[Top 10] Pokemon GO Best Gym Defenders

This blog post will look at 10 of the best Pokémon to leave as a defender for your gym – whether you’re team Valor, Mystic, or Instinct.

Putting Pokémon in gyms not only helps you max out your daily coin limit (50 coins), but also improves your score with that gym – meaning when you spin the gym whilst it belongs to your team, you will get a greater team bonus.

When it comes to defending a gym for long hours, there are some key attributes you need to evaluate:

  1. Is my Pokémon weak or vulnerable to multiple types?
  2. Does my Pokémon have a high CP range – is it, effectively, a tank?
  3. Does my Pokémon have a strong moveset?
  4. Is my Pokémon resistant to popular or powerful move types?
  5. Will adding my Pokèmon type to this gym make it harder for a single team to take down?

#1 – Slaking

Pokédex number #259, Slaking has the highest attainable max CP of the game*, at over 5,000 (level 50)! A defense-heavy Pokémon, Slaking is a champion at defending gyms – it takes an average of three battles to defeat a gym, so with Slaking’s high CP capabilities combined with a full team you can be assured it will take any trainer challenging your gym more than three attempts.

What makes Slaking great?

  • Slaking is a Normal type, meaning it is only vulnerable to one type: Fighting
  • Resistant to Ghost type moves
  • Highest attainable CP of all Pokémon in Pokemon GO
  • Max HP of 236

Best defensive moves based on damage per second:

  • Play rough
  • Yawn
  • Earthquake
  • Bodyslam

How to catch Slaking:

  • Slaking is the final evolution of Slakoth, requiring a minimum of 100 candies.
  • Slakoth can be hatched from 10km eggs, which will give a large number of extra candies.
  • Slaking can also be encountered in the wild, along with his pre-evolution forms Vigoroth and Slakoth.

More information on Slaking: https://pokemon.gameinfo.io/en/pokemon/289-slaking 

#2 – Snorlax

Like Slaking and other Normal type Pokémon, Snorlax is extremely vulnerable to fighting-type moves. As part of the original 151 in the Kanto region (entry #143), Snorlax has a max CP of 3,225. Snorlax has been the reward for research tasks and a previous raid boss in the now absolved tier 4.

What makes Snorlax great?

  • High CP
  • Only vulnerable to Fighting type
  • Snorlax is an easy Pokémon to get hold of
  • Max HP of 272

Best defensive moves based on damage per second:

  • Zen headbutt
  • Body Slam

How to catch Snorlax:

  • Snorlax evolves from Munchlax with 50 candies
  • Snorlax can be found in the wild, and has previously been encountered as a reward for research tasks
  • Munchlax has previously been hatchable from 7k eggs

More information on Snorlax: https://pokemon.gameinfo.io/en/pokemon/143-snorlax 

#3 – Blissey

Blissey is the first of the Pokemon in the Chansey family to be featured in this list. With a ‘dex number of #242 Blissey was first introduced in the Johto region as the evolution of Chansey. In Pokemon Go, Blissey can achieve a max CP of 2,575. Despite being a Normal Pokemon, Blissey’s best defensive moves are Psychic and Fairy type moves, which are moves that are strong against Blissey’s vulnerability: Fighting type Pokemon.

What makes Blissey great?

  • Only vulnerable to Fighting type moves
  • Resistant to Ghost type moves
  • Strong moves against its only vulnerable opponent
  • Max HP of 403

Best defensive moves based on damage per second:

  • Zen Headbutt
  • Dazzling Gleam

How to catch Blissey:

  • Blissey evolves from Chansey at 50 candies
  • Blissey can be encountered in the wild

More information on Blissey: https://pokemon.gameinfo.io/en/pokemon/242-blissey 

#4 – Chansey

What makes Chansey great?

  • Interestingly, Chansey is likely to last longer in a gym than their evolution Blissey, due to their slower decrease rate of CP
  • High capture rate of 20%
  • Resistant to Ghost type moves
  • Maximum HP of 396

Best defensive moves based on damage per second:

  • Zen Headbutt
  • Dazzling Gleam

How to catch Chansey:

  • Chansey evolves from Happiny with 25 candies, after being your buddy for at least 15km

For more information on Chansey: https://pokemon.gameinfo.io/en/pokemon/113-chansey 

#5 – Mandibuzz

As a dual-type Pokemon, Mandibuzz (entry number #630) is unfortunately vulnerable to a few types: Rock, Electric, Ice, and Fairy. However, this also means that Mandibuzz is resistant to several move types, too!

What makes Mandibuzz great?

  • Resistant to Ghost, Grass, Dark, Ground, and Psychic
  • Max CP of 2,138
  • Capture rate of 15%
  • Maximum HP of 203

Best defensive moves based on damage per second:

  • Snarl
  • Shadow Ball

How to catch Mandibuzz:

  • Mandibuzz evolves from Vullaby at 50 candies
  • Vullaby can hatch from the red 12km eggs
  • Vullaby is also the reward for completing Field Research Tasks in November!

For more information on Mandibuzz: https://pokemon.gameinfo.io/en/pokemon/630-mandibuzz 

#6 – Lapras

A rare Pokemon that was driven nearly to extinction, Lapras is one of the original 151 Pokemon of the Kanto region at number 131.

What makes Lapras great?

  • Maximum CP of 2,641
  • Resistant to Water and Ice type moves
  • Maximum HP of 230

Best defensive moves based on damage per second:

  • Ice Shard
  • Ice Beam

How to catch Lapras:

  • Lapras has appeared as a raid boss, allowing for capture after defeat
  • Sometimes Lapras can be be caught after a Team Rocket GO battle

For more information about Lapras: https://pokemon.gameinfo.io/en/pokemon/131-lapras 

#7 – Umbreon

Out of all the Eeveelutions in the game, Umbreon is the best when it comes to defense. Despite a fair few vulnerabilities (Fairy, Bug, and Fighting), Umbreon’s Dark type means it also has a good type resistance. Introduced in the second generation, Umbreon is #197 – and a starter Pokemon in the GameCube exclusive Pokemon Colosseum!

What makes Umbreon great?

  • Resistant to Ghost, Dark, and Psychic type moves
  • Max CP of 2,137
  • Max HP of 182

Best defensive moves based on damage per second:

  • Snarl
  • Foul Play

How to catch Umbreon:

  • Like all Eeveelutions, there is a chance of encountering Umbreon in the wild
  • To evolve Eevee into Umbreon, you only need 25 candies, but certain criteria apply. You need to either:
  1. Nickname Eevee ‘Tamao’ before evolving (note: this trick only works once)
  2. Set the Eevee you wish to evolve as your buddy, and then walk 10km and evolve at night time.

For more information about Umbreon: https://pokemon.gameinfo.io/en/pokemon/197-umbreon 

#8 – Metagross

Number 376 and from the Hoenn region, Metagross is in possession of four brains – so it’s a no-brainer that this Steel/Psychic dual type Pokemon is a great tank to stick in a gym. 

What makes Metagross great?

  • Max CP of 3,791
  • Resistant to 10 different types: Normal, Flying, Rock, Steel, Grass, Ice, Dragon, Fairy, Poison, Psychic
  • Only vulnerable to four types: Fire, Ghost, Dark, Ground

Best defensive moves based on damage per second:

  • Zen Headbutt
  • Meteor Mash

How to catch Metagross:

  • Metagross evolves from Metang with 100 Beldum candies.

More information about Metagross: https://pokemon.gameinfo.io/en/pokemon/376-metagross 

#9 – Gardevoir

If you took part in Niantic’s Fashion Week in late September, then undoubtedly you will have a surplus of Ralts candy thanks to the very fashionable Kirlia – perfect for powering up final form Gardevoir (#282). A dual Fairy and Psychic type, Gardevoir is vulnerable to Poison, Ghost, and Steel.

What makes Gardevoir great?

  • Max CP of 3,093
  • Max HP of 140
  • Resistant to Psychic, Fighting, and Dragon type moves

Best defensive moves based on damage per second:

  • Charm
  • Dazzling Gleam
  • Synchronise

How to catch Gardevoir:

  • Gardevoir is one of two final forms of the Pokemon Ralts, requiring 100 candies to evolve.
  • There is a small chance of encountering Gardevoir in the wild

More information about Gardevoir: https://pokemon.gameinfo.io/en/pokemon/282-gardevoir 

#10 – Wobbuffet

Wobbuffet! Wobbuffet is largely known for being a recurring Pokemon in the anime, becoming Jessie’s somewhat-trusted sidekick after an unfortunate trade of her Lickitung. Always late to the party, Wobbuffet was first encountered in the Johto region as entry number 202. As a psychic Pokemon, Wobbuffet is vulnerable to Bug, Ghost, and Dark types.

What makes Wobbuffet great?

  • Resistant to Fighting and Psychic type moves
  • Max CP of 1,026
  • Due to the relatively low CP, like Chansey, Wobbuffet demotivates really slowly – great for rural gyms
  • Max HP of 313

Best defensive moves based on damage per second:

  • Charm
  • Mirror Coat

How to catch Wobbuffet:

  • Wobbuffet can be a reward for battling Team Rocket GO grunts
  • This Pokemon can be encountered in the wild, with a 25% catch rate
  • Wobbuffet evolves from Wynaut at 25 candies

More information about Wobbuffet: https://pokemon.gameinfo.io/en/pokemon/202-wobbuffet 

The best thing about all of these Pokemon is that they are all available in shiny form! Whilst being shiny has no effect on CP, IVs, or move types, they do make adorable additions to any gym. 

To keep a gym strong and ward off easy defeats, it is important to have a varied type presence amongst the Pokemon there. Even though Normal type Pokemon feature heavily in this list, it is not recommended to have more than two Normal types in any one gym, as they can easily be defeated by a team made up of Fighting types.

*Whilst Mega Evolutions can attain higher CPs, they cannot defend gyms.

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