Deciding Which Pokémon To Power-Up In Pokémon GO

Which Pokémon should you invest Stardust in to power-up in Pokémon GO? Should it be all about power? About a bond with a Buddy? Let's take a look at various reasons to increase the CP of your Pokémon.

Pokémon GO graphic. Credit: Niantic
Pokémon GO graphic. Credit: Niantic

Many will say that Pokémon GO is all about battling. While raiding and PVP elements are certainly prominent in the game, we're not members of Team GO Rocket here. There are many varied reasons to power up Pokémon. Here are some reasons why I power up certain Pokémon in the game.

  • Favorite: Let's start with the emotional reasons. This game and the overall franchise is about the connection between Pokémon and trainers. There is nothing wrong with deciding that you love your Skitty and investing your Stardust to max out its power, just because of that bond.

Now… to get a bit more practical.

  • Specific Counters: This is definitely a Stardust dump method, so I'd only suggest this if you are a hardcore player who grinds Stardust and raids a lot. What I personally love to do is, when a new Raid Boss is announced, I will learn the top counters and then build raid parties of six based on those counters. That's a total of twelve Pokémon. I'll then max each of those counters to their top CP. This way, I have my absolute best A Team and a B Team that won't drag the raid clock down by being subpar. The more you do this, the better prepared you'll be for future raid bosses, too. For example, Regigigas just had its Shiny release in Pokémon GO. It's weak to Fighting-types, many of which I've already maxed out due to previous raid bosses weak to Fighting-types. This method is intense but overall beneficial in the long term.
  • Overall Counters: There are certain Pokémon that have multiple uses and find their ways into many raid parties. These include Mewtwo with Psystrike, Tyranitar with both Rock-type and Dark-type moves unlocked, Rhyperior with Rock Wrecker, Swampert with Hydro Cannon, Lucario with Power-up Punch. The list goes on and on, but as you raid and complete PVP and Rocket battles, you'll begin to see Pokémon that remain toward the top of many of these lists. These are very much worth investing in.
  • PVP: If you play GO Battle League, the Pokémon that do well in PVP have different IV spreads. In the lower leagues, Defense and HP is often prioritized over Attack. If you are hoping to rank up, it's certainly worth it to learn each league's Meta and power up a team to the correct CP limit.
  • Team GO Rocket: Maxing out Pokémon with powerful and, most importantly, quick-charging Charged Attacks will make Team GO Rocket battles, including bouts with the Leaders and Giovanni, quite easy.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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