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Niantic Announces Go Battle League Season 8

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Go Battle League Season 7 is coming to a close, which means Season 8 is almost here. This time around, we have a new set of special cups, a few new attacks added to the game, and perhaps the long awaited rise of Poison Types? We've got a lot to cover, so let's see what's happening.

Season 8

Season Start Season End
May 31, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT August 30, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT

Rewards

  • Rank 1: Guaranteed Machamp encounter
  • Rank 5: Pikachu Libre avatar items, guaranteed Meinfoo encounter
  • Rank 10: Toxicroakm Stunfisk, and male Frillish encounters available
  • Rank 15: Skarmy, Scraggy, and Rufflet encounters available
  • Rank 19: Elite Charged TM, Elite Fast TM at the end of the season
  • Rank 20: Encounters with the currently available Legendary Pokemon in five-star raids
  • Ace Rank: Gloves based on Korrina, a Gym Leader from Generation 6
  • Veteran Rank: Guaranteed Gible encounter, Shoes based on Korrina
  • Expert Rank: Guaranteed Deino Encounter, an Outfit and Pants/Top based on Korrina
  • Legend Rank: Exclusive Encounter with Pikachu Libre

As outlined above, the avatar reward for this season is based on Korrina from Generation 6, who is well known for her connection with Lucario, as well as her status as one of the avatars of Mega Evolution.

We also have encounters with Mienfoo lined up, which will mark the introduction of this Generation 5 Fighting Type Pokemon, as well as its evolution.

League Breakdown
League Start End Bonus
Great League May 31, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT June 14, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT -
Ultra League + Ultra League Premier June 14, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT June 28, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT -
Master League + Master Classic + Element Cup June, 28, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT July 12, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT 2x Stardust Rewards
Great League + Great League Remix July 12, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT July 26, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT -
Ultra League + Ultra League Remix July 26, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT August 9, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT -
Master League + Master League Classic + Ultra League Premier August 9, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT August 23, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT 2x Stardust Rewards
All Three Leagues August 23, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT August 30, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT -

Master League Classic

This league is the Master Cup, but it does not allow any Pokemon that have been powered up via Candy XL.

Premier Cups

These cups ban the use of Legendary/Mythical Pokemon

Remix Cups

Thee cups ban the use of the top 20 Pokemon used by Ace and higher ranked players for a given league

Element Cup

This is an odd one. This cup has the following requirements:

  • The Pokemon must be able to evolve
  • The Pokemon must be the first stage in its evolutionary family
  • The Pokemon must be 500 CP or under
  • The Pokemon must be Fire, Water, or Grass Type

In essence, it's like the Little Cup but with the added requirement of specific types. The PvP team is already analyzing this cup, and you can expect a breakdown in the coming days.

Go Battle Nights

Go Battle Nights are coming back. They offer 3x Stardust for victory, and grant the player up to 20 sets for their duration. They will last from 6:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. on the following dates:

  • June 3rd
  • July 11th
  • August 26th

New Moves and Move Changes

Now for the exciting part of the update! We've got two new moves, updates to existing moves, and new learnsets that will drop soon.

New Move: Feather Dance

Pidgeot is going to be learning the Flying Type move Feather Dance. It will lower the opponent's attack stat, and by the wording it seems as though it may have 100% odds.

New Move: Weather Ball Rock

We've had Weather Ball for a long time now, but we're finally about to get its final incarnation: Weather Ball Rock. Cheap, powerful, and blessed with a great offensive typing, this could be a game-changer for Pokemon in the future. For now, Hippowdown is the only Pokemon to get it.

Move Changes

  • Acid Spray will have a lower energy requirement
  • Poison Jab will deal more damage
  • Poison Sting will generate more energy
  • Poison Fang will drop enemy defense 100% of the time
  • Dragon Tail will deal more damage and generate less energy
  • Focus Blast will deal more damage

Moveset Updates

  • Ariados: Lunge
  • Nidoqueen: Poison Fang
  • Crobat: Poison FangCross Poison

An extremely interesting set of updates. It seems that Niantic is attempting to add more counter-play to Fair Types in particular. But will this be enough? We will have a breakdown of what these changes will entail as soon as we know the numbers!

Full Announcement

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Full Text

Trainers,

GO Battle League Season 8 is set to kick off! This season, Mienfoo, the Martial Arts Pokémon, will be making its Pokémon GO debut as a guaranteed encounter reward at rank 5. You’ll have multiple chances to encounter Mienfoo as you rank up, allowing you to collect enough Candy to evolve it into Mienshao!

The Ultra League Remix and Element Cup are coming to Pokémon GO! The Great League Remix is returning for Season 8, and this time, the top 20 Pokémon most used by Trainers who are Ace Trainer rank and above will be ineligible to participate in this cup. GO Battle Nights are also returning, providing you an opportunity to earn extra Stardust and complete additional GO Battle League battles. Read on for more details!

Season 7 rewards, Season 8 timeline, and what to expect

When Season 8 begins on Monday, May 31, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7), your end-of-season rewards for Season 7 will be available on the Battle screen, including an Elite Fast TM if you reached rank 19 or higher. Your rating will be reset. Stay tuned—we’ll update you if anything changes.

  • The Great League will run from Monday, May 31, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, June 14, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).
  • The Ultra League and its Premier Cup will run from Monday, June 14, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, June 28, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).
  • The Master League, the Master League Classic, and the Element Cup will run from Monday, June, 28, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, July 12, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7). Battle during this time to receive twice the Stardust from win rewards and end-of-set rewards.
  • The Great League and the Great League Remix will run from Monday, July 12, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, July 26, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).
  • The Ultra League and the Ultra League Remix will run from Monday, July 26, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, August 9, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).
  • The Master League, Master League Classic, and the Ultra League Premier Cup will run from Monday, August 9, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, August 23, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7). Battle during this time to receive twice the Stardust from win rewards and end-of-set rewards.
  • All three leagues will run from Monday, August 23, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, August 30, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).

GO Battle Nights return

GO Battle Nights are returning for Season 8! During GO Battle Nights, you’ll receive three times the Stardust for winning battles, completing sets of battles, and ranking up in the GO Battle League. You’ll also be able to complete 20 sets of GO Battle League battles, up from the regular five sets, for a total of up to 100 battles. GO Battle night will take place on each of the listed dates below. Please note that the Stardust bonus during GO Battle Night will not combine with the 2× Stardust bonus that will be active from Monday, June 28, 2021, to Monday, July 12, 2021.

  • Thursday, June 3, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. local time
  • Sunday, July 11, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. local time
  • Thursday, August 26, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. local time

What’s new in Season 8?

With Season 8 comes some exciting changes to the GO Battle League. We’re excited to announce that rank-up requirements will be adjusted, so you’ll be able to reach rank 20 more quickly!

You won’t want to miss these Season 8 rewards.

  • The Pikachu Libre avatar items will be a reward for Trainers who reach rank 5.
  • Trainers will be able to earn avatar items and a pose inspired by Korrina, the Fighting-type Gym Leader from Shalour City who made her first appearance in Pokémon X and Pokémon Y.
    • At Ace rank, you’ll receive the Korrina-Style Gloves.
    • At Veteran rank, you’ll receive the Korrina-Style Shoes.
    • At Expert rank, you’ll receive the Korrina-Style Outfit and the Korrina-Style Pants and Top. Switch between these depending on your avatar’s style.
    • At Legend rank, you’ll receive the Korrina Pose.
  • At rank 19, you’ll receive an Elite Charged TM, and you’ll also receive an Elite Fast TM as an end-of-season reward.
  • Here’s a list of Pokémon you can encounter as you rank up this season.
    • Rank 1: You’ll be guaranteed to encounter Machamp once.
    • Rank 1 and up: You’ll be able to encounter Pokémon such as Machoke, Ariados, Sableye, Snover, and more.
    • Rank 5: You’ll be guaranteed to encounter Mienfoo once.
    • Rank 5 and up: You’ll be able to encounter Mienfoo, in addition to all Pokémon available at previous ranks.
    • Rank 10 and up: You’ll be able to encounter Pokémon such as Toxicroak, Stunfisk, and male Frillish, in addition to all Pokémon available at previous ranks.
    • Rank 15 and up: You’ll be able to encounter Pokémon such as Skarmory, Scraggy, and Rufflet, in addition to all Pokémon available at previous ranks.
    • Rank 20 and up: You’ll be able to encounter the Legendary Pokémon that are appearing in five-star raids at that time, in addition to all Pokémon available at previous ranks.
    • Veteran rank and up: You’ll be guaranteed to encounter Gible once, and then you’ll have a chance of encountering Gible alongside the previous encounter pool.
    • Expert rank and up: You’ll be guaranteed to encounter Deino once, and then you’ll have a chance of encountering Deino alongside the previous encounter pool.
    • Legend rank: You’ll be guaranteed to encounter a Pikachu Libre. This will be the only time you’ll be able to encounter a Pikachu Libre during the season.

Cups

You can look forward to the following cups this season!

  • Great League Remix: The 20 Pokémon most used by Trainers Ace rank and up in the Great League will not be allowed in the Great League Remix. This includes the following Pokémon.
    • Venusaur
    • Alolan Ninetales
    • Alolan Marowak
    • Meganium
    • Azumarill
    • Politoed
    • Umbreon
    • Skarmory
    • Swampert
    • Pelipper
    • Vigoroth
    • Medicham
    • Altaria
    • Defense Forme Deoxys
    • Bastiodon
    • Toxicroak
    • Scrafty
    • Galvantula
    • Galarian Stunfisk
    • Talonflame
  • Ultra League Remix The 20 Ultra League Pokémon most used by Trainers Ace rank and up in the Ultra League will not be allowed in the Ultra League Remix. This includes the following Pokémon.
    • Venusaur
    • Charizard
    • Clefable
    • Poliwrath
    • Alolan Muk
    • Gyarados
    • Lapras
    • Articuno
    • Umbreon
    • Scizor
    • Swampert
    • Registeel
    • Empoleon
    • Togekiss
    • Altered Forme Giratina
    • Cresselia
    • Escavalier
    • Talonflame
    • Melmetal
    • Obstagoon
  • Element Cup: Only Pokémon that can evolve and that are the first in their Evolutionary line will be eligible for this cup. True to its name, only Fire-, Water-, and Grass-type Pokémon are allowed. Pokémon of multiple types are allowed so long as one of their types is Fire, Water, or Grass. The CP limit will be 500.

Season 8 Attack Updates

The following attacks will be added to Pokémon GO.

  • 🗻 Rock-type Weather Ball: This powerful Rock-type version of Weather Ball is now available in Pokémon GO. Hippowdon will be able to learn this attack.
  • 💨 Feather Dance: This elegant Flying-type Charged Attack will sharply decrease the opponent’s Attack stat. Pidgeot will be able to learn this attack.

The following attacks will be updated for Trainer Battles.

  • ☣️ Acid Spray: This Poison-type Charged Attack will now require less energy to use.
  • ☣️ Poison Jab: This Poison-type Fast Attack now deals more damage.
  • ☣️ Poison Sting: This Poison-type Fast Attack now generates more energy.
  • ☣️ Cross Poison: This Poison-type Charged Attack now deals more damage and has a higher chance of sharply increasing your Pokémon’s Attack stat.
  • ☣️ Poison Fang: This Poison-type Charged Attack now has a 100% chance to decrease the opposing Pokémon’s Defense stat.
  • 🐉 Dragon Tail: This Dragon-type Fast Attack now deals more damage but generates less energy.
  • 🥊 Focus Blast: This Fighting-type Charged Attack now deals more damage.

The following attacks will be available to Pokémon that couldn’t learn them before.

  • 🐛 Lunge: Ariados will now be able to learn this Bug-type Charged Attack.
  • ☠️ Poison Fang: Nidoqueen and Crobat will now be able to learn this updated Poison-type Charged Attack.
  • ☠️ Cross Poison: Crobat will now be able to learn this updated Poison-type Charged Attack.

There’s a lot to look forward to this season, so be sure to turn on push notifications in the game settings and follow @PokemonGoApp on Twitter for updates on GO Battle League format rotations and events.

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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About the Author(s)

Gamepress writer with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization with a background in business management and freelance writing.  A bit of a hermit, but also an outdoors enthusiast who loves cycling and hiking. Long-time Gamepress fan who is very proud to be a part of the team.

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