Pokemon GO update: Tier List for Gym Defenders and Attackers

This afternoon as we're moving past the latest Pokemon GO update, we've compiled a couple of lists. The first list shows the best Pokemon in the game for defending a Pokemon Gym. The second list shows which Pokemon are the best attackers in the game – and of course that's relegated to a Gym for now, too. In the near future we'll have need for additional lists for non-standard Pokemon battles, but for now – here's the best of the best!

Top Gym Defenders in March of 2017

Pokemon in the mobile game Pokemon GO are wildly varied, from the completely useless Magikarp to the epic-sized Steelix. But in a Pokemon Gym, some power can count for very little, while the biggest Pokemon can sometimes fall with great speed. The biggest and the best – with the greatest tendency to avoid falling quick – are recorded in the list we have here.

The most important point I can make here might also be the simplest. If a Pokemon has a high CP, it's almost always better to assign to a gym than a Pokemon with a significantly lower CP. Placing a Pokemon higher up in a Pokemon Gym sometimes gives the user a lot longer to stay at that gym if they don't visit regularly – so having high CP Pokemon in general is a giant plus for Gym players.

1. Blissey with Zen Headbutt or Pound and Dazzling Gleam2. Snorlax with Zen Headbutt and Body Slam or Hyper Beam3. Tyranitar with Iron Tail and Crunch4. Rhydon with Mud Slap and Stone Edge5. Dragonite with Dragon Tail and Outrage6. Gyarados with Dragon Tail and Outrage7. Steelix with Iron Tail and Heavy Slam8. Vaporeon with Water Gun and Aqua Tail9. Slowbro / Slowking with Confusion and Water Pulse (Bro) or Blizzard (King)10. Espeon with Confusion and Psybeam

Blissey's biggest staying power is hitpoints – Blissey has the highest potential for HP in the game. That in and of itself is highly important – so don't toss away a Wobuffet just because it's not on this list. Beefy Pokemon at good Pokemon to stay defending a Pokemon Gym.

Dragonite and Gyarados are also very good gym attackers, so it may make more sense for the player to keep these Pokemon while they assign others to gyms. It's all dependent on the collection of Pokemon the player has available at any given time.

Top Gym Attackers in March of 2017

There's a select number of Pokemon that just seem to do well almost no matter what the circumstances end up being. Attacking even the most beastly Pokemon with the list we have here will result in some heavy battle damage going on. Watch out too for the most versatile Pokemon on the list, those whose attack is great and Pokemon Type isn't often easy to put at a disadvantage.

1. Dragonite with Dragon Tail and Hurricane2. Alakazam with Confusion and Futuresight3. Heracross with Counter and Close Combat4. Cloyster with Frost Breath and Hydro Pump5. Exeggutor with Bullet Seed and Solar Beam6. Jolteon with Volt Switch and Thunder7. Flareon with Fire Spin and Overheat8. Gengar with Hex and Sludge Bomb9. Rhydon with Mud-Slap and Stone Edge10. Starmie with Water Gun and Hydro Pump or PsychicWhy isn't Vaporeon a best attacker? Because equal level Starmie and Omastar do more damage and take less damage. Starmie and Omastar make it their business to blast their opponents with unrelenting beastly water power much in the same way Vaporeon does while defending, but both have far better average defense to keep tough with.

While Arcanine used to be a gym monster leader, recent updates have kicked this puppy directly in the butt. Gyarados and/or Rhydon will take Arcanine to the cleaners. The same goes for Charizard. While Charizard can appear to be mighty with a high CP, match-ups against Vaporeon and Rhydon – which happen quite often – result in quick knockouts.

On a final wrap-up note: this list will change all the time. As with past tier lists for Pokemon GO, updates to the game can change the game's whole dynamic. To avoid falling prey to a new update and seeing yourself fall short on Pokemon Gyms, stick around our TeamPokemonGO Twitter hub and keep on watching. There we send out Tweets whenever there's a significant update and will be updating with new tier lists as such.