GamePress

Attackers Tier List

Submit Feedback or Error
Community Posts with Keyword Attackers Tier List All

Tier List Overview

The Pokemon Company declared a yearlong celebration of legendary Pokemon for 2018, and it seems clear the Tier 5 raid train will continue to chug along. A rotating cast of legendary raid bosses can cause big changes in a list of what’s considered a “best” attacker at any one time. In this update to the Attacker Tier List, we’re accounting for Tier 5 raid boss rotations by having a 2-part list:

  1. A list of "core" top attackers with good matchups against many gym defenders and raid bosses, and
  2. A rotating group of counters for current [Tier 5] raid bosses ("flavors of the month") that are not featured in the core list

We anticipate that the “core” attackers on this list will be highly used in Raid battles throughout. Due to their strong fundamentals, they'll be good investments, even though their relative positions may shift over time as new Pokemon and new moves are unveiled.

A number of these Pokemon are legendaries, but if you’re looking to find more accessible attackers, you can check out our Best Attacker by Type: Non-Legendary list.

Flavor of the Month - August 2019

Rayquaza is the raid boss with is shiny form available until September 2nd! As a Flying and Dragon-type, Ice-type Pokemon are going to be your bread & butter. The 4x weakness is too large to ignore and brings even otherwise mediocre Ice-types to the foreground of counters. Any Ice-types on the tier list will be the ideal choice, but these Pokemon can still help out in a pinch. 

Tier 1

Tier 1 Pokemon are supreme species whose high Attack, great moves, and advantageous typing make them consistently superior attackers. These are essential parts of a team and rather safe investments with regards to future Pokemon.

Machamp

Optimal sets:

  • Counter or Karate Chop (legacy) + Dynamic Punch

Great sets:

  • Counter + Close Combat or Cross Chop

Comments:

Machamp is the game's best Fighting attacker: a type effective against the bulkiest gym defenders, especially Blissey. Not only is it an essential gym attacker, but many Tier 4 raid bosses can be dismantled by Machamp.

Mewtwo

Optimal sets:

  • Psycho Cut or Confusion + Shadow Ball (legacy)
  • Confusion + Psychic

Great sets:

  • Psycho Cut + Thunderbolt
  • Psycho Cut + Ice Beam

Comments:

Mewtwo's massive Attack stat means that it excels at whatever it does. It's the game's top Psychic attacker, which doesn't mean much on its own, but it also ranks among the best Ice, Electric, and Ghost (EX versions only) attackers.

Rayquaza

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Outrage


Great sets:

  • Air Slash + Aerial Ace


Comments:

Rayquaza reigns as the king of the Dragons. Dragon moves are seldom resisted, and a large fraction of legendary Pokemon are part Dragon type. It's also a great Flying attacker with its double Flying moveset.

Tier 1.5

Tier 1.5 Pokemon are as strong as Tier 1 Pokemon but are not as universally useful. They likely will remain the best at what they do in the coming generations.

Gengar

Optimal sets:

  • Shadow Claw (legacy) or Lick (legacy) + Shadow Ball

Great sets:

  • Shadow Claw (legacy) or Lick (legacy) + Sludge Bomb
  • Hex or Sucker Punch + Shadow Ball

Comments:

Gengar's DPS is a standout among Psychic and Ghost counters. Its durability was awful and its DPS used to hinge on the legacy Shadow Claw. Changes in late 2018 gave Gengar access to Lick and 25% more bulk, catapulting its viability as a top attacker.

Moltres

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Spin + Overheat
  • Wing Attack + Sky Attack (legacy)

Comments:

Moltres is the top Fire and Flying attacker in the game, achieving effective damage against 5 types. Its only drawback is that Fire and Flying don't cover many Tier 5 bosses.

Salamence

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Outrage (legacy)


Great sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Draco Meteor


Comments:

Salamence has higher Attack than Dragonite, and now that it has Outrage too, it's definitively the better Dragon by a narrow margin. Draco Meteor is still pretty good, and ambitious raiders can put both on the same Salamence for extra DPS.

Metagross

Optimal sets:

  • Bullet Punch + Meteor Mash (legacy)

Great sets:

  • Zen Headbutt + Meteor Mash (legacy)

Comments:

Metagross had the stats and typing to eke its way into the tier list, but it didn't have the moves - until Meteor Mash. It's now the game's third best generalist, a top counter to Ice, Rock, and Fairy, and a great choice for mashing through gyms.

Kyogre

Optimal sets:

  • Waterfall + Hydro Pump


Comments:

In specialist matchups, Kyogre is ridiculously far ahead of its competition. Its high Water DPS is complemented by excellent bulk. Expect to keep seeing Kyogre as a top counter to targets weak to Water.

Rampardos

Optimal sets:

  • Smack Down + Rock Slide


Comments:

Rampardos joins Mewtwo and Rayquaza in the echelon of Pokemon with huge Attack stats. With both Smack Down and Rock Slide, it embarrasses Tyranitar and Rhyperior as Rock attackers. It's the most potent attacker into anything weak to Rock, only hampered by bulk comparable to Gengar.

Mamoswine

Optimal sets:

  • Powder Snow + Avalanche


Great sets:

  • Mud Slap + Bulldoze

Comments:

Mamoswine bucked the trend of Ice mediocrity, possessing decent bulk and the highest Attack stat among all Ice types. It's a solid Ground attacker in a pinch, but Ice's offensive coverage is what really puts Mamoswine among the game's top raiders.

Optimal sets:

  • Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball


Great sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Dragon Pulse

Comments:

Giratina-O's moveset change pre-release rocketed it to the top for countering Psychic and Ghost Pokemon. Don't be fooled by its unimpressive Attack stat - it has more than twice the TDO of legacy Gengar and wins DPS in some matchups.

Tier 2

Tier 2 Pokemon are frequently top attackers in many matchups and will likely be relevant for generations to come, but they aren't as dominant as Tier 1 Pokemon.

Dragonite

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail or Dragon Breath (legacy) + Outrage or Draco Meteor (legacy)

Great sets:

  • Dragon Tail or Dragon Breath (legacy) + Hurricane or Dragon Claw (legacy)

Comments:

The descent of Rayquaza created debate on the future on Dragonite. It's obsolete, they say! But make no mistake, Dragonite is still a fantastic attacker, as it doesn't require Rare Candy to power up. Historically, it has been far easier to obtain than the other Dragons on this tier list.

Raikou

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Wild Charge

Great sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Shadow Ball

Comments:

Electric’s favorable type coverage, Raikou's good bulk and damage output, and the frequent appearance of Water types on gym defense make Raikou a top attacker choice. The Shadow Ball set is not bad, but you're better off using a Ghost specialist.

Tyranitar

Optimal sets:

  • Smack Down (legacy) + Stone Edge
  • Bite + Crunch

Comments:

A double Psychic resistance, high all around stats, and Rock and Dark coverage render Tyranitar a tier list mainstay. Though there are now Rock and Dark attackers with higher DPS, Tyranitar stands tall with leads in HP and Defense.

Blaziken

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Spin + Blast Burn

Great sets:

  • Counter + Focus Blast
  • Fire Spin + Blaze Kick

Comments:

Blaziken was always decent, but it really gained relevance when it acquired Blast Burn. It battles with Moltres for the title of the superior fire bird, but usually falls short due to lower bulk. Blaziken has a usable Fighting set, but Machamp is just better.

Swampert

Optimal sets:

  • Water Gun + Hydro Cannon (legacy)

Comments:

Swampert's solid stats are backed up by the insane power of Hydro Cannon. It's truly Kyogre-lite, with the added benefit of a Ground typing that adds Electric, Rock, and Poison resistances.

Breloom

Optimal sets:

  • Counter + Dynamic Punch
  • Bullet Seed + Grass Knot (legacy)

Comments:

Breloom always out-DPS'd Machamp, but it was so frail that it had no real advantage. After the November 2018 stat recalculation, Breloom is sometimes the superior option! The addition of Grass Knot to Breloom's movepool also allows it to function as a Grass (heh) cannon.

Groudon

Optimal sets:

  • Mud Shot + Earthquake


Comments:

Groudon is the best Ground-type attacker, but Ground-type moves aren't so great, which is why Groudon doesn't find itself higher.

Dialga

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Breath + Draco Meteor


Great sets:

  • Metal Claw + Iron Head

Comments:

Dialga's TDO against Dragon-type foes makes it a top counter for most legendary bosses. Draco Meteor holds it back, but its unique ability to take neutral damage from Dragon-types is unrivaled.

Palkia

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Draco Meteor


Comments:

Palkia competes with the good Dragon-types like Dragonite and Salamence. Unfortunately, it can't touch Rayquaza's DPS. It would've been a great Water attacker if it had a Water fast move.

Roserade

Optimal sets:

  • Razor Leaf + Grass Knot
  • Poison Jab + Sludge Bomb

Comments:

Roserade was nominally the game's top DPS Grass attacker with Solar Beam, but it later secured that title with the more reliable Grass Knot. It's also the best Poison attacker, for what that's worth.

Garchomp

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Outrage

Great sets:

  • Mud Shot + Earthquake

Comments:

As is, Garchomp does the same job as a handful of other Pokemon, with minor tradeoffs. It's a slightly worse Groudon with better resistances, or it's one of many top tier Dragons in GO.

Rhyperior

Optimal sets:

  • Smack Down + Stone Edge
  • Mud Slap + Earthquake

Comments:

Remember when Rhydon was on the attacker tier list? Rhydon remembered, so it evolved and returned with a vengeance. Thankfully it acquired Smack Down, otherwise it would be less notable.

Electivire

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Wild Charge


Comments:

Players are quick to write off Raikou as obsolete, with Electivire claiming the Electric DPS throne. But this DPS lead is insignificant, and Raikou is way more durable. It's a matter of preference.

Tier 3

Tier 3 Pokemon earn their place in raid and gym teams, but they're not the cream of the crop. Expect them to remain competitive in the future, though maybe obsoleted.

Venusaur

Optimal sets:

  • Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant (legacy)

Comments

Community Day Venusaur is one of the best Grass attackers in GO, though Roserade has dethroned it after gaining access to Grass Knot. Venusaur's strength is its reliability and better staying power.

Charizard

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Spin + Blast Burn (legacy)

Comments

Charizard lived in Flareon's shadow until its Community Day came along. It's functionally a strictly worse Moltres, but it's a top Fire attacker that doesn't need Rare Candy.

Gyarados

Optimal sets:

  • Waterfall + Hydro Pump

Great sets:

  • Dragon Tail (legacy) + Outrage

Comments:

Gyarados is just a good Water attacker not dependent on Rare Candy or Community Day windows. Its Dragon and Dark movesets are usable but subpar. Gyarados's Flying typing helps vs. Ground but hurts vs. Rock.

Zapdos

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock (legacy) + Thunderbolt

Great sets:

  • Charge Beam  + Thunderbolt

Comments:

Zapdos's higher Attack compared to Raikou is more than offset by a worse charged move. Zapdos isn't bad, but it's difficult to justify spending Rare Candy on it when Raikou could get it instead. Thunder Shock closes that gap by a lot, but Zapdos is still not as bulky.

Feraligatr

Optimal sets:

  • Waterfall + Hydro Cannon (legacy)

Comments:

With its exclusive move Hydro Cannon, Feraligatr lived in the spotlight for a short 6 months before Swampert came along and did everything better.

Entei

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Spin or Fire Fang + Overheat

Great sets:

  • Fire Spin or Fire Fang + Flamethrower

Comments:

Entei does less DPS than Moltres, but its bulk allows it to do much more TDO. It also has a viable 2 bar charge move with Flamethrower, which is better for gym attacking.

Sceptile

Optimal sets:

  • Bullet Seed + Frenzy Plant (legacy)


Comments:

Sceptile's Community Day was its time to shine, but the fanfare was muted by the prior addition of Grass Knot to Roserade and Breloom's movesets. It's still near the top of the Grass DPS rankings, though.

Gardevoir

Optimal sets:

  • Charm or Confusion + Dazzling Gleam

Great sets:

  • Confusion + Synchronoise (legacy)

Comments:

Gardevoir was just one of many run of the mill Machamp counters before it gained Charm. Now it's also a great counter to Dragon types, although it needs the weather to be cloudy and / or the target to be using Dragon type moves in order to shine.

Latios

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw

Great sets:

  • Dragon Breath + Solar Beam
  • Zen Headbutt + Psychic

Comments:

Latios is good at many things, but doesn't excel. Dragon Claw makes him a user-friendly generalist, but his DPS falls short of the superior Dragons. He can run Psychic and Grass sets that are viable in solo raids, but there are better options.

Honchkrow

Optimal sets:

  • Peck + Sky Attack

Great sets:

  • Snarl + Dark Pulse


Comments:

After gaining Sky Attack, Honchkrow can finally live up to its hype. It's a top attacker into types weak to Flying, though they are less represented in the raid roster. It's a decent Dark attacker, but it's strictly worse than Weavile.

Weavile

Optimal sets:

  • Ice Shard + Avalanche
  • Feint Attack + Foul Play

Comments:

Few Pokemon in GO can claim to excel at multiple roles, and Weavile is one of them. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the top DPS in either Ice or Dark (or Ghost), and it's frailer than the top options, thus relegating it to this part of the tier list.

Magnezone

Optimal sets:

  • Spark + Wild Charge

Comments:

Though not quite matching the DPS of Raikou or Electivire, Magnezone stands out in matchups where it can leverage its 12 resistances. It's the only top counter to Water, for example, that resists Blizzard.

Glaceon

Optimal sets:

  • Frost Breath or Ice Shard + Avalanche

Great sets:

  • Frost Breath or Ice Shard + Ice Beam

Comments:

Glaceon is on par with Weavile as an Ice attacker, putting out nearly as much DPS with significantly better bulk. Like its fellow Eeveelutions, it's overall more accessible than its competition.

Tier 4

Tier 4 Pokemon have usable niches, but at this point there are better options. They are often second best or backup options.

Alakazam

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion or Psycho Cut + Future Sight

Great sets:

  • Confusion or Psycho Cut + Shadow Ball

Comments:

Alakazam is still a viable attacker with a high DPS, but its niche has shrunk given competition from Espeon and Azelf. For the people that have it, EX Mewtwo is strictly better.

Exeggutor

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion (legacy) or Bullet Seed + Solar Beam

Great sets:

  • Confusion (legacy) or Extrasensory + Psychic

Comments:

Exeggutor’s versatile role as both an elite Grass attacker and a strong Psychic attacker keep it on the list. As time goes by, it faces more and more competition on both fronts.

Flareon

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Spin + Overheat

Great sets:

  • Fire Spin + Flamethrower

Comments:

When faced with a tough raid boss weak to Fire, Flareon faithfully follows its trainer to battle - no legendary raids, research breakthroughs, or Community Day shenanigans required.

Espeon

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Future Sight

Great sets:

  • Zen Headbutt + Future Sight
  • Confusion + Psybeam

Comments:

Espeon’s high Attack stat and good movesets make it a great Psychic attacker, useful in the enduring Machamp raid. Its boon is how easy it is to obtain compared to its competitors.

Hariyama

Optimal sets:

  • Counter + Dynamic Punch


Great sets:

  • Counter + Close Combat


Comments:

Though it loses to Machamp in both DPS and TDO after the November 2018 stat recalculation, Hariyama is a great backup option for Fighting-type damage.

Luxray

Optimal sets:

  • Spark + Wild Charge

Comments

Disregarding how difficult it is to obtain, Luxray is a great Electric attacker. Its bulk isn't near the legendary Raikou or even Zapdos, however.

Tangrowth

Optimal sets:

  • Vine Whip + Solar Beam

Comments

Tangrowth is one of those Pokemon that wishes it had its pre-evolution's moves. Its design just screams Power Whip and Grass Knot! Anyway, the Grass attacker market is saturated, and Tangrowth's strength is its bulk, not DPS.

Togekiss

Optimal sets:

  • Charm + Dazzling Gleam

Comments:

Togekiss functions almost the same as Gardevoir, trading some Attack for bulk. It can leverage useful double resistances to Fighting and Dragon, among others. Don't bother messing around with Hidden Power. 

Leafeon

Optimal sets:

  • Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade

Comments:

Leaf Blade makes Leafeon relevant among the myriad second string Grass attackers, where its competitors rely on the less reliable, 1-bar Solar Beam to deal damage.

Azelf

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Future Sight

Great sets:

  • Extrasensory + Future Sight

Comments:

Azelf is a minor upgrade to Alakazam or Espeon as a Psychic attacker. It has the same offensive stat distribution, but overall slightly better stats. If you want to burn Rare Candy, Mewtwo is a far better choice.

Alolan Exeggutor

Optimal sets:

  • Bullet Seed + Solar Beam

Great sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Dragon Pulse

Comments:

Alolan Exeggutor's Grass / Dragon typing gives it a double Water resistance and neutrality to Fire. Alolan Exeggutor does better in those matchups. As a Dragon attacker, it's severely outclassed by everything above it, but it can do in a pinch.