Pokemon Go Moltres movesetSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

While it may seem like Combat Power (CP) or stats (IV) are the most important factors in Pokémon Go, movesets play a critically important role as well. Movesets are the combination of the quick move and charge move your Pokémon uses in Gym and Raid Battles.

The wonderful, terrible thing about movesets is that they're determined at random. If you catch or hatch a Snorlax, you get whatever you get. If you evolve a Slaking, Tryanitar, Dragonite, Gyarados, Blissey, etc. or catch a Boss after a Gym Raid, they're 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 with just one tick or tock of the server.

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The good news is that, with Technical Machines (TMs), you can re-roll your old, terrible movesets and try for new, great ones. 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!

What are the best Pokémon Go movesets cheat sheet

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).

For the Legendary and Mythical Pokémon:

Pokémon Attack
Articuno Frost Breath + Ice Beam
Zapdos Thunder Shock* + Thunder Bolt
Moltres Fire Spin + Overheat
Wing Attack + Sky Attack*
Mewtwo Confusion + Psystrike* or Shadow Ball*
Armored Mewtwo Confusion + Future Sight
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 Extrasensory + Brave Bird or Fire Blast
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
Rayquaza Dragon Tail + Outrage
Jirachi Confusion + Doom Desire or Psychic
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 Ancient Power
Cresselia Confusion + Futuresight
Darkrai Snarl + Shadow Ball
Cobalion Metal Claw + Iron Head
Terrakion Smack Down + Rock Slide
Virizion Zen Headbutt + Leaf Blade
Tornadus Air Slash + Hurricane
Meltan Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt
Melmetal Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt

And for the non-Legendary Pokémon:

Pokémon Attack
Venusaur Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant
Charizard Fire Spin + Blast Burn
Blastoise Water Gun + Hydro Canon
Arcanine Fire Fang + Fire Blast
Alakazam Confusion + Psychic*
Machamp Counter + Dynamic Punch
Golem Rock Throw + Stone Edge
Slowbro Confusion + Psychic
Muk Poison Jab + Gunk Shot
Gengar Lick* or Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball
Hypno Confusion + Psychic
Kingler Bubble + Crabhammer
Exeggutor Bullet Seed + Solar Beam
Rhydon Mud Slap + Stone Edge
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 Steel Wing + Hyper Beam
Snorlax Lick + Return
Dragonite Dragon Breath + Outrage or Draco Meteor*
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
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
Weaville Snarl + Foul Play
Ice Shard + Avalanche
Magnezone Spark + Wild Charge
Rhyperior Smack Down + Stone Edge
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
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

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

  • Legacy Move*.

What if you don't have the best movesets?

Pokemon Go How To Use TmsSource: iMore/Rene Ritchie

Movesets are like the lottery. Whether you catch, hatch, or evolve, you never know what you're going to get. Some Pokémon have upwards of six or more moveset combinations, some amazingly good, others terrible.

If you have an ideal moveset, it's great. You'll do the most damage in the least amount of time while maintaining the best ability to dodge. If you don't, not all is lost. You could still have the same type of moves, only less damaging or slower.

For example, Machamp with Counter and Dynamic Punch is an excellent attacker with a wide range of utility. Machamp with Counter and Close Combat, though, is a fairly close second. Dragon Tail and Outrage is the best for Dragonite, but Dragon Tail and Hurricane isn't far behind.

Conversely, Machamp with Bullet Punch and Heavy Slam or Dragonite with Steel Wing and Hyper Beam... nowhere close.

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.

However, keep in mind that there are many Legacy Moves. These 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 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!

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, because so many have multiple types, 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.

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

What about secondary Charge Moves?

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. And vice-versa. That way, you can mix things up when and as needed. 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.

What are the best Pokémon Go movesets for attack?

While new moves and new Pokémon are always being introduced, if you're looking to attack Gyms or battle in Raids, these are the top twenty Pokémon and movesets:

  1. Rayquaza with Dragon Tail + Outrage
  2. Rampardos with Smack Down + Rock Slide
  3. Lucario with Counter + Aura Sphere
  4. Chandelure with Fire Spin + Overheat or Hex + Shadow Ball
  5. Mewtwo with Psycho Cut or Confusion + Psystrike* or Shadow Ball*
  6. Salamance with Dragon Tail + Outrage*
  7. Metagross with Bullet Punch + Meteor Mash*
  8. Kyogre with Water Fall + Hydro Pump
  9. Darkrai with Snarl + Shadow Ball
  10. Giratina (Origin form) with Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball
  11. Conkeldurr with Counter + Dynamic Punch
  12. Machamp with Counter + Dynamic Punch
  13. Gengar with Lick* or Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball
  14. Kingler with Bubble + Crabhammer
  15. Raikou with Thundershock + Wild Charge
  16. Electivire with Thundershock + Wild Charge
  17. Mamoswine with Powder Snow + Avalanche
  18. Moltres with Fire Spin + Overheat or Wing Attack + Sky Attack*
  19. Dialga with Dragon Breath + Draco Meteor
  20. Palkia with Dragon Tail + Draco Meteor

Honorable Mentions go to:

  1. Roserade with Razor Leaf + Grass Knot or Poison Jab + Sludge Bomb
  2. Excadrill with Mud Slap + Drill Run
  3. Terrakion with Smack Down + Rock Slide
  4. Dragonite with Dragon Breath* + Outrage or Draco Meteor*
  5. Tyranitar with Bite + Crunch or Smack Down* + Stone Edge
  6. Blaziken with Fire Spin + Blast Burn*
  7. Swampert with Water Gun + Hydro Cannon*
  8. Garchomp with Dragon Tail + Outrage or Mud Shot + Earthquake
  9. Haxorus with Dragon Tail + Dragon Claw
  10. Zapdos with Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt
  • Indicates a Legacy Move*

What are the best Pokémon Go movesets for defense?

While defending a gym without constantly watching and pouring Golden Razz Berries on it during attacks is a real challenge, there are certainly some Pokémon who last longer. The top twenty along with their best movesets are:

  1. Blissey with Zen Headbutt + Dazzling Gleam
  2. Chansey with Zen Headbutt + Dazzling Gleam
  3. Snorlax with Zen Headbutt + Body Slam or Heavy Slam
  4. Milotic with Dragon Tail + Blizzard or Surf
  5. Dragonite with Dragon Tail + Dragon Claw
  6. Slaking with Yawn + Play Rough
  7. Steelix with Dragon Tail + Crunch
  8. Donphan with Charm + Play Rough
  9. Lapras with Ice Shard + Hydro Pump
  10. Lanturn Charge Beam + Thunderbolt

Honorable Mentions go to:

  1. Gardevoir with Charm + Synchronoise
  2. Clefable with Charm + Dazzling Gleam
  3. Exeggutor with Confusion + Seed Bomb
  4. Venusaur with Razor Leaf + Sludge Bomb
  5. Metagross with Zen Headbutt + Meteor Mash*

Your best Pokémon Go movesets?

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 and our many Pokémon Go Guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!

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