The Mountain Cup is here! This brand new Special Cup in Pokémon Go Go Battle League asks you to build the best team while following a string of heavy restrictions. But, if you’re ready to find out if you and your Pokémon can stand strong against the enemy, now’s the time to start looking at the best Mountain Cup team in Pokémon Go.
As usual with these cups, the rules of the Great League in Pokémon Go apply here – but with the usual twist hinted at in the name. Not only do you have to come up with the most effective team possible at 1500 CP and under, but type restrictions apply. In case it wasn’t obvious from the name, only Ice, Ground, Rock and Steel-type Pokémon are allowed, with the only other ruling being that Swampert is obviously banned.
If you’re looking for other Go Battle League recommendations, see our Ultra League page.
Things to know about putting together a Mountain Cup team in Pokémon Go
The best thing about the 1500 CP limit is that, like the Great League, putting a team together is relatively cheap and easy on Stardust. The second-best thing is that this allows you to try out a brand new meta with a collection of Pokémon you otherwise might never use in Go Battle League. So, if you like dipping your toes into Go Battle League, this means low risk, high rewards!
The obvious downside to these limited metas is that the pool of eligible choices is relatively shallow. In this case, there are 228 Pokémon that are eligible, and around 50 that are actually good, making the Mountain Cup a lot deeper than the recent Psychic Cup. The reason for this isn’t just that we’re looking at four types instead of one, but because dual typing is not only allowed but encouraged, the number of Pokémon you can choose from is substantially larger.
So, how do you pick Pokémon for an element-based cup? It starts and ends with what that type is weak and resistant to.
- Ice is weak to Fighting, Fire Rock and Steel; but resistant to other Ice types.
- Ground is weak to Grass, Ice and Water; but resistant to Electric, Rock and Poison types.
- Rock is weak to Fighting, Grass, Ground, Steel and Water; but resistant to Poison, Normal, Flying and Fire types.
- Steel is weak to Fighting, Fire and Ground; but resistant to Poison, Steel, Rock, Psychic, Normal, Ice, Grass, Flying, Fairy, Dragon and Bug types.
The immediate takeaway here is everything is weak to one other meta-relevant type, but Steel has the best list of resistances, being resistant to all three of the others. Rock, meanwhile, has no meta-relevant resistances. Ice’s weakness to Steel means that if we were to rank the four types in terms of attractiveness in this cup, it would go Steel then Ground and Ice, with Rock firmly in last place.
But it’s more complicated than that because dual-typing completely changes the paradigm here – you might immediately think Galarian Stunfisk is an excellent choice as a Ground/Steel type, but it barely makes the top 30 list because everyone will be bringing Pokémon to counter those types – Fighting, Ground and Water will be pretty prevalent in this cup. This is what we call playing the metagame.
There are several Mythical and Legendary Pokémon Pokémon to consider here, including Registeel (and friends), Kartana and Genesect, but they are by no means necessary or the best Pokémon in the Mountain Cup. We’d advise you avoid using them unless you already have Registeel built for Great League (where it has long been one of the best Pokémon available) – it uses the same attacks, so you don’t have to do anything different.
Remember, although there are specific Pokémon that dominate this meta, with the Go Battle League (and player-versus-player battles in general) you’ll be going in blind; so even if you cover yourself with a wide range of offence and defence options, no team is invincible.
Still – even with a few of the below Pokémon in your team, you should be able to fare better than if you just selected those as close to the 1500 CP cap as possible.
The Season of Rising Heroes is here! The Let’s Go event is currently running and it has brought the Let’s GO! quest with it, along with a new list of Ditto disguises.
As you continue your Pokémon Go adventure, make sure to battle Giovanni, the Team Go Rocket Leaders or in the new Go Battle League season. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Kecleon or, if you purchased it, work on the Masterwork Research: Wish Granted quest.
Elsewhere, be sure to use Daily Adventure Incense for the chance of encountering Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos and Galarian Moltres. This incense may also give you encounters with other rare Pokémon in Pokémon Go.
Our Pokémon Go Mountain Cup recommendations
There is no single ‘best’ team you can choose – since, as mentioned previously, you don’t know what you are up against – and not everyone has access to every Pokémon species.
Instead, here is a general list of recommended Mountain Cup Pokémon to build a team from, with a wide range of sources that should suit all players, whether you’ve been collecting creatures since day one or just started playing. Plus, even if you don’t have a Registeel, you can still be very competitive in this cup, as (for once) none of our picks have any exclusive or Community Day moves. As long as you have the Pokémon and enough resources to power it up, you should be good to go!
Remember you are only allowed one of each in the Go Battle League, and ideally you’d want to build a team with different type strengths and defence. For example, if you build a team with all mono-Steel types, a single G-fisk will ruin your day.
It’s also worth noting that if you want to really compete, each of your Pokémon need two Charged moves. If you want to skimp on Stardust and only run the one move, do so at your own peril – you have been warned.
Our Pokémon Go Mountain Cup team recommendations in order of their appearance in the National Pokédex — while there is some overlap with the Great League guide, make sure you read the full entry as we may be recommending some move changes:
Type: Water / Ground
Weakness: Grass (x2)
Recommended IVs: 0/14/15
Recommended Moves: Mud Shot (Fast), Surf (Charged), Mud Bomb (Charged)
Look, just because Swampert is banned doesn’t mean that teenage Swampert is banned. Even bad Swampert is good when regular Swampert is backbreaking.
While you don’t have access to Swampert’s stats or full move set, we do have a spammy, dynamic Pokémon with meta-relevant attacks that can apply a lot of shield pressure. Mud Shot may not apply much Fast move pressure, but when you’re hitting with Mud Bomb and Surf every few seconds, does it really matter? Also, if you can, really lean into that moody teenage vibe with Shadow Marshtomp.
In terms of matchups, expect quick and easy wins against Registeel, Gliscor, Perrserker, Empoleon and Lucario – a good list to be strong against. However, you’re going to be beaten by Whiscash, Diggersby, Froslass, Galarian Stunfisk and Escavalier.
Type: Water / Ground
Weakness: Grass (x2)
Recommended IVs: 0/14/13
Recommended Moves: Mud Shot (Fast), Mud Bomb (Charged), Blizzard (Charged)
Another Water/Ground type, this bulky beast looks very similar to Marshtomp, but with one key difference – it doesn’t run Water-type attacks, instead opting for Blizzard as a coverage nuke against other Ground-types.
The same deal applies here though – fast charging Fast move into low-cost spammy Mud Bomb lets you strip away shields quickly before unleashing a devastating Blizzard Charged attack.
In terms of match-ups, we’re looking to beat Galarian Stunfisk, Lucario, Quagsire, Froslass and Diggersby, but lose to Ferrothorn Skarmory, Lapras, Escavalier and Walrein.
Type: Fighting / Steel
Weakness: Fighting, Fire, Ground
Recommended IVs: 1/15/15
Recommended Moves: Counter (Fast), Power-Up Punch (Charged), Shadow Ball (Charged)
Punch Doggo is the goodest boi in this cup – or second-best as far as Steel-types go (after Escavalier).
The combo of Counter and Power-up Punch continues to be excellent, with the doggo’s PUP guaranteeing a 1-stage attack boost each time you use it. Shadow Ball is there as a coverage nuke that few in the league are resistant to, which is always good to hear.
So how does it stack pup in the meta? It beats Ferrothorn, Registeel, Walrein, Galarian Stunfisk and Quagsire, but loses to Runerigus, Whiscash, Marshtomp, Escavalier and Diggersby.
Type: Grass / Ice
Weakness: Fire (x2), Bug, Fighting, Flying, Poison, Rock, Steel
Recommended IVs: 0/15/15
Recommended Moves: Powder Snow (Fast), Weather Ball (Ice; Charged), Energy Ball
The Abominable Go-man is back! This should come as a surprise to roughly nobody; it’s almost always excellent in Great League, Ultra League and its limited cups – it’s only really Master League where it lacks the CP to be competitive that you might give it the cold shoulder.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure, Powder Snow fast-charges your Weather Ball to strip shields like nobody’s business. Energy Ball is there to absolutely flatten the likes of Marshtomp. It’s a solid strategy, but not one without risks.
Froslass, Registeel, Escavalier, Empoleon and Galarian Stunfisk are said risks, and they’ll have you beat with relative ease. However, Quagsire, Whiscash, Marshtomp, Ferrothorn and Diggersby all cower before this titan of PVP.
Type: Ground / Flying
Weakness: Ice (x2), Water
Recommended IVs: 1/15/14
Recommended Moves: Wing Attack (Fast), Earthquake (Charged), Night Slash (Charged)
Gliscor may seem an interesting pick for this meta, thanks to the lack of flying-type weaknesses, but this move is here purely for how fast-charging it is, allowing you to fire off Night Slash to strip shields before unleashing devastating Earthquakes to close out matches.
The issue really comes from its relative lack of bulk – especially with the Shadow version. However, if you have the Shadow, you’re better off running it over the regular version, as you’ll win more matches as a result.
Talking of which, you can expect to beat Quagsire, Whiscash, Galarian Stunfisk, Diggersby and Escavalier. Walrein, Skarmory, Froslass, Runerigus and Lucario, meanwhile, will have Gliscor beat.
Type: Grass / Steel
Weakness: Fire (x2), Fighting
Recommended IVs: 0/13/13
Recommended Moves: Bullet Seed (Fast), Power Whip (Charged), Thunder (Charged)
In a meta with a bunch of Pokémon double-weak to Grass, a strong Grass-type seems like a gimme. In this case, the bulky, spammy Ferrothorn has you covered thanks to its double-Grass attacks.
Bullet Seed is very fast charging, allowing you to fire off Power Whips for high damage while taking down shields. Should you need it, Thunder is there against anything resistant to Grass!
In terms of match-ups, we’re looking for wins against Quagsire, Whiscash, Marshtomp, Walrein and Galarian Stunfisk. Losses, meanwhile, will come from Escavalier, Registeel, Skarmory, Diggersby and Froslass.
Type: Bug / Steel
Weakness: Fire (2x)
Recommended IVs: 1/15/15
Recommended Moves: Counter (Fast), Drill Run (Charged), Megahorn (Charged)
Believe it or not, Escavalier is likely the strongest Pokémon in the Mountain Cup, thanks to Fire-types being near non-existent. This leaves you with a dynamic Pokémon that applies both Fast move and shield pressure. While it is technically a glass cannon, you have the bonus of its only weakness being awful in this cup.
Counter is one of the best moves in the game. Drill Run is a coverage move for anyone weak to Ground, while Megahorn is a nuke with STAB that few are resistant to.
So, what does Escavalier beat? Ferrothorn, Registeel, Walrein, Galarian Stunfisk and Whiscash – all great things to be strong against. Just watch out for Shadow Gliscor, Skarmory, Froslass, Diggersby and Shadow Scizor; some of these are more meta than others!
Type: Normal / Ground
Weakness: Fighting, Grass, Ice, Water
Recommended IVs: 0/15/13
Recommended Moves: Mud Shot (Fast), Fire Punch (Charged), Earthquake (Charged)
Fire Punch is a great piece of secret tech in this meta – there’s a few Pokémon at the top of the meta weak to it, but there are few eligible Fire-types and none of them are worth running. Diggersby solves this problem nicely.
On top of this, Diggersby is extremely bulky and spammy, thanks to fast-charging Mud Shot and how cheap Fire Punch is. Earthquake is there should you need to go big, and with STAB damage added in, this move is going to hit hard. The only real issue is that if you come up against a Water-type, you won’t be able to bait shields and you’re going to have a bad time.
This brings us to the wins and losses. Froslass, Torterra, Walrein all beat you (which may seem surprising given Fire Punch), along with Marshtomp and Whiscash. But you can expect wins against Stunfisk, Quagsire, Ferrothorn and Registeel, and you can even beat Escavalier in a fair fight.
The Mountain Cup will run until Wednesday, 29th March and finish at the following times: