Preseason begins in the Great League
After much anticipation, Pokemon Go has finally delivered us with its fully realized version of PvP, the Go Battle League. The League is an online matchmaking system with a fully integrated ranking and elo system. Designed basically the same as most other online competitive gaming systems, the Go Battle League of course has the single goal of trainers competing to be the very best, like no one ever was.
At this stage there are no restrictions on what Pokemon you can bring in to battle except of course using duplicates, Ditto or Pokemon over the CP limit for each league. There has been hints of restrictions in the game code and I suspect they will come into force once season one rolls out, after enough data on the meta has been collected from the preseason. I would guess that the meta dominant Pokemon will only be unlocked as you progress through the ranks, allowing for more variation in the lower ranked matches.
While great league has a wide variation of potential Pokemon to use, it has been proven mostly vital to include at least one of either Registeel, Azumaril, Altaria and Defense Deoxy’s in your team line up. With the teams being blind, it has made choosing your lead Pokemon critically important as well as having a safe switch ready to go. While not everyone is happy about this element of ‘luck’ coming into play, it has made for an interesting and fun way to play the game, at least speaking for myself.
My own performance in the Great League portion of Go Battle League has been mostly positive with a small dip in performance around the middle ranks (while experimenting with some less meta line ups). The lower ranks proving to be very easy to dominate while the higher ranks have proven to be quite the challenge. My initial team during the lower ranks was a mix of Altaria, Medicham, Registeel, Azumaril, Swampert and Venusuar. Moving into the back end once I reached rank 7 my team began to change. Once reaching rank 9 I was finding myself mostly switching between one of these two teams to great effect.
Team 1 – Lead: Scrafty (Counter, PupPunch, Foul Play) with Shiftry (Snarl, Leaf Blade, Foul Play) & Altaria (Dragon Breath, Sky Attack, Dragon Pulse) in the back.
The surprisingly tankiness of Scrafty mixed with the pure spam potential of Shiftry makes this a fun and effective team to run, Foul Play hits almost everything for Neutral damage and with Altaria as a body guard, I have had huge success with this team in Rank 9.
Team 2 – Lead: Aloan Raichu (Volt Switch, Wild Charge, Grass Knot) with Registeel (Lock-on, Flash Cannon, Focus Blast) & Altaria (Dragon Breath, Sky Attack, Dragon Pulse) in the back.
A slightly more meta team, Raichu is able to deal consistent damage with its quick energy generation and moves that threaten most of the top Great league Pokemon while Registeel and Altaria form a stable core against the majority of the meta and pretty much anything else they come across.
Go Battle League Results – Great League
Wins: 71 Battles: 115 Win Rate: 62% Longest streak: 9 Wins
Battle Points: 3355