GBL Season 10 Update Details

Graphic by G47IX
Article by NHoff and Tangent
Analysis help from Nesabethan, PolymersUpSmecherDev, and Twastell
As always so much of our analysis is possible due to PVPoke whom you can support here

GO Battle League Season 10 is around the corner and with it comes some exciting changes for trainer battles!


GO Battle League Season 10 will start on Monday, November 29, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PST 


Remember to use a Star Piece before you claim your end-of-season reward for Season 9!


The following change will be in place for Season 10:

  • Pokémon appearing in GO Battle League encounters will now be slightly easier to catch


A reminder that Trainers who reach Legend rank this season will be able to register early for certain Pokémon GO World Championship Series events! 


The following leagues will begin and end at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8) on the dates listed below:


Nov 29 - Dec 13

  • Great League

  • Great League Remix


Dec 13 - Dec 27

  • Ultra League

  • Ultra League Remix

  • Holiday Cup (begins Dec 16)


Dec 27 - Jan 10

  • Master League

  • Master League Classic

  • Holiday Cup (ends Dec 31)

3× Stardust from win rewards (this does not include end of set rewards)


Jan 10 - Jan 24

  • Great League

  • Sinnoh Cup


Jan 24 - Feb 7

  • Ultra League

  • UL Premier Classic


Feb 7 - Feb 21

  • Master League

  • ML Premier Classic

  • Love Cup

3× Stardust from win rewards (this does not include end of set rewards)


Feb 21 - Feb 28

  • Great League

  • Ultra League

  • Master League

  • Johto Cup


Note: October 2020 of Season 4 was the last time a rotation was exclusively Master League and its variants - December 31st-January 10th will only have Master League and Master League Classic available


Season 10 GO Battle Days - Dates and Times:

  • Saturday, January 8, 2022 

    • The Master League and the Master League Classic will be active

  • Sunday, January 23, 2022

    • The Great League and the Sinnoh Cup will be active

  • Sunday, February 6, 2022

    • The Ultra League and the UL Premier Classic will be active



You can look forward to the following cups this season:


Great League Remix

  • The 20 Pokémon most used by Trainers Ace rank and up in the Great League will not be allowed in the Great League Remix.

  • The following Pokémon will not be allowed:

  • Venusaur, Nidoqueen, Alolan Ninetales, Azumarill, Umbreon, Skarmory, Swampert, Vigoroth, Sableye, Altaria, Deoxys Defense Forme, Bastiodon, Scrafty, Jellicent, Galvantula, Galarian Stunfisk, Mandibuzz, Talonflame, Obstagoon


Ultra League Remix

  • The 10 Ultra League Pokémon most used by Trainers Ace rank and up in the Ultra League will not be allowed in the Ultra League Remix.

  • The following Pokémon will not be allowed:

  • Venusaur, Alolan Muk, Umbreon, Swampert, Empoleon, Togekiss, Giratina Altered Forme, Cresselia, Talonflame, Obstagoon


Holiday Cup

  • Pokémon must be at or below 1,500 CP to enter

  • Only Normal, Grass, Electric, Ice, Flying, and Ghost-type Pokémon are permitted


Sinnoh Cup

  • Pokémon must be at or below 1,500 CP to enter

  • Only Pokémon with a Pokédex number from #387 to #493 will be allowed


Love cup

  • Pokémon must be at or below 1,500 CP to enter

  • Only pink or red Pokémon will be allowed

  • Pink or red Pokémon are as follows:

  • Clefairy, Clefable, Jigglypuff, Wigglytuff, Slowpoke, Galarian Slowpoke, Slowbro, Galarian Slowbro, Exeggcute, Lickitung, Chansey, Mr. Mime, Porygon, Mew, Cleffa, Igglybuff, Flaaffy, Hoppip, Slowking, Galarian Slowking, Snubbull, Corsola, Smoochum, Miltank, Blissey, Whismur, Skitty, Milotic,Gorebyss, Luvdisc, Cherubi, Sunshine Form Cherrim, Mime Jr., Happiny, Lickilicky, Mespirit, Munna, Musharna, Audino, Spring Form Deerling, Alomomola, Spritzee, Aromatisse, Sylveon, Charmander, Charmeleon, Charizard, Vileplume, Paras, Parasect, Krabby, Kingler, Voltorb, Electrode, Goldeen, Seaking, Jynx, Magmar, Magikarp, Flareon, Ledyba, Ledian, Ariados, Yanma, Scizor, Slugma, Magcargo, Octillery, Delibird, Porygon2, Magby, Ho-Oh, Torchic, Combusken, Blaziken, Wurmple, Medicham, Carvanha, Camerupt, Solrock, Corphish, Crawdaunt, Sunny Castform, Latias, Groudon, Normal Form Deoxys, Attack Form Deoxys, Defense Form Deoxys, Speed Form Deoxys, Kricketot, Kricketune, Trash Cloak Burmy, Trash Cloak Wormadam, Magmortar, Porygon-Z, Rotom, Tepig, Pignite, Emboar, Pansear, Simisear, Throh, Venipede, Scolipede, Krookodile, Darumaka, Darmanitan, Dwebble, Crustle, Scrafty, Autumn Form Deerling, Shelmet, Accelgor, Pawniard, Bisharp, Braviary, Heatmor, Fennekin, Braixen, Delphox, Fletchling, Fletchinder, Talonflame, Yveltal

    • Additions from last Love Cup include Mew, Deoxys Defense, Spritzee, Aromatisse, Swirlix, Slurpuff, Yveltal, Sylveon, Galarian Slowpoke, Galarian Slowbro, Galarian Slowking


Johto Cup

  • Pokémon must be at or below 1500 CP to enter

  • Only Pokémon with a Pokédex number from #152 to #251 will be allowed

  • This cup will include the Galarian form of Slowking


Attack Changes:

  • Pound

    • Damage lowered from 5 to 4

  • Rock Tomb

    • New effect: guaranteed to lower opponent’s Attack

  • Bug Buzz

    • Damage increased from 90 to 100


Moveset Additions:

  • Donphan

    • Body Slam

  • Noctowl

    • Shadow Ball

  • Magcargo

    • Incinerate and Rock Tomb

  • Octillery

    • Lock-On

  • Claydol

    • Rock Tomb

  • Sudowoodo

    • Rock Tomb

  • Lairon

    • Rock Tomb

  • Aggron

    • Rock Tomb


TL;DR on balance changes

When looking at these changes, our meta team is noticing a few big standout benefits alongside other nice-to-have changes:


The change to Pound should have a nice impact on Chansey specifically - The Egg Pokémon still will have play which will not waste investments made, but she should be much less oppressive in limited metas. This change is nice as it should reduce the number of Chansey matchups - which many players find obnoxious - while not negatively impacting other Pokémon as a consequence.


The change to Rock Tomb will impact quite a few Pokémon, the most impactful in our eyes being Bonsly and Sudowoodo, Magcargo, Forretress, Claydol, Dwebble, and Alolan Geodude. While many of these Pokémon may still opt for other strong Rock-type charged attacks like Rock Slide or Stone Edge, this diversity in their movesets may cause for interesting decisions around the guaranteed Attack drop from Rock Tomb.


Bug Buzz getting a power boost will help Pokémon like Ledian, Wormadam, Venomoth, Dustox, Vespiquen, or even Galvantula if the change is significant enough to make a moveset change. While none of these Pokémon (nor others that learn Bug Buzz) are tearing up the meta, an increase in power will help them in those close matches and might give them a needed boost in limited formats. It should also make powerful Dark and Psychic type Pokémon at least a little more on edge of taking a Bug Buzz. 


Donphan might see some exciting play with Body Slam - specifically in Ultra League limited formats. They won’t break open any metas but a Counter + Body Slam ‘phan might be rolling around a territory you’ve never seen one before! Donphan is a great example of a Pokémon going from completely unusable to a niche pick in the right limited format, and could have some play in all three of Great, Ultra, or Master League. Its combination of Ground typing and access to Counter means that it can serve a role in slowing down some of the powerful Dark + Poison cores that are ever-present right now in Great and Ultra League. 


Noctowl has reclaimed some strong footing in the Normal/Flying territory. Following the reduction in power of Feather Dance and this new addition of Shadow Ball, Noctowl is no longer a downgrade from Pidgeot like it was a few seasons ago (you know, when we didn’t see Pidgeot all season anyway) and will definitely be hooting in limited metas. The recent addition of Trevenant might even be enough to bring out Noctowl in open metas as a targeted missile against strong ghosts like Trevenant or Sableye.


A maximum stat product Noctowl with Shadow Ball in lieu of Psychic picks up the following Great League matchups (all against maximum stat product opponents, with baits on both ends):

  • In the 0S:

    • Gains Cresselia, Drifblim, Mew (SC/WC + FC), and Whiscash while losing Shadow Nidoqueen

  • In the 1S:

    • Gains Cresselia, Shadow Hypno (with Thunder or Ice Punch), Swampert, and Sylveon ,and loses no matchups

  • In the 2S:

    • Gains Registeel, loses no matchups


Magcargo is the big winner of this update. For those unaware Magcargo is one of the bulkiest Fire-type Pokémon in the Great League, on par with Alolan Marowak and only slightly trailing Torkoal. And despite the harsh defensive typing of Rock weighing them down a bit, they’re looking really hot with the addition of Incinerate alongside Rock Tomb. While Rock Tomb might be left on the bench in favor of Stone Edge, Magcargo is looking to gain a lot from Incinerate’s heavy energy generation when compared to Ember or Rock Throw. While Magcargo still certainly does not want to see Water or Ground-type damage, the addition to limited metas should help to curb some of the Fairy and Poison types that tend to oversaturate such formats.


A maximum stat product Magcargo with Incinerate in lieu of Ember picks up the following Great League matchups (all against maximum stat product opponents, with baits on both ends):

  • In the 0S:

    • Gains Cresselia, Haunter, Hypno, Lickitung, Mandibuzz, Meganium, Melmetal, Shadow Nidoqueen, Galarian Stunfisk, Umbreon, and Shadow Victreebel while losing Cofagrigus, Dewgong, Lapras and Obstagoon

  • In the 1S:

    • Gains Cresselia, Shadow Hypno, Lapras, Mandibuzz, Melmetal,  Mew (SC/WC + FC), Obstagoon, Pelipper, Sableye, Serperior, Galarian Stunfisk, Tropius (Razor Leaf variant) and Umbreon while losing to Moonblast Altaria (Dragon Pulse Altaria wins against both Magcargo sets) and Hypno

  • In the 2S:

    • Gains Altaria, Greedent, Lickitung, Mandibuzz, Alolan Marowak, Munchlax, Pidgeot, Talonflame, and Umbreon while losing Chesnaught, Haunter, and Meganium

The matchup comparison above shows that, while there are occasional drops due to Incinerate doing less Damage Per Turn compared to Ember, the increased energy generation of Incinerate gains more for Magcargo than it drops. It remains to be seen what Rock Tomb and its guaranteed Attack debuff can add and subtract from Magcargo's win column, and which move you would drop to add Rock Tomb, but we are excited to find out once the updated stats are available on PvPoke.

While Octillery is a fun pick, the addition of Lock-On does not push it into viability in any foreseeable meta. The Jet Pokémon does attain new heights of performance, but the lovable Loctillery and their lustrous Loctazooka will still be something for highlight reels rather than for climbing the ranks. That being said, sign me up for watching the Gunk Shot (that’s right, it learns Gunk Shot) land on an arrogant Azumarill user who is saving their shields!

All in all this adjustment says a lot - there is not anything meta shaking but everything that is there is a step in the right direction. And with Season 10 Legend rank having an impact in qualifying for the Play! Pokémon championship season that’s something to be expected. 


Good luck and have fun in Season 10 of GO Battle League! May all your leads be favorable!


-The GO Stadium Meta Team