Revisiting Team Building with the Ultra Bonus Event


From 9/13/18 to 9/20/18, Pokemon GO’s Ultra Bonus is active, in which the vast majority of Pokemon spawns are Gen 1 species. The spawn diversity is similar to the Kanto Celebration that took place 5 months ago, with some small differences.

Even after 3 generations of Pokemon, most of the top non-legendary Pokemon in the game evolve from the original 151. For players who missed out on the best legendaries like Raikou and Kyogre, either due to taking a break from the game or living in an area where legendary raids are impossible, the Ultra Bonus Event is another chance to build a battle-ready team for every situation.

Hail to the Chief

  • Weather Boost: Cloudy
  • Top Fighting Attacker

As usual, Machop is a top priority. If you don’t already have a team of 6 maxed out, near perfect, Counter + Dynamic Punch Machamp, then you should be encountering every Machop you see. Machamp is likely to remain among the best, if not the best, Fighting attacker through Gen 5. If you don’t have that perfect team, evolve your highest CP Machop (preferably weather boosted) and use it until you can replace it with a better one.

Oh no! You didn’t get Dynamic Punch and you don’t have any Charged TMs. Pretend like it’s 2016 and move on to your next Machop (but don’t throw away that first one). Keep grinding for that candy.

In Generations Beyond

  • Weather Boost: Rain, Snow
  • Potential Electric Attacker
  • Potential Steel Attacker

Magneton’s Gen 4 evolution to Magnezone gives it stats in the same echelon as the Electric legendaries Raikou and Zapdos. It’s a candidate for the best non-legendary Electric attacker given the right moveset.

  • Weather Boost: Clear, Partly Cloudy
  • Good Ground Attacker
  • Potential Rock Attacker

Anything Ground-type not coming from Groudon is pretty weak, which is why Rhydon wasn’t featured as a currently relevant attacker. A Gen 4 evolution to Rhyperior boosts great stats to elite levels. It definitely can’t be ignored. Though Ground is the weakest attacking type in the game right now, the prospect of Heatran - a gen 4 legendary - gives high value to the type.

  • Weather Boost: Clear
  • Potential Grass Attacker

Tangela is a very okay Grass-type, but it’s far behind its bigger brother and Gen 4 evolution Tangrowth, who is projected to have overall excellent bulk with good offensive power. Tangela’s rarity highly depends on biome, and you’re honestly more likely to hatch them out of 7 km eggs during this event than finding them in the wild.

Our Finest Selections

  • Weather Boost: Windy
  • Great Dragon Attacker

Dragonite lives in the shadow of Rayquaza, but Rayquaza hasn’t been a raid boss for over half a year. When Rayquaza does come back around, Dragonite is one of its best counters. With the advent of friendship, a previously shaky duo with 6-Dragonite lineups is now far more reliable.

  • Weather Boost: Clear, Windy
  • Great Grass Attacker
  • Good Psychic Attacker

Though Exeggutor is no longer the definitive top Grass attacker it once was, it’s the best one that’s widely obtainable right now. Frenzy Plant Venusaur was locked to a 3 hour window and Alolan Exeggutor has only been available through events and raids.

  • Weather Boost: Rain
  • Great Water Attacker

Gyarados is to all other Water-types what Kyogre is to Gyarados. That is, if you don’t have 6 maxed out Kyogre, Gyarados is by far the next best Water-type. With 3 generations in the mix, Magikarp became an endangered species, exacerbating its steep evolution cost of 400 candy.

Noteworthy Figures

  • Weather Boost: Clear, Partly Cloudy
  • Great Rock Attacker

If you need a counter for any one of the Gen 1 legendary raids active right now, Geodude is your best bet in a pinch. For those packing Smack Down Tyranitar, Geodude is good for being possibly shiny, and that’s about it.

  • Weather Boost: Windy
  • Good Psychic Attacker

With a month of Mewtwo raids on the horizon and the recent arrival of Sky Attack Moltres, Alakazam’s market value is at an all-time low. But if you don’t have oodles of Rare Candy to spare, it’s still a go-to Machamp counter. Shadow Ball Alakazam is decent against Focus Blast Mewtwo, which traditional Mewtwo counters have trouble against.

  • Weather Boost: Cloudy, Fog
  • Great Ghost Attacker

Gengar gets a bit of promotion as an ideal counter in upcoming Mewtwo raids, particularly against its Focus Blast sets. Trainers will start attaining best friends around the same time that Mewtwo starts, allowing even Hex Gengar to be viable in duoing Mewtwo - but only against its specific Psycho Cut + Focus Blast set.

Eventful Speculation

The Kanto starter Community Days have come and gone, but Niantic have indicated that they’re willing to reuse exclusive features. Maybe the starters will get a second opportunity to learn their special moves? One can only speculate.

A recent APK teardown of v. 0.119.1 found evidence of move assets added to the game that belong to Crabhammer, a signature move available to the Krabby and Corphish lines. Left irrelevant for so long due to an awful movepool, Kingler now has its eyes on the spotlight.

Conspicuously Absent

Though Eevee is the precursor to 3 very good currently obtainable Pokemon and 2 imminent new evolutions with the potential to make a big impact, it seems to be absent from this event.

Magmar and Electabuzz have returned to tier 2 raids for a short while, but they do not appear to be spawning more frequently in the wild, and their baby forms are not hatching from 7 km eggs.