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Pokémon Go Catch Cup recommendations and rules

The most effective creatures to compete when time is the limit.

Putting together a strong Catch Cup team in Pokémon Go is one of the trickiest things to do in Go Battle League.

Towards the end of each Go Battle League season of Pokémon Go, the Catch Cup rolls around. This is the most difficult to work with since not only do you have the usual CP cap, but you have a restriction on the age of the Pokémon too.

More than ever, this it isn't all about CP. Our Catch Cup recommendations are based on what you have available recently, meaning that the Catch Cup meta is based on what everyone else has caught during the Season of Light. There's no hard and fast rule here, or even a list of recommendations – it’s pretty much a test of your team-building skills while also relying on a very heavy dose of luck!

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Watch as battle Guzzlord - one of the Ultra Beasts in Pokémon GoWatch on YouTube

Catch Cup restrictions team in Pokémon Go

There are two restrictions to be aware of in the Season of Light edition of the Catch Cup:

  • Pokémon must be at or below 1500 CP to enter.
  • Only Pokémon caught during the Season of Light (after September 1 2022 at 10:00 am) are eligible.

This means that you should expect the the things that have popped up in recent Community Day events, along with any new Pokémon that have made a debut and were abundant during the season. This means Pokémon like Ursaluna, Chandelure and Malamar are likely going to be out in force.

However, this all comes with the caveat that the Pokémon you’ve caught and evolved since September are under the 1500 CP cap! This means that if you think of it as an extremely limited Great League, you’re going to be on the right track.

As always – no matter what League you participate in, 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 defence 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 Catch Cup recommendations

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 thanks to the extremely short time window for eligible Pokémon caught.

Only Pokémon caught during the current in-game season are allowed. (Image via: pokemongolive.com) | Image credit: https://pokemongolive.com/

So, there’s very little point in writing a list of Pokémon here, as there's a very high chance that even if you have them, they won't reflect the meta as there’s a reasonable chance that your opponents won’t have caught them unless it’s a Community Day, Spotlight Hour or otherwise featured Pokémon.

Instead, here’s a quick recap on some team-building tips to help you succeed in all cups and leagues across Go Battle League:

  • Hit the CP cap: Get your Pokémon as close to the maximum CP allowed as possible, without going over.
  • Second Charged move: Restrictions may breed creativity, but options unlock wins. Can your Pokémon run three moves with three different types? If so, that opens up a new list of Pokémon you can potentially be super-effective against.
  • Cover your weaknesses: Go Battle League is a game of Rockruff-Kartana-Scizor, and each Pokémon has a list of strengths and weaknesses. If you run a team of all Fire types, you will get hosed by a single Swampert. It's not worth the risk; make sure your team has a good variety of strenths and weaknesses
  • Party time: Think of a classic RPG – you have your tank, your healer and your rogue. The same goes for Go Battle League – some Pokémon are bulky while others are glass cannons. Don't run a team of three fragile Pokémon, and try not to run three tanks that don't deal much damage. Instead, pick a team with three Pokémon that offer different roles, and therefore different strengths.
  • Stats and IVs: IVs aren’t everything, but they're definitely a consideration. If you've settled on your species (say, Bulbasaur) and you have two options, which one do you pick? The short answer is the one with the lowest attack and highest defense. This may seem counterintuitive, but it ties into how CP is calculated. This will allow you to choose the one that has a higher level at the CP cap, meaning it can potentally hit harder while take more damage.

Good luck in the Catch Cup!

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Nic Bunce