A comprehensive guide on the best Pokémon you can use in the Ultra League. This guide covers tiers of Pokémon best in the Ultra League, with a focus on GO Battle League Season 6. We do our best to generalize these tiers for you to make decisions based on your playstyle and resources.
Please note that this guide will not cover every single Pokémon available to use in the Ultra League. Therefore, you can still be surprised when battling other Trainers, but at least you will know how to deal with the most popular Ultra League battlers.
In addition, since this guide was last updated, we have had some new battle restrictions (Premier) and now we also have the introduction of XL Pokémon (above lvl 40). This guide will touch on these new aspects to battling in the Ultra League as well. This guide will not cover best movesets for specific Pokémon, so please check out our other guides and spotlights for specific Pokémon.
Important updates and changes
It is important to note that these are the Top Tier Pokémon based on rankings from PvPoke and from investigation and research. What team you choose to use is entirely up to you and it is our hope that this guide will hope you make the best choices for your playstyle.
Each season, a new meta (or the teams most players use) forms based on Pokémon allowed to battle and any new Pokémon additions or changes to movesets. You can mix the teams however you want, but bringing any of these top Pokémon will easily boost your performance!
The list goes from the strongest Pokémon (Tier 1) to Pokémon that are not that strong but have niche uses with strong DPS (Tier 4). With the introduction of Premier Cup, a new meta was created with the exclusion of legendary Pokémon, allowing more Pokémon to shine.
Also, pay attention to Pokémon marked with an XL to indicate that its best performance is powered up past level 40. With the introduction of level 50 and generation 6, the meta has been shaken up, but it will likely still be awhile before you see XL Pokémon widespread in the meta.
I have included XL in this guide so you can determine which Pokémon you want to train to XL in the future. Until XL becomes more prominent, you can substitute lower tier Pokémon.
As a disclaimer, this guide is all encompassing and will have a lot of information. It will be up to you to use what you have to build the most optimal team for you. Everyone’s Pokémon box looks different and we have tried to take that into consideration. A further disclaimer for XL Pokémon. You can use level 40 Pokémon if they are still close to 2500 CP limit, but knock them down a tier as a rule of thumb. Without further do, let’s look at each of these Pokémon tiers and what each tier offers in this league.
Ultra League: Premier Cup.
For anyone not familiar with Premier Cup in Go Battle League, this introduces some restrictions on the available Pokémon you can choose from. This game type eliminates legendary and mythical Pokémon from the meta. Removing legendary Pokémon allows other Pokémon to shine and changes the typing meta.
The strongest legendary Pokémon in regular Ultra League are Psychic, Ghost, Steel, and Dragon types, which controls what non-legendary Pokémon are viable. Premier Cup allows for a much more diverse meta and opens up your options, which makes this game type very popular among battlers. Most battlers will likely choose this game type over regular Ultra League to avoid costly and difficult legendary Pokémon.
Best Premier Cup Pokémon
Breakdown: Tier 1
This tier is dominated by XL Pokémon. All of these Pokémon require XL to be top tier and approach the 2500 CP limit. Galarian Stunfisk XL, Manidbuzz XL, and Shadow Abomasnow XL overlap with both premier and classic ultra league game types. These are likely the best XL Pokémon to invest in early on if you plan on building XL Pokémon as quickly as possible.
Altaria XL, Skarmory XL, and Scrafty XL are unique to tier 1 for premier cup due to the absence of legendary Pokémon holding them back. Altaria XL is technically viable in regular ultra league, but is over shadowed by Giratina and Registeel. Scrafty XL and Skarmory XL are definitely interesting picks and provide excellent coverage and bulk respectively. The caveat to this tier is that it will likely be awhile before we see these XL Pokémon widespread in the meta, so keep an eye out for when that happens.
Breakdown: Tier 1.5
Due to the rarity of XL Pokémon at the moment, this tier was created as a surrogate until we start to see more XL Pokémon. Machamp becomes a powerful pick in the meta with Steel, Dark, and Ice type Pokémon making the top tier list. Electric Pokémon, like Magnezone and Galvantula become more relevant with strong types making the top list as well as Water types down the list. Escavalier and Sirfetch’d offer different coverage for fighting types, depending on the team you use. Either of these fighters are viable and will depend on team synergy.
Swampert is usually a strong pick and will definitely be a strong counter to Galarian Stunfisk, but depending on the meta this season, it may fall down a bit. There are a lot of strong Grass types that may give it trouble. However, its a cheap pick and is strong regardless. Drifblim XL is an interesting pick as well that will counter the Fighting types well, but may be a liability with strong Dark types in the meta.and
Breakdown: Tier 2
We begin to see even more type diversity as we enter tier 2. Clefable XL is a strong pick, given the strong presence of Dark, Fighting, and Dragon types in the top tier list. Their or even more counter users that enter this tier such as, Obstagoon, Blaziken, and Toxicroak. The difference between Toxicroak and Toxicroak XL is not worth the investment at the moment. Blaziken is a strong pick with its fire typing proving useful against steel and bug types present in higher tiers.
Snorlax, Empoleon, and Lapras offer some bulkiness and wide coverage due to typing or movesets. Gengar can be a very good counter to the presence of Fighting types, but still can lose without shields and Gallade offers similar coverage for fighting with an added bonus of access to leaf blade. Finally, we have alternatives to higher tier Pokémon like Electivire, Honchkrow, and Alolan Muk.
Breakdown: Tier 3
This tier is a mixture of bulky damage absorbers and Pokémon with quick charging movepools. This tier is also full of Pokémon that you may have already powered up for past metas. These can be used as alternatives to new rising star Pokémon or budget picks. Steelix XL and Alolan Raichu XL are the XL versions that get a boost this season and could prove to be very useful with the right team.
Typhlosion and Charizard are good alternatives to Blaziken if you dont have the legacy moveset and Togekiss is a good alternatie to Clefable XL. Kingdra can also be a good pick with access to a huge attack debuff that can win you matches. It will also prove strong against Dragon types and take neutral damage from Ice types. Crustle is also a very interesting pick with strong fliers and other bug types in the meta.
Breakdown: Tier 4
The final tier is last, but certainly not least. In this tier, there are still very interesting picks that can work well with the right team. Premier Cup meta has historically been very diverse, with spice picks being popular and well received. We have a new addition with Talonflame XL and Chesnaught, with other good alternative picks depending on what’s in your storage.
Honorable mentions are also very strong spice picks that can throw off your opponent. The movepools of these Pokémon are interesting and can be very fun to play. If you use a Pokémon that is not common, there is a higher probability that your opponent is not familiar with the moveset of that Pokémon and will not know when to shield. Spice (or surprise) picks can be a very useful and fun strategy when playing Go Battle League.
Ultra League: All Pokémon
This is the classic Ultra League game mode, which does not restrict any Pokémon for use in battle. In this mode, legendary Pokémon dominate the meta. However, there is some changes happening with the introduction of XL Pokémon. We can expect that XL Pokémon will disrupt legendary dominance in this game mode once XL Pokémon become more widespread and common in the meta. Powering up and unlocking second moves on legendary Pokémon can be very expensive, but we recommend doing it if you want to be competitive in this game mode. There are budget options, but non-legendary Pokémon struggle to keep up with legendary stats.
Best Ultra League Pokémon
Breakdown: Tier 1
This tier features bulky tanks with amazing coverage and typing that proves difficult to take down. This tier features the staples from previous metas like Registeel, Giratina, and Cresselia, but now includes 4 XL pokemon. Galarian Stunfisk XL will most likely be a true power house when XL pokemon become more common. Registeel XL will be incredibly overpowered if you manage to level one to level 50. It will require you to obtain a rare low attack IV Registeel to reach level 50 and not exceed the 2500 CP limit. If you had a high IV Registeel powered up for previous seasons, it is still relevant, XL is just better.
New additions to this tier are Mandibuzz XL and Shadow Abomasnow XL. Mandibuzz XL has extremely high bulk and a good moveset for neutral damage while also countering other top tier choices. Abomasnow XL’s Ice typing will make quick of Dragon and types that are top tier, while its Grass type will take down Swampert which will likely still be a top contender. You can use Shadow or regular Abomasnow, but XL is important for top tier.
Breakdown: Tier 2
There are a lot of options with 6 generations of pokemon available to you. This tier features more tanky pokemon and additional types that counter tier 1 picks. Due to the high presence of Steel type pokemon in the meta, Swampert will be a very strong pick, but comes with a risky 2x weakness to Grass. There are a couple of relevant grass Pokémon, but in this tier the best one is Shiftry XL. Shadow form is best, but regular is also viable.
In this tier you also have more tanky Dark and Steel type pokemon like Skarmory XL, Umbreon XL, and Steelix XL. Drifblim XL makes an appearance as it will counter Giratina, fliers, and dragons. Clefable XL receives a boost and is a good counter for dragon and dark types. Clefable XL may become more popular as XL Pokémon become more common. Lapras remains a top contender along with Suicune and Articuno. Lickilicky XL joins this tear with its great moveset and defensiveness, surpassing Snorlax.
Breakdown: Tier 3
This tier diversifies quite a lot to introduce counters to the counters. Each of these picks have their benefits and drawbacks. In this tier, its less about tankiness and more about versatility and coverage. Pokémon in this tier may also be lower tier options for higher tier Pokémon if resources or Pokémon are limiting to you. Most of these Pokémon feature strong movesets for fast charge moves to take down shields with niche coverage. The exception to that would be Togekiss which is the second best fairy type, now second to Clefable XL, and is good for taking down dragons or chipping away health with its fast move. Also, it should be noted that Shadow Zapdos is best over regular form.
Also in this tier are some of the starter Pokémon like Charizard and Venusaur, which are great contenders and very cheap to make. If you choose to go the cheap route and use starter Pokémon, make sure to bring at least one Pokémon from the top 2 tiers that have some bulk. Scrafty XL will likely be a very strong pick once XL Pokémon are more common, so be on the lookout for this in future metas.
Breakdown: Tier 4
For this tier, spice picks are featured. Spice refers to a surprise factor that your opponent may be caught of guard by. Using spice can be tricky, as you will need a very synergized team to make it work at the higher ranks of Go Battle League. However, if you are less about winning and more about experimentation, then this is the tier for you. Picks from this tier are fun to use and can definitely add some spice to your life.
Gliscor and Gardevoir picks are best in their shadow form. There isn’t a lot of data on Blastoise XL, but this could be a higher tier Pokémon depending on how thing turn out when Ultra League battles begin again. Mew is always a spicy pick, due to its extremely diverse movepool, but there are optimal movesets, so check those out. A lot of these picks become more relevant in the Premier Cup. Make sure your team is well balanced and covers your weaknesses.
Honorable mentions are more options for you to choose from if your available Pokémon are limited or dust is limiting. It should be noted that Regice and Regirock are very strong picks, but lose to Registeel which is super common. If you resources are limiting, then choose to power up Registeel. They are alternatives to above mentioned Pokémon with decent stats and movepools. It’s up to you to choose a viable team from these provided Pokémon or any others you deem worthy.
The Ultra League has yet to begin at the time of this update and so there may be some insights not yet discovered with generation 6 and XL Pokémon. Take the information about XL Pokémon with a grain of salt until we see it practice, but based on simulations and stats, they are looking very promising in the meta. This update was a huge overhaul because we have a lot of additions to Ultra League PvP. Be on the lookout for future spotlights of specific Ultra League Pokémon and don’t be afraid to experiment.
It’s up to you to choose whichever team you want and create teams, but I hope this guide helps you make some decisions. This guide is not exhaustive and somewhat subjective, so do your best to create a fun and worthy team.