Skip to main content

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 a number of weeks in every Go Battle League season of Pokémon Go, 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:

Watch as battle Guzzlord - one of the Ultra Beasts in Pokémon GoWatch on YouTube

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).

Watch on YouTube

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 think 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 June 2024, 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

Dragonite remains one of the top picks for Master League, both in its regular and Shadow form.

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. Running the move Superpower previously allowed Dragonite to shoot up the rankings, and hold its position as the strongest pseudo-legendary Pokémon in the meta.

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 Xerneas, Zacian, Dialga, Lugia Ho-Oh 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. Shadow Dragonite is still a total beater, but the regular version wins more matches in the long run.

Shadow 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 picked up a few Mewtwo over the years. While it was once top of the league, it’s no longer the very best. It’s still excellent, but it’s far from being a must-run Pokémon in 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 Necrozma and Solgaleo, the front-runners for best Psychic-types in Master League.

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.

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

While its cousin, Kyogre, has fallen from grace (and this list), Groudon stands tall as one of the top picks for this meta. Its 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 Dialga to Mewtwo, Xerneas and even Giratina.

Of course, the downside is that it has its own weaknesses, including Dragonite and fellow Ground-type and powerhouse Therian Landorus. If you’re a fan of its eternal nemesis, Kyogre, you can obviously beat Groudon there, too.


The Shared Skies Season is here! Currently, the Scorching Steps event is running in Pokémon Go. 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 (Origin)

Type: Steel / Dragon
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Dragon Breath (Fast), Iron Head (Charged), Roar of Time (Legacy Charged)
Weaknesses: Fighting, Ground

The former undisputed king of the meta, Dialga was once everything in the Master League last time; you either had to run one or run something that will take it down - ideally both.

Dialga is still a top-tier pick, but it’s no longer the be all and end all, and is worse than its newer counterpart, Origin-forme Dialga.

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.

Palkia (Origin)

Type: Water / Dragon
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Dragon Breath (Fast), Aqua Tail (Charged), Spatial Rend (Legacy Charged)
Weaknesses: Dragon, Fairy

Sure, Dialga might be cool and all, but Palkia has dethroned its cousin as the top of the meta. Origin-forme Palkia is the new king.

Origin Palkia affords a spammy, dynamic Pokémon that lays down both Fast Move and Shield pressure. If you don’t have an Origin-forme, you can use a regular Palkia with Draco Meteor to great effect, but be aware that this move will nuke your own attack stat, making it a much more difficult Pokémon to use expertly.

There really is a lot to be said for simply spamming the opponent to death.

Dialga is still a top-tier pick, but it’s no longer the be all and end all, and is worse than its newer counterpart, Origin-forme Dialga.

If you’re planning on running an Origin Palkia, be aware that you will lose to the following Pokémon: Xerneas, Togekiss, Dialga, Zacian and Lugia.

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.

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.

Landorus (Therian)

Type: Ground/Flying
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Mud Shot (Fast), Sandsear Storm (Legacy Charged), Stone Edge (Charged)
Weaknesses: Ice (double-weak) and Water

Skycat Landorus, as it is fondly known, has taken Groudon’s title as the top Ground-type Pokémon. Lando Catrissian’s signature move, Sandsear Storm, is an absolute beating, and is essential if you want to win. It is cheap, does decent damage and - most importantly - is guaranteed to drop the enemy’s attack by a single stage. This easily makes up for its relative lack of bulk and even its volatility when going against those tricksy Pokémon with non-STAB Ice-type attacks. However, if you see Kyurem come to tangle, you know what to do…

Dragonite, however, is Therian Landorus’s biggest threat, so be sure to switch out if you see it coming. Beyond that, Kyogre, Lugia, Mewtwo and Giratina Origin are your biggest issues. Wins will come from Excadrill, Zacian, Ho-Oh, Dialga and Groudon.

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, proved 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 Kyogre, Giratina Origin, Swampert, Mewtwo and Therian Landorus. Garchomp. Losses come from Lugia, Dialga, Dragonite, Excadrill and Ho-Oh, some of which are still meta-relevant.

Meloetta

Type: Normal/Psychic
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Quick Attack (Fast), Psyshock (Charged), Dazzling Gleam(Charged)
Weaknesses: Bug and Dark

Sometimes you don’t want to think about types and match-ups. Sometimes you just want a Pokémon to go out there and wallop the other Pokémon.

If this is you, we present Meloetta - a Normal type that runs a fast-charging Fast Move, that gets you into a quick Psyshock or a Fairy-type nuke to sort out all those Dragons running amok.

If you do want to know the match-ups, however, we have you sorted. Wins come from Giratina Origin, Mewtwo, Dragonite, Therian Landorus and Kyogre. Losses, meanwhile, come from Ho-Oh, Dialga, Lugia, Zacian and Melmetal.

Zygarde (Complete)

Type: Dragon/Ground
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Dragon Tail (Fast), Crunch (Charged), Earthquake(Charged)
Weaknesses: Ice (double-weak), Dragon and Fairy

First of all, if you have a Complete Zygarde, congratulations - your efforts in interacting with the stupid Routes feature mean you already deserve to win.

Complete Zygarde is a bulky, dynamic Pokémon that applies a good deal of Fast Move pressure. If you haven’t completed Zygarde, however, the 10% forme is completely unplayable, and the 50% form is mediocre - it has better defense, but it completely lacks the bulk and has worse attack.

In combat, Complete-forme Zygarde racks up wins against Giratina (Origin), Mewtwo, Therian Landorus, Dragonite and Kyogre. However, be aware that some of can those run Ice-type attacks. They don’t tend to, but if you see someone switch into one of those Pokémon while you have this Pokémon out, you’ll need to make a judgement; either push for the win and have a shield ready, or switch to another Pokémon you know can win.

A maxed-out Zygarde will also lose to the following Pokémon: Xerneas, Togekiss, Mamoswine, Dialga and Lugia.

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 Xerneas, Dialga, Dragonite, Excadrill and Lugia. It will lose, however, to Giratina Origin, Therian Landorus, Ho-Oh, Kyogre and Mewtwo.

Necrozma (Dawn Wings)

Type: Psychic/ Ghost
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Shadow Claw (Fast), Moongeist Beam (Legacy Charged), Dark Pulse (Charged)
Weaknesses: Dark and Ghost (both double-weak)

While Lunala somewhat bad in Master League, it is a lot, lot better when it is powering up a Necrozma. And what Dusk Wings Necrozma does, it does at full tilt. If offers Fast Move and Shield pressure on a bulky Pokémon with dynamic attacks. It is, however, susceptible to two double-weaknesses.

So, this is max risk, max reward Pokémon. Used properly, you can exploit moves like Moongeist Beam to do tremendous damage. However, you need to know when to switch out.

Yveltal, for example, can ruin your day pretty quickly. Complete Zygarde, Giratina Origin, Mewtwo and Gyarados can all roundly defeat Necrozma, too.

That said, this Pokémon clearly has some decent wins under its belt for it to sit at the top of the meta. If you run Dawn Wings Necrozma, you can look forward to wins against Ho-Oh, Therian Landorus, Kyogre, Dialga and Dragonite.

Good luck in the Master League!

Read this next