Defending a gym in Pokémon Go is an indirect way to participate in some player versus player combat. Because you do not directly control the Pokémon when defending a gym, you need to think about who you want to choose to leave behind. When you leave a Pokémon at a gym for over 24-hours, you receive 50 PokéCoins, which is the game’s premium currency.
There are a few factors to consider before deciding on your Pokémon choice. For starters, you need to contemplate the location of the gym. For example, a gym in the middle of a mall or on a street corner in a busy city likely has plenty of trainers consistently visiting it and fighting. That means you probably won’t expect to see your Pokémon remaining there for 24-hours, left alone a single hour, no matter their strength. The enemy trainers can try over and over again to take them out.
You need to find an ideal location to leave your Pokémon where not too many people visit but also has a sizeable variety of Pokémon from other trainers on the same team as you. The wider variety of Pokémon at a gym, the more Pokémon an attacking trainer has to use to fight.
For example, if there’s already an Onix and Golem at the gym, you don’t want to leave another Rock or Ground-type because then a trainer can use a single type, like a water Pokémon, to take them all out. You may want to leave a Grass or Electric-type there, forcing an attacker to also rely on a variety of choices.
While considering these choices, when wanting to leave a Pokémon at a gym, you also want to think about a Pokémon with the least amount of weaknesses. Your best typing options include Steel, Dragon, Fairy, Ghost, and Psychic-types. There are particular typing, such as Water and Ground-type Pokémon that are only weak to one, in this case, Grass-types. If you have one of these, you can force an attacking trainer to optimize one choice, making it difficult to take over a gym.
If you keep these details in mind, here are the best choices for Pokémon to defend a gym.
Swampert is a great Pokémon to use in the player versus player mode, the Battle League, and it’s an excellent option to protect a gym. It’s a Water and Ground-type, meaning it’s only weak to Grass-type Pokémon and their attacks. When you have one that knows mud shot and hydro cannon or water gun and surf, you can reliably keep a location to earn the maximum amount of PokéCoins.
Snorlax is a unique choice because it’s a Normal-type Pokémon, but it’s only weak to Fighting-types. What makes Snorlax an ideal defender is how much health it has. Because of the absurd amount of health it has, some trainers may need two Pokémon to take it down if they don’t have a Fighting-type attack to use against. You can your Snorlax be even more deadly by ensuring it knows lick and hyper beam or lick and outrage, the latter of the two, which is a Dragon-type attack.
Metagross is another solid choice to defend a gym. It’s a Steel and Psychic-type, making it weak to Dark, Ghost, Fire, and Ground-type attacks. While it is weak to more attacks than you normally want from a defending Pokémon, it’s a powerful option capable of having an exceptionally high attack and defense. Its best moves consist of bullet punch and meteor mash or zen headbutt with meteor mash.
Garchomp is one of the most powerful Ground-type Pokémon in the game, and it’s also a Dragon-type. It’s doubly weak to Ice, which is a significant downside to do it, but otherwise, it’s a powerful contender in any fight. You may not want to depart with your Garchomp to leave at a gym for a couple of days, but if you want Pokécoins, it will surely return with plenty for you to tuck into your pockets. Its best moves consist of dragon tail and earthquake or mud shot and outrage.
Tyranitar is a powerhouse in any combat scenario capable of dealing a great deal of damage. The huge downside is that it has a variety of different weaknesses an attacking trainer can exploit. If you’re willing to double-down on that risk, Tyranitar is never too bad to protect a gym, primarily one with high defense and attack. You want it to know smack down and stone edge or bite and stone edge.