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Pokemon Go: The Best Retro Cup Team Compositions

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  • Pokemon Go Retro Cup Restrictions
  • Best Retro Cup Lead Pokemon
  • Best Retro Cup Pokemon Switches
  • Best Retro Cup Pokemon Closers
  • Retro Cup Recommended Team Comps

The Retro Cup takes Pokemon Go trainers back to the good old days, in restricting some of the types that have become a stalwart of PvP over the last couple of years, and have proved to be rather oppressive when building teams.

This will be both a blessing and a boon for trainers, who may have to build entirely new teams to compete in this cup. However, there's also a fair bit of crossover potential, especially considering Pokemon that are currently strong in the Great League meta. As such, we've put together a guide to help you win more than you lose.

Pokemon Go Retro Cup Restrictions

There are two parts to the ruleset for the Retro Cup, a CP limit and a type limit. While at first glance they don't seem that restrictive, it can prove a challenge to build a team that dominates.

The first is that you're restricted to just 1,500 CP. This on its own isn't too much of a problem, as it overlaps with the Great League and several other time-limited cups in the rotation.

The second is that you cannot use Pokemon of the Dark, Fairy, and Steel types. This is where the trouble starts, as these three types are incredibly prominent within the meta for most events, especially the Great League.

As with other cups with a CP limit, be aware of exceeding 1,500 CP when it comes to evolving a Pokemon that are legal for this cup. The same applies to the 2,500 CP limit for the Ultra League.

You'll be able to see the post-evolution CP before you confirm the change.

Best Retro Cup Lead Pokemon

You'll need to start strong when battling in Pokemon Go PvP, so a lead that can quickly bait out your opponent's shields is important. Leads tend to be glass cannons, but there are those who can survive a tough first round.

With the restrictions on type, it's slightly easier to gauge your opponent's leads, meaning you can aim for a hard counter. However, there are still plenty of possibilities, so aiming for a strong all-round comp is more favourable.

Fast Moves are in normal text, Charge Moves in italic.

Resistant means that the Pokemon takes less damage from moves of that type.

Weak means that the Pokemon takes more damage from moves of that type.

PokemonBest MovesResistantWeak
Walrein (Ice/Water)Powder Snow


Icicle Spear


Earthquake

Ice


Water

Electric


Fighting


Grass


Rock

Trevenant (Ghost/Grass)Shadow Claw


Seed Bomb


Shadow Ball

Normal


Fighting


Water


Ground


Grass


Electric

Fire


Flying


Ghost


Ice

Abomasnow (Grass/Ice)Powder Snow


Weather Ball (Ice)


Energy Ball

Water


Ground


Grass


Electric

Fire


Bug


Fighting


Flying


Poison


Rock

Snorlax (Normal)Lick


Body Slam


Superpower

GhostFighting

Both Powder Snow and Icicle Spear were limited moves on Walrein. To obtain them now, you'll need to use Elite TMs.

Best Retro Cup Pokemon Switches

There's typically two ways you can go when it comes to deciding on a second round strategy in Pokemon Go PvP. This will depend on how your lead fared, and will see you either opt for bulk and survivability, or all-out attack.

All four of these choices are great for the Retro Cup, providing strong counters to many popular options, and a mix of tankiness and shield pressure should your opponent still have shields active. With luck, you'll set yourself up nicely for the final round.

PokemonBest MovesResistantWeak
Nidoqueen (Poison/Ground)Poison Jab


Poison Fang


Stone Edge

Poison


Electric


Rock


Fighting


Bug

Ground


Ice


Psychic


Water

Gyarados (Water/Flying)Dragon Breath


Aqua Tail


Crunch

Ground


Water


Fire


Fighting


Bug

Electric


Rock

Lickitung (Normal)Lick


Body Slam


Power Whip

GhostFighting
Medicham (Fighting/Psychic)Counter


Ice Punch


Psychic

Rock


Fighting

Flying


Ghost

Both Gyarados' Aqua Tail and Lickitung's Body Slam are limited-availability moves, and as such you'll need to use Elite TMs to obtain them.

Best Retro Cup Pokemon Closers

Sometimes, you just need some shock and awe to close out a PvP battle. In this cup, bulk isn't necessarily going to help you come the final round, so you're going to want to burst down your opponent before they can do the same to you.

These choices all bring a spammy nature to your battles, although Altaria is a great option if you need something that can potentially outlast your rival. Froslass is perhaps the best closer in the sub-1500 category, too.

PokemonBest MovesResistantWeak
Froslass (Ice/Ghost)Powder Snow


Avalanche


Shadow Ball

Normal


Poison


Ice


Fighting


Bug

Dark


Fire


Ghost


Rock


Steel

Electivire (Electric)Thunder Shock


Ice Punch


Wild Charge

Steel


Flying


Electric

Ground
Altaria (Dragon/Flying)Dragon Breath


Sky Attack


Moonblast

Ground


Grass


Water


Fire


Fighting


Bug

Ice


Dragon


Fairy


Rock

Cresselia (Psychic)Psycho Cut


Grass Knot


Moonblast

Psychic


Fighting

Bug


Dark


Ghost

Both Altaria's Moonblast and Cresselia's Grass Knot must be obtained through the use of Elite TMs, being event-only moves.

Retro Cup Recommended Team Comps

With those recommendations in mind, we can construct our teams for the Retro Cup with domination in mind.

Pay attention to STAB – Same Type Attack Bonus. Using the same type of move as your Pokemon grants a 20 percent damage boost, and if the enemy Pokemon happens to be weak to that type, it'll do even more damage!

These three team suggestions are great at playing aggressively, aiming to push the win as quickly as you can. We've not gone for too many overly defensive Pokemon, as the lack of pure meta Pokemon means many of the best tanks are ineligible.

Walrein – Nidoqueen – Electivire

This team has great coverage of several different types, and is loaded in the opposite way to usual meta teams by starting with the bulk. Walrein is perhaps the best lead in this cup, given Ice becomes highly valuable as a counter to popular Dragon types.

You can never go wrong with a bit of rapid Poison in the second round. Nidoqueen is a very reliable option, as much for her fast attacks and plentiful resistances as her moveset. Finally, Electivire is great for when you still need to coax your opponent's shields in the final round, or against common Flying or Water types.

Trevenant – Medicham – Froslass

This team is built to destroy, there's no two ways about it. It's a lot of fun to play, but is highly dependent on the counters falling favourably. Trevenant is a fantastic starter, as the absence of common Dark types mean Ghost is almost unassailable — especially against popular Normal and Fighting types.

As for round two, your opponent might bring out a Normal-type tank such as Snorlax or Lickitung, so you'll need something special to defeat it. Fighting is the only type that is super-effective against it, and Medicham is an unbelievable choice with its Psychic secondary type. Finally, why not end with the best closer possible, Froslass? Its Ice-and-Ghost typing means it's both devastating and resistant.

Abomasnow – Lickitung – Altaria

This lineup is a bit more conservative, adding significant bulk in the middle to shore things up in the event of a tough start. Normal types are going to be pretty common given they're a hard counter to the now-critical Ghost-type, so Lickitung is a wonderful option as your switch Pokemon.

Starting with Abomasnow also helps you get ahead, thanks to the powerful Ice typing. It's a great shield bait, and sets things up nicely. Altaria is a solid closing Pokemon, firstly because it comes with the powerful Dragon/Flying type combo, and secondly because it comes with both speed and bulkiness.

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