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Best Attackers by Type

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In the past, we've calculated top performers by type and how future-proof they are estimated to be based purely on given stats and existing movesets and the stats/potential existing movesets of upcoming Pokemon. However, it's become obvious that with signature moves and added effects such as Shadow Formes, our estimates of future-proofing could change at any point in time.

Shadow Pokemon Note

While a listed non-shadow may be viable in-and-of itself, a shadow forme of a given Pokemon is currently always superior to its non-shadow forme.

Filters

Bug Type

Specialty    
Fast MoveFury Cutter
Charged MoveX-Scissor
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerYes
Specialty    
Fast MoveBug Bite or Fury Cutter
Charged MoveX-Scissor
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerYes
Strength
1 / 5
The top Bug moves are lightning fast, but it's one of the weakest types in GO. Both Scizor and Pinsir are fragile, though Scizor has many useful resistances.
Meta-relevance
2 / 5
Bug isn’t highly demanded. Other stronger types usually do the job better, unless the target is doubly weak to Bug, or if it's raining.
Future-proof
1 / 5
Volcarona and Genesect (Gen 5) are competitors, all of which have better stats. They also have to worry about the Ultra Beasts known as Pheromosa and Buzzwole farther down the line (Gen 7)
Shadow Effectiveness
2.5 / 5
Pinsir and Scizor both have shadow formes, and both are very powerful. They can put Bug types on the map even without a double weakness to exploit, and are even stronger in the rain.

Dark Type

Specialty  
Fast MoveSnarl
Charged MoveShadow Ball, Dark Pulse
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty  
Fast MoveBite
Charged MoveCrunch
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Specialty  
Fast MoveSnarl
Charged MoveFoul Play
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Strength
4 / 5
It took a Pokemon with an Attack stat as high as Darkrai to put the top Dark attacker on parity with the top Ghost attackers. Even then, Darkrai does just as well with its Ghost type Charged Move.
Meta-relevance
5 / 5
Dark is one of the best answers to the many Psychic-type legendary Pokemon in the game. However, Ghost has the same type coverage but superior top moves and Pokemon.
Future-proof
3 / 5
The legendary Pokemon Yveltal and Mythical Pokemon Hoopa (Gen 6) are starting to draw near. Hydreigon (Gen 5) could see a Community Day to make it competitive as well. What Dark-types really have to watch out for are Ghosts, which have better moves at present.
Shadow Effectiveness
4.5 / 5
Shadow Tyranitar has performance very close to Darkrai, while Shadow Weavile is an extremely potent glass cannon.

Dragon Type

Specialty
Fast MoveDragon Tail
Charged MoveOutrage
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty
Fast MoveDragon Tail
Charged MoveOutrage
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerYes
Specialty
Fast MoveDragon Tail
Charged MoveOutrage
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Strength
5 / 5
Behold, Rayquaza of House Dragon, First of Its Name, the Unburnt, King of the Dragons, Protector of the Sky, Breaker of the Meta, and Master of the Weather Trio.
Meta-relevance
5 / 5
It's the top counter to myriad Dragon type legendary Pokemon of past, present, and future, and it ranks near the top of all species in neutral DPS.
Future-proof
1 / 5
Kyurem - Black is confirmed to be coming, meaning Rayquaza's days as the top non-shadow Dragon are numbered.
Shadow Effectiveness
5 / 5
Shadow Salamence is a frighteningly powerful force, topping the DPS charts and dwarfing even Rayquaza with its sheer damage potential. Dragonite trades a little DPS for a little TDO, but is very similar overall.

Electric Type

Specialty  
Fast MoveCharge Beam
Charged MoveWild Charge
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty  
Fast MoveThunder Shock
Charged MoveWild Charge
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Specialty  
Fast MoveThunder Shock
Charged MoveWild Charge
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Specialty  
Fast MoveSpark
Charged MoveWild Charge
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Specialty  
Fast MoveThunder Shock
Charged MoveThunderbolt
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Strength
4 / 5
Zekrom (not yet released but announced) is a massively powerful Pokemon with a great set of backup resistances.
Meta-relevance
3 / 5
Electric is one of two types that is effective to Water. It's good vs. Flying as well, but Rock-types often do better in those matchups.
Future-proof
4 / 5
Electric only needs to worry about other Shadows and Signature Moves, as the nearest major threat might be the Ultra Beast Xurkitree (Gen 7)
Shadow Effectiveness
4.5 / 5
Each of the major Electric Shadows bring something unique to the table: Shadow Electivire is a glass-cannon, Shadow Raikou is a very solid overall threat, and Shadow Magnezone/Shadow Zapdos have resistance sets that can be situationally useful

Fairy Type

Specialty    
Fast MoveCharm
Charged MoveDazzling Gleam
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerYes
Strength
2 / 5
Gardevoir isn't bad, but for any specific matchup in which it's useful, there are better options in other types.
Meta-relevance
3 / 5
See above. Fairy does have a couple of niches, which are double resisting Dragon and being boosted in the more common cloudy weather.
Future-proof
3 / 5
Gardevoir doesn't have much to fear until the advent of Xerneas (Gen 6), a legendary Pokemon, who may take the Fairy-type throne.
Shadow Effectiveness
3 / 5
Shadow Gardevoir is best described as "dependable". The Shadow Boost doesn't make it a DPS-monster, but it raises it to far more viable levels and makes it a good option against dreaded Dragon Type movesets. It's also great if it's frequently cloudy in your area!

Fighting Type

Specialty        
Fast MoveCounter
Charged MoveAura Sphere
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty        
Fast MoveCounter
Charged MoveDynamic Punch
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty        
Fast MoveCounter
Charged MoveDynamic Punch
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty      
Fast MoveCounter
Charged MoveFocus Blast
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Strength
5 / 5
After years at the top, Machamp fell when Niantic graced Lucario with Aura Sphere, which is vastly superior to Dynamic Punch. Conkeldurr followed shortly after. Don't transfer your Machamp yet, though - the newcomers are hard to get.
Meta-relevance
5 / 5
Fighting's huge type coverage makes it the definite answer to most common gym defenders. It's the only type that's effective vs. Normal, which is one of the most common types in the game.
Future-proof
4 / 5
Though unlikely to be beat in DPS, Lucario has rather ordinary stats and relies on Aura Sphere's incredible move data to excel. Its most likely competition will be Zamazenta (Gen 8), with which it shares a type.
Shadow Effectiveness
3 / 5
No Shadows really rise to the top of Fighting Types. The top competition has to be Alakazam with Counter and Focus Blast, which nears Lucario's DPS, but falls very short of what's generally considered to be "viable" DPS.

Fire Type

Specialty      
Fast MoveFire Fang
Charged MoveOverheat
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty      
Fast MoveFire Spin
Charged MoveOverheat
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Specialty      
Fast MoveFire Spin
Charged MoveBlast Burn
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Specialty      
Fast MoveFire Fang
Charged MoveOverheat
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Strength
4 / 5
Reshiram is the top Fire Type non-shadow, and its flames burn deep and hot. When viable, it's a powerful choice with a sub-typing that can offer some nice resistances to boot.
Meta-relevance
3 / 5
Though Fire is effective against a respectable 4 types, those types are less represented among Tier 5 raid bosses in particular, hurting their meta relevance.
Future-proof
5 / 5
Honestly, the largest threat to Fire is that Reshiram will outclass itself with its two signature attacks: Fusion Flame and Blue Flame. Outside of powerful shadows, it's unlikely to lose its burning throne any time soon.
Shadow Effectiveness
4 / 5
A number of very good shadows eclipse even Reshiram with their sheer power, one of which is fairly readily available via normal Team Rocket battles. They're all fantastic at what they do, and are extremely effective raiders.

Flying Type

Specialty    
Fast MoveWing Attack
Charged MoveSky Attack *
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerYes
Strength
4 / 5
Moltres is actually a slightly more potent Flying attacker than a Fire attacker, to put things into perspective.
Meta-relevance
2 / 5
Flying has even narrower type coverage than Fire, and none of its main targets are really represented at all in Tier 5 raids.
Future-proof
3 / 5
Flying is one of the most common typings in Pokemon, and as such there are many good future contenders. Up until now, few have been blessed with a competitive moveset. Right now, the biggest threat is that Rayquaza will be given its signature Flying Type move: Dragon Ascent
Shadow Effectiveness
4.5 / 5
When given its Flying Type moveset, Shadow Moltres is an absolute monster.

Ghost Type

Specialty  
Fast MoveShadow Claw
Charged MoveShadow Ball
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty  
Fast MoveHex
Charged MoveShadow Ball
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty  
Fast MoveShadow Claw or Lick *
Charged MoveShadow Ball
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty  
Fast MoveShadow Claw
Charged MoveShadow Ball
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Strength
4 / 5
Giratina-O is a highly reliable attacker. It outclasses the Dark-types, which fill the same role. Gengar has a lot more DPS, but the huge difference in bulk puts them at about the same level. Chandelure is in between.
Meta-relevance
5 / 5
Ghost is only effective to itself and Psychic, but the latter is highly represented among legendary Pokemon across the generations.
Future-proof
3 / 5
Giratina-O actually has a quite mediocre Attack stat. Hoopa (Gen 6), and Lunala (Gen 7) are notable threats, with the later in particular having its own Ghost Type signature move. Though Giratina - Origin does have one as well....
Shadow Effectiveness
1.5 / 5
The only Shadow worth mentioning is Shadow Banette, which technically has the highest DPS among Ghost Types. However, it's very frail to begin with, and the drop in defense that its Shadow Forme brings makes fall to a light breeze in a manner similar to Deoxys-A.

Grass Type: Roserade

Specialty    
Fast MoveRazor Leaf
Charged MoveGrass Knot
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty    
Fast MoveVine Whip
Charged MoveFrenzy Plant
Shadow FormeNo
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Specialty    
Fast MoveRazor Leaf
Charged MoveFrenzy Plant
Shadow FormeNo
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Strength
3 / 5
Grass-types in GO are by no means weak, but they're frequently out-damaged by top attackers in other types without a clear weather boost.
Meta-relevance
4 / 5
Grass covers some common types and is boosted in a common weather. A fair number of raid bosses have a double weakness to Grass.
Future-proof
4 / 5
Shaymin (Sky Forme) (Gen 4) is slated to have great offensive stats, but its moves and availability are likely to fall short of expectations.
Shadow Effectiveness
4 / 5
The Shadow Boost puts Shadow Venusaur and Shadow Torterra a small leap ahead of Roserade, beating it in terms of both DPS and TDO on average. Shadow Venusaur brings a tiny bit more DPS and Shadow Torterra a little more TDO, but the difference is actually very minor. The biggest difference is resistances.

Ground Type

Specialty        
Fast MoveMud-Slap
Charged MoveDrill Run or Earthquake
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty        
Fast MoveMud-Shot
Charged MoveEarth Power
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty        
Fast MoveMud-Shot
Charged MoveEarthquake
Shadow FormeNo
Strength
3 / 5
Buffs to Mud-Slap and Earthquake have made Ground a more respectable attacking type, though still slightly behind the others. It usually needs a weather boost to be the clear best. At the moment, Excadrill tops the DPS charts, Groudon sports high TDO, and Landorus - Incarnate sits between them.
Meta-relevance
3 / 5
Ground would be an incredibly relevant type if only it were stronger, as it covers 5 types. What keeps it relevant is its niche as an Electric counter.
Future-proof
1 / 5
Landorus - Therian Forme is imminent
Shadow Effectiveness
1 / 5
The most viable Ground Type Shadow is Shadow Flygon, which sports Groudon's DPS with far lower TDO.

Ice Type

Specialty      
Fast MoveIce Fang
Charged MoveAvalanche
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty      
Fast MovePowder Snow
Charged MoveAvalanche
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty      
Fast MoveIce Shard
Charged MoveAvalanche
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Strength
4 / 5
With great stats and great moves, Galarian Darmanitan sports higher DPS while Mamoswine has better TDO.
Meta-relevance
4 / 5
The Ice-type is classically known for its coverage, although in GO there are plenty of alternative options for each role. Ice is rarely boosted by the weather.
Future-proof
1 / 5
See Galarian Darmanitan in the list above? It has an alternate forme, Zen Mode (Gen 8). This forme has an absurdly strong attack stat that's going to uproot this entire list, including Shadows. And since we already have its normal forme, Zen Mode could drop at any time.
Shadow Effectiveness
4.5 / 5
The only truly viable Ice Type Shadow is Weavile, but it really makes up for it by bringing some very, very high DPS to the table.

Poison Type

Specialty  
Fast MovePoison Jab
Charged MoveSludge Bomb
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty  
Fast MoveAcid
Charged MoveSludge Bomb
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Specialty  
Fast MoveAcid
Charged MoveSludge Bomb
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Strength
3 / 5
By the numbers, Roserade is equally good a Poison attacker as it is a Grass attacker.
Meta-relevance
1 / 5
There is a niche for Poison countering Grass-types in cloudy weather, or countering Fairies in the absence of Metagross. For now, Poison is minimally useful in the meta.
Future-proof
5 / 5
Investment in Roserade as Poison attacker is quite safe. Nihilego and Naganadel (Gen 7) are its only closest threats, with Eternatus (Gen 8) even farther down the line.
Shadow Effectiveness
3 / 5
Shadow Victreebel has the higher DPS, and Shadow Vileplume the higher TDO. However, they're very close to each other and not a huge upgrade from Roserade

Psychic Type

Specialty  
Fast MoveConfusion
Charged MovePsystrike *
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty  
Fast MoveConfusion
Charged MovePsychic *
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Strength
5 / 5
It’s freaking Mewtwo! Its Psystrike is incredibly strong, and its base 300 Attack should be unmatched by any Pokemon in their base form up until Gen 7 (except Deoxys).
Meta-relevance
2 / 5
Psychic is useful in the popular Machamp raid, and that's about it. Fighting and Poison aren't well represented among raid bosses in general, both past and future.
Future-proof
4 / 5
Lunala and Solgaleo (Gen 7) are worthy competitors, though both have lower Attack. The big threat is Ultra Necrozma with its high attack and plethora of signature Psychic Type moves.
Shadow Effectiveness
4 / 5
Shadow Alakazam technically has a higher DPS than Mewtwo with the right moveset, though the difference is insignificant and the loss of TDO is vast.

Rock Type

Specialty      
Fast MoveSmack Down
Charged MoveRock Slide
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty      
Fast MoveSmack Down
Charged MoveRock Wrecker
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty      
Fast MoveSmack Down
Charged MoveStone Edge
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Strength
5 / 5
Rampardos wields an ultra high 295 base Attack with good Rock-type moves. It's glassy, but far ahead the rest of the pack. Rhyperior, meanwhile, has far less attack but a much stronger charged move and basically twice the TDO, making it an outstanding choice in its own right
Meta-relevance
5 / 5
Against the common Flying foes in particular, Rampardos eclipses all other counters. It's boosted in the frequent partly cloudy weather. Rhyperior comes fairly close while bringing a lot more bulk to the table.
Future-proof
4 / 5
Even legendary Pokemon can't challenge Rampardos's base Attack, and its former potential challengers haven't panned out very well. Meanwhile, Rhyperior just keeps chugging along as a reliable second pick
Shadow Effectiveness
4.5 / 5
The old Rock Type king just refuses to go away. Shadow Tyranitar is the only viable Rock Type shadow, where it sits snugly between Rampardos and Rhyperior in terms of performance, making it a solid choice as well.

Steel Type

Specialty    
Fast MoveBullet Punch
Charged MoveMeteor Mash *
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerYes
Strength
5 / 5
Meteor Mash Metagross is so strong that it beats just about every other counter in relevant matchups without weather boost in play. It's very bulky, too.
Meta-relevance
3 / 5
Steel's limited effective coverage to Fairy, Ice and Rock-types means that Metagross doesn't get to flex as much as it wants to.
Future-proof
5 / 5
Meteor Mash is so powerful that it makes Dialga, a Gen 4 cover legendary, look bad. The next Steel-type Pokemon who can compete with Metagross is Kartana (Gen 7), an Ultra Beast.
Shadow Effectiveness
5 / 5
Everything that has been said about Metagross? Its Shadow Forme is deserving of even more. It has one of the highest neutral DPSs in the game, and the highest DPS^3*TDO rating of all. It's an absolute monster!

Water Type

Specialty    
Fast MoveWaterfall
Charged MoveSurf
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty    
Fast MoveWater Gun
Charged MoveHydro Cannon
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Strength
4 / 5
Kyogre once had to share the Water Type spotlight with Kingler after Crabhammer was introduced, but giving it Surf allowed it to return to its position as Water Type King
Meta-relevance
4 / 5
Water covers some common types, and Kyogre often finds itself as the top counter in those matchups. Even when it's not the highest DPS, its bulk remains an advantage.
Future-proof
4 / 5
With no Water-type fast move for Palkia, Kyogre will stay the best Water-type. Some future starters can maybe edge out Kyogre with Hydro Cannon, like Samurott (Gen 5) and Primarina (Gen 7).
Shadow Effectiveness
4 / 5
The only Shadow that could claim any sort of "Top Water Type" crown is Shadow Swampert, and it actually does manage to edge a fair hunk of DPS over Kyogre.

Normal Type

Specialty None
Fast MoveHidden Power
Charged MoveGiga Impact
Shadow FormeNo
Specialty None
Fast MoveHidden Power
Charged MoveHyper Beam
Shadow FormeYes
Non-Shadow Top AttackerNo
Strength
2 / 5
Regigigas has great stats, and Giga Impact has stellar parameters, but without type effectiveness to leverage, Regigigas does not pass muster.
Meta-relevance
1 / 5
The Normal-type has generally weak candidates and zero meta relevance, being unable to hit for super effective damage.
Future-proof
2 / 5
The biggest threat is probably Arceus (Gen 4)
Shadow Effectiveness
1 / 5
Shadow Porygon-Z has higher Normal Type DPS.... but there's no reason to use it, in truth.