The problem with PvP

Having previously said I had no interest in PvP, the release of the leagues and the relatively simple to obtain rewards have made it worthwhile doing for me as it helps me power things up. That’s a win.

However, it does feel like there so much of a random element to a lot of matches about which you can’t do anything. If your opponent has a team which you can’t counter then tough. You couldn’t know that in advance. You can also win matches the same way. Boring.

I’d much prefer a system that had an element of skill to picking your team. Maybe something like you nominate a squad of 6. When you’re matched you can see your opponents squad, but not their CP or moves, and you then both get 60 seconds to check the two squads and select which three from your squad you’re taking through to the battle.

Sure, they’d still be a lot of standard squads but it would open things up to throwing a few curve balls in there or bluffing a bit. Plus, during the battle, it would make shield baiting a lot more interesting as your opponent will have some idea who you may bring out later.

Maybe many would hate it since it would take a bit more time per battle and they only want the dust. I think it would make things more interesting though as at the moment it just feels a bit empty.

1 Like

This is how the Silph Cup tournaments are done (you can see the CP of their Mons, but not the moves), so I would personally be all in favor of a change like this. While, yes, it would make matches take longer, it would also allow for more strategic picks. I’ve always enjoyed the strategy that can go into making PvP teams, and currently, GBL is a bit lacking in that department.

Currently, there’s also all the “weak connection” lag issues and shenanigans that are plaguing PvP as well. So I’m hoping those all get addressed first and foremost.

1 Like

I like more blind. I’m a more skillful Trainer if I’m able to prep for as many possible threats as I can.

1 Like

It would add more of a psychological element to the game but I think there are a lot of other balancing issues that need to be worked out. Connectivity issues have already been brought up but there’s also the problem where spamming charge moves is the easy-win strategy. Almost no meta-relevant 'mons use nuke moves like Overheat, Dracometeor, or even Future Sight; despite the higher DPE over moves like Dragon Claw. With the shielding mechanic, it’s a simple math problem to prove that spamming moves works more often that not (Snorlax and Swampert are case-in-point).
In addition, seeing your opponent’s lineup doesn’t fix the problem of order. Even if you have perfect counters to all his/her 'mon, if he leads with a counter to yours, it usually game-over (even if close). Seeing your opponent’s possible team doesn’t eliminate the random (or guessing) element that makes the difference of most matches (in my experience). And let’s be honest, there are only less than a dozen 'mon that people pick from in the top tiers anyway. :man_shrugging: It really is a guessing game of “will he pick Snorlax or Togekiss to go with Swampert?”.

1 Like

Most people dont want to power up 3 Pokemon for each league now you want them to have 6 minimum?

1 Like

Swampert really makes this league un-fun. The ability to charge up Hydro Cannon so fast and with how hard it hits just feels broken


and this is post HC pvp nerf lol

And everyone and their mom has one

Beating Tina is just boring at this point, I love dismantling all the Swamperts with their fancy-shmancy H20 pew-pew and such.

1 Like

One way to make the lead matchup less decisive is to reduce the switch timer from 60 seconds to 30 seconds.


And they nerfed it. Imagine when Hydro Cannon was 90 damage instead of 80. That was damn broken.

This. It’s really terrible to get locked for such a long time, really makes me just not switch and die making as much damage as possible to force switching lock to the opponent. Really switching lock is THE killing feature of the PvP mechanics.


This is exactly what I´m doing now, I open with swampert, he/she opens with Venosaur.

Now I just play the swampert, he will die soon but at least I won’t be time locked in 3 matches.

This so far gives me a better win rate in the “desperate opening” scenario.

I think it’s fairly ok as is. Lagging has already been mentioned, it’s a plague and it’s not the first time Niantic plays bad with connexion issues ruining the gameplay. But otherwise, it’s nice.

Blind format demands you prepare to face diverse foes. 3 among 6 may centralize the meta even further and reduce the element of surprise of innovative picks, which is IMO the real spice of this format.

Switch lock prevents battles to turning into a dull switchfest. Actually, I like to play around it. Reduce the timer to 30 sec? Maybe. But in my opinion it should remain a serious threat. In my experience, it has proven very efficient to not shield at all with the lead, let it faint quickly and take advantage of the “free” switch that comes after, in the hope of getting your opponent facing a very hard matchup or trapped in a switch lock. I don’t do this all the time, it depends on who I’m facing as a lead, and this flexibility is a nice element of strategy, which I like. Sure, I have been trapped in very bad situations too, and it feels bad. But I think it was more often due to bad choices on my side or good strategy from my opponent rather than luck. It forces you to really pick your mons nicely, think about coverage moves and not rely on slow coverage moves because of shields, which makes some picks really hard to make. But hey, that’s careful strategy, it’s nice.


This is a very good point. I could see where having some off-picks (like Lugia or Mew) might be less useful when your opponent can see them coming.

I agree. There is definitely strategy to switching and the timing required. There is still the difficulty of having the wrong pick for lead (i.e. Giratina v Snorlax) which really tips the game in someone’s favor due to a lucky guess. Any ideas on how to mitigate this, if even it should be?

<insert angry noises about (having an X-Scissor Pinsir vs X-Scissor Pinsir battle where their Pinser got 2 X-S’s off (and three times seeing the animation; the first X-S went off apparently as normal, but no health came off my Pinsir, then the animation went off a second time immediately, and that time the health DID come off), then two different battles where a Dragon Claw Giratina appeared to be able to spam DC almost as if it was a Quick Attack (it wasn’t, the Weak Connection just lagged me until the DC animation came up), and not being able to switch out from one Pokemon to the other before being knocked out) here>

Since this time I decided I was going to use a Premium Pass, I’m almost tempted to report it as a bug to get my pass back…

1 Like

Strategy: as much as possible, lead with a relatively neutral pokemon, either fast (strong fast move and/or low energy charge move) or bulky. The idea is not to get a good matchup as lead, but to avoid having a bad one. Neutral is ok. As long as you can either burn enemy shields, knock out the target fast OR have your pokemon faint quickly and switch in a hard counter (therefore avoiding switch lock and saving your shields), you can get the upper hand.

Examples that come to mind for great league would be Umbreon (neutral to many targets, attacks fast, bulky) or electrics (neutral to many meta picks, fast attacks, reasonable power, low bulk). For ultra, I haven’t found the perfect one, but Snorlax has proven nice.

Other than this, I don’t know how you can delete this remaining piece of luck. But in my opinion, since it can be mitigated through strategy, so it’s not absolutely critical.


Seeing the opponents Pokémon in advance would be making the game too much like PvE raiding where it is more about going on a website and reading a template that tells you how to play the game. I’ve had success in PvP even though I don’t have the raid legendaries, legacy or community day moves simply by thinking about likely matchups, balance of my team, and the likely flow of battle (hell, I don’t even have 2nd charge moves yet on my whole squad).

I’d say that if everyone knew my team comp ahead of time they’d probably stomp me, since my squad isn’t very good, but being better able to predict the opponents actions based on not knowing what’s on my bench, predicting what type of pokemon they are trying to ‘protect’ the blind matchups allow for more strategy.

Case in point, today I had two matchups in a row against the same dude (hate when that happens); the first matchup I wrecked him because he thought my opening Pokémon was my counter to his starter instead of the neutral damage soaker that it is and the real counter was on the bench. The second time I played him, he knew my squad, and stomped me since the 2nd match just came down to how he had stronger Pokémon that I just don’t have.

PvEers always want PvP to look more like PvE, it happens in every game cause when you get down to it, PvE about grinding and not thinking. PvE is - go read this website, work until you can do what it tells you to do and then go grind out your rewards. In this games PvP, going to a website to tell you what squad you should build or copying the squad that you lose to a bunch is a sure fire way to hover around a 50/50 win total.


Luck will always be a big player in a match of 3vs3 on a relatively easy setup as PoGo (Let’s face it, it ain’t chess). I have some ideas to increase variety in battles though.

  • You could fight an opponent for 3 or 5 battles rather than just once
  • Using a 10second cooldown right after the other plawer switches (can’t switch right away).
  • Limit the amount of times you can use the same pokemon, use a giratina in one battle, it goes to the bench for the next 5.
  • Ban a couple of random types on each battles to prevent people from using always the same teams.
  • Force both players to use a certain random type pokemon for each battle, at least one dragon for this one!
1 Like

I barely have time to fight 2 matches a day so I could not finish even one if I had to fight 15-25 battles for one match. It’s fine as it is now.

You can kill opponent’s mon in 5 seconds with a right counter so it would only make things worse - whoever switches first wins.

Tracking that would be nightmare and would force to prepare 5 times more pokemon for each league. A big NO.

This could be interesting but not if applied every fight. There could be a daily or even weekly banning system for selected type (like Water), with announcement before to let players prepare their teams beforehand.

Applying randomization is also a very bad idea. Winning based on luck in pokemon choices? People complain now - that would cause an outbreak!

1 Like