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Pokémon Go Master League team recommendations

The most effective creatures to compete when there's no CP cap.

Putting together a strong Pokémon Go Master League team is worth investing in more than ever now it's regularly part of the Go Battle League.

For two weeks in every Go Battle League of Pokémon Go each season, the Master League will be the focus - meaning you have to come up with the best team possible regardless of CP.

The Master League is probably the easiest to work around, since you have no CP limits, though it's easily the most expensive if you want to reach the maximum possible power on your chosen team. That said, unlike other leagues, these Pokémon will be useful in other areas of the game, such as Raids, giving them extra value for your investment.

Of course, it isn't all about CP. Our Master League recommendations are based on the current Master League meta, allowing you to piece together an effective Master League team. And thanks to the recent move shake-up, the meta going into the next Master League season is all to play for!

On this page:

Battling and catching the latest Ultra Beast, Guzzlord, in Pokémon Go.

Things to know about putting together an Master League team in Pokémon Go

No CP limits means you have the most of freedom any League team, and though the Best Pokémon by and large do well here, the meta means there are certain creatures which will do better than others based on what everyone else is choosing.

By and large, Legendaries are the most useful in this group, but you can easily form a team without them, to both purposely counter them and offer a wide range of coverage.

The reliable staples of starter Community Day Pokémon are much less effective here than other leagues as a result, but others who have been highlighted have evolutions and exclusive moves that can really help you, if you were around at the time.

Legendaries - such as Dialga and Kyogre - prove popular in the Master League...

Though CP isn't everything in this league - above all, you want to go with types which suit the meta - maximising the power of your chosen team can give you a slight advantage. There's a couple of ways to make this cost effective - from performing Lucky Trades to halve their Stardust costs (and increase the likelihood of them having good stats) and having them as your Best Friend to give them a CP boost while they're your buddy.

And, the higher Trainer Level you are, the higher the CP cap grows. That said, there are diminishing returns of this final point - with Stardust and Candy costs going through the roof for very little CP gain as you reach its cap - so don't get hung up on this in particular.

As always - no matter what League you participate in, 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 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 2500 CP cap as possible.

Our Pokémon Go Master League recommendations, from Snorlax to Melmetal

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.

And with the recent move shake-up to rebalance Go Battle League, we're going to be heading into a brand new meta, so nobody is sure what exactly the best Pokémon are right now. What was once the top, is no longer the undisputed champ (sorry Dialga), and what was once the best moveset may no longer be the case.

So, here is a general list of recommended Master League Pokémon to build a team from, with a wide range of sources that should suit all players, whether you've been collecting Legendaries since their debut, or have just started playing. Some of these will be what was at the top before and we thing is still worth running; some will be new additions that have come to challenge the throne. Either way, do check the moveset as there's a solid chance that these have been tweaked slightly.

Remember, when forming a team, 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 defence.

Our Pokémon Go Master League Team recommendations, as of September 2022, in no particular order:

Snorlax

Type: Normal
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Lick (fast), Superpower (Charged), Body Slam (Charged)
Snorlax weaknesses: Fighting

As with other leagues, Snorlax is a great option because it's strong defensively; it's weak to very few other types, and has general bulk to stay the distance in a fight.

With Giratina also running rampant, its resistance to ghost-type attacks is a great boon. But if you can, couple it with a second move - Superpower is great against another Snorlax, while Earthquake can handle steel types.

It is also, like Togekiss, one of the cheaper and easier to find Pokemon on this list simply because it's not Community Day move dependant or Legendary, and counts as a strong third choice if you're struggling to round out a team.

Dragonite

Type: Dragon / Flying
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Dragon Breath (Fast), Dragon Claw (Charged), Superpower (Charged)
Dragonite weaknesses: Ice, Dragon, Rock, Fairy

Believe it or not, Dragonite is now one of the top few picks for Master League.

Its high CP cap gives it a brute strength few other Pokémon can match, and works as a very efficient dragon-type counter with its dragon moves and typing. And, by dropping Hurricane for the newly gained Superpower, Dragonite has shot up the rankings to become one of the best possible options for the next meta.

This move is the real deal, and even though it guarantees a self-debuff, it's enough to turn the tables on the likes of Dialga, it's that strong.

The good news is that, having been subject to a Community Day and around since the start of Pokémon Go, Dragonite is going to be available for most players who want to try the new spice. The bad news is basically that last sentence all over again. So, if you don't want to run one, make sure you pack something like Togekiss, Zacia, Lugia, Metagross or Gyarados that can take down this fan favourite.

If you’re curious as to if you should run a Shadow Dragonite instead of a normal one, you should not.

Mewtwo

Type: Psychic
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Psycho Cut (Fast), Psystrike (Event Exclusive Charged), Shadow Ball (Event Exclusive Charged)
Mewtwo weaknesses: Bug, Dark, Ghost

Despite Mewtwo once standing as one of the most exclusive Legendaries in the game with its EX Raid debut, chances are you've gone out of your way to get a Mewtwo over the years, and unsurprisingly, it fares well in the Master League.

With its max CP of 4724, it also has the highest CP of any meta-relevant Pokémon.

Previously, there was debate over the best ways to build a Mewtwo, with the ideal choice coming down to whether you had the Shadow variant running Ice Beam or the regular version running Focus Blast. Don't worry about all that now because we're running with the what is simply the best across both now – Psystrike and the anti-psychic tech, Shadow Ball.

The Mewtwo mirror match may spring to mind, but the Shadow Ball is actually there to take down Lugia, the front-runner for top of the meta.

There is a third variant here, the Armored Mewtwo, but it is ironically weaker than the other two options thanks to its much worse moveset, so we would advise against running it in the Master League.

Lugia

Type: Psychic / Flying
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Dragon Tail (Fast), Sky Attack (Charged), Aeroblast (Event Exclusive Charged)
Lugia weaknesses: Dark, Electric, Ghost, Ice, Rock

Despite Lugia’s very unfortunate set of weaknesses, it is an incredible choice in the Master League thanks to its extreme bulk and the pressure it puts on opponents to burn through their shields.

The incredibly powerful Aeroblast makes it a great attacker, although its very limited move set does hold it back, slightly.

At this point, it is considered to be the top pick for most powerful Pokémon going into the new meta, but note that there’s still a minor difference between the Shadow and regular Lugia in terms of matchups. The Shadow variant is now slightly worse off, losing to Zekrom, Yveltal and Excadrill. The regular version will lose to Metagross, Mewtwo and Gyarados, with both getting wrecked by Dialga and Giratina Origin. Whichever one you run, make sure you know when to swap out

Metagross

Type: Steel / Psychic
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Bullet Punch (Fast), Meteor Mash (Community Day exclusive Charged), Earthquake (Charged)
Metagross weaknesses: Fire, Ground, Ghost, Dark

With steel proving very effective in the Master league, having the best Pokemon of its type - Metagross - comes in handy.

Metagross will work well against Dialga and Mewtwo, along with fliers like Tokegiss and Lugia. However, it quickly folds against fire (Heatran) and ground types (Garchomp and Groudon).

Though Flash Cannon is effective, to have Metagross at its best, you'll want Meteor Mash, its Community Day exclusive move.

Kyogre

Type: Water
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Waterfall (Fast), Surf (Charged), Blizzard (Charged)
Kyogre weaknesses: Electric, Grass

Kyogre is another Legendary which stands out for its raw strength and bulk alone.

It's also, as far as Legendaries go, been relatively common - so chances are you have one if you've been playing Pokémon long enough.

Though its water-typing doesn't seem particularly useful in the current meta, it is mostly on this list because of its matchups against Metagross, Togekiss, Garchomp and Groudon, along with Snorlax and Mamoswine. However, it will lose hard to Giratina, Mewtwo, Dragonite and Dialga, making it as risky as it is rewarding.

Groudon

Type: Ground
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Mud Shot (Fast), Fire Punch (Event Exclusive Charged), Earthquake (Charged)
Groudon weaknesses: Grass, Ice, Water

Are you tired of steel-types in this meta? Groudon has you covered, taking down Metagross and Dialga, while also squarely beating Zekrom and Garchomp.

Of course, the downside is that it has its own weaknesses, including Mewtwo, Yveltal, Togekiss and its generational other half, Kyogre.

Giratina is an interesting matchup, so be careful if you run into it. Both are close, but luckily Garchomp will often beat the more common forme in this meta (Altered), while losing to the rarer Origin forme.

Garchomp

Type: Dragon / Ground
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Mud Shot (Fast), Outrage (Charged), Earth Power (Charged)
Garchomp weaknesses: Fairy, Dragon, Ice (double weakness)

Thanks to last year’s Gible Community Day, Earth Power Garchomps are now a dime a dozen. Given the incredible strength of this move it’s no surprise to see it here.

You'll notice Garchomp has a familiar typing, dragon and ground. Garchomp doesn't excel in either type against others on this list, but as something which can handle itself well in battle, Garchomp is a great all-rounder to have in reserve, especially if you can equip it with both Outrage and Earth Power charged moves to give you plenty of options. It is, at the very least, an excellent Metagross and Melmetal counter.

Ultimately, be aware of its weaknesses, many of which are prominent in the meta - so make sure you keep it well away from a Lugia, Zacian or Togekess if they show up. Garchomp, however, does make up for that with excellent resistance to electric-type attacks.

Togekiss

Type: Fairy / Flying
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Charm (fast), Ancient Power (Charged) and Flamethrower (Charged)
Togekiss weaknesses: Poison, Steel, Rock, Ice, Electric

Togekiss is another Ultra League favourite that translates to a very strong Master League showing, and the recent buff to Ancient Power isn't something that Togekiss-users are going to complain about.

This is because Togekiss is an excellent dragon-type counter - its fairy fast move Charge can make short work of some of the other dominant Pokémon in this list, like Garchomp, Dragonite and Giratina, and fighting-types such as Machamp with ease, while Ancient Power is a good counter to edge out another Togekiss.

Flamethrower, meanwhile, is helpful if you need to counter steel-types - which it's weak against.

Togekiss is the best fairy-type in the game, and also relatively easy to get your hands on - chances are you've hatched a few in Eggs over the years - and pretty cheap to level up and add a second charge move on provided you do it in its early evolution stages.

Mamoswine

Type: Ice / Ground
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Powder Snow (Fast), Bulldoze (Charged), Avalanche (Charged)
Mamoswine weaknesses: Fighting, Fire, Grass, Steel, Water

In a meta with Pokemon with several ice weaknesses (Giratina, Togekiss) and ground weaknesses (Dialga), Mamoswine's dual typing positions it as a very effective counter.

Mamoswine's dual typing also has a disadvantage - more weaknesses. This means the steel-types it's strong against can damage it easily, as well as the mighty Kyogre, which you're still likely to come up against.

Ultimately, it's a very good counter pick - especially when you factor in pre-evolution Swinub being a fairly common creature to make it a cost effective option.


Currently available is the Astral Eclipse event, which brings the A Cosmic Companion special research quest of the Season of Light to a close. You can also finally evolve Cosmoem into Solgaleo or Lunala! Elsewhere, be sure to use Daily Adventure Incense for the chance of encountering Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos and Galarian Moltres.


Dialga

Type: Steel / Dragon
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Dragon Breath (Fast), Iron Head (Charged), Draco Meteor (Charged)
Dialga weaknesses: Fighting, Ground

The former undisputed king of the meta, Dialga was everywhere in the Master League last time it was here; you either run one, or you run something that will take it down, like Groudon, Mewtwo, Metagross or Garchomp.

Dialga is still a top-tier pick, but it's no longer the be all and end all, so don't worry if you don't have one.

If you are planning to run one, make sure you invest your hard-earned candy into the best possible Dialga; the sheer volume here means that you will likely run into the mirror, which in turn means that it’s often a straight battle of who has the best IVs.

Dialga is another Legendary with the right moves, typing (steel is generally very useful in competitive play) and the strength to roll over the vast majority of Pokémon it comes up against.

That said, expect to see well-rounded teams with fighting or ground moves to still be a threat against it.

Giratina (Altered ideally, but Origin is great, too)

Type: Ghost / Dragon
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Giratina Altered moves: Shadow Claw (Fast), Dragon Claw (Charged), Ancient Power (Charged)
Giratina Origin moves: Shadow Claw (Fast), Shadow Ball (Charged), Ominous Wind (Charged)
Giratina weaknesses: Dark, Dragon, Ghost, Ice, Fairy

Not only does Giratina rule the Ultra League, but it stands tall in the Master League as well. It had slipped down in the rankings over recent years, but the recent rebalancing jas thrust Giratina Altered back into the spotlight, and now both of them are considered very strong options for your team.

Giratina is, put simply, incredibly powerful, leaning on its brute strength and ghost / dragon-types to take down most other creatures in a straight match up. Though you'll want to go after the Altered forme if you have the option, Origin is still a welcome alternative.

And the rebalancing has been particularly kind to Giratina Altered, as the boost to Ancient Power now lets it beat both Gyarados and Togekiss, which is massive.

Giratina is a Legendary and until it reappears in Raids or weekly Research, cannot be found easily without trading.

With the meta forming around Giratina, expect to come up against plenty of counters against it (which is most of the choices on this page) so though it's a popular choice for a reason, going against the meta by not using it also makes sense - so don't worry if you don't have one available.

Reshiram

Type: Dragon / Fire
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Dragon Breath (Fast), Crunch (Charged), Overheat (Charged)
Reshiram weaknesses: Dragon, Ground, Rock

Like Zekrom, Reshiram is an excellent option in the Master League, making short work of Metagross, Yveltal, Togekiss and Giratina.

However, the same issues stand in terms of its weakness to Ice Beam Mewtwo.

It’s also worth noting that while Reshiram should beat Dialga on paper (fire vs steel), Dialga’s bulk will often win the day. It also loses to Garchomp and Dragonite, which we expect to see a lot of.

Zekrom

Type: Dragon / Electric
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Dragon Breath (Fast), Crunch (Charged), Wild Charge (Charged)
Zekrom weaknesses: Dragon, Fairy, Ground, Ice

If you’re looking for an electric-type to take down all of the fliers you’re seeing, Zekrom is the one to watch. There is an argument for Charge Beam as the fast move to further speed this up, but the dominance of dragon-types means that Dragon Breath is, on balance, the better move to run with.

Crunch is an excellent option against psychic-types like Lugia and Metagross.

Genesect (Chill Drive)

Type: Bug, Steel
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Fury Cutter (Fast), Techno Blast (Chill) (Charged), X-Scissor (Charged)
Groudon weaknesses: Fire

What's at the top of the meta? Dragons. What do dragons hate? Ice. What do we have here? Ice, ice, buggy.

Vanilla jokes aside, Fury Cutter is incredibly fast charging and Techno Blast (Chill) is a demon against Dragonite and Garchomp. The trick is to charge up to Techno Blast and then hit the opponenet with a couple of X-Scissors to burn away their shields. If they're out of shields, they get the nuclear winter option.

There are a couple of downsides to Genesect – first and foremost being the extreme weakness to fire, so do not let it do toe-to-toe with anything even remotely warm.

The second issue is simply that it's less bulky than other things in the meta, so do be aware that it can't take the same number of hits as the rest of the meta. Make sure you pair this pick with something a little tankier.

Florges

Type: Fairy
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Fairy Wind (Fast), Disarming Voice (Charged), Moonblast (Charged)
Groudon weaknesses: Poison, Steel

If you want to go all-in on the fairy types, Florges is the way to go. Running three Fairy moves, you're going to absolsultely destroy Dragonite and Garchomp, while also taking down the likes of Gyarados, Zacian and Giratina Origin; but, with this level of inflexibility, you're playing extreme rock, paper scissors if the typings aren't in your favour. Metagross, for example, will tear through Florges incredibly quickly, as will Excadrill, Kyogre, Dialga and Mewtwo.

Before Florges gained access to Fairy Wind, thanks to the move shake-up, Vine Whip would have been the way to go. But this new move means that Florges can now take down Lugia, Giratina Origin, and Zacian — all of which we expect to be pretty big in this meta. Is it enough to make it meta relevant? There's never been a better time to find out, so if you're a Florges fan, you know what to do.

Yveltal

Type: Dark / Flying
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Snarl (Fast), Dark Pulse (Charged), Focus Blast (Community Day Exclusive Charged)
Yveltal weaknesses: Electric, Fairy, Ice, Rock

Yveltal’s arrival on the scene has helped beat out Darkrai from the meta. It is far more accessible, thanks to its higher frequency in raids, and performs better as a dark-type attacker, to boot.

Its combination of bulk and spamminess is something that we have come to love in Go Battle League. With this Pokémon in particular, this combo makes it lethal against Mewtwo, Giratina, Groudon, Dialga and Garchomp - all of whom are on this list.

Beware the fairy-type, however - Togekiss and Zacian will quickly wreck an Yveltal, as will Dragonite, which we're expecting to quickly dominate the meta.

Zacian

Type: Fairy
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Quick Attack (Fast), Close Combat (Charged), Play Rough (Charged)
Groudon weaknesses: Poison, Steel

Zacian is an interesting choice, as Quick Attack allows for fast charging, but it's STAB move, Play Rough, takes a lot of energy. It hits hard, but it takes a lot of energy to do so.

The cheaper move, Close Combat, comes with a -2 Def self-debuff, which obviously creates issues. If you'd prefer to run Wild Charge instead of Close Combat, they're basically the same thing, just with a different type flavouring — it all depends on what you think you'll run into.

Whichever move you run, this spammy, bulky Pokémon is sure to be a hit, with the ability to take down the obvious Dragonite and Garchomp, and even Gyarados and Togekiss!

Melmetal

Type: Steel
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Thunder Shock (Fast), Rock Slide (Charged), Superpower (Charged)
Melmetal weaknesses: Fighting, Fire, Ground

Despite being a steel-type Pokémon, Melmetal's strengths come from how it can use fighting, rock and electric-type moves.

Thunder Shock will allow you to cause quick damage to any Pokémon that are weak to electric-type moves, such as water Pokémon. The mixture of charged fighting and rock-type moves gives Melmetal an advantage over other useful Pokémon in the Master League, such as Snorlax.

Fortunately, gaining a Melmetal is much, much easier than it used to be. Historically, you would have to complete the Let's Go Meltan special Research quest or transfer to a Let’s Go game to access the Mystery Box. Now that everyone has access to this item without owning a separate game, Melmetal is much more accessible than it used to be.

Good luck in the Master League!

About the Author

Matthew Reynolds avatar

Matthew Reynolds

Managing Editor

Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer.net. When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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