also sees regular events - including weekly Spotlight Hour and Mystery Bonus evenings, monthly Field Research rewards and Pokémon Go Community Day, plus a new Giovanni counters quest - the latest being The Shadowy Threat Grows. There is also an upcoming paid in-game event, A Drive for Discovery.
Recommended: Counter (Fast), Superpower (Charged)
Hariyama Weaknesses: Flying, Psychic, Fairy
Hariyama is an easy to get and reasonably powerful fighting type, allowing you to beat Registeel with ease - just be careful when coming up against flying moves (of which steel-type Skarmory will come packing with) and psychic types.
It's worth saying most other fighting types are good alternatives - for example Machamp, Medicham, Breloom or Heracross, though as a regional exclusive, is harder to come by.
Type: Water, Ground
Recommended: Mud Shot (Fast), Mud Bomb (Charged)
Whiscash Weaknesses: Grass (x2)
Charged move Mud Bomb is fast and devastating in the right situation, allowing it to take down meta popular types such as Altaria, Deoxys Defence, Alolan Marawak and Registeel with ease.
Blizzard is a welcome second move if you can spare it, to help you defend against Grass types, which Whiscash is doubly weak against (though it's worth saying Grass being the only real weakness makes Whiscash all the more an attractive choice).
Though you hopefully have enough Barboach to get a Wishcash easily, an alternative is the harder to get Toxicroak - a fighting type which also packs a punch with Mud Shot.