Players have discovered that hidden stats mirror those of the games - including the recently added Gen 2 - giving us insight into how Pokémon rank according to their highest Attack, Defense and HP (hit points, health or stamina). As you can imagine, rare Pokemon tend to top the list, but there are a few surprise entries throughout each one to look out for.
But base stats and CP aren't everything. As any Pokémon veteran will tell you, the right moveset is just as important as the right numbers for Attack and Defense. So here on this page, we'll be taking you through a best Pokémon tier list first - which includes calculations on how a Pokémon's respective movesets combine with their offensive and defensive stats for the highest damage over the course of a battle - as well as lists for the the best, strongest Pokémon in Pokémon Go by CP, Attack, Defense, and Stamina.
Once you have settled on which Pokémon to target, then be sure to read our Pokémon Go CP calculations guide to squeeze out the best possible stats from each capture, so you know which specific creatures to train as you go, and our Pokémon Go guide, tips and tricks page to pick up a few pointers you might not know.
Here, then, is the tier list for the top 15 attacking and defending Pokémon in Pokémon Go, followed by the top 25 Pokémon for each stat, but you can view where all 151 Pokémon stand in terms of stats on The Silph Road's research page. (Thanks to them and Serebii.net for the rankings and individual stat numbers respectively.)
Pokémon Go Tier List - the best attacking Pokémon and best defending Pokémon
Note: as of the big Gym rework update, and the addition of Pokémon Go's Raids, the tier list is in a state of flux. When things settle, we'll update this page, but for now rest assured that it's still useful - the best attackers and defenders, for instance, remain the same. What has changed is the overall tier list, with Pokémon like Machamp, for example, gaining increasing importance for tackling certain high-level Raids. Expect more to come!
Starting with our Tier List, we've opted for an 'editorialised' approach, rather than a ranking of Pokémon by their highest DPS movesets or defensive stats, meaning our own experiences, knowledge, and judgement come into play here as well as the raw stats.
That being said, several sources have been extremely useful for helping us decide: GamePress, PoGomoves, and Gameinfo in particular have all approached the situation in different ways, with calculations varying in depth from complete matchup simulations to more simple attacking and defending DPS calculations, and plenty in between. We recommend you give all of the above a look if you're on the hunt for an even more detailed breakdown of the information at hand - but be warned, it gets complex!
Below, we'll take into account all of the above, along with our own understanding of the general metagame climate as things stand - that means that whilst, say, Alakazam may rank highest for raw damage output with Confusion and Future Sight, it may not rank as highly in our tier list because of some flimsy defences and lack of type coverage.
Pokémon Go Attackers Tier List
|Rank||Pokémon||Quick Move||Special Move||Best vs.||Reasoning|
|1||Dragonite||Dragon Tail||Outrage||Many||Strong against almost everything, high bulk as well as offense lets it keep going for some time.|
|2||Tyranitar||Bite||Stone Edge||Many||Strong against almost everything, but with a few more weaknesses than Dragonite.|
|3||Blissey||Pound||Hyper Beam||Many||Lasts forever and is very efficient when combined with Max Potions/Revives, but slow to attack.|
|4||Machamp||Counter||Dynamic Punch||Blissey, Snorlax, Lapras, Tyranitar, Rhydon||Fastest Pokémon to take down Blissey, but won't last as well as others.|
|5||Vaporeon||Water Gun||Hydro Pump||Tyranitar, Rhydon||Flexible, has some bulk, and counters some strong, popular defenders.|
|6||Heracross||Counter||Close Combat||Blissey, Snorlax, Lapras, Tyranitar, Rhydon||A good second option for tackling gyms with Blissey and Snorlax or Tyranitar together, as Machamp won't last.|
|7||Jolteon||Thunder Shock||Thunderbolt||Gyarados, Vaporeon, Lapras||Great counter to Gyarados, as well as Vaporeon and Lapras.|
|8||Snorlax||Lick||Hyper Beam||Many||Similar to Blissey, versatile and efficient with Max Potions/Revives, but slightly lower defenses coupled with low damage makes it less attractive.|
|9||Lapras||Frost Breath||Blizzard||Dragonite, Many||Can cut through a Dragonite quickly, good bulk, but occasionally struggles in some matchups.|
|10||Exeggutor||Extrasensory||Solar Beam||Vaporeon, Donphan, Rhydon||Good specifics for Vaporeon, Rhydon and Donphan. Not many resist its moveset.|
Pokémon Go Defenders Tier List
|Rank||Pokémon||Quick Move||Special Move||Best vs.||Reasoning|
|1||Blissey||Zen Headbutt||Dazzling Gleam||Many||Almost any moveset outranks any other Pokémon. Takes an age to defeat and even whittles down those which counter it like Machamp.|
|2||Snorlax||Zen Headbutt||Hyper Beam||Many||Like Blissey but just a slightly faster to take down - still better than more DPS-focused defenders.|
|3||Dragonite||Dragon Tail||Outrage||Dragonite||Very versatile with high attack, countering many glass cannons that could otherwise do well.|
|4||Tyranitar||Iron Tail||Crunch||Many||Similar to Dragonite, but with a few more weaknesses to exploit.|
|5||Rhydon||Mud Slap||Stone Edge||Many||Suffers from a two double-weaknesses but lasts a while with solid attack output.|
|6||Gyarados||Dragon Tail||Outrage||Many||A double-weakness to Electric, but not many attackers use it. Flexible attacks but countered by Tyranitar.|
|7||Vaporeon||Water Gun||Aqua Tail||Tyranitar||Not as good as it once was, but repels good common Rock types like Tyranitar, Rhydon, and Golem.|
|8||Exeggutor||Extrasensory||Solar Beam||Vaporeon, Machamp, Rhydon||Counters some common attackers and forces opponent to pick a Fire-type if they don't have Dragonite.|
|9||Espeon||Confusion||Psybeam||Machamp||Huge damage output that's rarely resisted, makes quick work of Machamp, but a glass cannon itself.|
|10||Lapras||Frost Breath||Ice Beam||Dragonite, Many||Weak quick move, can struggle vs. Tyranitar and Machamp, but counters the common Dragonite well.|
Best Pokémon by highest Attack stat in Pokémon Go
Best Pokémon by highest Defense stat in Pokémon Go
Best Pokémon by highest HP or Stamina in Pokémon Go
Best Pokémon overall in Pokémon Go
*These are Legendary Pokémon that are slowly being added to the game. However, they're worth listing now so you can start planning ahead to create the ultimate team.
Note that the stats here do change on a semi-frequent basis with Niantic's patches to Pokémon Go but, at the time of writing, are accurate according to the datamining and formulae found by the community.
Want more help with Pokémon Go? As well as our Pokémon Go tips, tricks and guides page, you can look up the Gen 2 Pokédex on how to catch the most recent creatures, including those requiring Special Items such as the Dragon Scale. We also explain the recent Gym rework, how to get PokéCoins, Raids, Raid Battles, and Raid Bosses, and what we know about the addition of promo codes. Elsewhere, read about Eevee evolutions, Egg hatching distance charts, best Pokémon tier lists, best moves and movesets and the XP chart. Plus, sice their release you can read everything we know about how to catch Legendary Pokémon like Articuno and Lugia, and all the others that are expected to be on their way.
What do these 'best Pokémon' lists tell us?
- We know that Legendary Pokemon Lugia and Articuno, plus their other first and second Generation Legendary counterparts like Mewtwo, Mew, Celebi Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres and the legendary dogs are some of the most powerful in the game, and are worth capturing if we ever get the chance.
- Right now, Tyranitar is the new most powerful overall non-legendary Pokémon in Pokémon Go, so get catching those Larvitar.
- Out of the starter Pokémon in overall stats, from high to low, they rank Charizard, Venusaur and then Blastoise, with the Gen II starters ranking as Typhlosion, Feraligatr, and then Meganium. However, note that these change when looked at in order of strength in specific areas like Attack or Stamina.
- Not every Pokémon who ranks in high up on one stat type does so in others. Blissey, for example, has by far the highest Stamina / HP of any creature in the game, but suffers in other areas so it fails to list elsewhere, and you should bear that in mind when building your squad for attacking or defending Gyms.