Cresselia PvP IV Deep-Dive

Article by RyanSwag

Cresselia has been a long time staple of both the Great League and Ultra League metas. While it is common knowledge that you’d want to trade Cresselia to re-roll IVs for higher bulk, it could be useful to know just how much Def and HP you’re looking for. The Cresselia PvP IV Deep Dive aims to simplify the process, highlighting the best Cresselia PvP IVs for the Great League and Ultra League, along with giving you an idea of how many Good Friend Trades it’ll likely take to obtain them. This guide also features insights from the Cresselia Master himself, LurganRocket.

The guide below focuses on Cresselia with the attacks Psycho Cut, Grass Knot, Moonblast, and Future Sight exclusively. Most move specific matchups will be highlighted. In general, Great League Cresselia will always want the event exclusive attack Grass Knot, while Ultra League Cresselia is more flexible with its movepool.

Note: this guide discusses the hidden true stats of Pokemon in Pokemon GO. In order to see these true stats you need to use an IV checking app (CalcyIV, Pokegenie) or an IV checking website (GOStadium,, or PvPoke itself). To make things simple, the guide also features standard PvP IV tables. 

If you’re not familiar with PvP IVs, check out this PvP IVs Simplified video:

PvP IV Tables

  • Attack: 152
  • Defense: 258
  • Stamina: 260

Fast Moves: Psycho Cut, Confusion

Charged Moves: Aurora Beam, Moonblast, Future SightGrass Knot*

The tables hyperlinked below feature the IV spreads that meet some of the more important stat checks highlighted in the article. It’s important to review the guide itself to make sure you’re getting what you want out of your Cresselia. For example, you may want a slightly higher Atk or Def weight for higher Breakpoint potential.

GL-Premium Bulk (160.88 Def, 161 HP)

  • ~31-63 Good Friend Trades for a 50-75% probability with Research Cresselia (level 15)
    • ~38-76 with Raid Cresselia (level 20)
    • Odds get significantly worse with higher friendship

GL-Good Bulk (159.5 Def, 160 HP)

  • ~9-18  Good Friend Trades for a 50-75% probability with Research Cresselia (level 15)
    • ~11-22 with Raid Cresselia (level 20)

UL-General Good (207 Def, 208 HP)

  • ~14-28 Good Friend Trades for a 50-75% probability
  • 119.39 Atk can enable the 1-1 & 2-2 vs Ampharos, as well as the 1-0 vs Alolan Sandslash with Future Sight
  • Higher Atk may also enable the 1-1 vs Gyarados, if they’re thrifting on Def
  • Even higher Def can get the Def BP vs Dragon Breath Giratina Altered Forme
    • Potentiates the 1-2 w/ Moon Blast, 1-1 w/ Future Sight
    • Likely unchasable vs Raid IV weighted Giratina-A
  • 209 HP for Virizion 1-2 consistency

Great League Cresselia

Bulk is the bottom line for Cresselia in the Great League. Cresselia can get away with 159.5 Def and 160 HP, but for a higher level of consistency she’ll want at least 160.88 Def and 161 HP. Unfortunately, achieving this bulk isn’t easy. You could expect to do over 40 Good Friend trades before having a decent probability of re-rolling into one. Cresselia IVs really are a “shoot for the moon, land among the stars” situation.

The following are the Def and HP goals for some specific matchups, vs Rank 1 IV opponents unless stated otherwise:

  • 154.67+, Shadow Dragonair 2-2
    • Easily requires >157 Def d/t Shadow IV variance
  • 159 HP, Bastiodon 2-1 consistency
    • >160 Def vs Lucky IV Bastiodon
  • 160 HP, Galarian Stunfisk 1-1
    • 91.2 Atk for greater consistency
    • 93.37 Atk can reduce the need for higher HP
  • 157.71, Venusaur 0-1 (straight Future Sight)
  • 158+ Def w/ 161+ HP, Lickitung 0-0 w/ 1 Fast Move lead
    • More consistent for Future Sight than Moonblast
  • 158.46, Pelipper 1-1 & Altaria 1-1 (any), 2-2 (Moonblast)
  • 159.5+ w/ 161 HP, Froslass 1-1 & Shadow Zapdos 0-0 (Future Sight)
  • 159.5+ w/ 159 HP, Gligar 2-2 & Shadow Zapdos 0-0 (Grass Knot)
  • 159.85, Annihilape 1-2 & 2-2
  • 160.1+ w/ 160 HP, Scrafty 1-0
    • 162 HP may be more consistent opposed to scaling up Def for higher Atk Scrafty
  • 159+ w/ 161+ HP, Charjabug 0-0 w/ 1 Fast Move lead
    • Unless you’re near 152 Def, each point of HP will make a bigger difference
  • 160.88 w/ 160 HP, Azumarill 1-2
  • 160.88+ w/ 161 HP, Shadow Victreebel 0-1
  • 161.03, Spark Lanturn 2-2

As you can see, Cresselia can get away with running less than ideal bulk, but will want a premium level of bulk for its more important matchups (such as Altaria and Froslass). Don’t let this list dissuade you from ever using a Cresselia unless you have this level of bulk, she will still dominate hard matchups. Having >93.2 Atk may enable the 1-1 vs Lickitung when up 1 Fast Move for Moonblast Cress and may help out in the Deoxys Defense Forme 0-0 by getting a Grass Knot Breakpoint. ​​​​​​​Having a >94.78 Atk weight could net Cresselia a cheeky 2-2 win vs Skeledirge w/ Future Sight and will likely maintain the Shadow Whiscash 1-2 after an early Scald debuff. So if you only have “bad” bulk Cresselia to work with, keep these stat checks in mind. 

A Champion’s Cresselia

To give you an idea of how seriously the best players consider Cresselia’s bulk, we touched base with the Cresselia Master himself, LurganRocket (1st place Liverpool Champion 2022, 2nd place Bochum 2023, 4th place Worlds 2022, 4th place Liverpool 2024, the only player to beat both World Champions at Worlds in their winning years, and fellow PvP IV enthusiast). He agrees that Cresselia is all about the bulk. 

How much does Cresselia’s bulk matter to LurganRocket? His original Cress “The Fist” (which he placed 1st in Liverpool ‘22 and 4th at Worlds ‘22 with) is the Rank 1 Ultra Friend Trade (3/11/13), clocking in with 160.7 Def and 163 HP. Since then, he has continued to trade for Cresselia to improve its bulk. Currently, Lurgan’s rocking it with the 1/8/10, which is nearly identical statewise to “The Fist” but has 0.18 more Def- hitting that coveted 160.88 Def. Acknowledging that ~160.88 Def is what Atk Breakpoint minded opponents will be gunning for, he is still trading for Cresselia, aiming for even greater Def and HP stats. 

As it stands, LurganRocket has completed roughly 100 Cresselia trades, has at least 2 of the greatest Cresselia PvP IVs that anyone could ever hope for, and he is still aiming to improve his Cresselia PvP IVs. 

Ultra League Cresselia

Cresselia’s bulk goals are a lot more forgiving in the Ultra League than in the Great League. The baseline for this Deep Dive is 207 Def with 208 HP, which is based on the Greninja 0-0 (based on our recommended Greninja). A slightly higher HP stat of 209 could offer a more consistent Virizion 1-2, as it’d better cover Atk weighted Virizion. Having an even greater Def stat could better protect against Dragon Breath Giratina Altered Forme, helping secure the 1-2 and 2-2 shield scenarios with Moonblast, and the 1-1 with Future Sight. 

Cresselia also has several low hanging Atk Breakpoints it can think about too. Any Atk weight beyond 119.39 will be sacrificing bulk:

  • 119.37, Ampharos 1-1, 2-2 no bait
  • 119.37,  Alolan Sandslash 1-0 FS
  • 120.35 , Gyarados 1-1
  • 121.07, Charizard 2-1 MB, 2-2 FS
  • 121.97, Toxicroak 0-1
  • 122.81, Greedent 2-1
  • 121.38, Pidgeot 1-1 w/ FS (122.1 w/ BB)

If you are interested in higher Atk weights, 204.16+ Def could be a decent benchmark to stay above for bulk. This can maintain the Best Buddy Umbreon 0-0 with 206 HP, and stays well above the Def needed for the Venusaur and Poison Jab Alolan Muk 2-1. If you happen to achieve this Def with 209 HP, you may yet maintain the Virizion 1-2.

Wrap Up

As with Registeel, Tapu Fini, and Guzzlord, the volume of trades needed to reasonably obtain an “optimized” Cresselia can be off-putting. Don’t let having a “sub-optimal” Cresselia stop you from taking advantage of it though. Cresselia still provides a unique pseudo Grass-type role and a load of bulk for teams, regardless of its specific stat spread. That said, if you aren’t hitting the higher stat checks, you’ll probably want to work in Good Friend trades when able.

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