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 Premiere 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 their most efficient roles (Attack/Defense) in Pokémon Go as the game stands today, here it is. (For more details and alternate movesets, keep reading below).

Note: I'm including defensive movesets even for Legendary Pokémon. While Legendaries can't currently be put in Gyms, they can be used in Player vs. Player as well as against Team Go Rocket.

For the Legendary and Mythical Pokémon:

Legendary Attack
Articuno Frost Breath + Blizzard or Ice Beam
Zapdos Thunder Shock + Thunder Bolt
Moltres Fire Spin + Overheat or 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 + Hydro Pump
Groudon Mud Shot + Solar Beam or 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 or Dark Pulse
Cobalion Metal Claw + Iron Head
Terrakion Smack Down + Rock Slide
Meltan Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt
Melmetal Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt

And for the non-Legendary Pokémon:

Pokémon Attack Defense
Venusaur Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant Razor Leaf + Sludge Bomb
Charizard Fire Spin + Blast Burn Air Slash + Dragon Claw
Blastoise Water Gun + Hydro Canon Bite + Hydro Cannon
Water Gun + Ice Beam
Arcanine Fire Fang + Fire Blast Snarl + Fire Blast
Alakazam Confusion + Future Sight Confusion + Shadow Ball
(Dazzling Gleam)
Machamp Counter or Karate Chop* + Dynamic Punch Counter + Dynamic Punch
Golem Rock Throw + Stone Edge Rock Throw + Stone Edge
Slowbro Confusion + Psychic Confusion + Ice Beam
Muk Poison Jab + Gunk Shot Poison Jab + Gunk Shot
Gengar Lick* or Shadow Claw* + Shadow Ball Hex + Psychic or Sludge Bomb
Hypno Confusion + Psychic Confusion + Ice Punch or Shadow Ball
Kingler Bubble + Crabhammer Bubble + Crabhammer
Exeggutor Bullet Seed + Solar Beam Confusion + Seed Bomb
Rhydon Mud Slap + Stone Edge Mud Slap + Stone Edge
Chansey Son, just don't Zen Headbutt + Dazzling Gleam
Mr. Mime Confusion + Shadow Ball Confusion + Shadow Ball or Psychic
Pinser Bug Bite + X-Scissor Rock Smash + X-Scissor
Gyarados Waterfall + Hydro Pump Waterfall + Hydro Pump or Crunch
Lapras Frost Breath + Blizzard Frost Breath + Blizzard
Vaporeon Water Gun + Hydro Pump Water Gun + Aqua Tail
Jolteon Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt Volt Switch + Discharge or Thunderbolt
Flareon Fire Spin + Overheat Fire Spin + Flame Thrower
Omastar Water Gun + Rock Blast
(Rock Throw + Rock Slide)
Water Gun + Rock Blast
(Rock Throw + Rock Slide)
Aerodactyl Steel Wing + Hyper Beam Steel Wing + Ancient Power
Snorlax Lick + Return Zen Headbutt + Body Slam or Heavy Slam
Dragonite Dragon Tail or Dragon Breath* + Outrage or Draco Meteor* Dragon Tail + Outrage
Meganium Vine Whip or Razor Leaf + Frenzy Plant Razor Leaf + Petal Blizzard
Typhlosion Ember + Overheat Ember + Overheat
Feraligatr Water Gun + Hydro Pump Water Gun + Ice Beam
Amphoros Charge Beam + Zap Cannon Volt Switch + Zap Cannon
Espeon Confusion + Future Sight Confusion or Zen Headbutt + Psybeam
Umbreon Snarl + Foul Play Snarl + Dark Pulse
Slowking Confusion + Psychic Confusion + Psychic or Blizzard
Steelix Iron Tail + Heavy Slam Dragon Tail or Thunder Fang + Crunch
Scizor Bullet Punch + Iron Head Bullet Punch + Iron Head
Heracross Counter + Close Combat Struggle Bug + Close Combat
Usaring Counter + Hyper Beam Counter + Hyper Beam
Donphan Counter + Earthquake Counter + Play Rough
Blissey Son, just don't Zen Headbutt + Dazzling Gleam
Tyranitar Bite + Crunch
Smack Down* + Stone Edge
Iron Tail + Crunch
Sceptile Bullet Seed + Leaf Blade Bullet Seed + Leaf Blade
Blaziken Fire Spin + Blast Burn* Firespin + Overheat
Swampert Water Gun + Hydro Cannon Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon or Muddy Water
Gardevoir Charm + Dazzling Gleam
Confusion + Synchronoise
Charm + Shadow Ball or Synchronoise
Breloom Counter + Dynamic Punch Counter + Sludge Bomb
Slaking Yawn + Hyper Beam Yawn + Play Rough
Hariyama Counter + Dynamic Punch Counter + Dynamic Punch
Aggron Iron Tail + Heavy Slam Iron Tail + Heavy Slam
Wailord Water Gun + Surf Zen Headbutt + Blizzard
Flygon Dragon Tail + Dragon Claw
Mud Shot + Earth Power
Dragon Tail + Dragon Claw
Armaldo Fury Cutter + Rock Blast Struggle Bug + Rock Blast
Claydol Confusion + Psychic Confusion + Earth Power
Milotic Waterfall + Surf Dragon Tail + Blizzard or Surf
Walrein Frost Breath + Blizzard Frost Breath + Blizzard
Salamence Dragon Tail + Outrage* Dragon Tail + Draco Meteor
Metagross Bullet Punch + Meteor Mash* Zen Headbutt + Meteor Mash*
Torterra Razor Leaf + (Frenzy Plant) Razor Leaf + (Frenzy Plant)
Infernape Fire Spin + Flamethrower Rock Smash + Flamethrower
Empoleon Waterfall + Hydropump Waterfall + Hydropump
Roserade Razor Leaf + Grass Knot
Poison Jab + Sludge Bomb
Razor Leaf + Sludge Bomb
Poison Jab + Sludge Bomb
Rampardos Smack Down + Rock Slide Xen Headbutt + Outrage or Rock Slide
Mismagius Hex or Sucker Punch + Shadow Ball Hex + Dark Pulse or Dazzling Gleam
Garchomp Dragon Tail + Outrage Dragon Tail + Outrage
Lucario Counter + Aura Sphere Counter + Shadow Ball
Weaville Snarl + Foul Play Ice Shard + Avalanche or Foul Play
Magnezone Spark + Wild Charge Charge Beam + Wild Charge
Rhyperior Smack Down + Stone Edge Smack Down + Stone Edge
Tangrowth Vine Whip + Solar Beam Vine Whip + Ancient Power
Electivire Thunder Shock + Wild Charge Thunder Shock + Wild Charge
Togekiss Charm + Dazzling Gleam Hidden Power + Arial Ace or Dazzling Gleam or Flamethrower
Yanmega Bug Bite + Bug Buzz Wing Attack + Arial Ace or Bug Buzz
Leafeon Razor Leaf or Quick Attack + Leaf Blade Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade
Glaceon Frost Breath + Avalanche Ice Shard + Avalanche
Mamoswine Powder Snow + Avalanche Mud Slap + Avalanche
Gallade Confusion + Synchronoise Confusion + Leaf Blade
Probopass Spark + Thunderbolt Rock Throw + Rock Slide
Froslass Powder Snow + Avalanche or Shadow Ball Powder Snow + Avalanche
Serperior Vine Whip + Grass Knot Iron Tail + Grass Knot
Emboar Low Kick + Focus Blast Ember + Rock Slide
Samurott Water Fall + Hydro Pump Water Fall + Hydro Pump or Blizzard
Unfezant Air Slash + Sky Attack Steel Wing + Sky Attack
Excadrill Mud Slap + Drill Run Mud Slap + Iron Head
Ferrothorn Bullet Seed + Power Whip Bullet Seed or Metal Claw + Powerwhip
Chandelure Fire Spin + Overheat
Hex + Shadow Ball
Fire Spin + Shadow Ball
Golurk Mud Slap + Earth Power Mud Slap + Dynamic Punch
Hydreigon Dragon Breath + Dark Pulse or Dragon Pulse Dragon Breath + Dark Pulse

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

  • Indicates a 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!

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 + Over Heat or Hex + Shadow Ball
  5. Mewtwo with 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 or Dark Pulse
  10. Giratina (Origin form) with Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball
  11. Machamp with Counter or Karate Chop* + Dynamic Punch
  12. Gengar with Lick* or Shadow Claw* + Shadow Ball
  13. Kingler with Bubble + Crabhammer
  14. Raikou with Thundershock + Wild Charge
  15. Electivire with Thundershock + Wild Charge
  16. Mamoswine with Powder Snow + Avalanche
  17. Moltres with Fire Spin + Overheat or Wing Attack + Sky Attack*
  18. Dialga with Dragon Breath + Draco Meteor
  19. Palkia with Dragon Tail + Draco Meteor
  20. Roserade with Razor Leaf + Grass Knot or Poison Jab + Sludge Bomb
  21. Excadrill with Mud Slap + Drill Run

Honorable Mentions go to:

  1. Terrakion with Smack Down + Rock Slide
  2. Dragonite with Dragon Tail or Dragon Breath* + Outrage or Draco Meteor*
  3. Tyranitar with Bite + Crunch or Smack Down* + Stone Edge
  4. Blaziken with Fire Spin + Blast Burn*
  5. Swampert with Water Gun + Hydro Cannon*
  6. Breloom with Counter + Dynamic Punch
  7. Garchomp with Dragon Tail + Outrage
  • 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. Dragonite with Dragon Tail + Dragon Claw
  3. Metagross with Zen Headbutt + Meteor Mash
  4. Milotic with Dragon Tail + Blizzard or Surf
  5. Exeggcutor with Confusion + Seed Bomb
  6. Ferrothorn with Bullet Seed or Metal Claw + Powerwhip
  7. Gyarados with Waterfall + Hydro Pump or Crunch
  8. Hypno with Confusion + Ice Punch or Shadow Ball
  9. Slowbro with Confusion + Ice Beam
  10. Slowking with Confusion + Psychic or Blizzard
  11. Steelix with Dragon Tail or Thunder Fang + Crunch
  12. Chansey with Zen Headbutt + Dazzling Gleam
  13. Melmetal with Thunder Shock + Thunderbolt
  14. Slaking with Yawn + Play Rough
  15. Snorlax with Zen Headbutt + Body Slam or Heavy Slam
  16. Charizard with Fire Spring + Overheat
  17. Claydol with Confusion + Earth Power
  18. Donphon with Counter + Play Rough
  19. Empoleon with Waterfall + Hydropump

Honorable Mentions go to:

  1. Gardevoir with Charm + Shadow Ball or Synchronoise
  2. Togekiss with Hidden Power + Arial Ace or Dazzling Gleam or Flamethrower

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, then let me know what it is and what moveset you is best for it!

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