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GO Battle League Team Builds: Great League

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Introduction

Welcome to GO Battle League! Whether you're just getting started or have some experience, building teams can be really hard, especially for a format you don't have much experience in. Below, we've got a couple of teams that you can try to throw together to get started. A few notes before the teams:

  1. Running all 3 moves on these Pokémon is very important unless otherwise specified. Without them, your Pokémon will not be able to hold the same coverage, and the team will be less coherent as a whole. If you’re not able to 3move some of the Pokémon in the Advanced section, consider just sticking to cheaper picks while you save up.
  2. Unless otherwise specified, these teams have no specific lead. Just use what works, and don't take the order listed here as how you should run them.
  3. Don't be afraid to go off script and test things out! Most Pokémon pages here on GamePress have their own recommended PvP movesets that you can look into, and PvPoke is also a great resource. Don't have one Pokémon? Try out some other things in the same slot. However, generally, the moves recommended are recommended for a reason, so start with these if you can!
  4. Finally, and most importantly, don't stress too much about losing. Improvement is a long road filled with lots of sucking, and that's okay. Even if you're just playing to farm rewards, you'll improve over time! Just have fun!

Budget Teams

Welcome to PvP! If you’re just getting started, or you don’t have that much dust, these are some teams of generally useful Pokémon that won’t break the bank. This means no super-rare Pokémon (hi Zweilous), nothing that would need rare candy or more than 50k stardust to unlock the second move (so no legendaries), and nothing that needs to be maxed out or near (Bastiodon, Azumarill, Medicham). Additionally, they're probably easier to use, which is a real plus.

Altaria, Lanturn, Swampert
  • Altaria: Dragon Breath + Sky Attack and Dragon Pulse
  • Lanturn: Spark + Thunderbolt and Hydro Pump
  • Swampert: Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon and Earthquake

Some serious weaknesses to Grass here. If you don’t catch their Grass-type with Altaria you’re very likely to lose. However, other than that there’s not a ton that walls you, and the team is relatively cheap with some Pokémon that you’ll definitely be using in the future.

Toxicroak, Skarmory, Alolan Raichu
  • Toxicroak: Counter + Mud Bomb and Sludge Bomb
  • Skarmory: Air Slash + Sky Attack (and maybe Flash Cannon)
  • Alolan Raichu: Volt Switch + Thunder Punch and Wild Charge or Grass Knot

Toxicroak really, really hates Psychic-type damage, so be careful around any potential Confusions or Psycho Boosts. Flash Cannon can be nice on Skarmory but in the end it’s super optional, you’re pressing Sky Attack 99% of the time anyway. Alolan Raichu can run either Wild Charge or Grass Knot in its second move slot, feel free to try out both to see what works best for you, though landing a Grass Knot lets you answer Whiscashes and Swamperts that would otherwise wall you. Be careful around mudbois, as if you can't line up the Skarmory or land a Grass Knot, you'll probably struggle to take games.

Whiscash, Toxicroak, Noctowl
  • Whiscash: Mud Shot + Mud Bomb and Blizzard
  • Toxicroak: Counter + Mud Bomb and Sludge Bomb
  • Noctowl: Wing Attack + Sky Attack (and Psychic or Night Shade)

Noctowl’s an interesting choice as far as Flyers go. As a mon you wouldn’t necessarily expect to be good, it’s super tanky, and Wing Attack gives it a speed advantage over Altaria and Skarmory. That said, it does lose to both of them head-on, so be careful about positioning. Toxicroak’s fantastic at beating down Registeel and can hit Alolan Raichu pretty hard with Mud Bomb, but has to take care around mud itself. The team generally struggles with Flying, so do your best to land those Blizzards.

Altaria, Swampert, Alolan Raichu
  • Altaria: Dragon Breath + Sky Attack (and Dragon Pulse)
  • Swampert: Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon and Sludge Wave
  • Alolan Raichu: Volt Switch + Thunder Punch and Wild Charge

Three super cheap Pokémon, all hitting really hard. Do note that this team struggles to handle Umbreon, as it beats the first two by outbulking them and A-Chu with super-effective damage. Raichu uses Wild Charge here as the third move to help it beat Altaria, which the team would otherwise struggle with.

Advanced Teams

If you’ve already invested hours of your life farming up unreasonable amounts of dust and candy, look here for some potentially more powerful options. These Pokémon will often be significantly more resource-intensive, or potentially harder to use, but the payoff is there.

Deoxys-Defense, Azumarill, Registeel
  • Deoxys-Defense: Counter + Thunderbolt + Rock Slide
  • Azumarill: Bubble + Hydro Pump and Ice Beam OR Play Rough
  • Registeel: Lock On + Flash Cannon and Focus Blast

If you lead with Deoxys, you will struggle against mudbois in the lead (Swampert and Whiscash). If you lead Azu, you'll struggle vs Grass lead. Make the call there based on what you feel you're seeing most often. HP/IB is run on Azumarill in this team because you already run two solid anti-Azumarill Pokémon, and you can often still power through with Hydro Pump. This team is balanced incredibly well, and is super safe, making the RAD team a very solid option for experienced players looking to leverage their resources into a few wins.

Azumarill, Bastiodon, Skarmory
  • Azumarill: Bubble + Hydro Pump and Play Rough
  • Bastiodon: Smack Down + Stone Edge and Flamethrower
  • Skarmory: Air Slash + Sky Attack and Flash Cannon.

Be wary of opposing Steel tanks, especially Registeel. For this reason, you want to use Hydro Pump on Azumarill to give you more play there, but they will definitely give you trouble. Pair that with Play Rough to help handle opposing Azus. This team can struggle against Toxicroak if you can't get your Skarmory in front of it.

Meganium, Azumarill, Registeel
  • Meganium: Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant and Earthquake
  • Azumarill: Bubble + Hydro Pump and Ice Beam OR Play Rough
  • Registeel: Lock On + Flash Cannon and Focus Blast

Meganium fills a powerful role of beating both Azumarill (with Frenzy Plant) and Registeel (with Earthquake). Just tack that onto the known quantity of AzuSteel core and you're golden. Meg also catches mud and Alolan Raichu, which are increasing in prevalence as meta-antimeta Pokémon.

Clefable, Haunter, Swampert
  • Clefable: Charm + Meteor Mash and Psychic
  • Haunter: Shadow Claw + Shadow Punch and Shadow Ball
  • Swampert: Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon and Sludge Wave

Clefable is used to hard counter Altaria and fighters, and can very nearly handle Azumarill (as long as you don’t try to facetank a Hydro Pump). While it struggles against Poison, Psychic can absolutely deal damage. Haunter’s a really solid generalist which also shreds Deoxys-Defense, and pulls out some really surprising wins with the sheer amount of neutral damage it can put out. However, it’s an incredibly difficult mon to use because of its low bulk, so this will need some practice. Swampert’s your primary Registeel counter, even with just Hydro Cannon. Sludge Wave allows you to deal some extra damage to Altaria, Azumarill, and Charmers, while potentially threatening the shields of any Grass-type that would otherwise farm you. Thanks to asteadydecline for the team suggestion and guide.

Umbreon, Melmetal, Azumarill
  • Umbreon: Snarl + Last Resort and Foul Play OR Dark Pulse
  • Melmetal: Thunder Shock + Rock Slide and Superpower
  • Azumarill: Bubble + Hydro Pump and Play Rough

Umbreon's impressive. It manages to beat out Pokémon like Altaria and Skarmory via bulk alone. Melmetal's an interesting Registeel alternative, trading Flash Cannon for Rock Slide and Focus Blast for Superpower. While it's definitely less bulky, this absolutely doesn't mean it's less useful, and it can put up a great fight against a number of meta-relevant Pokémon. Azumarill runs HP/PR here to help against other Azumarill, which Umbreon struggles with, and Melmetal can't cleanly beat (especially if they have Hydro Pump).
 

Medicham, Tropius, Azumarill
  • Medicham: Counter + Ice Punch and Dynamic Punch
  • Tropius: Air Slash + Leaf Blade and Aerial Ace
  • Azumarill: Bubble + Hydro Pump and Ice Beam OR Play Rough

Tropius runs Air Slash over Razor Leaf here due to Medicham and Azumarill being somewhat soft to Grass, especially Venusaur. This team does struggle somewhat against Azumarill, with Tropius being your cleanest answer. Play Rough does help somewhat there, though it leaves you further weakened against Grass.

A Note on Move Selection

Azumarill

There’s no wrong selection of charged moves for the blue bunny, all of them filling different roles, and all holding value. At its most simple, Ice Beam allows you to fight back against the Grasses. Play Rough allows you to win the mirror against opposing Azumarill (if they’re not running their own Play Rough), and Hydro Pump allows you to fight back against Steel-types which would otherwise resist both of your charged moves. When building your own Azumarill, do some testing to see what works best for you, and don’t be afraid to change it to fit your team!

Alolan Raichu

Alolan Raichu has a number of options for moves, and most of them are solid. Volt Switch is generally preferred over Thunder Shock for its higher damage (and both are better than Spark). For charged moves, Thunder Punch is nice because it provides some speed to make up for Raichu's low bulk, and is thus generally recommended as the primary move (though Wild Charge can also work). As a secondary, Wild Charge, Grass Knot, and Psychic all provide different matchup spreads. Psychic allows it to hit Venusaur for SE, and much of the meta for neutral, Grass Knot can oneshot the Water/Ground-types, and Wild Charge helps consistency against Azumarill and Registeel. Wild Charge and Psychic also help with Altaria.

Team Submissions

Is there a team you're using that you've been having success with at higher ranks? Are you willing to share it? If so, please consider leaving it here in the comments, or sending it to me on Twitter at @InstantAirGael, and I may include it in the article for others to use!

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About the Author(s)

Tyler is a contributing writer for GamePress, primarily focusing on Trainer Battle content. Fan of dogs and fighting games.

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