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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:

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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).

Cover image for YouTube videoPokémon Go PvP gameplay: Distance battle against an Ultra Friend

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 Dragonite to Zacian

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 July 2023, in National Pokédex order:

Dragonite

Type: Dragon / Flying
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Dragon Breath (Fast), Dragon Claw (Charged), Superpower (Charged)
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, Zacian, 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 (Legacy Charged), Shadow Ball (Legacy Charged)
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 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 (Legacy Charged)
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 in the 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

Kyogre

Type: Water
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Waterfall (Fast), Surf (Charged), Origin Pulse (Charged)
Weaknesses: Electric, Grass

Kyogre is another Legendary which stands out for its raw strength and bulk alone - and the addition of its signature move, Origin Pulse, certainly didn’t hurt.

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

Though its Water-typing isn’t massively useful in the current meta, it is mostly on this list because of its matchups against Metagross, Zacian, Garchomp and Groudon, along with Mewtwo and Gyarados. However, it will lose hard to Zekrom, Dragonite, Rayquaza, Dialga and Giratina, making it as risky as it is rewarding.

Groudon

Type: Ground
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Mud Shot (Fast), Fire Punch (Legacy Charged), Precipice Blades (Legacy Charged)
Weaknesses: Grass, Ice, Water

The addition of Groudon’s signature move, Precipice Blades, was a massive boon for this Pokémon, helping it resolutely take down some of the biggest threats in the meta, from Metagross and Dialga to Mewtwo, Zacian and Garchomp. Groudon is now very, very good in Master League.

Of course, the downside is that it has its own weaknesses, including Dragonite, Gyarados, Lugia, Yveltal and, of course, its eternal nemesis, Kyogre.

Mamoswine

Type: Ice / Ground
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Powder Snow (Fast), Bulldoze (Charged), Avalanche (Charged)
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.


The World of Wonders season has come to Pokémon Go, giving you the chance to catch Poipole. Don't forget to try out Routes, Gift Exchange and Party Play while you're hunting down rare Pokémon, fighting in the Go Battle League or competing in PokéStop Showcases.


Dialga

Type: Steel / Dragon
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Dragon Breath (Fast), Iron Head (Charged), Draco Meteor (Charged)
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)
Weaknesses: Dark, Dragon, Ghost, Ice, Fairy

Not only does Giratina rule the Ultra League, but it stands tall in the Master League as well.

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)
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.

Kyurem

Type: Dragon/Ice
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Dragon Breath (Fast), Glaciate (Legacy Charged), Dragon Claw (Charged)
Weaknesses: Dragon, Fairy, Fighting, Rock and Steel

The addition of Glaciate, Kyurem’s signature move, is essential to this Pokémon’s standing in Master League — a meta dominated by Pokémon weak to Ice-type moves. Glaciate dropping the opponents attack by one stage with each hit is pure, ice-cold, gravy.

Kyurem offers a spammy, dynamic Pokémon that can apply a lot of Fast move pressure, while also keeping the dragons in check. Just be aware that with five weaknesses, you need to know your match-ups, and switch into Kyurem when it suits you, and out when it doesn’t.

On that note, you can expect wins against Giratina, Swampert, Mewtwo, Gyarados and Garchomp. Losses come from Zacian, Lugia, Dialga, Dragonite and Excadrill.

Florges

Type: Fairy
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Fairy Wind (Fast), Disarming Voice (Charged), Moonblast (Charged)
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 absolutely 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)
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.

Solgaleo

Type: Psychic/ Steel
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Fire Spin (Fast), Psychic Fangs (Charged), Iron Head (Charged)
Weaknesses: Dark, Fire, Ghost and Ground

Despite what it looks like, and its name, Solgaleo is not a Fire-type.

What it is is an extremely bulky Psychic/Steel-type that applies Fast move and shield pressure with a suite of spammy attacks.

Fire Spin is just a decent all-round move. Psychic Fangs is a relatively cheap attack that guarantees the opponent’s defense will fall by a single stage. Iron Head offers a nice bit of coverage, and an alternative once you’ve sent the opponent’s defences through the floor.

A maxed-out Solgaleo enjoys wins against Zacian, Dialga, Dragonite, Excadrill and Gyarados. It will lose, however, to Giratina, Garchomp, Metagross, Lugia and Mewtwo.

Zacian

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

Good luck in the Master League!