The Psychic Cup is here! As with the recent Fighting Cup, this Pokémon Go Go Battle League special cup comes with heavy restrictions. So, if you’re ready to find out if you have both the brains and the brawn to win, now’s the time to start looking at the best Psychic Cup team in Pokémon Go.
As usual with these cups, the rules of the Great League in Pokémon Go apply here – but with the usual twist hinted at in the name. Not only do you have to come up with the most effective team possible at 1500 CP and under, but: only psychic-type Pokémon are allowed, with the only other ruling being that Mew is banned.
If you’re looking for other Go Battle League recommendations, see our Ultra League page.
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Things to know about putting together a Psychic Cup team in Pokémon Go
The obvious downside to this specific cup is that the pool of eligible choices is only 92 Pokémon deep – and that’s including the utterly useless ones like Spoink. Five more Pokémon have been added to this pool since it was last here in September 2022, and Spoink is still the worst one. Do not run Spoink. Spoink is bad.
So, how do you pick Pokémon for an element-based cup? It starts and ends with what that type is weak and resistant to. Psychic-types are resistant to fighting and psychic-type attacks, so don't bring those – you'll be fighing an uphill battle. As a result, your Psystrike Shadow Mewtwo is actually pretty awful in this cup.
Next we need to look at what weaknesses we can exploit. Psychic types are weak to bug, dark and ghost-type attacks, but with bugs being so spectacularly weak in the game, it's really just the dark and ghost attacks you need to consider. This means that your ideal team will either be resistant to those, thanks to a dual typing, or lean into them with their attacks – Bronzong and Malamar are great examples of these.
There is only one Mythical Pokémon to seriously consider here: Victini. This is an incredible Pokémon in this meta, but, to date, there's only one you could have picked up, and that's if you completed the Investigate a Mysterious Energy special research quest.
Beyond that, the Legendary Pokémon Cresselia, Shadow Lugia are and Shadow Latios are usable, but they don't quite make the top 10, so don't worry about them if you don't have them. You can easily be competitive in this meta without any rare Pokémon at all.
Remember, although there are specific Pokémon that dominate this meta, 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 1500 CP cap as possible.
The Season of Timeless Travels has arrived in Pokémon Go! During it, take the time to try out Routes and Party Play while you're hunting down rare Pokémon, fighting in the Go Battle League or competing in PokéStop Showcases.
Our Pokémon Go Psychic Cup recommendations
There is no single ‘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 Pokémon species.
Instead, here is a general list of recommended Psychic Cup 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. Plus, even if you don't have a Victini, you can still be very competitive in this cup, as (for once) none of our picks have any exclusive or Community Day moves. As long as you have the Pokémon and enough resources to power it up, you should be good to go!
Remember 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 defense. For example, if you build a team with all mono-psychic types, anything with a move like Foul Play will just destroy your team.
It’s also worth noting that if you want to really compete, each of your Pokémon need two Charged moves. If you want to skimp on Stardust and only run the one move, do so at your own peril – you have been warned.
Our Pokémon Go Psychic Cup team recommendations in order of their appearance in the National Pokédex — while there is some overlap with the Great League guide, make sure you read the full entry as we may be recommending some move changes:
Type: Electric / Psychic
Weakness: Bug, Dark, Ghost and Ground
Recommended IVs: 1/15/15
Recommended Moves: Volt Switch (Fast), Wild Charge (Charged), Thunder Punch (Charged)
Alolan Raichu, the answer to ‘What if Raichu used Surf?’, is a surprisingly strong choice in this meta, especially given its move set, with wins against Victini, Galarian Slowbro, Galarian Rapidash, Bronzong and Medicham. The upside to running triple-electric is that, with the notable exception of Claydol (the only Ground-type Pokémon in the meta), nothing is particularly resistant to this move set, helping you get neutral STAB at the very least.
Looking to the quality of the moves, Volt Switch is decent, and the combo with Thunder Punch means Alolan Raichu applies both Fast move pressure and shield pressure. Throw in the self-debuff Wild Charge ‘hail Mary’ for the win, and you have a decent contender in the Psychic Cup meta.
Of course, this Pokémon is not without its drawbacks: for all its spamminess, it’s also very glassy and has long attack animations, making it a little clumsy to use. Add in an ill-timed Wild Charge, which will massively drop your defence, and you can see why Alolan Raichu can be difficult to use correctly.
Type: Psychic / Fairy
Weaknesses: Ghost, Poison and Steel
Recommended IVs: 0/13/15
Recommended Moves: Fairy Wind (Fast), Megahorn (Charged), Body Slam (Charged)
Despite Galarian Rapidash being a bit of a glass cannon, the combo of the spammy, Fairy Wind Fast move, which charges the Bug-type nuke Megahorn very quickly, this psychic pony is an excellent pick in this meta.
This bug-type attack may seem a little left-field, especially given how there are no Bug-type Pokémon allowes in this cup, making it a great move that can catch opponents unaware.
If the opponent still has shields to burn, make sure you spam body slam to burn through them as quickly as you can. With this combo of attacks, Galarian Rapidash is a force to be reckoned with.
Type: Psychic / Fairy
Weaknesses: Ghost, Poison and Steel
Recommended IVs: 0/15/15
Recommended Moves: Charm (Fast), Shadow Ball (Charged), Dazzling Gleam (Charged)
There are two levels to the metagame. The first level is bringing Pokémon to counter the strongest Pokémon – in this case, Dark-types to beat the psychic-types.
Then there’s the second level, which is bringing Pokémon to beat the Pokémon brought in to beat the psychic-types. Fairy beats dark, which beats psychic. Gardevoir, with its double-fairy attacks, is therefore an excellent choice for Psychic Cup.
The obvious upside is that Charm is phenomenal. It hits hard, applying a lot of pressure. If you run into something that isn’t weak to fairies, Shadow Ball will destroy most other Pokémon you’ll run across.
The downside is that Gardevoir is slow while also being a glass cannon, which is not ideal to say the least. So, the trick is to lean in here and choose the Shadow version if you can. Still, when it destroys Malamar, Galarian Rapidash and Alolan Raichu, even the regular version is a solid pick for this cup.
Type: Fighting / Psychic
Weaknesses: Fairy, Flying and Ghost
Recommended IVs: 0/15/15
Recommended Moves: Counter (Fast), Ice Punch (Charged), Dynamic Punch (Charged)
“Wait, what? You're recommending two Fighting-type moves in the Psychic Cup?” Yes, we are. Stay with us.
Obviously this is a bad choice against a solid chunk of the meta – Gardevoire, Glarian Rapidash, Alolan Rachi, Victini and even Wobbuffet laugh in the face of such hubris. Plus, given that everything is Psychic here, Medicham isn’t going to be landing super effective hits against anything other than a Grass, Flying or Dragon type.
However, if you stop and take a look at the rest of the meta — Bronzong, Malamar, Bruxish, Claydol and even the odd Jirachi – you’ll see a whole bunch of Pokémon you can beat.
So, what do you do when your opponent sides into their Malamar? You laugh and side into your Medicham, and beat the tar out of the Dark type with one of the best Pokémon in open Great League. Granted Malamar isn’t weak against Fighting, thanks to its Psychic coverage, but there’s a lot to be said for dishing out rapid, heavy, neutral STAB damage. Medicham is a match-up that most things that lose Fighting resistance due to their second typing will not not be looking farward to.
Type: Steel / Psychic
Weakness: Dark, Fire, Ghost and Ground
Recommended IVs: 0/15/14
Moves: Feint Attack (Fast), Payback (Charged), Heavy Slam (Charged)
The double dark-type moves on Bronzong, coupled with its incredible defence stat, make this a very bulky, very defensive Pokémon that can both hunker down and nuke the opponent at the same time. While it may not be the fastest Pokémon, this matters far less when you can take this many hits.
Needless to say, this combo takes down pretty much all of the mono-psychic types, though it loses to Malamar, Victini, Bruxish and even Alolan Raichu.
Type: Psychic / Fire
Weakness: Dark, Ghost, Ground, Rock and Water
Recommended IVs: 10/15/13
Recommended Moves: Quick Attack (Fast), V-Create (Charged), Psychic (Charged)
You either have a Victini or you don’t; either way, it’s one of the highest-rated Pokémon in the Psychic Cup, so you should strongly consider running it if you do.
Although it doesn’t run any moves that psychic-types are weak against, the fire-type attacks make short work of Bronzong and Metagross – two Pokémon you should expect to see in this meta – and the spammy quick attack coupled with two fast-charging Charged moves applies enough shield pressure to take down Gardevoir, Galarian Rapidash and even Malamar.
The real downside here is trying to get two charged moves and power it up enough to be usable. Being as rare as it is, you probably won’t have the candy to unlock a second charge move, making it a tricky choice for an already technical Pokémon. Do you run V-Create, which will drop your defence by three stages, or Psychic, which is more expensive, doesn’t hit as hard, but has a low chance to drop the opponent’s defence? Ideally you should run both, but it’s going to cost you a lot of Rare Candy if you do!
Type: Dark / Psychic
Weakness: Bug and Fairy
Recommended IVs: 0/15/9
Recommended Moves: Psycho Cut (Fast), Foul Play (Charged), Superpower (Charged)
This spammy, volatile Pokémon is pretty phenomenal in this meta, and made huge waves last time this cup rolled around. It’s just good – with spammy, dynamic moves that apply a lot of shield pressure, it is going to be great in this meta.
The only thing to be wary of is the extreme weakness to bug-type attacks (though this is unlikely to come up), and its weakness to fairy-type attacks, making it fold pretty hard to Gardevoir and Galarian Rapidash (which runs the only bug-type move on this list). Still, it’s a great closer, with Psycho Cut’s fast charging helping you get that last Charged move in for a sneaky win.
Type: Water / Psychic
Weaknesses: Bug, Dark, Electric, Ghost and Grass
Recommended IVs: 0/15/15
Recommended Moves: Bite (Fast), Aqua Tail (Charged), Psychic Fangs (Charged)
New fish on the block Bruxish is ready to make a splash in Pokémon Go! This agile Pokémon is ready to lay down massive Fast move pressure thanks to the Dark-type move Bite. The downside is that while Bite hits hard, isn’t fast-charging enough to make even the cheapest of Charged moves apply much shield pressure.
If you can get a couple of Charged attacks in, Psychic Fangs has the bonus of dropping the opponent’s defence by one stage, whereas Aqua Tail hits harder for the same energy.
In terms of match-ups, look forward to beaing Victini, Claydol, Alolan Raichi, Galarian Slowbro and Bronzong. Malamar, meanwhile, is at the top of the list of losses, along with Medicham, Gardevoire, Galarian Rapidash and Wobbuffet.
Psychic Cup end date in Pokémon Go
The Psychic Cup will run until Thursday, 22nd March 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 Psychic Cup!