Pokemon GO Defenders Tier List – 6 Best Defenders (September 2021)

If you tend to throw money at games you enjoy playing, then the thought of spending money on Pokemon GO probably isn’t a big deal. However, not every player has money to toss at phone games – and who can blame them with everything that is happening. Unfortunately, aside from spending money, there is only one way to earn PokeCoins in Pokemon GO – Gym Defense.

Sort of a relic nowadays, the Gym system is mandatory if you wish to earn currency. The gist is that if a Gym is owned by your team (indicated by the color of the Gym), and isn’t already full of six Pokemon, you can slot one Pokemon in. Every ten minutes that a Pokemon defends a Gym, you earn one PokeCoin, and you can only earn 50 of those in a day. This means that a single Pokemon would need to defend a Gym for approximately eight and a half hours to max out your earnings. You can place one Pokemon into each Gym you encounter, accelerating the rate at which you earn PokeCoins exponentially, but you can still only ever receive 50 a day.

Gyms are fairly easy to break, however – a single player can wreck a Gym that’s not being actively guarded in only a handful of minutes. In order to maximize your chance of earning PokeCoins, you need the best defenders possible. That’s what we got for you down below, a list of the best defenders in Pokemon GO!

Understanding Defense

Before we get to the list, there are a few things to understand about Gym Defense. First, it’s generally a good idea to have some type variety for the Gym. If a Gym already has a Blissey, for example, you may wish to put something that isn’t a Normal type, as any Fighting type will be able to rip right through you both. Second, a Pokemon that is highly rated for offense (such as Rampardos or Roserade) will not necessarily be rated highly for defense. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to stick bulky Pokemon with high HP stats as defenders.

The list is in no particular order – all of the below Pokemon are excellent for Gym Defense!

Pokemon GO Defender Tier List


No defense list would be accurate if it didn’t start with the best Defender in the game, Blissey! This veritable tank has the highest bulk of all Pokemon in GO! However, their lack of offensive choices delegate them strictly to being a massive meat shield. There is definitely value in stacking Blissey at Gyms, as most players will not want to sit and grind out multiple Blissey encounters just to clear. Be warned though, that any decently IV’d Shadow Machamp, Heracross, or Falinks will rip through your defenses.


It only makes sense to pair the bulkiest Ghost-type with the bulkiest Normal-type, and so Drifblim has earned a slot on this list. Fighting-types generally cannot deal with Drifblim very well unless they have a Dark coverage move, and so it is always good to have a Drifblim ready to put into a Gym. Drifblim are somewhat uncommon, as well, so they will slot easier than most other Pokemon on this list.


Naturally, when talking about ways to support Blissey in Gyms, you can’t ignore Togekiss either. Flying-type resistance to Fighting attacks alongside massive bulk and a Fairy-type makes Togekiss an easy slot. Togekiss is also extremely useful in Raids, and so a decently IV’d it can pull double duty when you’re considering what to invest in.


The strongest Steel-type in the game is a no-brainer for this list, as Metagross’ huge bulk and power is undeniably useful in Gym Defense. Meteor Mash will deal extremely high damage to most picks in the meta, and like Togekiss, Metagross is useful outside of Gym Defense as well, making investing into one a priority for players.


Dragonite covers your bases with Dragon and Flying typing, in addition to good bulk and offensive stats. This allows Dragonite to not only support Blissey by being a good Fighting-type counter, but also is useful outside of Gym Defense in other game modes, such as Raids and PVP.


One of the big name meta picks since release, Tyranitar is an excellent answer to Ghost type attackers that may go after your Metagross. With fantastic stats all around, Tyranitar is best placed with a Fighting-type counter to maximize sustainability. Much like Blissey, Tyranitar will fold if facing a Fighting-type.

That’s the list! Special mention goes out to Snorlax (a bulky Normal type similar to Blissey, with more offensive power), Magnezone (a feast-or-famine defender – it walls everything it can resist very well, but takes super effective hits like a chump), Venusaur (bulky grass type, useful for walling water attackers), and Escavalier (a Pokemon with only one type weakness) for being excellent side-options as well.