Best Pokemon in Pokemon Go: Attackers & defenders for gyms, raids, battles - Dexerto

Best Pokemon in Pokemon Go: Attackers & defenders for gyms, raids, battles

Published: 20/Jul/2021 16:48

by Daniel Megarry


The hunt for the ‘mon in Pokemon Go is always on for trainers, whether it’s for the best attackers or defenders in Gyms, Raids, and Battles.

Niantic’s free-to-play mobile app Pokemon Go launched in 2016 and quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. While it’s not as popular as it once was, there’s still a loyal base of players who drop in every day to get their fix.

The game may seem simple enough at first glance, as you walk around and catch Pokemon to fill up your Pokedex, but there’s actually plenty of depth hidden beneath the surface.


Nowhere does that show more than when heading into battle. With previous events like Pokemon Go Fest and current ones like Spotlight Hour, it’s crucial to know your stuff and prepare.


Pokemon Go
Trainers should think carefully about the Pokemon they send into raids and gyms.

Whether you’re looking for the best attackers or the best defenders for your team in Pokemon Go, we’ve got you covered.

Here are our picks of the best based on everything from stats, max CP potential, weaknesses, our own experiences with the game, and how well they’ll actually perform in battle.

While these are all solid choices, the basics still remain: You’ll need to make sure your Pokemon has decent Attack, Defense, and Stamina IV stats by getting it appraised. Make sure to also spend time powering it up for maximum potential before letting it loose on the world.


Best attackers in Pokemon Go

Historically, Dragon-type Pokemon have been prioritized as the best attackers, and that remains the same to this day. There are plenty of them here, from Rayquaza to Dragonite, as well as some Legendaries including Mewtwo and Reshiram.

3: Rayquaza

Rayquaza Pokemon
The Pokemon Company / Bulbapedia
Rayquaza is a formidable addition to any Pokemon Go raid and battle team.

Fast Move: Dragon Tail

Charge Move: Outrage

As far as Dragons go, you won’t get much better than Rayquaza. Dragon-type moves are rarely resisted, making it a great all-around attacker with Dragon Tail and Outrage.

The ‘mon can also be utilized as a great Flying-type attacker if needed, thanks to its dual typing.

2: Deoxys

Deoxys Pokemon
The Pokemon Company
Sometimes speed is the key to victory.

Fast Move: Zen Headbutt

Charge Move: Hyper Beam

While its Defense and Stamina are very poor, this incredibly rare Mythical earns its place on the list for having the highest Attack stats of any creature in the game.


This sits at an impeccable 345 in its Normal Forme, and an astonishing 414 in its Attack Forme. The moves Zen Headbutt and Hyper Beam reign supreme.

1: Mewtwo

The Pokemon Company
Mewtwo is the most iconic Psychic-type Pokemon ever.

Fast Move: Confusion

Charge Move: Psystrike

As expected, the OG Legendary creature Mewtwo remains the best choice for attackers in Pokemon Go.

Using a combination of legacy moves Confusion and Psystrike, it’s a powerhouse, especially with a CP that reaches over 4,000. Get a Shadow Mewtwo, and it will deal 20% more damage.

Pokemon Go best attackers list in 2021

Our top 10 picks for the best attackers alongside their best moves and type advantages in Pokemon Go are as follows:

Rank Pokemon
Fast Move Charge Move Strong Against
#1 Mewtwo Pokemon Go Mewtwo Attacker Confusion Psystrike Fighting / Poison
#2 Deoxys Deoxys Zen Headbutt Hyperbeam Fighting / Poison
#3 Rayquaza Rayquaza Dragon Tail Outrage  Bug / Dragon / Fighting / Grass
#4 Garchomp Garchomp Dragon Tail Outrage Dragon / Electric / Fire / Poison / Rock / Steel
#5 Machamp Machamp Counter Dynamic Punch Dark / Ice / Normal / Rock / Steel
#6 Reshiram Reshiram Pokemon Go attacker Fire Fang Overheat Bug  / Dragon / Grass / Steel / Ice
#7 Kyogre Kyogre Waterfall Hydro Pump Fire / Ground / Rock
#8 Lucario Lucario Counter Aura Sphere Dark / Fairy / Ice / Normal / Rock / Steel
#9 Rampardos Rampardos Pokemon Go attacker Smack Down Rock Slide Bug  / Fire / Flying / Ice
#10 Dragonite Dragonite Dragon Tail Draco Meteor Bug / Dragon / Fighting / Grass

As always, you’ll want to take typing into consideration. The Legendary Water-type Kyogre may feature on our list, for example, but it will always be impacted when going against a strong Electric-type or Grass-type opponent.


Pokemon Go best defenders list in 2021

If you want a Pokemon to leave at a gym in order to earn your daily coins, or you need a bulky option to send out first in battle 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 Stamina, the latter of which decides how much HP it has and how long it will be able to stay in a gym before needing to rest.

3: Metagross

Metagross Pokemon Go
The Pokemon Company / Bulbapedia
Metagross is super popular as a gym defender.

Fast Move: Zen Headbutt

Charge Move: Meteor Mash

Steel/Psychic-type Metagross will do a brilliant job of defending gyms from Fighting-type attackers. It has great stats and a whopping 10 type resistances. With the charge move Meteor Mash under its belt, it will also deal some serious damage, extending its use beyond just being a defender.


2: Slaking

Slaking Pokemon Go Most CP
The Pokemon Company / Pokemon Fandom
Interestingly, Slaking has the highest CP of all currently available Pokemon Go.

Fast Move: Yawn

Charge Move: Play Rough

Sitting at number two of our top three is another Normal-type, Slaking. It has the highest max CP in the game with the potential to reach a whopping 5010 CP.

Its Defense stat may not be as good as Blissey or Snorlax, but its high CP, Stamina, and Attack stats should help ward off potential attackers.

1: Blissey

Blissey Pokemon anime
The Pokemon Company
This cute Normal-type can defend from the best of the best with insanely high stamina.

Fast Move: Zen Headbutt

Charge Move: Dazzling Gleam

As far as best defenders go, Blissey remains the best choice in Pokemon Go for any trainer. It has a ridiculous amount of Stamina (496) and a decent Defense stat (169), making it the perfect ‘mon to leave in gyms as it will simply sponge damage.

However, one downside to Blissey is that you’ll likely struggle to find much use for it outside of this scenario.

Pokemon Go best defenders list in 2021

Our full list of our top 9 picks for the best defenders in Pokemon Go are as follows:

Rank Pokemon
Fast Move Charge Move Strong Against
#1 Blissey Blissey Pokemon Go defender Zen Headbutt Dazzling Gleam N/A
#2 Slaking Slaking Yawn Play Rough N/A
#3 Metagross Metagross Zen Headbutt Meteor Mash Fairy / Fighting / Ice / Poison / Rock
#4 Chansey Chansey Zen Headbutt Dazzling Gleam N/A
#5 Snorlax Snorlax Zen Headbutt Outrage N/A
#6 Milotic Milotic Waterfall Hyper Beam Fire / Ground / Rock
#7 Dragonite Dragonite Pokemon Go defender Dragon Tail Outrage Bug / Dragon / Fighting / Grass
#8 Togekiss Togekiss Charm Dazzling Gleam Bug  / Fighting / Dark / Dragon / Grass
#9 Gyarados Gyarados Waterfall Outrage Bug /Fighting / Fire / Grass/ Ground / Rock

Unlike many of the best Pokemon Go attackers we featured, the best defenders often aren’t Legendary. This means you should find it easier to catch one with decent stats and level them up to a high CP.

That’s everything you need to know about the best attackers and defenders in Pokemon Go. Want to be the very best as you try to catch ’em all? Check out these other cool guides:

How to get Best Buddy status | Current Raid Bosses | Best ‘mon in Go: Attackers and defenders | Pokemon Go Spotlight Hour | Arlo counters guide | Cliff counters guide | How to get free Remote Raid Passes | Sierra counters guide | How to catch Ditto | Shop: Items list, prices, box changes | IV and CP explained | Type chart: Strengths and weaknessesField research rewards and tasks | How to get Pinap BerriesList of free promo codes