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Pokémon Go best Pokémon - Best Attackers, Best Defenders and highest HP, Stamina and overall stats ranked

The best Pokémon for competitive battling across all three Pokémon Go generations.

If you're serious about Pokémon Go, you'll want to assemble a team of the best Pokémon to help take over Gyms for your chosen team.

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Players have discovered that hidden stats (largely) match those of the games, 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 and Legendaries tend to top the list, but there are a few surprise entries throughout each one to look out for.

It should be noted 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, which is also why we have 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.

What's on this page:

Pokémon Go Tier List - the best attacking Pokémon and best defending Pokémon right now

This Tier List is '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.

  • Note: These tier lists don't include Mewtwo - due to its difficulty to catch right now, though if you have it serves as one of the game's strongest - nor any Gen 3 creatures yet. That said, early signs suggest none of the 50 currently available have broken into the meta - so continue to prioritise Gen 1 and 2 for now. That said, a few Gen 3 Pokémon do appear in the later updated best attack, defence and CP lists, if you're curious about 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

RankPokémonQuick MoveSpecial MoveBest vs.Reasoning
1DragoniteDragon TailOutrageManyStrong against almost everything, high bulk as well as offense lets it keep going for some time.
2TyranitarBiteStone EdgeManyStrong against almost everything, but with a few more weaknesses than Dragonite.
3BlisseyPoundHyper BeamManyLasts forever and is very efficient when combined with Max Potions/Revives, but slow to attack.
4MachampCounterDynamic PunchBlissey, Snorlax, Lapras, Tyranitar, RhydonFastest Pokémon to take down Blissey, but won't last as well as others.
5VaporeonWater GunHydro PumpTyranitar, RhydonFlexible, has some bulk, and counters some strong, popular defenders.
6HeracrossCounterClose CombatBlissey, Snorlax, Lapras, Tyranitar, RhydonA good second option for tackling gyms with Blissey and Snorlax or Tyranitar together, as Machamp won't last.
7JolteonThunder ShockThunderboltGyarados, Vaporeon, LaprasGreat counter to Gyarados, as well as Vaporeon and Lapras.
8SnorlaxLickHyper BeamManySimilar to Blissey, versatile and efficient with Max Potions/Revives, but slightly lower defenses coupled with low damage makes it less attractive.
9LaprasFrost BreathBlizzardDragonite, ManyCan cut through a Dragonite quickly, good bulk, but occasionally struggles in some matchups.
10ExeggutorExtrasensorySolar BeamVaporeon, Donphan, RhydonGood specifics for Vaporeon, Rhydon and Donphan. Not many resist its moveset.

Pokémon Go Defenders Tier List

RankPokémonQuick MoveSpecial MoveBest vs.Reasoning
1BlisseyZen HeadbuttDazzling GleamManyAlmost any moveset outranks any other Pokémon. Takes an age to defeat and even whittles down those which counter it like Machamp.
2SnorlaxZen HeadbuttHyper BeamManyLike Blissey but just a slightly faster to take down - still better than more DPS-focused defenders.
3DragoniteDragon TailOutrageDragoniteVery versatile with high attack, countering many glass cannons that could otherwise do well.
4TyranitarIron TailCrunchManySimilar to Dragonite, but with a few more weaknesses to exploit.
5RhydonMud SlapStone EdgeManySuffers from a two double-weaknesses but lasts a while with solid attack output.
6GyaradosDragon TailOutrageManyA double-weakness to Electric, but not many attackers use it. Flexible attacks but countered by Tyranitar.
7VaporeonWater GunAqua TailTyranitarNot as good as it once was, but repels good common Rock types like Tyranitar, Rhydon, and Golem.
8ExeggutorExtrasensorySolar BeamVaporeon, Machamp, RhydonCounters some common attackers and forces opponent to pick a Fire-type if they don't have Dragonite.
9EspeonConfusionPsybeamMachampHuge damage output that's rarely resisted, makes quick work of Machamp, but a glass cannon itself.
10LaprasFrost BreathIce BeamDragonite, ManyWeak quick move, can struggle vs. Tyranitar and Machamp, but counters the common Dragonite well.

Those are our editorial choices for the game's best creatures. But if you're curious about raw stats, the following tables will be of interest.

Best Pokémon by highest Attack stat in Pokémon Go

The following list is up to date with the 50 Gen 3 Pokémon released in early December.

RankPokémonAttack stat
1 Mewtwo 300
2 Slaking 290
3 Alakazam 271
4 Dragonite 263
5 Espeon 261
6 Gengar 261
7 Zapdos 253
8 Tyranitar 251
9 Moltres 251
10 Flareon 246
11 Absol 246
12 Raikou 241
13 Breloom 241
14 Blaziken 240
15 Kingler 240
16 Ho-Oh 239
17 Pinsir 238
18 Gardevoir 237
19 Gyarados 237
20 Scizor 236
21 Ursaring 236
22 Entei 235
23 Heracross 234
24 Machamp 234
25 Exeggutor 233

Best Pokémon by highest Defense stat in Pokémon Go

The following list is up to date with the 50 Gen 3 Pokémon released in early December.

RankPokémonDefense stat
1 Shuckle 396
2 Steelix 333
3 Lugia 323
4 Cloyster 323
5 Onix 288
6 Ho-Oh 274
7 Mantine 260
8 Skarmory 260
9 Umbreon 250
10 Articuno 249
11 Forretress 242
12 Tentacruel 237
13 Suicune 235
14 Dusclops 234
15 Mr. Mime 233
16 Blissey 229
17 Golem 229
18 Omastar 227
19 Weezing 221
20 Gardevoir 220
21 Hypno 215
22 Donphan 214
23 Kingler 214
24 Hitmontop 214
25 Tyranitar 212

Best Pokémon by highest HP or Stamina in Pokémon Go

The following list is up to date with the 50 Gen 3 Pokémon released in early December.

RankPokémonStamina stat
1 Blissey 510
2 Chansey 500
3 Wobbuffet 380
4 Snorlax 320
5 Hariyama 288
6 Wigglytuff 280
7 Slaking 273
8 Vaporeon 260
9 Lapras 260
10 Lanturn 250
11 Entei 230
12 Jigglypuff 230
13 Lugia 212
14 Rydon 210
15 Kangaskan 210
16 Muk 210
17 Swampert 200
18 Suicune 200
19 Tyranitar 200
20 Piloswine 200
21 Noctowl 200
22 Dunsparce 200
23 Azumarill 200
24 Mewtwo 193
25 Ho-Oh 193

Best Pokémon by max CP in Pokémon Go

The following list is up to date with the 50 Gen 3 Pokémon released in early December.

RankPokémonMax CP
1Slaking4548
2Mewtwo3982
3Ho-Oh3889
4Tyranitar3670
5Lugia3598
6Dragonite3581
7Entei3377
8Snorlax3355
9Raikou3349
10Zapdos3330
11Rhydon3300
12Gyarados3281
13Moltres3272
14Blissey3219
15Vaporeon3157
16Celebi*3090
17Mew*3090
18Donphan3022
19Espeon3000
20Gardevoir2964
20Heracross2938
21Articuno2933
22Golem2916
23Exeggutor2916
24Flareon2904
25Machamp2889

* Yet to be released

Note that the stats above 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.

Pokémon Go tips and tricks UPDATE: Gen 3 arrives with new weather effects update. Pokémon Go tips and tricks

On the hunt for more Pokémon go tips and tricks? The end of 2017 has brought plenty of new Gen 3 Pokémon and weather effects, meaning changes to region exclusives, new Baby Pokémon and other additions to the Egg chart, plus two new Raid bosses and Shinies. Ever-expanding Pokédex completionists, meanwhile, might want to read about the various Special Items available as well as the various methods for determining Eevee evolutions, too.

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.

Additional reporting by Matthew Reynolds.

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