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Pokemon Go best Pokemon: What are the best Pokemon to use in gyms, raids, and PvP?

Pokemon Go best Pokemon
(Image credit: Niantic)

The list of the Pokemon Go best Pokemon is always going to be subjective depending on what you need the Pokemon for. In Pokemon Go, some Pokemon might be excellent at taking down raids or gyms, but not fare well in PvP battles because the combat mechanics work differently. With that said, some of the best Pokemon in Pokemon Go are the strong all-rounders that you can turn to whenever you're in a pinch. Here are our choices for the Pokemon Go best Pokemon, after playing non-stop for over four years.

Best attackers in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go best Pokemon

(Image credit: Niantic)

1. Mewtwo

We're starting off with a big dog; Mewtwo gets into the list of best Pokemon purely based on having the second highest CP possible in the game, at 4178. Only Slaking is above it thanks to its insanely high HP, but Mewtwo excels everywhere else, with ridiculous damage output. Just a shame you can't leave it in a gym. Mewtwo can also learn non-Psychic-type moves like Shadow Ball and Focus Blast to help with type disadvantages.

2. Rayquaza/Kyogre/Groudon

These three are bunched together because they are the three third generation legendaries, and they are all top quality attackers.

If you're yet to nab yourself a Mewtwo in an ex-raid, then Rayquaza is the next-best legendary Pokemon you can use. Dragon-type moves are exceptionally powerful and Rayquaza is the strongest of the bunch, with moves like Outrage and Dragon Tail. Just watch out for the Ice-type moves that will deal 4x damage.

Kyogre is the best Water-type attacker you can get thanks to powerful moves like Waterfall and Hydro Pump, which makes it the best Pokemon to takedown any Fire- or Ground-type foes. Groudon, on the other hand, can use Dragon-, Ground-, Grass-, and Fire-type moves, making it extremely versatile.

3. Dragonite

A true classic, Dragonite is still one of the best Pokemon in Pokemon Go. Like Rayquaza, the Dragon-type moves do it a huge favour, along with its ability to use the uber-powerful Hyper Beam. It's quite bulky when it comes to HP too, topping out at almost 200 at max.

4. Lucario

Fighting-types traditionally have offensive-based stats and Lucario is arguably the strongest Fighting-type, which makes it perfect for raw damage. Just don't throw it out against any Psychic- or Flying-types.

5. Tyranitar

When the Larvitar evolutionary chain was introduced to the game, this gargantuan beast was the Pokemon to have alongside Dragonite. Now, it's not quite as impressive, but Tyranitar is still one of the strongest non-legendary Pokemon in the game, especially with a max CP of 3,800+. With its moveset, you can spec for either Dark- or Rock-type moves — or both.

Best defenders in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go best Pokemon

(Image credit: Niantic)

Note: You cannot place legendary or mythical Pokemon inside gyms, so they have been excluded for this list.

1. Blissey

Over to the defending side of things now and there is no better Pokemon to leave in a gym than Blissey. It may not have the highest CP, but if you have a fully powered up Blissey it will have the most HP out of any Pokemon in the game and is a serious pain to defeat in gyms. It's just an absolute nuisance to take out, especially when it's at full power. Plus despite being Normal-type, it can learn moves to deal with Fighting-type opposers like Psychic. Also, Chansey can put up an almost as effective defense if you're yet to evolve one into Blissey yet.

2. Slaking

Introducing the highest CP 'mon in the game: Slaking! This lazy oaf can have up to 233 HP which almost puts it inside the top 10, plus it has some decent attacking stats. Unfortunately it is another Normal-type, but Slaking can defend gyms like never before when coupled with some other bulky Pokemon.

3. Metagross

Metagross is one Pokemon that could arguably go on both lists, because it is excellent on the offensive too, but thanks to it's Steel-type nature, it's more effective defending gyms. It also works as a brilliant counter to Fighting-type Pokemon like Lucario and Machamp, which are frequent counters to the aforementioned Blissey and Slaking.

4. Steelix

Steelix is a similar case to Metagross, in that the Steel-type aspect is useful against commonly found attackers. It actually has a higher defensive stat than Metagross too by almost 50, with a whopping 272. Offensively it's sub-par, but a great alternative to Metagross.

5. Snorlax

Not got a Chansey or Blissey? Snorlax is the one for you, because this sleepy giant is a great alternative. Snorlax's attack stat outperforms Blissey by far, while it has the same defence, plus it has a significantly higher max CP. And it's a first generation Pokemon that has been more common than Chansey or Blissey, so it's a great shout for lower level players.

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Ford James

One of the resident guide writers around these parts, give me a game and I will write every "how to" I possibly can or die trying. When I'm not knee-deep in a game to write guides on, you'll find me hurtling round the track in F1 2020, flinging balls on my phone in Pokemon Go, pretending to know what I'm doing in Football Manager 2020, clicking on heads in Valorant, or mowing down hordes of enemies in Outriders.