Bubblestrat

Rumors of Bubblestrat's demise are greatly exaggerated. Despite Niantic's monumental adjustment of Pokemon base stats and CP, Bubblestrat still remains the fastest way to prestige a friendly gym and a great method to grind XP. 

Due to recent combat changes, the Bubblestrat matchup list had to be redone from scratch. To help our readers find these new matchups, GamePress have developed the Bubblestrat Calculator.

Bubblestrat-Cheat-Sheet
Combat Updates and Bubblestrat

How combat updates in the past months had affected Bubblestrat:

  1. Attack buffer: In general, the attack buffer made Bubblestrat more reliable. Trainers no longer have to be precise about their input timings to achieve success.
  2. 6 Pokemon training lineup: To get max prestige, all Pokemon in the lineup must have less CP than the attacker. This adds ~10 seconds to each training cycle.
  3. Takedown prestige buff: Takedown prestige losses per Pokemon doubled from 500 to 1000. This makes max level gyms easier to break. It is no longer impossible to break a gym with an active Bubblestrat trainer. 
  4. CP adjustment: Changes to base stats and Pokemon CP open up new Bubblestrat matchups but obsolete some old ones.
  5. Prestige training nerf: Prestige gain from training were halved. This update was recently reverted.
Bubblestrat Overview

Bubblestrat is the outcome of GamePress's research into Pokemon GO combat mechanics. After noting that weaker Pokemon matchups led to shorter gym battles, we were curious about what the weakest, shortest matchup could be.

To be considered viable, all Bubblestrat matchups must satisfy the following 3 conditions:

  • Resource-free: The attacker must win before the defender's first attack lands. This means that no potions or revives are required.
  • 500+ prestige gain: The attacker's CP must be equal to or less than the defender's CP. Ideal Bubblestrat matchups gain 1,000 prestige and 100 XP per fight.
  • Consistent: The matchup should always result in a win, barring large human input error.

Bubblestrat attackers and defenders are usually caught at level 1, then powered up or evolved according to the Bubblestrat Calculator.

Note: If you team up with a few friends, Bubblestrat is an effective way to grind XP.  At 100 XP per fight, stacking multiple Bubblestrat defenders in a gym cuts down on menu time and increases XP gain. With 4+ defenders, a player can hit 50,000 XP/hr with an active Lucky Egg. This is the most consistent way to grind XP in Pokemon GO.

Finding Bubblestrat Pokemon

The goal here is to have access to Pokemon matchups that gets you 1,000 prestige and 100 XP per fight.

Prestige is a function of Defender CP (D) and Attacker CP (A). 1,000 prestige is achieved when Defender has twice the CP as the Attacker:

CP Ratio Prestige XP
Attacker ≤ Defender 500 * D/A
(1,000 max)
50 * D/A
(100 XP max)
Attacker > Defender
310 * D/A - 55
(100 min)
31 * D/A - 5
(10 XP min)

To form your Bubblestrat team, hold on to every level 1 Pokemon you come across instead of transferring them right away. Not all level 1 Pokemon are 10 CP, so check the white level arc in the Pokemon details screen:

level 1 Gastly

 

A level 1 Pokemon has the white dot on the far left.

With the help of GamePress readers like you, Bubblestrat has developed to the stage where almost all unevolved Pokemon have a role within the framework. Pokemon with slow quick moves (>1 second) tend to be good defenders; Pokemon with fast quick moves (<0.7 seconds) tend to be good attackers. 

For Bubblestrat defenders, once you've gathered some candidate Pokemon, plug the ones with slow quick moves into the Bubblestrat Calculator, and hope that you find a few with high prestige gain potentials. Make sure to check whether powering up or evolution yields better results.

For Bubblestrat attackers, type advantage and STAB do make a difference, so keep a variety of level 1 Pokemon with fast quick moves. Some matchups require attacker with some minimum attack IV, so hold on to attackers with high attack IV appraisal.

Not every matchup provides 1,000 prestige and 100 XP. Keep an eye out for Pokemon listed on the Bubblestrat Cheat Sheet. They're most likely to form ideal pairings. Favorite any you come across. The best Bubblestrat Pokemon - both attackers and defenders - have attack IV as their highest attribute, so appraise your candidates and hold on to any that has attack appraised as its best attribute.

Finally, once you've found some matchups, field test them to make sure they actually work. Even we at GamePress make the occasional mistake, so let us know if our calculator results don't match with your field tests.

Tips & Tricks
  • Prestige is calculated against your highest CP attacker, so make sure rest of your training lineup are lower or equal CP to your Bubblestrat attacker.
  • To pick your lineup faster, add a "~" to the name of your Bubblestrat lineup, then sort by name. This way, these Pokemon will be on top of the list.
  • Find teammates! The more Bubblestrat defenders in the gym, the less menu time is spent between cycles. This means faster XP gain and less time spent prestiging a gym. A team of 3 can max a gym to level 10 in a couple minutes, or sit on one spot to reliably grind 45,000 XP/hr (lucky egg).
  • There is a bug that caused buffered attacks between rounds to be refunded. When this happens, the attacker will faint if training against more than 1 Pokemon. This can be avoided by counting attacks and not buffering an extra attack after the final one.
  • If your gym has a non-Bubblestrat defender at a higher level, you should flee during that round. You can flee at the first opportunity by bringing up the flee dialogue at the end of the previous round, or by practicing the inputs to quickly run away from battle.
Optimal Matchup Confirmation

While calculations are good, nothing's better than a proven, field tested matchup! Found an optimal Bubblestrat matchup? submit a report, so we can add to the list of confirmed, optimal Bubblestrat matchups.

The following Bubblestrat matchups are confirmed to generate 1,000 prestige and 100 XP per fight:

DefenderMoveAttackerMoveBy
Krabby
L2 6/10/8
Bubble Abra
L1
Zen Headbuttstaff
Kadabra
Level 1
ConfusionWeedle
Level 1
Bug Bitemulletman
Kadabra
Level 1
ConfusionGastly
Level 1
Lickmulletman
Krabby
Level 2
BubbleKadabra
Level 1
Psycho CutTR_Jess
Horsea
Level 1.5
BubbleBellsprout
Level 1
Vine Whipckevin
Poliwag
L1.5 2/10/0
BubbleGastly
L1 Att IV 0
LickEmunoz
Horsea
Level 1.5
BubbleGastly
Level 1
LickFry
Horsea
Level 1.5
BubbleMagnemite
Level 1
SparkSparker
Krabby
L2 0/10/11
BubbleBellsprout
L1.5 Att IV 11
Vine WhipDantera
Horsea
Level 1.5
BubbleDiglett
Level 1
Mud SlapChuker
Gastly
Level 1.5
Sucker PunchGastly
Level 1
Lick0wlBlast
Horsea
Level 2
BubbleAbra
Level 1
Zen Headbuttneill
Horsea
Level 2
BubbleGastly
Level 1.5
Lickholojon
Horsea
Level 1.5
BubbleDiglett
Level 1
Mud SlapChuker
Horsea
Level 1.5
BubbleOddish
Level 1
Razor Leafbccouto
Horsea
Level 2
BubbleMagnemite
Level 1
Thunder Shockbccouto
Krabby
Level 2
BubbleGastly
Level 1.5
Lickbccouto
Krabby
Level 2
BubbleMagnemite
Level 1.5
Thunder Shockbccouto
Graveler
Level 1
Mud SlapHorsea
L1, Att IV 14
Water Gunsallysp
Graveler
Level 1
Mud SlapStaryu
L1, Att IV 9
Water Gunsallysp
Kadabra
Level 1
ConfusionParas
Level 1
Bug BiteBliznik

Quick Links
Tools

Pokemon List

IV Calculator

Moves List

Appraisals

Egg Chart

Type Chart

Power Up Costs

Buddy Distances

CP Calculator
Rankings

Gym Attackers

Gym Defenders

DPS per type