A First Look at Level 50: The Pokemon That Benefit Most

Today, it was announced that the level cap for Pokemon will be increasing to 50 (51 with Best Buddy boost). This article looks at which Pokemon are likely to be most heavily impacted by these changes.

I obtained this information by doing Comparison Battles in the PVP IV iOS app with the projected CPM values for level 45 and higher according to Pokebattler. Please note that these values are not official, and thus the information in this article is subject to change. I’ll add levels 45+ to the public version of PVP IV once the values are official, which will hopefully be tomorrow with the test release of level 50 in Australia.

Here’s a summary of the impact:

  • Great League sees a few changes, with Sableye and Medicham being the only Pokemon that benefit significantly from the level cap increase. We may see a few new contenders as well such as Lickitung.
  • Ultra League is completely shaken up with at least a dozen Pokemon seeing significant gains as a result of the new level cap. Great League mainstays Altaria, Skarmory, and Deoxys Defense are now major threats, and as a whole this is going to look like a whole new meta.
  • Master League is mostly unaffected since all Pokemon benefit more-or-less equally. Most key IV thresholds are also mostly unchanged, including Dialga’s 15/14/12. However, a few close matchups are flipped, including Metagross now beating Dragonite in the 2 shield.

Great League

Fortunately, Great League is not too impacted by the level increase, since most Pokemon used in this league reach the 1500 CP limit under level 40, even with their best IVs. You can probably still use your Level 40 version of most Pokemon, including Azumarill.

Best Buddy also becomes less important, since the new best IVs for most Pokemon – including Azumarill, Bastiodon, and Sableye – no longer require Best Buddy.

Azumarill (new best IVs 0/15/15): New wins include Tropius in the 0 shield and Skarmory in the 1 shield. New losses include Registeel, and Galvantula in the 0 shield.

16 better matchups; 11 worse matchups vs lvl 40 rank 1 Better Matchups (16):
  • Tropius 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Drifblim 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Skarmory 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Mawile Shadow 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Deoxys Defense 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Sableye 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Skarmory 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Stunfisk 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Mantine 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Mantine 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Muk Alolan 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Swampert 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Zapdos 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Toxicroak 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Jirachi 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Jirachi 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
Worse Matchups (11):
  • Galvantula 0 shields (Loss vs Win)
  • Registeel 1 shields (Loss vs Win)
  • Registeel 2 shields (Neutral vs Win)
  • Froslass 2 shields (Neutral vs Win)
  • Azumarill 0 shields (Loss vs Neutral)
  • Deoxys Defense 1 shields (Loss vs Neutral)
  • Hypno 2 shields (Loss vs Neutral)
  • Vigoroth 2 shields (Neutral vs Win)
  • Munchlax 1 shields (Loss vs Win)
  • Munchlax 2 shields (Loss vs Neutral)
  • Hypno 2 shields (Loss vs Neutral)

Bastiodon (new best IVs 0/15/14): New wins include level 40 Bastiodon and Meganium in the 1 shield. New losses include Venusaur in the 2 shield.

8 better matchups; 4 worse matchups Better Matchups (8):
  • Bastiodon 0 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Bastiodon 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Meganium 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Mawile Shadow 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Lanturn 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Escavalier 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Mew 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Raichu Alolan 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
Worse Matchups (4):
  • Bastiodon 1 shields (Loss vs Neutral)
  • Venusaur 2 shields (Loss vs Neutral)
  • Lanturn 1 shields (Loss vs Neutral)
  • Munchlax 1 shields (Neutral vs Win)

Sableye (new best IVs 0/15/15): Sableye might be the biggest winner here since it didn’t reach 1500 CP under the level 40 cap. It jumps from #35 in my rankings to #8 with the higher level cap, thanks to a ridiculous +23 matchup differential with new wins against Altaria, Stunfisk Galarian, Skarmory, etc. (all in specific shielding scnarios).

34 better matchups; 11 worse matchups Better Matchups (34):
  • Altaria 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Altaria 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Stunfisk Galarian 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Bastiodon 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Zweilous 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Tropius 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Meganium 0 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Azumarill 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Skarmory 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Sableye 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Whiscash 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Whiscash 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Lanturn 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Lanturn 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Skarmory 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Skarmory 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Escavalier 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Obstagoon 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Melmetal 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Mantine 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Muk Alolan 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Zapdos 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Vigoroth 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Vigoroth 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Vigoroth 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Munchlax 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Machamp Shadow 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Machamp Shadow 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Charizard 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Ferrothorn 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Lapras 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Lapras 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Sirfetchd 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Raichu Alolan 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
Worse Matchups (11):
  • Abomasnow 0 shields (Loss vs Win)
  • Meganium 2 shields (Loss vs Win)
  • Venusaur 2 shields (Loss vs Win)
  • Venusaur Shadow 1 shields (Loss vs Win)
  • Venusaur Shadow 2 shields (Loss vs Win)
  • Sableye 0 shields (Loss vs Neutral)
  • Sableye 2 shields (Loss vs Neutral)
  • Swampert 2 shields (Neutral vs Win)
  • Munchlax 0 shields (Loss vs Win)
  • Lapras 0 shields (Loss vs Win)
  • Raichu Alolan 1 shields (Loss vs Neutral)

Medicham (new best IVs 5/15/15, or 4/15/15 with Best Buddy): Medicham is another huge winner, going from #22 to #4 in the rankings with added wins over Galvantula, Mandibuzz, and many others. But it’s worth noting that unlike Sableye, it doesn’t see much improvement against Tier 1 Pokemon.

27 better matchups; 1 worse matchup Better Matchups (27):
  • Galvantula 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Galvantula 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Mandibuzz 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Mandibuzz 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Froslass 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Medicham 0 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Meganium 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Venusaur 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Venusaur 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Azumarill 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Victreebel Shadow 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Lanturn 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Lanturn 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Stunfisk 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Hypno 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Mantine 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Muk Alolan 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Swampert 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Zapdos 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Cherrim Sunny 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Cherrim Sunny 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Charizard 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Hypno 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Swampert 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Jirachi 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Jirachi 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Raichu Alolan 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
Worse Matchups (1):
  • Munchlax 0 shields (Loss vs Win)

Honorable mentions: Mawile has more viable IV spreads now, although 1/15/15 at level 40 remains its best by stat product. Rainy Castform sees minor improvements up to level 42.5. Lickitung jumps from #63 to #8 in the rankings (maxing out at level 50); expect a few other previously under-cap Pokemon to follow suit.

Ultra League/Ultra Premier Cup

Ultra League will definitely be shaken up by these changes, much more so than any other league. Clefable, Registeel, Lapras, Abomasnow, Toxicroak, Kingdra, Deoxys Defense, Drifblim, Shiftry, and many more now have new best IVs. Perhaps more notably, some Pokemon that were previously under cap see major gains, even if they still don’t max out at 2500. Altaria jumps from #52 to #2; Skarmory from #53 to #1.

In all, these changes are so major that I’ve probably missed quite a few Pokemon that will be impacted, and this article would get too long if I listed all the changes. Additionally, because I’m comparing against the level 40 IV spreads, which are no longer ideal for many Pokemon, my comparisons here may not be perfectly accurate, but they’re definitely a good indicator of the overall trend.

Here are a few of the Pokemon that I think are most interesting.

Skarmory (best IVs remain 15/15/15): Skarmory adds an insane 38 wins… including in some shielding scenarios against Giratina Altered, Giratina Origin, Cresselia, Swampert, Escavalier, and Togekiss.

38 better matchups; 0 worse matchups Better Matchups (38):
  • Giratina Altered 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Escavalier 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Giratina Altered 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Cresselia 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Cresselia 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Machamp Shadow 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Giratina Origin 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Swampert 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Snorlax Shadow 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Swampert Shadow 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Regice 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Lucario 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Lapras Shadow 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Mewtwo Armored 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Mewtwo Armored 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Togekiss 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Mewtwo Armored 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Dragonite 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Mew 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Mew 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Muk Alolan 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Muk Alolan 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Muk Alolan 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Snorlax 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Snorlax 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Snorlax 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Abomasnow 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Lugia 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Drifblim 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Lickilicky 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Lickilicky 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Lickilicky 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Kingdra 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Suicune 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Suicune 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Suicune 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Feraligatr 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Feraligatr 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
Worse Matchups (0):

Altaria (best IVs remain 15/15/15): Altaria follows close behind Skarmory with 32 new wins… similarly including Giratian Altered, Escavalier, Giratina origin, as well as Machamp and Ampharos.

32 better matchups; 0 worse matchups Better Matchups (32):
  • Giratina Altered 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Giratina Altered 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Escavalier 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Machamp 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Giratina Origin 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Typhlosion 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Sirfetchd 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Lucario 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Lucario 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Toxicroak 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Ampharos 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Ampharos 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Charizard 0 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Zapdos 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Zapdos 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Zapdos 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Dragonite 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Dragonite 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Muk Alolan 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Empoleon 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Empoleon 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Snorlax 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Snorlax 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Snorlax 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Lickilicky 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Lickilicky 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Kingdra 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Honchkrow 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Scizor 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Shiftry 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Ferrothorn 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Ferrothorn 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
Worse Matchups (0):

Deoxys Defense (new best IVs 12/13/15): Deoxys Defense sees the most gains of any Pokemon I looked at, improving in 52 (!) matchups including against Escavalier, Registeel, Cresselia, and Melmetal. Like Skarmory, it would rank #1 in the rankings if other Pokemon kept their level 40 IVs, but looks even stronger than Skarmory.

52 better matchups; 0 worse matchups Better Matchups (52):
  • Escavalier 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Registeel 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Cresselia 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Cresselia 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Clefable 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Clefable 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Clefable 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Swampert Shadow 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Swampert Shadow 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Regirock 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Granbull 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Granbull 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Melmetal 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Mewtwo Armored 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Venusaur 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Togekiss 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Ampharos 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Ampharos 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Charizard 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Mewtwo Armored 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Mewtwo Armored 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Mewtwo Armored 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Zapdos 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Dragonite 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Dragonite 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Mew 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Empoleon 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Snorlax 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Snorlax 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Snorlax 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Meganium 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Gyarados 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Gyarados 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Lugia 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Lugia 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Lugia 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Virizion 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Virizion 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Stunfisk Galarian 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Stunfisk Galarian 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Lickilicky 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Lickilicky 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Lickilicky 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Kingdra 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Kingdra 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Suicune 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Suicune 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Scizor 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Scizor 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Shiftry 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Feraligatr 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Feraligatr 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
Worse Matchups (0):

Registeel (new best IVs 1/10/15): One improvement that many people may be unhappy about is the super-expensive Registeel, who will now claim wins against Giratina Altered and Giratina Origin and compete with Skarmory for the #1 spot in the new Ultra League.

19 better matchups; 1 worse matchup Better Matchups (19):
  • Giratina Altered 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Giratina Altered 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Obstagoon 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Giratina Origin 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Giratina Origin 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Regirock 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Regice 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Obstagoon 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Lucario 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Poliwrath 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Mewtwo Armored 1 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Gengar 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Gengar 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Zapdos 2 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Dragonite 2 shields (Win vs Neutral)
  • Snorlax 1 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Drifblim 0 shields (Win vs Loss)
  • Drifblim 1 shields (Neutral vs Loss)
  • Honchkrow 2 shields (Win vs Loss)
Worse Matchups (1):
  • Registeel 0 shields (Loss vs Neutral)

Master League

Master League is probably the least impacted by these changes, except that it becomes significantly more expensive to play in. But it’s worth noting that stat differences may cause small changes in close matchups – for example, a perfect Groudon can now beat a perfect Giratina Origin in the 2 shield if it baits successfully.

But for the most part, not much has changed, including which IVs are playable. Dialga remains the best Pokemon to best buddy in order to beat non-best-buddy Dialga, and 15/14/12 remains the lowest IV spread that can still tie perfect Dialga. It’s worth noting that 15/10/12 Level 51 Dialga will still tie perfect Level 51 Dialga, which might make a few more Dialga viable, but 15/14/12 is still necessary to beat non best buddy Dialga with a best buddy Dialga.

In Premier Cup, one close matchup that’s notably changed is Metagross vs Dragonite, where Metagross now beats Dragonite in the 2 shield, even if Dragonite is best buddied and Metagross isn’t. For this reason, Best Buddy becomes significantly less relevant on both Dragonite and Metagross, although it still helps in their respective mirror matches since it wins CMP tie.

While there may be some specific IV combinations – or even Pokemon in general – that are more disadvantaged at Level 50, I certainly haven’t found them. My 15/14/15 Melmetal, 15/15/13 Giratina Origin, and 15/15/14 Zekrom remain functionally perfect. My 15/14/15 Giratina Altered still misses a bulkpoint against Togekiss but it still doesn’t affect the matchup. Kyogre still needs 15 attack to beat Melmetal. My 13/15/15 Togekiss still only loses the mirror match. My only disappointment so far is that my 15/13/14 Groudon won’t have the opportunity to beat Giratina Origin in the 2 shield, but at least it couldn’t do this before either.

I recommend checking your specific IVs if you’re a PVP IV Pro member (once the app updates with Level 50 in the coming days), but for the most part I wouldn’t worry too much about any of your investments in Master League at this point.

If you found this analysis useful and want to support me, please consider downloading PVP IV on the App Store or Play Store and becoming a Pro member to do your own comparison battles (iOS only for now). Thanks for reading!

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