Meta Implications: Go Battle League, Season 14

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Pokemon GO has released the information for GO Battle League Season 14, the Season of Rising Heroes. The article below covers the moveset changes, Cup itinerary, and the Pokemon you’ll want to look out for leading up to the Cups for GBL Season 14. Overall, the Cups look great but the movepool updates are noticeably lacking.

Fairy Wind Whimsicott

With Fairy Wind added to Whimsciott’s arsenal, it is now able to reach its powerful Charge Moves more quickly. Moonblast is one of the best Fairy-type Charge Moves in the game, Grass Knot may not be Leaf Blade but it’s a large step up from Energy Ball, and Hurricane can erase opposing Grass-types.

Notable matchup gains over Charm in the Great League include: flipping the Bastiodon 2-1 (Whimsicott spends 2 shields, Bastiodon spends 1), Pelipper 1-0, Shadow Walrein 1-0 & 2-1, Medicham 0-0, Shadow Swampert 0-0, Swampert 0-1, Azumarill 1-1, Diggersby 1-1, Spark Lanturn 0-1 & 1-1, Charm Shadow Alolan Ninetales1-1, Trevenant 1-1 & 2-2 (bait dependant on Trevenant’s side), Galarian Stunfisk 1-0, 2-1, & 2-2 (potentially the 1-1, IVs depending), and the Noctowl 1-0 & 2-1 with an energy advantage.

By dropping Charm, Whimsicott will have less potential to crush opponents when ahead on shields and will become flakier against some Dark-types (Mandibuzz, Sableye, Umbreon) when behind on shields. Both Fast Moves have their advantages. Overall, Fairy Wind doesn’t surge Whimsicott to the top of the meta, but it does make Whimsicott more viable and dynamic than it has been before.

Surf Jellicent

Surf gives Jellicent a much needed, low-cost, decent hitting Water-type move to both bait, chunk, and close out fights with. Bubble Beam still has its cruel potential to both bait and debuff your opponent, but sometimes Jellicent just wants to hit a little harder than Bubble Beam while also hitting a little faster than Shadow Ball or Ice Beam.

Notable matchup gains over Hex + Ice Beam/Shadow Ball in the Great League include: Charm Shadow Alolan Ninetales 0-0, Shadow Swampert 0-0, Talonflame 0-0, 0-1, & 2-2, Shadow Charizard 0-1 & 2-2, Vigoroth 0-1, Alolan Marowak 0-1 & 1-2, Galarian Stunfisk 1-1 & 2-2, Swampert 1-1, Diggersby 1-1, Sableye 2-1, Obstagoon 2-1, Bastiodon 1-0, 2-1 & 2-2, Froslass 2-2, and Dunsparce 2-2.

This may seem like a revolution for Jellicent, but dropping Bubble Beam removes Jellicent’s debuff potential, dropping Ice Beam hurts it against Grass and Flying-types, and dropping Shadow Ball leaves it vulnerable to opposing Water-types. It can be difficult to decide which Charge Moves you’ll want to use on your Jellicent, and Surf makes it that much harder for your opponent to determine which moves you’re running. Overall, a solid addition to Jellicent’s movepool.


Boomburst was first featured on Noviern’s Community Day. It is a 150 damage for 75 energy attack. It’s not a good move. It is thematically sensible for Exploud, but kind of annoying for Flygon and Kommo-o. Given that it’s an un-good move, its only purpose is to waste your Charge TMs while you try to get the better moves on your Flygon, Shadow Flygon, and Kommo-o. This wouldn’t stand out so much as a problem if the Season 14 update was comparable to past GBL Season updates. Given that it’s just this and 2 other Pokemon getting updated, it kind of sticks out. John Hanke, why?

Upcoming Cups

Fantasy Cup: Ultra League Edition March 1-8

Fantasy Cup limits players to Dragon, Steel, and Fairy-type Pokemon, with Cobalion and Galarian Stunfisk banned. Given that Steel-type resists both Dragon and Fairy-type, this Fairy Tale will probably feature more knights in shining armor than dragons or pixies. At a glance, Lucario, XL Registeel, Solgaleo, and Giratina Altered Forme appear to dominate the format, with room for Shadow Dragonite, normal and Shadow Flygon, and Haxorus to shine through as core breakers. Tapu Fini may be the sole Fairy to make a splash in this meta, managing most of the Dragon-types and Steel-types (save Registeel) well. 

Overall, Fantasy Cup will likely be Regi/Tina the Cup, but it’s got enough of a supporting cast to keep it engaging.

Color Cup: Great League Edition March 8-15

The Rainbow Color Cup restricts the Great League meta to only Fire, Water, Grass, and Electric-type Pokemon. On the surface, we may be in for a Rock-Paper-Scissors (RPS) meta, as Shadow Wing Attack Charizard, Lanturn, and Abomasnow appear to dominate the field. Swampert, Trevenant, and Walrein may add a little color to this rainbow, with Shadow Zapdos threatening storm clouds if it gets an energy/shield advantage.

Overall, the meta looks kind of RPS, but will likely be satisfying. If nothing else, it’ll be more interesting than playing Season 13’s Open Great League again.

Psychic Cup: Great League Edition March 15-22

Season 14’s Psychic Cup is no different than Season 12’s Psychic Cup (Psychic-type only, no Mew), and that’s alright- Psychic Cup was really fun. The Cup is basically Victini/Malamar the Cup, but Feint Attack Bronzong, Metagross, Mud Slap Claydol, Galarian Rapidash, and a whole slew of core breakers and spice picks keep it interesting. If you’re worried about your Victini’s PvP IVs, the PvP IV Guru himself, RyanSwag, says they don’t matter outside of Charge Move Priority in the mirror. If you powered up your Victini past 1500 CP, send feedback to Niantic about this problem but don’t worry, despite being the Victory Pokemon, Victini isn’t essential for Victory.

If you are looking to get ahead in the Psychic Cup, it’s highly recommended to check out our Psychic Cup Meta Simplified Guide and our Malamar PvP IV Deep Dive. The Malamar IVs are very helpful for dominating both Victini and the mirror match.

Mountain Cup: Great League Edition March 22-29

The Mountain Cup restricts players to Ice, Ground, Rock, and Steel-type Pokemon, while banning mean old Swampert. The result is Diggersby hammering hard on everything. Several Pokemon can overcome it, but only Lapras, Walrein, and Marshtomp really have a comfortable time. Shadow Abomasnow can counter the aforementioned counters, while also having the speed and power to potentially overcome Diggersby. Lucario and Donphan also duel the bunny well and can take advantage of the bunny hunting Ice-type Pokemon. And don’t think for a moment that Registeel and Stunfisk aren’t skulking on this Mountain either.

At the moment, it’s hard to say if Mountain Cup will be Diggersby the Cup or if Diggersby will just have a large presence. There appears to be enough give in the meta to do well without it, but- oh, shoot, you didn’t shield the Earthquake. If you haven’t built a Diggersby yet, you may want to check out our Diggersby PvP IV Deep Dive.

Little Cup March 29-April 5 & May 3-10

Little Cup is a 500 CP Cup that restricts players to only basic stage Pokemon that can evolve (ex. Pichu, not Pikachu, not Dedenne). Did you notice that they didn’t ban Bronzor this time? If you don’t have a solid IV Bronzor (0/14/15 hits 500) and ~276 XL Candy for it, you’ll either want to play Ultra League instead or consider this your 1 week vacation from playing GBL. 

Spring Cup: Great League Edition April 5-12

When you think of Spring, are Tentacruel and Trevenant the first two Pokemon that come to mind? Well, after the Spring Cup, they will be. In this Water, Grass, and Fairy-type restricted Cup, the Tentacruel/Trevenant core nearly goes unchallenged. Walrein and Shadow Walrein can overcome it if they land an Earthquake in time or manage to get ahead of Trevenant on energy or shields. Pelipper also hassles Trevenant decently, and can threaten Tentacruel with Hurricane. Hold on. Is that..? SHADOW AMOONGUSS WITH A STEEL CHAIR?!?! 

Overall, the Spring Cup is looking pretty rough on paper, but it could play out like the Psychic Cup. Tentacruel and Trevenant are the big bads, but good energy and shield management will be required to come out on top. 

Evolution Cup: Great League Edition April 12-19

Evolution Cup was more or less Purified Dusclops/Vigoroth the Cup last time around. It was kind of rough but kind of fun at the same time. Definitely a Cup you can appreciate only lasting a week. The meta will likely be the same (Shadow/Purified Dusclops, Vigoroth, Purified Machoke, Golbat, Haunter, normal/Shadow Dratini, Zweilous, Chansey), just be aware that Dusclops is expensive to power up. Non-Dusclops teams are fine.

Weather Cup: Ultra League Edition April 19-26

Weather Cup: Ultra League Edition returns from Season 12. As before, only Fire, Water, Ice, and Rock-type Pokemon are eligible and XL Cradily is king. If you didn’t spend the past 6 months getting Cradily’s XL Candy for the Weather Cup’s return, at least there’s Open Great League to fall back on. 

Master Premier Cup April 26-May 3

Master League but without the Legendaries. The meta hasn’t changed too much over the seasons, with Dragonite, Gyarados, Milotic, Mamoswine, Magnezone, Excadrill, Metagross, Snorlax, Swampert, Florges, Haxorus, and Machamp all being decent picks. There is plenty of room for spice too, such as Chandelure, Obstagoon, Trevenant, and more. If you like the pacing of Master League but refuse to spend your money and time chasing XL Legendaries, Master Premier Cup is perfect.

Sunshine Cup: Great League Edition May 10-17

The Sunshine Cup exclusively features Fire, Grass, Ground, and Normal-type Pokemon. At a glance, this Cup appears like it’ll be a more hardcore variation of the energy/shield management format, as the Noctowl/Vigoroth core goes nearly unopposed. Neutral nukes and shield games from Swampert, Pidgeot, Gliscor, Dubwool, Talonflame, and others will make for many 1 HP wins and risky farmdowns.

Overall, this cup will either be really fun or a hair too energy management focused to enjoy. If you know how to count to 5 without getting distracted, you should be fine. 

Element Cup: Little Edition May 17-24


Hey, it’s not like it’s nearly the end of the season and Ma$ter League is your only alternative. Oh. It is. Well, uh.. Good luck!

Catch Cup: Rising Heroes Edition May 24-June 1

What do we have to pay Niantic to never have a Catch Cup ever again? About $50 for each Legendary in the Master League? Sounds about right.


Pokemon GO Battle League Season 14 is off to a rough start, as only 2 minor movepool updates is the exact opposite of exciting. The Cups are looking fun and interesting enough, but they barely make up for it. Hopefully Pokemon GO will sprinkle movepool updates throughout the Season, but that could be even more stressful for players competing in the Play! Pokemon tournaments. Also, why won’t they show us Palmer’s outfit?

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