Best Gym Defender Lineup in Competitive Area

Just saw a post pointing out that the new gym defender tier list is no longer new. The list could definitely use some update. Since I’m not the owner, I’ll instead share my personal gym defender lineup here (trade secret!). It extensively takes advantage of force switching.

The proposed lineup is suitable for highly competitive areas and/or pre-raid scenarios. It doesn’t consider 3-KO (three-room trick, sync attack, or whatever else you may call it) because no lineup really stands against that. I just assume all 6 defenders in your gym are feeding GRBs against multiple attackers.

The 1st slot is Blissey, with no doubt. Zen Headbutt + Dazzling Gleam. I noticed recently that some opened the 2nd move on Blissey. It’s not necessary but if you have done so, go with Psychic, because it hits faster.

The 2nd slot is Togekiss with Air Slash + Flamethrower + Aerial Ace. She serves as a “Machamp Asshole” and forces a switch. Flamethrower does very well against her counters including Steel-types and Ice-types. Dazzling Gleam could replace Aerial Ace; it hits harder but is less likely to fire when there are multiple attackers. Edit: Gardevoir also plays well in this slot and Confusion + Shadow Ball (anti M2 and Metagross) is the set to go.

The 3rd slot goes to Metagross. Zen Headbutt + Meteor Mash. Common counters to Togekiss frails before Metagross so it forces switch again.

The 4th slot goes to Milotic. Dragon Tail + Surf. Has to be Surf 'cause the other two won’t get fired when there are multiple players. It walls Fire-types/Ground-types that are used against the previous Metagross.

The 5th slot goes to Dragonite or Garchomp. Dragon Tail + Dragon Claw, Dragon Tail + Outrage. Some might disagree: that big fat dragon is doubly weak to Ice! Yes, but it’s after Milotic and no one will use Ice-type to fight Milotic, so it’s again a force switch. Salamence would do, too. Dragon Tail + Outrage/Hydro Pump. I’d actually prefer a pure-Dragon but there doesn’t seem to be a strong one.

The final slot is flexible because per my experiences, <50% attackers would actually fight all the way to this one. But if you want the strongest gym defending lineup, I’d recommend going with a bulky Steel-type like Melmetal. Slaking/Snorlax with Body Slam/Play Rough also fit in. Or something to brag like a shiny baby.

As a plus, the 2nd-6th slots can all be shiny. Go for it!


Very solid lineup of defenders. I have a couple potential suggestions, though they’re far from necessary and I’m basically just nit-picking at this point. :wink:

Slot 1 - You’re good here. Putting the pink wall up first is never a bad idea.

Slot 2 - I would actually consider potentially putting Gardevoir here over Togekiss (though Mileage may vary). It also walls Machamp, but unlike Togekiss, isn’t left vulnerable in case the attacking Machamp has Rock Slide unlocked as a second move. Confusion also hits like a truck and Shadow Ball gives her coverage against Metagross.

Slot 3/4 - I’d consider swapping Milotic and Metagross so that Milotic is in slot 3 and TM Dragon Tail to Waterfall. Often times, Metagross will be used to take on Fairy-types, and Milotic does a good job of slowing it down by resisting steel and hitting back for neutral with Water moves.
Since no one will use an Ice-type to fight your 4th slot Metagross (unless they have a Mamoswine with both Bulldoze and Avalanche), your Dragon is still safe in the 5th slot.

Slot 5 - Dragonite/Garchomp both work fine here.

Slot 6 - I would sub out Melmetal in favor of Snorlax, personally, by virtue of it having better bulk and a much stronger quick move (Zen Headbutt) for defense. Thunder shock hits like a wet noodle. If the gym is actively being gold-berried, Slaking is also a potential option as Body Slam comes often and fast while Play Rough, if not dodged, deals massive damage.


It’s a great lineup! Even though I’m biased toward Garchomp as a personal top 2 favorite ‘mon, I’d go Dragonite in that 5 slot for another Machamp resist. It also slows attackers if they have to keep picking a varied lineup each re-battle/heal that lineup after. The only problem with the strategy is when attackers focus down the first two defenders at a time, but no lineup can avoid this altogether. This lineup offers a great chance of surviving so long it doesn’t matter before a raid anyway!

I would disagree, since most players have machamp as their first line attacker, the extra second or so it takes to have the person switch their lead, especially since a lot of better gym attackers that arent metagross (dragonite and tyranitar aren’t the best gym clearers) tend to not have 3500+CP, a little scrolling down to fix it can help stall a bit of time. A lot of the better attackers tend to not be legendaries, a few lke mewtwo are, but arent the fastest answers.

Have to disagree here, since metagross can often get a meteor mash before gardevoir gets shadow ball, and even if gardevoir does manage to use it, it doesnt really hurt metagross that much. The rockslide point I agree with, but not many people seem to use double moved attackers for raids or gyms, and that move still deals a good bit to gardevoir, since its not the bulkiest thing out there.

Agree here, Snorlax I feel is much better, since body slam and having an actual fast move is great, Slaking doesnt threaten machamp even with body slam because it doesnt have a fast move, but playrough is good. So more so I feel comes down to which the person has, both are good but for different reasons.

I would personally throw Blissey in the 6th slot. No joking. Imagine when you come through all the other 5 defenders and then you face a Blissey?! With half-health Machamps?! This would probably annoy most attackers and give up.:rofl:

You bring up some good points here, but Togekiss doesn’t threaten Metagross any more than Gardevoir does. Also, MM won’t one-shot a high level/high motivation Gardevoir, so it has decent odds of getting off one Shadow Ball, which will hurt a lot more than Togekiss’s Flamethrower.

I can see the logic for this approach, but I would personally still put the Blissey up front and center, especially in a scenario like the OP described, where the gym is being actively fed GR by multiple defenders. Given that Blissey is the most obnoxious and time-consuming defender, placing it up front forces the attackers to deal with it every time they do an attack run on the gym, and prolongs the amount of time each attack run takes. Placing it in the back allows them to go after any defenders before it, then backing out before going after the Blissey, saving it for last. Also, if it’s in the back and any defenders get knocked out, you end up with fewer people who can actively berry the Blissey to keep it up.

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Potentially untrue, depending on Hidden Power =p

Thank you for your detailed post. Interesting lineup. How about Gyarados, which can wall both Machamp and Metagross?

Any idea who the owner is?

Togekiss can have a super effective hidden power, which will do significantly more than gardevoir’s confusion, which can make up for the worse damage that flame thrower has.

Sure, but that becomes inevitable if a gym is being nuked by multiple players, especially before a raid. That’s the reason why I slot Blissey in first always, cause in case it gets kicked out within 30 minutes of being kamikaze’d endlessly by 3+ coordinated attackers, you just have to feed the other 5 long enough to slot another Blissey after just 10 minutes. This is devastating on morale and I am convinced it is the best defending strategy available if you are determined to keep a gym at all costs


True, but that relies on Togekiss getting HP: Ghost, Dark, Fire, or Ground, so basically a 1/4 chance. Not exactly the best odds around.

My point is, I consider Gardevoir and Togekiss mostly interchangeable. Togekiss has more quick move variety potential and better bulk, while Gardevoir has harder hitting moves that are less reliant on RNG and half as many exploitable weaknesses.

Counter won’t do much, but Machamp can pack Rock Slide as a second move. I realize you can’t plan for every contingency but if something has access to a super-effective move against something else I’d hardly consider the first thing being walled.

Metagross does get completely screwed though, I’ll give you that.

…so get more than one Togekiss? It’s not like you’re locked into only having one of them. =p

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True, but considering they’re a Sinnoh Stone evolution from what for most people is practically a hatch-only species I can’t imagine many have a surplus of Togepi candy.

Should be RyanSwag

1/4 odds aren’t that bad, but even dealing neutral damage (maybe single resistance too?) would be better since gardevoirs confusion is doubly resisted. (EDIT: at single resistance Hp, confusion and Hp have the same base power when factoring in effectiveness and STAB on confusion, 9.375, so 9/16, the HP flying inclusion, togekiss is better, and 14/16 they basically are even)

Best case for togekiss, so only double resistance HPs being ‘bad’ that’s a 14/16 odds, since only poison and psychic are double resisted. Worst case, so neutral and super effective only, are 8/16 (the 4 weaknesses, bug, fighting, electric, and water) so even then, not terribly bad odds.

I agree with the RNG v reliability, it’s like how togekiss can be for raids, the RNG can have a massive swing, being much better than gardevoir or worse depending. The weaknesses I’m not so sure I agree with, since rocks and poison isn’t often used for gym clearing, electric is a Maybe because of raikou, but really the only types used on gyms that are problematic would be ice because mamoswine destroys all the dragons so well, and steel because metagross does metagross things. For gardevoir I’ve never really heard of ghost clearers (shadow ball mewtwo is a bit of an exception, but that’s mostly because it also functions along side focus blast) because all the normals, poisons got the issue of confusion, so that leaves just steel, ie metagross. Togekiss having more weaknesses down matter as much, look at something like gyarados, it’s weak to rock, but most go for electric against it, or mamoswine, weak to fighting, water fire and grass but most go for the steel (or maybe fighting depending on line up/weather) against it.

For a good while, (which was before trading all my Ralts at max distance) I had roughly double the togepi candy, around 600 or so (and I started when both were released, and since togepi has been out longer) I imagine it’s not that farfetch’d of An idea to suggest people hatched more than a few togepi to get more candy.

Then again as I’ve been told by friends, I have this affinity for togepi, (hatched three shinies inside of 9 months with 46 hatched) hatching more that I seemingly have any business to so might be an outlier.

Not a competitive gym area here, but this is my gym fighting party–Mewtwo has PC/Ice Beam+Shadow Ball. Machamps don’t have the 2nd move unlocked. A few things to knock out that Mewtwo could slow me considerably, Gyarados with bite is an example of a contributor to that. Reason I have it like this also, in case I see a tier 4 vulnerable to fighting and I have an unused pass, my other 4 parties are grass types with Grass Knot, Seed Bomb, LeafBlade, Frenzy Plant bc one of these times I’ll encounter a blizzard Kyogre in Sunny, plus 1 electric party

That’s absurdly lucky…
I’ve probably hatched like 6 togepi in total.

However, if Togetic comes back to tier 4 raids while we have a bad T5 boss (like a rotation of the lake trio) then it will be farm-able at least…

Yeah, my togepi luck is something…else. These werent when they were 7ks, all of them were actually 2ks, one being hatched after they were in 7k’s, but during that ‘sinnoh hatchathon’ thing where a lot of sinnoh prevos were in 2ks. I will forever remember that since it was both the day before I went home from college, and it was drizzling as I came back from a raid (dont remeber what the legendary was at the time).

Togepi is a personal favorite, so im glad if i’ve had absurd luck with anything, its been that, hence why I plan to name one, after a lucky friend mirror, ‘LuckyEgg’