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 the CP limit is 500, so make sure your choices either meet this limit or are beneath it.
Secondly, the Pokémon you can enter must have either fire, grass or water as their only or secondary types.
Vulpix, for example, is eligible for the Element Cup as it's a pure fire-type Pokémon and so is Oddish, because, while one of its types is poison, the other is grass.
Finally, only Pokémon which have the ability to evolve and are the first in their evolutionary line are eligible for the Element Cup. This means, for example, Charmander is eligible for the Element Cup, but not Charmeleon.
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
Recommended moves: Vine Whip (Fast) / Seed Bomb (Charged), Sludge Bomb (Charged)
Bulbasaur weaknesses: Fire, Flying, Ice, Psychic
When it comes to Bulbasaur, the obvious main advantage is that it's part poison-type. This makes Bulbasaur an excellent counter for its fellow grass-type Pokémon and others like Cottonee.
By ensuring your Bulbasaur knows both Seed Bomb and Sludge Bomb as its Charged moves will allow you to utilise both of these advantages.
You will still need to protect Bulbasaur from fire-type Pokémon, but, overall, it's a bit of a powerhouse in the Element Cup.
It’s worth noting that while you can use a Shadow Bulbasaur if you want, but the normal version will perform slightly better.
Recommended moves: Quick Attack (Fast), Body Slam (Charged), Weather Ball (Charged)
Vulpix weaknesses: Ground, Rock, 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.
To do this, you'll want to ensure your Vulpix at least knows Quick Attack as its Fast move and Weather Ball as a fire-type Charged move.
Weather Ball will obviously cause a substantial amount of fire-type damage, while Quick Attack will help you wear down your opponents.
Again, both normal and Shadow will work here, but Shadow Vulpix will perform slightly worse.
Type: Water / Psychic
Recommended moves: Confusion (Fast), Psychic (Charged), Psyshock (Charged)
Slowpoke weaknesses: Bug, Dark, Electric, Ghost, Grass
When it comes to Slowpoke in the Element Cup, you'll be actually using it for its psychic-type attacks and not its water-type moves.
This will help you deal with any troublesome poison-types, like Oddish and Bulbasaur,along with Pokémon that are weak to psychic-types, such as Tepig.
Since Slowpoke is part water-type, it will also enjoy a strong resistance against fire-type Pokémon even though you'll most likely be playing it with a full psychic-moveset. This means you can use it to take care of any troublesome fire-type which comes your way.
It’s worth noting that there’s a big difference here between the Shadow and normal variants in terms of results - definitely use a Shadow Slowpoke where you can.
Recommended moves: Ice Shard (Fast), Aqua Tail (Charged), Icy Wind (Charged)
Seel weaknesses: Electric, Grass
Seel is another great all-rounder, thanks in part to its ability to wield ice-type moves. This means that despite its weakness to grass-types, it can still beat many grass types, including the likes of Cottonee.
Given both its bulk and spamminess, it even has the upper hand over the ever-present Ducklett, which makes it a very important consideration for your team.
Type: Water / Electric
Recommended moves: Spark (Fast), Bubble Beam (Charged), Thunderbolt (Charged)
Chinchou weaknesses: Grass, Ground
Chinchou is the only electric-type Pokémon eligible for the Element Cup, which makes it a perfect selection for your team.
If you are going to include it in your selection, then you must ensure it knows attacks from both types, which can be ideally achieved by utilizing the double Charged attack threat of Bubble Beam and Thunderbolt.
With these moves at your disposal, Chinchou has the ability to deal a great amount of damage to both water, flying and fire-types. This also means it's an excellent defence against Ducklett, which is very important in this meta.
Recommended moves: Rock Throw (Fast), Flame Charge (Charged), Rock Slide (Charged)
Slugma weaknesses: Ground, Rock, Water
Slugma is a useful choice for the Element Cup not because of its fire-type moves, but because of its rock-type moves.
Both Rock Throw and Rock Slide will deal a good amount of damage to any fire-type Pokémon which comes your way and, even if it's a close fight, Ducklett can also easily fall prey to these moves.
The downside of focusing Slugma's moveset on rock-type attacks is that it won't be as useful to defeating grass-types, so you will need to factor this into your strategy.
Type: Water / Grass
Recommended moves: Razor Leaf (Fast), Bubble Beam (Charged), Energy Ball (Charged)
Lotad weaknesses: Bug, Flying, Poison
Thanks to being both a water and grass-type Pokémon, Lotad has an advantage over fire and water-type Pokémon.
For this reason, we recommend ensuring that your chosen Lotad knows at least one water attack and one grass attack. This way you'll be able to use Lotad for a wider variety of opponents, rather than just one specific type.
An easy way to do this is through Lotad's Fast move - Water Gun is perfect for fire-types, while Razor Leaf can help you quickly destroy a water-type Pokémon.
Type: Grass / Fairy
Recommended moves: Charm (Fast), Grass Knot (Charged), Seed Bomb (Charged)
Cottonee weaknesses: Fire, Flying, Ice, Poison, Steel
It's important to note that Cottonee is the only fairy-type available for the Element Cup, so, if you like to factor fairy-types in your team, this Pokémon is your only choice.
When building your Cottonee, you'll want to ensure you have Charm as the Fast move, because this can cause a good amount of damage to a wide selection of Pokémon. You may find that Cottonee knocks them out before you're even able to use a Charged move.
Meanwhile, for Charged moves, it's a good idea to focus on grass-type attacks as this will make Cottonee an excellent counter for any water-type Pokémon.
Type: Water / Flying
Recommended moves: Wing Attack (Fast), Brave Bird (Charged), Bubble Beam (Charged)
Ducklett weaknesses: Electric, Rock
If there's one Pokémon you're going to see a lot of during the Element Cup, it's Ducklett.
With the combined power of Bubble Beam, which is excellent for forcing your opponent to use their shield, and Brave Bird, which deals a significant amount of damage, Ducklett is a considerable force to deal with.
If you do find yourself often running afoul of Ducklett, then a Chinchou with an electric-type Charged attack is an excellent counter.
Type: Poison / Fire
Recommended moves: Poison Jab (Fast), Poison Fang (Charged), Flamethrower (Charged)
Salandit weaknesses: Ground (2x), Psychic, Rock, Water
The new undisputed queen of Element Cup, Salandit is a Pokémon you’ll need to be wary of.
Unfortunately, Salandit is extremely difficult to get hold of, as they are currently only available as a rare hatch from 12km eggs. However, if you’re lucky enough to have this on your Pokédex, know that it beats grass types with its fire attacks, and the likes of Chinchou and Ducklett with its spammy Poison Jab fast move.
It’s unlikely that you will come across Salandit, but if you do, know that it loses pretty hard to ground-type attackers (which haven’t been overrepresented in this meta historically) and psychic type attackers, like Slowpoke. It will be interesting to see how this Pokémon shakes up the meta, given its rarity.
New to the game is a long overdue Mega Evolution update, which has arrived alongside the A Mega Moment research. May 2022 in Pokémon Go includes the Water Festival, which celebrates the release of Dewpider and Araquanid. Tapu Fini has also been released alongside A Poni Adventure - the last Alola region-themed special research quest. Currently both the Ultra League and Element Cup are running in the Go Battle League. Elsewhere, we've recently seen the release of more Gen 7 Pokémon as part of the Season of Alola. The first details surrounding Go Fest 2022 have also been announced, including the event date.
Element Cup dates and times in Pokémon Go explained
The Element Cup is running alongside the Ultra League, from Tuesday, 10th May to Tuesday 17th May, 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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