With Niantic announcing that the doubled range bonuses are here to stay, more players than ever are coming back to Pokemon GO to catch, train, and battle their favorite pocket monsters. If, like me, you are returning after a significant break, you may be wondering what changes have happened to the meta since you’ve been gone.
Is Tyranitar still a king? What about Gengar? Not a problem. Below, we’ve got the answers to the burning question: What are the top ten general Pokemon to invest in for PVE?
Before we get into the list, a few disclaimers. The list was generated based on research, flexibility and obtainability of said Pokemon, and personal opinion, so there may be some community disagreements with some of the choices. That said, this list does not include ranked PVP! This list is for general PVE —- Raids and Rocket battles. Type matchups and moves matter, so if you’re rocking a Rampardos (the best Rock attacker in the game at the moment), you will still lose to a Water type.
Furthermore, the list below is a pool of ten of the most generally good Pokemon. You may not see, for example, the absolute best Bug attacker, as the type isn’t all that useful outside of unique boss encounters. The list is in no particular order.
Finally, this list does not include Mega Evolutions or Shadow variants, although you should be aware that Shadow Pokemon such as Mewtwo, Metagross, Salamence, and Machamp far outshine their normal variants. For Mega Evolutions, as a rule of thumb: if it can Mega Evolve, it will do higher DPS (damage per second).
Pokemon GO Attacker Tier List
1. Rampardos (Smack Down/Rock Slide)
As mentioned above, Rampardos with Smack Down (one of the best Fast moves in the game) and Rock Slide (the best Rock Charge move in the game) consistently puts out the highest Rock DPS in the entire game. If you find a high IV Rampardos, congratulations: you have one of the best raid boss busters available in Pokemon GO.
2. Conkeldurr (Counter/Dynamic Punch)
Conkeldurr is a heavy-hitting Pokemon. Counter has a fantastic animation with good EPS (energy per second) and DPS, and Dynamic Punch wallops targets like a freight train with its 90 base power. The downside is Timburrs are fairly hard to come by, so leveling up Conkeldurr may be unfeasible. In that event, Falinks, Machamp or Heracross can fulfill this slot nicely as well.
3. Rhyperior (Smack Down/Rock Wrecker (L))
Let’s say you don’t have Rampardos, for it’s a pretty rare Pokemon. If you want a backup heavy hitter Rock type, Rhyperior will fit your bill. The downside is that Rhyperior absolutely needs Rock Wrecker, a legacy move only obtained from Elite TM items. If you don’t have that, you can use the budget option of Earthquake, but your efficacy is severely reduced.
4. Kyogre (Waterfall/Surf)
Kyogre, a meta choice in seemingly every last bit of competitive Pokemon, is once again a top-tier option in Pokemon GO! Waterfall has a great animation, and Kyogre has pretty solid bulk, so it can pump out the Water DPS for a longer period of time than other choices. Kyogre is also a pure-Water type, so it doesn’t have to worry about dual-type weaknesses.
5. Chandelure (Fire Spin/Overheat)
Chandelure is a fantastic choice for dual Fire and Ghost DPS. While not the best in either category, Chandelure is the most flexible in both. If you need a Fire attacker, Fire Spin and Overheat are the way to go. If you need to get some Ghost damage, go with Hex and Shadow Ball. It is worth noting that Gengar beats Chandelure for Ghost damage and also has the option of Mega Evolving into a massive powerhouse. If you have a decent Gengar, you should probably run that for Ghost instead.
6. Galarian Darmanitan (Ice Fang/Avalanche)
G-Darm is a brand-new addition to Pokemon GO! and the best non-legendary Ice attacker in the game. Raw power and a great typing against the many Dragon raid bosses we have make this a must-grab (especially since they tend to spawn a lot as part of the Sword/Shield Event)! Keep in mind, though: even though G-Darm hits like a truck, it folds if something looks at it funny.
7. Rayquaza (Dragon Tail/Aerial Ace or Outrage)
You all saw this coming. Rayquaza, the Lord of the Dragons themselves, absolutely deserves a place on this list. While Rayquaza unfortunately isn’t the best DPS anymore, it’s great typing (and Mega Evolution in the future!) make investing in one a very good idea. Outrage is more consistent and deals higher DPS, but Aerial Ace provides Flying coverage, so the choice is up to you.
8. Mewtwo (Confusion/Psystrike (L) or Shadow Ball)
Mewtwo, even in its non-Shadow form, still deals incredibly high Psychic and Ghost damage. As with the Shadow variant in the disclaimer above, you really want Psystrike, but it’s only obtainable with an Elite TM. If you cannot obtain one, Shadow Ball is extremely potent, as well. While Confusion is the best Fast attack, Psycho Cut is only slightly inferior, so either attack will generally work well.
9. Metagross (Bullet Punch/Meteor Mash (L) or Flash Cannon)
Metagross is right up there with Rayquaza and Mewtwo as a bulky freight train that has no brakes. A fantastic stat pool combined with a very strong typing (and a potential Mega Evolution down the line) makes Metagross possibly the best investment possible. Meteor Mash is a legacy move, so it requires an Elite TM. However, feel free to use the budget option Flash Cannon for something similar. Furthermore, while Metagross can function as a bulky Psychic type, you have so many better Psychic options, so it shines better in its Steel role.
10. Roserade (Razor Leaf/Grass Knot or Poison Jab/Sludge Bomb)
While there are technically other attackers stronger than Roserade, this prickly Pokemon is the strongest non-Mega Grass/Poison type available. While you do have a better — although frailer — Poison option in Gengar, you generally don’t have a better option for Grass. Roserade also enjoys being fairly accessible, with Roselia being a pretty common spawn.
That’s the list! Honorable mentions go to Gengar, Blaziken, Lucario, Salamence, Machamp, and Mamoswine for being horizontally better in certain, more specific roles.