A complete list of Best Pokémon for Lucky Trades is finally available on the Hub! The list covers all Gen 1 through Gen 5 Pokémon you should be spending your Lucky trade on. We will update the article with valuable Gen 6 additions when they become available.
This guide was a highly requested one, and you know the drill: you ask, we deliver. If you have some lucky trades pending and you don’t know what to prioritize, don’t worry, as in this article we’ll go over Pokémon worth trading. Legacy moves will be written in italics.
Three types of trainers come to mind: battlers, raiders and collectors (or shiny hunters). We’ll try to cover most targets no matter what type of trainer you are, but if we forget something do not hesitate to let us know! So let’s get right into it.
Keep in mind that only those Pokémon that have been officially released in the Game are included in this analysis! It will be updated as soon as more Generation 6 Pokémon are released.
Best Pokémon for raids and gyms
We’ll begin with PvE (raids & gyms). Let’s take a look at the best gym/raid attackers in Pokémon GO (not necessarily in order of importance):
Rampardos (Cranidos) is the best rock type attacker in the game by far. It has one of the best attack stats in the game (295) combined with the best rock type moveset. It is the #1 counter to plenty of raid bosses in the past and it will most likely be the best counter against some legendary raid bosses in future generations. Rampardos is without a doubt a must-have attacker.
Giratina-O is one of the best counters to plenty of legendary raid bosses due to the amount of psychic-type legendaries out there. It may not have the highest attack stat among all ghost type attackers, but its amazing moveset and TDO make up for it and make it the best ghost type attacker in the game in most situations, not including megas (analysis). Shiny Giratina-O is a very cool looking shiny and a very coveted one as well!
Rayquaza is the best dragon type attacker in the game as of now. Wonderful attacker and generalist (although those aren’t used as much nowadays). Outrage Salamence is not too far in performance and there are other interesting contenders, but Rayquaza is still the king if we don’t include shadow Pokémon and megas in the list.
Metagross needs Meteor Mash (a legacy CD move) to be a relevant attacker. MM Metagross is a wonderful attacker that hasn’t had much use in raid battles yet, but it will for sure shine in the future as some legendary Pokémon are weak to steel types. It is also a great generalist.
Shadow Ball Mewtwo used to be the best ghost type attacker, but the changes in type effectiveness have been rough to one of our favourite attackers (analysis). Regardless of those changes, SB Mewtwo is a great attacker that can be used in almost any situation if it has a second charge move.
Psystrike Mewtwo is probably the best attacker in the game (excluding shadow Mewtwo and megas) and it is now also considered the best generalist, outclassing very powerful Pokémon such as Rayquaza. If you want to read a full analysis to check out Psystrike Mewtwo’s potential, we’ve got you covered!
Sky Attack Moltres is a great attacker in Pokémon GO (article), as it is arguably one of the best fire type attackers and the best flying type attacker as of now (excluding megas and shadows, that is). Fire Spin (or Wing Attack) + Sky Attack and Overheat Moltres is a wonderful raider/gym sweeper.
The Garchomp family is one of the rarest ones to find in Pokémon GO. Hatching a Gible is quite difficult and finding Gible/Gabite in the wild is not easy either. Garchomp is a very powerful dragon type attacker (not the best though), but where it really shines is as a ground type attacker because of its typing (3x resistance to electric type moves). It might get Earth Power or a better dragon type move in a future CD, so keep that in mind before evolving!
Kyogre is arguably still the best water type attacker in the game (excluding megas and shadow Pokémon). While it is outperformed in terms of DPS by Crabhammer Kingler, its bulk & TDO make it outperform Kingler in the long run. Whether or not it is still worth investing in a Kyogre when you have a non-legendary alternative is debatable. Keep in mind that it will most likely be able to learn its signature move (Origin Pulse) in the future, though!
Let’s be clear: Earthquake is a disappointing move in PvE. Groudon is one of the best ground type attackers in the game, but ground type moves are not that useful in raids and gyms nowadays. And when they are, ground type attackers are usually outperformed by other attackers that also deal super effective damage but have significantly better movesets. It will most likely learn its signature move (Precipice Blades) in the future, so keep that in mind. Fire Punch (L) Groudon is a staple in Master League, though. So if you’re into PvP I’d suggest considering this lucky trade. If you just want it for PvE, you can trade a regular (non-legacy) one.
Chandelure (Litwick) is an amazing attacker. Its performance as a ghost type attacker is comparable to Giratina Origin Forme’s. It deals more DPS but has lower bulk. Outside of the Halloween Event, Litwick is a difficult Pokémon to get. If you get one and you need a ghost type attacker, you should definitely consider saving it for a lucky trade.
Aura Sphere Lucario (Riolu) is one of the best fighting type attackers in the game and it will be able to mega evolve in the future, so it’s definitely a great Pokémon to lucky trade! Furthermore, if you like to fight Rocket Grunts, you can unlock a 2nd move, teach it Power-Up Punch and start shredding shields while boosting your attack at the same time.
Conkeldurr (Timburr) is also a wonderful Pokémon to lucky trade, as it is a phenomenal fighting type attacker. On top of that, you will save yourself 200 Timburr candies if you want to evolve a Timburr that has been traded, so definitely not a bad choice!
Haxorus (Axew) is another example of a great Pokémon to lucky trade. Axew is so rare that in fact, many of my locals didn’t even have it registered in their Pokédex when I asked them if they had a spare one to trade. Haxorus is a very decent dragon type attacker and a very good Pokémon to use in Master League Premier, if you’re interested in PvP.
Although Hydreigon (Deino) is not the best raid attacker out there, it’s still a very cool looking pseudo-legendary Pokémon with very decent stats. Furthermore, it’s also quite rare to get outside of GBL encounters, so not a bad choice at all.
Dialga is a very interesting pick. Its dragon type moveset is not the best, but its typing is amazing. In PvP, Dialga is a very powerful Pokémon to use in Master League. Regarding PvE, its TDO is amazing vs. dragon type raid bosses with dragon type moves, but fairy types such as Togekiss (that now have access to Charm) can also do the job. Overall, a must-have Pokémon to add to your squad.
Zekrom and Reshiram are wonderful raid attackers. They are the best non-shadow (& non-mega) electric and fire type attackers, respectively.
These Pokémon are amazing targets for lucky trades, but let’s take a look at some very interesting alternatives:
Shadow Claw or Lick (L) Gengar has one of the highest ghost-type DPS in the game as of now. If you want to see how it compares to Giratina-O in battle, you can check out this article.
Outrage Salamence‘s performance is excellent. It’s so good that it can compete with Rayquaza (and you won’t need rare candies to power it up). Full analysis here.
Smack Down Tyranitar has been the best rock type attacker for a while. Now, it has been outperformed by Rampardos and Rhyperior in terms of DPS. However, SD Tyranitar is still very useful as a rock type attacker, and it is in fact one of the best Pokémon for Team GO Rocket Battles, so keep that in mind!
Raikou is the best electric type Pokémon as of now, but it will most likely be outperformed as soon as Thundurus is released in Pokémon GO. Furthermore, Electivire is almost as good as Raikou (in fact, it deals a bit more DPS) and you don’t need to spend rare candies to power it up. Shadow Raikou on the other hand is an amazing raid attacker!
Palkia is a very powerful dragon type attacker (not 4x weak to ice type moves), but it does not have access to Outrage. Great dragon type attacker, but not really worth the investment due to the amount of great dragon type attackers out there (similar performance to the non-legendary alternative Outrage Salamence)
Drillbur and Excadrill are easier to get, but that does not make them useless at all. In fact, thanks to Drill Run, Excadrill deals more DPS than Groudon as a ground type attacker. However, Groudon is a better overall attacker, as it has much better TDO. Don’t forget that Landorus-T may outclass them both as soon as it is released, though!
Darmanitan (and Galarian Darmanitan) are great fire and ice type attackers respectively. If you need a good fire or ice type attacker, count them in!
Rhyperior is an amazing rock type attacker, outperforming Tyranitar but still below Rampardos. Double-moving a Rhyperior is not a bad idea at all, all you’ll need is to use a Fast TM to go from Mud Slap (if you want to use it as a ground type attacker) to Smack Down (if you want to use it as a rock type attacker). Its charge moves in PvE must be Rock Wrecker (L) and Earthquake.
Thunder Shock Zapdos is also a great electric type attacker. Still outclassed by Raikou, but definitely a great attacker to add to your lineup.
Heatran is also a good raid attacker. Not the best fire type attacker out there, but its amazing typing makes it a good Pokémon thanks to its TDO.
Lower tier alternatives
And finally, some other alternatives you could consider if none of those convince you or if you have plenty of them already:
- Swinub/Piloswine/Mamoswine (great ice type attacker, it destroys dragon/flying type Pokémon but Swinub is not really a rare spawn nowadays, we already had a Swinub CD and Swinub also nests)
- Roselia/Roserade (best non-mega & non-shadow grass type attacker, but Roselia is quite common in the wild)
- Krabby/Kingler (best non-shadow & non-mega water-type DPS with Crabhammer, but it is a “common” spawn depending on where you live)
- Dragonite (very good dragon type attacker but it is outperformed by other dragons. Not bad as a gym defender (provided it has Outrage, though))
Best Pokémon for PvP
We have an article by BinetCauchy that you might find interesting regarding this topic, and you can find it here. However, I’ll try to sum it all up and split the content in different sections to cover all leagues:
You already know that in Master League (and Master Premier) there is no CP limit. Thus, you want to have 100% IV Pokémon. The following list recaps what’s good in that league, so that you have an idea of what to seek out:
Some of them are legacy Pokémon and some of them are still obtainable. My advice would be to seek out those that are legacy because they cannot be obtained anymore unless you trade or a special event comes out in the future. Best of luck with the IV rerolls!
Unlike in the Master League, here there is a CP limit. Thus, it would not make sense to cover everything that’s good in that league but just those Pokémon that max out close to 2500CP.
Why? Well, because you want to reduce the amount of stardust needed to power them up and obtaining them via lucky trades is definitely a good idea. And if they do max out above 2500CP, we’ll try to only suggest the ones who would not lose much performance from a non-optimal IV spread (e.g. – Those who max out above 2500CP but not much higher).
With the new level cap coming up soon, the list will be full of Pokémon that you’ve seen in Great League before. Watch out, this is not Great League though! Here are some suggestions for Ultra League and Ultra Premier:
The most important league, at least if we consider the amount of tournaments and cups held by now. The following shortlist features the most optimal lucky trades if you want to save stardust while still getting a very optimal IV spread (in most cases you can even get the most optimal one).
Thanks to the new level cap, you can now forget about Sableye, Medicham and Bastiodon (the old lucky trade recommendations for Great League as they maxed out just below 1500 CP). The extra levels allow them to max out above the 1500 CP cap and thus their optimal PVP IV spreads have changed. So here’s the new list:
Best Pokémon for collectors or shiny hunters
Some trainers want to complete the lucky dex (each entry as a lucky Pokémon with the exception of those that cannot be traded such as mythical Pokémon). Those trainers should primarily focus on obtaining regional Pokémon through trades because of the limited availability they have. Furthermore, other interesting Pokémon to seek out are legendary Pokémon (because you cannot mass trade them). And once those are already in the dex, the remaining trades can just be regular lucky trades until the lucky dex is filled.
Regarding shiny hunters, things get a bit more difficult. Some shiny Pokémon are really easy to get (either because they had a Community Day where their shiny odds were boosted or because they have been featured in several events and thus the amount of them you could catch is significantly higher), whereas some others are very difficult to get (e.g. – shiny regionals, shiny babies, special forms such as flower crown Eevee or Pikachu, and many others whose shiny or spawn rate was very limited). In my opinion, the most difficult ones should be the main target for this kind of trainers. But be prepared, because you’ll probably need to give a very rare Pokémon in return too!
And finally, legacy move collectors. To be honest, out of the huge amount of legacy Pokémon obtainable in the game, just a few deserve to be powered up. For example, Brine Omanyte is almost useless in this game, whereas Meteor Mash Metagross is a very useful attacker. In my opinion, meta-relevant Pokémon should be prioritized if you want to obtain them through lucky trades. Why? Because the main point of lucky Pokémon is to save resources when powering up. If you don’t plan to spend stardust on them, you might as well do a regular trade to get them.
We heard your feedback and also included the list of Mega Evolutions in Pokémon GO: