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Attackers Tier List

Attackers Tier List
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Flavor of the Month - April 2018

It's a boy! And a girl! It's twins! Latias and Latios are topping gyms until June 5 (they switch regions on May 8), so you'll be using a lot of Dragon and Psychic counters. In addition to the "core" attackers marked below, you may also find yourself using some of these over the next month.

Tier List Overview

The Pokemon Company declared a yearlong celebration of legendary Pokemon for 2018, and while Pokemon GO hasn’t made explicit how it will contribute to the festivities, 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 swings by having a 2-part list:

  1. A list of "core" top attackers (i.e., Pokemon with good matchups against many gym defenders and raid bosses), and
  2. A rotating group of the top counters for current [Tier 5] raid bosses (the "flavors of the month").

With the consideration of versatility, many of the "core" top-attacker Pokemon could be considered generalists. Especially in cases where a gym defender or raid boss has double weaknesses, though, it is usually wiser to bypass a generalist counter in favor of an attacker that exploits that weakness (check out our Best Attackers by Type page). Weather boosts may also cause you to re-evaluate the Pokemon you want for your battle party.

We anticipate that the “core” attackers on this list will be highly used throughout the course of Gen 3. 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 some more accessible attackers, you can check out our Best Attacker by Type: Non-Legendary list.

Tier List
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Tier 4
Tier 1

Tier 1 Pokemon are supreme species whose high Attack, great moves, and advantageous typing lead them to be the consistently best attackers.

Optimal sets:

  • Waterfall + Hydro Pump


Comments:

In specialist matchups, Kyogre is ridiculously far ahead of all other contenders. Its high Water-type DPS is complemented by excellent bulk. Kyogre's a decent generalist, but in that function there are better options.

Optimal sets:

  • Psycho Cut or Confusion + Shadow Ball

Great sets:

  • Psycho Cut + Focus Blast

Comments:

Mewtwo is superior choice in almost every matchup. It's a broad raid generalist with Shadow Ball and a strong gym attacker with Focus Blast. Against targets weak to Psychic and Ghost, Mewtwo pulls far ahead of the pack.

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Outrage


Great sets:

  • Air Slash + Aerial Ace


Comments:

Rayquaza's neutral DPS is about as good as a Shadow Ball Mewtwo. As it rarely hits for effective damage, Rayquaza needs just one moveset to excel in both raids and gyms. Rayquaza is also the current top Flying attacker with its double Flying moveset.

Optimal sets:

  • Counter or Karate Chop + Dynamic Punch

Great sets:

  • Counter + Close Combat or Cross Chop

Comments:

Machamp's claim to fame is the best Fighting-type attacker in the game - a type effective against the 6 bulkiest gym defenders. Not only is it an essential gym attacker, but many sought after Tier 4 raid bosses can be dismantled by Machamp.

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.

Optimal sets:

  • Mud Shot + Solar Beam


Great sets:

  • Mud Shot + Earthquake


Comments:

Groudon is the best Ground-type attacker, but is also a great "Grass"-type attacker with Solar Beam. Ground-type moves aren't so great, which is why Groudon doesn't find itself higher. It will be useful in future Tier 5 raids, though.

Optimal sets:

  • Bite + Crunch

Great sets:

  • Bite + Stone Edge


Comments:

A double resistance to Psychic, a high Attack stat, decent bulk, and flexibility to cover both Dark and Rock make Tyranitar a continued presence in the top attacker list.

Optimal sets:

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

Great sets:

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

Comments:

The descent of Rayquaza has 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 demand Rare Candy to power up. Rayquaza's slight DPS advantage is significant, though.

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Draco Meteor


Comments:

Salamence has a higher Attack and more peak DPS than Dragonite, but it’s a little hampered by Draco Meteor's 1 bar nature, which may not be preferred in some battle scenarios.

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Wild Charge

Comments:

Electric’s relatively favorable type coverage, Raikou's good bulk and damage output, and the frequent appearance of Water-types on best defender lists make Raikou a top-attacker choice.

Optimal sets:

  • Counter + Dynamic Punch


Great sets:

  • Counter + Close Combat


Comments:

Machamp does more DPS than Hariyama, but Hariyama can last a little longer and has a higher TDO. It's a great backup option for gym offense.

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.

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw

Great sets:

  • Zen Headbutt + Psychic, or Dragon Breath + Solar Beam

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 Dragon-types. He can run Psychic and Grass sets that are viable in solo raids, but there are better options.

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.

Optimal sets:

  • Waterfall + Hydro Pump

Comments:

Gyarados plays second fiddle to Kyogre as a Water-type attacker, but it’s still a strong attacker with a powerful fast move. It has Dragon and Dark movesets that are usable but quite subpar.

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Spin + Overheat

Comments:

Moltres and Entei are the best Fire-type attackers in the game as of now. Moltres has slightly higher DPS but less bulk. Its typing also gives it a few more weaknesses than Entei.

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion (legacy) or Bullet Seed or Extrasensory + Solar Beam

Great sets:

  • Confusion (legacy) or Extrasensory + Psychic

Comments:

Exeggutor’s versatile role as both a top Grass-type attacker and a strong Psychic attacker keep it high on the list. This generation features several Grass-weak Tier 5 bosses, and Psychic is always a great fallback with Machamp raids floating around.

Tier 4

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

Optimal sets:

  • Bullet Punch + Flash Cannon, or Zen Headbutt + Psychic

Comments:

Metagross definitely underperforms its impressive stats due to having abysmal moves, but it gets an unfair rap for this. It's a fast enough counter to many raid bosses with the advantage of tough bulk backed up by 10 resistances.

Optimal sets:

  • Charge Beam + Thunderbolt

Comments:

Zapdos's higher Attack compared to Raikou is more than offset by worse moves. Zapdos isn't bad by any means, but it's difficult to justify spending Rare Candy on it when Raikou could get it instead.

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion or Zen Headbutt + Future Sight

Great sets:

  • Confusion + Psybeam

Comments:

Espeon’s Attack stat and good movesets make it a great Psychic attacker, especially useful in the enduring Machamp raid. Its true boon, however, is how easy it is to obtain compared to Alakazam and Gardevoir.

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Dazzling Gleam


Great sets:

  • Confusion + Shadow Ball


Comments:

Gardevoir has utility against Fighting and Dragon types due to its Fairy charge move, but without a Fairy fast move, its performance can be disappointing. With Shadow Ball, Gardevoir is also a viable Ghost-type attacker.

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 Gardevoir. For the people that have it, Mewtwo is strictly better.

Optimal sets:

  • Rock Throw + Stone Edge or Rock Blast

Comments

Golem's a solid attacker and its Rock moveset was a staple against the legendary birds in 2017. The future doesn't bode well for Golem, as it relies on preying on double weaknesses to make up for middling Attack.

Optimal sets:

  • Shadow Claw (legacy) or Hex + Shadow Ball

Great sets:

  • Shadow Claw (legacy) or Hex + Sludge Bomb

Comments:

Gengar's DPS is top-notch, but this hinges on it having a legacy Shadow Claw, plus its bulk is awful. Hex Gengar is still great, but not as remarkable. With the removal of Alakazam from Tier 3 raids, Gengar's utility has dropped.

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