Pokémon GO in August: PvP Priorities

G’day PoGO lovers. August content has just dropped for Pokémon GO and there’s some very exciting things coming up for PvP enthusiasts, starting immediately with the spotlight hours and carrying all the way through to the annual global GO Fest. Let’s take a look at the headline acts, plus some other considerations throughout the month.

5 Star Raids

We’ll kick off with the new signature move releases, as this is going to shake things up a bit in the PvP Master League meta.


Xerneas will be in 5-star raids and will learn its signature Fairy fast move Geomancy.

  • Put simply, this is huge for Xerneas and finally gives it proper relevance in both PvP and PvE. Previously limited to Tackle, even post-buff this didn’t give Xerneas much flexibility in battle due to the time taken to reach its charged moves in battle.
  • Along comes Geomancy. Early indicators suggest will operate as a Snarl clone, which enable Xerneas reach its expensive charged moves quickly, although its fast move pressure diminishes significantly.
  • The sims alone show 6 new wins – Excadrill, Garchomp, Giratina Altered + Origin, Lugia and Melmetal (with a new loss against Dialga due to the lack of fast move pressure from Tackle). This is a serious improvement and enables Xerneas to fulful its role as a Fairy type much more effectively. However, the true benefit is the additional flexibility provided, as Xerneas can stack Close Combats together and fire them back to back, or duck out and have one ready for later in battle.
  • For players that have already built a Xerneas, this will absolutely be worth an Elite TM once its possible to use. For those that haven’t, you’ve got a 2 week window to prioritise raiding for the candy to build one.

Yveltal will be in raids at the same time as Xerneas, and is receiving its signature Flying type move Oblivion Wing.

  • OW is objectively a very good move dealing 5 more damage than Dark Pulse for the same amount of energy. In practice, it’s more of a sidegrade option for Yveltal in PvP (or potential downgrade). Running OW means replacing either Dark Pulse or Focus Blast, which ends up sacrificing certain matchups in both scenarios.
  • The big problem with OW on Yveltal is that you typically want DP so that Yveltal can effectively play an anti Psychic and Ghost role, and you want FB for potential closing power against Dialga and Steel Types, which plays out quite often. Running OW means you are at much higher risk of opponents calling the bait and losing matchups you would typically win, and it also makes the Giratina and Mewtwo matchups a lot more shaky. Flying type damage just isn’t as useful in the Master league as other types, which is really unfortunate for future use of OW in PvP for Yveltal. With some kind of potential debuffing effect in the future things may change, but at this point I sadly can’t see Yveltal wanting OW over its existing moveset.
  • In PvE it’s a different story – OW is objectively excellent and pushes Yveltal way way up the Flying type rankings. Unfortunately, this won’t last long with the pending release of Mega Rayquaza. Definitely worth keeping one to round out your Flying squad, it’s just not going to necessarily have the transferability into PvP at this stage.

The other 5 star raids are a mixed bag.

  • Regidrago is still around for the first few days of August. This is a hard miss – if you haven’t yet filled your dex entry pick one up and then move on.
  • Cresselia on the other hand is a hard yes. If you don’t have a Cresselia for both Great and Ultra League yet, now is your time to pick one up. Cresselia is an excellent pick, with wide coverage with its moveset. Its bulk and versatility makes it an excellent pick in the open meta, particularly in the Ultra League. Cresselia prefers running Grass Knot, as this is a cheaper move and allows it to more effectively handle the Swampert matchup in UL, and the many Water and Ground types pervading the Great League. At this stage it looks like it won’t be available during this rotation, so you could use this opportunity to build a Cress with double nukes in Moonblast and Future Sight. Note that you’ll need to trade with a friend to get one at Great League level (it needs to be around level 19) but this is very doable, and you’ve got 2 weeks of raiding for candy in the meantime. Absolutely worth it.

Primal Raids

In excellent news, Primal Kyogre and Primal Groudon are going to be available to raid in the week leading up to the global GO Fest from August 23-26. This is an excellent time to raid for Primal energy and candy for those builds for PvP.

Groudon prefers having its legacy charged moves of Fire Punch and Precipice Blades for PvP, and it doesn’t look like these will be available during this raid period, so that is worth consideration before you invest too heavily. 

Mega Raids

The mega raid circulation for August is not the most exciting from a PvP perspective, though there’s definitely some utility for PvE.

  • Mega Tyranitar is around until August 4. If you haven’t raided heavily for these yet, now is your time. It’s an incredible rock and dark type attacker in PvE, but unfortunately you can’t double up on this so you’ll really need to build 2 different ones to get full utility out of TTar. It’s a consideration, but in my view a worthwhile investment. If you’re only PvP focussed – this is probably a miss because we’ve just had the community day, and TTar isn’t really all that good in the meta, except for some spice play in its shadow form.
  • Mega Gyarados is back in circulation for 2 weeks. From the PvP side of things you really want to have Aqua Tail, which Gary won’t have upon catch. The mega is useful in PvE, but not that great. Overall, probably a miss, with enough Magikarps flopping around in the wild you probably aren’t needing to raid for its evolution. Better off waiting for its exclusive move to become available again.
  • Mega Salamence is in circulation at the end of August. From PvE perspective, this is a strong yes – getting the mega energy will be invaluable for you. However, you’ll want to be using your Salamence with Outrage, which you can obtain during GO Fest through evolution. So be careful about which ones you choose to mega evolve, From the PvP perspective, there’s not a lot to get excited about as Salamence is too squishy to be viable in the open meta. It’s not too bad in the potential future Mega Master League, as it gets a lot of additional bulk in its mega form. But not a huge priority.
  • Mega Rayquaza will be available during GO Fest on the Sunday only. This is an absolute priority for both PvP and PvE, so make sure you dedicate some time and effort towards this. Dragon Ascent will be a monster of a move and one that pushes Ray way up the raid charts, but it’s also a very good closing move in PvP. Definitely worth pursuing.

Spotlight Hours

Date Pokémon Bonus
August 1, 2023 Vulpix
XP icon 2× XP for evolving Pokémon
August 8, 2023 Paras
Stardust icon 2× Stardust for catching Pokémon
August 15, 2023 Stufful
XP icon 2× XP for catching Pokémon
August 22, 2023 Venonat
Candy icon 2× Candy for catching Pokémon
August 29, 2023 Tentacool
Candy icon 2× Candy for transferring Pokémon


There’s some great opportunities for PvP players during August’s spotlight hours.

  • Vulpix is available on August 1 with 2x evolution XP. I highly recommend mega evolving a fire type and grinding hard for a good Great League and Ultra League Ninetales, and Little League Vulpix. Ninetales is an excellent pick – but probably prefers its shadow form to be most effective. An additional reason to prioritise the XL grind is that you really want to build an Alolan Ninetales for the Ultra League. Both regular and Shadow form are very very good, but require a significant XL investment to build. Definitely worth it, don’t focus on the evolution XP!
  • Paras is available on August 8 with 2x stardust per catch. Parasect itself isn’t particularly good – but 2x catch stardust is very very nice, and Paras already has 500 stardust at base catch. Throw on a couple of star pieces and use this time to grind for dust, and if you can find yourself in a weather boosted location, even better!
  • Stufful is available on August 15 with 2x XP for catching. Beware has spice value across all 3 metas, and it doesn’t really need its community day move Drain Punch to be effective. The evolution candy of 400 to evolve is steep though, so this could be a good time to practice your excellent throws and find some decent IV Stufful to evolve.
  • Venonat is available on August 22, with 2x candy per catch. Venomoth has some spice play in Great League, but is usually seen in its shadow form. Venonat is also useful in sub-500 CP cups, so this is a good time to pick one up for each format.
  • Tentacool is available on August 29, with 2x transfer candy. This is an excellent spotlight hour for a number of reasons. Tentacruel is now a really good pick in the Great and Ultra Leagues, but needs some XL candy to increase its bulk in the Ultra League. It’s also an excellent time to transfer your spare legendaries that you’ve accumulated to take advantage of the extra candy you’ll receive. Definitely a useful hour.

August Events

Glittering Garden Event
August 5, 2023, 10:00 am to August 8, 2023, 8:00 pm local time

This event doesn’t have lots to get excited about for PvP, but the most relevant things to hunt for are:

  • BulbasaurVenusaur is a staple of the Great League, and has a lot of play in the Ultra League. You will want to evolve it until the next opportunity to obtain Frenzy Plant, as Venusaur absolutely needs this to be relevant in PvP. Still, its a good time to prep if you don’t have a good one built yet.
  • FerroseedFerrothorn is excellent in the Great League, particularly in limited metas, and also has some play in the Ultra League. It’s a good opportunity to grind for XL candy for a future UL build, or just hunt down a good one for the lower leagues. Ferroseed is also useful in the Little Cups so worth hanging onto one of them.
  • HoppipJumpfluff is a very good Great League pick, but likes to have Acrobatics in its moveset, which is a community day move. Hold onto one for the future.
  • DedenneDedenne is waiting for a movepool update to truly breakout in the open meta. It’s a good, albeit not great limited meta pick today so it’s worth finding a good one for PvP.
  • RoseliaRoserade is good in PvP, but needs its community day moves to be usable. These will be available during the Global GOFest later in the month, so it’s not a bad time to prepare for this. The only issue is that Roselia is only available via research, so it’s not ideal for IVs, but still worth it if you need a Roserade for Great League in particular, but also some spice play in Ultra and Master League.
  • Slurpuff, Aromatisse, Wigglytuff and Shiftry all have play in various metas, though are not really part of the open Great League meta.

Otherwise, hunt for some shinies and try to hatch a Larvesta!

August Community Day: Froakie
August 13, 2023, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm local time

It has just been announced that Froakie will be the featured pokémon for the August community day! Froakie evolved into Greninja will receive the exclusive move Hydro Cannon. During the event there’ll also be 3x stardust, making this an unmissable community day for PvP players.

In even better news, Greninja will be able to learn the move Water Shuriken after the event, which is going to be one of the premier Water fast moves in the game. Water Shuriken’s datamined stats appear to be similar to a Mud Shot clone, but with even faster energy generation and damage output. This is insane for PvP, as Greninja will be able to pump out Hydro Cannons even faster than Swampert. Given Greninja’s fragility, this is super important and will help it pressure shields early, or sweep teams with shields down. Initial sims suggest that the biggest performance improvement will be in the Great League where there are less bulky mons to hose through, though in Ultra League the improvement isn’t quite as strong due to tanks such as Registeel and Cresselia being able to withstand more damage. Don’t let this dissuade you too much, this is an excellent comm day for PvP.

It also looks like this will be incredible for the potential future release of Ash Greninja and Shadow Greninja in PvE, so it’s also an excellent time to prepare for the future.

Noxious Swamp
August 19, 2023, from 10:00 am to August 22 at 8:00 pm local time

Not a lot known about this event yet, but we’ll update you once we find out more.

Pokémon GO Fest 2023: Global

August 26 to August 27

(10:00 am to 6:00 pm each day)

Global GO Fest is looking like an excellent PvP event this year. We’ll be sharing a number of other guides to help you prepare for this, as its going to be a mammoth event that’s worth your while!


There is a lot to like for PvP players throughout August, with new exclusive moves and some huge events! Stay patient with your search for good IVs and good luck with the ever important shiny hunt!

See ya later,


Author & tags

The one enlisted to explain games to new starters. Lover of all things Pokemon. Great League and Ultra League PvP specialist, and a dabbler in PvE.

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