Pokemon Go Moltres movesetSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

While it may seem like Combat Power (CP) or stats (IVs) are the most important factors in Pokémon Go, movesets play a critical role as well. Movesets are the combination of the fast attack and charged attack your Pokémon uses in battles.

The wonderful, terrible thing about movesets is that they're usually determined at random. If you catch or hatch a Snorlax, you get whatever you get. If you evolve a Tyranitar, or catch one after a Raid, their moves are determined by a roll of the dice the moment you hit the evolve button or as soon as the Premier Ball stops bouncing. That means your perfect IV Shelgon can become a less-than-ideal Salamence.

The good news is that, with Technical Machines (TMs) and Elite TMs, you change your old, terrible moves. But how do you know which movesets will help your Pokémon win at PvP Trainer Battles and decimate Gyms and Raids and which will make a fight simply unwinnable? Here's the newly updated list!

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What are the best movesets in Pokémon Go?

If all you want is a quick reference for the absolute best moveset for the most powerful Pokémon (CP) in Pokémon Go as the game stands today, here it is. (For more details and alternate movesets, keep reading below).

Legendary and Mythical Pokémon

While there are some Trainers who have entire teams of each Legendary Pokémon, Legendaries and Mythicals are some of the rarest Pokémon in the game. On top of that, they require the most walking to earn Candies, so it can be extremely time consuming and outright expensive to power them up and teach them new moves. However, they're also some of the most powerful Pokémon in the game, so you'll want them to have the best possible movesets.

Pokémon Attack
Articuno Frost Breath + Ice Beam or Blizzard
Zapdos Thunder Shock* + Thunder Bolt
Moltres Fire Spin + Overheat
Wing Attack + Sky Attack*
Mewtwo Confusion + Psystrike* or Shadow Ball*
Armored Mewtwo Confusion + Psystrike*
Mew Shadow Claw + Psyshock
Raikou Thunder Shock + Wild Charge
Entei Fire Fang + Overheat
Suicune Snarl + Hydro Pump
Lugia Extrasensory + Sky Attack or Future Sight
Ho-Oh Hidden Power + Brave Bird or Fire Blast or Solar Beam
Celebi Confusion + Psychic
Regirock Rock Throw or Lock-On + Stone Edge
Regice Frost Breath or Lock-On + Blizzard
Registeel Metal Claw or Lock-On + Flash Cannon
Latias Dragon Breath + Outrage
Latios Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw
Kyogre Waterfall + Surf
Groudon Mud Shot + Earthquake or Solar Beam
Rayquaza Dragon Tail + Outrage
Jirachi Confusion + Doom Desire
Deoxys (Normal Form) Charge Beam + Thunderbolt
Deoxys (Attack Form) Poison Jab + Dark Pulse
Deoxys (Defense Form) Counter + Thunder Bolt or Rock Slide
Deoxys (Speed Form) Zen Headbutt + Thunderbolt
Uxie Confusion + Future Sight
Mesprit Confusion + Future Sight
Azelf Confusion + Future Sight
Dialga Dragon Breath + Draco Meteor
Palkia Dragon Tail + Draco Meteor
Heatran Fire Spin + Flamethrower
Regigigas Hidden Power + Giga Impact
Giratina (Origin) Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball
Giratina (Altered) Shadow Claw + Dragon Claw or Shadow Sneak
Cresselia Confusion + Futuresight
Darkrai Snarl + Shadow Ball or Dark Pulse
Victini Confusion + V-Create or Psychic
Cobalion Metal Claw + Sacred Sword
Terrakion Smack Down + Rock Slide
Virizion Zen Headbutt + Leaf Blade
Tornadus Air Slash + Hurricane
Thundurus Thunder Shock + Thunder Punch
Reshiram Fire Fang + Overheat
Zekrom Dragon Breath + Outrage
Charge Beam + Wild Charge
Landorus Mud Shot + Earth Power
Kyurem Dragon Breath + Draco Meteor or Blizzard
Genesect Fury Cutter + X-Scissor
Meltan Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt
Melmetal Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt
  • Note on Mew and Mewtwo: Mew's best moveset is technically Shadow Claw and Psyshock; however, it's greatest strength is the wide variety in its movepool. To a lesser extent, Mewtwo can excel as with Ice Beam, Flamethrower, and Thunderbolt in special cases. The big difference is that Mew's stats aren't particularly great, while Mewtwo is the best in the game.

Non-Legendary Pokémon

Most other species of Pokémon can be found more easily than Legendary and Mythical Pokémon. Many are featured in Community Days and other events, so earning Candies for these Pokémon is easier. You probably won't want to waste Elite TMs on most of these Pokémon, but normal TMs can definitely get you some really good moves. While we won't tell you every single Pokémon's best moves (because, let's face it, even with the best moves and top CP, Pidgey isn't going to serve you well in any sort of fight,) here are some of the best non-Legendary Pokémon in the game, along with their ideal movesets:

Pokémon Attack
Venusaur Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant*
Razor Leaf + Sludge Bomb
Mega Venusaur Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant*
Charizard Fire Spin + Blast Burn*
Mega Charizard X Fire Spin + Blast Burn*
Dragon Breath* + Dragon Claw
Mega Charizard Y Fire Spin or Wing Attack + Blast Burn*
Blastoise Water Gun + Hydro Canon*
Mega Blastoise Water Gun + Hydro Canon*
Arcanine Fire Fang + Flamethrower
Alakazam Confusion + Psychic*
Machamp Counter + Dynamic Punch
Victreebel Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade
Golem Rock Throw + Stone Edge or Rock Blast
Alolan Golem Rock Throw + Rock Blast
Volt Switch + Wild Charge
Slowbro Confusion + Psychic or Ice Beam
Muk Poison Jab or Acid + Gunk Shot
Alolan Muk Poison Jab + Gunk Shot < br/> Bite + Dark Pulse
Gengar Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball
Hypno Confusion + Psychic
Kingler Bubble + Crabhammer
Exeggutor Confusion + Psychic < br/> Bullet Seed + Solar Beam
Alolan Exeggutor Bullet Seed + Solar Beam
Rhydon Mud Slap + Stone Edge or Earthquake
Mr. Mime Confusion + Shadow Ball
Pinser Bug Bite + X-Scissor
Gyarados Waterfall + Hydro Pump
Lapras Frost Breath + Blizzard
Vaporeon Water Gun + Hydro Pump
Jolteon Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt
Flareon Fire Spin + Overheat
Omastar Rock Throw* + Rock Slide*
Aerodactyl Rock Throw + Rock Slide
Snorlax Lick + Return*
Dragonite Dragon Breath or Dragon Tail + Outrage
Meganium Vine Whip or Razor Leaf + Frenzy Plant
Typhlosion Ember + Overheat
Feraligatr Waterfall + Hydro Cannon
Ampharos Charge Beam + Zap Cannon
Espeon Confusion + Psychic
Umbreon Snarl + Foul Play
Slowking Confusion + Psychic
Steelix Iron Tail + Heavy Slam
Scizor Bullet Punch + Iron Head
Heracross Counter + Close Combat
Usaring Counter + Hyper Beam
Donphan Counter + Earthquake
Tyranitar Bite + Crunch
Smack Down* + Stone Edge
Sceptile Bullet Seed + Frenzy Plant*
Blaziken Fire Spin + Blast Burn*
Swampert Water Gun + Hydro Cannon*
Gardevoir Charm + Dazzling Gleam
Confusion + Synchronoise
Breloom Counter + Dynamic Punch
Slaking Yawn + Hyper Beam
Hariyama Counter + Dynamic Punch
Aggron Iron Tail + Heavy Slam
Wailord Water Gun + Surf
Flygon Dragon Tail + Dragon Claw
Mud Shot + Earth Power
Armaldo Fury Cutter + Rock Blast
Claydol Confusion + Psychic
Milotic Waterfall + Surf
Banette Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball
Walrein Frost Breath + Blizzard
Salamence Dragon Tail + Outrage*
Metagross Bullet Punch + Meteor Mash*
Torterra Razor Leaf + Frenzy Plant*
Infernape Fire Spin + Blast Burn*
Empoleon Waterfall + Hydro Cannon*
Roserade Razor Leaf + Grass Knot
Poison Jab + Sludge Bomb
Rampardos Smack Down + Rock Slide
Mismagius Hex or Sucker Punch + Shadow Ball
Honchkrow Peck + Sky Attack
Garchomp Dragon Tail + Outrage
Mud Shot + Earthquake
Lucario Counter + Aura Sphere
Weavile Snarl + Foul Play
Ice Shard + Avalanche
Magnezone Spark + Wild Charge
Rhyperior Smack Down + Rock Wrecker*
Mud Slap + Earthquake
Tangrowth Vine Whip + Power Whip
Electivire Thunder Shock + Wild Charge
Togekiss Charm + Dazzling Gleam
Yanmega Bug Bite + Bug Buzz
Leafeon Razor Leaf or Quick Attack + Leaf Blade
Glaceon Frost Breath + Avalanche
Mamoswine Powder Snow + Avalanche
Gallade Confusion + Synchronoise
Probopass Spark + Thunderbolt
Froslass Powder Snow + Avalanche or Shadow Ball
Serperior Vine Whip + Grass Knot
Emboar Low Kick + Focus Blast
Samurott Water Fall + Hydro Pump
Unfezant Air Slash + Sky Attack
Excadrill Mud Slap + Drill Run
Conkeldurr Counter + Dynamic Punch
Darmanitan Fire Fang + Overheat
Galarian Darmanitan Ice Fang + Avalanche
Ferrothorn Bullet Seed + Power Whip
Chandelure Fire Spin + Overheat
Hex + Shadow Ball
Haxorus Dragon Tail + Dragon Claw
Golurk Mud Slap + Earth Power
Hydreigon Bite + Dark Pulse < br/> Dragon Breath + Dragon Pulse
Perrserker Metal Claw + Iron Head

Again, many Pokémon have several ideal movesets, so keep reading for more!

  • Legacy Move*.

Shadow Pokémon

With the latest rebalance of Shadow Pokémon and the addition of events where you can change Frustration for another Charged attack, there are Shadow Pokémon that you will want in your roster too. You can only change a Shadow Pokémon's Charged attack during specific events, but once it knows a normal attack, you can change it again and again. Here are the Shadow Pokémon worth keeping and investing in:

  • Mewtwo
  • Metagross
  • Salamence
  • Machamp
  • Raikou
  • Dragonite
  • Weavile
  • Tyranitar
  • Moltres
  • Swampert
  • Zapdos
  • Electivire
  • Magnezone
  • Entei
  • Torterra
  • Venusaur
  • Gyarados
  • Exeggutor
  • Charizard
  • Alakazam
  • Gardevoir
  • Gallade
  • Mismagius
  • Shiftry
  • Arcanine
  • Banette
  • Victreebel
  • Houndoom
  • Magmortar
  • Pinsir
  • Scizor
  • Omastar
  • Porygon-Z
  • Cacturne
  • Sharpedo
  • Blastoise
  • Flygon
  • Scyther
  • Absol

  • Note: While most Shadow Pokémon have the same ideal movesets as their normal counterparts, Shadow Mewtwo is in a class unto itself. It is by far the strongest Pokémon in the game. As such, many of its Charged attacks are well worth having. Shadow Ball is exceptionally useful against other Psychic types. Psystrike makes it the most powerful Psychic type attacker. Even some of its other attacks, like Ice Beam, Flamethrower, and Thunderbolt are very useful in particular Raids and PVP fights. Focus Blast and Hyper Beam are the only Charged attacks without good uses.

What if you don't have the best movesets in Pokémon Go?

Pokemon Go How To Use TmsSource: iMore/Rene Ritchie

Since the introduction of the Raid Battle system in June 2017, you can get Technical Machines to change your movesets. Two of the possible rewards for beating Raid Bosses are Quick TM and Fast TM, which can be used to change Quick Moves and Charge Moves respectively. Regular TMs are completely random and cannot access Legacy Moves.

Legacy Moves are special moves that were once available for a Pokémon but are no longer. Sometimes they were removed when Niantic re-balanced the game. Some were only available on Community Day or in special Raids. Either way, if a Legacy Move happens to be the best possible move for a Pokémon and you don't have it, you cannot get it with a normal TM. Before you use a TM on any Pokémon, double check that it doesn't have a Legacy Move because once it's gone, you cannot get it back!

More recently, Niantic introduced Elite TMs. These TMs are very rare and difficult to get, but allow you to choose from any move a Pokémon can have, including Legacy Moves. They aren't random either. You get to choose the move. Because of how hard it is to get Elite TMs, you'll want to save them for your very best Pokémon, but hey, now you can have a Mewtwo with Shadow Ball and Psystrike!

How do you change movesets in Pokémon Go? With Technical Machines (TM)!

What about Types in Pokémon Go?

It's also important to keep in mind types! While some Pokémon only have one type, most have two and all Pokémon can learn moves from multiple types. Although most Pokémon have a single moveset that is the best for their whole species, there are some Pokémon who have multiple sets. Take Chandelure, for example; Chandelure is a Fire and Ghost type and can be one of the best of either. If you're using your Chandelure as a Fire type, you'll want it to know Fire Spin and Overheat, but if you're going for Ghost type, you'll want Hex and Shadow Ball.

What about secondary Charge Moves in Pokémon Go?

With PvP Trainer Battles has come secondary Charge Moves. You can buy them with Stardust and Candy, and TM them to whatever it is you need. So, what do you need? Typically, variety. If the best Charge Move is a full bar, get a secondary that's multi-bar. If there are two possible types for the Charged move, get both. For example, a Mewtwo with Shadow Ball or Psystrike is incredible, but one with both? Gamebreaker! However, adding a second Charge Move is expensive (up to 100K Stardust on the Legendaries) so make sure there is a good secondary move before spending on this upgrade.

Your best movesets in Pokémon Go?

These are the best Pokémon Go movesets I've seen for the toughest Pokémon and best counters currently in the game. If you have a favorite that didn't make the list, let us know in the comments. And be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex, as well as our many Pokémon Go Guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!

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