Pokemon Go Countering Water Type Gym Defenders

Pokemon Go Defeating Water Type Gym Defenders by chatchan

From my quick Excel math, the average stats for all fully evolved and non-evolving Pokemon in Gen 1 are 154/175/172, which is of course in the order of Stamina/Attack/Defense. You’ll also see the base stats of the Pokemon I’m talking about how to beat.

Water Types

Countertypes: Grass

Other effective types: Electric

Four strongest Pokemon:

Lapras (260/186/190)

Vaporeon (260/186/168)

Gyarados (190/192/196

Slowbro (190/184/198)

Water might not sound as threatening as Fire on the surface, but Water types are a true force to be reckoned with.

Defeating a wide variety of Water types is nowhere near as straightforward as doing so with Fire types. Here’s why:

–There are way more usable Water types than Fire types.

–There are way fewer usable countertype Pokemon for Waters than there are for Fires.

–Water types have much more diversity in their type combinations and movepools.

Let’s expand on these points a bit more. The total number of obtainable, fully evolved Fire Pokemon is currently six, whereas for Waters it’s sixteen. These numbers matter because it makes it much easier to find Waters and staff Gyms with them, meaning you’ll need more Pokemon of the countertype to beat them.

But since Grass is the only true countertype for Water, it’s already more likely that you’ll have fewer good choices for beating them compared to Fire types. There are only sixfully-evolved Grass types in the game, and half of them belong to three-stage families, making it much harder to save up enough Candy to even get them in the first place.

And when you do get them? You might still take tons of damage anyways, because almost every Water type learns a move that can be great for taking out one of those six Grass types – Blastoise learns Bite and Ice Beam; Golduck and Slowbro learn Confusion, Psychic, and Ice Beam; Poliwrath learns Ice Punch; Tentacruel learns Acid, Poison Jab, Sludge Wave, and Blizzard; Dewgong and Cloyster learn Frost Breath, Ice Shard, Icy Wind, and Blizzard; Kingler learns X-Scissor; Seadra learns Blizzard; Seaking learns Peck, Poison Jab, Icy Wind, and Megahorn (and not a single Water move); Starmie learns Psybeam or Psychic (depending on when you got one); Gyarados learns Bite; Lapras learns Frost Breath, Ice Shard, Ice Beam, and Blizzard (and not a single Water move); and Kabutops learns Fury Cutter.

All of these moves are super-effective against at least one of the six usable Grass types in the game, and 14 of the 16 usable Waters in the game have at least one of them.

So basically, all of this adds up to a large number of quality (harder to kill), sometimes easy-to-get defenders facing off against fewer, usually harder-to-get, and lower-quality options for attackers. You’re starting to see how this is hard now, right?

Or at least, you would be if you weren’t wondering why I haven’t mentioned Electric types yet. The big reason why Electric types aren’t that important to most of the discussion on Water types is because they a) don’t typically have good Defense, and b) don’t resist Water type attacks. These two factors make Electric type attackers have hilariously terrible longevity in many Gym battles.

The only time I’d recommend relying on Electrics as a primary answer instead of Grasses is when the Grasses literally can’t do much of anything useful – going up against things like Gyarados, who doesn’t really rely on Water attacks, has a double weakness to Electric, and isn’t even weak to Grass, or Lapras, who doesn’t evenlearn Water attacks and instead brings a whole lot of unfun Ice moves to the table.

So since Water types are so powerful and diverse, I’m going to discuss beating the most powerful ampng them one by one.

Lapras (260/186/190)

Now here’s a tricky one. Lapras has a decent number of weaknesses to exploit, but most of the Pokemon that represent them just aren’t good choices for battling it. For example, Lapras is weak to Grass, but every Grass type is weak to Ice. It’s also weak to Rock, but most Rock types are weak to Ice because of their double typings. (Many are also weak to Water, but I mentioned that situation earlier.) Finally, Lapras is weak to Fighting and Electric, but a notable number of these Pokemon suffer from bad stat conversion from the main games into Pokemon Go.

Because of these circumstances, there’s a pretty small number of Pokemon that can be reliable answers to Lapras. My suggestion is to focus on using Machamp, Omastar, Kabutops, and Magneton. Most of these choices resist Ice, and even though Machamp doesn’t, it’s still one of the best Fighting types in the game right now and should still be able to hold its own if it isn’t facing a large CP disadvantage. Most Electric types in general will be also useful against Lapras, but Magneton stands out due to its Ice resistance, making it have much better longevity than your typical Electrics would in battle. Other Fighting types can also be somewhat useful, though you’ll want to have them as strong as possible and dodge as many attacks as you can. I wouldn’t use Grass or other Rock types unless you have a large CP advantage and no better options (and don’t mind spending a lot of time dodging).

If you’re unable to find any of these Pokemon, you can always use Pokemon with high CP who aren’t weak to Ice and whose attacks aren’t resisted by Lapras (so avoid using Water or Ice moves). As ironic as it might sound, Fire types are actually pretty decent against Lapras due to their generally high Attack stats, resistance to Ice moves, and ability to land neutral hits with their STAB moves (while Water resists Fire, Ice is weak to it, so it balances out).

Finally, I’d recommend that you keep an eye on the timer and don’t be shy about using Charge moves against Lapras, because its high HP may make you time-out and lose. Be sure to take this one seriously; it really is one of the best Gym defenders in the game right now.

Vaporeon (260/186/168)

The good news is that this is one of the only usable Waters in the game that doesn’t learn anything effective against any of the usable Grasses. The bad news is that this is one of the best Pokemon in the entire game anyways. Obviously you’ll want to use a Grass type against it, but be sure to dodge its Charge moves regardless of if you have a Grass or not. It’s ironic that, as influential as Vaporeon has been on the metagame, it’s still really not that hard to beat. Just bring a Grass type, dodge Charge moves, and you should be fine. You can also use Electric types, although their neutrality to Water attacks will make your Pokemon faint faster compared to a Grass type, making it harder to beat Vaporeon in the allotted battle time due to its high Stamina stat.

Gyarados (190/192/196)

Gyarados has a double weakness to Electric and a regular weakness to Rock. The best way to fight it is to use an Electric type and try to dodge as many hits as possible since most Electrics are made of wet toilet paper when it comes to Stamina and Defense. If you can, you may also want to put multiple Electrics on your team just in case one should faint. If you decide to use Rock types, I recommend that you focus on Omastar and Kabutops since every other Rock type is weak to Water and you’ll be taking a big risk if Gyarados knows Hydro Pump.

Slowbro (190/184/198) (plus Golduck[160/194/176] and Starmie [120/194/192])

Even though Golduck and Starmie aren’t among the top four Waters, they’re still quite strong and easy to talk about in the same breath as Slowbro. The reason why is that each of these three learn Psychic type moves, thus requiring a bit of special attention since half the usable Grasses in the game are half Poison. It’s also important to note that Slowbro and Golduck both learn Ice Beam as well, which every Grass type in the game is weak to. Exeggutor is your best bet to deal with these three since it resists both Water and Psychic moves. You can also use Tangela, Parasect, or Electric types, though they shouldn’t be your first options if you can help it. Regardless of who you choose to fight with, be sure to dodge any Ice Beams coming your way.

Poliwrath (180/180/202)

Poliwrath is also not among the four strongest Waters in the game, but since it ranks so highly in some Gym defender tier lists, I decided to go ahead and mention it here. Though Poliwrath has several weaknesses (Grass, Electric, Flying, Fairy, and Psychic), it’s still a pretty good defender since it has great stats and a very good movepool.

Bubble is the strongest Basic move in the game, while Mud Shot lets Poliwrath do slightly more DPS (damage per second) to Electric types. Ice Punch does well against Grass and Flying types; even though Hydro Pump does more DPS, Ice Punch takes only a third of the energy cost, meaning Poliwrath can use it more frequently and you’ll fail to dodge it more on average. Finally, Poliwrath also learns a single Fighting move, Submission. This move isn’t super effective against any of Poliwrath’s standard answers, but it does get STAB and slightly restrict the number of Pokemon you can effectively use against it if you don’t have a standard answer.

Because of its wide coverage, Poliwrath is a Pokemon whose moveset you’ll have to pay close attention to in order to do well. If you can afford to, you can try bringing multiple answers to battle and simply switch to the best choice once you find out its mix of moves. But regardless, you’ll probably want to avoid bringing things like Magneton that are weak to one of Poliwrath’s Basic AND Charge moves, just in case.

Water Type Battling Summary

i) Since there is a wide variety of good Water Pokemon with diverse movepools that are often able to take advantage of their relatively uncommon answers, Water types are challenging to beat.

ii) The diversity of Water types means you’ll need to pay close attention to which ones are guarding a Gym before jumping into battle. Choose attackers carefully based on the typing and moveset of your opponents.

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