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CLIFFHANGER 5.0 Update | Big Changes in Cliffhanger!

Updated: Feb 6

Video summary/dev notes here:

The past couple of months have been HUGE in changes to Pokémon GO PVP and obviously Cliffhanger has had to adapt accordingly. We’ve seen quite a few changes since v4.4 released back in November and have made some changes to the format to properly reflect those. Without further ado, let’s get into those.


  • Medicham - Tier A -> Tier S

  • The GO Beyond update released a new power ceiling for quite a few Pokémon, with Medicham being quite a beneficiary. The increase in power potential has been enough to bring Medicham back up to a 9 point tier - where it sat at the inception of Cliffhanger - due to its newfound strength.

  • Wobbuffet - Tier C -> Tier A

  • Another major beneficiary of the GO Beyond update, Wobbuffet is now able to hit a whopping 1174CP! Despite having roughly ⅘ the CP of many Pokémon in the league, the sheer bulk of Wobb alongside the power of Counter makes it a serious player, if a player is able to take it to its top power and give it a best buddy boost.

  • Lickitung - Tier C -> Tier A

  • Once again, a Pokémon that was previously limited and now has a higher ceiling. Lickitung was very strong before, but too easily walled to be considered for a point-costed tier. The limits that a 1500CP Lickitung is able to push, however, are much more considerable. Therefore it is making the entire jump from 0 points to 5 points.

  • Pachirisu - Tier C -> Tier B

  • Our final limit-pusher that is getting promoted, Pachirisu is able to do a lot of the things that other Electric-type Pokémon in that tier can do with its newfound stats at level 50 or 51.

  • Politoed - Tier C -> Tier A

  • Getting into Pokémon that received expansions to their moveset, the addition of Weather Ball has made Politoed a force to be reckoned with. It’s been empowered so much, in fact, that it catapulted past B tier into A tier alongside the likes of Swampert and Whiscash. Frog good.

  • Alolan Ninetales - Tier C -> Tier B

  • Another recipient of Weather Ball sees a significant increase in power. Alolan Ninetales saw a potential for moving to Tier A, but the meta team is going to see how it performs in B before making any decisions.

  • Kantonian Ninetales - Tier C -> Tier B

  • Yet another Weather Ball recipient sees a ton of power from its new move. Kantonian Ninetales was a decent Fire-type Pokémon previously but now it is a force to be reckoned with in terms of bulk and power. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one as well.

  • Sunny Castform - Tier C -> Tier B

  • Receiving a power increase (on Ember specifically) rather than a move addition, Sunny Castform is likewise breaking the mold of sub-par Fire-types. Doing similar things as Kantonian Ninetales with a slightly different fast move plan, Sunny Castform is pushing it up to 1-point pick status.

  • Machamp - Tier B -> Tier A

  • While Rock Slide did receive a power decrease and Payback does not look to be amazing, Machamp (and specifically Shadow Machamp) was giving players too much power for 1 point. This was reflected in both its use rate and win rate in the format. At 5 points it will ask for more budgeting and decision-making from teambuilders.

  • Dewgong - Tier B -> Tier A

  • Similarly to Machamp, Dewgong was offering too much power for 1 point. Its usage and win rates were high enough for a hard-to-acquire Pokémon that we think it will fit in better with the group at 5 points.

  • Lapras - Tier B -> Tier A

  • Another case like Dewgong’s, Lapras was simply offering too much power for 1 point. Its and Dewgong’s use rate were similar and given that the two were never paired, it was clear that the Ice/Water Pokémon were strong enough to be a big consideration among players.

  • Rainy Castform - Tier C -> Tier B

  • The most common 0-point pick previously, Rainy Castform is joining its Sunny sibling at 1 point for this version of Cliffhanger. Previously offering too much value for no cost, we want to see how this Water-type performs with a 1 point price tag.

New Additions:

  • Jellicent - premiering at Tier A

  • Jellicent has a lot to offer in Great League and is already making a splash in GO Battle League. This Pokémon will assuredly see play in Cliffhanger as well, and seems to fit the bill of a 5-point choice perfectly.

  • Diggersby - premiering at Tier A

  • Diggersby similarly offers quite a lot in Great League, offering a bulk and charge move profile that threatens a lot of other Pokémon in the format. We think it similarly fits perfectly as a 5-point pick.

  • Chesnaught - premiering at Tier B

  • Offering a lot for the 1-point slot, we’re going to see how Chesnaught performs. Its typing and moveset are interesting for multiple reasons, and it will definitely see some play at 1 point. We’re hoping it does good things to the meta and offers a cheap answer to popular Tier S picks like Azumarill and Galarian Stunfisk!


  • Probopass - Tier A -> Tier B

  • Probopass was put in Tier A at a different time in the meta of Great League. Between better Steel-types releasing and Rock Slide’s decrease in power, Probopass was seeming to be an extremely lackluster pick at 5 points. We’re hoping dropping it to 1 point will help it see play as a “cheaper Bastiodon replacement.”

  • Melmetal - Tier A -> Tier B

  • Similarly to Probopass, Melmetal is a formerly-strong Steel-type that has had a rough time as of late. The Rock Slide changes did not help that either, being part of Melmetal’s most popular moveset. At 1 point it should offer a lot of power but not be oppressive.

  • Bronzong - Tier A -> Tier B

  • Repeating some of the same points, Bronzong has just been outclassed as time has gone on. In Tier B it will offer a role of a Confusion user alongside its Steel typing and we’re hoping that opens up new strategies.

  • Jirachi - Tier A -> Tier B

  • Jirachi shares a type and fast move with Bronzong, and shares a lot of similarities in matchups as a consequence. At 1 point Jirachi should be a strong pick but not overwhelm many other options especially with other, different Steel-types to contend with.

  • Regirock - Tier A -> Tier B

  • The Legendary Titans have immense strength between the speed of Lock-On as a fast move and some powerful charge moves that each possesses. Because of that, they were priced very conservatively when they received Lock-On. We’re seeing that without the Steel typing that Registeel possesses, they don’t really hold up as well. We’re interested to see how Regirock is considered as a 1 point option.

  • Regice - Tier B -> Tier C

  • Similarly to Regirock, Regice just was not cutting it even for a 1 point pick. With an extremely unfortunate resistance profile and - along with Regirock - less bulk than their Steel-type sibling, Regice doesn’t offer the same strength that other Tier B Pokémon offered. At 0 points it might be an interesting pick at times that doesn’t force players to eat into their budget.

  • Uxie - Tier B -> Tier C

  • As time has passed and new Pokémon have been added, Uxie’s potential role in Great League has slipped away slowly but surely. Simply having Confusion and bulk is no longer enough to fit in Tier B, and Uxie will be moving down to being a 0 point pick.

  • Togekiss - Tier B -> Tier C

  • While one rises, another falls. Alolan Ninetales getting Weather Ball and rising to Tier B made the team reassess our evaluation of Charm. While Togekiss is a strong option, we think it is more comparable to Whimsicott or Granbull in Tier C than it is to Alolan Ninetales, Clefable, Gardevoir, or Wigglytuff.

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