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GO Battle League Team Builds: Ultra League

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Introduction

After Great League comes Ultra! The league of Giratina and Registeel is somewhat restrictive, and can be very expensive. If you don’t have a great sense of how to build for the format, take a look at some of these teams! Keep in mind that this isn’t a complete list of all viable teams, just a few that you can get started with if you’re feeling lost!

Budget Teams

Admittedly, it's significantly harder to build budget teams for Ultra than it is for Great. However, there are a number of viable threats that don't demand quite as much resource investment as a maxed Registeel or Clefable. Here are a few you could try out! Note that there are a few instances of Giratina-A without a second move here. While it's absolutely incredibly helpful to have, if you really want to use your Gira, feel free to test it out without 3moving, and consider saving up to get that later!

Giratina-A, Swampert, Snorlax
  • Giratina-A: Shadow Claw + Dragon Claw
  • Swampert: Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon* and Earthquake
  • Snorlax: Lick + Body Slam and Earthquake OR Superpower

Pretty soft to Togekiss and Dragonite, this team provides you some strong options against the rest of the meta. Giratina doesn't need a third move to handle the mirror. For Snorlax, bait with Body Slam to try to land your Earthquakes, and don't tank any Focus Blasts if you can help it. Note that you should do your best to 3move the Snorlax as a Munchlax. It costs about as much dust to get a Munchlax 3moved and on level as it does to 3move a Snorlax you already caught at around 2500!

Charizard, Giratina-A, Gyarados
  • Charizard: Fire Spin + Blast Burn* and Dragon Claw
  • Giratina-A: Shadow Claw + Dragon Claw (AND Shadow Sneak)
  • Gyarados: Dragon Breath + Crunch and Aqua Tail* OR Hydro Pump

The first time Gyarados is shown on this list, but it certainly won't be the last. As an incredibly powerful budget option, it beats Giratina-Altered in the 1-1 and 0-0 shield scenarios, and Origin in the 0-0 and 2-2 straight Crunch. Additionally, it walls out Swampert, and performs well against the starter pokemon (which are great budget options). Note that the team has a weakness to Fairy-types and Lapras.

Togekiss, Swampert, Gyarados
  • Togekiss: Charm + Ancient Power and Flamethrower
  • Swampert: Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon* and Earthquake
  • Gyarados: Dragon Breath + Crunch and Aqua Tail* or Hydro Pump

Togekiss is a beast in Ultra League, as a powerful and cheap Charm user that has Flamethrower to threaten the ubiquitous Steel-types in the format. Gyarados often likes to have the Community Day move in Aqua Tail, but Hydro Pump does just fine!

Charizard, Snorlax, Togekiss
  • Charizard: Fire Spin + Blast Burn* and Dragon Claw
  • Snorlax: Lick + Body Slam and Earthquake OR Superpower
  • Togekiss: Charm + Ancient Power and Flamethrower

Charizard remains a fairly powerful generalist, especially against Cresselia that don't run Future Sight, as well as the Escavalier and Registeels running around. Beware Giratina leads and Registeel in the back. While Snorlax can do fine against Registeel, you definitely don't want to tank a Focus Blast.

Gyarados, Giratina-Altered, Escavalier
  • Gyarados: Dragon Breath + Crunch and Aqua Tail* or Hydro Pump
  • Giratina-Altered: Shadow Claw OR Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw (and Shadow Sneak)
  • Escavalier: Counter + Drill Run and Megahorn

Gyarados + Escavalier provides solid general coverage and can threaten Cresselia’s shields, and Giratina is just strong. As always, while you should 3move your Giratina if you can, don't feel bad if you can't. Dragon Claw alone is very powerful!

Togekiss, Empoleon, Snorlax
  • Togekiss: Charm + Flamethrower and Ancient Power OR Aerial Ace
  • Empoleon: Waterfall + Hydro Cannon* and Drill Peck
  • Snorlax: Lick + Body Slam and Earthquake

While this team will struggle somewhat against Steel-types (especially Escavalier), you’ve got a lot of play against everything else! Empoleon is a surprisingly strong generalist with an impressively good Registeel matchup, and Togekiss is as good as ever at beating Giratina.

Advanced Teams

Giratina-Altered, Registeel, Swampert
  • Giratina-Altered: Shadow Claw OR Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw and Shadow Sneak
  • Registeel: Lock-On + Flash Cannon and Focus Blast
  • Swampert: Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon* and Earthquake

One of the most generally powerful teams available with 3 incredible Pokémon. This team can struggle against Charm, Shiftry, and Gyarados, but performs very well otherwise. 

Articuno, Swampert, Escavalier
  • Articuno: Ice Shard + Icy Wind (and Hurricane* or Ancient Power)
  • Swampert: Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon* and Earthquake
  • Escavalier: Counter + Drill Run and Megahorn

After the Ancient Power nerf, Articuno has some freedom in running its (admittedly optional) second move. Hurricane is likely generally better, but it's event-exclusive, and you generally just spam Icy Wind anyway. Be careful around Togekiss, Articuno is your cleanest answer to it. Escavalier's fantastic typing in combination with the Drill Run buff makes it a threat to be reckoned with, and you've got Megahorn to hit any Cresselia or Armored Mewtwo you run into.

Melmetal, Alolan Muk, Poliwrath
  • Melmetal: Thunder Shock + Rock Slide and Superpower
  • Alolan Muk: Snarl + Dark Pulse and Gunk Shot or Sludge Wave
  • Poliwrath: Mud Shot + Ice Punch and Dynamic Punch

Melmetal's an interesting mon. As a Steel-type, it shares a defensive profile with Registeel, and Superpower is sorta your pseudo-Focus Blast. You do sacrifice a fair bit of bulk, though Rock Slide's coverage is incredibly valuable against things like Gyarados and Charizard which Registeel struggles against. Alolan Muk has fantastic matchups against Psychics, Grasses, and Giratinas, and can put up a good fight against Registeel.

Cresselia, Giratina-Altered, Swampert
  • Cresselia: Psycho Cut + Moonblast and Grass Knot* OR Future Sight
  • Giratina-Altered: Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw and Shadow Sneak
  • Swampert: Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon* and Earthquake

Giratina runs Dragon Breath here to help shore up a general weakness to Alolan Muk or Obstagoon, which would otherwise threaten this team. Another powerful generalist team, make sure you clear out any Registeels by the time you bring out your Cresselia. You've got enough bulk in the back that you don't have to feel bad about shielding your Swampert to take switch advantage!

Cresselia, Charizard, Swampert
  • Cresselia: Psycho Cut + Moonblast and Grass Knot* or Future Sight
  • Charizard: Fire Spin + Blast Burn* and Dragon Claw
  • Swampert: Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon* and Earthquake

While Cresselia can run either Grass Knot or Future Sight, the Grass coverage can be incredibly helpful at giving you more of an advantage over Swampert leads.

Giratina-Altered, Lapras, Escavalier
  • Giratina-Altered: Shadow Claw + Dragon Claw and Shadow Sneak
  • Lapras: Ice Shard* + Surf and Ice Beam*
  • Escavalier: Counter + Drill Run and Megahorn

No getting past the legacy moves on this one: Lapras needs both Ice Shard and Ice Beam to really perform in normal Ultra League! If you weren't able to get one from Research Breakthroughs or Raid Day, check with your locals to see if you can get one in a trade!

Charizard, Clefable, Togekiss
  • Charizard: Fire Spin + Blast Burn* and Dragon Claw
  • Clefable: Charm + Meteor Mash and Psychic
  • Togekiss: Charm + Flamethrower and Ancient Power OR Aerial Ace

Termed TapTapNoSkill by Ccoftw, Charizard + Double Charm is a pretty simple team to play. Lead Charizard. If you don't manage to catch out Registeel immediately, switch out to your Clefable to bait it out. Let Clef go down, bring your Charizard back in, and clean up the Registeel. Your Charizard with energy advantage combined with Togekiss in the back should be able to clean up pretty much anything.

Team Submissions

Like with Great League, this guide will never be a complete list of strong teams. That means we could use your help to expand it! If you have a team that you've been finding success with, feel free to leave it in the comments here, or send it to me on Twitter at @InstantAirGael! Of course, we'll keep adding our own teams as we find stuff that works, so please keep checking back every once in a while to keep up!

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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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