Below you will find the best all-round attackers in Pokemon Go. The Pokemon are split into two simple tiers: (1) true all-round allstars and (2) second tier Pokemon that perform well in fewer, but helpful situations. If you're not lucky enough to have found one of these Pokemon, the list of the top 40 Pokemon is shown below for you to see if you have a good runner up eg. (Golem isn't that far behind Rhydon).
Importantly, Pokemon go isn't a one dimensional game, this list is put together to order Pokemon in their ability to attack without taking into account the specific attacker. Outside of the top 5-10 all-round attackers, it would be better to use the Best Counter tool to find the best counter to a specific Pokemon you're having trouble with.
Stardust is a rare resource. The Poke Assistant team would recommend that these Pokemon are the first you raise to level 30 if you have a strong IV version of them. Consequently, these Pokemon are the only ones we would personally be raising past level 30 for the purpose of attacking. You can learn more about the shrinking benefits of levelling Pokemon up in our Stardust Strategy.
Gym strategy is currently limited in densely populated areas by the desire for a defender not to be found in the last position on a gym and at risk of being knocked off. This is driving defenders to ignore types and simply place the highest CP Pokemon on a gym in order to push a team mate to the bottom spot and keep themselves safe. The focus on CP, instead of diversity and the gym's ability to be defended as a whole makes attacking strategy much more simple. It's not uncommon to see 10/10 spots on a gym occupied by Dragonite and Gyarados (a bad defender). Without any sort of forced gym diversity rule, e.g. no more than 1 of each species on a gym, attacking strategy will stay relatively simple.
What follows is an extended discussion on the formula we've used to order Pokemon, a justification of the Pokemon we have included, and reasoning on why we have left some Pokemon out that others include.
Dragonite continues its rein as the dominant attacker in Pokemon Go. It's only resisted slightly by steel and fairy, of which there are few Pokemon and none of them very strong. With a high IV, high level Dragonite, the Pokemon defending rarely matters. You're going to do just fine. His optimal movesets did change with the release of Gen 2. If you can't be bothered checking for the absolute best counter to a pokemon, chances are Dragonite is toward the top of the list anyway. Just don't attempt to use him against Ice type or a strong fairy and he'll be fine.
Alakazam is still a similar level of no brainer to Dragonite, just no quite as strong. Again, his best moveset changed coming into Gen 2. It hits incredibly hard. It's only resisted by and weak to Dark, and with the release of Gen 2 and dark Pokemon, you'll have to be a little more careful with him. Avoid a strong Gengar, Houndoom or Scizor, but otherwise, with a high level/IV Alakazam, you can just tap and forget. Keep in mind though that once Niantic releases Mewtwo in a Ingress style Anomaly event or quest chain, he will be directly be replaced by Mewtwo, being better in every way.
After the very large buff to Fighting moves with the roll out of Generation 2, many fighting Pokemon leapt up greatly on the best attacker list. Combined with the release of Blissey, who like Snorlax, will require a very strong Fighting Pokemon to bring down. Heracross is currently our top pick recommendation for this spot, but he is doubly weak to flying and Machamp is a solid runner-up. Fighting Pokemon in their best moveset and IV form will help greatly against top tier Normal defenders often found on gyms
Cloyster is still the counter for Dragonites everywhere and with the nerfing of Lapras, its position is further cemented. It's easy to obtain, keep a strong cloyster to beat any dragonites standing in defence. Note that the moves above are his highest DPS moves in general, but for Dragonite countering, you want it having a double Ice set.
Tyranitar can be thought of as the Dragonite of Gen 2, even compared to unreleased Legendary Pokemon, it has some of the highest attack, defence and stamina stats in the game. Whilst it has superior stamina to Dragonite, (200 vs 182), its attack and defence stats are lower and it suffers from a lot of resistances and weaknesses in comparison to Dragonite, in particular weakness to water and fairy isn't great given current common defenders. Well worth stardust, but a lower priority if you have been lucky with a good Dragonite.
Flareon is another new addition to the list with the release of Gen 2, its stats stayed the same but its optimal moveset jumped greatly in DPS output. It now hits harder than old tier 2 big hitters like Gengar and Rhydon.
Jolteon retains its excellent utility against Vaporeans and Gyarados coming into Gen 2 and didn't even have its optimal moveset changed. Great value Pokemon and well worth some stardust. With its absence of weaknesses, Jolteon could have been a 'close your eyes and tap' level T1 attacker but it's let down by one of the lowest DPS quick moves in the game.
Rhydon was another winner out of the November rebalance. He has a lot more weaknesses than the top tier Pokemon and makes an awful defender, being decimated by any Starmie or Vaporean, but he has some of the highest DPS moves in the game paired with extremely high attack stat. You have to pick your battles with him more carefully than Alakazam or Dragonite, but he'll hit hard in the right fight. Rhydon will make short work of any fire Pokemon.
We wanted to highlight a few Pokemon often mentioned in outdated tier lists that we specifically do not recommend as amongst the top attackers. As a general rule, these Pokemon have high CP driven up by their high HP. We recommend de-emphasising HP when looking for good attacking Pokemon. Where possible, attackers should be looking to win because they overpowered the defender, not because they outlasted it via HP. The latter win is unsustainable in the long run in a world of limited potions.
Lapras Lapras has extremely high HP driving up its CP score, but looking at Pokemon Stats, we can see that Cloyster has superior defence and equal attack. Cloyster will hit as hard, take less damage, and you probably already have a good moveset/IV version. Cloyster is an easy answer to Dragonite and it's not clear why Lapras continues to be recommended by some others.
Vaporean Vaporean is one of the Best Defenders in the game, but it is not a great attacker. If you want a solid water attacker, both Starmie and Omastar are better attackers that will hit harder and take less damage. Starmie in particular should never appear below Vaporean on any attacker list.
Snorlax Another of the Best Defenders that continues to mistakenly be recommended as a top attacker. Whilst it's true he has limited weaknesses and high HP, this makes him a great defender, not attacker. Anything snorlax can do can be done better by one of the T1 and T2 Pokemon above.
We approximated a Pokemon"s general ability to attack with the following formula:
Score = (5 * Move1 DPS + Move2 DPS)/6*(Attack/100)*Defence^0.2
The formula is applied using the highest DPS moves from the Pokemon's moveset after accounting for stab. Note the move DPS has been scaled up by the Pokemon's attack score / 100 for the purposes of this analysis
This formula specifically excludes the Pokemon's HP stat from the calculation. Whilst HP is a valuable stat in defence when the game heals your Pokemon for free after every battle. In attack, we ignore this stat. Where possible, attackers should be looking to win because they overpowered the defender, not because they outlasted it via HP. The later win is unsustainable in the long run in a world of limited potions.
This isn't a god formula that answers the game for you, but it's simple and emphasises the stats that matter in attack. This formula attempts to do what cannot be done: boiling down a multi-dimensional combat system into a single one dimensional list. It is a quick guide. Users must still look at the list below and decide what is best for them to level up given the Pokemon they have discovered.
We would prefer that types mattered more and lists like this one couldn't be generated at all. With resistance taking damage at 80% and weaknesses taking 125% damage, this has lessened the value of picking your types and playing well strategically compared to the 50% and 150% in the main series. We would prefer that types mattered more and a list like this one is worthless. But in its current state, if you have a good Dragonite or Alakazam, the defender's species and types are largely irrelevant.
Because these tier lists are crap. Making a tier list of attackers for Pokemon is almost as daft as making a tier list of attackers for the game "Scizzors Paper Rock". Everything is countered by something, and you're much better off learning the counters instead of some website's version of a tier list.
Most of the lists we've seen were very wrong or overly complex. Some of the most popular lists recomend Lapras over Cloyster and Vaporean over Starmie for attack, which we couldn't agree with. We can only assume these tier lists are put together to have another page to pump full of ads. But people seem to like lists, and in Pokemon Go, because of the weakened value of type matching, the top Pokemon are strong at a reasonably universal level. Outside of the top 5-10 Pokemon, we'd recomend players spend more time learning the type chart in Pokemon and less time learning some 3 tier list with half tiers and inaccurate statements. If all else fails, use the Best Counters tool to find the best counter for a defender you're having trouble with.