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Pokémon GO Best Gym Defenders And Attackers

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Pokémon GO players need powerful Pokémon to defend gyms and take new ones for their team. Here are some of the best Pokémon suited for each role.

Gyms were one of the earliest features introduced in Pokémon GO, existing as far back as the game’s release in 2016. Despite that, they never lost their charm and challenge. With the addition of new Pokémon every year, players began squaring off against a wider array of Pokémon in gyms and had more Pokémon themselves to use. If anything, gym battles became increasingly more interesting the more Pokémon GO aged.

But what are gym battles? For the uninitiated, gyms are a recurring facility in the main series games where trainers battle to collect gym badges. In Pokémon GO, gyms are where the three teams, Mystic, Valor, and Instinct, square off. Pokémon GO gyms are located across the world at areas of interest, just like Pokéstops.  Once a trainer leaves their Pokémon there, they claim it for their respective team. It then falls on other members of their team to station their Pokémon there to defend it, and for other teams to battle the Pokémon there to claim that gym for their own team. Defending gyms rewards players with gold and experience, so there’s an incentive to win battles. There are certain Pokémon that are adept at taking Pokémon gyms, and ones skilled in defending them, so let’s take a look at the best of both.

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Related: How to Find (& Catch) Rampardos in Pokémon GO

The best Pokémon to use for gyms in Pokémon Go need to have decent stats for Attack, Defense, Stamina IV, or a combination of two. Trainers must power up their favorite Pokémon to achieve the best stats possible, as it comes in handy during gym battles. It’s also necessary for trainers to have a versatile party as some Pokémon might be suited for taking down raids while others are suitable for PvP battles. Some of the best Pokémon tend to be all-rounders that trainers can rely on regularly.

Best Pokémon for Gym Defense in Pokémon GO


Pokemon GO, Slaking

As those stationed for gym defense are tasked with defending, the Pokémon with high bulk are the best fit for the job. Pokémon have three main stats in Pokémon GO: Attack, Defense, and HP (Hit Points). When choosing a Pokémon for defense, consider those with high Defense and HP.  Another important quality for Gym Defense is what type of moves a Pokémon learns. Some Pokémon learn moves that counter the type that they’re weak to, making them excellent at staving off attackers. Below is a list of Pokémon in GO that meet the above criteria.


  • Blissey – This Normal-type has notoriously high HP and good defenses to boot. It also can learn Psychic, which is super effective against the Fighting-types it’s weak to. Who knew that something known as “The Happiness Pokémon” could take such a beating?
  • Slaking – Another Normal-type, this time with an impressive Attack stat. Its regular attack is Yawn, which barely does anything, but its charged attacks are always very powerful. One of the said moves, Play Rough, is strong against Fighting types.
  • Wailord – The largest recorded Pokémon, Wailord is a Water-type with weak Defense, but high HP. It can know Blizzard, an Ice-type move to take down Grass types.
  • Mewtwo – Thanks to its high CP, Mewtwo is probably one of the strongest Pokémon to use. The Pokémon has the second-highest CP in the game and has very high HP as well. Mewtwo can also learn other moves like Focus Blast and Shadow Ball, making it ideal for PvP battles.
  • Hariyama – A Fighting-type from Hoenn that can learn Bullet Punch and Heavy Slam, Steel-type moves super effective against its Fairy weakness.
  • Steelix – With high HP and Defense, Steelix is a great choice for defense. Its Thunder Fang is super effective against Water types. Its move pool is pretty diverse, learning Crunch, a Dark-type move, and Dragon Tail.
  • Bastiodon – This fossil Pokémon from Sinnoh is bulky, but not very powerful. It can learn Flamethrower, to catch unsuspecting Grass types off guard.
  • Dusknoir – A Ghost-type with high defense, it can learn the Psychic move. This doesn’t cover any of its weaknesses, but Dusknoir is already resistant to Fighting types, which are weak to Psychic moves, so Dusknoir could become a wall against Fighting types if need be.
  • Lapras – Fantastic HP and high stats all around, this Water type can take down Grass-types with Blizzard.
  • Ferrothorn – It’s only weak to Fire and Fighting, and resists many other types. Add to that its high bulk and unique balance of Grass and Steel-type moves, and Ferrothorn is a solid defender.
  • Jellicent – Just like Lapras and Wailord, it’s a Water-type that can learn an Ice-type move to defend against Grass-type. It also has twice as many resistances as it does weaknesses.
  • Gliscor – This balanced Pokémon can learn Bug, Ground-, Flying-, and Dark-type moves, covering a wide array of types. Gliscor in Pokémon Go is only weak to Ice and Water and resists many more.
  • The Regi Trio – These Legendaries all have very high Defense and HP and are a natural fit for gym defense. Unlike the other Pokémon on this list, they are harder to find due to their mythic status.
  • Metagross – The Metagross is a reliable Pokémon to use as it has excellent Attack and Defense stats. However, the Metagross is more suitable for defending gyms due to its Steel-typing. The Metagross is also a great counter to attacking Pokémon such as Lucario and Machamp.


Best Pokémon for Battling Gyms in Pokémon GO


Mamoswine, Pokemon GO

Pokémon that make good attackers in Gym Battles have two main features: High Attack and move coverage. Being able to deal more damage quickly is important for offense and having a diverse set of moves will allow them to cover more types. Solid Defense and HP stats are also important, as it allows them to keep their offensive going longer.

  • LucarioOne of the best attackers in the game is Lucario. Its Steel typing grants it a lot of resistance and allows it to safely battle many different types. It’s Aura Sphere move can deal a lot of damage very quickly, and it can learn Shadow Ball to take down the Ghost-types that resist its Fighting moves.
  • Excadril – With great HP and Attack, it can keep the offense going for a while. Its Earthquake is very powerful!
  • Conkeldurr – This strong Fighting-type with high HP can learn Poison Jab to take out Fairy Types, and Stone Edge to take down Flying types.
  • Reuniclus – A bulkier Psychic-type, Reuniclus has type coverage with Future Sight, Thunder, and Shadow Ball.
  • Dragonite Dragonite has always been one of the strongest Pokémon in the series, and this holds true in Pokémon GO. It can learn powerful Dragon-type moves like Draco Meteor and has Flying and Steel coverage with Hurricane and Steel Wing respectively.
  • Mamoswine – One of the strongest Ice-types in Pokémon GO, Mamoswine hits hard with Avalanche, Bulldoze, or Stone Edge. It has many weaknesses but is also super effective against many other types.
  • Tyranitar – This behemoth Pokémon has coverage against many types thanks to its varied move pool, which includes Dark, Rock, Fire, and Steel-type moves. Combined with its high attack, Tyranitar can easily make a dent in most Pokémon.
  • Gengar – A classic and the original Ghost-type, Gengar continues to terrorize its foes. Learning Ghost, Poison, Dark, Psychic, and even the Fighting-type move Focus Blast, Gengar has many tricks up its sleeve for players to take advantage of.
  • Salamence Hoenn’s fierce Dragon and Flying-type learn Fire moves to melt the Ice-types it’s weak against. In addition to learning the fabled Draco Meteor, Salamence can learn Hydro Pump, one of the most powerful Water-type moves.
  • Legendaries – Pretty much every Legendary, like Mewtwo and Deoxys, has high attack and powerful moves; As expected for Pokémon of their status. Any player that manages to catch one will want to use their might to challenge gyms.


Next: How to Find (& Catch) Metagross in Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO is available for iOS and Android.

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