GO Hub Guide to Building Strong Pokémon

Pokémon GO has evolved into a competitive and strategic mobile game since its release, and building strong Pokémon is crucial for success in both raids and Player vs. Player (PvP) battles. To achieve this, trainers need to understand the mechanics behind Individual Values (IVs), how to power up Pokémon effectively, and the key differences in building Pokémon for raids and PvP. In this article, we’ll explore these important aspects of Pokémon GO to help you create a powerful team of pocket monsters.

Understanding IVs: The Foundation of Strength

Individual Values (IVs) are inherent traits that determine a Pokémon’s overall potential. Each Pokémon has three IVs: Attack, Defense, and Stamina, which can range from 0 to 15. IVs can significantly affect a Pokémon’s performance, but their influence differs depending on the species and the context in which they are used. These IVs are added to a Pokémon’s base statistics.

For raids, higher IVs are essential for maximizing damage output. A Pokémon with high Attack IV can deal more damage per fast move and charge move. Pokémon with high Defense and Stamina IVs can survive longer, allowing them to deal more damage over time. When building a team for raids, it’s ideal to prioritize Pokémon with high Attack and balanced Defense and Stamina IVs.

In PvP, the role of IVs is more nuanced. Different leagues have maximum CP caps, so sometimes a lower Attack IV can be beneficial to keep the CP within the league limit while maximizing the Defense and Stamina stats. It’s essential to understand the CP limits for each league and choose Pokémon that fit within those parameters.

IVs can be a pretty complicated topic, for Trainers just starting up building a 2-star Pokémon rather than waiting for a 3-star will not be make or break. It will be more effective to have some relevant, higher CP Pokémon than worrying too much about IVs. If you want to learn more, this article breaks down IVs in a super handy and easy-to-understand guide.

Powering Up Pokémon: Candy, Dust, and Stardust

Powering up Pokémon will increase a Pokémon’s CP level and HP and is a critical step in making them stronger. To do this, you need Candy and Stardust. Here’s how it works:

  1. Gather Candy: You obtain Candy by catching, hatching, or trading Pokémon of the same species. Transferring extra Pokémon to Professor Willow is a great way to get Candy. When catching a Pokémon you can use Pinap Berries to double the amount of candy gained from the catch.
  2. Use Stardust: Stardust is essential for powering up your Pokémon. The amount of Stardust required increases with each power-up. Be selective about which Pokémon you invest Stardust in to ensure you use it wisely. Here’s a guide on how to grind stardust and Pokémon that give extra stardust on catching.
Initial Level Stardust Candy XL Candy
1 – 2.5 200 1  
3 – 4.5 400 1  
5 – 6.5 600 1  
7 – 8.5 800 1  
9 – 10.5 1,000 1  
11 – 12.5 1,300 2  
13 – 14.5 1,600 2  
15 – 16.5 1,900 2  
17 – 18.5 2,200 2  
19 – 20.5 2,500 2  
21 – 22.5 3,000 3  
23 – 24.5 3,500 3  
25 – 26.5 4,000 3  
27 – 28.5 4,500 4  
29 – 30.5 5,000 4  
31 – 32.5 6,000 6  
33 – 34.5 7,000 8  
35 – 36.5 8,000 10  
37 – 38.5 9,000 12  
39 – 40.5 10,000 15  
41 – 41.5 11,000   10
42 – 42.5 11,000   12
43 – 43.5 12,000   12
44 – 44.5 12,000   15
45 – 45.5 13,000   15
46 – 46.5 13,000   17
47 – 47.5 14,000   17
48 – 48.5 14,000   20
49 – 49.5 15,000   20


3. Unlock Second Moves: Pokémon can have two charge moves, which can be unlocked with Candy and Stardust. This adds versatility to your Pokémon with type coverage, making them more effective in both raids and PvP.

Building for Raids
Raid icon

Building a strong raid team requires selecting Pokémon that are effective against the specific raid boss you’re facing. Here are some tips for raid team building:

  1. Type Advantage: Utilize type advantages. Choose Pokémon with moves that are super effective against the raid boss’s type.
  2. Synergy: Create a well-balanced team with a mix of attackers and defenders. Some Pokémon are better suited to absorbing damage, while others are exceptional attackers.
  3. Dodge and Heal: In larger raid groups, you can often rely on dodging charge moves to extend your Pokémon’s lifespan and save on healing items.
  4. Best Movesets: Pay attention to a Pokémon’s moveset. Pokémon with moves that deal super-effective damage are ideal.

On our database, we have lists of best attackers by type. Our comprehensive Best Attackers Lists include top Pokémon GO attackers for each type, including the best moves for each attacker. If you have any of the Pokémon near the top of those lists, it would be a good idea to start with working on building a strong attacker per type to ensure you have good coverage. 

Mega-Evolved Pokémon give other Pokémon special bonuses when brought to a Raid Battle. While a Mega-Evolved Pokémon is on the battlefield, all Trainers’ Pokémon receive an attack boost to all their attacks and gain an additional attack boost if their attack types match the Mega-Evolved Pokémon’s type(s).

Shiny Shadow Mewtwo by kittypokemonsalot

Shadow Pokémon are extremely expensive to power up and require specific events to remove Frustration with a Charged TM so are not listed in our raid counter guides. They require 1.2x times the amount of candy and stardust listed in the table above. That being said, shadow form Pokémon have stat changes listed below and can be very strong in battles. If you came across any shadow form meta ‘mon, keep them to TM away Frustration in a GO Rocket event and build them up as and when you can afford to.

  • The attack of Shadow Pokémon is multiplied by 1.2. This is shown in their attacks, similar to a weather bonus.
  • The defense of Shadow Pokémon is multiplied by 0.833.

Some strong Pokémon right now include:

Building for PvP

Building a strong PvP team in Pokémon GO requires a deep understanding of the meta and the various leagues. Here are some key considerations:

  1. League Choice: Determine which league you want to compete in (Great, Ultra, or Master League) and understand the CP caps for each. Then, choose Pokémon that fit within those limits.
  2. IVs Matter: In PvP, a Pokémon’s IVs play a crucial role. For example, a Pokémon with a 0 Attack IV can maximize its stat product and perform better in some leagues.
  3. Pokémon: Some Community Day Pokémon, like Swampert and Charizard, can be excellent choices in PvP, as they often have exclusive moves that make them powerful in battles.
  4. Practice and Adapt: PvP is highly competitive and strategic. Practice battles and adapt your team as you learn from your experiences and observe the meta.


The best IVs for PvP are IVs which grant you the maximum amount of Defense and Stamina, and the least amount of Attack. Attack contributes to CP the most, which makes it not ideal for Trainer Battles, while high Stamina and Defense can get you through a lot more battles.

For Leagues with lower CP limits, such as the Great League, usually the best IVs you can have are 0 / 15 / 15, or something similar to that. The reasoning behind this is that we want to pack as much stats as possible in under 1500 CP, and low Attack IV allows us to do that.

For Ultra League, the situation is a bit different, as the CP cap is higher. Pokémon which top over 2500 CP will still prefer 0 / 15 / 15 and similar IVs, but Pokémon whose Max CP doesn’t reach 2500 will prefer 15 / 15 / 15. Examples like Watchog whose Max CP is 2056 CP, should have 15 / 15 / 15 for Ultra League, while Scizor (3393 CP) should have 0 / 15 / 15 IVs which will result in 2499 CP, just under the cutoff point.

For Master League, where there is no CP cap, you want perfect Pokémon IVs – 15 / 15 / 15 – regardless of which Pokémon we are talking about.

In general, it is usually Pokémon with IVs you wouldn’t use for Raids that are good for Trainer Battles. Also, be aware that PvP IVs are important, but not as important as having correct moves and team composition.

On our database, when looking at a Pokémon there is a ‘PvP’ tab. This will show you the PVP IVs for a Pokémon and a moveset analysis. This is a great place to start when looking at building a PVP team. On our website we also have PVP analysis of recently released Pokémon, community day Pokémon and League schedule analysis, which is a very valuable resource.

Last notes

Catching Pokémon with High CP

At lower levels, a Pokémon needs only a few hundred Stardust to be powered up. After level 30, though, the Stardust cost increases significantly as CP gain per power-up is cut by half. At level 30, the Pokémon is approximately 90% as powerful as it will ever be.

This might discourage players from powering up their ‘mons beyond level 30, but thanks to the weather-boost system, wild Pokémon encounters can now be 5 levels above that of the trainer’s (up to level 35). This saves thousands of Stardust in the long run, so try to find high-leveled wild Pokémon that are worth powering up!

Maximum Pokémon Level

One power-up increases your Pokémon’s level by one half. A Pokémon can be powered up to its Trainer’s level +10. Leveling up allows you to power it up ten times more (gain 5 more levels).

Powering up Pokémon to level 41 to 50 consumes Stardust and Candy XL. Similarly, Trainers at level 40 can make their Pokémon reach the max level 50.

(Note: A Pokémon’s level cannot be directly seen in-app, but it can be approximated by the power-up Stardust cost. An IV calculator can be used to find a specific Pokémon’s level.)


Building strong Pokémon in Pokémon GO is an art that combines knowledge of IVs, wise power-ups, and strategic considerations for raids and PvP. By understanding these elements and staying up-to-date with the evolving metagame, you can build a formidable team of Pokémon that will lead you to victory in any battle, whether against raid bosses or other trainers. Remember, the journey to becoming a Pokémon master is not just about catching them all, but also about making them the strongest they can be.

Source link

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments