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Pokémon Go Summer Cup Ultra League Edition best team recommendations

Pokémon Go’s Summer Cup is here until June 15!

The sun is shining, the temperature is creeping back up and it’s time for another interlude cup in Go Battle League of Pokémon Go!

This time it’s the hyperseasonal Summer Cup. The rules of Ultra League apply here, but with the standard interlude cup twist that restricts which Pokémon can enter. So, not only do you have to come up with the most effective team possible at 2500 CP and under, but only Normal, Fire, Water, Grass, Electric and Bug-type Pokémon are allowed.

If you’re looking for other Go Battle League recommendations, see our Ultra League page.

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

Things to know about putting together a Summer Cup team in Pokémon Go

The upside to the 2500 CP limit is that, like the Ultra League, you have a huge pool of Pokémon available without having to make a beeline for the Legendary and the Mythical. That said, building an Ultra League Pokémon from scratch (not the move) can be quite expensive in terms of Candy and Stardust, so if you can use a Pokémon you've already built, you're already a third of the way there, especially if you have one of the aforemented Legendaries or Mythics!

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. This time around, there's a fairly decent spread of Pokémon at the top of the meta, which means we're expecting a nice balanced cup!

Bear this in mind while building your team!

You can use fire and grass-type Pokémon in the Summer Cup.

Remember, whichever Pokémon you go for, 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 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.


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 Ultra League guide, make sure you read the full entry we will be recommending some move changes:

Pidgeot

Type: Normal / Flying
Weaknesses: Electric, Ice and Rock
Recommended IVs: 15/15/15
Recommended moves: Wing Attack (Legacy Fast), Brave Bird (Charged), Feather Dance (Charged)

Feather Dance Pidgeot retains something of a reputation after breaking the game a few seasons back. While the bug has since been patched, this Pokémon remains meta-defining, especially in the Summer Cup.

With resistance to two relevant types and weakness to just one, it’s already in a good position. But when you factor in the fast-charging Wing Attack and the -2 attack that Feather Dance gives, you know you’re onto a winner. When you need to chuck a Hail Mary, Brave Bird is there for massive damage – the fact that you give yourself a –3 defence penalty is less of an issue once you’ve torn their attack to shreds...

This is one of, if not the strongest Pokémon in this meta, with wins against Trevenant, Virizion, Shadow Charizard, Abomasnow and Shadow Swampert. Beware Electric types though, with Zapdos being a quick loss. Other losses will come from Walrein, Mantine and Dubwool.

Tentacruel

Type: Water / Poison
Weaknesses: Electric, Ground and Psychic
Recommended IVs: 0/13/15
Recommended moves: Poison Jab (Fast), Scald (Charged), Sludge Wave (Charged)

While you might see the Water-type eligibility and immediately rush for Swampert, its double-weakness to Grass is a major liability. Instead, the smart money for Water-types is on Tentacruel. It’s resistant to three of the four main types here, with Electric being its only relevant weakness. On top of that, it is extremely bulky, which is always great upside.

Its reliance on Poison is also pretty nifty, getting round a lot of Water-type resistances to deal huge damage with Sludge Wave. Scald is a high-energy debuff should you come across anything resistant to your game plan.

In terms of matchups, this means wins against Virizion, Abomasnow, Trevenant – three Grass types – Charizard and Walrein. Losses, meanwhile, will come from Swampert, Jellicent, Escavalier, Pidgeot and Lanturn.

Zapdos

Type: Electric / Flying
Weaknesses: Ice and Rock
Recommended IVs: 1/12/13
Recommended moves: Thunder Shock (Legacy Fast), Thunderbolt (Charged), Drill Peck (Charged)

The original angry bird is generally great in limited metas and this one is no different. While Zapdos and Shadow Zapdos are glass cannons, the latter (and glassier) of the two is the way to go if you can.

Zapdos’s spamminess with Thunder Shock makes it great against any fliers who make it into the cup – Charizard and Pidgeot – along with the likes of Virizion, Buzzwole and Roserade.

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 to level up to 2500 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. Watch out for Walrein, Lanturn, Swampert, Abomasnow and Trevenant, and swap out when you need to.

Miltank

Type: Normal
Weaknesses: Fighting
Recommended IVs: 4/15/15
Recommended moves: Rollout (Fast), Body Slam (Charged), Thunderbolt (Charged)

Everyone loves a tank, and there are few tankier in this meta than Miltank.

This mono-Normal-type is extremely bulky, and great against pretty much anything that doesn’t use Fighting-type attacks. Charizard, Pelipper, Walrein, Abomasnow and Trevenant all bow to the king of cows. However, Fighting-types Virizion and Buzzwole will have you on the ropes, and the likes of Swampert, Pidgeot and Roserade will wear you down eventually.

Still, if you want to run the tank archetype, Rollout is a fast charging move that allows you spam Body Slams like nobody’s business. If you come across a Ghost or something that is weak to Electric, you can fire off a Thunderbolt as coverage.

Victini

Type: Fire / Psychic
Weaknesses: Dark, Ghost, Ground, Rock and Water
Recommended IVs: 10/13/15
Recommended moves: Quick Attack (Fast), V-Create (Charged), Overheat (Charged)

While we expect to see a lot of Charizard in this meta, (because when you Fire, we all know who comes to mind), Victini is actually your best bet. Its only issue is that as a Mythical Pokémon, it’s not exactly easy to get hold of. Currently, long-time players will have exactly one at most.

Still, if you use it correctly, Victini pays dividends. Quick Attack is a fast charging move that plays straight into two massive attacks — one strips your attack (Overheat), the other your defence (V-Create), so make sure you use it when the opponent is shields down. If they have shields up, remember you have to V-Create before you can destroy.

Played properly, you’re looking at wins against Abomasnow, Walrein, Buzzwole, Virizion and even Shadow Charizard. Losses, meanwhile, come from Shadow Swampert, Pidgeot, Pelipper, Trevenant and Blaziken.

Virizion

Type: Grass / Fighting
Weaknesses: Flying (2x), Fairy, Fire, Ice, Poison and Psychic
Recommended IVs: 1/15/12
Recommended moves: Double Kick (Fast), Sacred Sword (Legacy Charged), Stone Edge (Charged)

Virizion is an all-round good Pokémon, though it is often let down by its long list of weaknesses. In a meta where most of those are excluded, Virizion really gets a chance to shine.

Bulky, spammy and flexible, Virizion is a great addition to any team. Double Kick is a good move; Sacred Sword is great against the Normals trying to avoid weaknesses and Stone Edge is there to wallop anything that looks resistant to Fighting-types.

In terms of matchups, you’re looking for wins against Obstagoon, Shadow and regular Swampert, Abomasnow and Walrein. Losses, however, come hard and fast from Pidgeot and Shadow Charizard. Trevenant, Buzzwole and Venusaur will also hand you a loss, but slightly slower.

Buzzwole

Type: Bug / Fighting
Weaknesses: Flying (2x), Fairy, Fire and Psychic
Recommended IVs: 1/14/12
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Superpower (Charged), Lunge (Charged)

Few will come into this meta expecting an army of bugs. Buzzwole, however, is one that everyone should watch out for. This spammy, dynamic Pokémon has clearly been hitting the gym and packs quite a punch.

Counter is one of the best Fast moves in the game. Superpower is excellent, but drops both your attack and defence by a stage each. Lunge, meanwhile, will drop your opponent’s attack, making that Superpower slightly less of a liability.

Bring Buzzwole against Swampert (Shadow or regular), Abomasnow, Virizion or Walrein and you’ll be laughing. However, watch out for anything with a flame or wings (especially Charizard). Jellicent and Trevenant will also give you grief, so avoid them if you can.

When is Summer Cup?

Summer Cup: Ultra League Edition will run from Thursday 8th June to Thursday 15th June. It will both start 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 Summer Cup!

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