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Pokémon Go Element Cup team recommendations, restrictions and dates explained

Everything you need to know about the Element Cup in Pokémon Go.

The Element Cup is the latest special league occurring in the Go Battle League of Pokémon Go.

To ensure you’re suitably challenged, your team selection will need to follow a number of Element Cup restrictions.

Below you can find our Element Cup recommendations which will help you create an interesting Element Cup team.

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Element Cup restrictions in Pokémon Go explained

There are three restrictions you need to keep in mind when choosing your team for the Element Cup in Pokémon Go.

The first is that we’re following Little Cup rules, meaning the CP limit is 500 — make sure your choices are 500 CP or under!

Secondly, only Fire, Water and Grass-type Pokémon are eligible. Remember, this can be their secondary type, opening up the playing field to a total 142 Pokémon.

Finally, only Pokémon which can evolve and have never evolved are eligible for the Element Cup. This means, for example, Charmander is eligible for the Element Cup, but Charmeleon is not.

Got that? Elementary (Cup), my dear Watson.

Our Pokémon Go Element Cup recommendations from Bulbasaur to Ducklett

Just like with every league or special cup in the Go Battle League, there is no true 'best' team for the Element Cup, because you’ll never know which Pokémon are in your opponent’s team.

The restriction does mean, however, that there is a limited pool of Pokémon for you to choose from, which does help you choose your team.

Before making your selection though, it’s a good idea to review the restriction for the Element Cup, so you know exactly which Pokémon are available to you.

You should also ensure you have a selection of Pokémon types and have one Pokémon who’s Charged attack can be built up quickly, so you force your opponent to use one of their shields early on.

Our Pokémon Go Element Cup recommendations in National Pokédex order:


Type: Grass / Poison
Perfect IVs: 0/11/15
Recommended moves: Vine Whip (Fast) / Seed Bomb (Charged), Sludge Bomb (Charged)
Weaknesses: Fire, Flying, Ice and Psychic

When it comes to Bulbasaur, the obvious main advantage is that it’s a Poison-type, making it an excellent counter to its fellow Grass-type Pokémon like Cottonee, which thanks to being a Fairy-type is double-weak to the stuff.

You will still need to protect Bulbasaur from Fire-type Pokémon, but, overall, it’s a bit of a powerhouse in the Element Cup, pulling in wins against Chinchou, Cottonee, Skrelp, Chikorita and Seel. Beware Vulpix, Ducklett, Salandit and Slowpoke, however.

It’s worth noting that while you can use a Shadow Bulbasaur if you want, but the regular version will perform slightly better.


Type: Fire
Perfect IVs: 0/15/14
Recommended moves: Quick Attack (Fast), Body Slam (Charged), Weather Ball (Charged)
Weaknesses: Ground, Rock and Water

Vulpix and Shadow Vulpix are by far the best Fire-types in this meta, making them an excellent choice for tackling both Grass-type Pokémon and Ice-types, like Seel and Snover. The only comparable Fire-type is Salandit, but that’s about as rare as a snowflake on a Kantonian Vulpix’s snoot.

Quick Attack is a fast-charging move that allows you to spam out Weather Balls for huge Fire-type damage, while Body Slam will offer neutral Spam should you come across something that looks resistant.

If you’re keen on Vulpix, expect wins against Chikorita, Growlithe, Cottonee and Salandit. Losses come from anything wet.


Type: Water
Perfect IVs: 0/11/15
Recommended moves: Ice Shard (Fast), Aqua Tail (Charged), Icy Wind (Charged)
Weaknesses: Electric and Grass

Talking of wet, here’s a Water-type Pokémon that we’re using as anti-Grass tech. Seel is another great all-rounder, thanks to its prowess as an Ice-type attacker.

Given both its bulk and spamminess, it has the upper flapper against Growlithe, Slugma, Salandit, Shadow Vulpix and even Cottonee. However, losses will come hard and fast from Chinchou and Chikorita, along with Ducklet, regular Vulpix and Skrelp.


Type: Water / Electric
Perfect IVs: 0/11/15
Recommended moves: Spark (Fast), Bubble Beam (Charged), Thunderbolt (Charged)
Weaknesses: Grass and Ground

Chinchou may not be the only Electric-type Pokémon eligible for the Element Cup, thanks to the addition of Hisuian Voltorb, but one of these is good and the other went extinct.

As a result, Chinchou is an excellent choice for the Element Cup — a meta dominated by a single duck. Spark and Thunderbolt will make short work of most of the Water-types, and Bubble Beam is there as coverage against anything resistant. Just be aware that this attack is guaranteed to drop your attack by one stage, so don’t use it if you don’t have to.

Keep this in mind and you’ll pull in wins against Ducklett, Seel, Vulpix and Salandit. Expect losses from anything with Grass-typing and know when to change out!


Type: Water / Ground
Perfect IVs: 0/15/15
Recommended moves: Mud Shot (Fast), Body Slam (Charged), Mud Bomb (Charged)
Weaknesses: Grass (2x)

Ground-type Pokémon are a rarity in the Element Cup, and Wooper is the stand-out best among the limited options you have.

Your moves here offer spammy wins against Fire and Poison-types, as well as Chinchou and Seel. However, its double-weakness to Grass is a liability. On top of that, your lack of bulk means you’ll also have to expect losses against Ducklett and Dewpider.


Type: Water / Flying
Perfect IVs: 0/15/15
Recommended moves: Wing Attack (Fast), Brave Bird (Charged), Bubble Beam (Charged)
Ducklett weaknesses: Electric (2x) and Rock

If you’ve ever wanted to see a duck win a fight, pick Ducklett.

Ducklett offers a fast-charging Flying move that can wreck Grass-types, a nuke in the form of Brave Bird (which will leave your defence in tatters), and a cheap Water-type coverage move, should you need it (though this will drop your attack by one stage).

So, Ducklett may not be easy to use, but if you use it will, you can bring the meta to its knees. You pull in wins against Fire, Water and Grass-types alike — your only real opponent is Chinchou, which will fry you thanks to Ducklett’s double weakness to Electric-type attacks.

The bottom line is that Ducklett is awesome and you should run it.


Type: Poison / Fire
Perfect IVs: 0/13/15
Recommended moves: Poison Jab (Fast), Poison Fang (Charged), Flamethrower (Charged)
Salandit weaknesses: Ground (2x), Psychic, Rock, Water

Salandit is an excellent choice, should you be lucky enough to have one.

Unfortunately, Salandit is extremely difficult to get hold of, as they are currently only available as a rare hatch from eggs. However, if you have one, know that it beats Grass-types with its Fire attacks, and everything else with spammy Poison Jab fast move. Well, not everything else: it does lose to Ducklett, Seel, Vulpix and Chinchou.

The Shared Skies Season is coming soon! So hurry and complete the final stage of World of Wonders, so you can evolve Poipole into Naganadel! You can also work on the Masterwork Research: Catching Wonders quest for a Master Ball and Glitz and Glam quest for a Diancie. Don't forget to try out Routes, Gift Exchange and Party Play while you're hunting down rare Pokémon, fighting in the Go Battle League or competing in PokéStop Showcases.

Element Cup dates and times in Pokémon Go explained

The Element Cup is running alongside the Ultra League, from Thursday, 15th June to Thursday 22nd June, with the following end times depending on your region:

  • UK - 9pm (GMT)
  • Europe - 10pm (CEST)
  • East Coast USA - 4pm (EDT)
  • West Coast USA - 1pm (PDT)

Have fun competing in the Element Cup!

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