Potion and Revive Management - How to Save Your Potions and Revives

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Potion and Revive Management - How to Save Your Potions and Revives


With Niantic nerfing the drop rate of Potions and Revives came the Great Potion Drought in Winter 2017. The Potion Winter has come! As a result, the community is eagerly looking for ways to manage their Potions and Revives at a sustainable level. Two months have passed by since the publish of the initial version of this article, but the winter still hasn't ended; it is observed that the lacking of Revives is becoming a more serious issue for frequent raiders. This guide will discuss the Potion/Revive efficiency in details and aims to help you pass the Potion/Revive Winter!

Potion/Revive Drought - How Serious Is It?

Potion Drought - How Serious Is It?
Aug 2016 May 2017 Nov 2017 PokeStop/(Gym)
Potions 22% 15.6% 5%/(13%)
Revives 5.5% 8.0% 1%/(16%)

Data Source:

  1. PokéStops
  2. [Research] PokéStop drop rate changes beginning May 9th
  3. Quick Analysis of Item Drop Rate 14Nov

As seen in the table above, Potions are 66% less likely to drop from PokeStops than seven months ago. GymStops give you more Revives, but still fewer Potions than before. Given that average raid battle costs 3-4 Revives and 15 Potions, healing items obtained from spinning PokeStop a hundred times get used up in just one raid. We haven’t talked about Gym activities yet!

A proportion of players, often frequent raiders, are complaining about not having enough Potions/Revives. The past weather trio Legendary, especially Rayquaza, were some of the most healing-item-consuming raids, especially Revive-consuming. The Drought is real.

OK, but What Can We Do?

OK, but What Can We Do?

To tackle the Potion/Revive Drought, one way is to develop a “disposable army” – for example, catch high-level wild level Eevees, evolve them and use them in battle, and after they faint just send them to the Professor, who will take good care of the Pokémon. However, if you want to fight side by side with your hard-trained Pokémon, then this article is made for you.

To put it simple, there are three things you should do:

  • Spend Potions/Revives Wisely
  • Choose Potion-efficient Pokémon to fight with
  • Dodge!

This guide will go through first two points in detail. As for dodging, here’s our dodge guide for a quick starter. Good dodging requires practice! You need to build the bond with your Pokémon, trainer.

General Tips to Minimize Potion and Revive Usage

First, let’s discuss some useful tips on spending healing items wisely.

  • If you are in lack of Potions, don’t force yourself to fully heal half-lifers. A Pokémon doesn’t need to be at 100% HP to perform well, especially in fighting gyms. In raids, if you are within the charge move KO range, then half-lifers are basically the same as full-lifers.

  • If you are in lack of Revives, try to manually switch out Attackers before they faint during a battle.

  • Keep more big Potions than Revives in your bag. One big Potion paired with one Revive functions as a Max Revive. To maintain a healthy Potion-to-Revive ratio, switch between Potion-first policy (manually switch out about-to-faint attackers) and Revive-first policy (use half-lifers to fight). A Potion-to-Revive ratio of 2:1 has served me well, but it can be adjusted for playstyle.

  • Prioritize using high-level attackers. If they faint, heal them and use them to fight again instead of turning to use lower-level but healthy attackers. (Tip provided by u/spookyspooky23)

  • Take gyms with friends, and strategize! Don’t share the burden alone. Taking gyms together is fun, and you're more likely to succeed if you bump into Golden Razz Berry feeder(s).

Choose Healing-Item-Efficient Pokémon

Editor’s Choice

Now let’s move to the second part, choosing healing-item-efficient Pokémon. Below are some of the top healing-item-efficient picks for general battling:

Fast Move Charge Move
Bullet Punch Meteor Mash
Fast Move Charge Move
Extrasensory Sky Attack
Fast Move Charge Move
Steel Wing Solar Beam
Fast Move Charge Move
Waterfall Hydro Pump
Fast Move Charge Move
Mud Shot Solar Beam
Fast Move Charge Move
Bite Stone Edge

But why are the above Pokémon healing-item-efficient? What metric should we use to evaluate a Pokémon’s healing-item efficiency?

Quantifying Healing-Item-Efficiency

Healing-item-efficiency includes two parts: Potion Efficiency and Revive Efficiency. There is usually no debate on Revive Efficiency - Pokemon with higher TDO (Total Damage Output) are generally more Revive-efficient. But there are some common misunderstandings on Potion Efficiency:

1. Higher Defense means more Potion efficient.

High defense is not enough. To defeat Snorlax, Steelix would end up using more HP than Mewtwo does, due to the former battling much longer and thus taking more damage. You would want high Damage Per Second (DPS) as well.

2. To defeat the same enemy, less HP used means higher Potion Efficiency.

It depends on the kind of Potion you use. One Hariyama can take out a Blissey and a Chansey, though ending with little HP. It takes two Machamp to get the same job done. Suppose you use "big Potion" (Hyper Potion/Max Potion) only. While the two Machamp lost less HP in total, they cost you two big Potion to heal. Hariyama costs you just one.

Generally, "big Potion efficiency" is equivalent to Revive efficiency. Therefore, when talking about "Potion Efficiency" in the following sections, we take small Potion into consideration.

To fairly quantify Potion efficiency and Revive efficiency, there are two metrics to use respectively:

  • TDO is used to measure Revive Efficiency.
  • Relative DPS (your DPS divided by enemy’s DPS) is used to measure Potion Efficiency.

Explanation on Relative DPS: minimize Potion usage <=> minimize the total HP used. You want to look for Pokémon that have the highest “HP conversion ratio” – by sacrificing one HP, deduct enemy’s HP the most. TDO divided by HP used exactly measures this, which equals to Relative DPS.

Select Attackers’ Potion-Efficiency Against Blissey
Select Attackers’ Healing-Item-Efficiency Against Blissey

To put theory into practice, let’s examine the select attackers in a fight against the biggest nightmare – maxed-out perfect Blissey with Zen Headbutt + Dazzling Gleam. Using the methods introduced above, the following graph is generated.


  1. Attackers are all of level 40 and perfect IVs. The dodge strategy is Dodge Specials PRO with perfect dodging. The weather is set to be Extreme (no boost). Simulation data obtained from
  2. Full TDO is calculated as Full HP * Relative DPS, measuring the TDO before fainted. In most cases, there is overkill at the end of the battle. To make it fair for those attackers, the overkill part of the damage is also taken into the calculation of Full TDO.

From the graph, we can easily find the most healing-item-efficient Pokémon against Blissey.

  • Metagross stands out as the absolute choice of Potion Efficiency. Resisting every move of Blissey/Chansey's and being equipped with the one of the most powerful charge move in the game - Meteor Mash make it the definite answer against Blissey in terms of Potion Efficiency.
  • Lugia is the 2nd best option. Its buddy, Ho-Oh, is the 3rd in both metrics but is inferior to Metagross in healing-item-efficient and time to win.
  • (Focus Blast) Mewtwo is a very good choice. Using Lugia or Metagross is more healing-item-efficient but very time-consuming. Mewtwo, while being the 4th in both Potion Efficiency and Revive Efficiency, beats Blissey almost as quickly as Machamp does.
  • Kyogre is an improved Groudon in neutral matchup.
  • Raikou is a fantastic choice to have. Both of its moves are very dodge friendly.
  • Groudon, Moltres, and Entei are of the same Potion-efficiency tier. Among these three, Moltres finishes Blissey the fastest; Entei is the most revive-efficient; Groudon is the most dodge-friendly with Mud Shot. The three all enjoy Sunny/Clear boost very much, making them even better in such weather.
  • Gardevour is a nice pick by GamePress user WaterYouWading4. As it turns out, it is very Potion-efficient, sporting a relative DPS close to Mewtwo's..
  • Tyranitar, though not as well-performing as Legendaries, is still much more Potion-efficient than Machamp and more Revive-efficient than Mewtwo. As a plus, Bite + Stone Edge is one of the most dodge-friendly movesets.

Other findings:

  • Dragons (Dragonite/Salamence/Rayquaza) and Exeggutor are not recommended in this fight. They are almost as healing-item-efficient as Machamp but Machamp gets the job done much faster.
  • Blaziken and Hariyama lose to Machamp. The extra Fire typing on Blaziken doesn’t help it win back the healing-item-efficiency. As for Hariyama, it is marginally more Revive-efficient, but the difference in Potion efficiency is much more noticeable.

Closing Words

The great Healing Item Drought is real. Unless you want to be left high and dry after the next raid, follow the interventions provided: use disposable Pokemon for gyms, adjust your playstyle to maintain a sustainable potion/revive ratio that suits your play style, be mindful of healing-item-efficient Pokemon, and try to fight in groups.

We hope that this guide has helped you tackle the Potion/Revive issue to some extent. Don’t forget to visit GamePress often for more future guides to come!