Ghoulish Pals Spawn Guide for PvP

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The weather is changing. The leaves are falling. Taylor Swift covers of Christmas Classics are filling the air at your local mall in what seems like a 3 song loop. It’s Fall. 

And in Pokemon Go, Fall means the return of the annual Halloween Event. The first half of the event focused on Creepy Companions, which I guess is Niantic code for Poison types. Hopefully you got a shiny Spinarak and stocked up on Yamask. The second half of the event, Ghoulish Pals, is our focus today. There are spawns, new and old, which are important not only for finding good PvP IVs, but also for farming the XL candy necessary to use these mons to their best effect in Ultra League. I will cover the event spawn pool, talk about the new Pokemon being introduced, and give recommendations for how you should play this event to best benefit your PvP collection. 

Couple quick notes/disclaimers. You have to be at least level 40 to collect XL candy and unless otherwise noted the IVs I list as target/ideal will be assuming a level 50 cap and the requisite XL candy. For a quick explanation on how PvP IVs work refer to this article:

IVs matter but aren't everything.  I would rather run a poor PvP IV Skarmory than a perfect PvP IV Fearow. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into the Ghoulish Pals spawn pool!

Ghoulish Pals Spawn Guide

League: Great, Ultra

Priority: High

Optimal IVs: 0/11/14 at level 25.5 for Great, 10/15/15 at level 50 for Ultra (296 XL candy) Lucky 12/14/14 at level 49.5 for Ultra (Rank 6)

Saddled with an Astonish-ingly bad fast move for the longest time, Cofagrigus was mostly a non-factor in PvP. But with the Season 9 update adding Shadow Claw to its movepool the meta could no longer ghost this Unovan mono type. With a solid array of charge moves (Shadow Ball, Dark Pulse, and Psychic) to go with amazing fast move Shadow Claw and good bulk, Cofa puts up a strong fight against anything that isn't a dark type. 

It is especially important to grind Yamaks during this event for two reasons. 1) Yamask is basically non-existent outside of Halloween events 2) Cofagrigus in Ultra League requires a hefty XL investment. 

Niantic seems to wall certain Pokemon behind specific events (Yamsk for Halloween, Delibird for Winter Holiday) so if you blow it now on Yamask spawns, you may not be able to correct your mistake later. Requiring upwards of 200 XL candy to play in Ultra League, you will either need to grind this event and maybe be trading Yamask out for distance, or start working in a fast paced work environment 😬

A small silver lining is that you can get many top 50 IV combos for Ultra via Lucky Trade so between flipping Yamask or maybe swapping the Shiny in a Guaranteed Lucky Trade, you can find a good IV individual that also saves a bunch of dust.

The Yamask spawn rate seems to be a little down during this half of the event thus far, but that is no reason or excuse not to grind this spawn all you can. Catch those Yamask, grind that XL candy, or it will be the coffin dance for your PvP collection!

League: Great, Ultra

Priority: High

Optimal IVs: 0/15/15 at level 22 for Great, 1/15/15 at level 43.5 for Ultra (76 XL candy)

A NEW CHALLENGER APPROACHING! And it’s a spooky tree. I can’t help but think about the Treeface monster from Dragon Warrior Monsters everytime I see Trevenant, and it is just as deadly an encounter in Pokémon Go. It has a great moveset, armed with the amazing fast move Shadow Claw and the always deadly Shadow Ball to go along with the coverage move options of Foul Play and Seed Bomb. It has a dual Grass/Ghost typing that we have never seen before in PvP. It beats many titans of the Great League, including Azu, Medicham and G-Fisk while generally holding its own against anything that can’t deal super effective damage back to it. An underrated attribute that I find really interesting is how Trev walls Vigoroth. Vig has historically been one of the more common and effective safe switches in the Great League and often serves as a team's soft check to Ghost type mons. Trevenant resists everything Vig has for it and can hit back with Seed Bomb spam leading to comfortable wins even down a shield and energy. 


As for Ultra League, it looks like the core breaker we always wanted Shiftry to be. In the 1 shield scenario it beats Swampert, Giratina-A, Cresselia, Melmetal, Talonflame!!!(bait dependent but still crazy), and Registeel among others. It slices and dices the Open Ultra core meta, mostly struggling against Dark and Normal types. Trevenant will almost certainly be a mon that is considered and planned around when team building in Ultra League metas going forward. 

The only thing that holds Trevenant back is its lack of bulk. It will need shields to run through teams even when taking resisted damage, but the carry potential is insane. Well I cannot say for sure, I would not be surprised if this mon were either Halloween event exclusive or incredibly rare outside of the event. This makes it imperative to grind for the IVs you want and the XL you need to play this new star of Great and Ultra League. On the bright side, even the maximum stat product Ultra Trev only goes to level 43. A good PvP IV Trevenant will only require 70-120 XL. WAY less than many other top XL options in Ultra. So be sure to branch out this event and catch a lot of Phantump. 

League: Great, Ultra

Priority: Medium-High

Optimal IVs: Super 1/15/14 at level 21.5 for Great

Super 0/14/14 at level 42.5 for Ultra (52 XL candy) 

So like I was saying Trevenant has Ghost/Grass typing which is something we have never seen before and will never see again..wait....what's that?

Gourgeist, the Pumpkin Pokemon! The first Pokemon released in Go where size affects its stats. There are 4 sizes of Pumpkaboo/Gourgeist, the stat product getting better as you go up in size. Insert size matters joke here. The biggest size, Super, is probably the one you want for PvP. Though Large is almost as good in the Great League.

In Ultra, it's important to have the Super size Gourgeist. Not only is it the prize pumpkin of the patch in terms of stat product, but it only needs to go to ~level 43 even when maximized, requiring somewhere around 60 XL candy. The other sizes need to be taken anywhere from level 45 all the way up to level 50. Spending potentially hundreds of thousand more dust and hundreds more XL candy for a worse species of the same mon seems like poor value and a terrible waste of your time and resources.

As for how good Gourgeist is, this is where all the work and fuss over size will seem like a waste of time. Gourgeist seems to be just a worse Trevenant. The main thing dragging it down is that it has Hex instead of Shadow Claw for a fast move, a noticeable downgrade. It does have some other surprise options like running Razor Leaf as a fast move or Fire Blast as a nuke charge move, but overall Gourgeist just seems to look like a bad Trev. 

That being said, this Great Pumpkin looks like it could have some value in limited formats, Charlie Brown! It still has rare typing and a solid enough moveset. It’s just that, when available, a very similar but better mon happens to be an option. 

Still, Pumpkaboo likely being a limited spawn and the value being size specific, I would try to catch a good amount of them this event and try to secure a good IV Super size pumpkin.

League: Great, Ultra

Priority: Medium-Low

Optimal IVs: 0/15/14 at level 17 for Great

 0/15/12 at level 28.5 for Ultra

You love Litwick. I love Litwick. The only people who don’t seem to love the candle is Niantic, who must be allergic to Candle Community Days. 

Chandelure is one of the better Ghost type raid attackers trailing only Megas and Shadows for damage output. This means that any perfect or lucky Chandelure you come away with after this event will be very strong against Psychic type raid bosses (such as Cresselia coming later in November). Optimizing raid counters isn’t as important in the remote raid era, but shoring up your raid squad in order to speed up raids and make sure you beat the boss when you don’t have a large raid group is never a bad thing. 

As for PvP, that’s where things get slightly less exciting. Don’t tell a certain someone I said this, but Chandelure just isn’t that good. Don’t get me wrong it has powerful tools in Incinerate, Flame Charge and Shadow Ball, but that often isn’t enough to outweigh its weakness. It’s incredibly glassy, as in a single Politoed Weather Ball does 80 percent of its health glassy. And while a powerful move, the slow and inflexible nature of Incinerate makes the task of navigating the glass cannon candle through an ever increasing array of spammy movesets in the meta a tricky task. 

It’s a spicy pick and in the right hands and with the right alignment Chandelure is capable of incredible sweeps. This makes it reasonably worth catching and checking this otherwise relatively rare spawn for PvP IVs during this event. BUT I would not prioritize catching and/or rerolling Litwick for PvP IVs over say, Phantump or Yamask. 

League: Great, Ultra

Priority: Low

Optimal IVs: Haunter 1/15/14 at level 28.5 for Great, Gengar 0/13/13 at level 19.5 for Great

Gengar 0/15/14 at level 34.5 for Ultra

What’s there to say about this family of mons that hasn’t already been said in the past? Though not quite as present and meta shaping as years past, Haunter still defines the glass cannon archetype: Shadow Claw into some combination of Shadow Ball, Sludge Bomb and Shadow Punch for ludicrous amounts of damage, but dying to a stiff breeze. Gengar is basically the same mon, just add legs and potential focus blast coverage. Though not terrible picks for Great League and Ultra League, the only reason I wouldn’t really prioritize Gastly spawns in this event is that they are not rare and not event exclusive. In fact, Gastly are a nesting mon this season. 

There’s no reason not to catch them and hold on to any premium PvP IVs you may find but it’s certainly not something to stress over during this event. It’s worth noting that Gengar needs the Community Day exclusive move Shadow Punch, so you would have to hold onto those Gastly and evolve them during the likely Community Day rewind event in December.

If you went the entire event without seeing either of these spawns you would be perfectly fine. They are fringe viable even in limited formats, but if you are grinding the event anyways it can’t hurt to hold onto your best Banette for Great League and Honchkrow for Ultra. 

Unfortunately, costume Piplup from this event can’t evolve so your dreams of a Hydro Cannon pumping Pumpkin Hat Empoleon are for naught. Piplup has ok moves but has never seen a ton of play in Little Cup formats. Save yourself the stress of worrying about IVs on this mon and just hunt for the shiny!

Priority Tiers

Going to use a different format for priority recommendations this time by splitting them into tiers as opposed to listing or ranking. Hopefully this will help people grind this event more efficiently or help people with limited time to play know what to go for. 

Tier 1

highest priority. If nothing else you should try to accomplish these things this week

  • Good PvP IV Trevenant for Great AND Ultra League
  • XL candy for Ultra Trev (should be around 70)Good PvP IV Cofagrigus for Great and Ultra League 
    • Worth noting that ideal Ultra Cofa is 10/15/15 
  • XL candy for Ultra Cofa (should be in the 230-296 range)’s a lot

You will likely finish the XL grind for Trev first out of these objectives and your focus should switch to IVs and then grinding out Yamask XL. 

Tier 2

worth doing and could be helpful for your PvP roster

  • Good PvP IV Super size Gourgeist for Great and Ultra League
  • XL candy for Ultra Super size Gourgeist (should be about 70)
  • Good PvP IV Chandelure

Gourgeist is kind of a worse Trevenant and Chandelure isn’t amazing but they have PvP value and you may as well get them while they are spawning regularly. 

Tier 3

not a big deal but as long as you’re out

  • Good PvP IV Haunter and Gengar for Great League and Good PvP IV Gengar for Ultra
    • Again, don’t evolve your Gengar until the CD Event in December so it can learn Shadow Punch
  • Get a good PvP IV of the other Gourgeist sizes for Great league

This family is more meta relevant than say Chandelure, but they aren’t core meta and are in no way an event exclusive so I wouldn’t stress over Gastly this event. There may be some breakpoint/bulk point shenanigans with the other Gourgeist sizes in Great, but if you feel it clogs your storage I wouldn’t blame you for only focusing on a Super size version. 

Tier 4

if you’ve done literally everything else and are basically just dust/shiny farming at this point

  • Good PvP IV Banette for Great
  • Good PvP IV Honchkrow for Ultra
  • Piplup for future Little Cup?

If you’re at this point you’ve basically complete the event, so I’ll just leave just a couple random spice ideas to consider. 


So there you have the spawn analysis for Ghoulish Pals. While it’s not a crazy deep event, there are two limited time and important spawns out there, so it’s worth putting in the time and the effort to grind this week. If you come away with your Cofagrigus and Trevenant situations taken care of, everything else is really extra credit. Good luck and happy haunting! 

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