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Pokémon Go Holiday Cup – Great League Edition: Best Pokémon

Prepare for some festive fighting in Go Battle League with this guide
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Get ready for some festive fighting in Pokémon Go, for 'tis the season: Holiday Cup – Great League Edition is running globally from December 15 to 22, 2023.

In this Go Battle League competition with a limited ruleset, only Pokémon with a strength of up to 1,500 competition points (CP) that belong to the Normal, Grass, Electric, Ice, Flying, and Ghost types can participate. As you can imagine, these restrictions shake up the meta quite a bit compared to the regular Great League format, so you’ll need to adapt your usual strategies if you want to rack up some wins over the next couple of days. That's especially important as quadruple Stardust rewards are up for grabs during the cup's runtime.

No need to add to your holiday stress, though: We’ll show you the best Pokémon for Holiday Cup – Great League Edition in Pokémon Go in this guide based on statistics and simulations provided by PvPoke.com.

Pokémon Go screenshot of several creatures dancing in a snowy landscape.

Holiday Cup is back for another spin in the snow.

Holiday Cup – Great League Edition: Best Leads

These Pokémon apply pressure right from the start and can survive even long battles thanks to their toughness – they are ideal creatures to open a duel and will enable you to get a great start.

  1. Vigoroth (Counter, Body Slam, Rock Slide)
  2. Togedemaru (Thunder Shock, Fell Stinger, Wild Charge)
  3. Aurorus (Powder Snow, Weather Ball (Ice), Meteor Beam)
  4. Shadow Magnezone (Volt Switch, Wild Charge, Mirror Shot)
  5. Shadow Alolan Graveler (Volt Switch, Stone Edge, Rock Blast)
  6. Shadow Alolan Golem (Volt Switch, Stone Edge, Rock Blast)
  7. Dubwool (Double Kick, Body Slam, Payback)
  8. Skeledirge (Incinerate, Shadow Ball, Disarming Voice)
  9. Arctibax (Dragon Breath, Avalanche, Dragon Claw)
  10. Talonflame (Incinerate, Fly, Flame Charge)

Holiday Cup – Great League Edition: Best Safe Switches

These Pokémon serve as switch options for your lead – should the opening pairing be to your disadvantage, switch in one of these monsters instead to preserve your lead Pokémon for later. According to this purpose, these are primarily Pokémon that counter some of the most popular leads or are strong leads themselves.

  1. Vigoroth (Counter, Body Slam, Rock Slide)
  2. Shadow Charizard (Wing Attack, Blast Burn, Dragon Claw)
  3. Dubwool (Double Kick, Body Slam, Payback)
  4. Aurorus (Powder Snow, Weather Ball (Ice), Meteor Beam)
  5. Shadow Alolan Marowak (Fire Spin, Shadow Bone, Bone Club)
  6. Charizard (Wing Attack, Blast Burn, Dragon Claw)
  7. Shadow Magnezone (Volt Switch, Wild Charge, Mirror Shot)
  8. Zangoose (Shadow Claw, Close Combat, Night Slash)
  9. Charjabug (Volt Switch, X-Scissor, Discharge)
  10. Luxray (Spark, Wild Charge, Psychic Fangs)

Holiday Cup – Great League Edition: Best Closers

These Pokémon are especially strong when there are no shields left in play on either side – they are incredibly tough themselves or end battles with a single hit of their powerful charge attacks.

  1. Shadow Magnezone (Volt Switch, Wild Charge, Mirror Shot)
  2. Vigoroth (Counter, Body Slam, Rock Slide)
  3. Shadow Magneton (Volt Switch, Magnet Bomb, Discharge)
  4. Skarmory (Steel Wing, Brave Bird, Sky Attack)
  5. Dunsparce (Rollout, Drill Run, Rock Slide)
  6. Magnezone (Volt Switch, Wild Charge, Mirror Shot)
  7. Shadow Electivire (Thunder Shock, Wild Charge, Ice Punch)
  8. Lanturn (Water Gun, Surf, Thunderbolt)
  9. Shadow Alolan Geodude(XL) (Volt Switch, Rock Slide, Thunderbolt)
  10. Bellibolt (Thunder Shock, Discharge, Zap Cannon)

(XL) = The Pokémon needs Candy XL to reach its optimal power level.

Holiday Cup – Great League Edition: Best Attackers

These Pokémon perform best when fighting a trainer who still has shields, while you no longer have shields yourself – they have the ideal combination of resistances and strong fast attacks to compensate for this disadvantage. For this reason, you rarely see Shadow forms in this category – they take more damage than their regular counterparts, which is very risky at this stage of a match.

  1. Lanturn (Water Gun, Surf, Thunderbolt)
  2. Pachirisu(XL) (Volt Switch, Thunder Punch, Thunderbolt)
  3. Skarmory (Steel Wing, Brave Bird, Sky Attack)
  4. Stunfisk (Thunder Shock, Mud Bomb, Discharge)
  5. Alolan Marowak (Fire Spin, Shadow Bone, Bone Club)
  6. Dunsparce (Rollout, Drill Run, Rock Slide)
  7. Litleo(XL) (Incinerate, Flame Charge, Crunch)
  8. Wigglytuff (Charm, Icy Wind, Disarming Voice)
  9. Obstagoon (Counter, Night Slash, Cross Chop)
  10. Vigoroth (Counter, Body Slam, Rock Slide)

Recent balance changes have had a strong impact on these rankings: Vigoroth gained access to Rock Slide, propelling it upwards on several rankings thanks to its enhanced anti-Flying-type capabilities. At the same time, Incinerate and Volt Switch users were boosted as well thanks to buffs. There is also prominent newcomer to consider in the form of Skeledirge, which wasn't available the last time this format was around.