Is Ultra League even worth playing?

It is so dominated by Giratina and, to a lesser extent, the Regis and Cresselia/Lugia. There are very few hard counters to them. Unless you are prepared to spend almost a million dust and a thousand Rare Candy on legendaries with no use in PvE, you will keep losing badly. At least Master League teams (and their second charged moves) are useful in PvE, while Great League requires less investment (my team cost me only 250k dust, a few CTMs and zero RC) and its meta is actually interesting.

Ultra league is definitely going to be incredibly polarizing. Unless Niantic throws some big changes our way, we can pretty much expect ultra battle league to be the “Giratina and friends” league. I imagine most team compositions will consist of 1) Giratina, 2) Giratina bodyguard, and 3) Giratina counter. Or it’ll just be a tankfest, with many compositions running things like A. Mewtwo, Cresselia, Lapras, and Lugia alongside Giratina.

The closest thing to an anti-meta team that doesn’t reply on Legendaries I can think of would be something like this:

  1. Steelix (DT/C/EQ). Altered Giratina will likely be a popular lead, which Steelix counters pretty hard, likely forcing a swap. Origin Giratina is more difficult though, and will require shield use as Steelix can’t take multiple hits from Shadow Ball.

  2. Toxicroak (C/MB/DP or SB). Counter and Mud Bomb will dismantle Registeel, and it has decently good matchups against other Counter users. Dynamic Punch will help it win more against targets like Registeel, while Sludge Bomb can help put pressure on Charm users (or at least force shields). Since your opponents will probably assume you’re running a Giratina of your own, they’ll likely have a Normal-type on their team to function as a Giratina wall.

  3. Alolan Muk (S/DP/SW). This functions as a backup counter to both formes of Giratina while also handling the big Psychic threats like Armored Mewtwo, Cresselia, and Lugia via Dark Pulse spam. Sludge Wave, combined with the fast energy generation from Snarl also allows you to put pressure on Charm users and Grass-types.

Of course, this team isn’t without its weaknesses. Most notable is a crippling weakness to Ground across the board.

3 Likes

Alolan muk sounds Like a very good pokemon for this yes, thank you

Golurk with Mud Slap/Dynamic Punch/Shadow Punch

PvP, in general, is pay to win. If you aren’t willing to waste the resources necessary to beat other people who are willing to waste those resources, then it isn’t worth playing.

Honestly, if you just ignore the existence of PvP entirely, you’ll probably come out ahead in the end.

2 Likes

I dont spend money am sitting on 19,000 gold coin, 4.5 mil dust, 450 RC , 25 star pieces, 30 raid passes, 40 super inc and i took a year off. I got a working PvE lineup too but no pvp mons till now.

I’ve personally been tanking for years waiting for battle league to be released. Got schooled in the begining but having lots of fun learning!

I’m a mostly casual player that uses a auto catcher when driving. Ive spent 1 premium pass so far on GL and have almost 52-33 WL and 3062 points.

Anyways u play you, I’ll play me hope u have fun!

3 Likes

No lies found.
That being said, Niantic also knows of pvp’s limited appeal, considering how most people ignored it for over a year, which is why they will for sure introduce new items and mons through it to force people to take part.
I am almost certain that elite TMs will be only available this way, since I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that those have been datamined with the launch of the pvp league.

I dont spend money am sitting on 19,000 gold coin, 4.5 mil dust, 450 RC , 25 star pieces, 30 raid passes, 40 super inc

Likewise, but that doesn’t mean it’s sporting of me to spend 75k stardust on unlocking a second move, which would force everyone else out there to spend their own 75k stardust in order to get on my level. If everyone does that, then everyone loses.

They aren’t. Those have coverage moves, which are in pve worthless. Omnious wind on giratina? Thunder on dialga? Focus blast on darkrai? Blizzard/thunder on kyogre? Shadow ball on raikou? Iron head on Entei? None of these have a place in pve, apart from maybe some obscure raid under specific conditions and even then you have like 10 better mons who do the same job. The 100K dust and 100 rare candy that goes in unlocking those moves is purely for pvp and nothing else and that alone will cost one a lot of resouces. There are almost no legendaries that truly benefit from the second charge move unlocked. Moltres with sky attack/overheat is one of the rare excpetions and to a lesser degree the eon duo, but the latter is already more for the sake of variety than anything else.

1 Like

And that is precisely why I just go in with this team:


Free wins for whoever I match against, anxiety-free stardust for me. Win/win

8 Likes

Coverage moves benefit Snorlax, Metagross, Togekiss and Melmetal on gym defence.

Rock Slide makes Machamp even better on gym offence.

Actually quite useful on gym offence.

Mewtwo leads my B team against Tornadus.

In PvE, Dialga can serve as a Dragon attacker or a Steel attacker. Thunder in itself is not useful in PvE, but when Kyurem or Xerneas comes, you only need one CTM (and maybe one FTM). This also applies to non-legendaries that can attack from two types, such as Mamoswine, Garchomp and Swampert.

2 Likes

While that’s true that the extra moves won’t be helpful in raid scenarios the majority of the time, those coverage moves can be very beneficial for attacking/defending gyms and battling Team Rocket.

Second moves aside, the reason I like ML PvP the most is because pretty much all of the Mons I’ve built for it can be used in PvE as well. Dialga, Palkia, Kyogre, Groudon, Dragonite, Garchomp, Togekiss, Metagross, Mamoswine, Heatran, Darkrai, Raikou, Conkeldurr, Tyranitar and company all see use whether it’s in raids, attacking gyms, or beating up grunts. Great/Ultra league PvP Mons, on the other hand, are more or less useless outside of PvP.

2 Likes

Not really. I don’t have a single legendary Pokemon for Great League, yet I ranked at a pretty solid 3,009 rating (Rank 9) in the Great League session so far. Yes, that’s heavily weighted on Badges apparently, but still. I used only Venusaur/Azumarill/Probopass for all of up to Rank 7 (got there with a 93% winrate), the Azumarill being from a lucky trade Azurill (something anyone can do). Now I just goof around with random teams like a lot of Rank 9-10 people do, and my winrate is still like 83% or so iirc.

My point is no, you don’t need significant resources you need. You need meta knowledge, some small margin of skill, and at least one team that can at least fare decently well against the said meta Pokemon. You don’t NEED legendary Pokemon or huge stardust count Pokemon to participate, though it’ll definitely help. Only tier I would consider Pay 2 Win potentially is Master League, where EVERY pokemon needs to be maxed CP essentially.

In UL I’m pretty excited, even if it’ll be a pretty trash tier to play in, because I managed to find a decently budget team (aka no Legendaries), albeit still more expensive than my 400k stardust pool liked. Took up half of it, down at 200k stardust now. Don’t want to toss in the lineup into the public eye though.

I dunno. I find it enjoyable generally, though sometimes I also hate the people with the meta rammed up their rear ends sometimes. We’ve all been there at least once. I don’t have nearly any budget for Master League teams though, so y’all gonna catch me running Pokemon that don’t have second moves and are of 0 use lol.

2 Likes

My point is no, you don’t need significant resources you need. You need meta knowledge, some small margin of skill, and at least one team that can at least fare decently well against the said meta Pokemon.

Regardless of your team composition, if you aren’t willing to throw stardust away on second moves, you will always be at a disadvantage against someone who did. That’s pay-to-win.

Whether you’re willing to put up with losing a match, in spite of superior skill, is up to you. Personally, I’m not going to waste time on it.

1 Like

But why is it better to spend that (and way more) in raid lineups? If the answer is “because I like raids more”, then it should be no surprise that others like more other aspects of the game, and therefore spend their resources in what they like. I mean, why would resources need to be for just a handful of mons if I like other ones and they have enormous utility in other feature of the game? I don’t get your logic at all.

3 Likes

But why is it better to spend that (and way more) in raid lineups?

When I spend stardust to make my raid team stronger, I’m helping everyone that I play with to succeed. We’re more likely to beat the boss. Everyone wins. It’s an inherently good thing for the community.

If I spend stardust on PvP, then all I’m doing is forcing someone else to spend equal amounts of stardust if they want to have a fair fight. There’s no upside. If either of us pays up, then we both lose; but if one side pays up, then the other person loses even more. It’s exactly a prisoner’s dilemma, and the optimal solution is for neither side to defect.

2 Likes

After doing nearly 950 rocket battles I can say that at no point did I need those coverage moves and they simply aren’t worth the investment for rocket battles. Since having another mon to switch to in case you get into a problem, is by far the better solution, than to remain stubborn, lose a lot of health and use some novelty move.

Gym defeding is in many areas dead, since most people just put whatever they want in gyms. Plus the most expensive picks that you list can’t be put in gyms…

Second moves aside, the reason I like ML PvP the most is because pretty much all of the Mons I’ve built for it can be used in PvE as well. Dialga, Palkia, Kyogre, Groudon, Dragonite, Garchomp, Togekiss, Metagross, Mamoswine, Heatran, Darkrai, Raikou, Conkeldurr, Tyranitar and company all see use whether it’s in raids, attacking gyms, or beating up grunts. Great/Ultra league PvP Mons, on the other hand, are more or less useless outside of PvP.

I’m in the same boat, but since I don’t plan on unlocking expensive charge moves just for the sake of it, it’s really of no use. I will never use the other charge moves on Giratina, Dialga, Palkia, Kyogre, Groudon, Metagross, Mamoswine, Heatran, Darkrai, Raikou, Conkeldurr and Tyranitar(this one especially, since the fast move is legacy, thus unlocking a dark charge move is really of no use in raids, since crunch is actually worse when both are SE).
This is 700k stardust and 700 rare candy just for the legendaries alone… That being said, with the current movepools I would never power up Palkia and Heatran even just for raid use. The first one can’t be used as a water attacker and as a dragon attacker it’s unreliable, the latter one is still way behind in DPS and while it has bulk, it’s not like the other fire types are so glassy that we would need to rely on such anchors in raids.

1 Like

“Pay-to-Win” means that in order to succeed at the game and be in its top tiers, you must pay real currency, which grants you advantages that players who don’t pay real currency don’t have access to.

Third moves, and needing to actually invest in Pokémon, is not pay to win. That’s just investment, and investment is necessary to succeed in anything. It’s not pay to win, because paying money to work on PvP investments doesn’t actually grant you any significant advantage over a Free-to-Play player.

There is no pay wall on third moves. That’s just you choosing to not give your Pokémon them.

3 Likes

It’s not pay to win due to investments, that’s just a major turn off for most people, since it’s a complete waste of resources for a feature that they don’t feel like spending said resources on. It’s pay to win, because the system is set like the rigged claw machines, by making sure that one doesn’t get the good awards for free in a reliable manner, while using the premium passes which can be only obtained by putting money into the game gives you the chance to get the best awards easily.
Put money into the game->shortcut for what you want and you can get better rewards for half the effort.
Don’t put money into the game->keep on wasting time and if lag ruins your streak, tough luck.

That would be like you would get half the rewards and premium balls for using a daily free pass in raids, while the premium pass would double everything. Or for example if the shinies from raids get caught via the first ball that hits would only apply if one used a premium pass. Something like this is pure pain to win, since one is locked out of the better options for not putting money into the game.

And yeah, seeing the findings, it’s no surprise now why I ended up getting the pvp maniacs as my oponents. Silly me got the badges of all three leagues when I and friends kept on collecting the daily rewards by beating cp 10 mons (and to unlock the clothing items) and I have been doing rocket battles a lot. With a 70% win streak I still did suprisngly well with my budget team, but at no point was it fun, it always felt like a chore, since I have been doing it for the rewards, not because of pvp itself. The first day it was interesting and a pleasant change, but on day two it already got stale, due to the same repetitive line ups and the constant lag, weak connection and other crap just made things worse.

It’s no surprise that I didn’t bother with pvp since I got scraggy, cause it simply isn’t fun. The moment I got what I wanted, I saw no more reason to play something that gave the same feeling like flappy bird when I played it. Stale, repetitive and set to punish you for some minor mistake. The free rewards aren’t worth it it, at least the stardust and rare candy not, unless one is not willing to walk outside the whole day. Seeing how the game suggests you to pay in coins to enter again early is a huge turn off for me, since I hate such manipulative tactics and I normally delete mobile games if they suggest this. The only good thing was that I got charged TMs more easily. So maybe if I’ll need those again I’ll bother with pvp again…

4 Likes

“Pay-to-Win” means that in order to succeed at the game and be in its top tiers, you must pay real currency, which grants you advantages that players who don’t pay real currency don’t have access to.

Time is money. It doesn’t matter whether you could theoretically grind for that extra 225,000 stardust. It’s as impractical as grinding for 3000 hours to unlock Darth Vader. It’s not a reasonable suggestion.