Once in a while, Pokémon Go likes to spring new cups on us. While nobody is complaining about fresh content, the short period between it being announced and going live leaves players scrambling to figure out the best Pokémon for the Hisui Cup.
The Hisui Cup is a limited-time event in Pokémon Go’s Go Battle League. It runs from Wednesday 27th June 2022 until 2nd August 2022.
To make things even more exciting, new eligible Pokémon have been released as part of the Hisuian Discoveries event. Hisuian Growlithe, Hisuian Sneasel and Hisuian Qwilfish can all be added to your Pokédex for the first time and compete in the Hisui Cup.
To spice the Go Battle League in Pokémon Go up, and provide you with a bit of a challenge, the Hisui Cup has several restrictions which must abide if you want to partake in it. It’s worth noting that since your performance in the Hisui Cup will not affect your Battle League rating, it’s the perfect time to have some fun with Pokémon you wouldn’t normally use.
Below you can find our Hisui Cup recommendations.
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Hisui Cup restrictions in Pokémon Go explained
There are two restrictions to be aware of if you’re planning on entering the Hisui Cup in Pokémon Go.
The first is that, as the name suggests, you can only use Pokémon first discovered in the Hisui Region in this special cup. For those of you who didn’t play the greatest Pokémon game of all time, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Hisui is the name for ancient Sinnoh, meaning that pretty much anything from Pearl, Diamond or Arceus is fair game.
In practice, this means anything with a National Pokédex number between 387 and 493 — which is from Turtwig to Arceus — and any Hisuian variants currently in the game, such as Hisuian Growlithe, Hisuian Voltorb, Hisuian Sneasel and Hisuian Qwilfish.
The second restriction is that only Pokémon with a CP of 1,500 or lower can partake in this cup — meaning that this is basically a Great League variant. While you can’t use any of your heaviest hitters, like Dialga, this also means that if you have any eligible Great League Pokémon, they may be worth considering.
It’s also important to note that, while not a restriction, your Go Battle League rating won’t be affected by the Hisui Cup, so feel free to have some fun with your teams.
Our Pokémon Go Hisui Cup recommendations from Bastiodon to Sneasler
Like every league or special cup for the Go Battle League, there is no single best team for the Hisui Cup, because you’ll have no idea which Pokémon you’ll be facing. Go Battle League always will, to a certain extent, come down to rock, paper, scissors.
Still, thanks to the restrictions in place, there are several top Pokémon that stand out as your best options for which to build teams from, which we’ve listed below.
Because of the nature of Go Battle League, it’s always best to have a mixture of Pokémon types to cover your weaknesses, and have one Pokémon that can quickly build up their Charged attack in an attempt to force your opponents to use their shields — something we call shield pressure.
Also, we generally recommend that you spend some of your spare Stardust unlocking a second Charged move if you want your Pokémon to be competitive in each of the cups. However, since this cup doesn’t affect your ranking, if you’re low on precious Stardust, you may be better off saving it for your more competitive Great League or Ultra League Pokémon instead.
Our Pokémon Go Hisui Cup recommendations in National Pokédex order:
Type: Rock / Steel
Recommended moves: Smack Down (Fast), Stone Edge (Charged), Flamethrower (Charged)
Bastiodon weaknesses: Fighting, Ground and Water
Nobody wins any prizes for guessing that Bastiodon is going to be good in something Great League-adjacent. What works well there works well here (meta notwithstanding), and Bastiodon is a house in the Great League.
The reason for this, of course, is that it is basically a tank with extremely high defense.
And not only does it take hits, but it hits hard back. Smack Down and Stone Edge are lethal against fire, ice, flying and bug-types, with both attacks being extremely powerful. The Flamethrower in back offers excellent coverage for when your Smack Downs just aren’t hitting hard enough.
The down sides are that for all its bulk, fighting and ground-type attacks are its downfall - and there’s a lot of good fighting types in this meta - and it’s a very slow Pokémon that offers low shield pressure.
If you’re running it, make sure you pair it with something faster - Sneasler and Hisuian Electrode not only make for a good team here, but give extra flavour wins for fans of Arceus.
Recommended moves: Volt Switch (Fast), Thunder Punch (Charged), Thunder Bolt (Charged)
Pachirisu weaknesses: Ground
As the strongest electric-type Pokémon in the Great League, it’s little surprise that we see Pachirisu pop up here.
Its high defense and stamina make it a bulky Pokémon, and the Volt Switch/Thunder Punch combo make it a fairly spammy Pokémon. However, it’s also clumsy, with long attack animations, and lacks flexibility in that it’s a mono-electric type that only runs electric-type attacks.
If you think you need the coverage against water or flying - if you see a lot of Togekiss, for example - Pachirisu is the way to go.
Type: Ghost / Flying
Recommended moves: Hex (Fast), Icy Wind (Charged), Shadow Ball (Charged)
Drifblim weaknesses: Dark, Electric, Ghost, Ice and Rock
Drifblim may not be the strongest ghost-type Pokémon in the Hisui Cup, it almost goes head to head in a straight battle against it - the fearsome Froslass, which we expect to see plenty of in this meta.
This haunted blimp is still a solid pick for this meta though, with a combination of a spammy attack that applies a lot of shield pressure and a solid defense thanks to its very high stamina.
Drifblim has long been popular in Great League, so if you already have one built, perhaps consider pairing it with either Lucario and Toxicroak or Drapion and Bastiodon, depending on how you want to play the match out - either way, it’s a great lead Pokémon, and a great way to take down shields early.
Type: Fighting / Steel
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Shadow Ball (Charged), Power-Up Punch (Charged)
Lucario weaknesses: Fighting, Fire and Ground
Lucario comes a close second to Sneasler in terms of the best fighting types, in terms of overall performance, but it’s incredibly close and the number of Sneasler running around right now is incredibly low, making Lucario a more realistic option for most Trainers.
The 'Aura Pokémon' also wins out in having Counter as its fast attack, which we all know is an incredible boon for fighting-type Pokémon in Go Battle League. This spammy choice, combined with Power-Up Punch, means that it’s a pretty hard-hitting choice, and the Shadow Ball as a backup nuke adds extra coverage.
Just be aware that thanks to its relatively low defense, it’s a bit of a glass cannon in a bad matchup, so don’t run it out as your first Pokémon and know when you need to switch it out!
Type: Poison / Fighting
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Mud Bomb (Charged), Sludge Bomb (Charged)
Toxicroak weaknesses: Psychic, Flying and Ground
Toxicroak is not an uncommon Pokemon in the Great League, thanks to its spamminess, fast move pressure and the fact that it runs Counter as its fast attack. However, like a couple of other Pokémon on this list, its low defense is its downfall, and its extreme weakness to psychic-type attacks makes it easy to beat in normal Great League.
If you can’t get your hands on a Lucario or Sneasler, Toxicroak is a great budget option that will mostly give you the same strengths and weaknesses.
Mud Bomb offers excellent coverage, and is spammy enough that you can just apply a lot of pressure very quickly.
And if you do have a Lucario, it becomes a decent finisher with Drifblim in the lead.
Type: Grass / Ice
Recommended moves: Powder Snow (Fast), Weather Ball (Charged), Energy Ball (Charged)
Abomasnow weaknesses: Fire, Bug, Fighting, Flying, Poison, Rock and Steel
Despite its huge number of weaknesses, Abomasnow continues to absolutely dominate in Go Battle League, even after being nerfed last year.
My personal favourite in Ultra League, Shadow Abomasnow wrecks this meta in much the same way — with extreme spamminess and shield pressure.
Powder Snow is very fast charging and Weather Ball strips shields like nobody’s business. Energy Ball is slightly higher energy, but comes with the occasional bonus of dropping the enemy’s defense, while covering a little for when you run across a water-type. I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen people put a water-type in front of it, forgetting about the grass typing, but I always laugh with glee as I win the match.
If you don’t have a good Shadow Abomasnow, a regular version will do, but it won’t perform quite as well. Don’t worry about changing the attacks, they’re perfect as is.
Type: Electric / Steel
Recommended moves: Spark (Fast), Wild Charge (Charged), Mirror Shot (Charged)
Pachirisu weaknesses: Ground, Fighting and Fire
If you want a slightly weaker, but more flexible alternative to Pachirisu, Shadow Magnezone is the way to go. What you lose in bulk, you gain in shield pressure and coverage, adding the steel-type attack Mirror Shot.
The biggest issue with Magnezone is that Wild Charge gives you a guaranteed self-debuff to your defense, and Mirror Shot only offers a 30% chance to debuff the opponents attacks, meaning that it’s far less consistent than your average Pokémon, but if you like a little chaos in your battling, Shadow Magnezone is the way to go.
Of course, if you don’t have the Shadow, a regular Magnezone with the same attacks will work well too, it’ll just perform a fair bit worse.
Type: Fairy / Flying
Recommended moves: Charm (Fast), Aerial Ace (Charged), Flamethrower (Charged)
Togekiss weaknesses: Electric, Ice, Poison, Rock and Steel
Who doesn’t love Charm? Your opponents, that’s who - especially when they’re running fighting, dragon or dark-types. And with a reasonable number of fighting-type Pokémon in the meta, Togekiss is well worth considering.
While there is an argument for Ancient Power instead of Aerial Ace - which is the build you’d use for the Great League - the large number of fighting- types here shifts our suggestion towards the flying-type attack. It also extends coverage against grass and bug-types, which is useful against the likes of Drapion and Abomasnow.
While Togekiss is fairly slow, it’s also a great defensive option and the option to use Charm is always a bonus. I’d expect to see a fair amount of Togekiss flying around for the next week or so.
Type: Ice / Ghost
Recommended moves: Powder Snow (Fast), Avalanche (Charged), Shadow Ball (Charged)
Froslass weaknesses: Dark, Fire, Ghost, Rock and Steel
If you’re looking for a Pokémon with little-to-no downside, Froslass seems primed to massively overperform in this meta. It’s the best ghost-type and second only to Shadow Abomasnow in terms of ice typing. The only downside to speak of is the fact that it has five weaknesses.
Froslass is famously spammy and flexible, meaning great shield pressure thanks to Powder Snow and the ludicrously powerful Shadow Ball for when you need to slam the ‘nuke’ button.
There’s not much else to add, other than that if you can fit it into your team, you probably should.
Recommended moves: Psycho Cut (Fast), Grass Knot (Event Exclusive Charged), Moonblast (Charged)
Cresselia weaknesses: Bug, Dark and Ghost
With a good number of Pokémon in this list being weak to psychic-type attacks, bringing out the strongest one in the pool seems like a good idea. And with the spammy Psycho Cut, you’re in with a shout.
The downside is that Psycho Cut doesn’t hit that hard, so against neutral or resistant Pokémon, you won’t apply much pressure. This is where your Charged moves come in — Moonblast to do high damage and Grass Knot (if you have it) to do the same, but quicker.
Since this isn’t a competitive meta, if you’re not planning to build a Cresselia and don’t want to use an Elite TM for Grass Knot, you can always lean on the Future Sight for huge STAB damage.
Type: Fighting / Poison
Recommended moves: Shadow Claw (Fast), Close Combat (Charged), X-Scissor (Charged)
Sneasler weaknesses: Psychic, Flying and Ground
The game’s latest edition, Sneasler, the evolved form of Hisuian Sneasel, is a solid pick in Hisui Cup, and a great alternative to Lucario for those who haven’t been fortunate enough to hatch a Riolu. It’s also a solid upgrade to Toxicroak - another Pokémon on this list of the same typing.
This early into the meta it can be difficult to tell, but there is also a buzz in the community suggesting that Sneasler could become Master League-viable with Poison Jab - if you find yourself running into a lot of grass or fairy-types, Poison Jab may well serve you better than the more multi-purpose Shadow Claw Fast move.
The biggest downside to Sneasler is its low defense - the same as Lucario’s downfall making it a glass cannon. While it can be used to apply shield pressure with its spammy fast attacks, the low defense and the self-debuff of Close Combat make it a risky pick if you’re not good with this style of battling!
Hisui Cup dates and times in Pokémon Go explained
The Hisui Cup is running Wednesday, 27th July to Tuesday, 2nd August, with it ending at the following times:
- UK - 9pm (GMT)
- Europe - 10pm (CEST)
- East Coast USA - 4pm (EDT)
- West Coast USA - 1pm (PDT)
Good luck in the Hisui Cup!