Pokémon GO is evolving with Trainer Battles, letting playersgo head-to-head with teams they"ve assembled. Check out some tips on whichPokémon should learn a new Charged Attack, which Pokémon to power up forTrainer Battles, and how to put together a winning team for matches againstother players. You can battle against any Trainers who are nearby, or yourUltra and Best Friends anywhere, at any time. Get ready to prove you"re thevery best!
The spoils definitely make Trainer Battles worth trying,even if you"re not that confident in your Pokémon team. You can get rewardsfrom battling other Trainers three times each day and once daily from taking onan AI-controlled team leader. You"ll get the same loot whether you win or lose,which can include rare items like a Sinnoh Stone, the item needed to evolvemany Pokémon with Evolutions first discovered in Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl. Battles aren"t just a lot of fun—they"re also great if you"relooking to collect the most-powerful Pokémon and complete your Pokédex!Teaching a Second Charged Attack
Whether you"re planning to participate in a lot of matchesagainst other players or not, the brand-new ability to teach your Pokémon asecond Charged Attack should catch the eye of every Trainer. Learning theseextra attacks doesn"t come cheap, so which Pokémon should you prioritize?
Start out with Pokémon that will be effective in differentkinds of battles, such as Raid Battles, attacking or defending Gyms, or TrainerBattles. Having two Charged Attacks is likely to make the biggest difference inTrainer Battles, where you"ll have only three Pokémon available to cover an unknownteam. You"ll receive the smallest benefit in Raid Battles, where you"ll be ableto prepare for one known opponent. Or you can just choose your favorite ormost-used Pokémon!
Some Pokémon will benefit more from a second Charged Attackthan others. Pokémon do more damage when they use moves that match their own types.This means that dual-type Pokémon like Tyranitar, with two strong attackingtypes to pull from, gain more from having two Charged Attacks than a single-typePokémon like Typhlosion, which will normally get the best bang for its buck justusing Blast Burn. Keep an eye out for Pokémon that can learn moves that don"tmatch their types but are super effective against popular foes. TeachingAlakazam or Registeel the Fighting-type attack Focus Blast might not make muchsense for Raid Battles, but it"ll make a big difference if you"re expectingother Trainers to have the Normal-type Blissey.
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Many Trainers have funneled their resources into Pokémonthat can dish out damage as quickly as possible because of the race to beat theclock and earn Premier Balls in Raid Battles, as well as battling defensivespecialists that are tough to knock out of Gyms. In Trainer Battles, you shouldvalue your Pokémon"s stats more evenly. Matches are a race to knock out threePokémon before your own three Pokémon are defeated, so taking less damage isjust as valuable as dealing more.
Pokémon like Metagross that are strong offensively anddefensively are especially prized in Trainer Battles, while specialists likeGengar may be a little trickier to use. Conversely, stout Pokémon that cancontribute offensively, such as Blastoise, Meganium, Lugia, and Cresselia, willperform much better against other players than they do in Raid Battles becausethey"ll get enough time to benefit from their defensive prowess.Composing the Best Teams
You"ll only be able to use three Pokémon on your team in aTrainer Battle instead of the usual six, so it"s crucial to pick Pokémon thatwork well together. Selecting three Pokémon of the same type can be fun, butyou"ll be in for a tough battle if you face an opponent that can take advantageof their weaknesses—especially because type effectiveness now makes a biggerdifference in Pokémon GO battles than ever before.
Focus on putting together a trio of Pokémon that can covereach other"s weaknesses and that can take on popular Pokémon effectively.Trainers have been including familiar trios of a Fire-, Water-, and Grass-typePokémon on their Pokémon RPG teams because they cover each other"s weaknessesnicely. More recently, Trainers have looked toward the combination of a Dragon-,Steel-, and Fairy-type on their team for a similar effect. Try to make sureyour Pokémon don"t share more than a couple of type weaknesses.
Each Pokémon on your team can now have two different ChargedAttacks, giving you up to six total. You"ll probably want each of these attacksto be from different types to maximize your flexibility unless you have apretty good idea which Pokémon your opponent is likely to bring. Dual-typePokémon on your team can make it easier to attack effectively with a variety oftypes, but be careful—many also have extra weaknesses.Protect Shields, Charged Attacks, and Switching
There"s more to Pokémon GO Trainer Battles than tappingattacks and hoping your Pokémon end up on top. Assembling a strong team is agood start, but you"ll need to outperform your opponent in battle to win. Youhave three main tools to manipulate the outcome of a battle—Protect Shields,Charged Attacks, and switching Pokémon.
You"ll have only a limited number of Protect Shields to usein a Trainer Battle, and how you use them will have a huge impact on whetheryou win or lose. Protect Shields can block your opponent"s Charged Attacks, butyou won"t have enough to defend all your Pokémon. Be smart about when you useProtect Shields—if your active Pokémon is already about to be knocked out, orif it"s healthy and resists your opponent"s Charged Attacks, you probably don"tneed to use a Protect Shield. But if your active Pokémon is vital to defeatingthe rest of your opponent"s team, you should defend it with a Protect Shield.
On offense, you"ll want to force your opponent to use theirProtect Shields as quickly as you can to remove their ability to defend. Lineup Charged Attacks that are sure to deal huge damage. Try to maintain matchupswhere you"ll be able to use a supereffective Charged Attack—or at least onethat matches your Pokémon"s type and isn"t resisted by the opponent"s type.
Switching is a great way to avoid needing to use a ProtectShield altogether. If your Pokémon has a type advantage over the opponent,you"ll have relatively little to fear, and you can even start building your ownCharged Attack up. You may also want to switch in a Pokémon that resists youropponent"s Charged Attacks just before they"re ready to use them. Keep the pathto winning the battle in mind—try to work your way toward a situation whereyour last Pokémon has a type advantage over your opponent"s last Pokémon.Preparing for the Great and Ultra Leagues
Before engaging in battle, you"ll choose to compete in oneof three different leagues that determine the maximum CP each Pokémon in yourparty may have. In the Great League, the maximum CP per Pokémon is 1,500. NoPokémon over 2,500 CP may be used in the Ultra League, while any Pokémon can beused in the Master League. Pokémon of the same CP will perform relativelysimilarly in battle, greatly expanding the pool of first-rate combatants in theGreat and Ultra Leagues.
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If you"re hoping to use your favorite Pokémon in battleagainst other players without feeling at a disadvantage, these two leagues are absolutely the place for it. Butthere"s still plenty of optimizations you can make with your team if you"relooking to get ahead.
Most Pokémon can hit 1,500 CP, so you"ll have an incredible numberof options available to you in the Great League. Pokémon with lower maximum CPand tricky type combinations, such as Lanturn, could be great choices to messwith your opponents" strategies. You could even consider Pokémon that aren"tfully evolved that may have stronger moves than their Evolutions!
Your Ultra League battles may wind up being more similar toMaster League bouts with more powerful Pokémon available, but you"ll have toconsider a wider range of Pokémon because none will greatly overpower the rest.The Ultra League is a great place to bust out the Pokémon you caught duringCommunity Day events. Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise, Meganium, Typhlosion, andAmpharos all have maximum CPs right around 2,500, and their Community Day–exclusivemoves will pack quite a punch!