Attackers Tier List

Attackers Tier List

Tier List Overview

As Pokemon GO heads into October 2017, Niantic continues to shift the metagame by rotating through a new set of raid bosses: the generation 2 legendary beasts Raikou, Entei, and Suicune. On top of that, Mewtwo is starting to make a broader appearance in the form of EX raid tests. These new additions to the game have created some changes to the attacker rankings, previously tailored to a raid boss selection featuring the generation 1 legendary birds and Lugia.

Matchup data obtained via Pokebattler simulation were used to create this attacker tier list. As before, an attacker's raid performance matters more than ever, while gym offense is in most cases merely an afterthought. Attackers were ranked based on several qualities, in roughly decreasing order of importance:

  • Ability to successfully solo tier 3 raid bosses
  • Ability to maximize damage output vs. Tyranitar and tier 5 raid bosses
  • Ability to maximize damage output vs. other tier 4 raid bosses
  • Performance vs. common and optimal gym defenders

Each attacker's tier placement approximately represents its yield on stardust investment. For example, powering up a Mewtwo would be useful in many more scenarios than powering up a Gyarados, so Mewtwo is in a higher tier. Pokemon are ranked within tiers in order of max CP, not by their relative ability compared to other Pokemon in their tier.

Movesets are categorized as "optimal" or "great." A great moveset, in this author's opinion, is not worth spending a TM on to change unless the player doesn't have any better candidates to use a TM on.

The astute observer may have noticed that our raid performance ranking criteria have changed a touch compared to before. Tier 2 raid performance is no longer considered, as the constant influx of easily obtainable raid bosses and XP should render tier 2 bosses trivial for most players. Tyranitar is now weighted on the same level as legendary raid bosses, as it is universally the tier 4 raid boss in highest demand (no doubt due to its prowess as an attacker).

Tier List
S Tier
A+ Tier
A- Tier
B Tier
C Tier
S Tier

These Pokemon are by far the superior attackers in the current metagame. They have numerous favorable raid matchups and tend to be near optimal in those matchups.

Optimal sets:

  • Psycho Cut or Confusion + Shadow Ball

Great sets:

  • Psycho Cut + Focus Blast

Comments:

  • A superior attacker in almost every matchup with one of several viable movesets
Best Raid Matchups:
Arcanine
Alakazam
Machamp
Gengar
Vaporeon
Jolteon
Venusaur
Blastoise
Lapras
Snorlax
Tyranitar
Mewtwo
Raikou
Suicune

Optimal sets:

  • Bite + Crunch or Stone Edge

Comments:

  • High DPS is complemented by good bulk and double resistance to Psychic
  • An optimal attacker for several tier 3 and legendary Pokemon raids
Best Raid Matchups:
Arcanine
Alakazam
Gengar
Charizard
Mewtwo
Entei

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail or Dragon Breath + Outrage

Great sets:

  • Dragon Tail or Dragon Breath + Hurricane or Dragon Claw

Comments:

  • A superior generalist attacker with wide neutral coverage and high DPS
Best Raid Matchups:
Alakazam
Machamp
Gengar
Jolteon
Venusaur
Snorlax
Mewtwo
Raikou
Entei
Suicune
A+ Tier

Compared to the Pokemon in S tier, these attackers have fewer optimal matchups, but they are still great investments. Some species are essential attackers that cover S tier's gaps.

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Wild Charge

Comments:

  • A superior Electric-type attacker that also performs well in neutral matchups
Best Raid Matchups:
Vaporeon
Charizard
Blastoise
Lapras
Snorlax
Suicune

Optimal sets:

  • Mud Slap + Stone Edge or Earthquake

Comments:

  • A reliable attacker with good bulk and coveted offensive typing
  • Ground-type attacks suffer from having suboptimal DPS
Best Raid Matchups:
Arcanine
Gengar
Raikou
Entei

Optimal sets:

  • Rock Throw + Stone Edge or Rock Blast

Great sets:

  • Mud Slap or Mud Shot + Earthquake

Comments:

  • A flexible Rock- and Ground-type attacker with a useful offensive niche
Best Raid Matchups:
Arcanine
Flareon
Charizard
Raikou
Entei

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion, Extrasensory or Bullet Seed + Solar Beam

Great sets:

  • Confusion or Extrasensory + Psychic

Comments:

  • A flexible Grass- and Psychic-type attacker with many usable movesets
Best Raid Matchups:
Machamp
Vaporeon
Venusaur
Blastoise
Rhydon
Raikou
Suicune

Optimal sets:

  • Counter or Karate Chop + Dynamic Punch

Great sets:

  • Counter + Close Combat or Cross Chop

Comments:

  • An exceptionally high DPS attacker vs. many of the bulkiest gym defenders
Best Raid Matchups:
Lapras
Snorlax
Tyranitar
A- Tier

The attackers in this tier are excellent in their own right, but a clear, if small, gap separates them from A+ tier.

Optimal sets:

  • Charge Beam + Thunderbolt

Comments:

  • Inferior to Raikou, with slightly worse performance in neutral matchups
Best Raid Matchups:
Vaporeon
Charizard
Blastoise
Lapras
Suicune

Optimal sets:

  • Water Gun + Hydro Pump or Aqua Tail

Comments:

  • Has exceptional bulk to complement high Water-type DPS
Best Raid Matchups:
Arcanine
Charizard
Rhydon
Entei

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion or Zen Headbutt + Future Sight

Great sets:

  • Confusion + Psybeam

Comments:

  • A near-optimal, low-investment option to solo Machamp raids
Best Raid Matchups:
Machamp
Gengar
Venusaur

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion or Psycho Cut + Future Sight

Great sets:

  • Confusion or Psycho Cut + Shadow Ball

Comments:

  • A great attacker option to sweep through weakened gyms
  • Dodge-reliant for maximum effectiveness due to poor bulk
Best Raid Matchups:
Machamp
Gengar
Venusaur

Optimal sets:

  • Rock Throw + Rock Slide or Hydro Pump

Comments:

  • Requires legacy move Rock Throw to be an optimal attacker
  • Water Gun variants are lackluster; honorable mentions at best
Best Raid Matchups:
Arcanine
Charizard
Lapras
Entei
B Tier

Pokemon in this tier have a fairly limited number of niche roles, but they perform well in those roles.

Optimal sets:

  • Extrasensory + Future Sight

Great sets:

  • Extrasensory + Sky Attack

Comments:

  • A great anchor to solo Machamp and Gengar raids by virtue of massive bulk
Best Raid Matchups:
Machamp
Gengar
Venusaur

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt

Great sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Discharge

    Comments:

    • Strictly outclassed by both Raikou and Zapdos in all respects
    Best Raid Matchups:
    Vaporeon
    Charizard
    Blastoise
    Lapras
    Suicune

    Optimal sets:

    • Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball

    Great sets:

    • Hex + Shadow Ball

    Comments:

    • Requires legacy move Shadow Claw to be an optimal attacker
    • Dodge-reliant to maximize effectiveness due to poor bulk
    Best Raid Matchups:
    Alakazam
    Machamp
    Gengar
    Mewtwo

    Optimal sets:

    • Snarl + Foul Play

    Great sets:

    • Snarl + Crunch

    Comments:

    • Strictly outclassed by Tyranitar as a Dark-type attacker
    Best Raid Matchups:
    Alakazam
    Gengar
    Mewtwo
    C Tier

    These Pokemon are limited by their narrow roles and/or average performance in the presence of superior options.

    Optimal sets:

    • Fire Spin or Fire Fang + Overheat

    Great sets:

    • Fire Spin or Fire Fang + Flamethrower

    Comments:

    • Fails to excel vs. current bosses, but performs well in neutral matchups
    Best Raid Matchups:
    Venusaur
    Snorlax

    Optimal sets:

    • Bite + Hydro Pump or Crunch

    Comments:

    • Has marginal raid performance even in its advantageous rmatchups
    Best Raid Matchups:
    Gengar
    Rhydon
    Mewtwo
    Entei

    Optimal sets:

    • Fire Spin + Overheat

    Comments:

    • Performs similarly to Entei, with slightly higher DPS but less bulk
    Best Raid Matchups:
    Venusaur
    Snorlax

    Optimal sets:

    • Counter + Close Combat

    Comments:

    • Has STAB and type advantage vs. many of the bulkier gym defenders
    Best Raid Matchups:
    Lapras
    Snorlax
    Tyranitar

    Optimal sets:

    • Fury Cutter + X-Scissor
    Best Raid Matchups:
    Alakazam
    Mewtwo

    Optimal sets:

    • Bug Bite + X-Scissor

    Great sets:

    • Fury Cutter + X-Scissor
    Best Raid Matchups:
    Alakazam
    Mewtwo

    Optimal sets:

    • Vine Whip or Razor Leaf + Solar Beam

    Great sets:

    • Vine Whip or Razor Leaf + Petal Blizzard
    Best Raid Matchups:
    Vaporeon
    Blastoise
    Rhydon
    Suicune

    Optimal sets:

    • Razor Leaf + Solar Beam or Leaf Blade
    Best Raid Matchups:
    Vaporeon
    Blastoise
    Rhydon
    Suicune
    Honorable Mentions

    You're usually better off powering up something else, but Pokemon in this section are perfectly usable.

    Quick Links
    Raids
    Raid Boss List
    Raid Boss List
    Raid Boss Counters
    Raid Boss Counters
    Tools

    Pokemon List

    IV Calculator

    Moves List

    Appraisals

    Egg Chart

    Type Chart

    Power Up Costs

    Buddy Distances

    CP Calculator
    Rankings

    Gym Attackers

    Gym Defenders

    DPS per type