Best team for the Retro Cup in Pokemon GO (December 2023)

Best team for the Retro Cup in Pokemon GO (December 2023)
Images via Niantic | The Pokemon Company

Written by 

Sara Heritage


4th Dec 2023 16:12


The Retro Cup is back for Season 17 of the Pokemon GO Battle League, so if you're struggling to put together the best team possible, we've got tips to help you out.

Remember how you and your trusty Venusaur, lit by bright torchlight, painted the canvas of Kanto vermillion in Generation 1? And yes, if you didn’t pick Bulbasaur, you’re a wrong’un.

The Retro Cup is a PvP battle mode in Pokemon GO that harks back to the very first Pokemon games, restricting your team to Pokemon types exclusively found in the first mainline games. Yes, you heard it right. Wake up, kid. Dark, Steel, and Fairy-type Pokemon? What are you talking about? It’s 1997, we’ve linked up our Game Boys and you can meet me at the Cable Club.

If removing these powerful types wasn’t hard enough for you, Season 17’s Retro Cup is a Great League format, meaning you can only enter Pokemon 1,500 Combat Power (CP) or below. Wave goodbye to your elite team you’ve spent hours crafting, your potential pool of fighters is going to be much smaller than usual.

Best all-round team for the Retro Cup

One of the best teams you can use for the Retro Cup in December 2023 is Aurorus, Oranguru, and Cresselia. This team is a great choice, seeing as its only real weaknesses are Steel and Dark-type Pokemon, first introduced in Generation II. 

The Rock/Ice-type Aurorus should be your lead, running STAB (same type attack bonus) Powder Snow as its Fast Attack, with Weather Ball and Meteor Beam as its Charged Attack.

While you might come up against some Fighting-type opponents like Machamp, the bulky Oranguru and Cresselia can easily switch in to absorb damage and bait shields. It’s unlikely you’ll come up against any Bug-type Pokemon anyway, but if you do, simply switch back into Aurorus for a super-effective Powder Snow and wipe it out.

Best attacker team for the Retro Cup

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Another great team composition you could pick is Toxapex, Dubwool, and Abomasnow. This team focuses more on leading with Toxapex, with a Poison Jab Fast Attack and a STAB Brine and Sludge Wave to chip down enemies. Abomasnow might have quad-weaknesses to Fire with its Grass/Ice typing, but bring it in as a closer to take advantage of its shields and deal out massive damage in a late-game sweep.

General advice for the Retro Cup

Dragon-type Pokemon are also seeing a lot of use in the Retro Cup this time, thanks to losing its main counter, Fairy types. That means we’ve got to go old-school - as mentioned above, Aurorus' powerful Powder Snow can easily and quickly deal damage to these scary opponents.

It's easy to say you should always switch out to alternative Pokemon to absorb hits and deal out super-effective damage. But be warned! Sometimes, your opponent can predict your switch and nail you with a nasty super-effective move of their own. Try and make sure your team has varied typings, strengths, and weaknesses so you can always react to your opponent's moves.

And remember - it's just some fun! This limited-time cup isn't worth spending resources you don't have on, so it's a great time to experiment with some fighters you've never used.

When does the Retro Cup start and end?

During the Timeless Travels update of Pokemon GO, the Retro Cup will last from 1 pm PST on December 1, 2023, to 1 pm PST on December 15, 2023.

It will run alongside the Great League in the first week and the Ultra League in the second week, so make sure you brush up on the top teams for those leagues as well!

That's everything you need to know about the Retro Cup! Which Pokemon will you be using? Why not check out the list of Pokemon GO events in store for December 2023, or the latest Spotlight Hour schedule?

Sara is an Eevee enthusiast who writes about games, tech and entertainment. Reviews, guides, news, features? She's your gal! You can often find her hanging out with Raymond in Animal Crossing, or playing any Nindies she can get her hands on.

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