Advice from Rank 9 GBL trainers

I am currently rank 8. Twice now I have gotten my score up to around 2450 before getting hit hard by the algorithm and facing nothing but hard counters to my team absolutely plummeting my score. My question to you rank 9 trainers is how did you get over the hump to rank 9? Did you experience a similar problem and if so how did you overcome it? Did you use a different team than normal when you got close? Any advice would be much appreciated

No idea what I did man. I slowly gained to 2800, and dropped to 2500 in 2 days. Now I’m at 2.700 again. I don’t even blame myself, it’s the ridiculous RNG combo of Moonblasts, Night Slashes, Ancient Powers that completely flip up matchups or may cause you to lose the lead. I always try to learn from the matchups I lose and anticipate to that.

I run a team quite weak to Giratina with shields, and Cresselia as a lead just… rarely burns shields at all. Sometimes I just gotta give up switch advantage to bait out the Giratina in the back. You have to try and recognize your win conditions. And sometimes there just aren’t any

1 Like

It’s a very hard zone to play in. Everyone goes super meta. I got to 9 and then dropped like a rock. Folks are hungry.
I’d say stick with what you know. I got to 9 by jamming with the same team I’d played For forever. I dropped because I wanted to try new stuff (and because I know I can’t make it to 10 anyway). It’s tempting to try new stuff, but you get into a lot of “I dunno if this KOs” or “will they shield this”.
If you have to change something up maybe try switching a lead.
Eventually you’ll get hot at the right time. As long as your getting 2 or more wins a 4 or 5 win set will make up for most of your troubles.


I’m in rank 8 as well. When I was in rank 7, I was similarily searching for that hump where it would boost me to rank 8 for the LONGEST time. I was literally only a few points away from rank 8. Then suddenly my lucky day arrived and that unexpected hump allowed me to process to rank 8.

Be patient. This alorgithrm is tortuous. It manipulates your sense of faith. But just be patient! You’ll get there.

Also I find changing teams will set you back further because it takes time for you to learn new matchups. But I see these Youtubers use different team comps all the time. But I think you’re close enough to rank up that you do not need to change your team at this point.

1 Like

@canipetthatdog I consistently win 3 to 5 a set with this team and I won 22/30 yesterday to get to 2445 coming in to today. I then went 1/5 my first set and ONE OUT OF TWELVE (1/12) my second set! getting absolutely nailed by the algorithm running into teams that just all 3 of their mons were lined up perfectly to hard counters my entire team. My score dropped over 100 in 2 sets.

It is complicated. A few weeks ago I ended with a score of 2489. That meant I needed to win 3+ battles. I’ve got pummeled by tons and tons of Melmetal and Registeel leads. I lost so many battles that I went down to 2380 that night.

I didn’t know if I wanted to try climbing up once again but after a few days I tried to get up to rank 9. The only change I made for my team was replacing Clefable with a Granbull. After so much struggle the last battle went like this:

My team was:

  • Giratina (Lead)
  • Registeel
  • Granbull

My opponent started with Swampert (Finally a good lead for me). I spammed Dragonbreaths back and forth and then my opponent switches Swampert to Cresselia. I threw a Shadow Sneak that went through and inmediatly switched into my Registeel.
The Cresselia thew a lot of Moonblasts and got one attack debuff. When it was in red he switched out into Swampert and a Focus Blast when through. I let Registeel go down and went back into Giratina. Between Dragon Claws and shields Giratina eats an Earthquake and Swampert was gone. Cresselia went back and finished my Giratina with a Moonblast. Then I threw Granbull and charmed down the Cresselia.
It’s final Pokemon was Giratina! He sends it out and he stopped attacking. My opponent just let it’s last Pokemon go down because there was nothing left to do.

So my rank went from 2486 to 2523! And I reached Rank 9!

My conclusion is, the algorithm will always screw you over when you’re winning many battles. There was a guy who lost a lot of battles on purpouse and went down to 1506! Then he won 2 days straight 55 battles and got up to Rank 10 just like that. I don’t recommend doing this because maybe Niantic already noticed about this exploit. Why he went up so much? Because when you go really down on score the multiplier goes up to 5x times the normal score you get for wins.

Keep trying! You’ll get to Rank 9 eventually! Also, you could study the meta and how your team can face the most common Pokemon. As for me, sometimes I do the “Underfarming” technique with consists in getting goods, greats but not excellents when you are throwing a charge move. So, the opposing Pokemon will be in pretty low health. That being said, you can farm down that Pokemon and gain a little of extra energy. That can flip-out matches completely.


Thanks @VrillonX this is super helpful! Yeah I lead with a steel type and then don’t have much play against steel in my back 2 so of course today I ran into all fighting leads with steel in the back. I saw more Machamp today than I have in all 3 combined seasons of Ultra League like seriously who leads Machamp in the Ultra League?! I’m guessing maybe 17 trainers in the world and they were the 17 I got matched up against first today haha

1 Like

Nobody knows, but I think when you are a bit up in rank 8 you face more steels, especially Registeel. Might well be that people adopt to it and use more fight types.
I had always a fairy weak team and it was horrible getting from 2100 to 2250, it was like riding a lift in a horror movie. At one point I was facing more teams with steel types, which I got over quite nicely with obstagoon; then it didn’t take long to reach 9, probably not even ten days. However, of course I fell down and went up again, this is the nature of the game. It also depends on your team of course. If you run many tanks without many hard counters (cresselia, Snorlax, armored mewtwo) you will see a slow but more or less even climbing, if you run more risky pokemon (grass types , Charizard, swampert, articuno, fighters) of course you will see some mighty drops and steep climbs.

So for the 3rd time now I got my score back up into the 2400’s. I started the day at 2432. I of course proceeded to lose my first NINE(9!) matches by just getting absolutely hard countered perfectly by the entire opposing team before finally winning my 10th match and falling down to 2350something. Since I fell so far I was like ok whatever no point in not playing out the rest of them now. I then win 15/20 the next 4 sets to get my score back up to 2468 with one set left. Since I’m on a roll I’m like ok let’s go for it! Lol of course once again I start just getting obliterated by perfect counters to my team and go 1/5 to finish the day at 2435. I don’t see how anyone could possibly have any doubt there’s an algorithm in place and if my day today doesn’t perfectly sum up the Go Battle League then I don’t know what does lol

1 Like

Dont even get me started of how my day went

I still did my Melmetal/Suicune/Virizion that I’ve done past 3 days. Not a lot of upside…for me to go 4-1 would be a miracle. Guaranteed a 2-3; need to have decent luck and good playing for 3-2. I guess that is what the game is…bc that’s what I got…crap ton Gira-A, Cresselia, Swampert. Beyond that: Char; Regi; Togekiss. Fairly represented: Escavalier; Empoleon, Obstagoon; A-Muk…I actually saw several Venusaur today…luckily as a lead bc Venusaur a complete wall to Virizion…a 1000 ft wall.*** When given a choice to put Virizion or Suicune in front of Venusaur…Suicune it is. Not that much different on which to put in front of MB+Grass Knot Cresselia…virtually same result whether Suicune or Virizion

Interesting, cause one reason I wanted to try virizion is that it can beat venusaur. Thing is you have to have optimal shields and baits. A problem in real gaming, but not in sims.

Virizion I guess can win but shields and baits have to be 1000% perfect. Picture below as a path to Virizion 2 shield victory, with no Venusaur baiting allowed.

Venusaur has to have Sludge Bomb and it really resists Leaf Blade and pretty similar resisting of Close Combat. Suicune is tanky as heck, so it can survive a Frenzy Plant and get an Ice Beam off. Suicune can take 2 Cresselia Grass Knots and get 2 Hydropumps off. Suicune’s tankiness not really helpful vs Obstagoon and Togekiss bc Snarl not doing anything to them…Suicune gets worn out in those cases. Suicune with Hydropump not a total losing matchup vs Registeel (Lapras vs Registeel is already over).