Best Pokemon in Pokemon Go: Strongest attackers & defenders for Gyms, Raids & PvP battles

Best Attackers Defenders Pokmeon GoThe Pokemon Company / Niantic

Trainers are always on the hunt for the very best Pokemon in Pokemon Go. If you want the strongest attackers and defenders on your team so you’re ready to take on the game‘s Gyms, Raids, and PvP league Battles, these are the best Pokemon you can get in Pokemon Go in 2022.

Catching and powering up the best Pokemon in Pokemon Go is crucial on your journey toward becoming a top Trainer. There’s plenty of depth hidden beneath the surface of the game despite its simple premise – and there’s nowhere this depth shows more than when you’re heading into battle.

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With events like Community Days, weekly Spotlight Hours, and fights against Team Rocket leaders Arlo, Cliff, Giovanni, and Sierra offering plenty of chances to battle and catch some of the best Pokemon, it’s important to know the top Pokemon to bring into battle.

So without further ado, here are the best attacks, defenders, and PvP champions you can use in Pokemon Go in 2022.


An image of a park with people and Pokemon Go gymsNiantic
Trainers should think carefully about the Pokemon they send into raids and gyms.

Best Pokemon in Pokemon Go

While the below ‘mon are all solid choices, the basics still remain: You’ll need to make sure that they have decent Attack, Defense, and Stamina IV stats by getting them appraised. Make sure to spend time powering them up and teaching them the best moves before letting them loose in the world.

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

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: Lucario

Screenshot of Lucario battling in Pokemon anime.Game Freak / The Pokemon Company
You won’t get a better Fighting-type attacker than Lucario.
  • Fast Move: Counter
  • Charge Move: Aura Sphere

While it may appear to have mediocre bulk with just 144 Defense and 172 Stamina, Lucario’s part Steel-typing boosts this by giving it extra resistances that many other Fighting-types don’t have.

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Aura Sphere has pushed it to the top of the attacker meta, easily overtaking the previous Fighting-type king Machamp, and you don’t even need a Shadow version to make it viable.

2: Rayquaza

Rayquaza from the Pokemon animeThe Pokemon Company
Rayquaza is a formidable addition to any 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.

Rayquaza can also be utilized as a great Flying-type attacker if needed, thanks to its dual Dragon/Flying typing, where powerful moves like Hurricane give it a big advantage.

1: Mewtwo

Mewtwo in the Pokemon animeThe Pokemon Company
Mewtwo is the most iconic Psychic-type Pokemon ever.
  • Fast Move: Psycho Cut or Confusion
  • Charge Move: Psystrike or Shadow Ball

As expected, the OG Legendary creature Mewtwo remains one of the best attackers in Pokemon Go, with a huge 300 Attack stat and the versatility to perform well in loads of different scenarios.

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Using a combination of Psycho Cut, Psystrike, and Shadow Ball, it’s a powerhouse, especially with a CP that now reaches almost 5,000. Get a Shadow Mewtwo, and it will deal even more damage.

Pokemon Go best attackers tier list in 2022

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 Rayquaza Rayquaza Dragon Tail Outrage Bug / Grass / Fighting
#3 Lucario Lucario Counter Aura Sphere Dark / Fairy / Ice / Normal / Rock / Steel
#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 Tyranitar Tyranitar Pokemon Go Smack Down Stone Edge Bug / Fire / Flying / Ice
#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.

Best defenders in Pokemon Go

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.

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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 in the Pokemon animeThe Pokemon Company / Bulbapedia
Metagross is super popular as a gym defender.
  • Fast Move: Zen Headbutt
  • Charge Move: Meteor Mash

The 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 in the Pokemon animeThe 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 animeThe 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 tier list in 2022

The full list of our top 10 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
#10 Drifblim An image of Drifblim, one of the best defenders in Pokemon Go. Hex Ominous Wind Grass / Bug / Fighting

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.

Best Pokemon for PvP (Go Battle League)

There are three major Leagues to enjoy in the Pokemon Go Battle League: the Great League, the Ultra League, and the Master League. These rotate throughout each season, with only one appearing at a time, often alongside special cups like the Retro Cup or the Kanto Cup.

Each league has different restrictions, the main one being the CP limit. The Great League has a 1500 CP limit, the Ultra League has a 2500 CP limit, and the Master League has no limit. This means the best Pokemon for each League can be wildly different.

Great League

With a CP limit of just 1500, you won’t encounter many Legendaries in the Great League meta. You can find our complete Great League guide here, or check out our top three recommendations below.


Walrein appearing in Pokemon Go Ultra League Premier Classic

  • Fast Move: Powder Snow
  • Charged Moves: Icicle Spear and Earthquake

Walrein made a surprise entry into the top tiers of the Great League following its Community Day event, where it was given moves it needed to become a huge threat: Powder Snow and Icicle Spear. It’s got good bulk and solid coverage options that make it one of the best options for your team.

Galarian Stunfisk

Galarian Stunfisk

  • Fast Move: Mud Shot
  • Charged Moves: Rock Slide and Earthquake

Galarian Stunfisk isn’t the easiest ‘mon to get hold of, but if you can, it proves itself to be a surprisingly excellent fighter in the Great League. A unique Ground/Steel-typing means it’s resistant to most major Great League types and is particularly good at defeating Fairy-types.



  • Fast Move: Dragon Breath
  • Charged Moves: Sky Attack and Dragon Pulse

It takes a massive 400 Candy to evolve Swablu into Altaria, but it’s definitely worth the effort, as it’s got bulk and impressive damage capability. Altaria’s only major flaw here is its double weakness to Ice-type attacks, but other than that, it’s very difficult to take down.

Ultra League

With a higher CP limit of 2500, the Ultra League is where the big players start to emerge, and Legendaries are now more common – as long as they remain below the limit. See our best recommendations below.


An image of Registeel on a Pokemon Go background

  • Fast Move: Lock-On
  • Charge Moves: Flash Cannon and Hyper Beam

The Steel-type Legendary is arguably the best choice for the Ultra League, as it has an incredible Defense stat and an insane amount of type resistances, so it can take loads of hits. Meanwhile, Lock-On has one of the fastest energy generations in the game, allowing Registeel to unleash some major Charge Moves.

Trevenant (XL)

Trevenant in Pokemon Go

  • Fast Move: Shadow Claw
  • Charge Moves: Seed Bomb and Shadow Ball

Trevenant quickly became one of the best performers in the Ultra League, thanks to its ability to take down some of the biggest threats like Swampert, Cresselia, Galarian Stunfisk, and Giratina. It does need XL Candy to reach its full potential, but it’s worth the investment to get a long-term champion.


Swampert in Pokemon Go

  • Fast Move: Mud Shot
  • Charge Moves: Hydro Cannon and Earthquake

Swampert is a well-rounded fighter that acts as a brilliant counter for the Fire and Steel-types that dominate the Ultra League. Even better, its Water/Ground-typing means it only has one weakness, Grass. With the moves Hydro Cannon and Earthquake, it’s unstoppable.

Master League

In the Master League, all CP restrictions are removed, meaning you’ll need the help of XL Candy to win. We’ve got a more in-depth Master League guide here, or you can find our top recommendations below.

Dialga (XL)


  • Fast Move: Dragon Breath
  • Charge Moves: Iron Head and Draco Meteor

Dialga is considered by many to be the reigning champion of the Master League, and it’s not hard to see why. It has an incredible amount of type resistances and a lineup of very powerful moves including Dragon Breath, Iron Head, and Draco Meteor that make it a force to be reckoned with.

Mewtwo (XL)

Mewtwo in the Master League

  • Fast Move: Psycho Cut
  • Charge Moves: Psystrike and Focus Blast

The Legendary Mewtwo has an immense Attack stat, the ability to quickly spam Psystrike, and a wide array of secondary Charged Move types to choose from, which makes it one of the most versatile competitors in the Master League. If you have a Shadow Mewtwo, even better.

Melmetal (XL)

Pokemon Go melmetal

  • Fast Move: Dragon Breath
  • Charge Moves: Wild Charge and Crunch

Melmetal is the most desirable Mythical creature in Pokemon, Go thanks to its performance in the Master League. With great bulk, high damage output, and a massive amount of type resistances, it’s incredibly difficult to take down. Any Master League team will benefit from a Melmetal.

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

All upcoming Spotlight Hours | Current Raid bosses | All Legendaries | Arlo counters guide | Cliff counters guide | Giovanni counters guide | Sierra counters guide | Grunt counters guide | How to catch a Ditto | What are Strange Eggs? | Fastest way to get Best Buddy status | Pokemon Go catching tips | Pokemon Go promo codes

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