Master League PvP Guide

Master League is the highest PvP league in which you can currently participate in Pokémon GO. It has no CP limitations, so strong Legendaries, Pseudo-Legendaries and Mythicals such as Dialga, Mewtwo, both Giratina forms, Togekiss, Melmetal, Dragonite, Garchomp, Groudon, Palkia and Kyogre are common picks.

The purpose of this article is to provide full details about the strongest Master League Pokémon, their best movesets, what they are strong against, and how to counter them.

First things first, here’s a handy semi-simple infographic that you can save and reference later:

The Elite 4 of Master League

Pokémon Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO DialgaDialga Dragon Breath Dragon
  • Iron Head Steel
  • Draco Meteor Dragon
Pokemon GO Giratina (Altered)Giratina (Altered)
  • Shadow Claw Ghost
  • or Dragon Breath Dragon
  • Dragon Claw Dragon
  • Shadow Sneak Ghost
Pokemon GO TogekissTogekiss Charm Fairy
  • Ancient Power Rock
  • Flamethrower Fire
Pokemon GO GroudonGroudon Mud Shot Ground
  • Fire Punch* Fire
  • Earthquake Ground


*Legacy Move

 

These four Pokémon are the strongest contenders in Master League. They also have really good team synergy as they cover each others’ weaknesses and vulnerabilities, so it shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise if you see all four of them on any competitive Master League team.

Dialga is the most mandatory as it is the current king of Master League. With two shields it can beat almost everything, even some of the Ground types and Fighting types that are meant to beat it. What makes it so strong is its access to Dragon Breath, which is one of the strongest fast moves in PvP, its amazing typing that grants it many resistances, and it’s the only Dragon type not weak to Dragon itself, which enables Dialga to counter opposing Dragon types very efficiently while having very good coverage moves that hit most Pokémon in Master League for at least neutral damage. Iron Head is Dialga’s fastest charge move. Although it’s quite weak for its energy cost, it’s still mandatory since it gives it the best shot at beating the Pokémon it’s supposed to beat such as Dragonite. Draco Meteor is overall the better second charge move since it is so crazy strong that even opposing Steel types don’t want to take it. It actually does a little bit more damage than Thunder to Steel types, however, the sharp attack drop makes Dialga pretty much obsolete after using it so you must be careful if you decide to go with Draco Meteor.

It should be noted that the ideal IVs for Dialga are 15 Attack, 14 Defense and 12 HP minimum. 15 Attack reaches the highest breakpoint with Dragon Breath in the mirror match and 14 Defense ensures that opposing Dialga with 15 Attack don’t do extra damage. 12 HP guarantees the simultaneous KO in the non-Best Buddy mirror and Best Buddy mirror. Best Buddy Dialga with 15 Attack and 14 Defense always beats the mirror if the opponent’s Dialga isn’t Best Buddy.

Giratina-Altered is the other king of Master League as it forms an almost unstoppable core with Dialga by checking the Ground types, Fighting types and opposing Steel types that trouble it. Dialga in return can switch into most of Giratina-A’s counters such as Dragonite, Zekrom and Reshiram. Dragon Breath is an option over Shadow Claw as it makes the matchups against Ground types and opposing Dragon types much more favorable and turns the tables on Snorlax and Dark types. However, this makes Giratina-A much more vulnerable to Steel types and Togekiss and still leaves it unable to beat Dialga.

Togekiss is one of the only Pokémon in Master League that can consistently beat Dialga with two shields. It is one of the best leads in the format, if not the best lead, since it easily beats every Dragon type and Ground type with two shields. On top of that, it has Ancient Power as a charge move which has a 10% chance to raise its Attack and Defense by 2 stages. Basically, the only Pokémon that it can’t beat with two shields are Steel types. Because there are currently so many Dragon types in Master League and more will come in the future, Togekiss will always be relevant.

Groudon is the best Steel type counter in the format. It hard counters Melmetal and beats Dialga even if you only use Fire Punch. Earthquake nukes anything weak to it and easily 2HKOs anything that doesn’t resist it, which makes Groudon very good at applying shield pressure. The only Pokémon that hard counter Groudon are Dragonite, Palkia, Kyogre and Lugia.

Giratina-Origin Form, Pros and Cons

Pokémon Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO Giratina (Origin)Giratina (Origin) Shadow Claw Ghost
  • Shadow Ball Ghost
  • Dragon Pulse Dragon


Giratina-O is less bulkier than Giratina-A, but has a lot more power, which is what separates them the most. It also generally beats Tina-A as long as it can land a Shadow Ball. The movesets are also slightly different, with Tina-O using somewhat slow but powerful charge moves while Tina-A has access to quicker yet weaker charge moves and Dragon Breath as an alternate viable fast move. Tina-O does the Ghost type attacker job much better overall since Shadow Sneak is a very weak charge move. Tina-O has much more closing power than Tina-A, making it much more useful and reliable once shields are down. It is arguably the best closer in Master League since nothing resists both of its STAB moves. Overall, Tina-A is a safer and less risky pick than Tina-O as it isn’t easily hard countered like Tina-O is. Both forms generally lose to Dialga regardless of the moveset they have.

Dragonite & Palkia

Pokémon Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO DragoniteDragonite Dragon Breath Dragon
  • Draco Meteor* Dragon
  • Dragon Claw Dragon
Pokemon GO PalkiaPalkia Dragon Breath Dragon
  • Aqua Tail Water
  • Draco Meteor Dragon


*Legacy Move

 

The premier Dragon Breath users besides Dialga. What makes them generally better than Zekrom and Reshiram is they beat Ground types instead of being weak to them. Dragonite is actually the strongest Groudon and Swampert counter in the game since it resists Ground, Water and Fire. Although it may seem completely outclassed by Dialga at first, Dragonite has a few advantages over the Master League king. For starters, Dragonite wrecks Ground types and checks Fighting types rather than being weak to them. Garchomp can still OHKO with Outrage though, so make sure you have shields on your side if you plan to use Dragonite to beat Garchomp. It still usually beats the Giratinas like Dialga does and beats most other Dragon Breath users 1v1 since it has Dragon Claw. Having only Dragon attacks, despite how powerful they are, leaves Dragonite extremely vulnerable to Togekiss, Melmetal and Dialga, although Dialga can’t afford to take too many Dragon Claws or a Draco Meteor, as it almost OHKOs it.

Dragon Claw is the charge move that Dragonite will be using most of the time since it’s fast and reliable. Although it’s a Community Day exclusive, Draco Meteor is the preferred second charge move as it’s ridiculously powerful and is only slightly slower than Outrage. It does have a sharp attack drop after usage though so be careful when using it. If you don’t have any Dragonite with Draco Meteor, then Outrage is still a solid choice. It doesn’t have the attack drop so it does consistent damage but it’s much weaker than Draco Meteor. Hurricane allows Dragonite to hit Togekiss hard if it gets locked into it and demolishes Fighting types, but it has no other use besides that.

Palkia doesn’t resist Ground like Dragonite does, but it is bulkier and has a much better matchup against Melmetal, the biggest threat to Dragon Breath users. It also absolutely walls Kyogre, since it double resists Water and only takes neutral damage from Blizzard. Aqua Tail is really fast and puts immense pressure on Groudon, Landorus, Excadrill and Rhyperior to shield. Unfortunately, Palkia isn’t as reliable at beating the Giratinas as Dragonite since its only Dragon charge move is Draco Meteor, but with both shields up it still can usually overcome them.

Dragonite beats Palkia if the Palkia isn’t Best Buddy. Best Buddy Palkia with 15 Defense reaches a bulkpoint on Dragonite’s Dragon Breath which flips the matchup. However, if the Dragonite is Best Buddy as well, it still wins. Both lose very hard to Togekiss and generally lose to Dialga and Melmetal.

Melmetal

Pokémon Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO MelmetalMelmetal Thunder Shock Electric
  • Rock Slide Rock
  • Superpower Fighting

Melmetal’s main role is to shut down Togekiss and the ubiquitous Dragon Breath users. One of its main perks is that it also reliably beats Dialga with Superpower as long as it avoids getting hit by Draco Meteor or Thunder. This makes it a fantastic lead, since it can simply Superpower on a bad matchup and switch. Its fast Rock Slides and fantastic Steel typing enable it to wreck Dragonite, Togekiss and Reshiram. It still can usually beat Palkia with Rock Slide, but it is much closer. Zekrom is the only DB user that Melmetal really struggles with. Melmetal loses very hard to Ground types and Fighting types. It loses to the Giratinas for the most part, but it has a positive matchup against Dragon Breath Tina-A.

Kyogre

Pokémon Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO KyogreKyogre Waterfall Water
  • Surf Water
  • Blizzard Ice

With both shields behind it, Kyogre can beat almost anything that doesn’t resist Water, which makes it a great lead. Unfortunately, what it loses to, it loses hard. Pretty much any Dragon type wrecks it, except Reshiram since it doesn’t resist Water.

Mewtwo

Pokémon Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO MewtwoMewtwo Psycho Cut Psychic
  • Psystrike* Psychic
  • Shadow Ball* Ghost
  • Ice Beam Ice
  • Focus Blast Fighting


*Legacy Move

 

Mewtwo’s wide range of coverage moves allow it to potentially hit everything in Master League for super effective damage. Because of this and having the highest Attack stat in game, it is the best safe swap in the league. However, it is somewhat frail, so it can struggle early game when shields are up, especially against Togekiss, Kyogre and Dragon Breath users. Strong neutral attacks like Swampert’s Hydro Cannon, Garchomp’s Outrage and Groudon’s Earthquake can overwhelm it very easily.

Mewtwo is very straightforward, using its whopping 300 attack stat and strong charge moves to OHKO or 2HKO almost everything. Psystrike is Mewtwo’s fastest and best charge move and paired with Focus Blast has fantastic coverage that only misses out on opposing Psychic types. Although it is also legacy and thus would require an Elite TM, Shadow Ball is the best secondary charge move in general to go with Psystrike. It takes two fast moves longer to reach than Psystrike, but has much better coverage overall. Notably, it hits opposing Psychic types for super effective damage and most importantly hits the Giratinas super effectively, netting an easy 2HKO on both of them. It also hits Steel types for strong neutral damage. If you don’t have any legacy Mewtwo, Ice Beam is the best charge move to use with Focus Blast for maximum coverage. Mewtwo generally loses to the Giratinas and Dialga, especially with shields up, but they need to watch out for potential super effective coverage moves. Other than that, there really isn’t anything that hard counters Mewtwo, especially if it has Psystrike.

Other Mud Shot Users

Pokémon Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO GarchompGarchomp Mud Shot Ground
  • Outrage Dragon
  • Sand Tomb or Earthquake Ground
Pokemon GO SwampertSwampert Mud Shot Ground
  • Hydro Cannon* Water
  • Earthquake Ground
Pokemon GO Landorus (Incarnate)Landorus (Incarnate) Mud Shot Ground
  • Earth Power Ground
  • Rock Slide Rock


*Legacy Move

 

Similar to Groudon, their main roles are to counter Steel types (mainly Melmetal) and check Reshiram, Zekrom and the Mud Slap users. Each is unique since they have different typings, stats and coverage moves.

Garchomp is a monster. It has a crazy high max CP and amazing stats that rival a lot of legendaries and Mythicals such as the Giratinas and Melmetal, while also having a moveset that fits it perfectly. It unfortunately loses to Dialga, Reshiram and Zekrom in the two shield scenario since it’s weak to Dragon Breath, but it picks up consistent wins on them when shields are down. Garchomp basically ties them in the one shield matchup. Against the other Steel types, Garchomp picks up convincing wins in all even shield scenarios with Sand Tomb, although its lack of a Steel resistance can prove problematic versus Metagross. Earthquake Garchomp should only be used late game or when shields are down on the opponent’s side, as that’s when it can really show its true potential. It’s one of the best closers in Master League since Earthquake and Outrage can OHKO or 2HKO almost everything. Sand Tomb is a solid option over Earthquake, as it gives Garchomp viability early game by allowing it to beat Dialga, Reshiram and Zekrom in the one shield scenario much easier and allows it to switch into Metagross in the two shield scenario. It can even beat both Giratina forms with two shields if it baits shields properly with Sand Tomb.

Swampert makes a pretty good lead since it threatens Groudon, Dialga, Landorus, Melmetal, Reshiram, Zekrom and the Mud Slap users. It can beat Dialga, Reshiram and Zekrom even in the two shield scenario but it has to land the Earthquake on Dialga and Zekrom to win, which requires a lot of mind games to pull off. Since Reshiram doesn’t resist Water, Swampert can actually beat it in the two shield matchup only using Hydro Cannon, but it is extremely close.

Landorus is the frailest of the three, but has the best coverage and resists Ground itself, which enables it to check Groudon and Garchomp without Sand Tomb. It beats Reshiram only using Rock Slide in the one shield and two shield matchups, but needs to land Earth Power to KO it when shields are down. It unfortunately can’t beat Dialga or Zekrom in the two shield scenario reliably due to its low bulk. Even if it successfully baits twice, Landorus gets farmed down before it reaches the third Earth Power in the lead matchup against Dialga. The same thing happens if Zekrom only throws one charge move against Landorus, so never throw more than one charge move with Zekrom or Dialga against Landorus. However, Landorus beats them convincingly in the one shield and no shield scenarios straight Earth Power. Although Landorus doesn’t resist Rock Slide, it still beats Melmetal reliably in every even shield scenario straight Earth Power.

All three lose to Kyogre, Palkia, Togekiss and Dragonite, especially if shields are up. Swampert and Landorus lose to the Giratinas and Psystrike Mewtwo pretty convincingly. Garchomp gets absolutely clowned by Togekiss and is weak to Palkia and Dragonite’s Dragon Breath, but has the best matchup of all the Ground types against Mewtwo, Kyogre and the Giratinas, especially with Sand Tomb. Swampert loses very hard to Dragonite since it resists both of its moves, but forces at least one shield on Togekiss, Palkia and Kyogre most of the time. Landorus loses hard to Kyogre, Swampert and Palkia since it is weak to Water, but has the best matchups against Togekiss and Dragonite.

Zekrom & Reshiram

Pokémon Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO ZekromZekrom Dragon Breath Dragon
  • Wild Charge Electric
  • Crunch Dark
Pokemon GO ReshiramReshiram Dragon Breath Dragon
  • Overheat Fire
  • Crunch Dark

The only Dragon Breath users capable of threatening a OHKO on Togekiss, which is a pretty huge deal. Not even Dialga’s STAB Iron Head can do that. The main reason they aren’t higher on this list though, is because they are very vulnerable to Ground types, especially the Mud Slap users. They both beat Palkia for the most part (although barely) and the Giratinas, but can only tie Dragonite at best.

Zekrom has the strongest Wild Charge in the game. This enables it to OHKO Togekiss from almost full health (if it lands) guaranteed with just a little chip damage from Dragon Breath. This doesn’t mean Zekrom counters Togekiss though, since it is weak to Charm. Wild Charge also lets it beat Melmetal reliably, which makes it the only current Dragon Breath user capable of doing that. However, since Wild Charge harshly lowers your Defense upon usage, you must be careful when using it on any opponent. Crunch has perfect coverage with Wild Charge in Master League. It hits the Ground types and opposing Dragon types that resist Wild Charge for solid neutral damage and gives it a move to hit opponents without lowering its Defense. Most importantly, it hits the Giratinas and Psychic types such as Mewtwo super effectively. Outrage might seem appealing to nuke Dragon types when shields are down, but the combination of Dragon Breath + Crunch is usually enough to take them down, and without both Wild Charge and Crunch you lose the ability to beat Melmetal reliably. Garchomp is much better with shields down anyway. Don’t use Stone Edge.

Reshiram has an amazing offensive typing that gives its STAB moves completely unresisted coverage in Master League. This makes it a fantastic safe swap capable of OHKOing or 2HKOing almost everything. It also is the only other Dragon type besides Dialga to not be weak to Charm. STAB Overheat does 75% damage minimum to Togekiss, making it an easy OHKO after some chip damage from Dragon Breath or a Crunch. It absolutely nukes Steel types, although Melmetal’s fast and super effective Rock Slides are usually too much for Reshiram to handle. Overheat harshly lowers your Attack when you use it, so similar to Zekrom you must play Reshiram carefully. Crunch once again is there to pressure the Giratinas and Psychic types and hit opponents without lowering its Attack. Stone Edge can be used instead of Overheat to pressure Togekiss more and surprise Dragonite and opposing Reshiram, but without Overheat you lose any chance of beating Melmetal and Excadrill and you worsen your matchups against Dialga and Groudon. Reshiram is the only Pokémon in the game that currently has both Draco Meteor and Overheat in its arsenal. This can let it run a very interesting and very powerful double nuke set, but since both of those moves harshly lower you Attack when you use them, it would probably only work as a lead so you can utilize hit-and-run tactics with them reliably.

Both generally lose to Dialga and Togekiss, especially if they have both shields. They also struggle a lot with Dragonite and the Mud Shot users. However, with both shields in tact, they can go toe-to-toe with them. They lose hard to the Mud Slap users if both shields are in play. Reshiram has a big Kyogre and Swampert problem since it doesn’t resist Water. It also is pretty weak to Melmetal.

Mud Slap Users

Pokémon Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO ExcadrillExcadrill Mud Slap Ground
  • Drill Run Ground
  • Rock Slide Rock
Pokemon GO RhyperiorRhyperior Mud Slap Ground
  • Rock Wrecker* Rock
  • Surf Water


*Legacy Move

 

Hard counters to Reshiram, Zekrom and most Steel types. They need shields to reliably beat Melmetal, Dialga and Metagross, so its best to use them as leads or counter switches. They can farm down basically any opponent weak to Ground since Mud Slap is so strong.

Excadrill is frail, but it is the hardest Dialga, Reshiram and Zekrom counter in the game since it resists Dragon Breath. It beats them easily with at least 1 shield but Overheat from Reshiram obliterates it if it lands and Draco Meteor from Dialga does about 75% damage. The Melmetal matchup is sketchy since the first Superpower also does about 75% damage if unshielded, but with both shields up Excadrill wins even if it gets double baited with Rock Slide. Excadrill also has very good Rock Slide coverage that threatens pretty much everything that resists Mud Slap and Drill Run.

Rhyperior is bulky but has arguably the worst defensive typing in the game, which sort of offsets the bulk. Since it is weak to Steel, it needs both shields to reliably beat Metagross and Dialga. It has a much better Melmetal matchup than Excadrill though and can go toe-to-toe with the Giratinas due to how powerful STAB Rock Wrecker is. Surf is overall the best coverage move since it gives Rhyperior a reliable bait move, unlike Superpower which lowers your Attack and Defense.

Both lose extremely hard to Kyogre, Fighting types, Palkia, Swampert and Landorus. Although they are weak to Rock, Togekiss, Lugia and Dragonite also hard counter them with shields since they double resist Mud Slap. Excadrill loses really hard to Groudon since it is weak to Fire Punch, but Rhyperior can put up a really good fight since it resists Fire Punch and has Surf. It should be noted though, that Groudon still wins every even shield scenario against Rhyperior straight Earthquake. Both lose pretty convincingly to Garchomp, especially if it has Sand Tomb. The Giratinas have an easy time against Excadrill since it is so frail, but Rhyperior can potentially overcome them if Rock Wrecker lands.

Honorable Mentions

Other Steel Types Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO MetagrossMetagross Bullet Punch Steel
  • Meteor Mash* Steel
  • Earthquake Ground
Pokemon GO HeatranHeatran Fire Spin Fire
  • Flamethrower Fire
  • Stone Edge Rock


*Legacy Move

 

Like Melmetal, they hard counter Togekiss and check Dialga. The main issue with them though is they lose harder to the Giratinas and Zekrom than Melmetal and lose to Palkia and Reshiram.

Metagross beats Dragonite as long as it doesn’t get hit by Draco Meteor. It can farm Togekiss from full health, which is huge since a 100 energy Metagross is one of the scariest things to face in Master League. Meteor Mash is the best Steel type charge move in the game. It 2HKOs almost everything that doesn’t resist it, even Giratina-O. Earthquake is the best coverage move Metagross could possibly get. It lets it check Melmetal and Dialga and hits every relevant threat that resists Meteor Mash at least neutrally. Metagross has much better matchups against Ground types than Melmetal and Heatran, except for Excadrill.

Heatran is a VERY high risk, high reward Pokémon. It’s the hardest Togekiss counter in the game and beats Dialga and Metagross straight Flamethrower, but it loses to basically everything else. It can’t even beat Dragonite, Reshiram and Lugia reliably despite having Stone Edge. The Melmetal matchup for the most part is in Melmetal’s favor due to Superpower. It loses harder to Palkia, the Giratinas and Zekrom than Metagross. Stone Edge is the best second charge move since it gives Heatran the best chance at beating most of the Pokémon that resist Fire. It is actually stronger than STAB Iron Head.

Both lose hard to Groudon and the Giratinas. Kyogre, Swampert, Garchomp and Palkia give Metagross a hard time but it isn’t as bad as Heatran, which gets totally walled and destroyed by them. Excadrill counters Metagross and Heatran pretty hard but needs to make sure it doesn’t get hit by Earthquake or Flamethrower. Rhyperior walls Heatran to oblivion if it doesn’t have Iron Head but Metagross can put up a really good fight. Heatran is really weak to Fighting types.

Snorlax Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO SnorlaxSnorlax Lick Ghost
  • Body Slam Normal
  • Earthquake Ground

The hardest wall to Giratina-O in the game if it doesn’t have Dragon Pulse. But even if Tina-O has Dragon Pulse, Snorlax can easily tank two of them and threaten it with Earthquake. It easily beats Shadow Claw Tina-A as well but it needs to land an Earthquake for it to be consistent. Dragon Breath Tina-A gives Snorlax a hard time. The combination of Lick and Body Slam allows Snorlax to soft check Mewtwo with shields up, but it has to watch out for Focus Blast, which OHKOs even from full health. Earthquake lets Snorlax soft check Steel types, Zekrom and Reshiram, but those matchups are extremely bait dependent, so don’t expect Snorlax to always be able to beat them. Same thing goes with Outrage, it might seem appealing to use it to surprise Dragons, but since it is almost as slow as Earthquake, the opponent will most likely see it coming and shield it.

Snorlax is very bulky, but it loses most neutral matchups since it is weak, especially against Dragon Breath users. Togekiss beats it, Groudon beats it, Kyogre beats it, Melmetal keeps it on its toes with Superpower, Mewtwo’s Psystrikes can overwhelm it, the list goes on. The only things it hard loses to though are Fighting types.

Darkrai Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO DarkraiDarkrai Snarl Dark
  • Dark Pulse Dark
  • Focus Blast Fighting

Darkrai is pretty much a Dark type version of Mewtwo, which lets it beat the Giratinas rather than mostly lose to them. Since it double resists Psystrike and resists Shadow Ball, it makes a very good Mewtwo counter as well. However, it is VERY frail, so it needs shields to beat them reliably and to have a chance of beating the Mud Shot users.

Togekiss, Fighting types, Kyogre with both shields and Dragon Breath users with both shields eat it for breakfast.

Regirock Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO RegirockRegirock Lock On Normal
  • Stone Edge Rock
  • Focus Blast Fighting

Walls Heatran, beats Togekiss even with two shields and can go toe-to-toe with Dialga, Dragonite, Reshiram, Melmetal, Snorlax, Darkrai, Lugia and Excadrill. It loses hard to the Mud Shot users, Rhyperior, Palkia, Kyogre, Fighting types and the Giratinas.

Regice Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO RegiceRegice Lock On Normal
  • Blizzard Ice
  • Earthquake Ground

With shields down, Regice is a force to be reckoned with. Blizzard and Earthquake are powerful and combined they hit almost all of the core Master League meta for super effective damage. Ice is a terrible defensive typing, but Regice has the bulk to fire off multiple charge moves and survive some super effective hits. If it can manage to get a shield advantage over something, Regice is almost guaranteed to win. The only things that can truly stop it once shields are down are Machamp and Conkeldurr.

Lugia Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO LugiaLugia Dragon Tail Dragon
  • Sky Attack Flying
  • Hydro Pump Water


Say hello to the bulkiest Pokémon in Master League. Lugia’s sky high defense stat and great HP stat prevent it from being OHKO’d by any attack from full health. Its typing and moveset lets it dispatch Ground types and Fighting types easily. Dragon Tail is by far the better fast move as it has superior coverage and most importantly allows Lugia to beat Darkrai with two shields, Palkia, Dragonite, Latios, Reshiram and Zekrom with two shields. Lugia needs two shields to reliably beat Latias because of Thunder. Extrasensory allows Lugia to beat Togekiss with two shields, although it worsens pretty much every other matchup, especially Dark types.

 

Sky Attack is the mandatory charge move as it has fairly good neutral coverage and is Lugia’s fastest move. Hydro Pump is the better second charge move since it’s a nasty surprise for Regirock, Heatran, Melmetal and Metagross, but Heatran is the only one that really can’t afford to get hit by it. The others still beat Lugia fairly easily. Future Sight is Lugia’s best option to hit Zekrom and lands a strong neutral hit on Dragonite, the Giratinas, Regirock and Snorlax. However, it leaves you completely helpless against Steel types. Regardless of the second charge move you decide to go with, Lugia loses pretty hard to Dialga, Melmetal, Metagross and the Giratinas.

The Lati Twins Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO LatiosLatios Dragon Breath Dragon
  • Dragon Claw Dragon
  • Psychic Psychic
Pokemon GO LatiasLatias Dragon Breath Dragon
  • Outrage Dragon
  • Thunder Electric

Alternate Dragon Breath users that resist Fighting but unlike Dragonite aren’t weak to Rock, so they aren’t as prone to Melmetal, Regirock and Heatran and are more reliable at beating Machamp, Landorus and Conkeldurr. However, because they are part Psychic type, they can’t beat the Giratinas and Snorlax like Dragonite can, which is a huge downside. Another advantage they have over Dragonite is they aren’t double weak to Ice, but they both still are vulnerable to Regice and still have to watch out for super effective coverage from Mewtwo. They both still counter Groudon, Swampert and Garchomp like Dragonite does but need shields to do so reliably. They both can overcome Darkrai with two shields. Dragon Tail Lugia, Togekiss, the Giratinas, Melmetal, Metagross and Dialga beat both of them pretty easily.

Fighting types Best Fast Move Best Charge Moves
Pokemon GO MachampMachamp Counter Fighting
  • Cross Chop Fighting
  • Rock Slide Rock
Pokemon GO ConkeldurrConkeldurr Counter Fighting
  • Dynamic Punch Fighting
  • Stone Edge Rock

Strong checks to Dialga and hard counters to Melmetal, Snorlax, Darkrai, Heatran, the Mud Slap users and the Regis. Keep in mind that Machamp isn’t a definite Dialga counter since Dragon Breath is so powerful. Conkeldurr can reliably beat Dialga since it has better bulk. Both lose very hard to Mewtwo, Togekiss, Lugia and the Giratinas. Dragonite can beat them pretty easily with shields up.