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As the GO Battle League in Pokémon GO shifts formats from the Great League to the Ultra League, a whole new set of Pokémon dominate the metagame, with some also being mainstays of the Great League. Here are some of the best Pokémon to pick in the new format, and why they are so good.

1. Registeel

  • Fast Move: Lock On
  • Charged Move 1: Focus Blast
  • Charged Move 2: Flash Cannon

Registeel is a bulky Steel-type Pokémon that packs a solid punch. Lock On generates charge about as fast as any quick attack in the game for Flash Cannon and Focus Blast. Its Steel typing gives it resistance against top Pokémon like Cresselia and Giratina, so it is a great pick. But Registeel does need to watch out for Swampert and Cobalion, who are common Ultra League picks.

2. Giratina

The legendary Pokemon Giratina appearing in its Origin Forme in promotional artwork for Pokemon GO.
Giratina in its Origin Forme | Image via Pokémon GO
  • Fast Move: Shadow Claw
  • Charged Move 1: Dragon Claw
  • Charged Move 2: Shadow Sneak

Giratina is the complete package of bulk and attack power. As a Dragon/Ghost-type Pokemon, Giratina is weak to Dragon, Ice, Fairy, Ghost, and Dark, but it also resists 8 types (Grass, Fire, Water, Electric, Bug, and Poison) while quad-resisting Normal and Fighting. The most important resistances are to Grass and Water, as some of the Ultra League’s best share these types. Shadow Claw is a fantastic coverage move that also charges GIratina’s Dragon Claw fast enabling an onslaught of quick, heavy damage output.

3. Poliwrath

The Pokemon Poliwrath.
Poliwrath is one of the best non-legendary Pokemon in PvP battles | Image via The Pokémon Company
  • Fast Move: Counter
  • Charged Move 1: Icy Wind
  • Charged Move 2: Scald

Poliwrath has shot up the viability rankings in Pokémon GO PvP, and the Ultra League is no different. Its unique blend of Fighting, Ice, and Water-type attacks counter a plethora of Steel, Dark, and Ice-type Pokémon. Solid overall attack strength and bulk further help its role, though a weakness to Zap Cannon can make its matchup versus Registeel, the Ultra League’s Current top dog, a bit inconsistent.

Luckily, Icy Wind makes it so Poliwrath can stand up incredibly well to the omnipresent Giratina, despite it being heavily resistant to Poliwrath’s go-to Fast Move, Counter.

4. Cresselia

The legendary Pokemon Cresselia appearing in promotional art for Pokemon GO's raid battle event.
Cresselia is one of the best defensive options in the Ultra League | Image: Pokémon GO
  • Fast Move: Pyscho Cut
  • Charged Move 1: Grass Knot
  • Charged Move 2: Moonblast

Cresselia’s incredible bulk gives it huge advantages in Ultra League, with access to Moonblast to provide some coverage against the popular Giratina. Grass Knot as another option allows it to blast through the ever-present Swampert. Cresselia can often struggle against Steel types, particularly Registeel, so it’ll need help from teammates that can cover Steel types well. It may also run into the dilemma of choosing between Future Sight or Grass Knot depending on how the metagame develops.

5. Zygarde (Complete Forme)

The Pokemon Zygarde in its Complete Forme as seen in Pokemon GO's menu screen.
Zygarde’s Complete Forme is one of the toughest Pokemon to obtain, but it is very much worth the time investment | Image: @sensray on X
  • Quick Attack: Dragon Tail
  • Charge Attack 1: Crunch
  • Charge Attack 2: Earthquake

Zygarde-Complete’s claim to fame is its insane bulk by Ultra League standards – even towering over the likes of Giratina. It possesses the tools to take down some of Ultra League’s quintessential tanks.  Earthquake brings down Registeel, Crunch takes a massive bite out of Cresselia, and its STAB Dragon Tails can dismantle Giratina.

In short, Zygarde-Complete is a metagame-defining threat that unfortunately requires the collection of many Zygarde Cells to transform it. That said, Zygarde isn’t without weaknesses, as it still struggles against Fairy- and Ice-type Pokémon like Tapu Fini, Walrein, and Alolan Ninetales.

Even if you don’t decide to use these Pokémon on your team, be sure to prepare for them and have appropriate counters ready. You are bound to see a lot of these in Pokémon GO‘s Ultra League over the next few weeks.