With the recent addition of PVP Trainer battles and the changes to how Type effectiveness works in Pokémon GO battles, I thought it was time to see which are the best counters by type that you can have for each Pokémon League. In order to do this and not break the brain-bank, I will be doing an analysis like this for each individual League, starting with the Master League.

Top Master League Pokémon Index
Segment Featuring
Introduction The rules and requirements of the analysis
The Master League Analysis A thorough explanation of each Pokémon Typing
Final Notes My closing ideas and remarks

If you are a bit too fast-paced to look through this article, take a look at this graphic on the go so you can find your TOP Master League Pokémon, made by yours truly.

Top Master League Pokemon
Top Master League Pokemon

I


Introduction

Before delving into the deep end, I should first explain this tactic/technique and the purpose behind it. I can show you which are the “top” PVP Pokémon in Master League, but please note that this is only one way for you to prepare for PVP, and that there very well may be better or more advanced tactics than what is shown here.

That being said, if you are like me and are at a loss as to what Pokémon you should be trying to obtain for PVP battles, this is for you. Use this as a basis for future additions/changes you want to make later on.

The requirements are the following for this Master League analysis:

  • Typings – The Pokémon must have either a primary or secondary typing to the type category they are in regardless of their movesets (EXAMPLE: Venusaur can be considered both in the Grass types category, or the Poison Types category)
  • MAX CP – Since Master league has no CP limit, the Pokémon included are determined based on their MAX CP amount
  • Total Damage Output – The Pokémon will be determined based on the total damage output they can provide against a super effective counter before fainting

The calculation method was based on the use of multiple simulators and test, my basis of study was choosing a specific typing, then seeing the top counters of that typing vs the different types they are super effective against. Once doing this, I see which are the top 3 Pokémon of the type I am testing. Concluding this I compare the moves of each of these Pokémon based on how they perform against different Pokémon they are super effective against and choosr the overall most effective ones. These Pokémon were not chosen based on how they perform against all typings in general, but by how they perform against opponents they are super effective against. The purpose of this is for you to be able to use 3 unique typings in battle, and just based on their typing, you already know who they will be effective against. In comparison to generalist, which would be much more difficult to remember upon entering battle.

Example; I look at Bug types and see they are super effective against Dark, Grass, and Psychic type Pokémon, so I see which the top Bug type counters to each of these three typings individually, after comparing them I pick the top 3 that offered higher coverage against all three typings. After this, I will look at each top 3 Pokémon individually and see how their movesets vary against each of the three typings. Once again I take the moveset that offers the best all-around coverage against the three typings, and that’s how I find the Top 3 Master League Pokémon of each type.

Besides this, I will also be presenting what I believe to be the best Secondary Charged Move you can add to each of these PVP Pokémon, please note that the primary basis for what Charged Moves I selected are based on smaller energy cost. Considering PVP is a fast-paced game, fast-paced moves make for better use.


The Master League Analysis

The Master League is highest league available to participate in; in Pokémon GO. There are no CP limits as to what you can use, and is easily one of the more predictable leagues you can participate in considering that most Trainers tend to use the same counters, however, let’s see if that changes here.

Bug Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Bug Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO ScizorScizor Fury Cutter X-Scissor Night Slash
2 Pokemon GO PinsirPinsir Bug Bite X-Scissor Vice Grip
3 Pokemon GO HeracrossHeracross Struggle Bug Megahorn Close Combat
  • Scizor – Use X-Scissor for lower energy cost, pair with Night Slash for higher damage output and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Pinsir – Use X-Scissor for lower energy cost and higher damage output, pair with Vice Grip for average performance and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Heracross – Use Megahorn for lower energy cost, pair with Close Combat for higher damage output

Dark Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Dark Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO TyranitarTyranitar Bite Crunch Stone Edge
2 Pokemon GO Muk (Alola)Muk (Alola) Bite Dark Pulse Sludge Bomb
3 Pokemon GO WeavileWeavile Feint Attack Foul Play Avalanche
  • Tyranitar – Use Crunch for lower energy cost, pair with Stone Edge for higher damage output
  • Muk (Alola) – Use Dark Pulse for average performance, pair with Sludge Bomb if Dark Pulse is not very effective
  • Weavile –  Use Foul Play for average performance, pair with Avalanche for higher damage output

Dragon Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Dragon Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO GiratinaGiratina Dragon Breath Dragon Claw Ancient Power
2 Pokemon GO DragoniteDragonite Dragon Breath* Dragon Claw* Hurricane
3 Pokemon GO LatiosLatios Dragon Breath Dragon Claw Psychic
  • Giratina – Use Dragon Claw for lower energy cost, pair with Ancient Power for higher damage output and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Dragonite – Use Dragon Claw for lower energy cost, pair with Hurricane for higher damage output (If Dragon Breath is unavailable, use Dragon Tail. If Dragon Claw is unavailable, pair with Outrage)
  • Latios – Use Dragon Claw for lower energy cost, pair with Psychic for higher damage output

Electric Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Electric Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO RaikouRaikou Thunder Shock Thunderbolt Thunder
2 Pokemon GO ZapdosZapdos Thunder Shock* Thunderbolt Zap Cannon
3 Pokemon GO Golem (Alola)Golem (Alola) Volt Switch Wild Charge Rock Blast
  • Raikou – Use Thunderbolt for lower energy cost, pair with Thunder for higher damage output
  • Zapdos – Use Thunderbolt for lower energy cost, pair with Zap Cannon for higher damage output (If Thunder Shock is unavailable, use Charge Beam)
  • Golem (Alola) – Use Wild Charge for higher damage output, pair with Rock Blast for lower energy cost

Fairy Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Fairy Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO TogekissTogekiss Hidden Power Dazzling Gleam Ancient Power
2 Pokemon GO GardevoirGardevoir Confusion Dazzling Gleam Shadow Ball
3 Pokemon GO ClefableClefable Pound* Moonblast Psychic
  • Togekiss – Use Dazzling Gleam for higher damage output, pair with Ancient Power for lower energy cost and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Gardevoir – Use Dazzling Gleam for average performance, pair with Shadow Ball for lower energy cost and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Clefable – Use Moonblast for higher damage output, pair with Psychic for average performance and for an unexpected attack against your opponent (If Pound is unavailble, use Zen Headbutt)

Fighting Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Fighting Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO MachampMachamp Counter Dynamic Punch Heavy Slam
2 Pokemon GO HariyamaHariyama Counter Dynamic Punch Heavy Slam
3 Pokemon GO HeracrossHeracross Counter Close Combat Megahorn
  • Machamp – Use Dynamic Punch for higher damage output, pair with Heavy Slam for average performance and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Hariyama – Use Dynamic Punch for higher damage output, pair with Heavy Slam for average performance and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Heracross – Use Close Combat for higher damage output, pair with Megahorn for lower energy cost

Fire Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Fire Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO EnteiEntei Fire Spin Overheat Flamethrower
2 Pokemon GO HeatranHeatran Fire Spin Fire Blast Iron Head
3 Pokemon GO MoltresMoltres Fire Spin Overheat Sky Attack*
  • Entei – Use Overheat for higher damage output, pair with Flamethrower for lower energy cost
  • Heatran – Use Fire Blast for higher damage output, pair with Iron Head for lower energy cost
  • Moltres – Use Overheat for higher damage output, pair with Sky Attack for lower energy cost (If Sky Attack is unavailable, pair with Heat Wave)

Flying Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Flying Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO LugiaLugia Extrasensory Sky Attack Future Sight
2 Pokemon GO MoltresMoltres Fire Spin Sky Attack* Heat Wave
3 Pokemon GO Ho-OhHo-Oh Extrasensory Fire Blast Brave Bird
  • Lugia – Use Sky Attack for lower energy cost, pair with Future Sight for higher damage output
  • Moltres – Use Sky Attack for lower energy cost, pair with Heat Wave for higher damage output (If Sky Attack is unavailable, use Overheat)
  • Ho-Oh – Use Fire Blast for higher damage output, pair with Brave Bird for lower energy cost

Ghost Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Ghost Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO GiratinaGiratina Shadow Claw Shadow Sneak Dragon Claw
2 Pokemon GO GengarGengar Lick* Shadow Ball Sludge Bomb
3 Pokemon GO DrifblimDrifblim Hex Shadow Ball Ominous Wind
  • Giratina – Use Shadow Sneak for average performance, pair with Dragon Claw for lower energy cost
  • Gengar – Use Shadow Ball for higher damage output, pair with Sludge Bomb for lower energy cost (If Lick is unavailable, use Shadow Claw or Hex)
  • Drifblim – Use Shadow Ball for higher damage output, pair with Ominous Wind for lower energy cost

Grass Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Grass Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO VenusaurVenusaur Vine Whip Frenzy Plant* Sludge Bomb
2 Pokemon GO TorterraTorterra Razor Leaf Solar Beam Stone Edge
3 Pokemon GO MeganiumMeganium Vine Whip Frenzy Plant* Solar Beam
  • Venusaur – Use Frenzy Plant for lower energy cost and higher damage output, pair with Sludge Bomb for average performance (If Frenzy Plant is unavailable, use Petal Blizzard)
  • Torterra – Use Solar Beam for higher damage output, pair with Stone Edge for lower energy cost and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Meganium – Use Frenzy Plant for lower energy cost, pair with Solar Beam for high damage output (If Frenzy Plant is unavailable, use Petal Blizzard)

Ground Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Ground Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO GroudonGroudon Mud Shot Earthquake Solar Beam
2 Pokemon GO RhyperiorRhyperior Mud Slap Earthquake Surf
3 Pokemon GO MamoswineMamoswine Mud Slap Bulldoze Avalanche
  • Groudon – Use Earthquake for lower energy cost, pair with Solar Beam for higher damage output and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Rhyperior – Use Earthquake for higher damage output, pair with Surf for lower energy cost
  • Mamoswine – Use Bulldoze for average performance, pair with Avalanche for lower energy cost and higher damage output

Ice Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Ice Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO RegiceRegice Frost Breath Blizzard Earthquake
2 Pokemon GO MamoswineMamoswine Powder Snow Avalanche Stone Edge
3 Pokemon GO ArticunoArticuno Frost Breath Blizzard Icy Wind
  • Regice – Use Blizzard for higher damage output, pair with Earthquake for lower energy cost and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Mamoswine – Use Avalanche for lower energy cost, pair with Stone Edge for higher damage output
  • Articuno – Use Blizzard for higher damage output, pair with Ice Wind for lower energy cost

Normal Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Normal Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO BlisseyBlissey Pound Hyper Beam Dazzling Gleam
2 Pokemon GO SnorlaxSnorlax Lick Body Slam* Hyper Beam
3 Pokemon GO SlakingSlaking Yawn Play Rough Earthquake
  • Blissey – Use Hyper Beam for higher damage output, pair with Dazzling Gleam for lower energy cost and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Snorlax – Use Body Slam for lower energy cost, pair with Hyper Beam for higher damage output (If Body Slam is unavailable, use Heavy Slam)
  • Slaking – Use Play Rough for lower energy cost and for an unexpected attack against your opponent, pair with Earthquake for higher damage output and for an unexpected attack against your opponent

NoteYes, I know Blissey is number one. Yes, I know it sucks. Unfortunately the Normal typing is already lacking, and based on PVP usefulness in the scenario I explained above, Blissey still takes the reigns. Don’t be the guy that uses a Blissey in PVP, please.

Poison Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Poison Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO Muk (Alola)Muk (Alola) Poison Jab Gunk Shot Dark Pulse
2 Pokemon GO MukMuk Poison Jab Gunk Shot Dark Pulse
3 Pokemon GO RoseradeRoserade Poison Jab Sludge Bomb Dazzling Gleam
  • Muk (Alola) – Use Gunk Shot for higher damage output, pair with Dark Pulse for lower energy cost
  • Muk – Use Gunk Shot for higher damage output, pair with Dark Pulse for lower energy cost and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Roserade – Use Sludge Bomb for lower energy cost, pair with Dazzling Gleam for higher damage output and for an unexpected attack against your opponent

Psychic Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Psychic Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO LugiaLugia Extrasensory Future Sight Sky Attack
2 Pokemon GO MewtwoMewtwo Confusion Psychic Focus Blast
3 Pokemon GO CresseliaCresselia Confusion Future Sight Aurora Beam
  • Lugia – Use Future Sight for higher damage output, pair with Sky Attack for lower energy cost
  • Mewtwo – Use Psychic for average performance, pair with Focus Blast for lower energy cost and higher damage output and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Cresselia – Use Future Sight for higher damage output, pair with Aurora Beam for lower energy cost and for an unexpected attack against your opponent

Rock Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Rock Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO TyranitarTyranitar Smack Down* Stone Edge Crunch
2 Pokemon GO RhyperiorRhyperior Smack Down Stone Edge Surf
3 Pokemon GO RegirockRegirock Rock Throw Stone Edge Focus Blast
  • Tyranitar – Use Stone Edge for higher damage output, pair with Crunch for lower energy cost (If Smack Down is unavailable, use Bite)
  • Rhyperior – Use Stone Edge for higher damage output, pair with Surf for lower energy cost and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Regirock – Use Stone Edge for lower energy cost, pair with Focus Blast for higher damage output and for an unexpected attack against your opponent

Steel Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Steel Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO MetagrossMetagross Bullet Punch Meteor Mash* Earthquake
2 Pokemon GO HeatranHeatran Fire Spin Iron Head Stone Edge
3 Pokemon GO AggronAggron Iron Tail Heavy Slam Stone Edge
  • Metagross – Use Meteor Mash for lower energy cost, pair with Earthquake for higher damage output and for an unexpected attack against your opponent (If Meteor Mash is unavailable, use Flash Cannon)
  • Heatran – Use Iron Head for lower energy cost, pair with Stone Edge for higher damage output and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Aggron – Use Heavy Slam for lower energy cost, pair with Stone Edge for higher damage output

Water Type PVP Pokémon

Master League Water Type PVP Pokémon
Rank Pokémon Fast Move Main Charged Second Charged
1 Pokemon GO KyogreKyogre Waterfall Hydro Pump Thunder
2 Pokemon GO GyaradosGyarados Waterfall Hydro Pump Crunch
3 Pokemon GO FeraligatrFeraligatr Water Gun Hydro Cannon Crunch
  • Kyogre – Use Hydro Pump for higher damage output, pair with Thunder for lower energy cost and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Gyarados – Use Hydro Pump for higher damage output, pair with Crunch for lower energy cost and for an unexpected attack against your opponent
  • Feraligatr – Use Hydro Pump for lower energy cost and higher damage output, pair with Crunch for average performance

Final Notes

With interest decaying in PVP and Trainers pretty much only playing for Sinnoh Stones and the occasional bragging rights, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Niantic making changes to it in the future. However, if type effectiveness stays the same, the list above will only grow in usefulness. Keep your eyes out for future articles where we cover more advanced PVP techniques, but in the mean-time this is more than plenty as a starter pack to get you on the top of PVP matches.

Have fun, and stay safe, Trainers!