Pokémon Go Little Cup best team recommendations
Pokémon Go’s Little Cup is here until April 5!
Every once in a while, the Little Cup rears its cute little head.
This Special Cup in Pokémon Go’s Go Battle League is probably the most well-known, because it’s the closest to the mainstays of competitive Pokémon Go – Great League, Ultra League and Master League — again restricting eligible Pokémon based on CP, but to the extremely low cap of 500 CP.
And as usual, leaning into the little, only Pokémon that can evolve and haven’t evolved are eligible!
On this page:
Little Cup Remix restrictions in Pokémon Go explained
For those new to Pokémon Go, or its PVP modes, Little Cup asks you to put together a team of three 'little' Pokémon – in this case, little means one of two things.
First, all Pokémon must be at or below 500 CP to be eligible.
Second, all Pokémon must be unevolved - i.e., they can evolve, but have not done so. A 500 CP Charmander, for example, is fine as it can evolve, but a Shuckle would not be eligible as it can’t evolve at all. Likewise, Charmeleon is ineligible as it has already evolved from Charmander.
Like with the Great League, there’s a huge upside to playing Little Cup in that the 500 CP limit makes putting a team together extremely cheap and easy – particularly in terms of Stardust.
This also means that you don’t need to worry about Mythical and Legendary Pokémon coming to ruin your day as they’re generally caught at much higher CPs, making them ineligible for Little Cup and Little Cup Remix. The only one who is eligible is Meltan, and if your opponenet sends one out, be sure to thank them for the free win...
The downside, of course, is that we're picking from a very shallow pool of Pokémon, and for some Pokémon (such as Pawniard), you have to jump through expensive hoops in order to make them eligible — we’ll ignore those where we can, and highlight them where necessary. Still, while everything is weaker at 500 CP, those that are standout are obviously narrower than if the CP cap was higher or if evolved Pokémon were eligible.
If you don't have our recommended Little Cup choices, the chances are you can find them pretty easily in the wild before the next Cup. 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 and types that dominate the meta, remember with the Go Battle League (and PVP 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. Ultimately, there is an element of Rockruff-paper-Scizor to this.
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 500 CP cap as possible.
The Season of Hidden Gems has arrived, bringing with it a new Go Battle League season. The Water Festival: Beach Week event is currently running and has brought Sandygast and Palossand to Pokémon Go! You can also purchase the Water Festival: Beach Week Timed Research quest. Depending on your region, you can currently battle Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf in five-star raids. Elsewhere, be sure to compete in Shadow Raids, use Daily Adventure Incense for the chance of encountering Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos and Galarian Moltres. This incense may also give you encounters with other rare Pokémon in Pokémon Go.
Our Little Cup Remix recommendations from Alolan Vulpix to Jangmo-o
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 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 want to build a team with different type strengths and defences. For example, if you build a team with all fire-types, you'll be especially open to water-types – a single Squirtle will wreck your squad.
As always, it's also worth noting that if you want to really compete, each of your Pokémon need two Charged moves. This not only allows you options, but in some cases allows you to run an attack that beats the Pokémon yours is weak against. If you want to skimp on Stardust and only run the one move, do so at your own peril – you have been warned.
Our recommendations in National Pokédex order:
Recommended IVs: 0/15/14
Recommended moves: Powder Snow, (Fast), Weather Ball (Ice; Charged), Dark Pulse (Charged)
Alolan Vulpix weaknesses: Fighting, Fire, Rock, Steel
The Arctic Fox of the Pokémon world is a strong contender in the world of Pokémon Go’s Little Cup, thanks in no small part to how spammy and dynamic it is.
Powder Snow is a phenomenal Fast move, thanks to how fast-charging it is. Pairing this with Weather Ball means that you can fire off Charged moves incredibly quickly. If you come up against something that looks to be weak to Dark-type attacks – (and there are a few at the top of the meta), you have Dark Pulse as a coverage move.
So, how does it perform in terms of match-ups? Well, you destroy Grass types like Chikorita and Cottonee, along with Vullaby, Wooper and Deino. Meanwhile, Bronzor, Wynaut, Stunky, Ducklett and Spritzee will take the win – even through the Dark Pulses!
Type: Dark / Normal
Recommended IVs: 5/15/15
Recommended moves: Tackle (Fast), Body Slam (Charged), Dig (Charged)
Galarian Zigzagoon weaknesses: Fighting (2x), Bug, Fairy
The most metal of Zigzagoons is a softy at heart, as shown by its lack of Dark-type moves. With Tackle and Body Slam, we’re looking to apply STAB with zero risk of resistance. While this spammy tactic with a bulky Pokémon works to a degree, the opponent isn’t likely to waste shields on a Body Slam. Dig, on the other hand, is so expensive that you will have a hard time tricking the opponent into the idea that you’re using it.
Still, you can look forward to beating Wooper, Vulpix (both of them), Stunky and Bronzor. Beware, however, Wynaut, Ducklett, Cottonee Deino and Growlithe.
Recommended IVs: 5/15/15
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Mirror Coat (Charged)
Wynaut weaknesses: Bug, Dark, Ghost
This extremely bulky Pokémon has long outperformed in the Little Cup. However, using it well comes with understanding its drawbacks.
First and foremost, it’s not a flexible option, with just one Charged Move available. Although it’s a heavy hitter, it takes a while to charge up. It’s also worth noting that while there is a second Fast Move you can use, it’s Splash… so you pretty much can’t use it.
Still, if you’re looking for a Counter user with a lot of bulk, Wynaut is a viable option. It beats Deino, Vulpix, Wooper, Spritzee and Cottonee, but loses to Shelmet, Bronzor, Vullaby and Ducklett.
Type: Steel / Psychic
Recommended IVs: 0/14/15
Recommended moves: Confusion (Fast), Psyshock (Charged), Payback (Charged)
Bronzor weaknesses: Dark, Fire, Ghost, Ground
It may not look it, but Bronzor is an absolute demon in this cup.
It is phenomenally bulky, and its clumsiness with slow animations and relatively slow-charging attacks don’t really hold it back; it’s still the undisputed king of the meta. The fact that you can get to almost Level 50 with perfect IVs and be eligible for this cup certainly doesn’t hurt either.
So, who does Bronzor beat? Spritzee, Cottonee, Ducklett, Wynaut and Wooper all fall below its beady little eyes. Stunky, Growlithe, Deino, Galarian Zigzagoon and Grimer, on the other hand, will likely be making an appearance just to beat Bronzor.
Type: Water / Flying
Recommended IVs: 0/15/15
Recommended moves: Wing Attack (Fast), Bubble Beam (Charged), Brave Bird (Charged)
Ducklett weaknesses: Electric (2x), Rock
Ducklett is an exceptional Pokémon in this Cup, and not just because it is so dang cute.
The water and flying-type combo leaves it with few real weaknesses, and means that it has the upper wing (in lieu of hands) against grass-types, which we expect to see a fair amount of, given the number of water-type Pokémon floating up the rankings.
Be aware that Brave Bird is incredibly powerful, but you will drop your defence in executing it, so make sure you plan your timings carefully.
Expect wins against Vulpix, Cottonee, Wooper, Spritzee and Wynaut, but losses against Bronzor, Deino, Amaura, Zubat and Dratini.
Recommended IVs: 0/15/13
Recommended moves: Infestation(Fast), Body Slam (Charged), Bug Buzz (Charged)
Shelmet weaknesses: Fire, Flying, Rock
It’s rare that a mono-Bug type makes the cut in competitive Pokémon Go, but when you drop the CP right down, the lowly Bugs can start to pack a punch.
Shelmet in particular is bulky enough to run, and spammy enough to be worth considering. Just be aware that shield pressure will be an issue and with this moveset, you’re pretty inflexible.
So, switch out when you see Ducklett, Vulpix, Bronzor, Growlithe or Spritzee. But, if you see Wynaut, Deino, Stunky, Cottonee or Wooper, make get ready to take the win!
Type: Dark / Dragon
Recommended IVs: 1/15/14
Recommended moves: Dragon Breath (Fast), Body Slam (Charged), Crunch (Charged)
Deino weaknesses: Fairy (2x), Bug, Dragon, Fighting, Ice
Here there be dragons. Well, here and Master League – the only other place where they tend to stick out.
Again, the spammy moveset will stand Deino users in good stead, but be aware that this Pokémon is a little less bulky than the rest of the meta, and it crumbles at the sight of a Wynaut, which you might not expect. But Deino is here mostly for its Fast move pressure, with the Charged moves there to apply a little more pressure as needed.
Wynaut aside, you can expect losses from both Vulpixes, Shelmet and Dratini. However, you can pull in some easy wins from Growlithe, Stunky, Ducklett, Bronzor and Wooper.
Type: Dark / Dragon
Recommended IVs: 1/15/11
Recommended moves: Dragon Tail (Fast), Dragon Claw (Charged), Brick Break(Charged)
Jangmo-o weaknesses: Dragon, Fairy, Ice
Finally, we have Jangmo-o – the only Pokémon on this list that is particularly hard to find, since it hatches from eggs. Depending on your luck, you may have to re-roll this with a friend you’ve just become friends with to get one of a low enough IV, though again this will depend entirely on luck.
If you do have an eligible baby punch dragon, Jangmo-o offers some spammy Fast move pressure, though not much by way of shield pressure. Since it’s a relatively rare Pokémon though, you might be able to pull a fast one on an opponent who isn’t expecting to see this typing.
In a fair fight, you can expect wins against Growlithe, Vullaby, Wooper, Deino and Vulpix. However, you’re looking at losses in the form of Bronzor, Wynaut, Shelmet, Stunky and Ducklett.
Little Cup end date in Pokémon Go
The Mountain Cup will run until Wednesday, 5th April 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 the Little Cup!