Putting together a strong Pokémon Go Ultra League team is worth investing in as part of the regular Go Battle League roster.
For two weeks in every Go Battle League in Pokémon Go each season, the Ultra League will be the focus - meaning you have to come up with the most effective team possible at under 2500 CP.
The Ultra League is perhaps the most skill-testing of the three main Leagues. There is a much bigger pool of Pokemon to choose from than with the Great League, thanks to the higher CP limit. However, without the no-holds-barred freedom of the Master League where the overall Best Pokémon rule, you’ll still need to keep an eye out for the perfect IV of each Pokémon you want to use, if you want to be the very best at PvP.
This all means that choosing the best team from the Pokémon you have available to you can be quite tricky.
That said, there are some clear types and moves that shine in this league - and so this page explains our Ultra League recommendations based on the current Ultra League meta, allowing you to piece together an effective Ultra League team.
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Things to know about putting together an Ultra League team in Pokémon Go
While the Ultra League isn't as cheap to form a team as the Great League, due to there still being a CP cap of 2500, you mostly won’t be maxing out Pokémon in the same way you would the Master League - keeping your Stardust and Candy costs down.
It’s also worth noting that since the Go Beyond update raising the Pokémon level cap to 50, XL Pokémon have really changed the way that Ultra League plays out.
Candy XL is only unlocked once trainers reach Level 40, so if you’re not quite there yet, you will need to decide whether you’re going to invest in Pokémon that will eventually need to go beyond level 40 to compete, or if you want to work with a team that already shines now.
That said, there are still enough common catches that work as excellent alternatives, or can be easily recommended if you want to keep costs down. (A second move for a Legendary is, by and large, very expensive.)
Like the Great League, Community Day starters are a welcome source of easy-to-find Pokémon with stronger moves than usual, so if none of our recommendations suit your needs, that's another great place to start so you can begin climbing the ranks.
Remember - 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).
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 Ultra League recommendations, from Giratina to Togekiss
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 Ultra League 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.
When forming a team, note 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 Ultra Team recommendations, as of May 2022, in the National Pokédex order:
Type: Grass / Poison
Recommended moves: Vine Whip (Fast), Frenzy Plant (Charged), Sludge Bomb (Charged)
Venusaur weaknesses: Fire, Flying, Ice, Psychic
Though you may be put off by Venusaur's multiple weaknesses, its ability to use the Charged move Sludge Bomb will allow you to easily take care of any troublesome Fairy-type Pokémon that you may encounter. It will also have an advantage over Ground, Rock and Water-type Pokémon thanks to its Grass-type moves, which means that a well placed Venusaur could be what ultimately wins you the match.
While you can use a normal Venusaur to great success in the Great League, the Shadow variant is a slightly better choice if you can find one with good IVs. It’s less bulky, but it hits much harder, so build your team with this in mind.
Aside from its weaknesses, the other downside to Venusaur is that Frenzy Plant, Venusaur's best Grass-type move, is a Community Day exclusive. This means that Venusaur can only learn and use Frenzy Plant if Ivysaur is evolved into the third-stage evolution during a Bulbasaur themed Community Day, or if you use one of your rare Elite Charged TMs. Thankfully, Petal Blizzard is a good alternative, but we still recommend using Frenzy Plant if you can.
Type: Fire / Flying
Recommended Moves: Dragon Breath (Community Day exclusive), Blast Burn (Community Day exclusive), Dragon Claw (Charged)
Charizard weaknesses: Rock, Electric, Water
Like all starters, Charizard really shines when you balance how easy it is to get hold of, cheap to power up and add a second move on, while remaining pretty strong. There's also something comforting about having one of the most iconic Pokémon of all time in your team, right?
There’s also the nice bonus here that you don’t need to invest XL candy in the same way that you would with Talonflame, the best fire-type Pokémon in this meta, given that you can reach 2500 CP without it.
But like all other starters, you'd ideally want its Community Day move Blast Burn for it to be at its most effective. Either way, a fire move is great against Registeel and other steel types, but it will particularly struggle against Swampart, a popular choice in the Ultra League meta.
If you’re curious about whether to use a Shadow Charizard in Ultra League, the quick answer is no; no you should not.
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Cross Chop (Charged), Payback (Charged)
Machamp weaknesses: Flying, Psychic, Fairy
Though fighting isn't as prevalent in the Ultra League as it was in the Great League, they're still useful - and Shadow Machamp is strong enough to be worth considering if you're looking for something to round off some of the stronger picks in this list as an additional counter option.
While a normal Machamp is an ok alternative, you should try to use Shadow Machamp if you can - it will do much better in Ultra League.
Recommended moves: Lick (Fast), Body Slam (Charged), Earthquake (Charged)
Snorlax weaknesses: Fighting
Shadow Snorlax is a pain to catch, so it stands to reason that it’s a pain to go up against in Ultra League.
Normal Snorlax is also a viable option, but the Shadow option will perform much better, thanks to its high bulk for a Shadow Pokémon.
They’re a great defensive option for many reasons - it's weak to very few other types, and has general bulk to stay the distance in a fight.
Snorlax and Shadow Snorlax are also very versatile, and can counter Giratina counter thanks to Outrage, and with another second move it holds its own against others too - with Earthquake it can take down Registeel and other steel types, while Superpower is a fighting move that will beat another Snorlax - a type itself is weak against. How you build yours is up to you, but try to build it to cover the weaknesses of your other two Pokémon.
Since Shadow Snorlax has become reasonably straightforward to find over the years, it's something you can drop into an Ultra League team with little effort if you're looking for a solid third option.
New to the game is a long overdue Mega Evolution update, which has arrived alongside the A Mega Moment research. May 2022 in Pokémon Go includes the Water Festival, which celebrates the release of Dewpider and Araquanid. Tapu Fini has also been released alongside A Poni Adventure - the last Alola region-themed special research quest. Currently both the Ultra League and Element Cup are running in the Go Battle League. Elsewhere, we've recently seen the release of more Gen 7 Pokémon as part of the Season of Alola. The first details surrounding Go Fest 2022 have also been announced, including the event date.
Type: Water / Ground
Recommended moves: Mud Shot (Fast), Hydro Cannon (Community Day exclusive) and Earthquake (Charged)
Swampert Weaknesses: Grass
Swampert is a meta-dominant Pokémon in Ultra League, and thanks to its recent second Community Day, you should expect to see them in higher numbers and at higher levels than previously.
With both Hydro Cannon and Earthquake, Swampert can deal with many meta relevant types, such as Charizard and steel Pokémon Registeel and Steelix. Though it won't knock out a Giratina, it will certainly put up a good fight.
It’s worth noting here that Hydro Cannon is vital - that move alone is the reason it puts up such good numbers in this league. If you have a good-IV Swampert without this Community Day move, it’s well worth using one of your rare Elite Charged TMs.
As a starter, it's also one of the easier to find on this list (especially if you participated in Community Day) and cheapest to invest in, especially as you'll want that second move.
As both Swampert and Shadow Swampert are both in the top 10 for this league, it’s up to you how you want to build your team. However the non-shadow version is ranked slightly higher in this case.
Type: Ice / Water
Recommended moves: Powder Snow (Community Day exclusive Fast), Icicle Spear (Community Day exclusive Charged), Earthquake (Charged)
Walrein Weaknesses: Electric, Fighting, Grass, Rock
Walrein and Shadow Walrein are both top-five Pokémon in the Ultra League, thanks to their spamminess and flexibility.
Not only are they both fantastic against Giratina, Stunfisk and Swampert, but their incredible shield pressure means that they will either beat most opponents or take down both of their shields in trying.
The downside to Walrein, of course, is the double Community Day moveset. If you didn’t luck out back on Community Day, you will need to spend some rare Elite TMs to make this the perfect Pokémon for Ultra League.
Depending on how you build your team, be wary of Talonflame. While the Shadow version will beat it thanks to how hard-hitting it is, the normal version likely will not.
Recommended moves: Lock On (Fast), Flash Cannon (Charged)
Registeel Weaknesses: Fighting, Ground, Fire
Registeel was a firm favourite in the Great League, and its strengths translate to the Ultra League too, thanks to few meta weaknesses (fighting, in particular, is out of favour in the Ultra League), ability to take on Giratina, Cresselia and Togekiss, and offers real staying power in battles.
However, this is where things get expensive - you will need to invest a lot of Stardust and Candy XL to get Registeel to its highest possible level while keeping it below 2500 CP.
If you can achieve that, though, you’re looking at easily the strongest Pokemon in the League.
Of course, that’s a big ‘if’. Steelix comes in handy as a cheaper alternative; as is Melmetal, now that getting Meltan in Pokémon Let's Go is much easier than before.
Type: Ice / Grass
Recommended moves: Powder Snow (Fast), Weather Ball (Charged), Energy Ball (Charged)
Abomasnow Weaknesses: Fire (2x), Bug, fighting, Flying, Poison, Rock, Steel
Despite its abundance of weaknesses, Abomasnow is an incredible Pokémon in Ultra League, even after being nerfed several times to make it less back-breaking.
This fan-favourite has always been a strong showing in the meta, not only for its grass-type Energy Ball destroying Swampert, but its very fast ice-type attack Powder Snow followed by the incredibly spammy ice-type Weather Ball charged move us excellent against the likes of Giratina.
You will need a lot of Candy XL to max out this beast of a Pokémon, but you will be handsomely rewarded for your effort. Remember, if you need to walk Abomasnow for the Candy XL, make sure you have Mega Evolved it at least once, so you also rack up the Mega Energy for future raids.
Type: Fairy / Flying
Recommended moves: Charm (Fast), Ancient Power (Charged) and Flamethrower (Charged)
Togekiss weaknesses: Poison, Steel, Rock, Ice, Electric
Togekiss may have moved down in the power rankings over the years, but fairy-types still hold up pretty well in the Ultra League.They are weak to very few of the popular types you'll come up against, and since Togekiss is the best of its type, it's a good recommendation for your team.
The fairy-type fast move Charm can take on a Giratina and fighting types such as Machamp with ease, while Ancient Power is a good counter to edge out another Togekiss. Flamethrower, meanwhile, is helpful if you need to counter steel types - which it's weak against.
Togekiss is also a popular choice thanks to Togepi's prevalence in Eggs - just remember to add the second move while it's in its infancy to save on cost.
But if you can't get hold of one, other fairy types such as Clefable (even with max CP, it's still eligible for the Ultra League) and Gardevoir - or anything else with access to Charm - is worth using.
Type: Ghost / Dragon
Recommended moves: Shadow Claw (Fast), Dragon Claw (Charged), Shadow Sneak (Charged)
Giratina weaknesses: Dark, Dragon, Ghost, Ice, Fairy
You will want to go after the Altered forme if you have the option; while the Origin forme is usable, it is much weaker; you’re probably better holding onto your candies and hunting down a better Altered forme in future.
Recommended moves: Psycho Cut (Fast), Grass Knot (Event exclusive move), Future Sight (Charged)
Cresselia Weaknesses: Bug, Dark, Ghost
This is another Pokémon that, while it wouldn't shine in comparison to other Legendaries if CP wasn't capped, has great stats that allow it to punch above its weight in the Ultra League.
Cresselia is generally a strong all rounder with a strong fast move and can last long enough in a fight to cause some problems. The strong showing of Swampert makes Cresselia a great option, especially given how weak Swampert is to grass-type attacks.
Though Giratina can beat it, it'll come away heavily damaged in the process. Cresselia is also great for any fighting types that might appear.
Just watch out for steel types, such as Registeel, which can topple it easily.
Type: Fire / Flying
Recommended moves: Incinerate (Community Day exclusive), Brave Bird (Charged), Flame Charge (Charged)
Talonflame Weaknesses: Rock, Electric, Water
Talonflame is the strongest fire-type Pokémon in Ultra League, thanks to its incredible fast move, Incinerate. It is one of the best Pokémon to start with, switching out only if it comes up against a poor match up.
The issue is that it is notoriously weak to other meta-relevant Pokémon like Swampert and loses to the bulk of Pokémon like Giratina and Registeel. However, with the abundance of grass-types coming in to beat Swampert, Talonflame’s fire-typing only gets better.
Another issue is that Candy XL is almost essential, or you won’t get Talonflame close to 2500 CP. If, however, you have the Candy XL and a Talonflame with good IVs, this is a Pokémon that can be very, very strong indeed.
Type: Ghost / Grass
Recommended moves: Shadow Claw (Fast), Shadow Ball (Charged), Seed Bomb (Charged)
Trevenant Weaknesses: Dark, Fire, Flying, Ghost, Ice
Just like with the Great League, Trevenant is an extremely good option for the Ultra League, not only beating down on Swampert and Stunfisk again, but roundly beating the new additions of Giratina and Cresselia.
Although Candy XL is needed to get Trevenant to as close to 2500 CP as possible, it is not essential, meaning that even if you haven’t hit Level 40, Trevenant is an excellent choice.
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