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 – especially in light of the recent move shake-up, which has completely turned the meta on its head.
There are some clear winners and losers following this rebalancing, and certain types and moves that shine in this league. This page explains our Ultra League recommendations based on the current Ultra League meta, allowing you to piece together an effective Ultra League team.
On this page:
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.
However, it's 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, and some of the best Pokémon in this meta require a big Candy XL investment, making them somewhat less accessable than others.
Candy XL is only unlocked once trainers reach Level 30, although you will need to get to level 40 to use it. 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 30 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 Nidoqueen to Tapu Fini
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 October 2022, in the National Pokédex order:
The Season of Mythical Wishes has seen Kecleon finally being released in Pokémon Go! The Crackling Voltage event is currently running and it has brought as a new Team Go Rocket quest - Shadowy Skirmishes! The team lineups for Giovanni and the Team Go Rocket Leaders has also changed. Don't forget to partake in the new Go Battle League season. Elsewhere, be sure to use Daily Adventure Incense for the chance of encountering Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos and Galarian Moltres. This incense may also give you encounters with other rare Pokémon in Pokémon Go.
Type: Poison / Ground
Perfect IVs: 0/14/15
Recommended moves: Poison Jab (Fast), Poison Fang (Charged), Earth Powere (Charged)
Swampert Weaknesses: Ground, Ice, Psychic, Water
Nidoqueen has had a lot of love in Go Battle League lately, and it's easy to undertand why. It's both a strong attacker and has impressive bulk, while also running a suite of decent attacks.
Poison Jab is the second-best Fast move in the game, after Counter, and couples nicely with the debuff spam attack Poison Fang, which comes with a guarantee of dropping the opponent's defense by one stage. Earth Power is there as a high energy coverage nuke that also comes with the same debuff bonus. What's not to like?
Well, Walrein, for a start, along with Giratina Altered, Talonflame and Trevenant – all of which beat Nidoqueen. But, when you're pulling in wins against the likes of Cresselia and Obstagoon, it's easy to see why it makes the cut for many Trainers.
Type: Water / Ground
Perfect IVs: 0/14/13
Recommended moves: Mud Shot (Fast), Hydro Cannon (Community Day exclusive), 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
Perfect IVs: 0/15/15
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 were both top-five Pokémon in the Ultra League before the shake-up, thanks to their spamminess and flexibility; however, with Icicle Spear being nerfed, Walrein has fallen a few places down the league tables.
Weirdly, the consensus seems to be that Walrein is, as a result, bad, and to be avoided. Simply put, this is not the case – it still beats Giratina and Swampert, but just does so slightly slower. It's also worth noting now that this nerf means that both Shadow and regular Walrein lose to Talonflame, which wasn't the case before.
The other 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.
Perfect IVs: 1/10/15
Recommended moves: Lock On (Fast), Focus Blast (Charged), Flash Cannon (Event-Exclusive 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), and its ability to take on Cresselia, Obstagoon, Walrein, Talonflame and Giratine Altered – all of which are onn this list.
Despite a recent debuff in the move shake-up, Registeel's staying power extends to its number-one position in the rankings. The debuff simply made Zap Cannon debuff the opponent slightly less frequently. It still hits as hard as, well, a steel golem.
However, this is where things get expensive - you will need to invest a lot of Stardust and Candy XL to get perfect Registeel, which its CP2500 at Level 50 with the above IVs.
If you can achieve that, though, you’re looking at easily the strongest Pokemon in the League.
Type: Ice / Grass
Perfect IVs: 3/15/14
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: Ghost / Dragon
Perfect IVs: 1/12/15
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.
Perfect IVs: 1/15/13
Recommended moves: Psycho Cut (Fast), Grass Knot (Event-Exclusive Charged), Moonblast (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 fast-charing Fast move and two relatively cheap Charged moves. Grass Knot is great against Swampert and Tapu Fini, while Moonblast will wreck Scrafty and Giratina Altered. Yes, this is another Psychic-type that can beat a Ghost.
Beware, however, Trevenant and Talonflame, both of which will destroy Cresellia, along with the recent addition to the top tables, Obstagoon.
Type: Steel / Fighting
Perfect IVs: 1/15/12
Recommended moves: Double Kick (Fast), Sacred Sword (Event-Exclusive Charged), Stone Edge (Charged)
Talonflame Weaknesses: Fighting, Fire, Ground
The addition of Double Kick really gave Cobalion a foor (paw?) up in the Ultra League, taking it from firmly 'meh', to the second-best in the meta. Having a usable Fast move really does make that much of a difference.
What we have now is a Pokémon that is not only very bulky and defensive, but very spammy too, thanks to the low-energy Sacred Sword attack. Stone Edge works as an excellent coverage move too, helping turn the tails on even the likes of Talonflame. Cobalion also beats Walrein, Galarian Stunfisk and Obstagoon, which is great news for fans of the goodest steel boi.
If you don't have a decent Cobalion, Virizion is an acceptable alternative, swapping Stone Edge for Leaf Blade; however, Terrakion is still just bad.
Type: Fire / Flying
Perfect IVs: 15/15/15
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. Also, the fact that it gets to Level 50 and is still eligible for Ultra League puts it head and shoulders above a lot of the meta.
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
Perfect IVs: 1/15/15
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.
Type: Dark / Normal
Perfect IVs: 0/15/13
Obstagoon Weakness: Fighting, Bug, Fairy
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Night Slash (Charged) and Obstruct (Community Day Charged)
There was a lot of discussion as to how Obstagoon’s August 2022 Community Day would affect this Pokémon and the Ultra League at large. The long and short of it is that Obstagoon just got a fair bit better, and has even broken into the top spot for dark-type Pokémon in this league.
The interesting thing is that the expected best move set was up for debate, based on how fast and powerful its new move, Obstruct, would be. Now, having seen the numbers, the consensus is to run Counter as a fighting-type Fast move, with double-dark in the back, with the more powerful Night Slash being a follow-up to the self-buff/enemy-debuff Obstruct. The real debate remains around what the best IVs are, and whether to prioritise attack or bulk. We reckon it’s chonky enough as is, so we’re leaning into the attack stat.
Everything else about this Pokémon still stands true, though. It’s bulky and spammy, as you’d expect from Obstagoon, but it also applies low shield pressure, and is fairly inflexible after dropping Gunk Shot for Obstruct.
The good news, however, is that it beats a good chunk of the top of the meta — including Galarian Stunfisk, Giratina (Altered), Walrein, Swampert and Cresslia — making is a valuable addition to your team.
Type: Water / Fairy
Perfect IVs: 1/13/15
Tapu Fini Weakness: Electric, Grass, Poison
Recommended moves: Water Gun (Fast), Surf (Charged) and Moonblast (Charged)
Tapu Fini can be an annoying Pokémon to build as it has 16 different Hidden Power attacks — all of which are awful — and Water Gun. If you want to build a Tapu Fini for Ultra League, be prepared to burn a lot of Fast TMs.
The good news is that it's a lot easier to get the Charged moves you need – Surf is a spammy move that helps bait shields, while Moonblast is a great nuke that comes with a 10% chance to drop the oponent's attack by one stage. Sure, it's only 10%, but it's better than nothing.
The great news really is Tapu Fini's bulk, which helps it go (presumably) toe-to-toe with Swampert, while beating Talonflame with Water attacks, and Obstagoon and Giratina Altered with its Fairy attacks.
The downside, of course, is the other side of that coin: the bad match-ups. Beware the Poison attacks of Nidoqueen and the Grass attacks of Trevenant and Cresselia.