These are just my thoughts about the current meta, and some tips to be more effective in Pokemon Go.
So, here’s what we’re facing in the game right now:
- Attacking a gym takes down 1,000 prestige per defeated Pokemon
- Training up a gym increases it by up to 500 prestige per defeat, depending on your attacker’s CP
- Pokestops are giving out roughly 3 items each time
- Spawns are slightly more varied than just Pidgeys and Rattatas
- There are daily streak bonuses for spinning and catching
Now onto the tips.
Don’t catch everything
I’ve heard it said, “catch everything”.
But with balls being in such short supply, don’t do this anymore. Obviously, get that Snorlax if you see it. Otherwise, you should be a little selective:
- Catch anything of high value, like starters, or rare Pokemon you need
- Catch anything useful for the end game, like Oddish, Bellsprouts, and Jigglypuff
- Catch anything less than 150 CP. It’s like getting 100 stardust for one Pokeball.
- Catch Pidgeys!
Why Pidgeys? They are 10 candy per evolution. (12, but you get two back from the evolution and the transfer) This means with the lucky egg, each Pidgey is worth 500 XP (100 XP for the catch, 1000 XP for every 2.5 Pidgeys).
How do I beat Snorlax?
Wigglytuff with Pound and HyperBeam.
Snorlax is type resistant, and is super tanky. Wigglytuff does raw DPS without any real type bonus. A 1500 CP Wigglytuff should be able to easily beat a 2,400 CP Snorlax in about 50 seconds.
Just remember to dodge Snorlax’s charge moves.
How do I beat Lapras?
Kabutops with Stone Edge. Kabutops resists most of Lapras’ attacks. This should buy you some time to charge up a couple of rounds of Stone Edge.
Don’t use Electric, because all electric types die too quickly.
Who should I use to defend a gym?
In the previous meta, you wanted the highest CP so you can place high in a gym. Now that most level 10 gyms have burned to the ground, you need a different approach.
Most defenders have trash CP — their CP is high, but they can be easily defeated by Pokemon with less than half the CP. These include: Dragonite, Arcanine, Exeggutor, Vaporeon, basically everything you tend to see in gyms.
If you have one of these high CP Pokemon, by all means stick it into a level 7, 8, or 9 gym. Place yourself as high as possible and selfishly use your teammates to shield your Pokedime.
The only real defenders are Snorlax and Lapras. Most people don’t know how to counter them (see above), nor have enough candy to get a decent moveset and CP level. And even if they do, Wigglytuff and Kabutops are only so-so counters.
Who should I use as a buddy?
Snorlax or Lapras. Use whichever one you have.
If you have a low CP Snorlax, hang onto it! Use it as your buddy, and take its candy to feed the stronger Snorlax. I’m pretty sure this is how it works in nature too — with weaker Snorlax giving their candy to stronger ones.
The goal is to get some 3,100 CP Snorlax and 2,900 Lapras, and repeatedly drop them in contested gyms. You’ll always get it back, so you can keep powering it up while wearing down the enemy.
Stop fighting in contested gyms
If a gym keeps flipping colors, don’t bother fighting. Yes, it’s easy to take down a level 3 and get that one dime, but you’re making zero impact and just wasting resources.
Instead, keep your eyes open for level 7+ gyms. It’s hard work to prestige it up 10,000 to the next level. But passive income is the only way to get 100 coins.
Always get 500 prestige when training
I’ve seen people train up gyms and get 100 prestige per battle. I’ve also heard advice for attacking with CP slightly below the bottom defender, netting ~250 prestige per fight.
There’s no reason to do this.
Using type advantage and dodging, you should be able to defeat any defender using less than half the CP.
It helps to have a bunch of Pokemon in the 1,000 CP range:
- Parasect with bug moves (vs Exeggutor)
- Parasect with Solar Beam (vs Vaporeon)
- Omanyte with water moves (vs Arcanine)
Also, hang onto your Raticates with Hyper Beam from your lucky egg evolutions. These make great cannon fodder. You can toss your Pidgeottos and Dig Raticates, because saving a few potions is not worth the arthritis.
Never throw away potions and revives
You need regular potions to top off those half-CP Parasects while training. You’re only interested in level 7+ gyms, and 10,000 prestige means 20 battles.
And you need revives and Hyper/Max potions since it’ll take a lot of tries before you find a gym that will hold for more than a few days.
Work toward holding 10 gyms
If you’re consistently adding yourself to level 7+ gyms, you should steadily make your way to collecting 10 dimes a day. The vast majority of players are in fewer than 2 gyms. But there are players (I’ve seen three) that are in more than 20 gyms.
Coins are nice, but the real benefit is Stardust! Yes, Stardust is the real currency in the game. Coins are mainly for buying you incubators, so you can get Stardust faster.
What should I spend coins on?
By all means, buy the occasional lucky egg to clean out your Pidgeys and Rattatas.
Otherwise, save your coins for Bag or Pokemon Storage upgrades until you max them out at 1000. You might not need them now, but Niantic is going throw events at you like Pokestop bonuses, spawn events, and new generations. It takes time to increase storage, so it’s best to be prepared.
Alternatively, you can just save up coins for the next event and spend them on incubators, storage, or whatever the next event calls for.
How to find a good gym to put my Pokemon in
Even if you take down a level 10 gym, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to hold it. There’s a big difference between conquering and occupation.
Look for an area where your team has a strong presence. The opposing team won’t be able to take down every gym. And there’s a decent chance that teammates will reinforce your gym while you’re away.
The best defense is a good offense
Sometimes it’s simply impossible to keep anyone in a gym because it’s too contested. Maybe a nest change is attracting too many outsiders. Or your team is outnumbered overall.
The next best thing you can do is go on the offensive.
Start taking down the enemy, focusing on level 10 gyms. This will make opposing players start worrying about their daily coin haul, and take the heat off your own gyms.
Make sure you punk gyms in enemy territory
When you attack an enemy level 10 gym, sometimes it’s better to wear it down to a nub instead of defeating it entirely. You have a couple options, depending on the situation.
- If you defeat the gym and put your own defender in, they’ll take it back immediately and get 3 free slots. A better approach is to leave the last defender in the gym. This means the enemy has to prestige against a 3,000 Dragonite just to reach level 2.
- If the top 2 or 3 defenders are really strong, leave them all in the gym. There’s no sense in setting that 2,700 Lapras free into the wild.
- If there’s a lot of Instinct in the area, just take the gym down to level 5. Instinct are like vultures preying on the weak. Might as well save a few potions and let them finish the job.
- If you defeat the enemy gym entirely, don’t put your own guy in there. The enemy will remember your username and make it a point to knock you out of every gym they see. Plus, your teammates are trained to avoid that gym, so it’ll take some time before they help contest it.
How do I build my attack squad?
You only need a few Pokemon to take down any gym:
- Flareon: use this against Venusaur.
- Victreebel (Razor Leaf/Solar Beam): use this against Vaporeon.
- Scyther (Fury Cutter/Bug Buzz): use this against Exeggutor. X-Scissor is weaker, but has better weave, so it’s weaker but arguably better. The AI is starting to use two Psychics back-to-back just to catch you in your Bug Buzz animation.
- Jolteon (Thunder Shock/Thunder): use this against Gyarados.
- Wigglytuff (Pound/Hyper Beam): use this against Snorlax. You have to dodge charge moves because Wigglytuff’s defense sucks.
- Kabutops (Stone Edge): use this against Lapras. Kabuto is super rare, so you might be better off powering up your Jolteon or Flareon to the max, and get good at dodging.
- Dewgong (Blizzard): use this against Dragonite. Any Pokemon with Ice moves will work actually.
- Vaporeon (Hydro Pump): use this against Arcanine.
Don’t worry about using the ideal type counter (Charizard is better than Flareon). And don’t worry about base stats (Raichu is stronger than Jolteon).
The most important thing is candy. You need enough of it to evolve the ideal moveset. And you need even more of it to power up your attackers to the max. It’s not enough to defeat your opponent, you want to be efficient and conserve health to save on potions.
And that’s it. Again, these are just my personal opinions on what works in my particular suburban area.