‘Pokemon Go’ Best Gym Defenders: The Most Effective Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Go is now available on iOS and Android devices. (Nintendo)

Pokemon Go is now available on iOS and Android devices. (Nintendo)

Claiming gyms is an important part of Pokemon Go, but defending them is equally important. That requires stationing one of your Pokemon at the gym to fight on your team’s behalf, but some Pokemon are obviously much more effective defenders than others. Now, a new chart helps break down the absolute best creatures to use.

Game Press published a nifty gym defenders chart, which puts 27 Pokemon in tiers based on how effective they are at defense. As explained on the website, they based this on how many Pokemon it can beat, but also how frequently those Pokemon will be encountered. For example, if the given creature doesn’t do well against a species that is relatively rare, that doesn’t mean nearly as much as if it does badly against a very common Pokemon.

“Consider a Pokemon such as Arcanine, who boasts great moves and elite base stats,” Game Press explains. “The traditional spreadsheet calculation methods would suggest that Arcanine is one of the best gym defenders in the game. However, what this doesn’t take into account is that Arcanine’s defending ability is hampered by the ubiquity of Vaporeon as an attacker.”

With this in mind, they found that the three most effective gym defenders are Snorlax, Dragonite and Lapras. Game Press’ breakdown adds that these Pokemon are great defenders in essentially every situation, and only a small number of Pokemon can exploit their weaknesses.

In Tier 1.5 is Slowbro, Poliwrath, Exeggutor, Wigglytuff and Vaporeon. These are also very good defenders, but they are less dominant overall and/or have some weaknesses that more Pokemon can exploit than those in Tier 1.

Tier 2 consists of Venusaur and Omastar, which are farther down because they are not as dominant as other Pokemon of their type or because they have well-known counters. In Tier 3 is Arcanine, Victreebel, Vileplume, Hypno, and Clefable. Though these are good defenders, Game Press says that they each have at least one critical weakness.

In Tier 4 is Charizard, Muk, Golduck, Gyarados, Dewgong, and Kangaskhan, each of which has an important advantage and can defend well against some higher-leveled Pokemon. Finally, Tier 5 consists of Golem, Rhydon, Blastoise, Tentacruel, Nidoqueen and Nidoking, all of which have some good matchups but can also frequently be exploited by common Pokemon.

What follows is the full chart put together by GamePress. For more information and a detailed breakdown of every single Pokemon on the list, head on over to Game Press’ official page about this list.