The Pokémon GO Battle League’s battle system is about to undergo major changes and Niantic has detailed a few of those changes, as well as the rulesets.
The biggest news out of the update is an actual breakdown for how the Battle League might be shaping up.
Niantic is referring to the Battle League as a triathlon-style contest that will have multiple ranks and three distinct leagues that will all have different formats. The three rotating leagues are the Great League, Ultra League, and Master League. More details will be revealed about how the leagues work in the future, but we do know that the rankings will carry over for the entire season.
Players will all start at Rank One at the beginning of the season, with the goal being to reach the top rank, Rank 10. Once you reach a higher rank you will not have to worry about dropping back to a lower rank, but you will need to keep winning if you want to reach Rank 10 and improve your standing.
Players in Rank 10 will start to earn ranked based on their battle ranking, with wins increasing that and losses taking points away. And just like in normal Pokémon battles, you will only be allowed to use one of each species on your team.
Moving onto the actual changes for the battle system, there are only a few big notes. When two Pokémon use Charged Attacks at the same time, the Pokémon with the higher Attack stat will go first. Additionally, switching Pokémon now clears any changes to its Attack and Defense stats.
The Charged Attacks change is just a way to make sure there is a set order of operations for Charged Attacks. If two Pokémon have the same Attack stat, however, a random Pokémon will go first. According to Niantic, there will be restrictions in the Great and Ultra Leagues to prioritize Defense and HP stats in order to force different strategies to be used.
Clearing changes after making a switch is a basic concept in the main series of Pokémon games. This will just allow swapping to be used as a more strategic move based on the stats.
These changes alongside a very long list of moves being changed or added to the game will shape how the first season of the Pokémon GO Battle League will shape up. Competition begins in 2020, with the season concluding at the Pokémon World Championships in London.