Holiday Cup: What has Changed from Season 6?



A Refresher:


Pokémon GO’s Holiday Cup is a Great League (1500 CP ceiling) themed Cup running from Thursday December 16th at 1p.m. Pacific Time until Friday December 31st at 1p.m. Pacific Time


Note that this Cup starts part way into the December 13th-27th rotation of Ultra League and ends part way into the December 27th-January 10th rotation of Master League in Season 10



Allowed Types:

Normal, Grass, Electric, Ice, Flying, and Ghost-type Pokémon are allowed.




Since January 4th, 2021 when Holiday Cup ended last year the following Holiday Cup eligible Pokémon (and their pre-evolutions, where applicable) have been added to GO:

  • Normal-Types: 

    • Greedent, Furfrou, Dubwool, Sawsbuck

  • Grass-Types:

    • Trevenant, Gourgeist, Sawsbuck

  • Electric-Types:

    • Dedenne, Eelektross

  • Ice-Types:

    • Avalugg will be added partway through on December 23rd

  • Flying-Types:

    • None added since January 4th

  • Ghost-Types:

    • Jellicent, Trevenant, Gourgeist, Hoopa

New Eligible Shadow Pokémon Since January 4th:

(Including evolutions and pre-evolutions where applicable)

  • Sealeo, Tangrowth, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Bibarel, PIloswine, Staraptor, Ambipom



Move Buffs:

Since Holiday Cup ended last time the following moves learned by eligible Pokémon have been buffed for PVP:


  • Fast Moves:

    • Poison Jab (damage increased)

      • Learned by: Roserade, Roselia, Maractus, and Cacturne

    • Poison Sting (energy generation increased)

      • Learned by: Vespiquen

    • Dragon Tail (changed to lower energy generation and higher damage)

      • Learned by: Dragonite, Lugia, Gyarados, Alolan Exeggutor, Rayquaza, and Salamence

    • Ember (damage increased)

      • Learned by: Charizard, Litleo, Fletchinder, and Lampent

  • Charge Moves:

    • Poison Fang (guarantee to lower opponent’s defense 1 stage added)

      • Learned by: Golbat and Crobat

    • Cross Poison (damage increase and chance to raise attack 2 stages added)

      • Learned by: Crobat, Galvantula, and Parasect

    • Acid Spray (energy cost reduced)

      • Learned by: Ferrothorn, Victreebel, and Eelektross

    • Crunch (chance to lower opponent’s defense 1 stage added)

      • Learned by: Froslass, Greedent, Litleo, Gyarados, Luxio, Luxray, Alolan Raticate, Eelektross, Eelektrik, Carnivine, Kangaskhan, Stoutland, Archeops, Simisage, Archen, Exploud, Teddiursa, and Watchog

    • Megahorn (damage increased)

      • Learned by: Bouffalant, Sawsbuck, and Stantler

    • Focus Blast (damage increased)

      • Learned by: Regice, Ampharos, Weavile, Gengar, Jynx, and Lopunny

    • Zap Cannon (guarantee to lower opponent’s attack 1 stage added)

      • Learned by: Magnezone, Zapdos, Magneton, Ampharos, Porygon2, Jolteon, Porygon, and Porygon-Z

    • Rock Tomb (guarantee to lower opponent’s attack 1 stage added)

      • Learned by: Alolan Geodude, Spinda, Rufflet, and Runerigus

    • Bug Buzz (damage increased)

      • Learned by: Vespiquen, Galvantula, Scyther, Ledian, Swadloon, Yanmega, Plant Wormadam, Ninjask, Mothim, Beautifly, and Butterfree



Move nerfs:

Since Holiday Cup ended last time the following moves learned by eligible Pokémon have been nerfed for PVP:

  • Fast Moves:

    • Bubble (damage reduced)

      • Learned by: Jellicent, Mantine, Chinchou, Mantyke, Ludicolo, Frillish, Lombre, Masquerain, and Swanna

    • Razor Leaf (damage reduced)

      • Learned by various Grass-type Pokémon

    • Pound (damage reduced)

      • Learned by: Wigglytuff, Chansey, Smoochum, Cinccino, Blissey, Jynx, Buneary, Audino, and Lopunny

  • Charge Moves:

    • Weather Ball (damage reduced)

      • Learned by: Snowy Castform, Alolan Ninetales, Abomasnow, Normal Castform, Pelipper, Roserade, and Sunshine Cherrim

    • Sky Attack (damage reduced)

      • Learned by: Altaria, Skarmory, Noctowl, Lugia, Honchkrow, Moltres, Swellow, Tranquill, Unfezant, Fearow, and Chatot

    • Rock Slide (damage reduced)

      • Learned by: Aerodactyl, Alolan Geodude, Dunsparce, Tangrowth, and Braviary

    • Shadow Bone (damage reduced)

      • Learned by: Alolan Marowak

    • Feather Dance (energy increased, was not in Season 6’s Holiday Cup)

      • Learned by: Pidgeot




Moveset Additions:

Since Holiday Cup ended last time the following moves have been added to these eligible Pokémon, listed in order of projected meta-relevance of the addition:

  • Talonflame

    • Incinerate

  • Alolan Ninetales

    • Weather Ball (Ice)

  • Altaria

    • Moonblast

  • Pidgeot

    • Feather Dance

  • Noctowl

    • Shadow Ball

  • Roserade

    • Bullet Seed, Weather Ball (Fire), Leaf Storm

  • Cofagrigus

    • Shadow Claw

  • Serperior

    • Frenzy Plant

  • Crobat

    • Poison Fang and Cross Poison

  • Castform (Normal)

    • Weather Ball (Rock)

  • Porygon2

    • Tri-Attack

  • Leafeon

    • Bullet Seed

  • Manectric

    • Thunder Fang, Overheat

  • Luxray

    • Psychic Fangs

  • Glaceon

    • Water Pulse

  • Jolteon

    • Zap Cannon

  • Ludicolo, Sunflora, Celebi, and Leavanny

    • Leaf Storm

  • Dusknoir

    • Shadow Ball

  • Cacturne

    • Payback



Going Beyond:

The GO Beyond update occurred just before the previous Holiday Cup began. While possible, due to accessibility of the resource many XL-enabled Pokémon were not present in the meta the last time it was available. The eligible Pokémon impacted by the addition of Candy XL and higher power levels follow:

  • Partial bonus (maximum Stat Product achieved between levels 40 and 50)

    • Diggersby

    • Sableye

    • Lickitung

    • Litleo

    • Magnemite

    • Chansey

    • Dusclops

  • Full bonus (maximum CP at level 51 does not reach 1500)

    • Pachirisu

    • Sandshrew (Alolan)

    • Geodude (Alolan)

    • Spinda

    • Vullaby

    • Chinchou



Likely Impacts:

For reference, this was GO Stadium’s Meta Snapshot of Holiday Cup from its last rotation:

Notable changes from this meta to be expected:

  • Trevenant, Jellicent, and Greedent are all additions to the game that can be expected to be meta-centric. Dedenne may be present to a lesser degree

  • Diggersby, Sableye, Lickitung, and Alolan Sandshrew are all accessible in a way that they were not during this cup’s last appearance. Pachirisu is extremely strong but much more limited in accessibility when compared to other XL-enabled Pokémon

  • Golbat saw a significant buff when Poison Fang received its guaranteed debuff and will be present in the meta

  • Talonflame, Pidgeot, Noctowl, Roserade, and Cofagrigus all had significant increases in power due to moveset additions that will put them either on the fringe of or directly into the meta



  • There are stronger Ghosts this year than last with additions of Trevenant, Jellicent, effectively Cofagrigus, and a more significantly XL-enabled Sableye - all fighting Froslass and the nerfed Alolan Marowak for a meta-centric position

  • Stronger Normal-types have rose up as well including more XL-enabled Diggersby and Lickitung as well as Greedent and buffed Pidgeot and Noctowl

  • Charm resistance has increased with buffs to Talonflame, Golbat, Roserade, and the accessibility of a more XL-enabled Alolan Sandshrew

  • Expect more Ghosts-that-beat-other-Ghosts (Sableye, Trevenant), Normal-types-that-beat-other-Normal-types (Wigglytuff, Obstagoon, Vigoroth, and the Flying/Normal-types), and Charm-resists-that-beat-other-Charm-resists (Talonflame and Alolan Marowak)

    • While this is not a hard-and-fast set of rules these are all groups that have gained in power over the last year and should have a large impact in shifting the meta

While GO Stadium will not be doing a Meta Snapshot for Holiday Cup 2021 look out for a Meta Cores coming soon!