Altaria PvP Spotlight: Great League


Altaria has been an absolute meta destroyer for a while now and has dominated the overall ladder with it standing (or flying) tall at the very top as the highest-ranked Pokémon in the game for the Great League.

Its incredible bulk, damage, moves, and typing make Altaria such an influential pick for any Great League team. Its dual typing of Dragon and Flying give it the opportunity to crush many top tier picks such as Alolan Marowak, Tropius, Venusaur, and even many trainers worst nightmare… Deoxys (Defense).

Altaria Rank #1 on

Stat Distribution

Firstly let’s breakdown this supreme fluff cloud and discuss its stats.

Pokémon Stats
  • Max CP: 2004
  • HP: 181
  • Attack: 141
  • Defense: 201

Referring to Altarias stats alone, we can see that it was almost as if Niantic designed this Pokémon for the Great League and the Great League only. It usually requires a dedicated counter to take Altaria down.

The most deadly counter to Altaria is Ice type as it has a double weakness to it. However, there are not many viable Ice type Pokémon for the Great League, Alolan Ninetales and Alolan Sandslash are among the 2 best Ice types in the meta.

Rock, Fairy, and Dragon type Pokémon also counter Altaria. Wigglytuff, Granbull, and Clefable are among other top tier counters that will put up a fight against Altaria in battle due to them having access to Charm and Fairy type Charge Moves.

Keep in mind that Dragon type counters will be a double-edged sword as Dragon Breath and Dragon Pulse will kill Dragons but they will also kill you.

(Accurate demonstration of Dragon vs Dragon-type in PvP)

Moveset Analysis

Next, we shall cover its moves and determine which moveset will be best for becoming victorious while using Altaria.

Pokemon Fast Moves Charge Moves
  • Dragon Breath
  • Peck (Don’t be silly)
  • Dazzling Gleam
  • Dragon Pulse
  • Sky Attack

The strongest moveset you can run on Altaria is to use Dragon Breath as the Fast Move and Dragon Pulse / Sky Attack as the Charge Move(s). It is highly recommended to invest in a second Charge Move as you will cover a wide variety in the meta and be able to overcome more situations in battle.

Dragon Breath is one of the strongest Fast Moves in the entire game and depending on the Pokémon, can more often or not kill an enemy Pokémon purely just by using it before even having enough energy stored up for a Charge Move.

With a DPT (Damage Per Turn) of 4.0 and an EPT (Energy Per Turn) of 3.0, this makes Dragon Breath an incredibly quick move that can shred almost any teams defenses. Combining this with Dragon Pulse which deals 90 Damage and takes 60 Energy to use and synergizing it with Sky Attack which deals 80 Damage and only takes 45 Energy to use makes Altaria one of the best top tier Pokémon for the entire Great League.

Dazzling Gleam is another charge move Altaria has access too. It is not a recommended move to teach since it takes too long to charge and does not have a STAB effect which renders Dazzling Gleam ineffective in battle.

Pokémon that are Fighting, Dragon and Dark type will take super-effective damage against Dazzling Gleam, some high end picks such as Lucario, Sableye, Medicham, and Umbreon are among many that Dazzling Gleam would be an okay alternative, however Sky Attack is definitely the stronger move and better choice since the Energy to use Sky Attack is much less than Dazzling Gleam and has much more useablitity.

Be sure to keep in mind which Silph Arena Themed Cups allow will Altaria and make sure to keep an eye on the meta to determine which second Charge Move to use.

Tips & Tricks

Altaria can play each role exceptionally well (Lead, Closer, Attacker, Defender). The top 2 roles that Altaria performs best in is to use it as a safe Lead, meaning choosing Altaria first to bear the brunt of whatever you may face in battle. Its bulk and typing paired with its ability to use Dragon Breath makes Altaria one of the most safe and versatile Leads. As long as you’re not faced with an Ice type Pokémon, then more often or not you can stay in the fight without having to waste your swap.

The second role that Altaria excels in is the Defender role, which means if you have shields remaining and your opponent does not, then you are able to absorb incredible damage while also protecting Altaria. This means bad news for your opponent as having shields available to protect Altaria can be a huge advantage for you and has the potential to make you victorious in battle.

Altaria can also be an incredibly safe and strategic swap if you are unsure about what your opponent has to use. It is tanky enough to endure most Charge Moves (besides Ice types) and can be used as a sponge to absorb Charge Moves if you can time a swap correctly in order to save a shield.

Altaria in Tournament Play

Altaria shines the brightest in Freestyle Tournaments because of its versatility and carry potential. There have been Silph Arena Themed Tournaments that Altaria has been a top tier pick such as in…

The Tempest Cup

Altaria in the Tempest Cup was a significantly powerful Pokémon. Although it did have to watch out for its counters which were Lapras, Piloswine and Alolan Ninetales to name a few. Altaria played a crucial role in this cup for being a tanky damage-dealing monster that did exceptional against high end picks such as Tropius and Abomasnow.

Altaria did struggle against Skarmory if you did not have shields. If you did manage to come across one and still have shields in use, then you could beat Skarmory in that situation along with its Ice type counters. A ridiculous part was that Ice type Pokémon would still have to use shields against Altaria because of its high hitting Charge Moves.

Rating 7.5/10

The Kingdom Cup

One of Altaria’s jobs in The Kingdom Cup was to play the role of a bodyguard for having Lucario on your team. Paired together, these 2 created havoc among trainers dealing heavy damage and also being able to use Altaria as a bulky damage dealer which could also create shield pressure with the use of Sky Attack.

Altaria paired with Steelix covered most of the meta with only these 2 Pokémon which made the 2 a must have for The Kingdom Cup. Altaria could also win many matchups against certain meta Pokémon in this cup that were a threat to many, these included Alolan Marowak, Lucario, Charizard, Blaziken and Flygon. Bastiodon did stand in its way as it walled Altaria and took little damage from our friend Altaria.

Rating 9.0/10

Season 1 Regionals

The raw DPS (Damage Per Second) that Altaria pumps out against Pokémon in any tournament is disgusting, in a meta that allowed every single Pokémon from previous themed cups, Altaria reigned supreme as a high-end pick on many trainers team composition. Trainers that did not have an answer for versing Altaria faced the struggle of Dragon Breath quickly wearing them thin and also from the abuse of Charge Moves.

Such a top tier pick rewarded trainers with an extremely safe and powerful force to be reckoned with. The hardest counters were Bastiodon, Probopass, Lanturn, and Melmetal which actually would still take a decent amount of damage from Altaria. This made Altaria one of the most sought after picks in the entire freestyle meta and still is to date.

Rating 9.0/10

The Fusion Cup

The new undergoing cup, The Fusion Cup, features only dual type Pokemon. Altaria qualifies for this ruleset and with no surprise, is an absolute powerhouse, ranking in at #1 for overall performance.

While Altaria can beat many Pokémon in this cup, it doesn’t come without a cost. The ubiquity of Wigglytuff and Togekiss being relatively common picks become an ongoing issue for Altaria. Whiscash also poses a great threat towards Altaria with the use of Blizzard and intense baiting potential.

Rating 8.5/10

Parting Words

With how easily accessible it is to find an abundance of Swablu to make your dream Altaria for PvP and the affordability in the stardust department to power up to 1500cp, will be a plus for any trainer. Not forgetting only needing 10,000 stardust and 25 Swablu candy to invest into a second Charge Move. It is a must-have for anyone looking into getting into PvP or looking to upgrade their team composition.

Keep in mind the best IV spread according to is 0/14/15. With this IV Altaria will be able to perform at its peak in the Great League.

As mentioned before Altaria shines in Freestyle tournaments meaning any Pokémon may be chosen to battle. We are unclear as of now if there will be themed tournaments or a ‘pick and ban phase’ in GO Battle League, however it is definitely a smart investment to power up and implement Altaria into your Great League team.

Venture forth trainers, find the shiny nugget that is Swablu and flex on your opponent as you watch them suffer in disbelief with each move you make!

-Adam ‘Avrip’


Author & tags

Writer/Editor for the Pokémon GO Hub. PvP enthusiast. 2023 Perth Regional Champion. 9th at Yokohama World Championship. Collector and enthusiast of rare Pokémon retro memorabilia. GBL Legend Multiple Seasons. Sold my soul to Niantic on 07/07/2016.

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