Gym Attackers Tier List

This list is currently outdated as of the Gen 2 release. We are currently working on an updated version.

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Rankings
Attackers
Gym Attackers
Defenders
Gym Defenders

DPS per type

In this version of the Attacking Tier List, we have followed our traditional methodology except in one unique circumstance. If a Pokemon is extremely time and potion efficient when dodging, we have boosted their placement a bit more for those few unique Pokemon. In this case, Alakazam and Gengar fit the bill. These Pokemon, due to their incredibly high attack stats, end up clearing almost any gym defender at among the fastest speed and least amount of potions possible. Though using Alakazam and Gengar are significantly worse than their "tier peers" when standing and fighting with no dodges, their advantages in time and potion usage justify high placement for dodging specialists. We now believe players who consistently dodge makes up a much more significant group of the active PoGo playerbase than when we initially debuted this tier list months ago, so this change reflects this metagame shift. If you are a player who chooses not to dodge, consider Alakazam and Gengar roughly two tiers lower for the stand-and-fight playstyle.


This attackers tier list serves as a single ranking that synthesizes our most up-to-date research on gym battle simulations with estimations of player skill and defender Pokemon frequency in the Pokemon GO metagame. Due to the nature of gym mechanics, an attackers tier list is open to far more subjectivity than a defender tier list. In contrast to defenders, attackers have the freedom to choose their match-ups and can dodge to mitigate damage. How does one take this into account?

Here are the assumptions taken into account when making this list:

The goal of this list is to provide the reader with a guide for prioritizing stardust investment assuming that the reader desires to power up their best overall attackers. We mandate that every Pokemon on this list must at least be serviceable without any dodging. However, because dodging is a skill that is achievable with high consistency, attackers are benefited if they attain better efficiency when dodging is taken into account. Victreebel is a good example of this.

Pokemon such as Parasect, which are serviceable when dodging but perform poorly without dodging, are not included in this list. By requiring a baseline performance level without dodging and ‘rewarding’ Pokemon that are exceptional in the hands of an adept dodger, we hope to strike the difficult balance between ignoring dodging completely and assuming an unrealistic level of performance from the average consumer of this list.

The prevalence of popular and powerful defenders is also factored into this ranking, but is not nearly as important as it was on the defenders tier list. Whereas the ubiquity of Vaporeon greatly damages Arcanine’s ability as a defender, it only hurts Arcanine slightly as an attacker, because Arcanine can avoid match-ups against Vaporeon defenders. However, not being able to use Arcanine all the time due to the prevalence of water-type defenders dampens the benefit of investing stardust, especially compared to a tier 1 attacker.

Potion usage and battle duration are given even less weight, but are nonetheless accounted for in cases where Pokemon are especially potion-hungry or time-efficient. The ease of obtaining a Pokemon is not factored in whatsoever, as that is not an actual factor in battle. Pidgeot, while reasonable as an attacker due to its frequency and decent performance when dodging, is not listed here due to its underperformance in dodge-free simulations.

In conclusion, we hope that readers from a wide range of skill levels can find value in this tier list, despite the nature of an attacker tier list being fundamentally influenced by value-judgement.

-GamePress Pokemon Go Research Team.

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Gym Attackers Tier List

Tier 1

These Pokemon should have the highest possible priority if you are looking to invest dust to improve only your best attackers. They each are the absolute optimal Pokemon in important situations, and have particularly strong matchups vs the most common defenders.

Tier 1Rating Explanation
SnorlaxSnorlax Pros:
  • The most favorable matchups of any Pokemon, owing in large part to his gigantic bulk.

Cons:
  • Takes more time to win battles than many other attackers.
  • Inefficient vs. Rhydon.

Optimal Moveset
  • Lick + Hyper Beam or Body Slam OR
  • Zen Headbutt + Hyper Beam
Dragonite Dragonite Pros:
  • Favorable matchups vs. many common defenders (such as Vaporeon).
  • One of the highest DPS attackers in the game with a largely unresisted moveset.

Cons:
  • Double weakness to ice leaves him crippled by Cloyster and walled by Lapras.

Optimal Moveset
  • Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw
VaporeonVaporeon Pros:
  • Metagame-defining attacker. Does well vs. defenders who don’t resist water (and some who do) and was buffed in the CP update.

Cons:
  • Inefficient vs. grass-types (particularly Venusaur and Exeggutor) and Dragonite.
  • Takes more time to win battles vs. defenders who resist water. Also uses a fair amount of potions.

Optimal Moveset
  • Water Gun + Hydro Pump or Aqua Tail
RhydonRhydon Pros:
  • Strong generalist attacker. He is the only counter to Snorlax and invalidates less common defenders such as Arcanine and Muk.

Cons:
  • Double weaknesses to water and grass.

Optimal Moveset
  • Mud Slap + Stone Edge or Earthquake
AlakazamAlakazam Pros:
  • Currently the highest DPS attacker in the game with a largely unresisted moveset.

Cons:
  • Only a mediocre attacker when not dodging. Alakazam has earned this spot as the best dodging specialist!

Optimal Moveset
  • Psycho Cut + Psychic
Tier 1.5

These Pokemon have some incredibly strong matchups, and in many ways are just as good as Pokemon in Tier 1. However, they have a notable flaw that leads them to a lowered general usability compared to Tier 1.

Tier 1.5Rating Explanation
GengarGengar Pros:
  • Another high-DPS attacker with a solid generalist moveset.

Cons:
  • Like Alakazam, very weak when not dodging consistently.

Optimal Moveset
  • Shadow Claw + Sludge Bomb
LaprasLapras Pros:
  • Powerful generalist attacker and hard counter to Dragonite.

Cons:
  • Slightly inefficient vs. fire-types and Vaporeon. Also high potion usage.

Optimal Moveset
  • Frost Breath + Blizzard
Exeggutor Exeggutor Pros:
  • Strong Vaporeon counter with Solar Beam and powerful generalist attacker with Psychic.

Cons:
  • Inefficient vs. fire-types such as Arcanine, Charizard, and Flareon.

Optimal Moveset
  • Zen Headbutt + Solar Beam or Psychic
GyaradosGyarados Pros:
  • Very strong generalist attacker - decent vs. most defenders.

Cons:
  • Double weakness to electric, which fortunately is uncommon on defense.

Optimal Moveset
  • Bite + Hydro Pump OR
  • Dragon Breath + Hydro Pump or Dragon Pulse
Omastar Omastar Pros:
  • Fantastic typing allows him to be a traditional Water Gun + Hydro Pump user or double rock STAB Rock Slide spammer.

Cons:
  • Double weakness to grass and a weak attacker into other water-types.

Optimal Moveset
  • Water Gun + Hydro Pump OR
  • Rock Throw + Rock Slide (legacy moveset)
Tier 2

These Pokemon are best used when sniping particular counter-matchups, or they are quality overall-attacking Pokemon that simply perform slightly worse in simulations than the higher tiered Pokemon of their type. They also may be weaker if the user does not dodge at all.

Tier 2Rating Explanation
SlowbroSlowbro Pros:
  • A high-end generalist attacker with a useful typing and a quality moveset.

Cons:
  • Doesn't particularly excel at any matchups.
  • Completely walled by Exeggutor.

Optimal Moveset
  • Water Gun + Psychic
GolemGolem Pros:
  • A sturdy attacker that functions identically to Rhydon, just slightly weaker.

Cons:
  • Double weaknesses to water and grass.

Optimal Moveset
  • Mud Slap + Earthquake OR
  • Rock Throw + Stone Edge OR
  • Mud Shot + Stone Edge or Earthquake (legacy moveset)
VenusaurVenusaur Pros:
  • Strong counter to Vaporeon and other water-types.

Cons:
  • Inefficient vs. fire-types and not particularly amazing in neutral matchups.

Optimal Moveset
  • Vine Whip + Solar Beam or Petal Blizzard
TangelaTangela Pros:
  • Compared to Venusaur, Tangela is a slightly better attacker into Rhydon and Slowbro.

Cons:
  • Inefficient vs. fire-types and not particularly amazing in neutral matchups.

Optimal Moveset
  • Vine Whip + Solar Beam
StarmieStarmie Pros:
  • A quality Water Gun user with decent base stats and a good typing. Great attacker when dodging.

Cons:
  • Mediocre durability leaves it reliant on dodging to be efficient.

Optimal Moveset
  • Water Gun + Hydro Pump or Psychic
Blastoise Blastoise Pros:
  • Your standard everyday Water Gun user. A slightly weaker Vaporeon.

Cons:
  • As a slightly weaker Vaporeon, everything that counters Vaporeon also counters Blastoise.

Optimal Moveset
  • Water Gun + Hydro Pump
Cloyster Cloyster Pros:
  • More time-efficient and potion-efficient at taking down Dragonite than Lapras.

Cons:
  • Cloyster is no generalist and is best used specifically in the Dragonite matchup.

Optimal Moveset
  • Frost Breath or Ice Shard + Blizzard
Tier 3

This tier of relevant Pokemon rounds out the remainder of Pokemon that satisfy the stated requirements of this tier list. In almost every case these are Pokemon that, assuming you are investing dust specifically for attacking, should only be powered up when they are filling a niche highly specific to your local gym population, and no similarly typed higher tier Pokemon are available in your area.

Tier 3Rating Explanation
ArcanineArcanine Pros:
  • Functions well vs. the few defenders weak to him, such as Venusaur and Exeggutor. Also good vs. Lapras with dodging.

Cons:
  • The CP update substantially nerfed Arcanine's defense. Many neutral matchups that he used to dominate due to base stats are no longer clean wins.
  • Many top defenders after the CP update, such as Gyarados and Rhydon, crush Arcanine.

Optimal Moveset
  • Fire Fang or Bite + Fire Blast
CharizardCharizard Pros:
  • Functions similarly to Arcanine, minus the Lapras matchup.

Cons:
  • Very poor vs. Vaporeon, Rhydon, and most other top-tier defenders.

Optimal Moveset
  • Wing Attack + Fire Blast
Victreebel Victreebel Pros:
  • Functions as a niche anti-water attacker that brings out its true potential when dodging.

Cons:
  • Substantial nerfs in the CP update render her very dodge-reliant in order to perform well.

Optimal Moveset
  • Razor Leaf + Solar Beam or Leaf Blade
SandslashSandslash Pros:
  • A useful attacker into Pokemon such as Arcanine, Muk, and other defenders weak to ground.

Cons:
  • Typing is quite bad in a metagame filled with water, grass, and flying-types.

Optimal Moveset
  • Mud Shot + Earthquake
VileplumeVileplume Pros:
  • A weaker version of Venusaur. She is more durable than Victreebel and is therefore less susceptible to missed dodges.

Cons:
  • The CP update left Vileplume significantly weaker than Venusaur. Because of this, Vileplume is never optimal.

Optimal Moveset
  • Razor Leaf + Solar Beam or Petal Blizzard
JolteonJolteon Pros:
  • With a huge buff in the CP update, Jolteon becomes the first electric-type to grace a Gamepress tier list. Jolteon is the best attacker into Gyarados.
  • Also performs well vs. water-types with dodging.

Cons:
  • Electric moves are still quite bad, so Jolteon should only be brought in for that juicy Gyarados matchup.

Optimal Moveset
  • Thunder Shock + Thunder or Thunderbolt
FlareonFlareon Pros:
  • Flareon has closed the gap between herself and Arcanine after the CP update. She can be used for the same matchups that Arcanine has traditionally flourished in.

Cons:
  • Like the other Tier 3 fire-types, Flareon is very poor against many top-tier defenders.

Optimal Moveset
  • Ember + Fire Blast
MukMuk Pros:
  • Spectacular in a handful of matchups. Use him vs. bug, fairy, and grass-types in particular (but avoid Exeggutor).

Cons:
  • Muk's poison typing is not strong offensively and sports a couple of unfortunate weaknesses. Rhydon is an absolute wall.

Optimal Moveset
  • Poison Jab + Sludge Wave or Gunk Shot
JynxJynx Pros:
  • A niche Pokemon with decent base stats and a good typing. Usable vs. Dragonite or as a dodge-reliant generalist attacker.

Cons:
  • Unimpressive bulk renders her dependent on dodging for survival.
  • Charge movepool is sub-optimal for offense.

Optimal Moveset
  • Pound + Psyshock OR
  • Frost Breath + Psyshock or Ice Punch
NidoqueenNidoqueen Pros:
  • If you can find a matchup where Nidoqueen isn't type-countered, she can do well with her quality moveset and good stats.

Cons:
  • Nidoqueen cannot catch a break in a metagame filled with water and psychic-types. She is rarely uncountered.

Optimal Moveset
  • Bite or Poison Jab + Earthquake
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