The hunt for the best Pokemon in Pokemon Go is always on for Trainers, whether it’s to attack or defend in gyms, raids, and battles.
Niantic is free to play App Pokemon Go was introduced in 2016 and quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. Although it’s not as popular as it used to be, there is still a loyal base of players who stop by every day to solve their problems.
The game may seem simple at first sight as you walk around catching Pokemon to replenish your Pokedex, but there is actually a lot of depth hidden beneath the surface. Nowhere is this more evident than in battle.
Whether you are looking for the best attackers or the best defenders for your team, we have it for you.
Here are our pick of the best based on stats, maximum CP potential, weaknesses, our own experience with the game, and actual combat performance.
While these are all solid decisions, the basics remain. You need to make sure your Pokémon has adequate Attack, Defense, and Stamina IV stats by getting it rated, and spending some time turning it on for maximum potential before letting it go on the world.
Pokemon Go best attacker
In the past, Dragon-type Pokémon were prioritized as attackers, and it has remained that way to this day. There are plenty of them here, from Rayquaza to Dragonite, as well as some legendaries, including Mewtwo and Reshiram.
Our picks for the best attackers in Pokemon Go are as follows:
As expected, the legendary OG creature Mewtwo remains the first choice for attacks in Pokemon Go. With a combination of legacy moves Confusion and Psystrike, it’s a powerhouse, especially with a CP that hits over 4,000. Get a Shadow Mewtwo that does 20% more damage.
While its defense and stamina are very poor, this incredibly rare mythical Pokémon deserves its place on the list for the highest attack stats of any creature in the game: 345 in its normal form and an amazing 414 in its attack form. The Zen Headbutt and Hyper Beam movements are paramount.
As for dragons, you don’t get much better than Rayquaza. Dragon-type movements are rarely resisted, which makes him a great all-round attacker with a dragon tail and outrage. Thanks to its double typing, it can also be used as a great fly-type attacker if necessary.
It may have slightly less attack power than another popular dragon-type alternative, Salamence, but Garchomp beats the competition with higher max CP, defense, and endurance stats. It’s also strong against a number of popular types: fire, electrical, stone, poison, and steel.
It might not be quite as imposing as the Legendaries on this list, but Machamp can still take a hit in Pokemon Go. Many of the best defenders are Normal-Type, and their weakness to Fighting-Type attacks leaves Machamp in the best position to defeat them with Counter and Dynamic Punch.
If you are looking for a Fire type attacker, Reshiram is the way to go. With Fire Fang and Overheat in your train set, you won’t get much better when facing opponents of the Bug, Grass, Steel or Ice type who, thanks to their weakness towards Fire types, are sent out in a blaze of glory in attacks.
As in most Pokemon games, the legendary Kyogre is the best water-type attacker you will find here. Waterfall and hydropump do serious damage, especially on rock and soil types that are often used as defenders. It has a high attack and enough mass to hold its own against even the toughest opponents.
If Machamp is not your mood then go to Lucario. The hugely popular Pokémon has a lower max CP than its fellow combatant, but it’s still a force to reckon with when using the Turn Set Counter and Aura Sphere. The latter is a better platoon attack than any other Machamp option.
The Dragon-type Rampardos is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to attack statistics. He has the highest of all non-legendary Pokémon in the game (295). His defense is bad and his stamina isn’t the best either, so it won’t be long – but the attacks that manage to land will be devastating.
Dragonite is another dragon on our list of top attackers. It’s a double kite / flight type that can double up as a defender as well, as you’ll find out later. It’s strong against most guys, has high mass, and is easier to find than most on this list. Use the Dragon Tail and Outrage movement set.
As always, you should consider the input. The legendary water-type Kyogre, for example, may be on our list, but is always affected when you face a strong electric or grass-type opponent.
Pokemon Go best defender
If you want a Pokémon to leave a gym to earn your daily coins, or if you need a bulky option to send out in combat first and wear your opponents down, then get one of these defenders on your team.
Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good combination of defense and endurance, with the latter deciding how much HP a Pokemon has and how long it can stay in a gym before needing to rest.
Our picks for the best defenders in Pokemon Go are as follows:
For the defenders, Blissey remains the best choice for any coach. It has a ridiculous amount of stamina (496) and a decent defense value (169), which makes it the perfect Pokémon to leave in gyms as it simply does sponge damage. Outside of this scenario, however, you won’t find much use for it.
If you don’t have a Blissey or Chansey, get yourself a Snorlax, the OG tank. It’s almost as bulky and should defend its place in a gym with ease. While Normal-type Pokemon often seem boring and have no type advantages, they benefit from only having one weak point, namely fighting.
Our top three is rounded off by another normal type, Slaking. It has the highest max CP in the game with the potential to hit a whopping 5010 CP. Its defensive status may not be as good as that of Blissey or Snorlax, but its high CP, stamina, and attack stats should help fend off potential attackers.
Steel / Clairvoyant-type Metagross will do an excellent job defending gyms from Combat-type attackers. It has great stats and a whopping 10 type resistors. With the Meteor Mash attack move, it will also cause serious damage and expand its use beyond just defending.
Blissey’s earlier form, Chansey, is obviously not quite as good as her evolution, but it’s still an incredibly solid choice if you haven’t got Blissey already, with just a little less stamina (487). When it comes to defense (128) it doesn’t, but don’t let that put you off as it can still take a big blow.
This type of water is a bulky choice for gyms and is great for many lineups due to its lack of weaknesses. Only grass and electrotypes cause great damage and are not often used as attackers. The fast dragon tail can also take on common dragon-type attackers.
It suffers from double weakness in ice-type moves, but a combination of strong mass and good attack statistics makes Dragonite a worthwhile investment for any coach. As part of the flight type, it will be able to easily repel combat types like Machamp.
It’s far from the best when it comes to sheer statistics, but being a bulky fairy / flight type, Togekiss is a great choice to defend against the many types of kites commonly used as attackers. The Charm and Dazzling Gleam Move Set will help turn them off.
As well as defending gyms, Gyarados is very effective when used in the Go Battle League or during raids. It is very weak against electrical types, although they are not often used as an attacker. When you pair Gyarados with an electrically resistant Pokémon or two, you’re good to go.
Unlike many of the best attackers we’ve featured, the best defenders in Pokemon Go are often not legendary. This means that you should find it easier to catch one with decent stats and get them up to a high CP.
The list should be a good reference point, and ideally you have at least one on your team for all situations. If you don’t, you will need to choose a Pokémon with high CP, high defense, and stamina.
You can find more guides and tips like this on our dedicated Pokemon Go hub.
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