Poliwrath and Espeon, stepping stones to the new meta

TLDR; it might take a while to perfect your attack roster. So for now, use Poliwrath and Espeon as stepping stones.

Three of the toughest defenders are Blissey, Snorlax, and Tyranitar. (Dragonite is actually the strongest, but by now you should have a Cloyster)

Dragonite with Dragon Tail / Outrage is the best counter to both Snorlax and Blissey. And Machamp with Counter and Dynamic Punch is the ideal counter to Tyranitar.

These ideal attackers will take a while to grind out. So you’ll need some stepping stones so you don’t get locked out of gyms.

Poliwrath (Rock Smash / Dynamic Punch) is like the Honda Civic of Tyranitar. It’s cheap, accessible, and gets the job done. Fighting type gets 1.56x vs Tyranitar. Plus Fighting is resistant to Dark.

Poliwrath can be used against Snorlax and Blissey, because it has STAB Fighting moves. But there’s a major caveat.

Snorlax and Blissey have defensive non-STAB Psychic moves that are designed to punk Fighting types. So only use Poli against non-Psychic movesets.
[Edit: Fairy is super effective against Fighting. So Fighting counters get punked by Blissey 5 movesets out of 6]

For the Psychic movesets, counter with Espeon. Espeon resists Psychic, but still does its regular STAB damage against Normal.

So between Poliwrath and Espeon, you can counter all of the Snorlax and Blissey movesets. Plus, Poliwrath can double as a Tyranitar counter.

Poliwrath and Espeon, stepping stones to the new meta

Piloswine is a pile of… swine

TLDR; Piloswine is irrelevant to the meta. Stick with Cloyster

There seems to be some confusion on how to counter Dragonite. Tripledex recommends Piloswine and Dragonite. But the answer is Cloyster. Here’s why.

Piloswine’s moves get really high DPS. Powder Snow has one of the highest EPS, so it boosts Avalanche like crazy. Plus, Piloswine has good stamina, so theoretically you can send multiple Dragonites to the Ice Age. But there are holes to this logic.

The problem is that Piloswine has terrible defense base stats. So Dragonite is going to rip through all your stamina, and Piloswine is going to end up drinking all your pots.

The other problem is that Powder Snow has terrible DPS. So this detracts from the EPS boost to Avalanche.

Cloyster’s Frost Breath has good DPS. Moveset-wise, the benefits of Frost Breath’s DPS and Powder Snow’s EPS are about equal.

Cloyster’s high Defense stat is the right answer to Dragonite’s high Attack stat. So Cloyster comes out way ahead in the damage exchange.

Granted, Cloyster has low HP. Just learn how to dodge and you’ll be fine.

As for using Dragonite to counter Dragonite, this is a pretty bad idea. You’re missing out on that rare 1.5x stacked type effectiveness. And you’re just as vulnerable, so you basically have no advantage.

Note: There are some merits to using Dragonite to counter Dragonite. Yes, you have zero type and stat advantage. But zero is actually a decent number, since Dragonite with DT/O is the best in the game.

Cloyster is basically the only one mon with a significant advantage against Dragonite.


Piloswine is a pile of… swine

The Gen 2 Meta

Using the February 21, 2017 moveset update.

Check out the cheat sheets:


Defenders, and their highest DPS moveset

Tyranitar: Bite / Crunch


Dragonite: Dragon Tail / Outrage

Note: Legacy movesets are not taken into consideration. So hang onto them.


Snorlax: Lick / Hyper Beam (Lick’s EPS makes up for its lower DPS)
Note how the DoT for Hyper Beam changes when you switch between Zen Headbutt and Lick.


Rhydon: Mud Slap / Earthquake


Gyarados: Dragon Tail / Outrage


Blissey: Pound / Hyper Beam


Vaporeon: Water Gun / Aqua Tail
(Hydro Pump is a very close second)


Donphan: Tackle / Play Rough
(Tackle and Counter have same DPS and EPS. But Tackle is slightly better in fending off attackers)


Espeon: Confusion / Futuresight


Heracross: Counter / Close Combat
(Counter is the same DPS and EPS as Struggle Bug. But Counter gives you two moves of the same type)


Golem: Rock Throw / Rock Blast
(Mud Slap has higher EPS, but not enough to bridge the DPS gap)


Exeggutor: Extrasensory / Solar Beam
(Bullet Seed has higher EPS, but not enough to bridge the DPS gap. But Bullet Seed is situational against Vaporeon)



Versus Tyranitar:


Machamp: Counter / Dynamic Punch
Fighting has stacked effectiveness against Tyranitar. And, Fighting resists Dark moves.

Hitmonlee: Low Kick / Close Combat
Not as good as Machamp, but close.

Poliwrath: Rock Smash / Dynamic Punch
Probably the most accessible Fighting type.

Versus Dragonite:


Cloyster: Frost Breath/Avalanche
Your only option is Cloyster. That crazy 323 defense pretty much negates Dragonite’s 263 attack. That, and Ice does stacked super effective damage against Dragon/Flying.

Versus Snorlax:


Dragonite: DT/O
This is your strongest option. Snorlax is pretty type-resistant. So go with raw damage.

Tyranitar: Bite/Crunch
Not as good as Dragonite, but it’s up there.

Flareon: Fire Spin / Overheat
This is your stepping stone counter. Flareon ranks in the top 6 for every Snorlax moveset combo (even the earthquake ones!).

Alakazam: Confusion / Focus Blast
Performs somewhere between Dragonite and Flareon, when you consider all of Snorlax’s movesets. Especially against Zen Headbutt.
Focus Blast is Alakazam’s the worst DPS charge move. But it’s listed because of type advantage (against Normal, Fighting is good, Ghost is bad).

Note: Machamp with Counter and Dynamic punch is situational. As long as Snorlax doesn’t have Zen Headbutt.

Versus Rhydon:


Exeggutor: Bullet Seed / Solar Beam
Finally, grass moves!

Venusaur: Vine Whip / Solar Beam
You can still use your Venusaur from before.

Kingler: Bubble / Water Pulse
What is Kingler doing here? Bubble is high DPS, high EPS.

Versus Gyarados:


Jolteon: Thunder Shock / Discharge
You want Thunder Shock, because its EPS significantly boosts your overall DPS.
Discharge is only slightly better than Thunderbolt. Thunder is the worst. Now I need to re-do all my Jolteons…

Magneton: Spark / Zap Cannon
Another option, but harder to get and not as good. But if you live in a beach biome, you can put these little robots to good use.

Versus Blissey:


Dragonite: DT/O
Go for raw damage.

Tyranitar: Bite/Crunch
Not as good as Dragonite, but makes the top 6 in every moveset.

Alakazam: Confusion/Focus Blast
Good damage. Exact same explanation as with Snorlax (see above). Except that four of Blissey’s movesets contain Psychic moves, which Alakazam resists.

Espeon: Confusion/Futuresight
Not as good as Alakazam. But it ranks in every moveset. Could be a stepping stone if you have a hard time catching Abra.

Flareon: Fire Spin / Overheat
Another stepping stone counter. Ranks in every moveset.

Note: as with Snorlax, Machamp is situational. But Blissey can have four out of six movesets containing Psychic moves.

Versus Vaporeon:


Dragonite: DT/O
Raw damage ftw.

Venusaur: Vine Whip / Solar Beam
Hopefully you have one of these by now.

Versus Donphan:


Cloyster: Frost Breath / Avalanche
Ice is good against Ground

Dragonite: DT/O
Raw damage

Cloyster and Dragonite both perform well against all of Donphan’s movesets. But which one depends on Donphan’s move types, which are all over the place.

Versus Espeon:


Tyranitar: Bite/Crunch
Dark is good versus Psychic

Alakazam: Confusion/Shadow Ball
A good example of a same-type counter. Psychic resists itself. But Alakazam can punk Espeon with a high DPS Ghost move that is super effective.

Scizor: Fury Cutter/X-Scissor
Bug is good versus Psychic

Versus Heracross:

Scyther: Air Slash / Aerial Ace
Not sure how often you’ll run into Heracross. Looks like Scyther is trying to redefine himself as a strong Flying type.


Versus Golem:

Use Kingler and Venusaur (see Rhydon section above).

Versus Exeggutor:


Scizor: Fury Cutter / X-Scissor
Scizor is your new Scyther.

Pinsir: Bug Bite / X-Scissor
Finally, a use for Pinsir in the meta. Not as good as Scizor, but close.

Flareon: Fire Spin / Overheat.
Not as good as Pinsir and Scizor. But still pretty good.


Get Flareon with Fire Spin / Overheat. This is probably the easiest to get. And you can use it against Snorlax, Blissey, and Exeggutor.

Get Cloyster if you don’t have one already. It’s no longer a one-trick pony against Dragonite — you can use it when people start putting in Donphan.

Get Machamp. It’s your Tyranitar counter. And it’s useful against Snorlax and Blissey (for the non-Psychic movesets at least)

Re-do your Jolteons. You’re looking for Thunder Shock and Discharge (Thunderbolt is just as good). Thunder has been dethroned.

Eventually work toward getting a Dragonite with DT/O. This is both your most versatile and ideal moveset.


Websites usually give you DPS, based on damage divided by the animation duration. This works great for quick moves, but not for charge moves.

For example: in generation one, I recommended Tangela with Power Whip over Solar Beam. Power Whip had a super fast animation, which artificially inflated its DPS value. But in practice, its damage fell flat.

With generation two, the animation durations are all over the place. And this throws off the charge moves’ DPS. So the way to go is to factor in the charge time. An analogy is adding the time it takes to fill the water balloon to the time it takes to throw it.

The charge move “damage over time” is based on the amount of damage from one full bar. Divide this by: (a) the time it takes to charge the bar, and (b) the time it takes to cast the charge move(s).

In order to get the time it takes to charge the bar, you have to use the EPS of the quick move. So, charge move damage is influenced by the quick move.

For determining ideal counters, you have to factor in the following:

  • The ratio of the attacker’s attack stat compared to the defender’s defense stat.
  • STAB
  • Type effectiveness. This includes:
    • Dual types
    • Effectiveness and resistance
  • The opponent moveset’s DPS, relative to yours.

When you look at moves in the context of all these factors, some interesting things start to emerge:

  • A mon with great moves might not be that great because of low base attack and defense stats.
  • The EPS of a quick move sometimes outweighs its lack of DPS.
  • Type resistance (Omastar) and defense (Cloyster) are sometimes overlooked, but advantages nonetheless.

Damage over time is calculated as:

(charge move damage  x  number of bars) / ((charge move duration  x  number of bars)   +   (100 / quick move EPS))

Basically, it’s the charge move’s damage from one bar, divided by the time it takes to both charge and cast the charge moves.

The Gen 2 Meta

Tips for the current meta

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.

  1. 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.
  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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Tips for the current meta

Collecting 100 coins a day

TLDR; there are fewer potions and revives dropping. It’s now easier to hold territory, so grab a spot in as many gyms possible before they fill up.

After joining a bunch of different Facebook groups and paying attention to trainer names in gyms, I’ve realized that players are collecting 100 coins a day.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been working toward that 100 coin goal. I’m not quite there (currently at 70), but here are my thoughts so far on what works and what doesn’t.

Continue reading “Collecting 100 coins a day”

Collecting 100 coins a day