Managing the Pokémon GO Battle League Sunshine Cup and Halloween Cup


By Sophtoph, Contributing Author

Pokémon GO: Adventures Abound is beneath approach! September 1, 2023, marked the start of one other Season of untamed encounters, occasions, and bonuses in Pokémon GO. Each new Season additionally brings a contemporary begin to the GO Battle League, the place Trainers can climb the ranked ladder to earn end-of-Season rewards—equivalent to unique avatar gadgets—whereas testing themselves in a various array of particular codecs.

On this article, we’ll do a deep dive on two upcoming cups: the Sunshine Cup, which will probably be out there from September 29 to October 6 and October 13 to 17, and the Halloween Cup, which will probably be out there from October 20 to November 3. Whereas these cups have been within the rotation earlier than—the Halloween Cup is without doubt one of the first particular codecs to ever seem within the GO Battle League—the adjustments to strikes, transfer units, and out there Pokémon that happen each Season preserve them contemporary and thrilling.

  • Pokémon have to be at or under 1,500 CP to enter.

  • Solely Regular-, Hearth-, Grass-, and Floor-type Pokémon are eligible.

  • Charizard shouldn’t be allowed.

Veterans of the GO Battle League may bear in mind the Sunshine Cup from earlier Seasons. Like earlier than, count on Vigoroth and Wing Assault customers to be prevalent. Nevertheless, there are some notable adjustments from the final time this cup ran in Could 2023 attributable to September’s transfer rebalances.

Count on the Sunshine Cup to be dominated by eligible Flying-type Pokémon. Acquainted faces like Pidgeot, Noctowl, and Gliscor are all viable choices, they usually’re now joined by Pokémon equivalent to Gligar and Rufflet due to the diminished power value for the Flying-type Charged Assault Aerial Ace. And there aren’t many threats to Flying sorts since there are at the moment only a few standard Electrical- and Ice-type picks. As well as, one of many solely regularly chosen Ice-type Pokémon, Abomasnow, takes supereffective injury from Flying-type assaults. Due to this, Flying-type Pokémon are comparatively protected total and deal impartial or supereffective injury to nearly each Pokémon generally taken to the cup.

Whereas most Flying-type Pokémon will know Wing Assault as their Quick Assault, the variation in Charged Assaults means every brings one thing barely completely different to the desk. For instance, Steelix and Galarian Stunfisk are thought-about the first counters to Flying-type Pokémon, however Gligar and Gliscor’s Floor-type Charged Assaults—Dig and Earthquake, respectively—permit them to hit these Pokémon for supereffective injury. There’s additionally a plethora of twin Regular- and Flying-type Pokémon out there within the meta. Most of them—notably Pidgeot—can be taught the extraordinarily heavy-hitting Charged Assault Courageous Chicken. Noctowl has fallen off a bit attributable to Sky Assault’s power value improve, however some gamers may nonetheless decide to make use of it over different Flying-type Pokémon in the event that they want extra bulk.

So, what counters Flying-type Pokémon? Two of the most typical counters will most likely be two of three Floor- and Metal-type Pokémon: Steelix, Stunfisk, and Galarian Stunfisk. Whereas Steelix didn’t make a lot of a splash within the final version of the Sunshine Cup, the addition of Breaking Swipe to its transfer set has already propelled it to success within the Nice League and the Extremely League, and we’ll undoubtedly see it within the Sunshine Cup too.

Steelix can cost Breaking Swipe each 4 occasions it makes use of the Quick Assault Dragon Tail—in different phrases, each six seconds—and is assured to debuff the assault of the opponent’s lively Pokémon. This, coupled with the truth that there are only a few Pokémon within the meta that resist Dragon-type injury, signifies that Steelix will deal extraordinarily constant injury all through its matchups and excel the longer it battles. Opponents will probably be pressured to both struggle a matchup with lowered Assault and unable to deal significant injury or use a swap to clear their Assault debuff.

In distinction to the newly standard Steelix, Galarian Stunfisk has been a mainstay within the Nice League because it debuted in Pokémon GO. Nevertheless, after its major Charged Assault, Earthquake, grew to become much less environment friendly, it has been buried in utilization by different Metal- and Floor-type Pokémon. It’ll nonetheless be a powerful decide within the Sunshine Cup, although, as it may possibly counter each Steelix and Flying-type Pokémon with relative ease.

The simplest counters to those Metal- and Floor-type Pokémon are different Floor-type Pokémon. Particularly, the twin Water- and Floor-type Pokémon Swampert and Quagsire famously solely have one weak point: Grass-type assaults. Swampert and Quagsire can each reliably do no less than impartial injury to nearly each Pokémon generally chosen in aggressive play. Whiscash is one other twin Water- and Floor-type Pokémon, although it may be trickier to play as a result of its important reply to the Grass-type Pokémon it tempts opponents to counter with—the secondary Charged Assault Blizzard—has a excessive power value.

Stunfisk has lived within the shadow of its cousin Galarian Stunfisk for almost all of its Pokémon GO profession, however the Sunshine Cup might be its time to, properly, shine. It has a dominant matchup towards Flying-type Pokémon whereas additionally countering Metal-type Pokémon, thus seeing impartial to optimistic play towards many of the core meta, and can possible be the one standard Electrical sort on Trainers’ rosters.

The final main class of comparatively protected and versatile Pokémon within the Sunshine Cup are the non-Flying Regular-type Pokémon. As a result of they solely take supereffective injury from Preventing-type assaults, Regular-type Pokémon are sometimes the default protected swap Pokémon in each the groups of three used within the GO Battle League and the groups of six utilized in aggressive circuits equivalent to Play! Pokémon. The Sunshine Cup isn’t any exception. Pokémon like Vigoroth and Dubwool can chip away at nearly something by repeatedly utilizing the Charged Assault Physique Slam, which they will cost in 5 seconds or much less. Mixed with their Preventing-type Quick Assaults, each of those Pokémon have glorious protection and adaptability. In my view, they’ll most likely be the most secure and best Pokémon to make use of, particularly for Trainers who’re simply beginning out. Munchlax, the newcomer Oinkologne, Lickitung, Miltank, and Greedent are additionally all stable, protected picks that may equally slot into any staff simply.

The Sunshine Cup will possible characteristic fairly quite a lot of Pokémon choices, so along with these talked about above, there are another Pokémon value mentioning that could be much less versatile however are value contemplating and getting ready for. Dunsparce has glorious Rock- and Floor-type protection in its Charged Assaults like Quagsire and Galarian Stunfisk, so it might see some play. Diggersby is one other Floor-type Pokémon that may deal with Metal-type Pokémon, nevertheless it additionally has a really large Charged Assault pool that can permit it to fill completely different roles relying in your staff’s wants. It not too long ago gained the flexibility to be taught the Floor-type Charged Assault Scorching Sands, however you might have choices when contemplating a second Charged Assault to accompany it. Attempt the Hearth-type Charged Assault Hearth Punch for baiting shields or dealing fast injury to Abomasnow or Hyper Beam to take down opponents in endgames when shields are down.

Whereas Grass-type Pokémon is likely to be difficult to run relying on how prevalent Abomasnow and Flying-type Pokémon are, in addition they have extraordinarily favorable matchups towards most Floor-type Pokémon. Tropius and Jumpluff particularly have benefit as a result of they’re additionally Flying sorts, which supplies them a extra favorable matchup towards Vigoroth. Whimsicott will probably be one of many solely Fairy-type Pokémon allowed, and may function a tough wall to Steelix that know Dragon-type assaults. Serperior and Lurantis, pure Grass-type Pokémon, may additionally seem on groups since each can rapidly use extraordinarily environment friendly Charged Assaults which might be among the greatest within the sport: Frenzy Plant and Leaf Blade, respectively.

And as for Hearth-type Pokémon, whereas the strongest one—Charizard—has been banned from the format, Blaziken and Ninetales are each viable.

Listed below are some instance groups which have versatile protection over the meta you can check out and adapt to your playstyle. A simple technique to make substitutions is to group them with Pokémon that fill related roles. For instance, Vigoroth and Dubwool are comparatively interchangeable.

  • Possibility 1: Pidgeot – Dunsparce – Vigoroth

  • Possibility 2: Swampert – Noctowl – Dubwool

  • Possibility 3: Vigoroth – Steelix – Gligar

  • Pokémon have to be at or under 1,500 CP to enter.

  • Solely Poison-, Bug-, Ghost-, Darkish-, and Fairy-type Pokémon are eligible.

Unsurprisingly, the Halloween Cup runs across the finish of October. It has been a fan favourite among the many large pool of particular codecs that rotate via the GO Battle League, and this yr will mark its fourth time returning. Nevertheless, just like the Sunshine Cup, a number of Pokémon have been launched to the sport or up to date because the final time it ran, and in consequence the meta may look fairly completely different.

Some of the notable adjustments to the Halloween Cup panorama will probably be Carbink. Whereas this small Pokémon might look unassuming and innocent, make no mistake, it’s a menace within the Halloween Cup and within the open Nice League. With among the highest HP and Protection within the sport, rivaling conventional tanks like Bastiodon, Carbink can deal very constant injury with its Rock-type Quick Assault Rock Throw. It may well additionally simply cost many environment friendly Charged Assaults just by lasting on the sphere for a very long time. Carbink is at the moment comparatively tough to acquire, having solely appeared throughout GO Fest 2023 and at Championship Sequence occasions. In any other case, the one technique to get hold of them on the time of writing is thru reward encounters within the GO Battle League.

One other new face within the Halloween Cup will probably be Greninja, which not too long ago obtained its Neighborhood Day and is the newest first-partner Pokémon to proudly carry the Water-type Charged Assault Hydro Cannon. With the Quick Assault Water Shuriken, Greninja reaches this environment friendly Charged Assault quicker than any Pokémon within the sport—even Swampert! Importantly, this implies it should all the time deal supereffective injury to Carbink, which can make this glass cannon’s excessive injury output the most effective methods to cope with the Jewel Pokémon. Some various sources of Water-type injury for Trainers who might have missed the Neighborhood Day or are in search of extra bulk on their staff might be Jellicent or Azumarill, or the twin Poison- and Water-type Pokémon Tentacruel and Toxapex.

Like adventures, Poison-type Pokémon abound this Season. Along with Tentacruel and Toxapex, there’s a wealth of Poison-type Pokémon with a second sort that may fill completely different niches, even inside the identical staff of three. First, there are twin Darkish- and Poison-type Pokémon, together with Skuntank, Drapion, and Hisuian Qwilfish. Just like the Water- and Floor-type Pokémon, these Darkish- and Poison-type Pokémon solely take supereffective injury from one sort of assault: Floor. Due to this, they’re historically seen as comparatively protected selections.

All three of those Pokémon even have quite a lot of Charged Assaults, so you may choose which one suits your staff greatest. Skuntank can be taught the Grass-type assault Trailblaze, which might turn out to be useful towards Pokémon like Carbink and Greninja. Drapion and Hisuian Qwilfish each can be taught the Water-type Charged Assault Aqua Tail, which prices little or no power. Along with these Darkish- and Poison-type Pokémon, a number of different Poison-type Pokémon have an opportunity to shine. For instance, each Golbat and Shadow Golbat are sometimes used within the Halloween Cup, as Shadow Ball can hit Ghost-type Pokémon for heavy injury, and Poison Fang permits it to debuff the opponent a number of occasions in longer matchups. As well as, Swalot will probably be making an affect within the Halloween Cup for the primary time—it gained the flexibility to be taught Mud Shot in September, which permits it to achieve harder-hitting Charged Assaults equivalent to Sludge Bomb and Ice Beam comparatively rapidly.

A good way to counter Poison-type Pokémon is with Metal-type Pokémon, that are nearly doubly proof against Poison-type injury. Whereas Metal-type Pokémon are usually used as cumbersome tanks within the open Nice League—assume Registeel and Steelix—within the Halloween Cup they are usually run as glass cannons that may rapidly wipe out any unprepared opponents. For instance, Scizor, particularly Shadow Scizor, normally makes an look. With every Bullet Punch dealing heavy injury each second and the potential to lift its Assault by two phases with a single Evening Slash, this Pokémon could be extraordinarily scary to play towards.

It will be remiss to debate the Halloween Cup with out mentioning one of many important archetypes of Halloween: Ghost-type Pokémon. Along with Jellicent, Ghost-type Pokémon will probably be outstanding, not the least as a result of they resist Poison-type assaults and subsequently usually counter them nearly effortlessly. Runerigus will even do properly towards Poison-type Pokémon, and it has helpful Floor-type protection to help even additional with Poison-type Pokémon in addition to the oh-so-important Carbink matchup.

Nevertheless, there’s one other sizzling new twin Floor- and Ghost-type Pokémon on the block threatening to usurp it: Palossand, which evolves from Sandygast. It has been comparatively arduous to acquire since its launch, however not too long ago gained the flexibility to be taught Scorching Sands. Like Swampert, Quagsire, and Swalot, Palossand can be taught Mud Shot for quick power technology, and it additionally has environment friendly Charged Assaults in Scorching Sands and Shadow Ball.

Lastly, Hearth- and Ghost-type Pokémon will seem as among the solely dependable counters to Scizor. These embrace Alolan Marowak and the newcomer Skeledirge, which was first found within the Paldea area. Whereas Ghost-type Pokémon can usually deal plenty of injury, it appears in addition they worry the darkish, and subsequently they wrestle towards Darkish-type Pokémon like Greninja and Mandibuzz. Pawniard, whereas small, can rapidly develop into probably the most highly effective Pokémon in a sport. Like Scizor, the increase potential from Evening Slash can rapidly flip a complete sport in Pawniard’s favor. However even with no increase, its Quick Assault Fury Cutter mixed with low-energy value Charged Assaults equivalent to Evening Slash and X-Scissor permit it to deal fast and constant injury.

Listed below are a couple of groups you may attempt to get began:

  • Possibility 1: Jellicent – Mandibuzz – Greninja

  • Possibility 2: Scizor (Shadow Most well-liked) – Jellicent – Drapion

  • Possibility 3: Golbat – Toxapex – Skuntank

As you navigate the Halloween Cup and the Sunshine Cup this coming month, bear in mind to have enjoyable! These particular codecs are an opportunity to present your Pokémon that aren’t typically used within the open codecs an opportunity to shine. These cups will probably be held alongside different codecs, such because the open Nice League and open Extremely League, so when you don’t but have the Pokémon you need for these cups, you may nonetheless play ranked matches within the GO Battle League as you proceed to fill out your roster. Completely happy battling!

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Sophtoph is a contributing author for She has been an avid enjoyer of the GO Battle League since its launch and has reached the highest 10 on its world leaderboards. She will typically be discovered sharing her battles at Twitch.television/sophtoph or together with her Pokémon GO Battle League-dedicated Discord neighborhood.

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