The Fighting Cup is here and restrictions, as they say, breed creativity, but only rarely do we see a Pokémon Go Go Battle League interlude cup as restricted as this. So, if you’re ready to find out if you have what it takes to win, now’s the time to start looking at the best Fighting Cup team in Pokémon Go.
The rules of the Great League in Pokémon Go apply here - but with even more restrictions than usual. Not only do you have to come up with the most effective team possible at 1500 CP and under, but: only fighting-type Pokémon are allowed and psychic-type Pokémon are banned.
On this page:
Things to know about putting together a Fighting Cup team in Pokémon Go
The upside to the 1500 CP limit is that, like the Great League, putting a team together is relatively cheap and easier in terms of Stardust.
The downside to this specific cup is that it is so extremely restricted, the pool of usable options is only around 50 Pokémon deep.
With psychic-types being banned, we need to look to look to this type’s other weaknesses: fairy and flying.
With a complete lack of fairy/fighting types in the game, that option is safe. Flying moves on fighting-types, however, is not unheard of. In order to protect against this, and the fact that mono-fighting-types tend to be extremely glassy, you’re going to want to explore your options to find a team that has the right level of defense to be competitive.
There is only one Legendary Pokémon to seriously consider here: Buzzwole. But, since this is only available to those who made it to an in-person event last month, with it entering the raid pool after Fighting Cup ends, almost everyone will need to leaning on more common catches.
Technically, Galarian Zapdos is a fighting/flying type and is in the game, but again, it is so difficult to get hold of that we’ll be skipping over that too.
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 which 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 that dominate this 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.
Currently live is the Test Your Mettle event, and along with it the debut of Togedemaru and Mega Aggron. Recently, we've seen the arrival of Season of Light and special research quest A Cosmic Companion. Elsewhere, be sure to use Daily Adventure Incense for the chance of encountering Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos and Galarian Moltres. There's also a new special research quest - A Mysterious Incense. Finally - don't forget about the new Prime Gaming rewards every fortnight.
Our Pokémon Go Fighting 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.
Instead, here is a general list of recommended Fighting Cup 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 all mono-fighting types, anything with a move like Aerial Ace will just make you sad.
It’s also worth noting that if you want to really compete, each of your Pokémon need two Charged moves. If you want to skimp on Stardust and only run the one move, do so at your own peril - you have been warned.
Our Pokémon Go Fighting Cup team recommendations in order of their appearance in the National Pokédex — while there is some overlap with the Great League guide, make sure you read the full entry as we may be recommending some move changes:
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Power-Up Punch (Charged), Fire Punch (Charged)
Hitmonchan Weaknesses: Fairy, flying and psychic
Oh, look, another Counter-user!
Shadow Hitmonchan is probably the best option as a lead in the Fighting Cup, offering incredible Fast move pressure with Counter, followed up by the self-buffing Power-Up Punch to make itself ever more of a threat.
The issue, of course, is the glassiness of this Pokémon. While it can frequently get through those with flying-type attacks quicker than they can unleash them. It does lose to the likes of Machamp, which can just go longer in the ring.
If you don’t have a Shadow version, a regular Hitmonchan will do ok, but it is considerably weaker, which makes a huge difference in such a shallow meta.
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Cross Chop (Charged), Close combat (Charged)
Machamp Weaknesses: Fairy, flying and psychic
It wouldn’t be the Fighting Cup without the MVP of fighting types, would it?
As a Counter-used that hits incredibly hard, it’s a great choice. However, its lack of dual-typing makes it incredibly inflexible, leaving it exposed to that natural glass-cannon issue we mentioned earlier.
Still, both Shadow and regular Machamp are incredible here, putting down a lot of pressure very quickly. Just be aware that Close Combat is your Hail Mary when low on HP, as it’s 100% chance to seriously drop your defense doesn’t end well when you use it too early.
Type: Poison / Fighting
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Mud Bomb (Charged), Sludge Bomb (Charged)
Toxicroak Weaknesses: Psychic, flying and ground
Given both its strength and easy availability, you should expect to see a lot of Toxicroak running around the Fighting Cup.
As a spammy, yet flexible option that applies a lot of Fast move pressure with one of the best Fast moves in the game, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. It makes short work of the likes of Buzzwole in particular, while also beating both Shadow and regular Machamp in a straight fight.
However, it loses very quickly to anything that can kick up a breeze (Throh, Sneasler and Galarian Farfetch’d), so make sure you play to your strengths!
Type: Dragon / Fighting
Recommended moves: Dragon Tail (Fast), Dragon Claw (Charged), Brick Break (Charged)
Hakamo-o Weaknesses: Fairy, dragon, flying, ice and psychic
Who knew that dragons were good in Pokémon?
Sadly, its Charged moves means it doesn’t apply a great deal of shield pressure, which means you probably shouldn’t start with Pokémon in first position on your team. But, given how strong it is – arguably the best option in this entire Cup – you definitely want one on your team somewhere if you have one!
Type: Bug / Fighting
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Superpower (Charged), Lunge (Charged)
Buzzwole Weaknesses: Flying, fairy, fire and psychic
It’s a real shame that Buzzwole is so stacked in this cup, because given how rare it is, combined with strong it is, it can feel very pay-to-win when you go up against it.
If you were lucky enough to pick one up below 1500 CP, this spammy, dynamic Pokémon is capable of applying a lot of pressure, very quickly, taking down most of the Pokémon on this list.
If you’re worried about how to take down any Buzzwole you come across, be aware that for all its strength, it does have weaknesses. It loses pretty hard to Toxicroak, Sneasler’s Aerial Ace and a Shadow Machamp. Try to have at least one of those Pokémon on your team if you can!
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Brave Bird (Charged), Leaf Blade (Charged)
Sirfetch’d Weaknesses: Fairy, flying and psychic
With absolutely everything in this meta being weak to flying, Sirfetch'd running Brave Bird with STAB is going to be a huge boon for your team.
With wins against the likes of Sneasler and Machamp, this noble bird clearly as the shield pressure to go toe-to-toe with the very best.
However, as always, there’s a drawback – in this case, it’s Brave Bird lowering your defense by three stages. This means that while it’s a great attack if it wins you the match, it can easily lose you the match if your timing is poor! Just be aware of this if you’re thinking of one for your team.
Type: Fighting / Poison
Recommended moves: Shadow Claw (Fast), Close Combat (Charged), Aerial Ace(Charged)
Sneasler Weaknesses: Psychic, flying and ground
Poison as a second typing makes for a great option in this cup, as evidenced by Sneasler and Toxicroak. The issue, however, is that it’s almost impossible to get a Fighting Cup Sneasler without jumping through some impressive hoops first.
First, you need to get a Hisuian Sneasel by hatching a 7km egg while it is in the egg pool, which, at the time of writing, has only occured during the Hisuian Discoveries event of July 2022. You then need to evolve it by walking 7km and spending 100 Sneasel Candy during the day. Unfortunately, this leaves you with a Sneasler that is too high a level for fighting cup, which means trading with a friend of the correct level to drop its CP to below 1500.
If you really want to do this, do make sure you reroll your Sneasel before you trade it, or you’re wasting candy. Ideally, you’re aiming for a Sneasel of around 850 CP or lower in order to evolve it to something that can be used in the Fighting Cup.
If this feels like too much hard work, the good news is that a Hisuian Sneasel is a perfectly acceptable option too, with the only change being Poison Jab as the Fast move.
Is it worth jumping through all of these hoops? Yes, it can be as this flexible yet spammy Pokémon applies a lot of shield pressure to quickly beat Toxicroak, Buzzwole, Machamp and Hakamo-o, though be aware that you will lose to Toxicroak if you bring its unevolved form to the party.
Fighting Cup end date in Pokémon Go
The Fighting Cup will run until Wednesday, 24th August and finish at the following times:
- UK - 9pm (BST)
- Europe - 10pm (CEST)
- East Coast US - 4pm (EDT)
- West Coast US - 1pm (PDT)
Good luck in Fighting Cup!