Niantic Announces Go Battle League Season 5, New Moveset Updates

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It's that time again! As we prepare to enter into Season 5 of Go Battle League, a slew of new updates and changes are on the way. From moveset changes and new moves, to a change to the rank season, to Legendary Pokemon as Go Battle League rewards, this season promises to be quite  interesting

Go Battle League: Season 5

Season 5 Start: November 9 at 1:00 p.m. PST
Special Cup Cup Start Cup End
Little Cup November 9, 2020, at 1:00 p.m PST November 16, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST
Kanto Cup November 16, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST November 23, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST
Catch Cup November 23, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST November 30, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST

Season 5 is going to be interesting, as it brings with it a number of changes and new cups.

The Little Cup

Special Ruleset: Only first-form Pokemon that can still evolve are eligible 

CP Limit: 500

The Kanto Cup

Special Ruleset: Only Pokemon whose Pokedex numbers are 1-151 can enter

CP Limit: 1500

The Catch Cup

Special Ruleset: Only Pokemon caught during Season 5 are eligible

CP Limit: 1500

Season 5 Changes

  • At Rank 7 and over, the current Legendary Pokemon in the raid rotation will be encounterable
  • Rank 1-2 will be based on number of battles played, ranks 3-10 will be based on total wins
  • Rank 7 and over will reward an Elite Charge TM
  • Most of the remaining details will be the same as they were during Season 4

Moveset Changes

Arguably the most exciting part of this event, we're getting a new wave of moveset changes! 

New Fast Move: Incinerate

Incinerate is a brand new Fire Type fast move. While we don't have any information on its stats for PvP or PvE as of yet, it's absolutely huge for one specific reason: Ho-oh is finally getting a STAB fast move! 

Moveset Update: Flame Charge

A fairly interesting Attack-buffing move, Flame Charge is being added to several new Pokemon, giving them a wider set of options in PvP. Between this and Incinerate, it might be interesting to see what happens with Chandelure in the PvP scene.

Move Update: Poison Sting

Poison Sting is... not good. With a current stat line of 1.5 Damage Per Turn and 3 Energy Per Turn, it plainly falls short of being worthwhile. It's confirmed that Poison Sting is getting an energy generation increase, so a likely update here would be to make it into a clone of Mud Shot or Psycho Cut: 1.5 Damage Per Turn and 4.5 Energy Per Turn. This could be remarkable.... if not for the fact that Poison Sting isn't exactly well distributed.


Between these updates and the upcoming release of Aeroblast for Lugia, this season promises to be one of the most interesting that we've seen. We have a number of new cups and changes to look forward to, and we also have a mystery raid boss coming that will be featured as a reward for Go Battle League. To top it all off, maybe Ho-oh will be worth using? Either way, here's to Season 5!

Full Announcement

Full Text


As previously mentioned in the blog post detailing Season 4, Season 5 of the GO Battle League will be shorter than previous seasons at just three weeks long. In addition, ratings will not be used for rank progression this season, and you’ll instead progress through the ranks by winning a certain number of battles. We hope to see Trainers take this opportunity to try out new strategies, test different battle teams, and prepare for Season 6!

Season 4 rewards, Season 5 timeline, and what to expect

When Season 5 begins on Monday, November 9, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8), your end-of-season rewards for Season 4 will be available on the Battle screen, including an Elite Fast TM if you reached rank 7 or higher. We’re also excited to reveal that Season 5 will feature entirely new cups! The dates in the schedule below are tentative. Stay tuned—we’ll update you if anything changes.

  • The Little Cup will run from Monday, November 9, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, November 16, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8). Only Pokémon that are able to evolve and have not evolved even once are eligible. The CP limit is 500.
  • The Kanto Cup will run from Monday, November 16, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, November 23, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8). Only Pokémon with a Pokédex number between #001 and #151 are eligible. The CP limit is 1,500.
  • The Catch Cup will run from Monday, November 23, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, November 30, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8). Only Pokémon that have been caught since the beginning of Season 5 are eligible. The CP limit is 1,500. Mythical Pokémon—such as Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, and Victini—are not eligible for the Catch Cup.

You can expect the following details to remain unchanged in Season 5.

  • There will not be a walking requirement in order to battle in the GO Battle League.
  • The Friendship level requirement for battling remotely will remain at Good Friends throughout Season5. Remember that you can scan another Trainer’s QR Code to battle them, no matter where they are.
  • The avatar items inspired by Pikachu Libre will continue to be rank 7 rewards.
  • You can still encounter Pikachu Libre once you’ve reached rank 10.
  • The end-of-season rewards will be similar to those in Season 4.
  • Stardust from rank 1 to rank 3
  • Stardust, TMs, and a Premium Battle Pass from rank 4 to rank 10

What’s new in Season 5?

There are some notable changes coming to the GO Battle League for Season 5.

  • Starting at rank 7, you’ll have a chance to encounter Legendary Pokémon on the GO Battle League rewards tracks. These Legendary Pokémon will be the same as those appearing concurrently in five-star raids. The rest of the Pokémon you can encounter on the rewards tracks will remain unchanged from Season 4. Please note that encounters with Legendary Pokémon on the rewards tracks will be available in the GO Battle League only during Season 5.

  • Rank progression during this season will be based on effort rather than ratings.

    • To reach rank 2, you must complete a certain number of battles.
    • To reach ranks 3 through 10, you must win a certain number of battles..
  • If you finish Season 5 at rank 7 or higher, you’ll receive an Elite Charged TM rather than an Elite Fast TM.

The following new attacks will be added to Pokémon GO.

  • Incinerate: This Fire-type Fast Attack will initially be available only to Rapidash originally discovered in the Kanto region, Typhlosion, Ho-Oh, Darmanitan originally discovered in the Unova region, and Chandelure.

The following attack will be updated for Trainer Battles.

  • Poison Sting: This Poison-type Fast Attack will now generate more energy, allowing Pokémon like Vespiquen, Drapion, and Whirlipede to use their Charged Attacks more frequently.

The following attack will be available to Pokémon that couldn’t learn it before.

  • Flame Charge: This powerful Fire-type attack will now be teachable to Rapidash originally discovered in the Kanto region, Entei, Emboar, and Chandelure.

What are you looking forward to most in Season 5, Trainers? Let us know with #GOBattle!

Please be aware of your surroundings and follow guidelines from local health authorities when playing Pokémon GO. Upcoming events are subject to change. Be sure to follow us on social media, opt in to receiving push notifications, and subscribe to our emails to stay updated. For the latest on in-game events and feature updates, be sure to check this help center article.

—The Pokémon GO team

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