, ,

Pokemon GO Guide: The Best Gym Defenders By Tier

Tier 2

These Pokemon are high-quality gym defenders with a plentiful array of favorable matchups. However, they are not as dominant as another Pokemon of their type, and/or they have well-known and readily available counters.

Tier 2Explanation
#003 Venusaur
Venusaur
Pros:
• Hard counters Waters including Vaporeon.
• Hard counters the top Rock/Ground types Golem and Rhydon.
• Efficient moveset and very good base stats handle most attackers that don’t type-counter Venusaur.
• Sludge Bomb can be used for better type-coverage vs Venusaur's counters while still maintaining a favorable matchup vs Vaporeon.
• Amazingly manages a favorable matchup vs Flareon.
Cons:
• Hard-countered by Dragonite and Charizard.
• Soft-countered by Arcanine and Lapras.
Optimal Moveset
• Razor Leaf + Sludge Bomb or Petal Blizzard or Solar Beam.
#139 Omastar
Omastar
Pros:
• Fantastic typing matches up very well against multiple elite attackers.
• Rock Slide’s long duration and low energy requirement allow Omastar to be STAB Rock Sliding almost non-stop during the fight.
• Double-resists fire.
• Counters Lapras !
• Counters Dragonite !
Cons:
• Double-weakness to Grass leaves him punished by Exeggutor, Venusar, Vileplume, and Victreebel.
• Low CP and highly-underrated community perception of Omastar may invite more attackers (though this is counterbalanced by the joy you will feel seeing attackers getting beaten back by Omastar)
Optimal Moveset
• Water Gun + Rock Slide



Tier 3

These Pokemon are solid gym defenders but they posses at least one critical flaw or broad weakness. They maintain the ability to optimally fill a defensive role in the right gym composition.

Tier 3Explanation
#059 Arcanine
Arcanine
Pros:
• Elite base stats featuring a monsterous attack value will crush absolutely any Pokemon that doesn’t resist Fire.
• High CP may deter potential attackers.
• No Grass Shall Pass.
Cons:
• Fire is a disastrous defensive typing in Pokemon Go.
• Gets run over by Vaporeon and the other relevant Water Gun users such as Blastoise, Slowbro, Golduck, Omastar, etc.
• Also countered by Rhydon, Golem, and Poliwrath.
Optimal Moveset
• Fire Fang + Flamethrower
#071 Victreebel
Victreebel
Pros:
• See Venusaur, just ever so slightly weaker. Victreebel does exactly what Venusaur does just a little bit worse due to her lowered effective health. - Victreebel packs more of a punch than Venusaur, but not quite enough to make up for the lowered tankiness.
• Crushes Vaporeon.
• Manages a barely positive matchup vs Flareon.
Cons:
• Hard-countered by Dragonite and Charizard.
• Countered by Arcanine and Lapras
Optimal Moveset
• Razor Leaf + Sludge Bomb (or Leaf Blade or Solar Beam to all-in against Waters)
#045 Vileplume
Vileplume
Pros:
• See Venusaur (minus the Sludge Bomb comment). Vileplume does exactly what Venusaur does just a little bit worse due to her lowered effective health that is not quite compensated strongly enough by her slightly increased attack stat.
• Crushes Vaporeon.
• Manages a barely positive matchup vs Flareon.
Cons:
• Hard-countered by Dragonite and Charizard.
• Countered by Arcanine and Lapras.
Optimal Moveset
• Razor Leaf + Petal Blizzard or Solar Beam.
#097 Hypno
Hypno
Pros:
• Benefits from the largely-unresisted STAB Confusion + Psychic combo.
• No elite (or very good) attacker attacks Super-Effectively into Hypno.
Cons:
• Despite winning so many matchups, middling base stats prevent Hypno from dominating these attackers and preserving high health for the next attacking Pokemon.
• Low CP and underwhelming community reputation may invite attackers.
Optimal Moveset
• Confusion + Psychic and Psyshock
#036 Clefable
Clefable
Pros:
• Pound, Zen Headbutt and Dazzling Gleam have consistent coverage over the relevant attackers and are rarely resisted.
• Dazzling Gleam's long cooldown and low energy requirement let Clefable spam it almost constantly on defense.
• Fairy typing is consistent and difficult to type counter with elite attackers in PoGo.
• Relatively strong counter to Dragonite
Cons:
• Base stats are good but not great.
• Similarly to Hypno, does not utterly dominate many matchups due to neutral typing.
Optimal Moveset
• Pound or Zen Headbutt + Dazzling Gleam

Continued on next page >>