Blanche, Candela and Spark fights can be completed every day in order to level up your Ace Trainer medal and get easy Stardust rewards. Team Leaders are formidable opponents, and it’s worth knowing which Pokemon they have and how to counter them. Team Leaders will use Shield when training against them in the Master League.

Blanche

Blanche is the leader of Team Mystic and she’s the master of Water and Ice Pokemon. Her Pokemon roster perfectly reflects this, as she transitions from Water into Ice team as the fight becomes harder. Training against Blanche requires a mix of Fighting, Electric and Fire types.

Best Pokemon versus Blanche
Great League Ultra League Master League
Pokemon GO MedichamMedichamFighting Pokemon GO FlareonFlareonFire Pokemon GO RaikouRaikouElectric
Pokemon GO EnteiEnteiFire Pokemon GO MachampMachampFighting Pokemon GO MoltresMoltresFire
Pokemon GO TyranitarTyranitarRockDark

Countering Blanche in the Great League – easily defeated by Fire and Fighting types like low level Entei and Medicham, if you got them from field research or wild encounters. Other Pokemon with the same type can also be of great use here. We routinely train against Great League Blanche with a single Entei (Fire Spin / Overheat, not even that good), but we know that folks usually storm through this fight with Medicham.

Countering Blanche in the Ultra League – easily defeated by using a single strong Fighting type. The rotation is simple, especially if you’re using Hariyama / Machamp. Fill up up your charge bar move versus Glaceon (do not use it) and shield against Glaceon’s charge attack. Finish it off with fast attack and use your charge on Empoleon immediately. Finish up with fast moves and do the same for Mamoswine.

Countering Blanche in the Master League – Raikou wins against Blanche’s Suicune, Moltres with Fire moves wins against Metagross and a Smack Down Tyranitar will destroy Articuno in no time. The only problem is that Blanche will use shields during the fight (almost always with Suicune), so be on the lookout for that.


Candela

Candela is the lead or Team Valor and she’s the master of Fire Pokemon. Candela is a relatively simple opponent as her Pokemon teams are usually Fire types that are weak to Water, so picking counters is pretty straightforward.

Best Pokemon versus Candela
Great League Ultra League Master League
Pokemon GO FeraligatrFeraligatrWater Pokemon GO FeraligatrFeraligatrWater Pokemon GO KyogreKyogreWater
Pokemon GO BlastoiseBlastoiseWater Pokemon GO KyogreKyogreWater Pokemon GO TyranitarTyranitarRock Dark

Countering Candela in the Great League – a single pure Water type like Feraligatr, Vaporeon, or a leftover Hydro Cannon Blastoise from Community Day is a perfect choice for defeating Candela’s Great League roster. You shouldn’t have any problems here, as Magcargo is double weak to Water attacks and you can use your charge move on Castform immediately.

Countering Candela in the Ultra League – it is completely reasonable to defeat Candela’s entire Ultra League team with a single Feraligatr that has Hydro Cannon (its fast move is not that important). Charge it up against Flareon, use on Typhlosion and then again on Magmortar. Kyogre is always great here.

Master League – Candela’s Master League roster is quite interesting, although very easy. The only thing you really need is a Smack Down / Stone Edge Tyranitar. Smack Down goes easily through Entei and Salemence and you can one-hit-KO Moltres with a single Stone Edge.


Spark

Spark is the leader of Team Instict and he’s the master of Electric Pokemon. Spark is an interesting opponent to fight against, as he starts off with a team of strong Electric types and tries to actively counter you. Unfortunately for Spark, we’ve brushed up on our Type advantages and disadvantages knowledge!

Recommended Pokemon versus Spark:

Great League Ultra League Master League
Pokemon GO FlygonFlygonGroundDragon Pokemon GO GroudonGroudonGround Pokemon GO GroudonGroudonGround
Pokemon GO MarowakMarowakGround Pokemon GO RhydonRhydonGroundRock Pokemon GO RhyperiorRhyperiorRock Ground

Countering Spark in the Great League – One strong Ground type with a Ground type fast move should do the trick without too much hassle. The only potential obstacle is Water Castform at the end, but if your Charge move is something that deals neutral damage you will be fine. I use a Mud Shot / Dragon Claw Flygon to train versus Spark routinely.

Countering Spark in the Ultra League – Counterable in the same way as it is in the Great League. Use one strong Ground type (Groudon, Rhydon, Rhyperior) to glide through Spark’s electrifying line up. A single Groudon with Mud Shot and any Charge Move will be sufficient to defeat Spark’s Ultra League team

Countering Spark in the Master League – Spark’s only surprise in the Master League is Tyranitar, a Rock type that’s weak to Ground. For that reason, a Rhyperior with Smack Down / Earthquake can defeat Sparke’s entire Master League team on its own if you shield properly. To be on the safe side, one Mud Shot + Earthquake Groudon will defeat Raikou and Tyranitar, and you need 1 more Rock type to defeat Zapdos. Zapdos can easily be taken down by one Smack Down Tyranitar or Smack Down Rhyperior.


Hidden mechanics in Leader Battles

Each team leader battle has a few hidden mechanics that are activated depending on the League you compete in. All of these mechanics are were discovered in the Game Master, hidden away in something that Niantic calls “Trainer Personality”.

There are three Trainer Personalities and Blanche, Candela and Spark use all three of them as you go through the Leagues:

Personality / Mechanic Easy Medium Hard
Super Effective Chance 25% 66% 100%
Special Chance 33% 66% 100%
Offensive Minimum Score 10% 30% 70%
Offensive Maximum Score 10% 70% 100%
Used in league Great Ultra Master

Each of the mechanics listed above has a different impact on the encounter:

  • Super Effective Chance is the chance that your opponent’s Pokemon will have a move that deals SE damage to your Pokemon (if applicable given your Pokemon and his Pokemon’s move pool). Trainers with Hard Personality will always use Pokemon with SE moves.
  • Special Chance describes how often your opponent will use a charged move if it has energy to use it.
  • Offensive min and max score are currently being investigated. We’ll have more to share about this in the future.