A comprehensive tier list of best Pokémon and moves to use your Elite TMs on. Includes both Elite Fast TM and Elite Charge TM.
Last updated: June 2022 by Kratos.
In past experiences, trainers that achieved rank 7 or higher in the GO Battle League (currently Rank 19 or higher) were granted the reward of an Elite TM at the end of the season as a prize for their efforts. These special TMs grant the user the ability to be able to choose their desired Fast or Charged move instead of having to re-roll and hope that it lands on the right move.
This can be a nightmare when you are simply trying to teach your Pokémon a certain move as a lot of the time it can keep bouncing between undesired moves which can be frustrating.
Not only do trainers have the ability to choose a move, but the Elite TM also grants the user the ability to allow Pokémon to learn moves from previous Raid Days / Community Days (Legacy Moves) which is not possible for standard TMs.
The burning question on many trainers minds is of course what the highest priority Pokémon would be to use this versatile item on. I’ll be breaking down my picks for the top Pokémon to choose from in the form of a tier list.
Mewtwo (Psystrike and Shadow Ball)Mewtwo
Coming in at our top pick is Mewtwo. This Pokemon has had 3 exclusives moves in the past which are no longer accessible to obtain. These moves are Shadow Ball Ghost, Psystrike Psychic and Hyper Beam Normal. Excluding Hyper Beam, these moves have made this already strong Pokémon into one of the strongest attacking monsters in the game.
The main issue was that Mewtwo could only know one of these powerhouse moves at a time. Shadow Ball was an original legacy move and Psystrike was an event move.
Now for the overpowered part. With an Elite TM, you are able to have a Mewtwo that can now have access to both of these Charge Moves. Not only will this be good in the GO Battle League, but also for other parts of the game such as raiding and taking out gyms with ease.
Shadow Mewtwo with Psystrike is probably the best attacker in the entire game. If you don’t have one with Psystrike, there’s probably no better investment for PvE purposes (raids & gym battles). Regular non-shadow Mewtwo is also a fantastic choice, but Psystrike Mewtwo has been in raids multiple times so if you don’t want to spend an Elite TM you can probably ask one of your friends to lucky trade you one. Psystrike Mewtwo is not only good in raids but also in Master League PvP. It functions as a fantastic safe switch thanks to the great energy generation of Psycho Cut combined with the spamminess of Psystrike, which is a fantastic move also in PvP. Running a double legacy moveset can work, but Mewtwo usually runs Psycho Cut, Psystrike + Focus Blast (nuke vs. steel type mons such as Dialga or Melmetal) or Ice Beam (allows it to hit Yveltal counterswaps).
Shadow Ball Mewtwo is a very decent pseudo-ghost attacker, but it’s not as good as it used to be. Back when we didn’t have great ghost type attackers, Shadow Ball Mewtwo worked pretty well. But now that Mega Gengar and other Pokémon such as Giratina-Origin or Chandelure are in the game, Shadow Ball Mewtwo’s popularity took a significant hit.
Metagross (Meteor Mash)Metagross
Beldum Community Day took place on October 2018 and to this date Meteor Mash Metagross is still one of the meta staples. MM Metagross is the best steel type attacker to use in raids and one of the meta-defining Pokémon in Master League (Premier) PvP.
Do you have a shadow one? Well, that’s even better in raids!
As a side note, we’ve had several events (such as Beldum incense day) where Meteor Mash was obtainable via evolution. If you’d rather wait, you could save yourself an Elite TM. But if you want to have one now, (shadow) MM Metagross is one of the best Pokémon in the entire game.
Registeel (Zap Cannon)Registeel
Zap Cannon Registeel instantly became meta in Great League and Ultra League PvP. It’s so strong players even question whether it should be banned or not.
It’s by far one of the best Pokémon to use in both leagues, thanks to its deadly moveset Lock On, Zap Cannon (legacy) + Focus Blast. Incredible energy generation and an OP move such as Zap Cannon make it stand out in PvP. It has literally zero fast-move pressure, so keep that in mind.
Groudon (Fire Punch)Groudon
Fire Punch Groudon is an amazing Pokémon to use in Master League PvP. Groudon’s incredible stats make it a fantastic Pokémon to use in GO Battle League and trainer battles in general. You can run it with Mud Shot (great energy generation) or Dragon Tail (to apply more fast-move pressure) as a fast move, combined with Fire Punch and Earthquake.
You definitely need Fire Punch as a bait move if you want to use Groudon in Master League PvP. If you don’t care about trainer battles, you can pretty much skip this one.
Ho-Oh (Sacred Fire and Earthquake)Ho-Oh
Ho-Oh has access to 2 meta relevant moves via Elite TMs: Sacred Fire and Earthquake. Ho-Oh is one of the best Pokémon to use in Master League PvP, thanks to its heavy-hitting moveset and great bulk.
If you want to use it in PvP, the moveset you’d probably want to run is Incinerate, Brave Bird + Sacred Fire or Earthquake. Earthquake works better vs. Dialga while Sacred Fire works better in neutral situations or when you don’t want to debuff yourself by using Brave Bird.
You can’t use an Elite TM to teach it Sacred Fire+ or Sacred Fire++, as you’ll need an Apex Ho-Oh if you want to get these moves. Ho-Oh can be used in raids, but there are better fire type attackers. If you want to use regardless I’d recommend using a Sacred Fire+ shadow Apex Ho-Oh instead.
Aeroblast Lugia is one of the best Pokémon to use in Master League PvP for a reason. Lugia’s stat product is unmatched in this game, which allows it to tank moves one after the other, and makes it one of the best safe switches in that league.
You can’t use an Elite TM to teach it Aeroblast+ or Aeroblast++, as you’ll need an Apex Lugia if you want to get these moves. Lugia isn’t particularly useful in raids, as it lacks a full-flying type moveset and offensive power, but if you want to use it I’d recommend using an Aeroblast+ shadow Apex Lugia instead.
Shadow Alolan Marowak (Shadow Bone)Marowak (Alola)
Shadow Bone shadow Alolan Marowak is an amazing Pokémon to use in Great League PvP. If you want to know which matchups it flips now that it’s available as shadow, feel free to check this article by JRE.
Dewgong (Ice Shard + Icy Wind)Dewgong
Ice Shard Ice and Icy Wind Ice are both legacy moves on Dewgong that, when combined can turn a game upside down in the Great League. It has great bulk with a stat-lowering move that is both spammable and powerful. Icy Wind draws opponents into extended fights with its stat debuff and Ice Shard is a high energy generation fast move that synergizes pretty well with Icy Wind.
In order for Dewgong to show its true potential, it does require both of these Charge Moves. Having a Dewgong that already has one of these 2 moves will be the best way to acquire it unless you spend the hefty investment of 2 Elite TMs on this Pokémon which you would have to wait until the end of Season 2.
Double legacy Dewgong became available not too long ago during Seel GO Battle Day, so you probably already have this one. If you don’t, try to find someone who can trade you one.
Garchomp (Earth Power)Garchomp
Earth Power Garchomp is arguably the best non-mega & non-shadow ground type attacker in the game. Thanks to its triple resistance to electric type moves, it’s the ultimate electric type counter in Pokémon GO.
However, you should also keep in mind that Gible Community Day took place in 2021, so there is a high chance you or one of your friends already have this one. Plus, you will probably be able to get one without having to use an Elite TM during December Community Day 2022.
Outrage Salamence is a fantastic alternative to Rayquaza. Do you have a shadow one? Even better! Shadow Outrage Salamence is one of the heaviest hitters in the entire game, so if you have one already evolved with good IVs and without Outrage, spending an Elite TM is a great investment. And it even gets bonus points for having an unreleased mega! (which will probably be outclassed by mega Rayquaza, but it will still be a great Pokémon to use in raids).
Rhyperior (Rock Wrecker)Rhyperior
Rock Wrecker Rhyperior is one of the best rock type attackers in the game, and rock types have always been very useful in raids. It may not hit as hard as Rampardos, but the combination of its great bulk & the move Rock Wrecker is what really makes it shine.
Moltres (Sky Attack)Moltres
Sky Attack Moltres is a fantastic flying type attacker in Pokémon GO. Unfortunately though, flying types are usually not very useful in raids.
If you have a shadow one, it will perform even better!
Swampert (Hydro Cannon)Swampert
Hydro Cannon Swampert is one of the best investments you can make in the game. Absolutely fantastic in Great League, Ultra League, themed cups, Master League Premier Classic, Team GO Rocket battles and a decent raid attacker as well. What else can you ask for, you may be wondering? Well, Swampert has an unreleased mega in Pokémon GO, and it’s gonna be one of the best water type attackers in the game. That’s just insane.
However, don’t forget that Mudkip Community Day Classic took place not too long ago so before spending your Elite TM try to get a HC Swampert through trades first!
Venusaur (Frenzy Plant)Venusaur
Frenzy Plant Venusaur is a meta staple in Great League, Ultra League and even in raids (when mega evolved). We had Bulbasaur Community Day classic not too long ago so before spending your Elite TM try to get a FP Venusaur through trades first!
Cresselia (Grass Knot)Cresselia
Grass Knot Cresselia is very useful in Great League and Ultra League. It’s a very bulky Pokémon with access to Psycho Cut and coverage moves such as Moonblast, along with the legacy Grass Knot to destroy the mud bois.
It has been available in raids several times so make sure you try to ask if someone can trade you one before spending an Elite TM.
Charizard (Ember, Wing Attack, Blast Burn and Dragon Breath)Charizard
Charizard can learn up to 5 different legacy moves, and some of them are quite good! Out of the ones that were listed though, Blast Burn is a must and Dragon Breath is a very good alternative to Fire Spin.
In PvE, all you need is Fire Spin + Blast Burn & mega evolve your Charizard to Mega Charizard Y. It’s currently the best fire type attacker in the game with an insane attack stat and offensive power.
In PvP, trainers usually run different variants. Fire Spin + Blast Burn + Dragon Claw, Dragon Breath +Blast Burn + Dragon Claw or even Wing Attack (for better energy generation) or Ember instead of any of the 2 other fast moves.
Walrein (Powder Snow + Icicle Spear)Walrein
Powder Snow + Icicle Spear Walrein is amazing in Great League, Ultra League and even Master League Premier Classic. Have you ever seen a Pokémon dominate this many different metas?
Spheal Community Day took place not too long ago so before spending your Elite TM try to get a double legacy Walrein through trades first or else you’ll need to spend 2 Elite TMs for a Pokémon that you’ll probably be able to get this December!
Lapras (Ice Shard + Ice Beam)Lapras
Lapras is very similar to Walrein. It’s a very bulky ice/water type that is mostly used in Great League and Ultra League. Lapras’ moveset is insane: Ice Shard, Ice Beam, Surf, Skull Bash… there’s so many viable options! However, what all movesets have in common is that they need Ice Shard as a fast move to work.
We’ve had some double legacy Lapras events in the past, so as always it’s better to ask any of your friends if they have a spare one.
Lickitung (Body Slam)Lickitung
Body Slam Lickitung is one of the best safe swaps in Great League and Silph Cups. It’s been in many of the top cut teams in the Pokémon GO World Championship series for a reason. Lickitung can spam Body Slams left and right thanks to its Lick, Body Slam + Power Whip moveset, and it even gets STAB while using it!
Body Slam Lickitung was only available during Lickitung Raid Day. If you don’t have one, it’s one of these Pokémon to consider when building your Great League teams for GBL.
Talonflame is one of the scariest Pokémon to face in trainer battles. If you don’t call the right baits, it can easily sweep your entire team thanks to its Incinerate, Brave Bird + Flame Charge moveset.
Some trainers might already have some spare Incinerate Talonflame to trade, so try to ask first before using an Elite TM. If you don’t find anyone willing to trade you one, you’ll probably be able to get one during December Community Day.
Umbreon (Last Resort and Psychic)Umbreon
Last Resort Umbreon has been a meta staple for a while in Great League and Ultra League PvP. Psychic is also a good coverage move to run, but Last Resort is probably the best choice of the 2 in open metas.
There’s been multiple times where Last Resort Umbreon has been available, so try to ask other trainers if they have they can trade to you. Both moves are Community Day moves, and we’ve had 2 Eevee Community Days so far.
Empoleon (Hydro Cannon)Empoleon
Hydro Cannon Empoleon is one of the best Pokémon to run in Ultra League. Thanks to its water/steel typing and nice coverage moves, Empoleon is one of the best Pokémon to consider when trying to build your Ultra League teams.
Zapdos (Thunder Shock)Zapdos
Thunder Shock Electric Zapdos was obtainable a long while back as a research breakthrough encounter. Thunder Shock is a quick energy-generating Fast Move that has a similar EPS (Energy Per Second) to moves such as Mud Shot and Psycho Cut.
Paired with Drill Peck Electric, Zapdos and its Shadow variant have dominating potential in the Great League against current meta Pokémon such as Azumaril, Registeel, Swampert, Skarmory, Toxicroak and Tropius.and Thunderbolt
Before the Weather Ball nerf, Politoed used to be everywhere. Mud Shot + Weather Ball was so spammy that it even caught Niantic’s attention and ended up being slightly nerfed.
Politoed is still quite good in Great League and Ultra League, and its shadow variant is also a fantastic choice. When facing a Politoed you never know if it’s running Earthquake or Blizzard as a coverage move, so using an Elite TM to catch some of your opponents off guard might not be a bad choice at all!
Meganium (Frenzy Plant)Meganium
Frenzy Plant Meganium used to be one of the best Pokémon in Great League. It is now nowhere near as common, bit still a very decent option to consider. It’s a bulkier Venusaur with access to Earthquake as a coverage move to deal super effective damage to steel type counterswaps in PvP.
Sceptile (Frenzy Plant)Sceptile
Frenzy Plant Sceptile is neither the best grass type attacker nor a meta-shaking Pokémon in trainer battles. Why would you want to use an Elite TM on it though?
Well, Frenzy Plant Mega Sceptile will undoubtedly become the best grass type attacker in the game by far, and you can’t say you haven’t been warned! As soon as that happens, its popularity will probably skyrocket, but for now it should stay in this Tier.
Sylveon is a somewhat decent fairy raid attacker but its main use is in trainer battles (mostly in double Charm strats). It performs really well in Great League, Ultra League and even Master League Premier Classic.
Psyshock is Sylveon’s cheapest charge move, and since its energy generation with Charm is almost none, you definitely want to have access to a somewhat decent charge move you can reach. Try to ask some of your friends first though, they might have a Psyshock Sylveon they can trade to you and make you save an Elite TM!
You can run Fire Spin Ninetales without having to spend an Elite TM, but if you want to spice things up and apply a bit more fast-move pressure, Ember Ninetales has some niche uses that are perhaps worth considering. It worked pretty well for Cindy, the 2022 Vancouver Regional Champion. Feel free to check her battles to see how Ember Ninetales performed in the tournament.
It’s definitely not a top-priority option but if you’re a Silph/GBL/PvP enthusiast and want to try out some spicier picks, you can always consider spending an Elite TM to get yourself an Ember Ninetales.
Mew is a unique Pokémon on this list due to the fact that it does not have any legacy moves or any previously unobtainable moves. The main reason why an Elite TM would be a good idea to use on Mew is that Mew can learn a whopping 25 Charge Moves which make it the most versatile Pokémon in the game.
This is great for trainers that are low on TMs and want to obtain their ideal moveset without the hassle of going through their whole inventories worth. However, unless you really need to get a certain moveset and you don’t want to spend too many regular TMs, I would not recommend using an Elite TM on Mew.
The beauty about Mew is that you can set it up to work with any team composition. Some popular moveset combinations that have shown success with high-level trainers have been to run Mew with…
- Shadow Claw + Flame Charge & Wild Charge to deal with Steel types and provides an attack increase with every Flame Charge used. It also provides coverage for Water Pokémon such as Azumaril.
- Shadow Claw + Flame Charge & Surf to unexpectedly nuke your opponent and to deal with tanky Steel and Rock type Pokémon.
- Shadow Claw + Psyshock & Overheat to nuke Steel types and to cause havoc early on into a fight before the stat debuff of Overheat.
- Shadow Claw + Surf & Rock Slide to have the most spammy moves Mew has to offer and also to deal with Fire types.
- Shadow Claw + Wild Charge & Ice Beam to have type coverage and to catch common meta Pokémon off guard.
Blaziken (Stone Edge)Blaziken
Legend tells of a flame chicken we all know and love once being able to learn Stone Edge Rock. The rarest legacy move in all the land. This move was only accessible for a short amount of time for Blaziken and surprisingly has its use in PvP. It offers versatility in Great League and even Ultra League (Premier). Surprisingly Brave Bird gives Blaziken a chance against Altaria and a strong neutral damage option against its Water type counters.
Stone Edge Blaziken has better potential in Silph Arena tournaments rather than a freestyle format. It does have the surprise factor that will throw a lot of people off guard while in a situation to shield or not.
Gengar (Shadow Punch)Gengar
Gengar is an exceptionally strong Pokémon that has access to Shadow Punch, a fast-charging strong move that has amazing bait potential. Gengar gained access to this move for Gastly community day back in July 2020. Gengar has the potential to sweep with shields with its extremely high attack stat paired with its moves.
Gengar has positive matchups against several top tier Great League picks such as Azumaril, Skarmory, Alolan Marowak, Toxicroak and Defense Deoxys.
A note on Shadow Pokémon
Shadow Pokémon Disclaimer: Elite TMs can NOT remove Frustration from Shadow Pokémon, so to obtain these moves you would either need to unlock a 2nd Charged Move or have previously removed Frustration during the available window.
As we know now, Shadow Pokémon have a 20% higher Attack than its normal form but have a 20% lowered defence making them more glassy but dealing increasingly more damage overall. Shadow Pokémon, due to this fact can be risky but with enough practice, they can be deadly in the right hands.
Moves that can be obtained via Elite TMs
|Exeggutor (Alola)||Draco Meteor|
|Marowak (Alola)||Shadow Bone|
Thunder (Pikachu Libre cannot learn these)
Weather Ball (Fire)
|Sandslash (Alola)||Shadow Claw|
Parting Words and tl;dr
The choice is yours when you receive your Elite TM, of course, there will be a lot to factor in and the decision might not be easy for some trainers. Hopefully, this article will guide you into deciding what Pokémon you want to invest this item into.
As a tl;dr, here’s a recap of our recommendations (please keep in mind that the following list assumes you didn’t play when the moves were available, it’s just based on the actual relevance of the moves in the current meta):