Best Pokémon for the Master League Classic in Pokémon Go

It’s time to prove if you’re worthy to fight in the Master League Classic.

Image via Niantic

The Master League Classic bracket in the Pokémon Go Battle League has players competing in Pokémon battles as the highest caliber. However, any player looking to participate in it need to make sure they do not have any Pokémon that have used any XL candy. Other than that small requirement, the Master League Classic is the exact same league as the Master League, at least, before XL candy had been introduced. The XL candy does change a few things, so there are some unique options in this category.

These are the best Pokémon that we recommend for any trainer looking to battle other trainers in this league.


Groudon is easily one of the most powerful Pokémon you can capture in Pokémon Go. It can take on a most of the higher tier Pokémon that others use in this league, but it’s even better at stomping many of the smaller Pokémon. You have to make sure not to use it against Pokémon that has a Grass or Water-type move, but if you can time your shields with it well, it’ll be difficult for your opponent to take it out. Groudon is a monster, and any trainer that has one in their roster would do well to build their team around it.


Another extremely notably Pokémon almost every trainer will probably be using, Melmetal is an extremely effective Pokémon because it’s a Steel-type. It’s only weak to Fighting, Fire, and Ground-type Pokémon, and it’s resistant to nearly everything else. Because of how many resistances it has, your opponent has to have one of Melmetal’s weaknesses on their team to crack through and defeating it. Melmetal has a decent moveset, too.


Mewtwo is a Psychic-type Pokémon, and it has a massive amount of stats that make it difficult to defeat. If you don’t have a fully powered Mewtwo, you’re not reaping the benefits of this strong Pokémon. It has a strong attack and defensive stats and an even better moveset. It’ll be defeated by Groudon, though, along with Palkia, Lugia, Dragonite, Giratina, and Garchomp, but if used wisely in a battle, it can level any Pokémon in a few hits. You’ll probably want to reserve a shield for it, though.


Snorlax is an unexpected Pokémon you’d find yourself considering to use for the Master League Classic. Because it is a Normal-type Pokémon, it’s resistant to Ghost-type moves, and its only weaknesses is any Fighting-type attack. Since Fighting-type moves are its only weakness, and it has a large amount of health, players struggle with taking it down when their opponent uses it. You can choose to have it right at the front or use it as a closer Pokémon. When Snorlax has this much health, it’s hard to take it down, and if two players are on their final Pokémon, the chances are that Snorlax will come out on top.


Ho-Oh is a Pokémon you’ve likely captured when it was available for a five-star raid, or you have one from a reward of having completed a special research project. But it’s a common Pokémon for several players to have, and it’s a good one. Ho-Oh has an excellent moveset that allows it to defeat strong choices like Mewtwo, Groudon, Melmetal, Mamoswine, Metagross, Swampert, and several others. You can build your team around Ho-Oh, and you can use it first because of its stamina and defensive stats.

Shadow Mamoswine

Would you rather have a direct attacking Pokémon? Mamoswine is probably at the top of the list of best attackers in the Master League. However, the shadow version of Mamoswine is even stronger. If you have the shadow version, you can effectively use it in the Master League Classic. The one problem with this Pokémon is how weak it is. It’s not going to last long against most of its opponents, so we recommend building you team to make sure it’s properly defended, and you can use it when you feel most comfortable to have it enter the battle.

Shadow Gyarados

Much like the shadow Mamoswine, the shadow version of Gyarados is even better than the standard one. Gyarados won’t have too much bulk to it, although it has better defenses to where if they were lowered a bit, it’s not the end of the world. The regular version of Gyarados would do fine in the Master League Classic, but you can’t go wrong with having a shadow version when battling other players. You’ll take out Groudon, Snorlax, Zekrom, Swampert, Garchomp, Kyogre, and others.


A classic Master League Pokémon is Garchomp, the Dragon and Ground-type Pokémon. It’s up there as one of the best Ground-type Pokémon you can use in the game, and as a Dragon-type hybrid, it can duke it out against some of the best Pokémon. You’ll want to use this against Melmetal, Mewtwo, Rhyperior, Metagross, Machamp, or even Zapdos. You can expect a few legendary Pokémon to give it a beating, so you’ll want to be careful when you use it.


For those who are worried about fighting any Dragon, Ghost, or Dark-type Pokémon, Togekiss is the Pokémon you want to add to your team. It’s a powerful Flying and Fairy-type Pokémon, and because of its unique moveset and stats, you want to use it to take down Giratina, Zekrom, Dragonite, and Garchomp. Unfortunately, it can’t win against mammoths like Groudon, Kyogre, or Mewtwo. Still, it’s good in a pinch, and if you’re not seeing that many legendary Pokémon in your matches, you’re better off using it for a tricky fight.


The final Pokémon we want to recommend to everyone is Rhyperior, a Ground and Rock-type Pokémon. It’s one of the stronger options in the Master League Classic, and it’s a sturdy choice. Not only does it have incredible defensive stats, but it’s also an effective attacker. You don’t want to use it against a Kyogre, though, or Groudon, but it can handle most of the Steel-type Pokémon you have to fight against, Ice-types, or even other Rock-types you’ll fight against. It’s a reasonable starter Pokémon, but because of its array of weaknesses, you might find yourself in trouble.