Pokémon GO was designed as a casual game; there’s no denying it. But for me, and for thousands of other players, well, we take it seriously. To be the very best, like no one ever was, you know? And to be the very best, we need to use the best Pokémon when battling and holding gyms.
Thanks to Professor_Kukui over at The Silph Road on Reddit, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best Pokémon GO gym defenders. This list doesn’t include legendary Pokémon (for obvious reasons), and it also only considers the ideal move-set for each Pokémon.
Also, this list was constructed while taking into account that a Pokémon has to both take hits and dish them out while it’s defending a gym. Therefore, it needs to have good attack and defense stats to be a good gym defender. That being said, let’s get right into it!
10. Vileplume (Razor Leaf & Petal Blizzard)
Coming in at #10 is Vileplume. Vileplume is a dual-type Poison & Grass, which means it’s a pretty good counter against all of the strong water Pokémon in the game. Throw a high CP Vileplume with Razor Leaf & Petal Blizzard into a gym and watch in delight as Vaporeon struggles to stay alive against it.
9. Muk (Poison Jab & Dark Pulse)
In at #9 is Muk. Muk is a Poison type, so it’s a good counter to Fairy Pokémon like Wigglytuff and Clefable, and Grass Pokémon like Venusaur. If your Muk knows Poison Jab & Dark Pulse, quit wasting time and put it in a gym ASAP so it can obliterate the competition.
8. Arcanine (Fire Fang & Flamethrower)
The #8 spot goes to the big fire dog himself, Arcanine. Arcanine, being a Fire type, is strong against Bug Pokémon (Pinsir, Venemoth, Beedrill, etc), and Grass Pokémon like Venusaur. Be warned, though, as he will be a goner if an attacker has a decent Lapras, Poliwrath, Vaporeon, or Slowbro.
7. Venusaur (Razor Leaf & Petal Blizzard)
In the #7 spot is ya boy Venusaur. Venusaur is a dual-type Grass & Poison, which means it is one of the only Pokémon in the game that can actually stand up against the Vaporeon/Lapras offensive that most players are employing right now.
6. Slowbro (Confusion & Psychic)
Coming in at #6 is Slowbro. Slowbro is a dual-type Psychic & Water, meaning it’s able to hold a gym against fighting types (Hitmonlee/Hitmonchan, Machamp), as well as against fire types (Arcanine, Flareon, Charizard).
5. Exeggutor (Confusion & Psychic)
The #5 spot belongs to Exeggutor. Exeggutor is a dual-type Psychic & Grass, which makes it an excellent counter to the water Pokémon listed above, as well as the fighting Pokémon (also listed above).
4. Snorlax (Zen Headbutt & Hyper Beam)
Rolling his way to the #4 spot is Snorlax. Snorlax is a Normal type, which means it doesn’t have a type bonus against any other type. That being said, the combination of health & stamina, as well as Snorlax’s strong move-set make it a great tank.
3. Dragonite (Steel Wing & Dragon Pulse)
The #3 gym defender is Dragonite. Dragonite is a dual-type Flying & Dragon, which makes it strong against Fighting, Bug, Grass, and Dragon type Pokémon. Dragonite is also the strongest Pokémon in terms of raw stats (not including Mewtwo), which makes it quite a formidable defender.
2. Poliwrath (Bubble & Hydro Pump)
Punching his way to #2 is Poliwrath. Poliwrath is a dual-type Fighting & Water, meaning it can easily defend the gym against Ice, Fire, Rock, and Normal type Pokémon. Combined with his overall high stats and ideal move-set, you’ve got one hell of a gym defender.
1. Lapras (Ice Shard & Ice Beam)
And the #1 spot goes to Lapras. Lapras is a dual-type Ice & Water, meaning she can take a hit from pretty much half of all Pokémon types with reduced damage. Combine that with her super-high HP and Defense stats, her awesome moves, and you’ve got the best gym defender in the game.
You can see a full list of all 151 Pokémon and their respective stats by clicking here.
But what about you? Do you have any of the Pokémon in this list? Let me know in the comments section below!