Potion and Revive Management - How to Save Your Potions

Potion and Revive Management - How to Save Your Potions

With Niantic nerfing the drop rate of Potions and Revives came the Great Potion Drought in Winter 2017. The Potion Winter has come! As a result, the community is eagerly looking for ways to manage their Potions and Revives at a sustainable level. This guide will discuss the Potion efficiency in details and aims to help you pass the Potion Winter!

Potion Drought - How Serious Is It?
Potion Drought - How Serious Is It?
Aug 2016 May 2017 Nov 2017 PokeStop/(Gym)
Potions 22% 15.6% 5%/(13%)
Revives 5.5% 8.0% 1%/(16%)

Data Source:

  1. PokéStops
  2. [Research] PokéStop drop rate changes beginning May 9th
  3. Quick Analysis of Item Drop Rate 14Nov

As seen in the table above, Potions are 66% less likely to drop from PokeStops than seven months ago. GymStops give you more Revives, but still fewer Potions than before. Given that average raid battle costs 3-4 Revives and 15 Potions, healing items obtained from spinning PokeStop a hundred times get used up in just one raid. We haven’t talked about Gym activities yet!

More and more players are complaining about not having enough Potions. Whether this is Niantic’s intended outcome or not, the Potion Drought is real.

OK, but What Can We Do?
OK, but What Can We Do?

To tackle the Potion Drought, one way is to develop a “disposable army” – for example, catch high-level wild level Eevees, evolve them and use them in battle, and after they faint just send them to the Professor, who will take good care of the Pokémon. However, if you want to fight side by side with your hard-trained Pokémon, then this article is made for you.

To put it simply, there are three things you should do:

  1. Spend Potions/Revives Wisely
  2. Choose Potion-efficient Pokémon to fight with
  3. Dodge!

This guide will go through first two points in detail. As for dodging, here’s our dodge guide for a quick starter. Good dodging requires practice! You need to build the bond with your Pokémon, trainer.

General Tips to Minimize Potion and Revive Usage

First, let’s discuss some useful tips on spending healing items wisely.

  1. Don’t force yourself to fully heal half-lifers. A Pokémon doesn’t need to be at 100% HP to perform well, especially in fighting gyms. In raids, if you are within the charge move KO range, then half-lifers are basically the same as full-lifers.

  2. Don’t spend small Potions (Potion and Super Potion) on healing heavy HP Pokémon like Vaporeon, Lapras, Snorlax, and most of all, Chansey and Blissey! Don’t hoard big Potions (Hyper Potion and Max Potion). A Pokémon doesn’t need to be at 100% HP to perform well. It will save you more in the long run.

  3. Prioritize using high-level attackers. If they faint, heal them and use them to fight again instead of turning to use lower-level but healthy attackers. (Tip provided by u/spookyspooky23)

  4. Take gyms with friends, and strategize! Don’t share the burden alone. Taking gyms together is fun, and you're more likely to succeed if you bump into Golden Razz Berry feeder(s).

  5. Keep more big Potions than Revives in your bag. One big Potion paired with one Revive functions as an almighty Max Revive.

  6. If you want to save bag space, then you can maintain a healthy Potion-to-Revive ratio by switching between Potion-first policy and Revive-first policy. A Potion-to-Revive ratio of 2:1 has served me well, but it can be adjusted for playstyle.

Choose Potion-Efficient Pokémon
Editor’s Choices

Now let’s move to the second part, choosing Potion-efficient Pokémon. Below are some of the top Potion-efficient picks for gym battling:

Fast Move Charge Move
Extrasensory Sky Attack
Fast Move Charge Move
Steel Wing Solar Beam
Fast Move Charge Move
Mud Shot Solar Beam
Fast Move Charge Move
Thunder Shock Wild Charge
Fast Move Charge Move
Fire Spin Overheat
Fast Move Charge Move
Fire Spin OverheatFlamethrower
Fast Move Charge Move
Bite Stone Edge

Why are the above Pokémon Potion-efficient? What metric should we use to evaluate a Pokémon’s Potion efficiency? The following sections below will discuss this in detail.

Common Misunderstandings on Potion Efficiency

Let’s first look at some common misunderstandings on Potion efficiency.

1. Higher Defense means more Potion efficient.

High defense is not enough. In a fight against Snorlax, Steelix would end up with more HP used than Mewtwo, due to the former battling much longer. Preferably, you need high Damage Per Second (DPS) as well.

2. To defeat the same enemy, less HP used means more Potion efficiency.

This depends on the kind of Potion you use. One Hariyama can take out a Blissey and a Chansey, though ending with little HP. It takes two Machamps to get the same job done. Machamps still have less total HP used, but if you use big Potion, then Hariyama costs you just one while Machamps cost you extra small Potions.

Quantifying Potion Efficiency Using TDO and Relative DPS

To fairly quantify Potion efficiency, there are two metrics to use, depending on whether you use small Potions or not.

  • If you don’t use small Potions, then Total Damage Output (TDO) is what you look for.
  • If you use small Potions, then Relative DPS (your DPS divided by enemy’s DPS) is what you look for.

Model a gym as a boss by adding the HP of all the defenders together. To defeat the gym, you need to bring the gym boss’ HP down to 0, probably multiple times.

If you don’t use small Potions, then you want to minimize the number of Pokémon used so as to minimize the usage of big Potions and/or Revives. This is equivalent to finding the Pokémon with high TDO, since (Gym HP/TDO) is approximately the number of Pokémon used.

If you use small Potions, then you want to minimize the total HP used. You want to look for Pokémon that have the highest “conversion ratio” – by sacrificing one HP, deduct enemy’s HP the most. (TDO/HP_used) exactly measures this, which equals to Relative DPS.

Select Attackers’ Potion-Efficiency Against Blissey
Select Attackers’ Potion-Efficiency Against Blissey

To put theory into practice, let’s examine the select attackers in a fight against the biggest nightmare – maxed-out perfect Blissey with Zen Headbutt + Dazzling Gleam. Using the methods introduced above, the following graph is generated.


  1. Attackers are all of level 40 and perfect IVs. The dodge strategy is Dodge Specials PRO with perfect dodging. The weather is set to be Extreme (no boost). Simulation data is from pokebattler.com.
  2. In most cases, there is overkill at the end of the battle. To make it fair for those attackers, the overkill part of the damage is also taken into account.
  3. Full TDO is calculated as Full HP * Relative DPS, measuring the TDO before fainted.
  4. Slaking cannot kill the Blissey within the time limit.

From the graph, we can easily find the most Potion-efficient Pokémon against Blissey.

  • Lugia is undoubtedly the king of being Potion-efficient. By either metric, it stands at the very top of the chart. Its buddy, Ho-Oh, doesn’t let us down, being the second most Potion-efficient. Note that Ho-Oh beats Blissey a little bit faster than Lugia does.
  • (Focus Blast) Mewtwo is the overall best choice. Using Lugia or Ho-Oh is more Potion-efficient but very time-consuming. Mewtwo, while being very Potion-efficient, beats Blissey almost as quickly as Machamp does.
  • Alakazam is nice pick by one of our readers. It is more small-Potion efficient than Mewtwo, mainly because it takes one less damage from each Zen Headbutt. Most importantly, Alakazam is way more obtainable! Note that it requires Focus Blast to be optimal for countering Blissey. Besides, the dodging is more requiring with Alakazam. The performance of Future Sight variant is also included as a reference.
  • Raikou is a fantastic choice to have. Both of its moves are fast and therefore very dodge friendly. Note that the graph is based on Perfect Dodging Specials, and Raikou is more likely to reach its expected performance.
  • Groudon, Moltres, and Entei are of the same Potion-efficiency tier. Among these three, Moltres is my pick as it finishes Blissey the fastest; Entei has the highest full TDO, meaning that it is big Potion-efficient; Groudon is overall the bulkiest and its Mud Shot is more dodge-friendly. The three all enjoy Sunny/Clear boost very much, making them even better.
  • Gardevour is a nice pick by GamePress user WaterYouWading4. As it turns out, it is very small Potion-efficient, sporting a relative DPS close to Mewtwo's. However, it requires a lot of practice to master the dodging with Confusion. Nevertheless, Gardevour definitely has the potential for Potion efficiency.
  • Tyranitar, though not as well-performing as legendaries, is still considerably more small-Potion-efficient than Machamp, and also more big Potion-efficient than Mewtwo. As a plus, Bite + Stone Edge is one of the most dodge-friendly movesets.

Other findings:

  • Dragonite and Exeggutor are not recommended in this fight. They are almost as Potion-efficient as Machamp but Machamp gets the job done much faster.
  • Blaziken and Hariyama lose to Machamp. The extra Fire typing on Blaziken doesn’t help it win back the Potion-efficiency. As for Hariyama, it is marginally more big-Potion-efficient, but the difference in small Potion efficiency is much more noticeable.
  • The water duo, Vaporeon and Gyarados, offer little. Even though Vaporeon has higher full TDO than Machamp, you are better off using Tyranitar.
Closing Words

The Potion Drought is real. Unless you want to be left high and dry after the next raid, follow the interventions provided: use disposable Pokemon for gyms, maintain a sustainable potion/revive ratio that suits your play style, be mindful of Potion-efficient Pokemon, and try to fight in groups.

We hope that this guide has helped you tackle the Potion issue to some extent. Don’t forget to visit GamePress often for more future guides to come!

Quick Links
Raid Boss List
Raid Boss List
Raid Boss Counters
Raid Boss Counters

Pokemon List

IV Calculator

Moves List


Egg Chart

Type Chart

Power Up Costs

CP Calculator

Gym Attackers

Gym Defenders

ATK per type