Pokemon Go Tier List for Raids & Gym Battles (Attack + Defense)

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Pokémon Go is one of the biggest mobile releases when it came out. However, people need a reason to keep playing the game. And this is where raids and gyms come in. Many people consider the challenge of gyms and raids to be the main attraction of Pokémon Go. And now, we’re going to tell you which Pokémon you should use when attacking raids and defending gyms. Here is our Pokemon Go tier list for the best attackers and defenders.

Also Read: Best Fairy Types in Pokemon Go


What Is Pokémon Go?

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Pokémon Go is an augmented reality (AR) mobile game that was created by Niantic. Niantic collaborated with Nintendo and The Pokémon Company to release this game in 2016 for Android and iOS. Ever since then, the game’s been a pretty good hit, with the game having 70 Million players last July.

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When Do You Use Your Pokémon to Attack or Defend?

On Pokemon Go, the ability of a Pokémon to attack and defend depends on their stats. If they have a high Attack, put them on an Attacking team and use them to clear raids or gyms. Meanwhile, having great Defense means that they’re perfect for defending gyms scattered in the world.

To find out which of your Pokémon is best suited for the role of attacker and defender, you need to appraise them. Using appraisal is an easy affair; as the only thing you need to do is simply tap Appraise after selecting a Pokémon. Your Faction Leader will immediately give a summary of how good the Pokémon is in terms of Attack, Defense, and overall stats.


Pokemon Go Tier List: Best Attackers

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These are the best attackers on Pokemon Go for both raids and gym battles. Do note that these attackers are picked because they have the best overall stats in the game. Players still need to appraise them, and their stats are dependent on the appraisal. They’re still workable at lower appraisal levels though, and there are ways to increase their stats even then. What these ways are, we’ll discuss below.

One thing to note is that there are Pokemon on the lists that are either Mega or Shadow variants of that Pokemon. This is because these variants tend to have better stats compared to the original versions. However, there are usually special conditions to get them. For example, you need Mega Energy for a specific Pokemon to Mega-Evolve. These can be gained through Mega Raids that rotate in and out. Do note though those players can also gain Mega Energy on some of the Timed Research tasks and Field Research. Lastly, Mega Pokemon are only on their Mega forms for eight hours, after which they revert to their base form.

Shadow Pokemon, meanwhile, can only be obtained by attacking Team Rocket Go Members. These Pokemon are incredibly powerful and have a move called Frustration. They can be purified, but these Pokemon are usually kept on their Shadow forms due to how strong they are.


5 Best Attackers for Raids

Let’s start with the best Pokemon to have when raiding. Note that raids are rotated every once in a while. Thus, it’s usually a good idea to have several Pokémon on standby to take advantage of type weaknesses and other such advantages. However, these Pokemon overall are ones that players can use on almost any raid due to their high stats and incredible firepower.


1. Shadow Mewtwo


Mewtwo is, hands down, one of the most powerful Pokemon in the whole series. He’s cloned to be the ultimate Pokemon. One that can take on even the other legendaries or mythicals and win nine times out of 10. At least, on the game’s lore. On Pokemon Go, that distinction is still very much viable to him.

At max level, Shadow Mewtwo has 4724 Max CP, with 300 Attack, 182 Defense, and 214 Stamina. He’s overall one of the most powerful Pokemon to have on your arsenal when raiding. If you have the luck to get a Shadow Mewtwo, you’re almost set in terms of raids as he’s pretty strong.


2. Shadow Salamence

Next on the list to burn its way in is Shadow Salamence, one of the premier Dragon-type Pokemon in the series. Well, except for Rayquaza, but we’ll talk about him later. Still, Shadow Salamence is a powerhouse of a dragon with great stats and good attacks to its name. In general, it’s a good idea to have him on the team, so long as there’s no Ice or Fairy-type Pokémon in the raids.


3. Shadow Machamp

Next up is Shadow Machamp, and with this addition, keen-eyed players might notice a trend. Shadow Pokémon tend to have a lot more stats compared to normal Pokémon, and even Mega Pokémon. Shadow Machamp, and even Shadow Metagross, which we’ll talk about below, benefits from these increased stats the most. So much so that they’re among the elite when it comes to Pokémon Go Raids.


4. Mega Gengar


Next comes the only Mega Pokemon on this list, Mega Gengar, and for good reason. Mega Gengar is the one Mega Pokemon in the game with the highest Neutral DPS. In addition to this, they’re also a Ghost-type, which has a lot of range when it comes to neutral-type damage. This makes Mega Gengar a solid choice in a Raid lineup.


5. Shadow Metagross

Shadow Metagross is usually supposed to be a Defender-type Pokemon due to being Steel-type. However, the stats that he has makes him one of the solid choices when it comes to raids. Steel-type Pokemon are incredibly tough, and in general, have great defense stats, but Metagross takes the cake. He has a lot of Defense but also has great Attack stats. Overall, he’s another Pokemon that won’t be a bad choice to add if you have him.


5 Best Attackers for Gym Battles

Next, we’ll talk about the gym battles and which Pokemon to bring with you when attacking. Of course, you can use the Pokemon on the Raids section for gyms and vice versa. However, these Pokemon tend to have a few tricks up their sleeve when it comes to gyms or they’re only viable on gyms.


1. Rayquaza


Rayquaza is on this list for one very simple reason: he’s a monstrous Pokemon with great stats and attacks. This Pokemon is there when you don’t have anything else; if you have him, you’re almost set. He’s a great investment and a dangerous opponent to face against.


2. Shadow Mamoswine

Shadow Mamoswine is next, with a great spread of attack and defense. Even though Ice-types get a bad rap on Pokémon Go due to how bad they are, the Ground subtype that Mamoswine has helps him. The main reason he’s on the list though is the sheer amount of coverage Ice has in the game. It kills Dragon-types, Grass-types, and Flying-types.


3. Deoxys

Deoxys is a bit middling when on its normal form. Attack-form Deoxys, on the other hand, is an example of a Pokémon, with great attack stats and incredible moves. All in all, Deoxys is one that you can use anywhere, you can put him on the Defense Teams too if you wish.


4. Reshiram

Next on the list is Reshiram, considered to be one of the most powerful Fire-types in Pokemon Go. This legendary beast has great stats and a vicious Fire/Dragon dual typing. This combo pretty much destroys a lot of other types. However, Reshiram’s Dragon-type moves are a bit lacking, which puts him at a disadvantage.


5. Garchomp


Last on the list is Garchomp, also considered to be one of the more powerful Dragon-types in the game. At least, after Salamence. Garchomp has decent stats and a few good moves on its arsenal. Still, compared to some of the other choices in this list, he can be a bit lackluster.


Pokemon Go Tier List: Best Defenders

Now that we’ve talked about the attackers, let’s talk about defenders. These Pokemon specialize in defense and are most useful in ensuring gyms remain in your hands. You might notice that there are some Pokemon that are also on the attacker role and are in the defender role. This is due to their stats and abilities allowing them positions on both.

The main benefit of defending gyms is simple: getting Pokécoins, extra Pokéball usage on raids, and getting a few other items. These are then used to go on raids, improve the Pokémon you already have, and general bragging rights. If you want to strengthen your defenders, use berries to regenerate their CP as placing them in gyms degrades their CP.


1. Metagross


Of course, any defender list would be incomplete without Metagross. This Pokemon is the epitome of defense, with stats that enable this playstyle and a lot of good moves. All in all, Metagross is a really difficult Pokemon to beat without using elemental weaknesses.


2. Blissey/Chansey

Blissey and Chansey are next, with a great defense stat and ridiculous stamina. They’re also two of the more annoying Pokémon to battle in a gym due to this same reason.  Combined with a good move set, Blissey and her other form Chansey are a terror to face.


3. Snorlax

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Snorlax is another one of the tougher Defensive Pokémon on this list. Even back in the original games, Snorlax was a defensive powerhouse and that hasn’t changed on Pokémon Go. With great defensive stats and bulk, Snorlax can and will stand long before another Pokémon keel over.


4. Slaking

Meanwhile, Slaking is a straight-up powerhouse that has great stamina. Compared to the three up top, though, it’s still a bit lacking. But you can use Slaking to hold the gym down so that you can max the three out.


5. Milotic

Lastly, we have Milotic, who isn’t a defender per se, but she’s one of the better alternatives for defenders if you’re in a pinch. Still, it’s best to have at least a Slaking or a Snorlax instead of Milotic for defending a gym. She is, however, a decent option if you have none of the other Pokémon.