15 Best Pokemon in Pokemon GO: Best attackers, defenders, and teams for PvP
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15 Best Pokemon in Pokemon GO: Best attackers, defenders, and teams for PvP

The cream of the crop.

Catching Pokemon and completing your Pokedex are at the heart of the Pokemon Go experience. That said, if you’re bored of thinning out the horde of Weedles outside your house, there’s plenty more you can do with the game. If you want to try your hand at Gyms or PvP, you’re in the right place. Let me show you the 15 Best Pokemon in Pokemon GO: Best attackers, defenders, and teams for PvP.

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Best attackers, defenders, and teams for PvP in Pokemon GO

Attacking and defending Gyms are very different from PvP in Leagues. The latter is far more nuanced, with a constantly changing meta. In this guide, we’ll go over some of the hardest hitters for Gyms, followed by some power picks for PvP.

Best Gym Attackers in Pokemon GO

15 Best Pokemon in Pokemon GO: Best attackers, defenders, and teams for PvP
Image: PC Invasion

Attackers find themselves uniquely positioned in Pokemon GO as they can tailor their choices to whatever team stands before them. Broadly speaking, the best attackers are the ones that directly counter the Pokemon in the Gym.

Still, a handful of Pokemon frequently find themselves defending Gyms, so let’s start with great counters to those.

Machamp (Fighting)

Machamp may be one of the originals but is yet to be toppled as a Gym attacker. A couple of the most popular Gym Defenders are Normal type. Normal Pokemon are only weak to Fighting, and Machamp makes quick work of them.

If you see Snorlax or Blissey at a gym, Machamp will show them who’s boss.

Lucario (Fighting/Steel)

Lucario is a fan favorite with the potency to match. Fighting moves are great against Normal types, and Steel gives utility in several matchups, including Togekiss. Steel is also good against Ice, Rock, and Dragon.

Dragonite is another popular defender that Lucario can keep in check.

Gengar (Ghost/Poison)

Although I’ve not included it in the Defenders list, seeing Gardevoir in Gyms is not unusual. Gengar is an excellent counter to Gardevoir and any Ghost, Ground, Psychic, and Dark types.

Umbreon is another popular Gym Defender that Gengar will quickly dispatch. Our Ghost/Poison type is a bit of a glass cannon but is more than capable of dishing out damage.

Magnezone (Electric/Steel)

Magnezone has utility all across Pokemon GO, thanks to its typing. This Pokemon is weak to Fighting and Fire and is very vulnerable to Ground. Outside of those situations, Magnezone has favorable matchups against all sorts of Pokemon.

Electric is an easy counter to any flying type, and the combination of Spark and Flash Cannon gives Magnezone a superb amount of coverage.

Blaziken (Fire/Fighting)

Mega Blaziken is one of the strongest Pokemon in GO, but even the base version is a force to be reckoned with. I’ve explained why Fighting is so good as an attacker already, but Fire is a superb type to fall back on.

Fire nicely counters Metagross, which you’ll likely see plenty of in Gyms. Metagross makes our list of top defenders, so it’s essential to have something ready to deal with it.

Best Gym Defenders in Pokemon GO

15 Best Pokemon in Pokemon GO: Best attackers, defenders, and teams for PvP
Image: PC Invasion

If you’re placing a defender in a Gym, your best bet is to choose a bulky Pokemon with tons of HP. 

As an attacker can see what Pokemon they are battling ahead of time, they can choose a decent counter to make the battle easier. The best strategy is to pick something so irritating your attacker won’t even bother.

Any attacker can beat a Gym eventually, but if your choices make standing there unappealing, you’ve done your job.

Broadly speaking, any strong Pokemon is a good choice, but here are a few to consider:

Snorlax (Normal)

Snorlax is horrendous to deal with, thanks to its sky-high HP. This Pokemon is only weak to Fighting types, so your opponent is in for an almighty slog if they don’t have one. 

Snorlax has been a top-tier Gym defender since day one, and you should expect to see it a lot.

Blissey (Normal)

Much like Snorlax, Blissey has mountains of HP, which will take a while to deplete. Even with type advantage, Blissey is an obnoxious opponent and is widely regarded as the best defender in Pokemon Go.

As a side note, Blissey’s soulless grin might deter your opponent from starting. Would you want to stare at it longer than you have to?

Togekiss (Fairy/Flying)

Togekiss is another popular Gym defender, and with good reason.

This Pokemon has the chunky HP stat we want in a defender and a favorable type to match. Many of the best Gym defenders are Normal type, which makes Fighting types an attractive option for your attackers.

Togekiss is Fairy/Flying and a solid counter to popular attackers like Machamp. If you’re adding Pokemon to an already occupied Gym, this is a great choice to complement bulky Normal types.

Umbreon (Dark)

Most Gym defenders have tons of HP but little offensive power. Umbreon certainly has less HP but has good defensive stats and packs an almighty punch.

I do think Umbreon is a little overrated as a defender, but as it’s so popular, you should expect to encounter it regularly.

Metagross (Steel/Psychic)

Rounding off our defensive picks is Metagross, a dangerous adversary that resists many types. 

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: Metagross is weak to Dark, Fire, Ghost, and Ground. The ever-popular Umbreon will make short work of Metagross, so why pick it?

Metagross resists Dragon, Fairy, Ice, Grass, Poison, Psychic, Normal, Flying, Rock, and Steel! That shopping list of great matchups catapults Metagross into the shortlist of best Defenders in the game.

Best picks for PvP in Pokemon GO

15 Best Pokemon in Pokemon GO: Best attackers, defenders, and teams for PvP
Image: PC Invasion

PvP is surprisingly deep in Pokemon GO and can’t be solved by simply turning up with the best Pokemon. There are many strategies, meta picks, anti-meta picks, and so much more that you’ll only learn through research and getting a sound whooping online. That said, some Pokemon do stand above the rest. Here are 5 of the best Pokemon for Great League PvP. This list was compiled with help from the Pokemon PVP aggregate site, PvPoke.

Medicham (Psychic/Fighting)

  • Weaknesses: Flying, Ghost, Fairy
  • Suggested Fast Move: Counter
  • Suggested Charged Move: Dynamic Punch

Galarian Stunfisk (Ground/Steel)

  • Weaknesses: Fighting, Fire, Ground, Water
  • Suggested Fast Move: Mud Shot
  • Suggested Charged Move: Earthquake

Gligar (Flying/Ground)

  • Weaknesses: Ice, Water
  • Suggested Fast Move: Wing Attack
  • Suggested Charged Move: Night Slash

Carbink (Rock/Fairy)

  • Weaknesses: Grass, Ground, Steel, Water
  • Suggested Fast Move: Rock Throw
  • Suggested Charged Move: Moonblast

Registeel (Steel)

  • Weaknesses: Fire, Fighting, Ground
  • Suggested Fast Move: Lock On
  • Suggested Charged Move: Flash Cannon

That concludes our list of the best Pokemon in GO. Pokemon is beloved by many for its complexity and knowing what Pokemon are good is only half the battle. You have the ground knowledge, but putting it into practice is what separates Trainers from Masters. If you put the time in and learn from your losses, you’ll be duking it out with top-tier opponents in no time.

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Author
Anthony Yates
Anthony is a freelance writer for PC Invasion and has worked in the industry for four years. He's furiously competitive and is always looking for the next big multiplayer hit. Anthony thrives in high-stakes games like Escape From Tarkov and Sea of Thieves. He is also passionate about speedrunning and always looks forward to the next GDQ and ESA events. When he's not grinding leaderboards, Anthony enjoys visiting Arcades, retro gaming, and horror movies.