Here are the Strongest Pokémon in Pokémon Go

So you want the be the very best trainer in Pokémon Go, but what does that actually mean? Catching them all is pretty straight forward; just go outside and walk around until you catch every Pokémon in your Pokédex. But what if you want raise the strongest Pokémon or hold down every gym in a 10-mile radius? Is Jolteon as good as it is in the handheld games? Which Pokemon do you need to know about?

With the help of some savvy trainers on the internet, we’re here to help you figure which are the strongest Pokemon across a number of situations. Let's get started.

Attacking Gyms

Photo: Reddit user Ornery_Ra

Photo: Reddit user Ornery_Ra

If you’re looking for the strongest Pokémon for taking down a gym, check out the chart above. This list factors in both damage and survivability, which should let your Pokemon take down several foes before running out of health. The moves in bold are a Pokemon’s optimal setup, with less efficient move sets indicated as a percentage of the one in bold.

MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Pokemon Go Battling

However, it’s still important to take type advantage into account when attacking. For example, if you use an Ice Shard attack on Lapras, which sits at #3, against a fire-type Pokemon such as Arcanine, which sits at #5, you won’t do nearly as well had you picked Vaporeon. That’s because even though Vaporeon is ranked lower than Lapras, its Water Gun attack will be extra effective against a fire Pokemon like Arcanine.

Defending Gyms

Photo: Reddit user Ornery_Ra

Photo: Reddit user Ornery_Ra

Holding gyms for any period of time is super difficult in Pokémon Go, but if you select the right Pokémon for the job, you’ll have a better chance of having it stay there for a good chunk of time. When compared to the gym attack list, you’ll notice that Lapras, not Snorlax, now sits atop the rankings. Additionally, a lot of the optimal move sets have been adjusted to account for how the AI controls Pokemon while you’re not around.  

Most Damage

Photo: Reddit user Ornery_Ra

Photo: Reddit user Ornery_Ra

If all you care about is raw damage per second (DPS), this third list has you covered. Some notable new faces include Pokémon such as Flareon, Starmie and Shellder, who can all can all pump out DPS, but lack the health or defense to earn spots on the previous charts. And while Jolteon is pretty strong in Red and Blue, it doesn't make the cut in Pokémon Go, mostly because speed isn't worth nearly as much.

Now we’re not saying these are the only Pokémon worth powering up, but it can be really helpful to know which ones to pull out when you absolutely need to take down a gym — especially if it's held by Team Instinct. And while there are a lot of expected heavy hitters such as Snorlax, Dragonite and Venasaur among the best, it’s refreshing to see cuddly faces like Slowbro and Wigglytuff up there too.

We’d like to give a big shout out to Reddit user Ornery_Ra for creating these great charts, and Professor_Kukui for doing the math and figuring all this out.

Sam is a Senior Writer at Engadget and previously worked at Gizmodo as a Senior Reporter. Before that, he worked at Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer and Senior Product Review Analyst, overseeing benchmarks and testing for countless product reviews. He was also an archery instructor and a penguin trainer too (really).