The second part of the Season 6 of the GO Battle League (GBL) has officially kicked off in Pokémon GO. If the PVP (Player VS Player) battling aspect of the game is your favorite, you might have noticed some changes that have come to GBL with the arrival of Season 6 last November.
The introduction of the Seasons system with the huge GO Beyond update has also brought exciting changes to GBL. With the Season of Celebration and the beginning of Season 6, GBL expanded from 10 to 24 ranks, and the top four ranks have all-new names and corresponding badges.
The rating system that was previously part of the 10-rank system, has been reserved for the top 4 ranks. From rank 21 to 24, each has a corresponding title and badge according to Trainer’s rating:
· Ace: 2,000 (rank 21)
· Veteran: 2,500 (rank 22)
· Expert: 2,750 (rank 23)
· Legend: 3,000 (rank 24)
The rank-reward system has also experienced a major overhaul in Season 6. Several ranks are unique in terms of how players advance through them and the prizes awarded. If you reach these ranks, to advance to the next tier, you need to complete only one set of battles.
· Rank 4: The rewards are mystery items.
· Rank 9: The rewards are Stardust.
· Rank 14: The rewards are Rare Candies.
· Rank 19: The rewards are Pokémon encounters.
One of the rarest costumed Pikachu and the GBL exclusive, the Pikachu Libre is available for trainers as a reward encounter from Rank 10 onwards.
According to Niantic, the schedule for the Leagues of the second part of Season 6 is as follows:
· The Great League will run from Monday, January 11, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, January 25, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8).
· The Ultra League and its Premier Cup will run from Monday, January 25, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, February 8, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8).
· The Master League, its Premier Cup, Master League Classic, and a to-be-announced special cup will run from Monday, February 8, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, February 15, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8). We’ll share the details of how this cup will work in a later update.
· All three leagues and the Ultra League Premier Cup will run from Monday, February 15, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, February 22, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8).
· The Kanto Cup will run from Monday, February 22, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. to Monday, March 1, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8). The CP limit for this cup will be 1,500, and only Pokémon with a Pokédex number between 001 and 151 will be allowed. During this period, your rating will be unaffected.
The second part of Season 6 has kicked off on January 11 with the Great League, where you can compete with your Pokémon who are under CP 1500 mark. Niantic has announced several updates to existing attacks and new moves for Pokémon that couldn’t learn them before.
The move rebalance has targeted mostly the Great League meta, however, the changes aren’t so major and won’t completely flip the metagame upside down. The following attacks have been affected starting from January 11:
· Ember: This Fire-type Fast Attack now deals more damage.
· Karate Chop: This Fighting-type Fast Attack now generates more energy.
· Bubble: This Water-Type Fast Attack now deals less damage.
· Razor Leaf: This Grass-Type Fast Attack now deals less damage.
· Crabhammer: This Water-type Charged Attack now deals more damage.
· Sky Attack: This Flying-type Charged Attack now deals less damage.
· Rock Slide: This Rock-type Charged Attack now deals less damage.
· Shadow Bone: This Ghost-type Charged Attack now deals less damage.
One of the most popular picks in Great League, Azumarill runs Bubble and it has been nerfed slightly, however, not so much that it’s going to affect its position as one of the top picks. Other Pokémon popular in GL, including Altaria, Skarmory, Galarian Stunfisk, and Alolan Marowak have also experienced nerf to their moves. This move from Niantic seeks to balance the domineering positions of these Pokémon, but the changes aren’t so major to force you to kick any of these Pokémon from your Great League team.
Additionally, the following attacks will be available to Pokémon that couldn’t learn them before:
· Kanto Vulpix and Ninetales can now learn Fire-type Weather Ball
· Alolan Vulpix and Ninetales can now learn Ice-type Weather Ball
· Politoed can now learn Water-type Weather Ball
· Primeape can now learn Ice Punch
· Claydol can now learn Ice Beam and Shadow Ball
· Porygon-2 can now learn Tri Attack, a community day-exclusive move that was available for Porygon Community Day for Porygon Z
· Excadrill can now learn Mud Shot
With the second part of Season 6, a new Pokémon has made its Pokémon GO debut. When you reach rank 20, you’ll be guaranteed to encounter Frillish, a floating Pokémon. You’ll have a chance of encountering it on the rewards tracks for higher ranks, too.
Some players complained about putting a new Pokémon behind a serious barrier. For those who aren’t familiar with GBL and only play Pokémon GO for the collection aspect of the game, getting their hands on Frillish and its evolution, Jellicent, will prove to be a serious challenge indeed.
However, Jellicent will be a great addition to any PVP team. Both in Great League and Ultra League, this Pokémon makes for a viable option thanks to its unique Water/Ghost typing and 8 useful resistances. While good against Azumarill and several other GL meta picks, Ultra League is where Jellicent truly shines.
Jellicent has a serious upper hand over most of the meta. But Trainers who want to make this Pokémon a part of their team will have to work hard to get XL candy to make Jellicent reach the 2500 CP mark needed for the Ultra League.
Whether you’re a seasoned PVP battler or want to get your feet wet and explore the GO Battle league for the sake of the new Pokémon, Season 6 is exciting regardless, with unique rewards and new ranks.
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