Top 10 Best Gym Defenders in Pokemon GO

It isn’t that simple to decide the best Pokemon of all when it comes to Pokemon GO. The overall chances of emerging victorious in a battle is primarily influenced by its Hit Points (HP), Combat Power (CP), and Motivation level. Pokemon GO developers have changed the Gym system a lot since the game launched in 2016. Unlike the older versions, pokemon are now sorted based on when they enter the Gym and not in terms of their CP i.e., the Pokemon in the Gym for the longest time will be the first one to jump into battle. Also, the Gym capacity for defenders also changed from ten to only six permanent slots.

While the influx of new legendary pokemon and exclusive attacks keeps on shifting the offensive meta strategies from time to time, yet the defensive area has not seen many variations. As a consequence, trainers keep searching for innovative and potent ways to put together a strong and well-balanced defence combo to defend their gyms and earn Gym badges fast. Due to the recent STAB nerf, many prevailing strong defenders lost their top of the ladder spots in the best gym defenders list. Therefore, we decided to sit down, do our research and come up with a handy Top 10 guide which would aid you and your team to gain more PokeCoins and Gym badges. So what are you waiting for? get your Lapras ready!

Why to defend Gyms in Pokémon GO?

Now we know you might be wondering why you should even bother investing so much time and energy into defending a gym. Wouldn’t it be less complicated if you just dropped a spare pidgey on an open slot as you come across a gym, and move on to your quest of catching more rare and amusing Pokemon? Well, you could do that, but you shouldn’t. While we agree that the gym system is laden with errors, it also seems unfair sometimes, but it also has a lot to offer. For example,

  • You get a Defender Bonus of up to 50 PokeCoins per day for keeping your Pokemon in Gyms.
  • As you keep participating in battles, defending the gym, or giving out Pokemon treats, Pokemon GO rewards you with recognition in the form of Gym Badges.
  • You can also engage in Raid battles to receive special items and XP points.

With so much to offer, it’s justifiable to demand some serious thought in strategic moves and team coordination. And for that, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive right into the article and identify the best pokemon gym defenders.

10 Best Pokemon GO Gym Defenders

Here, we’ll take a look into the resulting tier list of the best Pokemon GO defenders. Also, if you disagree with the list at some point, that’s totally understandable because this list is not just a standard ranking based on statistics, we also let our own judgement and experiences shape the final report. The final contenders on our list are first divided with respect to a tier classification and subsequently, we delve into the description of their abilities in the next part of the article.

Tier details:

Tier 1: This tier includes Pokemon which are not just dominating the defensive meta, but also are of great significance in other battles as well. In short, these are some of the most well balanced strong contenders which you should not overlook.

Tier 2: These Pokemon falls under the if not then who category. They are strong overall but just lacking in a few categories when compared to the ones in the upper tier.

Tier 3: This tier consists of a mixed bag of Pokemon. Meaning, they have great general value but lack in the traditional sense of defensive strengths. Such Pokemon perform quite well when paired with strong complimenting teammates.

Tier 4: Such Pokemon function well when played in accordance with their respective strengths. They don’t have significant defensive capabilities overall but still can be considered a decent investment option.

Tier 5: This tier consists of Pokemon with overall ‘so-so’ utility in the defensive meta.

Outclassed and Underutilised: Not any considerable defensive benefit and are easily outperformed by a Pokemon which can do their basic job in an improved fashion.

PokemonTier LevelQuick MoveSpecial Move
Blissey1Zenheadbutt, PoundDazzling Gleam
Metagross1Bullet Punch, ZenheadbuttMeteor Mash, Psychic
Snorlax2ZenheadbuttHyper Beam
Milotic2Dragon Tail, WaterfallBlizzard
Dragonite3Dragon TailOutrage
Gardevoir3Charm, ConfusionShadow Ball, Psychic
Chansey4Zenheadbutt, PoundDazzling Gleam
Steelix5Iron Tail, Dragon TailCrunch
Slaking5NoneBody Slam
ClefableOutclassed and UnderutilisedZen HeadbuttMeteor Mash

Now that we’ve gone through a quick tier based classification of these Pokemon, we’ll take an in-depth look into each one of them so that you can make a well-informed decision.

1. Blissey

Blissey Best Gym Defenders Pokemon GO
Fast MovesetCharged Moveset
Zenheadbutt, PoundDazzling Gleam, Psychic

Blissey is the top candidate on our list for a lot of reasons. It’s high HP points, CP, and a balanced moveset are good enough to make even the strongest of attackers sob in despair because it takes very long to take it down. Don’t hold back on spending that stardust on maxing this one. It’s well worth the effort.

2. Chansey

Chansey Pokemon GO Gym Defenders
Fast MovesetCharged Moveset
Zenheadbutt, PoundDazzling Gleam, Psychic

Chansey is right behind her big sister on this top defender list. She won’t be of much use for you in attacks as she has even lesser attack stats than a Togepi. But, on defense she is very annoying to beat with an exception of fighting types. Pair up the Zenheadbutt with the Dazzling Gleam and you’ve got yourself a great moveset with long coverage. We didn’t keep the Hyper Beam here as it is quite easy to dodge.

3. Snorlax

Snorlax Best Gym Defenders
Fast MovesetCharged Moveset
Zenheadbutt, Heavy SlamOutrage, Earthquake

Snorlax is a relatively well balanced Pokemon with the main focus on tanking ability. In high competition local city areas, a gym which has high levels of Snorlax, Chansey, and Blissey can easily intimidate potential attackers as the costs of revives and healing potions required in such long lasting fights usually don’t prove worth the effort. We highly recommend keeping these champs in your go to list.

4. Milotic

Milotic Best Gym Defenders Pokemon GO
Fast MovesetCharged Moveset
Dragon Tail, WaterfallBlizzard, Surf

Milotic is a common sight in many strong defensive setups, and this makes sense considering it’s great stats and moveset. The Dragon Tail move works well against grass-type, while the Waterfall is better against electric-type. This Pokemon has very few weaknesses and would perform well in your defensive lineup.

5. Steelix

Steelix Pokemon GO Gym Defenders
Fast MovesetCharged Moveset
Iron Tail, Dragon Tail, Thunder FangHeavy Slam, Crunch, Earthquake

Steelix does justice to its looks as it literally becomes a roadblock to anyone who tries to take over your gym. It has insane defensive stats and no doubt, you will face a challenge in finding the right fit for this one, but with the correct usage, Steelix truly is an invincible beast. Iron Tail + Heavy Slam, Dragon Tail + Crunch together make it a strong steel wall. Steelix is also known to dominate in the Ultra league as well. 

6. Dragonite

Dragonite Best Gym Defenders
Fast MovesetCharged Moveset
Dragon Tail, Dragon BreathOutrage, Hurricane

In the earlier versions, Dragonite used to be one of the strongest all rounders. It can resist Machamp due to its flying ability, but struggles against the fairy-type. On the attack front, Dragonite performs very well in the Master league and Rocket battles. This combined strong attack stats with wide ranging defensive moveset make it a sensible option for gym trainers.

7. Slaking

Slaking Best Pokemon for Gyms
Fast MovesetCharged Moveset
None (Yawn)Body Slam, Play Rough

Slaking can be considered a curious inclusion as it doesn’t really have an impressive moveset. However, it has incredibly high CP which could keep the attackers at bay. Slaking works well against Dragon-types so pair this Pokemon with the likes of Snorlax, Blissey, and Metagross to see the best results.

8. Gardevoir

Gardevoir Best Pokemon for Gym
Fast MovesetCharged Moveset
CharmDazzling Gleam, Psychic

Gardevoir is highly valuable as a fairy type. Charm combined with Dazzling Gleam make it one of the best fairy types in the game. It performs above average in it’s Psychic powers and absolutely dominates many of the fighting type Pokemon. Using this Pokemon is raiding battles can also be a wise decision except when you come across a Metagross.

9. Clefable

Clefable Best Gym Defense Pokemon
Fast MovesetCharged Moveset
Zenheadbutt, PoundDazzling Gleam, Meteor Mash

As we mentioned above, Clefable is an underrated and underutilised Pokemon. It is a fairy type, which gives it a strong edge against the Dragon and fighting types. Place Clefable in your lineups along with Snorlax, Blissey, and Chansey and see how she forces switches from opponents. We don’t recommend using this one on the offense but with the right mix, it performs impressive on the defense. Give it a try.

10. Metagross

Metagross Best Pokemon for Gym
Fast MovesetCharged Moveset
Zenheadbutt, Bullet PunchMeteor Mash, Psychic

Metagross’ fantastic attacking power combined with an impressive defensive moveset, convinced us in including this Pokemon in our list. It is a perfect counter for Machamp. Not only this, Metagross is a dependable utility in Raid attacks, a well-known name in the Master league, and frankly one of the best Mega Evolutions in the game. A no-brainer inclusion for sure.

Other Pokemon GO Gym Defenders to Consider

If you have managed to catch and level-up all the above mentioned Pokemon then you’re good to go. However, trainers like to mix things up or try new combinations. Also, many avid players are connected with more than 1 gym and this brings out the question of what’s the next best option? This part of the article deals with that specific problem. We’ve compiled a small list of Pokemon with stellar defensive stats which will help you maintain presence in multiple gyms and win you some raid battles as well. These Pokemon while understandably lower in standings when compared to the ones we discussed earlier, they sure do pack a strong punch. Let’s check them out:

  • Gyarados with Dragon Tail + Outrage.
  • Lapras with Ice Shard + Ice Beam.
  • Vaporean with Water Gun + Hydro Pump.
  • Exeggutor with Confusion + Seed Bomb.
  • Umbreon with Snarl + Foul Play.
  • Venusaur with Razor Leaf + Anything.
  • Rhydon with Mud Slap + Anything.

Conclusion

There you have it, the Top 10 Best Gym Defenders in Pokemon GO. We hope that this article helped you out in some way and set you out on the path of world domination in the virtual reality of Pokemon. In all honesty, a conclusive method of finding the best gym defense Pokemon doesn’t exist as the current meta favours attackers more. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try to give it our best shot. If you’re really determined in fighting for your gold Gym Badge, then plan your gym attacks based on the observable gaming patterns of your potential rivals. If you have any further doubts or you just want to discuss some theories, go ahead and drop a comment down below. See you next time!

Ajinkya
Ajinkya

He enjoys discussing about Technology and ways to make it easier. If you don’t find him at the office, he is probably out on a bike ride.