GBL Season 13 Great League Remix PvP Overview

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“A man’s got to know his limitations.” – “Dirty” Harry Callahan in Magnum Force

Over the years, I’ve put out analysis articles at what has sometimes been a dizzying pace. I think my record is five major articles in the span of a week, which I’ve done more than once, somehow. 🥴 But sometimes, even for me, it’s just too much, such as having to review a big move rebalance AND full meta overview in the span of a couple of days). I’ve discovered that over the last couple GBL Seasons, when the amount of info Niantic is putting out goes from the usual trickle to a sudden overwhelming wave just a couple days or even mere hours before that season kicks off, not even I can keep up. I’m just one guy, after all, without the early previews that Niantic gifts to its chosen inner circle of partnering content creators and insiders. And unfortunately, the massive move rebalance analysis I put out this week (combined with some hefty car repair stuff IRL) took a lot of my time and energy.

All that to say… there’s just no way to immediately turn around and crank out my standard, massively comprehensive “Nifty Or Thrifty” meta/budget review for this season’s edition of Great League Remix before it hits (like, two hours from this posting!). But I don’t want to leave you all hanging, so here’s a compromise that my poor brain can handle. I’m going to emphasize the “thriftiest” budget picks that get you great return for the investment, along with some newer picks that weren’t around last time through Great League Remix (back in June) and/or have been buffed this season and have risen to new prominence. (I will also provide the link to my Nifty Or Thrifty for that June version of GL Remix, to review and give you a foundation that THIS analysis can build on.)

Alright, let’s see how this goes!

Before we get into all that, here’s the new ban list. New additions this season will be in marked as such (there’s only three).

HITCHHIKERS MAY BE ESCAPING CONVICTS (BAN LIST)

Lanturn got a big shot in the arm with the addition of Surf last season and is a perfectly understandable ban this time even despite its merely okay-ish overall recordLickitung has become more and more common as more and more players have finished their XL grind, and it was indeed EVERYWHERE in recent eligible formats, so no shocker there either. How Registeel escaped the ban list last time is beyond me… I don’t think ANYONE would argue with it being left out this time around, right?

Back OFF the ban list this time around are DrapionJellicent, and Obstagoon. Personally I’m a little surprised at Drapion being sprung from purgatory, as I thought it was still quite popular in Great League last season, but oh well. Even as a Shadow, it’s not a meta-breaking option or anything (nor is JelliBelli, for that matter). Obstagoon could be a disruptive presence though, but I still fully understand its removal from the ban list.

Other than those specific bans, this is a wide open format… everything else that fits at 1500 CP or below is in. That is partly what it contributing to this slimmed down article, as the meta is MASSIVE and impossible to fully cover at the level of detail I usually try to in “Nifty Or Thrifty” analyses. Again, while it will be slightly outdated six months on, I’ll refer you back to my Nifty Or Thrifty for last June’s Great League Remix for a broad sweep across the entire meta, but for today let’s look at what’s new, newly relevant, and then wrap up with some budget heroes to consider as well.

ALL-NEW ALL-STARS

Charjabug BugElectric
  • Electrics may see a sudden bump with the rise of Flyers with Wing Attack this season, and this format will be among our very first tests. Assuming things like Noctowl, Golbat, Pidgeot, and Pelipper rise up to new prominence, CHARJABUG (released in August) might be interesting. It’s not quite on the same level as Galvantula, missing out on some things Galv can beat down like Froslass and Drapion, but it holds its own with either Spark (which beats Noctowl, Golbat, Pelipper, Shadow Machamp, and unlike even Galv, outraces Wigglytuff and Shadow Granbull) or, perhaps more interestingly, with Bug Bite, which misses out on those big-name Flyers, but gains Vigoroth, Whiscash, Abomasnow, and Meganium (matched by Galvantula) as well as Guzzlord, Stunfisk, and Galvantula itself (none of which Galv can typically beat). I think there’s ample room for both of these Electric Bugs in this meta now.
Togedemaru Electric
  • TOGEDEMARU is another intriguing Electric type that has arrived on the scene since June, and it has at least the potential to surpass Charj and Galv. I say “potential” because, admittedly, the overall numbers are propped up a bit by good Fell Stinger timing and baiting… without it, it becomes more pedestrian, though even then it’s clearly still viable (and still checks important win boxes like Owl, Bat, and Pelipper, as well as bonuses like Froslass, Wigglytuff and Granbull, and Drapion). Where ‘Maru struggles that the Bug/Electrics don’t is versus Fighting types (losing to Machamp, Primeape, and Sirfetch’d that Charj and Galv defeat), Grounds (Whiscash and Stunfisk in particular, which Maru can’t beat but the Bug/Electrics can at least sometimes), and things that take extra damage from Bug moves (Ferrothorn, Meganium, Guzzlord). Where Togedemaru excels, though, is in punching things out with the raw power of Wild Charge, such as Toxicroak, Vigoroth, Shadow Alolan Marowak, Cofagrigus, Greedent, and Munchlax, all of which the Bugs struggle with or often fail entirely to overcome. Oh, and Togedemaru can overcome both Charjabug AND Galvantula too. There’s risk involved when you consider the roller coaster ride that its charge moves can be, but there’s a very high ceiling as well!
Toxapex PoisonWater
  • Fearing the Electrics but not a ton else, TOXAPEX is crashing the Remix scene for the first time as well. It might be the easiest tonic for people that (to this point, at least) have relied on Nidoqueen for success, though of course it plays a bit differently, with no good way to combat Steels as Queen can (could?). It is instead good versus Fire and Ice types and more reliable versus Grasses than Queen ever was (thanks to its insane, better-than-even-Azumarill bulk). Note that, in this meta, you may be better off with Gunk Shot rather than the more standard Sludge Wave, as Gunk can overcome Toxicroak and holds all the cards in the mirror match. Watch out for Grounds, several fellow Poisons, and of course those nasty Steels, but otherwise there’s a LOT of good that Toxapex can do here.
Qwilfish (Hisuian) DarkPoison
  • Hitting the game only about a month after the last Great League Remix, the newest Dark/Poison HISUIAN QWILFISH looks best with Ice Beam as its closer here as a way to beat big Flyers like Noctowl, Pidgeot, and Golbat (as well as Obstagoon, for a bonus), but do note that it needs the neutrality and relative speed of Dark Pulse to have a shot at Toxapex. Does that outweigh those Flyers though? Only you can answer that. OVERQWIL is an option too, but slightly worse due to lesser bulk, falling short against Greedent, Cofagrigus, and Alolan Marowak, though it DOES have the punch to beat Dubwool and Hisuian Qwilfish in the head to head, so there’s that.
Guzzlord DarkDragon
  • Fellow Dark type Ultra Beast GUZZLORD is not only new to the game since June, but also new to most players in Great League since just days ago during the Ultra Beast Arrival Event, and Guzzie ranks #3 in Great League Remix, sitting behind only Steelix and… uh… Shadow Steelix. (Yeah, we WILL get to Steelix later.) Both Dragon moves (Tail and Claw) are must-haves, doing literally 95% of the work on their own, but either Dark move also brings Munchlax into the win column, and Crunch of course comes with that handy debuff chance that works 30% of the time, every time, so it wins my personnal recommendation over Brutal Swing. However, don’t forget Sludge Bomb, which not only provides a Hail Mary versus Fairies, but somehow holds all other wins Claw/Crunch provide and adds on Dubwool. (Crunch leaves Dubwool with literally ONE HP and a chance to reach a third, KO Body Slam… one of those funky results that happens sometimes.) Point being… you have options with Guzzie, and even bad, raid-level IV versions work. This is a GREAT time to take it for a spin if you haven’t had a chance to already.
Buzzwole BugFighting
  • There’s a good chance you’ve only recently acquired your first Great League BUZZWOLE too, and it enters as a tippy-top Fighting option in Remix, with obvious advantages versus opposing Grasses, but also handy resistances to Fighting and Ground that give it a unique leg up as well. This is a great time to flex your new acquisition! 💪
Celesteela SteelFlying

RISING STARS

  • NOCTOWL and PIDGEOT are both Top 10 Pokémon in this version of Remix, and they have the buff to Wing Attack to thank for it. Pidgeot puts up the better overall numbers and ranks a bit higher, but it has NO answers to anything that resists Flying damage. It’s also quite bait-reliant, and things can go south in a hurry if those baits don’t all work out. (Though in fairness, not baiting at all and sticking with ONLY Feather Dance isn’t a bad strat… losses without Brave Bird in the mix include Guzzlord, Mandibuzz, Obstagoon, Dubwool, Toxapex, Pelipper, Golbat, and Noctowl.) I think there’s a reason you’ve seen a lot more Noctowl than Pidgeot in Play! Pokémon tournaments of late… Noctowl is less eye-popping, but good in its own right, and very reliable. And it comes with some pretty great neutral coverage with Shadow Ball. Both could carry you a long way in this format… farther than they could in any previous season! Heck, SO good is the Wing Attack buff that even birds like SWELLOW suddenly look somewhat viable!
  • The Wing Attack buff helps plenty of other things too, of course. PELIPPER is likely to rise back to relevance again, and that includes in Remix, where it’s currently ranked as a Top 5 Pokémon. It’s sort of the slow-and-steady Noctowl type as compared to MANTINE and its Pidgeot-like bait reliance (Bubble Beam, in this case). Some players will strongly prefer one or the other, and in the right hands, either could be a big part of players’ success in this (and other Great League metas!) moving forward.
Charizard FireFlying
  • STILL sticking with Wing Attack, I think it puts to rest the long-debated question of which charge move CHARIZARD prefers in Great League! One of its bigger hindrances over the years has been its relative frailty, so racing to charge moves faster than ever before (fastest Blast Burn in the game now!) helps it out a ton, to the point that it’s likely to bust out even in Open GL this season. And while Fire Spin and Dragon Breath Zards actually get a bit worse as Shadows, Shadow Zard with Wing Attack improves overall, dropping Abomasnow, Golbat, and Alolan Marowak, but gaining more that non-Shadow WA Zard cannot beat, including Shadow A-Wak, Snarl Mandibuzz, Munchlax, Noctowl and Pidgeot, and amazingly, even Aurorus! Wing Attack Zard is ready to make all you lifelong Charizard fans fall in love with it all over again. I don’t think there’s any better target for your Elite Fast TMs in the game right now (except MAYBE getting Wing Attack on Pidgeot).
  • Last ones with Wing Attack for now, I promise! But it’s definitely worth reminding folks that GLISCOR and GLIGAR have also had a long debate over which fast move is best (Wing Attack or Fury Cutter) that the WA buff probably also puts to bed. They’re both on the rise, and Return has rarely looked more enticing (on Gligar) with that sweet, sweet 4.0 EPT fast move racing to it now.
Dubwool Normal
  • Alright, finally time for some non-Flying stuff at last, because there’s more that’s hit the game over the last few months than JUST Wing Attack buffs. Like DUBWOOL, for example, who has gone from zero to wooly hero with last season’s addition of Double Kick. And oh yes, that most definitely includes here in Remix! Alongside Body Spam Slam, it would appear that Payback is at least a simulation hero, with legit wins versus things like Alolan Marowak, Froslass, Escavalier, Vigoroth, and Whiscash. But despite falling short against all of those (just dealing slightly less damage than Payback and allowing those opponents to finish Dubwool off in a footrace), it is hard to ignore the awesome potential of Wild Charge, which obviously presents a HUGE threat to most of those Wing Attackers (and gets a unique win versus Pelipper specifically). I think I DO lean Payback, just because it really seems to just work here (it maintains a better record in all even shield scenarios) and doesn’t leave you hobbling yourself after you use it. But there’s no “wrong” way to go, and Dubwool ranks as an exciting new Top 10 option either way.
Raticate (Alola) DarkNormal
  • At the time of this writing, the awesome PvPoke has ALOLAN RATICATE using the recently-ish buffed Quick Attack and Crunch, both of which are expected, but it also still has it languishing with Hyper Fang for its closer. No no no… with the extra energy gains of Quick Attack, these days you want Return or, failing that, even Hyper Beam. Both nearly double the Hyper Fang win total, with those wins now coming versus the likes of Guzzlord, Diggersby, Gliscor, Golbat, Ninetales, Meganium, Abomasnow, and then either Greedent and Munchlax (with Hyper Beam) or — my personel preference — Hisuian Qwilfish and Toxapex with Return. But it’s the much improved Quick Attack that makes it all possible now. A-Rat remains criminally underrated, IMO.
Diggersby NormalGround
  • Along a similar vein, DIGGERSBY being good is nothing new, as it was well within the Top 10 last time through Remix and remains a Top 10 option now. What may be surprising is that, if you notice, its default fast move in that link is no longer Mud Shot, but instead that improved Quick Attack. Now the old standby of Mud Shot/Fire Punch/Earthquake is still just fine, and comes with much easier wins over things like Toxicroak, Alolan Marowak, and the mirror match. But Quick Attack is at worst a great new sidegrade, matching Mud Shot Diggersby’s nice wins over things like Toxapex, Aurorus, Toxicroak (though it’s a bit tighter), and Escavalier (which actually becomes much easier and more consistent). But the really interesting new idea is dropping ALL Ground damage and running Fire Punch alongside Quick Attack and Hyper Beam, which does drop things like Toxapex, A-Wak, and Aurorus, but gives Diggersby paths to victory over things like Pidgeot, Whiscash, Guzzlord, Gliscor, and Dubwool that those other move combos just cannot match. Yes, some still require proper baiting with Fire Punch, but heck, that was already true of Diggs anyway. The new potential is very nice, to the point that PvPoke has both Mud Shot and Quick Attack Diggersby listed in the core meta for Remix. Both versions should now be on YOUR radar too!
Weezing (Galarian) PoisonFairy
  • Also new last season is Fairy Wind, which propped up several Fairy AND non-Fairy Pokémon. Arguably the biggest beneficiary was GALARIAN WEEZING, which ranks kind of low here (outside the Top 100 on PvPoke). But THAT has it running Play Rough and brand new move Brutal Swing, which is only half right and leaves it with a middling record. But what I think you actually want is Swing and Overheat, that raw power and/or effectiveness of which tacks on win potential against Steelix, Noctowl, Greedent, Meganium, Abomasnow, Froslass, Hisuian Qwilfish, Drapion, AND Galvantula, all for the low cost of giving up only Mandibuzz that Play Rough beats instead. Yes yes, Overheat comes with a big debuff, and there are baits required with Brutal Swinging, I know. I get all that. But the potential, and the fun factor, is rather large now.
Jumpluff GrassFlying
  • A little less exciting but still fun to note is the improvement seen by JUMPLUFF with Fairy Wind. It really does seem to be Pluff’s best fast move now, giving it not just another advantage versus Grasses and Bugs that already fear its Flying side and Acrobatics, and not just wins like Mandibuzz and Guzzlord that come due to the Fairy damage output, but also stuff like Cresselia where Pluff can just flat outrace it now. It can’t do those sort of things with Bullet Seed. Fairy Wind is the new hotness and has Jumpluff on the rise in Remix.
Piloswine IceGround
  • High Horsepower doesn’t really prop up a ton in Great League, but it DOES at least manage to make PILOSWINE a bit more interesting than it was before. Aurorus is probably still THE way to go for funky Ice types, though. Speaking of which….
Aurorus RockIce
  • Let’s talk about AURORUS now. It would have already been worth considering even with last season’s moves, but now Meteor Beam just pushes it over the top with some great new wins like Meganium, Alolan Marowak, Cresselia, and even Toxapex despite dealing resisted damage aside from Meteor Beam. It arrives in style at #5 in Great League Remix, and it’s not hard to see why! I LOVE the potential of Aurorus this season, and it starts right here. Hope you have one you can build, Pokéfriends!
Steelix SteelGround
  • Ranked #1 AND #2 in Remix, STEELIX is poised to take a bite out of Great League like never before, and it’s all thanks to getting Psychic Fangs last season. Yes, it’s a “bait” move, but it’s also so much more. Combining Steelix’s favorable defensive typing with heavy fast move pressure from Dragon Tail and increasing pressure from Psychic Fangs debuffing, Steelix is good with JUST Fangs, no other charge moves needed. Having another charge move brings in Pelipper, and then after that it’s kind of a matter of preference: Crunch is a good all-arounder that is particularly great versus Psychics and Ghosts (adding on Froslass specifically), Earthquake gets the mirror and is the best way to beat Stunfisk, and even Heavy Slam is good for beating Abomasnow and Diggersby, and usually also Froslass as Crunch does. That all said, Crunch is clearly the best move for Shadow Steelix, beating everything Heavy Slam can plus Cresselia, Vigoroth, Pelipper, and Meganium. Shadow with Earthquake can uniquely overcome Ferrothorn and enemy Steelix, and does manage to knock out Cresselia, but can’t match those Crunch-exclusive Vigoroth, Pelipper, or Meganium wins, and also misses out on Cofagrigus and Drapion that Crunch (and Heavy Slam) can beat. Crunch is generally still my recommendation, especially with Shadow Steelix, but your mileage (and team needs) may vary.

And there are other newish move impacts since last time we visited Great League Remix, like Superpower DRAGONITEBody Slam DRAGONAIRShadow Claw RUNERIGUSMeteor Beam SUDOWOODO and others, but I gotta step SOMEWHERE. As I write this, Remix is mere hours away, so let’s move on to some quick hits on budget options before we close this out!

NIFTY AND THRIFTY

  • First a reminder about the budget heroes we’ve already covered above, including NOCTOWL and PIDGEOT (though the latter may require an Elite TM), as well as DUBWOOL and DIGGERSBY, all falling within the Top 10 (or so) of the entire meta. We also talked at length about CHARIZARD and ALOLAN RATICATE… not ranked as highly, but both have the potential to FAR outperform what their ranking would imply. But outside of those….
Golbat PoisonFlying
  • GOLBAT is a funny little thing this season. On the one hand, it’s a casualty of the Nidoqueen nerf, as Poison Fang‘s cost is rising. On the other hand, Wing Attack is likely to now generate 4.0 Energy Per Turn, which perfectly offsets the likely +5 energy cost of Fang, so it all evens out in the wash… Golbat needed five Wing Attacks to reach Fang last season, and still needs exactly five THIS season thanks to Wing Attack offsetting the costlier Poison Fang. The net result is likely a small boost to Golbat, as it gets to Fang just as quickly AND now gets to Shadow Ball a hair faster. The end result is that Golbat remains a solid fixture in Remix, just as it was before, in regular or Shadow form, and a true budget hero.
Whiscash WaterGround
  • It’s been kind of rough for WHISCASH the last few months, as other things have risen up around it and yet it has sat fixed in place without any move shakeup or even rebalancing of its existing moves to help it improve. It’s fallen out of favor in Great League a bit, and even in Limited metas. But here in Remix, the good times are rolling again. It smacks down all the uppity new Poisons and Fires and Steels and Rocks (looking at you, Aurorus) and still outduels things like Diggersby, Stunfisk, Froslass, Charmers, and now even Guzzlord, usually without breaking a sweat. Sometimes old school really IS the best school. Whiscash is ready to remind everyone why it used to absolutely terrorize Great League… and it’s still dirt cheap to build if you don’t have one.
Meganium Grass
  • Part of Whiscash’s likely success is due to the relative dearth of Grasses. Only Venusaur and Trevenant are actually banned, but with things like Azumarill, Swampert, Lanturn, and to a slightly lesser degree, Galarian Stunfisk and Walrein out of the meta, there’s just not as strong a need for Grass. That said, there are obviously plenty of strong Ground and Water and Rock types to contend with, and MEGANIUM, particularly Shadow Meg, fills in cheaply and capably if you need to plug that hole.
Obstagoon DarkNormal
  • OBSTAGOON remains a great budget option. Just your regular JRE reminder to strongly consider Hyper Beam as a closer rather than standard fare Cross Chop, though there’s a case to be made for other moves too, and there’s really no wrong answer.

Other staples like TRASHADAMBEEDRILLALOLAN GRAVELERRAICHUBLASTOISEBLAZIKEN, GYARADOS, and of course things like WIGGLYTUFF remain solid choices too. Between all these very viable “thrifty” options, you could build a great team even from the ground up quite cheaply for this week!

ON TO THE NEW SEASON!

I was hoping to squeeze in some team building stuff too (like the “Core Meltdown” articles I cranked out when I could the last couple seasons), but I’m just out of time. Again, there’s so much to do at the start of each new GBL season anymore that it’s just really tough to keep up the pace. That said, this analysis STILL turned into a monstrous wall of text, so uh… sorry about that? 😅 Hopefully you were able to glean some good information out of it and get your creative juices flowing for Season 13! That’s my sincere hope. Good luck!

Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter for near-daily PvP analysis nuggets, or Patreon. And please, feel free to comment here with your own thoughts or questions and I’ll try to get back to you!

Thank you for reading! I sincerely hope this helps you master Great League Remix, in the most affordable way possible, and kick off this new GBL season on the right foot. Best of luck, and catch you next time, Pokéfriends!

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