In Raids, you and other trainers of all three teams join up to beat a giant, powered up Pokémon in order to win rare candies, Quick and Charge TMs, Golden Razz Berries, and a chance to catch the Boss! But, in order to win treats, catches, and glory, you need the best Pokémon for the battle, and those Pokémon need the best movesets.
To get the best Pokémon, you have to catch or evolve them. To get the best movesets, you'll need luck and Technical Machines (TM). To power them up, you'll need stardust and candy. But before you can get the best, you need to know the best to get. Here they are!
TL;DR: What are the best Pokémon?
While we'll go in depth which each of these Pokémon later, here's a quick cheat sheet for the best 30 Pokémon in all of Pokémon Go right now, along with their best moveset(s), and their type.
|Rampardos||Smack Down||Rock Slide||Rock|
|Chandelure||Fire Spin or Hex||Overheat or Shadow Ball||Fire/Ghost|
|Mewtwo||Psycho Cut or Confusion||Psystrike* or Shadow Ball*||Psychic|
|Metagross||Bullet Punch||Meteor Mash*||Steel/Psychic|
|Giratina (Origin)||Shadow Claw||Shadow Ball||Ghost/Dragon|
|Gengar||Shadow Claw or Lick*||Shadow Ball||Ghost/Poison|
|Raikou||Thunder Shock||Wild Charge||Electric|
|Electivire||Thunder Shock||Wild Charge||Electric|
|Moltres||Fire Spin or Wing Attack||Overheat or Sky Attack*||Fire/Flying|
|Dialga||Dragon Breath||Draco Meteor||Steel/Dragon|
|Palkia||Dragon Tail||Draco Meteor||Water/Dragon|
|Roserade||Razor Leaf or Poison Jab||Grass Knot or Sludge Bomb||Grass/Poison|
|Excadrill||Mud Slap||Drill Run||Ground/Steel|
|Terrakion||Smack Down||Rock Slide||Rock/Fighting|
|Dragonite||Dragon Breath||Outrage or Draco Meteor*||Dragon/Flying|
|Tyranitar||Smack Down* or Bite||Stone Edge or Crunch||Rock/Dark|
|Blaziken||Fire Spin||Blast Burn||Fire/Fighting|
|Swampert||Water Gun||Hydro Cannon||Water/Ground|
|Garchomp||Dragon Tail or Mud Shot||Outrage or Earthquake||Dragon/Ground|
|Haxorus||Dragon Tail||Dragon Claw||Dragon|
Because Pokémon is a complicated game, with 18 types (of which there are many, many combinations,) some Pokémon didn't make our top 30 list or have since been bumped off by new Pokémon. They're still great Pokémon with plenty of uses.
|Pokémon||Fast||Charge||Use to counter|
|Latios||Dragon Breath or Zen Headbutt||Dragon Claw or Psychic||Dragon/Psychic|
|Weaville||Ice Shard or Snarl||Avalanche or Foul Play||Dark/Ice|
|Rhyperior||Smack Down or Mud Slap||Stone Edge or Earthquake||Ground/Rock|
|Venusaur||Vine Whip||Frenzy Plant*||Grass/Poison|
|Charizard||Fire Spin||Blast Burn*||Fire/Flying|
|Sceptile||Bullet Seed||Frenzy Plant*||Grass|
|Torterra||Razor Leaf||Frenzy Plant*||Grass/Ground|
|Tangrowth||Vine Whip||Power Whip||Grass|
|Heatran||Fire Spin||Flame Thrower||Fire/Steel|
Currently the best of the best, Rayquaza is a Legendary Dragon and Flying type with a max CP of 3835! Its weaknesses are other Dragon types, as well as Ice, Rock, and Fairy types. While it is weak to Dragon type moves, Rayquaza is stronger than all the other Dragons in the game. It has access to two Fast Moves: Dragon Tail and Air Slash, and three Charged Moves: Outrage, Aerial Ace, and Ancient Power. It's only available from limited Legendary Raids, so when it is available, make sure you have a team ready to take on those Raids.
Evolution: Rayquaza doesn't evolve (at least not until Mega Evolution is introduced) so that means you can save all those Candies for powering it up!
Best moveset: Dragon Tail and Outrage are Rayquaza's best moves. You can also combine Air Slash and Aerial Ace for Flying type damage but they don't compare with the utility of its Dragon type moves. Don't bother with Ancient Power though; that move is a waste of a perfectly good Rayquaza!
Definitely the best Rock type in the game, Rampardos is a fossil Pokémon and a pure Rock type with a max CP of 3298! Its weaknesses are Fighting, Ground, Grass, Water, and Steel while it's super effective against Fire, Flying, Ice, and Bug. It's also resistant to Fire, Flying, Normal, and Poison. It has access to two Fast Moves: Smack Down and Zen Headbutt, and three Charged Moves: Rock Slide, Outrage, and Flamethrower. As a fossil Pokémon, the best time to catch Cranidos is during Adventure Week, but they also hatch from 10 KM Eggs.
Evolution Rampardos evolves from Cranidos with 50 Candies. While that's not a lot of Candies, Cranidos have a pretty low spawn rate so make sure you're using your Pinaps when you find them!
Best Moveset Smack Down and Rock Slide are Rampardos' best moves. Its other moves have some niche uses, but Smack Down and Rock Slide take advantage of Rampardos' Rock type, giving it STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus.)
As the best Fighting type in the game, Lucario is a Fighting and Steel type with a max CP of 2703! Its weaknesses are Fighting, Ground, and Fire, while it boasts a whopping eight resistances (Normal, Dragon, Dark, Steel, Ice, Grass, Bug, and Rock.) Lucario does super effective damage to Dark, Ice, Normal, Rock, and Steel types. It has two Fast Moves: Counter and Bullet Punch, and three Charged Moves: Close Combat, Flash Cannon, Power-Up Punch, and Shadow Ball.
Evolution Lucario evolves from Riolu with 50 Candies. Riolu hatches from 7 KM Friend Eggs and the 10 KM weekly Fitness Reward Eggs so make sure you're doing lots of walking if you want the Riolu candies to evolve and power up Lucario!
Best Moveset Counter and Aura Sphere are the moves that will really make your Lucario shine. Its other moves just don't compare in damage or utility.
The best Fire type in the game and tied for best Ghost type, Chandelure is a versatile Pokémon with a max CP of 3268! Its weaknesses are Ground, Rock, Water, Ghost, and Dark. As a Fire type, Chandelure devastates Ice, Bug, Grass, and Steel types. As a Ghost type, it's best against Psychic types and other Ghost types. It has access to two Fast Moves: Fire Spin and Hex, and three Charged Moves: Overheat, Shadow Ball, and Energy Ball.
Evolution Chandelure is the second stage of Litwick, requiring 125 Candies and an Unova Stone to evolve. It's definitely expensive to evolve this one so make sure you're using Pinap Berries on every Litwick! You might also need to use some Rare Candies and/or have one as your Buddy Pokémon.
Best Moveset Fire Spin and Overheat are Chandelure's best moves if you want to use it as a Fire type, while Hex and Shadow Ball are its Ghost type moveset. You'll want them paired by type. Its other Charged Move, Energy Ball is a definite TM.
With a max CP of 4178, Mewtwo is a Psychic type Legendary Pokémon and one of the strongest in the game. Mewtwo's weaknesses are Bug, Ghost, and Dark types, while it does super effective damage against Fighting and Poison types. It has access to two Fast Moves: Confusion and Psycho Cut, and a whopping eight Charged Moves: Shadow Ball, Psystrike, Psychic, Flame Thrower, Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, Focus Blast, and Hyper Beam.
Evolution Mewtwo doesn't evolve (at least not until Mega Evolution rolls around) so all your Mewtwo Candies can go to powering it up. Unfortunately, Mewtwo has very limited availability so make sure you're using Silver Pinaps when you do catch it and definitely save some Rare Candies to power it up.
Best Moveset Mewtwo's Fast Moves are pretty evenly balanced with Confusion doing a little more damage and Psycho Cut charging Charged moves a little faster. Its best Charged Moves are both Legacy Moves: Psystrike and Shadow Ball. If your Mewtwo has one of these moves, don't TM it! If your Mewtwo has Shadow Ball and you have the Candies to spare, it could be worth buying a second Charged Move to get Psychic, which comes close to Psystrike as far as Psychic damage goes.
A pseudo-Legendary Dragon and Flying type, Salamence has a max CP of 3749. Its weak to Rock, Dragon, and Fairy, and double weak to Ice types; while it is resistant to Fighting, Fire, Bug, Water, and Grass. Salamence has access to three Fast Moves: Dragon Tail, Bite, and Fire Fang, and four Charged Moves: Outrage, Draco Meteor, Hydro Pump, and Fire Blast.
Evolution The second stage of Bagon, Salamence requires 125 Candies to evolve. While Bagon doesn't have a particularly high spawn rate, it did have a Community Day. Bagon also hatch from the 10 KM weekly Fitness Reward Egg and have previously been available in standard 10 KM Eggs.
Best Moveset Dragon Tail and Outrage are Salamence's best moves, however, Outrage is a Legacy Move. If you have it, definitely keep it, but if you don't, Draco Meteor is your next best bet.
The best Steel type in the game, Metagross is a Psychic and Steel type that has a max CP of 3791! It's super effective against Rock, Fairy, and Ice types, while being weak to Ground, Ghost, Fire, and Dark types. Metagross has access to two Fast Moves: Bullet Punch and Zen Headbutt, and four Charged Moves: Psychic, Flash Cannon, Earthquake, and Meteor Mash.
Evolution The second stage of Beldum, Metagross requires 125 Candies to evolve. Fortunately, it had a Community Day and Beldum can still be found in the wild.
Best Moveset Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash are, by far, Metagross' best moves. Meteor Mash, however, is a Legacy Move. If you have it, keep it! If not, you can substitute Flash Cannon, though it just won't get the same results. It's also possible to pair Zen Headbutt and Psychic, if you're looking to take advantage of Metagross' Psychic typing, but there are definitely better options for Psychic types.
The best Water type in the game, Kyogre is a Legendary Pokémon with a max CP of 4115! Its only weaknesses are Grass and Electric, while it's resistant to Steel, Fire, Water, and Ice types. It does super effective damage to Fire, Ground, and Rock types. Kyogre only has one Fast Move: Waterfall, but four possible Charged Moves: Hydro Pump, Blizzard, Thunder, and Surf.
Evolution Kyogre doesn't evolve (at least not until Mega Evolution becomes available) so you can use all its Candies to power it up. However, it's only available in limited Raids and as the occassional Research Breakthrough Reward
Best Moveset Waterfall and Surf are Kyogre's best moves. Hydro Pump just doesn't compare damage wise, and Blizzard and Thunder really don't work well.
The best Dark type in the game, Darkrai is a Mythical Dark type Pokémon with a max CP of 3739! It is weak to Fighting, Bug, and Fairy type Moves, resistant to Ghost and Dark types, and does super effective damage to Psychic and Ghost types. It has access to two Fast Moves: Snarl and Feint Attack, and three Charged Moves: Dark Pulse, Shadow Ball, and Focus Blast.
Evolution Darkrai doesn't evolve but it is only available in limited Legendary Raids held around Halloween. This means you're probably going to have to spend a lot of Rare Candy to power it up.
Best Moveset Snarl and Shadow Ball are Darkrai's best moves in general, but if you're going for pure Dark type damage, Dark Pulse can work well.
Giratina (Origin Forme)
Tied for the best Ghost type in the Game, Giratina (Origin Forme) ia a Dragon and Ghost type with a max CP of 3683! It's weak to Ghost, Ice, Dragon, Dark, and Fairy type attacks, while resistant to Poison, Bug, Grass, Water, Fire, Electric, Normal, Fighting, and Ground! It will do super effective damage to Ghost and Psychic types. Giratina (Origin Forme) has access to two Fast Moves: Dragon Tail and Shadow Claw, and three Charged Moves: Shadow Ball, Dragon Pulse, and Ominous Wind.
Evolution Giratina doesn't evolve but it is only available from limited Legendary Raids so you'll need to invest some Rare Candies and Buddy time to power this one up.
Best Moveset Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
Coming close to Lucario for the top Fighting type, Conkeldurr is a pure Fighting type with a max CP of 3337! It is weak against, Flying, Psychic, and Fairy type moves, resistant to Rock, Bug, and Dark types, and does super effective damage to Dark, Ice, Normal, Rock, and Steel types. It has access to two Fast Moves: Counter and Poison Jab, and three Charged Moves: Dynamic Punch, Stone Edge, and Focus Blast
Evolution Conkeldurr is the second stage of Timbur and requires 125 Candies to fully evolve.
Best Moveset Counter and Dynamic Punch are the only moves you'll want your Conkeldurr to have. Poison Jab and Stone Edge really make little sense at all in this movepool and Focus Blast is weak compared to Dynamic Punch.
Previously the king of Fighting types, Machamp is a pure Fighting type with a max CP of 3056! It is weak against, Flying, Psychic, and Fairy type moves, resistant to Rock, Bug, and Dark types, and does super effective damage to Dark, Ice, Normal, Rock, and Steel types. It has access to three Fast Moves: Bullet Punch, Counter, and Karate Chop and seven Charged Moves: Heavy Slam, Dynamic Punch, Close Combat, Rock Slide, Cross Chop, Stone Edge, and Submission.
Evolution The final evolution of Machop, Machamp requires 125 Candies to evolve but with the introduction of Trade Evolution, that can be cut down to 25 if you have a friend willing to trade you a Machoke. Plus, being a Gen I Pokémon, Machop have been available since day one. You should have no trouble evolving and powering up Machamp.
Best Moveset Counter and Dynamic Punch are Machamp's best moves. Its many other moves just don't compare in damage or utility.
The former number one Ghost, Gengar is a Ghost and Poison type with a max CP of 2878. It is weak to Ground, Ghost, Psychic, and Dark types, resistant to Grass, Fairy, Poison, Bug, Normal, and Fighting type moves, and it does super effective damage to Ghost and Psychic. It has access to four Fast Moves: Sucker Punch, Hex, Shadow Claw, and Lick, and six Charged Moves: Shadow Ball, Focus Blast*, Sludge Bomb, Sludge Wave, Dark Pulse, and Psychic.
Evolution The final stage of Gastly, Gengar cost 125 Candies to evolve, but with the introduction of Trade Evolution, that can be cut down to 25 if you have a friend willing to trade you a Haunter. Plus, being a Gen I Pokémon, Gastly have been around since day one. They're common during fog and super common in the weeks surrounding Halloween so you should have no problem evolving and powering up Gengar.
Best Moveset Shadow Claw or Lick and Shadow Ball are Gengar's best moves. Lick is a legacy move so, if you have it, don't TM it!
A very close second to Kyogre for top Water type, Kingler is a pure Water type with a max CP of 2829 and a higher Attack stat than even Gyarados! Its only weaknesses are Grass and Electric type moves, while it's resistant to Steel, Fire, Water, and Ice type attacks. It does super effective damage to Fire, Ground, and Rock types. Kingler has acccess to three Fast Moves: Metal Claw, Mud Shot, and Bubble, and four Charged Moves: Vice Grip, X-Scissor, Water Pulse, and Crabhammer
Evolution Kingler evolves from Krabby with 50 Candies, and since Krabby is fairly common, especially near water, it should be very easy to evolve and power up your Kingler!
Best Moveset Bubble and Crabhammer are the only moves you'll want your Kingler to know. Crabhammer is Kingler's signature move that finally makes use of its super high Attack stat.
The best Electric type in the game, Raikou is a Legendary pure Electric type with a max CP of 3452. Its only weakness is Ground, while it's resistant to Flying, Steel, and Electric type damage. It does super effective damage to Water and Flying type Pokémon. It has access to two Fast Moves: Thunder Shock and Volt Switch, and four Charged Moves: Thunder, Thunderbolt, Wild Charge, and Shadow Ball.
Best Moveset Thunder Shock and Wild Charge are the only moves to really consider for Raikou. The rest should just be TM'ed away.
While not quite as powerful as Raikou, Electivire is a close second for best Electric type in the game with a max CP of 3079. Its only weakness is Ground, while it's resistant to Flying, Steel, and Electric type damage. It does super effective damage to Water and Flying type Pokémon. It has access to two Fast Moves: Thunder Shock and Low Kick, and four Charged Moves: Thunder Punch, Wild Charge, Thunder, and Ice Punch.
Evolution Evolved from Electabuzz or Elekid, Electivire can cost up to 125 Candies and a Sinnoh Stone. Electabuzz can be caught in the wild, while Elekid can be hatched. Fortunately, Elekid hatch from about 6% of 7 KM Friend Eggs, so it's pretty easy to get enough candies to evolve and power up your Electivire.
Best Moveset Thunder Shock and Wild Charge are the only moves to consider for Electivire. The rest should just be TM'ed away.
The best Ice type in the game, Mamoswine is an Ice and Ground type with a max CP of 3328. It's weak to Fire, Steel, Fighting, Water, and Grass Damage, and resistant to Electric and Poison type Moves. It's super effective against Flying, Grass, Dragon, and Ground type Pokémon. It has access to two Fast Moves: Mud-Slap and Powder Snow, and four Charged Moves: Ancient Power, Avalanche, Bulldoze, and Stone Edge.
Evolution The final stage of Swinub, Mamoswine requires 125 Candies and a Sinnoh Stone to evolve. Fortunately, it had a Community Day and Swinub are pretty common, being a Nesting Species, so you should have no problem powering up and evolving your Mamoswine.
Best Moveset Powder Snow and Avalanche are the ideal moves for Mamoswine. You can combine Mud-Slap and Bulldoze for a strong Ground type but there are definitely better Ground type options out there.
The best Flying type in the game, Moltres is a Legendary Fire and Flying type with a max CP of 3465! It's weak to Electric, Water, and Rock damage, while it takes less damage from Fighting, Bug, Steel, Fire, Grass, Fairy, and Ground Moves. As a Flying type, it does super effective damage to Bug, Fighting, and Grass types; whereas, it does super effective damage to Bug, Grass, Ice, and Steel types with its Fire Moves. It has access to two Fast Moves: Fire Spin and Wing Attack, and seven Charged Moves (though several are Legacy Moves): Fire Blast, Heat Wave, Overheat, Ancient Power, Sky Attack, Frustration, and Return.
Evolution Moltres doesn't evolve, but it has limited availability. It has been available in Legendary Raids, as a Research Breakthrough Reward, and one of Giovanni's Shadow Roster. If you've taken advantage of the several times it has been available, you should have plenty of Candies for powering it up. If not, be prepared to spend many Rare Candies on this Legendary Pokémon.
Best Moveset Wing Attack and the Legacy Move, Sky Attack are what earned Moltres the title as best Flying type in Pokémon Go, so definitely don't TM Sky Attack. However, if you don't have Sky Attack, Fire Spin and Overheat make Moltres a super effective Fire type.
A powerful Legendary Pokémon, Dialga is a Dragon and Steel type with a max CP of 4038! Its only weaknesses are Fighting and Ground type attacks, while it takes reduced damage from a whopping ten types! Normal, Flying, Rock, Bug, Steel, Water, Grass, Electric, Psychic, and Poison Moves all do reduced damage to Dialga. It has access to two Fast Moves: Dragon Breath and Metal Claw, and three Charged Moves: Draco Meteor, Iron Head, and Thunder.
Evolution Dialga doesn't evolve but it is also limited to specific Legendary Raid periods. You'll have to invest Rare Candies and/or Buddy walking time to fully power up this Pokémon.
Best Moveset Dragon Breath and Draco Meteor are the best moves for Dragon type damage, but Metal Claw and Iron Head make Dialga a beefy Steel type.
Another powerful Legendary Pokémon (and the counterpart to Dialga,) Palkia is a Dragon and Water type with a max CP of 3991! Its only weaknesses are Dragon and Fairy types, while it is resistant to Steel, Fire, and Water. It has access to two Fast Moves: Dragon Tail and Dragon Breath, and three Charged Moves: Draco Meteor, Fire Blast, and Hydro Pump. This moveset really holds Palkia back as a Dragon type or Water type. The addition of its signature move, Spacial Rend could see it competing with Rayquaza as a top Dragon type, while the addition of a Water type Fast Move would make it more useful as a Water type.
Evolution Palkia doesn't evolve but it is also limited to specific Legendary Raid periods. You'll have to invest Rare Candies and/or Buddy walking time to fully power up this Pokémon.
Best Moveset Dragon Tail and Draco Meteor are the only moves to really consider for Palkia outside of really specific circumstances.
Great... but how do you get enough Candy to evolve?
To evolve you need Candy. A lot of it. The amount you need starts small but grows as you get to higher levels. Candy also has to match the Pokéman family you want to evolve or power up. So you need Geodude Candy to evolve to Graveler and Golem, and you need more Geodude Candy to power up Golem as well.
- Three Candies per base-level Pokémon caught in the wild.
- Fire Candies per second-level Pokémon caught in the wild.
- Ten Candies per third-level Pokémon caught in the wild.
- One Candy per Pokémon transferred to the Professor.
- Five to 15 Candies per 2 KM Egg hatched.
- Ten to 21 Candies per 5 KM Egg hatched.
- 16 to 32 Candies per 10 KM Egg hatched.
- One Candy per Buddy distance walked.
- Six Candies per base-level Pokémon caught in the wild while using a Pinap Berry.
- Ten Candies per second-level Pokémon caught in the wild while using a Pinap Berry.
- 20 Candies per third-level Pokémon caught in the wild while using a Pinap Berry.
How do you know which specific Pokémon to evolve?
If a Pokémon is particularly rare you might not have much choice as to which one you evolve. If you live in a place where Eevee spawn every few minutes, though, deciding which one(s) to evolve can be trickier. That's where Appraisals come in.
Appraisals are how Pokémon Go surfaces the hidden IV stats of the game. All Pokémon have these three stats: stamina, attack, and defense. You can get a good idea of where your Pokémon ranks by having your Team Leader appraise your Pokémon. Ideally, you want to evolve the Pokémon with the best appraisal. Those will be the ones with the highest stats and, eventually, the highest CP.
Appraisals used to be a lot more complicated but now, your Team Leader will rate your
How do you get TMs in Pokémon Go?
You get Technical Machines — both Fast TM and Charge TM — by beating Raid Bosses and completing Research. Each time you complete a Raid or Research, you get rewards. The higher level the raid — from one to four normally, five for special events — the more rewards you get and the more likely it is you'll get one or more technical machines. For Research, each task specifies what Rewards you'll get.
How do you get enough Stardust to power up your Pokémon?
To power up you need more Candy but you also need Stardust. Stardust is generic. You can use any Stardust you got from any source on any Pokémon you want. The amount you need starts small but grows as you get to higher levels. So, how do you get as much Candy and Stardust as possible to power up as much as possible?
- 100 Stardust per base-level Pokémon caught in the wild.
- 300 Stardust per second-level Pokémon caught in the wild.
- 500 Stardust per third-level Pokémon caught in the wild.
- 500-1500 Stardust per 2 KM Egg hatched.
- 1000-2100 Stardust per 5KM Egg hatched.
- 1600-3200 Stardust per 10 KM Egg hatched.
To evolve a Dratini into Dragonair and Dragonite takes 125 Dratini Candy. To power up a Dragonite to over 3000 CP could take another 70 Dratini Candy and 80,000 Stardust or more.
So, catch, hatch, walk, and claim as much Candy and Stardust as you can.
Any questions about the Pokémon you absolutely need to evolve, TM, and power-up for Raids?
Do you have any questions about which Pokémon to prioritize powering up, evolving, and using TMs on? Got any tips for your fellow Trainers? Drop them in the comments below and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex as well as our many Pokémon Go Guides so you too can be a Pokémon Master!