So you’ve completed all of the Island Trials that Alola has to throw at you. Now you’re ready for the true challenge — it’s time to head to Mount Lanakila to test your mettle against Professor Kukui’s new Pokémon League. Its been a long journey, but don’t think you can rest just yet. Alola’s Pokémon League in Pokémon Sun and Moon presents one of the toughest challenges in the series yet, with an Elite Four featuring diverse, well-constructed teams that will take some careful planning to beat.

(Spoilers ahead.)

The Pokemon Center
First and foremost, heal up! You know the deal. 

Prep for Battle

First things first, you’ll want to make sure you stock up on any ideas you may need in battle. You won’t have another opportunity to pop out and purchase any extras or heal your weary Pokémon. Stock up on some status healers that can cure Confusion, Poison, and Paralyze. Alternatively, equip some Berries or make sure you have some in you bag that cover these debuffs. Double check that you have enough Potions and Revives, too, in case things start to head south.

Hala
Hala's Fighting team will be tougher this time.

Hala

Hala is back and he’s brought a new team of Fighting Pokémon to judge how you’ve improved over your adventure across Alola.

Hariyama Level 54

Fighting

Moves

  • Fakeout
  • Close Combat
  • Knockout

Primeape Level 54

Fighting

Moves

  • Cross Chop
  • Punishment
  • Pursuit
  • Outrage

Bewear Level 54

Normal/Fighting

Moves

  • Hammer Arm
  • Brutal Swing

Poliwrath Level 54

Water/Fighting

Moves

  • Waterfall
  • Submission

Crabominable Level 55

Ice/Fighting

Moves

  • Ice Hammer
  • Close Combat

Items

  • Fightinium Z

Psychic-type Pokémon are normally the default counters to Fighting-type Pokémon, but you’ll note that Hala’s team has a lot of hybrids that you’ll need to adapt to. Hariyama and Bewear can be taken out in the traditional way, but while a Psychic-type seems like a good option for Primeape, just be aware that Hala’s knows Pursuit, which can do a fair deal of damage. If you’re worried, use something that doesn’t bear a weakness to Dark-type moves. Flying-types are helpful in this instance. Hala’s last two Pokémon — Poliwrath and Crabominable — can be taken down with Electric- and Fire-type Pokémon respectively. Be on the lookout for Crabominable’s Z-Move, though. Next!

Olivia
Olivia plans to shake things up. 

Oliva

Olivia specializes in Rock-type Pokémon, so your Water- and Grass-types will really shine in this battle. Let’s see what she has on the docket this time around.

Relicanth Level 54

Water/Rock

Moves

  • Hydro Pump
  • Ancient Power
  • Yawn

Carbink Level 54

Rock/Fairy

Moves

  • Power Gem
  • Moonblast
  • Reflect

Golem Level 54

Rock/Electric

Moves

  • Thunder Punch
  • Rock Blast
  • Steam Roller

Probopass Level 54

Rock/Steel

Moves

  • Earth Power
  • Power Gem
  • Thunder Wave
  • Sandstorm

Lycanroc Level 55

Rock

Moves

  • Crunch
  • Stone Edge

Items

  • Rockium Z

This fight should be pretty straight forward. If you can, use a Grass-type against Relicanth, and you’ll definitely want to keep Water-types away from Alolan Golem, who can easily take them out with Thunderpunch. Other than that, it should be business as usual when dealing with a Rock-type trainer. On to the next one.

Acerola
Acerola likes her Pokémon spooooooky. 

Acerola

Things start to get a bit tricky when you decide to approach Acerola, who specializes in Ghost-type Pokémon. Their resistances and diverse movesets could spell trouble for a number of your Pokémon. Make sure you have some way to heal confusion in your bag, too.

Sableye Level 54

Dark/Ghost

Moves

  • Shadow Claw
  • Zen Headbutt
  • Confuse Ray
  • Fake Out

Drifblim Level 54

Ghost/Flying

Moves

  • Ominous Wind
  • Focus Energy
  • Amnesia
  • Baton Pass

Dhelmise Level 54

Ghost/Grass

Moves

  • Slam
  • Shadow Ball
  • Energy Ball
  • Whirlpool

Froslass Level 54

Ice/Ghost

Moves

  • Blizzard
  • Shadow Ball
  • Confuse Ray
  • Ice Shard

Palossand Level 55

Ghost/Ground

Moves

  • Shadow Ball
  • Earth Power
  • Giga Drain
  • Iron Defense

Items

story continues below
  • Ghostium Z

Sableye’s sole weakness is Fairy-type Pokémon, so hopefully you’ve made things easy on yourself and have a Pokémon on your team that’s either a Fairy or knows a Fairy-type move. An Alolan Ninetales with Moonblast might be a good option here. Be careful if you plan on using a Fire-type against Dhelmise, as it knows Whirlpool and could cause you trouble. Again, Alolan Ninetales could be helpful here thanks to its Ice-typing and resistance to Dark- and Ghost-type moves. Other than that, Psychic-types are a good option as long as you don’t run the risk of getting hit by a Dark-type move.

Kahili
Kahili's got a diverse team of Flying Pokémon.

Kahili

Kahili brings Flying-type Pokémon into battle, so come prepared with an Electric, Rock, or Ice Pokémon.

Skarmory Level 54

Steel/Flying

Moves

  • Slash
  • Steel Wing
  • Feint
  • Spikes

Crobat Level 54

Poison/Flying

Moves

  • Air Slash
  • Swift
  • Supersonic
  • Poison Fang

Oricorio Level 54

Fire/Flying

Moves

  • Revelation Dance
  • Teeter Dance
  • Air Slash
  • Feather Dance

Mandibuzz Level 54

Dark/Flying

Moves

  • Bone Rush
  • Brave Bird
  • Punishment
  • Flatter

Toucannon Level 55

Normal/Flying

Moves

  • Bullet Seed
  • Rock Blast
  • Beak Blast
  • Screech

Items

  • Flyinium Z

Another fairly straightforward battle, you can opt to switch in a Fire-type Pokémon against Skarmory, or just hold steady with your trusty Electric-type. Watch out for Mandibuzz, who knows Bone Rush, which could hurt any Electric Pokémon you might be using. Use a Rock- or Ice-type to take it out. And, if you’re using a Vikavolt, be careful around Kahili’s Toucannon, which knows Rock Blast.

Professor Kukui
Only Professor Kukui stands between you and the victory now. 

Professor Kukui

The final obstacle between you and Pokémon Champion-hood is the Professor himself. He’s not going to go easy on you — his team has great coverage and features the starter strong to the one you chose at the beginning of the game. Here’s a peek at his team.

Lycanroc Level 57

Rock

Moves

  • Stone Edge
  • Accelerock
  • Crunch
  • Stealth Rock

Ninetales Level 56

Ice/Fairy

Moves

  • Dazzling Gleam
  • Blizzard
  • Ice Shard
  • Safeguard

Braviary Level 56

Normal/Flying

Moves

  • Crush Claw
  • Brave Bird
  • Whirlwind
  • Tailwind

Magnezone Level 56

Electric/Steel

Moves

  • Thunderbolt
  • Flash Cannon
  • Thunder Wave
  • Mirror Coat

Snorlax Level 56

Normal

Moves

  • Body Slam
  • Crunch
  • Heavy Slam
  • High Horsepower

Depending on your starter Pokémon, Kukui’s final team member varies:

Icineroar Level 58 — If you chose Rowlet

Fire/Dark

Moves

  • Flare Blitz
  • Darkest Lariat
  • Outrage
  • Cross Chop

Items

  • Firium Z

Primarina Level 58 — If you chose Litten

Water/Fairy

Moves

  • Sparkling Aria
  • Moonblast
  • Aqua Jet
  • Hyper Voice

Items

  • Waterium Z

Decidueye Level 58 — If you chose Primarina

Grass/Ghost

Moves

  • Leaf Blade
  • Spirit Shackle
  • Brave Bird
  • Sucker Punch

Items

  • Grassium Z

Hopefully you have a diverse team for this fight, because you’re going to need it. Lycanroc and Ninetales, and Braviary have pretty clear weaknesses — Water, Fire, and Electric or Rock attacks should do the trick for each respectively. For Magnezone, use a Fighting, Fire, or Ground Pokémon to counter its dual-typing. Snorlax is best approached with a Fighting-type Pokémon. The last team member is up to you, of course. You can use their elemental opposite to take them down, or use their secondary typings against them.

Victory Road
No pressure or anything. 
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Once you best Professor Kukui, you’re the new Alolan Pokémon Champion. Congratulations!

Photos via Nintendo Everything, The Pokemon Company, Serebii, Wario Dpader, PokeMonet Records , Ward Culture