GamePress

The Top Pokemon for Trainer Battles in Generation 5

Submit Feedback or Error

Poké Note: How To Read

Gen 5, at the time of writing, is not out yet. It’s not even in the game master file, which means we don’t know for sure what moves any given Pokémon will get. Using PokemonDB and Bulbapedia, I pulled together a list of all the moves each Pokémon could learn that are currently in Pokémon GO. Then, I bolded the ones that would be actually useful for them to learn.

None of this should necessarily be treated as gospel, though. There’s plenty of room for these Pokémon to not get any number of these moves. Instead, look at it as a theorycraft, and the potential upper end in utility for any given mon!

Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
181 161 204 2277

Projected Moves

Fast Move Vine Whip, Dragon Tail, Tackle, Iron Tail, Cut, Rock Smash, Hidden Power
Charge Move Leaf Blade, Aqua Tail, Aerial Ace, Frenzy Plant (eventually), Outrage, Leaf Tornado, Seed Bomb, Dragon Pulse, Twister, Hyper Beam, Solar Beam, Energy Ball, Grass Knot
Set Vine Whip + Leaf Blade and Aerial Ace OR Aqua Tail OR Outrage
Tier Great
Serperior kinda resembles a more defensively-weighted version of Sceptile with an actually good Grass-type fast move (Bullet Seed is strictly worse than Vine Whip). While Meganium is overall held back by more or less just being Worse Venusaur, “Bulky Sceptile” may end up having a niche. The fact that it can even beat Venusaur under certain shield scenarios doesn’t hurt either.
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
233 243 158 3337

Projected Moves

Fast Move Counter, Smack Down, Low Kick, Rock Throw, Poison Jab
Charge Move Power-Up Punch, Dynamic Punch, Rock Slide, Stone Edge, Fire Punch, Ice Punch, Thunder Punch, Earthquake, Rock Tomb, Focus Blast, Grass Knot, Bulldoze, Dig
Set Counter + Power-Up Punch and (lots of stuff)
Tier Master
Machamp? Never heard of him. With better damage AND better bulk than Champ, combined with access to Counter + Power-Up Punch and a variety of second charged move options, Conkeldurr could absolutely tear up Master League. The fact that Power-Up Punch Conkeldurr would be much more accessible than Cross Chop Machamp is also really, really nice. While it will absolutely be dominant in Master League, it also has the potential to be a force in Ultra League.
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
260 188 150 2700

Projected Moves

Fast Move Bubble, Mud Shot, Acid, Low Kick, Infestation, Rock Smash, Hidden Power, Poison Jab
Charge Move Power-Up Punch, Earth Power, Earthquake, Mud Bomb, Ice Punch, Sludge Bomb, Surf, Focus Blast, Hydro Pump, Water Pulse, Bubble Beam, Icy Wind, Brick Break, Bulldoze, Grass Knot
Set Bubble OR Mud Shot and Power-Up Punch and Ice Punch OR Earth Power OR Ice Punch OR Sludge Bomb
Tier Great and Ultra
Looking at Seismitoad, you might notice that he somewhat resembles Poliwrath. Not just because of the whole weird frog thing, but because he also learns Mud Shot, Power-Up Punch, and Ice Punch. While there’s some nuance to the Power-Up Punch learning (there’s a whole paragraph about this at the bottom), if he does get it, Seismitoad may just be the new, more accessible Legacy Poliwrath. A solid stat distribution (Lower DEF than Poli but higher HP) and the fact that it’s not legacy-gated could make the toad a very solid pick! Especially in a Silph Cup with Ground but not Water.
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
172 172 200 2341

Projected Moves

Fast Move Smack Down, Bug Bite, Counter, Fury Cutter, Shadow Claw, Poison Jab, Feint Attack, Hidden Power, Rock Smash, Struggle Bug
Charge Move Rock Slide, Stone Edge, X-Scissor, Earthquake, Aerial Ace, Night Slash, Rock Blast, Hyper Beam, Solar Beam, Rock Tomb, Bulldoze, Dig
Set Smack Down or Fury Cutter + Rock Slide and X-Scissor
Tier Great and Ultra
Will Crustle get all these moves? Probably not. It almost definitely won’t get Shadow Claw and Counter. Even without them, though, the Stone Home Pokémon has a lot of potential as a Bug and Rock-type attacker. Maxing out at 2524, it could be a hit in both Great and Ultra League.
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
151 163 237 2273

Projected Moves

Fast Move Hex, Astonish, Hidden Power, Zen Headbutt
Charge Move Ominous Wind, Shadow Ball, Dark Pulse, Grass Knot, Psychic
Set Hex + Dark Pulse and Ominous Wind OR Shadow Ball
Tier Great
With sky-high defense, solid HP, and not too-high attack, Cofagrigus has the potential to be a solid (if not overwhelmingly powerful) threat in Great League. The league currently lacks a relevant mono-Ghost attacker, and Cofagrigus could fit that role nicely! As for Ultra, though, it’s hard to be a Ghost-type when your competition is the legendary Giratina.
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
179 192 197 2621

Projected Moves

Fast Move Water Gun, Waterfall, Smack Down, Bite, Low Kick, Zen Headbutt, Hidden Power, Rock Smash
Charge Move Ancient Power, Rock Slide, Stone Edge, Crunch, Aqua Tail, Surf, Body Slam, Earth Power, Earthquake, Ice Beam, Hydro Pump, Focus Blast, Bulldoze, Dig, Blizzard, Hyper Beam, Rock Tomb, Dig
Set Waterfall OR Smack Down + Body Slam OR Rock Slide OR Aqua Tail
Tier Great and Ultra
Finally, a reason to care about Carracosta (no offense, one person on the internet who chose it over Archeops). With some powerful fast moves, and some strong and cheap charged moves, Carracosta has the potential to be an interesting alternative to Omastar. Is it going to replace current top threats like Bastiodon (with Smack Down) or Azumarill (with Waterfall)? Probably not, but the prehistoric turtle could make a splash if it gets dropped into a Silph Cup format.
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
172 176 205 2419

Projected Moves

Fast Move Confusion, Feint Attack, Charm, Hidden Power, Pound, Zen Headbutt, Charge Beam
Charge Move Psyshock, Future Sight, Dark Pulse, Foul Play, Thunderbolt, Shadow Ball, Power-Up Punch, Rock Slide, Psychic, Mirror Coat, Signal Beam, Hyper Beam, Brick Break, Rock Tomb, Grass Knot, Energy Ball
Set Confusion + Psyshock and Shadow Ball or Foul Play
Tier Great
Gothitelle could function somewhat like Hypno with both its legacy moves, with access to both Psyshock as a cheap option and Shadow Ball as a solid neutral option as well as giving it the ability to deal super effective damage to Medicham, Cresselia, and Deoxys-Defense. Of course, if Niantic decides to bless it with Power-Up Punch, its niche could change completely, though that’s not particularly likely.
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
225 159 178 2338

Projected Moves

Fast Move Bubble, Hex, Hidden Power, Waterfall
Charge Move Ominous Wind, Shadow Ball, Surf, Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, Sludge Bomb, Dark Pulse, Sludge Wave, Energy Ball, Blizzard, Icy Wind, Hyper Beam, Bubble Beam, Water Pulse, Psychic
Set Bubble OR Hex + Surf and Shadow Ball
Tier Great
With Jellicent’s titanic base HP, solid Defense, and middling Attack, Jellicent seems almost built for PvP. Water/Ghost is a great defensive typing, with solid offensive coverage as well. A dominant matchup against Medicham and a solid Azumarill matchup (especially with Sludge Bomb) don’t hurt it either. This mon could absolutely hold a niche as an anti-meta pick when it drops.
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
179 158 223 2321

Projected Moves

Fast Move Bullet Seed, Shadow Claw, Poison Jab, Cut, Rock Smash, Hidden Power, Tackle, Metal Claw
Charge Move Power Whip, Iron Head, Acid Spray, Seed Bomb, Flash Cannon, Hyper Beam, Solar Beam, Thunderbolt, Thunder, Aerial Ace, Energy Ball, Gyro Ball, Bulldoze, Grass Knot
Set Bullet Seed + Power Whip and Iron Head OR Acid Spray
Tier Great and Ultra
Anyone with Smogon OU experience will have seen this one coming. Ferrothorn is a bulky monster, and with access to Bullet Seed and Power Whip it’s got some great shield pressure and damage. With Iron Head for STAB, or Acid Spray for gimmicks, Ferrothorn should make waves down in Great League.
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
155 150 174 1847

Projected Moves

Fast Move Thunder Shock, Charge Beam, Hidden Power, Volt Switch, Rock Smash
Charge Move Discharge, Thunderbolt, Wild Charge, Flash Cannon, Zap Cannon, Hyper Beam, Signal Beam
Set Thunder Shock + Flash Cannon and Discharge or Wild Charge
Tier Great
The only Not Fully Evolved Pokémon to make it onto this list, Klang has the potential to fill a role very similar to Legacy Thunder Shock + Discharge/Magnet Bomb Magneton’s in current Great League. Given a better stat distribution, it might perform even better! Probably stronger than Magnezone, as well, with access to Thunder Shock over Spark. The Kling/Klang/Klinklang line has additional potential depending on how Niantic decides to handle their signature move, Gear Grind, a very solid Steel-type move in the main series. That said, the fact that Klang lacks Magneton’s electric typing could hamstring its accessibility in any given Silph Cup, as any Steel-type cup allows competitors access to bulky Steel-types such as Bastiodon, Steelix, and Probopass.
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
172 190 202 2579

Projected Moves

Fast Move Ice Shard, Frost Breath, Poison Jab, Hidden Power
Charge Move Ice Beam, Ancient Power, Flash Cannon, Icy Wind, Aurora Beam, Night Slash, Solar Beam, Hyper Beam
Set Ice Shard + Ice Beam and Ancient Power
Tier Great and Ultra
Better than Glalie? Maybe in Ultra League. The lack of access to Avalanche definitely makes Cryogonal worse as an Ice attacker, but the added bulk is definitely nice. Cryogonal could certainly have a niche as a slower, tankier option with some interesting secondary charged move choices!
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
240 144 171 2162

Projected Moves

Fast Move Thunder Shock, Mud Shot, Mud Slap, Tackle, Water Gun, Spark, Hidden Power, Infestation, Astonish
Charge Move Mud Bomb, Discharge, Thunderbolt, Earth Power, Earthquake, Sludge Bomb, Stone Edge, Rock Slide, Surf, Dig, Sludge Wave, Bulldoze, Water Pulse, Thunder
Set Thunder Shock OR Mud Shot + Mud Bomb and Discharge (though there are a lot of great choices)
Tier Great
Dang, he flat. But that flatness doesn’t mean he can’t take hits. Crazy HP, great defense, and terrible attack mean Stunfisk is pretty much set for Great League. Mix two of the highest EPT fast moves with some cheap but powerful charged moves and you’ve got a crazy shieldbreaker who will probably make its mark on the meta as soon as it’s released. Goodbye, Whiscash. It’s time for a new weirdly-shaped fish thing to shine.
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
242 129 205 2138

Projected Moves

Fast Move Feint Attack, Snarl, Air Slash, Hidden Power, Cut, Rock Smash
Charge Move Sky Attack, Foul Play, Shadow Ball, Dark Pulse, Whirlwind, Brave Bird, Heat Wave, Hyper Beam, Rock Tomb, Aerial Ace
Set Snarl OR Air Slash + Sky Attack and Foul Play
Tier Great
Murkrow too expensive? Honchkrow too squishy? Mandibuzz has you covered, as a new, hyper-bulky Dark/Flying-type Pokémon. While she’s not gonna beat Bastiodon, she has fantastic stats and great typing with some fantastic moves. Definitely, a top mon to look out for!
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
211 256 188 3625

Projected Moves

Fast Move Dragon Breath, Dragon Tail, Bite, Fire Fang, Astonish, Iron Tail, Zen Headbutt, Hidden Power, Charge Beam, Rock Smash, Steel Wing
Charge Move Crunch, Outrage, Body Slam, Aqua Tail, Earth Power, Flamethrower, Stone Edge, Rock Slide, Dark Pulse, Dragon Pulse, Heat Wave, Signal Beam, Hyper Beam, Earthquake, Fire Blast, Rock Tomb, Bulldoze, Flash Cannon
Set Dragon Breath + Crunch and Body Slam or Earth Power
Tier Master
With access to Dragon Breath and some super cheap charged moves for shield breaking, combined with some more hard-hitting and expensive charged moves, Hydreigon could absolutely take a solid role in Master League. Such a wide variety of possible moves, here’s hoping he gets some good ones!
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
205 275 211 4038

Projected Moves

Fast Move Dragon Breath, Dragon Tail, Shadow Claw, Fire Fang, Extrasensory, Zen Headbutt, Steel Wing, Cut, Rock Smash
Charge Move Dragon Claw, Outrage, Crunch, Ancient Power, Flamethrower, Shadow Ball, Rock Slide, Stone Edge, Earth Power, Draco Meteor, Dragon Pulse, Fire Blast, Overheat,Heat Wave, Hyper Beam, Solar Beam, Psychic
Set Shadow Claw OR Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw and Flamethrower OR Crunch
Tier Master
So majestic. So beautiful. So powerful. While, odds are, they’ll just give it Dragon Breath and Outrage (maybe with Overheat as well), receiving Dragon Claw could make Reshiram an interesting alternative to Giratina-A and Legacy Dragonite, especially with its monstrous stats and unique typing! The fact that Fire resists Fairy and Steel certainly doesn’t hurt against Charm users and Dialga! If Niantic decides to bless it with Blue Flare and Fusion Flare, its signature moves, its performance could go into
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
205 275 211 4038

Projected Moves

Fast Move Dragon Breath, Dragon Tail, Shadow Claw, Charge Beam, Zen Headbutt, Hidden Power, Steel Wing, Volt Switch, Cut, Rock Smash
Charge Move Ancient Power, Wild Charge, Thunderbolt, Thunder Punch, Dragon Claw, Shadow Ball, Crunch, Outrage, Earth Power, Stone Edge, Rock Slide, Flash Cannon, Draco Meteor, Signal Beam, Hyper Beam, Thunder, Psychic, Rock Tomb, Focus Blast
Set Shadow Claw OR Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw and Wild Charge
Tier Master
The Electric-type foil to Reshiram has similar potential, just with Wild Charge over Flamethrower. Once again, if it were to receive its signature moves, it could suddenly perform even better!
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
205 289 179 3922

Projected Moves

Fast Move Mud Shot, Smack Down, Extrasensory, Rock Throw, Iron Tail, Rock Smash
Charge Move Rock Slide, Stone Edge, Earth Power, Earthquake, Outrage, Sludge Bomb, Sludge Wave, Rock Tomb, Bulldoze, Hyper Beam, Brick Break, Grass Knot, Psychic, Focus Blast
Set Mud Shot + Earth Power and Stone Edge
Tier Master
Landorus has a really interesting typing, with sky-high offensive stats and passable defenses. If Niantic decides to give it Mud Shot, pretty much any of its charged moves will be viable. While it may be less bulky than the other premier Master League ground type (Groudon), its potential to get cheaper charged moves could give it a very interesting niche. Landorus-Therian Forme will probably be more useful than its Incarnate Forme due to a higher raw stat total.
Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max CP Type
244 310 183 4596

Projected Moves

Fast Move Dragon Breath, Dragon Tail, Shadow Claw, Cut, Rock Smash, Steel Wing, Zen Headbutt
Charge Move Dragon Claw, Ice Beam, Icy Wind, Outrage, Ancient Power, Earth Power, Iron Head, Rock Slide, Stone Edge, Shadow Ball, Blizzard, Draco Meteor, Dragon Pulse, Flash Cannon, Focus Blast, Hyper Beam, Psychic, Rock Tomb, Signal Beam
Set Dragon Breath + Ice Beam and Outrage
Tier Master
We’re gonna need a bigger nerf. The 9% stat tax still leaves the two Kyurem forms as the most powerful Pokémon in the game, with absolutely monstrous stats. They could be even more powerful depending on how Niantic decides to handle Fusion Bolt, Freeze Shock, Fusion Flare, and Ice Burn. We’ll have to see, I guess, but these are absolutely Pokémon to watch out for.

Honorable Mentions: Power-Up Punch Users

In Gen 6, there was a TM for Power-Up Punch. This means a frankly terrifying number of Pokémon learned what’s probably the most broken move in PvP. However, when Gen 7 arrived, the vast majority of these Pokémon could only have Power-Up Punch via being transferred from Gen 6. This did not prevent Niantic from giving it to Poliwrath, Kangaskhan, Medicham, and Hitmonchan. In fact, the only Pokémon in GO with Power-Up Punch who still got it in Gen 7 is Lucario!

Assuming that Niantic doesn’t intend to retroactively add it to a bunch of pre-gen 5 Pokémon, here are the Unova Pokémon that might get access to PUP that wasn’t mentioned above:

Victini, Pignite/Emboar, Watchog, Simisage, Simisear, Simipour, Audino, Throh, Sawk, Krokorok/Krookodile, Darumaka/Darmanitan, Scraggy/Scrafty, Reuniclus, Eelektross, Cubchoo/Beartic, Mienfoo/Mienshao, Druddigon, Golett/Golurk, Pawniard/Bisharp, Heatmor, and Meloetta.

The incredible thing about Power-Up Punch is that it’s so broken it can single-handedly make almost any Pokémon viable. Lucario’s still a beast in Great League despite its incredibly Attack-weighted stat distribution, so every single one of these Pokémon has at least somewhat of a chance to perform (as long as they can get an at least passable Fast Move).

But Where Was...

There are a lot of Pokémon out there with fantastic stat distributions that weren’t on this list, Audino and Amoonguss being prime examples. Sadly, much like Chansey and Blissey before them, they’re held back by a lack of good moves, and will probably not perform particularly well anywhere.

About the Author(s)

Tyler is a contributing writer for GamePress, primarily focusing on Trainer Battle content. Fan of dogs and fighting games.