Although many Pokémon Go players are content with leveling up and catching rare Pokémon, there are others who prefer to dig into the competitive aspect of the game. Unfortunately, like many of the game’s other features, it requires a ton of trial and error to determine which of your Pokémon are best equipped to battle at, win and effectively defend a gym once you take it over.
At least, it was trial and error, until GamePress published an incredibly comprehensive list of all the best gym defenders and their toughest match-ups.
If you’ve ever wondered why most gyms seem to be defended by a Snorlax, a Dragonite or a Lapras, it’s because those three Pokémon have the fewest weaknesses that can be exploited. Charizard and Gyarados might be strong in the Game Boy games and the cartoon, but in Pokémon Go, they aren’t better defenders than certain other popular Fire-type and Water-type Pokémon.
It’s worth noting that this list isn’t as simple as “strong-stronger-strongest.” Although the strength of an individual Pokémon does play a strong role in its tier placement, GamePress has also taken into account the potential counters that a given player will have when he or she attempts to steal a gym from you.
You need to visit GamePress for detailed explanations of each and every defender on the tier list, but the graphic below is a great starting point: