It’s time for another interlude cup in Go Battle League of Pokémon Go. This time it’s the Summer Cup, so if you’re enjoying all that these sunny months are bringing in the world of Pokémon Go, now is the time to start building a reliable team
The rules of the Great League in Pokémon Go apply here - but as always with a bit of a twist. Not only do you have to come up with the most effective team possible at 1500 CP and under, but you have to do so with huge type restrictions: only normal, fire, water, grass, electric and bug-type Pokémon are allowed.
Things to know about putting together a Summer Cup team in Pokémon Go
The upside to the 1500 CP limit is that, like the Great League, putting a team together is relatively cheap and easier in terms of Stardust.
One of the best things about these cups is being forced to pick from a narrow pool of Pokémon. Restrictions, as they say, breed creativity.
Unlike more shallow pools, like the Flying Cup, three of these Pokémon types form a natural Rock- Paper-Scissors. This means we need to look at the other three to remind ourselves of their weaknesses.
Normal, of course is weak to fighting-type attacks, electric-types are weak to ground-type attacks and bug-types are weak to fire, flying and rock-types.
This means that normal-type Pokémon, with their single weakness, will likely be quite popular, whereas grass-type, which are weak to fire and bug-types, as well as flying and ice-types, will probably be fairly easy to beat.
Bear this in mind while building your team!
Though there are fewer Legendaries and Mythicals to consider (though one or two are worth exploring) you’ll be leaning on more common catches which, given the restrictions, start to shine.
And, if you don’t have our recommended Great League choices, chances are you can find them pretty easily in the wild. 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 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 Summer Cup recommendations
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 Summer 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.
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 two bugs and a Bulbasaur, a single Blaziken could ruin your day.
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 Summer 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 we will be recommending some move changes:
Type: Fire / Ghost
Recommended moves: Fire Spin (Fast), Shadow Bone (Exclusive/Charged), Bone Club (Charged)
Alolan Marowak Weaknesses: Dark, ghost, ground, rock and water
It’s little surprise that one of the best fire-type Pokémon in Great League makes an appearance here. As spammy as it is flexible and dynamic, Alolan Marowak is a Pokémon with few weaknesses beyond its typings.
Speaking of which, given its resistance to normal, bug, grass and fire, it is an excellent choice for this meta. Since it’s incredibly weak to water, as a result, you should really pair it with something like Pachirisu, Trevenant or Abomasnow to cover your bases.
Last, but not least, given how tanky this Pokémon is, you really should run the Shadow variant if you have it, as it vastly outperforms its non-Shadow equivalent. If you don’t have one, no worries, but it will make a huge difference if you do.
Recommended moves: Lick (Fast), Body Slam (Exclusive/Charged), Power Whip (Charged)
Lickitung Weaknesses: Fighting
Normal should not be conflated with average – in Pokémon Go it simply means it’s weak only fighting-type attacks and resistant to ghost-type attacks.
Given the complete lack of truly excellent Pokémon that can counter it (pun intended), Lickitung tends to really shine in restricted metas such as the Summer Cup.
Despite the lack of fighting types, Lick is still the way to go because your other option (Zen Headbutt) is just bad. Power Whip is there as slight elemental coverage, but Body Slam is the stand-out heavy hitter.
If you have one, Lickitung is an excellent addition to your team thanks to its bulk, spamminess and lack of real weaknesses.
Type: Electric / Flying
Recommended moves: Thunder Shock (Fast/Exclusive), Thunderbolt (Charged), Drill Peck (Charged)
Zapdos Weaknesses: Ice, rock
Those of you who played the recent Flying cup will remember the glass cannons that are Zapdos and Shadow Zapdos, with the latter being the better, and therefore the glassier of the two.
Zapdos’s spamminess with Thunder Shock makes it great against any fliers who still make it into the cup – notably Pelipper and Tropius – along with the likes of Trevenant and Alolan Marowak, all of whom have Great League relevance.
Both Zapdos and Shadow Zapdos perform well, with electric being at least neutral against everything else in the meta, so if you have a decent one that is cheap to level up to 1500 CP, it's not one to overlook.
Just remember that, as always with the world’s favourite thunder chicken, it gets fried pretty easily, and can even lose to other electric types, such as Pachirisu.
Type: Fire / Fighting
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Brave Bird (Charged), Blaze Kick (Charged)
Blaziken Weaknesses: Flying, ground, psychic, water
Pokémon with dual-typing are always at a premium in Go Battle League, and in a meta like Summer Cup, sneaking in a type that isn’t on the list is always a plus. Case in point: Blaziken.
While Blaziken isn’t all that hot in Great League, it comes into its own in this meta, thanks to the attack Counter. This helps turn the tables on the likes of Lickitung, while its flying attack Brave Bird beats the bugs and Blaze Kick incinerates grass types. Three attacks, three types, all relevant.
The downside is that it’s one of the more technical Pokémon to use, in that it comes with some notes. Sure, it may be spammy and apply a lot of shield pressure very quickly, but only when you know what you’re doing. Case in point, it beats the water-type Pokémon Araquanid thanks to its flying attack, and loses to the grass type Tropius because of its flying attacks.
If you know what you’re getting yourself into with this Pokémon, it’s a spicy choice that can steal a sneaky win.
Type: Water / Ground
Recommended moves: Mud Shot (Fast), Hydro Cannon (Exclusive/Charged), Earthquake (Charged)
Swampert Weaknesses: Grass
Swampert is never not good, and in a meta where electric and fire make up two-thirds of what’s going on, the ability to beat both by spamming Mud Shot will have you laughing with glee.
If you come across anything that’s weak to water, the Hydro Cannon Charged move is an absolute must, while Earthquake will destroy a good number of other Pokémon. While there are fewer Pokémon types that are naturally weak to Earthquake in this meta than Open Great League, it’s still a devastating attack.
The only real downside to Swampert is choosing between the glass cannon Shadow version and the less offensively capable non-Shadow. There’s no right answer here, so run with whatever you have!
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Body Slam (Charged), Power Whip (Charged)
Vigoroth Weaknesses: Fighting
Remember Lickitung and how it doesn’t have any real weaknesses in this meta? That’s why Vigoroth is being recommended here.
The Fast move Counter is excellent against normal and ice types, meaning that you get to take down not only Lickitung with this Pokémon, but also the likes of Walrein and Abomasnow.
If you expect to come up against a bunch of normal types (and you really should), Vigoroth is an excellent choice.
Type: Water / Ice
Recommended moves: Powder Snow (Exclusive/Fast), Icicle Spear (Exclusive/Charged), Earthquake (Charged)
Walrein Weaknesses: Grass
Swampert is famously a water-type Pokémon that beats electric types, but if you want a water-type that beats grass types, Walrein is the Pokémon for you, and wow is it a tank.
Given its, well, lack of anything that would make you think it spammy or flexible, Walrein is blessed by two exclusive moves that make it near unbeatable for anything that isn’t immediately resistant to ice. Arceus help you if you’re weak to ice attacks, because this is like a slightly less extreme Abomasnow, but with fewer weaknesses.
Simply put, Walrein is consistently excellent, and if there’s room for an ice and ground-type attacker in your team, it’s strongly worth considering
Recommended moves: Volt Switch (Fast), Thunder Punch (Charged), Thunderbolt (Charged)
Pachirisu Weaknesses: Ground
Pachirisu is arguably the best Pokémon in this meta, thanks to its excellent defence and lack of relevant ground types.
It’s bulk and spamminess also make for an excellent combo, so feel free to stick it out in front, and rapidly take down any flying or water-types that come your way.
Type: Grass / Ice
Recommended moves: Powder Snow (Fast), Weather Ball (Charged), Energy Ball (Charged)
Abomasnow Weaknesses: Fire, bug, fighting, flying, poison, rock, steel
'President Snow' is a personal favourite, not just because of the main-series games but because this Pokémon is an absolute house in Great and Ultra League, using the same suite of spammy moves to apply a lot of shield pressure and take down pesky fliers that think they have the one-up on a grass type.
Saying you should run Abomasnow feels like a bit of a gimme, but it’s a great choice in a league with water, grass and electric types (which it is resistant to). While it is weak against bugs, they’re not expected to make a huge showing due to their relative lack of bulk (how easy they are to squash). Fire, on the other hand, will rapidly ruin your day, so don’t be afraid to switch out when you need to.
Honourable mention: Tropius, if you have one, but given how rare they are, thanks to their regionality, the average player probably won’t have one with good stats, if you have one at all. If you do, however, it’s a strong choice, running Air Slash, Leaf Blade and Aerial Ace.
Type: Ghost / Grass
Recommended moves: Shadow Claw (Fast), Seed Bomb (Charged), Shadow Ball (Charged)
Trevenant Weaknesses: Dark, fire, flying, ghost and ice
Grass has a pretty shallow pool of very good Pokémon in this meta, but those that make the cut really are excellent. The Go Battle League favourite and a sneaky grass-type Pokémon Trevenant is an excellent example of this. So much so that if you have one for the normal Great League, it’s fine to run as is, without any changes.
As if it needed any help, Trevenant is resistant against water, electric and normal- type attacks, making it pretty strong in the meta.
Your main wins here are the obvious Swampert and Pelipper, along with the perhaps more surprising Pachirisu and Vigoroth. This is thanks to how spammy and flexible this haunted tree trunk is. The shield pressure it applies is no joke either, so if you’re scare of coming up against one, maybe pack a Walrein or Abomasnow for their ice-type attacks.
When is Summer Cup?
Summer Cup will run from August 10 to August 17, starting and finishing at 1pm PDT (GMT–7)
Good luck in Summer Cup!