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Top 21 Pokemon by TDO and Their Counters for PvP

12-12-2018
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TDO for PvP

There are still a lot of questions still up in the air regarding PvP, though the ultimate factor in viability will likely be TDO (Total Damage Output). In Raids (and probably also while attacking gyms), we mostly care about DPS or damage per second. We are rewarded strictly by how quickly we can defeat the defending Pokemon. In PvP, the goal is to feint as many of our opponent’s Pokemon as possible, while keeping our own alive. With this, we will likely want to keep our eyes on the Pokemon who can output the most total damage before dying. The longer they can stay in the battle, the larger impact they will have towards our team’s success.

Calculating TDO

With Player Vs Player battles currently unimplemented, we can’t fully understand how PvP will function. While the Pokemon listed here are likely among the top candidates PvP viability, remember that we don’t yet know exactly how PvP will function. There’s no reason to spend candy and Stardust powering up any of these Pokemon just yet, though these all point towards being top candidates based solely on their total damage output. A new system for charge attacks and shields will mean TDO will have to be recalculated once we’ve seen PvP in the game.

We will calculate TDO using GP’s Comprehensive DPS/TDO Spreadsheet. (Note: You can set a CP Cap to filter per PvP division, but this page will be looking at uncapped CP aka the Master League) From there will will assemble a list of the highest TDO Pokemon currently available along with its highest TDO moveset. For many Pokemon this will not be the optimal PvP moveset. This is especially true with the added ability to shield charge attacks. Following each Pokemon, we will note any listed Pokemon with appropriate type effectiveness to counter each choice.

Making a Metagame

Knowing the top choices still leaves a lot of room for… well, choice! There will, of course, be additional Pokemon not listed that can rise in power rankings because of their unique type coverage and defensive coverage. Raikou has much higher TDO than Zapdos (not listed), but the two are weak to completely different moves because Zapdos is part Flying. There also exist more specialized counters which may see use in various PvP formats, like Fighting, Ice, Bug, and Grass-type Pokemon.
While a meta equilibrium surely exists (and you can definitely expect more math with better ideas on top PvP Pokemon in future GP content), this list is an estimation of some top choices. From there, look at each Pokemon’s counters, the counter’s counters, and so on. This provides a decent jumping off point for team building theory crafting. So let’s get to it!

One Last Thing

Before you go spending all your stardust, trainers, remember that this is a not a definitive list of the best Pokemon for PvP. It is the highest TDO Pokemon currently available followed by their highest TDO counters from the given list, averaged against all movesets. Many changes are coming, potentially including additional Charge Moves, move rebalancing, energy retooling, shielding, stat buff/debuff effects, abilities, and more top-secret improvements. We here at GamePress are just as excited as many of you to get battling. Be sure to bookmark us as we’ll have plenty of additional articles on PvP once we get our hands on it!

*Effectiveness as a counter lessened by one or more listed moves.

The Pokemon

Extrasensory + Sky Attack

Top counters: Tyranitar*, Melmetal, Rhyperior*, Raikou

Decent counters: Giratina*, Mewtwo, Kyogre, Metagross

Moves for additional type coverage: Dragon Tail, Hydro Pump

Bullet Punch + Meteor Mash

Top counters: Entei*, Tyranitar*, Groudon, Moltres

Decent counters: Rhyperior*, Mewtwo, Giratina

Moves for additional type coverage: Earthquake

Pound + Hyper Beam

Top counters: Lugia, Metagross, Mewtwo

Decent counters: Giratina*, Dragons*

Moves for additional type coverage: Zen Headbutt, Psychic, Dazzling Gleam

Shadow Claw + Dragon Claw

Top counters: Lugia

Decent counters: Tyranitar, Mewtwo*, Dragons*

Moves for additional type coverage: Dragon Breath, Shadow Sneak

Waterfall + Hydro Pump

Top counters: Melmetal, Raikou

Decent counters: Mewtwo, Lugia*, Groudon*, Ho-oh*

Moves for additional type coverage: Blizzard, Thunder

Dragon Tail + Outrage

Top counters: Kyogre, Mewtwo, Lugia

Decent counters: Giratina

Confusion + Shadow Ball

Top counters: Tyranitar*, Lugia*, Giratina*

Moves for additional type coverage: Psycho Cut (for more energy), Focus Blast, Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, Flamethrower

Dragon Tail + Outrage

Top counters: Kyogre, Mewtwo, Lugia*

Decent counters: Giratina, Dragonite

Moves for additional type coverage: Ancient Power

Dragon Tail + Solar Beam

Top counters: Kyogre*, Lugia

Decent counters: Ho-Oh

Moves for additional type coverage: Earthquake

Steel Wing + Fire Blast

Top counters: Tyranitar*, Regirock*, Melmetal*, Kyogre*, Giratina, Lugia, Raikou, Rayquaza, Mewtwo

Decent counters: Blissey, Dragons, Snorlax

Moves for additional type coverage: Solar Beam

Dragon Breath + Outrage

Top counters: Giratina*, Lugia*

Decent counters: Dragonite*, Rayquaza*

Moves for additional type coverage: Thunder

Bite + Stone Edge

Top counters: Metagross*, Kyogre, Groudon

Decent counters: Ho-Oh*, Mewtwo*, Lugia*, Rhyperior

Moves for additional type coverage: Smack Down, Fire Blast

Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt

Top counters: Entei*, Groudon, Moltres*, Rhyperior*

Decent counters: Ho-Oh*, Kyogre*, Tyranitar*, Mewtwo

Moves for additional type coverage: Flash Cannon, Rock Slide

Fire Spin + Overheat

Top counters: Kyogre, Lugia, Tyranitar, Rhyperior, Groudon

Decent counters: Blissey, Giratina, Dragons, Mewtwo

Lick + Hyper Beam

Top counters: Lugia*, Metagross*, Mewtwo*, Blissey

Decent counters: Kyogre, Dragons, Groudon, Tyranitar

Moves for additional type coverage: Zen Headbutt, Earthquake

Dragon Tail + Draco Meteor

Top counters: Kyogre, Mewtwo, Lugia

Decent counters: Giratina*, Dragonite*, Rayquaza*, Latias*, Tyranitar*, Rhyperior*

Moves for additional type coverage: Hydro Pump

Fire Spin + Sky Attack

Top counters: Tyranitar, Rhyperior, Melmetal*, Kyogre

Decent counters: Lugia, Giratina, Lugia, Raikou, Rayquaza, Mewtwo

Moves for additional type coverage: Overheat

Thunder Shock + Wild Charge

Top counters: Groudon, Rhyperior

Decent counters: Giratina, [email protected], Blissey

Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw

Top counters: Giratina*, Lugia, Dragonite*, Rayquaza*, Latias*

Decent counters: Salamence*, Tyranitar*, Kyogre*

Moves for additional type coverage: Solar Beam