Best Lead Pokemon for Fantasy Cup: Ultra League edition

Competitive Go trainers often find themselves at a crossroads when choosing the best starting Pokemon for the ongoing Fantasy Cup: Ultra League. It is key to use a Lead Pokemon that doesn’t have multiple weaknesses which give opponents an early advantage. Moreover, it must bait Shields and bring balance to the team.

The 2500-CP capped league, permitting only Dragon-, Fairy-, and Fire-types, also requires perfectly-timed switches to counter the opponent’s ‘mon with one of their own. Galarian Stunfisk and Cobalion, two of the best Steel-type switch metas, are banned so it requires some thinking in choosing a battle party.

Luckily, we have the whole analysis set for you. Here are seven of the best lead Pokemon for Fantasy Cup: Ultra League edition.

#1. Heatran (dual Fire/Steel-type Pokemon)

The Season of Hidden Gems has been kind to the legendary beast. Once a forgotten Pokemon, the 5-Star Raids from June 29 to July allowed players to obtain a Heatran with the Magma Storm legacy move. It has a Charge Energy of -40 with a Base Power of 65, which when combined with Fire Spin can inflict STAB and Bait Shields.

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Heatran can counter most Steel types in the Pokemon Go Fantasy Cup: Ultra League. Its antithesis is Empoleon with the Hydro Pump Charged Move and Excadrill with Mud Shot and Drill Run combo. However, it can still be used as a Lead to force opponents to use a Shield. Generally, Heatran fires two charged attacks before fainting against them.

#2. Empoleon (dual Water/Steel-type Pokemon)

Due to its unique typing, Empoleon takes slightly reduced damage from Fire-type attacks. The penguin king can bring the fight to Fire-types with the Waterfall and Hydro Cannon STAB combo. Metal Claw Quick Move is better when it comes to higher energy generation per second (10 EPS) while Waterfall has a higher attack (16 DPS).

Empoleon can be really difficult to counter in the Pokemon Go Fantasy Cup: Ultra League due to a lack of Fighting-type and Electric-type Pokemon. Keep it away from Excadrill though. The latter’s Ground-type attacks and Drill Run spam will overpower and overwhelm the dual Water/Steel-type penguin.

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#3. Scizor (dual Bug/Steel-type Pokemon)

Scizor’s “heavy metal” moveset consisting of Bullet Punch Fast Move and Iron Head Charged Move makes it evenly matched against Excadrill and Empoleon. For a better EPS and more offensive role, replace Bullet Punch with Fury Cutter and Iron Head with Night Slash. The latter is Super Effective against Giratina.

Scizor’s ability to spam Night Slash with the help of the power generated by Fury Cutter makes it the ideal lead Pokemon for Fantasy Cup: Ultra League edition. Unfortunately, it can be hard-countered by a typical Fire-type like Heatran. Fury Cutter’s low damage could also be fatal if Scizor is the one left to close out the game.

#4. Excadrill (dual Ground/Steel-type Pokemon)

Excadrill is the first Pokemon that comes to mind whenever it’s time for the Fantasy Cup: Ultra League edition. Access to Mud Shot, which has a very high EPS rate, and versatile Ground/Steel type Charged Moves like Drill Run and Iron Head make it the ideal Lead. It can also make capitalise on Scizor’s fragile bulk.

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Choosing Excadrill could backfire. While previously mentioned that it can counter Empoleon and Heatran, it can also be countered by them. It is still a better option than the other two though because of its EPS and DPS output. The additional Charge Move slot can be filled by Rock Slide as it is effective against all the other metas here.

#5. Haxorus (Dragon-type Pokemon)

Axew’s final form is a better option than Giratina, largely due to Haxorus’ Breaking Swipe Charged Move. When paired with Dragon Tail Quick Move, it benefits from STAB and can stack up to three bars. Dragon Tail also has a low-damage window of less than a second and an impressive 9 EPS.

Haxorus could be overwhelming if the opponent doesn’t have a Fairy-type counter, with Breaking Swipe chipping away at the opponent’s health. It can bait Shields while it can also learn a Fighting-type move to “counter” Steel-type Pokemon. Even though the Dragon can counter Giratina, Haxorus is easily countered by Togekiss or Dragonite.

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