'Pokémon Go' Update: Charts and lists reveal the best gym attackers after balance changes

'Pokémon Go' Update: Charts and lists reveal the best gym attackers after balance changes
Mic
Mic

Do you not know which Pokémon to use during a gym battle because the balance update on Nov. 21 screwed up all your plans? A new chart may have the answers you need.

If your old gym attacker list isn't performing like it used to, it may be due to the balance update that changed the stats for every Gen 1 Pokémon in the game other than Lapras. The Pokémon Go experts at the Silph Road have already begun updating their lists, and now a third reference for best gym attackers has been published.

This Pokémon Go top gym attacker Pokémon list is built around individual members of a species, by moveset.Source: QuantumOverlord/The Silph Road
This Pokémon Go top gym attacker Pokémon list is built around individual members of a species, by moveset.  QuantumOverlord/The Silph Road

Pokémon Go balance update means new top 10 gym attackers are on the list.

Prior to the balance update, the top gym attacker rankings published by Pokémon Go database GamePress named Dragonite, Exeggutor, Lapras and Snorlax as the Tier 1 or best attackers in the game. Post-update, GamePress removed Exeggutor and Lapras from Tier 1, and added Alakazam, Rhydon and predictably, Vaporeon.

The new data compiled by Silph Road community member QuantumOverlord, however, ignores Alakazam and Rhydon in the top 20. Instead, it sticks with Dragonite, Exxecutor, Lapras and Snorlax as the top 10 big dogs in the gym battling scene.

Another source of Pokémon Go data respected by the Silph Road community, Qmike, did include Rhydon in his post-balance update top 20 gym attackers. However, Alakazam did not make it into his top 20. 

Whose lists are correct, and whose lists are wrong?

Pokémon Go update: Not everyone agrees on the best new gym attackers

The "correct" answers for top 10 and top 20 gym attacker lists in Pokémon Go depends on your point of view, along with how important you judge different mechanics of a gym battle.

Matchups, for instance, can be a defining factor. 

"Attackers are simulated against different defenders which are weighed according to their commonality (i.e.: an attacker will not perform well in these rankings if it only is useful against a defender that appears rarely)," QuantumOverlord writes on the Silph Road.

Dodging is a factor of chief concern for GamePress, and was responsible in part for its updates to the best attackers infographic. 

We now believe players who consistently dodge makes up a much more significant group of the active PoGo playerbase than when we initially debuted this tier list months ago, so this change reflects this metagame shift.

Qmike is concerned with a third and entirely different factor, Total Damage Output, which excludes dodging as part of the calculations, according to Silph Road community member GrayMagicGamma

qMike's TDO is the total damage output in a fight. It factors in everything (hp, defense, energy gain from both taking and dealing damage) except dodging. Why are those defensive stats factored into total damage output?

Because against a tough enough foe, a Vaporeon will do more damage than Alakazam. The Alakazam will start in the lead. Then it will die, while the Vaporeon keeps working away, dealing a much higher amount of damage eventually. [TDO] is the best measure of how good a Pokémon is at taking down tough enemy gyms.

Pokémon Go update: Best attacker movesets for Pokémon

QuantumOverlord's top attackers data might be confusing at first glance because Dragonite is listed in the top three slots on the first chart, and only in the top slot on the bottom chart (below).

This Pokémon Go top gym attacker Pokémon list is built around entire species, listing the best moveset for each when attacking a gym.Source: QuantumOverlord/The Silph Road
This Pokémon Go top gym attacker Pokémon list is built around entire species, listing the best moveset for each when attacking a gym.  QuantumOverlord/The Silph Road

The top chart is by individual Pokémon, which is why Dragonite appears three times and with three different movesets listed. The bottom chart only allots a single slot to any individual species of Pokémon, which allows the data to cast a wider net, and specifies the optimal moveset for that species. From this analysis, Alakazam and Rhydon do appear in the top 10.

More Pokémon Go hacks, tips and tricks

If you're so into Pokémon Go that you love crunching best attacker data, you may also want to check out Mic's Pokémon Go guides. Here are guides on how to catch Gen 2 baby Pokémon, the 98 Gen 2 Pokémon that have yet to be added to the game, how to catch Pikachu and his adorable new Christmas hat, post-update Chansey and Rhydon, everything you need to know about finding the long-awaited Pokémon Ditto, creating new PokéStops, how to maximize your chances of catching Pokémon and fresh information about how PokéStops distribute Pokémon eggs.