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Attackers Tier List

Tier List Overview

The Attackers Tier List aims to tackle the question of where best to spend your resources (Stardust, Rare Candy, and TMs). The Attackers Tier List highlights what are arguably the best Raid Pokemon in the game, divided into two distinct sections:

  1. A list of Mega Evolved Pokemon that are currently boosted, which may include Pokemon that are also on the tier list in other capacities. Note that this field will not always have candidates listed, as Mega Evolution boosts aren't a constant feature to the game.
  2. A core list of top attackers with good matchups against many Gym defenders and past / future Raid Bosses, ranked from S to C.

While the top attackers may fluctuate with additions of new Pokemon and moves into the game, we anticipate entries on this core list to be highly used in Raid and Gym battles. All trainers should feel confident in powering up and adding these Pokemon to their team based on current rankings. 

The best Pokemon to power up will always be the ones immediately useful, so pay attention to Raid Boss rotations! 

Please note that the placement of Pokemon within tiers is random, and does not reflect their individual projected performance.

Update Log

  • 10/27/2022-
    • Giratina Origin: B+>A after getting Shadow Force
  • 10/26/2022-
    • Zoroark added to B+ Tier
  • 10/20/2022-
    • Giratina - Altered Forme added to C Tier after getting Shadow Force
    • Mega Banette added to A Tier
  • 9/17/2022- 
    • Kartana added to S Tier
    • Mega Aggron added to B Tier
  • 9/12/2022-
    • Mega Alakazam: Added to A+ Tier
    • Gigalith: B > B+ ahead of its Community Day
    • Tyranitar: B > B+
    • Shadow Golem: A > B+
  • 9/2/2022- Moveset Update
    • Terrakion: B+ > S
    • Cobalion: Added to C
    • Virizion: Added to C
  • 8/18/2022-
  • 5/10/2022- 
    • Mega Latios: Added to S Tier
    • Mega Latias: Added to A+ Tier
    • Garchomp: B+ > A
    • Shadow Entei: B+ > A
    • Mega Absol: A- > B+
    • Reshiram: A+ > A
  • 4/2/2022- Shadow Luxray and Shadow Alolan Exeggutor added to B+ tier, Shadow Latias and Tapu Lele added to B Tier.
  • 3/6/2022- (Apex) Shadow Ho-oh raised from B+ tier to A+ tier, Ho-oh raised from B tier to B+ tier, Tapu Koko added to C tier, Mega Aerodactyl added to A+ tier.
  • 2/10/2022- added Ho-oh, Lugia, and their Shadow variants to the list ahead of their projected moveset updates. Their positions will likely be adjusted later.
  • 1/9/2022- added all remaining variants of Genesect to Tier B, including pre-emptively adding Chill Drive.
  • 11/28/2021- Hoopa: Unbound added to C tier.
  • 11/16/2021- Mega Absol added to A tier, Conkeldurr and Excadrill raised from A- to A tier.
  • 10/31/2021- Tier List Update/Reorganization. Added new tier definitions, and compounded many tiers of similar utility. Added the Update Log (which you are reading now) in order to help keep track of major updates.

Note on Mega Evolutions

Mega Evolutions are calculated a little differently on this list due to the fact that players can only have one at a time. Because of this limitation, some very strong Mega Evolutions may end up on tiers lower than other Pokemon within their types, as their meta tends to be more competitive. A lower placement on a Mega Evolution does not necessarily make it worse than its competition.

It's also worth noting that Niantic will occasionally enable a "Mega Evolution Boost" period in-game, that will temporarily raise one Mega Evolution to a very high level while Mega Evolved. Instead of temporarily editing their placement on this list, we will highlight any currently Mega Evolved Pokemon that are experiencing a Mega Evolution boost here, alongside a short explanation as to how this boost effects their placement.

Boosted Mega Evolutions

Boost Start Boost End
- -

No Mega Evolutions are currently boosted.

S Tier

These are the Pokemon that rule the current Metagame. They are the apex of power within their given types, and are either capable of effectively slotting into teams without Super Effective damage or are simply the best of a remarkably useful type. These should be the top-priorities for any player working on building a Raid team.

Kartana

Optimal sets:

  • Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade

Comments:

Kartana is absurdly powerful, and has a great typing with Grass/Steel. It's a bit frail, but it also has a ton of resistances to keep its crazy DPS going.

Terrakion

Optimal sets:

  • Double Kick + Sacred Sword

Good Sets:

  • Smack Down + Rock Slide

Comments:

The September 2022 move-rebalance introduced Double Kick, which finally allowed Terrakion to make use of the stupid-strong Sacred Sword. With this, it's among the best Fighting Types in the game, and still a very solid Rock Type as well!

Shadow Metagross

Optimal sets:

  • Bullet Punch + Meteor Mash (Elite)

Great sets:

  • Zen Headbutt + Psychic

While Steel-types aren't really known for attacking, a Shadow Pokemon with pseudo-Legendary stats and one of the best Charged Moves in the game makes quite a powerful Pokemon. As long as Steel isn't resisted, Shadow Metagross is an excellent choice.

Shadow Machamp

Optimal sets:

  • Counter or Karate Chop (legacy) + Dynamic Punch

Great sets:

  • Counter + Close Combat or Cross Chop

Comments:

Fighting is the most useful attacking type, and Shadow Machamp is the best puncher in the game!

Shadow Mewtwo

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Psystrike (Elite)
  • Psycho Cut + Shadow Ball (Elite)

Great sets:

  • Confusion + Shadow Ball (Elite)
  • Confusion + Psychic
  • Psycho Cut + Ice Beam
  • Psycho Cut + Thunderbolt
  • Psycho Cut + Focus Blast

Comments:

Mewtwo has yet again redefined the term generalist in Pokemon Go. With access to an array of powerful Charge Moves, Shadow Mewtwo can almost always hit for Shadow boosted Super Effective damage. With Elite Charge TMs, Shadow Ball and Psystrike unlock insane amounts of damage for Shadow Mewtwo. 

Shadow Salamence

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Outrage (Elite) + Draco Meteor

  • Dragon Tail + Outrage (Elite)


Great sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Draco Meteor

  • Fire Fang + Fire Blast

  • Dragon Tail + Hydro Pump

  • Bite + Draco Meteor or Outrage (Elite)


Comments:

Salamence has higher Attack than Dragonite, and now that it has Outrage too, it's definitively the better Dragon by a narrow margin. Draco Meteor is still pretty good, and ambitious raiders can put both on the same Salamence for extra DPS.

As a Shadow Pokemon, some of Salamence's other movesets become interesting options to make Salamence a Fire, Water, or Dark-type attacker. Dragon-type is rarely resisted too, making Salamence a formidable generalist in other scenarios too.

Shadow Dragonite

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail or Dragon Breath + Outrage

Great sets:

  • Dragon Tail or Dragon Breath + Draco Meteor (Elite)
  • Dragon Tail or Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw

Comments:

Shadow Dragonite, despite sporting damage just slightly behind Shadow Salemence, is still very much one of the most powerful Dragon Types in the game, and is still just as viable in most cases. Shadow Dragonite still has a lot of use as a Dragon-type generalist. Unlocking an additional move can allow Dragonite to make better use of energy and deal even more damage.

Mega Latios

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw
  • Zen Headbutt + Psychic

Comments:

Mega Latios sets itself apart as a great attacker for both Psychic and Dragon Types. It has high DPS, and role-compression, making it a great investment for any raid team.

Mega Gengar

Best Movesets:

  • Lick + Shadow Ball
  • Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball

Among the currently released Mega Evolutions, Mega Gengar has the highest neutral DPS. This is especially nice when you consider how wide Ghost’s neutral coverage is, as it makes Mega Gengar a solid neutral coverage choice that can remain competitive when compared to several other types. It’s also set to hold the throne as the most powerful Ghost for the foreseeable future.

Mega Charizard Y

Best Movesets:

  • Fire Spin + Blast Burn (Elite)

The “good” Charizard Mega Evolution boasts tremendous Fire power and a potentially advantageous type against certain raid bosses. While it can’t pull double Type duty effectively like the X version, its focused power makes it a very attractive Mega Evolution to invest in.

 

Shadow Mamoswine

Optimal sets:

  • Powder Snow + Avalanche


Great sets:

  • Mud Slap + Bulldoze

Comments:

Ice is a hugely important attacking type, and Shadow Mamoswine is oppressively strong within this type. Even with low IVs, Shadow Mamoswine stands head and shoulders above the competition, even knocking poor Shadow Weavile down several pegs on its release. It's also a very capable Ground Type as well, making this a very worthwhile investment!

A+ Tier

These are the Pokemon that stand at or near the top of their useful types, or Pokemon that bring tremendous amounts of general utility to the table. They are always very powerful, extremely versatile, or able to fill a niche in the game that is extremely valuable.

Xurkitree

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Discharge
  • Spark + Discharge

Great sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Thunder

Comments:

Xurkitree is a nuclear power-plant of a Pokemon in terms of its base stats. This thing could be one of the strongest Pokemon in the game given the right moveset, but for now it's held back to its position as a rival to the best Electric Type Shadows in the game. This is a Pokemon that is definitely worth investing in!

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Wild Charge


Comments:

Shadow Electivire definitely is lightning in a bottle. This electro-yetti deals outstanding damage, and walks in the top echelon of damage dealers.

Shadow Hariyama

Optimal sets:

  • Counter + Dynamic Punch


Comments:

While not quite as strong as Shadow Machamp, Shadow Hariyama is still a very powerful Fighting Type that is worth a slot on most teams.

Mega Venusaur

Best Movesets:

  • Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant (Elite)

While destined to lose the DPS war to Mega Sceptile at some point in the future, Mega Venusaur is going to remain stable in its niche as the bulky, all-around Grass Type Mega Evolution. It has a great mix of DPS and TDO that will allow it to stay relevant long-term even when it’s inevitably outsped. 

 

Mega Blastoise

Best Moveset:

  • Water Gun + Hydro Cannon (Elite)

After years of being sub-par, Blastoise has finally Mega Evolved and become a Water Type worth using. With the water-power to douse anything that it’s Super Effective against, Mega Blastoise is a very solid choice to cover a very pervasive type.

Mega Alakazam

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Psychic*
  • Psycho Cut + Psychic*

Great sets:

  • Confusion + Future Sight
  • Psycho Cut + Future Sight

Comments:

The classic Psychic Type is back, and with a vengeance. Dropping as an obscenely strong attacker, Mega Alakazam can make short work of many raids, making it a very strong addition to any raid team.

Mega Aerodactyl

Optimal sets:

  • Rock Throw + Rock Slide


Comments:

Rock is among the most valuable types in the game, and Mega Aerodactyl is destined to remain one of the absolute Mega Evolutions of its type. It sports high damage and team support for other Rock Type attackers, which makes it very useful in many raids.

Mega Manectric

Best Movesets:

  • Charge Beam + Wild Charge

The top DPS option among the Mega Evolved Electric Types, Mega Manectric has one job and one job alone: fry the opposition. If you need an Electric Type and your worry is beating the clock, then Mega Manectric is the easy choice thanks to its very high overall performance.

Mega Abomasnow

Best Movesets:

  • Powder Snow + Weather Ball (Ice)

Ice is well known for its pervasive power in raids, and Mega Abomasnow is the Mega Evolution of choice when something needs to be cooled down. It fires off its Ice Type attacks remarkably fast and can drain huge chunks of HP when on the field. Its biggest issue tends to be its Grass sub-typing, which generally doesn’t do it many favors.

 

Shadow Raikou

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Wild Charge

Great sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Shadow Ball

Comments:

Electric’s favorable type coverage, Raikou's good bulk and damage output, and the frequent appearance of Water types on gym defense make Raikou a top attacker choice.

Shadow Raikou appreciates Shadow Ball even more, allowing it to function as a reasonable Ghost-type attacker too.

Rampardos

Optimal sets:

  • Smack Down + Rock Slide


Comments:

Rampardos joins Mewtwo and Rayquaza in the echelon of Pokemon with huge Attack stats. With both Smack Down and Rock Slide, it embarrasses Tyranitar and Rhyperior as Rock attackers. It's the most potent attacker into anything weak to Rock, only hampered by bulk comparable to Gengar.

Shadow Swampert

Optimal sets:

  • Water Gun + Hydro Cannon*

  • Mud Shot + Earthquake


Comments:

Shadow Swampert is very effective in any raid that it has Super Effective damage. It is hugely powerful as a Water Type attacker, can moonlight as a great Ground Type attacker, and can very easily switch between the two roles thanks to its extremely inexpensive second charged move unlock cost.

Shadow Moltres

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Spin + Overheat

  • Wing Attack + Sky Attack*


Comments:

Shadow Moltres is outstanding, to say the least. It's a monster as both a Flying and a Fire Type attacker, and can easily switch between the two if it has a second charged move unlocked. Shadow Moltres brings a great mix of power and role compression to the table, making it a great pick for any raid that it deals Super Effective damage in.

Shadow Tyranitar

Optimal sets:

  • Smack Down* + Stone Edge

  • Bite + Crunch


Comments:

Shadow Tyranitar has a great balance of power and longevity, and it also has the advantage of being able to operate as a Rock or Dark Type attacker. However, Shadow Tyranitar isn't quite as good in the dual-type attacker role as others, as Smack Down is an Elite Move. This makes switching from type to type fairly difficult.

Shadow Weavile

Optimal sets:

  • Ice Shard + Avalanche

  • Snarl + Foul Play


Comments:

Shadow Weavile is a remarkably strong and very frail Pokemon. Its ability to perform as both a Dark Type and an Ice Type attacker gives its investment outstanding overall value to offset its high investment.

Optimal sets:

  • Mud Shot + Earthquake


Comments:

Landorus - Therian Forme suffered a hit to its moveset pre-release when it lost Earth Power, but it still has the sheer force needed to be a great Pokemon overall. As a king among Ground Types, it has the advantages of pervasive coverage and an outstanding Attack stat, though Ground Type moves are still on the weak-side.

Rhyperior

Optimal sets:

  • Smack Down + Rock Wrecker (legacy)


Great sets:

  • Mud Slap + Earthquake
  • Smack Down + Stone Edge

Comments:

Rock Wrecker makes this Sinnoh Stone evolution an extremely useful Pokemon to power up. TM existing Rhyperior to Mud Slap + Earthquake and it's still pretty great, though Rock-type attackers will have more use in the meta. If you're powering up your first Rhyhorn now, you can double move it and use it as a dual attacker.

Lucario

Optimal sets:

  • Counter + Aura Sphere

Comments:

Machamp spent a long time as the King of Fighters until Lucario dethroned it with the excellent Aura Sphere. Though frailer on paper, Lucario's Steel type gives it numerous resistances that put its bulk on par with Machamp.

Shadow Ho-Oh

Best Movesets:

  • Incinerate + Sacred Fire+

 

Good Movesets: 

  • Incinerate + Sacred Fire
  • Hidden Power (Flying) + Brave Bird

Long forgotten and mocked for its poor moveset, Ho-oh has finally reached its true potential. Sacred Fire+ makes Apex Shadow Ho-oh a very strong attacker, and one that is definitely worth adding to your team. Note that the basic Sacred Fire is still a great pick.

A Tier

These are the Pokemon that are genuinely good in the current Meta: the gold-standards. They are high-priority picks due to their high power and/or utility, and will find their way onto raid teams frequently due to their stellar capabilities or the important niches that they occupy. 

Mewtwo

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Psystrike (elite)
  • Psycho Cut or Confusion + Shadow Ball (elite)

Great sets:

  • Confusion + Psychic
  • Psycho Cut + Ice Beam
  • Psycho Cut + Thunderbolt

Comments:

Mewtwo's massive Attack stat means that it excels at whatever it does. It's the game's top non-shadow Psychic attacker, which doesn't mean much on its own, but it can also operate as a viable attacker in many different types as well.

Shadow Venusaur

Optimal sets:

  • Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant


Comments:

Shadow Venusaur sports a solid DPS/TDO mix and a useful typing that make it a very nice choice for relevant raids.

Shadow Honchkrow

Optimal sets:

  • Peck + Sky Attack

Great sets:

  • Snarl + Dark Pulse


Comments:

Shadow Honchkrow is frail, but its DPS puts it near the top echelon of Flying and Dark Types. It has great role compression and can definitely get the job done

Shadow Staraptor

Optimal sets:

  • Wing Attack + Brave Bird

Comments:

A very viable Flying Type attacker with a lot of power behind it. While not the best in its type, it can act as a great way to shore up a Flying Type team and potentially help with breezing through a few Tier 3 boss solo runs for players lacking full counter teams currently.

Shadow Tangrowth

Optimal sets:

  • Vine Whip + Power Whip

Great sets:

  • Vine Whip + Solar Beam

Comments:

Grass is a rather under-powered type, but among the stand-outs, Shadow Tangrowth is one of the best It has a presence that easily rivals Shadow Venusaur. It also has the advantage of being a pure Grass type, making it more useful in select raids.

Optimal sets:

  • Rock Throw + Rock Slide


Comments:

While often overlooked, Shadow Aerodactyl is a very strong Rock Type attacker. While its typing can be an issue, it can still come in and do a great job in many raids.

Mega Ampharos

Best Movesets:

  • Volt Switch + Zap Cannon
  • Charge Beam + Zap Cannon

While less DPS-oriented than Mega Manectric, Mega Ampharos has great all-around performance that allows it to generally excel in its own right. It has higher general TDO and a synergetic Dragon sub-typing to differentiate it and make it the pick of choice when DPS isn’t an issue, but fainting out is. 

 

Mega Houndoom

Best Movesets:

  • Snarl + Foul Play
  • Fire Fang + Flamethrower

Mega Houndoom brings solid DPS in two fairly valuable types to the table. While it’s unlikely to top DPS charts when compared to other Mega Evolutions, it is a solid choice for both that can make walking for Mega Energy a bit easier.

Mega Banette

Best Movesets:

  • Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball

While nowhere near as dominant as Mega Gengar, Mega Banette is a very solid though frail Ghost Type Mega. It's a great backup choice, and can be a stellar budget/backup pick if you manage to get to the point where you can Mega it for free.

Mega Latias

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Breath + Outrage
  • Zen Headbutt + Psychic

Comments:

While slower than Mega Latios, Mega Latias is still very solid and closes the gap a bit on the Dragon side thanks to Outrage, and tends to stay on the field a fair bit longer, which is actually a valuable metric for Mega Evolutions. These factors make Mega Latias fairly competitive overall.

Mega Pidgeot

Best Movesets:

  • Gust (Elite) + Brave Bird

The humble bird of Generation 1 stalks the skies as an apex predator when Mega Evolved, but its chances to actually hunt are few. While Mega Pidgeot is the terror of the Flying Type meta, Flying Types generally don’t see a huge amount of use for the most part. Still, it’s a great budget Mega Evolution that is very effective when Super Effective.

 

Mega Lopunny

Best Movesets:

  • Low Kick + Focus Blast

Mega Lopunny only has one reason to be on this list: its ability to spread boosts to Fighting Type Pokemon. That aside, its performance is very close to Machamp in most raids, with the added weakness to Fighting and double-resistance to Ghost.

Hoopa (Unbound)

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Psychic

Great sets:

  • Astonish + Shadow or Dark Pulse

Comments:

Hoopa: Unbound has absolutely tremendous potential, but is held back by movest. That said, it's still a viable pick for for a Psychic Type attacker, and can also make even Astonish work when combined with Shadow Ball or Dark Pulse.

Shadow Magnezone

Optimal sets:

  • Spark + Wild Charge

Comments:

Despite having semi-low bulk and the disadvantage of its Shadow Boost syphoning away a chunk of its defense, Shadow Magnezone's amazing typing tends to make it an absolutely outstanding DPS/TDO option for many raids. If you can play this robotic terror to its strengths, it will be one of the top counters in any relevant raid.

Shadow Entei

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Fang + Overheat

Great sets:

  • Fire Spin + Overheat
  • Fire Fang + Flamethrower

Comments:

Entei does less DPS than Moltres, but its bulk allows it to do much more TDO. It also has a viable 2 bar charge move with Flamethrower, which is better for gym attacking.

Shadow Gardevoir

Optimal Sets:

  • Charm + Dazzling Gleam
  • Confusion + Psychic

Shadow Gardevoir is an apex Fairy Type, and a very usable Psychic Type as well. Its overall performance is always solid whenever it can deal Super Effective damage, though the rarity of good Fairy Types is the main reason that it's so high on this list.

Salamence

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Outrage (legacy)


Great sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Draco Meteor


Comments:

Salamence has higher Attack than Dragonite, and now that it has Outrage too, it's definitively the better Dragon by a narrow margin. Draco Meteor is still pretty good, and ambitious raiders can put both on the same Salamence for extra DPS.

Shadow Zapdos

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock* + Thunderbolt

  • Thunder Shock* + Drill Peck


Comments:

Despite lacking Wild Charge, the move that sets its competition apart, the sheer power of Shadow Zapdos makes it noteworthy as an Electric Type attacker. It's worth noting that Drill Peck is generally superior to Thunderbolt when both are super effective, though this isn't extremely common.

Best Moveset: Mud Shot + Earth Power

Good Movesets: Rock Throw + Rock Slide


Therian Forme outclasses Incarnate Forme.

Reshiram

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Fang+Overheat


Comments:

Outside of Shadow and Mega Pokemon, Reshiram stands supreme among the Fire Types of Pokemon Go. It has huge damage and a generally helpful sub-typing that tends to put it on the top of raid guides where Fire is super effective. It can also work as a Dragon Type attacker, but it falls behind on this metric due to its lesser Dragon moveset.

Zekrom

Optimal sets:

  • Charge Beam + Wild Charge

  • Dragon Breath + Outrage


Comments:

Zekrom is a powerful attacker that can operate very well as an attacker for both of its types. Its main claim to fame is its huge power as an Electric Type attacker with a sub-type that's very beneficial in most scenarios. As a Dragon Type attacker, it's a bit weaker than the absolute top dragons, but it's also very viable due to its sheer power and the list of resistances that its Electric typing brings to the table.

Hydreigon

Optimal Sets:

Bite + Dark Pulse


Comments:

Hydreigon slightly outclasses Tyranitar as a Dark attacker, but falls short of the big-name Ghosts and Dragons. It's a good Pokemon, but it didn't make much of a splash on release.

Chandelure

Optimal Sets:

  • Fire Spin + Overheat
  • Hex + Shadow Ball

Comments:

Chandelure does double duty as a Ghost / Fire type. It's essentially even with Giratina-O and Gengar on the Ghost end, while its Fire DPS outpaces Moltres. Chandelure is powerful and versatile, and can add typing-balance to any team.

Conkeldurr

Optimal sets:

  • Counter + Dynamic Punch

Comments:

Conkeldurr is a bulkier, slightly harder hitting Machamp, though it can't match up to the power of Lucario's Aura Sphere. Its biggest barriers are availability and evolution cost.

Excadrill

Optimal Sets:

  • Mud Slap + Earthquake
  • Mud Slap + Drill Run

Comments:

As a Ground Type, Excadrill is just a tiny bit less powerful than a few of the other big-names, but it makes up for that fact with its superior availability and Steel sub-type, which tends to leave the somewhat glassy Excadrill as a top TDO pick alongside its high DPS in many raids.

Optimal sets:

  • Shadow Claw + Shadow Force


Great sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Dragon Pulse
  • Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball

Comments: Giratina - Origin Forme is a staple Pokemon among raiders, and with good reason. It has one of the best Ghost Type movesets in the game, a generally advantageous type that can frequently cover other Pokemon that share its role, and an absolutely titanic bulk that makes most other raid attackers green with envy. True, its attack stat is fairly low, but its stellar moveset and ability to absorb damage and lash out with strong attacks makes up for it.

Darkrai

Optimal Sets:

  • Snarl + Shadow Ball or Dark Pulse

Comments:

When something fears the darkness, Darkrai has the skills needed to put those fears to rest... permanently. It has an outstanding overall performance, and tends to sit eerily close to Shadow Tyranitar as a Dark attacker. While Shadow Ball is the stronger move, the difference between it and Dark Pulse is tiny at best.

Mamoswine

Optimal sets:

  • Powder Snow + Avalanche


Great sets:

  • Mud Slap + Bulldoze

Comments:

Mamoswine bucked the trend of Ice mediocrity, possessing decent bulk and the highest Attack stat among all Ice types. It's a solid Ground attacker in a pinch, but Ice's offensive coverage is what really puts Mamoswine up there.

Garchomp

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Outrage
  • Mud Shot + Earthquake

Comments:

As is, Garchomp does the same job as a handful of other Pokemon, with minor tradeoffs. It's a slightly worse Groudon with better resistances, or it's one of many top tier Dragons in GO.

Rayquaza

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Outrage


Great sets:

  • Air Slash + Hurricane (Elite)


Comments:

While currently dethroned by the top Shadow Dragons, Rayquaza is still an outstanding investment due to its all-around stellar performance against its fellow Dragon Types; a type that is filled to the brim with Legendary Pokemon. It's also a solid Flying attacker, but it needs Hurricane to operate at peak efficiency in this capacity.

Metagross

Optimal sets:

  • Bullet Punch + Meteor Mash (legacy)

Great sets:

  • Zen Headbutt + Psychic

Comments:

Metagross had the stats and typing to eke its way into the tier list, but it didn't have the moves - until Meteor Mash. It's now an excellent generalist, a top counter to Ice, Rock, and Fairy, and a great choice for mashing through gyms.

Shadow Latios

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw
  • Zen Headbutt + Psychic

Comments:

Shadow Latios stands in the shadows of many other dragons, but don't let that fool you; this is a strong Dragon Type attacker that can definitely hold its own, and it's solid as a Psychic Type as well. If you don't mind the huge cost, this is a Pokemon worth a bit of investment.

B+ Tier

These are the Pokemon that can generally fight just as hard as the higher tiers, but are slightly less valuable due to being outclassed by the Pokemon in higher tiers or not having an extremely useful typing. It's hard to go wrong picking one of these Pokemon, as they tend to be capable of reaching similar raiding milestones as the above tiers for the most part.

Machamp

Optimal sets:

  • Counter or Karate Chop (legacy) + Dynamic Punch

Great sets:

  • Counter + Close Combat or Cross Chop

Comments:

The Champ ruled the Fighting Type meta for years, but it's finally given up its title to some of the newer faces.... and eventually took that title back in its Shadow forme, oddly. Either way, Machamp is still perfectly viable, and an outstanding choice for building up your raid team. 

Mega Absol

Optimal Set:

Snarl + Dark Pulse


Mega Absol is a bit of a classical glass cannon, sporting very high Dark Type damage but low bulk. It's still way behind Mega Gengar against Ghost/Psychic raid bosses, but it can still do the job just fine, and stands as a solid backup pick if you don't want to drop Gengar Mega Energy on a specific raid.

Zoroark

Optimal Set:

Snarl + Dark Pulse


While not the best Dark Type, Zoroark manages to keep fairly relevant thanks to its solid power and good moveset.

Optimal sets:

  • Volt Switch + Thunderbolt


Comments:

Thundurus - Therian Forme hit the moveset jackpot pre-release.... sort of. It saw a huge improvement due to going from bad moves to good moves, but it still fell short of its tremendous potential. As-is, it's on a par with Zekrom in terms of DPS, but it's nowhere near as bulky. Don't get us wrong, though: Thundurus is still very much a solid investment if you need Electric Type damage.

Optimal sets:

  • Ice Fang+Avalanche


Comments:

Galarian Darmanitan is a glass cannon of an Ice Type, sporting high power and great overall performance that really can't be understated. However, it's also frail, so it's best used by players comfortable with dodging.

Shadow Charizard

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Spin + Blast Burn*


Comments:

Shadow Charizard is a very good Fire Type attacker, able to hit very hard with Blast Burn. It's strong and worth investing in if you're lucky enough to find a good one.

Shadow Torterra

Optimal sets:

  • Razor Leaf + Frenzy Plant


Comments:

Despite the fact that Shadow Venusaur is often seen as the better Grass Type, Mega Torterra generally has a performance that is very similar. The one issue is its Ground typing, which can get in the way of its ability to counter Water types in particualr.

Shadow Gyarados

Optimal sets:

  • Waterfall + Hydro Pump

  • Waterfall + Aqua Tail*


Comments:

Shadow Gyarados is a reliable Water Type, with solid overall performance that gives it value in numerous raids. It's not the best at what it does, but it does what it does wwell.

Best Moveset: Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade

Great Moveset: Acid + Sludge Bomb


Shadow Victreebel has a very nice offensive presence, and can rack up damage very quickly. As a Grass Type, it is one of the best attackers and only falls short of a handful of Pokemon. On the Poison Side, it has absolutely fantastic offensive performance, but Poison is still a less than outstanding type.

Shadow Blastoise

Optimal sets:

  • Water Gun + Hydro Cannon

Comments

Shadow Blastoise isn't the single best Water Type Pokemon by any stretch, but it still keeps pace with many of the top non-Shadow Water Types, making it a solid choice overall.

Shadow Exeggutor

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion (legacy) or Bullet Seed + Solar Beam

Great sets:

  • Confusion (legacy) or Extrasensory + Psychic

Comments:

Exeggutor’s versatile role as both an elite Grass attacker and a strong Psychic attacker keep it on the list. As time goes by, it faces more and more competition on both fronts.

Shadow Magmortar

Optimal Sets:

Fire Spin + Fire Punch


Comments:

Despite being cursed with a bad moveset, Shadow Magmortar definitely isn't a bad Pokemon. It's costly and has very real competition that can be raised for cheaper, but it's not a horrible place to drop your Stardust.

Yveltal

Best Movesets:

  • Gust + Hurricane

Great Movesets:

  • Snarl + Dark Pulse

Yveltal is a strong and reliable Flying Type attacker, as well as a solid Dark Type attacker. This role compression makes it a solid investment for many players.

Mega Scizor
Gigalith

Optimal sets:

  • Smack Down + Meteor Beam*

Comments:

Probably the most vanilla flavored Rock Type out there, Gigalith was given new life with the introduction of Meteor Beam, which puts it on a par with many of the "good" Rock Type attackers in the game.

Mega Gyarados

Best Movesets:

  • Waterfall + Hydro Pump
  • Bite + Crunch

Much like Mega Charizard X, Mega Gyarados is a jack of multiple trades, but a master of none. With Water and Dark types covered, it brings attractive role compression to the table that’s sweetened by surprisingly high bulk. However, other Mega Evolutions will always be able to outclass it in one way or another. Mega Gyarados serves best at or near the back of a raid group, ready to anchor and bring some late-game power.

Mega Charizard X

Best Movesets:

  • Dragon Breath (Eltie) + Dragon Claw
  • Fire Spin + Blast Burn (Elite)

While generally less powerful than its Y forme, Mega Charizard X has an arguably better typing and dual-type utility in its corner. The issue is the fact that it’s destined to be relegated to a “niche pick” in the future, as it will be outclassed as both a Fire Type and a Dragon Type. Still, it’s a very solid Mega Evolution that’s worth having.

 

Shadow Pinsir

Optimal Sets:

  • Bug Bite + X-Scissor
  • Fury Cutter + X-Scissor

One of the best bugs in the game without a doubt, but that title is a crown with little meaning. Even Shadow bugs lack the power needed to compete with other types outside of weather boosts and/or double effectiveness, making the value of this investment somewhat dubious.

Shadow Granbull

Optimal sets:

  • Charm + Play Rough

Comments:

Shadow Granbull falls through the cracks for a lot of players, but it's actually one of the best Fairy Types in the game. While it's not excessively powerful, the rarity of this potentially useful type gives Shadow Granbull some real utility when it's needed.

Shadow Manectric

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Fang + Wild Charge

 

Comments:

While a bit overshadowed, especially by its Mega Evolution, Shadow Manectric is actually a very solid Electric Type attacker that can shore up a team without breaking a sweat.

Zarude

Optimal Sets:

  • Vine Whip + Power Whip

Great Sets:

  • Bite + Dark Pulse

Zarude is one of the first limited Mythical Pokemon to hit the game and actually make a bit of a splash. It's a very capable Grass Type attacker, and a usable Dark attacker as well.

Shadow Lugia

Best Movesets:

  • Extrasensory + Aeroblast+

Good Movesets:

  • Extrasensory + Aeroblast
  • Extrasensory + Sky Attack

Comments:

Shadow Lugia is on this list for the same reason as normal Lugia; it's great at helping players get through select Tier-3 raids solo. However, Shadow Lugia takes on this role even better, and is also useful in general raids as an anchor without too much of a DPS loss in most cases. It's a solid Pokemon to raise, especially for newer players.

Note that an Apex Shadow Lugia with Aeroblast+ is the ideal way to go, but a normal Shadow Lugia with basic Aeroblast is still great.

Optimal sets:

  • Ember + Blast Burn* (Elite)

Comments:

It seems like everyone looks at Ember, gets disappointed, and walks away from poor Shadow Typhlosion. But hey, despite having a weaker Fast Move option, this is still a very solid Pokemon if you happen to have Blast Burn on it!

Optimal sets:

  • Waterfall + Hydro Cannon (legacy)

Comments:

With its exclusive move Hydro Cannon, Feraligatr lived in the spotlight for a short 6 months before Swampert came along and did everything better. Still, it's definitely a solid Water Type that packs a major punch.

Shadow Luxray

Optimal sets:

  • Spark + Wild Charge

Comments

Shadow Luxray has great Electric Type DPS. It may not be the best in the game, but it's definitely a viable choice that can put out great damage.

Optimal sets:

  • Bullet Seed + Solar Beam

Good sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Dragon Pulse

Comments:

The Shadow Boost was enough to actually put Alolan Exeggutor on the map. While its Dragon set is usable, its very synergetic dual-resistances list make it a great overall choice against specific raids. It's a bit niche, but it definitely pulls its weight when its time comes.

Darmanitan

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Fang + Overheat

Comments:

Darmanitan is the new king of Fire-type DPS. Despite this, Fire Pokemon aren't immediately useful and most of Darmanitan's competition on this list have useful secondary typings, making them better investments.

Heatran

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Spin + Flamethrower

Comments

Initially cursed with bad Charged Moves, Heatran caught a break with the addition of Flamethrower to its movepool. It punches above its weight due to its solid natural bulk and numerous resistances. Be wary of weaknesses to coverage moves, though.

Gengar

Optimal sets:

  • Shadow Claw or Lick (legacy) + Shadow Ball

Great sets:

  • Shadow Claw or Lick (legacy) + Sludge Bomb
  • Hex or Sucker Punch + Shadow Ball

Comments:

Gengar's DPS is a standout among Psychic and Ghost counters. Its durability was awful and its DPS used to hinge on the legacy Shadow Claw. Changes in late 2018 gave Gengar access to Lick and 25% more bulk, catapulting its viability as a top attacker.

Breloom

Optimal sets:

  • Counter + Dynamic Punch

Great sets:

  • Bullet Seed + Grass Knot (legacy)

Comments:

Breloom was once well known for its slight DPS edge over Machamp, but that niche has long since closed. It's generally best to look elsewhere.

Kingler

Optimal sets:

  • Bubble + Crabhammer

Comments:

It's Crabhammer time! Kingler finds the spotlight after 3 long years with a generous implementation of its signature move. It features slightly higher DPS than Kyogre, but Kyogre's tankiness is usually more valuable.

Moltres

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Spin + Overheat
  • Wing Attack + Sky Attack (elite)

Comments:

Moltres is great for its high power and role compression, allowing it to be very effective as a Fire or Flying Type attacker.  While it's been outclassed in recent years, it still has the performance needed to be a viable investment in today's metagame.

Dragonite

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail or Dragon Breath + Outrage or Draco Meteor (legacy)

Great sets:

  • Dragon Tail or Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw

Comments:

With great Dragons trickling onto the tier list, is Dragonite obsolete? Dragonite is still a fantastic attacker, as it doesn't require Rare Candy to power up. Historically, it has been far easier to obtain than the other Dragons on this tier list.

Raikou

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Wild Charge

Great sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Shadow Ball

Comments:

Electric’s favorable type coverage, Raikou's good bulk and damage output, and the frequent appearance of Water types on gym defense make Raikou a top attacker choice. The Shadow Ball set is not bad, but you're better off using a Ghost specialist.

Tyranitar

Optimal sets:

  • Smack Down (legacy) + Stone Edge
  • Bite + Crunch

Comments:

A double Psychic resistance, high all around stats, and Rock and Dark coverage render Tyranitar a tier list mainstay. Though there are now Rock and Dark attackers with higher DPS, Tyranitar stands tall with leads in HP and Defense.

Ho-Oh

Best Movesets:

  • Incinerate + Sacred Fire

 

Movesets That Are Better But Should Not Exist:

  • Incinerate + Sacred Fire++

 

Good Movesets:

  • Hidden Power (Flying) + Brave Bird
  • Hidden Power (Grass) + Solar Beam

Let's get this out of the way: don't purify your Shadow Ho-oh, Apex or otherwise! Sacred Fire++ is an amazing move, but purification results in a net-loss in power, even if going from a 13/13/13 shadow to a 15/15/15 purified.

That said: Ho-oh is a very solid Fire Type attacker that can definitely put in the work where needed. It's also a good Flying Type attacker and a passable Grass Type attacker given the proper Hidden Power typing, but Fire is definitely its forte.

Vikavolt

Optimal sets:

  • Bug Bite + X-Scissor
  • Spark + Discharge

Comments:

One of the best bugs in the game, Vikavolt also has the advantage of having Electric Type damage output as well, though it's best sticking with the former.

Nihilego

Optimal sets:

  • Acid + Gunk Shot

Comments:

While not strong enough to really put Poison Type on the map, Nihilego is a very capable Pokemon that can shore up a weakness that many players have in their teams. Though how much of an issue that weakness actually is stands as another matter altogether... 

Pheromosa

Optimal sets:

  • Bug Bite + Bug Buzz

 


Great sets:

  • Low Kick + Focus Blast

 


Comments:

Pheromosa has a tremendous Attack stat that makes it super-competitive with virtually everything else in the game that uses Bug Type damage, but it's also a very easy bug to squish. If this thing had any bulk to speak of, it would be far higher on this list.

It's also... okay... as a Fighting Type.

Swampert

Optimal sets:

  • Water Gun + Hydro Cannon (legacy)

Comments:

Swampert's solid stats are backed up by the insane power of Hydro Cannon. It's truly Kyogre-lite, with the added benefit of a Ground typing that adds Electric, Rock, and Poison resistances.

Gardevoir

Optimal sets:

  • Charm + Dazzling Gleam

Great sets:

  • Confusion + Psychic

Comments:

Gardevoir was one of many run of the mill Machamp counters before it gained Charm and the buff to Psychic. Now it's also a great counter to Dragon types, although it needs the weather to be cloudy and / or the target to be using Dragon type moves in order to shine.

Latios

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw
  • Zen Headbutt + Psychic

Comments:

With the buff to Psychic, Latios probably has a better niche as a Psychic type attacker, but it's a fine choice in Dragon type lineups as well.

Azelf

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Future Sight

Great sets:

  • Extrasensory + Future Sight

Comments:

Azelf is a minor upgrade to Alakazam or Espeon as a Psychic attacker. It has the same offensive stat distribution, but overall slightly better stats. If you want to burn Rare Candy, Mewtwo is a far better choice.

Kyogre

Optimal sets:

  • Waterfall + Surf


Comments:

When it comes to dousing the opposition, Kyogre is a top choice. Its high Water DPS is complemented by excellent bulk and a lack of a sub-typing that could potentially get in the way. Expect to keep seeing Kyogre as a top counter to targets weak to Water.

Groudon

Optimal sets:

  • Mud Shot + Earthquake


Comments:

Groudon is a great Ground-type attacker, but Ground-type moves aren't so great, which is why Groudon doesn't find itself higher. Excadrill has made Groudon less valuable.

Dialga

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Breath + Draco Meteor


Great sets:

  • Metal Claw + Iron Head

Comments:

Dialga's TDO against Dragon-type foes makes it a top counter for most legendary bosses. Draco Meteor holds it back, but its unique ability to take neutral damage from Dragon-types is unrivaled.

Palkia

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Draco Meteor


Comments:

Palkia competes with the good Dragon-types like Dragonite and Salamence. Unfortunately, it can't touch Rayquaza's DPS. It would've been a great Water attacker if it had a Water fast move.

Staraptor

Optimal sets:

  • Wing Attack + Brave Bird

Comments:

A nice addition to any early-game team, Staraptor has solid power for potentially small cost. Just raise a high-leveled one and go to town on some raids!

Roserade

Optimal sets:

  • Razor Leaf + Grass Knot
  • Poison Jab + Sludge Bomb

Comments:

Roserade was nominally the game's top DPS Grass attacker with Solar Beam, but it later secured that title with the more reliable Grass Knot. It's also the best Poison attacker, for what that's worth.

Honchkrow

Optimal sets:

  • Peck + Sky Attack

Great sets:

  • Snarl + Dark Pulse


Comments:

After gaining Sky Attack, Honchkrow can finally live up to its hype. It's a top attacker into types weak to Flying, though they are less represented in the raid roster. It's a decent Dark attacker, but it's strictly worse than Weavile.

Weavile

Optimal sets:

  • Ice Shard + Avalanche
  • Snarl + Foul Play

Comments:

Few Pokemon in GO can claim to excel at multiple roles, and Weavile is one of them. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the top DPS in either Ice or Dark (or Ghost), and it's frailer than the top options, thus relegating it to this part of the tier list.

Magnezone

Optimal sets:

  • Spark + Wild Charge

Comments:

Though not quite matching the DPS of Raikou or Electivire, Magnezone stands out in matchups where it can leverage one of its 12 resistances. It's the only top counter to Water, for example, that resists Blizzard.

Electivire

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Wild Charge


Comments:

Players are quick to write off Raikou as obsolete, with Electivire claiming the Electric DPS throne. But this DPS lead is insignificant, and Raikou is way more durable. It's a matter of preference.

Glaceon

Optimal sets:

  • Frost Breath or Ice Shard + Avalanche

Great sets:

  • Frost Breath or Ice Shard + Ice Beam

Comments:

Glaceon is on par with Weavile as an Ice attacker, putting out nearly as much DPS with significantly better bulk. Like its fellow Eeveelutions, it's overall more accessible than its competition.

Shadow Golem

Optimal sets:

  • Rock Throw + Stone Edge
  • Mud Slap + Earthquake

Comments:

The old-school Rock Type rises again! Shadow Golem is a great attacker, covering two types very effectively and standing near the top of each. If you happen to nab a good Shadow, this is a great investment.

B Tier

These are the Pokemon that are generally good fillers: the Pokemon that have the power needed to keep a raid-group running, but not enough to be the top picks. If you lack the top tiers, these are work-horses that can fill out a team and keep DPS up.

Venusaur

Optimal sets:

  • Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant (legacy)

Comments

Venusaur is viable, and is overall a good and solid Pokemon to use. However, it's nowhere near as good as it once was. Still, it's worth raising one or two Frenzy Plant Venusaur to round out a raid team

Shadow Porygon-Z

Optimal sets:

  • Hidden Power + Tri-Attack
  • Lock On + Tri-Attack

Comments:

"What's this?", I hear you say. "A Normal Type in my Tier List", you continue. Well, yeah! Despite its entirely unimpressive typing, Shadow Porygon-Z actually has some great potential, as This Article will elaborate on. Note that without these circumstances, it's pretty mediocre all-in-all.

Shadow Scizor

Optimal Sets:

  • Fury Cutter + X-Scissor
  • Bullet Punch + Iron Head

One of the best bugs in the game without a doubt, but that title is a crown with little meaning. Even Shadow bugs lack the power needed to compete with other types outside of weather boosts and/or double effectiveness, making the value of this investment somewhat dubious.

Shadow Houndoom

Best Moveset: Snarl + Foul Play

Great Moveset: Fire Fang + Flamethrower


Shadow Houndoom has some very high damage behnd it, but is best as a Dark Type attacker without a doubt. It's inferior to its Mega Forme, but is still viable.

Shadow Alakazam

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Psychic (legacy)
  • Psycho Cut + Psychic (legacy)

Great sets:

  • Confusion + Future Sight
  • Psycho Cut + Future Sight

Shadow Alakazam has DPS very similar to Psystrike Mewtwo, but with far less TDO. It's strong but frail, and is only best raised if you don't have a good Mewtwo yet.

Shadow Gallade

Best Moveset: Confusion + Psychic

Good Moveset: Low Kick + Focus Blast


Shadow Gallade definitely exists!

Shadow Flygon

Optimal sets:

  • Mud Shot + Earth Power* (Elite)
  • Dragon Tail + Dragon Claw

 


Great sets:

  • Mud Shot + Earthquake

 


Comments:

While okay as a Dragon, Shadow Flygon shines as a Ground Type attacker. Not too brightly, mind you, but enough to be worth considering.

Shadow Vileplume

Optimal sets:

  • Razor Leaf + Solar Beam
  • Acid + Sludge Bomb

 


It's easy to say "skip" when you see Oddish on a Rocket's lineup, but Shadow Vileplume is actually a pretty solid attacker.

 

Shadow Arcanine

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Fang + Flamethrower
  • Thunder Fang + Wild Charge

Comments:

A bit of an oddity, Shadow Arcanine is decent as a Fire Type attacker and... also okay as an Electric Type attacker? Yeah, I guess that a great moveset and good stats can do wonders. It's not super-great, but it's nice.

Shadow Ampharos

Optimal sets:

  • Charge Beam + Zap Cannon

 


Great sets:

  • Volt Switch + Zap Cannon

 


Comments:

A decent Electric Type attacker if you happen to have one.

Shadow Shiftry

Best Moveset: Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade

Great Moveset: Snarl* or Feint Attack + Foul Play


It can work fairly well as a Dark or Grass attacker, but it's pretty frail.

Shadow Sharpedo

Optimal sets:

  • Water Fall + Hydro Pump
  • Bite + Crunch

Comments:

Shadow Sharpedo actually has a fair bit of damage behind its nam-...aaand it's already fainted.

Shadow Cacturne

Optimal sets:

  • Sucker Punch + Dark Pulse

Great sets:

  • Sucker Punch + Grass Knot

Comments:

Yet another overlooked Pokemon, Shadow Cacturne can definitely put in some work as a Dark Type attacker. It can do a bit as a Grass Type too, but its lack of a Grass Type Fast Move limits it a bit on that side.

Shadow Mismagius

Best Moveset: Hex + Shadow Ball


Shadow Mismagius is viable, but not great. Overall it's better to invest in other ghosts.

Shadow Abomasnow

Optimal sets:

  • Powder Snow + Weather Ball (Ice)
  • Razor Leaf + Energy Ball

Comments:

A solid Ice/Grass Type attacker, Shadow Abomasnow is worth a second look.

Genesect

Best Moveset : Fury Cutter + X-Scissor

Great Moveset: Metal Claw + Magnet Bomb


A solid choice for a Bug Type attacker, Genesect is basically an improved version of Scizor/a less powerful Shadow Scizor. It has a strong Bug Type presence, but Bug Type's lackluster general performance means it's not exactly a priority most of the time.

As a Steel attacker, Genesect is.... usable. 

Clawitzer

Best Movesets:

  • Water Gun + Crab Hammer

Crab Hammer is just too good, and so Clawitzer finds its way onto our tier list. It's a vanilla-flavored Water Type in a sea of the same, so it's not a huge deal if you don't have a good one to raise. Still, it can do the job if you're in need of some Water Type damage!

Sylveon

Optimal sets:

  • Charm + Dazzling Gleam

Comments:

Easily one of the most accessible Fairy Types, Sylveon can help to shore up a team weakness at rock-bottom cost.

Shadow Skuntank

Optimal sets:

  • Poison Jab + Sludge Bomb
  • Bite + Crunch

Comments:

A decent Poison Type, and a decent Dark Type. Shadow Skuntank isn't great, but it's okay.

Mega Altaria

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Breath + Dazzling Gleam

 


Great sets:

  • Dragon Breath + Dragon Pulse
  • Dragon Breath + Moonblast (Elite)

 


Comments:

Want to know why this weak little cotton-dragon ranks on the tier list? Here's why.

Mega Beedrill

Best Movesets:

  • Bug Bite (Elite) + X-Scissor
  • Infestation + X-Scissor
  • Poison Jab + Sludge Bomb

While very strong, Mega Beedrill has the disadvantages of having two of the worst offensive typings and general frailty. While it can come in and wreak havoc on a relevant raid, it won’t be able to do so for long, and is unlikely to give full Mega Evolution boosts to the team, as no one really uses Bug or Poison Types outside of weather boosts and/or double effectiveness. Its one big draw is the fact that it’s cheap to raise, which can make it an effective budget Mega Evolution. 

 

Mega Aggron

Optimal sets:

  • Iron Tail + Iron Head

Comments:

Mega Aggron is not the strongest Mega Evolution, but it's certainly reliable. 

Best Moveset : Fury Cutter + X-Scissor

Great Moveset: Metal Claw + Magnet Bomb


Just ignore Techno Blast and stick with a Bug Type moveset.

Best Moveset : Fury Cutter + X-Scissor

Great Moveset: Metal Claw + Magnet Bomb


A solid choice for a Bug Type attacker, Genesect is basically an improved version of Scizor/a less powerful Shadow Scizor. It has a strong Bug Type presence, but Bug Type's lackluster general performance means it's not exactly a priority most of the time.

As a Steel attacker, Genesect is.... usable. 

Best Moveset : Fury Cutter + X-Scissor

Great Moveset: Metal Claw + Magnet Bomb


Just ignore Techno Blast and stick with a Bug Type moveset.

Best Moveset : Fury Cutter + X-Scissor

Great Moveset: Metal Claw + Magnet Bomb


A solid choice for a Bug Type attacker, Genesect is basically an improved version of Scizor/a less powerful Shadow Scizor. It has a strong Bug Type presence, but Bug Type's lackluster general performance means it's not exactly a priority most of the time.

As a Steel attacker, Genesect is.... usable. 

Shadow Aggron

Optimal sets:

  • Smack Down + Stone Edge
  • Iron Tail + Heavy Slam

Comments:

Don't use Aggron, but Shadow Aggron gets a pass.

Galarian Zapdos

Optimal sets:

  • Counter + Close Combat

Comments:

Galarian Zapdos is a decent Fighting Type that can shore up team weaknesses.

Optimal sets:

  • Varies

Comments:

Zacian relies on its semi-high Attack to carry it, as its moveset is a mismatched hodge-podge. 

Shadow Banette

Best Moveset: Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball


Shadow Banette is a glass cannon, without a doubt. It has very high DPS that is second only to Megas of its type, but it's so remarkably frail that it's not an outstanding investment.

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Thunder
  • Thunder Shock + Thunder Punch

Comments:

While its alternate forme is stronger, Thundurus - Incarnate Forme is still decent on its own.

Pinsir

Optimal sets:

  • Bug Bite + X-Scissor

Comments:

The old classical Bug Type, Pinsir is a pretty solid Bug Type.

Manectric

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Fang + Wild Charge

Comments:

While not near the top of the list, Manectric is a decent Electric Type in its own right.

Aerodactyl

Optimal sets:

  • Rock Throw + Rock Slide

Comments:

The classical Pterosaur, Aerodactyl makes for a pretty decent Rock Type attacker.

Zapdos

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock (legacy) + Thunderbolt

Great sets:

  • Charge Beam  + Thunderbolt

Comments:

Zapdos's higher Attack compared to Raikou is more than offset by a worse charged move. Zapdos isn't bad, but it's difficult to justify spending Rare Candy on it when Raikou could get it instead. Thunder Shock closes that gap by a lot, but Zapdos is still not as bulky.

Meganium

Optimal sets:

  • Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant (Elite)

Comments:

Far from the best Grass Type starter, Shadow Meganium can still put in some work.

Feraligatr

Optimal sets:

  • Waterfall + Hydro Cannon (legacy)

Comments:

With its exclusive move Hydro Cannon, Feraligatr lived in the spotlight for a short 6 months before Swampert came along and did everything better.

Granbull

Optimal sets:

  • Charm + Play Rough

Comments:

Need a Fairy Type? Granbull is pretty okay if you do.

Scizor

Optimal sets:

  • Fury Cutter + X-Scissor 
  • Bullet Punch + Iron Head

Comments:

One of the classical Bugs, Scizor has the added advantage of being good on the Steel Type side of the spectrum as well.

Celebi

Optimal sets:

  • Magical Leaf + Leaf Storm

Comments:

While throwing leaves around, Celebi is actually a bit of a stand-out among most of the Mythcial Pokemon as it can do a bit in raids. It's not great, but it's definitely not bad either.

Tapu Koko

Optimal Sets:

  • Volt Switch + Thunderbolt

Good Sets:

  • Volt Switch + Dazzling Gleam

Tapu Koko is an okay Electric Type attacker. Its Dazzling Gleam set is actually stronger, but only so many Pokemon are weak to both Electric and Fairy. If you're short on Electric Types, then it can help to shore up your team, but it shouldn't be a top priority by any stretch.

Tapu Lele

Best Movesets:

  • Confusion + Psyshock

Good Movesets

  • Confusion + Future Sight
  • Confusion + Moonblast

Tapu Lele is... okay. It's got decent damage output, but its lack of a Fairy Type fast move hurts it pretty badly. And on the other side of the spectrum, Psychic is one of the absolute strongest types in the game, so it's pretty hard to make an impact there.

Tapu Lele can be helpful for newer players who lack better options, as its dual resistance to Fighting makes it solid for specific raids.

Tapu Bulu

Optimal sets:

  • Bullet Seed + Grass Knot

Comments:

A solid Grass Type attacker, you could definitely do worse than Tapu Bulu.

Sceptile

Optimal sets:

  • Bullet Seed + Frenzy Plant (legacy)


Comments:

Sceptile is decent, but outclassed by many shadow Pokemon as a Grass Type attacker.

Blaziken

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Spin + Blast Burn (Elite)

Great sets:

  • Counter + Focus Blast
  • Fire Spin + Blaze Kick

Comments:

Blaziken is a great Fire starter thanks to its superior moveset and decent Attack stat. It can definitely put in the work when needed, but its competition contains some of the highest-DPS Pokemon in the game, so its investment should be weighed carefully. Still, raising a Blaziken will also have use for Mega Blaziken, so it's not a bad idea in truth.

As a Fighting Type... it's okay. Don't raise it specifically for this role.

Crawdaunt

Optimal sets:

  • Waterfall + Crabhammer

Comments:

Though not a crab, Crawdaunt is eligible to wield its pincers like one. It's strong, but rather frail. Note that Snarl is preferred vs. targets weak to both Water and Dark. 

Braviary

Optimal sets:

  • Air Slash + Brave Bird

Comments:

Braviary is a decent Flying Type attacker.

Torterra

Optimal sets:

  • Razor Leaf + Frenzy Plant (legacy)

Comments

Torterra with its Community Day move is comparable to Venusaur. It has better stats but a worse Fast Move, and its defensive typing can hurt more than help.

Luxray

Optimal sets:

  • Spark + Wild Charge

Comments

Luxray is a solid choice for filling in any Electric Type team. It's decently strong, and not the hardest Electric Type Pokemon to get.

Tangrowth

Optimal sets:

  • Vine Whip + Power Whip

Comments

Tangrowth is back on the market with Power Whip, though it doesn't particularly stand out. There exist edge cases where its bulkiness gives it a slight advantage.

Togekiss

Optimal sets:

  • Charm + Dazzling Gleam

Comments:

Togekiss functions almost the same as Gardevoir, trading some Attack for bulk. It can leverage useful double resistances to Fighting and Dragon, among others. Don't bother messing around with Hidden Power. 

Yanmega

Optimal sets:

  • Bug Bite + Bug Buzz
  • Wing Attack + Aerial Ace

Comments:

One of the classical bugs, Yanmega can also work as a Flying Type for added value.

Optimal sets:

  • Hidden Power (Grass) + Grass Knot

 


Great sets:

  • Hidden Power (Electric) for Water
  • Hidden Power (Ice) for Ground
  • Hidden Power (Water) for Ground and Rock
  • Hidden Power (Fighting) for Rock
  • Hidden Power (Steel) for Rock
  • Hidden Power (Ground) for Rock

Comments:

Shaymin - Sky Forme is downright infuriating! If you happen to get the rare Hidden Power Grass, then you can raise this Pokemon's performance by a tier or two, because it's a genuinely great Grass Type attacker. If you happened to get any of the other types listed above, then it's still really good. if not, then this is probably a hard-pass, as it's yet another example of Niantic's RNG worship. 

Alolan Golem

Optimal sets:

  • Rock Throw or Roll Out* (Elite Move)+ Stone Edge
  • Volt Switch + Wild Charge

Comments:

Golem's tropical cousin, Alolan Golem trades off its Ground Type set for an Electric Type set, which it actually manages pretty well.

Emboar

Optimal sets:

  • Ember + Blast Burn (Legacy)

Comments:

Definitely overshadowed by many of the other Fire Type starters, but definitely still viable based on its own merit. 

Samurott

Optimal sets:

  • Waterfall + Hydro Cannon (Elite)

Comments:

While frequently overlooked in favor of many of the other Water Type starters, Samurott has the raw power and moveset needed to be worth an investment if you need more Water-power.

Unfezant

Best Movesets:

  • Air Slash + Sky Attack

Despite being the Unova region's Pidgey evolution, Unfezant has solid attack and a very nice moveset, which is just enough to make it a very viable Flying Type attacker.

Krookodile

Optimal sets:

  • Snarl + Crunch
  • Mud Slap + Earthquake

Comments:

Able to attack from two different types, Krookodile is a decent Pokemon worthy of consideration if you need Ground or Dark Type damage.

Escavalier

Optimal sets:

  • Bug Bite + Megahorn

Comments:

While newer on the list than many of the classical Bugs, Escavalier is actually a fine Bug Type attacker itself.

Haxorus

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Dragon Claw

Comments:

Haxorus's access to Dragon Claw and mono-Dragon typing grant it a couple of unique characteristics, though it generally doesn't distinguish itself much.

Shadow Latias

Best Movesets:

  • Dragon Breath + Outrage
  • Zen Headbutt + Psychic

Shadow Latias has steep competition for both of its types, and isn't great on either side of the spectrum. However, it's not a terrible choice for newer players who don't mind dropping a ton of resources due to its role-compression of covering two types.

C Tier

These are the Pokemon that are the second-line picks. They can fill out a team if needed, but they generally aren’t worth investing much in at all.

Charizard

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Spin + Blast Burn (legacy)

Comments

Charizard lived in Flareon's shadow until its Community Day came along. It's functionally a strictly worse Moltres, but it's a top Fire attacker that doesn't need Rare Candy.

Shadow Articuno

Optimal sets:

  • Frost Breath or Ice Shard + Ice Beam or Blizzard
Accelgor

Optimal sets:

  • Infestation + Signal Beam
Bisharp

Optimal sets:

  • Snarl + Dark Pulse
  • Metal Claw + Iron Head
Cobalion

Optimal Sets:

  • Double Kick + Sacred Sword

Good Sets:

  • Metal Claw + Iron Head

Comments:

Cobalion has always been pretty "meh" overall, but the September 2022 moveset update gave it access to Double Kick, completing a Fighting Type moveset with the obscenely strong Sacred Sword. Now it's... still pretty "meh", but at least it can put in some work.

Virizion

Optimal sets:

  • Double Kick + Sacred Sword

Comments:

While not a great attacker, the introduction of Double Kick in September 2022 gave Virizion a viable STAB set that makes it a decent choice when Fighting Types are needed.

Optimal sets:

  • Air Slash + Hurricane

Comments:

A decent Flying Type.

Kyurem

Best Moveset: Dragon Breath + Draco Meteor


comparatively bad stats and a bad moveset leave Kyurem basically non-viable in comparison to the plethora of other dragons. Shame it didn't get an Ice Type fast move...

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Psyshock

Comments:

A Psychic Type attacker with the bonus of resisting Ghost Types... but also the disadvantage of not resisting Fighting Types.

Shadow Scyther

Optimal sets:

  • Fury Cutter + X-Scissor
  • Air Slash + Aerial Ace

Comments:

While we don't normally rate not-fully-evolved Pokemon, Shadow Scyther's ability to keep pace with Shadow Pinsir leaves it worth considering. Its typing is less useful in general, but it can also work as a Flying Type if you wanted to try something a bit different.

Sirfetch'd

Optimal sets:

  • Counter + Close Combat
Shadow Muk

Optimal sets:

  • Poison Jab + Gunk Shot
Delphox

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Spin + Flamethrower
  • Zen Headbutt + Psychic

 

Archeops

Optimal sets:

  • Wing Attack or Steel Wing + Any

Comments:

Look at that messed up moveset! If poor Archeops just had a coherent moveset, it would be amazing. But as-is, it's a gap-fill at best.

Greninja

Optimal sets:

  • Bubble + Hydro Pump
  • Feint + Night Slash

 

Tyrantrum

Optimal sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Outrage
  • Rock Throw + Stone Edge
Hoopa (Confined)

Comments:

It's okay, but just forme change to Unbound.

Mega Steelix

Optimal sets:

  • Iron Tail + Heavy Slam
  • Anything + Earthquake

 

 

Mega Slowbro

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Psychic

 

 

Shadow Cloyster

Optimal sets:

  • Frost Breath or Ice Shard + avalanche
Shadow Walrein

Optimal sets:

  • Frost Breath + Icicle Spear
  • Water Fall + Water Pulse
Shadow Kingdra

Optimal sets:

  • Water Fall + Hydro Pump
  • Dragon Breath + Outrage

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion or Psycho Cut + Future Sight

 

 

Shadow Hippowdon

Optimal sets:

  • Varies

Comments:

Shadow Hippowdon can hit fairly hard on a number of types, though it's not great at any thing per-say.

Hisuian Braviary

Optimal sets:

  • Air Slash + Brave Bird
  • Zen Headbutt + Psychic

Comments:

Similar to normal Braviary, but with a better typing and less power.

Eelektross

Optimal sets:

  • Spark + Thunderbolt
Zebstrika

Optimal sets:

  • Spark + Wild Charge
Alakazam

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion or Psycho Cut + Psychic (legacy)

Great sets:

  • Confusion or Psycho Cut + Future Sight
  • Confusion or Psycho Cut + Shadow Ball

Comments:

Alakazam is still a viable attacker with a high DPS, but its niche has virtually disappeared since the release of Psystrike Mewtwo, which puts Alakazam to shame. Still, Alakazam is a worthwhile budget attacker.

Optimal sets:

  • Rock Throw + Stone Edge
Victreebel

Optimal sets:

  • Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade
  • Acid + Sludge Bomb
Golem

Optimal sets:

  • Rock Throw + Stone Edge
  • Mud Slap + Earthquake
Exeggutor

Optimal sets:

  • Bullet Seed + Solar Beam
  • Confusion + Psychic

Comments:

Exeggutor can work on both the Grass and Psychic sides of the fence, so it's a pretty decent Pokemon overall.

Jynx

Optimal sets:

  • Frost Breath + Avalanche
  • Confusion + Psyshock
Gyarados

Optimal sets:

  • Waterfall + Hydro Pump

Great sets:

  • Dragon Tail (legacy) + Outrage

Comments:

Gyarados is just a good Water attacker not dependent on Rare Candy or Community Day windows. Its Dragon and Dark movesets are usable but subpar. Gyarados's Flying typing helps vs. Ground but hurts vs. Rock.

Jolteon

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt 
Typhlosion

Optimal sets:

  • Ember + Blast Burn* (Elite)

Comments:

Another solid Fire Type starter.

Espeon

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Psychic

Great sets:

  • Confusion + Future Sight
  • Zen Headbutt + Psychic

Comments:

Espeon’s high Attack stat and good movesets make it a great Psychic attacker, useful in the enduring Machamp raid. Its boon is how easy it is to obtain compared to its competitors.

Entei

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Fang + Overheat

Great sets:

  • Fire Spin + Overheat
  • Fire Fang + Flamethrower

Comments:

Entei does less DPS than Moltres, but its bulk allows it to do much more TDO. It also has a viable 2 bar charge move with Flamethrower, which is better for gym attacking.

Lugia

Best Movesets:

  • Extrasensory + Aeroblast

 

Movesets That Are Better But Should Not Exist:

  • Extrasensory + Aeroblast++

 

Good Movesets:

  • Extrasensory + Sky Attack
  • Extrasensory + Future Sight

Let's get this out of the way: don't purify your Shadow Lugia, Apex or otherwise! Aeroblast++ is an amazing move, but purification results in a net-loss in power, even if going from a 13/13/13 shadow to a 15/15/15 purified.

So why is a Pokemon like Lugia on our tier list when DPS is king and TDO is a footnote? Because this is the Pokemon that can secure several Tier-3 solos for many players. It has just enough DPS to stay viable in relevant matchups, and the TDO needed to stay in the game until the bitter end. Even if you lack top counters, Lugia can be the Pokemon that you need to get into solo raiding, making it a solid investment for newer players who don't have a consistent raid group to go to.

Toucannon

Optimal sets:

  • Peck + Drill Peck

 

Hariyama

Optimal sets:

  • Counter + Dynamic Punch

 

Simisage

Optimal sets:

  • Vine Whip + Grass Knot
Cacturne

Optimal sets:

  • Sucker Punch + Dark Pulse or Grass Knot
Banette

Optimal sets:

  • Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball

Comments:

A decent but glassy Ghost.

Jirachi

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Psychic

Comments:

Despite Doom Desire being a powerful attack, Jirachi is generally relegated to its role as a Psychic Type attacker due to a lack of a Steel Type fast move.

Infernape

Optimal sets:

  • Fire Spin + Blast Burn

Okay sets:

  • Rock Smash + Close Combat

Comments:

As with basically every other viable Fire starter, Infernape's claim to its very meager fame is Blast Burn. This move drives it to be a solid attacker that can put in the work and fill in team holes until better options become available.

It can also operate as a Fighting Type, but it's woefully outclassed in this regard.

Empoleon

Optimal sets:

  • Waterfall + Hydro Cannon (legacy)

Comments:

While several other Water-types remain better, the addition of Community Day Hydro Cannon puts Empoleon on equal footing with Feraligatr, despite a few differences with its defensive typing.

Gallade

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Psychic

Comments:

An okay second-string Psychic or Fighting Type.

Alolan Exeggutor

Optimal sets:

  • Bullet Seed + Solar Beam

Great sets:

  • Dragon Tail + Dragon Pulse

Comments:

Alolan Exeggutor's Grass / Dragon typing gives it a double Water resistance and neutrality to Fire. Alolan Exeggutor does better in those matchups. As a Dragon attacker, it's severely outclassed by everything above it, but it can do in a pinch. 

Alolan Raichu

Optimal sets:

  • Thunder Shock + Wild Charge

Optimal sets:

  • Poison Jab + Dark Pulse
Victini

Optimal sets:

  • Confusion + Psychic

Comments:

Despite being well known for its massively powerful Fire Type Signature move, Victini is generally best used as a Psychic Type.

Overqwil

Optimal sets:

  • Poison Jab + Sludge Bomb